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The organization stands by that statement with their focus on brothel raids (leading to mass arrests and deportations), hindering HIV prevention measures, and slandering organizations that question their violence. They receive millions of dollars of grant funding from the government, Google, Wal-Mart, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These institutions not only believe that any type of sex work is fundamentally a moral and legal crime, but that it is their responsibility as white members of a “more superior free nation” to bring justice to black and brown countries which were made poor by Western conquests in the first place. These actions carry out a legacy of white supremacy in that they continue to impose state-sanctioned violence on the most marginalized people, and the actions of white saviors goes unchecked, unquestioned, and rewarded with and mass media praise. Over and over, we can see who benefits from the criminalization of marginalized people. One of the promoted corporations by the End it movement Twitter page is Motel6, which is now getting “human trafficking” training by (one of the End It movement partners) to report any signs of prostitution to police. Some items from ECPAT anti-trafficking hotel checklist include “Monitor online sex ads such as Craigslist and escort directory Devozki in Peru for your hotel name and pictures of your rooms and guests”, “Block Internet access to popular websites for online sex ads”, and “Be aware of rooms with excess condoms, lubricants, sex toys, lingerie, towels and used gift cards.” It also encourages hotels_motels to run reports of all rooms paid in cash, implement no cash policies, and to not rent by the hour. This mostly harms survival, undocumented, and low-income sex workers who are more likely to be tracked and reported to authorities due to these policies. In 2019 Motel6 was caught in a for racially profiling Hispanic guests with ICE from 2015-2017. There is an interesting reliance on these movements on the emotional appeal of the transatlantic slave trade and black civil rights despite how far removed the people who run these organizations are from black struggle. It reduces the transatlantic slave trade to a symbolic, superficial view, that maintains the innocence of the developed world. These organizations are ruled by a Western white view that imagines that slavery was and is caused by “criminals”, people existing outside the legal system of global capitalism, and citizenship. It imagines that criminals, trafficking victims, and slaves are all coming from foreign “source” countries, usually from the Global South into “destination” countries, usually from the Global North. This narrative ends up benefitting privileged people who benefit from the pre-existing power structures. Besides the collaboration with police, surveillance, and border violence these organizations promote, they also promote and profit from social enterprises. Like most anti-trafficking organizations, the End It Movement embraces commodity activism with messages that anyone can be “an abolitionist” by simply donating to their organization, or buying their merchandise. End It Movement’s store products are made in India with a partnership with the social enterprise Known Supply and Krochet Kids International and have managed social enterprise operations with brands like Vans, Nordstrom, Volcom, Whole Foods. The irony of the End It Movement store is sweatshirts with the word “Freedom” across them, and “Raise Your Voice” shirts for Westerners to consume. Customers are told on the store page that “Your purchase helps us in the fight for freedom.” The biggest selling point of Known Supply, and what they give as proof that their garments are ethically made, is that they strip the workers of their privacy. Known Supply promises Western consumers that every piece they buy will have the worker’s name on it, and they can find out their life story, see their photos, videos, and quirky information like their favorite emojis. Every single profile has a description of how much they are head over heels in love with their dead-end low waged factory job. In other words, much like most retail, food service, and sales jobs in the US, their workers are required to represent the brand of the company. Social enterprises that put poor people, marginalized people, and human trafficking victims to work will often claim that key information like wages is kept secret for the benefit of the workers, when in reality it’s for the institution’s benefit. Other organizations in the End It Movement also have social enterprises, including the A21 Campaign with their store, each garment is sewn by a human trafficking victim (this is how they advertise the items!). Hagar International is an international Christian organization founded to “rehabilitate” victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and destitute women. Hagar Social Enterprise Group is their for-profit subsidiary which manages their which the Cambodia Daily reported in 2003 as “The $1.2 million factory was financed by Hagar, Hagar Soya’s majority shareholder, and $450,000 in equity financing from the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Half of the company’s 41 employees were destitute women living in Hagar’s shelter or foster homes. They now earn $50 per month at the factory.” Most of these social enterprises are run by white men from the Global North who are actively preying on abused, poor, or marginalized women and children from the Global South. Elizabeth Bernstein notes that “Conditions of employment in vocational training programs for sex workers are often characterized by protectionist policies that aim to discipline workers as part of their rehabilitation”. Historically sex workers were forced in, or in to try to eliminate prostitution, or otherwise deviant woen. These programs didn’t go away, and the philosophy behind them is still the socially accepted one. Social enterprises have the predicable side effect of increasing global inequality. People often don’t understand that most anti-trafficking organizations are missionary groups, and the way they talk about “slavery” and “saving slaves” is different from most people’s definitions of it. For many of these organizations that do outreach ministry work by visiting prisons, detention centers, harassing strip clubs, or other places where sex workers exist, this is “abolitionist” work, they’re liberating “slaves” by teaching them their version of Christianity. Some of the more extreme organizations that do this are As Our Own ($2.4 million revenue in 2018) and ($900k).. One “heartwarming” story I found was about a boy named who was a 16 year old homeless disabled teenager. He was admitted into the Bombay Teen Challenge where he was given the task of cleaning the rehab center. Eventually the director got him admitted to a nearby night school, but he dropped out after his father died, and he had to provide for the family. After which he took a job at McDonalds at night and worked at the rehab center in the morning. Another thing the organization does is they put their them to work making garments, leather goods, jewelry, etc. for companies like The Hard Rock Café As Our own ($2.4 million revenue) was founded by Indian expatriate, Ralph Borde who claims to consensually take children from their “sex slaves” mothers, to break the cycle of “slavery”. He’s also on the board of directors for Inc. a Christian child sponsorship ministry. As Our Own that “Their mothers are captives in the sex trade. And when enslaved women give birth, their children inevitably become second-generation slaves—like mother, like daughter.” I should probably mention this viewpoint that sex workers will give birth to children who will become sex workers (as if it’s a genetic trait) is from. As Our Own does not operate a school even though they advertise that they give the children an education everywhere, and they did, Ralph claims “an English education is crucial for these girls to break free from the stigma of their background.” Originally As Our Own was under the name Charasia NFP, their mission statement was “Responding with the love and message of Jesus Christ, the mission of is to empower the next generation of Christian leaders in South Asia. Charasia, a grassroots U.S.-based charity, focuses on three main areas of ministry_ Church Planting, Orphan Care & Child Protection, and Micro Enterprise Development. Movements like End It, have bipartisan support; both sides benefit from what Elizabeth Bernstein calls “carceral feminism, militarized humanitarianism, and redemptive capitalism”. Human Trafficking discourse needs to be understood as imperialistic, anti-immigrant, and anti-sex work policy. The issue behind the End It Movement is the privilege and power that they have over marginalized groups, and how these narratives and movements keep the power dynamics intact. One of the center arguments of the movement is that women can’t consent to selling erotic services for resources or money and yet they can consent to working at a sweatshop factories, and giving up their children to strangers. This framework is that trafficking victims slaves can only consent to things that benefit the institution; they can only make a choice that the system they allows them to make. Any decision made outside of their direct control is a “enslaved” choice, and therefore should not be recognized or respected. When the public is given a chance to see what’s really happening behind “anti-trafficking” policy, they’re often outraged. We can see this at the American border, as children are taken from their parents and families to protect them from potential “traffickers”, and later sold off to adoption agencies. Many people have pointed out that these are state sanctioned kidnappings, if not an act of. If we really seek to empower people, we should listen to those that anti-trafficking organizations call “slaves” and we should stop calling them slaves. We should listen to marginalized people, to poor people, to undocumented immigrants, and to sex workers as the true experts and leaders. Disclaimer This post is authored by Maya Morena and any views or opinions expressed in this post belong solely to the author. The author does not represnt Assembly Four.


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