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June 12, 2006

WC06: Polaris Project - "Soccer With a Side of Slavery"

From the Washington Post: Soccer With a Side of Slavery.
By Katherine Chon and Derek Ellerman
Saturday, June 10, 2006; Page A19

"It is truly scandalous. People are talking about women, importing them to satisfy the base instincts of people associated with football. It is humiliating enough for me that football is linked with alcohol and violence. But this is worse. It is slaves that will come and be put into houses. Human beings are being talked about like cattle, and football is linked with that."

-- Raymond Domenech, coach of the French World Cup soccer team

As the 2006 World Cup games get underway in Germany, tourists and soccer fans are being joined at the various competition venues by denizens of an international world of crime where human beings are bought and sold for profit.

Human trafficking is the third-largest criminal industry in the world, after arms and drugs. While soccer fans anticipate the excitement of the games, many of us in the anti-trafficking movement are deeply troubled by the expected surge of sex trafficking in Germany to meet the demand for commercial sex associated with the World Cup. It is estimated that more than 40,000 women and children will be imported to Germany during the month-long competition to provide commercial sex in the "mega-brothels," "quickie shacks," other legalized venues and vast underground networks that exist in Germany.

The traffickers and those who benefit from sex trafficking promote an image of women freely choosing to be involved in prostitution, making huge amounts of money at it and in general having a great time. It is the "Pretty Woman" myth, which many apparently like to believe in order to justify their inaction or ignorance on the issue.
Read on...

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