Okay, I promised that in my follow-up post on human trafficking, I’d pass along some good news. Here goes:
- Myanmar (Burma) not only has a significant traffic problem, but also traffics girls and women to other Asian countries. The positive? The government finally acknowledged the problem and is trying in significant ways to address it.
- The Czech Republic has introduced a series of anti-trafficking laws and is actively convicting traffickers.
- Iceland, Israel, and Nicaragua all made progress this last year in facing up to their countries’ trafficking problems, and all are taking major steps to fight it.
- Lithuania gets high praise for punishing trafficking criminals, for improving its system of identifying victims, and for actively investigating crimes and prosecuting the criminals.
- United States State Department’s just-released report on Human Trafficking ranks it as one of the most active countries in combating human trafficking. Still, it needs to better collect local, state and federal data so it can better monitor trafficking trends.
- Finland prohibits buying sexual services, but only from trafficking victims.
- Sweden has a unique law that criminalizes the ones who purchase sex. Passed in 1999, the law targets only the purchaser, not the victim. The penalty is a fine or up to six months in prison. As a result, the country’s trafficking problem is small.
- Norway, seeing Sweden’s success, is preparing similar legislation.
Yea for Sweden! Its approach has proven to be the most effective by far.
How can sex trafficking be defeated? By severely punishing the ones who profit from it. By arresting its customers. By offering a way out to those held in its bondage. By creating good alternatives for at-risk girls and women.
“We need to ensure that all survivors have that opportunity to move past what they endured and to make the most of their potential.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton