The Exodus Road – Helping Stop Human Trafficking? Helping Stop Prostitution? or Earning Money for Themselves?
When looking at the accusations and allegations made at Exodus Road and their business practices, it’s worth considering what their actual goals are and how they seem to differ drastically from what they claim online and the reality seen on the ground in the countries they operate in.
First, I would like to state that Exodus Road’s stated and supposed goal of stopping child sex trafficking and true human trafficking is a noble one and one I and many others who have complained against The Exodus Road vehemently believe in. Nobody wants to see any minors, anyone’s child, forced against their will to do something they don’t want to do, kidnapped or forced to work in fields they don’t wish to do so in inhumane conditions, etc. This doesn’t extend just to the sex industry but also to the fishing industry, call center industry, and others in many countries. The problem, however, as I will address below, is Exodus Road’s apparent lack of actually going after the real human trafficking problem themselves and instead inventing their own imaginary problems or an easy route to seemingly garner more donations.
Adult prostitution is a much more polarizing issue and many opinions on this issue are driven by moral and religious cultural differences. Exodus Road publicly says they don’t seek to ban or criminalize prostitution between two consenting adults officially. Unofficially, however, they specifically seek out donations to fund their work from religious individuals and organisations that do seek to either ban adult prostitution where it is already allowed or tolerated and to keep it firmly banned in their home country of the United States. At the very least, this may be a conflict of interest for Exodus Road and a tough tightrope to walk between strongly religious and strongly anti-prostitution donors and their public stance that they aren’t looking to target adult industries or adult prostitution in general. For Exodus Road to fund its own lifestyles and garner the donations it needs to operate, this neutral stance is privately impossible, which is why they do indeed target the overall infrastructure of adult entertainment businesses and interfere with consenting adults. Exodus Road has occasionally made public statements to placate sex worker activists and human rights activists fighting for legal prostitution, currently a major debate in Thailand for instance and sure to be an upcoming Parliament discussion of the new Thai government, but privately they seem to oppose this.
And why wouldn’t they? A legal, transparent, and completely regulated prostitution industry in Thailand would certainly damage their current alleged business models of essentially setting up entertainment venues to garner arrests and in return more donations. And many of their donors certainly oppose legal prostitution despite ample evidence that this does help stop human trafficking in countries where it is well regulated, like Germany or Australia.
This brings me to my last point, that it seems that the main goal, based on the many stories online about The Exodus Road including dozens from ex-employees, is not to stop human trafficking but to raise money, especially to support the lavish lifestyles of the executives and founders. If Exodus Road were truly dedicated to stopping human trafficking, it would work with the adult industry in the countries they operate in vs. against them, promote a transparent and legal industry with strong regulation to prevent human trafficking and focus on real victims vs. the many allegations of sending in their own plants with fake IDs to garner arrests and donations.
Oh, and for those donating to Exodus Road because they oppose the prostitution industry in general or adult entertainment…I’m not judging you. However, you may want to read some of the stories of the “undercover” work having been done by Exodus Road and ask yourself if this seems like the actions of individuals who aren’t hypocritical and may not have the same goals as you. Thanks for listening.