Category Archives: United States

Ohio Passes Human Trafficking Legislation

I wrote back in 2008, that Ohio has no human trafficking law. On Decebmber 23, 2010, over two years later, Ohio finally passed  legislation that makes human trafficking a felony in that state.

Toledo, Ohio, is the third-largest city for human trafficking and sexual slavery in the United States; just recently a Somalian sex trafficking ring was busted in Columbus. The Buckeye State is known for football, chili, and the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. It now finds itself among the several states in America that have been confronted with the horror of human trafficking.

via Human Trafficking: A Billion-Dollar Industry – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com.

 

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884 Arrested In Child Prostitution Rings

Seattle, Tacoma, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Nashville… There is no corner of our society where this is not a problem. Fool yourself if you’d like, but Child Prostitution, or as I prefer to call it, Child Sex Slavery, is an epidemic.

“Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces,” said Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Service Branch, in a written statement. “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization. Through our strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies, we are able to make a difference.”  via Federal crackdown on child prostitution results in 884 arrests – CNN.com.

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Will Lawrence Taylor Become The Poster Boy For Child Sex Slavery?

Lawrence Taylor, the NFL Hall of Fame linebacker and recent Dancing With The Stars contestant, is now a high profile illustration of the buy side of the supply and demand equation that fuels child sex trafficking.

I’m no longer surprised when I read a story like the one accompanying Lawrence Taylor’s arrest. It’s a pretty typical American child sex trafficking story. A 15-year-old girl from the Bronx is reported missing to the police in March, only to be found beaten and bruised, physically and emotionally, imprisoned by fear and force, and serving her master by having sex with men of his choosing. No one appears to be denying the truth of this part of the story. It’s just another child sex slave. Except the press would rather call her a prostitute and her master a pimp. And many would argue that she wasn’t really “enslaved.” She chose to go with the man in the first place. That makes it all easier to swallow.

It’s also not surprising that such a prominent name is implicated. I’ve been writing about this issue for several years now.  The sheer volume of children being held captive as sex slaves made the participation of prominent public figures a certainty. So the allegations against Lawrence Taylor only serve to further illustrate just how pervasive the problem of child sex trafficking is in the United States. If the allegations against him are false, it won’t change that fact.

What would surprise me?

I’ll be surprised if this story doesn’t quickly fade from the front pages. He may be innocent. If he is, it should. But if he’s not, I’ll be surprised if it actually  serves as a lightning rod for changes in legislation that make it easier for authorities to prosecute those involved in the enslavement of children for sex.

Why? Because vast numbers of the American population view slavery as American history. It’s simply more comfortable to think of these girls as prostitutes and not slaves. And we’ve popularized the use of the word “pimp” to such a degree that it is more likely to be seen in the positive than the negative. There are already YouTube parodies that make light of the incident. We like it that way. It helps us sleep at night.

Will Lawrence Taylor become the poster boy for child sex slavery? I doubt it.

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A Need To Properly Define “Modern Day Slavery”

I think the title of the following video is inaccurate.

What I see in this video is exploitation, but I don’t see slavery. And I think to fight modern slavery properly, we need to make sure we define it properly. Kevin Bales, in his TED presentation on how to combat modern slavery, went out of his way to make certain his audience understood what he meant by “slave.” He needed to be specific to frame the conversation properly. And his definition of a slave and mine are the same: a slave is someone who is forced to work, under the threat of physical harm, without pay.

What this video is documenting is important. It’s just not slavery. Perhaps that’s why “modern day slavery” is in quotes. I don’t know. What I do know is that the tactics required to fight modern slavery are different than those required to fight the exploitation of the poor and disenfranchised. Both camps will be better served if we focus properly.

What are your thoughts?

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Child Sex Trafficking: Breaking The Silence

The Shared Hope Blog asks a very good question:

How can the anti-trafficking movement learn from the success of the anti-domestic violence movement and shorten the time of success from forty years to…less? via Breaking the Silence against Child Sex Trafficking in America.

The post is very well written. And I think their conclusions are sound. Please take a moment to go take a look and add them to your list of blogs to support.

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Pornography, Prostitution And Child Sex Trafficking: An Interview with Patrick A. Trueman

On May 14, 2009, Patrick A. Trueman and I sat down to discuss what we both agreed was the most evil form of slavery – child sex trafficking. Our meeting took place in Washington, D.C at a small table in the restaurant of The Washington Marriott. It seems fitting in retrospect. A few miles away and 144 years earlier, on February 1, 1865, Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States of America.

We are all taught that slavery in the United States officially ended that day. It didn’t.

patrick_truemanPartrick Trueman is the former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, U. S. Department of Justice. Mr. Trueman has spent over 2o years in the battle against child sex trafficking and has some very strong opinions about the correlation between pornography, prostitution and the child sex trade. You may agree or disagree with his conclusions, but when you finish listening to this conversation, you will not be able to argue that you are unaware of how pervasive child sex trafficking is right here in the United States of America. This is a very frank conversation. If you are easily offended or are simply not ready to open your eyes to this issue, don’t bother clicking on the links below. If you are ready to get a more complete understanding of child slavery in America, please make the time necessary to fully digest the two clips of audio that follow.

Intro to Patrick Trueman’s history with child exploitation & child sex trafficking. (4:30)


The next piece of audio represents the rest of the recorded conversation. It is almost 50 minutes long. I had originally wanted to chop this up into several parts. I posted a small excerpt, 60 Seconds On Child Trafficking, a few days after our time together and had delayed posting the remainder until I could spend the time necessary to do intelligently split the conversation. In listening to it again, I realized this would be a mistake. Each piece of this conversation needs to be heard in it’s the context. There are some very sensitive issues that could easily be misinterpreted otherwise. So, while I realize that 50 minutes is a significant time investment, I am certain you will find the conversation as enlightening as I did.

Pornography, Prostitution And Child Sex Trafficking: An Interview with Patrick A. Trueaman. (49:39 this may take a few moments to start)


Your comments are welcomed. If you’ve found value in this, please spread the word on Twitter.

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How Can We Truly Honor Those Who’ve Died For Our Freedom?

It would honor our fallen heroes most this Memorial day if everyone living and working in the United States of America was actually free. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Shelley Seale, a guest writer here on StopChildSlavery.com, has written an excellent review of a new book called The Slave Next Door. In her review she asks the question, “When did the U.S. government last use slave labor to build something? 1776? 1865?”

According to The Slave Next Door, the answer is 2003.

As I sit here today, enjoying the freedom paid for by the blood of brave young American men and women and honoring their memory, I can’t help but be saddened. As Shelley put it:

In The Slave Next Door we find that slaves are all around us, hidden in plain sight: the dishwasher in the kitchen of the neighborhood restaurant, the kids on the corner selling cheap trinkets, the man sweeping the floor of the local department store. In these pages we also meet some unexpected slaveholders, such as a 27-year old middle-class Texas housewife who is currently serving a life sentence for offences including slavery.

Weaving together a wealth of voices—from slaves, slaveholders, and traffickers as well as from experts, counselors, law enforcement officers, rescue and support groups, and others—this book is also a call to action, telling what we, as private citizens, can do to finally bring an end to this horrific crime.

Take a few moments to go read Shelley’s excellent review.

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