Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition
Your Tax Dollars Are Being Wasted Ruining Citizens Lives
Instead of fighting real crime

New Federal Legislation Against Consenting Adult Sexwork

Enforcing a Moral Agenda With Misleading "Trafficking" Excuse
Sheriff Joe is probably Rejoicing in this Christmas Holiday Gift

Misleading Title "End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act"

The title of the bill implies that this legislation is targeting forced and coerced prostitution as trafficking, however the focus of the bill is upon unlawful commercial sex and not on trafficking per se. Perhaps this misleading title is partly responsible for the bi-partisan support which seems to include 'Christian Right' influenced Republicans and feminist influenced Democrats.

New anti-prostitution measures were included in US Federal legislation on December 14, 2005. The re-authorization act of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (HR 972) passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and conservatives unexpectedly included a number of harmful amendments to the rights of private consenting adult sexworkers. These Federal provisions mandate new actions to "end demand for commercial sex acts" such as increased anti-prostitution law enforcement within the United States, especially against customers, agency owners, massage parlor owners aka ‘‘sex traffickerers’ even if sexworker chooses such work and police training in "the enforcement of laws prohibiting sex trafficking and commercial sex acts."  It is expected that an identical bill will pass in the Senate soon. (was pased by Senate and signed by Pres Bush in early January 2006) Could it be used to investigate strip clubs for the slightest illegal human contact?

The new legislation is worrisome because Federal restrictions on prostitution will now be imposed on States across the US intensifying policing of sex workers, customer, and those who assist them.

The bill while disguised as a "trafficking" issue, is really more about all forms of commercial sexwork, not what most people would consider "trafficking".  In the FINDINGS AND PURPOSES to  justify the law, it asserts that toleration of prostitution “nearly always” leads to an increase in trafficking into commercial sexual activities. According to this finding, the greatest concentration of trafficking into prostitution should be in the Nevada counties where prostitution is legalized which of course is not true.

Here is some more silliness in the FINDING (in original bill version, shortened in final Bill) which uses the terms "children and women" as if all women are mistreated like children and assumes all prostitutes are trafficked without any consideration of the 90% that are consenting adult sexworkers by choice:

Some studies reveal that commercial sex is a frequent gateway crime for women who later commit more serious criminal offenses. Over 70 percent of female inmates in United States prisons were first arrested for engaging in commercial sexual acts. For every 3 women in jails in the United States today, 1 was arrested for prostitution, and 7 of every 10 women imprisoned on felony convictions were initially arrested for prostitution.

(8) The emotional and physical ramifications of sex trafficking of children and women are staggering, leading to an increased risk of —

  1. sexual and physical assault;

  2. violence;

  3. suicide;

  4. pregnancy;

  5. abortion;

  6. sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS;

  7. post-traumatic stress disorder; and

  8. death.

Definitions (refers back to the definitions in the original section 103(9) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102(9)).

SEX TRAFFICKER.—The term ‘‘sex trafficker’’ means any person who, for financial gain, recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for the purpose of using them for unlawful commercial sex acts.  (This would include the massage parlor owner the escort agency owner regardless if its consenting private adult sexwork not the exploitative relationship the world "sex trafficker" implies.)

SEVERE FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - "Severe" means if by force, fraud or coercion.  But non "severe" trafficking does not require any coercion, i.e. consenting adult sexworkers.

VICTIM OF A COMMERCIAL SEX ACT.—The term ‘‘victim of a commercial sex act’’ means any person offered for use in a commercial sexual act.

COMMERCIAL SEX ACT.—The term ‘‘commercial sex act’’ means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person  [WOW is that broad and vague! would it include giving the women a wedding ring?]

SEC. 204. ENHANCING STATE AND LOCAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS provides grants to state and local law enforcement agencies (Sheriff Joe will be very happy) to "investigate and prosecute persons who engage in the purchase of commercial sex acts... to investigate and prosecute acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, and related offenses, to educate persons charged with, or convicted of, purchasing or attempting to purchase commercial sex acts;  to educate and train law enforcement personnel in how to establish trust of persons subjected to trafficking and encourage cooperation with prosecution efforts.  DEFINITION- In this subsection, the term `related offenses' includes violations of tax laws, transacting in illegally derived proceeds, money laundering, racketeering, and other violations of criminal laws committed in connection with an act of sex trafficking or a severe form of trafficking in persons.

Your tax dollars at work- Authorizations of Appropriations

Most of the 45 million dollars a year allocation goes to developing an industry around sexual surveillance. Although Americans are sympathetic to the plight of prostitutes who are victimized, and we support funding to provide housing and training for those with few options, most object to funding an industry to develop police surveillance, shaming programs and to monitor consensual sexual activities. This is a highly problematic use of government funds and should certainly not should be within the domain of federal law enforcement.

Washington Post Article: In a Shift, Anti-Prostitution Effort Targets Pimps and Johns - December 15, 2005
This is a fairly balanced article in a respected national newspaper.  See

Dave's Rant

As I always do I scream what about the 90% of "prostitutes" who are private consenting adult sexworkers that are not working for pimps, are not 14 year old children on the street, are not being trafficked against there will, are not public nuisance street hookers!!! Yet in the minds of most of the religious right who knows what is best for us and the Feminists, a prostitutes is a prostitute, no matter what age and no women gives consent for such abuse as prostitution. THAT is the issue we need to educate the public about!

In most all the world consenting adult private sexwork is legal with no big negative issues! Yes outlaw street hookers, outlaw under aged and pimping as it already is illegal. BUT STOP THIS NONSENSE that a the law should deny the rights of consenting adult women to choose healthy private sexwork as THEIR CHOICE as they do in almost all the world except the U.S. !! More at Decriminalize Private Adult Sexwork Coalition at  End of rant  

Others Comments About New Federal Legislation Against Consenting Adult Sexworkers

While ending coerced prostitution is a laudable goal, this legislation appears to be grossly overbroad, and will do little more than result in $45 Million of taxpayer funds being wasted on attempts to stop consensual activities between adults behind closed doors. What a waste of time, money and energy.

When will Congress learn they cannot legislate morality ?

The Volstead Act, more commonly known as Prohibition, was a dismal failure. Legal manufacture of alcoholic beverages ceased, illegal manufacturer skyrocketed. Crime syndicates were formed which still exist today. Good job Congress.

Great post!!

I find it rather disturbing ( and unfair) that prostitution is legal ( even in varying ways) in the rest( most) of the world, not just the 3rd world, but in ' the western world'....
Its amazing how other countries in the ' western world' where it is legal have
1) less violence against women in general
2) lower STD rates
3) less street walking problems
..go figure

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