State Dept. Trafficking Report Shows Bad Shift: Janice Shaw Crouse

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Janice Shaw Crouse, a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, is not happy with the latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, issued by the State Department.

Crouse takes exception with the State Department’s decision to lump sex trafficking and labor trafficking together. She writes that this change is significant because it “conflates the two types of trafficking, and the phrase is used by those who see prostitution as ‘sex work.’ Instead of focusing on commercial sexual exploitation, the term links the two forms of human trafficking as ‘forms of employment’, requiring proof by the employer that force, fraud, or coercion was not used in the ‘hiring.’”
Crouse says the 10th anniversary edition of the TIP report “signals a shift of focus” by the current administration on the problem of human trafficking. For starters, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton writes in her introductory remarks that the U.S. is more interested in being a “partner” rather than a leader in confronting the “global scourge.”
The report also references the U.N.-generated Palermo Protocol (2000), instead of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act that Congress approved in the same year. This represents a “shift away from U.S. law to an international United Nations ‘law.’”
Finally, the report seems to downplay the importance of requiring the TIP office “to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts across the Federal agencies, thus ensuring compliance with the legislation’s provisions, including a new model law for states that would make all acts of pandering and pimping per se crimes regardless of whether or not there is proof of fraud, force, or coercion and whether or not the victim is a minor.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
The Administration Picks Weak Path to Fight Sex Trade (by Janice Shaw Crouse, Weekly Standard)


Ron Soodalter 14 years ago
Ms. Crouse apparently has a short memory. The fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery during the Bush Administration focused overwhelmingly on the issue of sexual coercion, often leaving victims of forced labor out in the cold. Further, necessary services for survivors of slavery (beds, physical and mental health care, counseling, jobs, etc.) were practically non-existent, the number of trafficking cases actually prosecuted by the federal government was embarrassingly low, and the allocation of funds to NGO victim advocates and service providers was controlled by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - who demolished the line between church and state by refusing to fund abortions for victims who had been raped and made pregnant by their traffickers, or to fund any group that taught or provided contraception. At least we now have an administration that is paying the necessary attention to the problem. And, for the first time, the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report that so troubles Ms. Crouse includes a critical analysis of the United States' own performance in the fight against trafficking. Much remains to be done, but from all appearances, positive change is underway. Ron Soodalter co-author, The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today (UC Press, 2009)

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