Coalition Against Trafficking, Prostitution, National Organization Of Women discussed on en(gender)ed
Welcome to engendered. The show that features stories that explore the systems practices and policies that enable gender based violence and oppression and the solutions to end it. We used gender as a lens to understand power and oppression teach feminism and decolonize hearts and minds one story at a time and gender sponsored by Candu. It spelled K. A. N. D. U. I T. and I'm your host Terry. Un on this episode of the engendered. Podcast our guest is Laura Ramirez the program coordinator at Coalition Against Trafficking in women the First International Non Governmental Organization working to oppose human trafficking prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. She's also an organizer with the firm. A National Organization of women engaged in transnational feminist anti imperialist activism and dedicated to the fight against oppression. In all its forms Laura speaks to us today about the ways in which healthcare policy in particular covert nineteen or the corona virus acutely impacts women human sex trafficking prostitution and pornography. We will explore the ways in which the global demand for prostitution puts women and girls particularly high risk of harm and exacerbates systemic gender disparities. In Income Wealth Mobility and health outcomes. Welcome Laura Hey Terry how are you? I'm okay this is I think we're in what week. Three of the lockdown in New York City. Yes it time is. It doesn't exist anymore so I don't really know but I think that sounds about right thankfully you and I met. Before the lockdown yes thankfully and now we have things to do to keep us busy because you're painting sanity as is a struggle. That's for sure so you work for the Coalition Against Trafficking in women C. A. T. W. And you also are a member of a firm is how you pronounce it. He acts affirm new. I'm part of OUR NEW YORK. Chapter the coalition against have gained women. It's the first international non governmental organization to Actually Combat Prostitution Commercial Sexual Exploitation. And how that looks like for women all over the world and the firm is a feminist organization. We focus on a lot of different issues especially since the experience of women. Worldwide aren't confined to one thing right. Women's oppression manifest differently in different places through different types of oppression whether it's economic systems militarism but one of our issues via our purple rose campaign is the sex trade and it has a lot to do with the experiences of migrant women and the history of women in in the US as a result of US coney was them in US imperialism. So it's just an example of how everything is a feminist issue though it's not just the sex trade is it affirms only issue but it is one of our largest issues for sure in particular within the sex trade sex trafficking in human trafficking. Can you talk about what the differences I think? A good definition or human trafficking is the definition that's outlined under the Palumbo Protocol which is a UN resolution specifically on human trafficking And when it comes to sex trafficking specifically what is important to know in the Palermo protocol definition is that trafficking does not necessarily need to involve movement right so a lot of people watch. I don't watch taken or something. And they think that the way that sex trafficking looks is getting abducted off the street and being thrown into a van. And then you're chained to a radiator But that's not what it looks like especially here in the United States when it comes to domestic trafficking a lot of the Times women are a woman because over ninety percent of women that are involved in human trafficking are involved for the purposes of sexual exploitation but There are other folks in the trade as well. Obviously it's an. It's an industry that preys on vulnerability but a lot of the people inside of the sex trade. Have the liberty to like you know. Go shopping or something. But it's about the economic mental emotional and ends overall control that traffickers pimps have on the individual right. So it's not this chains who irradiators situation. And that's really what we need to demystify. When it comes to trafficking altogether I was at an event. I think it was sometime last summer. And there were people of different genders talking about how they were victims of sex trafficking and both of them actually The two survivors in the group specifically talked about how they were victims within a relationship. So they're pimp. Was there a partner who coerce them to To prostitute at them? So so is. Is that what you mean? By how you don't need movement to be a victim of sex trafficking. Yes so what I mean specifically by. You don't need movement is you don't need to be picked up from point. A. AND MOVED TO POINT B. Right you could be trafficked by the you could be legally traffic in your own home And a lot of people will actually try to argue against this legal definition. It's folks that will probably get into this a little bit later folks who talk about being in the trade willingly but the reason. This definition is important is because it really. It really illustrates how. It's a trade altogether you know. It's not like a person is willingly sex. Traffic's like the examples you just gave when it came to people who were coerced by a significant other. A lot of those have to do with economic control. Ray Or Emotional control you know some sort of like a Stockholm Syndrome situation. You know we work with a survivor here in Queens. Actually who? She was picked out by a loverboy situation. Which is really common at the age of. I think like fourteen because you know she. She was raised by a single mother. She was raised in poverty. She didn't have the economic or emotional support and this pimp came in and filled that void thus creating a dependency relationship. That's you know very easily which is very easily exploited. So yeah it's all too common in. That doesn't necessarily need to involve crossing a border at all and does trafficking also necessarily include some sort of financial transaction so for example if my significant other forced me to have sex with other people under threat of violence or some other threat. But he wasn't getting any money or he wasn't receiving any money with that soapy considered sex trafficking. They're crying of of sex trafficking is the the rape of the individual right so When it when push comes to shove ultimately one cannot consent to their own exploitation nor can they consent to being raped by a stranger right. I think you bring up a really interesting question because it brings up the question of money equaling consent sort of thing so what you described is really interesting because if you take money out of the equation in lot of these circumstances it looks like rape right if you if a person is being forced to be physically penetrated by a stranger that they don't know that they don't want to be involved with everybody would call that rape. So why is it that once we throw twenty dollars on top of it? It's all of a sudden a trade and there's a political conversation attached to it was it autonomy. Wasn't not know if you take those twenty dollars away. It's very clearly a rape situation. And that's what sex trafficking is about. That's what the crime of folks petition is. So I want to get back to what you mentioned earlier. Which is the statistics around global sex trafficking and how sex trafficking victims globally ninety percent of them? Are Women. And Girls so clearly. This is a gendered problem like many others that you and I are dealing with and yet there's a term that neither of us really like name cotton namely quote unquote sex work that is being used to define this problem and so talk about what that term means to you. Yeah so there's two things that you mentioned that I sort of WanNa talk about. The first is how this is a gendered crime rate. This is one hundred percent agenda crime because the sex trade exists as a result of male entitlement male sexual entitlement to female bodies and the other thing is when it comes to the Trans community the sort of individuals who are in the trade. We see our Trans Woman. You know so it is a gendered crime. It's a gendered crime of Male entitlement to women and bodies right so this is very it's such a binary it's very very clear on so that's the first thing I would say because the Trans Community is also unfortunately overrepresented in the sex trade and unfortunately a lot of folks like you who you mentioned who describe themselves as sex workers to Novara segue into that conversation. Use the term sex work which was politically created to sanitize the system of exploitation. And they're using this to sort of give credence to the fact that Trans Women are over represented in the trade but this this can't be the case. You know the fact that Trans Women are over represented in this extra doesn't mean that this extreme is inherent to translations existence. It means that we all obviously have a social problem. Where economic political and social systems are failing people who have vulnerabilities and as a result of this have to end up in the trade so This the term sex trade in itself was created back in the seventies like I said to sanitize the industry to politically position it as a form of work so that people can talk about it through the Labor Rights Lens and that's particularly problematic because it shifts the conversation entirely What's the sex where even mean right when when they talk about sex work? That could be a pimp that could be a trafficker that could be a person who does hamming who never has students harass with expire person. Who does stripping which we know strip clubs are a Popular Avenue? Four funneling women into prostitution. So what does that even need? You know the the term sex work is really muddy and when we talk about the sex trade of course. We're talking about the global multi billion dollar industry that exists to serve male sexual entitlement but prostitution specifically That's what we're talking about. We're not talking about people who sell nukes on Patriots or something like that. Of course those things are related. Because they're serving the same. The same premise. That is male sexual entitlement. But selling your news on the Internet is a whole lot different than having to physically see. Smell touch sex fire. And that's that's what makes the term really dangerous. That's why we have to be really specific in what we're talking about. Refrain from using umbrella terms like sex with because ultimately people die as a result of that gross generalization. What word or phrase would you use in? Its place that.