No one had died, no national tragedy had occurred— they had just been caught trying to buy sex. Across the country, cops are implementing a strategy that has long been debated in Europe: Some police and scholars say that focusing law enforcement attention on sex buyers reduces demand for prostitution, which strangles the sex industry and curbs human trafficking.
But some human rights organizations, most recently Amnesty International, advocate for the decriminalization of all aspects of sex work, including buying sex. While Amnesty International members were considering whether to recommend decriminalizing sex work altogether, I was with a TIME video team on two buyer-focused sex stings in Cook County, Ill.
Watching guys get caught is like watching that fantasy get destroyed over and over. The men are all different races and ages, from all walks of life— the only thing they have in common is shock. Some sit motionless with their hands over their eyes.
One, a man so wide cops needed two pairs of handcuffs to arrest him, sat on the bedspread shaking his head slowly. Another expressed incredulity at his arrest, arguing that cops should be going after rapists and child molesters instead. Until recently, most jurisdictions in the U. Cook county does johns stings year-round, but the national initiative happens a few times a year. Our first sting starts in an anonymous hotel room near a Chicago airport. The bedspread smells like old cigarettes and the air conditioner is acting up.
Our room is filled with burly cops in baseball caps and T-shirts, badges hung around their necks, watching TV and joking around. In the room across the hall are female undercover officers dressed as sex workers. A hot pink tank-top, leopard print leggings. Only a few hours earlier, they had placed ads on a site called backpage.
You want to party? What does your ass look like? The cops gather by the door, looking through the keyhole and waiting for a sign from the undercover officer. For a few seconds, all joking stops, and everyone is absolutely silent. Once a deal has been made for sex, the undercover officer gives an electronic signal and the other cops rush in and cuff the buyer. The whole process usually takes under a minute.
His logic is that the cops are out there so infrequently, only people buying regular sex are likely to get caught. Deputy Chief Anton rolled his eyes and made a crybaby face, but let the kid off with just the ticket, without towing his car. Versions of this approach are slowly spreading across the U. Some cities, like Seattle, have developed their own versions of this strategy but traded notes with Dart.
Newmark said the site has rejected over , adult services ads, but declined to spell out the guidelines craigslist uses:. And of course, each user provides us with credit card information and a telephone number that can be tracked back to them in the event of unlawful behavior. Police can use the information on craigslist to stage stings, which would do more to combat sex trafficking than anything craigslist could do, Opsahl said.
If you suspect human trafficking on craigslist, alert law enforcement and send an email to legal craigslist. You can also report suspected trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center by calling More information about human trafficking, of minors and otherwise in the United States, is here. Facebook Twitter Instagram Gplus Youtube.
Craigslist a red herring? Policing user-generated content Craigslist is not legally liable for posts that advertise prostitution or child prostitution under section of the Communications Decency Act, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation , a digital rights advocacy group.
Over , ads have been rejected, under unwritten standards Newmark said the site has rejected over , adult services ads, but declined to spell out the guidelines craigslist uses:... One of the biggest obstacles that youths face, says Bowman, are adult naysayers. Guys told him he needed a girl "to rape him" and "turn him back. Nobel's turning point was finding youth services in and around the Philadelphia suburb in . Watching guys get caught is like watching that fantasy get destroyed over and over. . prostitution and trafficking of young and vulnerable girls from poor countries. saying that criminal laws against the consensual adult sex trade violates the . social services—rarely serve jail time if they're arrested by the Cook County. But searches based on the words sissy, fag, girl sex, man woman sex, extra marital of 'adult content,'" said Joshua Powers, a com- — Compiled by Eric Haeberii. Launched using a built-in search filter, dapartner.eu re- puter engineer who was the U.S. Postal Service on February 1 launched an online vote to determine the.
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