What’s interesting is this: the headline says that there are at least one million female sex slaves in the US. And the first paragraph of the article goes on to say that these figures from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which estimates that anywhere from 100,000-3 million underage people are somehow involved in prostitution in the US.
What somewhat pisses us off is the headline, which blatantly contradicts the first paragraph. If you have 100,000-3 million what you have, really, is a huge f*ckin margin of error. Which means there is a probability that the actual number is somewhere between 100,000-999,999, in which case the headline would not be accurate. However, there is also a chance that the real numbers could be anywhere from 1,000,000 to 3 million — or more — but again, the huge margin of error suggests that there is not a whole lotta solid documentation or stats on this matter.
We didn’t spend a lot of time researching this matter, but we did find a web page from the DOJ that said this
Although comprehensive research to document the number of children engaged in prostitution in the United States is lacking, it is estimated that about 293,000 American youth are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Notice that the number, first of all, and then please notice the words at risk of becoming victims of … Risk implies an potentiality, not an actuality — unless, of course, this article is just way off base and there are more reliable figures somewhere in the public domain.
This isn’t to deny the severity of the problem in the US; we’re just a bit peeved at the way things are presented in the media. Take a look at the last paragraph in the article, for example, where it talks about juvenile delinquency, the criminalization of youth in the US, and the disproportionate amount of black people and black youth incarcerated in the US system. Ok, here’s another sentence we have a beef with:
The US one of the few countries in the world that allows the death penalty for minors, and even now, certain states have not set a minimum age for the death penalty. [Translation by Shanghaiist]
First of all, we ought to point out, that one of the few other countries that allows the execution of juveniles is China. Secondly, take a look at this screenshot from a website called deathpenaltyinfo.org:
In case you’re having a hard time reading the fine print, it says there that the death penalty is not allowed for people who are under the age of 18 at the time the crimes are committed — and this extends to all fifty states. The Supreme Court ruling mentioned in that web page is from 2005 — which makes us wonder why a Chinese human rights report ostensibly detailing the situation in the US during the year of our Lord 2007 would fail to mention this? We could be wrong about all this, you know. It could just be some unscrupulous writer at QQ news making up shit, taking liberties with the facts because they are bored or lazy. But if this is a reflection of that actual human rights report, then we might have to levy those same accusations against whoever in the government is in charge of writing human rights reports, which take it to whole other level.
The US, on the other hand, has dropped China from its list of worst human rights violators. Whether or not this is the great “propaganda coup” that that article (from The Telegraph) claims it is another issue. Reports and lists are on thing, actions over time quite another. Most of the time these reports refer to internal/domestic human rights conditions — leaving unanswered the issue of how these countries act (or fail to act) overseas, in the countries and governments and with the groups with which they exert some kind of influence. We’re talking about Darfur yes, and Iraq, and Nepal (see reports regarding Chinese embassy influence behind Nepalese police handling of March 10 protests) , and the brazen even by Israeli standards collective punishment inflicted on the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip of late — just to name some examples.