Sex Trafficking in the United States

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  • 1. Sex Traffickingin the United StatesAnd Half the Sky Updates
  • 2. Our Situation• Federal law defines „sex trafficking‟ as “a commercialsex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or inwhich the person induced to perform such act has notattained 18 years of age.”• An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legalresidents are trafficked within the country for sexualservitude and forced labor.• Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all50 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. territories.Victims of human trafficking can be children or adults,U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female.
  • 3. Our Situation• Human trafficking is the second fastest growingcriminal industry — just behind drug trafficking.Approximately half of all victims are children.• It‟s a $32 billion industry, with about 50% of thisrevenue coming from industrialized countries. Thissurpasses the sale of illegal arms.• In 2008, New York was the first state to establish aSafe Harbor Law to decriminalize underage victims ofsexual exploitation. Since then, 9 states have followedsuit, but in the remaining states, children who arebought and sold for sex are still sent to jail.
  • 4. How Did This Happen?• Americans make up 72 percent of human-traffickingvictims• Teenagers — mostly girls — are recruited byclassmates, pimps and boyfriends who may be gangmembers with promises of love, glamour and money.Once in the grip of a gang, the victims are oftenbranded, beaten and humiliated to maintain controlover them• The average age of entry into street prostitution isbetween 12 and 14 years old, though there have beencases of girls as young as 9 years old.
  • 5. How Did This Happen?• Traffickers seek vulnerable girls and boys by trollingthe Internet, especially Facebook, looking for kids whoappear bored, sad, lonely or neglected.• They cruise malls during school hours to chat upyoungsters who did not go to class and lurk aroundhomes for foster children, centers for at-risk childrenand classrooms with special-needs.• Massage parlors; Sexual services publicized on theInternet or in newspapers; Businesses like hotels, nailsalons or home-cleaning services; Domestic labor(cleaning, childcare, eldercare, etc. within a home);
  • 6. Alternatives Considered• Parents and educators knowing the signs• Enacting stronger laws• Criminalization of domestic minor sex trafficking• Criminal provisions addressing demand• Criminal provisions for traffickers• Criminal provisions for facilitators• Protective provisions for child victims• Criminal justice tools for investigation and prosecution• Legalization
  • 7. Our Vision for the Future• Better laws• Increased reporting• Increased prosecutions• Increased coverage• No more child sex trafficking, or any kind of sextrafficking
  • 8. HALF THE SKY UPDATESAnd It‟s Good News!
  • 9. Fulamatu – Sierra LeoneFulamatu has received a scholarship from a Half the Sky Movement supporterto complete her education at a boarding school in Freetown, Sierra Leone.Fulamatu is studying hard and working toward her dream of becoming anaccountant. She has recently expressed a desire to become a mentor for otheryoung survivors of sexual violence.
  • 10. Somana - CambodiaSomana remains an active Voices for Change member at the Somaly MamFoundation in Cambodia. She continues to mentor young girls and educatelocal community members on the dangers of sex trafficking.
  • 11. Girls’ Education in VietnamDuyen is in 11th grade and making her parents proud. Phung is also still inschool. Her father got a grant for a small business and they each have moretime to focus on their respective goals. Nhi has moved to a boarding school inHo Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A generous supporter of the Half the Sky Movementis covering the cost of her education.
  • 12. Edna Adan - SomalilandEdna Adan just celebrated graduation day at her hospital. Twenty one midwiveswere awarded Bachelor of Science degrees. She is still aiming to train a total of1,000 midwives in Somaliland.
  • 13. Intergenerational Prostitution - IndiaBoth the girls from New Light are continuing to live at Soma Home in Calcutta,India, and studying in school. Monisha returned back to Soma Home after ashort stay in her village. Sushmita is working with special tutors to begin hertraining to become a lawyer.
  • 14. Summary• Key Points to remember that will give audienceconfidence or improve morale• Falls into Amnesty International‟s purview• Getting people out makes a world of difference• Organizations trying to do something• We can do something!