Massachusetts leaders take a stand against sex-buying

Posted by on April 20, 2016 in CEASE Network, News, Uncategorized

By Ziba Cranmer, Executive Director

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Governor Charlie Baker, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are sending a clear message to people on the public payroll: if you buy sex, you could be fired.

The offices of all three leaders have announced new policies explicitly prohibiting state and city employees—and state-funded contractors—from advancing human trafficking, which includes the illegal purchase of sex.

Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker have a zero-tolerance for sex-buying among their staff.

Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker have a zero-tolerance for sex-buying among their staff.

 

This is welcome news. People who buy sex perpetuate a system of violence and abuse that’s gone on for too long. To know that leaders like Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, and Mayor Walsh are willing to use their offices to fight this exploitation shows that the days of buyers acting with impunity could be coming to an end.

“Human trafficking, whether through commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor, is a real and growing issue in Massachusetts. As some of the state’s largest employers, we are making clear through these policies that we have zero tolerance for this kind of activity. We encourage other agencies and businesses to take similar measures to help fight this problem.”

— Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

“We must aggressively target the drivers of human trafficking to ensure this horrific practice is eliminated in the Commonwealth and our society as whole. I am pleased to announce our administration’s commitment to enforce a zero tolerance policy for our employees regarding human trafficking and we remain committed to enacting strict reforms to target the sources of human trafficking.”

–Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

 

Mayor Marty Walsh has been a strong advocate for ending sex-buying in Boston.

Mayor Marty Walsh has been a strong advocate for ending sex-buying in Boston.

Having worked closely with Mayor Walsh and his staff for the past two years, I can say from experience he’s made it a personal mission to end commercial sexual exploitation in Boston. His collaboration with the AG’s office, city officials, Boston Public Schools, and our own CEASE Network (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) is changing how things are done in this city, placing more emphasis on penalizing sex buyers and offering support services to their victims.

It’s time to stop punishing and stigmatizing those trapped in the illegal sex trade for the crime of not having enough options. Likewise, we must hold those who fund this cycle of abuse accountable. I hope more public and private sector employers take on similar proactive measures to prevent sex trafficking and the further victimization of vulnerable people. Together, government, the general public, and the business community can rid this predatory crime from our neighborhoods for good.

 

Read press releases from Governor Baker and Attorney General Healey concerning the new policies.

Learn more about how businesses are joining the fight against commercial sexual exploitation.