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Publisher Description

Trafficking of women and children for work outside their countries of origin in an increasingly globalized sex industry is a significant issue for public health professionals, international law enforcement and human rights agencies, international labor monitors, and groups concerned with women's and children's welfare (Coalition Against Trafficking Woman [CATW], 2003; Human Rights Watch, 2002; Levenkron & Dahan, 2003; Vanderberg, 1997; Watts & Zimmerman, 2002; Zimmerman & Watts, 2003). There are huge profits gained from women trafficked for sex work (WTSW): the turnover, estimated at between $7-10 billion a year, is seen as the best cost/risk-benefit ratio of all criminal activity (Levenkron & Dahan; USAID Office of Women in Development, 1999; U.S. Department of State, 2003). However, the revenues from trafficking reported are "guestimates," because they are based on estimates of the number of transactions between WTSW, clients, and traffickers. Furthermore, Interpol calls trafficking the fastest-growing crime category today (Sulavik, 2003). The profit from trafficked women is vast compared with the $54 million over two years that the U.S. government invested worldwide to try to stop trafficking (U.S. Department of State). Moving women between countries for the purposes of work in prostitution dates back to Roman and Biblical times and was a major concern among social reformers of the late 19th century who fought against the "White slave trade." However, the nature of contemporary trafficking enterprises has changed both in volume and method. Growth of the internet has provided new methods of recruiting, procuring, and supporting this clandestine movement of people and expanding the demand for exotic or foreign women for sexual services (von Struensee, 2000). Furthermore, 21st century paraphernalia such as the internet and cell phones facilitate communication and organization between source and destination along the trafficking routes. Like fast food, name-brand soft drinks, and sporting goods, "fast sex" has taken full advantage of the nature of our cyber-world to market women's and children's sexual services by generating a supply of women, generally from economically disadvantaged countries, who work illegally in foreign countries to meet this demand. Thus, the former "White slave trade" today has a wide variety of trafficking routes from diverse source countries and to many destinations, and with various modes of transportation (plane, boat, foot, etc.).

Health & Well-Being
November 1
Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

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