Trafficking

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

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

Slavery in Ghana: The Trokosi Tradition

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2002 May 1

Abla KotorAccording to the trokosi tradition practiced in southeastern Ghana, virgin girls are given to village priests as a way of appeasing the gods for crimes committed by family members. The word trokosi in the Ewe language means "slaves of the gods." Once given to the priest, a girl becomes his property and is made to carry out domestic chores such as cooking and washing, as well as farming and fetching water.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the officials listed below. Express your concern that thousands of trokosi are reportedly still held in shrines in spite of the 1998 law that prohibits the practice. Call on the government to take immediate steps to ensure that all trokosi are immediately released, and to make provision for their financial support, education, return to their families and re-integration into their communities. Urge the government to issue immediate instructions to police nationwide to enforce the law, and initiate legal prosecutions against shrines that have been holding trokosi in violation of the 1998 law.

His Excellency the President
Mr. J.A. Kufour
Office of the President
State House
Accra, GHANA
Fax: +233 21 676934

The Minister for Justice & Attorney General
Hon. Nana Akuffo Addo
Ministry of Justice & Attorney General's Dept.
P.O. Box M 60, Ministries
Accra, GHANA
Fax: +233 21 667609

Please also write to the United States Secretary of State Colin Powell expressing concern over the apparent misrepresentation by the United States Government of the trokosi practice to the detriment of those working to end it. Ask him to take immediate action to correct this misrepresentation and to reaffirm that the trokosi practice is a severe human rights violation. Letters should be addressed to:

Secretary of State Colin Powell
US Department of State
Washington DC 20520, USA
Fax: +1 202 261 8577

Ghana: Legislation Enacted to Criminalize the Trokosi Tradition of Enslavement

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1999 Jan 1

On 12 June 1998, the Ghanaian Parliament passed an amendment to the Criminal Code, adding Section 314A which criminalizes customary or ritual enslavement of any kind. The new law, which was signed by the President in September 1998, provides:

(1) Whoever

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the President of Ghana, thanking him for his support of legislation to criminalize the trokosi practice. Urge him to take steps to ensure that the legislation is brought to the attention of local communities and that it accomplishes its purpose of ending the trokosi tradition. Please also request his intervention on behalf of Abla Kotor, to facilitate the efforts of International Needs for her liberation from the Awlo-Korti shrine. Letters should be sent to:

His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings
President of the Republic of Ghana
The Castle-Osu
Accra
GHANA

Slavery in Ghana: The Trokosi Tradition

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1998 Mar 1

Abla KotorAbla Kotor is 13 years old. At the age of 12, she was given to a local priest in atonement for the rape that resulted in her birth, the rape of her mother by her mother's uncle. As soon as Abla Kotor has completed three menstrual cycles, she too will almost certainly be raped, by the priest to whom she was given. Meanwhile, she works his fields and farmlands, cleans his home and cooks his meals.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the following Parliamentary officials in Ghana. Urge them to pass the legislation which has been introduced to criminalize the trokosi tradition and to take immediate action to ensure the release of all trokosi in Ghana and the protection of girls in the future from this tradition. Note that Ghana is a party to many international treaties which prohibit slavery in all forms, and that the Constitution of Ghana also prohibits slavery and forced labor. Letters should be sent to:

Chairperson of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Select
Committee
Parliament House
Accra, Ghana

The Clerk of Parliament
Parliament House
Accra, Ghana

Chairperson of the Women's Caucus
Parliament of Ghana
Accra, Ghana

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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