SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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GERMANY'S WORLD CUP BROTHELS:
40,000 WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT RISK OF EXPLOITATION THROUGH TRAFFICKING
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS
MAY 4, 2006
Serial No. 109178
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrinted for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey,
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
RON PAUL, Texas
DARRELL ISSA, California
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
JERRY WELLER, Illinois
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMIKE PENCE, Indiana
THADDEUS G. McCOTTER, Michigan
KATHERINE HARRIS, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
CONNIE MACK, Florida
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
MICHAEL McCAUL, Texas
TED POE, Texas
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
DENNIS A. CARDOZA, California
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey, Chairman
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California,
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBARBARA LEE, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
MARY M. NOONAN, Subcommittee Staff Director
GREG SIMPKINS, Subcommittee Professional Staff Member
NOELLE LUSANE, Democratic Professional Staff Member
SHERI A. RICKERT, Subcommittee Professional Staff Member and Counsel
LINDSEY M. PLUMLEY, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Mr. Michael Horowitz, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Ms. Ashley Garrett, Program Manager for Trafficking in Persons in North America and the Caribbean, International Organization for Migration
Ms. Jennifer Roemhildt, Executive Director, Lost Coin, Athens, Greece
Ms. Katherine Chon, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Polaris Project
Ms. Maureen Greenwood-Basken, Advocacy Director for Europe and Eurasia, Amnesty International
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Juliette Engel, M.D., Director, MiraMed Institute, Moscow, Russia
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations: Prepared statement
Mr. Michael Horowitz: Prepared statement
Ms. Ashley Garrett: Prepared statement
Ms. Jennifer Roemhildt: Prepared statement
Ms. Katherine Chon: Prepared statement
Ms. Maureen Greenwood-Basken: Prepared statement
Juliette Engel, M.D.: Prepared statement
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
GERMANY'S WORLD CUP BROTHELS: 40,000 WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT RISK OF EXPLOITATION THROUGH TRAFFICKING
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THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2006
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights
and International Operations,
Committee on International Relations,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:05 p.m. in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Christopher H. Smith (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. SMITH. The Subcommittee will come to order. And let me begin by first apologizing for being late, and there will be a brief break in this hearing. There is a motion to recommit that should be voted on in about 5 or 10 minutes, and then we will be done, so we have clear sailing from then on.
Good afternoon, everyone. In 1 month, as we know, athletes and fans will be gathering for one of the premier worldwide sporting events of our day, the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Today the Subcommittee will hear testimony on reports that the World Cup will sadly be an impetus for exploitation of women. For most soccer fans like myself, this quadrennial spectacle is a showcase of world-class athleticism and teamwork, but looming in its shadow is the very real potential that the World Cup matches will be a catalyst and magnet for sex trafficking into Germany.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The World Cup, as we know, opens on June 9th, and over the course of 1 month at 12 venues throughout Germany, national soccer teams from around the world will be playing. Many of the fans will join in the festivities.
For the last year, the German Government has been preparing for this sports bonanza, coordinating security efforts with all neighboring countries, and attending to a myriad of details associated with such major international events.
There is no doubt that human traffickers have also been working overtime to exploit this opportunity to improve their illicit revenues through the expected rise in demand, especially in the so-called sex industry.
Today we join our counterparts in the European Union who have expressed their worries and concerns that there will be an explosion of prostitution and trafficking during the time of the World Cup. The European Parliament rightfully recognized, in their resolution passed on March 15th, that major sporting events result in a ''temporary and spectacular increase in the demand for sexual services.'' A number of actions are outlined that should be undertaken by Germany and their European neighbors, as well as by the sports associations involved, to warn potential victims and assist those who are trafficked, to roundly condemn trafficking, as they put it, in human beings and forced prostitution, and will inform and educate the general public and potential clients in an effort to curb the demand.
I point out that during the February meeting in Vienna, as head of the United States delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and as special representative on human trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, I vigorously raised concerns about the trafficking prevention efforts for this event.
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I was joined by other European Parliamentarians, who were sobered by the expectation thatespecially since the matches were being held in Germany, which legalized pimping and prostitution in 2001that World Cup fans would be legally free to rape women in brothels or even in mobile units designed specifically for this form of exploitation.
Of the approximately 400,000 prostitutes in Germany, it is estimated that 75 percent of those who are abused through prostitution are foreigners, many from Central and Eastern Europe, raising many questions as to how they got there in the first place.
Europeans and Americans are not the only ones who have trained their eyes on this explosive association. Vivi Akakpo, the West African coordinator for the All Africa Conference of Churches, has said, and I quote:
''It is now public knowledge that organized syndicates have plans to bring in young women, particularly from Eastern European and from other poor countries, to Germany in time for the World Soccer Cup of 2006.''
The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, meeting last week, adopted a commendable list of best practices which should be undertaken by member states holding major international events. Among the seven initiatives was the commitment to develop and implement measures that discourage the demand for trafficking victims.
All EU member states to some extent are affected by trafficking in women, as we know. Significant numbers of trafficked women coming to Germany are from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Romania. Law enforcement reports that large enterprises and international networks run an organized industry, with political support and economic resources in countries of origin, transit and destination. Corrupt officials are often implicated as well.
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Traffickers use a variety of methods to recruit and move their victims, often utilizing legal avenues to illegally traffic women and children. Legitimate travel documents can be obtained for trips to Germany for the women, and such documents as visas and passports are used to cross international borders, after which the trafficking victims disappear or overstay their visas. Traffickers, however, also use fraudulent documents to obtain genuine travel documents or use altered or counterfeit papers, thus making it more difficult for law enforcement to detect a trafficking victim.
Those that work with the victims of human trafficking have reported that trafficking of women and girls for the so-called sex industry usually heightens during international sports events. According to the 2001 annual report of the BKA, the German Federal Criminal Investigation Office, an inquiry of 414 trafficked women revealed that 45 percent were forced into prostitution through violence, torture, rape or intimidation. Research by Melissa Farley at Prostitution Research and Education found that 71 percent of women surveyed were physically assaulted while engaged in prostitution, and 89 percent wanted to escape prostitution.
I am aware that the German Government is supporting public awareness efforts regarding trafficking for forced prostitution in the context of the World Cup. This is a somewhat absurd effort, given that the infrastructure of legalized prostitution allowed in Germany is gearing up to expand its capacity during the World Cup, and there is every reason to believe that the new recruits into prostitution will be trafficked women and girls. I frankly see this as flagrant state complicity in promoting sex trafficking.
As Sister Lea Ackermann, who founded Solidarity with Women in Distress, has declared, we have decided to flash the red card to those prostitution profiteers who are taking advantage of the World Cup crowds. The president of the German Soccer Federation, Theo Zwanziger, came to the conclusion that they needed to change the federation's position on prostitution after he became aware of the horrors that women forced into prostitution face.
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As the federation president has recognized, and I quote him again, ''We did underestimate the whole issue of prostitution, and I regret that. I say this quite openly.''
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Chancellor Merkel to take a stand and speak out against the exploitation of women and children in the name of sport. I would encourage her government to turn the tables beginning now with the World Cup, and commit to reversing Germany's laws on prostitution as well. We can all join together to fight the human trafficking and make the forced prostitution of women and girls more difficult for the traffickers.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act requires that every year the United States Department of State analyze a report on the problem of trafficking in persons around the world. If Germany is providing either direct or indirect sanction for sex traffickers, then Germany does not deserve to be ranked as a Tier 1 country.
As the world will turn its attention to soccer, as it does, those committed to ending the tragedy of trafficking women and girls for sexual exploitation will be watching how Germany protects the most vulnerable.
I look forward to hearing our witnesses today, and will just add that yesterday I, along with a few other Members of Congress, met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and provided her with information with regard to this issue. And our sincere hope is that, in the Secretary's meetings with the Chancellor, the issue is being raised in a robust and thorough way.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
Ladies and gentlemen, in one month, athletes and fans will be gathering for one of the premiere, world-wide sporting events of our day, the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Today the Subcommittee will hear testimony on reports that the World Cup will sadly be an impetus for the exploitation of women. For most soccer fans like myself, this quadrennial spectacle is the showcase of world class athleticism and teamwork, but looming in its shadow is the very real potential that the World Cup matches will be a catalyst and magnet for sex trafficking into Germany.
The World Cup opens on June 9, and over the course of one month at 12 venues throughout Germany, national soccer teams from around the world will be playing. Millions of fans will join in the festivities. For the last year, the German Government has been preparing for this sports bonanza, coordinating security efforts with all neighboring countries, and attending to the myriad of details associated with such major international events. There is no doubt that human traffickers have also been working overtime to exploit this opportunity to improve their illicit revenues through the expected rise in demand, especially in the so-called sex industry.
Today we join our counterparts in the European Union who have expressed their worries that there will be an explosion of prostitution and trafficking during the time of the World Cup. The European Parliament rightfully recognized in their resolution passed on March 15 that major sporting events result in a ''temporary and spectacular increase in the demand for sexual services.'' A number of actions were outlined that should be undertaken by Germany and their European neighbors, as well as by the sports associations involved, to warn potential victims and assist those who are trafficked, to ''roundly condemn trafficking in human beings and forced prostitution'', and to inform and educate the general public and potential clients in an effort to curb the demand.
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During the February meeting in Vienna, as Head of the U.S. Delegation and as Special Representative on Human Trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, I vigorously raised concerns about the trafficking prevention efforts for this event. I was joined by other European parliamentarians who were sobered by the expectation that, especially since the matches are being held in Germany which legalized pimping and prostitution in 2001, the World Cup fans would be legally free to rape women in brothels or even in mobile units designed specifically for this form of exploitation. Of the approximately 400,000 prostitutes in Germany, it is estimated that 75 percent of those who are abused in these houses of prostitution are foreigners, many from Central and Eastern Europe.
Europeans and Americans are not the only ones who have trained their eyes on this explosive situation. Vivi Akakpo, West Africa coordinator for the All Africa Conference of Churches said, ''It is now public knowledge that organized syndicates have plans to bring in young women, particularly from eastern Europe and from other poor countries, to Germany in time for the World Soccer Cup 2006.'' The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting last week adopted a commendable list of best practices which should be undertaken by member states holding major international events. Among the seven initiatives was the commitment to develop and implement measures that discourage the demand for trafficking victims.
All EU member states to some extent are affected by trafficking in women. Significant numbers of trafficked women coming to Germany are from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Romania. Law enforcement reports that large enterprises and international networks run an organized ''industry'' with political support and economic resources in countries of origin, transit and destination. Corrupt officials are often implicated.
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Traffickers use a variety of methods to recruit and move their victims, often utilizing legal avenues to illegally traffic women and children. Legitimate travel documents can be obtained for ''trips to Germany'' for the women and such documents as visas and passports are used to cross international borders, after which the trafficking victims disappear or overstay their visas. Traffickers, however, also use fraudulent documents to obtain genuine travel documents or use altered or counterfeit papers, thus making it more difficult for law enforcement to detect a trafficking victim.
Those that work with the victims of human trafficking have reported that trafficking of women and girls for the so-called sex industry usually heightens during international sports events. According to the BKA (the German Federal Criminal Investigation Office) annual report in 2001, an inquiry of 414 trafficked women revealed that 45% were forced into prostitution through violence, torture, rape or intimidation. Research conducted by Melissa Farley at Prostitution Research & Education found that 71% of women surveyed were physically assaulted while engaged in prostitution and 89% wanted to escape prostitution.
I am aware that the German Government is supporting public awareness efforts regarding trafficking for forced prostitution in the context of the World Cup. This is a somewhat absurd effort given that the infrastructure of legalized prostitution allowed in Germany is gearing up to expand its capacity during the World Cup and there is every reason to believe that the ''new recruits'' into prostitution will be trafficked women and girls. I see this as flagrant state complicity in promoting sex trafficking.
As Sister Lea Ackermann, the Catholic nun in Germany who founded SOLWODISOLIDARITY with Women in Distress, has declared, ''We have decided to flash the 'red card' to those prostitution profiteers'' who are taking advantage of the World Cup crowds. The president of the German Soccer Federation, Theo Zwanziger, came to the conclusion that they needed to change the Federation's position on prostitution after he became aware of the horrors that women forced into prostitution face. As the federation president has recognized, ''We did underestimate the whole issue [of prostitution] and I regret that, I say it quite openly.''
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Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for Chancellor Merkel to take a stand and speak out against the exploitation of women and children in the name of sport. I would encourage her government to turn the tables beginning now with the World Cup, and commit to reversing Germany's laws on prostitution. We can all join together in the fight to combat human trafficking and make the forced prostitution of women and girls more difficult for the traffickers.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act requires that every year the United States Department of State analyze and report on the problem of trafficking in persons around the world. If Germany is providing direct or indirect sanction for sex trafficking, then Germany does not deserve to be ranked as a tier one country.
As the world will turn its attention to soccer, those committed to ending the tragedy of trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation will be watching how Germany protects the most vulnerable. I look forward to hearing the perspective of the witnesses today. I hope that the German Government is listening, too.
Mr. SMITH. And so I would now take a very, very brief pause because we do have two votes on the Floor. Then we will get back, and I am sure some of my colleagues will follow. But again, I want to thank our panel for their patience and forbearance of this interruption.
The Committee stands in brief recess.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you. The Committee will resume its hearing. And again, thank you for your patience.
We will begin today's hearing first with testimony from Michael Horowitz, who is the director of the Hudson Institute's Project for Civil Justice Reform and Project for International Religious Liberty. He has served as general counsel for the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985, and as an associate professor of law at the University of Mississippi from 1965 to 1967.
Previously Mr. Horowitz served as an advisor to the Czech, Slovak and Bulgaria Academies of Science and was vice president of the Bulgarian-American Friendship Society; counsel and trustee of Save Cambodia, Incorporated, and National Advisory Board for the Institute of Democracy in Vietnam; and has been a real contributor over these many years to human rights legislation, and I want to thank him for that tremendous contribution that he has made.
We will then hear from Ms. Ashley Garrett, who is the project manager for Trafficking in Persons within the International Organization for Migration's Regional Office for North America and the Caribbean. Ms. Garrett has provided training on trafficking in persons to the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition in California, Mexico, Justice Canada and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, Ms. Garrett serves as the trafficking focal point for the region, representing IOM's global trafficking programs.
We will then hear from Jennifer Roemhildt, who is the founder and the executive director of the Greek NGO Nea Zoi, Association for the Support and Restoration of Individuals Involved in Prostitution. Nea Zoi is commonly known as the Lost Coin. Lost Coin is part of a coalition of local NGOs which conducted outreach and intervention among victims of trafficking and others working in prostitution during the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Ms. Roemhildt has been active in street work in Athens for 8 years.
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We will then hear from Ms. Katherine Chon, who is cofounder and co-executive director of Polaris Project, a Washington-based nonprofit organization combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Ms. Chon has worked with over 60 victims of human trafficking, providing training and technical assistance to service providers and law enforcement across the country and to foreign delegations. She has been recognized for her social entrepreneurship with a Do Something BRICK Award presented by President Bill Clinton and comedian Tina Fey.
We will then hear from Ms. Maureen Greenwood-Basken, who is advocacy director for Europe and Central Asia. She manages advocacy campaigns for Amnesty International USA on Europe and Central Asia and on worldwide issues such as trafficking in persons and the intersection of business and human rights. She previously worked in Moscow from 1993 to 1995 as the U.S. Representative in the Union of Councils' Russian-American Bureau on Human Rights. Ms. Greenwood-Basken is a recipient of the 2002 United Nations Human Rights Award.
We will then hear from Dr. Juliette Engel, who is founder and director of the MiraMed Institute, which works to educate and advocate for the elimination of sexual trafficking of girls and women from Russia and former Soviet republics. She is also founder of the Angel Coalition, Russia's first antitrafficking coalition of NGOs from 25 regions of Russia and 6 former Soviet republics. She also served in 2003 to 2005 as project leader for a Trafficking in Persons Department of State grant for developing a Victim Assistance/Rescue Center in Moscow, and nine regional safe houses. And I want to thank Dr. Engel for making the very long trip from Moscow to here on relatively short notice. We deeply appreciate that commitment and the fine work that you do.
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I would like to now go to Mr. Horowitz.
STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL HOROWITZ, SENIOR FELLOW, HUDSON INSTITUTE
Mr. HOROWITZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This is not the first great scandal that Germany has confronted since it has legalized prostitution. In 2000, the so-called Vollmer fast visa scandal took place, which almost brought down the German Government, where fast-track visa issuances led to long lines outside of the German Embassy and all their consulates in Russia and Ukraine, and tens of thousands, perhaps more, of young, vulnerable girls were imported into Germany and abused in ways that particularly Juliette Engel has lived with and experienced.
So this is strike two on Germany. And as far as I think we are concerned in this game, two strikes and you are out. This is a battle we don't intend to lose, as I hope to describe.
Germany is, of course, now under great pressure on this very issue. The world is closing in on Germany in a variety of ways on the issue of what is going on in the World Cup. And I was so grateful, Mr. Chairman, for your statement that made clear that cosmetic solutions of a few more police officers and police patrols or sweeping it a little more efficiently under the rug will not do insofar as this growing coalition of governments, of NGOs, of leaders throughout the world are concerned.
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The key to all legalization in Germanywhich, by the way, Mr. Chairman, has become point 0 in terms of destination countries in the world for some of the most abused and trafficked womenboth in terms of numbers and in terms of the savagery to which they are subjected. And the reason why legalization equals slavery is because the Pretty Woman myth, the Julia Roberts myth of some young woman who, mistakenly or not, enters into prostitution, is a lie. And even if there are, as I suspect there are, very few, a handful of girls like Julia Roberts, what that creates in a world where prostitution is legal is a cover for the enslavement of millions. And the reason is obvious. Once the issue of whether abuse takes placeand Germany says we are against abuseit becomes a he says, she says matter, with a 17-year-old girl who has been beaten, abused, her mind half rotted out by having to ''service,'' as they say, 30 men a day, perhaps her family threatened with retribution and even murder by these vicious mafias. Is such a girl going to testify as to what has happened to her? And if she does, she is confronting an organization with lots of money and lots of lawyers and lots of threats oflittle death threats if she loses this case; and if she wins it, no real support, and maybe only deportation to her own country.
So once you legalize, you basically legitimatize and empower the mafias. And the one experience that proves the case, in Germany and elsewhere, is every country that has legalized prostitution has seen a quantum increase in illegal prostitution under its own laws and terms.
Here is a famous story of an American senior official going to an official of a European country, one that has legalized prostitution. He said, look, you talk about all the service programs and the police patrols you have, but my evidence is that 80 or 90 percent of the women in prostitution are slaves. And the official, a senior police official, was outraged, and he said, no, no, no, that is not fair, that is a lie; only 40 percent are. Now, that country, which shall be nameless, whose major city is Amsterdam, has been a kind of symbol for this kind of evil. Germany has replaced it.
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The larger context of this whole hearing, of course, is the battle to define the 21st century. I think the 21st century will be defined, one way or the other, by the emancipation or not, the empowerment or not, of women. And this is the struggle, in my judgment, on which that battle will be fought no less than the battle that was fought 150 years ago over slavery, over the enslavement of Africans.
And so the battle against trafficking is the battle against the slavery issue of our time, whether by the pimps in the streets of Washington, DC, or the child brothels in Bombay, or the quickie shacks now being constructed outside of World Cup stadiums to ''service'' the soccer fans who come to the games.
And the people who think that legalization can work, who want ergonomic mattress mandates or more police patrols, are no different from the people in the 18th century who wanted better health conditions on slave ships and occasional Christmas breaks for enslaved fieldhands.
We are going to beat them, Mr. Chairman, just like our counterparts beat them 150 years ago. And let me tell you why; because we are going to have episodes just like this which will be defining episodes. What happens in this World Cupand I hope there are representatives from the German Embassy herewill be a chapter in the book that gets written 50 years from nowand maybe shorter than thaton how we ended the slavery issue of our time.
One of the things about this issue is it has turned the world against Germany, and indeed most of Germany against the officials who just want to continue a kind of status quo treatment of this cancer. In the United States, you have Jews and Christians, feminists and right-to-lifers, Democrats and Republicans bonded at the hip taking this issue on under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. As you well know, look at the four chief sponsors of that act when it first passed: You, of course, Mr. Chairman; your former colleague Sam Gejdenson, the son of Holocaust survivors; Senator Sam Brownback, one of the most conservative Members of the United States Senate; and the late Senator Paul Wellstone, who told me, by the way, right before his death, that the stories he heard from those trafficked women were the movingit gave him the most single moving experience he had during his entire term as a United States Senator. He saw the face of evil and was ready to take it on.
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But it is also the United States and countries around the world. What more can you say about this issue and Germany's conduct than that it has joined the United States and France. The coach of the French soccer team, probably the most powerful and popular and important manat least until the games beginin France and I won't take the time of the Committee, but in my statement and others, the statement that Raymond Domenech issued where he said it is bad enough that soccer has been so sullied by the hooligans who are involved in drinking and violence, but he says this is worse; it is slaves that will come and be put into houses. Human beings are talked about like cattle, and Coach Domenech is not going to have any part of it, as if true of all of the other groups that you described in your statement.
But it is not only true around the world, it is true in Germany. Church leaders have denounced it, feminist leaders have denounced it, and, most tellingly, police officials throughout Germany have said, we have got to put a stop to these plans of the pimps and the brothels and have called on the Merkel government, along with everybody else, to do so.
So I say, you know, when you are in a battle, when you are out to make history, as I think our coalition is, you can't avoid battles. Sometimes you don't pick the ground of the battles. Sometimes when the battleground is set, you get lucky, for it is a ground that defines the issue in ways that allows history to be made. And such is the battle over the coming World Cup, Mr. Chairman.
It is going to be a venue, a historic battleground, in our war to end the slavery of our time. And if Germany wants to be a poster child for slavery, I say to the German officials, bring it on, we are ready for you. If Germany wants to risk, indeed, lose the goodwill of the world, and I say this as a friend of Germany, who has traveled to Germany, who thinks of the miraculous way in which democracy has so taken hold in so many ways in Germany. But if Germany wants to lose the goodwill of people on left and right in the United States and around the world, through this hearing and through what they are hearing, they can't say they haven't been warned.
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And then there is the Chancellor. This is an ironic situation, Mr. Chairman, because the Chancellor opposed the legalization laws. Her party opposed the legalization laws. She ought to see this not as a challenge, not as a problem which needs to be papered over, but as an opportunity to get in sync with her own people and the rest of the world, and not turn this into her Vietnam.
And I will say, Mr. Chairman, right here, that there was intense debate on the part of our coalition as to whether to picket, to demonstrate against Chancellor Merkel during her visit here, and the judgment was made that this is a woman of decency, that these are not policies she supported, that there is time left for her to take real and serious steps; and she will be given that time, but that time is not going to continue forever.
And I hope no one in Germany and I hope no one in the Embassy is mistaken about the fact that this is a battlefield on a battle that we cannot lose, where we intend to make history in dealing with this issue, and making Germany pay whatever price Germany may have to pay.
There are many steps that Germany can take. Let me just close with two. Number one, the Chancellor has the power, under current laws, (A) to limit visas; and (B) to issue emergency regulations that limit the operations of what are now the legal commercial sex operations to hours no greater than or personnel no larger than, say, a date like April 1st. That would cut back on the plans of Germany's predators.
But secondly, and finally, this is her opportunity to appoint a blue ribbon commission to take a hard look at the laws that were passed over her opposition. All of the premises of those lawsthat they would bring in more revenue, that they would limit illegal prostitutionare untrue. So this is her opportunity. We urge her to take it; but if she doesn't, as I say again, bring it on, we are not going to lose this battle. And we are going to be joined from groups that seldom agree all over the world. Thank you.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your eloquent and very passionate statement, and very concrete recommendations directed at both Germany and the United States.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Horowitz follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MR. MICHAEL HOROWITZ, SENIOR FELLOW, HUDSON INSTITUTE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
Thank you for inviting me to testify today on a matter of increasing world interest, and what I believe to be literally historic significance. The matter before the Committee today deals directly with, and is of real significance to, the 21st century's most defining struggle: the emancipation and empowerment of women.
Precisely as their 19th century counterparts fought against African chattel slavery, so are brave advocates, world political leaders including President Bush and, most of all, survivors, now fighting against the savage enslavement of girls and women at the hands of what is euphemistically called the ''commercial sex industry.'' As did the Simon Legree's of their time, today's traffickers, pimps and brothel owners prey upon weak, abused and powerless people and convert the enslavement of their victims into a massively profitable criminal enterprise. With the cooperation (and the often even-worse silence) of many government officials, today's traffickers seek to protect themselves with the same rationalizations, the same expenditures of great sums of money, the same physical and psychological threats and violence by which 19th Century slaveholders sought to maintain their regimes.
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So much for the bad news.
The good news is that aroused coalitions in the United States and throughout the world have mobilized to end the epidemic scourge of trafficking, doing so with the same abolitionist spirit and resolve that made slave pens in Ghana and South Carolina museums of a shameful chapter of history rather than operational facilities. In the United States, thanks in no small measure to your leadership, Mr. Chairman, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act which mandates the United States to confront governments both friendly and unfriendly when they are complicit in the perpetuation of trafficking. Thanks to the leadership of President Bush and his Trafficking in Persons Office headed by Ambassador John Miller, and thanks to the work of committed Congressional Democrats like Bobby Scott, Tom Lantos and Carolyn Maloney, great progress is now being made by the United States in the battle against domestic and international trafficking and slavery. And, as you would be the first to say, Mr. Chairman, the battle is being powerfully led from the grassroots by survivors and by religious, feminist and human rights activists in the United States and around the worldleaders whose character is perfectly captured by the closing term used in letters sent to coalition members and public officials by the Salvation Army's Lisa Thompson:
Lisa's passion is equally shared by the Southern Baptist Convention's Barrett Duke and by Equality Now's Jessica Neuwirth, and by world leaders like Madrid's Vice Mayor Anna Botella and the Queen of Sweden. It is shared by the remarkable ''heroes'' honored in the annual TIP Reports and by such advocates as the friend and hero whose sits on this panel, the great Juliet Engel of Russia's Miramed Coalition. Finally and as noted, the effort is animated by the brave survivors of trafficking who find the courage not only to get out of bed each morning but to inspire the rest of us to ensure that other young women will not suffer the brutalization and savagery that they experienced.
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Because of all this, we will not stop!
Because of all this we will not be denied!
Because of all this, we are now, and increasingly, winning the battle over the slavery issue of our time!
In waging this battle, we have not only taken on the traffickers, bribed police officers and indifferent public officials who make today's mass slavery of millions of girls and women possible. At least as importantly we now also wage intellectual and policy battles, as we must, against trafficking's apologists and appeasers. Those adversaries, some well-meaning, believe that the fight against traffickers can never be won and can thus only be waged at the margins. They call for the legalization and regulation of the commercial sex industry, precisely as their 19th century counterparts sought to ''reform'' African chattel slavery by seeking improved health conditions on slave ships and by calling for episodic Christmas holiday breaks for field hands.
Such advocates were wrong then and, no less mistakenly and tragically, are wrong today. Neither the promulgation of ergonomic mattress standards nor the creation of mandates that oblige police to distinguish between abusive and ''friendly'' pimps will ever, repeat EVER, protect the millions of psychologically captured, terrified, physically abused victims of the commercial sex ''industry.''
Today's appeasers fail to understand that legalizing prostitution always increases illegal prostitution. They fail to understand that the emotional capture of victims by brutal and experienced traffickers makes it certain that the victims will almost never feel free to testify about the lives they are forced to endure. They fail to understand that ''Pretty Woman'' story is a lie, that the Academy Award electors who awarded this year's Oscar to the profoundly infamous song ''It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp'' provide cover and protection for the real world of slavery. For the record, I have attached the paper I prepared contrasting the words of the Oscar-winning song with the reality of trafficking in the United States. The attached paper defines both the challenges before our coalition and the reasons why we will drive a stake through the hearts of the pimps and massage parlor operators and brothel owners in the United States and why, sooner than many believe, Bombay brothels will become, like African chattel slave pens, relics of a tragic past.
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All of this leads to the immediate subject of today's hearing, the announced plans for the importation by Germany's traffickers of at least 40,000 ''sex workers''an odious term that masks truth no less than Communist regimes do when they call themselves People's Republicsto ''service'' World Cup attendees. The hearing will also address parallel plans of German traffickers to construct ''quickie shacks'' and 24/7 brothels in the immediate neighborhoods of World Cup soccer venues.
Others will testify more fully on this subject, and my comments are intended to add context to their statements.
First is the sense in which I almost welcome the World Cup plans for the manner in which they so clearly lay bare the evils we and the world must put to an end. The proof of this pudding is the galvanic manner in which the World Cup plans have strengthened bonds between left and right, between Democrats and Republicans, between feminists and evangelicals and between American activists and political leaders and their counterparts around the rest of the world. The World Cup plans are so odious that, wonder of wonders, they have even made allies of France and the United States. Few statements better capture the spirit of our growing world-wide coalition, and its mounting opposition to Germany's odious World Cup plans, than those of Raymond Domenech, coach of the French World Cup soccer team:
It is truly scandalous. People are talking about women, importing them to satisfy the base instincts of people associated with football. It is humiliating enough for me that football is linked with alcohol and violence. But this is worse. It is slaves that will come and be put into houses. Human beings are being talked about like cattle, and football is linked with that.
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Coach Domenech has been joined by equally strong reactions from Scandinavian legislators, European Union officials, and others of like mind throughout Europe. Within Germany, the World Cup plans have linked German police officials and German feminists, German church leaders and German secularists in an equally bonded assault on their country's trafficking ''industry.''
The coming World Cup plans offer a great challenge and opportunity for Chancellor Merkel. If she treats the traffickers' current plans as a mere public relations problem for Germany, and responds to today's mounting protests with cosmetic, whitewashing steps, she will have badly misgauged the mood and determination of our worldwide coalition, and will have lost a singular opportunity to define her chancellorship in ways that will greatly enhance her world leadership stature.
If, on the other hand, she sees events like today's hearings as invitations to capitalize on a leadership opportunity, I believe that Chancellor Merkel will profit from doing so at least as much as the victims she will have helped save by such action.
I urge the Chancellor to consider taking five critical stepsand to do so quickly so that her action will be seen as bold leadership steps rather than an expedient compromise forced on her by others.
The steps are:
1. Work with European Union officials to limit, to the extent legally possible, the entry into Germany of the ''sex workers'' during the World Cup games.
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2. Take steps to ensure, to the extent legally possible, that no unit of state or local government in Germany finances or subsidizes the construction of ''sex industry'' facilities designed for World Cup use.
3. Working with leaders like Juliet Engel, massively increase the availability of ''hot lines'' for complaining trafficking victims and massively increase police patrols, investigations and presence to monitor all existing ''industry'' venues.
4. As a critical matter, issue emergency regulations barring German commercial sex operators from expanding their hours of ''business'' or number of ''employees'' during the World Cup games beyond their April 1, 2006 levels of operation.
5. As a critical matter, appoint a blue ribbon commission of German leaders to study the effects and propriety of Germany's existing anti-trafficking and prostitution laws, charging the commission with reporting back to her with such recommendations to modify or repeal the laws as the commission deems appropriate.
With regard to the last proposal, it should be noted that Chancellor Merkel and her party opposed the very legalization laws that have brought her and her country to today's point of world-wide condemnation. Thus, the Chancellor's failure to take bold action of the sort described above will, ironically, make her the victims of the evils of trafficking perpetrated by her political opponents. This would be a moral and political outcome thatshrewd political leader, decent human being and woman that she isthe Chancellor must not and, I believe, will not permit to happen.
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But whatever she does, our coalition is ready to make the current World Cup plans a crossroads momenta battle we cannot afford to losein our effort to end the current and potential future enslavement of millions of girls and women. As we see it, the lives of millions of those victims, and Germany's entitlement to the goodwill of other countries of the world, both hang in the balance and are in the Chancellor's hands.
Mr. SMITH. And let me make this very clear. This is the first in a series of hearings that we will be holding. Obviously as the World Cup ensues, we will be watching this very closely, as will, I know, people in Germany, as well as those who are part of the antitrafficking coalition. So there will be ongoing scrutiny, and hopefully, as you said, since the Chancellor is a very decent person whose party opposed the prostitution legalization, this is an opportune time to pivot and to go in the direction of humanity, and embracing women rather than abandoning them.
I would like to yield to Mr. Tancredo, if he has any opening comments.
Mr. TANCREDO. No, Mr. Chairman, thank you. I came in a little late, so I would be willing to just listen to the rest of the presentation.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Garrett.
STATEMENT OF MS. ASHLEY GARRETT, PROGRAM MANAGER FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS IN NORTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION
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Ms. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to address you today.
I am privileged to speak to you about the International Organization for Migration's concerns and planned actions surrounding the linkages between large-scale sporting events like the 2006 World Cup and trafficking in women and children for sexual exploitation.
I would like to offer a brief, abbreviated version of my written testimony at this time.
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, your full statement will be made a part of the record.
Ms. GARRETT. Thank you.
Trafficking in persons represents one of the worst forms of exploitation of human beings facing the world today. For over a decade, IOM has collaborated with governments and civil society organizations to develop proactive, victim-centered strategies to prevent traffickings in persons, to identify and assist those individuals who have been exploited and abused, and target the demands for exploitation by strengthening the tools and resources available to law enforcement and the judiciary in the prosecution and conviction of traffickers.
Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable, exploiting their hopes and dreams of a better life. Traffickers constantly monitor the demand patterns, looking for opportunities to maximize their profits obtained for the illicit sale of human beings. The 2006 World Cup presents such an opportunity.
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This hearing is an excellent moment to discuss ways in which together we can take innovative and proactive action, addressing both the supply and demand sides as they relate to the sexual exploitation of women and children.
Germany is a country of transit and destination for international trafficking, as well as one for internal trafficking. In 2004, the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation registered 972 victims of trafficking, the majority of whom were victims of sexual exploitation. The estimated number of unreported cases is much higher.
It is critical that the German Government, civil societies and the international community look seriously at the potential links between this major sporting event and the potential increase in the demand for sexual exploitation of women and children.
I would like to highlight a few ways in which IOM has begun doing so in collaboration with the German Government, the international and national civil society organizations and the international media.
First, IOM has been approached by the MTV Europe Foundation to partner, along with the Swedish International Development Agency, in producing a television public service announcement addressing the demand sides of sex trafficking. This is part of a larger ongoing trafficking awareness and prevention campaign called EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking). This PSA will be broadcast across all of Europe, including key countries of origin and Germany, before and during the World Cup. We are in the final stages of negotiation an agreement for this campaign that will be directed at both potential clients of prostitutes, as well as those most vulnerable to becoming trafficked, thus targeting both the supply and demand components in which human traffickers exploit others for their own gain.
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This campaign will raise awareness about the connection between major sporting events and trafficking for sexual exploitation, encouraging potential clients to educate themselves on what trafficking in persons is and how do take personal responsibility in reducing this form of exploitation, while providing a warning to potential victims.
Secondly, as a part of a broad coalition of German Government and civil society organizations, the IOM mission in Germany has been in consultation with the German Government about the potential links between the sexual exploitation of women and children and the World Cup.
Finally, in key countries of origin like Ukraine, Moldova and other CIS countries, IOM missions are closely monitoring any shifts in recruitment and movement patterns and strategies that traffickers may employ to respond to this potential increase in demand. Through our preventative programs, IOM works to reduce the potential supply of vulnerable individuals. IOM is also working closely with law enforcement and the judiciary to target the demand side by enhancing their investigative capacity and ensuring that cooperation and the sharing of criminal intelligence on organized criminal networks linked to trafficking in persons is facilitated across borders.
There are several other important initiatives that I would also like to take the opportunity to highlight at this time. IOM would like to recognize the international campaign Final WhistleStop Forced Prostitution, which has been launched by the German National Council of Women and has received support from the German Football Federation and the German Police Union, amongst others.
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The European Parliament has called for all members states, particularly Germany, to take appropriate measures in the course of the World Cup football tournament to prevent trafficking of women.
As part of their ongoing response to address human trafficking, the German Government continues to provide training to law enforcement officials on trafficking in persons, identification of victims, and response to strategies for law enforcement officials when they do identify a person who has been trafficked.
IOM views the upcoming World Cup as an opportunity to maximize and increase knowledge on trafficking for sexual exploitation amongst potential clients of prostitutes and those most at risk to being exploited. With an estimated attendance of over 3 million fans, and the additional millions more who will be watching the games from television, the opportunity to vastly improve the global understanding, knowledge and response of what trafficking in persons is, who potential victims are, and what individuals and communities can do to help is enormous. As an international community, we must capitalize on this important opportunity to continue to advocate for those individuals who have been victimized.
On a final note, I would like to raise your attention to another upcoming large-scale sporting event that IOM, with resources from the U.S. State Department's Bureau for Population Refugees and Migration, has already begun preparing for, the 2007 World Cricket Cup.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I thank you for the leadership of this Subcommittee in helping to call attention to this critical issue, and for allowing me the opportunity to address you.
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Mr. SMITH. Ms. Garrett, thank you so very much for your testimony.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Garrett follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MS. ASHLEY GARRETT, PROGRAM MANAGER FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS IN NORTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION
Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to address you today. I am privileged to speak to you about the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) concerns and planned actions surrounding the linkages between large scale sporting events like the 2006 World Cup and trafficking in women and children for sexual exploitation. I would like to speak to you briefly about the situation as IOM view's it, share our planned activities to address those linkages and highlight a few other important actions taken by others.
Trafficking in persons represents one of the worst forms of exploitation of human beings facing the world today. For over a decade, IOM has collaborated with governments and civil society organizations to develop proactive, victim-centered strategies to prevent trafficking in persons, to identify and assist those individuals who have been exploited and abused, and target the demand for exploitation by strengthening the tools and resources available to law enforcement and the judiciary in the prosecution and conviction of traffickers.
Trafficking in persons is one of the most significant forms of transnational organized crime. Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable, exploiting their hopes and dreams of a better life.
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Traffickers constantly monitor the demand patterns, looking for opportunities to maximize their profits obtained through the illicit sale of human beings. The 2006 World Cup presents such an opportunity. As such, this hearing is an excellent opportunity to discuss ways in which together we can take innovative and proactive action, addressing both the supply and demand sides as they relate to the sexual exploitation of women and children.
Germany is a country of transit and destination for international trafficking, as well as one for internal trafficking. In 2004, the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation registered 972 victims of trafficking, the majority of whom were victims of sexual exploitation. The estimated number of unreported cases is much higher. 75.5% of the identified victims were citizens from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia, Rumania, Poland, and Lithuania.
Since 1999, IOM, at the request of the German government, has facilitated the voluntary return of 772 victims of trafficking to their home country and provided them with reintegration assistance in their home communities to mitigate their vulnerability to being re-trafficked. In 2005, IOM Germany began a transnational project ''Reintegration of Victims of TraffickingStrengthening of National Supporters'' where we serve as a bridge between German authorities, NGOs and counterparts in countries of origin, transit and destination.
It is critical that the German government, civil society and the international community look seriously at the potential links between this major sporting event and the potential increase in the demand for sexual exploitation of women and children. I would like to highlight a few ways in which IOM has begun doing so, in collaboration with the German government, international and national civil society organizations and the international media.
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First, IOM has been approached by the MTV Europe Foundation to partner along with the Swedish International Development Agency in producing a television public service announcement addressing the demand side of sex trafficking. This is part of a larger, on-going multimedia Pan-European trafficking awareness and prevention campaign called EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) which seeks to increase awareness and prevention of the trafficking of women and girls in Europe.
This PSA will be broadcast across all of Europe, including key countries of origin and Germany before and during the World Cup. We are in the final stages of negotiation on the agreement for this campaign that will be directed at both potential clients of prostitutes as well as those most vulnerable to becoming trafficked, thus targeting both the supply and demand components in which human traffickers exploit others for their own gain.
This campaign will raise awareness about the connection between major sporting events and trafficking for sexual exploitation, encouraging potential clients to educate themselves on what trafficking in persons is and how to take personal responsibility in reducing this form of exploitation, while providing a warning to potential victims.
Secondly, as part of a broad coalition of German government and civil society organizations, the IOM Mission in Germany has been in consultation with the German government about the potential links between the sexual exploitation of women and children and the World Cup. To date, there are 28 campaigns currently underway in Germany, five at the federal level with an additional 23 at the regional level. Implemented in close cooperation with political and civil society, the common theme of these campaigns is the identification and protection of potential victims of trafficking.
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Finally, in key countries of origin like Ukraine, Moldova and other CIS Countries, IOM Missions are closely monitoring any shifts in recruitment and movement patterns and strategies that traffickers may employ to respond to this potential increase in demand. Our on-going prevention programs in these countries continue to offer information on trafficking in persons, safe mechanisms to migrate, and improved alternatives for those most at risk of sex trafficking.
Through such preventative programs, IOM works to reduce the potential supply of vulnerable individuals. IOM is also working closely with law enforcement and the judiciary to target the demand side by enhancing their investigative capacity and ensuring that cooperation and the sharing of criminal intelligence on organized criminal networks linked to trafficking in persons is facilitated across borders.
There are several other important initiatives that I would also like to take the opportunity to highlight at this time.
IOM would like to recognize the international campaign ''Final WhistleStop Forced Prostitution,'' which has been launched by the German National Council of Women and has received support from the German Football Federation and the German Police Union, amongst others. This campaign and its broad coalition of support demonstrate a commitment to respond proactively in addressing the links between trafficking for sexual exploitation and the 2006 World Cup.
The European Parliament has called for all member states, particularly Germany, to take ''appropriate measures in the course of the World Cup football tournament to prevent trafficking of women.'' This important step recognizes that trafficking in persons in not an isolated problem for any single country, but calls for a regional approach for governments to work together to address the potential impact of large scale sporting events on the sexual exploitation of women and children.
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As part of their on-going response to address human trafficking, the German government continues to provide training to law enforcement officials on trafficking in persons, identification of victims and response strategies for law enforcement officials when they do identify a person who has been trafficked. These law enforcement officials are well situated to identify potential victims and link them to the extensive network of service providers already established within Germany.
IOM views the upcoming World Cup as an opportunity to maximize and increase knowledge on trafficking for sexual exploitation amongst potential clients of prostitutes and those most at risk to being exploited. With an estimated attendance of over three million fans and the additional millions more who will be watching the games on television, the opportunity to vastly improve the global understanding and knowledge of what is trafficking in persons, who potential victims are and what individuals and communities can do to help is enormous.
As an international community, we must capitalize on this important opportunity to continue to advocate for those individuals who have been victimized.
On a final note, I would like to raise your attention to another upcoming large scale sporting event that IOM, with resources from the U.S. State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration has already begun preparing for, the 2007 World Cricket Cup, hosted by seven Caribbean countries with participation from an additional 16 countries. The lessons that we continue to learn from our combined efforts during the 2006 World Cup will be instrumental in shaping our strategies to proactively protect those most vulnerable and target the demand side as we plan for this next event.
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Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I thank you for the leadership of this Subcommittee in helping to call attention to this critical issue and for the opportunity to allow me to speak to you today.
Mr. SMITH. We are joined by Dr. Boozman. Do you have any
Mr. BOOZMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't have an opening statement or anything, but I really do appreciate you and the Ranking Member holding this very, very important hearing. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF MS. JENNIFER ROEMHILDT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOST COIN, ATHENS, GREECE
Ms. ROEMHILDT. Good afternoon. My name is Jennifer Roemhildt, and I am the founder and executive director of the NGO Nea Zoi, Lost Coin Association for the Support and Restoration of Individuals Involved in Prostitution in Athens, Greece.
On behalf of the women I serve, many of whom who might just as easily have found themselves in Germany this summer, I thank you for the time and effort that you are expending to address and to prevent the deep trauma which trafficking inflicts on women. Your role in defending them against this violation honors you.
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Our organization has been actively involved in street work in Athens for 8 years, meeting women and men in prostitution in the brothels, bars, hotels and streets where they work, and making contact with between 100 and 150 individuals weekly.
Although prostitution is legal in Greece, very few of our contacts work within the system. One recent estimate suggests that the total number of women in prostitution in Greece is near 13,000. Of that number, less than 10 percent are legally registered and thus able to access the health benefits and other support services needed.
The vast majority of unregistered prostitutes in Greece are victims of trafficking, and the challenges facing these women are compounded by the Greek Government's unwieldy response to the need for clear, realistic and broadly understood means for victim identification.
Victims of human trafficking in Greece are still regularly issued deportation orders as illegal immigrants. Countries of origin include, but are not limited to, Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Nigeria, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The largest single group of women is from Nigeria and comprises almost 40 percent of Lost Coin's total contacts.
In anticipation of increased demand for prostitution around the Athens Olympics in 2004, Lost Coin and other NGOs began planning intervention and outreach, targeting the young women who we expected to be trafficked into Athens.
During the Olympics in Sydney, experts estimate that 10,000 women flooded the city to meet the demand for sexual services. In Athens, police began monitoring outgoing e-mails as known traffickers searched the Balkans and Eastern Europe for victims, young women speaking English, French or German, young women with big problems or big dreams that would dispose them to taking big risks.
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In the months leading up to August 2004, one academic familiar with traffickers and routes warned of an influx of as many as 2,000 women over the weeks of the Athens games. The Greek Government responded by increasing security on land and sea borders, by training trafficking monitors to ride motorcycle patrol through areas known for illegal prostitution, by funding the creation of leaflets on sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases which were targeted at the women, and by arranging for access to free legal aid for victims of trafficking at each of the five Olympic cities through agreements with local bar associations in each city. No initiatives, however, were taken to address the demand side of the equation.
In a decision which starkly divided Greek society, the municipality of Athens chose to license more brothels. The international community joined local advocacy groups in criticizing the Athens authorities for expanding the availability of prostitution during the games.
The city's stated goal was to enforce illegal brothels to meet minimum age and health standards or face closure; however, efforts for securing compliance were met with a major strike at the prostitutes' union, and the pressure from the strikers led the city government to relax its rules, further easing zoning restrictions on brothels and removing other barriers to expansion. Lobbying by Greek feminist groups was successful in stopping plans known for major hotel-like megabrothels similar to those which will be in operation during the World Cup.
Local NGOs did their part as well, preparing literature campaigns aimed at providing assistance to women who had been trafficked, increasing the frequency of the street work, and creating new teams for data gathering specifically around the trafficking of children. Lost Coin, our organization, sought to expand its network of victim support services in possible countries of origin and repatriation, and to locate materials on sexual health, basic human rights and spiritual counsel in those languages. Bilingual and multilingual outreach volunteers speaking the languages of the region were also actively cultivated.
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Coordination and cooperation among NGOs across a broad spectrum of political conviction and faith positions were significant components of the antitrafficking message.
Street work during the Olympics yielded unexpected results. We were not meeting new victims of trafficking. Of the new faces, few were identifiable as victims of trafficking, and even fewer had entered the country recently. Our experience seemed to hold up around the city. There was no identifiable increase in prostitution around the Athens Olympics. It became a matter of national and even international news. The Greek Union of Prostitutes even reported a decrease in demand compared to the previous year.
While I am sure that the measures taken by the government were to good effect, they alone are insufficient to explain this result, and I am aware of no other attempts to explain the static, and even declining, demand.
Today, as we observe our National Day of Prayer, I would like to suggest the surprising, and perhaps difficult to measure, effects of divine intervention. If it is appropriate for our Nation to acknowledge dependence upon God, how much more a small organization caught in the throes of a global problem. Lost Coin intentionally sought prayer from friends, churches and supporters worldwide for those most vulnerable to being trafficked, and we thank God for holding back the flood.
Trafficking is a trap, and events like the World Cup or the Olympics are the bait. Pushed by poverty and pulled by hopeful dreams of life in the west, exploited by opportunists, women suspend disbelief and their better judgment and gamble on a better life. Most gamblers lose.
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The outrage that we see around us and that we ourselves feel in inviting women to a rigged game within the context of this international sporting event must become the impetus for action. As a European NGO, Nea Zoi/Lost Coin calls for Chancellor Merkel to speak out against the victimization of women through prostitution and trafficking in her country.
We call for the protection, for reparation and for the compassionate provision of services to victims of trafficking within Germany, including shelter, legal aid, counseling, and the aggressive pursuit of viable economic alternatives for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
We call for appropriate and proactive measures for victim identification, including training for police and NGO personnel. And further, for members of the 21 Germany NGOs offering services, to be enabled to gain access to women in the brothels and the private clubs and escort services, and other places where they may be found, as well as detention centers throughout Germany. We would like to see aggressive measures to address the demand for purchase of sexual services.
Nea Zoi/Lost Coin congratulates the German NGOs for their foresight in creating and offering a hotline to clients as well as to victims, and urges decisive action on the part of the German Government in punishing traffickers and those who purchase the services of these women.
Finally, we invite the world's heroes, those athletes that the World Cup celebrates, to become true heroes as they speak out against the exploitation of women around the Cup and other sporting events.
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Lost Coin opposes legalized prostitution, believing that all prostitution is profoundly traumatizing and assaults the dignity and worth of women. Legalized prostitution feeds the unhealthy appetites of a nation and allows for the creation of infrastructure and the suspension of moral judgment, which pave the way for trafficking. No nation with legalized prostitution should have Tier 1 status on America's TIP report. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Roemhildt follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MS. JENNIFER ROEMHILDT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOST COIN, ATHENS, GREECE
Good afternoon. My name is Jennifer Roemhildt, and I am the founder and executive director of the NGO Nea Zoi: Association for the Support and Restoration of Individuals Involved in Prostitution in Athens, Greece. On behalf of the women I servemany of whom might just as easily have found themselves in Germany this summerI thank you for the time and effort you are expending to address and prevent the deep trauma which trafficking inflicts on women. Your role in defending them against this violation honors you.
Our organization has been actively involved in street work in Athens for eight years, meeting women and men in prostitution in the brothels, bars, hotels and streets where they work, and making contact with between 100150 individuals weekly. Although prostitution is legal in Greece, very few of our contacts work within the system. One recent estimate suggests that the total number of women in prostitution in Greece is near 13,000. Of that number, less than ten percent are legally registered and able to access the health benefits and other support services needed.
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The vast majority of unregistered prostitutes in Greece are victims of trafficking, and the challenges facing these women are compounded by the Greek Government's unwieldy response to the need for clear, realistic, and broadly understood means for victim identification. Victims of human trafficking in Greece are still regularly issued deportation orders as illegal immigrants. Countries of origin include, but are not limited to: Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine. The largest single group is women from Nigeria, comprising nearly 40% of Lost Coin's total contacts.
In anticipation of increased demand for prostitution around the Athens Olympics in 2004, Lost Coin and other NGOs began planning intervention and outreach targeting the young women we expected to be trafficked into Athens.
During the Olympics in Sydney, experts estimate that 10,000 women flooded the city to meet the demand for sexual services. In Athens, police began monitoring outgoing emails as known traffickers searched the Balkans and Eastern Europe for victims . . . young women speaking English, French, or German . . . young women with big problems or big dreams that would dispose them to taking big risks. In the months leading up to August 2004, one academic familiar with traffickers and routes warned of an ''influx'' of as many as 2,000 women over the weeks of the Athens Games.
The Greek Government responded by increasing security on land and sea borders, training 'trafficking monitors' to ride motorcycle patrol through areas known for illegal prostitution, by funding the creation of leaflets on sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases (targeting the women), and by arranging for access to free legal aid for victims of trafficking in each of the five Olympic cities (through agreements with the local bar associations in each city). No initiatives were taken addressing the demand side of the equation.
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In a decision which starkly divided Greek society, the municipality of Athens chose to license more brothels. The international community joined local advocacy groups in criticizing the Athens authorities for expanding the availability of prostitution during the Games. The city's stated goal was to force illegal brothels to meet minimum age and health standards or face closure. However, efforts at securing compliance were met with a major strike of the prostitutes' union. The pressure from the strikers led the city government to relax its rules, further easing zoning restrictions on brothels and removing other barriers to expansion. Lobbying by Greek feminist groups was successful in stopping plans for major hotel-like mega-brothels, similar to those which will be in operation during the World Cup.
Local NGOs prepared literature campaigns aimed at providing assistance to women trafficked into Greece, increased frequency of their street work, and created new teams for data gathering (specifically around the trafficking of children). Lost Coin sought to extend its network of victim support services in possible countries of origin (and repatriation) and to locate materials on sexual health, basic human rights, and spiritual counsel in those languages. Bi-lingual and multi-lingual outreach volunteers speaking the languages of the region were also actively cultivated.
Coordination and cooperation among NGOs across a broad spectrum of political conviction and faith positions were significant components of the anti-trafficking message.
Street work during the Olympics yielded unexpected results: we were not meeting new victims of trafficking. Of the new faces, few were identifiable as victims of trafficking, and even fewer had entered the country recently. Our experience seemed to hold up around the city: no increase in prostitution around the Athens Olympics. It became a matter of national, and then international, news. The Greek Union of Prostitutes even reported a decrease in demand compared to the previous year. Why?
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While I am sure that the measures taken by the government were to good effect, they alone are insufficient to explain this result, and I am aware of no other attempts to explain the static, even declining, demand.
Today, as we observe our National Day of Prayer, I would like to suggest the surprising, and perhaps difficult to measure, effects of Divine Intervention. If it is appropriate for a nation to acknowledge dependence upon God, how much more a small organization caught in the throes of a global problem! Lost Coin intentionally sought prayer from friends, churches and supporters worldwide for those most vulnerable to being trafficked. We thank God for holding back the flood.
Trafficking is a trap. And an event like the World Cupor the Olympicsis the bait. Pushed by poverty, pulled by hopeful dreams of life in the West, and exploited by opportunists, women suspend disbelief and their better judgment and gamble on a better life. Most gamblers lose.
The outrage we see and feel at inviting women to a rigged gamewithin the context of this international sporting eventmust become the impetus for action. As a European NGO, Lost Coin calls for:
Chancellor Merkel to speak out against the victimization of women through prostitution and trafficking in her country
Protection, reparation, and the compassionate provision of services to victims of trafficking within Germany, including shelter, legal aid, counseling, and the aggressive pursuit of viable economic alternatives for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society
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Appropriate and proactive measures for victim identification, including training for police and NGO personnel. Members of the 21 German NGOs offering services should be enabled to gain access to the women in brothels, private clubs and escort services, on the streets and in other locations they may be found, as well as in detention facilities throughout Germany
Aggressive measures to address the demand for purchased sexual services. Lost Coin congratulates the German NGOs for their foresight in creating and offering a hotline to clients as well as victims, and urges decisive action on the part of the German Government in punishing traffickers and those who purchase the services of these women
Finally, we invite the world's heroesthose athletes the World Cup celebratesto become TRUE heroes as they speak out against the exploitation of women around the Cup and other sporting events.
Lost Coin opposes legalized prostitution, believing that all prostitution is profoundly traumatizing and assaults the dignity and worth of women. Legalized prostitution feeds the unhealthy appetites of a nation, and allows for the creation of infrastructure and suspension of moral judgment which pave the way for trafficking. No nation with legalized prostitution should have Tier 1 status on America's TIP report.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you so very much for your testimony, and hopefully the lessons learned from Athensand I would agree with you that it all does begin with prayer. That is the spiritual dimension that is often left out in these discussions, so I thank you for bringing that to the tableand the unexpected outcome that did occur in Athens. And having met you immediately prior to the Olympics, when we were there on a human rights trip, and speaking specifically to the issue of trafficking, it is an honor to have you here, and thank you for sharing those thoughts with us. It is extraordinary.
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Congressman Pitts from Pennsylvania has joined us. Mr. Pitts.
Mr. PITTS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Although not on the Committee, I appreciate an opportunity to sit with you, and thank you for the invitation. I just wanted to stop by and express my appreciation for those of you who are working on this issue for speaking so eloquently about the issue.
You know, if this happens, it is going to just result in more violence against women and children. We need to get as much publicity on this issue and demand that the governments involved put a stop to it. So thank you very much for your work and for speaking out on this and letting us know what we can do to help you prevent this exploitation.
So thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will yield back.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Pitts.
STATEMENT OF MS. KATHERINE CHON, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLARIS PROJECT
Ms. CHON. Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you very much for welcoming Polaris Project to this very important hearing. And due to time constraints, I, too, will give abbreviated remarks to my written testimony.
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A few days ago I met with a 14-person delegation from 14 different countries, and we were talking about how as an international community we can be more strategic in cracking down on human trafficking, because this is a global epidemic. And as we were talking, the issue of the World Cup in Germany came up over and over again. And there has been a lot in the media; this is a very important hearing here. And Polaris was trying to think about why is there such a focus on Germany, the World Cup, at this time? Strategically why do people need to get involved all around the world?
And we found an analogy that was very useful for us to understand what is happening right now and in the coming months. We borrowed something from the weather forecasting community. They refer to a period when there are severe weather patterns that merge and converge, and they create on its own these individual storms that have these disastrous impacts on the local community it involves. And when these three different multiple storms converge, it leads to what people call the perfect storm. There was a movie made about it.
And I am here to add my voice to the growing international alarm from academics, from policymakers, from service providers and survivors from around the world all pointing toward one ominous and foreboding reality. In 1 month's time, at the World Cup in Germany, the antitrafficking community will witness our incarnation of the perfect storm.
The first storm that is part of this recipe is the reality of the sex industry itself. A lot of times, at least here in the U.S., it is glamorized. Recently the Oscars awarded a song about domestic sex trafficking. And it is something that people joke about and laugh about becauseand we believe it is because people don't have an understanding of what goes on at the ground level.
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And so Polaris is looking at the commercial sex industry, which is where the sex trafficking happens. We take a very progressive left approach, and that is why I appreciate Michael Horowitz's comments that this is a bipartisan issue. Everyone can come and unite on this issue because we recognize that there is a need for critical analysis that exposes the relationships of power within the sex industry. And I think there are a lot of discussions that haven't been happening recently, and that is something that I want to bring to the table today.
My main question is whose voices are being heard, whose voices have been heard when making policy decisions? We found in our last 4 years of working with multiple victims of human trafficking and survivors of modern-day slavery that there are very different actors within the commercial sex industry, and they don't all have the same interests. So therefore, it would be irresponsible and inaccurate for us to group all of their voices together as if they are representing one voice. What we find is that those with more power, the pimps, the brothel owners, the madams, the customers, those who define themselves as being in the upper tier of prostitution, they have been advocating very strongly and for the most part effectively for their own interests. Unfortunately, their interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of those with the least amount of power. The majority of the women and children in the commercial sex industry are the most marginalized, and their voices aren't being heard. So today I am here representing some of the voices we have come in contact with over the last few years.
The former population I mentioned about, they use their elite and empowered positions to collect the vast profits from within the sex industry or to maintain their access to buying women and children at their own will and because they feel entitled to. The latter population that I mentioned comes from the marginalized populations, the very poor; immigrant communities; individuals from minority groups; those who have been abused physically, sexually, emotionally during their younger years, and they suffer the greatest amount of harm in the commercial sex industry, and they are the victims of sex trafficking.
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And, Mr. Chairman, you mentioned earlier in your remarks some of the statistics out there, and I will add a couple more. According to a five-country study, for those women and children in prostitution, 62 percent are raped or reported incidents of being raped or gang-raped; 73 percent reported being physically assaulted; and for those in prostitution, they have a 40 times greater chancegreater rates of mortality than the average figure out there, 40 times. Imagine what their daily lives look like. And many of the success stories that we find at Polaris doesn't happen very regularly in other areas.
So given these horrific conditions, the reason why the widespread violence and psychological abuse by the pimps and traffickers to control the women and victims of trafficking become crystal clear, and from our position on the progressive left, I think we need to make our position crystal clear and stand unwaveringly for those who are most marginalized. So that is the violent reality of the commercial sex industry as a whole in general.
The second storm that is brewing out there is a demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking. And many of the other witnesses here have already touched upon that. Mr. Chairman, you touched upon that in your remarks. And what we find in our experiencewe mostly worked with victims of trafficking in the Washington, DC, areamost of our work has been in the United States. When there are major sporting events that are smaller in scale compared to the World Cup, for example, the Super Bowl, the NBA All Star weekend for basketball, the World Series for baseball, major golfing tournaments, major conventions, we hear from our clients how the traffickers migrate to those locations because of the increase in demand because they know that they can make profits from that increase in demand.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The reason why we care about this is becausenot just for the sake of caring about the increase in demand, but because of what it doeswhat impact it has on the lives of the women and children we work with. For example, the American young women and children who are victims of sex trafficking within the U.S., they are given nightly quotas by their traffickers. In the DC area the average is $500 a night. And our clients tell us when they are brought to convention areas or cities where there are major sporting events, those quotas of $500 a night spike to 1,000, $2,000 per night.
So realistically what does that look like for that young woman or child who is put out on the street, not allowed to come in until that quota is met; what does it take for that young woman to meet a $2,000 quota, and where during those periods she may be forced to be out on the streets for 24, 48 extra hours to meet that quota, if she doesn't meet it, she either can't come in, she is beaten, physically abused, threatened in many ways. And the role of the demand in terms of the violence that the women and children experience is very real, and that is why we care about the increase in demand.
And so if you think about the sporting events, such as the Super Bowl and other events, and then you compare it to the World Cup, the World Cup, second to the Olympics, is the most international sporting event, where people aremillions will be coming into Germany from all around the world. And so what kind of demand spike will we see in Germany in the coming months? So that is the second storm.
The third stormagain, also some of the witnesses on the panel talked about itthe legalization of pimping and the legalization of purchasing commercial sex. So in an environment where you have those two first storms on their own, it is damaging and destructive to the lives of women and children who are victimized. Together it is even more so. And then within the context where the prostitution or the pimping or purchasing of commercial sex is legalized, that number, the effect balloons on its own. It exacerbates all the other factors that I mentioned. And for us to understand why the traffickers love legalized and regulated zones, we need to get inside the mind of how they operate.
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Traffickers understand better than we do that in countries where there is legalized or regulated prostitutionthere is no country in the world, including the United States, where we have the capacity and the resources to effectively regulate every nook and cranny of the commercial sex industry where we can prevent sex trafficking. And so, in effect, what tends to happen, very much like in Germany, there are these superficial attempts to regulate the industry, but in practice it is underregulated or, at worst, deregulated.
Research has shown, as people have mentioned already, that in countries where prostitution is legal, sex trafficking increases. The recent report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime hasGermany is one of the highest receiving countries for trafficked victims.
The other danger of legalization is the normalization of exploitation. When we work with women and children who come through our doors, it takes so much for us to convince them that, when they talk about being thrown out of moving cars, being stabbed in the head with screwdrivers, when we ask them do you see that as abuse, they look us straight in the face and they say no because it has been so normalized. And that is what they feel, is the day-to-day of their existence.
And so what happens in a country where there is a legalization of prostitution, that type of exploitation is normalized, the government is complicit, community members are complicit, and it is just accepted as a normal type of life for a certain class of people. And then that impact, in terms of trying to get law enforcement involved and service providers, and even trying to convince the victims that they are in situations where they are being exploited and they don't deserve to be in those situations, it is an uphill battle to try to combat that type of culture.
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And so in sum, our recommendations, in addition to those that were already mentioned, is for the U.S. Government to work with the government in Germany to make sure that law enforcement and service providers in Germany and in neighboring countries are getting the funding that they need to protect the victims adequatelyand this isn't just during the World Cup, but also after the World Cup. What is the responsibility of the German Government for all the trauma that the women and children are facing? So please take a long-term approach there. And for the German Government to recognize the real impact, it is not just a policy question, the real impact of the legalization and why it is a factor in this perfect storm.
The thing that scares us the most is the silence and complicity, not hearing the German Government taking a strong stance on this.
And with that, I want to end with the words of a great advocate for human rights who once said:
''I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.''
This is a moment in history when the modern-day slave trade is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. It is a time when questions will be asked generations from now, where did you stand, what did you do? We hope that the German Government and governments and peoples everywhere will be able to answer in sound conscience, we stood with the oppressed and did everything within our power.
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Thank you very much.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Chon, thank you very much for that excellent statement.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Chon follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MS. KATHERINE CHON, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLARIS PROJECT
Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Payne, and Subcommittee members,
Thank you for convening this hearing to discuss the upcoming World Cup in Germany and the growing international concern with the surge in human trafficking that may result. I am pleased to submit testimony on behalf of Polaris Project, a leading grassroots non-governmental organization combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
As the World Cup approaches next month, there are many who are in busy preparation for the upcoming festivities, including athletes, the government and people of Germany, local businesses, international tourists, and the media. However, there is one group of individuals that is also in busy preparation, due to the tremendous profits they expect to be generatingthe sex traffickers.
Human trafficking and its relation to the World Cup have been topics of great discussion within the international anti-trafficking community throughout the past few months. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with a delegation of anti-trafficking advocates from 14 different countries, and our conversation kept drifting back to our shared grave concerns about the World Cup. In the meeting, representatives from Kenya, Romania, and other countries described to me how they have already begun to see cases of women from their countries trafficked to Germany.
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My heart sunk as I listened to their words, because with only one month until the World Cup begins, their stories confirmed what so many of us in the anti-trafficking movement have been deeply afraid of: a worldwide surge of unprecedented sex trafficking activity to Germany to meet the demand for commercial sex associated with the World Cup. Committee membersthose of us working on the ground are offering the initial reports that the early warning signs are already happening. Polaris Project has already encountered the first harbingers of the deluge to come, a call to one of our hotlines involving a woman recently trafficked to Germany and forced into prostitution.
In the weather forecasting community, there's a specific term used to describe a rare convergence of what are otherwise, even in isolation, severe atmospheric events. The term refers to those extraordinary periods when severe weather patterns merge, at the worst possible of times, to create a single vicious and deadly storm of unprecedented proportions. They call it ''The Perfect Storm.''
I am here to add my voice to the growing international alarm from academics, policy-makers, service providers, and survivorsall pointing towards one ominous and foreboding reality: in one month's time, at the World Cup in Germany, the anti-trafficking community will witness our incarnation of The Perfect Storm, a convergence of three distinct problems that will unfold at the highest intensity, at the worst possible time, perpetrating severe harm to thousands of women and children.
The Reality of the Sex Industry
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The First Storm is the nature of the commercial sex industry itself, including the commercial sex trade in Germany. The traffickers and those that benefit from trafficking promote an image of women who freely choose to be in prostitution, are making huge amounts of money, and are having a great time doing it. It is the 'Pretty Woman' myth that many might like to believe, but that hides the violence, trauma, and economic exploitation inflicted by the pimps and customers on the vast majority of people prostituted in the sex industry. It is also the myth that has been embraced by much of popular culture and many individuals in order to justify their inaction or ignorance on the issue. But as Polaris Project and hundreds of other organizations like us that work everyday with people in the sex industry know, the 'Pretty Woman' myth does not reflect the reality on the streets and in the brothels for a majority of women and children, where there is nearly ubiquitous use of violence and psychological abuse by the pimps, traffickers, and customers.
Polaris Project takes a progressive left approach to the sex industry, recognizing the need for critical analysis that exposes the relationships of power within the sex trade. Different actors in the sex industry do not have the same interests, and it would be irresponsible and inaccurate to group them together having one homogenous voice. Those with more powerthe pimps and madams, the customers, and those in 'upper-tier prostitution'have always advocated strongly, and for the most part effectively, for their own interests. Their interests, however, are diametrically opposed to the interests of those with the least powerthe majority of prostituted and trafficked women and children. The former population uses their elite and empowered positions to collect the vast profits from within the sex industry or to maintain their access to buying women and children at will. The latter population comes almost invariably from marginalized populations, including from the very poor, from immigrant and minority groups, and from abusive homes. They also suffer the greatest amount of harm from the commercial sex industry. Research has shown that those who are prostituted face on average a 62% chance of being raped or gang-raped, a 73% chance of being physically assaulted, and a 40 times greater chance of mortality than the average person. Given these horrific conditions, the reasons for the widespread violence and psychological abuse by the pimps and traffickers to control the women and children they victimize become crystal clear. The position of the progressive left must be equally as clearstanding unwaveringly with those who are the most marginalized.
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The Demand for Commercial Sex and Sex Trafficking
The Second Storm is the impending rise in demand from the World Cup for commercial sex and sex trafficking. Human trafficking is a market-based criminal industry driven by two primary factors: high profits and low risk. The central force behind the high profits associated with sex trafficking is the relentless demand for commercial sex present at some level in almost all societies. From our direct experience as service providers for victims of trafficking and as a representative of our clients' voices, we know that large sporting events, conventions, and other similar gatherings are closely tied to a spike in demand for commercial sex, and, in turn, for sex trafficking. These events attract large numbers of males, including the Superbowl for football, the NBA All-Star Weekend for basketball, and the World Series for baseball. Behind the trophies and cheers is the hidden suffering of women and children like the clients we serve that are affected by the rise in demand.
In Washington, DC, for example, the domestic sex trafficking victims whom we serve are forced to meet nightly quotas that average around $500 dollars. There are women and girls right now as I speak who have these quotas held over their heads and will have to meet them tonight in our Capitol city. To meet the quota, women and children as young as 12 years old must engage in numerous commercial sex acts with customers each night, in locations such as hourly hotel rooms, apartments, alleyways, and parked cars. The punishment for not meeting a quota on a given night is a severe beating, starvation, rape, or torture by a pimp, or being forced to continue to provide commercial sex for upwards of 2448 hours until the quota is met.
There are two key points to understand about these quotas. First, the women and girls we are describing do not keep ANY of the money from their quota each night. This is a widespread misconception that must be corrected. In these situations, even though the money may pass through the woman's hands throughout the night, 100% of the money goes to the sex trafficker at the end of each night. If a woman or child is caught keeping any of the money for herself, an act absurdly known as ''skimming off the top,'' she faces a severe beating from her trafficker. Second, quotas are directly correlated with demand, just like profit projections in any market-based system. This means that when demand for commercial sex is high, traffickers increase their quotas, and when demand for commercial sex is reduced or non-existent, traffickers simply cannot continue to enforce quotas at certain unattainable rates. The quota system demonstrates the extent to which traffickers are immediately responsive to demand. Our clients have seen how the market forces of supply and demand are impacted by events like the World Cup, and how pimps raise their quotas from $500/night to $2000/night during these peak demand periods. For one of our clients, the higher quota meant enduring oral, vaginal, and anal sex from up to 10 more men every night.
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The World Cup not only fits this general pattern but stands out as a unique global attraction where the forces of demand will occur on an enormous scale. Not only is soccer celebrated with fanatical passion in a majority of countries, but the World Cup, second only to the Olympics, is one of the few times when such a large number of countries come together to compete. Hence, it comes as no surprise that millions are expected to flock to Germany to attend. Many will be celebrating the games, many will be visiting famous tourist attractions, and unfortunately, many will be flooding the commercial sex industry.
The sky-rocketing demand for commercial sex is the second storm that is converging with the World Cup, and the traffickers are prepared to collect the profits. There is a myth that the mega-brothels being built for Germany's World Cup will be populated by ''jet-setting high-end'' women in prostitution who see commercial sex as an opportunity for an empowered life. Perhaps there will be a few women in those situations, but the vast majority of the women and children sent to meet the demand will come from the traffickers and the victims they exploit.
The Legalization of Pimping and Buying of Commercial Sex
In any environment, the convergence of the first two storms would be a cause for urgent concern and would represent a serious challenge for law enforcement to adequately protect victims and arrest the perpetrators. The Third Storm, however, exacerbates all of the factors described above through creating the worst possible of environments in which to reduce harm: the legalization of pimping and legalization of the buying of commercial sex.
The traffickers are supportive of the legalized model because they know that 'regulation' in practice means deregulation. No country in the world has the political will or resources to support the law enforcement and service provider staffing required to meaningfully regulate a massive sex industry. Regulation has in practice meant a thin layer of regulated commercial sex businesses that have opted into the system, resting on top of a far vaster group of underground operations. The underground operations have correctly made the calculation that greater profits can be generated through not paying taxes, ignoring basic safety standards for the women, and engaging in the trafficking of children. Without a commensurately vast apparatus to meaningfully monitor and enforce against the thousands of underground operations, the increase in demand under a legalized system dramatically drives the expansion of this sector of sex trafficking.
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Research has shown that countries that have legalized prostitution (in law or in practice) have seen an increase in human trafficking. In a recent report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Germany was listed as one of the primary destination countries for trafficked persons in Western Europe with a ''very high'' incidence of human trafficking. Unlike the success seen in countries like Sweden with abolitionist policies, legalization has become a failed social experiment.
Proponents of legalized prostitution point out the benefits to some women who are in positions of greater control and power, but who form a very small minority of individuals within the commercial sex industry. They argue for legalization in order to protect their 'right' to have customers and managers and to operate freely, even if the policy decisions are at the expense of the majority of people in the industry who are not in similar positions of meaningful choice. As a progressive group, this is not a position that we can support. When a conflict arises between the narrow legal rights of the more privileged versus the protection of the general welfare of the more marginalized, we believe the general welfare of the marginalized must be prioritized. As the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) stated, ''to identify the prostitution industry as a system of exploitation, discrimination, and abuse is not to stigmatize its victims; it is to stand in solidarity with them.''
If legalized prostitution has not helped to curb human trafficking, who has it benefited? The legalized and under-regulated environment in Germany has normalized a system of exploitation in an industry that is highly unequal in power. Traffickers take advantage of the normalization of exploitation and the increased demand, which is facilitated through the ability to purchase commercial sex easily, anonymously, and without accountability. Traffickers know that the high demand that is present in a legalized prostitution structure cannot be met by the limited number of women operating without traffickers. They exploit the inevitable profit potential of the market by trafficking women and children at lower cost and who will be forced to provide the types of sexual acts that those with greater levels of choice find to be unsafe, unhealthy, or dehumanizing.
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Legalized prostitution also helps the traffickers recruit and maintain control over their victims. A normalized environment for exploitation makes it easier for the traffickers to convince women and children that there is nothing unusual about the violent reality of their daily lives. A legalized environment gives conflicted messages to a victim, where the default position is to believe the perceptions of the trafficker, as reinforced by the support of the government, community, and popular culture around her. If the traffickers are able to convince the governing bodies and the general public that their exploitative activities are natural and even helpful to the community, how easy is it for traffickers to target and convince women and children who are even more vulnerable to believing in the traffickers' false promises?
Modern-day slavery is one of the most urgent human rights crises of our time. There should be no country that is uncertain in its opposition to all factors that facilitate this egregious crime, or they will face international condemnation in the present and the judgment of history in the future. The storms that drive sex trafficking in Germany will not end with the final goal of the World Cup, but it is my hope that the German government will use this opportunity to make a new beginning in its commitment to the abolition of trafficking in all its forms.
Polaris Project makes the following recommendations:
1) The U.S. Congress and international community should strongly condemn any facilitation or cooperation by the German government to allow the inevitable rise in demand associated with the World Cup to fuel increased commercial sex industry activity and the resulting sex trafficking.
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2) The U.S. Congress and international community should urge the German government to dramatically increase law enforcement and service provider funding in preparation for the increase in sex trafficking likely to occur.
3) Recognizing the role of legalization in promoting sex trafficking, the German government should criminalize pimping and buying commercial sex, while providing increased support and services for those victimized in the sex industry.
I end with the words of a great advocate for human rights who once said, ''I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.''
This is a moment in history when the modern-day slave trade is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is a time when it will be asked generations from now: Where did you stand? What did you do? We hope that the German government, and governments and peoples everywhere, will be able to answer in sound conscience: we stood with the oppressed, and did everything within our power.
Mr. SMITH. I would like to yield to Mr. Payne, our Ranking Member, if he has any opening comments.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for calling this very important hearing.
We know that the issue of trafficking and prostitution in the world in general is horrendous, but as we are focusing on the World Cup and Germany's World Cup brothels, I think that it is even more important that we focus on this issue, as has been indicated and as our testimony has shown, that prostitution is a major industry in Germany. According to the State Department, estimates range for as many as 400,000 people working in the sex trade. And we, as an ally, we should really attempt to put more pressure on the Government of Germany.
There isin addition to this poor public policy, in my opinion, we had to pressure the German Government to eliminate bribes as a tax write-off for doing business in Third World countries, in particular in Africa. We have heard so many instances about how corrupt some of the new heads of state are in some countries in Africaand then Asia and Latin America before, but right now my focus has been on Africabut we never talk about those who are doing the corrupting, we never talk about those who offer the bribes, we never talk about those whoas I indicated, it is not against the law in many Western European countries, but it was a tax-deferred item, in other words, almost encouraged, in Germany. Now, how do you as a businessperson from the United States compete on a level playing field when a German businessman can say, this is what I will pay you, and you get 10 percent, and I will write it off so that I don't, you know, have my company harmed by this illegal activity.
So I am glad that we are exposing these issues, and hopefully they can be overcome.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC While we are not here to debate the merits of the law, even though we certainly are opposed to it, which allows for prostitution, we are focusing on the issues of trafficking because it intersects with the German sex trade. According to the State Department reports in 2003, the last year that a report has been given, 1,235 trafficking victims were identified in Germany. This is a complex issue in Germany since, while trafficking is certainly illegal, prostitution is not, so therefore, it makes it difficult to weed out trafficking, evenit is difficult without prostitution being legal, but with prostitution being legal, it makes it that much more difficult to weed out trafficking because you are almost encouraging a business, and then you have the illegal part of the business as a side bar, and that makes it difficult.
Women are trafficked often from Eastern European countries into Germany, and these women are often forced into prostitution. These women are subject to rape and other forms, as we have heard from Ms. Chon, other forms of abuse, and we find it impossible to escapethey find it impossible to escape. Many times they are locked up in hotel rooms and other facilities, and, as we have heard, must stay out until they have a certain quota that they must reach before they are even allowed to come out of the exterior, so to speak.
Here in Congress we must ensure that the mechanisms we have put in place are working to root out trafficking and modern forms of slavery and to protect women.
It is estimated that today there are approximately 600,000 to 800,000 children, women and men who live inwhose lives have been uprooted and forever changed by exploitation around the world. That is a terrible record in this new millennium. I have mentioned several times before if we are serious about fighting trafficking, if we are serious about fighting conflicts in the world, if we are serious about improving global health conditions, if we are serious about trying to equalize the situations in the world, we have to become serious about the issues that face the developing world, and increasingly the developed world, as the world is becoming flat through globalization, we must find ways to fight poverty. The wealthy are getting wealthier. The rich countries are getting richer. We are reading about Jordan, where there is high levels of unemployment, that they are bringing in Bangladesh workers who have to work 15, 20 hours a day, and the products are going to Wal-Mart and Arrow, according toamong the companies, according to the New York Times article on Sunday. And they said, well, we don't have anything to do with that. That is absolutely and positively shameful that people are working 20 hours and are told that they must lie when authorities come in, their passports are taken.
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And so this whole world is flat, this globalization. You know, you can't hide anywhere. And we really have to start taking a global approach, because unemployment is high in Jordan, but they import Bangladesh workers into Jordan to work for substandard wages. This is unbelievable. This is unbelievable. And so if we are going to stop all this exploitation, we really have to come to grips with how do we, as Bread for the World is trying to, halve abject poverty by 2015, to cut in half the number of people living in abject poverty. So once again, that is the root of all this evil, abject poverty. In some way we will work toward trying to eliminate it.
I appreciate you calling this hearing and look forward to working together with you.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
STATEMENT OF MS. MAUREEN GREENWOOD-BASKEN, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE AND EURASIA, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Ms. GREENWOOD-BASKEN. Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Payne and Members of the House International Relations Committee, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to discuss ways to combat the horrible human rights violation of human trafficking.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to submit my full remarks for the record
Mr. SMITH. Without objection, your full remarks and those of all our panelists will be made part of the record.
Ms. GREENWOOD-BASKEN [continuing]. Because many of the important points have been covered.
In this brief testimony I will try to bring a human rights framework, focusing on the legal definition of trafficking, an overview of trafficking both for sexual exploitation and forced labor in Germany, a discussion of the root causes of trafficking, and also the need to support trafficking victims, as well as recommendations and then some cautions for next steps, because some of the intentions of countertrafficking efforts can also result in human rights violations of the victims.
Amnesty International has opposed human trafficking for several years now. Our vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In pursuit of this vision, we undertake research and action, focusing on preventing and ending grave human rights violations.
Amnesty International is independent of any government political ideology or economic interest, with more than 1.5 million members in more than 150 countries and territories in the world.
Amnesty International approaches the issue of human trafficking through the international law, as defined in the United Nations Protocol, to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons.
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Human trafficking is a worldwide abuse of human rights. It results in the abuse of the human rights of the trafficked persons, women, girls, men and boys, including the rights to physical and mental integrity, life, liberty, security of person, dignity, freedom from slavery and slaverylike practices, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, family life, freedom of movement, privacy, and the highest attainable standard of health, safe and secure housing.
We are focusing today on human trafficking in Germany, but as Ranking Member Payne has just pointed out, it is hard to single out one country without viewing the interconnectedness of all the countries in the world, as you were saying Africa as well.
Amnesty International fears that there will be an increase of trafficking in women and girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation during the World Cup in Germany this summer, and we put out a press release to that effect, calling for a mass mobilization against that possibility 2 weeks ago.
From June 9th to July 9th, as has already been noted, the World Cup Soccer will take place in 12 different cities, and it is expected that large numbers of men, possibly more than 1 million, will travel to Germany, and there will be an increase in demand within the German sector. The Parliamentary Assembly, as has already been mentioned, are estimating that between 30,000 and 60,000 women and girls might be the target of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation related to the World Cup.
However, with today's discussion of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Germany, it is also important to look at other forms of trafficking in Germany. The International Labour Office in November 2005 released a revealing 95-page study, Trafficking for Labor and Sexual Exploitation in Germany, by Norbert Cyrus. The ILO study finds that men, women and children are trafficked into forced labor in a variety of industries in Germany, including domestic service, babysitting, agriculture and meat processing, restaurant and catering, sweat shop, construction and sexual exploitation. What do they have in common? These industries are often labor-intensive, dirty and dangerous. According to the ILO report, forced labor takes place both in the context of illegal employment and behind facades of regular contract and seasonal work.
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We also have to look at the issue of human trafficking into Germany not in isolation. Germany has some of the severest restrictions in the European Union on labor migration. While people from the new European member states can seek employment freely in the United Kingdom and Ireland, for example, they cannot in Germany, and will not be able to do so for at least another 5 years. These restrictions of entering into Germany obviously encourage smuggling and trafficking into forced labor as people from desperate economic conditions are willing to go to Germany in search of a better life and take up employment conditions which can only be described as forced labor in the sectors described in the ILO report.
The German Criminal Code contains specific provisions for prohibiting human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation. Human trafficking for purposes of forced labor is criminalized in a different article under provisions regarding personal freedom. Germany has chosen to provide a 4-week reflection period for victims of human trafficking. If victims choose to testify in criminal proceedings against their traffickers, their deportation is suspended, and they are granted a temporary toleration period.
As other panelists have mentioned, this is an historic moment in a global struggle to end trafficking, but it is impossible to end trafficking without ending the root causes that make people vulnerable to exploitation. Fulfillment of economic, social and cultural rights such as conditions to meet basic necessary needs, food, shelter and gainful employment, would provide protections to make persons much less vulnerable to trafficking. According to international law, the right to work entails access to employment without discrimination, free choice of employment, and a support structure that aids access to employment, including appropriate vocational education.
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As has already been mentioned, according to Amnesty International and other countries in Europe, the majority of women, girls and boys trafficked come from the poorest countries and have suffered from poverty, job scarcity, social dislocation. Many have experienced high levels of violence in the family. Many others are from minority communities, including Roma, stateless persons all over Europe, as well as national minorities in other parts of the world. Most of the women and girls have suffered gender-based discrimination that has limited access to education, and suffered from gender-based violence.
I should point out that the supply is going to continue until the root causes are addressed. Many women in these poor countries see the chance to work abroad as a positive option. They believe work abroad can offer them a way out and a chance to earn what they expect to be many more times what they can earn at home. A factor that makes persons more vulnerable to trafficking is that they lack accessible frameworks for legal migration, which pushes them toward irregular channels to enter and work in Europe, putting them at higher risk for exploitation.
Additionally, the assertion has been made that prostitution encourages human trafficking, as there is not enough of the domestic supply of sex workers to meet demand for sex services. For the record, Amnesty International, as an international human rights organization, currently has no position on the legal status of buying and selling sex services; however, Amnesty thinks it is important for there to be a discussion of all the different points of view on this question.
Amnesty International also wants to highlight the responsibility of the governments of destination and transit countriesin this case Germanyto protect the trafficked person. There is the high risk that the trafficked person, after first having their human rights violated by the traffickers, will then have their human rights violated again by the destination country.
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Trafficking survivors should not be detained, charged, prosecuted or punished for illegal entry or residence in a country of transit or destination, or for unlawful activities which are a consequence of them being trafficked. It is also important that, before returning trafficking survivors to their home countries where they are returning to the same socioeconomic cultural underpinnings that have been discussed, they should be evaluated whether they are at high risk for being retrafficked.
This discussion leads us to some policy recommendations. What steps can be undertaken to prevent an increase in trafficking before the World Cup?
First, we call on the German authorities to give extra support to the relevant organizations, such as NGOs running hotlines for trafficking victims, shelters for trafficking women, and public campaigns to inform the German public of the problem for trafficking. And I should mention that our experience is that trafficked persons sometimes are uncomfortable with NGOs because their victimization is so psychological that they don't recognize themselves as victims. They often find law enforcement very intimidating. So we highly recommend increasing resources for NGOs in particular in terms of outreach before the World Cup.
Secondly, we urge that trafficking victims remain in Germany for a recovery and reflection period that should be at least 30 days, in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
While the current discussions and efforts to halt trafficking in Germany may be productive, please note a few cautions. Well-intended actions can create more human rights violations. Amnesty International calls on the Germany authorities not to repatriate women who have been victims of human trafficking without first offering the victims essential medical, psychological and legal help. This help should not be conditional on their cooperation and legal proceedings against their traffickers. They themselves should be able to make the decision whether or not they want to prosecute. They may deem that their family at home, for instance, is too much of a risk. That decision should be made by the victim; they should not be coerced.
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We think that you should not harass any legal workers in Germany in antitrafficking measures or subject them to ill treatment, detention, charge or possible deportation. And we also urge Germany not to instrumentalize fears of trafficking and impose unnecessary and disproportionate limits on entering Germany for foreigners. The problem which needs to be addressed is not migration of young people. Women and girls from poor countries who are willing to take high risks to make a living may end up being trafficked. The response should be focused on trafficking, but not a migration.
In terms of our recommendation for the world community, Amnesty International calls on the European community and the United States to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings. We call on all governments to ensure that reliable information about safe and legal immigration options, as well as methods used by human traffickers, is easily available to the public and government officials at all timesespecially in the months and weeks preceding the World Cupand ask all states to facilitate a full and open discussion of ways to end trafficking.
Finally, we ask governments to engage in analytical conversations about antitrafficking tactics that could cause human rights abuses, such as gender-discriminatory closing of borders, detention and coercion of trafficking persons by law enforcement, and other measures.
So in conclusion, it is extremely important that there be a massive mobilization now. I agree that it is an absolutely historic moment for many forces to come toward so that there is no increase in trafficking before the World Cup, but to make sure that these massive efforts do not also create human rights violations of the victims.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much for your testimony.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Greenwood-Basken follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MS. MAUREEN GREENWOOD-BASKEN, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE AND EURASIA, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Dear Chairman Christopher Smith and Members of the House International Relations Committee:
Thank you for your ongoing energetic leadership against human trafficking and for the opportunity to discuss how to bring an end to the suffering of the victims. This testimony will approach the issue from a human rights framework, including the legal definition, a brief overview of trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor in Germany, root causes of trafficking, and the need to support trafficking victims. It also will include recommendations and cautions for next steps.
Amnesty International (AI) has opposed human trafficking for several years now. AI's vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. In pursuit of this vision, AI's mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination within the context of its work to promote all human rights. A winner of the Nobel Prize, AI is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. AI has more than 1.5 million members, supporters, and subscribers in more than 150 countries and territories in every region of the world.
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AI approaches the issue of human trafficking through international law, as defined in the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons in Article 3, paragraph (a) where it states: ''Trafficking in persons'' shall mean the ''recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring 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. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.''
Human trafficking is a worldwide abuse of human rights. It results in the abuse of the human rights of trafficked personswomen, girls, men and boysincluding the rights to physical and mental integrity, life, liberty, security of the person, dignity, freedom from slavery, slavery-like practices, torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment, family life, freedom of movement, privacy, the highest attainable standard of health, and safe and secure housing.
Human Trafficking in Germany
We are focusing today on human trafficking to Germany, but it is impossible to disconnect this case from all the source and transit countries to which it is linked and the global problem in general. Amnesty International fears that there will be an increase in trafficking of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation during the FIFA World Cup in Germany this summer.
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From June 9 to July 9, the World Cup in soccer for men will take place in Germany. In the 12 cities that will host matches [Berlin, Cologne (KoAE4ln), Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hannover, Kaiserslautern, Leipzig, Munich (München), Nuremberg (Nürnberg) and Stuttgart], it is expected that large numbers of men, possibly more than 1 million, will travel to Germany and that there will be an increase in demand within the German sex sector. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed its concern that between 30,000 and 60,000 women and girls might be the target of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation during the World Cup. The organization calls on the European institutions and governments to use all legal means to prevent human trafficking.
While today's discussion is focusing on trafficking in Germany for sexual exploitation, trafficking in Germany in other spheres is also an important issue. The International Labor Office (ILO) in November 2005 released a revealing 95-page study, ''Trafficking for Labor and Sexual Exploitation in Germany,'' by Norbert Cyrus. The ILO study finds that men, women, and children are trafficked into forced labor in a variety of industries in Germany, including domestic service, babysitting, agriculture and meat processing, restaurant and catering, sweatshop, construction, and sex work. The industries are often labor-intensive, dirty, and dangerous. According to the ILO report, forced labor takes place both in the context of illegal employment and behind legal facades of regular contract or seasonal work.
Germany has some of the severest restrictions in the European Union (EU) on labor migration. While people from the new EU member states can seek employment freely in countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, they cannot in Germany and will not be able to do so for at least another 5 years. These restrictions obviously encourage smuggling and trafficking for forced labor as people from desperate conditions are willing to go to Germany in search of a better life and take up employment in conditions which can only be described as forced labor in the sectors described in the ILO report.
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The German Criminal Code contains specific provisions prohibiting human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation. Human trafficking for purposes of forced labor is criminalized under provisions regarding personal freedom. Germany provides a four week 'reflection period' for victims of human trafficking. If victims choose to testify in criminal proceedings against their traffickers, their deportation is suspended and they are granted a 'temporary toleration' period.
Addressing the Root Causes of Human Trafficking and Protecting Victims
Why in this day and age are people being trafficked? It is impossible to end trafficking without ending the root causes that make people vulnerable to exploitation. Fulfillment of economic, social, and cultural rights such as the conditions necessary to meet basic needs, including food, shelter, and gainful employment, would provide protections to make persons much less vulnerable to trafficking. According to international law, the right to work entails access to employment without discrimination, free choice of employment, and a supportive structure that aids access to employment, including appropriate vocational education.
According to Amnesty International research on trafficking into other countries in Europe, the majority of women, girls and boys trafficked come from poor source countries. Most have suffered from poverty, job scarcity, social dislocation. Many have also experienced high levels of violence in the family. Many of those trafficked are from minority communities, who suffer from social exclusion and a lack of socio-economic opportunities. This includes Roma communities and stateless persons all over Europe, as well as many national minorities in other parts of the world. Many women and girls have suffered gender-based discrimination that has limited access to education and have experienced gender-based violence.
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In September 2002, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) published an analysis of the social profile of 168 women and girls from Moldova, for whom they had provided assistance, 6 percent of whom were girls under the age of 18. The IOM found that the majority of women and girls (57 percent) had only received a basic primary education, 24 percent had received secondary education, 15 percent had been educated to the age of 18 and 4 percent had attended university. More than 70 percent defined themselves as poor or very poor, those that were employed earning less than $30US (u30) a month. Some 88 percent of these women and girls told the IOM that their main reason for leaving Moldova was to find work. Some 37 percent of these women and girls were mothers, often separated or divorced. Some were single mothers or widowed. Fewer than 10 percent were reportedly married or living in a stable relationship.
Many women in poor countries may see the chance to work abroad as a positive option. They believe work abroad can offer them a way out and the chance to earn what they expect to be many times more than what they can earn at home. A factor that makes persons more vulnerable to trafficking is that they may lack accessible frameworks for legal migration, which pushes them toward irregular channels to enter and work in Europe, putting them at higher risk for exploitation.
Additionally, the assertion has been made that prostitution encourages human trafficking, as there is not enough of a domestic supply of sex workers to meet demand for sex services. For the record, Amnesty International as an international human rights organization currently has no position on the legal status of buying and selling sex services. However, AI encourages a full and complete discussion of all points of view.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC AI also wants to highlight the responsibility of the government of the destination and transit countries, in this case Germany, to protect the trafficked persons. There is a high risk that the rights of the trafficked person, after first being violated by the traffickers, are violated again by the authorities in the destination country. Trafficking survivors should not be detained, charged, prosecuted or punished for illegal entry or residence in a country of transit or destination and unlawful activities which are a consequence of their situation as a trafficked person. It is also important before returning victims of trafficking to their countries of origin to properly assess the risks they run if returned to their native country, such as the risk of being trafficked again.
This discussion leads us to recommendations: What steps can be undertaken to prevent an increase in trafficking to Germany before the World Cup?
Amnesty International calls on the German authorities to:
prepare for the expected rise in human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation during the World Cup by giving extra support to relevant organizations such as NGOs running hotlines for trafficking victims, shelters for trafficked women, and public campaigns to inform the German public of the problem of trafficking; and
allow trafficking victims to remain in Germany for a recovery and reflection period that should be at least 30 days, in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
While the current discussion of efforts to halt trafficking in Germany may be productive, please note a few cautions. Well-intended actions can create human rights violations. AI calls on the German authorities:
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not to repatriate women who have been victims of human trafficking without first offering the victims substantial medical, psychological, and legal help. This help should not be conditional on their cooperation in legal proceedings against traffickers;
not to harass any legal workers in Germany in anti-trafficking measures, or subject them to ill-treatment, detention, charge or possible deportation; and
not to instrumentalize fears of trafficking and impose unnecessary and unproportionate limits to entering Germany for foreigners. The problem which needs to be addressed is not migration but human trafficking.
Amnesty International calls on:
the European Community and the U.S. to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
the European Union to ensure that all existing and future measures related to trafficking in human beings provides at least the same or preferably stronger protection than the minimum standards set out in the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
all states to support domestic NGOs offering advice and practical support to women who have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked;
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC all governments to ensure that reliable information about safe and legal immigration options, as well as about methods used by human traffickers, is easily available to the public and government officials at all times, especially in the months and weeks preceding the World Cup;
all states to facilitate a full and open discussion of all ways to end trafficking; and
all governments to engage in analytical conversations about anti-trafficking tactics that cause human rights abuses, such a gender-discriminatory closing of borders, the detention and coercion of trafficked persons by law enforcement, and other measures.
Mr. SMITH. And now Dr. Engel, please proceed.
STATEMENT OF JULIETTE ENGEL, M.D., DIRECTOR, MIRAMED INSTITUTE, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Dr. ENGEL. I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, for both addressing this issue and inviting me. I literally received the invitation from the middle of Russia on Tuesday, I am not sure what day it is today, but I am very, very glad to be here because we have been watching this situation brew for a long time, and the analogy of the perfect storm is an excellent analogy and one that we will use when I return to Russia.
I am Dr. Juliette Engel; I am the founder of MiraMed Institute, which is an organization working on civil society building and human rights in the former Soviet Union, and I am cofounder of the Angel Coalition, which is a network of governmental and nongovernmental organizations working on the issues of trafficking, rescue, prevention, rehabilitation, repatriation of victims in the former Soviet Union.
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We have known for a long time that Germany is the gateway to Western Europe for trafficking victims. It is the most common course of transit from Russia into Western Europe. The fast-track visa made it possible for over 500,000 young women and girls to transit through Germany, and from there, once you are into the Schengen countries, it is very difficult to know where people wind up.
I want to tell you that the Angel Coalition and MiraMed jointly run the Trafficking Victim Assistance Center in Moscow. And the Trafficking Victim Assistance Center operates toll-free help lines, and the countries that were chosen for these toll-free help lines were Netherlands and Germany. And these were chosen because of our statistics showing that these were the most common sites of recruitment and eventually of trafficking of Russian women and girls.
In the past few months, we have seen a definite increase in the recruiting activities for Germany, and advertisements for women and girls to come and work at the World Cup in the capacity of hostesses, waitresses, clean-up personnel, cooks, and what they call demonstration models, which are women that walk around promoting and advertising products.
So the recruiting is under way. We have seen a definite increase in our calls to our help line from Russia from concerned women and their families about the jobs that are being offered in Germany. And when we review these, they are offered without work permits, and it is the same kind of contracts where the travel expenses and the housing expenses are deducted from the wages, all of the red flags to us that say that these are the women who are going to be destined for the brothels.
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So we have had almost 600 calls from women that I hope we have convinced not to go, but we assume that there will be about 40,000 who will go, and that these will be the women filling the brothels. And I think that in terms of consistently addressing the women, the women's human rights, the women's rescue and the women's rehabilitation is putting a Band-Aid on the huge problem because the problem is the enormous profits being made by international organized crime.
We have had 29 calls to our help line last year from trafficking victims in Germany, and each one of those cases outlined a very extensive criminal network which ran from Russia into Germany and into Europe. These involved Russians, Ukrainians, Albanians, Germans, Serbians, and Italians mostly, who operate these networks. They are extremely well organized; they are extremely well advertised; their recruiting techniques are impeccable. They know how to use advertising, they know how to use media. And in our own statistics, we find that it is not just poor women and girls, it is not undereducated women and girls, and it is not just victims of abuse, but all women are susceptible to the kinds of advertisement. Recruitment goes on in universities, recruitment goes on at job fairs, advertisements are on television, so everyone is a potential victim. We have even had trafficking victims over 50 years of age because there is a niche market for older women.
We also want to point out that Germany has provided a model which has nearly allowed for the legalization of prostitution throughout the CIS by demonstrating the role of a government acting basically as a pimp, by having the government benefit from the profits of the exploitation of women and girls. And the promises of the revenue involved and the fact that the tax revenue that the German Government expects to receive from the operation of the brothels during the World Cup is a very appealing argument which consistently overrides the issues of human rights.
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I think that thisall we can do really is put Band-Aids on the problem, help as many women as we can reach. Handing out booklets, handing out brochures is going to have very little effect until we address the issue of legalized prostitution in Germany, the fact of Germany's complicity at a government level, and the fact that organized crime is behind all of this. And until that is done, then human trafficking isn't going to stop.
So I thank you again for allowing me to speak for Russian women and women from the CIS who, by all indications, already are signing up to the be victims of this mass exploitation in Germany.
Mr. SMITH. Dr. Engel, thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Engel follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JULIETTE ENGEL, M.D., DIRECTOR, MIRAMED INSTITUTE, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Anna was a pretty, blond 25 year old Russian woman who had trained to be a exhibition ballroom dancer in her native town. Two years ago, she was recruited to be a dancer in Germany by answering an ad in a Russian newspaper. She was transported to Germany through Poland by bus where she was taken to an apartment, locked in a room and told that she would be working as a prostitute. There was another Russian girl in the apartment who had been horribly beaten for having resisted forced prostitution. Anna was terrified and she initially agreed to work for the German pimpsbut after being repeatedly raped by over 20 male ''clients'' during her first day, she refused to cooperate any further. She was beaten with a metal pipe for resisting. Both of her arms were broken before she was systematically raped by the pimps.
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The German government has made the highly controversial decision in the eyes of human rights activists throughout Russia and the world to act as an official ''pimp'' for the 2006 World Cupanticipating millions of dollars in revenues from the exploitation of women's bodies and souls by tens of thousands of male football fans notorious for their drunkenness and violence.
In Russia, we are already seeing the rise in trafficking recruitment activity. The Angel Coalition Trafficking Victim Assistance Center has received over 500 calls in the past few months from young women and their concerned families about various offers to work as waitresses, hostesses, advertising models, cooks and cleaning personnel at the World Cup. The fact that expenses for travel and housing in Germany will be deducted from the women's earnings as well as the fact that the jobs are offered without work permits are clear indicators that the activity going on before our eyes is trafficking of Russian women and girls to serve in the World Cup brothels.
In fact, we are seeing an effect of the market principles of supply and demand in operation. There are not enough ''legal prostitutes'' in Germany to meet the sexual demands of the anticipated mobs of sex-seeking men or to fill the beds of the mega-brothels condoned by the German government. Unfortunately, pimps do not have to look too far to find a supply of tens of thousands of desperate women in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union who still believe the western media hype of a glorious life just across the border or women who have no choice but to try and make money in any way that they can to provide for their families and their children.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC How are they recruited and transported? Recruitment is easy. Recruiters are often Russian crime groups posing as legitimate businesses and protected by Russian politicians who own nightclubs and brothels in Germany. Once recruited, women are transported through the same extensive network of smugglers that transport drugs and guns throughout the Former Soviet Union and into Western Europe. Of 29 calls to the toll-free helpline of the Angel Coalition Trafficking Victim Assistance Center in Moscow in 2005 from trafficking victims in Germany, 17 revealed the existence of separate but equally well-developed criminal networks actively operating between Russia and Germany.
Germany is a primary destination country for Russian women trafficked for prostitution even without the increased recruiting for the World Cup. In 2001 the German Federal Criminal Police provided the alarming data that 27.5% of women trafficked to Germany were from the Commonwealth of Independent States. The UN estimated in 2004 that 15,000 Russian and East European women worked as illegal prostitutes in the city of Berlin alone and that Russian women constitute the third largest group of women annually trafficked into Germany. Europol figures confirm Germany as one of the four main receiving countries for Russian women.
Sadly, in countries like Germany where governments have opted to turn the exploitation of women's bodies into a source of gross national product, it is in their best interests to promote an image of prostitutes as confident professionals enjoying their work. But we know first hand the effects that systematic rape, violence and humiliation will have on thousands Russian women and girls who will be forced into prostitution for the profit of organized crime and the German government.
Fortunately for our Anna, the police were informed of the screams coming from the apartment and Anna was rescued during a police raid and sent back to Russia. A German NGO informed the Angel Coalition Trafficking Victim Assistance Center of her imminent arrival and she was met at the airport and taken to an NGO shelter where she remains today. Her arms will have to be re-broken and her hands will never function normally. She will never dance again but she is alive.
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Germany's policy of legalized prostitution and tolerance of trafficking has lead to the most flagrant abuse of women for profit by a Western European government. The upcoming World Cup is a human rights disaster in the makinga crisis which is already drawing global attention to the human rights position of Germany as a nation, its stance on women and gender and its relations with one of its major trading partner nations, The Russian Federation.
I speak for the 65 member NGOs of the Angel Coalition when I call upon the German government to close the ''mega-brothels'' and the ''performances boxes'' and turn the focus of the World Cup activities to football instead of legalized violence against women. If Germany proceeds on the current path, the world will not remember the excitement of the sport of football so much as the legalized rape and degradation of trafficked women.
Then the German government should look further into reversing the legislation which brought such a human rights calamity onto German soil and repeal legalized prostitution in Germany.
Mr. SMITH. And if I could begin with you, you mentioned the approximately 600 calls that the Angel Coalition has already received about the so-called employment offers. What do the women tell you about why they are calling you? Are they seeking your advice as to whether or not these so-called opportunities are legitimate? Are they seeking help? Are they fearful?
Dr. ENGEL. Right. We offer consultation as to whether job offers are legitimate or not legitimate. And there has been quite a lot of press, particularly about Germany, following the fast track visa scandal, which we actually helped by sending victims who had been trafficked from Russia to Germany back to Germany to demonstrate where they had been, how they had gotten there. And this was shown on German and Russian television, and as a result, many were able to reach more people, and they will get consultation, and they will be discouraged from going. But I am sure there are thousands who aren't calling.
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Mr. SMITH. The German Interior Minister stated that Germany would use ''all legal means to prevent trafficking before, during and after the World Cup.'' Mr. Horowitz, you mentioned earlier thatyou used the word ''cosmetic,'' Ms. Chon. You talked about superficial. I have looked at the things that the government is attempting to do, working with NGOs, providing some grant money, but it all looks to meand I would appreciate your insights on thislike a Band-Aid. They legalized prostitution, and they wonder why the floodgates of prostitutes and demand, which rise exponentially in any given country and which leads to more trafficking, they wonder why it rises. So if you could speak to this idea of ''cosmetic.''
You know, it sounds good in a press release to talk about actions that are being taken by the government, but to the woman that is being exploited on the ground, is being rapedand I would ask unanimous consent to include in the record the link between prostitution and sex trafficking that has been promulgated by the U.S. Department of State, and it points outand I will just read very briefly from it:
''The U.S. adopted a strong position against legalized prostitution in a December 2002 National Security Presidential directive based on evidence that prostitution is inherently harmful and dehumanizing and fuels trafficking in persons.''
The memo from State goes on to sayand I think it is worth repeating, I said this in my opening remarksthat a 2003 study first published in the Scientific Journal of Trauma Practice found that 89 percent of women in prostitution want to escape. It also points out that field research in 9 countries concluded that 60 to 75 percent of women in prostitution were raped and assaulted, and 68 percent met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, and it goes on with more statistics backing that up.
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Mr. SMITH. And I was struck, in all candor, Ms. Greenwood, when you made the statementand again, then I will go to Mr. Horowitz to answerthat the assertion has been made that prostitution encourages human trafficking, as there is not enough domestic supply of sex workers to meet demand for sex services. I would encourage Amnesty International, frankly, to take a position, and I hope that position would be squarely on the side of protection.
We have had hearings, I have chaired hearings, where we have heard from women and young girls, including U.S. girls, who had been bought and sold like chattel, but they voluntarily, so called, went into it as prostitutes. Some of them were runaways. But the point is that so many of those girls and young women themselves had extreme dysfunctional pasts; they were victims of incest, victims of sexual violence of some kind, an uncle, a father or even a brother, and then they became very damaged individuals who were easily exploitable. Yet someone's definition of volunteerism would say that they signed up for this.
So, Mr. Horowitz, if you could speak to the cosmetic, if you would.
Mr. HOROWITZ. Well, I would like to put it in a larger context, and I also want to comment on the Amnesty testimony, which troubles me greatly.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There are those who say that you can't solve the enslavement of millions of girls that takes place in Bombay brothels and on the streets of Washington and in the quickie shacks of Germany until we eliminate poverty. That is the song, sung however unintentional or otherwise, of the trafficking mafia. It is a kind of defeatism. I say that it is nonsense.
And I say, in fact, looking at the record of what Ambassador Miller is doing at the trafficking office, that we are, in fact, winning that war; they are on the run . For the first time in the last 5 yearsand you talk to NGOs and you begin to see people are listening to them; and it is the other side that is on the run precisely because we have rejected that siren song that has served as a cover for the continuation and the metastasization of trafficking around the world.
I say the best way to end poverty is by putting the thugs, the Simon Legrees, in jail where they belong, not by legitimizing them, and we can do it. And there is an intention; I see a willingness in Congress with bills introduced from out of no place by Senator Byrd, by Senator Stevens, I see calls by Senior Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committeeof the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee about how we can better use our tax laws to get at the pimps who, as Katherine Chan says, beat the devil out of ''their'' brutalized girls if they don't bring in $700 a night, which, if you have three girls in your so-called family, means $600,000, $700,000 a year for the common garden pimp. I am not surrendering to that, Mr. Chairman, and I am not waiting until someone in Amnesty tells me that poverty is abolished in the world, and I don't think we have to do that.
I frankly, Mr. Chairman, heard the term ''sex worker.'' I hate that term, Mr. Chairman, because that notion of conflating factory work, however difficult it may beand we need to regulate the excesses of factory work through fair labor standards, practices and the likebut the idea of conflating that with the kind of prostitution that is engineered by the mafias is just once again a cover for continuing prostitution.
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We are at war with the pimps who are earning the $600,000 a year; we are at war with the people who operate massage parlors within the shadow of the White House, taking girls, importing them from out of the country and telling themas Katherine Chon knowsand telling them they have got to take these pills, which turn out to be amphetamines, addicting these girls to amphetaminesand this is widespread, Mr. Chairman, throughout the United States and throughout the worldso that they can become docile and placid.
These are murderers, Mr. Chairman, and I am not waiting until somebody declares an end to poverty in the world before we take them on. And I say that we will end poverty in the world when we begin taking on thugs like that and giving opportunity to the vulnerable young girls that they prey on.
And we are at war with the brothels in Bombay, and we are at war with the units of government in Germany that are subsidizing the quickie shacks now being contemplated outside the Dortmund Stadium. We can stop that, and we are stopping that.
As I say, when I look at the work ofand I am sure I won't pronounceJennifer Roemhildt, and I heard her moving testimony; and I know the kind of work that Katherine Chan is doing; and I see the legislation Congress is passing; and I see the Spike Lees and the Oprahs joining in this battle; and when I see Black ministers in this country saying, we are not going to take this for granted anymore, these pimps are poisoning our community values in addition to what they are doing to the girls, I think we are winning. And I know we are winning, we are on the other side.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And then I look at the great, my friend, Juliette Engel in Russia. Against every kind of pressure for years; and now the American Embassy is lauding her; now the Moscow Duma is getting at her and saying, would you please put up billboards throughout the city of Moscow; now police units are getting at her saying, how can we better deal with these women so they can testify against the mafias, because they are now more scared of us in some ways than they are with the enslaving mafias, and she is conducting seminars all through Russia.
And when I see Frank Wolf organizing a conference, as he did, of law enforcement officials in the United States who get together and say, gee, I thought I was the only guy who thought that prostitution was not a victimless crime, I am not alone, let us begin working together, I see an end to end this slavery. And Mr. Chairman, it is going to happen sooner rather than later. And we will deal with problems of poverty, but we are going to get these murderers and criminals, and we are going to do it effectively. And I think we are doing it, and we are going to do it an awful lot better in the future.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you.
Ms. Chon, and then we will go to Ms. Greenwood.
Ms. CHON. To add to your question about the domestic efforts of the German Government, we know that at least in the United States there are some local law enforcement efforts and Federal law enforcement efforts to crack down, and it is incredibly hard to do so without support from the community, support from victim witnesses and so forth. So we just know on the law enforcement side all the challenges.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But my main question for Germany is, how genuine is their commitment? If they have been so silent on this issue, if they are so complicit with the building of these brothels and the increase of sex trafficking, do they really care about the women and the children? I know that in situations where prostitution is legalized, regulated, one of the main things that they talk about is, well, now the women are getting better health care, they are able to get regular health check-ups, they have these identification cards, they are in these databases, so we can try to at least control things on the public health side. If public health and the welfare of the greater community is a concern, what about all the men who purchase commercial sex; do they have identification documents? Are they in databases? Are they required for regular check-ups?
And so to what extent is the German Government really committed to the welfare of the women and children who are the most marginalized? And again, going back to my written testimony, who is this really benefiting at the end of the day? Certainly not the victims of trafficking. And where is the money flow? And just questioning the deeper levels of what kind of commitments the German Government have and who they have those commitments to.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Greenwood.
Ms. GREENWOOD-BASKEN. I think everyone in this room is trying to end human trafficking. Everyone in this room agrees that the criminal network should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and I think we are all engaged in a global struggle for justice.
What I would like to say, though, in terms of the poverty issue is I personallyand this is my personal statement, not Amnesty Internationalbut having working for human rights in the former Soviet Union for 13 years, for many years we worked on political and civil rights, releasing prisoners of conscience, ending religious discrimination, for free movement in immigration. Those are important, and a lot of those things, to a greater extent or lesser extent, we won.
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Dr. Engel and I were just chatting about areas of progress and areas with problems for the trafficked women that came out of Moldova, according to an IOM study, 37 percent of them were mothers. I can tell you, based on knowing Eastern European culture, there is no way that you leave your child, no matter how risky the scheme, unless you are absolutely desperate and you feel like you need to feed them.
So we are engaged in a global struggle for justice. If we are part of the global human rights movement, then we have to take on human trafficking, but we have to take on human poverty, too, because otherwise you are not solving the rights for that survivor, for that victim. Thanks.
Mr. SMITH. Let me just make a point, and, Mr. Horowitz, if you want to respond.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 made reference to the fact that there were a number of multiple causations, and frankly, I was the one that offered the two microcredit lending bills that provided and authorized $200 million per year. Obviously, microcredit lending disproportionately and very positively affects women; 70 percent of the loans go to women. They pay back something on the order of 97 percent of those loans. It is one of the best uses of our foreign aid dollars.
But the program is thatit is the fraudulent part; our definition of trafficking is force, fraud or coercion. These women are often defrauded; they think they are going into something that it is not, and the coercion kicks in later on very often, although sometimes the coercion is right up front.
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And the other point is that I think we unfairly tarnish the poor when we think that somehow they will march into a prostitution and a degradation of their own bodies in order to procure money. Someas I said earlier, the more we look at women who ''voluntarily''and I use that word very guardedly with a small V and quotation marks around itgo into prostitution are women who were very often abused at some point in their lives. It is not just because of impoverishment at all. That becomes a mitigating or contributing factor, I should say.
Mr. HOROWITZ. No mother wants to leave a child, that is for sure, but mothers leave their children to take jobs all the time, different kinds of jobs, lousy jobs, waitress jobs and so forth. And in some way one wishes that we can have enough resources out there in the world, fairly enough distributed, that no mother who doesn't want to ever has to leave her child at home for a job she doesn't particularly like. But that is part of the change process of the world that we need to deal with at the margins.
But the woman who leaves her child to become a waitress, and the women who are leaving their children in different poor parts of Europe to take jobs in factories, yes, we have to protect them, we have got to have basic conditions, but we have got to put thosebut when they leave the jobs and then are forced into prostitutionor to take your example, even if somebody says, and, you know, you are going to be a dancer, and you know what it is going to be like, the reality is, of course, she doesn't know what that is like.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And the larger reality, Mr. Chairman, is if the issue of whether or not a woman is trafficked is going to be a he says, she says one, a case-by-case dispute between well-financed traffickers and brutalized women, nobody will everthere at least will only be episodic successful complaints against traffickers. And the Government of Germany will say we rescued 643 women last year. Out of what? A population out of, what did you say, 600,000, 700,000 women in prostitution.
And we know from the experts, like Juliette Engel and Katherine Chon, that of those 6,700,000, you can count the number of ''Pretty Woman'' on the fingers of your hand, if that. So we have to waged war on these traffickers like we wage war on the Simon Legrees. They will try to cosmetize it, and we cannot provide cover for what it is they do.
And as I said, the exciting fact is that beginning with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which you were the prime sponsor of in the House of Representatives, we are winning that war. We are turning the tide. People are not saying, hey, it is the oldest profession in the world, hey, we can't do anything about it, gee, unless poverty is eliminated, there is not much we can do about it; people are going out after the traffickers.
And I will say this, and I will say this, Mr. Chairman, Ambassador Miller was involved in a very intense negotiation with Japan over Japanese issuance of entertainer visas to poor women, 60,000 to 70,000 a year, particularly from countries like the Philippines. And at end of the road, Japan, in that negotiation, limited the number of entertainer visas from 60,000/70,000 to a few hundred a year.
There were complaints coming from the Philippines saying, gee, you are taking our money away. Turned out the visa process was also giving bribes of millions of dollars and corrupting Philippine officials. And the Catholic cardinal of the Philippines came and said, thank you, America, for doing what you are doing and putting this heat on.
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And another example here. The Times of India did an editorial and said, ''How dare America come and lecture to us and threaten us with loss of World Bank support if we don't crack down on the prostitution going on through India; this is imperialism, period.'' Next paragraph: ''Thank you, America, for doing it. We in India know what a disgrace it is. We in India have not faced up to this issue of enslavement of girls that we import and girls from Japan, and God bless America for doing it.''
This is a stepthis hearing, Mr. Chairman, is a step that is going to make Americathat is earning America real credit and real goodwill in the world with the women who are becoming increasingly empowered, and women who are going to be able to vote around the world 25 years from now, 50 years from now, people are going to say, look I may disagree with what America did here or there, but when the chips were down, America stood with us against our enslavement, and thank you, America.
So this is before the International Relations Committee, and I must say, Mr. Chairman, that taking the kinds of steps and exercising the sort of leadership you do not only saves these girls from enslavement, but it creates a place for America where we will be respected and looked to even by countries that disagree with us on particular policies.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Horowitz.
Let me just ask one more question and then yield to my colleagues. But before I do, interestingly enough, when my wife and I were in Greece with my staff, we went to a shelter where there was a woman who left her two children in Russia in order, because she was poor, to get a job. She was defrauded as to what she would be going into. She was reunited with those two kids while we were there, or at least a day or 2 before, and they may not know for a long time what it is that their mother went through. But she had spent about 2 years being coerced into sex as part of a brothel. And she left because she was poor, but she was defrauded. And that is the big thing. She ended up being exploited in a very cruel way.
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Let me ask you, Ms. Roemhildt, you point out in your testimony that street work during the Olympics yielded unexpected results. Do any of the panelists, starting with you, have any indication that sufficient street work has been done at the 12 venues where the Germans will be holding the World Cup to mitigate the expected explosion of women being trafficked? Is it too late to do the kind of street work that was done in Athens to bring down the number of exploitations?
Ms. ROEMHILDT. The information that I have concerning efforts around the World Cup does not say if efforts have already begun to address the issue or if the outreach around the World Cup is a continuation of currently existing street work.
I think, based on the fact that there are 21 organizations that we are aware of, it is reasonable to assume that there is a presence on the street. And I know that the movement for street work is gaining support and is gaining in reputation throughout Europe, even though it is a fairly new means of outreach. I don't know if other people have more specific details. I will defer to Ashley.
Ms. GARRETT. I just wanted to add, from my colleagues in Germany, I have been told there are 28 national and regional campaigns currently under way, predominantly focused on the identification and protection issues around traffic victims. Five of those are on a national level in Germany, and 23 of those are at a regional level. And I would assume that a lot of them are targeting the experience that all of us have had in direct outreach on the streets. But I can find more information out on those.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. If you could. Hopefully it is not too late. Again, we are appealing to the German Government to stop the Janus-like two-faced approach to this. Saying crocodile tears for the trafficking victim but simultaneously that very, very ambiguous line of demarcation between trafficking victims and prostitution is breached, and they enable the former, that is to say prostitution, while claiming they are against trafficking. It seems to be a very duplicitous position to be in.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you. Thank you very much. I am just going to be brief. But I wonder if, as we have indicated, the people are using poverty, and they are doing trafficking because there is virtually nothing else available. Have you found any opposition from people within their group who oppose the fact that you are attempting to help them or to expose this problem? Or people say, well, you are taking away the only livelihood that person has. And, okay, if you break up this brothel, then what will this person do? She's not going to have anyhave any of you experienced any of that and what type of pressure does that exert?
Ms. ROEMHILDT. I am happy to speak to that. Well, I am not happy to speak to that, but I have experience of that.
One of the things that we recognized very quickly in Athens is that the women, many of the women that we see view prostitution, or even trafficking not as the problem but a solution to the problems that they are leaving behind. And so efforts to assist in getting away are largely fruitless. And this is particularly the case among women coming from sub-Saharan Africa and from Nigeria where they have basically mortgaged their future. They have sold themselves into this, and they are hoping that, if they can survive it, there will be something on the other side waiting for them.
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Mr. HOROWITZ. May I also say, Mr. Payne, if you have to ''service'' as a sex ''worker'' 50 men a day and you started at 16 years old, as the testimony here says, if somebody asks if you mind getting beaten up, you say, no. All of these women who work in these shelters will tell you, when they talk to these girls they ask, ''Are you happy?'' And there will be a glazed look, and the girls are going to say, ''Yes.''
The point is, this is so profoundly enslaving and destructive and savage and brutal, that the answers these women give will be anything that they think the questioner wants to hear, in very significant measure, which really leads to the notion that this is not work. This is destruction.
Again, for every handful for the lie of the ''Pretty Woman'' of Julia Roberts, my point is, and the experts' point is, that is a cover for those 17-year-old girls with big smiles on their faces telling you that they are happy and they are happy to earn whatever little they can.
Now, the final point is, they don't earn much money. The story that Katherine Chon tells me here in the United States, you see these girls standing on street corners in the short skirts, the ones who get beaten if they don't earn $700 a day for the pimps who they can never look straight in the eye, by the way, Mr. Payne. And you will never see them with a cup of coffee or a cup of hot cocoa, no matter how cold the night. Because the pimps walk around and if they find these girls with a cup of coffee, they will say, who gave you permission to spend my money? And they beat them up savagely just for that.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is a form of slavery of women, and it is undertaken by experts in psychological manipulation and captureby people who we have so glorified and fantasized rather than criminalized that they get away with every trick in the trade.
And the one thing I will say, Mr. Payne, you know, in many of the ghetto neighborhoods, there is a kind of glorification. And indeed, their Players Balls in major cities where these pimps come and they win Pimp of the Year awards and so forth. And up to now, everybody thought it was a big joke. The tide is turning. This year, they wanted to do it in Chicago, and we got in touch with some people in Chicago. We had protesting that Players Ball the head of the Black Caucus in Illinois. We had Black ministers. We had ministers who said, even if they were not as savage to the girls as they are, and of course they are, and they are mostly minoritywhat they do, how they poison our own communities by preening around and paying no taxes, and they are criminals who get away with it, that is destructive to our community.
So the notion that some girl who is poor is going to lose any income, as I said, that is a question that begs the reality of what this enslaving process really is about.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Ms. CHON. In regards to your question, there are, I think, certain absolutes. One thing that Polaris Project learned as we have encountered numbers of survivors of trafficking is not to take things at face value. So for the young girl who comes to us and says, you know, all I ever wanted to be was a porn star. And here is this older guyshe is 14here is an older guy saying she is in her mid-20s and saying, I will help you do that.
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And then the more we develop a relationship with her and the more we learn about her past, we learn very much like, Mr. Chairman, you mentioned, that she is a victim of multiple incidents of incest, sexual abuse, gang rape. By the time she was in middle school, boys are taking her into the boys bathroom and running her along these things called trains where she had to perform oral sex with boys standing in line in the school bathroom where she was stigmatized by her peers. And this is at a time in her life when she is developing her self identity.
So there are larger questions of, where is her family? Where is her safety net of support? Who are her friends? So she is going through all of these years of trauma from that type of sexual violence to the point where someone comes to her. And last week, I was in a situation where we were talking with a recovering sex offender. To make up for a lot of the horrible violent things he has done in the past, he wanted to give us a glimpse inside the mind of a sex offender, inside the mind of sex traffickers; what goes on when they are trying to groom themselves, groom the victims. And so for these young girls, or women who were once young girls who have gone through this type of trauma, what does it mean when they tell us, you know, this is my choice and I want to be a porn star? And what is going on in the background, in the history of that person's life?
And then in terms of the response to that, are we only addressing the immediate needs or are the psychological needs being met? What is the responsibility, whether it is the American Government or the German Government? If Germany is building these mega brothels, there are going to be psychological consequences, physical consequences on the bodies of those women. And what kind of responsibility will they have for the long-term psychological and physical health for that person? So I think those are other questions to pursue.
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Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Mr. HOROWITZ. One other add-on comment about the so-called legalization issue. One of the problems there is, we can't get to the demand issue. It is the men. The drunken guy coming out of the World Cup game who wants to go in the quickie shack while he is drunk and have a girl over 15 minutes. How do we get to them? When it is illegal? When do you begin to develop programs like are being developed in Sweden, like are developed in San Francisco, like are going to be subsidized and helped in the TVPA reauthorization that this Committee just voted out last year? So you begin to have ''John's Schools.'' You begin to create an environment where every man who tries to pick up some girl on the streets understands that he is at risk of being in the slammer and having his picture published in the hometown newspaper.
So to give up on dealing with the demand side is like to have scissors with only one shear. That I think is yet another element in this picture.
Mr. PAYNE. That is a very good point.
Ms. GREENWOOD-BASKEN. Just to add another dimension, I agree what has been said by the other panelists and by Chairman Smith on the incredible psychological trauma that the trafficked persons have gone through. And also that everyone agrees that trafficking is bad.
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And as I noted, my organization Amnesty International, has no position on the legal status of buying or selling sex services. But I would note just because there isn't anybody on this panel stating that point of view, there are other points of view on that topic, particularly a debate on that issue of the methodology of combating human trafficking. And I think I will leave it there for now.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
Dr. ENGEL. I wanted to come back to the issue of why I felt it was so important to come to this Committee and to come so quickly today. And that is what this boils down to. This is a highly profitable, low-risk business for organized crime. And in our own work with the Ministry of Interior of Russia and the Department of Criminal Investigations of Russia, Tajikistan, and other countries in the former Soviet Union, we have identified 17 separate criminal networks that are operating between the CIS, Western Europe and the United States.
And every aspect of what they do is extremely professional from the recruitment to the initial abuse and breakdown, psychological breakdown of the victim, to the training of pimp networks. We know that classes are being held in New York City for training trafficking recruiters from the CIS. We have turned this information over to the FBI.
It is an extremely professional, well-organized network which has basically been unthreatened. And I hope that this Committee is one of the few venues in the world that can make a dent in this situation and that coming out against this and acknowledging this is a security issue, not just a human rights physical abuse issue, but these are the same criminal networks who are smuggling drugs, who are smuggling guns and who are supporting terrorist networks in the Middle East and are making a fortune on this and benefitting from the confusion that results from looking at all the different aspects of this when it probably boils down to about 200 people in organized crime making a fortune.
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Mr. PAYNE. I have some other questions, but I am probably going to miss my 5 o'clock plane anyway, and I thought it was important. And that is a real key issue that we have to deal with. And I will run now, but thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. And hopefully, we will have some strong follow-up.
This question about the user. We have probablywe have in my district thousands of boys in prison for 5 years for selling less than 5 grams of cocaine, but your mandatorynot cocaine, but crack. It is mandatory you go to jail for 5 years. You have 50 pounds of cocaine, which you make crack from, and there is no mandatory. You canyou don't even have to go to prison for having that in your possession.
And I say that because the purchasers of this drug in our neighborhood are from the suburbs. They come in. They buy it. The cops lock up the kids. The buyer goes home. And we have got thousands of Black men between 18 and 25 in prison for 5 years because the lack of employment, lackit is wrong for them to do that, but by law, a judge could say I would likebut the Federal law says you have to have 5 years, and that is it.
And then the same guy that put this kid in for 5 years comes down the next day, and the police locks up another kid, and he goes to jail for 5 years. And this same drug user will come down another day, and another kid goes in. So there is a lot of inequity around, and that is another hearing, another time.
Mr. HOROWITZ. But, Mr. Payne, I thought you were going to sayand it would be very accurate to saythat the same suburban guy who comes to your neighborhood comes down to solicit some girl on the street who is controlled by a pimp, and he does not even get a slap on the wrist. That is exactly the inequity that takes place in this ''industry.''
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What policing is in the United States is basicallyfor prostitution, the girls on the streetis chasing them from my neighborhood to your constituents' neighborhoods, except the only difference is the men are pretty much the same. They are the same suburban middle-class guys often, but they shove it all into your district. That is what is going on and continues to go on until we start putting those pimps in jail for the kind of assaults and rapes and tax evasion that they systematically and routinely commit.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Tancredo.
Mr. TANCREDO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My questions were actually along the same line of questioning that has been going on in terms of what we do about demand. And what I was wondering specifically was Ms. Roemhildt's reference to street work and the success of that. In that street work activity, is there a wayfirst of all, was there anything done to deal with the issue of the demand side of this? Was there any attempt to try to stigmatize the person that was coming in to use the sex worker? Would there be something that we could do specifically now in Germany? I mean, we are not going to get them to change their laws probably between now and the soccer cup regarding prostitution. It will still be legalized. But are there other thingsare there other things that we can do? Again, street work type things? And should we organize for that purpose for the World Cup in order to lessen demand?
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Ms. ROEMHILDT. Yes, there are things that we can do. Around the Athens Olympics, there was not a specific street presence that was targeting clients, but it has been something that we have addressed a number of times as an organization ourselves just on an ongoing basis.
Mr. TANCREDO. I would assume.
Ms. ROEMHILDT. To begin work among the men. I think there is a real potential, particularly around a focused event like this to create something at least along the lines of an information campaign.
I do know that, of the groups organizing in Germany, there are some types of campaigns that will have a street presence that is targeting clients. Unfortunately, I would say that their efforts fall short of what we would hope for. I think one of the campaigns is producing a flyer that suggests how to treat the woman that you purchased for sex with dignity, which I think we would find somewhat ludicrous.
But, no, I think that there is room for effective street work to happen, even in this short interim before the World Cup. Preparation for street work is something that actually is quite easy to effect if you have volunteers or staff that is adequately trained. Yes, there is room for something to happen.
Mr. TANCREDO. And what specifically would it be? I mean, is it the idea of picture taking as people come in? I don't know if that would dissuade people in this kind of a circumstance. They are from all over. It is not the hometown newspaper. I am not sure. I was just wondering, what could we do? What kind of street work? And I will ask Mr. Horowitz also.
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Ms. ROEMHILDT. Within the Greek framework, when the laws on trafficking were addressed recently, the decision was taken by the Committee that offered guidance to the Greek Government that there be no teeth in the law effectively concerning clients. And so when we look at taking photographs or something, which I have to admit, in the course of our street work, we have often been tempted to dojust within the areas where we do outreachto sit and take photographs of clients coming in. But the reason that there were no teeth in the law regarding clients in Greece, and I think this is something that is culturally bound, relates to the fact that one in four Greek men frequent prostitutes. This is a commonly accepted statistic, and it influenced the recommendations. Even one of the academic researchers who made recommendations said with this volume or this percentage of the general population using women in prostitution, it threatens the social fabric of our Nation if we begin to prosecute or expose customers.
Mr. TANCREDO. That is amazing.
Mr. Horowitz, you seem like you have something.
Mr. HOROWITZ. I think there are some responses, Mr. Tancredo. First, Germany has issued special permits for the World Cup to allow wider availability and permission for street prostitution. Cancel them. German units of government are subsidizing the construction of the quickie shacks outside of government. Ban them. The Chancellor can do these things. The Chancellor has powers to block the visas. If you are right, we can't stop it now, but we can sure stop it from metastasizing during the period of the World Cup.
Page 108 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Horowitz, I certainly agree with all of those ideas and would support them. Again, I just don't think we are actually talking about the demand side of this equation in those specific references. I am trying to think of what practical thing, what could we actually do in Germany at the World Cup games to minimize this.
Mr. HOROWITZ. One of the things about the demand side is the demand goes up if the supply is there and if they are going to be importing 40,000 more women and building shacks. You see, in some of the red light districts in cities like Dortmund, they are not very accessible to the stadium. So the response of the Dortmund community is, hey, let's bring the brothels to the stadium, and governments are subsidizing that. So if you have to walk outside the stadium and miss the second half if you go to a brothel, you are not going to go to a brothel. That limits demand size. If the Chancellor were to say, no advertising, ban advertising of these facilities during the World Cup games because there is a particular crisis, I think the Chancellor could do that. Finally, the Chancellor has the power, particularly in Germany where there is this enormous regulatory power over every kind of commerce, to say whatever levels of numbers you had in a facility as of, say, April 1, you can't expand it during the World Cup period; you are bound to that, and bound to whatever hours you kept.
There are brothels which are operating, whatever it is, midnight until 4 in the morning that now plan on operating on a 24/7 basis. And they have advised that. The Chancellor has plenty of authority to hold them to exactly whatever hours they had before the World Cup began. This is a powerful demand reduction.
Mr. TANCREDO. I would agree, and I would certainly encourage us to do exactly what you are saying in terms of trying to put pressure on the government to do that. Let's look at it this way: Between just the cumbersome nature of trying to get a government to change their rules and regulations between now and then, I mean, I absolutely support it, don't get me wrong, but what I am trying to think of is, what can organizations who are unfettered by those kinds of bureaucratic regulations, what can they do?
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I know this sounds so simplistic, but if you were out there, if the organizations were actually out there taking pictures of everybody and you publish a big thing saying, these guys have to pay for it, they can'tjust make it an embarrassingagain, I don't know for sure, I am just suggesting something thatbecause it doesn't require the Government of Germany to do anything. We can do that ourselves. I will volunteer with the Chairman to go out there with a camera.
All I am saying is what is there, or is there anything like that?
Ms. GARRETT. I just wanted to add, because I can offer a very practicalI will offer a very practical option. IOM's campaign and partnership with MTV is targeting the demand side of trafficking, and it is particularly focused around the World Cup. We would welcome the opportunity to take that off of the television and bring it into the stadiums and bring it onto the streets and use that opportunity that MTV is offering to reach an enormous population both in Germany, but what I would also emphasize is that you can also do that in countries where potential users would be coming from.
So tackle the entire region as a whole and you are looking at linking up very significantly but in a very grassroots, practical approach for an interim.
Mr. TANCREDO. Yes, ma'am.
Page 110 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CHON. We have been dealing with that. In the last 4 years, we have been talking about demand a lot, trying to wrap our minds around it. For a long time, we thought it has to be on the law enforcement side, holding the purchasers accountable for their behaviors and how that leads to sex trafficking, and that is one part of the equation. But over the years, what we have been hearing at least here in the U.S. from a grassroots effort of how to reduce demand; we still are brainstorming strategies. But what Federal law enforcement tells us is that it is up to the locals to enforce those types of arrests on the demand side. And then the locals tell us this is a social problem that can't be solved through prosecutions and arrests alone. They are important, but that can't be the complete story.
So now we are in the present tense of we have beenit has to be at the community level. The fear I think from certain members of the community, for example, if we were to figure out how to reduce demand at the grassroots level in Germany, looking at what is driving the demand: One, they are purchasing commercial sex because it is easy to do so. Two, it is accepted. Three, they get away with it, meaning that they are not held accountable for their role.
And so I think my recommendation for Germany specifically would be to engage the local communities, and it again has to be owned by the local community at that grassroots level where they know best on how to deter in the ways they want to, and that way it is much more sustainable for the long term.
But just looking at the legalized, normalized setting of Germany, it is kind of like trying to roll the same boulder up the hill all the time because you never really get anywhere until there is that systemic change. There are these immediate things we could do of taking photos or standing outside the brothels distributing cards and things like that, but it is not a long-term solution.
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Mr. TANCREDO. No, of course not. I understand that. Seems to me that we will beas this phenomena grows, and it certainly will if nothing is done; nothing happens, this will continue. Maybe if there was a fear and at the next world game site or the World Cup site that there would be these kinds of activities that would go on, somehow I am thinking that maybe we would actually put a dent in it.
I would just ask one final question regarding China. Do we anticipatewhat do we anticipate in terms of the same thing here, the same kind of activity. Because, am I correct, prostitution is illegal in China, hence, you have got a greater degree of involvement on the part of the government perhaps, but when it comes to the Olympics, does anybody have any idea, plan for this?
Certainly as an aside, by the way, Mr. Chairman, when the young lady from Amnesty International uses the phrase global struggle for justice and global struggle for human rights, I think I can hardly not think about the fact that I would love to see the same degree of commitment to doing something about preventing the Olympics from going to China while they continue to have forced abortions and the sale of organs from people that they have arrested and a whole wide range of human rights abuses that go on there, not necessarily the sex trafficking activity, although it is certainly prevalent.
But what are we doing? Is there any concern about China in the same regard for the Olympics and in terms of what will happen there and prostitution? Is it less of a concern because it is illegal? Do you think there will not be any sex trafficking forMs. Garrett.
Page 112 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. GARRETT. Obviously, we know that there is an issue of trafficking happening in China. Both internal and international flows are significant. So certainly the lessons that we can learn from the experience in Athens, the upcoming experience for Germany will help to guide all of us working in this international movement better.
I think that one of the things we have seen is that, for one of the first times when there was an international large-scale sporting event in Athens, there was an outcry internationally looking at this issue, finally making the links and saying, what are the links between sexual exploitation and large-scale sporting events? Certainly, as we continue to prepare for what comes next, the lessons we are starting to learn now will be critical.
Mr. HOROWITZ. There are real preparations for the Olympic games in 2008, Mr. Tancredo. First, it may be illegal on the surface in China, but as somebody who is working on North Korean human rights, I can tell you that probably the principle export of North Korea is enslaved and trafficked women who go into China as a result of one-child policies and the sex ratios that are taking place now where we have in some regions of China maybe 800 to 900 females for every thousand males. And so this insatiable demand to traffic the women of North Korea is going to be a subject I know Congress will deal with. Much legislation being planned. And I know as well there are people who are looking to the Olympics who may have opposed it, some might think it a good idea because it going to give us a platform. And the Chinese are not going to get away scot free on their anti-human-rights practices when those games begin.
Ms. CHON. I would expect that the sex trafficking would also spike because of the demand, but the factors would be very different because it is not within a legalized setting. So it still will be there but hard to say at what levels. Similar to what Maureen was saying from Amnesty International, we would also predict that on the labor trafficking sidewho is making the clothing, all of the materials and goods associated and marketed through the Olympics. There are major factories in China. What kind of labor trafficking is happening there; the use of child labor. And so, again, even with the Olympics in China, there would be an increase in both the sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Both areas need to be monitored.
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Mr. TANCREDO. I will be looking forward to hearing the positions of the organizations involved here when it gets to that time also, and I commend you all for your efforts, and I certainly commend the Chairman for this hearing.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Tancredo, thank you very much.
Let me just ask a couple of final questions and thank our witnesses. I would just announce that this is the first in what, as I said, will be a series of hearings. We plan on inviting the State Department, Ambassador John Miller, to part two of this hearing. Perhaps the proximity of having the Chancellor in town this week was too much for the Department of State to allow him or any other State witness to be here, but frankly, as she exits Washington, we hope they will accommodate our request that they send or allow Ambassador Miller to be here, because I think he wanted to be here and would provide us, I think, with some very crucial insights. So, hopefully, next week or the following week, that hearing will take place, and that will be part two of this hearing.
Frankly, the information that has been provided by our witnesses, by you, has filled the record in a way that will significantly boost our efforts to pressure, or to admonish. Friends don't let friends commit human rights abuses; Germany is certainly a friend. They are poised to take this to a new lower level in a race to the bottom, in my view, and we will continue to raise this.
We will be introducing a resolution shortly that we are currently working on that will also hopefully be passed or at least be considered by the House in the very near future.
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Ms. Greenwood, I would ask you one final question. The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, as you pointed out in your testimony, expressed concern that between 30,000 and 60,000 women and girls might be trafficked for the World Cup. If you could provide us any insight as to how that number was arrived at. Other numbers, for example 40,000, have been used. How was that estimate arrived at? The German Government vigorously disagrees with those numbers, not unexpectedly. Frankly, I will say now, if they would like to send either their Ambassador or one of their official representatives to that second hearing on this issue, we would very much welcome their participation. I would love to exchange, we would as a Committee, to exchange dialogue with them on this issue.
Ms. Chon, you have made the point that research has shown that countries that have legalized prostitution in law or in practice have seen an increase in human trafficking. I have seen many of those statistics as well. But if you could elaborate on that a bit. You point out that legalization has become a failed social experiment. If you could provide some insights on that.
Let me just point out also that in Deutsche Welle, a story that they carried, and I find this so offensive, they point out that one social workerfirst of all, they talk about these performance boxes in these small huts, and this is in Cologne, where customers can drive onto the site where the prostitutes are housed in small huts known as performance boxes. According to the social worker, every hut is fitted so that the driver has to get out on the side nearest to the wall, that is to avoid detection, presumably, and the prostitute has the side with an exit into the street in case she has to get away in an emergency. There is a red alarm button in every box that can be pressed. I guess if it gets too rough, if the rape is beyond what she can stand, she hits this button, this red button. And that is seen as a positive, and this was offered to us as proof that the government is taking action to protect rather than to wittingly or unwittingly be part of the exploitation.
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I would ask all of you if you wanted to comment on this, have the actions been strong enough, the public statements by FIFA?
Mr. Horowitz, you mentioned the coach in France making a very strong statement. Have other coaches expressed strong statements with regard to that? What have the Americans done? And have any of the big companies like Nike, Adidas, being a German company, have they sent any anti-prostitution or anti-trafficking messages in their advertisements, because soccer should not equal exploitation? The two don't go hand in glove. Unfortunately, as I said at our press conference, I think these World Cup games are likely to be known more for what happened off the field rather than on the field, and that is an outrage.
Let me also ask Dr. Engel, if you could, and maybe there could be a final statement. Obviously, you have assisted many women with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you could lay out for the Committee what these women go through: The agony, the cruelty, but as they try to repair their lives, if you could give some examples or a typical MO of what a woman would look like who has now been trafficked or hurt so severely, and now she is coming out.
Finally, this is from our intern, a very important question. I would like to hear whether any of you have the answer to this, and we will try to get the answer to this from Ambassador Miller as well. Are there any estimates on how much revenue the Germans might derive from this enhanced prostitution and trafficking that could occur during that month especially?
I have one final question. How do these brothels, do we know how these brothels and quickie huts, as you call them, Mr. Horowitz, how do they screen out those who are under age? We know how easy it is for a young man to get a false ID in order to get liquor. That happens all the time here in the United States. Obviously, someone who may be 17 or 16 could very much look like he is 18 or 20 or 21. What kind of screening methodology is there to keep them out? I mean, there are 3 million people trekking to the World Cup. It is going to be filled with young soccer enthusiasts who will probably drink too much and probably end up doing something they might not otherwise do, and they will have the ID to do it. I don't think it is an issue that has been looked at sufficiently.
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I lay out those final questions, and if you could begin answering, whoever would like to go first.
Dr. ENGEL. I wanted to say that the number 40,000 is a number that is being used for recruiting in Russia. There has been advertisements saying there is going be 40,000 temporary jobs so this is where that number came from, that is being put out by the people recruiting.
I can give you a typical story of a woman who is currently in one of our safe houses. I think it has many of the components that make up a typical Russian trafficking story, and it also involves Germany, which is the most common site to which Russian women are trafficked.
This is the story of Anna, a 25-year-old Russian girl from Belgrade who was trained as a classical ballroom dancer. And in Russia, its dancing, modeling, artistic endeavors, singing, entertainment are considered very high levels of cultural training. So when recruiters come and recruit for these jobs, they target women who are trained ballroom dancers, ballet dancers, modern dancers, singers who are very quick to believe that there are high paying jobs overseas.
She answered a job in a newspaper. She went to a recruiter. She was given a passport with a false name. She was put on a bus, sent through Poland, which is a very, very common route, and actually the women who are being recruited now from Russia are being told that they are going to be sent to Germany on busses through Poland.
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When she arrived in a town in Germany, she was locked into an apartment and told that she was going to be a prostitute. There was another woman in the same apartment, a Russian woman who had already been horribly beaten because she had not cooperated, and the women go through a process of psychological and physical degradation. They are given drugs, starved, sleep-deprived, and they are raped. By the time they are done with this process, they are extremely confused, they are very oftentimes psychotic, and they are in terrible physical condition.
Anna agreed to become a prostitute. She did it for 1 day. She served 20 clients. Decided she couldn't stand it anymore, that she would rather be dead. And then, that evening, the German pimps took pipes, broke both her arms and then raped her.
Hers is a fortunate case because the neighbors heard the screams from the apartment and called the police, and the police usually will pick up these women and simply deport them so that they return to Russia back on these buses through Poland where they are simply retrafficked en route to Poland and brought back to Germany.
But she was brought to the attention of one of the German NGOs who called us, and we arranged to make sure that she had safe transportation and to intercept her when she came into Moscow. She is currently in a shelter. She has had to go through drug withdrawal in spite of the short time she was on amphetamines. They give them amphetamines and Ectasy. Her arms will have to be rebroken. She is afraid to go back to her hometown. She will never dance again. She is a broken person.
Page 118 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For every one of these that come back, hundreds don't come back. We have had women at the airport. We are there to greet them and so are the traffickers who take them away, and we don't see them again. Germany is without a question the point of entry, the main site of recruitment, the most active.
Like I said, we have identified 17 different crime, international crime groups trafficking directly to Germany, and I am grateful that the Committee is addressing this problem, and I am grateful that the World Cup is happening so that the focus can be brought into Germany, and in my belief, they can't do enough.
Ms. CHON. To address some of your questions in terms of the legalization research and the failed social experiment statement. We probably read the same reports, and I can certainly get those to your office so that you have the latest out there, but just in general, in terms of the social experiment, when the Government of the Netherlands or Germany or other countries, I would assume that they started with good intentions of wanting to empower women, of giving them a safer space to operate in, of trying to control things that they felt were inevitable, and that the practical thing to do would be to reduce the harm hopefully through regulation or legalization. And so a number of countries have legalized prostitution, and it has been, depending on the country, 3, 4, 5 years of seeing what has happened, and the prediction was that trafficking would increase, and that certainly happened, but then there are these larger things where it is just not withinit is not just the government trying to control. By trying to control and regulate a certain zone or area, it was basically opening the flood gates of letting in the traffickers. Once the traffickers are in, where else are they going? What else are they involved in? The criminal mind, as it is, is doing criminal things because that is the way they make their profit. So what else is going on?
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But then, also, I think Mr. Horowitz referred to it, the underground market, of every time that there iseven in countries where there isn't legalized prostitution, there is an underground market because for thein order for them to work in those safe working conditions, they deserve to be paid the amount of money they want to be paid, they deserve to reject purchasers of commercial sex if they aren't comfortable with certain commercial sex acts.
You may have these situations where there are some women who are in more empowered situations, where they have more meaningful control over what is happening to them, but the traffickers see this, and, again, it is the high profit, low risk that Juliette referred to that the traffickers, they don't care how old their victim is, they just see a dollar sign on that woman or child's body, and they know that for every woman in the regulated zone who is charging X amount of fee, they can charge less with their trafficked victims. For everyone who isn't comfortable with certain types of commercial sex activities, they can make sure that their victims will be forced to perform that because that is what the demand is asking for and that is what the demand is willing to pay for. And so, for them, it is just a matter of where the money is coming from. They don't care about who is being victimized, and I think that is why the research has shown that there has been an increase in trafficking because of the market dynamics.
Mr. SMITH. Ms. Greenwood, did you want to comment?
Ms. GREENWOOD. On the 40,000 to 60,000 number, I will have to get back to your office on where that number was derived from. Unfortunately, I find, in general, statistics on trafficking to be notoriously difficult to figure out how they are exactly arriving at those numbers. It was interesting to hear the statistics from Greece as well. But I will try to get back to you on that.
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Ms. CHON. The question about how to screen underaged victims, that is a question we would love to have an answer to so if your office finds itwe are talking about traffickers bringing in women and children from other countries so what kind of screening process is there when most times victims of trafficking don't even have proper identification or real identification, so that is a major concern.
Mr. SMITH. It would go equally for both the exploiter and the woman.
Ms. CHON. Right.
Mr. SMITH. Because any definition of trafficking, or the generally accepted definition, as included in our legislation, has not attained the age of 18. So by definition, they are all included, but I am also talking about those 3 million, the subset of those who will then go to these brothels. Who is checking to make sure that some 16-year-old high school junior who plays soccer for his high school, and this is his big chance to see the World Cup, doesn't end up in a brothel raping a trafficked woman.
Mr. HOROWITZ. I suspect the answer you are going to get is, hey, we have these panic buttons that we put right there. I was interested when you raised that. To me, the question is, what is going to happen after the girl pushes the panic button? She is as likely to get beaten by her pimp for complaining and souring his ''business environment'' as she is to be helped. We just absolutely don't know.
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When you are looking at this number of transactions, it is just unimaginable, as you pointed out right at the outset, that any of this is going to be effectively regulated. We can't let the Germans get away with this.
Mr. SMITH. I have more questions, but I will hold off because it is getting a little bit late. I want to thank you. If there is anything else you would like to add, this would be the time. And if you have anything you would like to submit for the record, it will be open for a few more days, please do so, like the source of that statistic. So if there is anybody.
Then I want to thank you so much for spending so much of your time, so much of your talents and your commitment, your heart, in trying to stop this egregious practice, and I look forward to working with you as we have so often in the past. And without any further ado, the hearing is adjourned, and thank you.
[Whereupon, at 5:02 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
RESPONSES FROM MS. MAUREEN GREENWOOD-BASKEN, ADVOCACY DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE AND EURASIA, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, TO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD BY THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
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You state in your testimony that ''The Parliamentary Assembly of Europe (PACE) has expressed its concern that between 30,000 and 60,000 women and girls might be the target of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation during the World Cup.'' However, according to the Congressional Research Service, the German government ''. . . disputes some estimates of numbers of prostitutes expected as wildly exaggerated. A justice official in Munich stated that the 40,000 figure had been ''plucked from the air.' '' Please provide any additional sources and information about the 30,00060,000 number was arrived at and Amnesty's judgment about its accuracy.
Amnesty International used the figure 40,00060,000 in its press release as quoting from a Council of Europe report. The figure appeared in Mrs. Vermot-Mangold's report http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc06/EDOC10881.htm). Amnesty International has contacted Ms. Vermot-Mangold asking for the source of the number but have not heard back the details.
RESPONSES FROM MR. MICHAEL HOROWITZ, SENIOR FELLOW, HUDSON INSTITUTE, TO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD BY THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
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Your testimony refers to the announced plans for the importation by Germany's traffickers of at least 40,000 'sex workers'.'' Considering that the April 2006 UNODC global report on trafficking states that ''the annual number of victims trafficked into Germany [which has a population of 82 million] is somewhere between 2,000 and 20,000,'' how likely is it that an additional 3 million soccer fans visiting Germany could prompt an influx of 40,000 new victims? Can you elaborate on the source of the 40,000 statistic?
I regard the UNODC count of ''victims'' woefully understated. I believe they count as ''victims'' only those women who, through personal testimony or direct evidence, can graphically prove their victimization at the hands of Germany's brothel industry. I believe the proportion of women in the commercial sex industry who are true victimsbut who are afraid or unable to describe their plightis in the 70%80% range at the least. Thus, the 2000 number only reflects the tip of the iceberg of women victimized by a Germany brothel industry that ''employs'' as many as 400,000 women.
The estimate of 40,000 additional women being brought to Germany during the World Cup games comes from the German Women's Council.
''The German Women's Council estimated that 40,000 extra prostitutes would be in Germany for the event.''(see footnote 1)
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What they based their estimate is not specified. But considering that even the UNODC estimates that in an average year up to 20,000 women are brought into Germany, it is not unreasonable to expect that the number will double during an event that will attract millions of mostly male fans.
Also, if the German government estimates that there are 400,000 women in prostitution in Germany, importing 40,000 more is only a 10 percent increasenot much for such a large sporting event taking place in 12 cities over a period of a month. Of course, no one really knows what the actual number will be. All trafficking statistics are estimates. Even the UNODC estimate of trafficking victims includes a ten fold range in numbers for an average year.
[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file.]
EXCERPT FROM ''THE DEMAND FOR VICTIMS OF SEX TRAFFICKING,''
Report Prepared by Professor Donna Hughes, Carlson Chair of Women's Studies, University of Rhode Island, for State Department Trafficking in Persons Office. June 20005.
In Germany a political scandal, known as the ''Visa Affair,'' arose over a fast track visa scheme that allowed hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans into the country, some of whom were likely pimps and victims coerced into prostitution. The ''Visa Affair'' scandal resulted in the resignation of one deputy minister and Joschka Fischer, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had to undergo a grueling publicly televised hearing as part of a Bundestag inquiry into allegations that he knew that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and others from Eastern Europe were entering Germany on the new ''fast track'' visas.1\
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In 2000 a visa regulation directive, called the ''Volmer Decree'' eased requirements for visas to Germany. The liberalization of visa regulations enabled hundreds of thousands of eastern Europeans to enter Germany as tourists. Many of them are assumed to have worked illegally and some may have been trafficked.
Under the new visa regulations, citizens of Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine and Russia, could get a tourist visa if they had a letter of invitation and a guarantee for their subsistence from someone in Germany. The ''fast track'' tourist visa regulations also eliminated the need to apply in person at the German consulate. Citizens from Ukraine, Russia, and Albania were allowed to purchase a commercial travel insurance document which then guaranteed them a tourist visa for Germany.2\
The visas quickly became very popular. At one point, officials in embassies in Kiev, Ukraine were issuing 2000 visas a day. Following a visit to Kiev in which Josckha Fischer saw first hand the long lines of people waiting outside the embassy, he ordered an increase in the number of staff people processing visas.3\ At the end of 2001, the embassy had issued 300,000 visas, compared to 150,000 in previous years.4\ 5 According to the daily newspaper Bild, visas were still being issued liberally so that consulates in Moscow, Kiev and Belarus had issued 467,976 visas in 2004.6\ The liberalized visa policy resulted in so many visa applications to German embassies in Russia and Ukraine that the staff was unable to check the background of the applicants or whether the support letter signers were financially able to support the visa applicants if necessary.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The misuse of the ''fast track'' visas came to light in 2003 when Ukrainian Anatoly Barg was arrested for smuggling/trafficking. The prosecutor in the case claimed that hundreds of thousands of people, including criminals and prostitutes were allowed into the country ''with the help of government ministries, who were aware of the situation.'' 7
Evidence at the trial of Barg revealed that the liberalized visa rules had been abused. Barg, and his mafia partners, paid u15 to u45 to homeless and drug-dependent people from Cologne to sign the visa invitations. Barg's criminal accomplishes in Kiev, Ukraine, then sold the invitations for approximately u1500 to Ukrainians, who were then able to obtain tourist visas at the embassy. Barg conspired with 35 fraudulent travel agencies employing 120 employees, to put together the visa applications.8\
In February 2004, Anatoly Barg was convicted, but received lighter than expected prison sentence five-years. The judge said he had to issue a lenient sentence because Barg ''acted under the gaze of the state,'' meaning that the judge accepted the defendant's argument that his crimes had been facilitated by the ''fast track'' visa rules.9\
Many victims of trafficking in Germany are from the countries with ''fast-track'' visas. In 2002, German police freed 811 women, 708 of them from eastern European countries, such as Russia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine, from prostitution slavery. Of this group, 40 were minor and about half of the others were between ages 18 and 24. About two-thirds of the women were forced into prostitution, while one-quarter of them knew they would be involved in prostitution before they left their home countries, but did not anticipate they would be kept in slavery like conditions.10
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In February 2005, a trafficking case against seven defendants who are part of a large multi-national sex trafficking ring involving a total of 73 defendants opened in the Eastern German city of Halle. According to the prosecution, the organized crime ring initially smuggled victims across the border into Germany, but after the visa rule changes, bringing victims into Germany from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Belarus, and the Czech Republic became much easier and cheaper.11
German opposition parties, such as the Christian Democrats, claim that the liberalization resulted in smugglers and traffickers bringing women into Germany for prostitution and others for criminal activity, such as drug dealers, those seeking illegal employment and even suspected terrorists.'' 12
Although the ''fast track'' visa was cancelled in 2003 after the Barg criminal case brought its association with smuggling and trafficking to the public attention, there are still German visa regulations that may be used by traffickers. For example, Chinese nationals have been eligible for group travel visas if they bought a package tour to Europe. According to German foreign and domestic intelligence agencies, the ''fast track'' visas caused an increase in illegal immigrants from China and, as of March 2005, were still being used by private Chinese travel agents.13 Some people fear that some of the Chinese travel agencies are fronts for Chinese ''snakeheads'' who are known for smuggling and trafficking activities.14 The new ''fast track'' visas also liberalized the regulations for Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman, by dropping the one week wait period to obtain a visa. Intelligence agencies were concerned that this may have assisted Islamic terrorists.15
Page 128 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Liberal visa regulations favor brothel owners because foreign national women cannot legally enter Germany to work in prostitution unless they have proof of ''a stable, guaranteed income'' or a signed job contract. Therefore, women cannot enter Germany and work as prostitutes independently. In 2004, two Romanian women applied for visas to enter Germany and work as ''professional freelancers,'' but were turned down.16 Whether the visas are legitimate or not, the control of the women in prostitution is in the hands of the brothel owners.
The ''Visa Affair'' has moved to the European Union level with questions over whether the ''fast track'' visa violated Schengen rules. The Schengen agreement allows citizens of member countries to cross their internal borders at any point without checks.17 (Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Iceland and Norway.) 18 19 Once visa holders arrived in Germany they could freely pass into other European Union Schengen bloc countries. Consequently, traffickers may have used the ''fast track'' visa to bring victims into many Western European countries.
1\ ''Intelligence agents warn visas still being abused,'' Expatica, April 4, 2005.
2\ ''Fischer's ex-deputy denies role in visa scandal,'' Expatica, April 21, 2005.
3\ ''Visa scandal witness deals blow to government,'' Deutsche Welle, March 17, 2005.
Page 129 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC 4\ Lohse, Eckart and Markus Wehner. '''Open wound' afflicts ministry, Employees tormented by visa dispute.'' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (http://www.faz.net) April 1, 2005.
5\ Kirk, Lisbeth, ''German visa scandal moves to EU level,'' May 2, 2005.
6\ ''Intelligence agents warn visas still being abused,'' Expatica, April 4, 2005.
7\ ''Visa scandal witness deals blow to government,'' Deutsche Welle, March 17, 2005.
8\ Ley, Josef and Dieter Schlueter, ''Thus ran the business of the people smugglers,'' www.bild.t-online.de, February 19, 2005 (Translated from ''So life das GeschaAE4ft der Menschenschleuser.'')
9\ ''Visa scandal witness deals blow to government,'' Deutsche Welle, March 17, 2005.
10 Novial, Fabien, ''Germany, a gateway to the west for eastern Europe's trafficked women,'' Agence France-Presse, January 26, 2004.
11 ''Battling human trafficking in Germany,'' Spiegel Online, February 22, 2005.
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12 ''Fischer's moment of truth,'' April 25, 2005.
13 ''Intelligence agents warn visas still being abused,'' Expatica, April 4, 2005.
14 ''Intelligence agents warn visas still being abused,'' Expatica, April 4, 2005.
15 ''Intelligence agents warn visas still being abused,'' Expatica, April 4, 2005.
16 ''Germany denies visas to prostitutes,'' Expatica, December 8, 2004.
17 Kirk, Lisbeth, ''German visa scandal moves to EU level,'' May 2, 2005.
18 ''Fischer's moment of truth,'' April 25, 2005.
19 Lohse, Eckart and Markus Wehner. '''Open wound' afflicts ministry, Employees tormented by visa dispute.'' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (http://www.faz.net) April 1, 2005.
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RESPONSES FROM MS. KATHERINE CHON, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLARIS PROJECT, TO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD BY THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
You stated in your testimony that ''Research has shown that countries that have legalized prostitution (in law or in practice) have seen an increase in human trafficking. . . . Unlike the success seen in countries like Sweden with abolitionist policies, legalization has become a failed social experiment.'' Can you please provide the Subcommittee with summaries or copies of this research that can be submitted for the hearing record?
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee,
The following resources illustrate some of the existing research and reports on the impact of legalization of prostitution, particularly the legalization of purchasing commercial sex and the controlling of persons in the commercial sex industry. Sweden and the Netherlands are regularly compared due to the striking differences in the impact of their prostitution-related policies on rates of sex trafficking.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Sweden's policy model has decriminalized those in the commercial sex industry (mostly women and children), recognizing that they are the most marginalized, vulnerable, and victimized persons in the commercial sex industry. Sweden's criminal justice system holds the purchasers and controllers (pimps, madams, traffickers, etc.) accountable by criminalizing their significant role in the commercial sex industry. Research demonstrates that Sweden's model has led to a decrease in sex trafficking.
In contrast, other countries like the Netherlands, have decriminalized all aspects of the commercial sex industry, failing to see the nuanced roles and differences in power dynamics within the commercial sex industry. In effect, these policies have led to an increase in demand, fueling the market dynamics making it easier for traffickers to operate. The low risk and high-profit environment of the legalized commercial sex industry has led to an increase in sex trafficking according to some reports.
Polaris Project hopes that the Subcommittee will find the following references useful in future discussions on this topic:
1) According to the U.S. Department of State, ''Sweden has aggressively prosecuted customers, pimps, and brothel owners since 1999. As a result, two years after the new policy, there was a 50 percent decrease in women prostituting and a 75 percent decrease in men buying sex. Trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation decreased as well.'' The Department of State's source for this information is: Ekberg, G.S. 2001. ''Prostitution and Trafficking: The Legal Situation in Sweden'' (Paper presented at Journées de formation sur la mondialisation de la prostitution et du traffic sexuel. Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale. Montréal, Quebec, Canada)
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2) The Government of Sweden (Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications) released a ''Fact Sheet on Prostitution and Trafficking in Women'' in January 2004. The Fact Sheet presents a short background on prostitution and trafficking in women within the context of Sweden's anti-trafficking efforts. The Fact Sheet can be found at: http://www.sweden.gov.se/content/1/c6/01/87/74/6bc6c972.pdf
3) A study conducted by the London Metropolitan University stated, ''Since 1999 street prostitution in Stockholm has dropped by more than two-thirds.'' A reference to this study was made in a comprehensive examination of responses to prostitution in four countries (Australia, Ireland, Netherlands, and Sweden) available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/historic/lg/inquiries-03/ptz/lg04-ptz-res-03.htm#P434_66626
4) According to research cited by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), ''Street prostitution has declined in the three years since the law (Sweden's law) was passed.'' The number of prostituted women has decreased by 50%, and 7080% of the buyers have left public places. Furthermore, a police representative maintained that there is no indication that prostitution has gone underground, or that prostitution in sex clubs, escort agencies and brothels has increased (BjoAE4rling, 2001). Police have also stated that the Swedish law prohibiting the purchase of sexual services has had a chilling effect on trafficking. The 2001 BjoAE4rling statistic comes from:
BjoAE4rling, S. (2001). Gatuprostitutionen minskar i Stockholm. Dagens Nyheter.February 16, 2001. and Ekberg, G. (2001, March 1516). Prostitution and Trafficking: the Legal Situation in Sweden. Paper presented at the day of reflection on La mondialisation de la prostitution et du trafic sexuel. Comité québécois Femme et Développement, Montréal, Québec.
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A very informative summary of statistics on the impact of legalization of pimping and purchasing commercial sex can be found in the attached document, ''10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution,'' which can also be found on the CATW website at: http://action.web.ca/home/catw/readingroom. shtml?x=32972&AA_EX_Session=6e90e2050d00b53a44198ccad6fc754a
5) A Report by the Maxim Institute tracks the impact of Sweden's law, stating that the Stockholm County Police Authority reported, ''The number of women engaged in street prostitution in Stockholm City has decreased from 250300 in 1998 (before the above mentioned act came into force) to 110 in 2001. The number of purchasers has decreased by 75 %.'' This report can be found at: http://www.maxim.org.nz/prb/betterway.html
(1) Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution And a Legal Response to the Demand for Prostitution by Janice G. Raymond (2003)
TEN REASONS FOR NOT LEGALIZING PROSTITUTION AND A LEGAL RESPONSE TO THE DEMAND FOR PROSTITUTION
JANICE G. RAYMOND
(Published in simultaneously in hard copy in Journal of Trauma Practice, 2, 2003: pp. 315332; and in Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress. Melissa Farley (Ed.). Binghamton: Haworth Press, 2003.
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Since the mid-1980s, the debate about how to address prostitution legally has become a subject of legislative action Some countries in Europe, most notably the Netherlands and Germany among others, have legalized and/or decriminalized systems of prostitution, which includes decriminalizing pimps, brothels and buyers, also known as ''customers or johns'' Other governments, such as Thailand, legally prohibit prostitution activities and enterprises but in reality tolerate brothels and the buying of women for commercial sexual exploitation, especially in its sex tourism industry. Sweden, has taken a different legal approachpenalizing the buyers while at the same time decriminalizing the women in prostitution.
This article offers ten arguments for not legalizing prostitution. These arguments apply to all state-sponsored forms of prostitution, including but not limited to full-scale legalization of brothels and pimping, decriminalization of the sex industry, regulating prostitution by laws such as registering or mandating health checks for women in prostitution, or any system in which prostitution is recognized as ''sex work'' or advocated as an employment choice. This essay reviews the ways in which legitimating prostitution as work makes the harm of prostitution to women invisible, expands the sex industry, and does not empower the women in prostitution.
What happens when prostitution is treated as ''sex work'' rather than when it is treated as sexual exploitation and violence against women? What happens when a country such as Sweden rejects legalization and addresses the demand for prostitution?
Page 136 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC771. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution is a gift to pimps, traffickers and the sex industry.
What does legalization of prostitution or decriminalization of the sex industry mean? In the Netherlands, legalization amounts to sanctioning all aspects of the sex industry: the women themselves, the buyers, and the pimps who, under the regime of legalization, are transformed into third party businessmen and legitimate sexual entrepreneurs. Legalization/decriminalization of the sex industry also converts brothels, sex clubs, massage parlors and other sites of prostitution activities into legitimate venues where commercial sexual acts are allowed to flourish legally with few restraints.
Some people believe that, in calling for legalization or decriminalization of prostitution, they dignify and professionalize the women in prostitution. But dignifying prostitution as work doesn't dignify the women, it simply dignifies the sex industry. People often don't realize that decriminalization means decriminalization of the whole sex industry, not just the women in it. And they haven't thought through the consequences of legalizing pimps as legitimate sex entrepreneurs or third party businessmen, or the fact that men who buy women for sexual activity are now accepted as legitimate consumers of sex.
In countries where women are criminalized for prostitution activities, it is crucial to advocate for the decriminalization of the women in prostitution. No woman should be punished for her own exploitation. But States should never decriminalize pimps, buyers, procurers, brothels or other sex establishments.
2. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution and the sex industry promotes sex trafficking.
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Legalized or decriminalized prostitution industries are one of the root causes of sex trafficking. One argument for legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands was that legalization would help to end the exploitation of desperate immigrant women who had been trafficked there for prostitution. However, one report found that 80% of women in the brothels of the Netherlands were trafficked from other countries (Budapest Group, 1999)(1). In 1994, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) stated that in the Netherlands alone, ''nearly 70 % of trafficked women were from CEEC [Central and Eastern European Countries]'' (IOM, 1995, p. 4).
The government of the Netherlands presents itself as a champion of anti-trafficking policies and programs, yet it has removed every legal impediment to pimping, procuring and brothels. In the year 2000, the Dutch Ministry of Justice argued in favor of a legal quota of foreign ''sex workers,'' because the Dutch prostitution market demanded a variety of ''bodies'' (Dutting, 2001, p. 16). Also in 2000, the Dutch government sought and received a judgment from the European Court recognizing prostitution as an economic activity, thereby enabling women from the European Union and former Soviet bloc countries to obtain working permits as ''sex workers'' in the Dutch sex industry if they could prove that they are self employed. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe report that traffickers use the work permits to bring foreign women into the Dutch prostitution industry, masking the fact that women have been trafficked, by coaching them to describe themselves as independent ''migrant sex workers'' (Personal Communication, Representative of the International Human Rights Network, 1999).
In the year since lifting the ban on brothels in the Netherlands, eight Dutch victim support organizations reported an increase in the number of victims of trafficking, and twelve victim support organization reported that the number of victims from other countries has not diminished (Bureau NRM, 2002, p. 75). Forty-three of the 348 municipalities (12%) in the Netherlands choose to follow a no-brothel policy, but the Minister of Justice has indicated that the complete banning of prostitution within any municipality could conflict with the federally guaranteed ''right to free choice of work'' (Bureau NRM, 2002, p.19).
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The first steps toward legalization of prostitution in Germany occurred in the 1980s. By 1993, it was widely recognized that 75% of the women in Germany's prostitution industry were foreigners from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and other countries in South America (Altink, 1993, p. 33). After the fall of the Berlin wall, 80% of the estimated 10,000 women trafficked into Germany were from Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries (IOM. 1998a , p. 17). In 2002, prostitution in Germany was established as a legitimate job after years of being legalized in tolerance zones. Promotion of prostitution, pimping and brothels are now legal in Germany.
The sheer volume of foreign women in the German prostitution industry suggests that these women were trafficked into Germany, a process euphemistically described as facilitated migration. It is almost impossible for poor women to facilitate their own migration, underwrite the costs of travel and travel documents, and set themselves up in ''business'' without intervention.
In 1984, a Labor government in the Australian State of Victoria introduced legislation to legalize prostitution in brothels. Subsequent Australian governments expanded legalization culminating in the Prostitution Control Act of 1994. Noting the link between legalization of prostitution and trafficking in Australia, the US Department of State observed: ''Trafficking in East Asian women for the sex trade is a growing problem . . . lax lawsincluding legalized prostitution in parts of the countrymake [anti-trafficking] enforcement difficult at the working level'' (U.S. Department of State, 2000, p. 6F).
3.Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not control the sex industry. It expands it.
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Contrary to claims that legalization and decriminalization would control the expansion of the sex industry, prostitution now accounts for 5% of the Netherlands economy (Daley, 2001, p. 4). Over the last decade, as pimping was legalized, and brothels decriminalized in the year 2000, the sex industry increased by 25% in the Netherlands (Daley, 2001, p.4). At any hour of the day, women of all ages and races, dressed in hardly anything, are put on display in the notorious windows of Dutch brothels and sex clubs and offered for sale. Most of them are women from other countries who were probably trafficked into the Netherlands (Daley, 2001, p. 4).
In addition to governmental endorsement of prostitution in the Netherlands, prostitution is also promoted by associations of sex businesses and organizations comprised of prostitution buyers who consult and collaborate with the government to further their interests. These include the ''Association of Operators of Relaxation Businesses,'' the ''Cooperating Consultation of Operators of Window Prostitution,'' and the ''Man/Woman and Prostitution Foundation,'' a group of men who regularly use women in prostitution, and whose specific aims include ''to make prostitution and the use of services of prostitutes more accepted and openly discussible,'' and ''to protect the interests of clients'' (Bureau NRM, 2002, pp.11516).
Faced with a dwindling number of Dutch women who engage in prostitution activities and the expanding demand for more female bodies and more exotic women to service the prostitution market, the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking has stated that in the future, a solution may be to ''offer [to the market] prostitutes from non EU/EEA[European Union/European Economic Area] countries, who voluntarily choose to work in prostitution . . .'' These women would be given ''legal and controlled access to the Dutch market'' (Bureau NRM, 2002, p. 140). As prostitution has been transformed into ''sex work,'' and pimps into entrepreneurs, so too this recommendation transforms trafficking into ''voluntary migration for sex work.'' Looking to the future, the Netherlands is targeting poor women for the international sex trade to remedy the inadequacies of the free market of ''sexual services.'' Prostitution is thus normalized as an ''option for the poor.''
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Legalization of prostitution in the State of Victoria, Australia, resulted in massive expansion of the sex industry. Along with legalization of prostitution, other forms of sexual exploitation, such as tabletop dancing, bondage and discipline centers, peep shows, phone sex, and pornography, have all developed in much more profitable ways than before legalization (Sullivan & Jeffreys, 2001). Prostitution has become an integral part of the tourism and casino boom in Victoria with government-sponsored casinos authorizing the redeeming of casino chips at local brothels (Sullivan &Jeffreys, 2001).
A range of state-sponsored prostitution systems exist in Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It seems likely that European state-sponsored prostitution countries serve as magnets and, ultimately, as conduits through which significant numbers of women are trafficked to other European nations. Europe has a high density of women trafficked per square mile compared to North America, for example. Given the porousness of national borders facilitated by the Schengen agreement (2), it is not surprising that high numbers of trafficked women are also present in other European countries that do not have legalized or decriminalized systems of prostitution. Although accurate numbers of women trafficked are difficult to obtain, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) has estimated that 500,000 women and children are trafficked in Europe annually (IOM, 1998). In contrast, it has been estimated that 45,00050,000 women and children are trafficked annually into the United States (Richard, 1999, p.3).
4. Legalization/decriminalizaton of prostitution increases clandestine, illegal and street prostitution.
Page 141 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One goal of legalized prostitution was to move prostituted women indoors into brothels and clubs where they would be allegedly less vulnerable than in street prostitution. However, many women are in street prostitution because they want to avoid being controlled and exploited by pimps (transformed in legalized systems into sex businessmen). Other women do not want to register or submit to health checks, as required by law in some countries where prostitution is legalized (Schelzig, 2002). Thus, legalization may actually drive some women into street prostitution. Arguing against an Italian proposal for legalized prostitution, Esohe Aghatise has suggested that brothels actually deprive women of what little protection they may have on the street, confining women to closed spaces where they have little chance of meeting outreach workers or others who might help them exit prostitution (Aghatise, in press)..
In the Netherlands, women in prostitution point out that legalization or decriminalization of the sex industry does not erase the stigma of prostitution. Because they must register and lose their anonymity, women are more vulnerable to being stigmatized as ''whores,'' and this identity follows them everyplace. Thus, the majority of women in prostitution still operate illegally and underground. Some members of Parliament who originally supported the legalization of brothels on the grounds that this would liberate women are now seeing that legalization actually reinforces the oppression of women (Daley, 2001, p. A1).
Chief Inspector Nancy Pollock, one of Scotland's highest-ranking female police officers, established Glasgow's street liaison team for women in prostitution in 1998. Pollock stated that legalization or decriminalization of prostitution is ''. . . simply to abandon women to what has to be the most demeaning job in the world'' (Martin, 2002, p. A5). Countering the argument that legalized prostitution provides safer venues for women, Pollock noted that women in sauna prostitution, for example, ''have even less control over what services they will perform. On the street, very few women will do anal sex and few do sex without a condom. But in the saunas, the owners, who obviously don't want their punters going away disappointed, decide what the women will do, and very often that is anal sex and sexoral and vaginalwithout a condom'' (Martin, 2002, p. A5).
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The argument that legalization was supposed to take the criminal elements out of sex businesses by strict regulation of the industry has failed. The real growth in prostitution in Australia since legalization took effect has been in the illegal sector. Over a period of 12 months from 19981999, unlicensed brothels in Victoria tripled in number and still operate with impunity (Sullivan & Jeffreys, 2001). In New South Wales where brothels were decriminalized in 1995, the number of brothels in Sydney had tripled to 400500 by 1999, with the vast majority having no license to advertise or operate. In response to widespread police corruption, control of illegal prostitution was removed from police jurisdiction and placed under the control of local councils and planning regulators. However, the local councils do not have the resources to investigate illegal brothel operators (Sullivan & Jeffreys, 2001).
5. Legalization of prostitution and decriminalization of the sex industry increases child prostitution.
Another argument for legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands was that it would help end child prostitution. Yet child prostitution in the Netherlands has increased dramatically during the 1990s. The Amsterdam-based ChildRight organization estimates that the number of children in prostitution has increased by more than 300% between 19962001, going from 4,000 children in 1996 to 15,000 in 2001. ChildRight estimates that at least 5,000 of these children in Dutch prostitution are trafficked from other countries, with a large segment being Nigerian girls (Tiggeloven, 2001).
Child prostitution has increased dramatically in the state of Victoria compared to other Australian states where prostitution has not been legalized. Of all the states and territories in Australia, the highest number of reported incidences of child prostitution came from Victoria. In a 1998 study undertaken by ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) who conducted research for the Australian National Inquiry on Child Prostitution, there was increased evidence of organized commercial exploitation of children (ECPAT Australia, 1998).
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6. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not protect the women in prostitution.
In two studies in which 186 victims of commercial sexual exploitation were interviewed, women consistently indicated that prostitution establishments did little to protect them, regardless of whether the establishments were legal or illegal. One woman said, ''The only time they protect anyone is to protect the customers'' (Raymond, Hughes & Gomez, 2001; Raymond, d'Cunha, Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, Hynes & Santos, 2002).
One of these studies interviewed 146 victims of trafficking in 5 countries. Eighty percent of the women interviewed had suffered physical violence from pimps and buyers and endured similar and multiple health effects from the violence and sexual exploitation, regardless of whether the women were trafficked internationally or were in local prostitution (Raymond et al, 2002, p. 62).
A second study of women trafficked for prostitution in the United States yielded the following statements. Women who reported that sex businesses gave them some protection qualified it by pointing out that no ''protector'' was ever in the room with them. One woman who was in out-call prostitution stated: ''The driver functioned as a bodyguard. You're supposed to call when you get in, to ascertain that everything was OK. But they are not standing outside the door while you're in there, so anything could happen'' (Raymond et al, 2001, p. 74).
In brothels that have surveillance cameras, the function of cameras was to protect the buyer and the brothel rather than the women, with one brothel putting in cameras after a buyer died (Raymond et al, 2001, p. 74). Protection of the women from abuse was of secondary or no importance.
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7. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution increases the demand for prostitution. It encourages men to buy women for sex in a wider and more permissible range of socially acceptable settings.
With the advent of legalization in countries that have decriminalized the sex industry, many men who previously would not have risked buying women for sex now see prostitution as acceptable. When legal barriers disappear, so too do the social and ethical barriers to treating women as sexual merchandise. Legalization of prostitution sends the message to new generations of men and boys that women are sexual commodities and that prostitution is harmless fun (Leidholdt, 2000).
As men have a plethora of ''sexual services'' offered to them in prostitution, women must compete by engaging in anal sex, sex without condoms, bondage and domination and other acts demanded by buyers. Once prostitution is legalized, for example, women's reproductive capacities are sellable products. Some buyers find pregnancy a turn-on and demand breast milk in their sexual encounters with pregnant women (Sullivan & Jeffreys, 2001, p. 10).
In the State of Victoria in Australia, specialty brothels are provided for disabled men. State-employed caretakers (who are mostly women) must take these men to the brothels if they wish to go and literally facilitate their physical sexual acts (Sullivan & Jeffreys, 2001). Advertisements line the highways of Victoria offering women as objects for sexual use. Businessmen are encouraged to hold their corporate meetings in clubs where owners supply naked women on the table at tea breaks and lunchtime. A Melbourne brothel owner stated that the client base was ''well educated professional men, who visit during the day and then go home to their families ''(Sullivan & Jeffreys, 2001). Women in relationships with men find that often the men in their lives are visiting the brothels and sex clubs.
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8. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not promote women's health.
A legalized system of prostitution often mandates health checks and certification, but only for women and not for male buyers. Health examinations or tests for women but not men make no public health sense because monitoring prostituted women does not protect them from HIV/AIDS or STDs. This is not to advocate that both women in prostitution and male buyers should be checked. It is simply to point out the duplicity of a policy that implies, ''We'll have safer sex and HIV/AIDS control if we examine the women under a regulated or decriminalized system of prostitution.'' Male buyers can and do originally transmit disease to the women they purchase.
It has been argued that legalized brothels or other ''controlled'' prostitution establishments protect women through enforceable condom policies. In one study, 47% of women in U.S. prostitution stated that men expected sex without a condom; 73% reported that men offered to pay more for sex without a condom; and 45% of women said that men became abusive if they insisted that men use condoms (Raymond et al, 2001, p. 72). Although certain sex businesses had rules that required men to wear condoms, men nonetheless attempted to have sex without condoms. One woman stated: ''It's 'regulation' to wear a condom at the sauna, but negotiable between parties on the side. Most guys expected blow jobs without a condom (Raymond et al, 2001, p. 72).''
In reality, the enforcement of condom policy was left to the individual women in prostitution, and the offer of extra money was an insistent pressure. One woman stated: ''I'd be one of those liars if I said 'Oh I always used a condom.' If there was extra money coming in, then the condom would be out the window. I was looking for the extra money (Raymond et al., 2001, p. 73).'' Many factors militate against condom use: the need of women to make money; older women's decline in attractiveness to men; competition from places that do not require condoms; pimp pressure on women to have sex with no condom for more money; money needed for a drug habit or to pay off the pimp; and the general lack of control that prostituted women have over their bodies in prostitution venues.
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''Safety policies'' in brothels did not protect women from harm. Where brothels allegedly monitored the buyers and employed ''bouncers,'' women stated that they were injured by buyers and, at times, by brothel owners and their friends. Even when someone intervened to momentarily control buyers' abuse, women lived in a climate of fear. Although 60% of women reported that buyers had sometimes been prevented from abusing them, half of those same women answered that, nonetheless, they thought that they might be killed by one of their buyers (Raymond et al., 2002).
9. Legalization/decriminalization of prostitution does not enhance women's choice.
Most women in prostitution did not make a rational choice to enter prostitution from among a range of other options. They did not sit down one day and decide that they wanted to be prostitutes. They did not have other real options such as medicine, law, nursing or politics. Instead, their ''options'' were more in the realm of how to feed themselves and their children. Such choices are better termed survival strategies.
Rather than consenting to prostitution, a prostituted woman more accurately complies with the extremely limited options available to her. Her compliance is required by the fact of having to adapt to conditions of inequality that are set by the customer who pays her to do what he wants her to do.
Most of the women interviewed in the studies authored by Raymond et al. reported that choice in entering the sex industry could only be discussed in the context of a lack of other options. Many described prostitution as their last choice, or as an involuntary way of making ends meet (Raymond et al., 2001; Raymond et al., 2002). In one study, 67% of a group of law enforcement officials expressed the opinion that women did not enter prostitution voluntarily. Similarly, 72% of social service providers did not think that women voluntarily choose to enter the sex industry (Raymond et al 2001, p. 91).
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The distinction between forced and voluntary prostitution is precisely what the sex industry is promoting because it will give the industry more legal security and market stability if this distinction can be utilized to legalize prostitution, pimping and brothels. Women who consider bringing charges against pimps and perpetrators will bear the burden of proving that they were ''forced.'' How will marginalized women ever be able to prove coercion? If prostituted women must prove that force was used in recruitment or in their ''working conditions,'' very few women in prostitution will have legal recourse, and very few offenders will be prosecuted.
Women in prostitution must continually lie about their lives, their bodies, and their sexual responses. Lying is part of the job definition when the customer asks, ''did you enjoy it?'' The very edifice of prostitution is built on the lie that ''women like it.'' Some prostitution survivors have stated that it took them years after leaving prostitution to acknowledge that prostitution wasn't a free choice because to deny their own capacity to choose was to deny themselves.
There is no doubt that a small number of women say they choose to be in prostitution, especially in public contexts orchestrated by the sex industry. In the same way, some people choose to take dangerous drugs such as amphetamine. However, even when some people consent to use dangerous drugs, we still recognize that is harmful to them, and most people do not seek to legalize amphetamine. In this situation, it is harm to the person, not the consent of the person that is the governing standard.
A 1998 International Labor Organization (United Nations ILO) report suggested that the sex industry be treated as a legitimate economic sector, but still found that
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. . . prostitution is one of the most alienated forms of labour; the surveys [in 4 countries] show that women worked 'with a heavy heart,' 'felt forced,' or were 'conscience-stricken' and had negative self-identities. A significant proportion claimed they wanted to leave sex work [sic] if they could (Lim, 1998, p. 213).
When a woman remains in an abusive relationship with a partner who batters her, or even when she defends his actions, concerned people now understand that she is not there voluntarily. They recognize the complexity of her compliance. Like battered women, women in prostitution may deny their abuse if they are not provided with meaningful alternatives.
10. Women in systems of prostitution do not want the sex industry legalized or decriminalized.
In a 5-country study on sex trafficking, most of the trafficked and prostituted women interviewed in the Philippines, Venezuela and the United States (3) strongly stated their opinion that prostitution should not be legalized and considered legitimate work, warning that legalization would create more risks and harm for women from already violent customer and pimps (Raymond et al, 2002). One woman said, ''No way. It's not a profession. It is humiliating, and violence from the men's side.'' Not one woman we interviewed wanted her children, family or friends to have to earn money by entering the sex industry. Another woman stated: ''Prostitution stripped me of my life, my health, everything'' (Raymond et al., 2002).
An Alternative Legal Route: Penalizing the Demand
There is no evidence that legalization of prostitution makes things better for women in prostitution. It certainly makes things better for governments who legalize prostitution and of course, for the sex industry, both of which enjoy increased revenues. The popular fiction that all will be well in the world of prostitution once the sex industry is legalized or decriminalized, is repudiated by evidence that the degradation and exploitation of women, as well as the harm, abuse, and violence to women still remain in state-sponsored prostitution. State-sponsored prostitution sanitizes the reality of prostitution. Suddenly, dirty money becomes clean. Illegal acts become legal. Overnight, pimps are transformed into legitimate businessmen and ordinary entrepreneurs, and men who would not formerly consider buying a woman in prostitution think, ''Well, if it's legal, if it's decriminalised, now it must be O.K.''
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Governments that legalize prostitution as ''sex work'' will have a huge economic stake in the sex industry. Consequently, this will foster their increased dependence on the sex sector. If women in prostitution are counted as workers, then governments can abdicate responsibility for making decent and sustainable employment available to women.
Instead of abandoning women in the sex industry to state-sponsored prostitution, laws should address the predation of men who buy women for the sex of prostitution. Men who use women in prostitution have long been invisible. Legislators often leap onto the legalization bandwagon because they think nothing else is successful. But there is a legal alternative. Rather than sanctioning prostitution, states could address the demand by penalizing the men who buy women for the sex of prostitution.
Sweden has drafted legislation recognizing that without male demand, there would be no female supply. Thinking outside the repressive box of legalization, Sweden has acknowledged that prostitution is a form of male violence against women and children, and the purchase of sexual services is criminalized. The inseparability of prostitution and trafficking is recognized by the Swedish law: ''Prostitution and trafficking in women are seen as harmful practices that cannot, and should not be separated; in order to effectively eliminate trafficking in women, concrete measures against prostitution must be put in place'' (Ekberg, 2003, p. 69).
Sweden's Violence Against Women Government Bill (1997/98:55 (4), prohibits and penalizes the purchase of ''sexual services'' (Swedish Government Offices, 1998). This approach targets the male demand for prostitution: ''By prohibiting the purchase of sexual services, prostitution and its damaging effects can be counteracted more effectively than hitherto'' (Swedish Government Offices, 1998, p.2). The Swedish legislation criminalizing the buyers is based on the policy that ''Prostitution is not a desirable social phenomenon'' and is ''an obstacle to the ongoing development towards equality between women and men (Swedish Government Offices, 1998, p.2).'' Furthermore, the law against purchasing sexual services is part of a wider Violence Against Women Bill that allocates resources to support the development of alternatives for women in prostitution
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Results of the Swedish legislation thus far have been promising. The prohibition against men buying prostituted women has received strong social support. Several polls, conducted in 2000 and 2001, show that approximately 80% of the Swedish population support the law. Of those who want to repeal the law, the majority are men, with only 7% of women in support of repeal (Jacobson, 2002, p.24). Most importantly, women who are attempting to leave prostitution support the law (Ekberg, 2001). Swedish NGOs that work with women in prostitution also support the law and maintain that since passage of the law, increased numbers of women contact them for assistance. The very existence of the law, and the fact that people know it will be enforced, they say, serve as an aid to young women who are vulnerable to pimps and procurers (Ekberg, 2001).
Street prostitution has declined in the three years since the law was passed. The number of prostituted women has decreased by 50%, and 7080% of the buyers have left public places. Furthermore, a police representative maintained that there is no indication that prostitution has gone underground, or that prostitution in sex clubs, escort agencies and brothels has increased (BjoAE4rling, 2001). Police have also stated that the Swedish law prohibiting the purchase of sexual services has had a chilling effect on trafficking (5). According to police, were it not for the law, Sweden, like Norway and Finland, would experience major trafficking of Russian women across the border. In the northern regions of both Norway and Finland, trafficked Russian women are made to service Scandinavian men in prostitution camps (Bystrom, 2001).
Women's and human rights groups should be advocating for study and replication of the Swedish law. Instead of giving carte blanche to profoundly abusive sex industries, governments should respond to the male violence and sexual exploitation of women in prostitution by legally addressing the demand for prostitution.
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Sweden has also focused on preventing the demand for prostitution by initiating a national campaign against prostitution and trafficking. One of the innovative aspects of this effort has been to take the campaign to the racetrack. In May 2002, the Swedish campaign against prostitution and trafficking was launched at the Solvalla Racetrack in Stockholm. Racing fans often celebrate their winnings at a brothel or by paying for sex acts with women in street prostitution. At Solvalla, pimps commonly hustle buyers at the racetracks or give them a ride to sex clubs after the races end (Ekberg, 2003, p. 72).The Solvalla racetrack dedicated its first race of the evening to the campaign against prostitution and trafficking, advertising the campaign in its racing program. After the first race, Swedish Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Gender Equality Margareta Winberg spoke to the 5000 persons in attendance about the campaign and about its focus on the buyers of women and children in prostitution (Ekberg, 2003, p. 71). Opening a national campaign against trafficking and prostitution at a racetrack must rank as one of the most inventive ''best practices'' to prevent sexual exploitation, targeting a large population of men who actually and potentially buy women for sex acts.
Sweden also launched a nationwide poster campaign focusing on the demand for prostitution. Colorful posters publicizing the Law Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services were displayed in bus shelters, subway stations and on streetcars throughout Sweden. The posters were designed to increase public awareness about prostitution and trafficking in women by spotlighting the men who buy women for sex. For example, one poster was a representation of Swedish sex tourists who travel to Baltic countries. The poster featured a well-dressed man in a suit, wearing a wedding band, with the caption, ''Time to flush the johns out of the Baltic.'' Another poster depicted a young man surfing for Internet pornography. The poster reads: ''More and more Swedish men do their shopping over the Internet (Ekberg, 2003, pp. 7576).'' The poster campaign attracted much public attention both within and outside Sweden (Ekberg, 2003, p. 72).
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We hear too little about the role of the sex industry in creating a global sex market for women and children. Instead, we hear that prostitution could be made into a better job for women through regulation and/or legalization, through unions of so-called ''sex workers,'' and through campaigns that provide condoms to women but fail to provide them with alternatives to prostitution. We hear much about how to keep women in prostitution but very little about how to help women get out.
Sadly, in several countries, labor unions have been encouraged to accept prostitution as work (Young, 2002). Rather than affirming prostitution as work, labor unions could follow the example of Denmark's Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) which, in June, 2003, prohibited its 1.5 million members (in a country of 5.4 million) from engaging in prostitution when they represent the union on business and travel abroad (Agence France Presse, 2003).
It would be a great leap forward in the campaign against sexual exploitation for governments and UN agencies to prohibit their diplomats, military personnel, UN police and peacekeepers from engaging in prostitution activities on or off duty. Some agencies, such as the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) that brings together over 15 UN and multilateral agencies, have devised codes of conduct for their personnel in humanitarian crisis situations (Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2002). One of the core principles of the IASC code of conduct states: ''Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers constitute acts of gross misconduct and are therefore grounds for termination.'' Another core principle makes clear that ''Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behavior is prohibited'' (Inter-Agency Standing Committee, 2002).
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The way in which countries address the legal status of prostitution will have an enormous impact on efforts to combat trafficking. Anti-trafficking advocates and legislators must address prostitution as a root cause of sex trafficking, and not be silenced by those who insist that we must speak only about traffickingnot prostitutionin governmental or non-governmental forums. Many governmental and nongovernmental representatives have capitulated to censorship at international forums where pressure is exerted not to mention prostitution, but only to talk about traffickingas if this were possible.
Finally, rather than cashing in on the economic profits of the sex industry by taxing it, governments could seize assets of sex businesses and then use these funds to provide real alternatives for women in prostitution. Measures to prevent trafficking and prostitution, or to prosecute traffickers, recruiters, pimps and buyers, will be inadequate unless governments invest in the futures of prostituted women by providing economic resources that enable women to improve their lives.
1) Nearly 40 governments and 10 organizations participate in the Budapest process,initiated in 1991. Approximately 50 intergovernmental meetings at various levels have been held, including the Prague Ministerial Conference.
2) Citizens of European Union countries are guaranteed the right of common travel, among other measures, under the Schengen agreement. This means that trafficked women entering one of the Schengen countries legally or illegally can easily be trafficked to another country within the Shengen territory.
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3) The 5 countries studied in this report were Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States and Venezuela. The question about legalization of prostitution was not asked in the Indonesian and Thailand interviews. In the Philippines country report, 96% of the women interviewed recommended that prostitution not be legalized. In the United States country report, 56% of the Russian/Newly Independent States (NIS) women interviewed said that prostitution should not be legalized, with the remaining 44% stating that they were unsure or had no opinion; 85% of the U.S. women in prostitution who were interviewed stated that prostitution not be legalized. In the Venezuelan country report, 50% stated that prostitution should not be legalized, 29% stated that legalization would protect women, and 21% did not respond to the question.
4) All references to the Swedish Law Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services, 1998, quote the English summary of the law from the Swedish Government Offices Fact Sheet, 1998, available at www.kvinnofrid.gov.se. The actual text of the law states: ''A person who obtains casual sexual relations in exchange for payment shall be sentencedunless the act is punishable under the Swedish Penal Codefor the purchase of sexual services to a fine or imprisonment for at the most six months. Attempt to purchase sexual services is punishable under Chapter 23 of the Swedish Penal Code'' (Sweden, Law Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services 1998, p. 408).
5) According to a 2002 report of the National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) of the National Swedish Police, the Swedish National Rapporteur on Trafficking has stated:
In recent years there have been obvious indications that the Act relating to purchase of sexual services have (sic) had a positive result as regards trafficking in human beings. Several women have in interrogations told that pimps and traffickers in human beings that they have been in contact with do not consider Sweden a good market for these activities. The women must be escorted to the purchasers and then they do not have time with as many purchasers as they would have in a brothel or in street prostitution. So pimps and traffickers in human beings do not earn money quickly enough. Another aspect is that the purchasers in Sweden are very afraid of being discovered and they demand that the purchases of sexual services take place with much discretion. To carry on the activities indoors it is necessary to have several apartments or other premises available. The necessity of several premises is confirmed in almost all preliminary investigations that are carried on in 2002. Some women have also stated that countries like Denmark, Germany, Holland and Spain have appeared as more attractive for traffickers in human being and pimps.
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Telephone interception has also demonstrated that Sweden does not stand out as a good market for selling women . . . criminals complain about the purchasers being afraid and about the fact that the activities in Sweden must be more organized to be profitable. On several occasions also the police from the Baltic States have informed that criminals in the native countries do not consider Sweden a good market for trafficking in human beings. (National Criminal Police, 2002, pp. 3334)
In the NCID report, the National Rapporteur does not include any information about total numbers of victims trafficked into Sweden. She states that there is no available information to indicate ''. . . that trafficking in human beings to Sweden has increased. But there is nothing that is indicating that trafficking in human beings has decreased'' (National Criminal Police, 2002, p.2).
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Janice G. Raymond is Professor Emerita of Women's Studies and Medical Ethics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is also Co-Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, an international NGO having Category II Consultative Status with ECOSOC, and with branches in most world regions.
Prof. Raymond is the author of five books and multiple articles including Women as Wombs: Reproductive Freedom and the Battle Over Women's Bodies (1994).
(Footnote 1 return)
''Prostitution issue vexes soccer world; World Cup host Germany urged to set up phone lines for women to request emergency assistance,'' Associated Press, April 14, 2006.