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The Administration Picks Weak Path to Fight Sex Trade

TIP report is deeply flawed.

12:30 PM, Jul 22, 2010 • By JANICE SHAW CROUSE
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Finally, the 2010 TIP report does not address the provisions of the 2008 Wilberforce Act which required the TIP office to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts across the federal agencies, thus ensuring compliance with the legislation’s provisions, including a new model law for states that would make all acts of pandering and pimping per se crimes regardless of whether there is proof of fraud, force, or coercion and whether the victim is a minor. 

Further, the Department of Justice did not comply with the mandate to study and tabulate the extent of the trafficking problem in the United States. Therefore, how could the TIP report evaluate and place the United States in Tier I (the highest rating, indicating the highest level of government action to combat the problem)?  By giving the United States the top rating, the report ends up reducing the TIP office’s ability to address the victimization of children and young women through commercial sexual exploitation.  It effectively gives free reign to exploiters from Craigslist advertisers, escort services, massage parlors, brothel operators to the street pimps.

Whereas past efforts to end modern day slavery started by working to end demand, the current focus is to stop the criminals — the traffickers and the pimps — rather than arrest the victims.  Such efforts resulted in  the TVPRA, which as a piece of legislation is carefully crafted, precisely focused, and a comprehensive legal framework ensuring the criminal prosecution of those who engage in human trafficking. Building on previous versions of the bill, it enables more effective prosecution of those who engage in commercial sexual exploitation, as well as forced labor, of children and young women.

But this report indicates that Wilberforce Act is effectively being ignored, in favor of international law, but to the detriment of those so horribly affected by the sex trafficking. By sacrificing its power and blurring its focus, the current TIP office will lose its effectiveness and become nothing more than a source of “sound and fury signifying nothing.” The decade of commitment and work of hundreds of dedicated abolitionists will be tossed aside, and the fight to end human trafficking will be set back more than a decade. Worse, hundreds, if not thousands, of children and young women will be abandoned to the vile control of traffickers and pimps.

Janice Shaw Crouse, author of Children at Risk (Transaction Publishers), heads the think tank for Concerned Women for America.

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