[Stop-traffic] Re: Issues to discuss

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] Re: Issues to discuss
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 21:37:23 EDT


Kamala and Saul,

I just wanted to respond to both of your posts about the
trafficking/smuggling debate. I agree with you that most people
don't understand the difference and I am beginning to feel that we
need to create some new terms. However, I'm not sure if letting go
of the term trafficking is the best thing right now. Maybe forcing
people to use the terms correctly and making sure that they address
all the types of trafficking of men, woman, boys and girls and the
all different types of labor people are trafficked for would be more
helpful.

One of the biggest problems I see is that people still view
trafficking of persons as equal to trafficking for forced
prostitution. I think there are many organizations and journalists
that continue to perpetuate this myth - trafficking in people for
forced labor includes *all* types of labor - domestic servitude,
agricultural labor, begging, sweatshop labor, to mention but a few.
I believe that until organizations expand their understanding of the
issue we will be continually trapped in a moral dialogue about
prostitution and not a productive dialogue about how to stop the
exploitation of hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Maybe Saul is right to be a bit paranoid - maybe people are
intentionally conflating the two terms in order to avoid dealing with
the underlying human rights violations and the labor abuses. Maybe
this is why people continue to conflate trafficking with forced
prostitution.

In reference to Beijing +5 - I was totally disappointed in the entire
process. However, I was even more depressed about how people
addressed trafficking - many countries still view trafficking as only
relating to forced prostitution and do not understand that their own
citizens are being trafficked and exploited in sweatshops, farms, and
private houses around the world. They don't even want to address
these types of exploitation as a trafficking issue. These countries
stymied dialogue and consensus and created a document that is not
internally consistent.

Thanks, Melanie.....

>In response to Melanie's suggestion to have a bit of dicussion going about
>trafficking:
>
>I too am concerned about the conflation between smuggling and trafficking
>that is occurring in international discourses. This conflation was also
>evident to me in some sessions during the Beijing +5 conference a couple
>weeks ago.
>
>I would strongly argue for letting go of the term "trafficking" and to
>educate the public about forced labor and inhumane working conditions that
>people (particualrly women) are being moved (smuggled perhaps) or
>migrating around the world for.
>I am convinced that these conditions are going to get even worse unless
>the globalizing processes that operate in the interests of big capital as
>opposed to that of labor (to use some old fashioned terms), are not turned
>around.
>
>Trafficking is also so highly (and historically) connected to issues of
>force and coercion in sex industries, that it evokes very specific images
>about poor young women being "lured" and "trapped" in prostitution. It
>therefore makes it very difficult to talk about other forms of labor or
>services that people are "trafficked" for.
>
>So I'm perhaps putting my foot in it here, but just thought I'd throw out
>something we can chew over on this list.
>
> ....
> > 2. I believe that people international are conflating
> > trafficking and smuggling. This is illustrated on a daily basis on
> > Stop-Traffic, with newspaper clippings that use trafficking and
> > smuggling interchangeably. How do we educate people as to the
> > differences? What can we do to effect change?
> >
> > Thanks and I look forward to reading your comments.
> >
> >
> > Melanie......
> > Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
> > __________________
> > Stop-traffic is facilitated, international electronic list
> > funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
> > of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
> > dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
> > in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
> > in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
> > sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
> > order bride arrangements.
> > _________________
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Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
__________________
Stop-traffic is facilitated, international electronic list
funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
_________________
Stop-Traffic archive:
http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/stop-traffic/1999/

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_________________

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