Human Traffic Watch

Archive for the ‘Forced Prostitution’ Category

Somaly Mam: How To End Modern Slavery And Human Trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

Editor’s Note: Somaly Mam is a global leader who has pioneered the movement against modern slavery for nearly two decades. She has been recognized as a CNN hero, Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year, and one of Time Magazine’s most influential people. Through her work as a tireless advocate and human rights leader, Somaly Mam has made it her life’s mission to eradicate slavery and empower its survivors as part of the solution. This article is part of a series of op-eds from key speakers and delegates participating in this year’s Social Innovation Summit, which takes place on November 19th and 20th at Stanford Business School. View the full series here.

 As a survivor of sex slavery, I have dedicated my life’s work to ending it. To many people, the issue of slavery seems like a clear case of right and wrong. The reality is much more complicated. There are many root causes and serious challenges. But these challenges do not stop me from continuing to find solutions to eradicate slavery and empower its survivors as part of the solution.

A significant number of people believe that slavery ended in 1863, when in fact, modern slavery exists in every corner of the globe. Not just in remote parts of Southeast Asia, but in your hometown, in your backyard.  In America, there are 60,000 men, women, and children enslaved at this very moment.

Source: Forbes

Members of France’s Parliament vote to support law criminalizing sex buyers

In Awareness, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Social Justice on December 3, 2013 at 10:00 am

On November 29, 2013, French MPs voted in support of a version of the Swedish law on prostitution that criminalizes the purchase of sex with a fine of 1500 ($2040 US). The fine is doubled for a second offense. The French Parliament also repealed criminalization of people selling sex, and proposed setting aside 20 million for programs helping women to exit prostitution. 

This vote is part of a global trend that challenges buying sex and understands as the Swedish law does that buying sex causes harm and that those in prostitution need social and economic support to escape. In France, 90% of those in prostitution are very poor, pimped or trafficked. A 2011 study by researchers from Germany’s Goettingen and Heidelberg universities and the London School of Economics, which assessed data from 150 countries, concluded that legalizing prostitution led to increased trafficking. The proposed law will be voted on by the National Assembly and then put to a vote in the French Senate.

Since prostitution is an activity that must be advertised, it is not going to be “driven underground” as critics of the bill allege. Maud Olivier, a feminist lawmaker who supports the bill, blasted the “hypocrisy” of critics, “One prostitute declares herself free and the slavery of others becomes respectable and acceptable?”

Our bodies are not merchandise

“Prostitution is Violence, Vote for Abolition” and “Our bodies are not merchandise”

Two locals arrested in alleged sex trafficking of teen

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on October 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

A local man and woman were arrested over the weekend in connection with alleged prostitution involving a 16-year-old girl.

Charged were Aileen M. Mays, 27, of Binder Basin Road in Glouster, and Fred W. Kittle, Sr., 69, of Rocky Point Road in Athens. A release on Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly’s Facebook page alleges that Mays told officers that in exchange for drugs, she set up meetings between Kittle and the girl to have sex.

Kittle is a registered sex offender, having been convicted of attempted rape in 1996.

The 16-year-old girl has been placed in the custody of Athens County Children Services. At this time, reports don’t indicate where the girl is from.

According to the sheriff’s account, one of his investigators who works with caseworkers from Children Services got information last Monday that a girl was being prostituted for money and drugs.

Source: Athens News

Community Leaders, Police Tackle Sex Trafficking Problem in Alaska

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on October 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Keyana Marshall’s story is similar to many other victims of sex trafficking.  At the age of 15 she babysat for a woman who turned out to be a madam, and that’s when she says the trouble began.

“She had me answering her business line, she owned a business and I babysat for all kinds of businesses in the past,” said Marshall.  “It was my way to help my mother around the house, things like that.”

It was through that babysitting gig Marshall became connected with a man who she says coerced her into the sex trafficking industry.

“He forced me into sexual acts with him, forced me to watch him perform sexual acts on others, and used violence.”

Marshall got out of the trade, but says she was mistaken by law enforcement for someone who willingly engaged in prostitution and as a result spent time in prison.

Source: KTUU

Inside the brutal and hopeless world of Mumbai’s trafficked teenage sex slaves

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on October 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Guddi was tricked into prostitution by a neighbour who promised her work in Mumbai to help feed her struggling family. Photograph: Hazel Thompson

It was pitch black as I stumbled through the labyrinth of the dark corridors of a large brothel house in Kamathipura, Mumbai’s notorious red-light district. I’d been told to hide my camera under my scarf, not to speak and not to make eye contact with anyone. With my hand I felt the filthy walls dripping with condensation from the intense heat.

Eventually, guided by my Indian fixer, I came to a dimly lit door at the end of a corridor. Like a prison guard, an ageing madam came to the front of the brothel and unlocked the large padlock with her set of keys. I was taken into the reception area of the brothel, the space where the customers are taken to select a girl. In the ceiling I could see a small, open trap door. When the madam had disappeared, I climbed up a wooden ladder and pushed through the small gap.

Suddenly I was face to face with a “box cage”. I knew what I was looking at. The prostitutes had told me of the caged rooms and boxes they had been held in for months, even years, when they were first taken and trafficked to the red-light district. The madams would keep the girls like slaves in the cages until they were “broken”, to the extent that they would not try to run away. The girls told me they never knew if it was night or day. They were only taken out to eat or to be given to a customer for sex. For years I had wanted to photograph these cages, to prove that these places actually exist.

Source: The Guardian

NY state shifts judicial approach to prostitution

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on October 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

New York is creating the nation’s first statewide system of courts to help prostitutes escape a life of exploitation and violence and move on to productive lives, the state’s chief judge said.

“We have come to recognize that the vast majority of children and adults charged with prostitution offenses are commercially exploited or at risk of exploitation,” Judge Jonathan Lippman told attorneys, advocates for women and service providers at a breakfast meeting Wednesday in Manhattan.

“Human trafficking is a crime that inflicts terrible harm on the most vulnerable members of society: victims of abuse, the poor, children, runaways, immigrants,” said Lippman, chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. “It is in every sense a form of modern-day slavery. We cannot tolerate this practice in a civilized society, nor can we afford to let victims of trafficking slip between the cracks of our justice system.”

While human trafficking includes labor trafficking, nearly 80 percent of victims in New York are trafficked for sex, Lippman said.

Most are U.S. citizens, Lippman said.

“It is not just halfway across the globe. It is around the corner from all of us,” he said.

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Organization helps sex trafficking victims transition to normal life

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm

For years it has been known that Toledo has been one of the top cities nationally for sex trafficking.

When 105 teens were rescued across the country from prostitution, it didn’t come as a surprise to some people in Northwest Ohio.

But, if the rescue was tough, the transition to a normal life is even tougher.”Some of these girls have been abused months, days, even years by family members or traffickers. And that’s something you don’t just overcome overnight,” says Jeff Wilbarger, founder of “the daughter project.”

Perrysburg based “The Daughter Project” was designed to provide a transitional home where young women rescued from trafficking can live in a safe place. Inside the house, are house mothers who act like moms to girls who sometimes have no one.

Gaining trust is often the first step to helping the girls. In addition to counseling, victims are home schooled and taught life skills.

 Northwest Ohio


Doing More to End Sex Trafficking

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Labor, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

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.

U.S. News & World Report

Documents reveal web sex trafficking in Charlotte

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

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 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.

Sex Trafficking Victim, Subject of ‘Tricked’ Documentary, Shares Her Story (VIDEO)

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

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

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