United States

Hawaii: Legislation Passed to End Sex Tourism and Hold Sex Tour Operators Accountable

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2004 May 1

In an unprecedented move to combat sex tourism, the Hawaii State legislature passed HB 2020, an Act relating to prostitution, which the Lt. Governor signed into law, as Act 82, on May 19, 2004. The Act makes it a felony offense, with a sentence of up to five years in prison, to sell or offer to sell travel services for the purpose of engaging in prostitution and authorizes suspension or revocation of a travel agency registration for engaging in these acts.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to Hawaii State Representative Marilyn Lee, the main sponsor of Act 82. Congratulate her on the success of her initiative to facilitate the prosecution of sex tour operators. Urge her to encourage legislators in other states to do the same. Please also encourage your own legislators to pass a law specifically criminalizing the activities of sex tour operators using Hawaii’s legislation as an example. The full text of the legislation is available on-line.

State Representative Marilyn B. Lee
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 421
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
USA
Tel: +1 808-586-9460
Fax: +1 808-586-9466
E-mail: replee@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Hawaii: Legislation to End Sex Tourism and Hold Sex Tour Operators Accountable

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2004 Mar 1

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What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Majority and Minority leaders of the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives asking them to support the proposed legislation prohibiting sex tourism (HB 2020 in its current form). Note that the passage of this legislation will simplify the prosecution of sex tour operators like Melvin Hamaguchi and could serve as a model for other states. Welcome the State of Hawaii’s efforts to eradicate sex tourism, and remind the legislators that sex tourism contributes to the trafficking of women and girls. Letters should be addressed to:

Senate Majority Leader Colleen Hanabusa
21st Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 214
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
USA
Phone: +1-808-586-7793
Fax: +1-808-586-7797
Email: senhanabusa@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings
25th Senatorial District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 221
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
USA
Phone: +1-808-587-8388
Fax: +1-808-587-7240
Email: senhemmings@Capitol.hawaii.gov

House Majority Leader Scott K. Saiki
22nd Representative District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 438
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
USA
Phone: +1-808-586-8485
Fax: +1-808-586-8489
Email: repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov

House Minority Leader Galen Fox
23rd Representative District
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 318
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
USA
Phone: +1-808-586-8520
Fax: 1+808-586-8524
Email: repfox@Capitol.hawaii.gov

United States: The Role of Military Forces in the Growth of the Commercial Sex Industry

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2006 Mar 1

A major step towards the establishment of a zero-tolerance policy with respect to solicitation of prostitution by U.S. military personnel was taken on 14 October 2005, when U.S. President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13387, which amends the Manual for Courts-Martial to specifically enumerate “patronizing a prostitute” as a violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). U.S.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to U.S. President George W. Bush, welcoming Executive Order 13387 specifically enumerating “patronizing a prostitute” as a violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Urge the President and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to strictly enforce this provision, noting that patronizing prostitution feeds the global demand for sex trafficking and noting reports that the law is not being effectively enforced. Urge President Bush and Defense Secretary Gates to institute a zero-tolerance policy on the solicitation of prostitution by U.S. military forces around the world.

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
United States of America
Fax: +1 202-456-2461
E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov

Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
United States of America
Fax: +1 703-697-8339
http://www.dod.gov/faq/comment.html

Please also write to South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun and Minister of Justice Chung Soung-jin, thanking them for the efforts to create a new legal framework that recognizes and protects victims of prostitution while holding those who exploit them accountable.  Urge them to ensure that the new laws are strictly enforced.

President Roh Moo-Hyun
Office of the President—Cheong Wa Dae
1 Jongno-gu
Jongo-Gunsejong-no
110-050 Seoul
Republic of Korea
Fax: +82 2-770-0344
E-mail: webmaster@president.go.kr

Minister Chung Soung-jin
Ministry of Justice
Building #1
Gwacheon Government Complex
Jungang-dong 1, Gwacheon-si, Kyunggi-do
Republic of Korea
Fax: +82 2-503-1641
E-mail: webmaster@moj.go.kr

United States: The Role of Military Forces in the Growth of the Commercial Sex Industry

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2003 Jun 1

In March 2002, Fox Television broadcast an undercover investigative report documenting the participation of U.S. military forces stationed in South Korea in the commercial sex industry.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and urge them to institute and strictly enforce a zero-tolerance policy prohibiting the solicitation of prostitution by U.S. military forces around the world. Note the link between prostitution and trafficking, which has been recognized by the U.S. Government. Explain that support for the commercial sex industry perpetuates the abuse of women and undermines efforts to combat sex trafficking. Letters should be sent to:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
United States of America
Fax: + 1 202-456-2461
E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov

Mr. Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
United States of America
Fax: +1 703-697-9080

Sex Tourism: Big Apple Oriental Tour Operators Re-Indicted for Promoting Prostitution

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2005 Oct 1
Update Date: 
2008 Nov 3
Update: 

In 1996, Equality Now launched its Women's Action campaign calling for the prosecution of Big Apple Oriental Tours, a sex-tour company based in New York State.  The campaign focused on shutting down Big Apple Oriental Tours and securing a criminal prosecution for Barabash and Allen for promoting prostitution under New York State law.  Big Apple Oriental Tours was effectively shut down in 2003 by a temporary restraining order obtained by the New York State Attorney General in a civil lawsuit.  After a first criminal indictment, an appeal, a second criminal indictment and second appeal, the criminal case has been referred back to the Dutchess County Court for trial (for more information on the background of the case and law please see Women’s Actions 12.1 and 12.2).

On December 26, 2006, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York upheld the dismissal of the charge of promoting prostitution in the third degree but reinstated the charge of promoting prostitution in the fourth degree against the Big Apple Oriental Tour operators.  Equally important, the Appellate Division dismissed Barabash and Allen’s remaining arguments as "without merit" including that their sex tour operations are not subject to promoting prostitution charges in state courts because of lack of jurisdiction.  Barabash and Allen will now have to stand trial, facing up to one year of imprisonment if convicted.  The trial date has been set for 7 January 2009. 

Members are requested to ask new New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who replaced Eliot Spitzer, to continue to pursue the case vigorously. (Letters may be sent to the same address and fax number listed below.  Please also send a copy to Equality Now.)

Norman Barabash and Douglas Allen, the owner/operators of New York-based sex tour company Big Apple Oriental Tours, have been indicted for the second time by a Dutchess County Grand Jury for promoting prostitution in violation of Article 230 of the New York Penal Law.  Mr. Barabash and Mr. Allen were arraigned on 8 August 2005, pleading not guilty, at the Dutchess County Courthouse in Poughkeepsie, New York.  If convicted, Mr. Barabash and Mr. Allen could face up to seven years in prison.   

What You Can Do: 

Please write to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, commending him for his leadership in continuing to pursue the case against Big Apple Oriental Tours for promoting prostitution through sex tourism.  Express your hope that his action will set an example for and encourage his colleagues around the country to take legal action against other sex tour operators in the United States.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341, USA
Fax: +1 518-402-2472

Sex Tourism: Big Apple Oriental Tour Operators Indicted for Promoting Prostitution

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2004 Mar 1

On 27 February 2004, following a year-long investigation by the New York State Attorney General, Norman Barabash and Douglas Allen, the owner/operators of Big Apple Oriental Tours were indicted by a grand jury for promoting prostitution, in violation of Section 230.25 of the Penal Law of the State of New York.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, commending him for his leadership in upholding the law and mobilizing long overdue law enforcement efforts to stop Big Apple Oriental Tours from promoting prostitution through its sex tours. Express your hope that his action will set an example for and encourage his colleagues around the country to fully prosecute all sex tour operators promoting prostitution from the United States.

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341 USA
Fax: +1-518-402-2472

Sex Tourism: "Real sex with real girls, all for real cheap"

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1996 Dec 1

R&R FOR SINGLE MEN
Meet beautiful, playful Filipinas
$3 information packet includes wet T-shirt photo sheet

What You Can Do: 

Write to the United States and New York State officials listed below and ask them to take action to stop sex tourism, including the investigation and prosecution of sex tourism agencies. Call on the New York officials to prosecute Norman Barabash, owner of Big Apple Oriental Tours, a business enterprise in New York involving prostitution activity. Suggest that immediate action will signal a commitment to end the degrading and exploitative practice of sex tourism which is destroying the lives of so many girls and women. Bring information on Big Apple Oriental Tours and sex tourism to the attention of the media. Ask them to expose this systematic exploitation of girls and women, and governmental indifference to sex tourism, as a flagrant violation of national and international law.

Mr. Richard Brown
Queens District Attorney
125-01 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens
New York, NY 11415
Fax: 718-286-6350

Mr. Dennis Vacco
New York Attorney General
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271
Fax: 212-416-8942

The Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Tenth and Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: 202-514-3296

United States: Political Asylum for Fear of Female Genital Mutilation—The Kasinga Case

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1996 Jun 1

On 13 June 1996, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ordered that Fauziya Kasinga be granted political asylum. The majority decision, written by Paul W. Schmidt, Chairman of the BIA, made the following seven major findings in the case:

What You Can Do: 

Write to Board of Immigration Appeals Chairman Paul W. Schmidt, thanking him for his decision, which finally brings justice to Fauziya Kasinga and which recognizes that FGM does constitute persecution.

Paul W. Schmidt, Chairman
U.S. Department of Justice
Board of Immigration Appeals
5107 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
USA

United States: Female Genital Mutilation and Political Asylum—The Case of Fauziya Kasinga

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1996 Apr 1

On 24 April 1996 Fauziya Kasinga was released on parole pending her appeal. Please continue to call on U.S. authorities to grant her political asylum.

The Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Room 4400
Tenth and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: 202-514-4371

The Honorable Doris Meissner
Commissioner
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Room 7100
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
Fax: 202-514-3296

United States: Female Genital Mutilation and Political Asylum—The Case of Fauziya Kasinga

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1996 Apr 1

Fauziya Kasinga has been in detention since 17 December 1994, the day she arrived in the United States seeking political asylum. She was seventeen years old, and had fled her home country of Togo immediately following a forced marriage to a 45-year-old man with three other wives. Although Fauziya refused to sign the marriage certificate, she was declared wed and confined to a storage room to await the arrival of a circumciser who would subject her to female genital mutilation (FGM).

What You Can Do: 

Write to Attorney General Janet Reno and to INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, calling for the release of Fauziya Kasinga and for reissuance of the May 1995 guidelines by the INS as regulations that would be binding both on asylum officers and immigration judges. Recall that at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, on behalf of the United States, affirmed that "it is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation."

The Honorable Janet Reno
Attorney General
Department of Justice
Room 4400
Tenth and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530
Fax: 202-514-4371

The Honorable Doris Meissner
Commissioner
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Room 7100
425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536
Fax: 202-514-3296

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