The has recently voiced its strong opposition to the practice of trafficking in persons. However, personnel stationed at military bases around the globe directly contribute to the problem of human trafficking by soliciting prostitutes, creating a large demand for trafficked women. These actions undermine both the purpose of military occupation, and the stance against trafficking in persons. Current legal efforts to curb the practice of soliciting prostitutes near military bases are insufficient to effectively end the practice. A recent change to the Uniform Code of Military Justice makes soliciting a prostitute a specific chargeable offense to service-members, but this code does not apply to the growing number of civilian contractors serving alongside the military. Furthermore, proposed changes to the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act have been met with limited success and are too narrow to cover the broad class of contractors serving with the military abroad. Unless serious legal efforts are endorsed to close the jurisdictional gap protecting civilian contractors, coupled with the implementation of thorough educational programs for all personnel stationed at U.S. military bases regarding the harmful effects of soliciting prostitutes, the activities of these personnel will continue to disgrace the United States and encourage the trafficking of women around U.S. military bases.
Significant Steps or Empty Rhetoric? Current Efforts by the United States to Combat Sexual Trafficking near Military Bases,
Nw. J. Int'l Hum. Rts.