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Trump admin must ‘vigorously enforce’ obscenity laws to stop sex trafficking: anti-porn group

Peter LaBarbera Peter LaBarbera Follow Peter

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A leading anti-pornography organization is recommending that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “vigorously enforce” anti-obscenity laws to “curb the demand” for child sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, prostitution and other social ills.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) released its “Freedom from Sexploitation” agenda at a press event Monday in Washington, D.C. It lists 16 policy recommendations for Congress and the White House. Those range from asking the U.S. Surgeon General to fund research into the harms of pornography to making strip clubs off-limits to the military to providing federal guidance to states and foreign governments against both the decriminalization of prostitution and normalizing it as “sex work.”

NCOSE, which recently published its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of corporations like Comcast that profit off pornography, says child sexual abuse, pornography, sex trafficking, sexual violence, and prostitution “overlap and reinforce one another.” For example, it states that “sexting [sending a text with sexually explicit messages or nude photos] makes adolescents vulnerable to revenge porn or sexual extortion,” citing a Journal of Social Science study.

Regarding prostitution, social leftist groups like SWOP (Sex Workers Outreach Project USA) recast it as “sex work” and fight for the “rights” of people in the “sex trade.” In the U.S., only Nevada, with its state-regulated brothels, has officially legalized prostitution, while liberal journalists and academics occasionally promote the idea in the name of helping women. But prostitution, like hard-core porn, thrives across America in various forms such as “escort services” that operate with impunity.

Obscenity laws

NCOSE describes obscenity laws as follows: “Federal obscenity laws, which are not being enforced, prohibit distribution of hardcore, obscene pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite or hotel/motel TV and in sexually oriented businesses and other retail shops.”

For many years, NCOSE (formally Morality in Media) has advocated that the federal government prosecute major producers and distributors of obscene pornography, as it has in the past.

“However, rather than aggressively enforcing federal obscenity laws against large-scale distributors of obscene pornography, for several years the Department of Justice has targeted primarily small operations that trafficked in the most extreme hardcore pornography and prosecuted very few of them,” it states. “Thus, illegal, obscene pornography is flooding our nation and the harm is great.”

Will Trump ramp up fight against “sexploitation”?

The placement of social conservatives in key positions throughout the Trump administration has given hope to NCOSE and other pro-family activists that the federal government will more aggressively prosecute sex traffickers and major hard-core pornographers.

The following are NCOSE’s recommendations as part of its “Freedom from Sexploitation Agenda” (NCOSE has published a larger document with full descriptions of each agenda point):

  1. “Amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 to allow prosecution of those who facilitate illegal commercial sex acts via the Internet.

  2. “Instruct the U.S. Attorney General to vigorously enforce current federal obscenity laws …

  3. “Require that training programs informing military personnel about the harms of pornography be incorporated in anti-sexual assault trainings across all Department of Defense agencies.

  4. “In furtherance of the Department of Defense’s ‘2015 Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Instruction 2200.1,’ institute a rule making strip clubs off-limits to all U.S. military personnel worldwide.

  5. “Direct the U. S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund research into the public health harms of pornography, and launch comprehensive efforts to abate these problems.

  6. “It is imperative that DOJ, under the provisions of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, prosecute those who ‘solicit or patronize’ victims of human trafficking for the purpose of commercial sex acts.” NCOSE cites the State Department’s 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report, which observed, “If there were no demand for commercial sex, sex trafficking would not exist in the form it does today. This reality underscores the need for continued strong efforts to enact policies that prohibit paying for sex.”

  7. “Preserve National Security Presidential Directive-22 (NSPD-22). NSPD-22 instructs federal agencies to strengthen their collective efforts to combat trafficking in persons; adopts an abolitionist approach to combating human trafficking by recognizing that activities such as prostitution, pimping, pandering, and maintaining of brothels contribute to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons …

  8. “Immediately nominate an individual to the position of Ambassador-at-Large for Trafficking in Persons at the U. S. Department of State who is committed to combating all forms of human trafficking …

  9. “Direct the Departments of Justice, State, and Health and Human Services, as well as USAID to provide guidance to U.S. states and foreign governments advising against the decriminalization of prostitution and against the normalization of prostitution as ‘sex work.’

  10. “Pass H.R. 611, the ‘Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act.’ Specifically, this bill amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 regarding the determination of whether a government has made serious and sustained efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.”

  11. Citing a recent meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries confirming the connection between pornography and “sexual aggression,” NCOSE states, “We strongly encourage the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to review their institutional policies and practices for ways in which they can share research, provide educational materials, and institute policies, regarding pornography’s role in exacerbating sexual violence.”

  12. “Pass H.R. 680 “Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act.” Several investigations have found that some federal employees view hardcore pornography at work ….

  13. “Direct the Federal Communications Commission to vigorously enforce the federal indecency law, 18 U.S.C. § 1464, designed to protect children from damaging sexual content on television and appoint FCC commissioners committed to fulfilling this mission.

  14. “Disband the current TV Parental Guidelines Oversight Monitoring Board (TVOMB). The TVOMB has enabled and sheltered a flawed content ratings system rather than following its congressional and FCC mandate to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the system. The current TVOMB is a sham composed of broadcast television insiders, and is utterly lacking in congressional oversight and public transparency. ...

  15. “To preserve the right of parents to shield their children from harmful content, Congress should update the FMA [Family Movie Act] to explicitly include streaming.

  16. “Pass S.534 ‘Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017.’ In light of recent allegations of sexual abuse against personnel involved with USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo, this bill would require amateur athletics governing bodies to immediately report sex-abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.”

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