Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sex Trafficking - Old News

The title of this post is not to denigrate the importance of abolishing sexual slavery by any means, however it is meant to comment on the recent words of a 'local congresswoman' who is trying to prosecute sex traffickers.

I laud that goal. But, when she says that sex trafficking is a, "21st century form of human slavery", I have to disagree. I understand the concept of making this topic contemporary, but some form of 'sexual slavery' has been ongoing probably as long as the human race has existed.

Clouding that fact, and this issue, won't help the end goal of people trying to put a stop to this. And politically charging this horrid form of control to meet personal goals won't either. It's time to speak the truth about this, and not hedge your bets by claiming this is a new problem.


"CITY HALL — Proposed legislation that would use the tax code to prosecute sex traffickers could go a long way to end the “21st century form of human slavery,” a local congresswoman said yesterday.

The bill, H.R. 6107, would appropriate $2 million to establish an Internal Revenue Service office that would closely coordinate with the Department of Justice to put traffickers behind bars for violations of tax laws. It would also allow the newly created unit to keep criminal fines it collects from traffickers and to impose increased penalties — fines up to $50,000 and jail sentences of up to 10 years — for criminals who fail to file returns or pay taxes.

“Instead of realizing their dreams of better jobs and better lives, they become trapped in a nightmare of coercion, violence and disease,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked across international borders each year. “Human trafficking is the 21st century form of human slavery and we have a moral responsibility to hunt down and prosecute the men and women who brutalize women and children for profit.”

Maloney, D-Manhattan/ Queens, said she introduced the bill last week and hopes to see it passed by the end of this legislative session.

“I know that changing the tax code may not sound like much, but you have to remember that the way that the FBI finally got Al Capone was through the tax code,” she said. “I believe this will be a valuable tool for the Justice Department to really crack down on those abusers.” "


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