Tag Archives: sex trafficking

Investigating Sex Trafficking – The Price Of Sex

“The film opened my eyes to the scope and scorching pain of the human trafficking problem. While it is difficult to watch—you should see it. The best weapon against this blight is awareness.” — David Jacobson, Ambassador of the United States of America

You can see if there is a screening of The Price of Sex near you, or purchase a DVD for home use, or for play at public schools or universities.

“The portraits of the women featured in the film are powerful and heart-rending… Suitable for some mature high school classes and for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of women/gender, anthropology of globalization/neoliberalism, and Eastern European studies, as well as general audiences.” – David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

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Teachers Join Demand For Village Voice To Stop Child Sex Trafficking Ads

No form of child slavery is more defiling than child sex trafficking. 

I find it difficult to understand how any reasonable human being could debate that point. Yet, apparently, The Village Voice is having a hard time understanding their role in supporting the trafficking of children for sex. Otherwise, it would not take 60,000 people to convince them to simply do the right thing and take every measure possible, not only to “ban” child sex trafficking ads from their Backpage.com platform, but assist authorities in helping identify and bringing to justice those placing the ads.

“I am a retired teacher and child care worker,” said California resident William Boosinger. “I spent most of my career trying to heal children who had been violated in this foul manner. It’s time to shut down this web site.” I couldn’t agree more. This is a quote from a press release sent out by Change.org this morning. The entirety of the press release is below.

If you agree, add your signature to the petition.

TEACHERS DEMAND VILLAGE VOICE BAN CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING ADS

Active and retired teachers join 60,000 people in supporting interfaith coalition’s growing campaign on Change.org calling on Village Voice Media to block child sex trafficking ads.

NEW YORK, NY – Teachers across the U.S. are joining more than 60,000 people supporting a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Village Voice Media to stop selling child sex trafficking ads on online classified site Backpage.com.

“I am a high school teacher and know what this does to the lives of impressionable young people,” said Brooklyn teacher and father Martin Haber. “It’s not hip or cool, it’s a betrayal of our youth. I have an 18-year old daughter who noticed the graphic nature of Backpage.com the other day. She asked, ‘How is it even legal?’”

“I am a retired teacher and child care worker,” said California resident William Boosinger. “I spent most of my career trying to heal children who had been violated in this foul manner. It’s time to shut down this web site.”

Groundswell, the social action initiative of Auburn Theological Seminary, convened a coalition of leading clergy and religious leaders to launch the campaign on Change.org after multiple ads for sex trafficking victims were identified on Backpage.com, an online classified website owned by Village Voice Media. The campaign has attracted support from parents and grandparents in all 50 states.

“By joining this campaign, teachers like Martin and William are using the power of technology to stand up for their values – that boys and girls shouldn’t be sold for sex on Backpage.com,” said Change.org Director of Organizing Amanda Kloer. “Change.org seeks to empower people to take action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch these teachers advocate for kids.”

Live signature totals from the Groundswell’s campaign:

http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-village-voice-media-to-stop-child-sex-trafficking-on-backpagecom

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Human Trafficking In the United States

A staggering 46% of all traffficking in the United States feed prostitution. The average age of beginning in prostitution in the US is 13. Read more: End Slavery Now

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Cops Arresting Trafficking Victims?

 

As a society, we have to begin to label crimes accurately. Is a teen who is reported missing by her family, kidnapped and forced to work in an underground brother guilty of prostitution or a victim of human trafficking? Both can’t be true.

Children forced into sexual service are not being held by “pimps.” Pimp is a word that has lost it’s negative power. These children are being held by slave traders. This problem might be treated differently if we can change the words we use to describe it.

“As if ignoring all those red flags wasnt bad enough, the LAPD actually arrested a 17-year-old girl, who by virtue of her age is automatically a trafficking victim. The girl had even been reported missing by her family. Yet somehow, it didnt occur to the LAPD  that if one trafficking victim was kidnapped and forced to work at Club 907, perhaps others were as well.”  via Change.org.

 

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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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Teen Fights Child Slavery With Graphic Design

I’m moved by the initiative of one very talented young man. John Mark Herskind is a 17-year old from Irmo, South Carolina, and he’s taking action to make a difference in the fight against child slavery. His group,  Designers Against Child Slavery,  “calls on designers and artists world wide to unite their talents and create art packs.These art packs will be used to raise awareness as well as money for children in Southeast Asia.”
And his actions have attracted artists and graphic designers from all over the world to donate their art to raise awareness.
He’s also teamed up with The Blind Project which is a group devoted to exposing the sex trade. Through the connections he’s made, John Mark is putting together an art exhibition in Columbia which will feature work from world renowned graphic designers. – WLTX.com
If you’re a graphic designer, please take a moment to go check out his group to see if you can help.
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Two Little Girls – An Animated Story About Sex Trafficking

This is the kind of video I might have written off as sensationalism three years ago.

But I’ve read too much. The evidence of its truth is too great. And I applaud the film’s makers for their use of animation to portray the sinister way in which sex traffickers lure their victims into a life of sexual slavery. The film is part of an exhibition called ‘not Natasha’ at the Impressions Gallery in in Bradford, UK.

The film was made in consultation with five Albanian women who were trafficked into the UK and had agreed to share their experiences with the film makers to ensure the accuracy of their stories. This a powerful cautionary tale which has already become a talking point amongst victims of the sex-trafficking trade. While many films on the subject are often distressing and difficult to watch, this film draws in the audience with its animated fairy tale stlye and music before hitting home with its serious message.

It’s style lures you in and then clubs you over the head. It’s haunting. And hard to believe. And it’s true. Please share this.

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