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Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's Time to Clip Backpage.com's Sex Trafficking Wings in the European Union and Throughout the World

       It's a long title, I know, but you are reading this article now.

 
       Backpage.com is a website that started out as competition for craigslist, but surpassed that site as the greatest purveyor of sex trafficking in the world many years ago. The website offers adult services, and says that it proofreads each ad for child trafficking, but even when they suspect child trafficking, they do not remove the advertisement. The fact that backpage.com refuses to verify the age of those placing the advertisement further demonstrates that backpage is not a moral company and has tried its best to evade prosecution and liability under various laws. 

        Last month, (November 2015)  Carl Ferrer, the founder of backpage.com and still its CEO (I wonder why?) failed to appear before a United States Senate Subcommittee hearing held by the  THE SENATE HOMELAND SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS and refused to provide the documents subpoenaed by the committee. In the interest of saving those we hold dear from being potential sex trafficking victims in the future, I ask each one of you reading this article to send this article to your email list today. Thank you.  My email is winklepublishing@gmail.com if you wish to contact me directly.

         I am asking the European Union to shut down all Backpage.com operations in every European Union city that has a backpage.com or mirror website immediately in the interest of Human Rights and to prevent further Human Sex Trafficking by use of social media site Backpage.com and others. I am asking the European Union Legislature to begin legislation making the advertising of persons under the age of 21 to be a felony with a life sentence if the advertising involves massages, sex acts of any kind including video chats, instant messaging, or other media where items of monetary value are requested or required, or contains links to other online websites that contain such links. That said legislation require the advertiser to provide a physical business address, phone number, IP address, and owner information. That said legislation require the advertiser to provide the age and verify the age of all persons in any advertisement and to keep said age verification on record for a period of ten years.


        In 2013 I wrote a research paper on Sex Trafficking that has been cited over 60 times in other research papers I believe. I am halfway through writing a book on Sex Trafficking as well. So, after you read this, I want each of you to think about a daughter, niece, neighbor girl, sister, or wife that you care about and think about what you would do if they were drugged and forced to have sex/ raped by dozens of men every day. Got that picture in your mind? Good! The number one company in the United States and now in Europe that promotes sex trafficking of minors and women is backpage.com. It "allegedly" was sold to a Dutch Holding company that allegedly does not exist named Atlantische Bedrijven CV. I have been in the research business for over 30 years and could not find anything out about them. Maybe you can, but if they exist, their charter needs to be cancelled by the European Union Human Rights Commission and the Dutch government immediately as 80% plus of their profits come from exploiting women and aiding in the sex trafficking of women and children. Backpage.com has allegedly been indicated as being part of nearly 99% of every sex trafficked prostitute in the United States.

           The Economic Subordination of Women in the 21st   

                               Century Sex Slave Trade


Mark Winkle
December 3, 2013
Also on Academia.edu

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               On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Emancipation
Proclamation which declared that slavery of any kind was illegal. On June 25, 1910, the White-
Slave Traffic Act better known as the Mann Act was passed. In in its original form prohibited
white slavery and the interstate transport of females for "immoral purposes.” However, due to
the societal economic subordination of women around the world, the Mann Act has proven
difficult to enforce. This paper will address many of the reasons why the subordination of
women as an economic societal norm has caused law enforcement around the world to take their
time enforcing the violation of women's right to equal treatment under the law. Feminist
Economics comes into play because it is based on the view that the treatment of women in
relation to men has not been equal or fair and that women are not given the same social standing
and value as men. “Feminist economists show that social constructs act to privilege male identified,
western, and heterosexual interpretations of economics” (BenerĂ­a, Lourdes; May, Ann
Mari; Strassmann, Diana L. (2009). Thus, men are valued at a higher economic level than
women are valued. This disparity of economic value permits the crimes of sex trafficking and its
resulting rapes and other abuses against women to continue unabated.
For example, the chart below provides the results of a research study conducted by
Mashid Valilvand titled “Married Women, Work, and Values” and was published in the Monthly
Labor Review, a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publication. It provides an interesting view into
how women value themselves socially, politically, aesthetically, theoretically, by their religious
values, and economically. This research study provides us with insight into how women
contribute to their own subordination in a male patriarchal society.

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Table 1. 

Personal-value hierarchies of the whole population, working women, and              nonworkingwomen, ranked by mean score:


How Women Value Themselves:
Whole population    Working women     Nonworking women


Religious 34.93/        Religious 33.66/       Religious 37.28
Aesthetic 32.63/        Aesthetic 32.64 /      Social 32.70
Social 31.91/             Social 31.48 /           Aesthetic 32.60
Theoretical 30.35      Theoretical 30.75 /   Theoretical 29.61
Political 25.81/          Political 26.58/         Political 24.40
Economic 24.38/       Economic 24.90/      Economic 23.41

The results are ranked above from most important personal value to the lowest personal value.
Source: (Jalilvand, 2000).

The findings of Jalilvand's research study concluded that, “Personal values are believed
to be stable and, according to Edward Spranger, may be classified as theoretical, economic,
aesthetic, social, political, and religious”...Economic and political values are more important to
working women than they are to non-working women” (Jalilvand, 2000).
As the chart above demonstrates, women place less economic value on themselves if they
are unemployed than if they are working women. I believe that this self-devaluation makes them
easier targets for both economic and physical abuse. In my research, I found that a majority of
women who are sex trafficked around the world are economically disadvantaged, and are
citizens of former Russian states. They have been deceived by fake employment
advertisements, or they had been attempting to obtain employment through illegal immigration
into another country. As a result of these factors, female sex trafficked victims unwittingly place

The Economic Subordination of Women in the 21st Century Sex Slave Trade Winkle 4


themselves at the mercy of their abusers. .
However, this economic devaluation of women is not purely a self-devaluation problem.
I have discovered in my research that a division of the United Nations also devalues women in
comparison to men. In her book Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are
Worth
, feminist economist Marilyn Waring tells us that GDP and GNP come from a small
calculation in the UN System of National Accounts (UNSNA). Waring states that, “When
international reports and writers refer to women as statistically or economically invisible, it is
the UNSNA that has made it so...” The UNSNA is the mechanism that has allowed women's
work and much of the rest of life to be made invisible” (Waring, 1988). Because the work that
women do is valued less economically by the United Nations than the work that men do, women
are seen as economically invisible and unimportant in our patriarchal world society.
Additionally, in the article “Alternative Economic Measures” on the UNPAC website
Women & Economy, the chart below explains how the United Nations System of National
Accounts (UNSNA), a real world economic database places values on different items. “This
means that economic activities that are harmful to people are given value by the UNSNA.
Women have experienced this first-hand - there are many occasions in which the exploitation of
women generates economic activity. Prostitution and sex trafficking of women generates the
exchange of billions of dollars each year” (United Nations Platform for Action Committee
Manitoba (UNPAC), 2013
).

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Table 2. United Nations  System of National Accounts (UNSNA) Economic Values Around the   
              World

Things that have economic value

 (items in bold are socially normed women's activities)

• trees when they're cut down
• the tobacco industry
• arms and missile production
• the weight loss industry
• crime, the court system, and
imprisonment
• prostitution, slave trafficking
• illness, clinics, and hospitals

• death and the funeral business
• rebuilding countries after natural
disasters or terrorist attacks
• war
• oil spills
women's bodies used in media
   advertising

Things without economic value

• rivers and forests (when they're not
being harnessed for economic gain)
• health
• caring for your own children

vegetables grown in your own garden
and eaten by your family

• caring for the earth
a mother's contribution to the
birthing process

beauty (except if it is for sale in an art
piece)
• doing your own dishes and laundry

• hunting, fishing, and trapping your own
food
Socially normed women's
Source: United Nations Platform for Action Committee Manitoba (UNPAC), 2013)
As the chart above shows, the trafficking and prostitution of women are areas of
economic value. As such, the enforcement of sex trafficking laws and the laws concerning acts
of prostitution are unequally enforced. The dehumanization of women, by enslaving them for
sexual purposes, and thereby violating their natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness, in my opinion, should not be subject to unequal enforcement of the laws. This
researcher agrees with and extends the arguments that women should be treated as having equal
rights under natural law and that women should be afforded the same human rights that men
enjoy.
Therefore, in regards to the issue of prostitution being sexual slavery, Julia Davidson, in
her research paper “Will the Real Sex Slave Please Stand Up?” states, “Feminist abolitionists

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hold that it is impossible for women to consent to prostitute, since prostitution dehumanizes and
objectifies women. Prostitution is therefore a form of slavery, and since nobody can elect to be a
slave, all prostitutes have been trafficked into their condition” (Davidson, 2006). As most
women would not volunteer to be abused or coerced into becoming a prostitute, as prostitution
itself would demean those women who found themselves in this desperate situation.
Moreover, Davidson continues her thoughts on prostitution by stating, “In most
countries, to stand any chance of being identified and assisted as a sex slave by the authorities, a
migrant woman or girl working in the sex trade needs to demonstrate first that she did not
choose or consent to work in prostitution, and second that she has undergone great physical
suffering” (Davidson, 2006). Thus, it is extremely difficult for a victim of sexual slavery to
prove that they were victims of the crimes which were perpetrated against them. It would be
difficult to prove charges of intimidation, coercion, or even violence without corroborating
testimony. However, due to the fact that the victims are threatened with violence against their
families as well as against themselves, many choose to remain silent and hope for a chance to
escape their captors. As a result, an accurate number of victims of sexual slaves has been
difficult for authorities to agree on.
Surprisingly, a majority of women become sex slaves (prostitutes) through direct or
indirect actions of their own relatives. Whether those actions involve sex traffickers, drugs,
alcohol, or deception, research has shown that a majority of sex slaves were sexually abused by
one or more relatives or friends of their families as a child (Interpol, 2013). The abuse continues
as the young woman grows up and the abuse is accepted as “normal” behavior for the abuse
victim as they usually have no way out of their living situation.

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Furthermore, in a research paper titled, “Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human
Trafficking?
,” which applied Feminist Economics, the question was asked “If prostitution was
made legal, would the incidences of sexual slavery increase?” The results of the study was that,
“In regards to human sex trafficking, Germany and Sweden both had similar percentages of
trafficked sex workers (slaves), regardless of whether prostitution was legal or not” (Cho,
Dreher, and Neumayer 2012). Thus, whether or not prostitution was legalized the percentages of
trafficked sex workers did not increase as the researchers thought it would. Sweden had made
prostitution illegal in 1999 and had not seen an increase in sex trafficking at that time either.
Additionally, Selam Eshete conducted similar research on the connection between
prostitution and sexual slavery in 2012. Her findings were published in her research which was
titled, “The Relationship between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking :The Case of Sweden and
Denmark
.” Eshete's findings were that, “From the total number of trafficked people almost 80%
were trafficked for sexual exploitation”... “In Sweden, a majority of the prostitutes are from
foreign countries that were brought in illegally by sex traffickers. Once the women entered the
country, they were sold into prostitution by the traffickers who had brought them into Sweden
illegally” (Eshete, 2012). Thus, it can be reasonably stated that a majority of prostitutes are not
prostitutes by choice and many have been coerced into the occupation.
Interestingly enough, Eshete's statistics correlate with the numbers cited below in a 1988
study on prostitution which was conducted in Anaheim, California. The researchers concluded in
their study that “88 percent of the prostituted women surveyed stated that they wanted to leave
the sex trade industry. In over 100 arrests, most of the women expressed that prostitution was not
their career of choice” (Farley and Barkan,1998). The fact that these women did not want to be

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prostitutes and were coerced or threatened into remaining prostitutes provides them protection
under the Mann Act if they were transported across state lines for the purpose of committing
illegal sex acts.
Surprisingly, I found that sex traffickers were only charged with United States Mann Act
violations 1,367 times since its inception (Federal Bureau of Investigation). The Soroptimist, a
feminist advocacy online website stated in their “Frequently Asked Questions” page that, “In
societies where women and girls are undervalued or not valued at all, women are at greater risk
for being abused, trafficked, and coerced into sex slavery. If women experienced improved
economic and social status, trafficking would in large part be eradicated” (The Soroptimist.org,
2013). The fact that women have a lower economic value in the world's patriarchal societies
creates the opportunity for them to be subjected to the economic crimes perpetrated against them
by the sex slave traffickers.
Furthermore, this disparity of economic inequality was found to be the underlying factor
as to why women became prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. Researcher Denise Brennan in
her essay “Selling Sex for Visas: Sex Tourism as a Stepping- Stone to International Migration,”
which is part of a compilation of essays in the book Global Woman, argues that, “not all sex
trade in the Dominican Republic is operated by pimps or the drug trade”...however, she further
states that, “these women face rapes, beatings, and arrest... Typically, these women receive no
financial assistance from their children's fathers. (Brennan 2002).
Considering the fact that if the fathers of the children of these women of Sousa,
Dominican Republic were forced to provide financial support for to the mothers of their
children, the women would have no reason to become prostitutes and endanger their lives. The

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unequal economics of the women of Sousa as well as the failure of the government of the
Dominican Republic to demand and enforce child support from the fathers of these children are
the root of the cause for these women being involved in the sex trade. Prior to moving to Sousa
none of them had been involved in the sex trade.
However, in our world's societies, the adage of might makes right and the prevailing
economic rationale has been applied to the enforcement of laws around the world. Just as a
wealthy person receives preferential treatment before the courts, crimes against men and
property have higher priority than crimes against women does.
For instance, Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization's fact sheet on
Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery states, “As for female sex slaves and female indentured
servants, the story is a different one. They are treated as property and are subjected to many
forms of abuse and humiliation that no animal or human being should ever be subjected to”
(paraphrased) (Interpol Human Tafficking Fact Sheet, 2013). Thus, because women are in need
of work as a result of their alleged economic inequality, they are subjected to the possibility of
becoming sex slaves or indentured servants.
Additionally, the Polaris Project, an anti-human trafficking research organization has this
to say on the subject of sex slavery: “The fact that male slaves and children are seldom subjected
to being used as sex slaves, is a reason to pause and think. Source: (Polaris Project Wash. D.C.,
2013). In other words, sex traffickers, who are mostly men, dominate women, who are seen as
objects of economic property instead of human beings with equal economic value and equal
natural rights.
Additionally, the element of repeated abuse, dehumanization, and rape that becomes the

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norm for a sex slave, is akin to being raped hundreds of times a month in exchange for paying
off their alleged debt to their owners, which was incurred as a result of the illegal sale of their
persons by their captors and subsequent traffickers. The United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “emphasized the role of gender discrimination in
increasing vulnerability to trafficking. Gender-based discriminations are still ongoing in many
societies where social norms attribute a higher value to men’s role in society” (UNESCO, 2012).
Because women are valued less than men are, they are treated by some men as property instead
of as equal human being with equal rights and freedoms.
Consequently, as a result of this economic value disparity, and the poor economic
conditions in various parts of the world, another source of sex slaves is illegal immigration. “In
the European Union there are an estimated 880,000 victims of trafficking, and of these
trafficking victims, 76% are victims of sexual exploitation, and 79% of overall victims are
women and girls” (UNESCO, 2012). Women are seen as having less economic value around the
world. This disparate economic treatment of women is a fact in most patriarchal societies around
the world. Accordingly, poor women and women in general, will continue to be seen as property
as they are, for the most part, more economically and physically vulnerable.
In addition, this researcher has uncovered facts that corroborate the fact that the United
States Armed Forces are both directly involved in the slave trade industry and/or the protection
of the sex slave trade around the world, it provides these agencies and their personnel with
secure off duty places of recreation for their employees (paraphrased) (McMichael, 2002). This
researcher believes that these actions of the United States Armed Forces, the lack of enforcement
of the Mann Act, and the devaluing of women by the United Nations has directly contributed to

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the escalation of crimes against women including sex trafficking and prostitution.
Finally, it is believed that the definition of what constitutes sex trafficking and therefore,
a sex slave is in dispute among many government agencies throughout the world. As a result, the
number of women that are trafficked for economic and sexual purposes is difficult to determine
as relatively few victims have come forward to charge their abusers. The prevalent constructions
of human trafficking rely upon and reproduce gender and racial stereotypes that (1) discount
women’s agency, (2) establish a standard for victimization that most trafficked persons cannot
meet, and (3) unjustly prioritize the sexual traffic of white women over the traffic of women and
men of all races who are trafficked for purposes including, but not exclusive to, the sex trade.
In conclusion, the United Nations definition of sexual trafficking and sexual slavery have
been accepted by 150 countries around the world. However, under feminist economic theory,
women cannot be provided equal protection under the law until: a) the standard for victimization
is placed at a level that a victim of sex trafficking can meet, and b) neither race, gender, age, or
economic status are considered as factors in the enforcement of sexual trafficking laws. Until
women are accepted as being of the same economic value to the world that men are, the heinous
crimes of sex trafficking and sex slavery will continue to escalate out of control.

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Works Cited
BenerĂ­a, Lourdes; May, Ann Mari; Strassmann, Diana L. (2009). "Introduction” Feminist
Economics: Volume 1. Cheltenham, UK and Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Brennan, Denise. “Selling Sex for Visas: Sex Tourism as a Stepping-stone to International
Migration.” Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex workers in the New Economy. Ed.
By Ehrenreich, B., & Hochschild, A. R..pp. 155,157. New York: Metropolitan Books.
2003. Print.
Cho, Seo Young, Dreher, Axel, and Neumayer, Eric. “Does Legalized Prostitution Increase
Human Trafficking?” World Development Volume 43 January 2013, Pages 67–82. Web.
21 Oct. 2013.
Davidson, Julia O'Connell. “Will the Real Sex Slave Please Stand up?” Feminist Review 83
2006. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Eshete, Selam Legesse.The Relationship between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking
The Case of Sweden and Denmark. Lund University: Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Farley, Melissa, and Barkan,Howard. “Prostitution, Violence, and Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder,”Women and Health 27, no. 3 (1998): 37-49. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Interpol. Interpol Fact sheet on Modern Day Slavery. (2013). Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Lobasz, Jennifer K. “Beyond Border Security: Feminist Approaches to Human Trafficking.”
Security Studies, 18:319–344 (2009). Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
McMichael, William H. “Sex slaves: How women are lured into South Korea's flesh trade,
How top U.S. commanders turn a blind eye even as troops are the racket's best
customers.” Navy Times. (2002). Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
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The Polaris Project. Domestic Sex Trafficking: The Criminal Operations of the American Pimp.
(2013). Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Trafficking of
women: Exploring effective policies and mechanisms to prevent it through education
(2012). Web. 21 Oct. 2013.

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