Monthly Archives: February 2013

Our America with Lisa Ling: 3AM Girls

Lisa Ling goes undercover inside the world of domestic sex trafficking in Washington, D.C. Take a look…


Bras being used to combat human trafficking in Mozambique.

The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery

Editor’s note: Watch “Mozambique or Bust” on CNN International: Friday, February 15 at 1630 GMT, Saturday Feb. 16 at 1400 GMT and 2130 GMT, and repeats Sunday until Wednesday.

Denver, Colorado (CNN) — Tashina was trafficked for sex when she was 15-years-old. Ofelia, when she was 12.

Tashina finds it helpful to talk about it. “We lived in darkness,” she said. For Ofelia, talking about the past is too painful. She just winds up crying.

But both women smile broadly as they talk about their future. A future filled with promise and hope, thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger half a world away from their home in Mozambique.

Kimba Langas is a college-educated, stay-at-home mom in suburban Denver, Colorado. She says she grew up in a middle class family with loving parents, never wanting for anything.

“I am fortunate,” Langas said. “I was born at the right…

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The Backstory Campaign

Sometimes I wonder how much of an impact we as students can actually make in social policy. Human trafficking is a global issue that certainly won’t be resolved overnight, but honestly, I sometimes wonder no matter how loud we scream, will our voices actually be heard? As I continue to research and see what others are doing to combat human trafficking, I’m becoming more inspired and more energized everyday. I think that people tend to underestimate our passion and our determination because we’re either young or new to policy advocacy (I’d consider myself still in the infantile stage). But nonetheless, we do have a voice and not using it to affect change makes us just as much a part of the problem.

MTV has launched a new interactive, anti-slavery campaign inspired by a winni130129181119-freedom-dance-1-story-topng entry in its “Against Our Will” project on the college network, mtvU. “The Backstory” contains a series of dance videos that show how women can be trafficked into prostitution and immigrants into forced labor.

‘Backstory” grew out of the winning entry, from four students at James Madison University, in mtvU’s “Against Our Will” challenge, which asked students for innovative ways to use the internet to highlight the problems of modern-day slavery.

The “Against Our Will” campaign aims to encourage students to take a stand against human trafficking. It works with Polaris Project, Free the Slaves and Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS).

What Will End Modern-Day Slavery?

ActivismMost experts believe that slavery will exist as long as there are economic disparities – and unscrupulous individuals willing to exploit others for profit. But that doesn’t mean effective action isn’t possible.  Here are a few ways slavery’s ugly presence can be eliminated or at least significantly reduced:

  • Raising public awareness of the existence of slavery in the global economy by, for example, listing products or services derived from forced labor.
  • Pressing for national laws and local statutes that make human trafficking a separate and distinct crime.
  • Reducing demand for commercial sex by increasing liabilities for those who purchase sex.
  • Enforcing existing national prohibitions against slavery and human trafficking through increased reliance on transnational investigational work and data collection and sharing.

Note: This list will continue to grow as I continue to research this policy area.

Action Meeting

social_justiceJoin Richmond Justice Initiative at Cool Spring Baptist Church on Thursday, February 21 from 7-9pm for an informative Action Meeting! This Action Meeting will: share background information on who RJI is as an organization; give an informational presentation on the issue of human trafficking; provide relevant news and updates; highlight various issues in the different aspects of human trafficking; present opportunities to volunteer with the organization & within your community.

Human Trafficking is Everyone’s Issue…

“It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.”

-President Barack Obama

Selling American Girls: The Truth About Domestic Minor Sex-Trafficking

In his December 2012 speech for the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama noted, “For the first time, at Hillary’s direction, our annual trafficking report now includes the United States, because we can’t ask other nations to do what we are not doing ourselves.”