Category Archives: United States

Child Prostitutes Are Committing A Crime?

Making my way through the hundreds and hundreds of stories in my human trafficking feeds, I found this – “Human trafficking a modern scourge.

The humans being trafficked and forced to work as prostitutes in New Jersey were from Mexico and Honduras. They were either promised marriage or decent wages if they moved to America, but instead they were forced into a life of prostitution. These are young girls, children by definition. And let me repeat, they were FORCED into this life, into a form of modern slavery we call sex trafficking. They were brutally exploited for the sake of profits. That is what makes this next quote so hard to to understand.

“These cases are tough,” Brian Hayes, an FBI agent in Atlantic City said. “They are tough because the victims in child prostitution cases by definition are committing a crime. And they have a distrust of law enforcement. Just as illegal immigrants distrust law-enforcement, prostitutes distrust law-enforcement because they don’t want to get arrested.”

Read that again: “Victims in CHILD prostitution cases by definition are committing a crime.” I’ve read this over and over and I can’t reconcile this in my mind. They call the CHILD a VICTIM and then say the VICTIM is committing a crime?

No wonder we have a problem. Child sex traffickig is one of the most evil forms of modern slavery. It would be more accurate to call it “rape for profit.” The pimps are slave owners and the clients are pedophiles. And the brutalized, exploited CHILD VICTIM is committing a crime?

I want to scream.

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The Fight Against Human Trafficking In Chicago, Illinois

May 16-21, 2009, Traffickfree.org is organizing a city-wide Stop Traffick praxis project in Chicago. Stop Traffick is an initiative “to end human trafficking in Chicago.” The video linked to the image below shows the general lack of understanding that exists around human trafficking in the USA. It’s more real and more pervasive than any of us would choose to admit.

stoptraffick

If you’re in Chicago, take a look and see if this is something you could be a part of.

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Today The Goal Is Modern Slavery Awareness

Say something.

Here is story about slavery in the United States I mention in the video.

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575 Child Prostitutes Saved

I believe child prostitution is the worst kind of child slavery. I know many people who don’t know that it still exists. I know people who would deny that it happens here in the United States.

But it does. Everyday.

It took five years to get 575 child prostitutes off the streets in United States. 575 children from ages 13-17.

575 children.

It took the FBI, U.S. Justice Department and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to work together to do it. Operation “Innocence Lost” National Initiative was launched in June 2003.

This last sting operation, that ended this past weekend, took 46 girls and one boy into protective custody. The amazing thing is 10 had been reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. They were brought in from 29 different cities throughout the country. 73 pimps were arrested along with 518 adult prostitutes. To learn more about the Innocence Lost Initiative, please go to the FBI Innocence Lost website.

Sex trafficking is growing every day. The internet makes it easier for it to happen. It sickens and saddens me that this still goes on, everyday, everywhere on planet earth. You can help. You can educate yourself on the subject. You can write about it on your blogs, and if you come across it, you can REPORT IT.

Hundreds of dedicated men and women worked tirelessly to get this done. They saved 575 children. They gave 575 children their lives back.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead

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Bush Signs Law on Child Soldiers (Human Rights Watch)

Human Rights watch is reporting that President Bush has signed the Child Soldiers Accountability Act. The act, which was introduced more than a year ago, makes it a federal crime to knowingly recruit or use soldiers under the age of 15 and gives the United States the right to prosecue anyone on US soil, even if the crime did not occur on US Soil.

“The US is saying to the world that using child soldiers is a serious crime and that it will take action,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate for Human Rights Watch.

via Human Rights Watch, 3-10-2008.

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Ohio Has No Human Trafficking Law?

If human trafficking were the offense in an Ohio case, filing a federal charge under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act would be the only option. Ohio does not have a human-trafficking law. The Columbus Dispatch : Local pair sold young prostitutes, feds say.

A human trafficking law has never made it out of committee in Ohio. Forty other states have human trafficking laws on the books. Ohio residents need to put some pressure on their lawmakers.

What Does Modern Slavery Look Like?


Modern Day Slavery
“a case in Tulsa, where there was a guy who owned a welding company, who began experimenting with temp workers he imported from India. And decided that it would be a good idea to keep them on factory premises. So very quickly, things escalated into a situation where he was hiring an armed guard to sit outside of the factory, just to kind of remind them that it might not be such a great idea to leave.”
Mobile post sent by ResPres using Utterz. Replies. mp3

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GAP Admits To Child Slavery In Indian Factory

GAP Admits To Child Slavery In Indian FactoryI know many Western readers will shy away from this report.

The Gap just scream “America.” To accept the truth of retailers like Gap’s support of global child slavery would require a change in behavior. And that makes us uncomfortable. We want to believe all is right in the world. All is not right in the world.

Even though the Gap was quick to issue a halt to production in the factory in question and call a meeting to reinforce their “no-tolerance” policy regarding child labor, the actions ring hollow to me. So does their assertion that they were unaware that the clothing was being subcontracted to sweatshops using child labor. “Everyone knows factories in Shahpur Jat use child labor – it’s an open secret,” say Puja Sahu, owner of a fashionable boutique in the are where the sweatshop was found. [Time.com]

The continued quest for cheap labor all but requires that America companies turn a blind eye toward human rights violations. It’s impossible for them NOT to understand what is going on in order to reap such low prices. It’s estimated that more than 2o percent of India’s economy is dependent on children. 20 percent!

So, turn away if it makes you feel better. But the truth is clear. American retailers are funding major child labor violations and enabling child slavery. And none of my words on this screen will make a bit of difference. Corporations only respond to damage to their wallets.

Here are links to others writing on this story.

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Every State Should Have Criminal Trafficking Statutes

Only 27 states have criminal trafficking statutes.

In Ohio, for example, there are no laws against human trafficking. Law enforcement officials are only able to exact justice if other crimes, like rape or assault are involved. Federal law prohibits human trafficking, but many states are left with holes in their ability to combat these crimes themselves.

I’m left scratching my head. Really?  

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Trade – A Movie About Sex Trade In The United States

I just finished watching the trailer for TRADE, opening in theaters on Friday, September 28.

TRADE was inspired by a NY Times Magazine story on sex trade in the United States, “The Girls Next Door.” It was written three years ago, but it’s still very relevant. It’s long, detailed and a must read. Written by Peter Landesman, the article attempts to paint a verbal picture of a reality even hardened police officers could not believe after first hand experience.

“On a tip, the Plainfield (NJ) police raided the house in February 2002, expecting to find illegal aliens working an underground brothel. What the police found were four girls between the ages of 14 and 17. They were all Mexican nationals without documentation. But they weren’t prostitutes; they were sex slaves. The distinction is important: these girls weren’t working for profit or a paycheck. They were captives to the traffickers and keepers who controlled their every move. ”I consider myself hardened,” Mark J. Kelly, now a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security), told me recently. ”I spent time in the Marine Corps. But seeing some of the stuff I saw, then heard about, from those girls was a difficult, eye-opening experience.”

The police found a squalid, land-based equivalent of a 19th-century slave ship, with rancid, doorless bathrooms; bare, putrid mattresses; and a stash of penicillin, ”morning after” pills and misoprostol, an antiulcer medication that can induce abortion. The girls were pale, exhausted and malnourished.

It turned out that 1212 1/2 West Front Street was one of what law-enforcement officials say are dozens of active stash houses and apartments in the New York metropolitan area — mirroring hundreds more in other major cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago — where under-age girls and young women from dozens of countries are trafficked and held captive. Most of them — whether they started out in Eastern Europe or Latin America — are taken to the United States through Mexico.”

The trailer is powerful. And while it’s impossible to judge the quality of a movie by the theatrical trailer, I can only hope the presence of an Academy Award winning actor, Kevin Kline, and an Academy Award nominated writer, Jose Rivera, will drive many to see it and recognize how pervasive the issue of child slavery is. Last week, the film was screened at the United Nations to help illustrate the cruelty of child slavery and sex trafficking.

Trade Poll ResultsUnfortunately, I was one of the 25% who said that this is a problem that must be approached on a political level. Though I am hopeful that this film will indeed raise consciousness of the issue. The more voices we have making noise, the stronger the possibility of change in the right places.

“There is something about the nature of this whole business where people just prefer to look away,” Kevin Kline said. “The network is vast and very efficient. Billions of dollars are at stake and they mean business, these trafficking rings.” (Source: BostonHerald.com)

The movie’s website has a “Get Involved” link that highlights a large number of organizations formed to end human trafficking: Human Rights Organizations Involved With Slave Trade.

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