Spanish raids free slave labor
July 5th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Unraveling the web of Spain's sweatshops

In a series this week, CNN shows the struggle against human trafficking through the eyes of the investigators at Mossos d'Esquadra, the police agency for the Catalonia region of Spain.

They wear football jerseys, T-shirts, jeans and sneakers. They look like ordinary customers having a beer at the corner pub but that ability to blend in is also key to their role in the fight against human trafficking.

They are the men and women of an elite human trafficking unit in Spain's Catalonia region and they have to get key players in criminal gangs to trust them.

The region is a hot spot for traffickers. Barcelona - its biggest city and one of Europe's marquee tourist destinations - provides a cloak for traffickers who bring victims in on tourist visas.

Large-scale criminal organizations from Eastern Europe, Africa and China are setting up shop - bringing people into Spain under the guise of giving them jobs, then keeping their passports and forcing them to work in nightmarish conditions, either in prostitution or labor exploitation. (Read more about Spain's hot spot for human trafficking)

It has kept the Mossos d'Esquadra undercover unit, which is formally called the Central Unit Against Trafficking of Human Beings, very busy.

Sub-Inspector Xavier Cortes helped form the unit in 2007, and he says taking on the massive criminal organizations is a complex mission.

"Research techniques are different than a regular criminal investigation, such as the solving of a robbery," says Cortes, the ranking officer in the unit who doesn't work undercover and is comfortable with CNN revealing his identity.

"To investigate criminal organizations, what one cannot do is solve the crime. You have to locate and dismantle the organization... You get to know who the members are, how they live, how they interact, and how the organization is organized. Where the money comes from and where it goes - all this from many, many hours of analysis and operative work."

Another challenge, Cortes says, is infiltrating the groups to learn more about them.

"Considering in the vast majority of cases, the criminal organizations doing the trafficking of people that operate in Catalonia are organizations from foreign countries, it is almost impossible to get agents to infiltrate them."

That's where the use of informants comes in handy. The unit's biggest bust - a Chinese forced labor case involving 80 alleged sweatshops - came from two men who were fed up with their working environment and decided to come forward. One had been stabbed in the hand as he tried to collect evidence.

What started with a complaint by two men ended in a case so vast, it took three years to unravel the massive, tangled web of exploitation, and is only now going before the Spanish courts.

"We went to the location of the shops they told us that there were assets, confirmed the existence of these workshops and from here we began an entire series of steps that would lead us to see if, as stated, there were links between all these workshops," Cortes explains.

The process was complicated. Eighty workshops, all allegedly tied to each other in some way.

The human trafficking unit needed to find out who was managing which workshop, and what was really going on inside. They began surveillance, first taping outside the workshops.

"So that we could see what was the pace of activity - how many hours workers were inside or if they could leave or not leave the workshops," Cortes said.

Undercover agents were sent inside posing as clients looking for cheap labor. They say they found some workers wearing next to nothing while they sewed clothes - the conditions inside the factories unbearably hot.

After several months of evidence-gathering, a judge was satisfied the unit had enough to move in and free the victims.

In Mossos d'Esquadra's biggest-ever simultaneous raid, 900 officers moved on the 80 workshops.

The conditions they found were shocking. Mattresses leaned against walls, ready for the few hours workers were allowed to sleep before returning to work. Some beds were hidden behind bookcases. In the worst cases, the workers ate, slept, worked, and sometimes used the bathroom - all in the same room.

Cortes said the operation freed 450 victims.

"One of the most important things we could get was that out of the 450 people freed as local workers, about 40 percent of them told us, by declaration, they were subject to the payment of a debt and that debt had a condition that forced them to work in these workshops," he said.

Yet freeing the victims wasn't the end to this case.

Cortes and his team then had to prove how all of the workshops were linked - who was paying the bills, who was directly responsible for violating the human rights of the workers. And who was at the top of the whole organization.

Cortes explained the complicated process. "We could see that the head of this workshop was at the time the owner of the van utilized by four workshops to carry their clothes. But at the same time, the policyholder of that vehicle was responsible for this other workshop, and in the same way that workshop was responsible for paying the water of three workshops over in another area of the town."

After three years of research and evidence-gathering, 150 people were arrested in all. The case is now in the trial phase, and everyone accused has pleaded not guilty.

As vast as the Chinese forced labor operation was, there are even more egregious cases for the human trafficking unit.

Prostitution is the Catalonia region's biggest problem, and it's led to some of the unit's most depressing cases.

Cortes says he has seen women seven months pregnant, forced to stand and prostitute themselves for 10 to 12 hours on the side of the road with no access to sanitation.

The worse case Cortes has ever seen involved a girl found near death on the street. Investigators learned she'd been held in a room for two years, and had contracted hepatitis from constant, unprotected sex.

Her discovery led to the bust of an Albanian prostitution ring but it's the victims that drive Cortes and his undercover team.

They work all hours, sacrifice their home lives, and doggedly pursue evidence in long-running investigations.

It's a dedication that bonds the men and women together as they handle some of the toughest cases in organized crime.

With the traffickers quick to change their methods after each bust, the undercover officers have many more cases ahead of them, blending in, winning trust and securing convictions.


soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    "Dear GOD."

    July 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    • Boheme

      God is also involved in trafficking counteroffensive and already established a Paypal account to finance the operations.. After all, he has to feed his angel army and provide them with occasional vetted prostitutes to satisfy their heavenly urges. Those willing to fork over some funds (In-God-we-Trust approved tender only, please) can pay at: god@heaven.org

      July 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
      • Barry

        Ecclesiastes 5:2

        Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

        July 7, 2011 at 10:58 am |
      • Boheme

        Barry: Has the God established HQ in stratosphere or in ionosphere? Does he use wireless connection to communicate with his/her minions on Earth? Finally, what system of propulsion do his angels use? Valid scientific explanation would help, otherwise you should wake up from your drunken religious stupor.

        July 7, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • grim reaper

        At least they have a job!!! There are alot of people without jobs. Killing and robbing

        July 7, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • Ryan in Michigan

        @Boheme – Asking for positive proof when you can't even provide your own for your beliefs? Pretty sad, not to mention hypocritcal.

        July 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • Willie

        @Ryan , when you'll understand why you dismiss other gods then you'll understand why I dismiss your god.

        July 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
      • arthurrrr

        so you think by mocking God and His angels , this will place you in a better position in hell?

        July 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • Zach

        How about donating your money to an actual cause that will do something other than pray for the problem and order a bunch of altar boys to be shipped to the back rooms for "forgiveness"

        July 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
      • Vika

        Barry, I agree with you. Ecc. is a great book!! & only if people would read it. Anyone thats proclaims anathema against God is an antiChrist. anyone who curses the Holy Spirit will NEVER be forgiven. since God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is One, I would be terrified to announce anything against them. But hey, Christ died for even these fools.

        July 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
      • david

        god need a home it should be in your heart

        July 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
      • Vika

        he does have a home in my heart . its sad that he doesnt in yours.

        July 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
      • Mike

        Just curious, but do use just any topic what-so-ever to inspire your anti God rants? Talk about non sequitors.

        July 8, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Dan

      What manufacturer were they producing clothes for? There should be accountability for the brands that employ slave labor.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        I wondered the same thing. What is with these journalists? I feel like every time I read an article on CNN I'm left with unanswered questions that seem pretty crucial to the story.

        July 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      The Third Commandment : "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." (Exodus chapter 20)

      July 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
      • Me

        Lord is a title, not a name.

        July 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
      • Alex

        Actually your whole quote is a big misinterpretation. It is a ban of breaking an oath and has nothing to do with talking about God in a disrespectful way.

        July 8, 2011 at 5:57 am |
      • StevePi

        Oh lard, its the god squad. Take anything you want. But please don't molest anyone.

        July 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Bingo

      "Dear God" is right...Dear God why do I have to see comments from your crazy bible pushers. Religion is old news..lets move on to much more sophisticated methods of running the new world. Jesus was here 2000 yrs ago...what has God done since?? (even if he did that). People were easily entertained back then. You put today's magician in front of that crowd and they will be preaching in his name. If I were to take any scrap of technology we have now and bring it back to that era, well they would be saying "Jesus who???". They would see me as a God. People are gullible.

      This world is made up of energy, and that energy is what is powerful. When you praise god and feel his presence you are not feeling him, you are feeling positive energy. You become happy and inspired and that creates a positive feeling that will make anyone feel enlightened. The teachings of the bible have a place in this world. Not one to be brought door to door, but one to be used as a guide along with all the other teaching that show us what a good human we can be. Believe in what you want, as long as you are a good person in the end. But, plastering these psycho postings on an article that has nothing to do with religion only so other can read your writing is not being a good person.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:31 am | Reply
  2. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    I am a national born servant of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.I was raised in a Catholic School from the age of five, to the age of fourteen.That was nine of the best years of my life.My dear mother,whom I credit with the logical decision to keep us safe could not have been more accurate in placing her trust in the finest peaple that i ever had the privaledge to look up to.Tears of joy and sorrow roll from my eyes when I recall participating (with a child's innocent anticipation and hope for the continuation of that safety and joy.)The sorrow comes from having to reallize that there is something else that walks amonge us.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • jbaer

      Troll

      July 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
  3. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    I am a national born servant of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.I was raised in a Catholic School from the age of five, to the age of fourteen.That was nine of the best years of my life.My dear mother,whom I credit with the logical decision to keep us safe, could not have been more accurate in placing her trust in the finest peaple that i ever had the privaledge to look up to.Tears of joy and sorrow roll from my eyes when I recall participating (with a child's innocent anticipation and hope for the continuation of that safety and joy.)The sorrow comes from having to reallize that there is something else that walks amonge us.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Reply
    • Boheme

      Amen. And do not forget that there are little winged green men residing under the Capitol that conspire with Obama to take over the ol' US.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
      • Random

        Realy?!

        July 8, 2011 at 3:24 am |
  4. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    The LIVING GOD is my protecter. And from my LIVING GOD,I Antonio Velasquez Jr.; recieve optical accuity in the form of accurate perception. Indeed,greater is the LIFE FORCE,that is in me than that,which is in the world.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Reply
    • Willie

      Just so you know I wipe my bottom with the free bible that is provided in some hotels whenever I stay in one. Just to spite retards like yourself.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • Boheme

        They print these stinky propaganda pieces on substandard paper, I hope they at least make good substitute for toilet paper. Too bad they are not small enough, it would be a pleasure to flush one down a toilet for each hotel stay.

        July 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • StevePi

        I prefer to take the good ol' King James - role it up - and use it please obese prostitutes. Usually gets me a free backdoor go ;Q

        July 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  5. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    Let us gather,for the time nears when the moment will be at hand for those with an ear to hear.

    July 5, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  6. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    ...And this HOLY PLACE,the very lot in which WE STAND,shall be preserved.

    July 6, 2011 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • Mike

      AND YOU ARE CRAZY TOO !!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 12:38 am | Reply
  7. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    "I AM'S ONE OF THE MEN."

    July 6, 2011 at 12:05 am | Reply
  8. frank

    dear god i thought this was 21 centuary guess i was wrong

    July 6, 2011 at 2:34 am | Reply
  9. frank martin

    dear god i thought this was the 21 CENTUARY guess i was wrong

    July 6, 2011 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • Willie

      Figures, someone that believes in an invisible voyeur in the sky can't even spell.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  10. frank martin

    dear god

    July 6, 2011 at 2:38 am | Reply
  11. Odessa

    ? Only idiots comment here? Good for the officers! True heroes. Modern noble warriors for justice.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:45 am | Reply
    • Idiot

      Welcome to the group

      July 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  12. ihatecorruption

    justice? ... what's justice..

    July 6, 2011 at 7:52 am | Reply
  13. alvin

    Human Trafficking is a global issue. Thousand of young girls and boys are sold into modern-day slavery. Watch this documentary "Sold" It features Pramila, an 18 year old girl who was trafficked from Nepal to a brothel in Pune ; Afsana, a 16 year old who was trafficked from her village in Bangladesh into forced domestic servitude in Kolkata; and Zakir who was just 11 when he was trafficked by his aunt into a zari factory. Their stories are told alongside those of other people from the trafficking chain including a middleman who preyed on young women in Mumbai before selling them brothels, a zari factory owner who has witnessed trafficking and exploitation and an inspirational trafficking survivors, Sarita who works as a border guard looking out for potential victims and traffickers. Sold provides a compelling look into this dark, inhuman, and exploitative world and shows how each one of us can help to prevent modern-day slavery.

    You may watch this documentary on Culture Unplugged

    July 6, 2011 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • ketchupisfun

      watch what they do in the US.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
  14. GBush3

    In China they pay low wages. But in Europe they use forced slave labour with no pay!! I don't hear the calls for a boycott of European goods. Where are all the hypocrites??

    July 6, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • ketchupisfun

      because white is right. Everything else is wrong. Blame China and make Europe feel better

      July 6, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Dave

      ILLEGAL slave labor, all countries have it unfortunately, from the US to China. So get off your high horse...

      July 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • sandy blount-leisure

        I agree with you 100%, this is a global issue!

        July 7, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Theresadifference

      There's a difference between the two examples you talk about: the low wages in China are legal there, the no wages in Europe are illegal there. Do you really think there aren't places in China operating illegally and also providing no wages for their "workers" (better call them slaves)? The boycott should be to all providing unethical work conditions, this includes the low wage places in China, as well as the no wage places throughout the world!

      July 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Carlos Pietri Acevedo

      Like your comment

      July 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  15. Tom

    How many laborOrs dide the freEe again.... CNN needs to stert spell checking this is the second time in two days I find typos...

    July 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • dean IN

      Maybe you and CNN can split the cost since you can't spell either. START. not stert

      July 7, 2011 at 12:13 am | Reply
      • G

        Ooh burn! Hahaha

        July 7, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  16. MAr

    Maybe they should check the Italian garment districts.

    July 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  17. Crashbit

    It seems that the Catalan police finally cease to be the local police of Catalonia, to become the national police of Catalonia.

    July 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  18. kent

    ex victims of any type of manner, I am with you, in that as much as you try to explain to anyone the hardship you've been through it will never be enough, and whoever is listening, will never be able to understand you in full. it is up to us to make the best in life. let us move on forward let us leave behind all our pass, let's expect for the best ahead of us.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  19. henry

    This is the job of china.exporting labor.destroying the economy of europe.look every where made in china.many european country is in trouble now,observed.

    July 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • don

      really, not only blame china, see what the international company doing, they pay the lowest salary and get profit, also it explains why american customers can enjoy such low price of commodities. america is the benefited.

      July 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Reply
      • dean IN

        Nike is a brand that has been identified as exploiting cheap labor in asia manfacturing factories. Makes for huge profits at the expense of poor people without a voice.

        July 7, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  20. jessicaber

    Pensicoles are Spainiards that moved to Mexico and mated with Mexicans in the beginings of immigration and some how they also wound up in Brazil right, very loosely something like that, right?

    July 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  21. roni

    the love of money is the root of all evil. jesus is coming soon lets get ready.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  22. jessicaber

    Roni: That sounds like stuff I used to think about in college way back in 1999 in AZ. Been there done that.

    July 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  23. Christopher

    Enslaving people should bring life in prison without possibility of parole. Someone capable of this is capable of anything!

    July 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  24. Whatever U Say is BS

    Sorry world, the "evil" USA got rid of slavery after the civil war in the 1800s. Time for the rest of the world to catch up with the best and most advanced country ever created by man, the USA. We really need to seal our borders now, to keep you morons out. Please stop coming...we have enough people here now! And when Germany gets rowdy again, feel free to call on us to save your asses.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • GnatB

      You do realize that there is also illegal slavery in the US of A happening right now? Just because we made it illegal doesn't make it suddenly cease to exist.

      And heck, it's illegal in Spain too. Good on those brave officers for freeing those poor victims.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | Reply
  25. Morgan

    It is terrible that we still have this issue so prevalent in society, today. Somewhere I read that human slavery may still be the biggest problem facing society, today.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  26. 70s_kid

    Stop looking for reasons to separate us. We must all agree slavery is terrible and horrific. reading and viewing the viedo posted above allows us to understand this mentality still exists in present day which is deplorable and sad.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  27. Heidi

    More time needs to be spent closing down all the U.S sweatshops, minimum wage work facilities that keep so many in poverty.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Reply
  28. sandy blount-leisure

    I hope and pray for extinction of all slaves all over the world. This is a huge problem, especially for children.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | Reply
  29. Free Your Mind

    Black markets thrive when demand far outstrips supply. That's why Al Capone become a hero and drinking booze was an expensive hobby (that could also get you jailed) back in the prohibition era. Then when prohibition was repealed, supply went through the roof and the Mob exited the bootleg liquor market. It wasn't worth it to them anymore because booze was relatively cheap and could be found at the nearest corner store. So they went into different markets where, once again, demand far exceeded supply: drugs and prostitution.

    Prostitution has been around since the beginning of civilization and probably long before that. In some ancient cultures, prostitutes worked in a temple with the gods and their work (soothing and calming men's carnal passions) was considered sacred and beneficial to society. In our society, we shame (post their pictures) and jail prostitutes.

    The irony in all of this is that these "heroes" that are going out, trying to rescue these girls and break up these rings is that they are enforcing laws that are creating the crime in the first place. Because of a "prohibition" on selling a particular unit of value (your sexuality - with consent), a huge black market exists, worldwide to meet the demand. Why there should be such a demand is a separate issue, but there is, has and probably always will be huge demand for this kind of sex. Criminalizing this kind of free trade only creates the gangs and problems this story outlines. They have to go to the extremes of kidnapping, raping and tricking women, then holding them hostage, all in an effort to meet demand and profit. If prostitution were legal everywhere (and not stigmatized as something immoral), then supply would go way up and there would be almost no incentive for this kind of activity because the profit potential just wouldn't be there...too many women would be choosing this profession and working independently of a pimp.

    But in our religious, backward-thinking society, we'll keep praising these "heroes" for supporting a system that creates the problem it simultaneously condemns.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
  30. Spiceyone

    It amazes me what kind of man would patronize something this wicked. Anyone found with one of these girls or women are the ones that should be locked up for life!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
  31. Barry

    Lock these human traffickers up and subject them to the same harsh, cruel and inhumane conditions to which they subjected their victims.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
  32. Barry

    Hey Boheme:

    Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

    Ecclesiastes 5:2

    July 7, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
  33. mike2

    Dear poor ignorant liberals:

    On Monday you cry about how illegal immigrants should be able to come here illegally "to work". On Thursday you cry about how human trafficking is sooo horrible. You can't have it both ways, you idiots! Illegal immigration BREEDS human trafficking!!! Gawd, no wonder conservatives think you're such morons!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  34. GypsyKing

    Reading about this organized crime has given me some great ideas for setting up my own network to get more people over here to the USA to work. Thanks!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
  35. ohthehumanity!

    I believe someone said 'do not be quick with your mouth'.....wouldn't it be the keyboard?? I'm confused, can't we all just get along, cripes!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
  36. vie

    its showed in movie " biutiful" played by Javier Bardem..u guys have to watch this movie..then no shock reading this news...china people go everywhere risking their life n live illegally too..i hate this sometimes..and their prostitute come to jakarta every weekend, but one i hate is 2-3 years ago they did demo and protest in Jakarta " stop buying kidney from China" whats matter selling n buying Kidney? feel like i want do protest to them..stop being bitches in our country, dont take markets of local prostitute🙂

    July 7, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
  37. Mike

    Walmart will have to look now for another low cost supplier.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Ryan in Michigan

      Yeah, I know. We can expect prices to rise at all the big stores, like Walmart, Kmart, Meijer, Target, and even the mom and pop shops in my area (they sell mostly Chinese junk mixed with about 5% authentic, local crafts).

      July 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • ___

      Don't blame Walmart. You the People are what made Walmart the most powerful organization on Earth. You vote with your dollars. Don't like the way Walmart opeates? Don't shop there.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  38. OneWhoHasSeenTooMuch

    You know, there's a MORAL to this story. These sorts of issues DON'T HAPPEN to individuals who DON'T cross borders ILLEGALLY. If you're in a country LEGALLY, taking your passport DOESN'T MATTER, because you just walk down to the proper government department and request a new one.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • ___

      Someone in the country illegally could do that too...but it's difficult when you are kept in a room, beaten, raped and under armed guard 24/7 while you service dozens of men.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Elle

      Unfortunately, untrue. This happens even to people in their own countries. There are American born people forced into slave labor and slave prostitution as well as people in other countries, born in those countries who who entered another country legally only to be forced into slave labor. Too bad things aren't so simple as you think they are.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  39. Defender

    I am always amazed when I read these comments. Some people hide behind, "well, it is everywhere." when talking about labor trafficking. Is that supposed to be some kind of excuse or I guess we should just say, Oh well, it is everywhere, in every nation. Or how lucky they are to be "working." I mean what? the average labor and sex trafficking victim have about a 3 to 7 years on the outside shelf life before they are dead. Woohoo, lucky them. Should your friends and family be so lucky, right? Just because some idiotic practice of enslaving and victimizing happens in every civilized nation, does not make it right.

    What are you going to Do about it?

    And then there are those with this whole "legalize prostitution angle." So, you are saying that legalizing prostitution would clear up all of the sex trafficking victims who in many places have an average age of 14, and children as young as 4 have been rescued. Interesting, you should check out the legal brothels in Greece. You will find many of these captive girls in their legal operations. Many of them are rescued on a constant basis by the less corrupt police there.

    And then, I get people with, well it is their culture. As if a society's sacred culture is the excuse to everything. You know, we once had a society that sacrificed children by putting the babies in the arms of bronze idols that had huge fires stoked inside and underneath them. The babes would sizzle for a second and they would press a lever to dump them in the flames. Obviously there are limits to cultural excuses. All I ask is if you back up that little line you just drew in your head from child murder, to child rape.

    When you fight this and see the statistics become reality and you are just overwhelmed by the lack of resources and the horror of what is really happening, you just might sing another tune. Evil people have been able to justify most every wrong they have done in history. Men have a natural mandate to be protectors. I invite you to be protectors again.

    The Defender Foundation fights Human Trafficking both in the U.S. and abroad. It distinguishes itself by being one of the only anti-human trafficking organizations to train and field Teams to get the victims. (Shield Teams- mostly ex-military and ex-law enforcement) By doing this, they are not the most popular organization fighting Human Trafficking out there. It is easy to get behind a charity that has bake sales and walks for shelters, but people that get their hands dirty by confronting Russian mafia and other organized crime syndicates, not so much.

    At this time, no one is paid in The Defender Foundation. Every last person is a Volunteer.

    http://www.thedefenderfoundation.org

    We seriously don't care if you do something about Human Trafficking on your own, do it with a government organization or another group, just Do something.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Free Your Mind

      Your arguments are simple-minded. Yes, some legal brothels (e.g. Greece) might "purchase" these trafficked girls, but that only strengthens my original argument. Organized gangs have plenty of supply because they control it because supply is "illegal" in most places, so a black market takes its place. If prostitution were legal everywhere, these gangs would not control supply and legal brothels would not have the option of buying supply from them. Also, where prostitution is fully legal and protected, most prostitutes work independently through the internet, not in a brothel with a pimp or madam running their lives.

      Open your mind...and THINK

      July 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • Elle

        I found the above post a lot more thoughtful than yours. I think it is simplistic to think that if we legalize prostitution this problem of trafficking will go away. It won't. It will still exist. I'm not saying I'm opposed to someone who chooses, with sound mind, to be a legal prostitute. Fine, not my business, but there is so much corruption around this issue and that isn't going to vanish. The people who make their living off these sex slaves are going to continue to make their living doing things illegal, I'm sure. I wish more men who hire prostitutes would consider whether the person they are hiring is actually forced to do this or not. I don't know if there is a good solution but I don't think legalizing it can be the only thing done. That alone would not work to end this.

        July 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Free Your Mind

        Think with more analysis and you will understand that I wasn't suggesting that legalizing prostitution will make the world a crime-free utopia. I was describing how making prostitution ILLEGAL only exasperates the trafficking problems, concentrating supply into the hands of dangerous gangs which makes them wealthy, powerful and influential (because the street-level scumbags always answer to someone higher up the chain with social connections you'd be ashamed to even contemplate). You really have no idea what you are talking about. They who control supply control the game...similarly why do you think monopolies are legally targeted and prosecuted in legitimate business?

        There are many people in some parts of the world who would cut your throat for a cigarette. There is no problem in finding people at all levels willing to take risks with the possibility of making a lot of fast money. Even with these falsely-touted "successes" these kinds of prosecutions (and possible convictions) only account for a minuscule fraction of black market activity. There are dozens of new guys lined up to take the place of every foot soldier who's imprisoned.

        Society will never prosecute this problem away. Sometimes, society is forced to choose "the lesser of two evils," so honestly ask yourself whether or not criminalizing prostitution ultimately helps or hurts each particular party (i.e. women v. gangs who control supply).

        THINK

        July 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
      • Defender

        Truthfully I am not sure if you are trying to play the Devil's Advocate part or the Devil part.

        Let us cut through all of your justifications for legalizing prostitution for a second and focus on right here, right now. The Porn industry has legal sex for money for actors on screen, right now. Fact is, we know amateur porn and other aspects are now involving trafficking victims. Child pornography is a huge problem. In fact, if the child is victimized, (raped) then killed on screen (snuff films) these copies go for hundreds of dollars more than straight child porn. So, we have an industry in the sex industry that is legal and yet illegal parts of it are flourishing....why.
        Simply put, there is a demand for it. And this demand is fueled primarily by men. Men, who through whatever disassociation or justification, want more than what is legal.
        And since we are also dealing in the now. Now, there are women, and girls, even girls who are toddlers captive. Even you, as an advocate for legalizing prostitution, are you pro-child prostitution or child rape?
        Now, I am not holier than though. I myself have done things I am horribly ashamed of. Things that when I stopped any justification, and accepted full responsibility for my actions, I could see how wrong I was. I talk about this openly in the hopes that if I wake up even one man, and stop even one person from victimizing someone, it will be worth it.
        We have seen the younger the victim, the more profit they generate. The reason why brothels, all over the planet are dipping into trafficking victims is simple, profit margins. They own them, no retirement, benefits, cuts of the profit, etc. If you own five girls, you could be an off the books millionaire.
        You asked me to open my mind, which reminds me about that little maxim that says minds are like parachutes, they work best when open. As someone with some experience in that area, I will tell you a parachute doesn't work worth a damn when it has a gigantic load of crap in it.
        And I have been accused of simplistic arguments. True, but I stand by them. Child rape is wrong. Holding women and children against their will is wrong.
        And no matter your vision for some future legalized prostitution utopia, as it stands right now, by participating in the sex industry, you are supporting both directly and indirectly the victimization of children and their rape. My Teams look at it rather simplistically, we will not be a part of that. If their is a victim we can rescue, we will do it. We will not live our lives as normal while their are captives being victimized by this. The men in our Teams accept that their is no justification for child rape.
        While you free your mind, we will work on freeing the captives.

        July 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
      • Free Your Mind

        The fact that you made an ad hominem attack to portray me as a "devil" betrays your own religious biases. Why can't you just come out and say you object to porn and prostitution on religious grounds instead of doing the predictable thing in making specious arguments to link legal porn with child trafficking (I guess you've never been to San Fernando Valley's porn industry, which makes most legal porn and has young women pounding their doors to cash in). Now you're suggesting that anyone who enjoys legal porn or advocates decriminalizing prostitution is a child rapist in disguise. That's a great way to keep a mature and honest dialogue going isn't it? Or a cynical way to vilify anyone who advocates a different solution from you and turn it into a partisan issue that's a straw man argument right from the start. People who enjoy legal porn and people who patronize prostitutes are overwhelmingly against child porn, child rape, human trafficking or anything of the sort. The demand for these things is proportionally very, very, very small. For the record, kids who are raped and filmed are victimized by their own relatives in most cases. There is simply not enough demand for child porn or child prostitutes to encourage the Mafia to produce, traffic and distribute such "commodities". Even most criminals draw the line with abusing children. If you don't believe that, go to any prison and ask the inmates...and find out what type of offenders are segregated from the rest of the population for their own safety.

        The child porn floating around and child prostitution is mostly between perverts who find each other through the internet and are abusing their own kids. In places like South-East Asia, whole families are involved with sex tourism of their own kids, but that's not what I was talking about at all. By raising this boogey-man and trying to equate my arguments with child porn, child rape and child trafficking, you can attempt to effectively shut down the whole discussion. Truly, you don't want a real debate of the issues. You have religious convictions driving your activities. Good for you. But the rest of us can think and debate on logical grounds.

        I will reiterate my point again for the benefit of any readers who are not completely ignorant, biased or closed-minded.

        Why can't the Mafia make millions of dollars from the sale of illegally manufactured alcohol as they did in the past? Because the sale and consumption of alcohol is now legal. Supply is cheap, plentiful and easy to find. There is no more incentive for criminal scumbags to control and profit from a supply of alcohol simply because they can't control it...for one reason and one reason only: it's legal, so the legal market can meet the demand (which was always there).

        If there is a strong demand for something...ANYTHING...and the legal markets can't meet that demand for any reason, then black markets will emerge. This is most common for things which are not legal to trade on the open market.

        If you legalize prostitution, supply will meet demand using normal, easily tracked mechanisms. Things will equalize. Taxes can be harvested from both parties to the trade (and that tax revenue will be significant). Sex workers can be much better protected in terms of both safety and health; and most importantly, it will not be possible for criminal gangs to profit from sex trafficking anymore for the simple reason that they will no longer have a market to sell their "supply" to. Women will work independently and be regulated and licensed. Just as already, some services like RS2000 will verify the identity of a john, and keep track of their "conduct" to inform and protect the escorts who only take appointments this way; in the future there could be other services to verify that a particular sex worker is entirely free and independent of any coercive "third party," which will empower both the sex workers and their customers who wouldn't want to support a sex worker not working of their own free will.

        There are intelligent ways to deal with this issue. Criminalizing it, although politically and "morally" expedient, ultimately hurts women and helps criminal gangs make huge profits from their virtual monopoly of supply. Even if you think prostitution is morally repulsive, legalizing and regulating it will ultimately dismantle a very dangerous and violent black market which primarily harms women. If you think you can prosecute and imprison this problem away, then you are a hopeless fool. Even if you made all of the existing players disappear, they would eventually be replaced by new ones in order to fill the demand vacuum.

        Given the two choices, any rationally-thinking person is led to only one logical conclusion: legalize it!

        July 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
      • Defender

        I used the term devil's advocate in its proper context. As in someone arguing an opposing point just for the sake of argument or maybe not as a true believer in their stated position but to advance discourse and thought processes. If that is not your position, I did that little clever play on words there. Had nothing to do with my personal faith. And on that note, just because a person has a spiritual belief, does not render his point baseless, as you would seem to suggest.

        You see, I am not an export on the porn industry in San Fernando Valley. Are you?

        But I am very familiar with the porn industry run out of Miami and controlled to the nth degree by Russian Organized Crime.
        You say all of these great consenting adults and participants and porn employees are against child porn and victimization? Great, show me their organization fighting it. Talk is cheap my friend.

        And now, even saying that your solution of legalizing prostitution made it safe for the girls and then they only had willing participants. As 80% of human trafficking victims are women, and around 70% are used in the sex industry and out of those 70%, their average age is 14...and falling. How would this legalization affect them?

        As the case by their average age, the problem is more than a few closet pervs on the internet somewhere. We have people smuggling 12 year olds over the border from mexico to be sold here in the States.

        At what point do you say enough, okay, something should be done about that?

        There are simply some things that you cannot legalize to make go away. Child rape is one of them. Now, you keep talking about legalizing prostitution to make this go away. Do you advocate child prostitution to make it go away.

        Where are you drawing your line?

        And if your line is somewhere behind not condoning child rape and captivity...
        What are you going to Do about it?

        July 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
      • Free Your Mind

        I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm going to guess that you are a former prostitute who has now found Jesus Christ. Am I right? There's no shame in that, but lay your cards on the table. I think you are more motivated by a need to inflict punishment on the people who may have harmed and took advantage of you than you are in doing what's best to protect women as a whole.

        You are confusing two entirely separate issues and trying to fuse them together to support your arguments. I already said that most people who enjoy legal porn or who might engage in legal or illegal prostitution are against child porn, child rape or child trafficking. If they want to do something more proactive to stop any of that, great. No arguments here. No one on this board has advocated or defended anything even remotely related to child abuse of any kind.

        I didn't even intend to focus on legal porn, because it's legal and the vast majority of women engaged in it are not trafficked slaves, but eager young women cashing in on your youth and sexual talents.

        I came to argue that at worst, legalizing prostitution (not of children, of legal-aged, consenting adults) is the lesser of two evils, even if prostitution disgusts you when you consider that keeping it illegal only concentrates supply into the hands of the Mafia and inflames the very problems you are trying to fight against. In short, criminalizing prostitution harms women MUCH MORE than legalizing it. In fact, legalizing it would be helpful to women in the ways I've already outline and will not reiterate here.

        And from a religious standpoint, assuming you are Christian, it would be helpful to note that in the Bible, it was the religious people who criminalized prostitution and wanted to stone Mary Magdeline to death for prostituting herself with a married man. Jesus saved her life by uttering the words that you and all other religious people should say as they look into the mirror, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

        July 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
      • Defender

        Hmmm,

        You have some interesting hypothesis.

        I think you have it backwards though. I am not a former victim or a former prostitute.

        I am someone who's legal internet porn addiction, led to breaking down barrier after barrier till it led to the destruction of my marriage and my family. So yes, in that respect, I have personal ties.

        I suggest you read the several non-religious studies out there (John Hopkins, etc.) that show how porn escalates and breaks down barriers to get the same affect, just like a drug. How some men even become essentially impotent to physical sexual relationships because they can't get the same extreme visual stimuli.

        Now, as I have worked extensively to stop Human trafficking and work with many different agencies and know of the many criminal ties to the porn industry, yes, I do believe that by supporting one, you support the other.

        It took like 10 seconds of research on your example of the San Fernando Valley Porn Industry as a sterling example of girls beating down the door, to find the three major syndicate families behind the establishing of it. And the subsequent arrest over the years of different major crime figures involved.

        And yes, you actually are correct about a few things, I am a Christian. I also know that Christ loves each and every one of those girls, and we have helped establish programs also for the broken wreck of prostitutes we find that need help and want out, not just the trafficking victims. No matter what any of them have had happen to them, they are respected and valued highly.

        I myself have zero victim interaction. I have female staff members and counselors for that. We also involve Federal Victim Services agencies when appropriate. In the case of trafficking victims, law enforcement and when appropriate, DCF is notified as soon as we take the call or confirmed the victim. The security teams I train are there to protect the all female contact team and the victim, but even the security team has no direct victim interaction. We are their to protect the victim, at all cost.

        I am a sinner, so I cannot cast stones. I have known shame to my very bones and carry that with me every day. But I publicly talk about it and when I speak in public, I reveal all of my past sins, with no hiding of anything, because if my public shame can make even one man hold himself accountable for his actions, and be a man again, and maybe even prevent some future victimization,...it will have been worth it.

        Saying all of this, I have a lot to do in this fight, and I believe I have spent enough time on this discourse. We are on opposite sides of the fence it appears. And iIwill leave it at that.

        As for who I am? I have been threatened by different groups of organized crime and motorcycle gangs. I have faced off with dragons and seek to rescue those in need. I am former military, roughly the size of a small mountain, have served my country and done many things. I have traveled to far places, I once lost my honor and seek never to do so again. My greatest loves are my greatest losses. My God is my strength, His son my Redeemer. And I would rather die than quit.

        That is who I am.

        July 7, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
      • Free Your Mind

        It's unfortunate that your psychological issues led to using porn as a drug, driven to more extremes, which had such destructive impacts on your personal life. Whatever you may think, I am not mocking you for that. I'm guessing that there were other issues in your marriage besides porn which contributed also.

        It's a common, but unfortunate mistake that people whose lives have spiralled out of control seem to think that their sources of misery (as they identify them) have universal effects on life outcomes. I completely disagree with your assertion that watching mild porn escalates into a desire for harder and more violent or taboo subject matter. For some people that's true, just as for some people marijuana use leads to harder drugs, but statistically that's not the case. Most people who use illicit drugs on a regular basis are casual and harmless pot smokers, not rabid heroin addicts or meth heads who are breaking into people's homes to support their habit.

        On that note, I seem to notice your shift of focus toward (legal) porn. Probably because you believe it to be the cause of your own downfall. I think most people who indulge in watching porn do so as a vehicle to relieve some sexual tension and nothing more. Maybe some of those people are married...and were it not for porn, they would seek other outlets (like the next door neighbor's wife, perhaps...or the housemaid). Porn is still a fairly lucrative business, so it doesn't surprise me that organized crime might have their hand in SOME of it. Because of the religious vilification of porn in general, there's still a social stigma attached to porn and so a nice "respectable" girl would feel embarrassed to openly tell people she wanted to perform in a porn movie to help finance her college education. Because there is such a demand for porn, and because there's already a cross-flow of supply between the legal, though barely regulated porn industry and illegal prostitution, it doesn't surprise me that Mafia elements who run prostitution rings will feed some of their better girls to the porn industry (so they can collect her fee). This only strengthens my argument for legalizing prostitution. Take supply out of their hands entirely, just as the end of Prohibition shut down the Mafia's bootleg operations. They have a supply of girls directly because prostitution is illegal.

        As for girls who get into the sex trade in general, some are smart, independent girls who are on top of their game and know exactly what they're doing and other girls are train wrecks. If you are a drug addict because your father raped and beat you and you left home at 16, and became a stripper, then a prostitute, then a porn star, etc. I can see how someone naive would think her lifestyle caused all her problems instead of recognizing that she embraced a certain lifestyle BECAUSE of her problems. Drug addicts need fast, easy money...lots of it...every day. Many, many people in the prison system were doing things to support their drug habits. So, should we say that robbing or burgling someone causes drug addiction and a destroyed life? Or is it the other way around?

        The kind of legalized prostitution I was arguing for does not include the meth-addicted street walkers who have unprotected sex with anyone who has a $10 bill in their hand...I was talking about a highly controlled, regulated and taxed system whose primary focus was in protecting the health and safety of sane, sober, informed, healthy women who wanted to barter their sexuality of their own free will for their own profit. It can be done, it should be done (for the reasons I've already argued) and it WILL be done eventually. Sooner or later.

        As for the legal porn industry...they are in a tail spin already and may not survive as an industry, legal or not, Mafia-influenced or not. There is such a profusion of amateur porn from regular citizens who flood free access YouTube-style porn sites with their videos that it will be harder and harder to convince anyone to pay for something that can be freely and easily accessed. This phenomenon also supports my argument that increasing supply weakens the control of criminal enterprises who make huge profits from a monopoly control of some forbidden commodity. They count on guys like you to help keep things illegal, so they can maintain control of the game.

        Someday, if you can ever realize that most people who indulge in legal porn are not addicts destroying their lives or their marriages/families (though some do, like yourself), and not all prostitutes are trafficked slaves or miserable drug addicts, and that there's nothing intrinsically immoral about exchanging one unit of value for another, so long as both parties are willing, then maybe you will come to realize that legalizing prostitution, while not a perfect solution, is the more compassionate choice in protecting women. Until then, yes, as you say, we will remain on the opposite sides of the fence.

        July 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
      • Harley

        @Freeyourmind

        It seems that you are trying to justify your actions.....

        The only reason I would think for you to say that there's no problem with the porn industry is because you watch it yourself. You have no knowledge other that what you watch but it is all just an act. All your info is based on assumption. You have no argument here just stfu and die.

        July 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Thoughtful observer

      I find it most disgusting that you would type up and add posing as a PSA on a discussion board about this serious of an issue. As one with extensive experience in the Christian culture and mind set, who has had a change of heart, I know how logical the argument sounds that porn is so addictive to everyone, when the more probable cause is you have a high tolerance for more and more exotic sex and your marriage ended because your "lady" wasn't giving you what you ever really wanted, which you only decide that when you were exposed to more and more of what was available. This isn't a slippery slope or a dark abyss drawing us ever closer to eternal damnation, its just about taking an honest journey through our individual needs, wants, and desires. I know that when you get "saved" your supposed to have a immediate awakening and clam and feeling caused by a great wonderful dopamine flood, that's in the brain. The more we judge the more people will want to keep secret, and we will do most anything to protect our secrets. I'm not saying we just slap a pedophile on the back as he/she darts off in pursuit of a little boy/girl, but rather when this person first had this sort of thought or "urge" they were to just blurt it out and chat it out to maybe just realize it was a fleeting thought and there was nothing to it. Then you don't obsess, deciding on more and more details of what the situation would be like, planning it right down to the crack pipe hidden in a bible.... Then you do it and guess what, you so over thought what could have been, that when you get it there is no dopemine flood, because reality falls so short of your expectations. I wish people would be better educated about the basics of how the human body works, instead of 2000 year old books of philosophy.
      Ok so I'll admit I do kind of relish playing devil's advocate, but when you don't believe in a devil, do I just become an advocate? You seem to draw the line at killing children as an absolute that no living person can "defend". Well I'm sorry to say that when any society grows to a certain point, it finds ways to ennoble dying for said society. Families of those who are gone are filled with pride of the sacrifice, and are treated with the honor and respect deserved for them from any society which benefited from their loss. Regardless if the benefit was increased "security" "stability" or "favor" in reality or just the guaranteed psychological benefit of hope and positive thinking. Now I'm sorry must be because smoking marijuana eradicates short-term memory, but am I talking about every American soldier over in Iraq and Afghanistan, or about ancient South American cultures whose views and inputs were not ever pontificated during the writing of the Bible?
      I am so saddened by society today, we are so very arrogant. We claim to be the most advanced society/nation ever to be on earth. By what metric? GDP? HDI? Christian Majority? Past military victories? Love? Acceptance? Free Thought? Oppression? Freedom? Charity? Family? Or possibly could we be distracted by the equivalent of jingling keys to be directed around by those who seem to think that he/she who amasses the most in life, some how changes the fact that in the end we all die, and one life is so insignificant of a fraction of every human life ever lived, which in itself is so insignificant of a fraction of every life, be it single cell organisms, or plant, or fish, or bird, or any animal. It is because of this insignificance of the real value of one life, that it is the definitive characteristic of humanity to protect each and every life. We all have a purpose, supply is equal to demand at all points on that demand curve, we just need to understand that free market principals even apply to this market of purpose.
      Just back off, stop trying to control everyone. Most importantly all of our children. I know that what you know is safe and you only want the best for your children, but don't you want to let your child find what is best for their individualism. Let's see where the human species can go with so many people exploring so many ways to live life.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:12 am | Reply
  40. MannyHM

    The whole world should look at how Sweden deals with prostitution wherein it's illegal to buy sex but not illegal to sell it.
    This makes every woman (or man) a potential undercover agent. I heard that this idea is quite successful in markedly diminishing prostitution.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Free Your Mind

      No, it merely shifts blame and keeps the transaction (transaction=selling AND buying) illegal and illicit. This only drives the transactions further underground. There may be statistics which support the idea that demand has decreased from the EXISTING models/sources of trade (I'm not sure if guys used to pick up girls off the street or whatever). Regardless, you can be sure these same guys are in the market, as are the women and they are always looking and finding new and creative ways to connect with each other and make a trade. It's pure economics from time immemorial and you will NEVER stop it no matter what you try. Even in societies like Iran where a woman can be STONED TO DEATH or Afghanistan where the Taliban-controlled territories will CUT A WOMAN'S HEAD OFF WITH A KNIFE for prostitution does not stop or decrease their activity one bit. Criminalizing this type to trade only hurts the women you are trying to protect. Legalize it, regulate it and support it, encouraging the women to be free agents, not working in a brothel or with a pimp...registered and licensed like many other professions and subject to frequent health tests...and you will see these problems go away.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
      • Elle

        Trafficking issues differ greatly country to country. It isn't just a matter of making things legal or illegal. Sweden has decreased prostitution and trafficking with this law. If you are open minded as you claim you should look at all possible solutions. This is one thing that does help.

        July 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Free Your Mind

        You are incredibly naive if you think Sweden (to appease its own political conservatives) has decreased prostitution, much less trafficking by doing nothing at all in terms of changing the equation that a sex-for-money transaction was, and still is, illegal in Sweden. Clever and politically self-serving legislative weasel-wording to simply shift the blame from prostitute to john does nothing to change the overall criminality of the transaction. All Sweden has succeeded in doing has been to drive the same activity further underground into new channels of distribution. Because activity probably has decreased using the older mechanisms of trade, they can call press conferences, show statistics, win political brownie points and get the conservatives off their backs. But if you really think this has ended prostitution and trafficking in Sweden, or even slowed it down you are the perfect koolaid-drinking political tool they want you to be.

        Stop immediately believing what the "official" information channels of society are telling you and do some of your own investigations if you really care about this issue. But chances are, you really don't care. You just want to feel self-righteous and pat yourself on the back that supporting the popular, "morally right" solution of prosecution and imprisonment is the best solution, which protects women and makes a difference. Guess what? It really doesn't.

        July 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
      • Scandinavian

        It is NOT naive to think that prostitution has decreased in Sweden since the new laws were passed. The same happened in Norway when they passed the laws. Everyone who lives in a major Scandinavian city can testify to that, and the police say the same thing. So laws that makes buying sex illegal (bit not selling it) seems to work beyond expectations in Sweden and Norway.

        July 8, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  41. KinNYC

    It took three years to gather enough evidence to just prosecute. That doesn't guarantee conviction. CNN Please do a follow up story when it goes to trial.

    On another note: do you know where everything you buy is made?

    July 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  42. Justin

    You know what I dont understand? why CNN would post this publicly if they are going undercover... cnn is basically just telling the traffikers what is happening and how to avoid it.. goodjob cnn you love to just give away information that could get ppl killed.. woohoo for you!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  43. donnamarinchekmarn01

    @alanbersin @DHSjournal This is...How...you get to the Core,of the problem.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  44. LesMiserables

    Ahhh, the garment and fashion industry thrive on the backs of trafficked workers. Just like companies being held liable and prosecuted for hiring illegals the fashion industry should be made to be responsible and aware about from whom they purchase their finished garments. They too, whether wittingly or unwittingly, support the global trafficking of those less fortunate human beings.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  45. planet212

    next time you spend the babies food money on some street weed or other durgs..your now part of the problem. Justify it all you want. Your money is dirty and funds these thugs and their agendas.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  46. mike2

    On Monday the crying libs whine about how illegal immigration is such a goood thing, then on Thursday those little crying libs whine about human traficking... stupid libs!!! illegal immigration ENABLES human traficking!!! can't have it both ways dumb@sses

    July 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  47. Irishfae

    I thought Spain was mostly Muslim. Are the terrorists trying to raise money by human trafficking?

    July 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
    • Geraint Williams

      You thought Spain was mainly muslim? FFS, what kind of imbecile are you?

      July 22, 2011 at 8:47 am | Reply
  48. asho

    we have to many model of slavery in world one of them is going my country many parents sell their vary young daugther to old men on account of poverty but our major problem is when the our government ( iranian regime) has been informed never have any reaction at all becouse they believe this trade is legitimate in eslamic regulation. and that helpless girl will be taught how to satisfy their husbend in sexul arousal if she doest do she will be inflamed in hell by God afterlife

    July 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • Free Your Mind

      Thank you for your testimony. You are the perfect reply to Defender's assertion that legal porn and legalized (adult) prostitution somehow causes or supports child porn, child trafficking and child rape. Whereas, your testimony supports my assertion that child prostitution and child rape is mostly perpetrated by family members...and you report that it's also justified on religious grounds! Wow!

      I rest my case.

      July 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  49. NatAZ

    When will we as a society understand that our voracious appetite for "cheap labor" is what enables circumstances such as these. Our landfills are full of crap we purchase at Walmart and other dollar stores because it is cheaper to replace it than fix it. We need to start paying for quality and investing in skilled labor to not only create merchandise but maintain it. I live for the day where I can purchase a pair of boots made here in the states that last the whole season and if and when they need repair I can actually take it to the cobbler.

    July 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  50. Lala

    Just to reminde u america is a piece of shit and it likes making everyone look bad when really its own people hate it

    July 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • just_there

      i like America...

      July 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  51. DiamondSky

    America is the last good guy on earth, though morally deteriorating. Planet Earth anticipates the Divine Judgment upon this evil mankind.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Reply
    • Collateral Damage

      America has caused a lot of death and destruction throughout the world believing just that. Clean up your own damn house before you come to "liberate" the rest of us. We don't need you anyway.

      July 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  52. Informer

    America is not the last good guy on earth and the CNN so called Freedom Project is a joke. Alimony is slavery in the United States of America today. The 13th Amendment clearly states "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Alimony clearly violates this amendment but is allowed for the same reason slavery is allowed in other parts of the world. It is allowed because it generates so much free revenue. If the media and everyone turns a blind eye to this fact, then the blood is on everyones hands. If the blood is on everyone's hands, then the blood is on no one's hands.

    July 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  53. CM

    Who gives these monsters the right to sell other people? People are not property! They have stolen another human being and abused and raped or imprisoned them. This should be considered kidnapping and rape or false imprisonment. Trafficking does not carry enough of a sentence. These traffickers need to get at least a life sentence!

    July 8, 2011 at 10:04 am | Reply
  54. Bre

    grim reaper you're the worst of the kind. How can you possibly say something like that? You're the worst of the kind. You're no different from the bastards who fuel trafficking.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  55. paul burke

    slave labor and human sex slaves is dustructive ultimately to mankind. And it is one of many things mankind is Destroying the planet with and esp the FAMILY.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:06 am | Reply
  56. eric

    Florida man fights debt crisis and offers free unlimited cell phone service.
    *** GetFreeWireless.org ***

    July 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  57. AAA

    Sorry, I'm missed.

    July 20, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply
  58. tom

    you are all right..........in your own mind ! Please don't let it come farther............

    July 22, 2011 at 4:16 am | Reply
  59. lexie

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