But in a cigarette-scented hotel room near a Chicago airport, more than a dozen men come and go with wet cheeks and quivering lips. No one had died, no national tragedy had occurred— they had just been caught trying to buy sex.
Across the country, cops are implementing a strategy that has long been debated in Europe: targeting the men who buy sex while trying to help the women who sell it. Some police and scholars say that focusing law enforcement attention on sex buyers reduces demand for prostitution, which strangles the sex industry and curbs human trafficking. But some human rights organizations, most recently Amnesty International, advocate for the decriminalization of all aspects of sex work, including buying sex.
While Amnesty International members were considering whether to recommend decriminalizing sex work altogether, I was with a TIME video team on two buyer-focused sex stings in Cook County, Ill. Watching guys get caught is like watching that fantasy get destroyed over and over. The men are all different races and ages, from all walks of life— the only thing they have in common is shock. Some sit motionless with their hands over their eyes. One, a man so wide cops needed two pairs of handcuffs to arrest him, sat on the bedspread shaking his head slowly.
Another expressed incredulity at his arrest, arguing that cops should be going after rapists and child molesters instead. Until recently, most jurisdictions in the U. Cook county does johns stings year-round, but the national initiative happens a few times a year. Our first sting starts in an anonymous hotel room near a Chicago airport. The bedspread smells like old cigarettes and the air conditioner is acting up. Our room is filled with burly cops in baseball caps and T-shirts, badges hung around their necks, watching TV and joking around.
In the room across the hall are female undercover officers dressed as sex workers. A hot pink tank-top, leopard print leggings. Only a few hours earlier, they had placed on a site called back. You want to party? What does your ass look like? The cops gather by the door, looking through the keyhole and waiting for a from the undercover officer.
For a few seconds, all joking stops, and everyone is absolutely silent. Once a deal has been made for sex, the undercover officer gives an electronic al and the other cops rush in and cuff the buyer. The whole process usually takes under a minute. His logic is that the cops are out there so infrequently, only people buying regular sex are likely to get caught.
Deputy Chief Anton rolled his eyes and made a crybaby face, but let the kid off with just the ticket, without towing his car. Versions of this approach are slowly spreading across the U.
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Jul 26, C R Blog , Uncategorized. Back is a lot like Craigslist. It is a classifieds site where you can find people selling furniture, cars, etc. However, among human trafficking advocates, Back. It only takes two clicks from the home and you will be offered an individual profile with a at which you can reach someone in your area who is selling sex. Go to Back. You might remember that Craigslist used to have an escort function on their website, but, amidst pressure created by a nationally aired CNN documentary- which exposed online sex as direct fuel for human trafficking- they cancelled that part of the company.
Unfortunately, this has only made Back. Back has refused again and again to remove that portion of their site, likely because of the 20 to 30 million dollars a year that their sex bring in. Because it is so easy to create a post, and because johns in different areas handle them so quickly, the amount of sex on the site far outweighs any possible level of police interest.