It’s slavery not “trafficking”

Keywords: human trafficking, sex trafficking, slavery, rape, child rape

This is a letter I had published in the Eugene Register Guard Sep. 3, 2019, p. A6. The RG ran a series of articles on human “trafficking.” Someone pointed out to me that “trafficking” is a euphemism. Once it was pointed out, I couldn’t agree more. The articles focused on sex “trafficking” but this applies to anyone being “trafficked”. A disturbing aspect of the use of this term is explained in the first two sentences; even the people fighting this heinous activity don’t call it what it is.

As submitted:

It looks like the RG did its due diligence in contacting 16 sources regarding terminology for sex “trafficking” (Permanent reminders Aug 30.) So it is surprising that even institutions directly involved in fighting this problem use euphemisms. Why aren’t these institutes calling this sexual slavery since that’s what it is? The people forcing this conduct are slavers. Although I’ll give a break to people that do not know they are purchasing forced sex, if they know it is forced, they are rapists.

The same issue applies to people like Jeffery Epstein, priests, and others allegedly (or convicted of) engaging in pedophilia. Stories about Epstein have used phrases like “sex with underage women” or “underage prostitutes”. It is possible to argue what age makes a person an adult and to discuss individual maturity. But age of consent laws assume people under this age are not adults and are not capable of making consensual decisions about sex. The phrase “underage women” is a contradiction.  They are children! Epstein and others have been accused of child rape. Why aren’t people and the media calling it that?

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