Of sex trafficking and International Megan’s Law and cabbages and kings

A piece of legislation called International Megan’s Law—HR 4573—passed the U.S. House of Representatives, according to this article, June 20.

The bill’s sponsor, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, has been pushing this bill, in various forms, for years. It is aimed at sex trafficking in general and will largely affect American registrants traveling out of the country, but named after Megan Kanka, a seven year old child who was murdered twenty years ago, and touted as “…the model needed for the U.S. to persuade other countries to take action to stop both child sex tourism within their borders and protect children in the United States and elsewhere,” the focus perceived by the American public is on the taking of American children for use in the forced sex market.

Sex trafficking is the new buzz-word in the sex offender industry. We have all read of its horrors—huge numbers of “sex slaves” descending on the Super Bowl; vast numbers of children scooped off the streets and forced into a life from which they cannot break free.

I cannot speak for other countries. I know there are some where life, especially a child’s life, is very cheap and poverty is overwhelming. But this legislation was not passed by creating fear in our hearts for what was happening to children in third-world countries. It was passed by creating fear in our hearts that OUR children, MY child, could fall prey to the network of monsters scouring the streets of our cities and villages and taking our children.

I know about “throw-away” kids. I know teenagers run away, leave home for various and sundry reasons, and I am certain that a disproportionate number of them become entangled in prostitution, and this is terrible. But is this what people think of when they are told that legislation must be passed that will somehow keep their children safe from being forced into the sex and pornography trade?

Facebook pages declare “Every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking.” Another site says, “Abolish sex trafficking; 200,000 are at risk for sexual exploitation this year.” These are the type of pseudo-statistics that are not based on any study or scientific attempt at measuring or counting. They cannot be proved—or disproved. Facts are so twisted with myth that the reality is impossible to sort out.

As far as children, this FACT is worth noting: several sources, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, place the number of actual, real abductions of children and teens in the U.S for any nefarious purpose at an average of 115 a year, and almost all of those are recovered.

The bill’s sponsor, Congressman Smith, said, “The stories of the victims are tragic — ruined childhoods, devastated families, lifetimes of memories of assaults and sometimes worse.”

The implication is that these are families Mr. Smith has spoken with, stories he has heard personally, and tragedies with which he is intimately acquainted.

Really?

This is where I have trouble. As I said, I cannot speak and do not speak to what may be happening outside of the United States. And I cannot speak for anything outside of my own personal experience, but my own personal experience is this:

Like almost all American children, I went to school for twelve years and then college for six. I knew lots of kids and families. I had three children. They all had masses of friends and went to school with even greater masses of other children. I knew their friends and their families. They were involved with sports, which put us in contact with children and youth from schools all over the city.

I now have grandchildren. I know many of their friends and their families. I today have a huge circle of friends and acquaintances and contacts.

I taught high school for 28 years. I taught Sunday School and still do. I was on the Board of Education at my church’s parochial school. The number of young people and of families that I knew over all those years is literally incalculable.

In all of those years, with all of those youth, with all of those people, I never knew of a single child or person who just disappeared and was never heard from again. I never knew of a single child or person who was recovered from forced sex slavery or child pornography and told her—or his—story. I never knew a single family who had a child just disappear. I never knew anyone who knew of a single child or person to whom this happened. I never heard of a family to whom this happened. I never heard a rumor of someone to whom this happened.

Does that mean anything? I don’t know. I do know that what this legislation will do has little to do with children being taken in the United States. What it will do in reality is, again, target a very broad category of people, almost none of whom have ever kidnapped a child or operated a “sex ring” or produced child pornography, and apply restrictions to them which are inappropriate and which infringe on their rights to travel.

And which will do absolutely nothing to “protect children in the United States.” Again.

9 comments for “Of sex trafficking and International Megan’s Law and cabbages and kings

  1. Jim
    July 12, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I was denied entry into Thailand. I was in Thailand 2 times before with no problems. I have a 36 year old fiance whom I fell in love with. I am off the list in August. It’s been 12 years since my crime. I have finally felt life was starting to look bright. My family and friends was very happy for me. Now on my third visit I was met by immigration officers in Thailand telling me that ICE informed them of my crime and I am not allowed to enter. I could not talk to my fiance. ICE did not inform me that I may not be able to enter into Thailand before I left. I am saddened by this whole situation. I may lose my Fiance now. I understand they are protecting children but that is not what I want. I am wanting to start a life. I lost plane ticket money. This is unbelievable. Now what?? How can I begin happiness??

  2. David
    June 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    You have my sympathies, though they count for little, I’m afraid.

    This is a global juggernaut, fueled by the mendacity of obsessives intent on re-engineering society along entirely fascist lines. As long as people are unwilling to take a stand or to exhibit the slightest modicum of bravery, it will continue. We are bearing witness to the creation of an omnipotent world security state.

  3. David Kennerly
    June 2, 2014 at 4:02 am

    This is an extraordinarily significant law that will further degrade the citizenship and liberties of all registrants, regardless of their intentions or needs to travel.

    It may just pass this time and likely because of the additional incentive being dangled as an inducement as well as a key ‘excision’ from the bill that was probably tripping them up.

    This law is part of an entirely international effort, organized around the newly-relevant INTERPOL and its implementation of a world-wide database containing sex offender conviction history (and possibly other crimes?) to be made available to virtually all governments when a traveler washes up on their shores (okay, shows up at their airport Immigration).

    The inducement is this: in order for the U.S. government to learn of foreign visitors’ (to the U.S.) sex offender history, it (supposedly) must reciprocally provide those foreign governments the same kind of history about its own citizens when they travel outside of the U.S. The revised language of the bill that just passed the House is now quite direct in making that point and in offering it as a selling-point to Congressmen and the public.

    The excision: they have dropped the passport restrictions language which some may believe to be an improvement on the legislation. In this case, I believe it to be, clearly not. The reason being is that the passport restrictions/arbitrary denials portion was more clearly unconstitutional (and problematic for those supporting this bill) and may well be why the law has not been passed in previous years. Also, as such, any law with it would have been much more vulnerable to eventual Supreme Court invalidation.

    As a result, this law now has much smoother sailing in the (Democrat) Senate as well as a greater likelihood of withstanding Constitutional scrutiny by the courts.

    Perhaps most disingenuously, this bill claims to NOT be limiting or restricting the travel rights of its citizens since, as they spin it, that decision will be left entirely up to the gov’t. to whom it has just provided information about your criminal history.

    But, of course, which country – at this point – ISN’T going to turn away a “sex offender” who wants to pay them a visit?

    Triangulating further to ascertain the ‘back story’ of this terrible development are a few other clues which help us to further piece together the puzzle.

    At the same time as the U.S. is advancing this bill, ‘coincidentally’ any number of countries have announced, to great fanfare, their intentions to block entirely the entrance of sex offenders into their own countries. While this list may still be somewhat short (and has already included the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand [the ‘Five Eyes’ as the refer to their nefarious selves and something known by refused-registrants who have been turned away from those countries for some years now]) there are, within the last six months to a year or so, a handful of other countries which are joining the “no sex offenders fly free” club, including Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil (just a week or so ago) and who are now explicitly excluding sex offenders through law (but they don’t actually NEED TO in order to exclude anyone from their country). I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few others. Actually, Japan is refusing any type of former criminal, not just sex offenders. And I really think that criminal convictions, in general, will soon effectively eliminate foreign travel almost entirely.

    And the other thing, of course, is INTERPOL’s very public statements trumpeting the roll-out of this very database which they said was to be implemented well over a year now. That seems quite unequivocal and like a done-deal, doesn’t it? The questions of full international compliance, however, are far murkier with our own government keeping us almost entirely in the dark.

    This all strongly hints at the MACHINATIONS behind our own law as well as the international effort which, in my opinion, constitutes a conspiracy against sex offenders by their own governments, that is to say, by providing information about citizens to foreign governments. Information which could easily jeopardize their safety and security as well as their freedom were they, in fact, to ALLOW the S.O. into their country, could be used to set them up for a profitable sting. Not so far-fetched perhaps when you consider that this already occurs in a number of developing nations.

    This phenomenon of fully “internationalized collusion” in the formulation of U.S. laws as well as those in other countries seems to be a trend in recent years, as with global curbs on offshore banking and taxation. Now it has reached into the realm of those with sex offender criminal convictions but who have served the entirety of their sentences.

    One sobering possibility: even if this law is not passed, it is not at all clear that your criminal past isn’t ALREADY available to any country you might now visit and provided by INTERPOL and the U.S. We know the “Five Eyes” have been sharing this data for years and the U.S. almost certainly provides it to some other countries, including Japan, who have started refusing Americans on arrival.

    I’m just not finding clear or comprehensive information from our government on this which does not surprise me.

    It could be that this law provides a measure of due process and Constitutional advantage to the GOVERNMENT (by putting the registrants on notice) but that it simply will provide this information freely (or has already) to foreign governments regardless of this legislation.

    We need more information, if it can be found, to further understand the dimensions of this nightmare legislation and especially how it interweaves with INTERPOL and, of course, the abominable Adam Walsh Act which already duplicates much of this law now under consideration but which MAY, or MAY NOT apply to those Registrants in non-SORNA states (does anyone REALLY know?).

    But more importantly, we need to act very quickly and forcefully and together. I am available for any such effort. Please contact me.

    • Anon
      June 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      In years past, Interpol has regularly been fed information by American law enforcement, not even necessarily about convictions, because even those with no convictions have had accusations (and even rumours) put into their Interpol files. In some places outside the US, it is the right of a person to view his/her Interpol file, so this was confirmed firsthand, looking right at the file. What this bill would add, of course, is that everyone convicted of a s.o. will be on file…

      • David
        June 8, 2014 at 7:21 am

        Glad to know that, thanks!

        I’m not at all surprised to hear it. In fact, I fully assume that the U.S. is ALREADY supplying criminal conviction info to foreign countries via Interpol already.

        Since it’s so difficult to know precisely what’s going on here I can still try to infer, from bits and pieces of info, that one of the reasons for this bill is to simply formalize or I should say legalize the exchange of data as a means of protecting them from legal challenge in the future. It provides a kind of “due process” which puts “sex offenders” on formal notice and makes more difficult their ability to challenge the regimen in the future.

        That’s one reason.

        Another is simply that they want to put SO’s back in prison through yet another confusing maze of regulation through which they must gingerly step. One slip up and they’re back in prison. This is the cynical reason behind all of these deeply unconstitutional laws. “We didn’t get to put you away for life the first time, so we’re going to try like hell to ensnare you in the future.”

        And they get to do it by calling all of it “regulatory” and “civil” and “not punishment or ex post facto”. Very, very cynical and dishonest.

      • Paul
        June 9, 2014 at 12:49 am

        The Philipinnes immigration department have just announced the following:

        ‘The Bureau of Immigration (BI) banned the entry of foreigners who are registered sex offenders in other countries.

        BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison on Thursday said any alien whose name is found in the registry of sex offenders kept by foreign embassies and other watch groups will be issued an order to leave within 15 days upon arrival.

        In an operations order, the BI chief said these undesirable visitors clearly pose a threat to public safety.

        Having lived here peacefully for many years with my girlfriend and my 2 children i am understandably feeling gutted.

        • Tim
          December 19, 2014 at 5:12 am

          I was denied entry to the Philippines on my 7th trip in 6 years my wife is there and im in the us the adam walsh act will most liklly keep us apart I have a home and a family in the Philippines and they know of my past I have lived a responsible life there for the past 6 years with my wife of 5 years what do we do?.

    • Will
      July 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      David, how can you be contacted?

      • Cj
        July 17, 2014 at 1:51 am

        Yeah same here David. We should get the ball rolling on this b.s issue by taking a stand

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