Dear Sir or Madam,
Nick Davies parallels the lies on trafficking to those on weapons of mass destruction — the same disregard for the truth and for people’s lives to impose a reckless political agenda (“Sex, lies and trafficking — the anatomy of a moral panic” Guardian, 20 October 2009).
Yes, the “speculative” claims of academics Kelly and Regan were misused. But did they complain? Did they support sex workers when we complained?
Davies quotes the Poppy Project: there is “confusion … between trafficking (unwilling victims) and smuggling (willing passengers) … they are two very different things.” But Poppy was key to blurring this distinction, and to labelling anyone with a foreign accent as a victim of trafficking, and promoting legislation which does not require coercion in order to prove trafficking. Like other embedded NGOs, it has seen its funding and influence increase, to the tune of £9.5m – more a Home Office front than a women’s group.
Feminism is now identified with a fundamentalist agenda. It blames prostitution as the source of evil, and vilifies women who support our families this way.
Women (mostly mothers) have paid a high price for this trafficking-generated witch-hunt: raids, arrests, deportations, family break-ups. Will anyone apologise for wrecking lives and wasting public money which should have been used to protect victims of violence?
It is not the lack of “specialist” services that prevents victims of trafficking coming forward as Helen Bamber claimed, but criminalisation: the threat of arrest and deportation. Our campaign for decriminalisation, as in New Zealand, is based on safety.
The police are now saying that they plan to get “back to some kind of reality” and prioritise children who are being sexually abused. Will they protect children or use them to continue their indiscriminate and costly raids?
The anti-prostitution measures in the Policing and Crime Bill are based on a tissue of lies. Will they now be withdrawn or, as with Iraq, are we to pay the price for generations to come?