Nicholas D. Kristoff hopes that “The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo,” a bestselling novel that deals with human trafficking in Sweden, will bring worldwide attention to the subject of sexual slavery. Trafficking is a coarse subject often ignored by the public, which means it is ignored by police. This piece explains how trafficking is not necessarily a foreign topic, and how runaway girls and their pimps are major players in the United States’ sex trade. Sweden is a country that has taken a unique approach to the sex trade by prosecuting the men who frequent prostitutes, while treating the women as victims. This means there is less of a demand for prostitution, prostitutes are therefore making less money and the sex trade is becoming less lucrative.
Nicholas D. Kristof. “Seduction, Slavery and Sex.” New York Times. 14 July 2010. 29 July 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/opinion/15kristof.html?_r=1
This emotional article is about one woman forced into sexual slavery in India. This woman was kidnapped from her village, beaten by brothel owners who threatened to hurt her family and forced to have sex with as many as 25 men per night. Even after she ran away and alerted the police, her traffickers were not prosecuted. The story shows how human traffickers manipulate victims and how difficult it is for victims to get justice even after they have gained their freedom.
Nicholas D. Kristof. “The 21st Century Slave Trade.” New York Times. 22 April 2007. 30 June 2010. http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/opinion/22kristof.html?_r=2&ref=human_trafficking
According to this article, some 38,000 children are held captive as sex slaves in South Africa and the number is expected to increase because of the World Cup. Nevertheless, the South African government’s attempts to subdue sex trafficking are minimal and shallow. This piece also talks about how in the United States President Obama claimed to make abolishing human trafficking a top priority, yet “the U.S. currently spends more in a single day fighting drug trafficking than it does in an entire year fighting human trafficking.”
E. Benjamin Skinner. “South Africa’s New Slave Trade and the Campaign to Stop It.” Time Magazine. 18 January 2010. 10 July 2010. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952335-1,00.html
In Iraq, poor mothers sell their daughters, some as young as 11 years old, to sex traffickers. This piece explains how some girls are forced to marry older men so that they can legally travel to places like Syria and Jordan, then are divorced and put to work when they arrive at their destination. Still the Iraqi government has never arrested a trafficker and does nothing to end the sex trade, which subsequently contributes to the overall decline of woman’s rights. This article also explores the cultural stigma that comes along with being a rape victim or forced in prostitution.
Rania Abouzeid. “Iraq’s Unspeakable Crime: Mothers Pimping Daughter.” Time Magazine. 7 March 2009. 10 July 2010. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883696,00.html
Kamchana, a young, poor Thai woman, was offered a trip to the United States of America for 30,000 dollars. Her trafficker assured her that she would be able to pay of this debt by working at a restaurant, but instead she was forced into the sex trade. This article tells how Kamchana was moved throughout the United States, eventually residing in Houston, and forced to work at “massage parlors”. These parlors were really just covers for a lucrative sex business that held Kamchana against her will. The interesting part in this story is that Kamchana did eventually pay back her traffickers and was let go. Upon release, Kamchana was very confused, did not know how to speak English and did not know how to make money except by prostitution. So, Kamchana went right back to her captors. Kamchana’s story is not unique, many women forced into the sex trade return to it because they simply do not know what else to do. This article highlights the need not only for prosecution of traffickers, but psychiatric assistance to victims.
Mimi Swartz. “The Lost Girls.” Texas Monthly. April 2010. 10 July 2010. http://www.texasmonthly.com/2010-04-01/feature3-1.php