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Focus Applauds President Obama's Call for Greater Efforts to Prevent Human Trafficking

Battling pornography key in preventing the trafficking problem

January 11, 2010

Colorado Springs, Colo – Focus on the Family Senior Analyst for Media and Sexuality Daniel Weiss released the following statement today, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, applauding President Obama's proclamation against this issue.

"We applaud President Obama for his bold declaration against human trafficking and his call for greater public awareness and more concerted efforts to prevent the commoditization of human life. People of goodwill from all walks of life and political parties can agree this evil should be eradicated with every available means.

"In his statement proclaiming this month as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, President Obama rightly spoke against trafficking as a denial of 'basic human dignity and freedom,' and called for greater efforts to prevent the problem.

"I wholeheartedly agree with President Obama, which is why I hope he – and all of us as a society – carefully examine the role pornography plays in the trafficking of humans for sexual purposes.

"If anything in our nation subverts basic human dignity, pornography is it. Mainstream pornography routinely shows women being pushed around, hit and spit on. Pornography teaches that the only value women have is how submissive they are to the sexual perversions of violent men. Men are taught to control, harm, and degrade women and to see children as legitimate sexual objects in so-called barely legal pseudo-child porn.

"Dangerous ideas lead to dangerous consequences. The U.S. State Department estimates that 80 percent of all trafficking victims are female and 50 percent are children. Furthermore, 70 percent of all trafficking is for sexual servitude. This is no coincidence.

"The use of pornography and other commercialized sex, such as strip clubs, desensitizes users into seeing woman as sexual objects to be bought, sold, used and discarded. Dr. Victor Cline found that frequent porn viewers needed harder and more degrading material to continue to receive a chemical high in the brain. Some people become so desensitized and addicted that they must act out their twisted fantasies on others. Prostituted women frequently talk of having to enact scenes found in the pornography brought by the johns that purchased their bodies.

"The President is in a position to do much more than simply raise awareness of this issue.

"Humans aren't trafficked in a vacuum. They are exploited for financial gain to meet a growing demand for human flesh fueled by many seemingly legal businesses, such as porn shops, strip bars, so-called gentleman's clubs, and the proliferation of hardcore pornography on the Internet.

"However, many of these businesses are not operating within the bounds of the law. Strip clubs are often dens of prostitution, drug use and embezzlement. Porn shops often sell illegal obscene pornography and violate health and building codes by allowing anonymous sexual encounters in viewing booths and unlit back hallways. And, although may are not be aware of it based on the decades-long inaction of the Department of Justice, it is illegal to sell or even distribute obscene pornography through the Internet.

"President Obama has said that 'fighting modern slavery and human trafficking is a shared responsibility.'

"It is my hope that President Obama assumes his role and responsibility to direct law enforcement agencies to help 'end this most serious, ongoing criminal civil rights violation' by going after illegally-operating feeder industries that aid in the commercial sexual exploitation of humans. If we want to end sex trafficking, attacking illegal pornography is a crucial step forward."

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