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We stand against human trafficking

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas
  • 7th Air Force Commander
Last week I released an order that prohibits Airmen assigned or attached permanently, on temporary duty, or on rotational duty to Seventh Air Force from providing money or anything of value to an employee or establishment in the Republic of Korea for the primary purpose of obtaining an employee's company or companionship. Airmen who fail to comply with the provisions will be subject to punishment under the UCMJ.

In addition to our installation commanders placing establishments that employ "juicy girls" off-limits, this order continues Seventh Air Force efforts to eliminate human trafficking outside the gates at Osan and Kunsan, consistent with other efforts by USFK, the Department of State, and the Republic of Korea. We will not condone activity that demeans or objectifies women, or that promotes sexist and disrespectful attitudes among our Airmen. We will do what we can within our sphere of influence off-base to maintain the same standard of human dignity and respect we expect and enforce on-base.

There are some who don't see a problem with this activity, who want to keep things as they are, and who believe that they are somehow helping women trapped in this life of indentured servitude. Let's be clear about what these proponents of human trafficking actually support: their own selfish needs, forced labor, and the modern-day equivalent of slavery.

Providing money to those who bring women from other countries to work in bars, and take away their passports so they can't escape, contributes to slavery. Providing money to those same people so the woman will spend time with you supports slavery. Buying a woman's contract does not set her free, it only encourages the slavers to bring in more women.

Our two Fighter Wings, working with their local Mayors, District Council Offices, the U.S. and Philippine Embassies, and the Bar Owners Associations have made great strides in eliminating conditions that foster prostitution, forced labor, and trafficking in persons. The order I released will assist our commanders, and put teeth into their efforts to reduce human trafficking outside our gates.

Establishments that tolerate bar-fining, prostitution or human trafficking will be placed off-limits to military personnel. Those who participate in these activities through their patronage will face potential action under the UCMJ. We're American Airmen. We stand for freedom, and we defend the oppressed - a heritage we can be proud of, and a tradition we can honor.