Sex trafficking

Program Officer Anber Raz speaks about the commercial sex industry (The Fresh Outlook)

10/5/2011 -- The Fresh Outlook -- "293 Women Involved in Sex Trafficking Rescued in Peru" Anber Raz, Program Officer on Sexual Violence and Trafficking: “Even the remotest parts of the world are not immune from those seeking to profit from women’s bodies. Sex trafficking is an enormously lucrative business which is driven by demand and more often than not victims have little recourse to help and justice."

Anuradha Koirala

Nepal’s Fearless Crusader Against Sex Trafficking
Anuradha Koirala

What inspired you to start Maiti Nepal?

I was brought up in a family that regarded providing services for humankind as the best form of pious work. Secondly, I studied in a convent school, where I grew up with sisters and mother that further increased my devotion towards the social work. Finally, Mother Teresa was the biggest source of inspiration to instigate a mission for the betterment of humankind. These reasons led to the establishment of Maiti Nepal.

What changes have you seen since you started Maiti Nepal?

India: The Demand for Sex Trafficking: Holding Commercial Sex Buyers Accountable

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2008 May 1

“Naina has been raped by an old man. The same thing happened to me when I was ten years old. I hate the people who bought me and pushed me into this as much as I hate the men who were my clients!” (Meena, prostitution survivor whose 13-year-old daughter was trafficked into prostitution)

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the officials below calling on the Indian Government to adopt strong measures to end trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, including Section 5C of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment (ITPA) Bill 2006, which would penalize buyers of prostituted sex. Ask them also to address the underlying issue of gender inequality and the system that allows those most marginalized in society, particularly “lower” caste women and children, to be exploited for commercial sex. Request that the Government put programs in place to provide viable alternatives to prostitution so that women such as Beenu, Meena, Fatima and others have other options to provide for themselves and their families.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister’s Office
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi, 110011, INDIA
Email: pmosb@pmo.nic.in
Fax: +91 (0)1123016857

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, President
Indian National Congress
10 Janpath/24 Akbar Road
New Delhi, 110011, INDIA
Email: soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in
Fax: +91 (0)1123017047

Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of State
Science & Technology/Earth Sciences
19, Teen Murti Marg
New Delhi, 110011, INDIA
Email: ksibal@sansad.nic.in
Fax: +91 (0)1123018705

United States: Sex Tourism: Big Apple Oriental Tours Acquitted of State Criminal Charges. Federal Action Needed to Prosecute G.F. Tours and other U.S.-Based Sex Tour Operators

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2009 May 1

In 1996, Equality Now launched a Women’s Action campaign calling for the prosecution of Big Apple Oriental Tours (BAOT). At the time, the company was advertising a twelve-day trip to the Philippines for sex tourists at the cost of $2,195, which included transportation, airfare, hotel room, and the ability of the sex tourist to “select your companion upon arrival in Angeles City” in a commercial sex transaction that would be brokered by a BAOT representative at the customer’s request.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the new U.S. Attorney General and call on him to prosecute Gunter Frentz, the owner/operator of G.F. Tours, and other sex tour operators for knowingly and openly transporting individuals to other countries with the intent of engaging in prostitution in violation of the Mann Act and Travel Act. Reiterate that sex tourism is a criminal act that exploits and harms women, and very often children, while it supports a multi-billion dollar industry in human trafficking. Urge the Attorney General to clarify to all federal prosecutors that the Department of Justice policy is to prosecute U.S.-based sex tour operators.

Letters should be addressed to:

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530, USA
Fax: + 1 202-307-6777
E-mail: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Sample letter

Women's Action 12.1: December 1996
Women's Action 12.2: March 2004
Women's Action 12.3: October 2005
Women's Action 27.1: October 2005

 

Urgent Alert: South Africa: Urgent call: World Cup Soccer and Sex Trafficking – A Volatile Combination

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 May 10

 

  Taina Bien-Aimé Executive Director of Equality Now, speaks on South Africa and t

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the South African officials below, calling on them to enact and effectively enforce the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill 2010 prior to the commencement of the World Cup. Urge the government to provide protection and services to victims of trafficking, offering the resources necessary to provide practical alternatives to prostituted women and their families.

 

Letters should be sent to

President Jacob Zuma
Union Buildings
Private Bag X1000,
Pretoria, 0001
South Africa
Fax: +27 12 323 8246
Email: president@po.gov.za

Minister Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, MP
Minister of Justice
Private Bag X276,
Pretoria, 0001
South Africa
Fax: +27 12 315 1749
Email: Ministry@justice.gov.za

Hon Max Vuyisile Sisulu, MP
Speaker of the National Assembly
South Africa
Fax: +27 21 461 9462
Email: speaker@parliament.gov.za

Send copies of your letters to:
The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa – Sexual Offences and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit
P/Bag X752,
Pretoria, 0001
South Africa
Email: communication@npa.gov.za

Sample letter

United States : G&F Tours--A Call for Law Enforcement to End Sex Tourism

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2005 Oct 1

"Do you need an innocent in need of seduction or a raw nymphomaniac whore? ... Do you like it nice or nasty?  … Maybe you've heard stories about sample blow jobs…?  It's all true!" (G&F Tours website)

What You Can Do: 

Please write to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and call on him to prosecute Gunter Frentz, owner/operator of G&F Tours, for knowingly and openly transporting individuals to other countries with the intent that they will patronize prostitution in contravention of the Mann Act and the Travel Act.  Point out that effective measures to combat sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation require a focus on and suppression of the demand side of the industry, including sex tourism, as the U.S. Government has recognized in its Trafficking in Persons National Security Presidential Directive of 2003 and its annual Trafficking in Persons Report.  Urge the Attorney General to clarify to all federal prosecutors that the activities of sex tourism companies fall within and constitute a violation of federal law, and to ensure that the Department of Justice takes action to shut down all sex tour companies operating from the United States.  Please also write to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, let him know that G&F Tours has recently relocated to Forth Worth and ask him to take immediate action to shut down Gunter Frentz’s sex tour operation.

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530, USA
Fax: +1 202-307-6777
E-mail: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper
U.S. Attorney's Office-North District of Texas
Dallas Division
Earle Cabell Federal Building
1100 Commerce Street, Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75242-1699, USA
Fax: +1 214-767-2898

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

Q: Is it true I could have sex with two girls at the same time?
A: Definitely YES!! That's the difference between spending $75.00 to $150.00, and having a FANTASTIC time!!! You can have as many as you can fit in your room.

—from Frequently Asked Questions on Video Travel's Ultimate Asian Sex Tour website.

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

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

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