INTERVIEW WITH ANGEL SWIFT, FINANCIAL CRIMES AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING SPECIALIST
By Hera Smith
1. WHAT ARE THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING? HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY AND LAW WORK TOGETHER TO HELP ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM?
The current big topic across the United States (US) is whether states will adopt full decriminalization of sex work. While the ultimate intent in making sex work legal is to protect the sex worker (health care, fair compensation, additional protection), the reality is that this also means the legalization and legitimization of pimps and johns. On October 17, 2019, hearings were held in Washington, District of Columbia (DC) for the City Council to hear testimony from sex workers, human rights organizations and human trafficking survivors before considering whether DC would be the first city to decriminalize prostitution. While it seems that those who oppose and those who support the bill are pretty far from each other, I think there is definitely some common ground. The main consideration for those who oppose full decriminalization is the empowerment it will give to pimps and johns to mistreat sex workers. It does appear that everyone is on the same page about wanting to afford sex workers rights and protection.