According to Change.org, “Slavery is more affordable, more widespread and more entrenched in 2011 than it was in ancient Rome or the antebellum South of America. Modern-day slaves, also called human trafficking victims, can be male or female, from any country or representing any ethnicity.”
In the United States, human trafficking victims are forced to work in the sex trade, as domestic servants, on farms and in factories.
It’s difficult to say how many people are victims of human trafficking, and estimates vary widely. What’s known for sure is that human trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide.
The U.N. Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking puts the number of victims at a shocking 2.5 million. According to U.N. GIFT, human trafficking affects “every continent and every type of economy.”
The U.S. State Department estimates an even higher number — about 12.3 million adults and children “in forced labor, bonded labor and forced prostitution around the world.”
The worst rates of the problem are in Asia, where the U.N. Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking estimates that more than 50 percent of slavery victims are found. The State Department says that in Asia, there are three human trafficking victims for every 1,000 people — three times the rates elsewhere.
A petition, organized by a coalition of anti-human-trafficking organizations, has called on President Barack Obama and Congress to make fighting modern-day slavery a priority. And here’s a video from Not for Sale describing the horrifying statistics of modern-day slavery.
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Ever wonder what happens to foster children who are lost by the system, tossed out of their homes, or run away from bad situations? They make up the bulk of sex trafficked kids in the U.S. And sadly, even once they are rescued from trafficking these children often have nowhere to go.
A large percentage of children trafficked into the commercial sex industry in America have backgrounds in foster care. One FBI agent in Florida recently estimated the number at 70%. Some shelter directors thinks eight out of ten trafficked kids come from foster care. Foster care puts children at a greater risk for sex trafficking for a number of reasons.
First, children in foster care often come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect, and some of them may find sexual or physical abuse has been the norm in their life. Populations of foster children also often overlap with populations of runaway and homeless youth, who because of their lack of resources are vulnerable to street pimps. And in many parts of the country, the foster care system is so broken that kids can slip through the cracks without ever being noticed. When a child with no family, no support, and no place to sleep is offered all those things by a pimp, it often sounds like a dream come true.
A recent study from the Vera Institute of Justice on foster youth who are chronically AWOL from foster care indicates that participation in prostitution and running away from foster care may be closely related. Many of the girls interviewed indicated peers who had run from foster care were engaged in prostitution in their teens, though none admitted doing it themselves. Many also cited prostitution taking place at or near their foster home as an impetus for leaving. According to one interviewee, a friend had
“… got arrested for prostitution ’cause she said once she went AWOL she didn’t know what to do, she ended up with a pimp and now she can’t get away from him.”
Fox 11 News LA reports about Human Trafficking (sex slavery)…..Human Trafficking is happening EVERYWHERE in the United States. It is imperative for our young people to be educated and aware of this epidemic. It is imperative parents to be educated in order to protect their children. Knowing what is going on in your community does not make you “nosey”; it makes you a pro-active individual. Being smart is not being paranoid. BE SAFE RATHER THAN SORRY!
Los Angeles – Teenage girls are being snatched and tricked into turning tricks. Easy prey for pimps, they’re forced into sex slavery and moved from state to state, locked in a nightmare. We introduce you to some heroes who are doing something about it.
At least 100,000 American children are forced into prostitution each year, right here in the U.S. You can help make that number zero by uniting your voice with thousands of people from across the country to demand an end to child sex trafficking and pass landmark legislation which will keep traffickers off the streets, punish those who buy sex with kids, and protect victims.
On November 17, the National Coalition to End Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking is organizing a National Day of Action to pass the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act. Right now in the U.S., there are only a handful of shelter beds for the thousands of children who are being removed from prostitution each year. This legislation will mean more young domestic sex trafficking survivors will have access to the shelter and restorative care services they need. It will also increase resources for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute the traffickers and predators who victimize our children.
This law can absolutely become a reality for the hundreds of thousands of trafficked children in the U.S. The Senate bill is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate and the House bill picked up steam after the Sept 15th House Judiciary hearing where Craigslist announced the permanent closure of their erotic ads in the U.S. But time is running out for the current 111th Congress, and it is critical to pass this legislation, especially in the House, before the session ends.
Here’s how you can make this historic bill to fight child sex trafficking in America become law:
- Join advocates across the country on November 17 to make the phones on Capitol Hill ring off the hook and send members of the U.S. House of Representatives a clear and united message: The number of children being trafficked in the U.S. is on the rise, and it’s time for Congress to act! Check back next week for call information, contact numbers, and a sample script.
- Sign the Change.org petition asking your representative to support the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act.
- Share the National Day of Action on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks (check out the buttons at the top of this post) to spread the word and inspire more people to join the fight against child sex trafficking in America.
We have an opportunity to create historic change and reduce child sex trafficking in America. Will you join us on November 17 in calling for an end to the exploitation and sale of children in our country?
Anti-Trafficking Strategic Tip: Go After the Landlords and Property Owners!
by Bradley Myles
The Polaris Project
As many people in the anti-trafficking field know, commercial-front “massage parlors” throughout the United States can sometimes be a cover for illegal prostitution activity and also for human trafficking. These places have one reason of staying in business, the profits, and the profits only come from one place, the johns. These businesses cater to johns, and sadly, there are so many people who buy sex that it’s easy to understand why the massage parlors stay open at all costs. There’s just too much money to be made from the johns.
Who are the johns that are driving the existence of these massage parlor brothels? The frequent customer base includes middle to upper class men who visit the brothels for a variety of reasons, including a perceived lack of risk and a belief in the low likelihood of being arrested by law enforcement. Johns who go to these places often call themselves “hobbyists,” implying that they have taken it on as a “hobby” to buy commercial sex from vulnerable women. Appalling. What sort of world do we live in when patriarchy and male entitlement have grown to such a point where certain men take it on as a “hobby” to buy women?
It wouldn’t be accurate or fair to try and make the claim that human trafficking is occurring in every single “massage parlor,” but a significant number of instances where human trafficking has been identified is cause for serious concern.
It’s time to shut down the “massage parlors” for good, but do it right and do it carefully. There’s a way to shut them down by encouraging law enforcement to spend the majority of their time and resources on the people in positions of the most power and privilege, including the johns, the mamasans, the business owners, and especially, the landlords and property owners.
Very rarely does the manager of a massage parlor seek to buy or own the building in which the business operates. The risk of law enforcement raids is too high and it’s not worth the long-term investment. So, they rent. This means that brothels where human trafficking is potentially occurring are renting from legitimate landlords and property owners.
These landlords and property owners would prefer to keep it a secret: that their monthly rent check is coming from a brothel, maybe even in cash. Surely, the landlords have a lot to lose, not to mention their reputation, or business from other tenants. They may even face criminal charges.
So, as our movement grows and becomes more strategic, I think it’s time to put the landlords on notice and let them know that their days of benefiting financially from brothels and human trafficking are coming to an end.