Posts in Trafficking Awareness
A Broken Immigration System: The Story of 1500 Lost Children

Thousands of undocumented children venture across the American border each year, seeking to escape the cartel violence, poverty, and political strife that plague their home countries. Arriving primarily from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, these children leave their parents and friends behind so they can taste the sweet joys of American freedom. These unaccompanied minors, however, are often deprived of the freedom they desire to find once they arrive in America. Upon arrival, these children are often cast aside by border patrol agents and handed over to sponsors who may be human traffickers.  

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Fight the New Drug

Alright fellow advocates, today we are pushing past social norms and speaking about the unspeakable: pornography. What you believed should never be talked about in polite conversation is about to become the main point of this post. Today we are highlighting Fight the New Drug (FTND), an organization that uses science, facts, and personal accounts to fully inform people about the effects of pornography. It then provides great resources to anybody who decides they would like help, or would like to help, with the fight against porn.

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Don't Buy It Project: Stopping Exploitation at the Source

Men. We all know one; maybe you are one. Men make up 50.4% of the population of Earth. 49% of visual artists, 85.7% of taxi drivers, and 61.8% of surgeons are men. 62% of them drink coffee on the daily. They are our fathers, our brothers, our mentors and our friends. Men are awesome, and the world would be a sad place without them. But men are also the driving force behind the sex industry, creating a demand that has to be filled by forced prostitution and sex trafficking. While this may seem like a very negative reality, it also means that men have the power to stop the cycle.

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We Can Take Action to #FreeCyntoiaBrown. Here's How.

Chances are, you’ve heard the name Cyntoia Brown in the last year. With the help of celebrity buzz from Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, LeBron James and others, public awareness about an old yet seemingly unjust court case has sparked a social media movement crying for justice for Cyntoia. The 2004 trial that sentenced 16 year old Cyntoia to life in prison has people outraged, and rightly so. Here is everything you need to know about trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown, and what you can do to advocate for her early release.

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An Interview with Joy Collins Brodt from Treasures

Joy Collins Brodt first heard about human trafficking in college when a group hosted a showing of the documentary “Not My Life”.

“I went because I wasn’t sure what it was about”, Joy said, “and at the time they were calling it modern slavery and I was like, ‘Well what does that mean? I thought slavery was abolished years ago.’ So I went and I watched this film and my heart was torn wide open. At that moment, my heart was lit on fire and I knew I had to join the movement to combat this.”

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'Liberated: A Sexual Revolution' - A Documentary Review

Liberated: A Sexual Revolution. Liberated follows a group of college guys and two college girls on their spring break trips. These students allowed the documentary team to film them as they attended clubs, hung-out on the beach, and engaged in casual sexual encounters. The documentary focuses on America’s culture of casual sex and tackles what it means to be masculine and feminine in today’s society.

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What is Organ Trafficking?

When we think about human trafficking, we often think of crimes like sex trafficking and labor trafficking but if you're like me, you haven't thought much about organ trafficking. Organ Trafficking is one of the lesser known forms of trafficking mostly because there is a lack of reliable information about it. In the U.S. there has been only one man convicted of this crime back in 2012.  "Despite the general interest in the issue, the crime remains a hidden, underground activity and seems to be greatly underreported," says the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This type is one of the most difficult to investigate and prosecute because vulnerable victims are oftentimes complicit in the transplantation. 

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Door to Grace: Creating Space

A room full of girls laughing and cracking jokes, the silence of a sincere passing on of truth and wisdom, the warmth of a community gathered around the dinner table; this is hope in Portland, Oregon.

Portland is home to bridges, books, and brews. And since 2011, it has also been home to the Door to Grace Day Home, a space to provide young survivors of commercial exploitation with healing services and a place to call home. I could try and encapsulate all that Door to Grace is in my own description, but I think it is put best in the words of Roxanne Weiner. Roxanne is the Director of Programs and Case Management at Door to Grace, whom I had the privilege of interviewing for this piece.

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Skookum Kids: Providing Hope Through Foster Care

Last week, we explored the link between human trafficking and the foster care system. This blog post is the second part of our series in understanding why this link exists and the innovative programs that are providing hope to the foster care system.

Foster care is harder than it needs to be and Skookum Kids in Bellingham, Washington wants to fix that. There are over 400,000 children now in foster care in the United States served by a small group of heroic families. However, social workers pressed for time to place children and over-burdened families results in children being shifted around multiple times. The average foster child is moved three times, sometimes leaving them with instability and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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The Link Between Human Trafficking & Foster Children

Statistics show that there is a strong correlation between trafficked youth and foster care kids. Some reports show that this is because of traumatic experiences or the lack of love, affection, and protection a child experienced in a foster home. The connection between human trafficking and foster care could also be a result of factors such as homelessness, disconnectedness from family, lack of documentation, and identifying as LGBT, conditions that have shown to increase vulnerability for youth.

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The Link Between Pornography & Human Trafficking

In 2016, the National Human Trafficking Hotline found that 7,500 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016 —an increase from 5,526 cases that were reported in the previous year. The increase in human trafficking cases worldwide suggests a corresponding increase in demand. Examining the causes of the increase in both trafficking and demand is a critical step in effectively and systematically battling the issue of human trafficking. Today, we’ll take a magnifying glass to one of those causes -  the insidious, yet the inescapable link between pornography and human sex trafficking.

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The Backpage Debate & All Things SESTA

Last week, the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) was passed by the Senate. Today, we're taking a look at the website that sparked the inspiration for the bill and both sides of the SESTA debate.

With the advent of the web in 1991, an expanse of knowledge has become readily available for human consumption. Our lives have changed drastically as we have become mesmerized by the gifs, heated facebook exchanges, and digital expediency that characterizes the internet. It is unfortunate, however, that we do not realize how this technology if used incorrectly, can compromise human dignity. The free flow of ideas exhibited on the internet bears a heavy burden on those who are exploited by such technological innovation.

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The Deal with Debt Bondage

Human trafficking encompasses many types of enslavement, but one common form is bonded labor, also known as Debt Bondage. Statistics show that 1 in 5 Americans will die in debt, according to Marketwatch. Many of us will inevitably experience debt, whether that is a car or home loan, or even borrowing $20 from a friend.

But what if you found yourself in a debt that you could never pay off?

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The Link Between Refugees and Human Trafficking

The words “refugee crisis” most likely remind us of recent events in history.  There was a time when it was impossible to claim ignorance to the realities of the refugee crisis that Greece experienced two years ago as the news repeatedly reminded us of the influx of refugees fleeing from their war-torn homes to make the voyage from Turkey to Greece and further inland in Europe. But to the reader thousands of miles away, once news stories died down so did the refugee crisis. As the photos documenting the dark realities of refugees grappling for safety and security slowed down, for many of us, so did our concern. Headlines faded and life continued. 

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Trafficking in Massage Parlors

“Some of the massage parlors in our communities have actually become safe havens for sex trafficking, for human trafficking.”

These are the words of Janice Hahn, a member of the LA County Board of Supervisors who voted on November 21st, 2017 to require routine inspections of massage parlors to search for signs of human trafficking. This is an especially critical move in California, the state with the highest rate of trafficking nationwide, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

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Uber & Polaris

The reality of technology being a necessity is continuing to grow in our culture. We can now utilize social media to be the foundational platform for any movement. Being in the culture of convenience, one incredible business is utilizing their platform to make a difference. Uber has revolutionized an industry based on the demand for transportation. As a company, Uber has had some hardships in the past. Poor decisions made by powerful people and bad publicity have affected them significantly over the years. However, it seems that they are ready to take a unique approach to re-establish who they are as a business.They are rebranding themselves in a life-altering way. In January 2018, Uber took initiative when they decided to help combat human trafficking.

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Freedom & Fashion

“Humanity was created for freedom.”

These words thread the foundation for the Los Angeles based organization, Freedom and Fashion. Through mentorship programs, the mission is to reestablish identity, worth and freedom in young lives that have faced homelessness, human trafficking, and social injustice. They utilize the art of creative expression and communication through fashion to have important conversations and ultimately restore what was once broken. The fashion show at the end of the year reflects just that. Through every pattern, stitch, and lipstick shade, beauty can be found in all walks of life

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Hidden No More

IJM recently released their Hidden No More campaign, a digital march to encourage our representatives to protect foreign aid spending, and it only takes 20 seconds to participate! Instead of all of us physically going to our capitol buildings or marching around the city, IJM is compiling a video that shows how many of us care about the safeguarding of foreign aid funds. By each of us taking 20 seconds to record ourselves asking our representatives to protect this funding, we show them that this is an issue important to us and that we believe freeing those in slavery is worth the cost.

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