United States: Shut down sex tour operators in California
"We may not always have the right soap in your bathroom….but we will have the right girl in your bedroom." - from Universal Fantasies website
Operating sex tours is illegal in the US, but right now a company in Los Angeles, California -- Universal Fantasies (also dba Global Fantasies) -- is openly offering sex tours to 16 locations around the world. Help shut them down!
Sex tourism, an estimated $1 billion per year industry, typically involves men – usually from Western countries – traveling to buy sex from women and girls who are often from poor and marginalized communities. The US’s main anti-trafficking law, the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), clearly recognizes that sex tour operators help fuel the demand for sex trafficking because they make women and girls available for purchase. In addition to the TVPA, the Mann Act makes it illegal to “knowingly transport or entice someone to travel in foreign commerce to engage in prostitution,” and the Travel Act makes it illegal to “use foreign commerce for ‘unlawful activities.’ Prostitution is listed among those unlawful activities.
Universal Fantasies (also dba Global Fantasies), which advertises "beautiful girls…between 18 and 28 years of age" and allows "guests to pre-select their companions after booking" with "additional companions for specific requests readily available," is blatantly violating US federal law.
Equally important, the US government must also be held accountable for enforcing its laws. Help make this happen by calling on the US Acting Director to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to elevate sex tourism as a priority issue in the State Department’s 2018 US Trafficking in Persons (USTIP) Report. This annual report, “the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts,” measures how effectively governments are working to tackle the human trafficking industry. We are advocating for the US government to specifically report on its own efforts to prosecute sex tour operators such as Global Fantasies.
Equality Now’s advocacy with the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (formerly Girlfest) led to the first US state law against sex tourism in 2004 (Hawaii), and we need your help once again to protect women and girls from being exploited in the sex trade.
- Advocate for Acting Director Kari Johnstone to include the prosecution of sex tour operators in determining whether the United States is fully meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking as part of the 2018 USTIP Report.