A Virginia teen, missing since last Saturday, is now believed to be a victim of human trafficking. Here’s another reminder that human trafficking is happening in our own backyards…
Va. teen may be victim of human trafficking – NBC12.com – Richmond, VA News.
Lisa Ling goes undercover inside the world of domestic sex trafficking in Washington, D.C. Take a look…
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 winning 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).
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.”
Think sex trafficking is a foreign issue? Think again. According to national estimates, there are currently 100,000 children in the commercial sex trade in the United States. What’s worse, many child victims of sex trafficking are arrested for prostitution and placed in juvenile detention. How can we criminalize children for committing a sex act they are not even legally able to consent to? The Polaris Project has started a petition via change.org to get the attention of state lawmakers in order to gain sup0port for Safe Harbor laws. These laws define these sexually exploited children as victims of abuse, help them find protection and support, and grant them immunity from prosecution for prostitution while they are under 18 years of age. Safe Harbor laws also can increase funding for specialized services like long-term housing, mental health care, educational support, and job training to help these children recover. Thirty-nine states lack these basic Safe Harbor protections – including Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, and Louisiana. Every state can do more to increase services for child victims of sex trafficking and you can join the movement by signing the petition.