October 26, 2008

Rhode Island and Sex Trafficking

Justin Katz

Even as San Francisco contemplates legalizing prostitution, people who pay attention to such things in Rhode Island — where prostitution is already legal — say the regime attracts the sex-slave industry:

But in fact, said Wells, slavery is occurring now in neighborhoods around Rhode Island, in the form of the forced prostitution of women and girls — some runaways, some brought here from other countries. Their captors are attracted to Rhode Island, she said, because it is one of only two states that consider prostitution legal, as long as it occurs indoors between consenting adults.

"The word has gone out that Rhode Island is the place to come to to open your brothel," said Donna M. Hughes, a University of Rhode Island professor who has studied international sex trafficking. "We are rapidly becoming the sex trafficking capital of the Northeast."

A resort casino and legalization of some currently illicit drugs would surely have similarly beneficent results.

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Where does the National Organization for Women stand on this issue. On the one hand you'd think they would be promoting these women's rights to market their own bodies as they "choose"... on the other they may be inclided to want to protect women from the slave trade.

Based on their history, they're likely to support slavery for sleazy Democrats while condemning it for wayward Republicans.

Posted by: George at October 26, 2008 3:39 PM

Such rubbish. Anyone who has reached the age of consent should be able to control their own body.
Here's another issue where the police state Right and the police state Left are joined at the hip.

Posted by: Mike at October 26, 2008 3:54 PM

Mike is correct.Unlike abortion,where a decision is made to control another person's right to exist,the decision of an adult not under duress to have sex with any other adult for money or laughs,or love is not the business of the government.
The religious right and the commie left both want to stick their noses into peoples'business without any justification.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 26, 2008 4:22 PM

I take it you two have comparable research to that of Ms. Hughes et al. suggesting that "duress" is not an endemic problem in the sex trade?

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 26, 2008 4:41 PM

Good find, Justin. So much for the claim - the "feeling" - that human trafficking is best dealt with by legalizing prostitution.

The General Assembly has refused to close the loophole which makes prostitution legal in this state. Their purported reason is that women (the prostitutes) would bear the brunt of enforcement and prosecution efforts.

I don't necessarily advocate this solution, but if this truly is the G.A.'s concern, there is an easy remedy for it. Criminalize only the roles of the johns and the pimps/madams.

Or could there be that they are not actually interested in criminalizing prostitution, for some inexplicable reason?

Posted by: Monique at October 26, 2008 4:45 PM

Justin-having encountered both forced and voluntary prostitution in my law enforcement career,I can tell you there is a vast difference,and appearances can be deceiving.
Streetwalking should be illegal,and even in Amsterdam it is.If by duress you mean life circumstances,then there is the issue of free choice- a lot of people do what they don't like to make a living.
Pimping and actual forced prostitution should always be crimes.
If a person wants to make a living at it in private or in a controlled environment with labor standards enforced,I'm not going to judge them for it.
Sex between adults is normal and healthy and without it,none of us would be here.
Justin-if I showed you what REAL prostitution under duress looks like,you'd see what I mean.
In addition,enforcement of these laws leads to corruption and the diversion of valuable law enforcement resources.I know some people here will think I've lost my mind,but I call it the way I see it.Since I comment on RIF,Kmareka,PDD and N4N,I am used to being flamed,so feel free.I'm not thin skinned.
Oh,BTW I support medical marijuana,having experienced the fun side effects of cancer treatment with high dosage radiation in 1981.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 26, 2008 6:58 PM

Well, one can certainly criminalize the industry without criminalizing the transaction. (Although, it would be considerably more difficult were the government to get into regulation mode.)

One thing in your response bothers me, though:

Sex between adults is normal and healthy and without it,none of us would be here.

Do you really intend to illustrate the healthy normality of retail recreational sex by citing procreational sex? I submit that the birth of children through prostitution is manifestly unhealthy, which leads, obviously, to the unavoidable evil of the trade: Legal prostitutes seem likely to represent a key customer base for abortionists.

That's where libertarian declarations such as Mike's "rubbish" elide into blind simplicity. Somewhere there's a line at which individual liberty crosses into atrocity.

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 26, 2008 7:15 PM

Come on Justin-you're not seriously suggesting a quick oral transaction (can't resist the pun) between consenting adults for cash is an "atrocity"?
I suggest you peruse the "erotic" section of the Providence Craigslist to see if there is any coercion going on. Pure rubbish.
The conception of the "pimp" with a big Cadilac, mink coat and Superfly hat is about as real as the "funding formula".
I suggest you avoid the club called Trixx on Allens Ave. where a reliable law enforcement source tells me it has become de riguer for high school boys (yes they are 18-or so their ID says) to sell their "assets" in a club backroom to some of the most powerfull men in the state. The club website advertises (or did last time I checked) nude "shower shows" where 2 teens at a time strip naked and shower for the enertainment of the sickos. Included is the boys soaping each other up and washing each other off.
Do I like it? Not any more than you.
Do I want Big Brother "redistributing wealth" by prosecuting this with tax money?
Not a chance.

Posted by: Mike at October 26, 2008 8:27 PM

No, abortion is the atrocity, and prostitution — which you'll restrict to neither men-only nor oral — leads inexorably to it. And that's when we move beyond the sex trafficking atrocity.

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 26, 2008 8:33 PM

There are probably very few prostitutes these days who have unprotected intercourse unless they are deranged,what with the severity of available std's.
I believe most abortions are performed on amateurs.
Street prostitution is really the worst-it degrades neighborhoods and leads to robberies and things like the serial murders where the bodies were dumped along I195.Never solved either.In Amsterdam you can walk down a street with houses,schools,businesses and prostitutes in windows.Nobody who's seen it once or twice gives it a second glance(unless they're customers).

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 26, 2008 9:46 PM

I've spent quite a lot of time in Amsterdam (work related) and just because they have legal governmental oversight prostitution doesn't mean that there is no "illegal" prostitution. Recently the government has cracked down on the "illegal" prostitution as it has also reduced the area of legal prostitution in order to keep better controls on it.

Posted by: bobc at October 27, 2008 1:41 PM

Yes they have.That's the point.When the brothels were illegal there was a lot of sex slavery there.Letting it go on underground was the worst situation.
The Amsterdam police routinely arrest streetwalkers,because they are mostly illegal aliens or junkies.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 27, 2008 6:29 PM
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