I wonder why Google has donated $11.5 million to the same entities that already get masses of money from anti-trafficking funders. Do they need to polish their reputation a bit in mainstream eyes and Rescue is now a guarantee to achieve this? What’s hardest for me to comprehend is why they wouldn’t want to show creativity and even innovation by getting some interns to do research and find some new groups to fund. Why not claim originality in philanthropy if your main corporate claim is how special and interesting and original your technology is? Instead they said:
Each year we focus some of our annual giving on meeting direct human need . . . Google chose to spotlight the issue of slavery this year because there is nothing more fundamental than freedom.
I have gathered together here some of the best links to stories that bring into question Rescue as the principle mechanism for helping victims. The Rescue tag on this website includes many more blog posts with more resources, but here is, first, an array of striking commentaries on what so few people question: the efficacy of Rescue operations.
Note: This is not about everything that can be wrong with Rescue operations in theory or fact but a list of news stories specifically about people who don’t want to be rescued. For their own reasons, for structural-inequality reasons, inside crappy patriarchy and unfairness everywhere. This is not a list about who is happy or whether selling sex ever feels like a job. And it does not mean that no one is ever glad to be rescued. Instead it shows that Rescue is highly problematic, all over the world. Finally, the list isn’t comprehensive; there must be numerous stories I missed. Most are from the past year and a half but one about ladyboys goes back to 2008.
- Women resist rescue by anti-trafficking police, who admit it, July 2011
- Saved at last? or Sex Workers Don’t Want Rescue? Stories from India, October 2010
- Chinese trafficked sex workers refuse rescue from Congo, January 2011
- Even sex-trafficked brothel workers reject raids and rescues, August 2011
- Saving prostitutes or chasing out sex workers: Don Benzi, Abruzzo and deforestation, October 2010
- Teen prostitutes don’t want to be saved so they must be brainwashed, right?, October 2011
- Bangalore sex workers reject rescue by Supreme Court judge, March 2011
- Cambodia Ladyboy Rescue Goes Wrong, November 2008
- Sex Workers on Sunday: what people say themselves about exchanging money for sex, April 2011
Charlotte Cooper (author of Obesity Timebomb), produced the picture of Ashton Kutcher at a postprandial drawing session in Stratford a couple of months ago. My own depiction of Mira Sorvino wasn’t nearly as good.
–Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist