Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HT Trafficking Awareness Month: Question 2 – What is the primary cause of human trafficking?

As part of our effort to initiate dialogue during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we wanted to pose another question for discussion. Human trafficking has many causes. Trafficking victims come from a variety of different countries and backgrounds. They are men, women, and children exploited for labor as well as the sex trade. There are multiple reasons why human trafficking, or modern day slavery exists around the world. While we know the causes are numerous, we wanted to pose the question:

Register your answer and provide your feedback at the link above. We will share the results in the coming days. Feel free to share this blog post with anyone interested in participating in the discussion.

The IOFA Team

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thanks for taking our survey!

Many of you have taken this week's poll and we'd like to thank you for your thoughtful comments! The results: none of the 15 respondents thought that all sex work should be considered trafficking.

We ask this question for a specific reason. In our work, we find that there is quite a bit of confusion amongst our community partners and the general public about what trafficking looks like and what it does not look like.
As an organization, IOFA works to clarify these issues so that the efforts to combat human trafficking are focused and targeted toward victims.

We advocate that people take note of the legislative definition of trafficking and focus on the involvement of force, fraud or coercion (except for minors, where no force, fraud or coercion needs to be present). Human trafficking is slavery. No one can consent to being enslaved. The issue is not black and white, and we respect and uphold the rights of both victims of trafficking and sex workers. In the spirit of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we hope this poll (and our post about the complexities of trafficking) provided an opportunity for a lively discussion about this critical social justice issue.

Stay tuned for another question next week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Should all sex work be considered trafficking?

President Obama declared January National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. As part of these thirty days, IOFA would like to pose a question each week that initiates critical dialogue and hopefully some thought-provoking conversation with friends.
These days, anti-trafficking organizations and statistics abound, but we’ve siphoned through the media coverage to find some articles that highlight the complexity of the situation.

Feministing’s take:

Trafficking legislation states that if the age of an individual has been verified to be under 18, and the individual is in any way involved in the commercial sex industry, or has a record of prior arrest for prostitution (or related charges), then he or she is a victim. One Wisconsin man’s recent arrest even stemmed from advocacy on behalf of an adult sex worker who found his request for an 8-year-old girl offensive. You can read the article here:

Vulnerable adolescents under the age of 18 are clearly victims of trafficking, but what about adults? Thousands of people take part in the sex trade each year. Many of them declare their work a choice. So, our question to you, is, should all sex work be considered trafficking? Take our poll here: