by Amanda Kloer
Each year on January 11th, the U.S. celebrates National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. But this year, one coalition of anti-trafficking organizations is making today about more than just awareness. They’re launching a national initiative to make anti-trafficking efforts a priority and protect critical funding to fight trafficking. Continue reading
by Amanda Kloer
What could make a woman with a masters degree from Columbia University spend a year making no salary, living off cottage cheese and apples, and periodically asking herself if she’s insane? For Faith Huckel, it was the determined drive to meet a desperate need in New York City — a shelter for women trafficked into the commercial sex industry. Her story is one of how a woman turned her passion into a fresh start for hundreds of trafficking and abuse survivors.
As a social worker in Philadelphia, Huckel began noticing a pattern among the women whose cases she managed — sexual exploitation. In addition to issues like poverty, incarceration, and HIV, most of the women she worked with had been sexually exploited at some point in their lives. Some were molested as children, others raped as adults, still others pushed into the commercial sex industry by coercion or circumstance. When Huckel moved to New York City, that pattern added a new dimension — the sex trafficking of women from overseas into the U.S. Continue reading
by Amanda Kloer
Today, thousands of advocates from across the country are coming together to take action against child sex trafficking in America. They’re calling their representatives in Congress, signing petitions, and supporting the grassroots campaign to pass national legislation that will provide critical services to American children who have been forced into the commercial sex industry. Will you join them?
In America, at least 100,000 children are forced into prostitution each year. With increased resources and an understanding that child prostitution is child trafficking, thousands of those kids are now being rescued. However, only a handful of shelter beds for those thousands currently exist. That means trafficked children have no place to go for safety, shelter, and therapeutic services. Too often, this lack of resources means law enforcement arrests these young victims as juvenile offenders, simply to get them to safety. This lack of resources means crime victims are being imprisoned while their traffickers and predators remain free. Continue reading
Posted in Child Abuse, Child Labor, Child Prostitution, Event, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Modern Day Slavery, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
Tagged Child Abuse, Child Labor, Event, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Human Trafficking Education, Modern Day Slavery, Resource, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
Imagine being stripped of everything you know, transported between states and forced to have sex with strangers. No, this isn’t a nightmare; these are details from a recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation. Four girls – some younger than 14 years old – were forced into a life of prostitution by a Somali-run Human Trafficking Organization. Continue reading
Posted in Child Abuse, Child Labor, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Modern Day Slavery, News, Organized Crime, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
Tagged Child Abuse, Child Labor, Forced Labor, Gangs, Human Trafficking, ICE, Modern Day Slavery, News, Organized Crime, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
Reposted from the blog:” A Passion To Understand” http://passiontounderstand.blogspot.com
The year 2007 may have marked the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery but the reality is that many people around the world are living in conditions of forced labour or slavery. In her book Enslaved: The New British Slavery, Rahila Gupta gets in contact with five modern day slaves and convinces them to share their stories. These are heartbreaking and shocking tales that expose the hidden and invisible world of modern day slavery. All of these testimonies were obtained in England so this is not simply a “third world problem” that we can sweep under a rug; it is happening in our neighbourhoods. Continue reading
Posted in Book/Resource, Child Labor, Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Indentured Servitude, Modern Day Slavery, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Tourism
Tagged Child Labor, Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Human Trafficking Education, Indentured Servitude, News, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Tourism
by Maia Blume
Success! A small but rapidly growing mom-and-pop shop prostitution ring operating out of the Boston area and New York has been busted. Five people (three in Massachusetts and two in New York) were just arrested on multiple charges relating to forced prostitution and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
The group has been operational for over five years, running brothels out of roughly 11 apartments in the greater Boston area. They would post ads on Craigslist and in newspapers in Massachusetts, New York, and California seeking Asian women to move to Boston to work as escorts (in a few instances, the women were in the country illegally). These traffickers were so aggressive in wanting to expand their business and grow their brothels, that they spent over $13,000 in one seven month period placing ads in just one local newspaper in Boston … who knows how much they spent in total! Once here, the women were picked up from a local bus station, distributed amongst the group’s apartments and forced to have sex for money. If they were not complicit, the ring leaders, Hong Wei, known as Ms. Chen, and Jing Liang Chen, known as Mike, would threaten to harm their families. Continue reading
Posted in Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Modern Day Slavery, News, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
Tagged Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Modern Day Slavery, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
by Amanda Kloer
The global recession has affected China like every other country in the world. But despite a dip in the Chinese economy, at least one imported product remains affordable there: North Korean women. In China, a woman can be imported from North Korea for about $1500, less than the price of a decent used car. And the business of trafficking women from North Korea to China is booming.
Korea estimates that anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people from North Korea are currently living in China. Of those, about 80% are women. And of the women, almost 90% have been trafficked at some point or are currently victims of trafficking. For the most part, these women are trafficked into marriages. The one child policy in China has created a generation where men greatly outnumber women and Chinese wives are hard to come by. So Chinese men who want to get married are forced to look elsewhere. Some try to meet foreign women through legitimate means. But others just buy a wife from North Korea and have her shipped over, like an imported wine. Or rather, a piece of imported meat.
Sex trafficking is also going strong, serving the Chinese men who are looking to get laid rather than married. Sometimes, women are offered jobs in the Chinese tech industry. Those jobs turn out to be stripping for Internet webcasts and/or forced prostitution. North Korean women who are forced into prostitution face even more risks than those forced into marriages, because if caught, they face additional punishments back home.
Both the forced marriages and the sex trafficking are leading to a generation of Chinese-Korean children without a clear home. The children of trafficked women and their husbands or johns often end up not just homeless, but stateless as well. Usually, this happens when the Korean mother is caught in China without proper documentation and deported to North Korea, often to prison or a labor camp where she can’t bring the child. If the Chinese father doesn’t take responsibility for the child, then the kid ends up an orphan which no parent or country able and willing to take care of him or her.
The cross-border trafficking of women from North Korea to China has become an epidemic in the truest sense to the word. It’s spreading farther into both countries than the border region and infecting thousands of women. It’s even affecting a new generation of children, living without a family or a country to call home.
Photo credit: benjamin_mercadier
by Rachel Lloyd
There’s been lots of coverage in the last 24 hours on the Twitter ‘feud’ between Demi Moore and Kim Kardashian. Yet the glaring omission from all the articles, blogs and commentary is any real analysis of Demi’s point – that we glamorize and glorify pimp culture, use terminology that seems to legitimize the practice, and in doing so ignore the fact that pimps are modern-day slave-owners.
I’m the founder and Executive Director of GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, the nation’s largest service provider to girls and young women who’ve been commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked. Every day, I witness the impact that pimps have on the lives of girls in this country. Girls are left with physical and psychological scars from the brutal tactics of adult men who prey upon some of the most vulnerable children in our society and then sell them for profit over and over again.
Demi, and her husband Ashton, have met some of the girls GEMS serves, heard their horrific stories about being under pimp control and have taken action. They launched the DNA Foundation with the goal of ending child sex trafficking both in the US and abroad and recently donated a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant to support GEMS services to survivors of domestic trafficking. Both Demi and Ashton have been raising the alarm about the epidemic of child sex trafficking that’s happening right here in the US to American girls for over a year now, and yet it’s an exchange with Kim Kardashian that has garnered the most attention.
Kim Kardashian, like most people in this country, is probably totally unaware of the harsh reality of pimping and thinks of it in the context of a Jay-Z song, a 50 Cent video, an Oscar-winning song and movie, or a caricature from the 1970’s. I’m sure if Kim knew the real stories, tears and scars behind the glorified images of pimps, she’d think differently about the language she used. I’d encourage her and anyone else who uses ‘pimpin’ as a verb to watch our Showtime documentary ‘Very Young Girls’ to learn the truth about pimp culture.
Ultimately though this issue isn’t about Kim or Demi. It’s about the girls and young women whose lives are systematically destroyed by pimps/traffickers. It’s about changing our societal acceptance of pimps and ‘pimpin’ and calling it what it really is: trafficking and slaveholding. Over 100,000 children in this country are exploited through the commercial sex industry each year, and the median age of entry into the sex industry is estimated to be between 12 and 14 years old. If those facts haven’t been enough to start a national dialogue about domestic trafficking of girls in the US, perhaps a Twitter exchange between two celebrities will be.
The Twitter exchange between Ms. Kardashian and Demi Moore (Mrs. Kutcher): Continue reading
Posted in Book/Resource, Child Abuse, Human Trafficking, Modern Day Slavery, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
Tagged Child Abuse, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, Human Trafficking, Modern Day Slavery, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation
by Amanda Kloer
If you’ve had an interest in the issue of human trafficking and modern-day slavery for any period of time, you probably have wondered, “How can one human being actually enslave another? What’s going through his or her head?” Now, here’s your chance to know. A South African NGO has filmed a former human trafficker who lured girls and women from Thailand to South Africa with the promise of high-paying jobs and then forced them into prostitution. Check out his story in his own words, with more after the jump. Warning: contains graphic descriptions of violence.
This man might not be your stereotypical trafficker, in part because he seems to have had a change of heart about what he was doing, but his descriptions of the trafficking process are incredibly complex. It starts with false promises, includes enforcement of corrupt police and the graphic physical and psychological abuse that goes on. It’s a very brutal reality described in the starkest of terms.
One of the most interesting parts of the interview was that they were able to anticipate law enforcement raids and simply move the girls to another place. Finding human trafficking victims is incredibly difficult for this exact reason. I have to wonder if this ability to detect and then evade inspection by the police is a common phenomenon among traffickers, or if it was this man in particular who was just highly skilled.
Posted in Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Gangs, Human Trafficking, Indentured Servitude, Modern Day Slavery, Organized Crime, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Tourism
Tagged Debt Bondage, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Indentured Servitude, News, Organized Crime, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Tourism