The real exploiters of sex work

I am in two minds about yesterday’s lead article on the BBC website exposing the sham that is and has been the moral panic over trafficking at the forthcoming London Olympics. In two minds because it says pretty much everything i have been saying for nearly three years now, doing so succinctly and powerfully.

Good: nice, warm feeling to have been proven more or less right on what was initially an unpopular point of view. Bad: because suddenly everyone else is jumping on the bandwagon, and no-one remembers the stick some of us took for lighting the way.

I don’t, in this, include the excellent Dr Brooke Magnanti, with whom i have swapped ideas and figures on this stuff over the last couple of years. Or Laura Agustin, who has long ploughed a very lonely furrow on this issue.

But, since the truth is beginning to out, it may be worth, here, pulling together what we do know – and also what we know about the people who really are making apacket out of sex work: the usual three p’s of police, politicians and press.


First, there’s the “problem”. As the Beeb makes clear, there just is no evidence of additional sex trafficking at big sporting events. There is not, has not, and probably never has been such evidence…and that lack of evidence – and learned critique of same – goes back at least a decade.

Second, as Dr Magnanti makes very clear, there is no sane economic case for organised crime to lay-on extra trafficking for sporting events. Period.

So we’re all sorted? Not quite, because there is a third lesson here that, again, is left to those of us writing on the fringe to make plain.

There HAVE been beneficiaries of “trafficking at the Olympics”, the three p’s have done nicely, thank you, out of this issue either through extra sales, boost to reputation – or direct financial benefit. As the Beeb reports: the Met’s SCD9 unit was more than happy to collect £600,000 to deal with this non-issue.

Let’s hear it for the real culprits

We are hearing, now, weasel words from politicians like Theresa May and Tessa Jowell that they “did not know”. How pathetic is that? Because it really is not as though the counter-evidence was not out there.

I was writing about this issue back in 2009. Here’s a piece from 2010, in the Register, which sets out what was already very well known – old news, in fact – three years back.

But around the same time, Ms May came out in public dissing those who dared to question trafficking figures as irresponsible. Of course. Because they might have irresponsibly detracted from her rise as a tough career politician!

True: one can’t really expect those making policy on this issue to read everything being written about it, either by myself, Dr’s Magnanti and Agustin, or even the primary sources we were quoting.

But i wasn’tjust writing. I was talking with the politicians. I spoke to Boris Johnson’s Office back in 2010 – asked why they were wasting so much money on a non-problem. A hiss of disapproval followed. I spoke with the Met who, to give them credit, admitted off the record they didn’t really believe there was a problem to be tackled, even if their (dishonest) line this week is that SCD9 was set up “based on assessments made over three years ago”.

I spoke with a range of politicians: oh, they knew alright…or at least had very good grounds for suspecting the issue here was not as they and the press were depicting it.

The real crime

Writing, as i do, about the nastier end of sex crime, i find myself occasionally pilloried for not buying into the latest moral panic. But then, it is a constant source of irritation to watch politicians stupidly, slavishly following the latest dumb sensational direction signposted by press. And it matters: because resource directed at solving non-problems is not trivial.

The millions wasted on this particular wild goose chase could actually have been put to good use combatting violence against women, chilod abuse and yes, genuine trafficking. We should all be very angry indeed that it has instead been used to further career interests of individual police officers and politicians.

jane xx

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    The Great Smell Of Brute said,

    Whilst we’re at it, let’s not forget the radical ‘feminists’ who’ve been using sex trafficking as an issue, without being either willing or able to produce relevant evidence: there’s a funding trail involved there too.

  2. 2

    bebopper76 said,

    Sex Trafficking Sex Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.

    This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims.

    They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult woman. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing.

    These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advantage of these “helpless foreign women wives”.

    These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.

    According to the media hype There was supposed to be hundreds of thousands of under age child sex slaves kidnapped and forced to have sex with super bowl fans. At the Dallas Super Bowl 2011. WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OF THEM????????????

    It was all a big lie told by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, government officials, and various anti-prostitution groups: Traffick911, Not for Sale, Change-org A Future Not A Past, Polaris Project, Salvation Army, Women’s Funding Network, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which are anti-prostitution groups that tell lies in order to get grant money from the government and charities to pay their high salaries, and get huge amounts of money into their organizations.
    Here are some good websites about this:

    As proved in the link below:
    Top FBI agent in Dallas (Robert Casey Jr.) sees no evidence of expected spike in child sex trafficking:

    “Among those preparations was an initiative to prevent an expected rise in sex trafficking and child prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. But Robert Casey Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said he saw no evidence that the increase would happen, nor that it did.
    “In my opinion, the Super Bowl does not create a spike in those crimes,” he said. “The discussion gets very vague and general. People mixed up child prostitution with the term human trafficking, which are different things, and then there is just plain old prostitution.”

    This myth of thousands or millions of underage sex slaves tries to make every sports fan a sex criminal. No matter what the sport is, or in what country it is in.

    Brian McCarthy isn’t happy. He’s a spokesman for the NFL. Every year he’s forced to hear why his customers are adulterers and child molesters. Brian McCarthy says the sport/super bowl sex slave story is a urban legend, with no truth at all.

    I do not like the idea of people getting the wrong information and believing lies, no matter what the topic is. The Sex trafficking, slavery issue is one of the biggest lies being told today. It is amazing to me how people will believe such lies so easily. The media is to blame for this. I wonder why they feel such a need to report wrong stats, numbers and information about this topic without doing proper research.

    While this may happen in very rare limited situations, the media will say that millions of people are sex slaves without doing any real research on the topic. Only taking the word of special interest anti-prostitution groups which need to generate money in the form of huge government grants from taxpayers, and charities. These “non profit” group’s employees make huge salaries, therefore they need to lobby the government, and inflate and invent victims in order to get more money into their organizations. If you look into how many real kidnapped forced against their will sex slaves there are, and not just take the anti-prostitution groups word for it. You will be very surprised.
    Where are all the forced sex slaves? I would like to meet the millions of slaves and see for myself if they were kidnapped and forced against their will.

    These groups lobby the government in a big way, getting Politicians to truly believe their lies.

    This is an attempt to over inflate an issue in order to get more government money to these organizations. As a tax payer, voter, and resident I don’t want the government to mislead me.

    I would like to see a news organization do a full investigative report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves. The articles about the super bowl sex slaves, has been proved wrong many times, but news organizations still report about it, as if it were fact.

    Sex Trafficking in Sports Events links:

    Dallas TV News show about super bowl sex slave myth:–114983179.html

    Dallas Newspaper article:

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