Questions? Contact me at email@example.com
When: Tuesday, Jan 12, 7pm to 9pm
Where: Stewart Room at Malone University
This event has been put together by a team of local abolitionists: Kelli Cary, Bethany Collier and myself. I will be introducing what HT is and then elaborating on domestic trafficking. Next will be a video from International Justice Mission speaking more in depth on foreign trafficking. We are excited to welcome a special guest speaker who will be speaking on her first hand experience with sexual exploitation. Our team will also address what is being done locally to combat trafficking and how you can get involved.
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Tuesday, Jan 12, 7pm to 9pm
Where: Stewart Room at Malone University
By Dave Harding
Ohio school districts will have to adopt policies and health education curricula for seventh through 12th graders to prevent and combat teen dating violence under a new bill signed Monday by Gov. Ted Strickland.
House Bill 19, dubbed “Tina’s Law,” is named after Tina Croucher, a Middletown area teen who was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend in December 1992.
Her parents, Jim and Elsa Croucher of Monroe, backed the legislation. The couple started Citizens Against Domestic Violence 14 years ago to educate teens and parents about abusive relationships.
Under the law, local boards of education must adopt a policy to prevent and address dating violence at school, train staff on prevention and include dating prevention education for 7th- through 12th-grade health classes. The bill also requires the Ohio Board of Education to develop a dating violence prevention policy for schools.
Just 600 miles off the coast of Florida, you'll find what is widely regarded as the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Below are some statistics on poverty in Haiti as detailed by the United Nations Population Fund, and UNICEF.
By EVENS SANON and JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press writer Evens Sanon And Jonathan M. Katz, Associated Press Writer – Tue Dec 22, 6:50 pm ET PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, far more than previously thought, a report said Tuesday.
The 's report also said some of those children — mostly young girls — suffer sexual, psychological and while toiling in extreme hardship.
The report recommends Haiti's government and international donors focus efforts on educating the poor and expanding social services such as shelters for girls, who make up an estimated two-thirds of the child servant population.
Young servants are known as "restavek" — Haitian Creole for "stays with" — and their plight is both widely known and a source of great shame in the Caribbean nation that was founded by a slave revolt more than 200 years ago.
Researchers said the practice is so common that almost half of 257 children interviewed in the sprawling Port-au-Prince shantytown of Cite Soleil were household slaves.
Most are sent by parents who cannot afford to care for them to families just slightly better off. Researchers found 11 percent of families that have a restavek have sent their own children into domestic servitude elsewhere.
Despite growing attention to the problem, researchers said their sources were unaware of any prosecutions of cases involving trafficking children or using them as unpaid servants in this deeply poor nation of more than 9 million people.
Glenn Smucker, one of the report's authors and a cultural anthropologist known for extensive work on , said he believes the number of restavek children is increasing proportionally with the population of Port-au-Prince as more migrants flee rural poverty to live in the capital.
The researchers surveyed more than 1,400 random households in five Haitian urban areas in late 2007 and early 2008, with funding help from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The most widely used previous number for restaveks came from a 2002 UNICEF survey, which estimated there were 172,000.
The new report used a broader counting system to include children related to household owners but still living in servitude, such as nieces or cousins, and as well as "boarders" living temporarily with another family but are still forced to provide labor.
"Most people working with restavek children ... think that these numbers, both ours and UNICEF's, are actually underestimating the problem," said Herve Razafimbahini, the 's program director in Haiti.
He called for Haitian officials to conduct a national survey to analyze the full scope of the problem, including in rural areas.
Officials with the Ministry of Social Affairs could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bridgette Carr at a conference in Toledo, Ohio. After sitting in a session she was presenting, it was clear she is a reliable voice in the human trafficking movement. I hope you enjoy her article that was published on CNN's Opinion page.
Editor's note: Professor Bridgette Carr directs the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. The Human Trafficking Clinic provides direct representation to victims of human trafficking and works to identify solutions to combat human trafficking.
Ann Arbor, Michigan (CNN) -- "We did not have a right to choose where we lived ... freedom of speech, or freedom of actions. The traffickers had keys to our apartment. They controlled all of our movement and travel. They watched us and listened when we called our parents. They didn't let us make friends or tell anyone anything about ourselves. We couldn't keep any of the money we earned. We couldn't ask anyone for help." -- Lena
Lena was an athletic student from Eastern Europe yearning to visit the United States through a study-abroad program at her college. She had visions of learning English and returning home to share her experiences with her family.
But the human traffickers who ensnared her had a different vision for Lena, shipping her to America and exploiting her in the sex industry for profit. They met her at the airport with news that her study abroad placement had been changed. She was given new bus tickets and sent off to Detroit, Michigan. Once there they took her passport and her freedom.
After almost a year of enslavement, Lena risked her life to make a daring escape. She is smart, resilient and funny, and I have been honored to be her attorney through the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School.
Unfortunately there are thousands of adults and children like Lena who have not been able to escape their traffickers. These victims, especially the children, are in the same position Lena was: They're being exploited and can't ask anyone for help.
The data on human trafficking is sparse, but what is known is terrifying. It's already the second largest criminal industry in the world -- behind only the trade in illegal drugs -- and it's growing fast. The global commercial sex trade exploits one million children annually. At least 100,000 and perhaps as many as 300,000 children in America are victims of sex trafficking each year.
The grim reality of child sex trafficking in the United States is this: Human traffickers are selling sex with children in big cities and small towns throughout America.
Child sex trafficking has been illegal in the United States since 2000 with the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Under this law it is illegal to recruit, harbor, transport, provide or obtain a person under the age of 18 years for the purpose of a commercial sex act. Since the passage of the TVPA many states have passed their own human trafficking laws.
Children who are selling sex in the United States are then, by definition, victims of human trafficking. Despite this, child victims of sex trafficking are frequently viewed as criminals rather than as victims. According to the Department of Justice in 2006, six years after the passage of the TVPA, 1,600 children were arrested for prostitution and commercialized vice.
The children victimized by sex trafficking are often very young. On average, girls are first exploited for commercial sex between the ages of 12 and 14. For boys the average age is even younger -- between 11 and 13.
But being a victim of sex trafficking does not have to be a life sentence. Victims can become survivors and build new lives. And while Lena is no longer the young college student she once was and it is too dangerous for her to return home, her speech and actions are now her own. She can choose where she wants to live. She is free.
Through my work with Lena and other clients in the Human Trafficking Clinic we have identified a number of ways to fight sex trafficking.
Raise awareness within your community: One of the biggest barriers to helping victims of sex trafficking is the lack of awareness about the issue. Human traffickers profit when we think human trafficking only happens in foreign countries.
• Human trafficking happens everywhere, and sex trafficking cases involving children have been found in all regions of the country. No community is immune to the horrors of human trafficking.
• Communities must prioritize the fight against human trafficking -- including providing enough resources to law enforcement.
Change the conversation: Children who by law are too young to consent to having sex obviously cannot consent to selling sex, so:
• Victims should not be described as entering into prostitution; they are being exploited and should be described as victims of human trafficking.
• Law enforcement officials often arrest and detain child victims of sex trafficking on either prostitution charges or other charges, such as truancy or curfew violations. Law enforcement must be trained about human trafficking.
• Sellers of sex, especially when they are children, should not be guilty of a criminal violation. Buyers and pimps should be the only individuals at risk of criminal penalties. This would ensure that no victims are arrested or jailed.
Reduce demand: The reality of sex trafficking must not be neutralized or glamorized.
• Individuals who travel abroad to purchase sex from children are demonized in the media and identified as sexual predators, yet individuals who stay in the United States and pay to have sex with children are given the anonymous title "john" -- and frequently aren't even charged with a crime.
• Individuals who pay for sex with children in the United States should be punished.
By BILL DRAPER
Associated Press Writer
Kristy Childs was in sixth grade the first time she helped a man undress for sex. The frightened 12-year-old had climbed into the semi-truck hoping for a ride somewhere - anywhere - far away from a home where her stepfather had been sexually abusing her. But the truck driver, who gave her a ride, something to eat and a place to sleep, made her have sex with him to pay him back. For Childs, giving in to him seemed somehow better than having the same thing happen to her at home. Over the years she was arrested too many times to count for prostitution. Her customers, however, walked free without facing any criminal charges.
Now the Justice Department is starting to go after those who pay to have sex with children. Previously authorities targeted people who sold children for sex, but they are taking advantage of a little-used provision of a 2005 bill to focus their efforts so far in Kansas and Missouri after noticing an apparent rise in child prostitution cases. In Kansas City, a sting dubbed Operation Guardian Angel this year resulted in guilty pleas by six men who answered Internet ads for sex with underage girls. After a similar sting in St. Louis, two men in St. Louis pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain a minor for sex, and a Catholic priest is awaiting trial.
"We became aware of the alarming market for child sex trafficking while successfully prosecuting several cases of child prostitution," said Matt Whitworth, acting U.S. attorney in Kansas City. "As we obtained convictions against the pimps in those cases, we realized an aggressive strategy was needed to attack this issue on all fronts."
The federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, enacted in 2000, intially on international human trafficking. But in 2005, Congress revised it to include domestic trafficking, including the sex trafficking of children.It estimated that "as many as 300,000 children in the United States are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation, including trafficking, at any given time." Though federal prosecutors have had the authority to go after customers of the domestic child sex trade for the past decade, none had used the act in that way.
That changed when assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Cordes, who earlier this year used RICO statutes for the first time to prosecute a human trafficking case, began focusing on the demand for underage prostitution.
"We became the first district in the nation to take advantage of provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to target the customers of child prostitutes," Whitworth said. "Other districts are now successfully following the same strategy. We are prosecuting not only those who recruit children into prostitution, but also their customers who create the demand for child sex trafficking."
Linda Smith, head of Shared Hope International, said the Missouri efforts were a success because prosecutors were able to prove the intent of the men who had offered to pay for sex with a child.
"The fact that (Cordes) stayed with it, got prosecutions, they got the prison time, that has rippled around the United States," Smith said.
Shared Hope, a Vancouver, Wash.-based organization created to rescue victims of sex trafficking, conducted a two-year study that concurred with the government report that up to 300,000 underage American girls are sexually exploited every year.
It's not always strangers victimizing them. Last month a woman in North Carolina was charged with prostituting her 5-year-old daughter, who is believed to have been killed by a man accused of raping her. In Kansas City, a man and woman pleaded guilty in September to training the woman's 12-year-old as a sexual dominatrix and using the Internet to sell her as a prostitute.
"These are middle school kids," said Smith, a former U.S. congresswoman who started Shared Hope in 1998. "Most of them are missing kids. We've found them in strip clubs, being delivered to motel rooms. They're not lost. They're being consumed by the hour by pretty ordinary men in America."
As awareness of the sex trafficking problem grows, officials say more is being demanded of the government to fight it. "Federal statutes provide a heavy hammer with tough mandatory prison sentences for both buyers and sellers who victimize children," Whitworth said.
Childs, who settled in the Kansas City area and formed an advocacy group for victims of sex trafficking, says it was "a great step" for authorities to use the federal law the way they did.
The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sex abuse, but Childs agreed to go on record for this story and frequently speaks in public about her experiences as a child sex trafficking victim.
Now in her late 40s, Childs can't remember whether she got into the truck that first time at a truck stop or somewhere along the roadside. That first ride led to a second, then dozens more. "The truckers would CB each other, so I wouldn't even have to get back out on the road," Childs said. "I could just go from one truck to another truck and be headed off in another direction. I wasn't getting any money. It was survival sex."
Childs formed Veronica's Voice in 2000 to help girls and women break away from prostitution, and has shared her story with thousands of prostitutes in the Kansas City area. Despite the increased attention being given to domestic child sex trafficking, Childs said the government is not moving fast enough to help with services for victims.
Veronica's Voice receives no government subsidies, she said. Instead, the group relies on donations to fund its $100,000 a year budget, which pays for three full-time employees, rent, utilities and the cost of providing services to clients.
"We have millions of dollars going to other countries to fight this issue," Childs said. "I think anyone who is in sexual slavery who wants out, regardless of how they got there, deserves the opportunity and the services to help get them out."
R E S O L U T I O N
Recognizing January 11 as "National Human Trafficking Awareness Day" in Ohio.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF OHIO:WHEREAS, The members of the Senate of the 128th General Assembly of Ohio are pleased to recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11; and
WHEREAS, Ohio has a tradition of advancing fundamental human rights; and
WHEREAS, Because the people of Ohio remain committed to protecting individual freedom, there is a statewide imperative to eliminate human trafficking, including early or forced marriage, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, labor obtained through debt bondage, involuntary servitude, slavery, and slavery by descent; and
WHEREAS, To combat human trafficking in Ohio and globally, the people of Ohio, the General Assembly, and local governments must be aware of the realities of human trafficking and must be dedicated to stopping this contemporary manifestation of slavery; and
WHEREAS, Beyond all differences of race, creed, or political persuasion, the people of Ohio face national threats together and refuse to let human trafficking exist in Ohio and around the world; and
WHEREAS, Ohio should actively oppose all individuals, groups,organizations, and nations who support, advance, or commit acts of human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, Ohio must also work to end human trafficking around the world through education; and
WHEREAS, Victims of human trafficking need support in order
to escape and to recover from the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma associated with their victimization; and
WHEREAS, Human traffickers use many physical and psychological techniques to control their victims, including the use of violence or threats of violence against the victim or the victim's family, isolation from the public, isolation from the victim's family and religious or ethnic communities, language and cultural barriers, shame, control of the victim's possessions,confiscation of passports and other identification documents, and threats of arrest, deportation, or imprisonment if the victim attempts to reach out for assistance or to leave; and
WHEREAS, Although laws to prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking and to assist and protect victims of human trafficking have been enacted in the United States, awareness of the issues surrounding human trafficking by those people most likely to come into contact with victims is essential for effective enforcement because the techniques that traffickers use to keep their victims enslaved severely limit self-reporting; and
WHEREAS, The effort by individuals, businesses,organizations, and governing bodies to promote the observance of the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness on January 11 of each year represents one of the many examples of the ongoing commitment in Ohio to raise awareness of and to actively oppose human trafficking; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That we, the members of the Senate of the 128th 53General Assembly of the State of Ohio, in adopting this resolution, support the goals and ideals of observing the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness on January 11 of each year and all other efforts to raise awareness of and opposition to human trafficking; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit duly authenticated copies of this resolution to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the news media of Ohio.
Content written by Amanda Kloer and can be found here .
“College students (and college-age young people) have been the leaders of almost every social movement that’s ever existed. So it’s pretty natural that they’re some of the biggest movers and shakers in the abolitionist movement as well. Wanna be part of the movement? Here are 10 things you can do to help end human trafficking.
1.Update your status. When it comes to human trafficking, making people aware that slavery still exists is half the battle. Whether you use Facebook, MySpace, BlackPlanet, Twitter, or something else, make a commitment to post an item or set your status to mention human trafficking once a week. You can link to an article or blog post, or simply make a “Did you know … ” statement about human trafficking. For instance, “Did you know there are more slaves today than when slavery was legal in the 1830s?” By telling your friends, you help educate people about this important issue.
2.Throw a viewing party. Invite your friends, sorority/fraternity, Ultimate Frisbee team, or hall mates over to watch a movie about human trafficking and the talk about it. A film, either a documentary or fictional story, is a great way to introduce people to the issue and get them talking. Not ready to come out as an abolitionist at school? Start with your family over a holiday break. For some suggested short films, check out this list.
3.Pressure your school to buy better. Do you know if the spirit gear in the school bookstore is sweatshop free? Or if the coffee on campus is grown by slaves? Find out. And if your school isn’t buying slave-free products that are good for workers, get the some fellow students and lay on the pressure. I got my university to offer Fair Trade coffee after a few months of petitions and phone calls. You can really make a difference in how your school spends money.
4.Boycott pimp n’ ho parties. Pimp n’ ho parties (and related themes where women dress up like prostitutes) are for people that don’t really understand what pimps are. Sure, some mindless 50 Cent and Three Six Mafia fans might think pimps are cool, but you know real pimps are criminals. They abuse, rape, and exploit women and girls. They are human traffickers. Who wants to dress up as a human trafficker?
5.Buy fair trade. When we buy only dirt cheap goods and services, traffickers enslave workers and children to make producing those products cheaper. Slaves pick our fruit, make our clothing, clean our hotel rooms, serve our food, and do a number of other tasks without our knowing. By buying Fair Trade Certified goods, you support companies and products which ensure a living wage for the producers and humane working conditions. Learn more about what buying fair trade means.
6.Support education and opportunities for girls. Girls, especially young and teen girls, make up the majority of human trafficking victims because in many countries (including the U.S.) they lack the same educational and economic opportunities given to men. There are a number of international microeconomic development programs which give opportunities to girls, as well as U.S.-based organizations like the Girl Scouts which can help low-income girls afford college. Giving other girls an education means they can make their own choices.
7.Think globally, act locally (on campus and off). It’s great to involve the on-campus community in your activism, but what about the larger community around your college? Whether your school is rural or urban, and whether you’re a commuter or on-campus student, you can reach beyond your classmates. Why not take your activism to a local mall, park, or other place where people gather. You might be surprised at what resources are available to you in your immediate community, even off campus.
8.Express the importance of freedom through art, music, or performance. A college student with a love of theater and a passion for abolition once noticed that there were a number of talented actors at her school. So she wrote a short play based on real narratives of former slaves and cast her fellow students in the play. By charging a small admission fee to the show and selling products from Ten Thousand Villages, she was able to raise awareness in her community and over $1000 for a local anti-slavery NGO in a single night.
9.Lay off the porn. A lot of spare time plus unlimited Internet access means a lot of porn for some college students. But did you know that 20% of pornographic images online are of trafficked children? Do you want to take the risk that you’re supporting an industry that exploits kids? Internet porn can also be a huge time-suck and possibly a relationship killer. So try giving screen smut a rest for awhile.
10.Take action at Change.org. Here at Change.org, we have a lot you can do. Write a letter to a company asking them to stop using slave labor in making a product you like. Take a pledge to make better choices or host a fundraiser. If you don’t see an action you like, start one of your own. Check out the end human trafficking actions here.
So now you know 10 things to do to end human trafficking — if I missed something, let me know. Or better yet, create your own project and tell me about it. The 27 million slaves all over the world are waiting for you to act. What are you waiting for?”
Written by Amanda Kloer