The Myth of Human Trafficking

I comment elsewhere on the issue of human trafficking, in response to this comment by Sanjay:

I really, _really_ don't grasp why you think activists are wrong to oppose human trafficking: most of the cases I'm aware of, and certainly the ones activists try to focus attention on, aren't about "options," they're about people backed into situations they didn't realize they were signing up for, and effectively jailed by the threat of violence. Worse, it often happens when people get trapped in (say) sexual slavery right here in this or another rich country. It seems like what we generally mean when we talk about human trafficking, isn't really in the kind of domain as the sweatshop thing.

The issue of human trafficking is overblown. Yes, it exists, and is wrong, insofar as it is coercive and harmful. And yes, there is certainly anecdotal evidence that it occurs. The problem is the statistical aggregate described by the term "human trafficking" is often bogus, and includes non-coercive, non-harmful cases of (often illegal) labor mobility lumped in with the coercive, harmful kind.

This is one of Kerry Howley's frequent topics of inquiry. Here she writes:

I’m inclined to see the hugely exaggerated statistics regarding human trafficking as driven by economic realities; sex slavery, thanks to evangelicals domestically and other social forces abroad, is where the money is. No one–least of all an NGO vying for that money–has an incentive to suggest that there are fewer victims than previously believed, or that the data suggests very few victims of trafficking are women sold into sex as opposed to men and boys forced into less titillating forms of labor; correct the misperception and you may shut off the tap. But clearly, there has to be some deeper will to believe among those who continue to parrot the now-discredited numbers.

In that same post she cites this Washington Post article:

Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence
U.S. Estimates Thousands of Victims, But Efforts to Find Them Fall Short

And the money quote:

Ronald Weitzer, a criminologist at George Washington University and an expert on sex trafficking, said that trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims often fear coming forward. He said that might account for some of the disparity in the numbers, but only a small amount.

"The discrepancy between the alleged number of victims per year and the number of cases they've been able to make is so huge that it's got to raise major questions," Weitzer said. "It suggests that this problem is being blown way out of proportion."


Although there have been several estimates over the years, the number that helped fuel the congressional response -- 50,000 victims a year -- was an unscientific estimate by a CIA analyst who relied mainly on clippings from foreign newspapers, according to government sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the agency's methods. Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales told Congress last year that a much lower estimate in 2004 -- 14,500 to 17,500 a year -- might also have been overstated.

Also, the issue of human trafficking is closely tied to the issue of sex work, and so there are lots of biases and assumptions that predictably go along with any discussion of trafficking. For example, Howley often cites Laura María Agustín,

a sociologist who studies migrant sex workers. In her writings, she is critical of the conflation of the terms "human trafficking" with "prostitution" and "migration", arguing that what she calls the "rescue industry" often ascribes victim status to and thereby objectifies women who have made conscious and rational decisions to migrate. She advocates for a more nuanced study of migrant sex workers without pre-conceived notions.

Kerry interviewed Agustín for Reason here, in The Myth of the Migrant.

Kerry excerpts a piece by Agustín on the gender biases coloring our view of human trafficking here:

Single men’s decisions to travel are generally understood to evolve over time, the product of their ‘normal’ masculine ambition to get ahead through work: they are called migrants. Then there is the case of women who attempt to do the same…

It is striking that in the year 2001 women should so overwhelmingly be seen as pushed, obligated, coerced or forced when they leave home for the same reason as men: to get ahead through work. But so entrenched is the idea of women as forming an essential part of home if not actually being it themselves that they are routinely denied the agency to undertake a migration. So begins a pathetic image of innocent women torn from their homes, coerced into migrating, if not actually shanghaied or sold into slavery. This is the imagery that nowadays follows those who migrate to places where the only paid occupations available to them are in domestic service or sex work.[3] The ‘trafficking’ discourse relies on the assumption that it is better for women to stay at home rather than leave it and get into trouble; ‘trouble’ is seen as something that will irreparably damage women (who are grouped with children), while men are routinely expected to encounter and overcome it. But if one of our goals is to find a vision of globalisation in which poorer people are not constructed solely as victims, we need to recognise that strategies which seem less gratifying to some people may be successfully utilised by others.

To sound the left-libertarian note, this is yet another case where patriarchal "traditional" cultural values about the proper role of women in society and the moral legitimacy of sex work leads to unlibertarian conclusions: millions of dollars wasted, mostly by governments, on essentially an urban legend popularized and believed by prudish traditionalists.

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Why do I always hear

Why do I always hear feminists complaining about human trafficking and "left-libertarians" don't?

Most of these activists seem

Most of these activists seem to hark back to "The Yellow Peril" days where people feared foreigners selling white women into slavery.

The statistics are vague and vastly overestimated. One of these activists who made the mistake of giving out estimated numbers of children in Brazil kidnapped and trafficked every year. Slight problem, someone actually looked at the numbers and compared them to the number of children in Brazil. According to the human trafficker activist's numbers, every year a child in Brazil had a 60% percent chance of being kidnapped. You'd think there would be a huge outcry in Brazil if numbers were really that high.

For a complaint about the

For a complaint about the lack of evidence in human trafficking there is shockingly little research and evidence here to argue otherwise.


Human trafficking for the sex trade is as rare as rocking horse shit.
The feminist dopes just want another war chant, it just does not happen, oh yea women come to work as prostitutes but the suggestion that they are coerced into it by shady mafia figures is a load of baloney. They are just very poor women seeking a better life

The problems I see with the

The problems I see with the sex traffic idea is that suppose some of the women were not forced into this type of prostitution, but were willing and wanted to do this type of work, and went out of their way to do this type of work. (It is a lot of fast easy money, they don’t need a degree, or a green card.) All they have to do is lie and say that someone forced them into it. When perhaps, no one did.

If they lie here are their benefits based on the new anti-traffic laws:

1. They don’t have to go to jail or be arrested.
2. They get to stay and live in America for an indefinite amount of time.
3. The U.S. Government will provide them with housing, food, education and will cater to them since they will be considered victims.

The way I see it is that this system will encourage people to lie in order to receive all the benefits listed above.

Everything I heard about this problem was Americans complaining about it, but I never heard from the so-called victims themselves complaining about it. Why is that? Many of the self appointed experts complaining about this have never even met or seen a real victim. They make up a large figure out of thin air that 2 million or more women and children become sex slaves each year. They have been saying this for over 15 years so this means that 15 X 2, 000,000 equals 30,000,000 yet no one can find all these women and children. They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it. Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers.

A key point is that on the sidelines of a debate which has been dominated by ideology, a chorus of alarm from the prostitutes themselves is singing out virtually unheard. They oppose laws against prostitution. But no one wants to listen to the prostitutites themsleves. Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories.

This is a story that continues to give false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians and media

It is very difficult to force someone to be a slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities.

What hard evidence does the police have that these women were forced slaves? Were all the women that the police saw in fact slaves? Did the police prove without a doubt due to hard concrete evidence that the women were victims of being slaves and forced against their will? Did they account for all the benefits they would receive if they lied?
I find it very hard to believe that most women in this business are forced against their will to do it. It would just be too difficult. There may be some exceptions but, I believe this is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to fight this cause. As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

The following links will give your more information about this
Washington post article:

Human traffic website:

Guardian newspaper:

Children and Sex Slavery

Sex Trafficking is a Myth

According to the media hype There was supposed to be hundreds of thousands of under age child sex slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with super bowl fans. At the Dallas Super Bowl 2011. WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM????????????

Well, as I predicted it was all a big lie told by various anti-prostitution groups and the Dallas Women’s Foundation which is a anti-prostitution group that lies in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries. As proved in the link below:

Top FBI agent in Dallas (Robert Casey Jr.) sees no evidence of expected spike in child sex trafficking:

“Among those preparations was an initiative to prevent an expected rise in sex trafficking and child prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. But Robert Casey Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said he saw no evidence that the increase would happen, nor that it did.
“In my opinion, the Super Bowl does not create a spike in those crimes,” he said. “The discussion gets very vague and general. People mixed up child prostitution with the term human trafficking, which are different things, and then there is just plain old prostitution.”

This myth of thousands or millions of underage sex slaves tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in.

Brian McCarthy isn't happy. He's a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he's forced to hear why his customers are adulterers and child molesters. Brian McCarthy says the sport/super bowl sex slave story is a urban legend, with no truth at all.

== World Cup 2006 ==
Politicians, religious and aid groups, still repeat the media story that 40,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Germany for the 2006 world cup – long after leaked police documents revealed there was no truth at all in the tale. A baseless claim of 25,000 trafficking victims is still being quoted, recently, for example, by the Salvation Army in written evidence to the home affairs select committee, in which they added: "Other studies done by media have suggested much higher numbers.” Which has been proven by the German police to be completely false. Yet people still talk about these false numbers as if it were fact.
==World Cup 2010 ==
Again using the made up number of 40,000 prostitutes trafficked:
The behavior of fans in South Africa has run contrary to what was predicted prior to the start of the tournament after David Bayever told World Cup organizers in March it was feared that up to 40,000 extra prostitutes could converge in the host nation to meet the expected demand. Bayever, deputy chairperson of South Africa's Central Drug Authority (CDA) that advises on drug abuse but also works with prostitutes, warned: "Forty-thousand new prostitutes. As if we do not have enough people of our own, we have to import them to ensure our visitors are entertained."

But the tournament in 2010, if anything, has seen the modern-day soccer fan attracted to art galleries and museums over brothels. A trend that has seen a drop in revenue across the board for the prostitution industry, which is illegal in South Africa. "Zobwa," the chairperson of Sisonke -- an action group representing around 70 street prostitutes in Johannesburg -- said business had been down over the last month. "The World Cup has been devastating. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it's chased a lot of the business away. It's been the worst month in my company's history," the owner and founder of one of Johannesburg's most exclusive escort companies told CNN.

The Vancouver Olympics 2010:
Again anti-prostitution groups lied and used the same figure of 40,000 or more sex slaves for the Vancouver Olympics. Again they were proved wrong. There were no sex slaves at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

In recent years, every time there has been a major international sporting event, a group of government officials, campaigning feminists, pliant journalists and NGOs have claimed that the movement of thousands of men to strange foreign countries where there will be lots of alcohol and horniness will result in the enslavement of women for the purposes of sexual pleasure. Obviously. And every time they have simply doubled the made-up scare figures from the last international sporting event, to make it look like this problem of sport/sex/slavery gets worse year on year. Yet each year it is proved false.

This myth tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in. These anti-prostitution groups need to in invent a victim that does not exist in order to get press attention.

Here is more info on this: