Human Trafficking and Prostitution

TraffickingAccording to U.N. estimates, approximately 2.5 million people are being trafficked around the world at any given time, 80% of them women and children. Conservative estimates suggest that the sex industry generates some $32 billion annually. However, estimates of income generated from prostitution in one city, Las Vegas, are as high as $5 billion. Today, sex trafficking is a high-tech, globalized, electronic market, and predators are involved at all levels, using the same methods to control prostituted women that batterers use against their victims: minimization and denial of physical violence, economic exploitation, social isolation, verbal abuse, threats and intimidation, physical violence, sexual assault, and captivity.

A PsySR Member Perspective: Melissa Farley on Human Trafficking and Prostitution

Prostitution is widely socially tolerated, with the buyers socially invisible. Even today, many mistakenly assume that prostitution is sex, rather than sexual violence, and a vocational choice, rather than a human rights abuse. Although clinicians are beginning to recognize the overwhelming physical violence in prostitution, its internal ravages are still not well understood. There has been far more clinical attention paid to sexually transmitted diseases among those prostituted than to their depressions, lethal suicidality, mood disorders, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder) dissociative disorders, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury. Regardless of its legal status or its physical location, prostitution is extremely dangerous for women. Homicide is a frequent cause of death. Read More »

Links and Resources to Learn More and Take Action

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-International (CATW) is a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s human rights by working internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms.

GABRIELA Network is a Philippine-US women’s solidarity mass organization. GABNet provides the means by which Filipinas in the US can empower themselves, functions as training ground for women’s leadership, and articulates the women’s point of view. GABNet effects change through organizing, educating, fundraising, networking, and advocacy.
The purpose of this Web site is to bring Government and NGOs in the East Asia and Pacific together to cooperate and learn from each other’s experiences in their efforts to combat human trafficking. This Web site has country-specific information such as national laws and action plans and contact information on useful governmental agencies. It also has a description of NGO activities in different countries and their contact information.

International Rescue Committee Anti-Trafficking Action Coalition
The International Rescue Committee Anti-Trafficking Action Coalition (ATAC) aims to build a strong infrastructure to support the IRC network of 22 resettlement offices in providing comprehensive and specialized services to certified victims of trafficking across the United States.

National MultiCultural Institute
The National MultiCultural Institute works with individuals, organizations and communities in creating a society that is strengthened and empowered by its diversity. Fighting human trafficking is one of NMCI’s major goals.

Prostitution Research and Education
Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) is a nonprofit organization that conducts research on prostitution, pornography and trafficking, and offers education and consultation to researchers, survivors, the public and policymakers. PRE’s goal is to abolish the institution of prostitution while at the same time advocating for alternatives to trafficking and prostitution – including emotional and physical healthcare for women in prostitution.

UNODC Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings (GPAT)
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings (GPAT) assists countries in their efforts to combat this crime.

Women’s Justice Center
The mission of the Women’s Justice Center is to provide advocacy, free of charge, for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse, particularly in the Latina and other under served communities of Sonoma County; to provide advocacy training and community education; to coordinate the Task Force on Women in Policing with the goal of increasing the number of women and minorities in our law enforcement agencies; and to commit to equal justice for all women and girls.