Put down that apathy sandwich - trafficking is your problem

Share

With an increasing amount of uniformity in our lives, and the global village ever shrinking until, I suspect, it will become one big global cottage in which we all get drunk, have a row and shoot each other, we seem to be picking up some very nasty habits from other parts of the world. One of them is that we are failing to stop the flow of individuals being trafficked into this country for the sexual use of this country's citizens.

With an increasing amount of uniformity in our lives, and the global village ever shrinking until, I suspect, it will become one big global cottage in which we all get drunk, have a row and shoot each other, we seem to be picking up some very nasty habits from other parts of the world. One of them is that we are failing to stop the flow of individuals being trafficked into this country for the sexual use of this country's citizens.

Now think hard. Are we talking trafficking in men, women or children here? I know it's a stupid question. But it's because it is so obvious who the victims are going to be, that it's hardly worth asking. Yes, once again women are the sexual currency in the lives of men, and although we are beginning to dis- cover that children are involved in this trade, the fact that the "goods" are women means it is possible for most people to continue on down the road of indifference, stopping off occasionally at the "Not My Problem" café for an apathy sandwich. Although if it comes to light that enough newsworthy - and more importantly, "attractive" - children are involved in this human smuggling, I'm sure the tabloids will get going in a, "Glitter is an evil, bald pervert" sort of way.

Does his baldness make him any more of a pervert, I asked myself as I perused that erudite headline this week. Would a fine head of hair have brought this receptacle of hate back into the fold? Nope, that's about as likely to happen as a lorryload of Albanian hod carriers being found in a juggernaut at Dover bound for prostitutional penury on the executive estates of Surrey. Calm down there, Mrs Guildford! It's not your lucky day.

But perk up Mr Guildford, it's women on the receiving end of exploitation again. And that's so common, it's almost banal. Some men in this country must be rubbing their hands in glee that the recent backlash against women has allowed the expansion of the sex trade to the point where they're being delivered yet more fresh young meat from pastures new.

And if you're offended by the word meat, choose yourself a more attractive word, "totty", "bird", whatever you like. And if you don't think there's been a backlash against women then ...

a) see if you can find a men's magazine with a zero tissue count.

b) listen to the way women are discussed by certain Radio 1 DJs.

c) look at the rise in sexual crimes against women.

If anyone has doubts that women are really just objects for others to make money out of, the relationship between trafficking of women and the criminal fraternity is all you need to know about. Two kilos of cocaine or a couple of schoolgirls? What's your pleasure, mate?

"But how do these daft women get themselves into this mess?" the sensible colonel types with no conception of life outside the golf club may well be asking now. Well, criminals play on people's naivety and their desperate need to start a new sort of life in the West . Once they have paid the equivalent of a small fortune to get here, the women are told that that's not enough and they have to work it off in kind. The sex industry in this country is booming. Oh, isn't it lovely to know that all parts of the economy are flourishing. Because we all know, according to one once very popular economic theory, that profit will trickle down on to the rest of us - apart, of course, from the women in the sex industry. They are just being pissed on.

It has to be said that the Government is concerned about the recent rise in the number of women being trafficked and it is taking seriously a report that charts the increase in the numbers of trafficked women and girls over the past 10 years. New legislation is being considered, which will specifically focus on this unique crime.

But the report also highlights the fact that the police are largely unaware of the scale of the off-street sex industry. That's apart from the ones who turn a blind eye to the goings-on regularly happening on their patch, of course. I do wonder, however, just how the blue-rinse brigade will react to this influx of unwelcome ladies of the night from Eastern Europe, because let's face it, they've got pretty apoplectic about your common-or-garden asylum seeker. Still, maybe a 15-year- old Albanian girl occasionally keeps the old man happy on a Friday night after a particularly wearing meeting in the city.

I do apologise for sounding so cynical, but it's always the seemingly respectable face of prostitution use which keeps the whole thing going so successfully.

As ever, this whole shebang is about money, and the trafficking of humans is leading to increasingly violent turf wars for the control of the business. But gangsters in our minds can equal romance. There are, after all, enough films about them to suggest this, whereas women in these films are decorative silly things who, when they cease to be decorative, are no longer of use and are replaced by better models.

Perhaps you think this is a small problem, easy for a feminist to bang on about. In fact, three-quarters of "street" women in Soho are from Eastern Europe, some of them working under coercion. They are forced to work in this way because on arrival in the UK their documents are snatched, leaving them powerless - or should we say more powerless than they were already. It is extremely depressing to read in this report that these women may be asked to engage in activities which are refused by other prostitutes, such as unprotected sex and God only knows what else.

Still, at least there is going to be a national conference on this topic on 6July at the Barbican Centre, in London, and one hopes that we will tackle this problem head-on - instead of resorting to our normal British response of tutting loudly and doing absolutely bugger all.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

Recruitment Genius: Brand Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you wish to be part of an exciting journey ...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Anna Woodward: Reporting Analyst

£35,000: Anna Woodward: Are you excited about making an impact on a FTSE 250 b...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Jihadi John went to my university – so what?

James Tennent
 

Japan's torture of my father was horrific — so why are they considering watering down the apology for their wartime past?

Liz Bestic
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower