02 July 2010

Beat the market - [updated link]

Swanee Hunt said this: Yes, it's crucial to help rescue victims of trafficking. However, unless we deal with the market, trafficking will continue to grow. It's more likely that we can curb the demand for commercial sex and labor before we solve the social inequities that contribute to the supply.

In America alone its been almost impossible to arrest johns, forget about prosecution. Almost impossible to expose it for what it really is. Its not like theres been a formula, or some sort of checklist to follow. And with nothing solid to stand on, it seems impossible to stand, atleast until now.

When I think of the market I think of the john. The supply is represented by some sort of teen prostitute - atleast in my mind. Thats just the way I envision it. And you have your image, the general public have their image, and the police have their's. But the result is this:

Theres only one that gets arrested, the other one goes home. One gets a criminal record, while the other appears to have never existed. And if the 'other' does get arrested... they STILL go home.

Not because its right, not because its fair. Not because it works... but because its allowed. You didn't know that? Yeah, theres an unwritten rule in this world that says a thing is allowed the moment you ignore it. Kinda hard to beat something you're busy pretending hasn't happened.

So, here's a quick list on a few ways to beat the market:
  • Understand it
  • Challenge people's words (jokes, conversations, casual comments, etc...)
  • Stop patronizing it
  • Write a letter when Editors victim blame
  • Raise awareness with posters
  • Host a film screening
  • Volunteer your time
  • Encourage males to think different
  • Encourage schools to educate different
  • Point out businesses that profit from trafficking
  • Use the Community Response Toolkit by CAASE
  • Talk to your Chief of Police about arresting johns
  • Keep learning
  • Stay up to date
  • Become an expert
  • Share your ideas
For those that are curious, the market isn't the only flaw. Theres problems with all sorts of issues around trafficking someone into a sex trade. You've got a wide range to learn about and confront. Like for instance, if you only want to learn about demand and take action against another end of the process, thats cool. Theres only one question you have to answer really... when are you going to start?