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Fighting trafficking

In general, one can say that the effort to combat the horrible sex trafficking remain insufficient, because:


  • Sex trafficking is poorly understood 

  • The organizations dedicated to combat the sex trafficking are underfunded and uncoordinated internationally

  • The laws against sex trafficking are overwhelmingly anaemic and poorly enforced

  • Despite numerous studies and reports, a systematic business and economic analysis of the industry conducted to identify strategic points of intervention, has not yet been undertaken


It is about identifying the vulnerable points of the trafficking industry and to aim the short term tactic against the industry to reduce the aggregate demand of consumers and slave owners.  


The most effective way to reduce the aggregate demand is to attack the industry’s immense profitability by inverting its risk-reward economics, that is, by making the risk of operating a sex slave far more costly in terms of fines, penalties, imprisonment and public focus and actions.


To ensure that the business of sex trafficking and other forms of modern slavery are eradicated in the long term, the primary conditions that first gave rise to these crimes – poverty and the destructive asymmetries of economic globalizations – must be addressed.


Four basic areas of fighting sex trafficking


Like many other businesses, sex trafficking has some basic components: a product (the female victim), a wholesaler (the trafficker), a retailer (the slave owner/exploiter) and the consumer.


The table below summarizes the sex trafficking business chain, including the primary efforts currently deployed to thwart the industry. The tactics shown below can indeed be carried out more effectively and the table below is by no means an exhaustive list of the current efforts to combat sex trafficking, but it summarizes the key initiatives.


Each item in the “What should be done” column can be achieved in the short term except the supply-side (product-victim) initiatives.

Text and ideas are seen in the very good book: Sex trafficking: Inside the business of modern slavery, Siddharth Kara, Columbia University Press, 2009.

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