[Stop-traffic] News/US: Seventeen brothels of Asian sex

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Seventeen brothels of Asian sex
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Jan 01 1904 - 15:41:28 EST


 From Salon.com

                                                     Seventeen
brothels of Asian sex
                                                     slaves exposed in Atlanta
                                                     Is sexual slavery
a barbaric Old World myth or a
                                                     common contemporary crime?

                                                     - - - - - - - - - - - -
                                                     By Hank Hyena

                                                     Nov. 2, 1999

                                                     Stories about
"comfort women" abducted and
                                                     raped by the
Japanese military during World War
                                                     II (as detailed
in Naked World Monday) may
                                                     suggest that
sexual slavery is an extinct
                                                     barbarism that
haunts only impoverished or
                                                     war-torn
countries. But recent reports testify that
                                                     such exploitation
continues to this day,
                                                     sometimes in our
own, peaceful backyards.
                                                     Indeed, many
young women who migrate illegally
                                                     to the "land of
the free" find themselves
                                                     imprisoned in
skanky, clandestine brothels.

                                                     On Aug. 17, the
FBI and the Immigration and
                                                     Naturalization
Service busted a smuggling ring in
                                                     Atlanta that had
"recruited" from 500 to 1,000
                                                     young women and
girls, aged 13-28, from China,
                                                     Thailand, Laos,
Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

                                                     The bust,
chronicled in November's International
                                                     Enforcement Law
Reporter, unveiled 17 brothels
                                                     in residential
neighborhoods. Often held in
                                                     "prison
compounds," the women lived encircled
                                                     by barbed wire
and fences with chained dogs
                                                     and gang members
as guards. According to the
                                                     Associated Press,
the women slept on mattresses
                                                     separated by
hanging bedsheets and splayed on
                                                     the brothel
floors surrounded by "used and
                                                     unused condoms,
piles of towels and tubes of
                                                     lubricant."

                                                     As in much modern
sexploitation, what had
                                                     begun as a
consensual arrangement turned into
                                                     violent coercion.
Originally, the imprisoned
                                                     women signed
contracts promising to pay
                                                     $30,000-$40,000
to smuggling agents, called
                                                     "snakeheads," for
transport into the United
                                                     States. Many of
the women told investigators
                                                     they thought
they'd be working as seamstresses
                                                     or masseuses to
pay off the debt, but what
                                                     awaited them was
prostitution in confinement.
                                                     Clients paid $100
per trick; $30 went to the
                                                     smuggling group
and the remaining $70 was
                                                     deducted from the
sex slave's debt. This meant
                                                     that the average
woman needed to satiate about
                                                     500 johns before
earning her freedom.

                                                     Modern sex
slavery isn't confined to Atlanta.
                                                     Recent
investigations have uncovered
                                                     brothel-prisons
in New York, Los Angeles and
                                                     San Francisco,
with additional sex-slave rings
                                                     suspected in 16
states and the District of
                                                     Columbia. Deputy
Chief Gary Beamish of the
                                                     Toronto police
estimates in Monday's Toronto
                                                     Star that some 30
million women worldwide have
                                                     become victims of
the sex trade.

                                                     What happened to
the Atlanta sex slaves who
                                                     were set free by
federal investigators? Quick
                                                     deportation back
to their homeland. How sad
                                                     that these young
women perhaps spent most of
                                                     their sojourn in
the land of liberty gazing wistfully
                                                     out the windows
of their sordid chambers.
                                                     salon.com | Nov. 2, 1999

                                                     - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                     About the writer
                                                     Hank Hyena is a
columnist for
                                                     SFgate, and a frequent
                                                     contributor to Salon.

                                                     Sound off
                                                     Send us a Letter
to the Editor
                                                     Send e-mail to Hank Hyena

Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

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