I wrote extensively last week about the Georgia Republicans waging a war on adult entertainment establishments and expanding civil forfeiture practices in our state with no data to back up their legislative premises. I have a hard time understanding why a $5,000 OR 1% gross revenue annual fine is necessary for these establishments without cause. And why only the adult entertainment industry?
So, I did a little Google search last night. I spent a significant amount of time sifting through sex trafficking articles. Below is a list of industry-related examples and sources:
- Massage parlors seem to be a heavy player in the trade. You can see so here and here.
- Prostitution. Perhaps we should make that illegal. And old-fashioned kidnapping.
- Direct from hotels in large cities. See so here and here.
- Military installations, marijuana tourism and professional sporting events. (Yikes! That is broad)
- A little girl taken and sold by her nanny.
- Modeling agencies and modeling advertisements online. (General online employment agency sites, too)
- Mail order bride programs as explained in a U.S. Senate committee hearing.
- The trucking industry.
- Sometimes pimps hang out in parks and coffee shops.
You’ll note that none of the above are industries included in the legislation. House Bill 244 and Senate Bill 8 both exclusively call for adult entertainment establishments. Wrongfully and dishonestly. There’s no doubt it sometimes happens in these establishments. But what about every other industry?
70% of child victims are sold over the internet. Every day. Read that again. 70%. An exceeding majority of sex trafficking is known to originate over the interwebs (and the private sector is already targeting this issue) but we are going after one teeny, tiny industry. That is despicable.
The bill also calls for what some might consider a “government-organized charity.” So I wanted to see what types of 501(c)3 non-profits were already out there operating:
- The National Human Trafficking Resource Center
- The Polaris Project
- The Not-For-Sale Campaign
- The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women
- Out of Darkness
- Coalition Against Traffic in Women
- Daughters Rising
- Slavery No More
And considering Google returned 1,450,000 results, I can say with certainly that there are plenty more. The industry to help and counsel these women and children is alive and thriving. We don’t need our state government to set up another fund and commission to do so.
Utah seems to be taking a much more reasonable approach, where they are removing a current requirement for prosecutors to prove fraud or coercion for a conviction. North Dakota is increasing penalties for convictions and statute of limitations for victims. Same with Texas. These other states aren’t waging a war on businesses.
A judge in India, where human trafficking is painfully prevalent, said this is a social issue, not a legal one…one that the courts cannot solve. “Implementation of guidelines is in the hands of enforcement agencies.” I could not agree more.
Click here for background and resources to contact House committee members about this legislation.