Beware of Sex Trafficking Through the Impression of Choice

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I came across this article on the Vanguard that precipitated some thoughts in me which I want to share with you.

It is a story about young girls who are smuggled by pimps to Italy to hawk sex. The girls are bounded by contract and spiritual ties so that they remain committed and loyal to the traffickers.

While some sex traffickers manipulate or deceive their victims into following them, the story suggests that some of these girls willingly give themselves into the situation.

In Addition

The topic of sex trafficking isn’t new to anyone today. But discussion on the subject remains relevant if we must eradicate or at least curb the menace of this evil and restore sanity to society.

Sex trafficking is a societal menace and a form of modern day slavery. Sex traffickers use several ways including violence, debt bondage, threats, lies and other forms of coercion to compel their victims to engage in commercial sex acts. Usually this happens against the will of the individual, but sometimes, as pointed out in our reference story, the victims willingly or ignorantly give themselves into the act.

This social injustice is frowned upon by every well minded person and attracts a form of punishment by law in countries the world over. After reading that story, the thought that came to my mind is that of the distinction between sex trafficking and prostitution. If young girls understand the difference, they will be able to easily identify sex traffickers when the venture is marketed to them and report same to appropriate authorities.

With sex trafficking, young girls and women are forcibly held against their will in ‘labour camps’ or behind closed doors, and made to service men for money. Money realize from the act is usually monopolized by the trafficker who places their victim under a form of threat. Prostitution defers from sex trafficking in a number of ways. First, it doesn’t involve force or coercion but free will. Second, proceeds from prostitution belong to the sex hawker. Prostitutes work by choice while sex traffic victims are trapped in the sex industry by force.

Put in another way, prostitution is hawking sex for self while sex trafficking is hawking sex for fear. In some countries including Brazil, Finland, Belgium and Colombia, prostitution is legalized but there is nowhere in the world where sex trafficking is legal. Concerned organizations and governments in such countries engage actively in fight against sex trafficking but reach out to prostitutes for their health and safety. It is not difficult to see the correlation between the two.

In our case story, the sex traffickers clearly understand this difference and seek to present an impression of ‘choice’ or ‘free will’ to their victims through diabolical means. They make girls believe that they are going into some sort of business partnership and that the ritual (juju) performed by the ritualist (native doctor) is a kind of contract signing.

In essence, the ritual is the force element that qualifies the perpetrators as sex traffickers. Worst of all, it is a spiritual force that the girls are made to commit to. In itself, it is threatening. The writer tells us how the native doctor brags about being able to ‘track’ the girls wherever they are and ensure that they pay whatever they owe to the sex trafficker. Clearly, this is a sign of spiritual bondage.

That madam that would promise to sponsor people’s visa and flight tickets to another country for this type of ‘business’, does she engage in it herself? What about her grown up female children, are they into it too? If it is such a noble business they wouldn’t be coming to someone else. And if the person is as generous as they may claim to be, why require candidates to be bound by spiritual ties?

I understand that prostitution is not a noble business and as such one can’t have a binding legal contract. But any form of force should not be acceptable. The promise of money might be enticing but in the end it will be for the victims, a life of regret as they realize that they have given away their lives for nothing.

I suppose that the sex trafficker will not tell their victims the exact reasons why they must visit the ‘native doctor’, but mere mention of that should send a right thinking person off. It is a different story all together if a person is forced or threatened to take the binding ritual.

Sex trafficking victims who are threatened in this manner or with their family’s safety have better reasons to die in the act than anyone who recklessly commit willfully to sex trafficking for the love of money. Neither prostitution nor sex trafficking is a good practice. Though the former is a lesser evil, it is not a profession. They should be frowned at for the moral and social health of society.

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