The State Department has released the 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report, an inaccurate but entertaining document obviously designed to reward the friends and punish the enemies of the moment. The 89 selected nations indicate how little the report has to do with the buying and selling of women and girls.
Amusing facts stand out. For example, The Netherlands and Germany - a recorded leader in the development of all forms of sexual tourism to Asian nations - have recently legalized prostitution. Both have been steadfast allies of the United States and of those determined to legalize prostitution, and thus trafficking, worldwide. Both are applauded for their efforts to 'combat trafficking', as coyly put, an official wink which prompted Concerned Women For America, the largest US women's group, to conclude that the Report was in fact a 'tacit approval for prostitution'. It is. It signals that the pro-prostitution pro-legalization policies of the Clinton administration will continue.
Dulles NOW activists remember the days when known international traffickers of women connected to international crime were effusively greeted at the White House. We recalled how the ghastly Madeleine Albright used America's power to create trafficking networks in the Balkans. We did not forget how she tirelessly worked to dismantle anti-prostitution laws in China, a country where traffickers of women and girls are regularly executed, hilariously placed in Tier 2.
It is equally opportune to note that trafficking in women thrives nearly unchecked in our nation, in spite of the great efforts made by conservatives and religious groups. Women are sold in respectable publications. Prostitution is prevalent and on the rise, particularly among adolescents, but seldom discussed in the media. It is legal in Nevada. Courts regularly side with child-sex pornographers and are turning public libraries into legal Internet-based pornographic and trafficking centers. Existing laws are rarely enforced. This national reality qualifies the United States as a Tier 3 candidate in the eyes of many, casting doubts on its self-appointed role.
Trafficking is an abhorrent part and parcel of globalization, a violent and dehumanizing economic ideology willfully promoted by our very own political system. It mostly rests with international crime syndicates far more powerful than many of the hapless governments the Report lists. In that regard, TIP 2002 is a shameful farce which will bring false hopes to the politically naïve. In displaying an evil indifference to millions of trafficked women and girls it insults all women and makes clear that the anti-trafficking international leadership will not come, regretfully, from Washington.