Yesterday, a friend of mine and fellow abolitionist, forwarded me a very troubling email.
A reporter from NineMSN in Australia was requesting "leads on bizarre bordellos dotted around the world... The stranger the better." The reporter, David Wilson, is planning to write a "travel" story for NineMSN titled "World's Weirdest Brothels."
I emailed David and expressed my concerns, saying that I felt his story would further exploit the women and girls who are forced to work in brothels. "The women and girls in these brothels are not travel destinations," I said. "Many of them are victims of horrible crimes..." I asked him to reconsider his story, and to -instead - write about the harsh realities of sex trafficking.
David's response was that, he is "100 per cent against trafficking of any kind" and is "only covering licensed brothels."
Unfortunately, even licensed brothels are populated with women and girls who have been trafficked.
Now, if you follow the Nowhere2Hide blog or Twitter account, I assume it's because - like us - you want human trafficking and modern-day slavery to end. You want the sexual exploitation of women and young girls to end. Many of you have asked how you can be involved in the fight against slavery. This is a very simple way.
Please email David Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask him not to write this story.
Remind them that this kind of media attention hinders our ability to fight and end the sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls.
Reporters and news outlets have powerful, influential voices that are heard around the world. We need them to be our allies in this fight. The millions of slaves we're fighting for need the media to fight for them, too. Ask David Wilson, and NineMSN, to join the fight.
Great suggestion about posting some additional info!
Here are a few statistics:
According a U.S. State Department report from 2005, about 1 million children are exploited by the global commercial sex every year.
The 2007 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons report estimated that about 80% of all trafficking victims are women and children. That equates to about 21.6 million women and girls.
Of those 21.6 women and girls, about 70% are trafficked into the commercial sex industry. In other words, about 15.1 million women and girls are forced into lifestyles in which they are raped for profit every day of their lives.
You can find these and other statistics on a Fact Sheet, created by Polaris Project.