First of all, let me state that I find coerced labor of any kind abhorrent. It's part of the reason I'm so enthusiastic about open immigration. To the extent that coerced labor exists, it is made possible in large part because those coerced are often immigrants, who fear that if they leave their jobs, they will be turned into the police and deported. See, for example, this story:
However, I'm convinced that many of the organizations theoretically fighting coerced labor/trafficking are really anti-sexworker organizations in disguise.
A friend of mine recently posted a link to an event entitled "Panel on Human Trafficking" sponsored by the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, in collaboration with San Francisco’s Collaborative Against Human Trafficking and in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The first speaker listed on their panel is Melissa Farley, Executive Director of Prostitution Research and Education. Follow the link, and you'll see that PEN is a virulently anti-sexworkers organization. They claim that prostitution is an intrinsically abusive institution, and that 60% of all prostitutes are literal slaves.
You will also find that another trafficking organization, "The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women" (CATW), submitted an amicus curie brief in support of Thomas Dart, Sheriff of Cook County Illinois, when he sued Craigslist, Inc. for pimping and trafficking of women and children on its "Adult Services" and "Erotic Services" sections of its advertising website.
Go to their website, and you will see that CTAW bluntly states All prostitution exploits women, regardless of women's consent.
So PEN and CATW, at least, have been actively working to limit the free speech rights and sexual choices of both women and men.
I haven't investigated this issue in great depth. There probably are organizations that are actually fighting against coerced labor without being anti-sex worker. But a surface review of some of the organizations involved suggest that their primary agenda is stopping sex work, not trafficking.
Posted via email from crasch's posterous