Should the United States government, given the current, depressed economic state, increase efforts to investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes and increase funding to victims through protection services?

1)      1619- Slaves were first brought to the United States in Jamestown, Virginia, mainly for tobacco cultivation.

2)      1863- The Emancipation Proclamation was passed. In this, President Abraham Lincoln declared that all slaves in Rebel territory were to be freed on January 1, 1863, even though all slaves were not freed until 1865.

3)      1865- Slavery was abolished and outlawed in The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

4)      Mar. 3, 1875- The Page Act of 1875 is passed by US Congress. It outlawed the importation of women into the United States for the purposes of prostitution. During this time, Chinese women, for example, were being sold by their families to the United States to serve as prostitutes or domestic servants.

5)      June 25, 1910- The Mann Act or White-Slave Traffic Act became a federal law against prostitution. This law was named after Rep. James Robert Mann, and made “forced prostitution, harboring immigrant prostitutes, and the transportation across state lines” illegal. The Mann Act was enacted during a time when prostitution was the highest wage earning job for a woman and when the white-slave trade was a growing and developing issue.

6)      1971- The state of Nevada began to formally regulate prostitution by allowing rural counties of Nevada to have legal, licensed brothels.

7)      1973- The first prostitute’s rights group, COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), was established in San Francisco. After this pro-prostitution group was established, other various prostitution support groups were formed around the nation.

8)      May 27, 2003- The AIDS Act was signed and outlawed the promotion of funds, avocation and legalization of the practice of prostitution and sex trafficking. This act refused to provide funding to any organization that did not have a policy that opposed prostitution and sex trafficking.

9)       March 24, 2009- President Obama declared his intent to nominate Luis C. de Baca as Ambassador-at-Large to monitor and combat human  trafficking at the State Depart. During the Clinton administration Baca played a key role in combating modern slavery with a victim-centered approach. As the Department’s Involuntary Servitude and Slavery Coordinator, he investigated and prosecuted many human trafficking, forced labor and sexual exploitation crimes during the Clinton Administration.

10)  December, 2009- Congress passed an omnibus appropriations bill to increase funding for human trafficking prevention. This bill for 2010 will provide funding to six trafficking agencies to help prosecute traffickers and provide services to survivors.

Sources:

1)      http://www.africanaonline.com/slavery_timeline.htm

This site is hosted by Africanaonline and is a historical timeline and reference page that details the beginning of slavery in the United States. I chose this source because the roots of human trafficking stem from the initial slaves brought over to the United States for labor in 1619.

2)      http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-national-slavery-and-human-trafficking-prevention-month

Whitehouse.gov lists the recent developments, proclamations and goals of the President, Congress and Senate to help prevent and promote human trafficking.  It acknowledges the rising issue in not only the United States but how to address the problem around the world.

3)      http://www.genderhealth.org/pubs/ProstitutionOathTimeline.pdf

This article recently published by the U.S. Global Aids Policy addresses the “Prostitution Loyalty Oath.” In this oath, the AIDS Act was signed which was a significant movement that outlawed funding to any AIDS organizations that did not have a clear policy that opposed sex trafficking and prostitution.

4)      http://prostitution.procon.org/viewresource.asp?resourceID=000117

ProCon.org posted a detailed timeline about prostitution and sex trafficking. On this timeline I found the most important Acts to be The Page Act of 1875, and The Mann Act or White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910. Each of these acts had a hyperlink that took me to an article that detailed the events that caused these acts and the legal changes these acts brought. Also on this timeline I found the first legal brothels in Nevada in 1971, and the first prostitute’s rights group, COYOTE, in 1973, to be significant. I read the articles attached to this significant support group and about the legality of brothels in Nevada and felt that the support of prostitution by established groups and organizations was important in the development of human trafficking.

5)      http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/news/2009/12/23/congress-passes-measure-to-increase-funding-to-fight-trafficking/

Not For Sale Campaign is a global campaign to prevent and prosecute human trafficking and slavery. This website posts articles about new developments and real-life stories about survivors of human trafficking.

Summary:

I thought it relevant to include the origin of slavery as the initial date in my timeline. The Emancipation Proclamation and the end to slavery in the 13th amendment created the foundation of human justice in the United States.  The fact is however, that slavery still existed after these two important changes and it still exists in the United States today. The reason for this is ignited by the reoccurring desperate economic times and the truth that slavery and sex have always produced quick, easy money. The immigration of women and children into the United States for sex trade purposes was outlawed in The Page Act of 1875. As well, The Mann Act or White-Slave Traffic Act outlawed prostitution in the United States in 1910. Despite these actions and changes, human trafficking still exists in the United States today. Some states, like Nevada, profit from the sex industry and in 1971, licensed brothels became legal in rural counties in Nevada. Today, the Obama administration is working to promote awareness, increase investigation and increase funding for trafficked victims.

Advertisements