#BringBackOurGirls: Have we found our Voice

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When will the world finally stand-up and say ‘Enough’? This is not the kind of world we want. The issue of ‘Human Trafficking’, ‘Modern Slavery’ and ‘Poverty’ are all issues that demand our attention, need action and are interrelated.

According to Dr. Melissa Farley, a psychologist and researcher with the non-profit Prostitution Research & Education based in San Francisco, “You cannot understand prostitution unless you understand how sex, class and race all come together and hurt a person at the same time. People are chosen in prostitution because of the extreme imbalance of power. The poorest, the most vulnerable women, are basically made available for constant sexual access.”

Prostitution is Not a Choice, Soroptimist White Paper

The #BringBackOurGirls campaign hopefully has raised this global problem to the forefront and finally people are speaking out. The kidnapping of 300 girls in Nigeria is horrific in any society but unfortunately is a far too common occurrence in Nigeria but also is a world-wide problem.

Many of us think because we live in North America or Europe we are immune to the atrocities that we often ignore or think occur only in what we describe as Third World Countries. In Canada the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) just published a report that focused on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. The numbers are staggering for a country that prides itself on equality and issues relating to human rights. What is lost in the numbers is Aboriginal woman, Aboriginal people are also overrepresented when it comes to poverty. Examining the numbers in further detail one also quickly recognizes that violence and exploitation  of woman, particularly those in poverty, in Canada and the world is a serious issue and requires immediate action by everyone.  It must be noted the majority of missing and murdered Aboriginal woman according to the RCMP report were not involved in prostitution but were victims of poverty.

It would be premature to focus on research outcomes without first addressing the context of the research. Violence against women is a significant societal issue. According to the World Health Organization, it affects one-third of women around the globe and represents a health problem of “epidemic proportions.”1

Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview

On January 30th, 2014 Rachelle Browne wrote an article for the National Post about Inuit babies and children are being sold by their families, sometimes into prostitution, this according to a report funded by the Department of Justice exploring the wider issue of human trafficking in Canada. The article implores us to ‘Start Waking-Up’ in particular when it comes to issues regarding the protection and well-being of children.

For those of you who think this couldn’t happen in your country, think again. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services ““After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world.” The ‘Not for Sale’ campaign indicates that there are over 30 million people enslaved world-wide and is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Issues related to child pornography, prostitution and free or cheap labour as the world seems to be adopting a money no matter what the cost attitude. Countries seem reluctant to deal with criminal activity of this magnitude, even at times seeming to portray the exploitation of woman as their choice rather than seeing them as victims.

In Germany what was hailed by many to be a victory for sex trade workers when ‘Prostitution’ was legalized has according to Spiegel International on-line in an article written in 2013 called Unprotected: How Legalizing Prostitution Has Failed has increased the number of prostitutes as well as human trafficking.

There is evidence that a higher-than-average number of prostitutes were abused or neglected as children. Surveys have shown that many can be considered traumatized. Prostitutes suffer from depression, anxiety disorders and addiction at a much higher rate than the general population. Most prostitutes have been raped, many of them repeatedly. In surveys, most women say that they would get out of prostitution immediately if they could.

Be prepared if you decide to read the article as some of the information is disturbing and is occurring in one of the world’s so-called civilized societies. Germany is now often being referred to as the world’s largest Brothel as bus loads of so-called tourists visit marginalized prostitutes in deplorable and unhealthy situations. In North America some states have already decriminalized prostitution and in Canada similar discussions are being made. If we look at Germany and even the Netherlands we would recognize this increases victimization and crime against women.

Some U.S. states have already decriminalized prostitution for minors. Will they see more minors exploited? If the Dutch experiment is a guide, the answer is “yes.” Lawmakers in the Netherlands got it wrong by legalizing prostitution. Legalizing or decriminalizing it only leads to criminals taking advantage of a much more lenient environment and exploiting it

Amsterdam’s Legalized Prostitution Experiment Failed, Miserably

The situation may not be as bleak as it may at first appear. Countries like Sweden have seen a reduction in prostitution since it decided to view prostitutes as victims. This has resulted in the people buying sex as the criminals. Iceland is considering trying to tackle the problem of on-line pornography. Without a question that is a monumental task as on-line pornography has exploded and become a blight to the Internet. We must not only look at prosecuting those that view and distribute on-line pornography in particular child pornography but we must get at the big business of human trafficking and human slavery. There are many individuals making huge money off of the ‘backs’ of woman.

This requires more than laws and the enforcement of those laws but we need to change our beliefs about what is acceptable. We are all born equal and we must find a way that we remain equal no matter what race, culture or circumstance we find ourselves in. We must change our attitude to buying sex and viewing sex on-line. Money or wealth cannot be the measure of success as no one is successful who is becoming rich as a result of the enslavement of others.

It is time for all of us to find our voices.


A Must Read:

Prostitution is Not a Choice, Soroptimist White Paper

Other Articles:

Inuit Women Are Being Trafficked Through Dating Sites, Rachel Browne

Immigrants Are Being Kept As Cannabis Slaves in Britain and Ireland, Rachel Browne

Staggering report exposes US sex trafficking, by Trymaine Lee


About jameswhoddinott

My novel 'When Eagles Dare to Fly' represents my belief that good will always triumph over evil and by developing who we are on the inside we will find our way. My newest novel 'The Fates' was released earlier this year that examines a society that discovers immortality. I have a blog called an 'Author, blogger and his musings' which talks about my writing, political issues as well as other areas of interest like education, art and photography,
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5 Responses to #BringBackOurGirls: Have we found our Voice

  1. Sid says:

    Stunning that 70% of manitobans don’t think an inquiry is necessary. Frightening number of racists ( who read the Sun perhaps ) in our neck of the woods.


  2. Not sure why so many people ignore the truth that is staring us straight in the face. If we truly want a great place to live we need to recognize we need to have a society that is far more inclusive than it is now. Thanks for the comment Sid….The report itself is a very interesting read but just touches the issues where an inquiry would come up with recommendations that need to be implemented.


  3. Sid says:

    I was thinking if ignore was a polite way of saying they don’t give a sht. Then I thought the better of it. After reading about the issue, they’ve made a conscious choice in their response .

    As an outsider, I’ve noticed a silent racism runs deep around here. Perhaps people have been bombarded with what has been done in the past. Perhaps a good chunk of society has tuned out because they are constantly being told, it was their fault.. I mean, how many times can someone be told they did bad things and yet, they weren’t there. Maybe letting bygones be bygones can be more productive. The finger pointing has to stop.

    Starting fresh with equal partners at the table can put to rest, a document that was written 150 years ago. At a time when colonizing society’s were not as evolved and neither side was well equipped to look into the future.

    But back to the main point – having so many women simply vanish in our country is not acceptable. Matters not what color or creed they are. This absolutely needs to be addressed. Somehow our governance has failed.

    Thanks for the discussion.


  4. You make some excellent points Sid. We need a new beginning and a new respect to move forward. Thanks.


  5. Marcia Collins says:

    I am deeply troubled by the ignorance and apathy of so much of society (many of my peers included) about the rapid increase of prostitution, sex trafficking, child prostitution, pornography addiction, crack addiction, luring of aboriginal girls from reserves, and general desensitization of abuse towards girls and women, in Canada and globally.
    After much reading and research on the topic of Prostitution, I feel that Bill C-36 sets Canada in the right direction towards reducing prostitution and thus reducing many of the terribly hurtful events and consequences that are linked to it. I urge readers to get informed of details of the bill. If the bill is passed, it will say to the world what Canada stands for. We are an astute nation that examines and analyzes the results of decisions made by other countries and we consider and reflect upon them. We do not follow along blindly. We believe in the equality and dignity of women.
    Through community action research involving all stakeholders, bold interventions and policies based on action research findings and constant reflection and assessment, we can build effective ways to address and resolve the many issues related to prostitution.


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