Trafficking involves transporting people away from the communities in which they live and forcing them to provide labour or commercial sex against their will using violence, deception or coercion. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and it is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world.
According to UN 2012 report, in general traffickers tend to be adult males; women and girls together account for about 75% of all trafficking victims detected globally wheras 27% of all victims are children.
What role have men in this phenomenon?
The US-based Renaissance Male Project believes that men are complicit in this crime when they purchase sex because they create the demand, allowing others to exploit women and children for profit.
Therefore, men can and must play a role in ending this form of modern-day slavery. The project suggests ten specific actions that men and boys can take to end trafficking in human beings:
1. Challenge the glamorization of pimps in our culture: Mainstream culture has popularized the image of a pimp to the point that some men and boys look up to pimps as if they represent legitimate male role models and view “pimping” as a normal expression of masculinity. Men can take a stand against pimps and pimping by renouncing the pimp culture and the music that glorifies it.
2. Confront the belief that prostitution is a “victimless crime”: Many men view prostitution as a “victimless crime.” But it is not. Men should stop viewing prostitution as a victimless crime and acknowledge the tremendous harm and suffering that their participation in prostitution causes.
3. Stop patronizing strip clubs: Men can combat human trafficking by no longer patronizing strip clubs and by encouraging their friends and co-workers to do the same.
4. Don’t consume pornography: Men can stop the voyeurism of sex and sex acts that fuel human trafficking by refusing to consume pornography and encourage others to do the same.
5. Tackle male chauvinism and sexism online: Men can change this culture by starting threads in online forums that cause men to talk about their attitudes towards women and how these attitudes and behaviors are linked to human trafficking.
6. End sex tourism: Men have a responsibility to confront the men that go overseas and participate in sex tourism.
7. Talk to men and boys about men’s issues in male spaces: Men should turn male spaces into circles of accountability where men learn about non-violence, social justice, and ending violence against women.
8. Support anti-human-trafficking policies: Men can educate themselves about the issue and support anti-trafficking legislation
9. Support creation of “John Schools”, an education program designed to educate customers apprehended by law enforcement who attempted to purchase sex
10. Raise sons and mentor boys to challenge oppression: Talk about human trafficking as a modern form of slavery to help convince men and boys to become allies in the fight to end this form of oppression.
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Do you agree that men and boys can play an active role in ending human trafficking? What do you think of these suggestions? Do share your thoughts with us.
See also our previous posts:
The role of men in gender equality
What we can do to combat human trafficking
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