Where We Live: The Human Trafficking Business

Forced prostitution is coming to light in Connecticut and the U.S.

Pam Morris (Flickr Creative Commons)
Where We Live: The Human Trafficking Business
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Where We Live: The Human Trafficking Business

Last year - a major Vanity Fair story brought the issue of sex trafficking in the US to many who’d never considered the issue. And the stories it told were centered right here in Connecticut.

In that story, our first guest, Krishna Patel, an Assistant US Attorney told the magazine this:

“Human trafficking—the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and women, via the Internet, strip clubs, escort services, or street prostitution—is on its way to becoming one of the worst crimes in the U.S.”

We spoke with Patel about this issue a few years ago - and seemingly, the problem has gotten worse. Earlier this week, a father and son were charged with running a sex trafficking ring using New York City cab drivers. And Patel’s office has been involved in a number of cases of exploitation.

She helped to coordinate a panel discussion at Yale Law School called Trade of Innocents earlier this month.

As we heard on NPR’s Morning Edition today - the Justice Department is taking the issue of human trafficking very seriously. Here’s Attorney General Eric Holder - giving a major speech on the subject yesterday in Little Rock, Arkansas:

"In this country and under this administration, human trafficking will not be tolerated and that a zero tolerance, one-strike approach has taken hold I don't think could be more clear."

You can join the conversation - do we need to be paying more attention to human trafficking - a kind of modern slavery - that’s right here in Connecticut?  



Email from Igor

Sorry, I'm late with my e-mail. This issue is superimportant and needs a complex approach. Yet, it has to be swift too because while the legislation debates go on someone continues suffering and perishing because of this crime.

I would clamp down on those ads in the newspapers. Those who post them are connected to the sex slavery mafia. If someone decides to place an ad offering assassin's services, police would surely investigate. The same approach should be applied here.

The danger for victims lies primarily in threats issued and carried out by mafia hitmen against themselves and especially their families. Those scoundrels must be hunted down and put behind bars forever. You can reform a prostitute, maybe even a pimp, but never a hitman. They are only partly human.

When there is an organized crime group, it most likely has its protectors within legislature and police. Those must be revealed and punished mercilessly. (The recent Secret Service scandal shows how high it can reach, not to mention some of the prior ones.)

A special visa program means well but this mafia is so ruthless and resilient that it will exploit this back door to America and will both have their cake and eat it. First they make money on exploitation then on obtaining visas. Believe me these or similar schemes are already up and running.

And lastly, since this crime is directly linked to an unavoidable male natural desire, something has to be done in this regard. But I have no idea what. Should physicians, psychologists, social workers be involved in finding a solution? Will it be enough just to shame prostitutes' clients? I think that professions in which using prostitutes became part of their culture (sorry but truckers come to mind first) should be checked like talking to companies' bosses, trade unions etc.

Email from Terry

Would it help to reduce demand for prostitution if the pictures of the johns were published in the newspaper?

Email from Jonathan

Prostitution is the world's oldest profession. What about legalizing it? It's not that far fetched, Nevada has done so and allows the industry to be regulated and overseen.