Posts Tagged ‘trafficking’

Online Pervs Bounce Back from Craigslist Erotic Services Ban – Village Voice Media’s BackPage.com Picks Up the Slack

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Well, turns out that VVM’s BackPage.com classifieds site is “the new leader in online sex advertising” since craigslist pulled Erotic Services in the Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free.

Get all the deets below.

They came first for the Craigslist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t Craig…

Click to expand

How to Stop a Predator…? Don’t Ask Backpage, Yet.

–Online classified sites have to go all the way to protect girls from being trafficked–

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2010 – Ongoing independent research commissioned by Women’s Funding Network, in partnership with the Georgia-based “A Future. Not A Past.” campaign, has exposed Internet classified sites as the most commonly used platform for buying and trafficking adolescent girls.

A report released in October by the AIM Group, a global team of consultants in interactive and traditional media, found that Village Voice Media, with its backpage.com classifieds site, is the new leader in online sex advertising.  The site recently announced the acquisition of an online security specialist and an initial take-down of roughly half of their sex-related categories while putting others under review. The other half of the frequently misused categories to advertise illegal sex, often related to trafficking, remain active and girls continue to be exploited on backpage.

A CNN segment aired yesterday highlights the plight of just one of thousands of girls trafficked online every day.  A young woman who was coerced into the sex trade at 14 is suing Village Voice Media, accusing the newspaper conglomerate of knowingly allowing her trafficker to advertise her sexual services on backpage.com, alleging that websites like backpage provide a “safe house” for traffickers and predators to buy and sell girls for sex.

“How many more girls will be trafficked before Village Voice Media takes comprehensive action to protect them? From what we’ve seen so far the answer is not nearly far enough,” says Deborah Richardson, chief programs officer at Women’s Funding Network. “The fact is that girls are being bought and sold online while media companies that provide a platform for this illegal activity increase their profits and market share,” Richardson adds.

“Drastic steps must be taken to combat sex trafficking of girls in the United States. Instead of applying a band-aid approach to the problem, companies like backpage must take action to truly protect girls through improved screening and monitoring, and increased cooperation with law enforcement,” concludes Richardson.

About Women’s Funding Network

As a global network and a movement for social justice, Women’s Funding Network accelerates women’s leadership and invests in solving critical social problems from poverty to global security by bringing together the financial power, influence and voices of more than 160 women’s funds. Learn more at www.womensfundingnetwork.org.

RAND Corp. Says Influence of Mexican Drug Trafficking is Exaggerated, So Marijuana Legalization is No Big Deal

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Seems like our RAND Corporation always has something interstesting to say. Like today, for instance, they’re talking about the affects of marijuana legalization in California, if that ever happens.

It’s a little nuanced, so prepare yourself now.

Arnold on the ganga, in Africa, back in the day. How will he celebrate the passage of Prop 19?

 

All the deets:

Legalizing Marijuana in California Will Not Dramatically Reduce Mexican Drug Trafficking Revenues

Legalizing marijuana in California will not dramatically reduce the drug revenues collected by Mexican drug trafficking organizations from sales to the United States, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The only scenario where legalization in California could substantially reduce the revenue of the drug trafficking organizations is if high-potency, California-produced marijuana is smuggled to other U.S. states at prices that are lower than those of current Mexican supplies, according to the study from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. RAND is a nonprofit research organization.

The study calculates that Mexican drug trafficking organizations generate only $1 billion to $2 billion annually from exporting marijuana to the United States and selling it to wholesalers, far below existing estimates by the government and other groups.

The RAND study also finds that the often-cited claim that marijuana accounts for 60 percent of gross drug export revenues of Mexican drug trafficking organizations is not credible. RAND’s exploratory analysis on this point suggests that 15 percent to 26 percent is a more credible range. Given that California accounts for about 14 percent of the nation’s marijuana use, this suggests that if marijuana legalization in California only influences the California market, it would have a small effect on drug trafficking organizations — cutting total drug export revenues by perhaps 2 to 4 percent.

However, the impact of legalization on Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ bottom line could be magnified if marijuana cultivated in California is smuggled into other states, according to the study. After legalization, if low-cost, high-quality marijuana produced in California dominates the U.S. marijuana market, then the Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ revenue from exporting marijuana could decline by more than 65 percent and probably closer to 85 percent. In this scenario, results from the RAND study suggest the drug trafficking organizations would lose roughly 20 percent of their total drug export revenues.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Craigslist “Erotic Services” Sextion Got “Censored” Yesterday in America, But Not Elsewhere

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

The “erotic” section of Craigslist’s “services” category is no more, as of Friday, September 3rd, 2010.

ActionNewsSF has the deets.

See? Craigslist Bay Area is now “censored”…

…but merry olde London soldiers on, business as usual:

Stay tuned…

Fiasco: Protesters, Counterprotesters and a Ton of Media at Craigslist HQ this Afternoon

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

[Welcome RedBook pervs! But, try to keep things on the down-low, bros. We don't want another protest in the Inner Sunset, right? To wit: "Name: gfe_exoticgirl City: San Francisco / Inner Sunset Availability: Incall hours: 10am - 12am"]

Here’s the thing – when you have more members of the media than protesters at a protest, that’s not a good thing. As it was today on restaurant-choked Ninth Avenue, the site of the worldwide HQ for craigslist.

So, why weren’t these people protesting prostitution/escort/massage classified ads at the HQs of the Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly newspapers today? Well, it’s because then there’d just be protesters and no media attention at all, so there you go.

The mise-en-scene at noon. Can you see the sign on the building in the background? It used to say “craigslist” but it was painted-over this A.M. in anticipation of the melee.

OMG, it’s “Craig Newpimp!” Get it? Craig Newmark is a balding nerd so let’s make fun of that. Also on hand was “Jim Pimpmaster” (instead of CEO Jim Buckmaster). I don’t know, protesters. Did you consider tone when you were putting your joint together?

OMG, counterprotesters! They were loud. They disrupted the disruptors, can you dig? But the protesters were ready to fight back with “They’re With Craig” signs, as if being with Craig is a bad thing. The MSM just loves chatty counterprotesters, don’t you know.

Let’s see here, I think it’s somebody from the US PROStitutes Collective videotaping a counter-counterprotester with the sign while an out-of-town P.R. cookie ducks for cover. Welcome to San Francisco.

And, of course, lovely Beth Spotswood of CBS 5 Eye on Blogs was there with her Flip Camera. Look forward to her report.

I don’t know, is front-line law enforcement generally displeased with craigslist? Not that I’m aware of. In fact, I think the SFPD is generally pleased with the actions of the people at CL.

Look forward to reading lots and lots about this one. Links to come

Huge Protest Coming to Cragislist HQ This Thursday – A Showdown in the Sunset

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

San Francisco’s somnolent Inner Fog Belt will be roiling on July 8th, 2010. Why? Well, you know why, it’s the same old issue.

All you can do is just grab some lunch, don your parka and ogle at this noontime spectacle come Thursday.

Will this joint get national attention?

Only Time Will Tell.

So, play the Morrison-esque Craigslist Song and then read all the deets, below.

Protest at Craigslist’s HQ on 7/08/10

On July 8, 2010 at noon the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) and our over 75 co-sponsors will protest Craigslist’s facilitation of sex trafficking at Craigslist’s office, 1381 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.

A large portion of Craigslist’s profits come from the sale of commercial sexual exploitation, much of it trafficked, all of it prostituted. Craigslist normalizes and facilitates online pimping – providing an outlet and incentive for sex traffickers to reach renters of human beings. “By providing traffickers and Johns with a virtual red light district, Craigslist is aiding, abetting and enormously profiting from sex trafficking,” says Norma Ramos, Executive Director of CATW.

Our protest is co-sponsored by 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations and prominent individuals including Equality Now, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Center for World Indigenous Studies, Soroptimists International of the Americas, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Gloria Steinem, author Victor Malarek, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Sex trafficking is fueled by the demand for prostitution along with impunity for its buyers. According to Melissa Farley, author of 20 research articles on trafficking for prostitution, “Today, a majority of men buy sex online from women or children, many of whom are trafficked or controlled by third parties.  Craigslist mainstreams prostitution as ‘Adult Services’. This protest exposes these ads for what they really are:  the sale of sexual exploitation, paid rape, child abuse, and trafficking.”

Craigslisthas defied and defeated the efforts of attorneys general, a high profile lawsuit and members of Congress who have tried to put an end to their facilitation of sex trafficking. Despite evidence of criminal activity associated with its website, Craigslist remains above the law. “We are sending a message to Craigslist from the human rights community that by hosting these ads they are partially responsible for much of the rank exploitation that is human trafficking,” says Ms. Ramos.

We are calling upon Craigslist to close the euphemistically named “Adult Services” section of their website and set a sex industry-free standard which would help to eliminate human trafficking on the internet.

Speakers include: Joy Friedman, Breaking Free; Glenda Hope, Executive Director, SafeHouse San Francisco for Homeless Women Escaping Prostitution; Victor Malarek, Author/Activist; Aaron Cohen, Author/Activist; Terria Joseph, Actor.

For a complete list of the 75 Co-Sponsors who have joined CATW and PRE visit our websites at www.catwinternational.org and www.prostitutionresearch.com.

Engage in Human Trafficking, Lose Your House Under Leland Yee’s New Bill

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Over in Sacramento, San Mateo and San Francisco Counties’ very own Senator Leland Yee, PhD has been busy, busy, busy getting new bills in before deadline. SB 557 is today’s effort, below.

If we can get this into law, will this take some of the fight out of human traffickers in California? Doing a little stretch in the hoosegow is one thing, but losing a house or the rolling stock – well, that’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

The California Senate’s Assistant President pro Tempore:

Here’s the new bill:

Yee Introduces Bill to Seize Property of Criminals Convicted of Human Trafficking
Funds would be used to assist law enforcement and victims

 
Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today introduced legislation to assist victims of human trafficking and support law enforcement by allowing courts to seize any personal property, such as house or automobile, of a person convicted of human trafficking.
 
SB 557 will bring much-needed resources to help fight human trafficking, while also ensuring victims receive the services they need to recover from this horrific crime,” said Yee.  Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year and enslaved for purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, and unfortunately many of the cases occur here in California.  Our state has led the way in combating human trafficking and exploitation, but we should not stop our efforts until all women, men, and children are free and safe from such an appalling offense.”
 
Under Yee’s legislation, funds accumulated from all property seized from those convicted of human trafficking will be split between funds to assist law enforcement in cracking down on the crime and funds dedicated to groups who work with victims.
 
Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide, according to the US Department of State. Victims are generally trafficked into the US from Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. Many human trafficking victims do not understand English and are therefore isolated and often unable to communicate with service providers, law enforcement and others who might be able to help them.
 
Research by the Human Rights Center at the University of California found 57 forced labor operations between 1998 and 2003 throughout California.  These operations – mostly in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose – involved more than 500 victims from 18 countries. 
 
The US Department of Justice recently announced that in the first 21 months of operation, the Human Trafficking Reporting System (HTRS) recorded information on more than 1,200 alleged incidents of human trafficking.
 
According to the Justice Department, over 90 percent of victims in both alleged and confirmed human trafficking incidents were female. Nearly 60 percent of victims in labor trafficking cases were female and almost all (99%) victims in sex trafficking cases were female. 
 
Hispanic victims comprised the largest share (37 percent) of alleged sex trafficking victims and more than half (56 percent) of alleged labor trafficking victims.  Asians made up 10 percent of alleged sex trafficking victims, compared to 31 percent of labor trafficking victims.  Approximately two-thirds of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents were age 17 or younger (27 percent) or age 18 to 24 (38 percent).  Sex trafficking victims tended to be younger (71 percent were under age 25) and labor trafficking victims tended to be older (almost 70 percent were age 25 or older).
 
Nearly eight in 10 human trafficking suspects were male. US citizens accounted for 66 percent of suspects in alleged incidents.
 
If you are a victim of trafficking or an organization needing assistance, please contact the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
 
In 2004, Senator Yee also passed legislation to combat human trafficking.  Yee’s AB 3042 increased penalties to those who solicit children through prostitution.