Shame Johns To Fight Trafficking

In the fight against human trafficking, it is time to confront a very ugly reality — customers who buy sex from trafficking victims are supporting a form of human slavery.

And there are a lot of these customers. They need to be confronted.

Human trafficking is forced labor. Those trafficked are kidnapped and compelled against their will to be sex workers. When kidnapped, most are usually under the age of 18. Trafficking is as purely evil as evil can be.

Greater Toledo’s understanding of trafficking has progressed, thanks in large part to a local crusading advocate and researcher at the University of Toledo. Her name is Celia Williamson. She has taught us some basic realities. For example: Victims of human trafficking are victims — slaves — they are not criminals.

We have only just begun, as a society, to address the social issues that make people vulnerable to being trafficked. This, too, is thanks to educators like Ms. Williamson.

In Congress, Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) is leading the fight to amend our laws so that the Internet platform on which trafficking victims are usually sold can be dismantled.

But what about addressing the demand for trafficking victims? As long as people are willing to pay for sex with trafficked women and children, the problem will persist.

Ms. Williamson last week joined Mr. Portman to host a screening of the film I Am Jane Doe, which depicts the legal fight to shut down Backpage.com, the site that facilitates about 80 percent of human-trafficking commerce.

 

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