While Senator Barack Obama rejects prostitution and trafficking as an abuse of human rights,  San Francisco voters are being urged to make our city a sanctuary for pimps and traffickers.
What we have to do is to create better, more effective tools for prosecuting those who are engaging in human trafficking and we have to do that within our country. Sadly, there are thousands who are trapped in various forms of enslavement, here in our country - oftentimes young women who are caught up in prostitution. So we've got to give prosecutors the tools to crack down on these human trafficking networks. Internationally, we've got to speak out and we've got to forge alliances with other countries to share intelligence, to roll up the financing networks that are involved in them. It is a debasement of our common humanity, whenever we see something like that taking place.
~ Senator Barack Obama

I exploited my body and gave myself to any man who wanted a piece. It was a vicious lifestyle. What these men don't know -- or maybe what they DO know -- is that prostitutes or streetwalkers or "happy hookers" are women with a deep sense of pain. Most have been abused in unimaginable ways.
~ Brenda Myers-Powell

Proposition K conceals the inhumane nature of prostitution and cripples the efforts of law enforcement, human rights groups and social service agencies to assist those who seek escape from sex-traffickers.
~ Kamala Harris, SF District Attorney

..there is nothing broad-minded about looking the other way when 14-year-old girls and boys sell themselves on the street and massage parlors are staffed by women who are being held against their will. These are not consenting adults.
~ Debra Saunders
Diary of a Sex Slave PDF Print E-mail

Four Part Special Report
by Meredith May and Deanne Fitzmaurice
October 2006

Groundbreaking report on the how sex trafficking works and the role played by the massage parlors of San Francisco.


Part 1:  San Francisco Is A Major Center For International Crime Networks That Smuggle And Enslave.
Many of San Francisco's Asian massage parlors -- long an established part of the city's sexually permissive culture -- have degenerated into something much more sinister: international sex slave shops. 

Part 2:  A Youthful Mistake: You Mi was a typical college student, until her first credit card got her into trouble
At 1 a.m., the bell rang. You Mi Kim rushed with eight other Korean masseuses to the barren front lobby of Sun Spa in San Francisco. The women lined up on an L-shaped couch in their lingerie and waited for the customer to choose. 

Part 3:  Bought and Sold: You Mi is put into debt bondage -- life becomes an endless cycle of sex with strangers
A small sedan pulled up to a run-down motel in Tijuana just before midnight, and a middle-aged Korean American woman behind the wheel ordered You Mi Kim into the backseat. 

Part 4: Free, but Trapped
In San Francisco, You Mi begins to put her life back together -- but the cost is high
Navigating past the junkies and hustlers in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, You Mi Kim found the metal security door she was looking for, and pressed the buzzer. 

See the full series of articles plus podcasts with the Mayor, the author, and others, at: http://www.sfgate.com/sextrafficking/