09 November 2005

Bad Karma ... Mr Wang's Not Baking.

My earlier post on capital punishment attracted a large number of comments. Here's a related report to think about.

ST Nov 9, 2005
Women lawyers want death for sex traffickers
Tough laws needed worldwide to end exploitation of women, they say

KUALA LUMPUR - COUNTRIES need tougher laws to prevent women and girls from falling prey to human traffickers, possibly by imposing the death penalty, female lawyers said at an international conference yesterday.

Human trafficking for the sexual exploitation of women or children had become 'a flourishing industry', mainly in developing countries, said Ms Saraswathy Devi, president of the International Federation of Women Lawyers.

'The only way to successfully end trafficking is for state parties to hold abusers accountable and to remedy the root causes of the problem', such as poverty and gender inequality, she told more than 50 lawyers and activists at the federation's annual conference in Malaysia.

'I am going to ask for the death penalty for people who traffic in women,' said Ms Devi, a Malaysian lawyer. 'I am also going to ask for men who used the services of these women to be severely punished.'

5 comments:

mrdarren said...

"The ONLY way to successfully end trafficking is for state parties to hold abusers accountable and to remedy the root causes of the problem, such as poverty and gender inequality....I am going to ask for the death penalty for people who traffic in women… I am also going to ask for men who used the services of these women to be SEVERLY punished " (emphasis is mine)

How does asking for the death penalty remedy the root cause of the problem? How does the death penalty work better than severe punishments as a public deterrence?

The fact that ST has published biased short articles like this, without any opposing viewpoints or analyses and commentaries is telling of its quality of press. In my view, perpetuating the simplistic understanding of crime and punishment amongst Singaporeans is almost akin to intellectual dishonesty.

WhiteOut said...

but the only reason why there are people out there who have to traffick women for exploitation is because "they all have a sick brother / dying mother / three young children"

and it's only when they are caught that they'd ensure they will never do it again.

i guess the better deterrence is to cane them all and lock them up. after which we blame the authorities for
repeat offenders
bold traffickers who know they won't die if caught
the lives that one bold trafficker has ruined

the government can educate the masses, but it only takes a small demand to fuel any trade. put it this way, if there is no supply at all, the demand can either go some place else, or stop demanding. and generally, curbing the supply is more feastible than shutting down the demand.

clyde said...

"the government can educate the masses, but it only takes a small demand to fuel any trade. put it this way, if there is no supply at all, the demand can either go some place else, or stop demanding. and generally, curbing the supply is more feastible than shutting down the demand."

Oh if only it was that simple for demand to up and leave to another location. Quite the contrary, supply will always go where the demand is. And I don't think that 'small' demands are enough to fuel any significant trade. And the sex industry anywhere is definitely not a small one. It's the reason why redlight districts for example are focussed in city centres and not out in the middle of nowhere.

I suppose this would be no different from the debate over drug trafficking. A crime's a crime and the death penalty is the same no matter what crime it is applied to. And it will eventually boil down to its deterrence effect. The use of capital punishment is somewhat viewed by most death penalty supporters as the first line of defence against such crimes. Everyone wants to curb the crime. Just not everyone agrees the death penalty is any use.

clyde said...

Oh and here's an interesting suggestion by a British documentary on sex trafficking:

Clients of such "massage parlours" should be charged the same way as rapists when after all, the definition of rape is intercourse with a person against their will.

I'm not sure though how prosecutors would prove a man knew she was a victim of the sex trade.

pleinelune said...

Are Vietnamese bride agencies included in this? :D