Much more should be done to prevent young girls from being vulnerable prey for sex traffickers and predators. Broadly speaking, human trafficking occurs when people profit from the control and exploitation of others. This includes what some mischaracterize as child prostitution. Our nation’s kids do not simply choose to sell themselves on the street, they are victims manipulated and coerced into a life of sexual assault and commercial rape.
A good starting point for reform would be taking a look at the connection between the foster care system and child sex trafficking. Traffickers often provide foster youth with the attention and reinforcement that can oftentimes be elusive during a life spent bouncing from home to home. They shower young girls with gifts and attention to help lure them into a life of illegal activity. Sadly, older foster youth perpetuate the cycle when traffickers use them to recruit younger foster youth into prostitution.
Some estimates show 300,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of domestic sex trafficking each year, with foster youth comprising as much as 80 percent of victims. Many states report abuse occurring while youth are in foster care or group homes, which pimps target as hubs to recruit vulnerable girls.
Archive for the ‘Child Sex Trafficking’ Category
One hundred children were rescued in the recent three-day sting. Host Rachel Martin talks with Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigations division, about child sex trafficking the U.S.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Rachel Martin.
One of the FBI’s largest child prostitution sting operations came to a close this past week. A hundred and five children were rescued, 150 pimps arrested across the country. Last night on WEEKEND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, we heard about how sex trafficking has changed in the age of the Internet. In a moment, we’ll hear from a former victim who has rebuilt her life. But first, more on that sting operation.
We spoke with Ron Hosko. He’s the assistant director of the FBI’s criminal division. And I asked him how old these victims tend to be.
RON HOSKO: I think our most populous range goes from roughly 13 to 16 to 17. And we’ve gone in our engagements as low as the age of nine. And so, we see the range of activity where the abuse is horrendous, where it’s less so but it can be psychological as well, where these girls don’t have a meaningful family structure or structure in existence that is healthy.
Last week, the FBI rescued 105 children from sex-trafficking rings across the country, including 12 in San Francisco, the most of any city. The bureau says San Francisco is one of the major hubs of child trafficking in the United States.
On Friday, at a conference put on by the San Francisco Coalition Against Human Trafficking (SFCAHT), nearly 200 people gathered to brainstorm about how to change that.
Minouche Kandel, a policy director at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, said she hoped concrete recommendations would emerge on how to help victims and prevent trafficking. Kandel said most children trafficked in the U.S. are American citizens, with 60 percent having resided in foster care before being exploited by traffickers.
“They were in the foster care system, so these are children we have the responsibility for,” Kandel said. “They’re coming through our city agencies, and we need to look at what we can do to prevent them from being trafficked sexually.”
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Sheila White grew up in a troubled home. She was abused and ended up in foster care as a teenager. Not long after that, feeling low and confused, she met a man who soon became her pimp.
During the years she was forced into sex work, White was exposed to extreme violence. But, she explains, some victims have a hard time leaving their exploiters.
“As awful as the situation may be, there are needs that are being met,” White says. “If a girl is … homeless, if she doesn’t have nowhere to go, and she doesn’t have clothes or food or shelter, or if ultimately, if she doesn’t feel loved, those are the things that her exploiter is giving her. And he’s the only thing that’s consistent in her life.”
After several arrests, the court ordered White to work with Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), or go to jail. Since then, she has turned her life around, and she now works with GEMS to help other victims of sex trafficking escape and rebuild their lives.
The image shows a woman draped against the wall of a hotel room, face obscured but her body in a seductive pose.
“Hi Guys!!! Looking to get into somthin??? Look no further,” the ad on a Charlotte-area site of Backpage.com reads. “Im available right now …so what are you waiting for??? Call me”
The July 26 advertisement included an Atlanta-area phone number. The woman’s name was Blackberry.
Around 11 p.m. on the same day, court documents obtained by the Observer say, a prostitute named Blackberry walked into a room at the University Executive Drive Holiday Inn – in a bustling business park near a hospital, a shopping center and a police station.
But instead of a client, she found an undercover officer, according to the criminal complaint. The encounter was part of a national campaign to crack down on sex trafficking.
Court documents provide a window into the growing crimes of Internet-based prostitution and human trafficking in Charlotte. Advocates estimate Internet solicitation accounts for 80 percent of prostitution in America.
At least 469 children in the Portland area have been exploited in commercial sex trafficking during the last four years, half of whom have gang connections, some of Oregon’s top public officials reported Monday.
“My office has 12 open cases against pimps, and we recently indicted a john on federal charges,” said Amanda Marshall, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, at a downtown news conference. “Still, for every indictment, there are dozens of cases we cannot bring because the child who was trafficked is back on the street.”
Marshall was joined in the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon,state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill. They were talking about the work ofPortland State University professor Christopher Carey and Lena Teplitsky, a master’s degree student in public health.
The two collected data between September 2012 and June 2013 to quantify the prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Their study showed that the average age of victims referred to the state Department of Human Services child welfare office and the Sexual Assault Resource Center was 15 at the time they were first exploited.
Last year on Eid, Hina (13) went missing from Nizamuddin Basti. This Eid too Hina’s parents may not meet their daughter. The police did not manage to trace her and neither was the complaint sent to the anti-human trafficking unit. On Friday, Hina called her parents and said she is in Mumbai. Immediately, a lady snatched the phone and said Hina was on duty and had no time to talk.
Hina’s story is reminiscent of a thousand other such cases in Delhi. People are trafficked not just for sex trade but also for labour and to be employed as live-in maids. Delhi receives people from the northeast states, West Bengal, Nepal, Bangladesh and Jharkhand. Meerut and Mewat, which are close to Delhi are infamous for being “rearing points” for trafficked girls, according to anti-trafficking experts.
A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC), titled ‘Current Status of Victim Service Providers and Criminal Justice Actors in India 2013’ documents how Delhi is one of the emerging hubs and transit points for trafficking. The report also highlights how girls are often kept in remote locations in the NCR, especially by people from tribes like Bedia, Nat and Kanjar, who sell them once they attain puberty.
Sex trafficking is often thought of as a third world problem, something that happens outside the United States. The ugly truth is that it’s a multi-billion dollar business that’s taking place all across America. Danielle Douglas was a 17-year-old college student when she met her pimp, and was trafficked for 2 years before escaping. She shared her story on HuffPost Live.
After making new friends on her college campus, Douglas was on her way to a party when she met her pimp.
“When I got to the party, the person who answered the door was an older man, and there was obviously nobody at the house, so I thought I just kind of had the wrong house,” she explained to host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. “He basically said ‘oh no, I know your friends — you just had the wrong date, they must’ve gave you the wrong one. But I’m on my way out, would you like to join me for dinner?’ And as a starving student, I said ‘ok, I’ll join you for dinner.”
Douglas and the man developed a friendship, going to the mall, to the movies and watching TV together. “And within two weeks, everything basically switched. Instead of being this normal guy, he turned into a violent, abusive crazy person, and I had no idea what was going on, what to do and I was basically completely surprised,” Douglas said.
“And when I tried to kind of say ‘this is not what I’m here for–I had no idea about this,’ I got beaten very badly. And that’s when the fear started to come in, and basically just wrapped around me and said ‘I don’t know what to do–I can’t do anything.'”
Source: Huffington Post
A GROUP of men accused of sexually exploiting teenage girls have been charged with a range of offences including rape, sexual assault and trafficking.
Ten suspects aged between 19- and 30-years-old were charged yesterday (August 1) following an investigation into alleged abuse of five girls at various locations across Coventry.
They are all accused of sexually exploiting at least five vulnerable, local girls – aged between 16- and 18-years-old at the time – between May and September last year.