What motivates the major players in sex trafficking and prostitution?

I have fought against sex trafficking in the Philippines and South Korea, and the number one question I get from friends and family is “Don’t the men care about the women at all? ”  The answer is no.  Even though they are someone’s daughter or sister, the customers and the traffickers don’t care a whit about them.  They really don’t.

In the movie “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls”, a former sex trafficker talks about this reality.  “No one cares about these girls.  They are turned into objects.  Just like you go into the market and you buy yourself a pair of underwear, you go into a different kind of market and you buy yourself a woman.”  In the beginning, the trafficker might feel some guilt, but eventually the desire for money wins.  This man explains,  “It’s hard for the first time or the second time, but you just get to a point where you say it’s good money.” ” http://nefariousdocumentary.com/

Tenancingo is a small town  about 50 miles southeast of Mexico City, and it is a major source of trafficked Mexican women  in the United States “http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/09/mexican-women-forced-into_n_676165.html“.  A U.S. government report states that Tenancingo traffickers “describe a need to maintain a cold-blooded outlook on their work that they call ‘killing emotion’.  Another strategy they employ to detach from their illicit work is absenting themselves during the transaction of sexual services.  They avoid sentimental ties.  ‘Love needs to stay outside of this type of business’.”  http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/155769.pdf

On the other side of the equation, of course, are the customers, who are the number one reason sex trafficking happens.  Without them, there would be no prostitution.  You can think of anything legitimately sold in this world – cars, books, houses, food, DVDs – and if there was no buyer for it, it would quickly be discarded and the seller would try something different.  The fact is that some men are willing to pay for women, and so long as they are, you will see sex trafficking happen.  I can only begin to speculate what motivates them: lust, loneliness and the need to control someone are all possibilities.  Whatever their reasons, they are willing to tell themselves anything so that they don’t feel guilty about what they’re doing.

Combine a person who desires money with a person who is lonely or chasing lust, and then add a young woman or girl to that mix, and you will see disastrous consequences.

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