From the Queens Chronicle:
Sex trafficking is a thriving enterprise in Queens, aided by the proximity of the two airports and the large immigrant population.
Informing the public about the illegal business and stopping it is the aim of an upcoming conference sponsored by the Center for the Women of New York and the Queens Chapter of the United Nations Association-USA. It will be held on Tuesday, March 2 at 7:15 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, Room 213 in Kew Gardens.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, a nonprofit group in Washington, DC that provides a 24-hour hotline, sex trafficking is a “modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced from the victim by force, fraud or coercion.”
Ann Jawin, founder and chairwoman of CWNY, who is the moderator, said the program is aimed at ending the advertising in some Queens community newspapers of services “that are clearly a front for prostitution. I have looked at these ads and they are horrid,” Jawin said.
She plans to make the request to the weeklies in writing and if they don’t respond, “I will ask stores where the papers are distributed not to carry them,” Jawin said. “This is our first small step to end sex trafficking.”
Mark Weidler, publisher of the Queens Chronicle, was the first to sign the pledge, although this newspaper does not carry ads that promote sex trafficking.
“I am proud to sign the pledge and take part in this effort,” Weidler said. “Sex trafficking truly is a form of slavery. No respectable newspaper should be involved in promoting such activity.”
But not every publisher agrees, as many readers are reminded every week. The ads typically offer massage or escort services, sometimes with language that makes it clear sex is also an option.
Jawin noted the campaign is voluntary, “but maybe the community will put pressure on the papers that don’t cooperate. Other newspapers are not taking these ads; they are sacrificing income.”
She acknowledged the ads have existed for many years but she has never seen them to such a large extent as now.
Congratulations, Crappers. This movement is, in part, because of you.