300,000 Children at Risk of Being Sold for Sex Every Year

 

The Department of Justice states that as many as 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation each year in the United States.

It’s a staggering statistic. The reality of hundreds of thousands of innocent children hidden in the shadows only to be bought, sold, used, and abused for profit and pleasure, every year is unconscionable. It also means they are in desperate need of our voice!

Founder and executive director of Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Malika Saada Saar says, “Americans are right to get angry at the violence against women and girls in developing nations: the Congo rape camps, the widespread practices of female genital mutilation in West Africa and the infanticide of females in China.

Our digust at the violence committed against women and girls is heightened by the culture of impunity that allows the perpetrators of these crimes to go free without condemnation or punishment. That culture also turns victims into criminals, such as the girls in Thailand who are beaten and raped and then ostracized by their families and society.

But our indignation must be turned inward, too. Here in the United States, there is a similar culture of impunity when young American girls are sold for sex. There are 100,000 to 300,000 children between 11 and 14 who are vulnerable to being sold for sex by pimp-captors every year in the United States, according to government statistics.” Read the Full Article: U.S. Should Stop Criminalizing Sex Trafficking Victims.

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights advocates for justice, dignity and policy reform for vulnerable women and girls in the United States and in Africa. You can find them online at rebeccaproject.org and on Twitter @rebeccaproject.

Now that you are aware, help spread the word, and if you see something, say something!

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Phone 1-888-373-7888 or Text text BeFree (233733) Visit Polaris Project to learn more about Human Trafficking.

Source: U.S. Dept of Justice: OJP Fact Sheet–HumanTrafficking

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(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Polaris Project: For a World Without Slavery

Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of Human Trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. Polaris strives for systemic change by advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline and providing services to help their clients and all victims of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is fueled by a demand for cheap labor or services, or for commercial sex acts. Human traffickers are those who victimize others in their desire to profit from the existing demand. To ultimately solve the problem of human trafficking, it is essential to address these demand-driven factors.” -Polaris Project

Polaris Project’s central goal is to create long-term solutions that would change the underlying systems that allow human trafficking to occur. The founders’ programmatic strategy was grounded in an analysis of human trafficking as a market-based phenomenon driven by two primary factors: low-risk and high-profit. They believe that modern-day slavery can be eliminated by reaching a tipping point where human trafficking becomes a high-risk, low-profit endeavor.

Human Trafficking has no boundaries. It affects every country around the world, regardless of socio-economic status, history, or political structure.  Human traffickers have created an international market for the trade in human beings based on high profits and demand for commercial sex and cheap labor.  Trafficking is estimated to be $32 billion industry, affecting 161 countries worldwide.

How Polaris Project Began

During their senior year at Brown University, Katherine Chon and Derek Ellerman read a newspaper article describing the horrific conditions of a brothel located near their college apartments. The brothel had been disguised as a legitimate massage parlor. But inside the building, police officers had found six Asian women with cigarette burns on their arms who were being held in a situation of debt bondage. “This was like slavery,” were the words of the officer who handled the investigation. This eye opening case made it clear to Katherine and Derek that modern-day slavery existed in present-day America in ways that they were not aware of. They could not walk away…  Read the rest of the founding story.

Polaris was named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad

Polaris’ success is based around the following focus areas: Client Services, National Human Trafficking Hotline, Public Outreach and Communications, Policy Advocacy, International Programs, Training and Technical Assistance, Fellowship Program and Strategic Anti-Human-Trafficking Campaigns. Learn More.

Selected Highlights from 2010/2011

  • Polaris Project played a major role in convincing Craigslist.org to shut down the Adult Services portion of its web site, which had become the number one online platform for the sex trafficking of women and children in the U.S. The Washington Post also decides to no longer accept ads for massage parlor businesses.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice initiated the largest number of federal human trafficking prosecutions in a single year, resulting in 141 convictions and indicating that Polaris Project’s policy advocacy, trainings and public education lead to tangible U.S. government action.
  • Polaris Project assisted the U.S. Department of Defense in developing their Combatting Trafficking in Persons online training module. This training educates all military and civilian personnel on how to identify and respond to human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Google awarded Polaris Project and two other grantees a $1.8 million grant to support efforts to promote stronger anti-trafficking policies around the U.S.
  • By working in coalition and individually with state legislators, Polaris Project successfully advocated for 15 new state-level bills that strengthen protections for trafficking victims and increase prosecution of traffickers.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-3737-888. Specialists are available 24/7, 365 days a year to take reports from anywhere in the country. All reports are confidential. Interpreters are available.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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