Thursday, July 7, 2011

the daily beast rips village voice's specious "child prostitution" study

Today Michelle Goldberg, a New York Times bestseller and award-winning writer, took aim in The Daily Beast at at the Village Voice's "child prostitution" study published last week. The VV "study" attempted to minimize the extent of child sexual exploitation for profit in America in a move it admits is to save its backpage dot com revenue.

Following up with Jay Albanese, the criminologist quoted as saying human trafficking statistics are all "crap" by the Voice, The Daily Beast reports the following:
But Albanese tells me he did not mean to imply that domestic sex trafficking is not a serious issue. “To go from saying that these are not actual counts of any sort to saying that this is not a problem is going way too far,” he says. “It’s clearly missing the point. It’s like saying we really don’t know how many people are truly at risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer, so therefore the problem isn’t that big.”
The Daily Beast also interviews Luis C. de Baca, the current Ambassador-at-Large and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State. Ambassador de Baca points out that arrests are mostly generated by undercover police operations in which an officer poses as either a prostitute or a john. But prostitution has moved off the streets and online thanks to services like craigslist and backpage dot com. Police are paying some attention to the Internet but, Ambassador de Baca says, "the rule continues to be that enforcement patterns are on street prostitution" where it's open and notorious.

It's nice to see a journalist making many of the same arguments contained in my previous posts on this topic, especially since Goldberg has done her own interviews with experts on the topic.

To be added as number 18 of the reasons not to trust the Village Voice's estimates of the number of "child prostitutes" in America is the fact that in some jurisdictions like New York City, 16 and 17 year olds are charged as adults. Younger children also don't show up in adult statistics when they lie about their name or age, as most as taught to do by their traffickers.

She also cites Seattle as another example where rescue numbers by the police in the previous 2 years aren't being counted in the Village Voice's estimate because the survivors weren't arrested by the police.

I definitely recommend reading the article. It points out the same sleazy Voice scare tactic I mentioned of attempting to link all anti-trafficking groups to the religious and faith-based groups (ones that directly snatch government funding from care groups like GEMS, no less) when the numbers simply don't show that faith-based groups dominate the field.

But whether or not the Village Voice ever formally retracts it's specious, dishonest, disingenuous estimate, the damage is already done. Again quoting Ambassador de Baca,
[Underage sex trafficking] is something that certainly exists... People come and spend a lot of time and effort and attention on it. Then the debunkers come in. And people remain enslaved.

No comments:

Post a Comment