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Despite U.S. ban, tough battle against sex trafficking in war zones

By Ed O'Keefe

By The Post's Nick Schwellenbach and Carol Leonnig:

An eight-year-old policy forbidding government contractors and employees from engaging in sex trafficking in war zones has proven almost impossible to enforce, despite indications that such activities are occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The policy, instituted eight years ago by President George W. Bush and still in effect today, calls for prosecutions of government employees and contractors and suspensions or disqualifications of companies whose workers engage in trafficking. Bush's get-tough language also threatened criminal prosecutions for solicitation of prostitutes because many of the women are forced into the work.
Agencies say the cases are difficult to pursue because of limited investigative resources and jurisdictional questions. But some experts and lawmakers believe that authorities are turning a blind eye to evidence of such crimes.
"Zero prosecutions," said attorney Martina Vandenberg, a former Human Rights Watch investigator, "suggests zero effort to enforce the law."

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By Ed O'Keefe  | July 17, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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