DEMAND. report

DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
DEMAND.
A Comparative Examination of Sex Tourism and
Trafficking in Jamaica, Japan, the Netherlands,
and the United States
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under
the terms of Grant No. S-LMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein
are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United
States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Table of Contents
DEMAND.
1
7
14
Executive Summary
Methodology
Introduction
Country Narratives
Jamaica
The Netherlands
United States
Japan
Recommendations to Fight Demand
23
45
83
109
143
Bibliography
151
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Shared Hope International
Shared Hope International
Acknowledgments
hared Hope International (SHI) recognizes the hard work and diligence of numerous
individuals from around the world in making this report and its partner documentary possible.
The vast international support given to this project truly is a tribute to the men and women who
are dedicated to the abolition of slavery and human trafficking.
Acknowledgments
DEMAND.
First, SHI would like to thank those field researchers who cannot be named to protect their
security and ongoing work. We commend their tremendous efforts, and we respect their courage
in examining the dark side of the sex industry in dangerous and threatening environments, often
risking their own safety.
Shared Hope International benefited from the expertise of several volunteers who reviewed and
provided invaluable insights and recommendations for the report and documentary. Melissa
Westervelt provided information on economics and reviewed the report for its market structure
statements. Diligence, LLC, especially Julia Miles and Ewan McPhie, tirelessly tracked down
critical information. Cyveillence performed an Internet website sweep which formed the basis
for a great deal of information on the Internet and its connections to the markets. Tony Marsh
and Lance Copsey and the team at Marsh, Copsey and Associates went to great lengths to get the
interviews which form the backbone of this report. Sayuri Umeda, Japanese Legal Specialist at the
Library of Congress obtained and translated national laws on trafficking and related crimes. Review
and comments from experts Melissa Farley, PhD, Mohamed Mattar, PhD, Louise Shelley, PhD,
and Ewan McPhie; practitioners Shihoko Fujiwara, Katherine Chon, and Bradley Myles of Polaris
Project; and authors Benjamin Skinner and Siddharth Kara were invaluable and much appreciated.
Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in each of the countries we examined provided
field expertise and observations that advanced our understanding of the commercial sex markets
and contributed to the accuracy of this report.
In the United States, NGOs in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington, DC, namely,
Covenant House Georgia, Polaris Project, WestCare Nevada, You Are Never Alone (YANA),
Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, CEASE and
the Juvenile Justice Fund provided information and insights into the commercial sex industries
and victimization in each location. Members of the Department of Justice Human Trafficking
Task Forces including law enforcement and civil society are working hard to address the problem
of human trafficking.
In the Netherlands, Professors and Criminologists Henk Van de Bunt, Frank Bovenkirk, and
Ine Vanwesenbeeck deserve special mention for their excellent work and information on the
sex trafficking situation in the Netherlands. Scarlet Cord, Victory Outreach, YWAM, and Blinn
provided field expertise and assistance to our research in The Netherlands as they continue their
critical missions of assistance to victims.
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Acknowledgments
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Shared Hope International
In Japan, we thank shelter director Cheiko Nishioka, Shihoko Fujiwara and Kyla Mitsunga
of Polaris Project JCAT, Hisano Niikura and Carina Morita of Saalaa, Keiko Tamai of Asia
Foundation, Mayumi Ueno, Akio Nakayama, Mihoko Katsumata of IOM, Keito Otsu from HELP
shelter, Junko Miyamoto of ECPAT/STOP, Tom and Olive Kisaki of Teen Challenge Japan, and
lastly, Yoko Yoshida and Reiko Aioka of Charm.
In Jamaica, Neil and Janice Lewis of Operation Save Jamaica were exceptional guides and
sources of information in our research. Also of incredible help were Pastor Bruce Fletcher of
Operation Save Jamaica, Assistant Superintendent of Police at the Jamaica Constabulary Force
Victor Barrett, Reverend Margaret Fowler at the Theodora Project, and Christina Milford at
the Pregnancy Resource Center of Jamaica and Hebron House in Montego Bay. Carol Palmer,
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice and Head of the National Task Force Against
Trafficking in Persons with support from the U.S. Embassy in Kingston and USAID/Jamaica is
leading concrete steps to create awareness and prosecute crimes of human trafficking in Jamaica.
Finally, we thank the Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
for providing funding for this project, perhaps the first in-depth report to examine commercial
sex markets with the purpose of attacking demand. We hope that our findings will contribute to
demand reduction efforts worldwide.
Every staff member at Shared Hope International participated in some way to the production
of this report and its related documentary, “Demand.” Brooke Bennett, Director of
Communications, directed the documentary production, led the field research in the
Netherlands and contributed to the writing of the report. Mary Gai, Director of Domestic
Programs, provided research and administrative support. Jennifer Glavin, COO, managed
the technical and financial aspects of the grant funding this work. Samantha Healy, Program
Director, directed the research, wrote the report, and led the field research in Jamaica and
the United States. Amanda Kloer, Research and Administrative Coordinator, contributed
substantially to the writing of the report and production of the documentary and led the
development of the graphics and visuals. Linda Smith, Executive Director, participated in the
field research in each location and contributed to the writing and the development of the report
and documentary. Melissa Snow, Project Coordinator, led the Japan field research, contributed
to the writing of the report and the development of the documentary. Sally Stoecker, Ph.D.,
Lead Researcher and Report Writer, conducted the secondary research and drafted the report.
Interns Andrew Burnett, Jessica Clem, Abby Duncan, Annie Draper, Rina Edge, Sang-Yeob
Kim, Jieun Lee, Kristin Lundberg, Margaret Gulliford, Elissa Procanick, and Deborah Whang
contributed substantially.
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Shared Hope International
Executive
Summary
S
ex tourism is the travel by buyers of sexual services for the purpose of procuring sexual services
from another person in exchange for money and/or goods. Sex tourism can occur between countries
or cities. Sex tourists create a demand which drives the recruitment of more victims to be trafficked
to commercial sex markets to meet their demands. Human trafficking, including sex trafficking, is
defined in Article 3 of the United Nations Protocol as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer,
harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,
of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the
giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over
another person, for the purpose of exploitation…; (b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in
persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant
where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used.” The Trafficking Victims
Protection Act 2000 (TVPA) sec. 103(9) defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring,
transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act” and
explains that all ‘‘severe forms of trafficking in persons’’ means—(A) sex trafficking in which a
commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion.” Both provide that the inducement
of a child less than 18 years of age eliminates the need to prove force, fraud or coercion. Sex
trafficking is the response to demand in the market; it is the supply of persons, especially women
and children, who are brought into sexual slavery and exploitation.
Executive Summary
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Shared Hope International (SHI), with funding from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking
in Persons, U.S. Department of State, undertook a twelve month examination of the marketplace
of commercial sexual exploitation—defined in this report as the buying and selling of humans for
the purposes of sexual exploitation in exchange for anything of value—in four countries: Jamaica,
Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States. Each of these countries has major markets of
commercial sexual services, and each country is a destination for sex tourists from abroad and
internally. Moreover, each country has a distinctly different culture, economy, political system, and
history of prostitution and slavery which presented comparative examinations of the operation of
sex tourism and trafficking markets. Field researchers traveled to each country and worked closely
with local specialists to gain access to many venues and actors in the commercial sex markets in
order to understand the impact of demand for commercial sex on sex tourism and sex trafficking.
This report approaches sex tourism and sex trafficking from a market-based perspective in which
buyers of commercial sex services bring demand, traffickers move victims like product to the
markets to satisfy the demand, and facilitators allow the trade to occur in a myriad of ways, for
example by providing a venue for the transactions, similar to a shopping mall of human product.
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Key Findings and Conclusions
I. Sex Trafficking and Sex Tourism Are a Single Market of Exploitation
In the sex tourism markets, demand exceeds supply of women to provide the commercial sex
services which buyers are groomed to expect through advertising and popular culture. Sex
traffickers fill this deficiency by delivering women and children to meet the demand of buyers in
sex tourism markets. This creates a single market of sexual exploitation in which sex tourism is
fueled by sex trafficking.
Buyers are groomed to expect immediate and easy access to commercial sex and are demanding
sex internationally and locally. This results in the trafficking of vulnerable women and children
to satisfy that demand for commercial sex services. The perils of sex tourism reach both foreign
and local women and children. Facilitators continue to use the same exploitation techniques for
local and foreign girls. This use of local victims in a local market has altered the traditional view
of sex tourism and has created a marketplace in which sex trafficking and sex tourism cannot be
viewed separately.
II. A Culture of Tolerance for Commercial Sex Exists in Each of the Locations
The culture of tolerance for sex markets is an environment shaped by geography, history, tradition,
legislation, language, behavior and many other influences. A unique culture of tolerance exists
in each of the four countries as the backdrop for the operation of commercial sex markets.
Commercial sex has been normalized to such a degree that buyers no longer feel compelled to
travel abroad to satisfy sexual urges. As the culture continues to normalize sexual images and
activities, the markets grow. Specific examples of normalization occurring within the cultures of
tolerance include the following:
• Jamaica: In this tourism-reliant country, a perception of escapism is encouraged
through advertising by all-inclusive adult-only resorts that encourage tourists to demand
any pleasure they wish, as well as smaller travel companies which arrange sex tours. On a
local level, severe poverty has led to the cultural allowance of “making do,” which includes
earning money for oneself and one’s family by any means available, including commercial
sex by children and adults.
• The Netherlands: Legalized prostitution, promotion of red light districts as tourism
activities, and centuries-long tolerance of commercial sexual activity have resulted in
development of extreme, “fringe” commercial sex markets and the tremendous growth in
demand for commercial sexual services by both local and international visitors.
• United States: The sexualized popular culture glamorizes pimping and prostitution and
reduces the moral barriers to accessing commercial sex without regard to the origin or
conditions of the trafficked women and children. Las Vegas’ now famous slogan, “What
happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” provides visitors with an excuse to act in ways outside
the norm of their own community.
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• Japan: The equation of sex with physical health and heavily enforced cultural gender
roles has normalized the Japanese male’s “need” for sex. The legality of all sexual services
except vaginal intercourse provides easy access to these normalized commercial sex
markets.
Shared Hope International
III. Labeling and Misidentification Allow Trafficking Markets to Flourish
Failure by government, law enforcement and society to identify trafficked women and children
as victims often results in improper placement and treatment. Misidentification occurs when
victims are labeled as illegal immigrants, juvenile delinquents, drug mules, or thieves and forced
or coerced to commit crimes while being trafficked. This criminalization can subject victims to
incarceration and deportation. Labeling victims of sex trafficking, adults and minors, as willing
prostitutes, “lot lizards” and “‘hos” also impedes their access to social services and legal aid. These
labels allow buyers to dehumanize the victim, using her simply as a product. The impact of this
misidentification also works to facilitate sex trafficking by allowing the trafficker to operate with
little fear of any consequences.
Simultaneously, while blame is assigned to victims of sex trafficking, traffickers and buyers are
able to benefit from being labeled with normalized names—johns, tricks, clients, “loverboys”
or pimps—which do not carry the stigma and criminal weight they should. Statistically, it is
clear that political and societal will and resources to bring the buyer and trafficker to justice is
lacking. For example, in 2006, according to statistics collected in one county in Nevada, 153
minors were arrested for prostitution, but only two pimps were arrested in these cases. Furthermore,
Congressional findings in the End Demand for Sex Trafficking Bill issued April 28, 2005, stated
that 11 females used in commercial sex acts were arrested in Boston for every one arrest of a male
purchaser; 9 females to every one male purchaser in Chicago; and 6 females to every one male
purchaser in New York City.
Executive Summary
DEMAND.
IV. Criminal Markets of Trafficked Persons Exist
In all locations, the commercial sex market provides a veneer of acceptability and legality.
However, a criminal black market hides behind this veneer using trafficking victims to satisfy the
surplus demand from sex tourists for services advertised. Under the guise of legal commercial sex
venues, such as strip clubs, escort services and adult pornography, sex trafficking provides human
victims to fulfill the demand in the criminal sexual exploitation markets.
V. Buyers Are Situational, Preferential, or Opportunistic
Buyers of sexual services can be placed in three categories: situational, preferential and opportunistic.
The definitions of buyers commonly employed by those working in the area of commercial sexual
exploitation of children (CSEC) include “situational” and “preferential” buyers. Situational buyers
are defined as those who engage minors in commercial sex because they are available, vulnerable
and the practice is tolerated. Preferential buyers, such as pedophiles, have a sexual preference and
shop specifically in the markets providing the preferred victim or service.
In the larger commercial sex market involving adults and minors there is a third group of buyers
which can be described as “opportunistic buyers.” Opportunistic buyers are those who purchase
sex indiscriminately because they do not care, are willfully blind to the age or willingness of the
female, or are unable to differentiate between adults and minors. Due to intensive marketing and
the increased normalization of commercial sex in society, buyers from a young age are groomed
to glamorize commercial sex, to dehumanize the women and children pressed into service with
names such as “ho”, and even to express aggression toward the victims through violent video
games such as The Pimp Game and Grand Theft Auto. A full examination of the psychology
of buyers is beyond the scope of this report, but it is clear that cultures of tolerance enable the
process and even condone the purchase of commercial sex by buyers.
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Executive Summary
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Shared Hope International
VI. Institutions and Individuals Facilitate Sex Trafficking and Sex Tourism
Institutional facilitators are the businesses, governments and other institutions benefiting in some
way from commercial sex markets which use trafficked women and children. For example, some
hotels facilitate sex trafficking by allowing women and children to be prostituted on the premises
through inaction, tolerance or poor management. Local governments in the Netherlands facilitate
sex trafficking through negligence by failing to enact regulations for all sectors of the commercial
sex industry, especially escort services where trafficking victims are hidden from view. In Las
Vegas, fliers and cards advertising prostitution are aggressively thrust at passersby on the Strip
where no other vendor advertising is present. In all locations, failure to prioritize prosecution of
the traffickers and buyers make negligent authorities and officials facilitators of trafficking. Any
lack of knowledge or interest or priorities on the part of institutional facilitators does not excuse
their role in perpetuating sex trafficking markets.
Individual facilitators include pimps, traffickers, cab drivers, document forgers, pornographers,
corrupt or negligent officials in governments or businesses, and other individuals benefiting directly
or indirectly from the commercial sex markets. Some individual facilitators receive an immediate
and direct benefit, such as the payment of commissions to taxi drivers by secret neighborhood
brothels operating in Las Vegas and the Atlanta suburbs. They can also benefit indirectly. For
example, a government official may ignore the presence of trafficking because it supplies a market
which benefits the city’s economy. Individual facilitators can operate independently, as in the case
of street pimps in Kingston providing young girls to sex tourists, or within a structured, organized
crime network. These networks can be structured loosely, as seen in the Netherlands, or highly
centralized, as in Japan.
VII. Traffickers Range from Teenage Recruiters and Pimps to Established Organized
Criminals
In all locations examined, with the exception of Japan, we found that increasingly younger males
are recruiting females into the sex trade. These teen facilitators relate to the victims’ needs,
deceive victims into thinking themselves in love, and exploit their trust and insecurities. In the
Netherlands, recruiters tend to be second-generation Moroccan and Turkish young men known
as “loverboys.” In Jamaica, the boys are trying to “make do” by pimping their sisters and friends, or
selling themselves to female sex tourists. Recruiters in the United States are increasingly teenaged
boys or young men who work for older male pimps and learn to lure girls through deceit and
feigned affection or act as “guerilla pimps” and simply force the girls through brutality to submit
to the sexual exploitation.
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Organized crime syndicates are also involved in sex trafficking in each of the four countries.
In the Netherlands, we uncovered Albanian, Turkish, and Russian criminal networks that
recruit women in the Balkans and former Soviet states and move them through Europe into
the Netherlands. These networks are loosely organized and involve intermediaries of different
nationalities. In Japan, traffickers are tightly organized crime networks that operate in major cities
and abroad. Russian organized crime has trafficked women and children to the United States,
the Netherlands, Japan and Jamaica. Organized crime can also be seen in more localized, loosely
affiliated groups or individuals supporting each other’s criminal activities, such as the recent
case in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In this case, 31 men and women allegedly transported girls
as part of a sex ring rotating teenaged girls through truck stops and rest areas in Pennsylvania,
California, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, and other
Shared Hope International
states. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, served as the distribution center, utilizing intersections of five
major highways to deliver a constant stream of buyers.
VIII. Young Females are Recruited and Exploited in Commercial Sex Markets
Victims are becoming younger as demand is increasing. Vulnerable youth are especially susceptible
to recruitment by pimps and traffickers. Increased attention to the exploitation of youth by
traffickers has increased as well. In Las Vegas, for example, the number of prostituted domestic
juvenile girls identified by police during arrests more than doubled between 1996 and 2006. In the
Netherlands, one-third of trafficking investigations involved underage victims.
Demand for younger girls is increasing as buyers believe they are less likely to be infected with
sexually transmitted diseases. Also, younger girls present the vision of innocence and vulnerability
sought by buyers. The exploitation of local women and children is growing more common as foreign
victims become more difficult to procure due to anti-trafficking programs in source countries,
tightened immigration controls and the cultures of tolerance making domestic juveniles more
readily available. Perception of sex trafficking is often of foreign women and girls being moved from
their impoverished homes into a wealthier country for commercial sexual exploitation. This view
is overly simplistic and even outdated, as there are many variations to the face of sex trafficking
and sex tourism. Increasingly, that face is one of a local victim caught in a sex trafficking market
generated by local demand.
Executive Summary
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IX. Foreign Females Still Demanded and Trafficked
Demand for foreign, “exotic” women and children for commercial sexual services has not
diminished. In Las Vegas and Tokyo, in particular, advertisements for Latin lovers, Asian beauties,
and Slavic sweethearts are prolific. In Washington, DC, closed ethnic, language-based and
dialect-based brothels victimize women within their own “village” in the U.S. Many have simply
transplanted a local market, Salvadoran men buying Salvadoran women, for example, in the
U.S. Due to the poor economic situation in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean and the political
upheaval and unemployment levels in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, many girls
from these regions were found in Japan, Jamaica, the Netherlands and the United States.
IX. Technology is the Engine Behind the Growth of the Sex Trade
Technology has become the single greatest facilitator of the commercial sex trade in all of the
countries observed, with the exception of Jamaica where word of mouth continues to dominate.
In Japan, buyers are connected with prostituted women and children through a complex system
of telephone booths and call centers. In both the Netherlands and the United States, commercial
sex services and the victims providing those services are advertised extensively over the Internet,
with a simple search of English language websites advertising escort services yielding 2.2
million results on Google. Cellular telephone technology is connecting buyers with victims and
increasingly distancing the trafficker from the action of enslaving as he directs the transaction
over the telephone.
Recent technologies have also contributed greatly to the proliferation of pornography. The
viewing of adult pornography by situational or opportunistic buyers is a primary gateway to the
purchase of humans for commercial sex. Although any additional measurement or analysis of the
role of pornography in the commercial sex market is beyond the scope of our study, our initial
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Executive Summary
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Shared Hope International
investigation into the marketplaces of victimization strongly affirms the need to research the
psychological and societal costs of pornography.
Conclusion
In conclusion, sex trafficking and sex tourism are interwoven as the former supplies the demands
presented by the latter. Although each location examined has unique characteristics and
manifestations of market activity, there are many similarities. The comparisons and parallels
drawn in this report will enhance the collective understanding of demand for commercial sex and
in turn will help to initiate collaborative, comprehensive, and ultimately successful measures to
reduce demand.
www.sharedhope.org
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This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
Methodology
Methodology
DEMAND.
I
n this report, Shared Hope International (SHI) employs an interdisciplinary approach to the
analysis of the marketplace of sex tourism and trafficking using a variety of primary and secondary
sources. Most prominent and valuable are the field reports written by field researchers and SHI
staff researching the sex markets in four target countries: Jamaica, Japan, the Netherlands,
and the United States. The report draws from conversations with victims and survivors of sex
trafficking, “players” in the sex markets and sex trafficking syndicates, investigative journalists,
non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives, and legal analysts. Key secondary sources
include criminological and sociological studies, official governmental reports and statistics, reports
by NGOs in the areas of anti-trafficking, victim protection, human rights and women’s rights,
websites pertaining to sex markets, bank records, deeds, property owners, financial statements,
and other documentation that assisted in identifying the key operators and buyers in these sex
markets.
SHI chose to study Jamaica, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States because each of these
countries has major markets of commercial sexual services, and each country is a destination
for sex tourists and buyers. Moreover, each country has a distinctly different culture, economy,
political system, and history of prostitution and slavery. This allowed SHI to analyze the function
and structure of sex tourism and sex trafficking through the lens of demand objectively, using a
microeconomic and macroeconomic perspective. To address the microeconomic qualities of sex
tourism and trafficking as part of the commercial sex industry, this report applied a “business model”
of investigation into the markets for commercial sexual services. Therefore, the terminology is
market-based. The “johns” or “clients” of commercial sex are referred to as buyers. The pimps,
traffickers, and individual beneficiaries of the commercial sex market are addressed as individual
facilitators and hotel chains, local governments, and local cultures as institutional facilitators.
The victims are viewed by the buyer as “product,” a label which represents the dehumanization
of the victims and survivors of sex tourism and sex trafficking. Marketing strategies are used to
describe what drives these markets. From a macroeconomic perspective, this report observes
how institutions and organizations operate within the marketplace, including organized crime
syndicates, corporations, and governments. These institutional facilitators are often some of the
largest-scale economic beneficiaries in the marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation.
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Methodology
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Shared Hope International
To better understand the nature of demand in the sex tourism markets and the role of sex trafficking
of women and children, SHI profiled the commercial sex services available, the venues in which
they are sold, the marketing methods employed, and profiles of the buyers, facilitators and victims.
For each area observed, the following questions were asked:
• Profiles of Services and Venues: What sexual services are being offered in the market?
Where are these activities taking place?
• Profiles of Marketing Methods: How do commercial sex industries and establishments
market their product? How are sexual services advertised on the Internet, in magazines,
newspapers, television, and radio? How is word-of-mouth advertising used to promote
sexual services? How does marketing legitimize or cover-up illegal sexual services? How is
demand generated through marketing?
• Profiles of Buyers: How do buyers seek out sexual services? Of what gender, age, and
ethnicity are the buyers? Where do they live?
• Profiles of Traffickers: How do they operate and where? How do they move and/or
launder their profits? What are their investments? Are they involved with politicians or
law enforcement?
• Profiles of Victims: How do they enter the sex markets? What gender, age, and ethnicity
are victims? What is their country of origin? Are they citizens, documented migrants, or
undocumented persons?
• Recommendations: What concrete recommendations can we make to policymakers,
police, non-governmental groups, and citizens in order to reduce demand by revealing the
trafficking and sex tourism markets?
Key Definitions
Sex tourism is defined in this report as travel by buyers of sexual services for the purpose of
procuring sexual services from another person in exchange for money and/or goods. Sex tourism
is most often discussed in terms of “child sex tourism”; indeed a great deal of legislation and civil
society response has been directed at preventing child sex tourism and prosecuting offenders.1
In this report, both child sex tourism and adult sex tourism were researched. Sex tourism is
one market which uses victims of sex trafficking to satisfy the demand of buyers of children and
adults.
Prosecutorial Remedies and other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT Act 2003), 117 STAT. 650,
Public Law 108-21, 18 U.S.C. § 2423. <http://judiciary.senate.gov/special/S151CONF.pdf>. The PROTECT Act criminalizes child
sex tourism in Sec. 105: Penalties Against Sex Tourism: ‘‘(b) TRAVEL WITH INTENT TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT.—A
person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for
permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct
with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
‘‘(c) ENGAGING IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT IN FOREIGN PLACES.—Any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent
residence who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this
title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
‘‘(d) ANCILLARY OFFENSES.—Whoever, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, arranges, induces,
procures, or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for
the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
‘‘(e) ATTEMPT AND CONSPIRACY.—Whoever attempts or conspires to violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable in the
same manner as a completed violation of that subsection.
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Shared Hope International
Sex trafficking is defined in this report as the recruitment, harboring, obtaining, and transporting
of persons by use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjecting them to commercial
sexual exploitation. If the victim is less than 18 years of age, no force, fraud or coercion is required
to prove trafficking. The United Nations Protocol, Article 3 (b) explains that the consent of a
victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation is irrelevant where force, fraud or
coercion are used when the victim is under 18 years of age.2 The TVPA 2000 states that severe
forms of trafficking include sex trafficking—recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or
obtaining of a person for purposes of commercial sexual activities in which a commercial sex act
is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not
attained 18 years of age.3
Methodology
DEMAND.
The marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation is defined in this report as the buying and
selling of individuals for the purposes of sexual exploitation in exchange for anything of value.
Primary Sources
In carrying out many anti-trafficking initiatives around the world, SHI has established strong
ties in several countries plagued by human trafficking: Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Jamaica, the
Netherlands, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Australia, India, South Africa, Fiji
and Moldova. Also, in 2003, SHI implemented the Predator Project in South Africa, Singapore,
Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Jamaica which documented on film many of the
sex trade’s perpetrators, thereby assisting in their arrest and prosecution by local law enforcement
officials. This successful approach to revealing the markets of sex tourism and trafficking led
to concrete changes in those countries and established the foundation for our approach to the
research for this report.
In January 2006, SHI deployed research teams to the four target countries. Using the intelligence
grading matrix on the next page, the teams performed field research and interviewed and engaged
people with knowledge of sex trafficking and sex tourism in their geographic region.
‘‘(f) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term ‘illicit sexual conduct’ means (1) a sexual act (as defined in section 2246) with
a person under 18 years of age that would be in violation of chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime and
territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or (2) any commercial sex act (as defined in section 1591) with a person under 18 years
of age.
See also, ECPAT International’s definition of child sex tourism: “It takes various forms, but generally it is about adult men who, in the
course of traveling away from home, pay in cash or kind for sex with children. While some women engage in such violations, they
represent less than 5% of sexual offenders.”
<http://www.ecpat.net/eng/CSEC/definitions/Child_sex_tourism.htm>; Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual
Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, available at <http://www.thecode.org>.
2
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women And Children, Supplementing the United
Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, U.N. General Assembly (55th sess. : 2000-2001)
<http://www.uncjin.org/Documents/Conventions/dcatoc/final_documents_2/convention_%20traff_eng.pdf>.
3
Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000, PUBLIC LAW 106–386—OCTOBER 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1466
<http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10492.pdf>.
9
Methodology
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Research teams were able to pursue leads and provide accurate and useful information with
maximum flexibility. Research teams operated fully within the guidelines of the United Nations
Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, also known as the Istanbul Protocol.* Most sources cited
in the body of this report were corroborated, that is, they were A—or B—rated sources. Where a
source is uncorroborated, mention and explanation appears in the text.
Intelligence Grading Matrix
Source
Rating
Code
Rating
Code
Intelligence
Reliable source with previously
tried and tested operational
intelligence
Regular source—mainly strategic,
accurate intelligence
A
1
B
2
Single contact untested source—
intelligence at operational level
C
3
Single contact untested source—
intelligence at strategic level
D
4
Corroborated, operational, strong
intelligence—capable of being
developed further
Corroborated strategic level
intelligence—could be used for
operational targeting
Uncorroborated operational
intelligence—possibility of
development
Uncorroborated strategic
intelligence—no further
development opportunity
Confidentiality: Many names have been changed and identifying details have been altered to
protect the confidentiality of the sources and victims who have provided the information used in
this report.
Interviews: SHI interviewed many actors in the sex trafficking industry, including buyers,
traffickers, pimps, victims, etc. In addition, interviews with law enforcement investigators,
journalists, attorneys, and others were conducted. Anti-trafficking policies and procedures in each
country, as expressed by political players and NGO staff who deal with sex tourism and trafficking,
were also examined.
Maps of Countries and Markets: SHI identifies the location of the primary commercial sex
markets in each country discovered through field research and provides maps in the report that
illustrate where the activity occurs.
Internet: The Internet is a key source for understanding how the commercial sex markets operate.
Numerous advertisements for sexual services are available, as is detailed information about
destination sites: brothels, resorts, strip clubs, and other venues. In addition to advertising venues
for commercial sexual exploitation, the viewing of pornography on the Internet can be a gateway
to the purchase of commercial sex services.
10
* The United Nations’ Istanbul Protocol serves as a set of international guidelines for the assessment of persons who allege
torture and ill treatment, for investigating cases of alleged torture, and for reporting such findings to the judiciary and any other
investigative body. It is the most current set of international ethical guidelines for the investigation and documentation for victims
of torture and victims of sex tourism and sexual violence through trafficking. The guidelines include respect for confidential
professional relationships, including doctor-patient and attorney-client, informed consent procedures, confidentiality of identity,
especially in regard to minors, acceptable techniques of questioning, including not forcing the victim to speak if he or she is
reluctant, and gender sensitivity in sexual issues.
Shared Hope International
Statistics: Statistics were not derived by SHI; rather research of the most current, reliable statistics
related to the issues presented in the report was performed and used in relation to the field research
done for the report. Combinations of reliable sources—official and unofficial—were used and
cited to provide the approximate size and geographic scope of the market in each target location
and related areas. The wide statistical range uncovered illustrates the difficulty of obtaining an
accurate estimate.
Newspapers: Advertisements for work in the sex industry are often found in newspapers, therefore
we examined their contents and followed up on leads provided in local papers. Frequently the
advertisements hide the sexual aspects of the work and thereby deceive women about the true
nature of the work. Oftentimes the advertising also deceives the buyers into thinking they are
purchasing something that in reality does not exist. The theme of deception is prevalent in all
aspects of the trafficking markets.
Methodology
DEMAND.
Broadcast and Other Visual Media: Television, documentaries and movies were reviewed for
their educational value and for the promotion and/or discouragement of prostitution and sex
trafficking. Photographs taken in the field and photocopies of advertisements for commercial sex
services were gathered to demonstrate the nature of the culture in each market.
Secondary Sources
Criminological Studies: Criminology is an influential academic field that examines the motivations
and expressions of criminal behavior. Many excellent studies have been completed on criminal
networks, sex trafficking, and sex tourism by key criminologists in Australia, the Netherlands, and
Canada. SHI drew on this research to gather an understanding of criminal networks and markets,
especially in the Netherlands.
Doctoral Dissertations: Few secondary sources on human trafficking and the sex trade by Japanese
authors are available. Therefore, dissertations written by Japanese nationals at western, especially
American, universities helped to fill this void and were critical to understanding the sex trade
from a scholarly Japanese perspective.
Governmental Reports: The official position on prostitution, sex trafficking, and sex tourism was
obtained for each country. Some of this information was derived from the annual “Trafficking
in Persons” report by the U.S. State Department that categorizes each country according to its
efforts and successes in countering trafficking and the annual assessment of U.S. anti-trafficking
initiatives provided by the Department of Justice. In addition, government-funded assessments
and analyses in all countries were obtained and reviewed for information and leads.
NGO Reports: Many non-profit and non-governmental organizations working in the antitrafficking, human rights, and women’s rights arenas have first hand knowledge of the conditions
under which men, women, and children work in the sex industry and the extent to which they
are exploited. Their documented and verbal reports of their work and encounters assisted in
confirming the validity and authority of our primary sources.
Reports of International Organizations: The International Organization of Migration (IOM)
has been following human trafficking, irregular migration, and migration trends for many decades.
With offices around the world and programs in each of our four target countries, their research
reports contain official and timely information. In addition, the International Labor Organization
11
Methodology
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
(ILO) has reports on trends in and victims of labor exploitation in the commercial sex industries
that were consulted.
Legal and Public Documents
Laws: Existing and draft laws pertaining to sex tourism, child prostitution, and human trafficking
were reviewed, as well as the history of the laws and the cultural context in which the laws
were adopted. In the United States, the state laws that protect children and punish traffickers in
Nevada, DC and Maryland, and Georgia were examined.
Criminal Cases: Information was gleaned from closed criminal cases against sex offenders in the
areas of sex trafficking, prostitution, child exploitation and related crimes. These cases shed light
on how the markets operate; who the players are; and how effective the legal tools are. Recent
but closed criminal cases involving sex tourism and sex trafficking in each of the target countries
were reviewed.
Public Property Records: Publicly available information about the ownership of properties on
which sex tourism and trafficking occurs was reviewed for information on the financial beneficiaries
and possible ties to the sex industry, where available. In the Netherlands, these records were
available and were able to show high ownership concentrations.
Website Analysis
Custom web research was conducted by an Internet investigation company in order to better
identify websites and businesses likely to be facilitating, either directly or indirectly, sex trafficking
and tourism. The complex technology employed was more comprehensive in searching and better
able to filter out useful responses to keyword searches than conventional Internet search engines.
Custom web research uncovered short-lived, unlinked, and hidden web domains, such as those
often used to market illegal and exploitive sexual services and/or trafficked persons for sexual
slavery. An initial search on Google revealed 2.2 million websites with the search terms “escort
service” in English only. Thus, it was necessary to narrow the search greatly in order to result
in a manageable amount of data. Several keywords were identified as common in such websites
and businesses and those were searched for in the categories of underage sex, sexual services, and
ethnicities. The firm utilized a progressive qualification process involving the search for keyword
phrases as preliminary qualifiers for each of the five search categories: (1) erotic/sex tours; (2) mail
order bride/marriage agencies; (3) international “modeling” agencies; (4) “full service” massage
parlor; and (5) escort services. The keyword phrases were as follows:
• Ethnicities: Asian, Thai, Korean, Hispanic, Black, African, Ebony, European
• Under-Age Sex: Young, Preteen, Barely Legal, First Time, Child Love, Boy Love, Virgin,
Innocent, Amateur
• Services: Full-service, In-Call, Out-Call, GFE, AMP, BBBJ
12
Shared Hope International
Once keyword sites were identified and collected, they were filtered with concept-based scoring
and categorization in order to remove false positives. In addition, manual quality control was
conducted in each grouping results on a minimum of one third of the total qualifying websites. A
24-hour webcrawl commenced for thirty days resulting in a finely filtered group of 5,096 websites
which contained the key words and phrases determined to be associated with sex trafficking and
sex tourism markets. Instant archive photos were taken of each identified webpage exhibiting the
search terms and stored. Many of these sites were dismantled within weeks or even days to maintain
the secrecy on which they thrive. Finally, the data was analyzed, converted into a readable form,
and stored in databases. All information was subsequently uploaded into a searchable database
and cross-linking specialized software called i2 Analyst linked information gathered in the field
research, information obtained through office research and the webcrawl results. The following
visual demonstrates the process used in the Internet research:
Methodology
DEMAND.
www.sharedhope.org
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
13
Introduction
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Introduction
Why is there tolerance for buying another person? Why aren’t clients going to jail?
You have to look at the whole market. If there weren’t a buyer, there wouldn’t be
a procurer, and there wouldn’t be a victimized woman or child. It’s complicated
in that the actions of buyers are accepted as normal and the languages of all the
cultures label the 14–year–old victimized child a ‘prostitute’ and worthy of little
sympathy, much less justice.
— Linda Smith, SHI Founder and Director
It is not enough that the law considers illegal behavior of the customer of sexual
services...the functional equivalent of the law must also recognize such behavior
as unacceptable. By ‘functional equivalent of the law,’ I mean the traditions, the
customs, the acceptable behavior of the people. The legal systems that ‘tolerate’
or ‘accommodate’ or ‘normalize’ the behavior of the customer must reconsider its
policies, change the law, and enforce the law accordingly.4
— Professor Mohamed Mattar,
Director,
The Protection Project of Johns Hopkins University
School of Advanced International Studies
S
ex tourism and sex trafficking appear to be pandemic throughout the world. The demand for
commercial sexual services is driving markets and generating profits for the criminal traffickers.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), a person trafficked into the sex industry
earns approximately $67,000 per year in revenue for her/his trafficker.5 The exact number of
sex trafficking victims worldwide is unknown, however Congressional findings in the 2005 “End
Demand for Sex Trafficking Bill” introduction state: “The U.S. Government estimates that as
many as 600,000-800,000 individuals are trafficked across international borders each year…80%
are women and girls…An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk for
commercial sexual exploitation at any time.”6
Mattar, Mohamed, remarks in the “Demand Dynamics: The Forces of Demand in Global Sex Trafficking Conference Report,”
Morrison Torrey ed. (Captive Daughters and the International Human Rights Law Institute of DePaul University College of Law:
Chicago, IL, October 17-18, 2003) pp. 95-105.
<http://www.law.depaul.edu/institutes_centers/ihrli/_downloads/demand_dynamics.pdf>.
5
“A Global Alliance Against Forced Labor, Report of the General Director,” International Labor Organization, May 11, 2005.
6
Congressional findings, “End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act of 2005,” intro. House of Representatives April 28, 2005.
<http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.2012:>.
4
14
Shared Hope International
To combat sex trafficking, it is necessary to examine the markets of commercial sexual exploitation
where victims are human product sold for sex, abused, exploited, tortured and frequently killed. In
this report, Shared Hope International presents its findings from a twelve month examination7 of
the operation of demand in sex tourism and trafficking markets in four countries: Jamaica, Japan,
the Netherlands, and the United States. The report examines the marketplaces of victimization in
these four countries by deploying human rights researchers to selected cities within the countries
to meet with the perpetrators, the victims, journalists, NGO representatives, policy makers, and
others with information on the marketplaces of exploitation in their country.
Specifically, this report addresses the following questions related to marketplaces of demand for
commercial sexual services:
• What is the structure of the market?
• Where are the markets located?
• Who are the buyers?
• Who are the traffickers?
• Who are the facilitators?
• Who are the recruiters?
• Who is the victim in this marketplace model?
• How do trafficking networks operate?
• How are trafficked persons moved, hidden, controlled?
• Who is benefiting financially from the sex trade?
• How are federal and local policies and/or political figures enabling or deterring sexual
exploitation?
• How does national culture (language, history, traditions, gender relations, legal structures)
enable or deter sexual exploitation?
Introduction
DEMAND.
Market Structure
The marketplace of victimization operates according to the economic laws of supply and demand,
much like any legitimate market. As in any market, supply and demand for commercial sexual
services are correlated. This report will observe supply and demand in the marketplace from a
demand-focused perspective. Supply, while it can and will affect the market structure, increases
to meet a growing demand for sexual services throughout the world. In fact, evidence suggests
that supply is becoming younger in response to buyers’ demand for youth due to perceptions of
healthiness and vulnerability. The marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation is a demanddriven market. The marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation includes sex tourism as a
distinct market.
7
The field research was performed in 2006 while other research was ongoing throughout the 18 months of the project.
15
Introduction
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
The Marketplace of Victimization
Product
Buyer
Facilitator
Institutional
Facilitators
Individual
Facilitators
Marketplace of
Commercial
Sexual Exploitation
Culture of Tolerance
As shown in the figure above, and described in detail in the report, the marketplace of victimization
is comprised of buyers, facilitators, and victims. This report defines the buyer as any person
who purchases a commercial sex act. Facilitator is defined as any person who profits, directly or
indirectly, from the sale of commercial sex acts. This includes individual facilitators ranging from
pimps to complicit cab drivers and corrupt officials, and institutional facilitators like negligent
hotel chains and local governments which fail to prioritize enforcement of laws. In the marketplace
model, victims provide the services demanded.
It is not enough to go after the customer. We have to do something about the
advertisement agency on the Internet that advertises sex for sale. We also
have to address the issue of mail-order brides as a trafficking issue and go after
matchmaking organizations. We also have to maximize our legal approach to
stripping, massage parlors, escort services, and the like. It is not enough to follow
the tort-nuisance approach. We should make these operators of entertainment sex
liable for involvement in trafficking...There is a moral nuisance issue, which must
be addressed, but there is also a criminal liability issue.8
Mattar, Mohamed Y., Remarks in the “Demand Dynamics: The Forces of Demand in Global Sex Trafficking Conference Report,”
pp. 95-105.
8
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Shared Hope International
Cultures of Tolerance for Sexual Exploitation
A culture of tolerance surrounds the marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation. The culture
of tolerance is derived from a country’s history, ethnicity, religious practice, language, political and
economic system, and other influences. Cultures of tolerance differ from country to country, and
sometimes vary within countries or even cities, but the essence is the same: societal acceptance
backed by political tolerance. Marketplaces of commercial sexual exploitation require some level
of tolerance within the community in order to exist.
The Evolution of Sex Tourism
Introduction
DEMAND.
Sex tourism has evolved in step with globalization. Sex tourism no longer can be understood
exclusively as Western men traveling to developing countries to engage in commercial sex acts.
The local commercial sex markets are accessible and sex tourists are taking advantage of this
accessibility. As a result of stricter immigration laws and awareness of the harsher punishments for
human trafficking we would expect that criminals will recruit local women and children because
they are easier to access, transport and employ. Use of foreign women and children in the sex
tourism markets raises “red flags” and brings unwanted attention to commercial sex venues and
activities that may be shut down, such as the multitude of massage parlors which have been closed
in high-profile raids. Local victims are an easier target with less risk for the traffickers as policies
and laws struggle to catch up with the rapidly changing marketplaces of sexual exploitation.
Criminal facilitators tap into the same vulnerabilities in local girls and women that they use to
entrap and enslave women from overseas.
Internet Technology: Designer, Marketer, Facilitator of Sex Markets
Of special note in the report is the role of the Internet in the marketing and facilitation of
commercial sex services, especially pornography. The computer and the Internet, like other
powerful technologies, have revolutionized communications in the world’s wealthiest countries.
As of December 2005, approximately 44 percent of the entire adult population in the U.S. is
online on a given day.9 One estimate of American Internet usage runs as high as 70 percent or
211,108,086 persons out of a population of more than three hundred million.10 Japan and the
Netherlands, two key demand countries examined in this study, have Internet penetration rates
of 67.1 percent and 73.3 percent respectively, while Jamaica lags at 39.4 percent.11 This pervasive
presence makes the Internet one of the major marketing tools in the marketplace of commercial
sexual exploitation and a potential gateway for viewers to become buyers in the sex markets. As
one researcher states: “When men use pornography, in that process they are trained as tricks.
Pornography is men’s rehearsal for prostitution.”12 Moreover, the anonymity that the Internet
provides for website users and website owners makes it an excellent facilitator of an illicit
market.
“When Facing a Tough Decision, 60 Million Americans now seek the Internet’s Help,” Society and the Internet, Polls and Survey
results from the Pew Charitable Trusts, April 19, 2006.
<http://pewresearch.org/pubs/19/when-facing-a-tough-decision-60-million-americans-now-seek-the-internets-help>.
10
Internet World Stats: United States Usage and Population Statistics, updated March 10, 2007.
<http:www.Internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm>.
11
Internet World Stats: Japan and Netherlands Usage and Population Statistics, updated March 10, 2007.
<http:www.Internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm>.
12
Melissa Farley (not yet published) “Renting an Organ for Ten Minutes: What Tricks Tell us about Prostitution, Pornography, and
Trafficking” [Accepted for publication in D. Guinn ed. Pornography: Driving the Demand for International Sex Trafficking (Chicago
Illinois: International Human Rights Law Institute of DePaul University)] p. 2. Cited with permission of the author.
9
17
Introduction
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
117 men aged 15-80 indicated that websites were the predominant influence leading them
to view pornography in an initial survey conducted as part of The Defenders USA, a project
initiated by Shared Hope International for men to counsel men on the dangers of engaging in
the commercial sex markets, especially pornography.13 Other influences included pop-up ads for
pornographic websites, movies and TV commercials—electronic influences present in nearly
every home in developed countries. The Defenders USA survey indicates that respondents first
viewed pornography at approximately twelve years of age. Early viewing of pornography may serve
as an incubator of future buyers of commercial sex services in this and other markets.
E x t e r n a l i n f l u ences causing pornography viewin g
Advertisements
Magazines
Movies
Commercials on TV
Cable Shows
Co-workers
Websites
Pop-up Ads
0
20
40
60
Sexually Explicit Email
Other
Response Percent
External Influences
Response Percent
Advertisements
33%
Magazines
26%
Movies
34%
Commercials on TV
33%
Cable Shows
22%
Co-workers
10%
Websites
42%
Pop-up ads
15%
Sexually Explicit Email
19%
Other
21%
*Total Respondents: 117
*Age Ranges: 15-80
A study released in 2006 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
about the online victimization of youth reveals that more and more children are receiving
unwanted and unsolicited sexual images via the Internet than ever before.14 More than
The Defenders USA survey, December 2006, Shared Hope International. <http://www.thedefendersusa.org>.
Wolak, Janis and Mitchell, K., & Finkelhor, D., “Online Victimization of Youth: Five years later,” (Crimes Against Children Research
Center, University of New Hampshire: National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, Alexandria, VA, 2006) pp. 29-35.
15
Wolak, “Online Victimization,” p. 30.
13
14
18
Shared Hope International
one-third (34 percent) of youth Internet users received unwelcome sexual material online, despite
the efforts and technologies provided for parental control to filter and block sexual and other
violent images. The report states that more boys than girls receive unwanted exposure and most
of this exposure involves youth between the ages of 14 and 17.15
This invasive marketing technique is aimed at increasing the demand for pornography among
youth. Such a marketing strategy is reminiscent of the Joe Camel™ (cigarette) ad campaign
directed at minors that began in 1985. Joe “Cool” Camel™—a humanized cartoon character—
was shown playing in bands, flirting with women, and riding in convertibles. In May of 1997, the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company with causing injury
to the health of America’s youth through their Joe Camel™ commercials and advertisements.16
Though the FTC ultimately dismissed its case against R.J. Reynolds, individual initiatives to
counter the marketing were developed. “Joe Chemo”—an anti-smoking character—was created
by a psychology professor at Wesleyan University after his father nearly died from smoking.17
Similar to the aggressive and targeted marketing of Joe Camel™, pornography and sex are being
introduced to youth through online pop-up advertisements and spam emails which increase in
number and frequency if a response is received—intentional or otherwise. Many youth have
tremendous buying power and are viable paying customers now, and are being groomed as the
buyers of tomorrow.
Introduction
DEMAND.
Computer technology also plays a key role in the distribution of child pornography. Before the
Internet was used to produce and distribute child pornography, images were transferred via U.S.
mail and developed at local photo shops. Federal agents were able to identify and investigate
pornographers much more easily. Today, images can be shared over the Internet through streaming
or downloadable media, email, peer-to-peer file sharing servers, online chat rooms, messaging
services and through emerging technologies such as video mp3 players, video and photo cell
phones, and networked video game systems.18 The profit generated by the online pornography
industry is estimated at anywhere between $500 million to $10 billion dollars a year19 though it
is unknown how much of that is derived from pornography sites exploiting children and victims
of human trafficking. What is known is that the volume of child pornography has increased
exponentially since 1995 due in part to technology such as the digital camera and the Internet.20
“The Internet has led to an increase in child prostitution, child sex tourism, child trafficking, and
child pornography. It is estimated that since 1997, the number of child pornography images on
the Internet has increased by 1500%. In 2001, the Cyber Tip Line, mandated by the Congress of
the United States received 21,603 reports of child pornography. In 2004, the number increased
by 491% to 106,176 reports of child pornography on the Internet.”21 The new technological
dimension of child pornography has made it both a domestic and international issue, as the
Internet is not constrained by geographical boundaries.
Wolak, “Online Victimization,” p. 30.
Federal Trade Commission Press Release, “Joe Camel Advertising Campaign Violates Federal Law,” May 28, 1997.
17
“More about Joe” <http:www.joechemo.org>.
18
Davenport, Claude, ICE Cyber-Crimes Unit, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Presentation at the CSEC Mid-Term Review
Conference, Washington, DC, 3-4 April 2006. Transcript on file with authors. Also Shared Hope International, ECPAT-USA, and the
Protection Project, “The Report from the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,”
(Washington, DC, September 2006) p. 20.
19
Richard, Emmanuelle, “The Naked Untruth,” posted May 23, 2002 <http://www.alternet.org/story/13212>.
20
“The Report from the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,” p. 17.
21
Mattar, Mohamed Y., “Protecting Children: The Battle against Child Pornography and Other Forms of Sexual Exploitation,”
statement at U.S. Congressional Hearing before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Washington, DC:
September 27, 2006).
15
16
19
Introduction
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
To address the question of Internet facilitation of trafficking for the sex markets,
Shared Hope International engaged an Internet surveillance firm to search the
Internet for English language websites which appear to facilitate—directly or
indirectly—trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation.22
After an initial simple search of English language websites for the term “escort
services” yielded 2.2 million results, filters were designed for a 30 day webcrawl
running 24 hours per day through public and proprietary databases, directories, and
search engines, yielding a quality-checked total of 5,094 websites exhibiting highly
likely indicators of sexual exploitation facilitation on the webpage.
Of the 5,094 results, 3,359 were escort service websites, 867 were mail-order bride/
marriage agency websites, 403 were “full–service” massage parlor websites, 401 were
international “modeling” agency websites, and 63 were erotic/sex tour websites.
Of the 3,359 escort service websites, 1,837 were hosted in the U.S. based on the
IP addresses.
The child and adult pornography markets have become more accessible and visible with the
introduction of the Internet. The Internet has also globalized the pornography market. Images
of child exploitation are frequently created, distributed and sold by perpetrators from several
countries. One early criminal scheme involved child pornography victims recruited in Russia,
filmed and produced in Indonesia, and sold to American buyers out of a married couple’s home
in Fort Worth, Texas. This was the first “pay-for-view” Internet pornography case in the United
States.23 Thomas and Janice Reedy, the two were sentenced to a total of 1,379 years in prison,
provided a credit card verification service called “Landslide, Inc.” that acted as an electronic
gateway to buyers of child pornography from 60 countries on the websites of their Russian and
Indonesian co-conspirators. Between 1996 and 1999, Landslide, Inc. pocketed at least $10 million
dollars, 85 percent of which was from child pornography. 24
Child pornography victims have also been identified by Shared Hope International in Fiji where
a victim restoration project has been operating since 1996. Young girls are recruited by other
young victims to float out to foreign registered yachts moored a safe distance from the island’s
shore where they are sexually exploited for small amounts of money. Photographs and film of the
sexual exploitation are reportedly taken and are likely circulated via the Internet in an organized
fashion, or through personal distribution networks.25
Full search results totaled some 1,000 pages of spreadsheets. On file with the authors.
U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Thomas Reedy Sentenced to Life Imprisonment in Child Porn Case,” Dallas, Texas,
August 6, 2001.
24
“The World’s Biggest Convicted Child Pornographer,” Independent.co.uk, May 13, 2003.
25
This information, including the alleged yacht’s U.S. registration information, has been obtained and provided to relevant local
officials for action.
22
23
20
Shared Hope International
Particularly disturbing information uncovered through the webcrawl commissioned by Shared
Hope International was the material obtained on child pornography presenting as child modeling.
The webcrawl revealed an ongoing enterprise of online child pornography at http://www.maxwellstop-100.com/autorank.26 The homepage contains layers of web links and “porn loops” which, when
followed, connect to upwards of 106 linked sites, many containing graphic and suggestive images.
Most of the associated websites made explicit claims of “No Nude” and “Parental permission
was obtained,” however the true purpose is clear from the poses of these children, which include
little girls in ruffled dresses with their legs spread revealing thong underwear and names such as
“Megalolitas.”
Registrant data, though often fraudulent, indicates a French holding company and individual
as registrant for the primary site http://www.maxwells-top-100.com, as well as four linked sites.
Several other registrants of linked sites reveal a global network of potentially exploitive child
modeling websites as follows:27
Introduction
DEMAND.
In the absence of accurate or complete registrant data, it is difficult to identify individual offenders;
however, hosting sites are easily identifiable and should be held accountable for the types of websites
they host. Additionally, financial records should be seized to identify and hold accountable the
site owners. In the webcrawl, of the 3,630 websites with registrant data available, one company
dominated with 62% of the offending websites registered to it: Domains by Proxy in Scottsdale,
Arizona. This company is affiliated with the online giant GoDaddy.com. Domains by Proxy
asserts the following prohibitions: “Domains by Proxy will not do business with you, nor protect
your identity, if you: …Violate the law…Engage in morally objectionable activities, including
but not limited to those which are child pornographic, defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene,
racist, or otherwise objectionable.” Nonetheless, the webcrawl focusing on those websites with
indicators of sex trafficking found an enormous number registered to Domains by Proxy in direct
contradiction to their own prohibitions. This reflects the largely unregulated online markets of
sexual exploitation now thriving in the global cyber-communities.
The webcrawl also investigated the use of the Internet for marketing sex tours. Of the 63 erotic
sex tour English language websites identified through the extensive filtering process, 79% revealed
U.S.-based IP addresses and offered packages in Venezuela, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic,
Jamaica, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Amsterdam and Mexico. Four of these
sites offered marriage services as an additional option. The graphic and aggressive nature of these
sex tour websites leaves no question as to the intent of the tour operators.
Warning: material at this web address contains sexual content.
This information was provided to the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for further
investigation.
26
27
21
Introduction
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Emphasis added.
The extensive use of the Internet for marketing is common among the four countries we observed,
but most prevalent in the United States, the Netherlands, and Japan. The legalized prostitution
industry in the Netherlands advertises in conjunction with tourism advertising and promotion
overall. Jamaican sex markets lag behind those in the other countries in the use of the Internet to
advertise and promote its thriving local commercial sex markets, most likely because of the limited
use of the Internet within the country. However, with increased infrastructure and affordability
of personal computers, the trend evident in the more technologically-advanced countries will
undoubtedly make itself felt in Jamaica as well.
www.sharedhope.org
22
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Jamaica
www.sharedhope.org
23
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Red circles indicate primary areas of Shared Hope International field research.
24
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
Jamaica:
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Localization of Sex Tourism and Trafficking
The Ultimate sex tour, beautiful, black teens as your personal escorts. Jamaican girls
are known for firm bodies in every chocolate shade, just made for loving....Jamaica
remains a popular destination among those seeking to satisfy sexual appetites.
— Advertisement by JSV (Jamaican Singles Vacations, Ltd.)28
A
fter receiving more than thirty offers of young girls for sex, field researchers assisted a team of
six officers from the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF), Organized Crime Investigations Division,
under the direction of Victor Barrett, Assistant Superintendent of Police, in preparing at a luxury
hotel in Kingston. Two adjoining rooms at the hotel were prepared for a sting operation to catch
two men offering to sell for sex the alleged 13–year–old niece of one of the men. The officers were
in plain clothes and eager to be involved in the first such sting operation. The police team then
split up and hid themselves in various sections of the hotel. Pedro, the “uncle”, and another man
arrived with the 13–year–old girl named Anna* and were guided by one field researcher through
the crowded public area around the pool and bar of the hotel and into the prearranged bedroom.
After confirming the details of the sale, the researcher passed marked bills totaling $400 to the
pimp, Pedro, while police monitored the transaction with listening and video devices. The door to
the adjoining room burst open as two police officers came in and arrested the two suspects. Anna
was ushered into the adjoining room where a counselor was waiting to receive her and provide
appropriate care. The marked money was located on the two suspects. The men’s cell phones were
seized along with their other personal possessions. The video of the event was provided to the JCF
and prosecutors for their use in the prosecution of the traffickers. Upon interview with the police,
Anna explained that Pedro was not her uncle but rather the father of a friend and a taxi driver in
Kingston, and that she had actually just turned 14 but had been told by Pedro to say she was only
13, as the younger age made her more valuable.
As of February 2007, this case charging the two men with criminal violations of the trafficking
provisions of the Child Care and Protection Act is pending.29 The two pimps are out on bail and
a March 12, 2007, trial date scheduled.30 Once decided, this case will set legal precedent, along
with other pending cases under the same provisions, for future prosecutions in Jamaica.
* All names have been changed to protect identities.
28
See <http://jamaica-sex-tours.com>.
29
Child Care and Protection Act, 2004 provides definitions of child abuse and neglect, procedures for responding to allegations,
and judicial remedies, including a criminal provision for child trafficking; mandates that the child’s views be taken into account
when the child is of sufficient age and maturity to form his or her own views; creates the position of “Children’s Advocate,” who
serves as legal representative to a child if it appears to the court that the child is in need of representation and if the child consents
to the representation. See <http://www.cda.gov.jm/child_care_protection_act.php>.
30
Henry, Paul, “Men accused of human trafficking out on bail,” The Jamaica Gleaner, January 23, 2007 <http://www.
jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070122T220000-0500_118215_OBS_MEN_ACCUSED_OF_HUMAN_TRAFFICKING_OUT_ON_
BAIL_.asp>; Sinclair, Glenroy, “Child Prostitute: Men over 50 charged with pimping 13-y-o,” The Jamaica Gleaner, May 30, 2006
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20060530/lead/lead1.html>. Accessed on February 8, 2007. At the time of printing, this
case has been continued and remains pending.
25
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
The Marketplace
With a total population of approximately 2,650,000 in a small area of 10,991 square kilometers
(about 6,830 square miles), Jamaica has long been a tourist destination, predominantly for
North American and British citizens. The profile of victims found in the marketplace of sexual
exploitation in Jamaica is broad, ranging from foreign women trafficked into and through Jamaica,
to young Jamaican girls entering the sex markets often out of economic desperation.
Reliance on local women and children in the Jamaican commercial sexual services markets was
observed in field research and is further evidenced by the weekly fair held at Hendon Square,
a bus park in Savanna-la-Mar, at which between 150 and 200 women come from around the
country seeking employment in commercial sexually exploitative businesses. A report on sexual
exploitation of children in Jamaica by Sian Williams, the Caribbean Early Childhood Advisor for
UNICEF from the University of the West Indies, provides anecdotal evidence that most of the
girls at this fair are between the ages of 14 and 18.31 Another example of the sale of women and
children for sex was the Culloden Sex Auction, reported widely as a place for the hiring of girls
for go-go (erotic) dancing and more.32 The police eventually shut down the event, citing it as a
“major centre of influence” for human traffickers.33 The girls often move from club to club as one
closes and another opens. Men and boys are reportedly also being recruited in growing numbers.
The internal trafficking of Jamaican children was cited in the U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking
in Persons Report 2005. Jamaica was placed on the Tier 3 list of countries whose governments do
not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking as detailed in
the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and are not making significant efforts to
do so.34 Though Jamaica was elevated to the Tier 2 Watch list in 2006, the Trafficking in Persons
”Sexual Violence and Exploitation of Children in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Case of Jamaica,”
Inter-American Children’s Institute, People’s Recovery, Empowerment, and Development Assistance Foundation (PREDA) Archive,
1999 <http://www.preda.org/archives/research/csa/ecpat1.html>. Accessed on December 20, 2006.
32
“That Culloden Club,” The Jamaica Observer, July 3, 2005.
<http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20050702t200000-0500_83472_obs_that_culloden_club.asp>. Accessed on
December 20, 2006.
33
“The Police Shut Down Sex Auction in Culloden,” The Jamaica Observer, September 1, 2005
<http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20050901t000000-0500_87387_obs_police_shut_down_sex_auction_in_culloden.asp>.
Accessed on December 20, 2006.
34
The United States, Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2005, (Washington, DC: US Department of State, 2005) 131.
The minimum standards are detailed in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA 2000) Sec. 108. Minimum Standards for
the Elimination of Trafficking (Public Law 106–386) 114 STAT. 1481 (a)—MINIMUM STANDARDS.—For purposes of this division, the
minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking applicable to the government of a country of origin, transit, or destination for a
significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking are the following: (1) The government of the country should prohibit severe
forms of trafficking in persons and punish acts of such trafficking. (2) For the knowing commission of any act of sex trafficking involving
force, fraud, coercion, or in which the victim of sex trafficking is a child incapable of giving meaningful consent, or of trafficking which
includes rape or kidnapping or which causes a death, the government of the country should prescribe punishment commensurate
with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault. (3) For the knowing commission of any act of a severe form of trafficking in
persons, the government of the country should prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects
the heinous nature of the offense. (4) The government of the country should make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe
forms of trafficking in persons. (b) CRITERIA.—In determinations under subsection (a)(4), the following factors should be considered
as indicia of serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons: (1) Whether the government of the
country vigorously investigates and prosecutes acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons that take place wholly or partly within
the territory of the country. (2) Whether the government of the country protects victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons and
encourages their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of such trafficking, including provisions for legal alternatives to their
removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship, and ensures that victims are not inappropriately incarcerated,
fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. (3) Whether the government of the country
has adopted measures to prevent severe forms of trafficking in persons, such as measures to inform and educate the public, including
potential victims, about the causes and consequences of severe forms of trafficking in persons. (4) Whether the government of the
country cooperates with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons. (5) Whether
the government of the country extradites persons charged with acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons on substantially the same
terms and to substantially the same extent as persons charged with other serious crimes (or, to the extent such extradition would be
inconsistent with the laws of such country or with international agreements to which the country is a party, whether the government
is taking all appropriate measures to modify or replace such laws and treaties so as to permit such extradition). (6) Whether the
government of the country monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of severe forms of trafficking in persons
31
26
Shared Hope International
Report 2006 noted that Jamaica continued to be “a source country for men, women, and children
trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and labor.”35
Women and children are trafficked internally from rural to urban and tourist areas for sexual
exploitation.36 This activity is found in numerous areas, suggesting a nation-wide problem.
Portmore -St. Catherine, a large suburban municipality and extension of Kingston, has become the
unofficial but tolerated “red light” district (along Port Henderson Road) consisting of motels, gogo bars, and other clubs. Minors involved in commercial sex markets are often found in Negril and
Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Montego Bay, St. James and Spanish Town.37 Recruitment and
exploitation reportedly occur in the Jamaican communities of Greater Kingston, St. Catherine,
Spanish Town, St. Andrew, Savannah–la–Mar, Lucea, St. Elizabeth, Denham Town, Portmore,
Harbor View, Papine, and Trench Town.38 Domestic victims are moved to and from the tourist
areas and the nearby coastal communities, especially Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, to
satisfy both local and foreign demand. Foreign sex tourists tend to frequent the clubs in Ocho
Rios, where large cruise ships come into port, and Montego Bay, where the international airport
delivers foreign tourists via several direct flights each day from cities such as Toronto, Miami,
Atlanta, and London. Some of these sex tourists also end up in Negril, where the phenomenon of
Rent-a-Rasta—male prostitution—has captured a great amount of attention.39
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Amid the internal trafficking of Jamaicans for sex, reports of foreign victims of trafficking continue
to be publicized, as well as the overseas trafficking of both Jamaican and foreign victims from
Jamaica to other countries. One report states, “Substantial evidence, including interviews of actual
victims, reveal that both foreign and national victims are being trafficked overseas, through the
Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Honduras,
Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Barbados, and Curacao, to final destinations including the United
Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Dubai).40 Locally,
the increase in foreign “dancers,” predominantly Russian girls, in Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios
and Kingston, is a topic of concern.41 In a July 2005 raid of the Dolls House Club in Montego Bay
for suspected human trafficking, eight foreign nationals from Russia, Barbados, Cuba, Guyana and
Dominica, and two Jamaican women were held; all were released except one, as they held valid
work permits.42 The one Barbadian woman who was not released was charged with not having a
valid work permit. More recently, the Government of Jamaica has suspended the issuance of work
permits for go-go dancers, which are believed to facilitate trafficking, though requests by hotels for
such work permits to staff the go-go clubs on the premises continue to be granted.43 The abuse of
work permits or special work visas by traffickers and facilitators is seen in all four of the countries
examined as a way of concealing the illegal activity with a veneer of legality.
and whether law enforcement agencies of the country respond to any such evidence in a manner that is consistent with the vigorous
investigation and prosecution of acts of such trafficking, as well as with the protection of human rights of victims and the internationally
recognized human right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s own country. (7) Whether the government
of the country vigorously investigates and prosecutes public officials who participate in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in
persons, and takes all appropriate measures against officials who condone such trafficking.
35
At the time of printing, 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report reflects the work done by the Government of Jamaica and Nongovernmental Organizations to combat Trafficking in Persons and has ranked Jamaica as Tier 2.
<http://www.state.gov/g/tip/v15/triprpt/2007>. Accessed on June 12, 2007.
36
Trafficking in Persons Report 2005, p.148.
37
Myers Jr., John, “Mounting Concerns About Sexual Exploitation of Children,” The Jamaica Gleaner, June 13, 2004
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20040613/news/news4.html>. Accessed on December 21, 2006.
38
United States, United States Agency for International Development, Jamaica Anti-Trafficking Assessment, (Washington:
Chemonics International Inc., 2005), p.4.
39
Rent a Rasta, dir. J. Michael Seyfert, DVD, Yeah But/Not Now Productions, 2006. View at
<http://www.rentarasta.com/FL/RENTaRASTA.html>. Accessed on December 8, 2006.
40
Jamaica Anti-Trafficking Assessment, Chemonics, p.4.
41
“Alleged Human Trafficker Held in Montego Bay,” The Jamaica Gleaner, July 15, 2005.
42
Ibid.
43
United States, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, 2007).
27
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Overall, Jamaica is serving as a transit, source and destination country, with the multiple effects
of sex tourism creating a demand within Jamaica and within the region.
The sex tourism and trafficking markets in Jamaica are different from the more developed nations
observed. Organizationally, the commercial sex markets in Jamaica are less complex, involving
less technology and fewer middlemen in the transaction of selling women and children for sex. For
example, while organized escort agencies are not as prevalent in Jamaica, escort services abound
in a fashion distinct to Jamaica: the street hustler who will sell or procure anything the tourist
wishes, including young girls for sex. Jamaican men crowd the sidewalks in and around tourist
hotels and resorts and operate as a loosely organized network of pimps and escort agents. The same
facilitator can procure marijuana, cocaine and a taxi ride at a “good price.” Taxi services deliver
men to various clubs and massage parlors that pay sizable commissions for this service, similar to
the arrangements seen in the United States where taxi services are often facilitators. Men can
choose women and, after paying a large fee to the club or spa, bring them back to the hotel or
utilize the rooms on the premises or the conveniently located adjacent hourly rate hotel rooms.
In addition, pimps will rent accommodations for a girl to prostitute for one or more nights at the
large all-inclusive tourist resorts, like Hedonism, in order to service the tourists who have been
primed by advertising to expect anything and everything.44
Observed Venues of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
City
Kingston
Ocho Rios
Montego Bay
Negril
28
Name of Club
Buyer
Platinum Strip Club
Russian, East European,
Balkan
North American, European
expatriates and tourists, 30’s
Caesars Girls
Jamaican
Locals
Infinity
Russian/Ukrainian/Jamaican;
reportedly owned by Syrian
Arabs, reputed connection to
Russian Mafia
North American, European
expatriates and tourists, 30’s
Taboo Strip Club
Ukrainian, Jamaican;
reportedly owned by Chinese
Jamaican Brian Chung
North American/European
expatriates and tourists, 30’s
Latin Movements
Panamanian, Dominican,
Mixed locals and tourists
Brazilian, Barbadian, Jamaican
Fantasy Club
Previously Dominican girls,
now Jamaican
Mixed locals and tourists
Shades
Jamaican
Jamaican men, tourists
Doll’s House
Russian, Jamaican
Tourists
Moods
Jamaican Connected to Triple
XXX in Negril and reported
trafficking ring in Bahamas
Mixed locals and tourists
Massage Parlor (aka
Rejuvenation Center)
Jamaican
American, Canadian, European
Hedonism
Jamaican
Middle aged Caucasian men
and women
Jungle Club
Jamaican
American, European, including
Czech Republic
Triple XXX
Reported trafficking ring to
Bahamas; Jamaican
Jamaicans
Scrub-a-dub
Jamaican
Jamaicans
These locations were observed by SHI field researchers.
44
Victims (all female)
SHI Research Report, May 18, 2006. On file with authors.
Shared Hope International
Buyers
Who are the buyers of Commercial Sex?
Jamaica
DEMAND.
It’s a variety; you have low end of society, middle class, and rich guys that spend
an enormous amount of money on women...Believe me, there are rich, rich guys
in this country involved.45
— Victor Barrett, Assistant Superintendent of Police
Jamaica Constabulary Force
Jamaica presents a broad spectrum of buyers ranging from western women as buyers to local men
as consumers increasingly entering the sex market as it grows and becomes more normalized.
Though Jamaica is commonly seen as a haven for sex tourists from wealthy countries, at least one
recent report and field observations suggest that more and more Jamaican males, including young
professionals, are buying sexual favors from men and women who reside on the island. A 2004
National Knowledge Attitudes, Behaviour and Practice Survey of a randomly selected sample of
1800 persons nation–wide done by health ministry staff in Jamaica revealed there was an increase
in the 25–49–year–old male buyers of commercial sex.46
Field research in Jamaica’s primary commercial sex markets reveals a broad-based group of male
buyers as well, for example Polish engineers working on contract, British and American expatriates
and military personnel, and South American and Japanese businessmen. NGOs report that
business is best during the winter tourist season, particularly in the coastal resort towns of Negril,
Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. However, local demand is satisfied year round directly through the
club owners and managers who might move girls from town to town to satisfy the local demand.47
Studies note the local demand as well.48
Jamaica presents a unique sex tourism scenario of the four countries examined: foreign women
traveling to Jamaica seeking sex with young Jamaican men. Though both sexes flock to Jamaica
for sex tourism, popular culture has promoted an image of the sex tourists in Jamaica as that of the
middle-aged women from Great Britain and other western countries indulging in the “boyfriend
experience” which includes sexual services from young Jamaican men in the warm, sexualized
climate of Jamaica’s beach resorts.49 One report from Negril explains, “Negril is not as dreamlike
as it looks. It is no longer visited primarily for sun, sea and sand. Instead it is the destination of
choice for an increasing number of British female sex tourists. An estimated 80,000 single women,
from teenagers to grandmothers, flock to the island every year and use the services of around 200
men known as ‘rent–a–dreads’, ‘rastitutes’ or ‘the Foreign Service’ who make this resort their
Victor Barrett, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Organized Crime Investigations Division,
Personal interview, May 24, 2006.
46
“Men for Sale,” The Jamaica Observer, August 14, 2005.
<http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20050813t220000-0500_86107_obs_men_for_sale_.asp>. Accessed on December
20, 2006.
47
Reverend Margaret Fowler, Director of Theodora Project, Negril, Personal interview, May 26, 2006.
48
“Country Report: Jamaica,” The Protection Project, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
<http:www.protectionproject.org/jamaica.doc>. Accessed on December 20, 2006.
49
Dunn, Leith, Jamaica: Situation of Children in Prostitution: A Rapid Assessment (Geneva: International Labor Office, 2001) p.1415. See also Boodram, Annan, “Sex Tourism,” Caribbean Voice, August 1–15, 2001.
<http://www.caribvoice.org/Travel&Tourism/sextourism.html>. Accessed on December 4, 2006.
45
29
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
headquarters.”50 These young men, sometimes boys, are also known as “Beach Boys,” and “Rent–
a–Rasta,” while the white female buyers are referred to as “milk bottles” due to their pale skin51
and black women are referred to as “Stellas”52 after the release of the popular film “How Stella Got
Her Groove Back,” after which there was reportedly a measurable increase in trips to Jamaica by
single female buyers seeking young Jamaican boyfriends.53
…the rights and wrongs of female sex tourism: is it harmless fun, a mutually
beneficial business transaction? Or is it exploitation and, if so, who is the victim
and who is the perpetrator—the women who fall for declarations of true love or
the mostly poor, underemployed men who make them? What makes it different
from male sex tourism, which is normally seen as sleazy and abhorrent?54
The debate over female sex tourism in Jamaica has been vigorous. Many argue that there is no
correlation between the male sex tourist traveling to use prostitutes and the female sex tourists
engaging in holiday flings. Just as many Japanese men view their prostitution of women from the
Philippines as a form of economic aid, some well-to-do professional western women hiring “beach
boys” believe that they are helping destitute local boys.55 This vision of a vacation fling can lead
occasionally to long-term relationships, but often these flings simply spread diseases.
Research suggests women on holiday are less likely to use contraception or
protection against STDs than at home... Sex tourism is making this problem
worse.56
Around one in five British holidaymakers under the age of 25 is failing to practice
safe sex while abroad, according to a study published this month by Trojan
Condoms.57
Martin, Lorna, “Sex, Sand, and Sugar Mummies in a Caribbean Beach Fantasy,” The London Observer, July 23, 2006.
<http://travel.guardian.co.uk/article/2006/jul/23/jamaica.theatre.theobserver>. Accessed on December 20, 2006.
51
Hoggard, Liz, “Sun, Sea, and Gigolos,” London Independent, July 9, 2006.
< http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1168172.ece>. Accessed on December 20, 2006.
52
Jeff Heinrich, “In Winter, A Tourist Woman’s Fancy Lustily Turns to Thoughts of Sex,” Ottawa Citizen, January 8, 2007
<http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=2bdb148d-66df-4f8a-918f-ffe59d617b90&k=17066>. Accessed on
December 20, 2006.
53
Hoggard, Liz, “Sun, Sea, and Gigolos,” London Independent, July 9, 2006; Martin, Lorna, “Sex, Sand, and Sugar Mummies in a
Caribbean Beach Fantasy,” The London Observer, July 23, 2006.
54
Martin, Lorna, “Sex, Sand and Sugar Mummies in a Caribbean Beach Fantasy,” The Observer, 23 July 2006. The Royal Court
theatre in London staged Sugar Mummies in fall 2006 which explored the issue of female sex tourism in Jamaica.
55
“Sex Tourism as Economic Aid,” The Guardian, July 12, 2003
<http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/11/1057783358449.html>. Accessed on December 4, 2006.
56
Bindel, Julie, “This is Not Romance: Women Who Pay for Sex on Holiday Are as Guilty of Exploiting Their Power as Men Who
Use Prostitutes.” The Guardian, August 9, 2006 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1840101,00.html>. Accessed
on December 20, 2006.
57
Hoggard, Liz, “Sun, Sea, and Gigolos,” London Independent, July 9, 2006.
50
30
Shared Hope International
A longer term arrangement may be established in which young men are kept “on retainer” for
quick visits facilitated by the direct flights between western cities, such as London and Miami,
and major cities in Jamaica. Young men are often set up with an apartment and school tuition is
paid as compensation for their intimate and ready availability. Some argue that this arrangement
is mutually beneficial, particularly in a poverty-ridden country such as Jamaica.
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Marketing an Island Escape
Sex tourism marketing is rampant and overt in Jamaica, much more so than the other countries
studied in this report. Whereas Amsterdam and Las Vegas also have reputations as tourist
destinations for those seeking commercial sex, Jamaica’s warmth and location in the Caribbean
makes it more sensually and sexually appealing as an escape from reality. The idea of an “island
escape” where all of one’s senses can be stimulated is portrayed in virtually all of Jamaica’s marketing
efforts.
Marketing of commercial sex is found in many forms, including television, print, and most
prevalent in Jamaica, word of mouth. Escort services, such as New Girls in Negril, are advertised
on television. The services send girls to one’s home or hotel room for “freaky parties.” Brochures
and cards advertising strip clubs are readily available. In Montego Bay, the seedy Doll’s House
(raided in 2004 by police for exploiting foreign women) features Russian and Jamaican dancers
while the more upscale Taboo Club more discreetly offers “forbidden pleasures” at its New Kingston
address. Massage parlors are gaining in popularity. Some of the night clubs act as massage parlors
during the day, using local girls. Police sources state that more than 150 massage parlors are in
operation in Kingston and St. Catherine alone.58 Street hawkers, hotel porters and valets, taxi
drivers, and other members of the tourist industry take a proactive role in marketing commercial
sex to visitors through word of mouth. It is very easy to locate girls for sex. A stroll outside any of
the major hotels in Jamaica will invite a flurry of solicitations by local Jamaican men. Underage
girls as young as thirteen are offered and delivered for sex.
Recruitment of Victims
Everyone is involved in the sex business in Jamaica: teachers, accountants,
waitresses, as everyone is poor. Sometimes I had to bear the hunger when things
were slow and no customers were around. 59
58
59
— Sex Trafficking Survivor from Negril
Officer Victor Barrett, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Personal interview, May 24, 2006.
“Natasha,” Sex Trafficking Survivor, personal interview, May 25, 2006.
31
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
“Katie” began working as a go-go (exotic) dancer at the Shades nightclub in Ocho
Rios and Club Triple XXX in Negril when she was 17. After working for two months
as a go-go dancer, the club management forced her to have sex with some of the
clients who were willing to pay handsomely. While working at Club Triple XXX,
she overheard other girls talking about the good money to be made at Fantasies in
the Bahamas as go-go dancers. The management would pay for the flight, about
$350.00, but she would have to pay back that amount over time. Katie decided to
try it. Once she arrived at Fantasies she recognized some girls from Shades—they too
had been recruited from there. While working at Fantasies, Katie was not allowed
to leave the compound where the girls were housed and her passport was held by
the manager. She would have sex with buyers in the VIP rooms at the club because
it was safer than leaving the club. The living conditions were poor and they were
constantly monitored. She returned to Jamaica with no money saved.
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Photo:
Club Triple XXX – Negril, Jamaica
Club Triple XXX—Negril, Jamaica
32
“Natasha” is originally from Kingston and heard of the clubs and growth in
tourism in Negril and the opportunity to make money there. She was 16 years
old when she arrived in Negril. The first club that she heard of was Club Triple
XXX. Natasha explained that Club Triple XXX is managed by a 35 year old
Jamaican man named Wayne. She also indicated that the owner of Club Triple
XXX also owns a club in Montego Bay called Shades. It was November when
she arrived and the club had just opened – she read the recruiting advertisement
Shared Hope International
“Natasha” is originally from Kingston and heard of the clubs and growth in tourism
in Negril and the opportunity to make money there. She was 16 years old when
she arrived in Negril. The first club that she heard of was Club Triple XXX. Natasha
explained that Club Triple XXX is managed by a 35–year–old Jamaican man named
Wayne. She also indicated that the owner of Club Triple XXX also owns a club in
Montego Bay called Shades. It was November when she arrived and the club had
just opened—she read the recruiting advertisement in the local paper. The job at
Club Triple XXX only required strip dancing, but soon she was told of an opportunity
for her in a club in the Bahamas called Fantasies as a bartender, which was a job
she far preferred over go-go dancing. When Natasha arrived in the Bahamas she
was met at the airport by an employee of Fantasies and transported to a living area
adjacent to the club where all of the staff stayed. Shortly after, her passport was
confiscated and she was told it would not be returned to her until she paid her debt
of the one-way airline ticket to the Bahamas. There actually were no bartending
positions available so Natasha was forced to dance. Natasha was not aware that
she would be required to strip dance but was told so immediately upon her arrival
at Fantasies. She was required to pay rent for room and board, pay for costumes
and shoes, and she had to pay the club to work there each night. At the end of her
shifts most of her tips were collected for the club—the only money that she kept
was money she was able to hide. Prostitution was presented as the only real way for
her to make additional money though 50% of the money earned from prostitution
was collected by the club.
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Natasha finally escaped Fantasies with the help of a local man who also purchased
her return ticket to Jamaica. Natasha named the owner of Fantasies as Mike Morris
and had heard that he owned another club in St. Maarten. Natasha eventually
returned to Jamaica with no money.60
The accounts of “Katie” and “Natasha” demonstrate recruitment methods of regional trafficking
networks operating in Jamaica. These affiliations and other organized crime networks have been
cited as onerous barriers to countering sex trafficking in Jamaica.61
Individuals are recruited at loosely organized events for work in erotic entertainment venues in
many locations around the island. An example was the weekly Culloden Sex Auction before its
closure by police in September 2005 in response to American pressure through the Trafficking in
Persons Report 2005 Tier 3 ranking.62 Reportedly, a new event started in a new location nearby
immediately after the closure of the Culloden Sex Auction.
Local girls are also recruited through newspaper advertisements, such as those seen in The Jamaica
Observer. Many are tricked into doing commercial sex work believing that they would only dance
or tend bar. Word of mouth is another common method of recruitment of foreign and domestic
women and children.
Katie” and “Natasha”, Sex trafficking survivors, Personal interviews, May 25, 2006.
Exploratory Assessment of Trafficking in Persons in the Caribbean Region (Geneva: International Organization of Migration, 2005)
pp.83-85.
61
“That Culloden Club,” The Jamaica Observer, July 3, 2005
<http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20050702t200000-0500_83472_obs_that_culloden_club.asp>. Accessed on
December 1, 2006.
59 “
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Foreign trafficking victims are often recruited from their home countries by fellow nationals,
many of them former victims of trafficking. Two Ukrainian women dancing at a club in Kingston
were recruited in Odessa, Ukraine by someone who had returned from Kingston and told them
about dancing opportunities at a club called Taboo. Upon their arrival in Jamaica, they learned
that their recruiter had lied about the work involved and received a $500 kickback from the
traffickers for finding the girls.63 This phenomenon of returned victim recruitment is increasing in
many source countries and contributes to the ongoing trafficking of foreign victims to Jamaica.
Victims
According to a 2004 survey, the number of individuals used in the sex industry island-wide
numbered 20,00064 in an island population of approximately 2,650,000. Young girls are brought
into the commercial sex markets at very early ages as a result of neglect, domestic violence,
parental alcoholism and a host of other factors that make them vulnerable to sex predators and
more likely to be recruited into the commercial sex markets.65 Children account for 39 percent of
Jamaica’s population of 2.6 million and 43 percent of them are poor and live in rural areas.66 The
following numbers from a 2004 Children First Agency Report illustrate the extreme vulnerability
of children in Jamaica: thirty percent of minors, especially boys, are functionally illiterate; eight
percent of reported HIV cases (4,443) are among children under the age of ten, often contracted
through birth by infected mothers; four-fifths of HIV–infected children live in poor households;
one out of eight (51 of 410) adolescents studied were raped, molested or tricked into having sex
against their wishes, or perpetrated similar acts against another adolescent. In a sample of 178
females, 29 (16%) were victims of sexual abuse, five were raped more than once and most before
14 years of age.67
According to a November 2001 ILO/IPEC report, the prostitution of minors in Jamaica is
extensive.68 Particularly disturbing are the trends towards “Sugar Daddy” girls and “Chapses.” Sugar
Daddy girls are often below the age of twelve when they have sexual relations with adult men, and
chapses are teenage boys having sexual relations with older women known as “Sugar Mummies.”
Both Sugar Daddies and Sugar Mummies provide economic support, access to education and a
higher standard of living.69
Also on the rise is the production of pornography featuring minors, portraying the commercial
sexual exploitation of a child. Checks by The Sunday Gleaner in Jamaica “revealed a great demand
for locally-produced pornographic movies with young girls.”70 Several disturbing offenses in the
recent months brought this issue to the public’s attention. “The Chocolate Surprise,” a film
SHI Research Report, May 26, 2006. On file with authors.
“Men for Sale,” The Jamaica Observer, August 14, 2005, citing 2004 Ministry of Health National Survey of Knowledge Behavior
and Practice <http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20050813t220000-0500_86107_obs_men_for_sale_.asp>. Accessed on
February 8, 2007.
65
Peoples Action for Community Transformation (PACT), Report of the Trafficking in Persons Activity: Prioritizing Prevention–
Building Awareness, (Washington, D.C.: United States Agency for International Development, 2005).
66
UNICEF, “At a Glance: Jamaica,” <http:www.unicef.org/infobycountry/jamaica.html>. Accessed on February 8, 2007.
67
Jamaica Anti-Trafficking Assessment, Chemonics, p. 4, quoting excerpt from a 2004 report on adolescents in urban St. Catherine
by Children First Agency sponsored by Save the Children and the EU.
68
Dunn, Leith L., Jamaica Situation of Children in Prostitution: A Rapid Assessment, (Geneva: ILO and International Programme on
the Elimination of Child Labour, 2001).
69
“Child Prostitution Widespread in Jamaica,” Jamaica Observer, July 21, 2002 <http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/
20020720T230000-0500_29195_OBS_CHILD_PROSTITUTION_WIDESPREAD_IN_JAMAICA.asp>; Accessed on February 8, 2007.
Myers, Jr., John, “Mounting Concerns about Sexual Exploitation of Children,” The Jamaica Gleaner, June 13, 2004 <http://www.
jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20040613/news/news4.html>. Accessed on February 8, 2007.
70
Luton, Daraine, “Technology Now Aiding Child Pornography,” The Jamaica Gleaner, July 16, 2006.
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20060716/lead/lead9.html>. Accessed on February 8, 2007.
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depicting a female student performing oral sex on a male student at the National Stadium following
the National Boys’ and Girls’ High School Athletics Championships in Kingston, was sold for
$350-$500 on DVD and was taped by cellular phone.71 In late 2006, Jamaica was shaken by the
news of a case involving a well-known deacon of a church, Donovan Jones, who was hired to take
a 13-year-old girl from school to her home, but allegedly supervised her repeated sexual assault
by several boys aged 15-18 years in the back of a van over a period of days, while one of the boys
allegedly videotaped the acts. The four were charged initially with sexual assault but those charges
were upgraded to five counts of human trafficking under the Child Safety and Protection Act
2004.72
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Numerous foreign adult women are found in go-go clubs in the larger cities of Kingston and
Montego Bay. Hired to dance, many of these women find that they must prostitute in order to
pay off their debt to the trafficker and send some money back to their impoverished families.
Thus, the clubs serve as staging grounds for prostitution and often profit directly by also requiring
payment to remove the girls from the club grounds.
Facilitation
He indicated that he knew foreign women were being trafficked into Jamaica and
into clubs in Kingston which specifically advertised foreign women. However,
through arrest of these women by overstaying their visas he had not been able to
get them to talk or share any details of their situation in Jamaica or recruitment
from their home country which led to them being deported rather than counted as
a trafficking victim. Currently, the Anti-Trafficking Unit has no provision to hire
a woman councilor who could assist with the intake procedure. Additionally, the
department has no place to put these women except the jail, and they offer no type
of security in exchange for their cooperation. On several occasions Victor had
kept the women detained at his office rather than sending them to the prison/jail,
because he felt as if they had already been through enough.73
Organized crime has been cited by some analysts as a force permitting the markets to flourish.
However, field research revealed the immediate fear in Jamaica is of highly organized and extremely
violent localized gangs, particularly in Kingston and surrounding areas. Though the extent of
involvement of these gangs in trafficking in persons is not known with certainty, the role they
serve as rulers of specifically demarcated areas contributes to the transactions occurring without
threat of law enforcement interference. Further, according to one of the sex trafficking survivors
interviewed, the police are “directly involved and frequented the Jamaican clubs and served as
security guards for the establishment.”74 Even Air Jamaica employees were involved in facilitating
the illegal entry of people for human trafficking to the United States.75 This “environment of
corruption”76 is, in itself, a facilitator of the sex tourism and trafficking markets in Jamaica.
Ibid.
“Sex Deacon, Co-Accused Back in Court December 15,” The Jamaica Observer, November 27, 2006
<http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20061126T190000-0500_115858_OBS_SEX_DEACON__CO_ACCUSED_BACK_IN_
COURT_DECEMBER____.asp>. Accessed on Februaray 8, 2007. “Sex Deacon Case Stalled,” Extra News, February 8, 2007
<http://www.xnewsjamaica.com/content/home/detail.asp?iData=461&iCat=324&iChannel=2&nChannel=Articles>. Accessed on
February 8, 2007.
73
SHI Research Report, May 26, 2006, citing Officer Victor Barrett. On file with authors.
74
“Natasha,” Personal interview, May 25, 2006.
75
Myers Jr., John, “US Bars Air Jamaica Trio Accused of Human Trafficking,” The Jamaica Gleaner, June 21, 2005
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20050621/lead/lead1.html>. Accessed on December 5, 2006.
76
United States Government, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2007).
71
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Familial trafficking is highly prevalent in Jamaica where women and men struggle to survive
in a depressed economy and a society in which the importance of marriage and family have
diminished. Mothers and fathers are known to pimp their daughters, and boyfriends sometimes
live off the earnings of girlfriends forced to prostitute. A mother who was asked why she would
take her daughter to the now-closed Culloden Sex Auction answered, “Lady, you don’t know
what it is to be hungry.”77 Of note is the focus on familial trafficking in the Jamaica Trafficking
in Persons (TIP) Act which passed the House in December and the Senate on January 26, 2007.
Under the TIP Act, parents or guardians who surrender their children for exploitation will be
charged with trafficking in persons and potentially ordered to pay restitution to the victim if found
guilty. Parents are known to traffic their children to pay for basic needs, such as school tuition and
food.
The reality within the Jamaican society these days, is that we have children who
have been encouraged and even forced by their parents to sell their bodies for
money and favours… What is not known is that there are Jamaica women who
will send their daughters and sons out nightly to “work the beat” and take money
home to them. Many of these children are not allowed back into the home unless
a certain amount of money is made nightly… Quite a few of these children, some
of whom are boys, have to sell their bodies to these “big men” on and off the hills,
in order for them and their families to survive.78
Many sectors of the hotel and tourism industry in Jamaica facilitate sex tourism and trafficking
markets. Valets, concierges, and other hotel staff actively seek out visitors and offer them any
pleasure they wish, including sexual services. Employees have the know-how and the awareness of
the hotel procedures and are in a position to help visitors find the girls and get them into the hotel
rooms. Indeed, permitting local girls to be checked into hotels for sex work is an act of facilitation.
Many hotels contain go-go clubs which act as staging grounds for commercial sex of all kinds.
On a larger scale, advertising by the hotel and tourism industry encourages tourists to engage in
commercial sex activities, thereby increasing the demand for commercial sexual services and the
women and children to provide those services on the island.
Some hotels have taken an executive-level stance against child sex tourism and prostitution
occurring on the premises. For example, Carlson-Wagonlit Companies, based in the United
States, has signed the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation
in Travel and Tourism, committing this large hotel and restaurant network to be vigilant against
child sex tourism in the many locations and venues constituting the consortium.79 At least one
hotel manager in Kingston has stated that child prostitution is not permitted; furthermore, the
hotel has instituted a night room assessment to fill a charitable fund instituted by the hotel to pay
Exploratory Assessment of Trafficking in Persons in the Caribbean Region, p.87, citing key informant interview.
Hyatt, Stephen-Claude, “My Parent and My Pimp – Child Prostitution in Jamaica,” The Jamaica Gleaner, December 6, 2001
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20011206/cleisure/cleisure5.html>. Accessed on December 5, 2006.
79
Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, available at
<http://www.thecode.org>. Under the Code of Conduct, suppliers of tourism services adopting the code commit themselves to
implement the following six criteria:
1. To establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children.
2. To train the personnel in the country of origin and travel destinations.
3. To introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of
children.
4. To provide information to travelers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films, ticket-slips, home pages, etc.
5. To provide information to local “key persons” at the destinations.
6. To report annually.
77
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for the building of new schools in Jamaica.80 Empowering these institutions by bringing them into
an alliance to combat human trafficking can be an effective tool. However, the stances taken
by the hotels officially do not always trickle down to the lower level or auxiliary staff, who may
continue to facilitate the exploitation of women and children within the hotels and resorts.
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Wayne Cummings, president of the Negril Chamber of Commerce and first vice
president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), told the Sunday
Herald that sex tourism is not condoned by the organisations that he represents.
He pointed out that although many visitors to exotic locations such as Jamaica
often arrive with hope of finding an “escort”, the country has made efforts to move
away from this image. “It still happens, but we categorize it as tourist harassment.
We invite tourists here for sun, sea, sand and Jamaican hospitality, which does not
necessarily include sexual favours,” said Cummings. He added that sex tourism
brought with it many negative implications such as the spread of infectious
diseases and a tarnished national image. “Those persons in the sex tourism industry
are better served by getting training and incorporate themselves into legitimate
tourism jobs,” he said. Cummings indicated that tourism interests in the resort
towns have better working relationships with the police, and this has prevented
the problem from being an overt one. He also indicated that tourism interests
have also begun to address the problem through education. Cummings also spoke
to the issue of staff training at the Sandals hotel chain to ensure that internal and
external interaction does not become or appear untoward.
— Posted by Jamaica Sunday Herald,
12 June 200681
The primary approach by government and non-governmental organizations in combating the
commercial sex tourism market in Jamaica has been directed at the victim rather than the
buyer. As illustrated in the statement below, the tourism industry considers pimps soliciting
buyers as ‘tourist harassment’ and tourist awareness of trafficking as bad for business. The tourism
communities tend to discourage the economically disadvantaged and coerced from prostituting
rather than to prosecute the sex tourist for buying trafficked victims.
The 2001 revision of the CARICOM Treaty made the CARICOM passport for community
nationals and preferential employment treatment for CARICOM citizens—especially university
graduates, media workers, sportspersons, artists, and musicians—one of its main goals.82 The
new passports are machine-readable, with the intent of increasing the security of the document
and improving immigration controls. As of early 2007, eight member states have introduced
CARICOM passports: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica was
expected to begin issuing the CARICOM passports by January 2007, but the date was delayed
and issuance is now expected to begin before the end of 2007. The expectation is that all
the member states will have introduced the CARICOM passport by 2008, as required by the
CARICOM Treaty.83 This regional passport regime may result in easier travel for the members
Kingston Hilton KIDSS charity. SHI Research Report, October 20, 2006. On file with authors.
Available at <http://www.rentarasta.com>. Accessed on December 8, 2006.
82
Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community Including the Caribbean Single Market and Economy
2001 (CARICOM Treaty). <http://www.caricom.org/index.jsp>. Accessed on April 19, 2007.
83
“CARICOM passports for Jamaicans before year-end,” The Jamaica Gleaner, February 17, 2007
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070217/lead/lead2.html>.
See also, <http://www.caricom.org/jsp/single_market/csme_summary_key_elements_jun_06.pdf>. Accessed on April 19, 2007.
80
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of the Caribbean community intra-regionally as well as internationally, but it carries the risk of
increasing illegal immigration, a development that is likely to add to the difficulties of stemming
sex trafficking in, from and through Jamaica.
Culture of Tolerance
Sex Tourism Origins
Jamaica as a whole, similar to the cities of Las Vegas and Amsterdam, is unique in its heavy
emphasis on sex tourism and an economy that relies almost completely on the income generated
by tourism. The result of this dependence is impoverishment on the part of the local population.
While some Jamaicans, especially owners of the clubs and hotels, have done well financially,
many of the locals have suffered.
Jamaica has been a “rich man’s paradise,” culturally colonized since the late 1800s and was “among
the earliest of West Indian islands to host the moneyed, leisure classes from Europe and North
America.”84 In 1890, a law on hotels was introduced that permitted the construction of enormous
and luxurious properties in Jamaica, financed, in part, by local taxpayers. Montego Bay’s Bathing
Club was created in 1906 and Ocho Rios (from the Spanish word Chorreras, spout or waterfall)
drew in those looking to commune with nature.85 Advancements in technology—especially in
transportation—enabled more and more people to travel abroad in a timely manner. Thomas
Cook was one of the first international tour promoters, coming to Jamaica in the 1860s by boat.86
Pan-American Airlines signed its first contract for flights from Miami to Jamaica twice weekly in
1930.87
While many of these advancements benefited wealthy tour operators, hotel owners, and tourists
themselves, the impact on the local Jamaicans was harmful. Not only did some Americans and
Europeans bring arrogance and racial prejudice with them, perhaps more damaging was the sexually
exploitive behavior they exhibited toward the Jamaican women and children while vacationing
in Jamaica. Such behavior was absorbed and mimicked by the locals and contributed to a rise
in local problems of drug abuse and underage prostitution. The Jamaican attitude towards its
white visitors was, “idle whites who were over-rich, over-sexed, and over-here.”88 References to
“trafficking in human flesh,” were used as early as the 1960s.
Tourism has become a trap for the Caribbean people. It has deepened the
economic dependency of the region…causing deep psychological and cultural
damage. … Being someone else’s playground has meant that the Caribbean
fishermen have become beach boys, its farmers turned into waiters, and the
TNC hotels are defining local culture.89
Taylor, Frank F., To Hell with Paradise: A History of the Jamaica Tourist Industry (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993)
pp. 4-7.
85
Martin, L. Emile, Reflections on Jamaica’s Tourism (Montego Bay, Jamaica: Unlimited Exposures, Ltd., 1994) p. 17.
86
Taylor, p. 37.
87
Martin, p. 60.
88
Taylor, p. 171.
89
Barry, Tom et al., The Other Side of Paradise: Foreign Control in the Caribbean (New York: Grove Press, 1984) cited in Taylor, pp. 7-8.
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Jamaican society has suffered in several ways from the rapid expansion of tourism. Though 80
percent of the industry is Jamaican-owned, attitudinal surveys reveal that local residents are
most concerned with the island’s violent crime, economic disparity and poor infrastructure.90
The unemployment rate is estimated at 11.3 percent and 19.1 percent of the population lives
below poverty level.91 The tourism industry dominates the Jamaican economy and the service
industry accounts for 60 percent of Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP). Speaking at the
Annual Meeting of Jamaican Hoteliers and Tour Operators in the fall of 2006, Minister of
Tourism Ndombet-Assamba accused the industry of being in denial, stating, “It is in our best
interest economically and socially to separate ourselves from the other countries known for CSEC
[commercial sexual exploitation of children] by becoming socially responsible.”92
Jamaica
DEMAND.
The Culture of “Making Do”
Many residents of Jamaica demonstrate and verbalize their belief that the severe economic
situation in Jamaica forces a culture of “making do.” How one makes a living or “makes do” is less
important than the money accrued. This in turn leads to the pervasive phenomenon of domestic
trafficking, as well as to the willingness of girls to travel abroad to earn money. The Theodora
Project, one of Jamaica’s more promising programs for at-risk and exploited youth, has difficulty
forging partnerships with local businesses because the businesses benefit from the economics of
the sex trade. As the Director of Theodora Project, Reverend Margaret Fowler, remarked, “Negril
does not want to hear about trafficking.”93 As a result, Reverend Fowler must “tread lightly” in
order to avoid upsetting the community, the congregation, and local ministry with her outreach
to commercially sexually exploited girls. Many of these girls have been lured into go-go dancing
and further into sexually servicing the tourists who flock to Negril for its casual and unregulated
beaches.
The culture of “making do” often leads girls into sexual activity at an early age and this in turn
makes them vulnerable to trafficking and to contracting HIV/AIDS. According to data from
Jamaica’s National HIV/STD Prevention and Control Program, 13 out of every 1000 pregnant
women in Jamaica are infected with HIV. Teenaged girls had three times higher the risk of HIVinfection than boys of the same age group, largely because they are having intercourse with HIVinfected older men.94 This is due in part to the absence or ineffectiveness of care-giving and childrearing because the mothers work and cannot tend to their children and fathers are completely
absent from their lives.95 In fact, the statistic is staggering: over 85 percent of children in Jamaica
are born to unmarried mothers; furthermore, 50 percent of children do not have a father’s name
on the birth certificate.96
Dunn, Hopeton S. and Leith L. Dunn, People and Tourism: Issues and Attitudes in the Jamaican Hospitality Industry (Kingston,
Jamaica: Arawak Publishers, 2002) Introduction.
91
“Jamaica,” CIA World Factbook, last updated March 15, 2007 <https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/jm.html>.
Accessed on April 9, 2007.
92
Ndombet-Assama, Honorable Aloun, Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, remarks at the National Task Force
Trafficking in Persons Public Forum, Ocho Rios, October 19, 2006.
93
Fowler, Reverend Margaret, Theodora Project, Personal interview, October 17, 2006.
94
Thompson, Eulalee, “Accept it, Accept it Not—Sex, Prostitution, HIV/AIDS,” The Jamaica Gleaner, May 3, 2006
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20060503/health/health1.html>. Accessed on February 8, 2007.
95
Exploratory Assessment of Trafficking in Persons in the Caribbean Region, pp. 83-85.
96
Chang, Kevin O’Brien, “Licensing the Jamaican Penis,” The Jamaica Gleaner, April 16, 2006
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20060416/focus/focus3.html> (advocates making it compulsory for the father’s
name to be put on every child’s birth certificate); also Neil and Janice Lewis, Personal interview, November 9, 2006. Most recent
information from the Jamaican Ministry of Health reported that 899 births occurred between January 1 and 7, 2007; 836 babies
were registered. Of the 836 registered babies, 520 fathers were named on the birth certificates (62%). Of those 520 named fathers,
377 were not married to the mother (73%). See, Jamaica Information Service, January 17, 2007 <http://www.jis.gov.jm/health>.
Accessed on April 9, 2007.
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According to Major Neil Lewis, Retired Major of the Jamaica Defense Forces and Founder of
Operation Save Jamaica (OSJ), a nonprofit basket ministry based in Kingston, it is not unusual for
mothers to encourage their daughters to engage in sexual relations for money. Some mothers go
so far as to allow their own partners to have sex with their daughters. They then fail to stand up
for their daughters when they complain of abuse in order to ensure the relationship continues and
to “keep their man,” making these mothers the accomplices and beneficiaries of their daughters’
sexual exploitation. Children are exposed to pornography from an early age as commercial sex
simply pervades the atmosphere in Jamaica.97 This exposure desensitizes children to sex and makes
them more vulnerable to their own exploitation. In addition, pornography produced by locals and
foreigners relies on and seeks out vulnerable youth to be subjects.98
Domestic trafficking is exacerbated by the organized crime of Kingston. Gang-controlled areas
primarily within Kingston are called “garrisons,” where officials have essentially ceded control to
the gangs in exchange for their votes.99 The gang’s “dons” run the garrisons, demand protection
payments, are paid by public utilities to collect fees, and take the girls they fancy from the
community. The dons receive government contracts from the party leader with whom they are
aligned. This is called “awash,” as in awash with money. Other means of making fast money
are arms smuggling, drug trafficking and extortion. Crime in general pervades the country; in
the first half of 2005, 845 persons were gunned down out of a population of 2.6 million.100 The
Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) grew so frustrated with the federal government’s
unwillingness to confront and respond to growing crime trends that it organized protests against
the Patterson administration in 2005.101 Jamaica’s corrupt environment exacerbates the challenge
in combating human trafficking.102
Conclusion
If we become known as a modern day trading post in humanity...the tourists
will begin to reconsider their decision to come to Jamaica.103
— Aloun Ndombet-Assamba
Minister of Tourism
Jamaican authorities have made some positive inroads in tackling sex trafficking and tourism.
Given the vital importance of Jamaica’s tourist industry, the specter of a downturn resulting from
the international awareness of domestic trafficking and its health and social consequences has
serious economic implications. The danger of being known as a major marketplace of sexual
exploitation with an ever-growing population of vulnerable children, together with the spread of
HIV/AIDS, has prompted Jamaican authorities to address the problem.
Neil and Janice Lewis, Personal interview, November 9, 2006. See Operation Save Jamaica website:
<http://www.operationsavejamaica.org>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
98
Luton, Daraine, “Technology Now Aiding Child Pornography,” Jamaica Gleaner Online, July 16, 2006
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20060716/lead/lead9.html>. Accessed on February 8, 2007.
99
Neil and Janice Lewis, Personal interview, November 9, 2006.
100
“Ineffective Responses to Crime in Jamaica,” Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), July 7, 2005
<http://www.coha.org/2005/07/07/ineffective-responses-to-crime-in-jamaica>. Accessed on December 20, 2006.
101
COHA, 2005.
102
Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment, 2007.
103
Hon. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Minister of Tourism, Entertainment, and Culture in Jamaica, remarks at National Trafficking in
Persons Task Force Forum, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, October 19, 2006.
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Public Awareness
The Jamaican government was alarmed when the Trafficking in Persons Report 2005 placed Jamaica
in Tier 3 with countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards
laid out in the TVPA 2000 as they were not making significant efforts to confront the scourge of
human trafficking.104 Tier 3 ranking put Jamaica in jeopardy of losing foreign (non-humanitarian)
assistance from the United States, and endangered its reputation as a tourism destination. As a
result, the government took swift action of primarily awareness and prevention efforts. In August
of 2005, a National Awareness Campaign was initiated and kicked off at Emancipation Park
followed by several public fora by the newly formed National Task Force against Trafficking
in Persons. A Legislative Task Force to review existing laws that affect child labor and victim
assistance was formed and a National “Trafficking in Women and Children Special Unit” created
to investigate cases of commercial sexual abuse.
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Legislation
The Child Care and Protection Act (CCPA), enacted March 25, 2004, criminalizes various types
of violence against children, including the trafficking of children.105 The CCPA is the legal basis
for the recently established Children’s Advocate who is responsible for protecting the rights of
children in Jamaica. The Children’s Advocate has authority to conduct investigations and report
on child abuse or other violations of children’s rights that come to his/her attention. A new
hotline has been established to encourage reporting of child sexual abuse and exploitation: 1-888PROTECT. The hotline is being widely promoted, adding to the public awareness of this issue
throughout the island. The actualization of the CCPA’s provision for the establishment of the
Children’s Advocate marked a positive development in Jamaica’s efforts to address internal child
trafficking and indicated a much needed commitment on the part of the government to tackle
this issue.
The Child Care and Protection Act, 2004
Prohibition 10.— (1) No person shall sell or participate in the trafficking of any child.
(2) Any person who commits an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable on conviction
or indictment before a Circuit Court, to a fine or to imprisonment with hard labour for a
term not exceeding ten years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
In February 2007, Parliament enacted the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Act of 2007, which became
effective March 1, 2007. The new law prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons and related
offenses such as financially benefitting from trafficking crimes and taking a victim’s passport. A
second legislative development is the directive from the Justice Minister and Attorney General for
the drafting of the child pornography legislation which would specifically criminalize the making,
distribution and sale of child pornography.106 Pornography is illegal under Jamaican law; cases of
pornography are charged under the Obscene Publications (Suppression of) Act107 or the Offences
Against the Persons Act108, but neither statute speaks specifically to the offense of child pornography.
Trafficking in Persons Report, 2005, p.42.
Child Care and Protection Act, 2004, available at
<http://www.cda.gov.jm/downloads/Child_Care_and_Protection_Act_2004.pdf>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
106
Luton, Daraine, “Government of Jamaica to draft child porn law,” The Jamaica Gleaner, July 19, 2006
<http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20060719/lead/lead6.html>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
107
Obscene Publications (Suppression of) Act, March 17, 1927, available at
<http://www.caricomlaw.org/docs/Obscene%20Publications%20(Suppression%20of)%20Act.pdf>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
108
Offences Against the Persons Act, 1864, revised 1969, available at
<http://www.caricomlaw.org/docs/Offences%20Against%20the%20Person%20Act.pdf>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
104
105
41
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Currently the Obscene Publications Act, passed in 1927, carries only a maximum fine of
$40 or a three-month prison term—clearly needing amendment to serve as the deterrent
intended. It is not certain whether the child pornography law will be an amendment to the
obscene publications laws or to the Child Care and Protection Act 2004 to accompany the sale
and trafficking of children provision. The Ministry of Justice plans to introduce the draft bill to
Parliament by September 2007.109
Law Enforcement
Since April 2006, Jamaican police have raided 27 nightclubs for evidence of
trafficking, resulting in the rescue of nine trafficking victims, three of which were
between the ages of 13 and 17. Victim protection efforts, however, remain ad
hoc and the government has yet to develop or implement a formalized referral
system to increase victim identification and prevent the inadvertent prosecution
or deportation of victims… Using existing laws, the government charged five
suspected traffickers in children.110
Over the past two years, Jamaican law enforcers have enhanced their focus on child trafficking
and exploitation. The case of the arrest of two men in connection with the alleged pimping of
a 13–year–old girl is one of five cases currently being tried under the Child Care and Protection
Act 2004 Prohibition 10 against sex trafficking. In addition, the Ministry of Justice is currently
considering the prosecution’s motion to admit video evidence in the trial, a decision which
could change the manner of prosecuting child traffickers. Improvement in the witness protection
program is also under discussion.
To have effective prosecutions, Jamaica must adopt special procedures and personal
security measures for the protection of children who agree to testify.111
While most of the attention internally has been on the commercial sexual exploitation of children
within the country, efforts to curb the reported international trafficking have been made. Raids on
clubs have resulted in the identification of foreign victims, though procedures for treating these
women as victims rather than illegal workers have not been implemented and there is currently
no safe place to hold these victims. Recent computerization of passports and increased training
of customs officials may cut down on the entry of illegal migrants and victims of trafficking into
Jamaica.112 However, many women and children are Caribbean in origin, and therefore it is
difficult to monitor their movement due to the free travel of community nationals provided for in
the CARICOM Treaty.113
Luton, Daraine, “Government of Jamaica to draft child porn law,” The Jamaica Gleaner, July 19, 2006
Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment, 2007.
111
Jamaica Anti-Trafficking Assessment, Chemonics, p. 9.
112
During 2003 and 2004, IOM implemented a program to build capacity in the Jamaican migration management system by
computerizing the technical infrastructure and training government officials. See <http:www.iom.int>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
113
Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community Including the Caribbean Single Market and Economy
2001 (CARICOM Treaty), chapter III, article 45 “Movement of Community Nationals” <http://www.caricom.org/index.jsp>.
Accessed on April 9, 2007.
109
110
42
Shared Hope International
The Jamaica Ministry of Justice continues to lead advancements in addressing human trafficking at
several levels. The recent establishment of the Victim Support Unit which provides counselors for
the victims is a positive development which will encourage victims to cooperate in prosecutions of
traffickers. In addition, the Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer is spearheading
the appropriation of government property for the establishment of a specialized, secure shelter for
victims of human trafficking.
Jamaica
DEMAND.
Prevention and Restorative Facilities
Jamaica faces a problem similar to the United States in its shortage of restorative facilities. Youth
remanded to the state for protection are usually sent to juvenile detention facilities from which
they often escape. However, the establishment of the Child Advocate and work by the Child
Development Agency is underway to establish safe places for these exploited children. With
support from Shared Hope International, a local basket ministry called Operation Save Jamaica is
approaching the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children on the island with strategic
planning. Which will serve as a catalyst for the growth of further services and shelter for youth.
In concert with the Ministry of Justice through its Restorative Justice Initiative, the Christian
community in Jamaica will be involved increasingly in the safety and protection of local youth.
Prevention efforts are being undertaken at a number of levels. The HEART Institute offers
exploited and at-risk youth, who have left school, a certificate in a vocational skill which will
allow them to survive independently and keep them from becoming victims in the commercial sex
markets. Several organizations, such as the Theodora Project in Negril and Youth Empowerment
Services in Montego Bay, provide HEART certified training. Not surprisingly, one of the primary
vocational skill certificates is in hotel and tourism services. This prevention effort, coupled with
ministries and organizations throughout the island that provide spiritual and health services, is
working to keep local youth from entering the markets of sex tourism and trafficking. Community
involvement and responsibility for its youth has the potential of reducing the supply of local girls
and boys in the sex tourism industry in Jamaica.
www.sharedhope.org
43
Jamaica
44
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
The
Netherlands
www.sharedhope.org
45
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Red circles indicate primary areas of Shared Hope International field research.
46
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
The Netherlands:
Trade and Tolerance Lead to Trafficking
These people put me in the window and told me what I had to say, how much
money I have to ask, how much money I have to pay everyday. If I don’t do it they
will just kill me or my daughter. I couldn’t talk to anybody about the situation and
these people tell me that they were watching me everyday. And that’s true because
I was working in a window upstairs and downstairs are walking men everyday and
every night so he [pimp] could tell how many men go upstairs so I can’t get some
money for me, ever. He knows everything and I was working like this for almost
a year. The clients…men… police, lawyers… everything and you don’t get help
from these people. You don’t have to tell these people because they know and some
of these people have been in touch with my boss, my pimp…
— Former Trafficking Victim from the Czech Republic
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
T
he red light district is the image most people have of the legal prostitution system in the
Netherlands; however, in reality, these areas represent a mere fraction of the commercial sex
markets as larger illegal sex markets have developed in the shadows of this legalized structure.
The perception of the commercial sex markets as safe, legal, and regulated in the Netherlands has
created an expectation by the buyers that purchasing sex is merely part of the tour. This creates
heightened demand and thereby a need for a constant supply of women and children to be the
human product in this market. Thus, the secondary market of commercial sexual services using
trafficked women and children thrives in the background of the legalized system. This section
examines the thin veneer of legitimacy presented by the red light districts and legal brothels and
the shadows behind them.
47
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
The layout of the red light district in Amsterdam capitalizes on the concept of the commercial sex
market as a “shopping mall” where the buyer can pick and choose the woman who will provide the
sexual services. This market has as its centerpiece the well-known windows displaying a variety
of women brought to Amsterdam from all over the world to be exploited in a legal environment.
The incessant and graphic marketing of exploited women and children through advertising and
open display has normalized sexual exploitation and led to heightened demand. It also increases
tolerance for all of its sub-services and deviances existing on the fringes of the legal marketplace.
Today, the red light district has expanded into more residential areas bordering the official red light
district, illustrating the difficulties of containing a market of this kind within a legal system.
The General Ban on Brothels (Bordeelverbod) law was lifted on October 1, 2000, making prostitution
and pimping legal occupations in the Netherlands with removal of each from the penal code.
Since then, Amsterdam’s Red Light District (in Dutch, de Wallen) has become a multi-million
dollar business, with a yearly turnover of €83 million.114 Though the infamous red light district
was in operation for centuries, concerns were mounting that it had become infested with drug and
human trafficking crimes. Policymakers believed that legalization would force brothels to clean up
their acts, scale back, and even eliminate the employment of illegal migrants. Legalized brothels
would also mean an increase in revenue for the government, as the regulated brothels would
pay taxes. However, two years later, in 2002, Wetenschappelijk Onderzoeken Documentatiecentrum
(WODC) Scientific Research and Documentation Center published a major report on the impact
of the legislation and concluded that it had caused the commercial sex industry to relocate and
go underground where there was less overhead and less government interference.115 Instead of
curbing and deterring sex crimes, the legislation had the opposite effect, resulting in the expansion
of commercial sex markets into a larger, concealed market in the hands of Albanian and Turkish
organized crime groups, Moroccan pimps, and many other criminal entrepreneurs. It is against this
backdrop that we explore the markets of sexual exploitation in major cities in the Netherlands:
Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Rotterdam.
In 2004, about 8000 prostitutes worked in Amsterdam. Based upon these estimates,
25% of them worked in the windows, 25% in brothels, 1% as streetwalkers and the
remaining 49% in closed or private situations such as escort services, bars, private
houses or at home. More than two-thirds of the women are of foreign origin.116
“Canada Considers Further Legalizing Prostitution While Amsterdam Mayor Admits Legalization’s Failure,” LifeSiteNews.com,
October 5, 2005, citing article in NRC Handelsbad (in Dutch), October 5, 2005
<http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/oct/05100508.html>. Accessed on November 14, 2006.
115
A. Daalder, Het Bordeelverbod Opgeheven: Prostitutie in 2000-2001 (Amsterdam: WODC, 2002). The WODC was created
in 1973 to serve as a research institute for the Ministry of Justice. It is the leading center for research on organized crime in
the Netherlands. See also The Netherlands, Dutch National Rapporteur, Trafficking in Human Beings (Den Haag: Bureau NRM,
2002), p.90; Henk Van de Bunt and Edward Kleemans,“Transnational Organized Crime,” Punishment, Places, and Perpetrators:
Developments in Criminology and Criminal Justice Research (Devon, UK: Willan Publishing, 2004), p.1.
116
Thérèse van der Helm, Intermediary project for prostitutes annual report 2002 - 2004 (Government Health Service: Amsterdam,
NE, August 2005) p. 6.
114
48
Shared Hope International
The Marketplace
Commercial Sex Markets
Red Light Districts
There are thirteen official red light districts operating in the Netherlands (listed below). These
red light districts may be a few windows on one block in the city or may be as large as the wellknown Amsterdam Red Light District.
City
Alkmaar
Amsterdam
Arnhem
Area/Street
Achterdam
Walletjes/Wallen, Singel/Spui, Pijp/Ruysdaelkade
Spijkerkwartier (near industrial area Kleefsewaard, near AXO)
Den Haag
Geleenstraat, Poeldijkstraat, Doublestraat
Deventer
Bokkingshang
Eindhoven
Edisonstraat (up to Baekelandplein)
Groningen
Nieuwstad Hoekstraat/Muurstraat
Haarlem
Begijnhof — 3 hofjes (courtyards): Het Poortje, Het Steegje, Rode Lantaarn
Heerlen
n/a
Leeuwarden
De Waeze
Nijmegan
Nieuwe Market straat
Rotterdam
Keileweg
Utrecht
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Hardebollenstraat
Source: http://www.ignatzmice.com
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is a major tourist destination for buyers seeking commercial
sexual services. Though it has existed for several centuries and has been a boost to the economy
by attracting tourists and collecting taxes from brothels, today the district is losing its luster.
The Amsterdam city council ordered 100 of the 350 windows to close by the end of 2006 and
will continue to examine the status of other commercial sex venues as it confronts human
trafficking.117 The Red Light District is located in the heart of the oldest part of Amsterdam,
covering several blocks south of the church Oude Kerk and crossed by several canals. The name
de Wallen refers to the names of the two canals in the area, the Oudezijds Achterburgwal and the
Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The district has existed since the 14th century and formerly housed many
distilleries, mainly catering to sailors. In response to proposals by the head of Amsterdam’s largest
political party to discourage women from marketing themselves in windows, several commercial
sex venues in Amsterdam’s Red Light District held an open house on February 18, 2006, and
again on March 31, 2007, with the intent to “de-stigmatize” and promote the Red Light District
locally. Free drinks were provided and the event was widely publicized.118 Increased safety might
have been a better investment in the Red Light District, as one outreach worker noted, “There
are nearly 400 windows; there are not 400 police men. There are only about 5 or 6 police men
working in the entire Red Light District.”119
Castle, Stephen, “Trafficking Forces Clampdown in Amsterdam’s Red Light Area,” The Independent, December 2, 2006.
“Amsterdam’s Red Light District Has Open House,” Associated Press, February 17, 2006
<http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/17/ap/strange/mainD8FR3N8G0.shtml>; “Dutch Red Light District’s Open Day Draws
Crowd,” Reuters, March 31, 2007 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17887227>. Accessed on November 14, 2006.
119
Heemskerk-Shep, Toos, Personal interview, January 26, 2006.
117
118
49
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
“Loverboys” and pimps go about their business—trafficking in women—without
being bothered in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, while the police look
on, said two policemen of the bureau Beursstraat, one of whom has been replaced
elsewhere within the police at his own request. “We are in the midst of modern
slavery,” says Ron, who until recently has been a vice officer in the Red Light
District. Police are doing far too little to end forced prostitution with all its excesses,
say the policemen. The policemen do not want their names in the paper, because
they have been threatened by criminals several times. Two groups of pimps are
active in Amsterdam’s Red Light District: the “loverboys” and a group known as the
“Turks.” They carry on a lucrative business in trafficking women from the Eastern
bloc. According to policeman Ron, criminal reports by women “are gathering dust
everywhere in the Netherlands.” In 2003, four detectives were put on the group of
Turks. “The investigation turned into a fantastic disaster,” says Ron. Investigations
are not allowed to take any longer than three months. The four detectives were
notified by their superiors in June that they had to close the case. Some arrests
followed, but the public prosecutor found the evidence inconclusive.120
This map illustrates the proximity of the Red Light District to key tourism sites, including the Rembrandt Museum,
Music Theater, Train Station, and several historic churches.
50
120
“Police ignore trafficking in women,” NRC Handelsbad, October 1, 2005 (in Dutch; unofficial translation on file with author).
Shared Hope International
In the Singel area, windows are contained within a thriving commercial district surrounded by
high-end homes. The windows are controlled by an organized group of young, teenaged-looking
Turks and Moroccans who perform a revolving check of the windows and an older group of twenty–
year–old men of Indonesian origin who run a pattern that takes them over the Singel canal and
back down Oude Nieuwstraat. The women in this area are mostly Latin or South American (from
Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, or Venezuela).121 Middelpunt is the Window Administrative Office in
Singel Area where girls retrieve and return keys for rented windows. East European, African and
Turkish pimps are easily recognized as they loiter singly and in groups while keeping a protective
eye on their charge in the windows. Approximately thirty windows are located in Singel’s “de
Pijp,” an area to the south of the main Red Light District on Ruysdaelkade behind the Rijksmuseum
disturbingly—and some question whether deliberately—accessible to the many tourists traveling
to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Legalizing prostitution was infused with the idea of the articulate prostitute, who
should get rights and better working conditions. But that image is incorrect…Two
thirds of prostitutes are foreign, most often illegal and nobody is registering. The
Amsterdam police has a portfolio with 76 violent pimps operating on de Wallen
[Amsterdam’s red light district]. Often they stand at the corner, counting the
customers of ‘his’ woman, to subsequently collect the money. It is very difficult for
the police to get a case. Pimping is allowed, but exploitation and violence of course
are not. But the women do not file reports or retrieve them later on.122
— Karina Schaapman, Councilwoman and Former Prostitute
Amsterdam
In an initial examination of the legal market, an inventory was taken of one of the most visible
areas—the “windows” in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. What became most apparent
was the number of foreign girls from impoverished countries being prostituted in the Red Light
District, demonstrating the market’s use of the world’s most vulnerable people to fulfill the
demand. Two local experts who have done outreach work in the Red Light District for a combined
27 years, along with a team of outreach workers, monitored 398 windows in the Amsterdam
Red Light District. Their findings provided insights into the victims, customers, and traffickers.
Their research proved challenging because women stood in the windows in frequently changing
shifts.123 Also, the researchers were not able to go out between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
due to the absence of police presence and protection in the Red Light District during those hours.
One Nigerian survivor of sex trafficking explained that during those hours “a new market comes
alive, a black market,” brewing with illegal activity due to the lack of policing.124 Therefore, this
research is a snapshot of activity limited to Amsterdam’s Red Light District and is not necessarily
indicative of overall trends in the commercial sex markets in the Netherlands.
Field Research Report, February 24, 2006. On file with authors.
Pels, Dorien, “Working in the Red Light District Is Not Romantic At All—Abuses in Prostitution,” Trouw, December 12, 2005,
quoting Karina Schaapman. Article translated to English from Dutch by Kyer available at <http://www.fleshploitation.blogspot.com>.
Accessed on February 5, 2007.
123
Survey conducted for Shared Hope International by Co-Directors of the Scarlet Cord (Scharlaken Koord) and Youth with a
Mission of Amsterdam (YWAM), both non-profit organizations that do outreach and provide resources to women in prostitution,
August 2005.
124
Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, January 26, 2006.
121
122
51
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Survey Results of NGO Outreach Workers
in the Amsterdam Red Light District125
Our researchers observed 398 windows over the course of 14 days. Their visits took place
in the afternoon and in the evening. Each woman was interviewed and her nationality
recorded.
Countries of Origin, Numbers, and Ages of Women Observed in the Red Light District
Country
Women Counted
Ages
Dominican Republic
79
23-60
The Netherlands
39
18-40
Nigeria
25
18-25
Italy
12
19-28
Colombia
11
22-45
Ghana
9
19-26
Thailand
9 (transsexuals)
Age Unknown
Greece
7
19-25
Poland
6
21-25
Czech Republic
6
21-35
Germany
6
21-29
Ecuador
5
24-40
Belgium
3
19-23
Hungary
3
Age Unknown
Bulgaria
3
Age Unknown
Slovakia
3
21-27
Cuba
2
Age Unknown
Peru
2
Age Unknown
Asian (nationalities unknown)
2
Age Unknown
Switzerland
1
19
Portugal
1
Age Unknown
Romania
1
Age Unknown
Spain
1
20
France
1
21
24 Nationalities
237 Women
Average age 25
A brothel owner told me that there are many Hungarian girls working there, but as you see we
only saw three. He told us that they were gypsies (Roma). It could be also that they are working
in the night between 24.00 and 6.00 AM.
52
125
Survey report written and translated by Scarlet Cord, edited by Shared Hope International, August 2005.
Shared Hope International
Earnings
The girls will not reveal to whom they give the money. We know that they can make about
€500 per night. Those who work for a “loverboy” cannot keep any money for themselves.
Those who work for a pimp from Eastern Europe pay about 75 percent to the pimp and
keep the rest. I met a girl from Greece who was trafficked by an Albanian man. She made
€60,000 for him in one year. She was 17 when she started to work with a fake passport.
This information came from a brothel owner. Dutch and East European prostitutes have
tattoos with the names of their pimps. This makes it a bit easier for the police, but the
pimps don’t realize that. The African girls start off with a debt of €40,000; if she pays that
back, she is “free.”
If you calculate that those 237 women all pay €125 per day for a room, and earn about €500
of which, based on evidence, little if any of it is kept by the woman or legally filed for tax
purposes. That’s €625 total a day, €3125 per week, a little over €1 million in one year, just
from one girl.
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Recruitment and Transportation
We obtained information about recruitment from the Dutch and the South Americans and
a little bit from the East Europeans, but that was complicated by language difficulties. South
American women come to Holland by plane or train through Spain. The average age is over 40.
Most of these women have been here for many years, have their Dutch papers and work to keep
up their financial needs. Some ladies are over the age of 60.
Africans come by plane most of the time via Western Europe. They fly into Germany and take
a train or plane into Amsterdam or Belgium. Most of them work on fake passports. They are
a closed group. They like to pray and want to have books and bibles, but will never tell their
stories. East European girls are also closed and don’t dare tell their stories to the police. Most of
the Dutch girls have come by way of pimps, so-called “loverboys.”
Conditions
Most girls live in apartments owned by the traffickers with connections in Amsterdam. Most
African girls live in the Bijlmermeer. As long as the girl has a pimp she is not free to come and
go. You can see that with the Dutch girls, you see them walking with their “protectors”, but the
Africans don’t have “protection” around them and they are afraid. The South Americans are
free to come and go. But what is freedom if your whole family is relying on your income? These
women are always under pressure from their family, parents, or children to provide financially.
One woman told me that she resembles a terrorist because she sacrifices her life for her family.
Buyers
The clients are between the ages of 18-75, with the majority being middle-aged men. Some
women have regular clients, and they know more about the client or the family situation.
But for the majority they have no relationship. They say that clients buy sex so they can get
something from them that they cannot get from their wives. Others say they are just crazy or
lonely.
53
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Sex Clubs
Outside of the regulated sex markets are the unregulated markets. They include clubs and cafés
where sex is heavily marketed and may be procured. Dutch sex clubs fall into roughly three
categories: (1) large sex clubs with dance floors and bars employing twenty or more women; (2)
private houses the size of residential homes with a small number of prostitutes; and (3) adult
“Swinger Clubs” where couples can go and have sex with other couples or sometimes individuals
—the sex is free but the cover charge is steep. Swinger Clubs often supplement the predominantly
male crowd with so-called “sex workers”—the same technique employed by Swinger Clubs in Las
Vegas. Three observed clubs and one cafe in Amsterdam revealed the following characteristics
• Jan Bik Club in Amsterdam is informal and small, seating about ten customers.
Researchers identified women from Brazil and Suriname, but most are Dutch citizens.
Men must order two drinks and then can request a girl for conversation. Men are not
allowed to order a third drink without selecting a girl. Prices for sex: €75 per hour; €50
per half hour. Jan Bik, or JB clubs, form a chain and are known to employ non-European
Union nationals. Property ownership has been traced to two companies: Rivet Immobilien
Verwaltungs AG and Sunflower Real Estate AG, both registered in Zurich, Switzerland.
A chain of private clubs and escort services under the name of Jan Bik (J.B.), one of the
venues, employed non-E.U. nationals, primarily East Europeans, and was raided in March
2002 by Dutch authorities. The JB clubs in Amsterdam are known to be the cheapest
and seediest of venues. Female buyers are also able to purchase male sex workers from JB
clubs.126
• Princess Sex Club and Elegance Sex Club: Princess and Elegance are located in posh
canal neighborhoods. They have non-descript entrances with nothing more than brass
plaques with their street address. The clubs are large and garish. Tuxedo-clad doormen
welcome the guests. The entrance fee is €70 (includes 3-5 drinks) and then €270 for an
hour with a girl. Both clubs had three girls working in their early 20’s who appeared to be
Dutch.127
• Candy Club: A Swingers’ Club with a potential for harboring sex trafficking victims.
Women observed were African, Romanian, and Bosnian—they did not speak English and
the African girls appeared to be underage. Entrance fee: €17, charge is €50 for half an
hour.128
• O-Nivo Restaurant (together with Grande Café Brassierie, De Corridor 2, and Bijlmer)
is located in an area where African pimps, traffickers and girls operate. Once home to a
large West African community, immigration authorities have increased scrutiny of these
venues recently.129
Field Research Report, May 8, 2006. On file with authors.
Ibid.
128
Ibid.
129
Field Research Report, April 23, 2006. On file with authors.
126
127
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Shared Hope International
Escort Services and Agencies
Escort agencies are a large part of the unregulated commercial sex markets in the Netherlands.
Openly tolerated and advertised throughout the city, the escort agencies thrive, providing a more
discreet and often less expensive commercial sexual service than the red light district windows but
likely benefiting from demand generated by the legalized prostitution market. In the Netherlands,
as elsewhere, the proliferation of cell phones has facilitated and radically increased the use of
escort services. Many newspapers advertise escort agencies that employ women from Nigeria,
Russia, and Thailand.130 Unlike brothels, saunas, and massage parlors, escort agencies do not need
a license to operate, increasing the risk of exploitation of trafficked victims. Thus, one of the
largest services of the commercial sex industry is not licensed and therefore not regulated.
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Prostitution more often relocates to the escort-branch; via the Internet and
newspapers prostitutes are being advertised. There is no way to get a true picture of
what is going on there. “But if in De Telegraaf (Daily Telegraph) a girl is offered for
€50 for an entire night, to be picked up in Amsterdam-West, you know something
is very wrong.”131
[The number] was answered by a male who called himself Peter. Peter told me he
could supply girls from the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland. All girls were
aged 18-25. Costs were €75 per hour. I told him to bring a girl to my hotel. I textmessaged him the address and he said he would call when close by. Peter called and
the girl arrived at the room a couple minutes later. She told me that she was from
the Czech Republic and that she was doing this to support her mother’s health
care back home. Peter was her driver and he was Dutch (however, brief mobile
conversations between them were in Russian or another Slavic language). She
explained that sometimes she suffered health problems from having too much sex
and she said she would stop this work if she could. I asked many general questions
and she was very open. I enquired about the ages of the girls and she told me of one
16-year-old Romanian girl she knew. I asked if she knew anyone who was made to
do this against their will and she mentioned the 16-year-old Romanian girl.
— Narrated by a Human Rights Researcher in Amsterdam
Certain venues provide other services in addition to escort services. Societe Anonyme is a sex
club that also offers in-call and out-call escort services and a comprehensive closed-circuit TV
system screening live sex of buyers and prostituted girls on the premises. Sex is available at the
bar—a curtain is pulled across one half of the bar area in order to have sex with a buyer while
others can watch the exchange on the closed-circuit TV monitor.132
Field Research Report, April 21, 2006. On file with authors.
Pels, Dorien, “Working in the Red Light District Is Not Romantic At All - Abuses in Prostitution,” Trouw, December 12, 2005,
quoting Karina Schaapman. Article translated to English from Dutch by Kywer available at
<http://www.fleshploitation.blogspot.com>. Accessed on February 5, 2007.
132
Field Research Report, May 8, 2006. On file with authors.
130
131
55
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Tippelzones
The most troublesome secondary markets existing behind the veneer of legalized prostitution in
the Netherlands are the street markets, called tippelzones, where women are prostituted on the
street. The initial rationale behind the creation of Amsterdam’s tippelzone on Theemsweg was to
concentrate the streetwalkers into one controllable zone.133 Two consequences of the tippelzone
led to its closure. First, so-called “sex workers” were drawn to the area because, unlike window
prostitution, there was no rent to be paid and therefore less could be charged for the women’s
prostitution. Business owners of regulated brothels complained that they were being penalized
by the tippelzone’s existence. They argued their case through organizations that lobbied for its
closure through the consortium of owners of “relaxation companies,” such as sex clubs, private
houses, and escort services, Vereniging Eigenaren Relaxbedrijven (VER). Secondly, the tippelzone
was infested with Turkish and Romanian gangs that trafficked women from South America and
Eastern Europe into the Netherlands for prostitution.134 There was further evidence of a thriving
drug trade coexisting with the sex market.
The tippelzones usually thrive on the edges of towns where red light districts operate. Typically,
the undocumented, underaged, drug-addicted or otherwise less marketable women are prostituted
here. This is the area where the trafficking victims are most often found, forced to stand out in all
kinds of weather in very little clothing for hours while also working as escorts when called upon to
travel to a buyer, only to return to the tippelzone for the occasional drive-by consumer. The story
told by Jane* below sums up her life as a trafficking victim in Amsterdam, much of it spent in the
tippelzone and escort services before escaping with help from a rescue organization.
Jane was trafficked to the Netherlands from Nigeria in 1998 and remained on the
street for three years. She showed our researchers the areas where she was sold in
Amsterdam. Much of her time was spent either in front of the Victoria Hotel or
behind the Main Train Station where there was little regular car or foot traffic.
At the station’s rear entrance, cars and taxis with buyers would drive up and pick
up the girls. It was terribly cold, yet they wore little and warmed themselves by
drinking drug-laced alcohol given by their pimp. Her clients were predominantly
Dutch citizens who used her in their cars or took her to their homes or hotels and
either drove her back to the station or put her in a cab back to the tippelzone.135
Field Research Report, March 23, 2006. On file with authors.
Ibid.
* All names have been changed for safety.
135
“Jane”, Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, January 25, 2006.
133
134
56
Shared Hope International
The table below lists the recognized tippelzones in the Netherlands as of July 2006.
City
Alkmaar
Amsterdam
Arnhem
Area/Street
n/a
Theemsweg
Industrial area Kleefsewaard, (side street Westervoordsedijk)
Den Haag
Lulofstraat (Hollands Spoor)
Deventer
n/a
Eindhoven
n/a
Groningen
Bornholmstraat
Haarlem
n/a
Heerlen
Old zone: Sittarderweg; New Zone: Industrial area of Beitel Imstenradenweg
Leeuwarden
n/a
Nijmegen
Stieltjesstraat (at the Hezepoort)
Rotterdam
n/a
Utrecht
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Europalaan
Source: http://www.ignatzmice.com
Prices
As evidenced by the representative list below of a range of commercial sex market venues, large
amounts of money are changing hands in these markets. Entrance fees, enormously inflated drink
prices, and fees for sexual services are charged. The money drives the primary legal market and
encourages the growth of the secondary illegal markets as the margin of profit increases with the
exploitation of trafficked victims and the nonpayment of taxes.
57
The Netherlands
58
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Overview of Price Ranges in Amsterdam
Business Name
Sex Industry Type Prices (in Euros)
Additional Comments
25
Also offers escorts and massage
(women, men, & couples welcome).
Amstel Exclusive
Sex Club
Amsterdam Privé
Private House
Asmara
Massage
100-170
Chiang Moi (Thai)
Massage
< 100
Club Elegance
Sex Club
250-400
Coby Privehuls
Private House
Golden Key
Sex Club
250-400
Jan Bik
Sex Club
< 100
Love Club 21 (Thai)
Massage
100-170
Mayfair
Sex Club
250-400
Mistress Chelsea
(studio)
S&M
100-170
Mistress Madieonne
S&M
250-400
Mistress Winnifred/
Studio Double You
S&M
250-400
Mllou
Massage
< 100
Non Stop
Sex Club
250-400
Park 118
Private House
Pattayo Club (Asian)
Sex Club
100-170
Princess
Sex Club
250-400
Rio’s Men’s Club
Sex Club
100-170
Romantisch Privé
Private House
100-170
Schiphol Love Club
Sex Club
< 100
Sneeuwwitje
Sex Club
100-170
Societe Anonyme
Sex Club
250-400
Also offers escorts, striptease, and
massage.
Vienna
Massage
100-170
Also offers escorts and pick-up service.
Yab Yum
Sex Club
> 400
Sabailond (Thai)
Massage
<100
Salon Bali (Indonesian) Massage
<100
Salon Claude (Thai)
<100
Massage
170-250
Fee (in Euros)
< 100
Also offers escorts.
75
Entrance fee includes drinks.
< 100
70
70
Offers a limousine service.
Also offers escorts and a limousine.
< 100
Pick-up service available. Also offers
escorts and a limousine.
50
70
Amateur Night every Thursday. Erotic
café Fridays. (Thurs & Fri women, men,
and couples welcome, single men pay
€35.)
Pick-up service available
Shared Hope International
Utrecht
As noted, the red light districts have been established in
Shared Hope International
cities throughout the Netherlands. In Utrecht, a town not
far from Amsterdam, the red light district is located on
Kalverstraat. It is a single street with windows exhibiting
women for sale in a residential shopping area. The area
is pleasant and upscale with children playing games in
the red light zone and pedestrians and cyclists using the
road as a short cut. The women working in these twenty
windows were observed to be non-Dutch white nationals
Shared Hope International
Zandpad
Booth
from Suriname, Antilles, Aruba, and Curaçao.136
Zan
d p a dRegistration
Re g istratio
n Bo ot h
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
S
Zan d p a d B ar g
Eur o p a l a a n
A variation on the classic red light district can be found in Utrecht where the Zandpad floats on a
Shared Hope International
canal on the edge of town. In classic Dutch fashion, this
designated legal red light district is a tidy, well-organized
Zan d p a d Re g istratio n Bo ot h
Zan d p a d B ar g es a n d B uyers in Utrech t
and regulated area. Moored to the bank
of the canal are
Zandpad
Europalaan
Eur barges
o p a l a a ncontaining one hundred and fifty rooms
thirty
Zandpad
Europa
where availability is advertised by a red-lit window. One
Zandpad
Eur
night in January, all of the parking spaces were taken due
Zandpad
to the area’s popularity.137 The going rate for a sex act as of
137
January 2006
was €50-75. Most cars observed displayed
Zandpad
Europalaan
local license plates; all customers observed
were
male.
Zandpad
Europalaan
The women available
for
appeared
toh be mostly
Europalaan
Zandpad
Utrechtin Utrech t
ZanZandpad
d p apurchase
d Re g istratio
n Bo ot
Zan
d p a Barges
d B ar gand
es Buyers
a n d Binuyers
Eastern European.
Zandpad
Eur o p a l a a n
137
The Europalaan is a tippelzone located, as is typical, on a
Zan d p a d Re g side
istratio
n Bo
ot h
Zan dmeters
p a d B ar
g es arunning
n d B uyers
in Utrech t
road
approximately
600
long,
parallel
Eur o p a l a ato
n a main road about four kilometers from the center of
Zandpad
Europalaan
town. Men drive up and down the road negotiating with the
women. Once theZandpad
deal is made,
the men drive the women
Europalaan
Eur o p a l a a nEuropalaan
P ark in g S p ace s for Car Sex E ur o p a l a a n
Zandpad
to the
end of the road
where
it
turns into a designated
up
parking area consisting
of individual spots divided by
Zandpad
Zandpad
Europalaan
137
fences. There are approximately
fourteen parking spaces
137
Ibid.
Zandpad
Europalaan
with a roundabout
in
the
middle.
Sex
acts take place in
Zandpad
Europalaan
Europalaan
parking
spaces
for
car
sex
g S pthe
55
the Ecustomers’
Like
was
Eur o p a l a a n P ark in g S p ac e s for Car Sex
ur o p a l a a n cars.
P ark in
ac eZandpad,
s: Clo s e- the Europalaan
Zandpad
ubusy
p
near midnight on an observed night with a line of cars waiting
to
enter
the
parking
area.
137
Sex acts in this area are considerably cheaper—€20—with
137
Ibid. of the women using hard drugs. Unlike the Zandpad,
many
the Europalaan operates only at55
night and is less regulated
than the Zandpad. Women working in the Europalaan can
obtain on-site medical services, have some coffee and buy
inexpensive condoms from a government-funded services
o p a lLike
a a n Pthe
ark inZandpad,
g S p ac e sbuyers
for Carwere
Sex E ur o p a l a a n P ark in g S p ac e s: Clo s ebus parked at theEur
area.
up
observed to be Dutch males—well dressed, middle-class,
and middle-aged.138137
Ibid.
Europalaan
spaces:
Eur o p a l a a n P arkin g S p ace s for Car Sex
E ur oparking
palaan
P arkclose
in g Sup
p ace s: Clo seup
55
Field Research Report, January 24, 2006. On file with authors.
136
137
138
Ibid.
Ibid.
137
Ibid.
59
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Rotterdam
Some sources indicate that Rotterdam has become an even larger trafficking hub than Utrecht
or Amsterdam. A port city, Rotterdam has better infrastructure for moving trafficked victims to
clandestine locations with less policing than other regions. Reportedly six million containers pass
through the port every year. Despite Rotterdam’s closure of its tippelzone in 2006,139 it is very
difficult for law enforcement to keep up with the rapid trade in commercial sex victims.
The Netherlands has one of the most advanced ports in the world (Rotterdam)
and an excellent network of roads and waterways. Consequently, this
infrastructure not only facilitates legitimate trade, but inevitably, also the illegal
transport of people and goods.140
Several observed clubs raised concerns about trafficking situations in Rotterdam. Mon Cherie,
Café Bodega ‘t Koetshuys, and an unnamed Greek bar, were staffed with women claiming to be
Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Polish appearing to be between the ages of 18 and 24. The
women reported being in Rotterdam for just a few months. Maritime Rouge is a restaurant with
erotic dancing, belly dancing, and karaoke. The women working were Bulgarian, Romanian, and
Dutch. The Dutch women claimed that the Romanian and Bulgarian women obtained work visas
from their home countries entitling them to work in the Netherlands as a result of their recent
accession to the European Union. The observed buyers were middle-aged Dutch men. Rhodos is a
Greek bar that employs women of East European origin. One of the women working at the bar was
observed being retrieved at the end of the night by a van driven by an East European male.141
Marketing
As in most countries, the Internet is the chief means of advertising women available for sexual
services to interested buyers. In the Netherlands, one of the most popular websites is http:www.
hookers.nl. This website is in Dutch with no other languages provided and has a membership of
an estimated 6,000 people. The website has charted most prostitution locations with addresses
and window numbers as a service to its base. As Councilwoman and former prostitute, Karina
Schaapman, points out, the website offers tips to clients such as where to find a cheap prostitute
willing to have sex without a condom.142 What is worse, in her view, is how much www.hookers.
nl charges the women who advertise—roughly €1200 per advertisement.
In addition to advertising male and female sex partners, the Internet is used to promote the
commercial sex markets in the Netherlands as tourist attractions for people of all ages. While some
websites may emphasize the historic quality of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, others advertise
the great variety of women “on display.”
Field Research Report, March 3, 2006. On file with authors. See also “Street Prostitution Ends in Rotterdam,” Expatica News,
September 14, 2005 <http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=25531>. Accessed on November
14, 2006.
140
Van de Bunt and Kleemans, p. 203, 206.
141
Field Research Report, March 10, 2006. On file with authors.
142
“Ladies of Pleasure or Sex Slaves,” Expatica, January 23, 2006.
139
60
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In 2005, Thomas Cook Tours, a well respected tour company based in London, initiated a walking
tour of the Red Light District in Amsterdam open to all ages, even children. The two hour tour
promised to take tourists “deep into the famous red light district accompanied by a reliable and
trustworthy guide, offering a fascinating insight into the oldest profession in the world!”143 The tour
included a stop at the Prostitution Information Center that promotes the legalized prostitution
business. The tour raised a public outcry over the commoditization and exploitation of women.
In particular, many citizens objected strongly to permitting and encouraging minors to participate
in tours through cost incentives.
Adult tickets for the tour cost £12, though parents may be relieved to know
children’s tickets only cost £6. When asked what age range the child ticket covered,
a spokeswoman said the prices apply to those from four to twelve, and under threes,
go free.144
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
A British organization called The Truth About Rape led an email campaign to stop the Red
Light District tour and eliminate the promotion of the Red Light District by Thomas Cook
Tours. It cited the Thomas Cook Tour website language:
Of course, no visit to Amsterdam would be complete without a night-time visit to the
famous Red Light District. One of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city,
the narrow, cobbled streets of this quarter fill with hordes of tourists on weekends and
holidays. All come to gawk at the surreal display of scantily clad women who pose in
the purply-red glow of their black-lit shop windows. Not unlike a bizarre zoo, the Red
Light District is an unmissable experience, as attested by the packs of roving young
men, couples holding hands, giggling groups of women, and busloads of Japanese
tourists toting cameras. Spectacle notwithstanding, real business is done here at a
steady pace, and those seeking a slightly more authentic experience should head for the
area on a weeknight.145
In December 2005, The Truth About Rape added to their website the announcement that
their campaign against Thomas Cook Tours was successful as the company had “updated” their
website as of December 12, 2005, to remove the offensive tour description.146 A current review
of the Thomas Cook website reveals only a single mention of the Red Light District as merely
a tourist attraction with no details—a far departure from the promotion of the tour before the
December 2005 update. Furthermore, the tour itself seemed to be unavailable by Internet—
another change since December 2005. However, other tour operators continue to promote
and host the walking tours of the Red Light District. Their promotional materials clearly state,
however, persons under 18 years of age are not permitted on the tour. How they deal with the
issues of the commoditization and exploitation of prostituted women in the Red Light District
and the secondary unregulated markets is unclear.
“Red light tour condemned as ‘sick’,” The Observer, November 13, 2005
<http://travel.guardian.co.uk/article/2005/nov/13/travelnews.genderissues.observerescapesection>. Accessed on February 5,
2007.
144
Ibid.
145
See <http://www.truthaboutrape.co.uk/thomascook.html> providing link to archived website:
<http://www.thomascook.com/inspiration/city.asp?page=amsterdam>. Accessed on February 5. 2007.
146
Ibid.
143
61
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Recruitment
The Netherlands presents a unique recruitment methodology because commercial sex is legal.
Therefore many women, Dutch nationals and foreign nationals, seek out what the Dutch call “sex
work,” alleged to be lucrative, by answering Internet and newspaper advertisements and learning
of work opportunities through word of mouth. However, the demand generated by the extensive
advertising and promotion of this legal sex tourism market far outpaces the supply of willing,
legal workers. Recruitment of local women tends to occur at a young age and often results in a
grooming process similar to that seen in the United States through the “pimp and ‘ho” culture.
Also, the ease of crossing borders and the rapid expansion of the European Union has made
trafficking of women from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Africa, among other places,
much easier. Deception—recruiting women and children from impoverished countries for work
that is “clean” such as office jobs, catering, housekeeping, and child care—is a frequent tactic used
to lure vulnerable, poor, desperate girls.
Loverboys
A primary method of local recruitment of girls is called the “loverboy” approach.147 The “loverboy”
is typically a young Moroccan or Turk male who befriends, romances, and ultimately recruits Dutch
girls between the ages of 12 and 16 for the sex trade in the Netherlands. Most of the “loverboys”
are second generation Dutch nationals of Moroccan descent and tend to be younger than other
male pimps. Many “loverboys” feel alienated and discriminated against in Dutch society so they
find community in working as recruiters in the sex trade.148 One former “loverboy” talked about
his experience:
Today it’s nearly impossible as a Moroccan to find a job in Dutch society. Economically
it’s going bad. There are no jobs, let alone for Moroccans. We have a bad name and
it works against us. Obviously it has a reason, but it is all exaggerated. You never
hear something positive about us, that’s why we feel excluded… I haven’t seen
other loverboys show regret either. Most I knew personally. They were all in their
twenties, some were even minors. Among them were many Moroccans, Turks but
also Dutch guys. Some had more than one girl…I belong to the second generation
of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands. I am not a real Moroccan anymore,
but I am not Dutch either. I am struggling with my identity and I feel powerless.149
Vulnerable Dutch teenage girls who have low self-esteem and come from broken family homes are
prey for the “loverboys.” The “loverboy” will take time to develop the relationship knowing that
the successful prostitution of the girls will depend upon successful psychological manipulation.
Feigning love and devotion, they manipulate their victims and they often will use their victims
to recruit other girls later.
Heemskerk-Shep, Toos, Personal interview, January 26, 2006.
Terpstra, Linda, and Anke van Dijke, Maron van San, Loverboys een publieke zaak: tien portretten, Amsterdam, 2005, p.119,
unofficial translation from Dutch: Loverboys, a public matter, posted September 1, 2005
<http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2005/09/story-of-dutch-pimp.html>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
149
Ibid.
147
148
62
They also
this. The
not used,
boyfriend
Shared Hope International
tell us that Moroccan (and Turkish) young men use magical techniques to achieve
girls also call this voodoo. In the world of prostitution the word “loverboy” is
but the young girls being sold cherish it to maintain the fiction that “their”
is real and not an unscrupulous exploiter; he is not a pimp but a loverboy.150
FD was the victim of a “loverboy” scenario about seven years ago. She described
how a Turkish man had befriended her when she was at college at 16 or 17; he
bought her gifts, told her he loved her, and generally made her feel special. After
the “honeymoon” period, the “loverboy” forced her into prostitution by stating she
had to pay him back for all the gifts he had given her. She refused to do this and
was therefore raped and threatened with a pistol against her head. Threats were also
made against her family. Over a seven-month period she was made to work against
her will as a prostitute in Utrecht, in the Zandpad, and in windows in Alkamaar.
FD was locked in a room of a house in Utrecht with other girls. She knew some of
the other girls held there were Polish. FD was not allowed to talk to the other girls
or leave the house. All her food and clothing was purchased by her pimp.
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
FD was expected to make 2000 guilders per day and had to work five days a week.
The windows from which she worked cost 150 guilders to rent for one shift. FD
would usually work from 10:00 or 11:00 at night until 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning.
Therefore the window owners could rent the windows for two shifts a day. FD
described one owner as owning 60 windows. If FD did not meet the targets set by her
pimp she would be beaten. FD described how her pimp would beat her around the
legs so she could wear thigh-high boots to conceal the bruising and still work as a
prostitute. FD stated that some clients who were aware she was working against her
will would give her money and not have sex with her. Some who showed concern
would say they would go to the police for her, but she begged them not to due to her
fear of violent reprisal. However, other clients did not seem to be bothered by the
fact that she was working against her will.
FD’s pimp was then part of an organized crime group which was 25-strong within
Utrecht. FD escaped her imprisonment 6-7 years ago and gave information to the
police, however nobody was prosecuted.151
Bovenkerk, Frank, and Marion van San, Miranda Boone, Tim Boekhout van Solinge, Dirk J. Korf, “Loverboys’ or modern
pimphood in Amsterdam,” (Willem Pompe Instituut voor Strafrechtwetenschappen [Willem Pompe Institute for criminal sciences]:
Utrecht), December 2004, quote from appendix 1. Original in Dutch available at
<http://www.eenveiligamsterdam.nl/downloads/beleidsdoc/Onderzoeksrapport%20Loverboys%20in%20Amsterdam.pdf>.
Unofficial translation posted February 15, 2006 at <http://fleshtrade.blogspot.com/2006/02/loverboys-and-modern-pimps.html>.
Accessed on April 9, 2007.
151
Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, May 6, 2006.
150
63
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
A Dutch counselor of sex addicted men in Amsterdam profiled the “loverboy” as follows:
the “loverboy” usually has an older, trusted mentor who has trafficked victims and can share
his knowledge; this mentor is likely to be within the family network for trust and investment
reasons. He explains further that because these girls are usually minors, false documents are
created; however, the brothel owners often do not ask for identification and in many cases, the
brothel owners are tipped off prior to a police raid allowing them time to remove any minor
being prostituted from the premises. Minors are often brought out to work during the hours when
police are not on duty—12:00 am – 6:00 am.152 As with pimps in every other location researched,
facilitators are willing to risk recruiting and managing under-aged girls as the demand for them
generates the greatest profit.
A government commissioned report on the “loverboy” phenomenon concluded that there wasn’t
a “loverboy” problem, but rather a “modern pimp” problem. The researchers stated:
“Do we as researchers have a certain impression about the size of this [loverboy]
phenomenon?... Controlled observations followed using a social worker and a
police officer who knew the men and women involved like nobody else in their
‘natural environment’ of prostitution. Their estimates were very identical. During
weekday evenings some twenty [Dutch loverboys’] girls work on de Wallen and
in the weekend this number is more than double: fifty. Calculated over one year
this must be much more because the speed at which these girls are transferred is
big. Then we were shown a photo book by de Wallen-team of the police and we
became aware of 76 men who had been observed during the last half year and of
whom it is certain that they have a very violent past. Not all those pimps follow
the method of loverboys, but when we keep in mind that some of them don’t show
themselves in the neighbourhood, when we know that they also operate in other
branches of prostitution elsewhere in the city and when we presume that in the
foreign segment there are pimps and human traffickers around who use romantic
tricks, then we’ll risk at least a minimum estimate of a hundred pimps including
their assistants, calculated over one whole year. The number of women who they
have a relationship with is at least the same number, but this number should be
larger because there are pimps who exploit multiple women simultaneously. That’s
our rough estimate for now.” 153 (emphasis added)
The apparent growth in recruitment of local victims for the local commercial sex markets is
evidenced in the Netherlands as in the other four countries researched. In all locations, the
growth in demand resulting from the availability and promotion of sex tourism appears to be
resulting in the increased pull of local girls into the sex markets by local pimps. The “loverboy”
phenomenon in the Netherlands is evidence of this trend just as the pimp enterprise in the U.S.
exploits the local girls in the commercial sex markets throughout the U.S.
Heemskerk- Shep, Willem, Counselor for a ministry to men with sexual addictions in Amsterdam and Co-Director of Scarlet
Cord (Scharlaaken Kord) Amsterdam, Personal interview, September 23, 2005.
153
Bovenkerk, et al, “Loverboys’ or modern pimphood in Amsterdam,” quote from appendix 1.
152
64
Shared Hope International
Deception
A Russian woman from the Urals answered an advertisement in the press for
Russian girls to travel to Germany to work as nannies. The organization would
pay the cost of procuring travel documents and her only obligation was to sign
a contract stating that she had been provided with a visa and work permit by
the company. She traveled to Germany and was met by a Russian facilitator who
forced her into prostitution in Germany for three months. Then she was taken to
Amsterdam and sold to an Albanian national who made her work in the tippelzone
as a prostitute.154
Deception is a common method of recruitment. Many women and girls from foreign countries
are desperate for an opportunity to work and support their families. In some cases, traffickers will
introduce themselves to the victim’s family and arrange an engagement, a common practice in
Albania.155 Often the traffickers reside outside Albania (primarily in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands
and England) and promise the family a better life for their daughter abroad. In many cases, the
victim is not aware of the trafficker’s intention to prostitute her and only learns of this after she
has arrived in the Netherlands or elsewhere.
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
Victims
The legislation that was meant to curb unregulated prostitution and trafficking in
human beings (THB) by lifting the ban on brothels made matters worse. In 2006, the
Netherlands remains a key destination country for women trafficked from Eastern
Europe, the Balkans, and West Africa. The latest data from the Stiftung Tegen
Vrouwenhandel (STV) Foundation against Trafficking in Women indicates that
in 2003 there were 257 registered victims of human trafficking, the overwhelming
majority of whom were from Bulgaria, Romania and the Netherlands. Our research
revealed large numbers of trafficking victims from Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra
Leone as well.156
— Immigration Attorney, Amsterdam, April 2006.
Girls from impoverished countries where the borders are porous enter the Netherlands in hopes
of a better life and improved wages. Albanian girls are trafficked frequently to the Netherlands by
criminal networks via Italy. African women from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria are recruited
and trafficked to the Netherlands by Nigerian criminals.157 After Italy, the Netherlands and
Belgium have the largest markets of Nigerian prostitution.158
Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, July 6, 2006.
Field Research Report, July 6, 2006. On file with authors.
156
Koopson, Annett, immigration attorney in Amsterdam, Personal interview, April 28, 2006. Koopson represents victims of
trafficking who are applying for residence through the B-9 Procedure.
157
Ibid. See also Madslien, Jorn, “Sex Trade’s Reliance on Forced Labour,” BBC News, May 12, 2005
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4532617.stm>. Accessed on February 5, 2007.
158
Carling, Jorgen, Migration, Human Smuggling and Trafficking from Nigeria to Europe (Oslo: Prio for IOM, 2006).
154
155
65
The Netherlands
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Shared Hope International
I cannot imagine that these very young Eastern European women knew the
circumstances they would have to work in. The stories of their lives are often
abominable. They have to pay their pimp € 500 per week. He makes them believe
that he has to pay for the STI check-ups in the Drop-in centre. We told the women
this is a lie because all check-ups are free of charge. Still, they don’t dare to stand up
to the pimp because they are very frightened. I think they are part of a large network
of human trafficking.159
— Thérèse van der Helm, Intermediary for Prostitutes
Health Service Amsterdam
Some Albanian females have been reported as trafficked into the Netherlands through a large
network of Albanian organized crime. Family “Blood Feuds” appear to be long held cultural
traditions in Albania contributing to the problem of Albanian girls being trafficked. In this
vengeance model, insults and slights can lead to the calling of a blood feud which is settled only
after the last surviving male member of a family has been killed. The result is the self-imprisonment
of many Albanian men and boys who cannot leave their residences out of a fear of death, leaving
the girls in the family vulnerable and responsible for providing for the family. Kanun law dictates
that a man cannot be killed while he is inside his own house, only while he is outside, in a public
space. Female members of families engaged in blood feuds are now fodder for traffickers looking
for girls to traffic.160
My name is Maria* and I’m 26-years-old. In 1996 my father took revenge for the
murder of his brother [related to a kanun blood feud]. And after that our family
was isolated. There were five kids—three girls and two boys. My mother was
sick. I was the oldest daughter and sixteen at that time. We were in a desperate
economic situation and very poor. No one worked and we were afraid to leave
our house [because of the blood feud]. Although under the kanun the women are
allowed to leave the house, we were still afraid. One of our more frequent visitors
at that time was a man called Nimi. Nimi was part of the kanun negotiation group
that was supposed to make peace for families in a blood feud. He was visiting our
house on a regular basis for five months—he was the only person visiting us at that
time. My mother talked to me and said that Nimi had found me a good person
to get engaged to. So I agreed to get engaged, because of my family’s situation. In
July 1996, I left with my fiancé and he told me we were going to Italy...I ended
up staying in Rotterdam for almost a year. I worked [as a prostitute] with the
clients of a hotel. The hotel was called Hotel Roma. Then we went back to Rome
because we couldn’t get my documents arranged to stay in the Netherlands. The
Dutch police were asking for more and more bribes, so we decided to return to
Rome...Although I worked for almost three years, I came back with no money,
nothing.161
van der Helm, Thérèse, “Intermediary project for prostitutes annual report 2002 – 2004” (Government Health Service:
Amsterdam, NE, August 2005) p. 6.
160
Marian Smartak, Government Official and Negotiator for blood feuds, Shkodra, Albania, Personal interview, July 6, 2006.
* All names have been changed for safety.
161
“Maria”, Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, July 6, 2006.
159
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Even while trafficking of women into the Netherlands from foreign countries continues, increased
awareness and enforcement activity by immigration officials and government is leading to greater
focus by traffickers on recruiting local girls that are “safer” and easier to procure than foreign
girls. “Local” in the Netherlands, however, includes nationals from all European Union member
countries able to obtain work permits even for the legal “job” of prostitution in the Netherlands.
Therefore, there has been a decrease in women trafficked from Africa and other non-E.U. countries,
and an increase in trafficking victims originating from the newly-accessed countries of Bulgaria
and Romania, especially.162
Dutch girls continue to enter the commercial sex market, mostly through coercion and deception
from “loverboy” boyfriends or as a result of the powerful economic driver, poverty.
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Kim, 36, has been in prostitution for 12 years, “I needed to make quick money and
it seemed an easy option. Problem is, once you’ve been a hooker, it brands you for
life. I don’t care what the law is or how well the police treat you, everyone knows
you’re a whore.163
Buyers
We discovered a dispatch system that efficiently disbursed the inventory—a system
that allowed the client to pay and receive delivery of the product without having
to see anyone except the girl brought to his room or home and a system that made
shopping easy.
— Field Observation, Amsterdam, January 2006
The modern day trend to tie morality to legal norms means that in countries where commercial
sex is legal it is de-stigmatized for those who purchase it. This de-stigmatization in the Netherlands
extends to the men purchasing commercial sex, but not to the women being prostituted. However,
it was observed that the buyers of commercial sex in one town were mostly from other towns
within driving distance but out of eyesight of neighbors and family, calling into question the actual
level of acceptability in Dutch society. The legalization undoubtedly has freed many men from
the stigma of buying commercial sexual services, thereby increasing the demand for commercial
sex while the number of women voluntarily entering the officially de-stigmatized commercial sex
market has not increased. While men are buying sex, they fail to see the mechanics of the delivery
of the women providing the sex—often forced, defrauded or coerced and violently managed by a
pimp. This does not reflect the establishment of legal prostitution envisioned by legislators and
society in the Netherlands.
A counselor described three general types of buyers who visit the red light districts based on his work
in this area.164 Most are “situational buyers”—buyers that are usually married (9 out of 10), in their late
30’s to early 40’s, have children, hold a good job, and have an average to high I.Q. They have difficulty
in maintaining relationships and focus heavily on their work. Many times they do not intend to
The Netherlands, Fourth Report of the Dutch National Rapporteur, Trafficking in Human Beings: Supplementary Figures, (Den
Haag: Bureau NRM, 2005), p.3-4.
163
Bindel, Julie, “Streets Apart,” The Guardian, UK, May 15, 2004
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1215900,00.html>. Accessed on February 5, 2007.
164
Heemskerk- Shep, Willem, Personal interview, September 23, 2005. Based on his experience as a sex-addict counselor, but
these apply beyond this group.
162
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endanger their current relationship with a wife or girlfriend, but are unable to stop the relationship
with prostitution. In their mind they usually separate the two worlds so that there is not a conflict
of interest. The three types of buyers described were:
• Buyer 1: An individual who has suffered from the lack of emotional fulfillment by a
parent or guardian. He/she has emotional blocks and seeks out raw fulfillment in order to
compensate. They tend to become sexually addicted more readily and wrestle with other
sexual issues.
• Buyer 2: An individual who more or less “happens” upon a sex tourist site. They may
be vacationing with family or on business. Their visit to a brothel is not “intentional.”
Tourist companies in Amsterdam, some of which offer walking tours of the red light
district after dark to showcase the legal prostitution system, and those making package
deals which include exposure to the red light district as part of the sight-seeing, encourage
this “situational” offender.
• Buyer 3: An individual who is influenced by his/her culture, such as that of the Moroccan
and Turkish Muslims, some of whom consider women to be property. This is the most
challenging buyer to reach as the cultural acceptability of their actions may free their
conscience; these buyers are frequently also the leaders in facilitating the trafficking trade
in Amsterdam.
Facilitators
At the first of each evening she was given a mobile phone. She was instructed by
the man who owned her to do what the person on the phone told her to do. While
there were a couple of local hotels where she was directed, usually she was told to
go to a specific place where a taxi was waiting for her and to go with the driver. The
destination was usually a hotel and often a private home. While clients normally
gave her the money and she then turned it over to her owner, when she was taken
to a hotel by these taxis she was not paid by the buyer. She said the first time this
happened she was terrified knowing the consequences of holding out on her owner,
but the client insisted he had already paid. She said to her relief that her boss did
not ask for the money on her return. We found out later in our research that the
clients put their purchase on their credit card.165
Facilitation of sex trafficking to provide the women and children exploited in the sex tourism
markets in the Netherlands is carried out by individuals, institutions, and organized crime groups.
The enormous profits accrued from human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation ensures
the participation in this criminal activity by numerous organized crime groups. Crime groups vary
in their structural hierarchy, complexity, and specialization.
At the most basic level is the institutional facilitator, including hotels, landlords of premises being
rented at exorbitant rates for prostitution venues and sex-related businesses, taxi delivery services,
and tour operators.
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165
SHI Research Report, January 30, 2006 (summarizing conversation with Nigerian sex trafficking survivor). On file with authors.
Shared Hope International
Their participation, wittingly or unwittingly, is not considered wrong because prostitution is legal.
However, it underscores the need to educate the intentional and unintentional facilitators on the
issue of trafficking in order to make them aware that the legal sex industry masks a much larger
exploitative system to which they are contributing. Empowering these institutions by bringing
them into an alliance to combat human trafficking can be an effective tool, as is the case with the
fight against child sex tourism spearheaded by ECPAT International through the development
and promotion of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation
in Travel and Tourism.166
We don’t rule out that entrepreneurs in the prostitution-business really don’t know
that she [victim] works for a pimp. And indeed: some of them stand firm. But
the girls we interview have to chuckle about it. The doorkeeper of the club of
which we spoke— the aforesaid owner—knows very well who is waiting outside.
They assure us that they very easily can get started in all sectors of prostitution,
and that the entrepreneurs know damn well that they work for a pimp.167
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Organized Crime
The Netherlands exhibits high organized crime levels with regard to trafficking in persons.
Compelling, corroborated evidence was found that Turkish and Albanian organized criminal
groups are heavily involved in sex trafficking in the Netherlands. The latest official figures from
the National Rapporteur also confirm this report’s findings and illustrate the extent to which
criminal networks dominate cross-border human trafficking in the Netherlands. Small or solo
criminal operations specializing in discrete aspects of the trafficking markets are also present and
serve the needs of the larger crime groups in addition to their own.168
A new generation of pimps have replaced them [Dutch pimps] and Moroccans,
some Turks and even Antilleans are dominating. The Turks can be found in the
higher echelons and that seems to be related to the human trafficking connection
of Eastern Europe through Istanbul… The pimp hasn’t disappeared; the older
Dutch generation simply has been replaced by immigrants…A released ‘niche’ in
the (informal) economy has been occupied by a new ethnic group. In the same way
Turkish bakers are rising in the multicultural neighbourhoods and Dutch cleaning
women are replaced by cleaning women from South and Eastern Europe and then
from the third world.169
Turkish organized crime is operating in Utrecht. One source revealed that a Turkish-Dutch
criminal who served his time in prison returned home after completing his sentence to find that
a Turkish organized crime group originating from Germany had muscled in on the already present
Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, available at
<http://www.thecode.org>. Under the Code of Conduct, suppliers of tourism services adopting the code commit themselves to
implement the following six criteria:
1.To establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children.
2.To train the personnel in the country of origin and travel destinations.
3.To introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of
children.
4.To provide information to travelers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films, ticket-slips, home pages, etc.
5.To provide information to local “key persons” at the destinations.
6.To report annually.
167
Bovenkerk, et al, “Loverboys’ or modern pimphood in Amsterdam.”
168
Dutch National Rapporteur, p.19.
169
Bovenkerk, et al, “Loverboys’ or modern pimphood in Amsterdam.”
166
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commercial sex market in Utrecht through violence and intimidation. These groups were able to
operate in the Netherlands freely because they are German-born E.U. citizens. Turkish organized
crime groups quickly grasped the great amounts of money to be made in the Netherlands and began
trafficking mostly Eastern European, Turkish and some Dutch girls for purposes of prostitution.
Turkish organized crime groups are violent and there are reports of girls having fingers broken or
cut off. They reportedly are engaged extensively in the sex and drug trades in Utrecht, Alkamaar,
Groningen and Amsterdam.170 It is alleged further that Greek organized crime is loosely associated
with the Turkish groups and provides false documentation for the girls through connections in
Bulgaria. This allows the girls to have Bulgarian papers that permit them to work in the Netherlands
through the E.U. worker policy.
Indeed, field research in Amsterdam revealed the ease with which passports and visas can be
procured on the black market with the aid of corrupt embassy officials. Field researchers were
offered visas and passports of the highest quality; in July 2006 the going rate for a three-month
Schengen visa was €3000-4000, an E.U. passport was €6000-7000, and a U.S. passport cost
$20,000. Embassies reported to employ corrupt officials willing to sell visas for money were the
Italian and Greek embassies in Tirana, Albania.171
A white Dutch victim of a Turkish “loverboy” described how her deceiver was tied
into the Turkish organized crime in Utrecht. This group also prostituted women
in Belgium and Germany. The network is said to be hierarchical whereby men
lower down the order had to pay some of their money earned through criminal
activity to the higher levels of the group. FD stated the group bought vehicles,
weapons and jewelry with the money earned from the sex trade and reinvested
some of the money into cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and hash. FD described
how members of the group would traffic drugs to other E.U. countries such as
Belgium. FD described some instances where she was made to travel to Brussels
with her pimp and other members of the group to deliver cocaine. FD stated she
had seen 10-15 large sports bags full of cocaine which were transported to Brussels.
FD also described seeing the group with large amounts of cash earned from drug
deals, some of which was stashed in unknown locations. FD escaped after several
years but she is still in contact with people from Utrecht and is aware her ex-pimp
and this group are still active. She said the group is now stronger, making more
money and is running far more girls in Utrecht. FD stated she had learned that
50 percent of the women working as prostitutes in Utrecht are now being run by
Turkish organized crime.172
Turkish organized crime is not unique in its recognition of the money to be made in sex trafficking
in the Netherlands. As of July 2006, a joint task force of Albanian, Italian and Europol officials
was investigating a large human trafficking network operating between the Balkans and the
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and Italy. The criminal network coerces, kidnaps or
deceives East European women and girls into the commercial sex markets in Western Europe, and
particularly the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The network is well-organized and allegedly
owns the properties where victims are held, both in the Balkans and in apartments in Europe.173
Turkish-Dutch criminal, Personal interview, May 6, 2006, Field Research Report. On file with authors.
Field Research Report, July 7, 2006.
172
Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, May 6, 2006.
173
Field Research Report, March 23, 2006. On file with authors.
170
171
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Albanian Organized Crime Scenario: Case Study174
Sex trafficking has become a major business for Albanian organized crime since 1999, in the
wake of massive migration and instability. Albanian networks are not limited to trafficking
ethnic Albanians, but also women from Romania, Bosnia, Moldova, Russia, etc. The
traffickers often control the “business” from abroad; Belgium, in particular, seems to be the
seat of several leaders of the trafficking networks. The following are a composite of facts
known about the trafficking networks based in Albania.
Property: Albanian traffickers own a large amount of real estate in Albania, including
several restaurants, bars, and two jet boats allegedly used for transporting victims across the
Adriatic into Italy.
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Travel: Albanian traffickers travel abroad frequently. One allegedly flew with two Albanian
girls and one Italian girl to Berlin for the World Cup in the spring of 2006 for purposes of
trafficking the girls during the event.
Enforcer: Albanian men fluent in Dutch and well acclimated to Dutch life are allegedly in
charge of the victims in Amsterdam.
Documents: In one case, an Italian partner allegedly provides an Albanian trafficker with
authentic Italian passports for the girls he transports into the Netherlands. The passports
are obtained from an accomplice who “rents” passports from young women in small villages
around Italy for up to €2,000 per month. Alternatively, as of July 2005, the price for a blackmarket, three-month Schengen visa averaged €3,000-€4,000; a one-month Schengen visa
can be acquired for €2,000-€2,500. Acquisition of the visas is carried out by a network of
middlemen operating throughout the Balkans, including the Albanian capital of Tirana and
the port city of Durres. Often these facilitators pay corrupt officials within the embassies of
the destination countries in Albania.
Operation: Once in the Netherlands, the enforcer pimps the women to bars, peep shows,
windows, and escort services. One example of operations is as follows: an escort services will
contact a pimp directly and ask for a girl to be sent to a specific location at a specific time.
The pimp then contacts the trafficker or manager to make the arrangements. He retrieves the
girl(s) from the trafficker or manager and either transports them himself to the designated
location or utilizes prepaid, facilitating taxis. The pimps rely on the same taxi drivers who
know the operations and where the girls are kept. Escort service prices vary depending on
the girl’s status: legal or illegal. Legal girls earn roughly €500 per night whereas illegal girls
can earn up to €1,000. “Friends” get reduced prices of €75 per hour.
Facilitation and Legalization: A female owner of a club in Amsterdam works with an
Albanian recruiter to legalize trafficked victims. She finds apartments, registers the girls
with local labor offices, acquires “personal banking codes” for each girl, and obtains Dutch
“letters of intention” for the girls’ residency permit applications. Once these steps have been
completed, the girl receives a photocopy of an E.U. passport and becomes a legal resident of
the Netherlands.
174
Field Research Report, March 23, 2006. On file with authors.
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By processing all of the information collected on the network described above and including
other information from the Netherlands collected by field researchers, a special software program
called i2 Analyst revealed networks. This software is used by law enforcement and researchers
worldwide to make connections within large quantities of seemingly unrelated data. The chart
below demonstrates the network and its derivative connections contributing to the trafficking of
girls into the Netherlands for commercial sexual exploitation in the sex markets.
Corruption at the official levels is a common thread in all countries examined in this report,
allowing the trafficking of victims to continue. Often while fighting corruption at home, countries
must manage the consequences of corruption in other countries. The ability to purchase passports—
fraudulent or real with fake identification—is a critical problem. In relation to the E.U., it is the
difference between a life of poverty in many of the neighboring non-member countries, or a
chance at work and education.
Then we were agreed and we are going together. I don’t have a passport, because I
didn’t need one, then he offers to get me a passport.... He says it’s your picture, but
it’s not your name. Why? He says ‘oh it’s difficult, it takes time’. I get the passport;
it’s got my picture but the name of another person. And how they do that in …?
These poor people from the villages they never need a passport so their identities
are stolen. So it means that I’m the person on the computer—the poor families will
never have money to travel anywhere. Okay, so I go but it is weird, so we go to the
customs, but I don’t mind. I am going to work.175
— Survivor of Sex Trafficking, April 2006
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175
“Nadea,” Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, April 23, 2006.
Shared Hope International
Culture of Tolerance
The culture of tolerance in the Netherlands is rooted in its history, ethnicity, religious practices,
political system, and economics. It allows the commercial sex markets to exist. In the Netherlands,
these marketplaces are hidden behind a thin veneer of legitimacy perpetuated by the culture of
tolerance.
Holland was the first hegemonic power in the capitalist world economy and a key member of
the free-trade Hanseatic League in the 1600s.176 The Dutch were admired for their important
navigational, manufacturing and financial innovations and hailed for their economic successes,
especially in the area of international trade. In addition to being a city known for its intellectual and
artistic contributions, Amsterdam became an exclusive market for Europe’s sugar, spices, tobacco,
coffee and tea crops in its colonies in the Indies and Caribbean.177 Less well known, however, is
the development and dependence on a cruel slave trade forcing inhabitants of African, Asian,
and Caribbean countries to work the fields and harvest the crops that supported and indeed gave
rise to Amsterdam’s enviable economic status.
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The Dutch discussion of its role in the European slave trade has been conspicuous in its silence
until quite recently. Not only did the abolition of slavery come late to Holland vis-à-vis other
European countries (1863), but it also took several decades for the Dutch to confront its role in
the development of the slave trade.178 This can be explained in part by the fact that Dutch slave
owners organized and operated a vast network of colonies overseas and not its home soil. Dutch
citizens have little understanding of their role in the creation and perpetuation of slavery because
it is not conveyed in a formal way.179
Judging by reports in the Dutch media, the national public discussion is well underway. Many
former slaves in the Netherlands are angry about the past and are demanding apologies and
monetary compensation. Upon unveiling a national monument to the victims of slavery in July
2002, Queen Beatrix was approached by the National Committee on Slavery to undertake a
collective form of compensation, including contributions to social and economic development of
its Caribbean dependencies and Suriname and a personal apology by the Queen to the families of
slaves in the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname.180 During the commemoration of the abolition of
slavery in July 2005, the community of former slaves protested the attendance of the Minister of
Immigration and Integration, Rita Verdonk, calling her policies discriminatory and racist.181 While
83 percent of the country is white, the remaining 17 percent are Turkish, Antillean, Surinamese,
Moroccan, and Indonesian—reflecting several Dutch colonies.182 This breakdown is also reflected
in many women for sale in the commercial sex markets throughout the Netherlands.
Wallerstein, Emmanuel, cited in Gert Oostindie, ed. Fifty Years Later: Antislavery, Capitalism, and Modernity in the Dutch Orbit,
(Amsterdam: Koninklijk Instituut, 1995), p.3.
177
Rosecrance, Richard, The Rise of the Trading State: Commerce and Conquest in the Modern World (New York: Basic Books,
1996), p.73.
178
According to the historian Seymour Drescher, the 1814 abolition of slavery in Holland was “an imposition by Britain rather than
the outcome of a national debate.” See Drescher, Seymour, cited in Oostindie, p.4.
179
van Boxtel, Roger, Minister for Urban Policy and the Integration of Ethnic Minorities in the Netherlands, referred to the absence
of information on the Dutch slave trade in his educational experience. According to him, “…When I was young I learned in high
school about the Dutch Empire, its colonies like the Dutch Indies, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba. I also learned about
Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and other famous Dutchmen. But no more than five lines were written down in my history book about
the Dutch slave trade. I never heard of Fort Elmina or the Castle of Good Hope. Little did we hear about the exploitation of black
people on the plantations…. See van Boxtel’s speech at the World Conference against Racism, Durban, September 2, 2001
<http://www.un.org/WCAR/statements/netherE.htm>.
180
Coughlan, Geraldine, “Dutch Queen unveils slavery memorial,” BBC News, July 1, 2002
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/Europe/2079200.stm>. Accessed on November 4, 2006.
181
“Minister of Immigration not welcome at commemoration of abolishment of slavery,” June 28, 2005
<http://www.simplyamsterdam.nl/news>. Accessed on November 4, 2006.
182
“The Netherlands,” CIA Factbook, October 4, 2005 <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/nl.html>. Accessed on
November 4, 2006.
176
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Many observers refer to the high degree of consensus and practice of “pragmatic tolerance” (in
Dutch, Gedogen) that permeates Dutch society. The preference for tolerance and general distaste
for taking moral stands contributed to the decision to lift the ban on brothels in 2000. According
to an official source, “The aim of lifting the general ban on brothels was, from a pragmatic point of
view, to achieve better control and regulation of the prostitution sector without moralizing.”183
The Netherlands has not always tolerated prostitution. Prostitution was regulated from the
late 1300s until 1578 at which time licensed brothels were closed due to the conflict between
Protestant rebels and Spanish Catholics. Recent historical research has revealed that between
1650 and 1750 major law enforcement efforts were expended on policing prostitution crimes,
from forcing the closure of brothels, to rescuing women and girls, to arresting buyers.184 With the
ending of the Republic in 1795 and French occupation, society grew more permissive as did the
attitudes towards prostitution. However, luring or abducting minors for sexual purposes remained
a crime.185
In the late 1800s a protest movement against prostitution gained ground among Protestants,
feminists, and socialists, under the banner of “chastity for men, freedom for women.”186 The
abolitionists were successful in shutting down licensed brothels in many Dutch cities. In Amsterdam,
brothels were outlawed in 1897. By 1911 brothels were still illegal but being a prostitute or using
the services thereof was not a criminal offense.
In the 1980s discussions about regulating prostitution indicated that a change in policy would
follow and the penal code would be amended to permit the organization of prostitution. However,
with the arrival of a new Minister of Justice in 1990 who was morally opposed to prostitution, legal
reform languished.187 While legislation later was crafted to give local municipalities the option
to license brothels (with the exception of minors and non-E.U. residents) the Dutch parliament
did not pass it. The main argument against the decentralization of brothel licensing was that
non-E.U. women would be discriminated against and the reform would lead to an even more
uncontrollable illegal sex trafficking market.188
In 1997 the government submitted an amendment to formally legalize prostitution to the Lower
House of Parliament that was accepted by the Upper House in 1999. Upon consultation with the
Association of Netherlands Municipalities, the new Minister of Justice permitted the legislation
to enter force October 1, 2000. The “General Ban on Brothels” (Bordeelverbod) was lifted. This
meant, in fact, only that the commercial organization of voluntary adult prostitution was removed
from criminal legislation. All other forms of prostitution remained a criminal offense, including
forced, coerced or child prostitution.
Regulation and control of legal prostitution is now the responsibility of the 467 municipalities
in the Netherlands, many of which have yet to complete the licensing process, let alone inspect
Dutch National Rapporteur, p.4. For a comparison of the moral context of Dutch and American law, see James Kennedy, “The
Moral State: How Much Do the Americans and Dutch Differ?” cited in Hans Krabbendam, et al., Regulating Morality: A Comparison
of the Role of the State in Mastering the Mores in the Netherlands and the United States (Antwerp: I.M Meijers Instituut, 2000), p.
9-22.
183
Van de Pol, p.100.
184
Ibid.
185
Ibid., p.102.
186
Ibid.
187
Ine Vanwesenbeeck, Prostitutes Well-Being and Risk (Amsterdam: VU Uitgeverij ,1994), p.4.
188
Ibid, p.5.
183
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facilities in their localities.189 Moreover, police are preoccupied with inspecting regulated brothels
and lack the capacity to monitor the unregulated sector where the majority of the industry exists.
In the most recent report by the National Rapporteur for Trafficking in Women, criticism was
leveled at law enforcement authorities and city administrations for failing to follow through on
inspections of sex establishments and to make trafficking in persons a high priority.190
An independent study of the impact of the brothel ban lift by the nongovernmental organization
Platform of Organizations Monitoring Ex-Prostitutes (POOP) was released in October 2003.
Upon analyzing survey results of 72 prostitute respondents, the platform found that more than
half of the prostitutes knew nothing about the legislation, many saw little to no change for the
better, and most had never registered with the authorities. In fact, only three percent viewed the
legalization of prostitution in a positive way.191
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Almost five years after the lifting of the brothel ban, we have to acknowledge that the
aims of the law have not been reached. Lately, we’ve received more and more signals
that abuse still continues. The police admit we are in the midst of modern slavery.192
— Mayor Job Cohen, Amsterdam, January 2006
The notorious Red Light District of Amsterdam, filled with windows advertising women for sale,
is showing signs of disrepair. Even before the recent decision to shut down one hundred windows,
many had been vacated and prostituted girls were moved to unlicensed saunas, massage parlors,
and escort services—unregulated sectors where the money is good and tax-free. A recent report
by the Dutch prostitute advocacy group, De Rode Draad, reveals the number of registered brothels
has decreased “dramatically” since they were legalized six years ago as the competition with illegal
commercial sex venues is too keen.193 Policymakers in the Netherlands admit that by lifting the
ban, fewer officers are available to police the unregulated sectors, windows, and regions where most
of the abuse, exploitation, and crime occur as they are at maximum capacity with monitoring the
legal brothels.194 This has led to a growth in the secondary commercial sex markets outside of the
scope of regulations and monitoring.
Amsterdam Councilor Roel van Duijn of the Green Left Party believes that over ten thousand
prostitutes work in Amsterdam, while only about two thousand are employed legally. The rest
of them are involved in the illegal market that is “rife with sex slavery” in the Councilor’s view.
According to van Duijn, “There is a tendency in the Netherlands to believe that prostitution is a
normal economic activity which should be made legal. I don’t agree. In practice, prostitution has
always been an illegal area, one which often attracts women from problem backgrounds. It is a
Daalder, pp. 2-3.
Dutch National Rapporteur, p.35.
191
Platform of Organizations Monitoring Ex-Prostitutes (POOP), “Report from NGOs on the Shadowy Side of the Legalization of
Abortion: Response to the Evaluation on the Legalization of Abortion by the Scientific Examination and Documentation Center
(WODC) 2002”, October 2003.
192
“Canada Considers Further Legalizing Prostitution While Amsterdam Mayor Admits Legalization’s Failure,” LifeSiteNews.com,
October 5, 2005, citing article in NRC Handelsbad (in Dutch), October 5, 2005
<http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/oct/05100508.html>. Accessed on February 5, 2007.
193
Strijbosch, Margreet, “Legalized Prostitution: A Dying Trade,” Radio Netherlands, October 31, 2006
194
Platform of Organizations Monitoring Ex-Prostitutes (POOP), “Report from NGOs on the Shadowy Side of the Legalization of
Abortion: Response to the Evaluation on the Legalization of Abortion by the Scientific Examination and Documentation Center
(WODC) 2002”, October 2003.
189
190
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fact too that women who have worked as prostitutes often continue to suffer from their traumatic
experiences.”195
Legislation on controversial matters such as prostitution is the province of the Dutch parliament.
Many city administrations have taken on the issue as well and the closure of street prostitution
appears to be a general trend. Though the current mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, fought against
the closure of the tippelzones, in 2003 the Amsterdam Council decided to close the zone due to
problems with illegal prostitution, human trafficking and organized crime, including gun and
drug related activities. Some members of the Council opposed to the closure believed that street
prostitutes would just find another outlet behind the Central Train Station. Mayor Cohen called
this a “devil’s dilemma” as it appeared impossible to create a safe and controllable zone for women
that was not open to abuse by organized crime. He admitted that the legalization of prostitution
failed in curbing abuse.
In an embarrassing turn of events, Cohen’s elected alderman in charge of education and social
affairs, Rob Oudkerk, was forced to resign for having told a journalist about his use of prostitutes
in Amsterdam’s tippelzone at the same time the Council was considering closing the tippelzone
in recognition of the trafficking, drug abuse and exploitation of the women prostituted there.196
Yet opinion polls revealed that 73 percent of the citizens believe that public officials should not
be stigmatized for using prostitutes; indeed, 63 percent viewed Oudkerk’s indiscretions a private
matter; not grounds for dismissal.197
In early 2006 an Amsterdam city government was elected into office. Reliable sources contend
that the Green/Left party, which forms part of the coalition with the socialists, may call for the
reopening of the tippelzone. In all likelihood, this will be resisted because Councilwoman Karina
Schaapman, an ex-prostitute, is calling for more policing and monitoring of escort services, pimps,
drugs, and trafficked women. Moreover, Dutch Immigration Minister since May 2003 and former
prison governor, Rita Verdonk, is known to be a hardliner on asylum-seekers in the Netherlands
and has been highly criticized for her policy of holding children of illegal immigrants in detention
centers and for the return of refugees to countries such as Iraq, Iran and the Democratic Republic
of Congo without an agreement on security conditions in those countries. In 2004, she approved
the return of 26,000 failed asylum seekers to their countries of origin, even though some had been
residents in the Netherlands for more than 10 years.198
Rotterdam’s mayor, Ivo Opstelten, is conservative and intolerant of street prostitution. Nicknamed
“Guiliani on the (river) Maas,” Opstelten is determined to clean the streets of prostitutes and drug
addicts. The Rotterdam city council shut down numerous “coffee shops” known to sell soft drugs
and the executive city council closed Rotterdam’s tippelzone in March, 2006. Confidential sources
reveal that the Erasmusburg area of Rotterdam is known as the “erotic triangle” where Pleinweg,
Dordtselaan and the river converge. The women with whom our researchers spoke, claimed to be
Lithuanian citizens—victims of human trafficking crimes.199
Strijbosch, p. 2.
“How Oudkerk’s Career Was Destroyed by Sex,” Expatica, January 20, 2004
<http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=3794>. Accessed on November 4, 2006.
197
Ibid.
198
“Google blocks UNICEF link criticising Dutch immigration minister,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur, April 12, 2006.
<http://tech.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1154727.php/Google_blocks_Unicef_link_criticising_Dutch_immigration_
minister>; “Dutch Minister Wants E.U. Countries to Keep Own Immigration Policies,” EUbusiness, February 20, 2006
<http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/060220172559.gnt6ah1f>. Accessed on November 4, 2006.
199
Field Research Report, February 15, 2006. On file with authors.
195
196
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With recent tippelzone closures in three major cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Arnhem, and
The Hague, prostitution has flourished in Utrecht where the local officials have not taken such
measures. According to Mark Bosman, policy adviser with the Department of Public Order and
Safety’s section dealing with prostitution matters in Utrecht, two or three families own the boats
and the windows in the Zandpad areas and the same families also own cafés, bars, and casinos.200
Though Bosman hoped the legalization of prostitution in 2000 would “kill the illegal side of
[prostitution]” he admitted that his hopes were in vain. Much of the recruitment and movement
of women are carried out by mobile phones, thereby doing away with any need to register and
further undermining the 2000 law that legalized brothels. This is all exacerbated by the violent
presence of organized crime gaining hold in many places, including Utrecht.
CONCLUSIONS
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DEMAND.
Despite intentions to protect women in the commercial sex market, the legalization of prostitution
in the Netherlands has not accomplished these goals. Gangs, drugs, organized crime and sex
trafficking still exist. The commercial sex market cannot be contained within legal boundaries;
it is a strong and resilient market system responding to consumer demand encouraged through
strategic marketing of the red light districts.
The assumption was that in a healthy and well regulated business new criminality like
loverboys wouldn’t get a chance. Only since November we have the conviction that
we understand what happens in the world of modern pimphood and how this world is
working. It has become clear to us that the prostitution business is not that healthy at
all. A business that has been working underground for centuries doesn’t seem to have
been tidied up just like that, a couple of years after the ban on brothels has been lifted.201
Efforts in the Netherlands to educate the public and potential victims will go a long way in curbing
the trafficking of human beings for the commercial sex markets. However, the following areas
also need to occur simultaneously: investigate the buyers and sellers of exploitation victims and
prosecute them; identify and hold responsible the facilitators of the illegal sex markets and the sex
trafficking occurring to supply those markets, including corrupt officials; outfit law enforcement
with greater knowledge and numbers, awareness and methods for tracking and apprehending
trafficking networks; apply pressure to local and national governments by highlighting problem
areas and priority issues; and provide safe, secure havens for victims to heal and recover.
Regarding the culture of tolerance which the Dutch have boastfully prized, since the legalization in
2000, the social pendulum has begun to swing back with an apparent increased public will to change
a system that has normalized the sexual exploitation of women and children. Councils in three major
cities in the Netherlands shut down their tippelzones between 2005 and 2006: Den Haag, Arnhem
and Rotterdam. Amsterdam recently announced its intention to close 100 out of 350 windows in its
Red Light District. Local police in Deventer and Zwolle, regions located northeast of Amsterdam,
have established specialized prostitution task forces to combat human trafficking. However, the
creation of such task forces is limited to only a few out of nearly 500 municipalities. The National
Rapporteur of Trafficking in Human Beings has called for more policing of illegal sex venues.
200
201
Bosman, Mark, Policy Advisor, Department of Public Order and Safety, Utrecht, NE, Personal interview, January 24, 2006.
Bovenkerk, et al, “Loverboys’ or modern pimphood in Amsterdam.”
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Training of local police to identify signs of human trafficking is sorely lacking. Unlike the vice
squad, local police whose jurisdiction includes sex venues are not equipped with the skills and
tools to investigate them properly.202
In 2000, the small city of Zwolle established a plan of action to combat the “loverboy” phenomenon
which was implemented from 2003-2005. This plan includes educating potential victims,
preventing boys from becoming “loverboys,” sheltering and assisting victims, tracing suspects and
prosecuting offenders.203 An assessment of the results of the plan of action was undertaken in 2005
and it was determined that the number of “loverboys” in Zwolle had decreased.204 The plan will
continue to be implemented through 2009. Human trafficking is recognized as a major problem
that was exacerbated—not improved—when legislation was passed to lift the ban on brothels
in 2000. The “tolerance” for prostitution may be on the wane because the resulting increase in
criminal behavior and victimization is impossible to control.
Public Awareness
Wherever I’ve traveled I’ve never seen a prostitution awareness campaign. But I
have to admit that if I did see something like campaign saying—do you realize that
50%, I don’t know about numbers, but let’s say 50% of girls in prostitution are part of
sex trafficking?—that would probably play on my conscience. And on the border of
yes and no, I would probably say no.205
— Sex Tourist, May 2006
In 2005, Dutch police received more than 600 reports of women who may have been forced into
prostitution, and 400 women contacted anti-trafficking organizations for assistance. In response,
Dutch authorities launched a campaign in January 2006 distributing posters and stickers to the
public and installing billboards targeting the red light districts asking “Have you seen the signals?
Fear, bruises, not enjoying her work.”206 In a controversial decision, Dutch authorities decided to
post the public awareness announcement on an Internet forum where buyers swap stories and
reviews of their visits to the red light districts.207 Critics argued television and public campaigns
would have reached the target audience as effectively without the apparent contradiction of
posting an anti-trafficking announcement on a website promoting prostitution, the very industry
which enables the trafficking markets.
The animation announcement contrasting the erotic delights with the violent
reality of forced prostitution. It is not explicit in a sexual way but it is striking. And
as is often the case in reality, it is the woman who is struck when she refuses to do her
masters bidding.208
Field Research Report, March 23, 2006.
“Loverboy Plan of Approach 2003-2005,” European Urban Knowledge Network, implemented from June 2, 2003, (Zwolle,
NE) <http://www.eukn.org/netherlands/themes/Urban_Policy/Security_and_crime_prevention/Anti_crime_policy/Gender_and_
domestic_violence/loverboys_1002.html>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
204
Ibid.
205
Sex tourist, Personal interview, May 6, 2006.
206
Hudson, Alexandra, “Dutch urge clients to report forced prostitution,” Reuters, January 12, 2006
<http://in.news.yahoo.com/060112/137/61z6n.html>. Accessed on February 2, 2007.
207
See <http:www.hookers.nl>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
208
“Ladies of Pleasure or Sex Slaves,” Expatica, January 23, 2006
<http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=26964>. The campaign announcement can be viewed
at <http://www.totaleovergave.nl>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
202
203
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As of February 2007, the ad can no longer be found on http://www.hookers.nl. Field researchers
visited the Amsterdam and Utrecht red light districts shortly after the release of the campaign,
searching for educational materials, pamphlets, flyers and billboards but they were difficult, if not
impossible, to find. Furthermore, upon inquiring about the campaign to buyers of commercial sex,
none had heard of it.
One outspoken critic, Mariska Majoor, a former prostitute who now runs an information center in
Amsterdam’s Red Light District, complains, “This district is 700 years old and we’ve had trafficking
in women for almost the same amount of time. It exists—but nothing like to the extent people
have been saying.”209 Despite the critics, the Dutch Government appears to be committed to
addressing the issue of sex trafficking, even if the initial attempts may be unclear in the message
and delivery.
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
In addition, while there are some signs that the Netherlands is rethinking its decision to legalize
prostitution, it will be critical to ensure that women already victimized within the current
commercial sex markets do not become the victims again in a newly illegal system in which they
would be criminalized as well.
Legislation
In order to bring the Netherlands’ laws into compliance with the UN Protocol,210 a Bill entitled
“Implementation of International Regulations to Combat the Smuggling of and Trafficking in
Human Beings” was sent to the Lower House of Parliament in November of 2003. The Bill
broadens the forms of exploitation to include slave labor, debt bondage, and trafficking in organs.
On January 1, 2005, the old article on trafficking was replaced with a new one, Article 273a, to
encompass all forms of trafficking: exploitation in the sex industry, exploitation in employment
sectors, and exploitation involving extraction and trafficking of human organs. Article 273a
will be included in the title “Crimes against personal freedom” and has nearly the same wording
as Article 3 of the UN Protocol and Article 1 of the E.U. Framework Decision on Combating
Trafficking Human Beings.
Additionally, the extraterritorial scope of the article 250a of the Criminal Code was extended to
include jurisdiction over citizens guilty of sexual exploitation of a child outside the Netherlands.
This extension mirrors the jurisdictional reach of the American PROTECT Act intended to
reach American citizens engaging in sex tourism overseas.
The B-9 Regulation of the Alien Acts Information Guidelines permits victims of trafficking
to remain in the country for the duration of the investigation, prosecution and sentencing
of the suspect trafficker. Police are required to inform the alien who may be a victim of
trafficking of her rights and offer her a period of reflection.211 This reflection period gives
victims the time to decide whether they will file a report, which may be up to three months,
Hudson, Alexandra, “Forced Prostitution Fears Could Dim Dutch Red Lights,” Reuters, January 31, 2006
<http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2006/01/31/forced_prostitution_fears_could_dim_dutch_red_lights>.
Accessed on February 2, 2007.
210
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United
Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,
<http://www.uncjin.org/Documents/Conventions/dcatoc/final_documents_2/convention_%20traff_eng.pdf>. Accessed on April 5,
2007.
211
Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or
stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted,
Official Journal L 304 , 30/09/2004 P. 0012 – 0023.
<http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2002/com2002_0071en01.pdf>. Accessed on April 5, 2007.
209
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during which deportation of the victim from the Netherlands is temporarily suspended.
If the victim decides not to report the offense, she must leave the country immediately.
Housing subsidies, income and residency status are now available to victims, thanks to amendments
in the immigration laws as of 2005. However, not all of the difficulties have been removed from the
legislations and delays can ensue. An interview conducted with Annet Koopsen, an attorney who
represents trafficked victims, reports that the immigration bureaucracy encumbers the application
processes. Though the victims are granted a three-month reflection period to decide whether to
testify in the prosecution against their trafficker, often victims must wait up to one month before
they receive any assistance funds. Moreover, failure by victims to renew residency applications on
time can result in the cessation of aid.212
Bevordering Integriteitsbeoordelingen door het Openbaar Bestuur (BIBOB Act of 2003) creates a legal
basis to refuse or withdraw permits, licenses, grants and subsidies when there is a serious threat of
abuse by criminals. The Act aims to avert the danger of subsidies or licenses being used to spend
the proceeds of crime. A special agency, the BIBOB Bureau within the Ministry of Justice, screens
the integrity of the applicant for a fee of €500. By examining an individual’s tax and police records,
the owners of small businesses that fail to pay personal taxes can be flagged as needing further
scrutiny. Thus, it permits the government to prevent an individual or business from obtaining a
license based solely on their reputation, even if they have had no convictions. The basic idea is to
expose criminal gangs that operate behind seemingly legitimate companies.213
Another useful tool in tracing suspicious financial operations is the Act on the Disclosure of
Unusual Transactions or “MOT.” It requires financial institutions (banks, casinos, etc.) to report
unusual transactions to a Financial Intelligence Unit. The police and public prosecutors have no
direct access to the database of this unit, a limitation intended to ensure that the privacy of legal
and natural persons whose financial transactions have been reported to be unusual is protected.
Prevention and Restorative Facilities
To counteract the recruitment of Dutch teen girls into the commercial sex markets, efforts have
been initiated by local groups to educate school girls on these dangers. Scarlet Cord (Scharlaken
Koord) is an outreach organization that has worked in Amsterdam’s Red Light District since1987.
Over the past several years, the growing encounters by their social workers with victims of the
“loverboy” phenomenon have caused the organization to reach out to these pre-teen and teen
girls through a prevention program and curriculum called “Beware of Loverboys.” Workers give
presentations to local schools, teen-clubs and other youth clubs on the warning signs and dangers
of a “loverboy.”214
Koopson, Personal interview, April 28, 2006.
van de Bunt, p.1.
214
See <http://www.bewareofloverboys.nl>. Accessed on April 9, 2007. See also, Paula Skidmore, “What works in child sexual
exploitation: sharing and learning Final Report,” A Daphne Programme project partnership between Barnardo’s, UK and Stade
Advies, NL, publ. July 2004
<http://www.barnardos.org.uk/final_report_by_paula_skidmore_in_english.pdf>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
212
213
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At this time there are few long-term care facilities for victims of trafficking. Immigrant minors
are commonly sent to a reprimand facility, similar to the juvenile detention centers in the United
States. This effectively eases the trafficker’s recruitment of girls by placing them in a convenient
single location. Further, like the other countries examined, the policies in the Netherlands often
result in the criminalization of the victim rather than the buyer or seller; a problem which prevents
deterring demand through law enforcement and prevents identification of victims in many cases
as they fear the effect of reporting. Greater improvements in the enforcement of laws and the
delivery of services to these victims are needed.
www.sharedhope.org
The Netherlands
DEMAND.
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DEMAND.
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The
United States
of America
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83
The United States of America
DEMAND.
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Red circles indicate primary areas of Shared Hope International field research.
84
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
The United States:
Technology Driving Demand
Each year an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold, or
forced across the world’s borders [2003 U.S. State Department estimate]. Among
them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as 5, who
fall victim to the sex trade.
There’s a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and
vulnerable. The victims of [the] sex trade see little of life before they see the very
worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these
victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who
patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others.
— President Bush, addressing the U.N. General Assembly
September 23, 2003
The United States of America
DEMAND.
T
he new face of sex tourism in the United States is actually a familiar one—U.S. citizens
and legal permanent residents under the age of 18 are increasingly being recruited into the
commercial sex markets to service the demand resulting from the normalization and promotion
of commercial sex across America. These young victims join the forced, defrauded and coerced
adult women as victims of human trafficking under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of
2000 and comprise an as-yet undetermined number of victims of sex trafficking in America today.
In addition, tightened immigration controls and intense training of law enforcement and social
service providers to identify situations of foreign human trafficking victims in the U.S. have been
a deterrent to foreign trafficking and an incentive to look locally.
The commercial sex trade in the United States flourishes, in part, because the media bombards
all age groups with explicit sexual imagery. Many American policymakers and citizens condemn
the immoral and unethical nature of the commercial sex trade on the one hand, yet the culture
promotes commercial sex on the other hand. Religious and educational institutions advocate
abstinence and fidelity, yet many businesses market sexuality and sex acts to all Americans in a
blatant and pervasive manner. Simultaneously, in a culture that takes pride in women’s rights and
professional achievements, females are commonly portrayed as sexual commodities.
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The United States of America
DEMAND.
In the midst of—and in part owing to—these contradictory yet powerful cultural cues, the sexual
exploitation of children in the United States appears to be growing. Each year, an estimated
14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States.215 The number of U.S.
citizens trafficked within the country each year is even higher, with an estimated 100,000-300,000
American children at risk for becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation.216 Evidence
suggests that children under the age of 18 now constitute the largest group of trafficking victims
in the United States.
According to authoritative estimates, the average age of entry into prostitution or the commercial
sex industry in the U.S. is 11-14 years old;217 the gender is overwhelmingly female (one statistic:
1356 girls to 13 boys218). In Clark County, Nevada, for example, 181 cases of prostituted juveniles
were pending between August 2005 and December 2006, only one of which had a male victim.219
While 38 percent of these girls were from Nevada, the remaining 62 percent of girls were from
28 other states, including Alaska and New York. Running away from home was a common
characteristic of over 60 percent of prostituted juveniles in another data collection effort in Las
Vegas that spanned the years 1997-2006.220 Indeed, 90 percent of runaways become part of the
commercial sex industry.221 A runaway, as the name implies, is a child 14 years or younger who
chooses not to return home and stays away overnight or a child 15 years or older who chooses
not to return home and stays away for two nights. A throwaway child is told to leave home by a
parent/guardian/adult and stays away overnight or is prevented from returning home by a parent/
guardian/adult.222
Approximately 55% of street girls engage in formal prostitution. Of the girls engaged
in formal prostitution, about 75% worked for a pimp. Pimp-controlled commercial
sexual exploitation of children is linked to escort and massage services, private
dancing, drinking and photographic clubs, major sporting and recreational events,
major cultural events, conventions, and tourist destinations. About one-fifth of
these children become entangled in nationally organized crime networks and are
trafficked nationally. They are transported around the United States by a variety
of means—cars, buses, vans, trucks or planes and are often provided counterfeit
identification to use in the event of arrest.223
Report to Congress from Attorney General John Ashcroft on US Government Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Fiscal
Year 2003. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 2004) <http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/23598.pdf>.
Accessed on January 17, 2007.
216
Estes, Richard J. and Neil Alan Weiner, “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico”
(University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work: Philadelphia), September 19, 2001, revised February 20, 2002
<http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/~restes/CSEC_Files/Complete_CSEC_020220.pdf>. Accessed on November 1, 2006.
217
<http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html>. Accessed on April 11, 2006. According to Estes and Weiner, boys
started earlier than girls: 11-13 years, versus 12-14 years for girls, in “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children,” p.92. See
also, studies by John Lowman, “Taking Young Prostitutes Seriously,” Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 24, no.
1, 1999 and Susan Nadon, Catherine Koverola, and Eduard Schludermann, “Antecedents to Prostitution: Childhood Victimization,”
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 13, 1998.
218
STOP Statistics, Crimes Against Youth and Family Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department – 1994-2006. On
file with authors.
219
Hon. William O. Voy, “Juvenile Prostitute Stats and Re-Offending Statistics for Prostitution–Related Offenses compiled 8-24-0512-31-06” Clark County Family Court, Las Vegas, Nevada, received by fax January 24, 2007, supplemented by email to Melissa
Snow confirming victims’ gender, April 17, 2007. On file with authors.
220
STOP Statistics, Las Vegas, 1994-2006. On file with authors.
221
Estes and Weiner, “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.”
222
NISMART-2, cited in Priebe and Suhr, “Hidden in Plain View,” p.16.
223
Estes and Weiner, “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico,” cited in “Domestic Sex
Trafficking of Minors,” U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS),
<http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html>. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
215
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New research efforts launched by the Department of Justice, in addition to data collection by
the Department of Justice funded Human Trafficking Task Forces in 42 locations, will provide
more accurate and current statistics on at-risk children which will enable governments to
allocate resources for specialized services that can assist the young victims of commercial sexual
exploitation. Before the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA 2000) and subsequent
reauthorizations, the Mann Act/White Slave Act of 1910 was used to punish perpetrators who
transported persons (adults and children) across state borders for “immoral purposes” (sexual
exploitation). Under the TVPA, transportation across borders is no longer a condition for bringing
charges against a trafficker, reflecting the real situation of local girls being prostituted in their own
cities, sometimes in their own homes. Indeed, as field research reveals, in each of the three U.S.
cities examined, local minors were available, vulnerable, and easily exploitable.
The Marketplace
Sex tourism and sex trafficking markets in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas were
chosen for research because each city is a key tourist and convention destination for a broad
range of visitors from within the United States and abroad. Each city struggles with economic
disparities, racial prejudices and inequalities and have considerable populations of at-risk youth.
Simultaneously, they are known to be locations of many commercial sex markets that cater to a
broad clientele.
Escort services and massage parlors dominate the commercial sex markets. The Internet and print
media facilitate these markets, especially the escort services, which can be found in every major
classifieds section, electronic and paper. While massage parlors and brothels are relatively easy to
investigate due to the fixed location, escort and outcall services are a market in which victims
of all ages and nationalities can be hidden and exploited at little cost to the exploiter.224 Higher
prices can be charged for sexual services through escort services than at brothels and a wider
buyer base can be accessed as well. Ethnic brothels have tapped into this advantage by expanding
marketing to escort-style services which allow buyers from beyond the ethnic community to
access the sexual services of the normally closed system.225 The trend toward trafficking victims
through escort services mirrors the operations of the commercial sex markets in Japan and the
Netherlands, and to a lesser extent, Jamaica.
The United States of America
DEMAND.
According to Steven Bagg, an analysis of eight major American cities shows
erotic services consistently garners the highest number of individual visitors for
February—almost always twice as many as the next ranking category, averaging
265,000 people per city...The most commonly frequented venue outside of this
virtual red-light district? Cars for sale.226
Email from Detective Leland Wiley, Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland to Melissa Snow, April 9, 2007. On file
with authors.
225
Ibid.
226
Bagg, Stephen, “Craigslist’s Dirty Little Secret,” Compete.com, posted April 5, 2007
<http://blog.compete.com/2007/04/05/craigslist-popular-categories>. Accessed on April 2, 2007. New York City and Los Angeles
by far have the most unique visitors to the erotic section in February 2007.
224
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Case Study: Latino Trafficking Rings227
Criminal elements within the closed Latino communities in cities along the East Coast
are deeply involved in prostitution and the operation of massage parlors and brothels. The
brothels are easy to identify because they all share common features: a one or two-bedroom
apartment, outfitted with very little furniture, one or two mattresses on the floor, and the
presence of condoms, creams, towels, and tokens or beads.
Operation: East Coast Latino trafficking rings usually use a “stash” house based in New
York or New Jersey. Telephone calls are made throughout the week to determine which
brothels need girls and how many are needed. The girls are then sent out on Mondays to
the brothels needing them for a week and returned to the “stash” house on Sunday. The
cut is 50/50. The brothel gets to keep 50% of the money made and sends the remaining
50% to the “stash” house which is then confiscated to pay the girls’ “debts”; the girls keep
none of the money. When the buyer enters the bedroom he gives the woman a token or
bead which serves to prove to the manager the number of men serviced. The women are
prostituted for about $600 per day and about $30 per 15 minutes. They are charged $70 per
week for food. They are confined to the brothel and “stash” house the entire time.
Each brothel has a “doorman” who issues a token to the buyer in order to enter the house
or apartment. He normally stays in his car, providing security for the house and facilitating
the transaction with the buyer. Doormen earn about $300 per week. The doormen and the
victims keep ledgers of the buyers; some confiscated ledgers have revealed that women had
been prostituted to up to 55 buyers in a single day.
The brothels operating in apartment complexes are usually all Latino clients. However,
recently some of the “stash” houses have advertised on Craig’s List in order to turn an
increased profit. A typical Latino apartment brothel charges $30 for 15 minutes. A Craig’s
List advertisement can charge $100-$200 for one hour.
Brothels have been discovered and raided in Gaithersburg, Wheaton, and Silver Spring,
Maryland.
Advertising: The brothels are advertised with business cards distributed at day-labor areas.
These day labor sites have not been connected to labor trafficking yet, but the laborers are
certainly illegal immigrants. The illustration of either a rose or wings on the card is often
used to indicate the brothel; however, often there are no indications other than a verbal
understanding of the intent as the card is handed over to the prospective buyer. The use
of these taxi services to bring buyers to the brothel apartment maintains the secrecy and
makes discovery and investigation difficult.
Detective Thomas Stack, Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland, Presentation on investigating human trafficking
crimes in the Washington Metropolitan area, (American University: Washington, D.C.) November 6, 2006; email from Detective
Leland Wiley, Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland to Melissa Snow, April 9, 2007. On file with authors.
227
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Business Cards discovered by police in the investigation of Latino brothels.
Victims: Victims primarily are illegal immigrants who do not speak English. They are
moved to different locations frequently. For example, they may be prostituted in Maryland
during the week and return to a “stash” house in Union, New Jersey on Sunday where they
may be sent on outcalls. About 80% of victims are Mexican; the other 20% are from the
Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other countries.
Transportation: Housed in New York and New Jersey, victims are trafficked to various
cities by Greyhound bus or minivan each week.
Profits: In one case involving five brothels, police determined the owner/trafficker earned
$1.1 million per year, tax free.
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Gangs of all ethnicities will often recruit and sell local underage girls for sexual exploitation in
order to turn a profit for the gang.228 For example, in summer 2006, police in Wichita, Kansas
discovered gangs preying on teenage runaways. The gangs moved the girls to cities as far away
as Washington, D.C., to prostitute them on the streets or in private homes and to exploit them
in pornographic videos.229 Wichita’s location on Interstate 35, which runs from Mexico to
Minnesota and connects to several major East-West interstates, makes transportation quick and
easy. However, some gangs, such as the MS-13 Hispanic gangs identified in the Washington, D.C.
metropolitan area, work in a more “hands-off” manner similar to the Yakuza in Japan. The MS-13
is usually not directly involved in the recruitment or movement of girls into the U.S. but provides
“security” for the traffickers.230 In addition to payments for providing security, the MS-13 requires
fees from the traffickers to ensure that the MS-13 will not interfere with the traffickers’ business
or rob the traffickers of the money that they are bringing in from prostitution.
One commercial sex market supported by gang activity is the ethnic brothel system. The ethnic
brothels appear to be a unique model of commercial sex market existing in most major metropolitan
areas in the U.S. A review of the ethnic brothel systems reveals that they have a secretive system
which allows them to operate with relative anonymity. Often only native speakers are admitted
into the brothels. The girls are prostituted within this closed community, as well as along the
migrant agricultural labor routes.231
Victims
Commercial sex markets in the U.S. are comprised of foreign women and girls smuggled into
the United States, as well as American citizens and legal permanent residents under the age of
18 years. These victims fill the demand for “happy endings” at massage parlors, delivery sex at
escort services, and demand at ethnic brothels closed to buyers who are not of the same ethnicity
as the brothel owners. Foreign victims have been discovered in most major cities; however, field
research observed underage girls are the bulk of the victims in the commercial sex markets in
the United States. In an overburdened, state-by-state foster care system and a society in which
children in crisis can go unnoticed, runaway, homeless and throwaway youth are increasingly
finding themselves courted and romanced by young men who have grown up in a culture that
promotes pimping and exploitation of girls as a glamorous and viable job option.232
When I started prostitution in Las Vegas at 14, we (pimp and victim) didn’t stay in
Vegas. We went to Washington, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Miami and we went to
London. Out of all those places I’ve been, I was getting tired. 233
— Sex Trafficking Survivor, Las Vegas, March 2006
“Report From the Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,” (Shared Hope International,
ECPAT-USA & The Protection Project of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies: Washington, D.C.,
September 2006), p.12.
229
“Police Call Rate of Teen Prostitution ‘appalling’,” The Wichita Eagle Kansas, posted April 11, 2007
<http://www.kansas.com/201/story/41476.html>. Accessed on April 12, 2007.
230
Email from Detective Leland Wiley, Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland to Melissa Snow, April 9, 2007. On file
with authors.
231
Marisa B. Ugarte, Laura Zarate, and Melissa Farley, “Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Children from Mexico to the
United States,” in Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress, Melissa Farley ed. (New York: Haworth Press, 2003), p.60.
232
Nikki Marr, former Family Court Judge in Atlanta, commenting at the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual
Exploitation of Children Conference, April 3-4, 2006. Transcript on file with authors.
233
“Annie,” Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, March 23, 2006.
228
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The Las Vegas Metro Police Department Crimes Against Youth and Family Bureau has begun
collecting statistics regarding these young sex trafficking victims. The statistics from 153 juveniles
arrested for prostitution in 2006 reveal a connection between commercial sexual exploitation and
prior victimization. The history of a “typical” domestic minor trafficking victim in Las Vegas
includes: sexual assault (57); physical abuse (55); family molestation (31); runaway priors (116);
prostitution priors (43); drug abuse (90); attempted suicide (32).234
Buyers
The observed purchasers of commercial sex and perpetrators of sexual exploitation in the three
cities researched were diverse but tended to be primarily white, middle-aged males, though the
ethnic brothels are reported to service only members of the particular ethnicity.235 Buyers use a
variety of methods to access the commercial sex markets, ranging from the Internet, to calling
escort services, to inquiring of close confidantes, to traveling abroad to countries where penalties
for commercial sex, particularly with children, are lax or non-existent and their anonymity can
be preserved. In 2002, a reported 34 percent of prostitution arrests were of buyers.236 In 2005,
Congress stated in its findings that 11 females used in commercial sex acts were arrested in Boston
for every one arrest of a male purchaser; 9 females to every one male purchaser in Chicago, and
6 females to every one male purchaser in New York City.237 According to statistics collected for
2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada, 153 minors were arrested for prostitution, but only two pimps were
arrested and zero buyers were arrested in these cases.238
Specific segments of society have been revealed as buyers. We discovered that
throughout the United States, where major highways intersect, there are
numerous opportunities to pick up, drop off, or stop for paid sex
with a prostituted girl. These girls are known as “Lot Lizards”
in the trucking community. Some truckers display stickers on
their truck windows indicating that “Lot Lizards” are not
welcome at their truck. Though an admirable stance against
purchasing commercial sex, these stickers are ill-conceived,
as one depicts a boot stomping on a lizard and another shows a
line through a lizard wearing a schoolgirl’s plaid skirt. The application
of the derogatory label “Lot Lizard” to the victim allows the predator to deny the
victimization of his action and society to criminalize the victim.
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Trucking routes have been identified as “hot spots” for underage prostituted
girls. Buyers seem to have little fear of intervention by police or fellow
truckers. A recent example of truck stop trafficking is the case of over two
dozen prostituted minors, the youngest just 12 years old, from Toledo, Ohio
found at truck stops northeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in December of
STOP Statistics, Las Vegas, 2006. On file with authors.
See Janice G. Raymond, “Prostitution on Demand,” Violence Against Women, Vol. 10 No. 10, October 2004
(Coalition Against Trafficking Women), pp. 1165-69, available at
<http://action.web.ca/home/catw/attach/Raymond1.pdf> for a discussion of buyer types worldwide. Accessed on January 12,
2007.
236
“Report on the Mid-Term Review of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,” p.27, citing remarks by Norma
Hotaling, Director of SAGE – San Francisco.
237
Congressional findings, “End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act of 2005,” intro. House of Representatives, April 28, 2005
<http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:H.R.2012:>. Accessed on January 12, 2007.
238
STOP Statistics, Crimes Against Youth and Family Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department – 1994-2006. On
file with authors.
234
235
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2005.239 The Gables of Harrisburg truck stop, just off the major highway I-81 in Linglestown,
was popular with truck drivers looking for quick and cheap sex: about $40 for sex with one of
these minor victims. Local Harrisburg police and FBI agents working with the Innocence Lost
Initiative arrested sixteen pimps, many of them from Toledo, Ohio, who have been
indicted as co-conspirators for trafficking in women and children, among
other crimes. The pimps used violence and intimidation to recruit and
control the women and girls; one pimp,
Derek Maes, allegedly broke the nose of
a woman who was working for him as a
prostitute and later threatened her family.
Pimps Melissa Jacobs and Tana Adkins
allegedly beat a woman who was working
“No Lot Lizards” stickers like these without a pimp, known as a “renegade,”
can be purchased online.
at the Gables truck stop.240
241
Facilitators
Similar to the “loverboys” active in the Netherlands, “pimps” in the United States appear to be
younger and are recruiting younger girls in turn. Using psychological techniques on emotionally
immature and vulnerable girls, the pimp creates the illusion that the girl is in control and convinces
her that he can help her escape her home or other problems.242 The pimp takes the girl out to eat
and buys her clothing and jewelry, making her increasingly dependent on him. Quickly, the girl
falls in love with the manipulator and is susceptible to his demands for sex and to have sex with
others. Soon, she is turned out by this man to work in prostitution. A majority of juveniles who
are lured into prostitution by a predator on the streets have suffered sexual abuse in the family.243
Often, prior familial sexual abuse makes the grooming process for the pimp easier because sexual
exploitation has been the norm for the victim.
I was 14 years old and the way the pimp came at me was that first I didn’t even know
that he was a pimp. He came at me like a boyfriend. Yes he was an older boyfriend
but he cared about me...6 months later he told me ‘Let’s run away together. We
can have a beautiful house and family.’ And I did believe him, and we ran away
and then the story changed and I met the other girls that he had in his stable. And
I had to go out every night and work the streets—the alternative was being gang
raped by a group of pimps while everyone watched.244
— Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Survivor, February 2006
Erb, Robin and Roberta de Boer, “Harrisburg Area Proved Profitable for Pimps, Prostitutes from Toledo,” Toledo Blade, March
19, 2006 <http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060319/NEWS08/60319002>. Accessed on January 12,
2007.
240
U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Justice Department, FBI, Announce Arrests Targeting Child Prostitution Rings in
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan,” December 16, 2005 <http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2005/December/05_crm_677.html>.
241
<http://sharonb.hypermart.net/trucks3.htm>. Accessed on January 12, 2007.
242
Lee, Lois “Sixteen Psychosocial Strategies of Pimps,” Presentation at ILEA (International Law Enforcement Academy)
Conference, Las Vegas, September 18-20, 2006.
243
Simons, Ronald L. and Les B. Whitbeck, “Sexual Abuse as a Precursor to Prostitution and Victimization among Adolescent and
Adult Homeless Women,” Journal of Family Issues (v12, n3: Sep 1991) pp.361-79, available for purchase at
<http://jfi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/12/3/361> (studied 40 adolescent runaways and 95 homeless women to examine
impact of early sexual abuse on prostitution and victimization. Findings suggest that early sexual abuse increases probability of
involvement in prostitution.); Melissa Farley, PhD and H. Barkan, “Prostitution, violence, and posttraumatic stress disorder,” Women
Health, 1998;27(3), pp.37-49, available for purchase at
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=Display&DB=pubmed>.
244
Tina Frundt, Personal interview, February 15, 2006.
239
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Women and minor girls, usually victims of commercial sexual exploitation and under pimp control,
are increasingly becoming facilitators. Pimps will often use these women and girls to recruit new
victims in schools and other places. In this way, pimps avoid detection and punishment from
law enforcement. This process also may elevate the recruiter to a higher status in the pimp’s
“stable.”245
Institutional facilitators, such as local officials and businesses, are complicit in sex trafficking
and sex tourism in the U.S. as in other countries examined. Officials recognize the value of
the commercial sex markets to the local economy. Las Vegas relies heavily on tourism using a
suggestive promotion campaign and promoting a permissive atmosphere. Hotels make some
efforts at regulating access to the rooms above the casinos to prevent prostitution but late night
observations in the casinos indicate young-looking girls hanging on the gamblers’ arms.246
Since former mob lawyer Oscar Goodman was elected Mayor of Las Vegas in
1999, a troubling new enterprise has emerged within the city limits: the sexual
exploitation of teenage girls...247
Taxi drivers are among the facilitators of the commercial sex markets in the U.S., as in every other
location examined. At the turn of the century, taxi drivers were earning extra cash by transporting
prostituted women and their buyers across town while they engage in sex in the back of the cab.248
Today taxicabs continue to assist in the recruitment and delivery of women to their buyers. Hotels
and clubs are notorious for having “knowledgeable” drivers who can serve the needs of their guests
by taking them to any destination they wish or bringing to them what they desire. Ethnic brothels
use designated taxi operators to deliver buyers to the secret locations; passwords and specially
designated telephone numbers are used.
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Culture of Tolerance
A prominent scholar, Dr. Melissa Farley, analyzes empirical data on the harms of prostitution,
pornography and trafficking in her article “Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What
We Must Not Know in Order To Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly.”
She explains, “This information has to be culturally, psychologically, and legally denied because
to know it would interfere with the business of sexual exploitation.”249 It is this general denial that
permits the culture of tolerance and the marketplaces of exploitation to thrive.
While the cultures of tolerance that permit commercial sex markets to persist in each city are unique,
America suffers nation-wide from the detrimental effects of the “pimp culture.” Pimps and pimping
have become so ingrained in American culture, the concept has almost become commonplace. In
2006, the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” won the Oscar for Best Original Song for the
film Hustle and Flow.250 The hit MTV series Pimp My Ride, about improving cars with cool new
Lee, Lois, “Sixteen Psychosocial Strategies of Pimps,” Presentation at ILEA (International Law Enforcement Academy)
Conference in Las Vegas, September 18-20, 2006.
246
SHI Research Report, September 22, 2005. On file with authors.
247
Miller, Steve, “Sex-Slave Trade Flourishes under Sin City Mayor Oscar Goodman,” AmericanMafia.com, October 20, 2003
<http://www.americanmafia.com/Inside_Vegas/10-20-03_Inside_Vegas.html>. Accessed on January 15, 2007.
248
“The Repression of Prostitution in the District of Columbia,” Senate Committee on the District of Columbia, subcommittee on
Public Health, Hospitals, and Charity, October 13, 1921.
249
Farley, Melissa, PhD, “Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What We Must Not Know in Order To Keep the Business of
Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly,” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, v. 18:N, p. 104, May 2006.
250
Milloy, Courtland, “Pimp Pop Culture Brushes Aside Girls’ Fate,” Washington Post, March 8, 2006.
245
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accessories, has spawned a variety of new Pimp My’s, including: Pimp My Cubicle (for the office),
Pimp My Space (for MySpace) and Pimp That Snack (for food). In all these examples, the word
“pimp” is used as a synonym for “improve” or “make cooler.” In online games like Pimpwar.com,
players take on a pimp identity and then “scout for whores,” “produce crack (to keep the ’hos
happy)”, and “discipline ’hos.” The player’s worth as a pimp is measured in whores (’hos), thugs,
crack, weapons, low-riders, etc. Players are encouraged to scout in low-income neighborhoods,
and to beat their “’hos” as necessary. There is no age requirement to play this game.251
A screen shot of the
game Pimp War
(www.pimpwar.com)
shows the activities
available for the
player, including
“discipline hoes” and
“produce crack.”
Pimping is often glorified in American hip hop music. In rapper 50 Cent’s hit song “P.I.M.P.”
he tells the woman he’s selling, “B**ch hit that track, catch a date, and come and pay the kid. Look
baby this is simple, you can’t see, you f**king with me, you f**king with a P-I-M-P.”252 Rapper Jay-Z
brought up the increased acceptance of pimping among women in “Dirt Off Ya Shoulder.” “If you
feeling like a pimp ni**a, go on, brush your shoulders off. Ladies is pimps too, go on, brush your shoulders
off.”253
It’s very much economics. Why is it that [pimping] is a career option? I look at this
27 year old person, and he looked more like 19 to me, and I’m thinking...[w]hen he
was a kid, did anyone say, do you want to be a doctor, lawyer, fireman, or a pimp?
Why is this a career option?254
This pimp culture assists in the recruitment of young girls for prostitution. American pimp culture
is not confined to the U.S.; it can be found in Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Kingston or anywhere that
cable, satellite television, or the radio can reach.
See <http://www.pimpwar.com>. Accessed on January 10, 2007.
<http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/50-Cent/P-I-M-P.html>.
253
<http://www.metrolyrics.com/lyrics/213982/Jay-Z/Dirt_Off_Your_Shoulder>.
254
Nikki Marr, former Family Court Judge in Atlanta, commenting at the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual
Exploitation of Children Conference, April 3-4, 2006. Transcript on file with authors.
251
252
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Las Vegas
The problem has been made worse by Las Vegas’ aggressive advertising promotions
that encourage tourists to come here and sin all they like. We’re basically giving a
green light for people to come here and exploit women and children.255
— Terri Miller, Coordinator of Anti-Trafficking League Against Slavery (ATLAS) of the
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Many Americans believe that prostitution is legal in all of Nevada, including Las Vegas, due
in no small part to the highly visible, sexually-based advertising. However, this is not the case;
prostitution is not legal in Clark County where Las Vegas is located. The state law prohibits the
legalization of prostitution in counties with populations of 400,000 residents or more, therefore
Las Vegas is excluded with a population of 1.1 million.256
Nevada presents the single American case study of legalized prostitution. As with the other
countries examined in this report, the sale of sex has deep historical and cultural roots dating
back to America’s westward expansion and the role of the mining industry in the 1800s.257 Nevada
drew large numbers of single men during the Gold Rush and this helped give rise to a culture of
tolerance for commercial sex that has persisted over time. The cycles of “boom and bust” in the
industry were unpredictable. When times were good, a party mentality took root that included
the purchase of sex. The environment was conducive to prostitution because families seldom
settled in these mining areas and men were “on their own” for lengthy periods of time. As a result,
an unfortunate code of conduct evolved: “Prostitution, if not prostitutes themselves, became an
accepted part of the community from the perspective of working men. … ‘Good girls’ on the
frontier needed protection; ‘bad girls’ were sexually available and provided necessary services to
frontiersmen.”258
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Prostitution was almost legalized statewide in 1871 during a huge mining boom. Over the years,
support for legalized brothels waxed and waned. Most brothels were closed during World War II
by the federal government but reopened their doors as soon as the war was over. In the 1970s,
several county commissions passed licensing ordinances and dozens of brothels became legal. Ten
counties host 28 brothels that collectively brought in $40 million in revenue in 2000.259 In 2006,
it was estimated that in Las Vegas alone the sex industry and related activities, both legal and
illegal, (including lap-dancing, prostitution in strip clubs, commissions to taxi drivers, and tips to
valets and bartenders for procuring women, etc.), generate between $1 and $5 billion per year.260
Most women working in legal brothels were led there by pimps or by other means of coercion and
control, not because they freely chose to work as prostitutes.261 The lives of women at Mustang
Ranch (since closed) in Storey County, Nevada, were observed and related in a book by an
“Do we have a human trafficking problem?” The Las Vegas Sun, January 29, 2007.
Nevada Revised Statute: 244.345, section 8 <http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-244.html>. Accessed on October 5, 2006.
257
Hausbeck, Kathryn and Barbara Brents, “Inside Nevada’s Brothel Industry,” in Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the
Sex Industry, Ronald Weitzer ed. (New York: Rutledge, 2000) pp. 217-41.
258
Ibid., p. 220.
259
Ibid., p. 222.
260
This research is forthcoming in a publication on Nevada prostitution/trafficking. Melissa Farley, Prostitution and Trafficking in
Nevada, 2007(unpublished manuscript, on file with authors). See <http://www.prostitutionresearch.com>.
261
Farley, Melissa et al., “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,”
in Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress, Melissa Farley ed. (New York: Haworth Press, 2003) p. 60.
255
256
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American medical scholar, Alexa Albert.262 She noted that the women at Mustang Ranch were
forced by husbands, pimps or dire economic circumstances to prostitute—it was not their preference.
Currently, one of the more popular brothels is Sheri’s Ranch in Nye County, immediately adjacent
to Clark County where Las Vegas is located. Their website, www.sherisranch.com, is explicit and
comprehensive. A prospective buyer can peruse photographs of available women and make a
reservation online. “Testimonials” of some of the buyers are also available online.
The State of Nevada
Note: Blue counties indicate legalized
prostitution; beige counties have declared
prostitution illegal; Eureka has no ordinance
on prostitution currently.
Despite some voices claiming that so-called “sex
work” is a legitimate choice made by women, there
appears to be a lack of women willing to pursue
this “profession”. Only 150 persons, including
businessmen, self proclaimed “sex workers,”
academics and social workers from the United States
and abroad attended a “sex workers’” convention
in Las Vegas in July 2006. Sponsored by non-profit
organizations promoting “sex work,” such as Sex
Workers Outreach Project-USA, COYOTE (Call
Off Your Old Tired Ethics), and Desiree Alliance,
attendees discussed topics such as how to promote
the decriminalization of prostitution. One woman
who demonstrated against the criminalization
of prostitution at the conference remarked that
consensual sex should not be a crime simply because
money is exchanged because “no one is getting
hurt.”263 In reality, however, people are getting hurt
and lives are being destroyed.
Las Vegas has been described as America’s “Disneyland of Sex.”264 Its culture of tolerance promotes
promiscuity more than anywhere else in the country. One encounters Las Vegas’ sexualized culture
the minute one enters the airport and waits for baggage to appear at the airport’s claim area. Big
screen TVs show advertisements for seductive cabaret shows; big casinos vie for attention using
more risqué displays on stage. Taxicabs pull up displaying advertisements for various shows with
female posteriors and little else. Billboards advertise “shows” and clubs advertise cabaret shows that
in essence are equivalent to a glorified strip show. The Internet has assorted advertisements, such
as Adult Connection Hotline (www.hotspotsofnevada.com). This site features legal brothels and
other sex venues and depicts a man and woman engaged in sexual intercourse. In addition, the local
yellow pages are easily accessed and contain over 155 pages of advertisements for massage parlors and
escort services with suggestive phrases and photos. Many are costly double page advertisements and
claim to “bring the girls direct to you in your hotel room—24 hours.” Yellow page advertisements
boast of college girls, student nurses, exotic beauties, barely legal wild teens, Russian and Asian
teen petites; most advertisements claim to provide “full service” indicating intercourse is available.
Albert, Alexa, Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women (New York: Random House, 2001).
Kihara, David, “Talkin’ Dirty: Sex Industry is Topic at Convention,” Las Vegas Review, July 14, 2006.
264
Frommer’s Online: Las Vegas, available at <http://www.frommers.com/destinations/lasvegas/0013021105.html>. Accessed on
April 2, 2007.
262
263
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Las Vegas offers no guarantees that you’ll strike it rich at a slot machine or a
black jack table. However, it does promise that you’ll get lucky under the sheets,
quite possibly with one of the most beautiful girls you’ve ever seen...presuming
you have some extra cash in your pocket...Prices can range from $400 to $1,000
and upwards. As the cop says, “These women are like automobiles—the better
looking and better built they are, the higher the price tag.”265
In spite of the law prohibiting obscenity in advertising, magazine racks on the streets have free
brochures and booklets explicitly advertising various sexual acts for sale, mostly escort services.266
Filipino, Korean, Thai, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese women are advertised. Many of these
brochures are published by Southwest Publishing Associates and include: Night Beat, Full Xxposure,
Pussy Cat Magazine, Goodtime Girls, LV Heat, and LV Nude Entertainment Guide. In addition to
these “traditional” means of advertising, picture cards are passed out every night on the streets
that depict different types of women: Romanian, Asian, blondes, brunettes, and so on. The great
majority of these offer services around the clock and advertise as “full service.” Young Latino
men and women on the street and especially on the Upper Strip aggressively thrust the cards at
passersby, specifically targeting the men.
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Advertising: Cards distributed to pedestrians on The Strip in Las Vegas
Strip Advertising has circulates publications advertising a “Swingers Hotline” for adventurous
couples and single women—reportedly supplemented by prostituted victims forced to participate
in order to ensure variety and supply for these “adventurous couples”—and a voicemail service for
“independent contractors.”
In Las Vegas, there is no real corner that someone [pimp] owns; they work out
of almost all hotels, making dates on phones. Most dates are made through the
brochures handed out by panhandlers. Outcall services will hook up a meeting,
and call the girl and say “room 212, look for so and so.”267
Sheehan, Jack, Skin City: Uncovering the Las Vegas Sex Industry (New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2006) p.164.
Nevada Revised Statute: 10.42.090, 10.42.010. <http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-244.html>. Accessed on October 5, 2006.
267
Kevin Morss, Personal interview, March 23, 2006.
265
266
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Contrary to public idealized images of Las Vegas reinforced by a powerful advertising campaign,
the prostituted girls are not typically the advertised college coeds working their way through
graduate school; rather, they are the runaways and homeless youth who arrive in droves by buses
from nearly every state, especially nearby California. A large number of vulnerable youth are
quickly recruited by predators at bus stations, arcades and shopping malls. These predators groom
them and force them out into the streets in and around Fremont Street Experience—trafficking
victims and victims in the sex tourism market of Las Vegas.268
A short stroll from The Stratosphere Hotel after midnight reveals the true nature of
sex markets in Las Vegas. Young and young-looking girls of all races and ethnicities
stand on the sidewalks trying to make eye contact with any man walking from
casino to casino, mindful of the necessity to earn a minimum amount of money
dictated by their pimp.269
A recent police action called “Operation Pimp” did not focus on the acknowledged pimps forcing
these many girls to prostitute on the “Tropicana track,” the name for the area where most girls are
put out to prostitute. Rather, “Operation Pimp” arrested 185 girls in two days—girls from as far
away as Hawaii and Wisconsin. An undercover Metro vice officer stated, “We’re working on the
Strip to include hotels. We’re working downtown, we’re looking at the Freemont Strip area, we’re
also down the Boulder track which there is a lot of prostitutes in that area.”270 What this action
overlooked was the necessity to attack the problem of burgeoning prostitution in Las Vegas by
bringing the deterrent effect of prosecuting the consumers and the traffickers of these girls, a large
number of whom are juveniles.
Less conspicuous but also present are the non-descript suburban apartments and homes where
many foreign women and minors are kept under tight control that are only accessible through
the services of a trusted source or local taxi driver. “Operation Jade Blade” executed by the FBI,
the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and local police targeted illegal brothels
that used Asian women smuggled into the country for a fee as prostitutes.271 The women were
forced to repay their debt by working as prostitutes. Four men and a woman were arrested in Las
Vegas, calling attention to the existence of sexual slavery in Las Vegas.
In recent years, Las Vegas has been identified as a major center for “Asian massage girls” working
in strip mall shops throughout Clark County.272 Clark County reported 39 massage establishment
licenses in 2005, while Las Vegas reported a jump in recent years from 52 in 2001 to 74 in 2005,
but this number does not reflect the true number of massage parlors operating, as Metro Vice
police state that many illegal massage parlors are operating in Las Vegas.273 Precious resources and
time are spent conducting background checks on applicants with questionable credentials and
nearly nonexistent English language skills. A massage industry source reports that an owner of two
parlors commonly transfers his unlicensed girls from one location to the next just ahead of visits
STOP Statistics, Crimes Against Youth and Family Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department – 1994-2006. On
file with authors.
269
SHI Research Report, March 23, 2006. On file with authors.
270
“Operation Pimp” nets prostitutes, local judge,” KVBC News 3 Las Vegas, June 27, 2006
<http://www.kvbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=5081236>. Accessed on January 15, 2007.
271
Tuttle, Greg, “Hearing Delayed in Alleged Prostitute Smuggling,” Las Vegas Sun, September 12, 2000.
272
Smith, John L., “Standalone, strip mall massage parlors scrutinized for prostitution”, Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 11, 2005
<http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2005/May-11-Wed-2005/news/26491311.html>. Accessed on January 15, 2007.
273
Ibid.
268
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from police, reflecting a sophisticated operation. One journalist asks; “In a community with no
shortage of violent and property crime, one where sex is the main ingredient in the marketing of its
largest and most influential industry, how much personnel should Metro devote to the epidemic of
massage-parlor prostitution?”274 This question highlights a problem faced in every location—how
to allocate limited resources to tackle the illegal commercial sex markets.
A hotbed for massage businesses can be found on West Sahara Avenue between
Rancho Drive and Decatur Boulevard. Unlike the parlors on Paradise Drive,
which ultimately make up a kind of miniature red light district, the businesses on
Sahara are situated in strip-mall storefronts next to restaurants, bakeries, clothing
and hardware stores—all staples of the middle-class neighborhood. In the licensed
massage industry, these locations are tantamount to Dante’s Inferno.275
Not all tourists in Las Vegas come specifically for the accessible, tolerated commercial sex markets.
Amidst the endless stream of visitors to Las Vegas—tour groups, convention-goers, sporting
enthusiasts, bachelor parties, gamblers—walk some tourists who simply take advantage of the
relaxed moral norms in Las Vegas. Child advocate Marlene Richter says, “Tourists visiting Las
Vegas may believe they can engage in child sex tourism without detection or punishment because
of the ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ media campaign and attitude.”276 In fact, sometimes
what happens in Vegas will stay with a child for life.
Atlanta
The United States of America
DEMAND.
Atlanta has a thriving adult sex industry that grosses five percent of the total business
revenue in the city. Unfortunately, Atlanta has developed a national reputation as
a sex tourist destination. Internet sex guides and blogs offer comprehensive guides
to escort services in Atlanta. Even Craig’s List advertises Atlanta-specific sexual
services.277
The city of Atlanta is home to large numbers of entertainment and media enterprises that feed
the commercial sex industry and openly and visibly promote them. In 2003, Vivid Entertainment
Group, one of the biggest producers of sex videos in the United States, sponsored A Porn Star Ball
in Atlanta at a popular midtown music club. The Ball was part of a national tour encouraging
women to dress as porn stars and awarding prizes for the best costume.278 In 2003, the annual
Player’s Ball was held in Atlanta, celebrating the city’s status as a major site for the commercial
sex industry. The Player’s Ball recognizes pimps for their achievements in the buying and selling
of women and girls and also serves as a venue for these transactions.279
Atlanta has a large number of strip clubs concentrated in certain areas of the city. In 2001, the
Gold Club was forced to close after criminal charges were brought against its owner, Steve Kaplan.
Kaplan entertained famous athletes, such as NBA star Patrick Ewing, in his club, providing them
Ibid.
“Thank you, come again,” anonymous blog posting between 2004-2005 <http://www.vegasmassage.org>. Accesed on April 2,
2007.
276
“Report on the Mid-Term Review of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,” p. 24.
277
Priebe, Alexandra and Cristen Suhr, Hidden in Plain View: the Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Girls in Atlanta. Atlanta Office
of the Mayor. Atlanta: Atlanta Office of the Mayor, 2005.
278
Kloer, Phil, “Upscale Venders Cash in on Porn: Media giants are reaping huge profits by pushing smut into the American
mainstream,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 17, 2003, available at
<http://www.bettydodson.com/popculturevspornculture.htm>. Accessed on January 15, 2007.
279
Priebe and Suhr, “Hidden in Plain View,” p.8.
274
275
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with free drinks and sex.280 Kaplan was charged not only with facilitating prostitution, but also
with paying protection money to the Gambino organized crime family. This high profile case put
Atlanta in the spotlight for commercial sexual entertainment.
The northern end of Fulton Industrial Boulevard is a well-known haven for prostitution, particularly
child prostitution. The lack of scrutiny in this area populated with giant industries such as CocaCola, UPS, and Anheuser-Busch but undeveloped beyond the truck stops and budget hotels has
allowed the commercial sex markets to flourish. In 2003, a number of entrepreneurs saw the
opportunity to capitalize on the sex market already present. In a short time, an “adult fantasy
store” called Inserection and a more hardcore sex store called New York Video opened across the
road from each other—both owned by Michael Morrison. Two private swingers clubs, Trapeze
and 2 Risque; an S&M nightclub, Club Kink; and a strip club called Club Wax followed on a side
street overlooking Fulton Industrial. Lastly, a sex shop called the Love Shack opened across from
the entrance to the Charlie Brown Airport. “In roughly a year’s time, the gateway to Fulton
County’s most prosperous industrial district had been transformed from a run-down retail pocket
into metro Atlanta’s new red-light district—all within sight of the Six Flags roller coasters.”281
Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Cobb counties began seeking ways to eliminate the sex shops and
prevent new ones from joining them.282 Nevertheless, the pervasive and accessible commercial
sex markets concentrated in this area contribute to the culture of tolerance in Atlanta.
Atlanta’s commercial sex markets advertise sexual services in many brochures, newspapers, and
magazines. Mainstream newspapers catering to young professionals regularly contain advertisements
and photographs reflecting diversity in the prostituted girls marketed—Asian, Caucasian, and
African-American. Xcitementatlanta, Wild Side, Girls Inside, and Atlanta Late Night are graphic
print marketing with pages of offerings, including dwarf-prostitutes and Atlanta College Coeds.
For the Latino community, advertisements for commercial sex venues are placed in the local
Latino papers. Similar advertising for other ethnic groups can be found in public places.
The aggressive marketing of the city to organizers of conventions and sporting events to fill the
cavernous venues constructed for the Olympic games of 1996 brings with it the demand supporting
a market for commercial sex. The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) reported a
2005 convention attendance number of 3,105,256 people, attending 3,068 conventions averaging
3.4 days each. The revenue from these conventions is substantial and vital to Atlanta. The average
convention attendee spent $315 during their time in Atlanta.283 This amount, however, would
not include money spent in the illegal commercial sex markets.
The demand for commercial sex may come with the tourists to Atlanta or it may be generated
within the visitor groups after arrival. Marketing is specifically targeted at the conventions where
advertisement cards are handed out to convention attendees promising VIP treatment at the
various “Gentlemen’s Clubs” in the area, as well as discount entry cards distributed at sporting
events, concert and other events.284 One major hotel’s courtesy guest shuttle was observed providing
transportation for guests to a strip club, further facilitating the commercial sex markets.285
Cabell, Brian, “NBA star Ewing testifies at strip club trial,” CNN.com, July 24, 2001. Accessed on January 15, 2007.
Henry, Scott, “Porn Wars: A sex-shop invasion creates Atlanta’s new red-light district,” CreativeLoafing.com, October 23, 2003
<http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A13863>. Accessed on January 13, 2007.
282
Ibid.
283
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), Atlanta Fact Sheet, 2005 and 2006 statistics
<http://www2.atlantameetings.net/pressroom/pressReleases/Fact%20Sheet.doc>. Accessed on April 2, 2007.
284
SHI Research Report, February 24, 2006. On file with authors.
285
Ibid.
280
281
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With this demand comes the need for more girls to satisfy the demand—Atlanta’s victims come
heavily in the form of domestic minor girls recruited locally and from other states in America.
The “big city” of Atlanta is a siren call to the teenager living in remote towns with television
advertising pointing to the riches that await them in the city. The rural youth are easy prey and
easy to manipulate. Pimps linger at the bus stations and the MARTA subway stations ready to
recruit the new arrivals. Girls are quickly identified, recruited, and often tattooed with the name
or symbol of their new pimp. Other girls are urban, street-wise and influenced by the pervasive
“pimp culture.”
At the Junkman’s Daughter clothing store, in Atlanta’s Little Five Points, girls go
in looking for popular T-shirts that read “Porn Star” across the front, sometimes in
girlie cursive, glittery letters...Indeed, real porn actresses are as ubiquitous in MTV
music videos as tattoos and tousled hair.286
Fulton County Chief Juvenile Court Judge Nina Hickson presided over a growing number of
cases involving sexually exploited girls. Growing concerned about this trend, she commissioned a
rigorous and comprehensive research study of Atlanta’s vulnerable youth.287 The study, published
in 2005, revealed that one of the main reasons for this increase in exploited girls was the lack of
pimp arrests due to Georgia’s weak state laws against pimping minors. “The pimping and pandering
of a minor in the state of Georgia was classified as a misdemeanor payable with a $50 fine. Girls
were routinely being criminalized, while their adult exploiters continued to victimize them with
impunity.”288
The United States of America
DEMAND.
Young African-American girls, in particular, are victimized in the commercial sex markets of
Atlanta; 90 percent of their cases are referred to the Center to End Abuse and Sexual Exploitation
(CEASE). This center is situated within the office building of the Juvenile Justice Court—tacit
recognition of the connection between juvenile delinquency and commercial sexual exploitation
of children. The average age of the girls appears to be 14, but girls as young as 10 and 11 have been
exploited.289 Sixty percent of the children under the age of 18 live in single-parent households,
often female-head households. Thirty-nine percent of all children under 18 live in poverty290—
two factors commonly associated with the recruitment of minors by pimps.
Increasingly, children are being used as recruiters for the sex trade in Atlanta after their own
commercial sexual exploitation has begun. Because adult pimps are vulnerable to penalties
for pimping and pandering, they have begun to rely on their psychologically conditioned and
traumatized minor victims for recruiting new victims. They order the girls to find more girls for
the “stable,” leaving the pimps safely unseen.
While Atlanta’s sex trafficking market heavily exploits local girls, foreign victims have also been
identified. In 2004, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice formed a multidisciplinary task force to combat human trafficking in Atlanta, and in several other cities. This
recognition by the Department of Justice of the human trafficking occurring in Atlanta has led
Kloer, “Upscale Vendors Cash in on Porn: Media giants are reaping huge profits by pushing smut into the American
mainstream,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
287
Priebe and Suhr, “Hidden in Plain View,” p. 8.
288
Ibid.
289
Boxill, Nancy A. and Deborah J. Richardson, “A Community’s Response to the Sex Trafficking of Children,” The Link (The Child
Welfare League of America: Atlanta, GA) winter 2005, pg.1 <http://www.cwla.org/programs/juvenilejustice/thelink2005winter.pdf>.
Accessed on March 23, 2007.
290
Priebe and Suhr, “Hidden in Plain View,” p.15.
286
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to increased law enforcement activity, both in investigations of foreign trafficking and domestic
minor trafficking.
Several prominent cases have been brought against traffickers of foreign victims in Atlanta. In
1998, a large trafficking network of East and Southeast Asian massage parlors and apartment
brothels also containing slot machines was discovered. Advertising was primarily through Chinese
language newspapers or word of mouth; one brothel owner ran a restaurant where he would
solicit buyers and provide transportation from the restaurant to the brothel.291 In 2004, the U.S.
Department of Justice indicted three Mexican brothers who allegedly promised Mexican women
jobs and marriage partners in the Atlanta area but instead physically forced and threatened them
into prostitution upon arrival, keeping all the proceeds.292 The youngest victim was 16 years old.293
In 2005, three Brazilian nationals living in Dunwoody, Georgia were indicted for sex trafficking
four young Brazilian women. The women were smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico and forced
to prostitute in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The victims were told they would have legitimate jobs in
sales, as maids or as waitresses, but when they arrived they were told there were no jobs and they
would have to be prostitutes. The traffickers also took sexually provocative photos of the women
and told them that their families would find out they were prostitutes if they did not do as they
were told. The victims were held in several apartments, including 1305 and 1507 Tree Lodge
Parkway, Dunwoody, Georgia and 550 Abernathy Road, Atlanta, Georgia. The 550 Abernathy
Road location was used primarily as a brothel apartment where the victims were prostituted.294
Foreign victims of trafficking are kept typically within the closed ethnic brothels in the urban
and suburban areas where high concentrations of recent immigrants reside, such as areas of
Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. This puts the highly secretive systems outside of view and hidden
from law enforcement who struggle with the language and immigration status barriers of the
ethnic populations, many of whom are terrified and untrusting of any officials as a result of their
immigration status, threats by their traffickers or experiences in their home countries.
Prostitution of minors in Atlanta was revealed in the high profile court proceedings of United
States of America v. Charles Floyd Pipkins and Andrew Moore in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office
charged a Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) violation in 2004.295 The
defendants and their co-conspirators operated a child prostitution ring in southwest Atlanta in an
area around Metropolitan Avenue known as the “track” and transported juveniles for prostitution
in a manner that constituted an “enterprise” subjecting it to a RICO scrutiny.
The court noted the mechanics of the pimping enterprise in its decision as follows: “[E]ach pimp
kept a stable of prostitutes with a well-defined pecking order. At the top of each pimp’s organization
was his “bottom girl” [note: “bottom b**ch” is the street term], a trusted and experienced girl in
the stable or a female associate. Next in the pimp’s chair of command was a “wife-in-law,” a
prostitute with supervisory duties similar to those of the “bottom girl.” A pimp’s bottom girl or
Raymond Ph.D., Janice G. and Donna M Hughes, Ph.D., “Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States: International and
Domestic Trends,” April 17, 2001 <http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/187774.pdf>. Accessed on December 12, 2006.
292
U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Justice Department Announces Indictment of Three Brothers on Sex Trafficking
Charges,” January 28, 2004 available at <http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2004/January/04_crt_048.htm>. Accessed on December
12, 2006.
293
Hart, Ariel, “Civil Rights Charges In Prostitution Case,” New York Times, January 29, 2004 <http://query.nytimes.com/gst/
fullpage.html?res=940CE7DE1038F93AA15752C0A9629C8B63&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fP%2fP
rostitution>. Accessed on December 12, 2006.
294
U.S. Department of Justice press release, “3 Indicted for Sex Trafficking of Brazilian Women,” December 22, 2005, available at
<http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan/press/2005/12-22-2005b.html>. Accessed on December 12, 2006.
295
United States of America vs. Charles Floyd Pipkins, a.k.a. Sir Charles, Andrew Moore, jr., a.k.a. Batman, 378 F.3d 1281 (11th Cir.
2004), August 2, 2004.
291
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wife-in-law often worked the track in his stead, running interference for and collecting money
from the pimp’s other prostitutes. The bottom girl also looked after the pimp’s affairs if the pimp
was out of town, incarcerated, or otherwise unavailable. Prostitutes turned tricks in adult clubs, in
parking lots, on mattresses behind local businesses, in cars, in motel rooms, or in rooming houses.
A prostitute charged $30.00 to $80.00 for each trick and was required to turn over all the money
to her pimp. Some pimps gave their prostitutes a “quota” to earn over $1,000 a night.”296 As a
result, Pipkins and Moore got a total of 70 years in prison and captured the attention of officials
in Atlanta and other cities across America.
Washington, D.C.—Baltimore Corridor
The nation’s capitol is also plagued with the sexual exploitation and enslavement of domestic
and foreign girls for commercial sexual exploitation. Washington, D.C. is a city of stark contrasts.
It is at once the center of international politics with emissaries from 185 countries and home
to indigent persons and neglected, vulnerable youth. This combination of rich and poor, welleducated and not, are characteristics that ultimately contribute to the demand for markets of
commercial sex and exploitation. As is often true in other cities, the poor become the victims and
the powerful become the buyers.
At the low end of the economic scale are the women and girls who entered into commercial sex in
the 1980s when the crack cocaine epidemic took hold of D.C. Cocaine kingpin Rafael Edmonds,
supplied by the Medellin Cartel of Colombia, controlled an organization that served twenty
drug markets in D.C. in the 1980s.297 The resulting addiction—confined primarily to the poorer
African-American community—fueled prostitution because female addicts needed money to pay
for crack. Selling one’s body was the easiest way to earn it.298 In so doing, many women contracted
HIV.299 Indeed, then–Mayor of the city, Marion Barry, enhanced the culture of tolerance for drugs
and sex when he was caught on film smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room with a woman in
1990.300
The United States of America
DEMAND.
This drug-fueled commercial sex market extended north into Baltimore which continues to feel
the gripping effects of heroin and crack addictions throughout the downtown area. Baltimore
maintains its own commercial sex markets which draw deeply from the poor areas which never
recovered from the closure of several large industries in the last two decades. Areas such as Brooklyn,
lying immediately off of a major exit for Interstate 95, provide easy access for drivers headed north
or south to the many young girls being prostituted by the pimps who have gained control over
them. There are four known “strips” in Baltimore City where child trafficking victims are notably
present: Brooklyn (southwest Baltimore); Garrison Boulevard (northwest Baltimore); Harford
Road (northeast Baltimore); and Patterson Park/Dundalk (southeast Baltimore).301 In addition,
the rundown, low rent areas just miles from attractions such as the Inner Harbor and Camden
Yards in downtown Baltimore, provide venues for brothels in which girls are trapped, sometimes
forcibly, and sold for sex. Not far from those attractions is the area called “The Block,” which
U.S. v. Pipkins, 378 F.3d 1281 (11th Cir. 2004).
Burton, Philip, Personal interview, June 14, 2004. Burton is a 22- year veteran and former narcotics and homicide investigator
for the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.
298
Sharpe, Tanya Telfair, Behind the Eight Ball: Sex for Crack Cocaine Exchange and Poor Black Women (New York: Haworth
Press) 2005.
299
Sugarman, K., “Crack Cocaine and HIV in the Inner City,” New England Journal of Medicine, May 1995, vol. 332, no. 18, pp.
1233-1235.
300
LaFraniere, Sharon, “Barry Arrested on Cocaine Charges in Undercover FBI, Police Operation,” Washington Post, January 19,
1990 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/tours/scandal/barry.htm>. Accessed on January 20, 2007.
301
Sidney Ford, MSW, Director of YANA, Personal interview, February 21, 2006.
296
297
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is populated with strip clubs and adult venues. Field research netted information that foreign
trafficking victims were forced to work the strip clubs and prostitute to the clients.
Though Washington, D.C. has undergone considerable rejuvenation and redevelopment in the
past decade, making it a more desirable place to live, work, and play, commercial sex remains a
reality. Venues are well secured and hidden, involving trafficked foreign women, and increasingly
domestic minors, many of whom are local. Street prostitution still occurs in certain well-known
areas, including 12th Street and Massachusetts Avenue; between 10th Street and 15th Street from F
to M Streets; on 13th Street north of Florida Avenue; and on 11th Street between O and P Streets.
Prostitution is also evident at certain hotels, such as The President Hotel on New York Avenue
where minors loiter together with adult women in the parking lot nightly and are reportedly being
prostituted.302
Several recent criminal cases make the point that sex trafficking is thriving in D.C. In August of
2006, several brothels disguised as “spas” and “massage parlors” were raided by a combined Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation that
uncovered a Korean-operated human trafficking ring spanning most of the East Coast.303 Thirtyone persons were arrested on charges of human trafficking and the interstate transportation of
women for the purpose of prostitution (Mann Act). Twenty brothels were raided from Rhode
Island to North Carolina, including one in Baltimore and five in the District. More than 70
Korean women were rescued. The women allegedly were given phony U.S. passports or smuggled
across from Mexico or Canada.304 D.C. resident Jaron Brice was arrested for trafficking in girls
and sentenced to thirty years in prison in the fall of 2006. Between March 2004 and May 2005,
Brice recruited women and girls to engage in prostitution in the District of Columbia, Maryland,
New York, and Florida.305 In neighboring Bowie, Maryland, a high school football coach was
indicted on child sex trafficking in the fall of 2006.306 Aaron Burroughs repeatedly trafficked a
juvenile from Maryland to the District of Columbia for the purposes of prostitution with other
adult males, including a police officer. Burroughs also engaged in sex acts with her. His sentencing
is pending.
Advertising commercial sexual services in Washington, D.C. is somewhat more discreet than
Atlanta or Las Vegas but venues can be found easily by word of mouth or in local papers’ classified
and sports sections of major national papers as well as local, free papers from across the political
and social spectrum.
As the center of power and politics in the United States, and consequently also tourism,
millions of persons pass through D.C. each year. Indeed, Washington, D.C. is one of the
most transient cities in the United States. At any given time, thousands of men and women
are residing in Washington for political, cultural, recreational, business, educational or other
reasons. The length of their stay can range from a few days to several years. Diplomats, students,
SHI Research Report, February 14, 2006. On file with authors.
Lengel, Allen, “31 Arrested in Reputed Korean Sex-Slave Trafficking along East Coast,” Washington Post, August 17, 2006.
304
Winter, Michael, “East Coast sex-smuggling ring busted,” USA Today, August 16, 2006, available at
<http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2006/08/east_coast_sexs.html>. Accessed on January 15, 2007.
305
U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Federal Grand Jury indicts District man for interstate sex trafficking and rape of
children and adult females,” October 5, 2005
<http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/Press%20Releases/DC%20Brioe%20Index%20PR_100505.pdf> Accessed on January
15, 2007; U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Violent Pimp sentenced to 30 years in prison for prostituting teenage girls,”
September 15, 2006
<http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/dc/Press_Releases/2006_Archives/Sep_2006/06337.html>. Accessed January 15, 2007. See also,
Debbi Wilgoren, “Area Juvenile Sex Rings Targeting using Anti-Trafficking Laws,” Washington Post, November 1, 2006.
306
U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Federal Grand Jury indicts former volunteer high school football coach on child sex
trafficking and child sexual abuse charges,” October 20, 2006
<http://washingtondc.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel06/wfo102006b.htm>. Accessed January 15, 2007.
302
303
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visiting scholars, legistlators and political appointees spend a few months to years in the city at a
time. This creates a very attractive target base for the advertisers of commercial sexual services on
the Internet. Like the “corporate warriors” in Japan, men in power or seeking power are attracted
to the idea of “conquest” and “adventure” to satisfy their “intense” sexual needs.307 Men residing
in D.C. could also be drawn into purchasing the amply advertised commercial sexual services.
Conclusion
Public Awareness
Public awareness campaigns have been undertaken in the United States, particularly on the issue
of trafficking foreign women into the U.S., in movies, documentaries, and awareness campaigns,
such as the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Rescue and Restore Campaign
which encourages people to “look beneath the surface” at the exploitation that may be occurring.
The next wave of public awareness must include the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking. In
every city the misidentification of juveniles as criminal prostitutes rather than victims of sex
trafficking is occurring. Even when first responders attempt to identify the minor as a victim,
services available are not clearly outlined and access to safe and secure shelter is limited at best. The
change in language from “child prostitute” to “trafficked child” is imperative and now underway
through efforts and support from the Department of Justice and advocates at the local levels. The
example of the “lot lizard” label, similar to hooker, ’ho, or child prostitute robs a victim of correct
identification which would legally entitle her to assistance and justice.
The United States of America
DEMAND.
Most public awareness campaigns have not had a focus on the reduction of demand for sex
trafficking or sex tourism. The U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of
Children in America survey conducted in 2006 found that only 40% of NGO survey respondents
had conducted demand-focused awareness campaigns in their communities.308 One approach
to demand-focused awareness campaigns has been The Defenders USA project. A project of
Shared Hope International, The Defenders USA aims to shift the responsibility for addressing
demand to men, encouraging moral supervision over other men to say no to commercial sex and
related commercial sexual activities, especially pornography which pervades society through the
Internet.309
Legislation
Powerful federal legislation has been adopted in the U.S. criminalizing trafficking and sex tourism,
as well as providing for victim assistance. In addition, many states have adopted anti-trafficking
legislation.310 The TVPA 2005 calls on the government to state what actions are being taken to
reduce international sex tourism, as well as eliminate the need to prove force, fraud and coercion
when a minor is involved in a commercial sex act. Also, the powerful PROTECT Act, especially
Section 105 criminalizing child sex tourism and establishing jurisdiction over citizens and residents
of the U.S. who travel abroad to exploit children, is a very positive step in protecting children
who by legal definition cannot consent to prostitution.311
Bender, Kimberly and Rich Furman, “The Implications of Sex Tourism on Men’s Social, Psychological, and Physical Health,” The
Qualitative Report, vol. 9, no. 2, June 2004, pp.181-182.
308
“Report on the Mid-Term Review of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,” p. 41.
309
<http://www.thedefendersusa.org>. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
310
<http://216.128.14.181/polarisproject/programs_p3/State_p3.htm>. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
311
See The Protection Project website for complete discussions and analysis of relevant legislation: <http://www.protectionproject.org>.
Accessed on April 11, 2007.
307
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Though the TVPRA 2005 authorized funding for programs to provide services and shelters to
minor domestic victims, those funds have not been appropriated to date.
Law Enforcement
There has been considerable improvement in the law enforcement response to human trafficking
crimes over the past few years as precedents have been created and awareness of the problem has
increased through print and other media. The typology of the buyer of child sex is well documented
in psychological and medical studies and used to train law enforcement in investigating crimes
involving abused children.312 The National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
worked together with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and
Obscenity Section (CEOS) to form the Innocence Lost Task Forces which have brought many
cases against traffickers of minors in the U.S. in places as diverse as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and
Washington, D.C.
Another response by the U.S. Department of Justice has been the formation and funding of
Human Trafficking Task Forces in 42 locations. Originally geared primarily toward the issue of
foreign victim trafficking into the U.S., increased attention has been brought to bear on the
problem of domestic minor victims with the emphasis of commercially sexually exploited youth
as trafficking victims under the TVPRA 2005. However, NGO and service provider counterparts
to the Task Forces have only received funding to provide services to foreign victims. Shared
Hope International is implementing a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to work with
ten Task Forces on increasing identification and delivery of services to domestic minor trafficking
victims in the U.S. Field research is revealing that this population is far greater in number than
foreign victims and very hard to identify. While domestic vicitms have some access to services and
funds, they lack advocates, specialized services and delievery of services. Efforts are being made
to expand the investigation of trafficking crimes to domestic commercial sexual exploitation; due
to the difficulties in proving specific elements of the crime, these investigations have mostly been
child prostitution cases, rather than trafficking of American adult victims.
Prevention and Restorative Facilities
Non-Governmental Organizations
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fight sex tourism and sex trafficking markets, both
domestically and internationally. In April 2006, 48 NGOs participated together with government
agencies and individual activists and academia in the U.S. Mid-Term Review on the Commercial
Sexual Exploitation of Children in America Conference, organized by Shared Hope International,
The Protection Project at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
(SAIS), and ECPAT-USA. The participants shared information on their prevention and awareness
programs, legislative initiatives, research, and rescue and rehabilitation work. Sixty-two percent of
participating organizations responding to the pre-conference survey had created public awareness
campaigns and 54% had been involved in developing proactive legislation. However, only 20%
were able to provide physical shelter to child victims of sex trafficking, citing lack of resources
and funding as major obstacles.313 It has also been noted that state child protective services
regulations can effectively prevent the provision of shelter and services to a prostituted child.314
See handbooks for US law enforcement, “Child Molesters Who Abduct,” (1995) and “Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis,”
(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Alexandria, VA., 1992).
313
“Report on the Mid-Term Review of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in America,” pp. 29-30.
314
Ugarte, et al, “Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Children from Mexico to the United States,” in Prostitution, Trafficking,
and Traumatic Stress.
312
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Adult domestic victims of sex trafficking are often victims of domestic violence as well, and
can frequently be found in the domestic violence shelters across the U.S. Identification of these
women is more difficult and presents a current challenge in the anti-trafficking community.
However, once identified, adult domestic victims of trafficking may be easier to shelter as domestic
violence shelters can accommodate adults more readily than juveniles.
Foreign victims of sex trafficking are entitled to a range of services, including shelter and medical
and psychological care, among other services. Nonetheless, the resources to provide these services
are limited and do not provide for the complete level of care and shelter needed. The Office for
Victims of Crimes (OVC) at the U.S. Department of Justice is provided funds for services for
foreign victims from the time they are encountered by law enforcement to the time they are
certified by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) as a victim of severe forms of trafficking—a period of time called “pre-certification.”315
Once certified, services are then made available through ORR/DHHS.316 Among the benefits
for victims of trafficking is the ability to apply for a T-Visa, a non-immigrant visa permitting the
victim ultimately to apply for permanent status.
Johns Schools
The issue of demand as a primary driver in the marketplaces of sex trafficking and sex tourism has
led to research and investigation into ways to reduce the demand, thereby reducing the trafficking.
One such deterrent is a diversion program established in several cities, in which men arrested for
buying commercial sex can choose to participate in Johns Schools aimed at educating the buyers
of commercial sex on the trauma and victimization suffered by the girls providing the commercial
sexual services.317 These programs are a community-based response to addressing the demand of
local buyers. It is acknowledged that the Johns Schools are a post-victimization response and a
secondary deterrence as the criminal sexual exploitation is already committed, but the schools
provide an opportunity for the victims to be heard and may have an effect on the recidivism of
offenders.318
The United States of America
DEMAND.
The Challenge of Technology
I started [in prostitution] when I was 14 and I think I was 15 when I did the Internet.
I gave the company a false ID and the people who worked for the company took
the pictures. I paid with a credit card to keep the site going. The site had a number
with prices and days available, then they [buyer] would give me a call, and I had
my own motel room. I would normally sleep with 6-7 men a night.319
— Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Survivor, Las Vegas
The Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) of the U.S. Department of Justice maintains a website detailing all of the resources and
services available to victims and survivors of sex trafficking: <http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/help/tip.htm>. Accessed on April 11,
2007.
316
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) maintains a website
detailing all of the resources and services available to victims and survivors of sex trafficking after certification of status:
<http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/astvict.htm>. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
317
See Desiree Alliance website <http://www.desireealliance.org/resources/enddemand.htm#_ftn6> for a contrary view on
diversion programs, particularly Johns Schools. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
318
Monto, Martin A. and Steve Garcia, “Recidivism Among the Customers of Female Street Prostitutes: Do Intervention Programs
Help?” Western Criminology Review 3 (2). [Online] 2001 <http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v3n2/monto.html>. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
319
“Annie,” Sex trafficking survivor, Personal interview, March 23, 2006.
315
107
The United States of America
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
As one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, the U.S. faces the challenge
of combating facilitation of sex tourism and sex trafficking markets by technology. Widespread
availability and affordability of digital cameras and video cameras makes the production of child
pornography and pornography involving sex trafficking victims easy and inexpensive. With nearly
70 percent of Americans accessing the Internet, the accessibility to commercial sex markets on
the Internet is staggering.320 The Internet is often used as a broker for women in escort agencies
and to attract possible buyers. Cell phones also allow facilitators to take a picture of the victim
and send it to a prospective buyer, all with relative anonymity.
www.sharedhope.org
108
Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics as of March 10, 2007 <http://www.Internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm>.
Accessed on April 11, 2007.
320
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Japan
www.sharedhope.org
109
Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Red circles indicate primary areas of Shared Hope International field
research.
110
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
Glossary of Japanese Language Terms
Boryokudan: Violence group; term used interchangeably with yakuza and said to control the sex
industry.
Chosensoren: An organization that manages and lobbies on behalf of the North Korean Japanese
community in Japan and is a conduit for communication between Japan and North Korea.
Deriheru: Delivery Health; euphemism for escort services.
Dohan: The act of accompanying a customer to a pub or restaurant; prostitution.
Goto-gumi: Organized crime group and branch of Yamaguchi-gumi involved in sex trade.
Hoanka: Division of Police that maintains public order and enforces entertainment laws.
Ianfu: Comfort women.
Inagawakai: Organized crime syndicate.
Jinshinbaibai: Human Trafficking.
Fuei-hou: Entertainment Law.
The United States of America
Japan
DEMAND.
Keiyukai: Japanese Police Officers’ Associated Board; a non-profit organization managed mainly by
retired police officers. It was established in 1990 and has several offices in the area between Tokyo
and Kyoto. It is comprised of eleven divisions, including a Criminal Investigation Department.
Keiyukai appears to be offering protection to some businesses in exchange for donations or corporate
sponsorship. It is also suggested that Keiyukai works with traffickers to appease the enforcement side
of the government. The website cites the following supporting organizations: UN International
Children’s Emergency Fund, UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, and the
Japan-Korea Tunnel Research Institute. Goldman Sachs of Japan is one of the key contributors.
The Board handles and procures jobs for people in the Seikatsuanzenbu whose activities include
policing the pachinko parlors, many of which are owned by North Koreans.
Kigyoshatei: Corporate blood brothers.
Kobayashikai: Organized crime group.
Kodokai: Northern Japanese organized crime group.
Kokuryukai: Okinawa-based organized crime group.
Kokusai-Kogyo 21: Front company for the Goto-gumi organized crime group.
Kokusui-kai: Small gang in Tokyo that merged with Yamaguchi-gumi.
Kyosekai: Hiroshima-based organized crime group.
111
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Japan
DEMAND.
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Mizu shobai: Water Trade.
NKryu: The NK Way meaning intercourse, illegal by Japanese law, is permitted.
Seifuzoki: Sexual Services.
Shobadai: Fee for doing business in an area controlled by organized crime.
Sumiyoshikai: Third most powerful OC Syndicate.
Tobashi: Women unable to get dates or “leftovers” who are dispatched to seedy venues.
Teiho: Private information, tip.
Tengai: The act of going on a date outside of a pub or restaurant.
Toshikumiai: Investor Unions used to launder KK21 illegal profits.
Terekura: Telephone Dating Club.
Yamaguchi-gumi: Presently Japan’s largest and most violent OC Syndicate.
Zengeiren (Zenkoku-gaikokujin-jigyosha-renraki-kyogikai): All Japan Association of Businesses
employing Foreign Entertainers registered as a non-governmental organization established in
1996. It is a lobbying group for over 400 businesses that employ foreign entertainers believed to be
involved in human trafficking. In spite of its “independent” status it has strong ties to the Liberal
Democratic Party and has lobbied against the anti-trafficking legislation in Japan.
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Japan:
Culture and Crime Promote Commercial Markets of
Sexual Exploitation
Japan has the single largest sex market of Asian women in the world, and Japanese
male sex tourists traveling abroad outnumber those of other nations.321
From the Philippines where I work, 80,000 women go to Japan as “entertainers.”
Yet everyone knows that they are engaging in activities not permitted by their
“hostess” visas...Although this is human trafficking, it is done openly. Just because
there is demand, is it acceptable for the government to support activities like this
that compromise the dignity of our country?322
T
he case of Japan is intriguing and disturbing. Not only has Japan participated in sanctioned
sex trafficking as a destination country for decades, today it is perhaps the largest market for
commercial sex in the world among developed countries. It is estimated the sex industry accounts
for one percent to three percent of Japan’s gross national product (GNP), an amount equal to
Japan’s defense budget.323 Moreover, attitudinal surveys of highly-educated Japanese sex buyers
show that in spite of the prevalence and long history of sex trafficking, they are the “least likely to
have read or heard reports about the trafficking of women and children into the sex industry.”324
The United States of America
Japan
DEMAND.
Unlike the other markets investigated in this report, Japan is unique in its nearly universal
acceptance and tolerance of the sex trade and lack of interest in criminalizing the buyers and
helping the severely exploited women and girls. Though the Netherlands is known for tolerating
prostitution and commercial sex, its laws are strict, its NGOs active, and its citizenry alarmed
when women are exploited. Japan, however, has few activists working on behalf of victims because
they fear they will be targeted by organized crime. Field researchers found that only one out of
five NGO activists in Japan were willing to speak about their work, citing fears of retaliation by
Japanese organized crime (the Yakuza).
Yoshiaki, Yoshimi, Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery in the Japanese Military during World War II (New York: Columbia University
Press, 2000) p.18.
322
Filipina Translator and Source, Personal interview, April 8, 2006.
323
Report: Biregional Meeting on Condom Promotion in High-Risk Situations in Asia, Convened by: World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific and Regional Office for South-East Asia (Hanoi, Viet Nam: 13-17 August 2001) (World
Health Organization: Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines) August 2001, p.4. <http:www.wpro.who.int/NR/
rdonlyres/14F03139-989E-448B-91DF-344BD214FBB2/0/Biregional_Meeting_on_Condom_Promotion_VTN-Aug2001.pdf>; Nitara
Nivatvongs, “Philippines and Human Traffic,” Trade Environment Database Case Studies, vol.12, no.1, January 2002 (Case Study
No. 661: December 2001).
<http://www.american.edu/TED/philippine-traffic.htm>. Accessed on April 1, 2006. See also Mitsuko Horiuchi and Roger Plant,
Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Japan (Geneva: IOM, 2004) pp. 33-34. These figures were derived from estimates by
the Asian Wall Street Journal in 2000 and the London Financial Times in 2003.
324
Anderson, Bridget and Julia Davidson, Is Human Trafficking Demand Driven? A Multi-Country Pilot Study (Geneva: International
Organization of Migration, 2003) p.23.
321
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Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Human trafficking is often seen as a form of economic assistance to impoverished peoples. Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Koki Kobayashi stated that visas allow Filipinos to earn good
wages and support their families back home.325 Nonetheless, the government did allow amendments
to the immigration law limiting the number of entertainment visas issued each year in a nod to
the abuse of these visas by human traffickers. These amendments have not had a noticeable effect
on curbing the recruitment and exploitation of foreign women, as traffickers have found loopholes
and exceptions.
Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, has spoken at Zengeiren (The All-Japan Association
of Business—a lobbying group that provides access to political officials in the LDP and acts as a
liaison between traffickers and the LDP) meetings and has loose connections with this group. Born
after World War II, Abe represents a new generation of ultra-conservative Japanese politicians
who deny that women were forced into prostitution during the war.326 In addition, he refuses
to recognize and apologize to the women who were forced to provide sexual favors to Japanese
soldiers in the 1930s and 1940s. Abe’s intransigence on this issue has sparked considerable protest
in South Korea and angered American legislators who have demanded his apology. The U.S.
Congress attempted to apply pressure on Abe, with the introduction of House Resolution 121 in
January 2007:
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government
of Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical
responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed
Force’s coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as
‘comfort women’, during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and
the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II.327
A rapid growth in immigrant women to Japan occurred in the 1980s and is traced to three factors:
a boom in the entertainment industry, decline in Japanese birth rates, and a shortage of brides.328
The entertainment industry grew in step with the economic boom and required labor that native
Japanese were unwilling to perform. Therefore, migrant women from impoverished countries,
such as the Philippines and Thailand filled, the gap.
The birth rate dropped from 2.1 children per family in the 1970s to 1.39 per family in 1997.329 A
recent report suggests that the current population of 127 million will drop to 100 million by 2050
if trends continue and will shrink the nation’s labor force by one third.330 In addition, there is now
a “bride shortage,” or decline in domestic marriages in Japan as women are choosing careers over
marriage, or putting off marriage until later in life. Imported foreign women are filling this gap
and marriages of Japanese men to foreign women, particularly Thai, Filipina, and Korean women,
has increased steadily.
Onishi, Norimitsu, “Japan aims to stop trafficking in prostitutes,” International Herald Tribune, February 17, 2005.
Mizoguchi, Kozo, “Abe’s Violent Denial: Japan’s Prime Minister and the ‘Comfort Women’,” Associated Press, March 1, 2007,
reprinted Intro. by Alexis Dudden, Japan Focus, March 2, 2007
<http://www.japanfocus.org/products/details/2368>; Katharine H.S. Moon, “’Holier Than Thou Politics of Comfort Women
Apology’,” ABC News, April 4, 2007
<http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=3007091&page=1>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
327
H.Res. 121 IH, available at <http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.RES.121:>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
328
Watanabe, Satoko, “Women’s Struggle and Female Migration into Japan in the 1980s-1990s,” Ph.D. Dissertation (University of
Texas: Austin, TX, 2000) chapter 5.
329
Watanabe, p.179.
330
McNeil, David, “Japan’s Laborious Dilemma,” YaleGlobal, January 13, 2005 <http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/article.print?id=5130>.
Accessed on October 5, 2006.
325
326
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For the past fifteen years, Japan’s economy has been “stagnating,” according to some analysts and
“in recession” according to others.331 Among the many obstacles to improved economic growth
in Japan is the lack of transparency that exists in the banking and business sectors.332 In the
immediate postwar period corporations hired sokaiya or “thugs” to intimidate shareholders from
asking questions at annual meetings.333 Though many sokaiya have disappeared, the mentality of
“privileged information” persists and this plays into the cultural tolerance, not only of commercial
sex in general, but of the links between politics, business, and organized crime in facilitating it.
Japan
DEMAND.
The Marketplace
Commercial Sex Markets
Japan’s commercial sex markets are diverse and widespread. The major red light districts of Tokyo’s
Prefecture include Kabukicho, Ikebukuro, Roppongi and Shibuya. Roppongi caters to foreign
buyers and features Caucasian and Filipina women for commercial sexual services. Nagano City, in
Nagano Prefecture, features Thai women and children. The location of the sex clubs in Shinjuku
provides easy access for businessmen who want sex before or after work as they are conveniently
and strategically located near the highest volume train station in Tokyo. The sex venues are
interwoven with other commercial attractions, including the largest theater in the district and a
large mall. The seamless integration of diverse attractions is evidence of how “normal” this is to
the Japanese and how a culture of tolerance has been developed and maintained. In Japan, the
word fuzoku is often used to describe sex market venues; shops which support the sex industry or
shops run by organized crime providing commercial sex services. Soaplands, pink salons, telephone
clubs, date club, health clubs, and delivery health are but a few of the many commercial sexual
venues available in Japan.
The Kabukicho area located in Shinjuku contains a mix of diversions and activities that eliminate
the potential stigma of entering a red light district. Kabukicho houses strip clubs and regular
dance clubs, hostess bars and pubs, pachinko (gambling) parlors and arcades, movie theaters,
batting cages and love booths. The perimeter of the red light area is conveniently lined with love
hotels where one can rent rooms by the hour.
Karlsson, Stefan, “The Future of the World Economy,” Ludwig von Mises Institute, posted April 29, 2005
<http://www.mises.org/story/1804>; Hans Sennholz, “A Japanese Lesson,” Ludwig von Mises Institute, posted on February 8,
2002 <http://www.mises.org/story/889>; Mike Head, “Tensions mount as Asian fallout spreads: Tokyo rejects US demands on
economy,” World Socialist Web Site, March 24, 1998 <http://www.wsws.org/news/1998/mar1998/jpn-m24.shtml>. Accessed on
April 11, 2007.
332
Lincoln, Edward J., Arthritic Japan: The Slow Pace of Economic Reform (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institute, 2001) p. 84.
333
Ibid., p. 85.
331
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Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Observed Venues of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Industry Type or Club
Location
Soaplands
Formerly known as
Turkish Bath (Toruku)334
Tokyo (including
Product
Buyer
Massage Parlors,
“Health Club” tends
to be connected with
sexual services
Kabukicho, Ikebukuro,
Roppongi, Shibuya)
Teahouses (Cho-no-ma) Tokyo, Yokohama city Thai women
Hallo Hallo
aka Club 8686
Urayasu, Chiba
Nishi Kawaguchi Music
Theater of Tokyo
Saitama Prefecture
Club Bronze
Roppongi (Located in
Russian
TSK building)
(second floor)
Tokyo (Located in
Foreign
Club Desire
Characteristic
Filipina women
who speak
Tagali
Restaurant in the
front of building
and beds for sexual
entertainment in the
back, Raided by police
Japanese
(only)
Philippine Restaurant
on First Floor, brothel
upstairs
Newest trafficking
venue, Raided by
police
(near the Kawaguchi
Japan Railroad Station)
Allegedly a
Yamaguchi-gumi run
club
Baishum building)
Club Cadeau
Roppongi
Foreign (Israeli,
Hungarian,
Polish,
Australian)
Club Rupa, Club
Anettai, Tropical
Mate-Sexy Pub, Club
Batavia, Club CutieHoney, Club Athena
Foreign (Polish,
Russian,
Romanian,
Filipina)
P-Museme (Philippine
Daughters)
Uduisudanji area
Filipina
The Russian Pub
Ueno area
Russian
Japanese,
German,
and
American
Allegedly run by One
Step/Next Group
Japanese
(only)
Reservation required
for service
Popular venues for commercial sex are the take-out bars found throughout the city. Inside the
bars, women wait to entertain male guests as hostesses. Buyers drink or sit with them and pay
the mamasan (madam) when they have selected a girl for sexual services. Then the girl is sent
to the customer’s hotel room or escorted to a nearby hotel to complete the transaction. Because
sex is not performed on the premises, it is called “take out.” The buyers often take the girls to
hourly rate hotels called “love hotels.” The Uguisudani area is one of Japan’s biggest love hotel
neighborhoods with 61 hotels in a small radius around the subway station. Seventy-two love
hotels are located in Shibuya and 75 in Shinjuku.335
Sex Clubs proliferate openly or secretly. Many Filipino clubs located in Chiba Prefecture pose as
restaurants serving Philippine cuisine, but on closer inspection have facilities upstairs for commercial
sex.336 Typically, the Filipina women come to Japan on a six-month entertainer visa. For the first
three months they “apprentice” in the club and if they meet the standards of the manager, they
Fujiwara, Shihoko, Polaris Project JCAT, “Demand and Sex Trafficking in Japan,” presentation at Temple University, Philadelphia,
PA, November 1, 2006. It has been reported that Soaplands are controlled more strictly than other venues and the Japanese
government is no longer issuing licenses to open new baths.
335
Ibid.
336
Field Research Report, April 11, 2006
334
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can start meeting buyers outside of the club (tengai) and bringing them back to the club (dohan)
for sex. Many of the women are reportedly starved in the process so that when they are permitted
to begin dohan, their appetite will motivate them to be aggressive in luring men. Unlike the takeout bars, where the girls are managed by madams, here the girls mostly are managed by men.337
Japan
DEMAND.
Nishi Kawaguchi Music Theater of Tokyo contains a sex club located within the theater. This
was one of the newest venues exploiting alleged trafficking victims. Located in Saitama Prefecture
near the Kawaguchi Japan Railroad station, this area of Saitama is infamous for its illegal sex shops
where intercourse is available. In fact, Japanese slang, NKryu (The NK Way) means the Nishi
Kawaguchi Way: street slang for a sex shop illegally offering full intercourse, rather than the legally
approved sexual activities.338 In May and June of 2006, several sex clubs, including NK Music
Theater, were raided by Japanese police and shut down after reports of the illegal activity were
made to the police.339 This reactionary response to the illegal commercial sex markets seems to
typify the Japanese enforcement, in contrast to the proactive investigations encouraged in other
countries, such as the United States.
A Nigerian man who worked at a prostitution bar provided information on the operations of
a sex club. The bar, called Jasmine, was closed in May 2006 by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
He explained that the girls were brought to Japan on three month tourist visas. The girls were
expected to prostitute to repay fabricated costs incurred by the traffickers in bringing the girls
to Japan. Typically, the girls would be required to prostitute two to three times per night, seven
nights per week. The girls receive $3,000-5,000 at the end of their “contract.” Most girls averaged
ten to twenty customers per week; the owner of the club (who is a Kokusuikai organized crime
group corporate blood-brother) was prostituting ten girls. The cost to the customer for taking the
girl to his hotel or home for intercourse was ¥35,000-40,000 ($300 USD), while overnight stays
averaged ¥70,000-80,000 ($630 USD). A conservative estimate for the club’s monthly income
would be roughly ¥21,000,000 ($205,000 USD). Various operational expenses were subsidized by
table charges and drink charges while the customers sit with the women and choose which one to
buy. Since the firm only must pay the women ¥1,000 ($8 USD) per day for food and incidentals,
their overhead is low and even with the final payment, which is a form of “hush money,” the firm
still makes a tremendous profit.340 This club could be said to be typical of small-scale trafficking
operations.
Teahouses (Cho-no-ma) derive from the Geisha model of providing non-sexual entertainment,
but currently offer full sexual services. They resemble restaurants in the front of the building with
beds for sexual entertainment in the back. There is an area near Tokyo, in Yokohama City, with a
large concentration of Cho-no-ma bars specializing in Thai women.
If time is of the essence, oral sex can be obtained at a Pink Salon (coffee shop). One’s sexual
demands can be met in no more than thirty minutes for about ¥3,000 ($25 USD).341
Filipina Translator and Source, Personal interview, April 8, 2006.
Field Research Report, May 25, 2006. On file with authors.
339
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors. Among other clubs raided: Club Jasmine, Club Ange, Blonde
(Roppongi), and Garden of Eden (Shibuya Ward).
340
Ibid.
341
Tokyo Journalist, Personal interview, January 2006.
337
338
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Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
The police did a reluctant raid of [cho-no-ma bars in Yokohama City] and shut
down many of the bars. As usual, there was only a cursory investigation and none
of the organized crime involved was investigated. This is typical of the Japanese
law enforcement of anti-trafficking laws: close the clubs, arrest the low-level
manager, do no follow up investigation, and while announcing that organized
crime is behind the operations, fail to arrest any organized crime members.342
— Journalist in Tokyo
In keeping with the Japanese cultural perspective of equating sexual services with health,
Soaplands are a popular venue in Yoshiwara. There are approximately 144 soaplands in this small
neighborhood of Senzoku with names like King’s Club, Silky Doll, American Cheergirls, Chocolat,
Candygirl, Boujalais Nouveau, or named after places such as Santa Fe, Darling Harbor, Broadway,
and Caesar’s Palace, with décor to match. The area has been described as a “mini Las Vegas.”343
This area is a good distance from the train stations; therefore the Soaplands will often pick up
their customers at the station in Mercedes with tinted windows for privacy.344 The Soaplands are
essentially “assisted baths” wherein for about $165-$250 the buyer chooses a bathing companion
from an array of women displayed. The encounter often leads to sex. Soaplands are usually closed
to foreigners because of a widespread belief that foreigners carry AIDS. Soaplands tend to be more
expensive than other establishments because their staff is “skilled.”345
The western area of Shinjuku is host to many gay clubs where foreign and local men can have
sex with Japanese boys. These clubs are popular with German and American men. According to
a former police reporter who covers that district, “Sodomy between men or a man and a woman is
not generally against the law. If the boy is under 15, the older male could be arrested for violations
of the child welfare laws. In the entire two years since the law was passed only one case has
been brought in which that law was invoked.”346 This underscores the weaknesses of the Japanese
law that do little to protect victims—especially minors—from sexual exploitation that does not
involve vaginal penetration. The following clubs allegedly use minor boys for commercial sexual
services: 14 Kaikan Asakusa, Shinjuku Spartacus, Treffpunkt, and Janny’s. These are located in the
Taito-ku, Ikebukuro, and Shinjuku districts of Tokyo.347
Another unique feature of the Japanese sex markets is the love booths. These booths range in size
from a small cubicle to a large department store. The walls are lined with pictures of women who are
identified by a number, most of them extremely graphic featuring girls in child-like poses with schoolgirl costumes or girls being physically exploited. The pictures are categorized by the type of girl or type
of costume that she is wearing or willing to wear. Once the buyer has made a selection he then can go
to a computer (also available in the booth) and enter in the corresponding number to make contact
with the girl for the purpose of arranging a meeting at one of the local hostess clubs or love hotels.348
Field Research Report, 22 February 2006. On file with authors.
Fujiwara, “Demand and sex trafficking in Japan,” presentation.
344
Fujiwara, “Demand and sex trafficking in Japan,” presentation.
345
“Soaplands: Getting Dirty in the Bath,” Japan for the Uninvited Online, August 15, 2006
<www.Japanfortheuninvited.com/articles/soaplands/html>. Accessed on April 11, 2007.
346
Former police officer in Shinjuku, Personal interview, June 30, 2006.
347
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
342
343
118
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Shared Hope International
Japan
DEMAND.
Buyers
Shopping
at Booth
a Love
Booth in Tokyo
Buyers shopping
at a Love
in Tokyo.
Escort services, as we have found in each of the examined countries, are becoming the
Escort services,
as we have
each ofHealth”,
the examined
areofbecoming
the primary
primary commercial
sexfound
market.in“Delivery
and othercountries,
permutations
the word health,
is
349
often sex
usedmarket.
to refer to
escort services
in Japan.
The permutations
trend in Japan isoftothe
use word
escorthealth,
servicesis often
commercial
“Delivery
Health”,
and other
meet
women
in unmarked
apartments
and secret
places.
clubs areto meet with
349
used to to
refer
towith
escort
services
in Japan.
The trend
in Japan
is toAdditionally,
use escort services
becoming clandestine to avoid the investigation and scrutiny of officials. Bunny’s Club in
women Shibuya
in unmarked
apartments
and
secret
places.
clubs aretheir
becoming
offers sexual
services
with
foreign
women,Additionally,
but no longer publishes
address;clandestine
they require customers
to meet
a designated
location
which theyoffers
can be
led toservices
to avoidrather,
the investigation
and scrutiny
of at
officials.
Bunny’s
Clubfrom
in Shibuya
sexual
350
the brothel.
aslonger
in otherpublishes
countries examined,
the Internet
cellular
telephone
with foreign
women,Again,
but no
their address;
rather,and
they
require
customers to meet
provide the anonymity and mobility that buyers of commercial sex seek
350 .Moreover, this allows
at a designated
location from
whichvictims
they can
bethe
ledotherwise
to the brothel.
Again,
as incommercial
other countries
for the exploitation
of trafficked
within
regulated and
tolerated
examined,
Internet
cellular
telephone
provide
the anonymity
mobility
buyers of
sex the
industry.
Theand
mobile
commercial
sex market
eliminates
costs and and
overhead
of thethat
typical
sex club
all thatMoreover,
is needed isthis
a few
roomsfor
at athe
hotel
or an apartment,
a telephone
number,
and the
commercial
sex- seek.
allows
exploitation
of
trafficked
victims
within
a few girls to sell.351
otherwise regulated and tolerated commercial sex industry. The mobile commercial sex market
eliminates costs and overhead of the typical sex club—all that is needed is a few rooms at a hotel
or an apartment,
a telephone number, and a few girls to sell.351
349
“Delivery sex services rolling out tempty, tasty treats,” Mainichi Daily News, October 16, 2001
<http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/archive/news/2001/10/20011016p2g00m0dm999000c.html>.
350
Field Research
June 30, 2006.
On file with authors.
Compensated
DatingReport,
or Supportive
Relationship
(enjo kosai): Many junior high and high school
351
Fujiwara, “Demand and sex trafficking in Japan,” presentation; also Makiko Hotoda, Fair Fund, email to
girls areSamantha
providing
sexual
to On
middle-aged
Japanese men in exchange for money or gifts in
Healy,
Januaryfavors
24, 2007.
file with authors.
an arrangement referred to as compensated dating.352 Girls who engage in this exchange desire
11 4 cash to buy fashionable and expensive -clothing,
independence from their parents, feelings of
empowerment, an end to loneliness, or act to reject their parents’ values.353 Though many Japanese
citizens may view this trend as limited to selfish, materialistic teenage girls, in the eyes of antitrafficking activists and analysts this is a clear example of child trafficking for sexual purposes,
punishable under Japanese law and the UN Protocol.
SHI Research Report, August 15, 2005. On file with authors.
“Delivery sex services rolling out tempty, tasty treats,” Mainichi Daily News, October 16, 2001
<http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/archive/news/2001/10/20011016p2g00m0dm999000c.html>. Accessed on November 17,
2006.
350
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
351
Fujiwara, “Demand and sex trafficking in Japan,” presentation; also Makiko Hotoda, Fair Fund, email to Samantha Healy,
January 24, 2007. On file with authors.
348
349
119
Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Related to enjo kosai is the te-re-ku-ra or “telephone club” that schoolgirls can call and pick up
clients. Advertisements for these clubs are found on packages of tissue paper distributed on the
streets. The process for the telephone clubs ranges from “chat line” style telephone sex to actual
sexual contact in a planned location. A new form of soliciting for sex is through matchmaking
club websites (Deai-kei). SHI’s conversations with Japanese citizens in the past year have revealed
that these phenomena are widespread among high school aged girls and according to a government
survey “about a quarter of female students aged from 12 to 15 have taken part in telephone
chat clubs.”354 In an effort to curb the proliferation and use of chat and matchmaking clubs, the
government prohibited advertisement of the clubs within 200 yards of high schools.355 Telephone
clubs were also prohibited from admitting anyone less than 18 years of age. Prime Minister Abe
recently stated that his top priority is to reform the educational system in part by providing 24 hour
hotlines for children and youth needing advice and creating after-school community activities
to combat alienation and isolation.356 This move presents an interesting contrast to his lack of
serious efforts to address foreign and adult trafficking victims. These prevention efforts should
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
reduce the participation of domestic girls in the commercial sex markets.
Advertisements for a Telephone Club in Tokyo. January 2006
Photograph of Advertisements for a Telephone Club in Tokyo, January 2006
As for the As
men
arewho
requesting
their their
services,
most
psychologists
to regain
for who
the men
are requesting
services,
most
psychologistssee
seethis
thisas
asaa way
way to
control over
theircontrol
lives over
and their
gainlives
self-confidence
by seekingby
out
an innocent,
young young
girl. Japanese
regain
and gain self-confidence
seeking
out an innocent,
girl.
Japanese
men are
very
in their
lives and relationships
younggive
women
giveathem
men are very
controlled
in 358
theircontrolled
lives and
relationships
with youngwith
women
them
release
a release from this.
357
from this.
120
Recruitment and Advertising
Hotoda, email of January 24, 2007.
353
Fukuda, Atsuko,
“Feminism
Empowerment
Japan:
Compensated
Dating,” Masters
Thesis (Dalhousie
University:
Recruiting
andand
advertising
are indone
openly
and aggressively
throughout
Tokyo. Flyers
andNova
Scotia, Canada, 2003) pp. 89-104.
tissue
packets
with
phone
numbers
of
escort
agencies
and
addresses
of
sex
clubs
are
thrust
at
354
“Tokyo cracks down on teenage prostitution ‘clubs’,” Reuters, August 13, 1997.
pedestrians
swarming
in
and
out
of
subway
entrances.
Managers
of
clubs
stand
outside
and
355
Ibid.
356
beckon
to passersby
to visitAbe
their
enjoyofan
with 19,
the2006
women
Press conference
by Prime
Minister Shinzo
afterclubs,
the closing
theoverpriced
165th Sessiondrink,
of theand
Diet,relax
December
working inside. Magazines such as Dick advertise
sexual
of foreign women being
<http:www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/abespeech/2006/12/19kaiken_e.html>.
Accessed
onservices
April 19, 2007.
357
Ogasawara,prostituted
Yuko, Office in
Ladies
and Like
Salaried
Power,
Gender,
and
Work in Japanese
Companieswomen
(Berkeley:
University
Japan.
so Men:
many
others,
it is a
valuable
tool for recruiting
into
the sexof
California Press,
1998). The combined advertising and recruitment is indicative of the openness and
industry.
352
acceptance of the commercial sex industry in Japan. One issue of Dick contained information
Shared Hope International
Recruitment and Advertising
Japan
DEMAND.
Recruiting and advertising are done openly and aggressively throughout Tokyo. Flyers and tissue
packets with phone numbers of escort agencies and addresses of sex clubs are thrust at pedestrians
swarming in and out of subway entrances. Managers of clubs stand outside and beckon to
passersby to visit their clubs, enjoy an overpriced drink, and relax with the women working inside.
Magazines such as Dick advertise sexual services of foreign women being prostituted in Japan. Like
so many others, it is a valuable tool for recruiting women into the sex industry. The combined
advertising and recruitment is indicative of the openness and acceptance of the commercial sex
industry in Japan. One issue of Dick contained information about “The Russian Pub” that allegedly
provided prostitution, though its advertising was not
that explicit.358 This magazine is available readily at
most newsstands throughout Tokyo.
Photo: Magazines like Dick advertise to buyers and
recruit women for commercial sex markets.
Traffickers typically recruit victims through popular
women’s magazines by listing the “job descriptions”—
the sexual services to be performed, the pay, the
location, and the hours. The advertisements for these
positions are extremely graphic and explicit. Coupon
books and sports newspapers sold at newsstands on
the train and in many magazines sold in convenience
stores are also used as recruitment tools.359 In 2003,
a book was published by Koji Sugi entitled “Tokyo
Foreign Prostitutes” that can be obtained easily on
the Internet at http//:www.amazon.co.jp. The book
describes the author’s experiences picking up and
“savoring” foreign prostitutes and indicates where the
reader can locate these women.
Recruitment may also be accomplished through
means of force, fraud and coercion in many instances,
particularly in the neighboring impoverished countries of Asia. One example is that of a Filipina
woman whose musical band of seven females was recruited in the Philippines to perform in Club
8686 in the Chiba prefecture, Japan. The group was recruited in the Philippines by a Filipina woman
who allegedly works for a Japanese company. The girls received entertainer visas, but upon their
arrival in Japan it became clear that in addition to performing in the club, they would be required
to work at the Hostess Club 8686 (a.k.a. Hallo Hallo)—a club closed to foreigners—in the evenings.
Though she spoke not a word of Japanese, she was expected to flirt with the Japanese customers and
eventually “date” the men outside of the club (tengai) for a period of two to three months. She was
controlled by the club owners and forced to sleep on the premises of the club. She and her fellow band
members performed during the day, but were separated and all worked the sex clubs at night. This
method was quite effective because they were not breaking the law. In fact, the girls were performing
concerts and therefore “entertainers” in the strictest definition of the word. The traffickers held
her salary, promising to pay her at the end of three months when she was to return home.360
Field Research Report, January 30, 2006. On file with authors.
Ibid.
360
SHI Research Report, August 2, 2006; “Maria,” Translator, Personal interview, April 8, 2006; and audio interview with victim in
Tagalong language with English translations. On file with authors.
358
359
121
Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Fake marriages are an increasingly common way to bring girls into Japan for the commercial sex
markets. As the Immigration Office has increased scrutiny of applications for entertainment visas,
fake marriages have presented an easier way to import women and children for commercial sexual
exploitation.
They used to bring in lots of women on entertainment visas; however, with the
recent immigration crackdowns, fake marriages are now the preferred way to
get women to work in the industry. They still get some women in as computer
programmers, magicians, and other esoteric visas. Zengeiren and Kokusia Kogyo
21 (KK21) are both involved in procuring fake marriage licenses. Typically, they
recruit homeless men in the Shinjuku area to provide their registration for use
in setting up fake marriages. Most of these guys would sign the documents for a
case of sake. They have their notional “head” offices in Shizuoka, the heart of
Yamaguchi territory, but their real office is in Ebisu.361
— Former Senior Executive within the
Yamaguchi-gumi Moigumi crime syndicate
The Filipina women who have arranged marriages become indentured servants because they must
pay off the debt of a fake marriage that costs anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000. Though the married
women rarely are restrained or limited in their movements, younger single women are not allowed
to stray from the premises to which they are assigned. One Step, a human resources recruitment
agency and alleged front for human trafficking, is reportedly managing over one hundred foreign
women in the country. Newly recruited women are watched closely and not allowed to go out into
the city.362
Advertising to the Buyer
The advertising and delivery of women and children to the buyers appear blatant, graphic and
institutionalized in Japan. The Wild Horse Club provides menus that list the prices for various sex
acts alongside cocktails and snacks. For extra convenience, there is a small booth with a shower
curtain for privacy in the middle of the small lounge where the sex act can be redeemed. Outside,
A-frame signs line the streets and signs are posted in windows of commercial sex venues showing
the services and daily offerings of girls available to buy for sex acts in painful detail to the unnumbed eye. Of special note is the absence of intercourse as a service, though it is widely known
that it is available in spite of the law criminalizing intercourse. One example of a window menu
of services is on the following page.
361
122
362
Anonymous former senior member of Yamagumi-guchi crime syndicate, Personal interview, May 10, 2006. On file with authors.
Field Research Report, February 22, 2006. On file with authors.
Shared Hope International
Price and Service Menu Offered by P-Musume:
Number of Females
Time (in minutes)
Japan
DEMAND.
Charge (in Yen)
1
80
20,000 ¥
1
100
24,000 ¥
1
120
30,000 ¥
1
90
40,000 ¥
3 person course
90
43,000 ¥
3 person course
120
52,000 ¥
1
All Night (10PM to 5AM)
60,000 ¥
1
11PM to 5AM
55,000 ¥
Additional Options
Cost
Costume (School Girl, Nurse, etc.)
Note: costumes appear to be provided by the company.
Free
Pink Rotor (use of a small vibrator on the woman and/or having her masturbate
with the vibrator)
Free
Ripping off the panties or stockings.
1,000 ¥
Taking home the panties
2,000 ¥
Seisui (Golden Shower)
2,000 ¥
Wakamezake (pouring sake into the woman’s vagina and then drinking it)
2,000 ¥
Menus of sex services like this one are posted in commercial sex venue windows.
Victims
The statistics available for trafficked persons into Japan are wide-ranging and unreliable. For
example, according to the Japanese police agency, 43 Colombian women were trafficked to Japan
in 2003, yet unofficial sources suggest a number closer to 2,000-3,000.363 These discrepancies exist
for other countries as well, including Thailand and the Philippines. Perhaps most outlandish are
the Japanese police figures for trafficked victims from the Philippines in 2003: zero. Considering
the preferential treatment of Filipino immigrants and visitors to Japan (209,525 Filipino nationals
entered Japan in 2003) and the dependence of the inflows from foreign exchange that provides 85
percent of the Philippine’s gross earnings, such statistics are implausible.364 Hidenori provides his
own statistics that are most likely closer to reality:
Today about 130,000 show dancers and singers enter Japan yearly as “entertainers.”
Among those, about 80,000 are from the Philippines. There are about 10,000 bars,
clubs, and pubs that they are said to perform in...Behind all this, organized crime
syndicates are gaining enormous legitimate profit through these activities.365
“Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Japan,” International Labor Organization in collaboration with Special Action
Programme to Combat Forced Labour (Geneva: ILO, 2005) p. 20.
364
“Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Japan,” pp.19-21.
365
Hidenori, Sakanaka, “Philippine Pubs: A Ten Year War,” Nyukansenki, Chapter 3, (Japan: 2005), translated to English by Lisa
Kimura; Sakanaka Hidenori, Personal interview, February 2006.
363
123
Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
According to the Japanese National Police Agency, investigators uncovered numerous Indonesian
sex slaves for the first time in 2005.366 A total of 117 foreign women were recovered in 2005, an
increase of 40 from the previous year. Forty-four Indonesian women were recovered, followed
by women from the Philippines and Thailand. The number of Thai victims fell for the first time
from 48 to 21. The majority of the victims were between 15 and 20, including a 13-year-old Thai
national. Forty-six of the victims were rescued (an increase of four from the previous year) through
alerts from embassies, regional immigration bureaus and nongovernmental organizations. The
International Office on Migration (IOM) reported that between May 2005 and March 2006, IOM
rescued and returned to their home countries 67 victims, including 33 Filipinos, 25 Indonesians,
six Thais, two Taiwanese, and one Colombian.367
Eighty-one alleged cases of human trafficking were processed in 2005 involving 83 suspects: 57 of
them restaurant owners, and 26 of them brokers. At least 70 percent entered Japan with entertainer
visas or short-stay visas, while others were brought in illegally. Most of the women were forced to
work at hostess bars for low wages and brokers charged them heavily for forged documents, airfare
and forced them into debt.
Japan has imposed tighter requirements for visas given to “entertainers” in response to the
Trafficking in Persons Report 2004 by the U.S. Department of State that states many women who
arrived legally, for example under entertainer visas, were drawn into sex slavery. The new law,
known as the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, came into effect in March 2005
and requires greater documentation for entertainment visas, thereby restricting the numbers of
foreigners permitted to stay in Japan.368 The new legislation sparked protests outside the Japanese
embassy in Manila amid fears that remittances, a valuable source of revenue for the Philippines,
would be slashed. In 2005, 134,879 people entered Japan on an entertainer status. Of them, 82,741
came from the Philippines, 8,277 from China and 6,704 from the United States.369 There are great
discrepancies in the numbers. A Japanese NGO director claims that 2004 immigration statistics
reveal that 135,000 Filipinos came to Japan on entertainer visas and 52,000 Thai nationals came
on tourist visas.370 These examples illustrate the large discrepancies in trafficking statistics.371
According to the Philippine Embassy in Japan, there are two main groups of Filipino nationals who
are trafficked: women who are entertainers and a smaller group of Nikkeijin (second generation
Japanese-Filipinos born in the Philippines). Nikkeijin are assisted by foundations in the Philippines
in their search for work in Japan, but they are also known to be fronts for trafficking with links to
organized crime.
A Thai victim who was held in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City, forced to prostitute though
on an entertainer visa, described the horrific conditions under which she lived.372 She was forced
to purchase her every day supplies, such as noodles, tampons, and shampoo from the “extortionate
mamasans” who marked up their prices by 200 percent. They were under such strict control that
they could not leave the brothel for more than ten minutes each day.
The following updated figures on human trafficking crime in Japan were drawn from press reports issued February 9, 2006 by
Agence France and Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
367
Carina Morita, IOM Mission for Japan, Personal interview, April 13, 2006.
368
<http:www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/icrr-01.html>. The law was translated from Japanese to English for SHI by the
Japanese legal expert at the Library of Congress, January 2006.
369
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 9, 2006.
370
NGO worker, Personal interview, May 12, 2006.
371
Ibid.
372
Field Research Report, May 12, 2006. On file with authors.
366
124
Shared Hope International
Russian and Ukrainian women are also victims in the commercial sex markets in Japan, as
revealed in our field observations and news reports. In August 2006, Japanese police arrested
four businessmen for trafficking forty Russian and Ukrainian women from the Khabarovsk, in
the Russian Far East to Japan.373 The four men allegedly sent false documents to the Japanese
Consulate requesting visas for a group of specialists to attend a training seminar at one of Tokyo’s
professional schools. Russian women can be seen in many of the sex clubs throughout Tokyo,
often managed by African men.
Japan
DEMAND.
Buyers
The customers are not blue collar, poorly educated, but middle-class and often
college educated. A former prostitute at the Garden of Eden claimed that
her customers included a producer at NHK (BBC of Japan), the information
technology director of a major international bank, foreign stock brokers, and
senior executives of several major insurance firms. 374
Observed buyers of sexual services in urban Tokyo included Japanese male, white-collar workers;
college students; and foreign businessmen who often rationalize their behavior as a form of
economic assistance—a rationale heard by buyers consistently in every country researched. One
buyer who was confronted by field researchers in Tokyo stated, “It’s like donating money to UNICEF:
If the girls even get a fraction of what I pay, they’re doing a hell of a lot better than they would in their
own country. If it was really so bad, the Japanese cops would close them down, right?”375 Rural locations
were not observed and may present a working class, male buyer population that was not presented
in the more expensive establishments in Tokyo.
In Roppongi, there is an expensive brothel, located at Minatoku, Roppongi
5-1-10 Gadogan building, second floor, which formerly featured all Hungarian
women, but now employs only Chinese women. This establishment has been
used regularly by foreign investment bankers and security company employees
(including U.S.) for personal services as well as to entertain customers. The
prices range from ¥ 50,000-60,000 per visit and the club keeps roughly ten to
twelve women on the premises. According to financial reports and strippers
working in the area, clients included employees of HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and
Merrill Lynch. 376
According to sources on the ground in Japan, a trend to exclude foreign buyers from sex clubs
outside of Roppongi developed shortly after the U.S. began pressuring the Japanese Government
to address its role in the human trafficking occurring within its country. The Japanese response was
to exclude foreigners who may judge this culture of tolerance as unacceptable rather than to bring
enforcement to this crime. There is also a fear that foreigners may become suspicious, sympathetic
and ultimately assist trafficked women in escaping, as they might be able to communicate with
them in languages unknown to the Japanese club owners. The Japanese are known to discriminate
against foreigners and want to maintain venues that are open to Japanese citizens only.377 The
exclusion of foreigners is blatant and institutionalized as seen in the photo on the next page of a
sign posted clearly on the door of a Love Booth in Shinjuku.
“Japanese Men Traffic Women from Russia, Ukraine,” RIA Novosti, August 29, 2006
<http://en.rian.ru/world/20060829/53282047-print.html>. Accessed on April 19, 2007.
374
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
375
Ibid.
376
Ibid.
377
Tokyo Journalist, Personal interview, April 24, 2006.
373
125
Japan
owners. The Japanese are known to discriminate against foreigners and want to maintain
venues that are open to Japanese citizens only.378 The exclusion of foreigners is blatant and
institutionalized as seen in the photo below of a sign posted clearly on the
door of
a Love
Booth
Shared
Hope
International
in Shinjuku.
DEMAND.
Sign Prohibiting Foreigners from Love Booth in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Sign prohibiting foreigners from Love Booth in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
American military stationed in Japan: Recent reports reveal that the Yokosuka Naval Base in
thestationed
KanagawainPrefecture
of Japan reports
is home toreveal
a largethat
number
military buyers
of Japanese
military
Japan: Recent
theof Yokosuka
Naval
Base in
American
the
Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan is home to a large number of military buyers of Japanese girls for
commercial sexual
services.378 Although U.S. federal law now punishes soldiers and sailors who
377
Ibid.
379
buy commercial378sex,
few
havePersonal
been penalized.
Tokyo
Journalist,
interview, April 24, 2006.
- 12 2 -
In Okinawa, the Kokuryukai OCG brings lots of women from the Philippines
and Guam. There’s quite a market. A lot of navy guys (American) are willing to
pay for prostitutes and they like women that speak English.380
Facilitation
Facilitation of sex trafficking is performed by a variety of active and passive players. Criminal
entrepreneurs and tightly organized criminal syndicates facilitate sex trafficking in a very active,
direct way, while taxicab drivers, corrupt law enforcement, transporters, and front organizations
play important but somewhat less obvious roles in the perpetuation of the system. Simple neglect
and disinterest are rampant, as summed up by one detective:
[Kanagawa Prefecture’s Brothels] are a real eye sore. When NGOs from America
and other countries would come to Japan, this was always the place they would
stop. The NPA (National Police Association) actually put pressure on us to raid
this place. I was personally for it, but I’m just one guy. Frankly, most of us police
officers don’t really care about the plight of foreign women in Japan.381 (emphasis
added)
— Detective with Kanagawa Prefecture Police
May 2006
Batdorff, Allison, “Despite Ban, Yokosuka Sex Trade Flourishes,” Stars and Stripes, October 25, 2006.
Since late 2006, patronizing prostitution is a specific, chargeable offense for service members under Article 134 of the U.S.
military’s statutory criminal law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
380
Anonymous former senior member of Yamagumi-guchi crime syndicate, Personal interview, May 10, 2006, reported in Field
Research Report, May 12, 2006. On file with authors.
381
Field Research Report, May 12, 2006, quoting anonymous detective in Kanagawa Police Prefecture. On file with authors.
378
379
126
Shared Hope International
In Japan, it is not unusual for some institutional facilitators to offer daycare services for married
women and single mothers. In addition, alibi services provide a fake business name and phone
number to leave as a contact point so that women working in the sex industry can give the
appearance of having legitimate jobs.382
Japan
DEMAND.
Integrated organizations combine the recruitment of women and children through coercion
and fraud. For example, the P-Musume (translation: Philippine Daughters), is a business allegedly
involved in trafficking women from the Philippines to Japan. It offers a “health” service through
which the club owners dispatch Filipina women to customers for sexual services. P-Musume
publishes and distributes a mail order catalog and maintains an active website. Reservations for
their sexual services are required and are restricted to Japanese customers. The owner/manager of
P-Musume is believed to be associated with Kotokai, a local yakuza group aligned with Yamaguchigumi.383
Large amounts of money drive the commercial sex markets in Japan. Illustrative is the case of
Keiichi Morishita. Morishita was arrested on suspicion of running sex service establishments in an
area of Tokyo where they are banned, and later he was released.384 Known as the “King of the Sex
Industry,” Morishita set up numerous dummy companies under the names of his subordinates and
each subordinate managed ten sex-related businesses, including escort services in the Shinjuku
and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo. Police estimate that Morishita made about ¥80 million per
month or ¥1 billion ($8.5 million) per annum. Undoubtedly, this business operated under the
protection of yakuza alleged to control these territories of Tokyo closely.
Case Studies of Facilitation
X Corporation recruits foreign women to work at restaurants and clubs that normally cater
to a Japanese male-only crowd. Established in 1988, X Corp. employs fifteen people (one
woman and fourteen men). While their business license is for Electronics Communications,
they are also registered with the Bureau of Immigration as a foreign entertainer recruiting
company. They advertise on the Internet and pay handling fees to overseas agents in
Manila and other cities. Their annual income is estimated at ¥ 45,000,000 ($450,000). The
company transfers money through a federally insured international bank to pay brokers in
the Philippines and Japan. X Corp. is affiliated with several sexual service establishments,
some of which were raided and closed by Tokyo Immigration and Police early in 2006.385
Y Corporation places advertisements on the firm’s website. Girls are promised $4,000 per
month; they pay an agent in their home country $3,000 up front and then the company
pays for airfare and apartment costs. The girls receive tourist visas and are warned that if
they “complain to the police,” nothing will happen because they will be arrested as illegal.
“We own the police here,” the company states.386 The girls are told to arrive at the hotel
in Roppongi. Afterwards, a facilitator transports them to an apartment and takes their
passports “for safekeeping.” When they arrive they are told that they will be performing
sexual services. They are deceived into thinking they will work as high-class hostesses for
rich business clients. The girls are saddled with an astronomical airfare bill and told that
they must work off their debt. The girls work a full shift at a sex parlor or as a prostitute
and are paid $100 per day of which $75 is reclaimed by the handlers as “fees.”387
Field Research Report, February 22, 2006. On file with authors.
Field Research Report, March 10, 2006. On file with authors.
384
“Sex Industry King used Dummy Companies to conceal Enormous Money Flow,” Asahi Shimbun, February 3, 2006.
385
Field Research Report, February 22, 2006. On file with authors.
386
Field Research Report, April 3, 2006. On file with authors.
387
Ibid.
382
383
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Field research also revealed the following transportation routes for trafficking into Japan:
I have a word for the male customers who think we (immigration officials) are
bullies. Are you aware that organized crime is behind this ‘entertainment’ and
that the money earned from this entertainment supports organized crime? Do you
understand that you are party to the spread of an evil that could be considered
a domestic version of the ‘Southeast Asia Prostitution Tours’ that previously
scandalized the nation?388
— Former Japanese immigration official
Kadokura Takashi, a securities analyst and former staffer of the Japanese
Economy Research Center, published an often cited white paper in 2002 called
“Japan’s Underground Economy” and has revised it each year since. He estimates
the amount of money made in trafficking foreign women for street prostitution,
as being as high as ¥26,400,000,000 per year (approximately $216,000,000). He
gives this as a conservative estimate. It is worth noting this estimate does not
include all forms of trafficking either. Sources in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police
Department who have worked several trafficking cases, claim that the average
broker of foreign women (those bringing the women into the country on behalf
of merchants of the sex industry) have an annual income of ¥35,000,000 per year,
or roughly $300,000.389
388
128
389
Hidenori, “Philippine Pubs: A Ten Year War,” Nyukansenki; Hidenori, Personal interview, February 2006.
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
Shared Hope International
The profits from this enterprise encourage participation in the marketplaces. Ultimately, organized
crime holds its finger on the pulse of all those involved directly or through a shobadai (fee for doing
business in organized crime territory), despite reported efforts by government to eliminate the
yakuza presence and make the red light districts more legitimate.390
Japan
DEMAND.
Japanese Organized Crime: Facilitation on a Grand Scale
Unlike the other countries examined here, the key facilitator of the commercial sex industry in
Japan is organized crime. Organized crime influences many segments of Japanese society, including
business, politics, and law enforcement, through intimidation and forced compliance. The Yakuza,
in essence, forces the citizens of Japan to accept a culture of tolerance to exist in their country.
Kenichi Shinoda took leadership of the Yamaguchi-gumi in 2005. The Yamaguchigumi has made clear their aim to take over all profitable organized crime activities
in Eastern Japan—which includes the greater Tokyo area, and they want the
monopoly on the foreign entertainer business. They are working to drive out the
smaller groups, such as the Inagawakai Sanbon Sugi, the Toaikai (Korean mafia), the
Sumiyoshikai Kobayashi Kai (the faction that controls most of Minato-Ward and
parts of Shinjuku), and individuals with ties to other rival organized crime groups
in order to secure this territory.
Recently, Japanese police have been alarmed as the 35,000-strong Yamaguchi-gumi
absorbed Kokusui-kai—a smaller gang with ties to Tokyo. As a result, the police
formed a special squad of detectives to monitor the gang’s activities in Tokyo.391
Formerly, there was a tacit agreement between the gang and police that Tokyo
would be off-limits. Today, Tokyo is fair game.392 In addition, Yamaguchi-gumi is
one of the few organized crime groups to have an international presence and works
with members of the North Korean Japanese community and the Chinese mafia,
as well as the Russian mafia.393
All three of the major organized crime families—the Inagawakia, the Yamaguchigumi, and the Sumiyosahikai—are involved in the human trafficking business...
The organizations themsleves, especially the Yamaguchi-gumi, pull in a million a
month from kickbacks and dues paid by lower level organizations involved in the
human trafficking trade. All lower ranked mob groups are required to pay jonokin
to the head organization. Jonokin are like membership dues. [The Dojinkai and
Kodokai groups in Hokkaido] are well connected to the Russian mafia and bring
in a lot of Russian girls.394
— Former Senior Executive within the
Yamaguchi-gumi Miogumi crime syndicate
Belew, Bill, “Top Ten Changes to Japan’s Red-light District,” Rising Sun of Nihon Blog, posted January 3, 2007
<http://www.risingsunofnihon.com/2007/01/top_ten_changes_to_japans_redl.html>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
391
The numerical strength of Yamaguchi-gumi is reported to be 35,000 by the National Police Agency’s White Paper on Crime in
Japan, 2006.
392
McCurry, Justin, “Japan’s new godfather sets his sights on Tokyo,” The Guardian, November 26, 2005.
393
Kaplan, David E. and Alec Dubro, Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld (University of California Press, 2003) pp.1-8; Field
Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
394
Anonymous former senior member of Yamagumi-guchi crime syndicate, Personal interview, May 10, 2006, reported in Field
Research Report, May 12, 2006. On file with authors.
390
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Diligence USA, LLC Investigative Report
Strictly Private and Confidential
130
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As the tourist industry exploded in the 1960s and 1970s, so did new opportunities for the sex
tourism business. Hundreds of Japanese men traveled on junkets across East Asia and the yakuza
followed them to Manila, Bangkok and Taipei. When tours to Taipei were ended in 1972 due to
the resumption of diplomatic ties with China, the sex tourism market shifted to Korea, Thailand
and the Philippines where Kisaeng houses (female entertainment venues) sprang up.395
Japan
DEMAND.
The Yakuza did not originally create these conditions, nor do they control most of the local
action, which is handled by various bands of native gangsters, pimps, and businesspeople. But the
yakuza do play a key role in the trade in several ways. They have accompanied the tours, setting
up contacts with local pimps, providing political protection, and guiding their fellow Japanese
toward women, drugs, or whatever else they desire. In many cases, they have financed the clubs,
particularly those catering to Japanese. And they allegedly play a major role in trafficking women
overseas.396
By the late 1980s, Japan was one of few countries importing foreign women primarily as sex
workers.397 The Yakuza quickly penetrated this market, such that foreign women in Japan’s sex
industry were mockingly called Japanyuki-san (Japan-goers). This play on words was a reminder
of Karayuki-san (China-goers)—Japanese women sold into prostitution one century before.398
Presently the yakuza controls the sex trade in Japan, trafficking women from Southeast Asia,
Russia, Poland and most recently from Colombia and Indonesia.399 When organized crime is not
directly involved, they still charge street prostitutes a fee for working in their territory, known as
shobadai.400
Field observations noted that African men in particular were charged with managing clubs in
which foreign ethnically-identifiable women were prostituted. Some speculate that organized
crime groups use African men to manage the foreign victims, making them scapegoats in the event
that there is increased notice by authorities of violations of regulations prohibiting foreign women
from working as hostesses. Also, many Africans speak English, allowing them to communicate
with the variety of nationalities reflected in the foreign women.401
The Yakuza seem to have continued involvement in sex tours of Asia, but now in a supportive
function. Mostly, individuals organize the tours while the yakuza play back up for when things go
wrong or the customers do not pay additional fees. The only way the girls really make money on
these trips is by finding a rich patron or a steady customer who gives them gifts. Then they try to
sell the gifts back to the owner of the sex club or service and get cash.
An example of the Yakuza’s alleged infiltration into sex tour business ventures is the organization
of sex cruises in the Maldives by two suspected traffickers operating out of the Roppongi District
of Tokyo. It is alleged that one of them owns property in the Maldives and arranges sex cruises for
Japanese businessmen and foreign nationals.402 In the Maldives, women reportedly earn $200 per
day for unlimited sexual services, netting much more money for the organizer than normal. The
Kaplan and Dubro, p. 234.
Ibid, p. 236.
397
Fujieda, Eri, “Filipino Women’s Migration to Japan’s Sex Industry: A Case of Transnational Gender Subjection,” Ph.D.
Dissertation (University of Illinois: Urbana Champaign, 2001) p. 15.
398
Babior, Sharman, “Women of a Tokyo Shelter: Domestic Violence and Sexual Exploitation in Japan” (University of California,
1993) p. 247. Karayuki-san refers to women sold into prostitution abroad between the 1880s and 1920s.
399
Dinan, Kinsey, “Trafficking in Women from Thailand to Japan: The Role of Organized Crime and Governmental Response,”
Harvard Asia Quarterly, Summer 2002, p. 6.
400
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
401
SHI Research Report, August 15, 2005, in meeting with Outreach and Shelter Director of Phuan Shelter. On file with authors.
402
Field Research Report, April 3, 2006. On file with authors.
395
396
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foreign national is reportedly married to a Japanese woman, which provides him status to conduct
business in Japan. One former victim explained:
I never got to the Maldives, but I knew they used [a major commercial airline]
for these sex tours. Not only Japanese men either—they also set these up for
some American businessmen too. The girls got $200 per day, but you had to have
sex with the clients whenever and wherever they wanted...[the two traffickers]
were always in the Maldives. But when [they] found out that me and some of the
Polish girls were planning to break away and work without them as free agents,
they stole everyone’s passports and plane tickets. They threatened us. [One]
said I owed him $30,000. He started talking about yakuza and other trouble
we would have. But the guys at Garden of Eden, maybe they just didn’t want
trouble, I don’t know, but one of the floor guys snuck into Club Cadeau and stole
everything back for us and we all left, including one girl who was pregnant. She
was four months pregnant and they still made her work. She left Japan in debt,
I’m sure.403
The Goto-gumi organized crime group is allegedly one of the principal conduits for trafficking
women into Japan for commercial sex.404 Goto-gumi, which had a strong presence in western
Japan, is now moving into eastern Japan (Kanto) at a rapid pace, particularly since its father
organized crime syndicate, Yamaguchi-gumi, absorbed Kokusui-kai. Goto-gumi consists of 22 smaller
organized crime units (sanji danata) with approximately 450-550 members. If kigyoshatei (corporate
brothers; businessmen affiliated with the group) are included, the number is closer to 900 members.
Goto-gumi maintains offices in Nagano, Akita, Yamagata, Iwate, Miyagi, Saitama, Ibaragi, Tokyo,
Kanagawa, Shizuoka, and Ishikawa prefectures, with an especially large presence in Shizuoka and
Tokyo.405
Alleged Fronts for Yakuza Operations involved in Sex Trafficking
Kokusai Kogyo 21
Kokusai Kogyo 21 (hereinafter KK21) is the name of the alleged front company in charge of
trafficking women to Japan as sex workers for Goto-gumi in the Roppongi district of Tokyo.406
KK21 recruits women from foreign countries via the Internet and has offices in South America,
the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and in Roppongi Hills and Shizuoka Prefecture in Tokyo. The
firm was founded by Goto Tadamasa and is now run by one of his sons. It is officially registered
as a non-profit organization whose “main activity is to provide advisory services for legal foreign
workers in Japan.”407 In reality, it is alleged that KK21 is recruiting and trafficking women to
Japan from Romania, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, and Vietnam. Because it was
established in 2000, it is not affected by the recent amendments to the entertainment visa laws
that apply only to newly established agencies.408
KK21 reportedly works with 50 brokers that bring women to Japan for work in 150 pubs, massage
parlors, brothels, and “hostess clubs” in the Kansai region in western Japan. The firm’s services are
Ibid., quoting sex trafficking survivor.
Field Research Report, April 24, 2006. On file with authors.
405
Ibid.
406
Goto-gumi is based in Kansai (western Japan) and is comprised of 22 smaller OC units with 450-550 members.
407
Kokusai Kogyo 21’s Touhon (registration documents), September 29, 2000. On file with authors.
408
Field Research Report, April 24, 2006. The revised law, Kaiseifueiho, went into effect in May 2006.
403
404
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advertised on its website: www.npokokusaikogyo21.jp. In January 2006, the website offered services
from 121 Romanian women, 80 Filipina women, 40 Vietnamese women, and an unnamed number
of Brazilians and Malaysians. KK21 is reportedly earning several million dollars per year in the sex
trafficking business, most of which is funneled back to the Goto-gumi and then laundered through
investor unions (Toshikumiai) and securities firms, such as HIS Shoken.409 However, public records
reveal KK21 reported only $591,690 in total earnings in 2004 fiscal year.
Japan
DEMAND.
Zengeiren
In May of 2006, double issue of the Nyukoku Journal (Vols. 37 & 38), there are
two coyly written articles. One entitled “Be sure to spot fake marriages,” is in
actuality, a handbook of how to get away with arranging fake marriages for foreign
females. Another article lists which immigration offices are conducting the most
stringent checks on entertainer visas, thus telling traffickers which offices are easier
to smuggle women through. They also have a well-established website (www.
zengeiren.com) posting industry topics of interest and information.410
Zengeiren (All-Japan Association of Business) is a lobbying group for over 400 businesses involved
in recruiting and employing foreign entertainers in Japan. Zengeiren provides access to political
officials in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Sources report that Zengeiren works as a liaison
between alleged traffickers KK21 (a front company for the Yamaguchi-gumi, Goto-gumi organized
crime groups and a member of the Zengeiren) and the LDP. Together Zengeiren and the LDP have
put pressure on immigration authorities to refrain from investigating certain firms and raiding
certain clubs. The degree of political corruption and criminal activity involved in the sex trade is
evident in the following report by a journalist in Tokyo:
Zengeiren is a clearing house for human trafficking. If you need a certain type of
woman—Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, whatever—you can go to them and they
will help you get set up for a fee...a number of Zengeiren affiliated staff have gotten
into trouble with the law...They have Yamaguchi-gumi connections, but try to
keep a low profile because they are in the middle of Inagawa-kai territory...Last
year in Tokushima-ken, one of the Zengeiren members was arrested for trafficking
Romanian women into prostitution.
If anyone would really take a good look at their board members, it would be apparent
how much of a mob front they really are. It appears that no one in the government
really cares, though. You would think that the LDP would stop letting them hold
meetings at the LDP headquarters but then they (LDP) would lose a lot of back
door political contributions. Zengeiren is very careful about keeping known yakuza
members off the board of directors. They realize they are in a precarious situation.
The last remaining major supporters of the Zengeiren are the Upper House
politician Takeaki Kashimura, Lower House politician Okiharu Yasuoka (former
Minister of Justice) and LDP director Taki Yamazaki—all three have been paid off
by traffickers. Okiharu...was expected to work magic for the Zengeiren in opposing
anti-trafficking legislation, but to date hasn’t really come through for them. The
Zengeiren went all out in supporting Yamazaki’s reelection campaign, but Yamazaki
also failed to push their agenda, which has created some bad blood. 411
Ibid.
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
411
Anonymous former senior member of Yamagumi-guchi crime syndicate, Personal interview, May 10, 2006, reported in Field
Research Report, May 12, 2006. On file with authors.
409
410
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Keiyukai
Keiyukai is the non-profit Japanese Police Officers’ Associated Board run mainly by retired police
officers. It has strong ties to at least one company allegedly involved in human trafficking and
possibly others as well. Keiyukai works for government agencies by investigating and monitoring
private organizations, corporations, and individuals who receive business operation licenses.
According to a veteran police reporter from Asahi Shinbun:
The Keiyukai is a black hole in the world of the police. The detectives and low-level
retirees from the Crime Prevention Bureau (Seikatsuanzenbu) join this organization
when they leave the force. The company shares offices with a right-wing lobby
group and is also heavily connected to Chosensoren [organization that manages
the North-Korean Japanese community in Japan]. It’s been rumored for the past
two years that North Korean women are being heavily trafficked in Japan and the
Keiyukai might be providing protection for companies involved in this trade.…
The Keiyukai finds retired police officers jobs in the industries they are supposed to
have been policing, so you can see the conflicts of interest that arise. This group is
Diligence USA,
LLCwould
Investigative
Reportto write anything negative
very powerful and no newspaper
here
ever dare
Strictly Private and Confidential
412
about them.
Yamaguchi-Gumi, Goto-Gumi and Kokusai Kogyo 21 relational chart.
Chart Depicting Alleged Money Flow In Japanese Trafficking Structures
134
412
Field Research Report, January 30, 2006. On file with authors.
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Intimidation and Threats by the Yakuza
Japan
DEMAND.
Information gleaned from field reports, historical accounts, interviews and observations reveals
that corruption and fraud are so pervasive in Japan that police raids on sex clubs are mere rituals
with little to no impact. The typical approach is to arrest the brothel owner and force the club to
close temporarily, though it can readily be reestablished in another location. This inaction is due
to police intimidation by the Yakuza, the limitations of the law, and lack of investigative skills.
Though criticism has been leveled at the shortage of police intelligence analysts, the alleged
shortage pales in the face of the Yakuza’s incessant intimidation of government officials.
Former head of the Entry and Status Division of Immigration, Sakanaka Hidenori, was in charge
of a full-scale inspection of the entertainment industry in Japan beginning in 1995 and has
openly admitted that he received numerous threats from Yakuza and members of the LDP. Four
hundred twelve out of the 444 investigations his office undertook revealed that 93 percent of the
visa-holders were working illegally in areas not permitted by their visas. Purging the industry of
illegal residents drew criticism rather than acclaim. His investigations were threatened and he
was personally attacked in the press, sued for damages, and slandered. Most of all, he was amazed
by the “extensive influence of the entertainment industry on politicians.” Hidenori explains:
“What’s strange about the entertainment issue is that politicians interfere regardless of whether
they are with the governing party or the opposition party. While it was only the big shot lawmakers
who marched into the main immigration office, when it came to raising questions during a Diet
session, everyone would always defend the industry, like strange bedfellows.”413
Even traffickers working outside of Japan are reluctant to get involved with the sex markets in
Japan due to fears of organized crime. Correspondence obtained between an alleged Hungarian
trafficker from the Netherlands and a woman posing as a foreigner seeking sex work in Japan
revealed persistent efforts on the part of the trafficker to dissuade her from going to Japan because
of the difficulties and dangers presented by Yakuza activities. The trafficker strongly advised her to
consider Europe, especially the Netherlands and France, instead of Japan.414
Culture of Tolerance
Japanese society in the early 21st century is in a state of flux. Teenage sons and daughters are
rebelling against the traditions and the lifestyles of their parents. Since the economic boom of the
1980s, Japanese men have been stereotyped as “corporate warriors” who work extremely long hours
and often do not return home at night.415 Women have been viewed as “good wives” and “wise
mothers” in charge of the children’s upbringing, but not necessarily intimate with their husbands.416
Corporate socializing “after-hours” tends to be done with entertainers and prostitutes—it is a
common business practice to go out with coworkers to relax late at night.
At the same time, married women with children are returning to the workplace, putting new
strains on an already fragile family structure. Children are often left to their own devices, which
have resulted in relatively new developments, such as enjo kosai (compensated dating).417
Hidenori, “Philippine Pubs: A Ten Year War,” Nyukansenki; Hidenori, Personal interview, February 2006.
Field Research Report, February 22, 2006. On file with authors.
415
Babior, p. 247.
416
Ibid.
417
Hotoda, email of January 24, 2007. On file with authors.
413
414
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The Japanese entertainment industry is known as mizu shobai (water trade.) The term was adopted
from Japanese art and literature depicting a romantic connection between women, water, tears
of love and grief, and sexual emotions. Today, the “water trade” is associated with the service
industry: food, drink, and sex.418 Geisha is one of the “water trade’s” cultural icons. Both in the Edo
(1603-1868) and the Meiji periods (1868-1912), Geisha were artists trained in music, dance, and
artful conversation. Their role was to entertain and arouse men and make them feel dominant; not
to curry sexual favors. The 1920s is considered the “golden age of the Geisha” when they gained in
stature and numbered approximately 80,000.419 Today, the “Geisha” are no longer regarded as pure
as they were at the turn of the century and may engage in sex.420 The “Geisha” helped to create
and maintain the culture of tolerance in Japan. Men are still perceived as powerful and deserving
of subservience and titillation by women.
At the other end of the economic spectrum were the poverty-stricken women who were sent abroad
to service buyers of sexual services. Human trafficking as we know it today began at the end of the
19th century in Japan. Japanese women, “Karayuki-san” (those who go to China and elsewhere)
were sold into prostitution and sent to China, India, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, and Australia
as part of Japan’s expansionist policies abroad between 1880s and 1920s.421 Approximately 100,000
peasant women and girls, mostly from the southern island of Kyushu, were forced into prostitution
for overseas buyers until 1921.422
Beginning with Japan’s attack on Shanghai in 1932, the Japanese government approved and the
military (army and navy) supplied soldiers with “comfort women” (Ianfu) in “comfort zones.” It
was believed that soldiers would be endowed with good luck and combat prowess if they had sex
before battle.423 The stations were an orchestrated means of protecting Japanese soldiers from
sexually transmitted diseases and reducing the number of soldier-led rapes. It is ironic that in an
attempt to curb unauthorized sexual violence, the comfort station system institutionalized sexual
violence against comfort women.424
Nearly 80 percent of the more than 100,000 women kidnapped and prostituted in military
brothels on the front lines were trafficked from South and North Korea. Others were trafficked
from Thailand, the Philippines, China, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Vietnam, and even Japan.425
After the war, American occupation kept the comfort stations alive; some 668 brothels serviced
by 8,000 women were located in Tokyo alone and continued to service the American armed forces
throughout the Korean and Vietnam wars.426
...there was coercion in comfort stations, minors were pressed into “service” and
many women were rounded up by deception or under conditions of debt bondage,
whereby they were required to pay back sums advanced against their “service.” 427
Babior pp. 240-241.
Fukuda, “Feminism and Empowerment in Japan: Compensated Dating,” p. 17.
420
Nishioka, Cheiko, former Shelter Director in Yokohama, Personal interview, January 26, 2007.
421
Babior, p. 247.
422
Ibid, p. 248.
423
Hicks, George, The Comfort Women: Japan’s Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War (New York: W.W.
Norton, 1994) pp. 32-33.
424
Yoshiaki, pp. 9-10.
425
Estimates vary greatly from 50,000 to 200,000 according to Yoshiaki 29.
426
Fukuda, p. 25.
427
Yoshiaki, p. 29.
418
419
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Prostitution was outlawed in 1956 with the Prostitution Prevention Law (PPL).428 However, the
porous legislation removed protection from prostitutes and symbolized the end of the Yoshiwara
culture.429 The PPL had the unexpected effect of shaping sex markets because it mandated certain
conditions under which proprietors could legally sell sexual services. Contrary to preventing the
sale of sex, the law defined prostitution as vaginal intercourse, encouraging entrepreneurs to offer
other sexual services. Entrepreneurs relied instead on other erotic practices not prohibited by
the PPL. Moreover, the PPL resulted in decreased access to STD examinations, treatments, and
contraceptives and led to increased human trafficking.430
Japan
DEMAND.
In 1992, Professor Yoshimi Yoshiaki found evidence of the government’s role in establishing the
“comfort stations” in documents at the National Institute for Defense. He wrote about the issue
in a major daily newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, and the issue caught fire.431 In the 1990s, “comfort
women” began to speak out about their mistreatment. In 1993 an apology was spoken by the thenchief government spokesman, however, the psychologically scarred victims awaited an apology
from Prime Minster Abe who dodged the apology by saying he felt no need to make a fresh
statement.432 Finally in March 2007, Abe ended the wait with an apology.433
In October 2005, Amnesty International issued the report, “Still waiting after 60 Years: Justice
for Survivors of Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery System.” The report states that the Japanese
government has ignored the women’s pleas for recognition of the crimes because of the Japanese
law. Nonetheless, Japanese government officials maintain that rape was not a war crime until
1949, when it was incorporated into the Fourth Geneva Convention, and therefore, they argue,
it was not illegal during the war years, 1939-1945. Despite government denials of the “comfort
stations,” new venues for publicizing the trafficking and exploitation of women and girls during
and after World War II have been opened to the public, such as a museum on sexual slavery called,
“The Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace.”
The Yakuza pervades Japanese society to a degree unparalleled in the world. Yakuza has maintained
long-standing political alliances, first with Japan’s right-wing nationalists and more recently with
the Liberal Democratic Party. In addition to the typical vice crimes associated with organized
crime, yakuza are embedded in corporate structures throughout the country and abroad. Indeed,
their influence extends beyond Japanese borders and into other countries, including South Korea,
Philippines, Thailand, and Canada.
The word “Yakuza” derives from the worst possible score in the card game hanafuda (flower cards).
Among the losing combinations: a sequence of 8-9-3, or in Japanese, ya-ku-za.434
A “mafia” of sorts has been present in Japanese society since at least the 1600s when Samurai
bandits or Kabuki-mono wrought terror on towns and villages.435 By the 20th century, the Yakuza
was the word for organized crime syndicates in Japan whose members were identified by severed
pinky fingers and elaborate tattoos.436 Criminal gangs penetrated Japanese society at a rapid
Kovner, Sarah, “Prostitution in Postwar Japan: Sex Workers, Servicemen, and Social Activists, 1945-1956,” Ph.D. Dissertation
(Columbia University: New York, 2004) p. 167. Prostitution Prevention Law, Law No. 118, dated May 24, 1956.
429
Yoshiwara and Kyoto were known as the most artistic, avant-garde cities in Japan where the water trade flourished before and
during the world wars.
430
Kovner, p. 173.
431
See Soh, Chunghee Sarah, “The Comfort Women Project,” (San Francisco State University)
The Project is currently ongoing and was begun in 1992 in keeping with the study released on Comfort Women in Japan by
Yoshiaki.
432
“Japanese PM renews ‘comfort women’ apology,” ABC News Online, March 27, 2007
<http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1882113.htm>. Accessed on April 9, 2007.
433
“Japanese Premier Issues Apology to ‘Comfort Women’,” All Headline News, March 11, 2007
<http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006709818>. Accessd on April 9, 2007.
434
Kaplan and Dubro, pp.1-8.
435
Ibid.
428
137
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DEMAND.
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pace after World War II. In the 1950s, as the economy recovered from wartime devastation and
life returned to normal, the Yakuza continued to sell drugs on the black market. When prostitution
was outlawed in 1956, the Yakuza took over that market as well. The Yakuza’s size more than
doubled between 1958 and 1963 from 70,000 to 184,000. The expansion was due partly to the
“large number of shop and entertainment venue owners that joined the Yakuza as “associates.”437
By 1958, virtually all vice activities were in the hands of the Yakuza.
In 2000 there were roughly 84,000 members organized into more than 3,000 gangs operating
in virtually every criminal market from gambling to drug trafficking.438 A more recent report
of the National Police Academy illustrates that the three major crime groups (Yamaguchi-gumi,
Inagawa-kai, and Sumiyosi-ki) amount to 61,300 members representing 70.5 percent of all gangsters
nationwide in 2004.439 This force of organized crime presents the most pressing barrier to combating
the human trafficking which supplies the marketplaces of exploitation within Japan.
Conclusion
Over the last two years, the Japanese government has taken some steps in creating a foundation
to combat properly and effectively the scourge of human trafficking that has infiltrated their
society. Some worry that these steps may have been taken in response to international pressure
and the changes may be related more to Japan’s image as a developed nation than a true interest
in combating the problem of sex trafficking. However, proper implementation of the new
legislation, increased public awareness and support of nongovernmental organizations is necessary.
The Japanese government has spent a lot of money funding anti-trafficking measures in source
countries, as has the United States, but unlike the U.S. Japan has not devoted the same resources
to trafficking within its own borders of either foreign or domestic victims.
Public Awareness
The Japanese Government has created an Inter-ministerial Liaison Committee to coordinate
anti-trafficking initiatives. One of the outcomes of this Committee was the design of a poster to
raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking. The poster reads: “Trafficking in persons (TIP)
is a transnational organized crime, which forces foreign women into prostitution. Buying sex is a factor
causing TIP. Please report to the police and the immigration bureaus whenever a victim of TIP has asked
for help.” Though a positive step in the prevention of human trafficking, the poster does not
provide contact or hotline information for victims or other citizens suspecting human trafficking
crimes. Nor does it recognize the trafficking of Japanese nationals within the country, emphasizing
instead that “foreign women” are the victims of the trafficking.
One non-government group in Tokyo has created an outreach brochure. The brochure is pocketsized and contains useful information regarding the crime of trafficking, how to communicate the
situation for assistance, and phone numbers for police, immigration bureau and a non-government
group. Additionally the brochure was translated into seven languages. However, this brochure
should be made readily available to all local police stations as well as immigration stations and at the
airports and train stations.
Ibid., p.14.
Ibid., p. 74.
438
National Center for the Elimination of Boryokudan <http://www.warp.or.jp/boutsui/english/e_link/index.html> Acessed on
November 17, 2006. cited in Kinsey Dinan, “Trafficking in Women from Thailand to Japan: The Role of Organized Crime and the
Governmental Response,” p. 5.
439
Japan, National Police Academy, Crimes in Japan in 2005 (Tokyo: Alumni Association for National Police Academy, 2005) p. 11.
436
437
138
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Japan
DEMAND.
Copy of the Poster Created by the Inter-Ministerial Liaison Committee
Public awareness is vital to combat human trafficking. The Japan Trafficking Intervention
Program (JTIP) is a comprehensive victim outreach and services program to combat trafficking
in persons in the Tokyo Metropolitan region. The JTIP is based out of the Polaris Project Japan
office in Tokyo, and combines victim outreach and client services with community mobilization
and public awareness activities.
Corporate Responsibility
On March 14, 2005, Japanese travel agents and tourist industry groups signed an international code
of conduct to protect children from sexual exploitation in tourist destinations, such as Southeast
Asia. By signing the code, travel agents are required to implement six measures, including training
personnel in countries that are travel destinations and putting a clause in contracts with local
agents forbidding sexual exploitation of children.440
Legislation
In December 2004 the government released an action plan to combat trafficking in persons. This
action plan tightened the issuance of “entertainer” visas strengthening immigration control,
particularly with respect to the Philippines. It also revised the Penal Code to make trafficking in
persons a new category of crime and increased penalties for trafficking related offenses. Finally,
the plan increased the responsibility of business owners to prevent foreign women working in that
industry from being victims of sex trafficking by modifying the law regulating adult entertainment
businesses. The revised law now also holds entertainment businesses accountable with the threat
of business closure and fine if they employ foreign women who are not permitted to work in this
industry on tourist and student visas. Previously the blame was placed solely on the foreign worker
who was promptly deported for working in a restricted industry.
440
“Travel industry signs up to protect children from sex tourism,” Japan Today, March 15, 2005.
139
Japan
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
On June 26, 2006, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the Tokyo Immigration
Office made a raid on the hostess club, OUTLINE (Tokyo, Roppongi 5-16-04,
Roppongi A1 Building 5F, Tel. 03-5570-5103) and detained ten women working
there. One of the women, J-san, from Australia, was given fifteen minutes to pack
her bags before being put in detention. She is expected to be deported by July 19. 441
The Prostitution Prevention Law of 1946’s definition of prostitution as solely vaginal intercourse
is a painful loophole in legislation which is allowing the commercial sex industry and the sex
trafficking of women and children in Japan to flourish. This loophole must be closed by amending
the definition of prostitution to include all sex acts. Only with such an amendment can Japanese
law enforcement monitor this activity.
Law Enforcement
I think, ultimately, knocking down [prosecuting] the store-front, on-site operations
will make trafficking foreign women too expensive and not profitable enough for
the people involved. When that happens, trafficking ends.442
— Detective X, Tokyo, May 2006
It appears that there have been somewhat of an increase in law enforcement efforts against
trafficking crimes in the past two years. However, few prosecutions have resulted in the
incarceration of traffickers. In 2005, the government reported 75 trafficking prosecutions; 64 of
these concluded with convictions and 11 are ongoing. Three of the 64 offenders convicted for
trafficking-related offenses served prison sentences, ranging from four to five years’ imprisonment
and significant fines. In line with Japanese judicial practice, most other offenders were given
suspended sentences, which generally entailed a fine and no jail sentence as long as the offender
refrains from committing another crime during a set period of time.443
The National Police Agency (NPA) produced a comprehensive training video on trafficking
and distributed it to all police offices to improve their awareness of trafficking. The Japanese
nongovernmental organization HELP and the Colombian Embassy is utilizing this training
material at all levels of law enforcement. The training is crucial in preparing first responders with
the tools to identify situations of human trafficking properly.
Victim Protection and Restoration
In an effort to provide services to victims of human trafficking, the Japanese government has
expanded the mandate of the Women’s Consultative Centers (WCC) to aid victims of human
trafficking. According to the 2006 TIP report, “In 2005, the [Japanese] government reported that
109 victims [of human trafficking] were identified and received services in Japan.”444 These public
shelters are located in all of Japan’s 47 prefectures. However, the original mandate of the WCC
is to provide services to domestic violence victims in Japan. Most of these shelters are already
Field Research Report, June 30, 2006. On file with authors.
Detective X from Tokyo, Personal interview, May 12, 2006. On file with authors.
443
The United States, Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2006, (Washington, DC: US Department of State, 2006)
p. 150.
444
Ibid.
441
442
140
Shared Hope International
overcrowded, with limited space for an additional population of victims. Additionally, these
shelters have not received training on the treatment and needs of sex trafficking victims and are
in some cases unable to communicate with the victims due to the language barriers which exist.
Japan
DEMAND.
Lastly, the locations of these shelters are publicized and easy for criminals to access. As a result,
the shelters are poorly protected and therefore those who fear reprisals from their traffickers are
at risk. Government support of private shelters through funding is vital to meet the needs of a
survivor of trafficking.
www.sharedhope.org
141
Japan
142
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Recommendations
www.sharedhope.org
143
Recommendations
144
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, under the terms of Grant No. SLMAQM-05-GR-106. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.
Shared Hope International
Recommendations
to Fight Demand
Recommendations
DEMAND.
E
nding demand for commercial sex markets will reduce the exploitation of vulnerable women
and children. Many recommendations for efforts to fight demand in the commercial sex markets
apply to all four countries examined; however, specific recommendations apply to each country as
they are at different points in the development of both the commercial sex markets and national
efforts to combat trafficking.
General Recommendations
Public Awareness and Prevention:
• Continue operation of hotlines and prevention campaigns in all locations and establish
the same in places where not already in operation.
• Train teachers, religious leaders, medical care providers, and others who come in contact
with vulnerable populations to identify trafficking victims, traffickers, sex tourists and
buyers on how to respond to an actual or potential trafficking situation.
• Continue programs providing vocational education and skills training to vulnerable
populations, like HEART training in Jamaica, in order to prevent trafficking and
restore victims.
• Research findings about demand for commercial sexual exploitation should be
disseminated to a broad audience to reveal the participation and facilitation of
individuals, businesses and authorities.
• Diversion programs providing an opportunity for buyers of adult prostitution to choose
participation in an educational deterrence program rather than being charged with
solicitation should be evaluated for effectiveness in preventing recidivism of buyers
of prostitution and, if effective, continued where established and instituted in other
locations.
• Information regarding individual rights and emergency contacts should be provided by
immigration and customs officials to all individuals entering a country in a language
they can comprehend in order to alert them to services and assistance in the event they
are victims of trafficking.
145
Recommendations
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
• Sex trafficking and sex tourism should be recognized as both local and international
issues. Often crimes perpetrated by local buyers against local victims are not as widely
recognized as those perpetrated internationally.
• Awareness campaigns should focus on the importance of labeling as a facilitator of sex
trafficking and tourism; efforts should be made to remove terms like “lot lizard” and
“child prostitute,” replacing them with “sex trafficking victim” or “prostituted woman/
child.”
• Awareness and prevention initiatives led by men and directed to men as the primary
buyers in commercial sex markets should be bolstered and encouraged, such as Shared
Hope International’s project The Defenders USA, which educates men on the realities
and harms of the commercial sex industry and its specific links to sex trafficking.
• Prevention efforts should be designed to target young men in order to prevent them
from considering pimping as a viable job option.
• Tourist agencies and other businesses related to tourism, such as hotel chains and
transportation outlets, must remain vigilant against facilitating sex trafficking and sex
tourism; one way is to sign the ECPAT Code of Conduct. Its signatories commit to
helping identify and report potential abusers.
• Owners of real estate used for commercial sex venues should be publicized as key
facilitators of sex tourism and trafficking. In some instances, public shame may drive
them to end their connections with exploitive business practices.
Legislation:
• National and local anti-trafficking laws should be in place in all locations and regular
monitoring and evaluating instituted to ensure accountability, honesty, and adherence
to the laws.
• All anti-trafficking laws should contain provisions addressing the criminality of demand
and authorizing funding for demand prevention activities.
• Prostitution should be illegal in all countries.
• Following the Netherlands’ model, legislation allowing the government to deny
business licenses based on evidence of illegal activity, including connections with
human trafficking, is recommended. Such legislation provides a tool for governments
to prevent criminal activities from operating behind the veneer of legal businesses.
• Local and national anti-trafficking laws should be consistent to ensure the highest
punishment for offenders.
• Victim-centered legislation removing criminal status from the prostituted minor or the
trafficked foreign victim is critical. Proper resources for investigating the traffickers/
pimps and buyers of illegal commerciala sex services must be allocated.
• Regulation of the Internet to help prevent facilitation through technology should be
implemented, including stricter regulations on registration of pornographic websites,
escort agencies, and other sexual service websites.
• Commercial sex markets targeting advertisements to youth should be held legally liable
for endangerment.
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Law Enforcement and Prosecution:
• The full panoply of laws should be employed to prosecute buyers of illegal commercial
sex, especially sex with minors.
• Efforts to investigate domestic sex trafficking of minors and adults should be continued
and strengthened in all countries, as domestic trafficking was observed in each
country.
• Inter-agency and multi-disciplinary task forces should be continued where existent and
created in places where they are not already in place in order to more effectively gather
information on the markets and the trafficking actors for increased law enforcement
and assistance to rescued victims.
• Efforts to prosecute facilitators, such as advertisement agencies on the Internet
advertising sex for sale, owners of real estate used for commercial sex venues, and mailorder bride agencies facilitating trafficking should be increased.
• Legitimately registered businesses such as strip clubs, massage parlors, and escort
services, etc. must be monitored closely and prosecuted vigorously when found to be
facilitators of commercial sexual services.
• Laws allowing for confiscation of assets from the traffickers should be enacted where
not already in place, and used in all cases.
• Immigration laws, especially the regulations governing visas, must be monitored and
enforced to prevent abuse by traffickers seeking legitimate pathways into countries for
their trafficking victims.
• Encourage cooperation between service providers and law enforcement to provide
victims with the necessary protection and services to assist in the pursuit of cases
against their traffickers.
• Adopt special procedures and personal security measures for the protection of children
who agree to testify in order to help develop better prosecutions.
Recommendations
DEMAND.
Victim Restoration:
• Government funding for comprehensive, long-term and secure shelters for all victims
of sex trafficking should be prioritized.
• Ensure safety and security of victims through witness protection programs for victims
of sex trafficking and their families who testify against their traffickers in order to
encourage such testimony and protect the victims from retaliation.
• Special visas, like the B-9 in the Netherlands and the T-Visa in the U.S., should be
made available to victims in all countries. Where existent, visa procedures need to be
regularized and streamlined to prevent the lengthy delay in processing and the resulting
instability caused by the uncertain wait.
• An assessment of the T-visa regulation requiring cooperation with prosecution should
be undertaken to determine its necessity in light of the burdens it might impose.
147
Recommendations
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Country-Specific Recommendations
Jamaica
Recommendations:
• Advocate for the law to criminalize the making, distribution, and sale of child
pornography expected to be introduced to Parliament by September 2007.
• Assess the effect of the CARICOM common passport agreement in order to prevent
potential abuse by traffickers.
• Ensure adequate training of border officials to identify trafficking particularly within
regional populations as the CARICOM common passport agreement facilitates the
movement of regional citizens.
The Netherlands
Recommendations:
• Reinstate the ban on brothels, making prostitution in all forms illegal.
• Create public awareness campaigns specifically highlighting the existence of sex
trafficking within the legal prostitution businesses in the Netherlands.
United States
Recommendations:
• Encourage states which have not yet adopted human trafficking legislation to do so in
alignment with the federal TVPA.
• Encourage states to amend state laws which may conflict with the federal anti-trafficking
laws, specifically the age of consent.
• Raise the age of consent to engage in all commercial sex activities to 21 years. The
involvement of cellular phones, the Internet, and highways in the movement of women
and children through different states permits the application of federal laws pursuant
to the Interstate Commerce Clause. This will also reduce the rate of misidentifying
minors as adults, as the appearance of a 21–year–old is typically older than a youth.
• Appropriate funding for gaps in services for the domestic sex trafficking victim (i.e.,
U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident victim).
• Permit placement of rescued minor victims in secure facilities without the necessity of a
criminal charge or parental agreement and review the process and laws requiring return
of minor victims to home states for services and placement for potential amendment
for cases of sex trafficking.
• Build capacity of Child Protective Services (CPS) to identify minor sex trafficking
victims.
Japan
Recommendations:
148
• Evaluate the success of the 2004 Action Plan and advocate for a continuing plan for
government action to combat sex trafficking.
• Refine the legal definition of commercial sex to ban all forms of sexual activity, not just
vaginal intercourse.
Shared Hope International
www.sharedhope.org
Recommendations
DEMAND.
149
Recommendations
150
DEMAND.
Shared Hope International
Shared Hope International
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