For more information: AAUW Fact Sheets and Position Papers on Affirmative Action, Athletics, Education, Managed Care Reform, Reproductive Rights, and Social Security Reform.
CNN’s Freedom Project - CNN is joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting success stories and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.
January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, dedicated to raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking worldwide.
WPBS's Public Eye: Human Trafficking Panel Discussion (Jan. 15, 2015)
AAUW in the News: Human Trafficking Awareness Month to be marked by St. Lawrence County branch of AAUW Jan. 11 (Jan. 10, 2015)
AAUW in the News: AAUW Supports Human Trafficking Awareness Month(Jan. 9,
Video: Human Trafficking in the North Country - Sabel Bong (EOP Counselor, SUNY Canton) and David Bugg (Director of Learning Communities/Associate Professor of Sociology, SUNY Potsdam) gave a presentation on the scope and character of Human Trafficking in the North Country on March 26, 2014 in Potsdam, NY. This program was jointly sponsored by AAUW-St. Lawrence County and the League of Women Voters of SLC.
Download the End Trafficking Toolkit
The Polaris Project's 2014 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws - Ratings reveal progress, but more legislation is needed across the country to assist victims with services.
Updated February 17, 2015
- Sex Slaves on the Farm - Sex trafficking flourishes in areas of male-dominated industries, such as fracking and oil boomtowns, military bases and, as a slew of recent court cases and victim accounts show, farm labor camps. The U.S. Department of State estimates that traffickers bring some 14,500 to 17,500 people into the United States each year. In New York, one former dairy farmworker in Lewis County says that once a week, a man would go to the farm with women and knock on workers' doors, saying, "Llego la carne fresca" ("The fresh meat is here") and "Tu vas a pasar" ("You are up").
- Judge blocks Obama policy to defer deportation of millions - A federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt, at least temporarily, to President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration, siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing the initiatives.
- The forgotten children: Investigating sex-trafficking in America - Sex trafficking is a crime most people associate with foreign women or girls -- from Latin America, Asia, or Eastern Europe -- but pimps and criminal gangs across America are increasingly targeting runaways from the U.S., typically teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds, who they force into prostitution. There is a video.
- Domestic Violence Awareness Takes Center Stage At This Year's Grammy Awards - At an early Age, Brooke Axtel, an activist and survivor of domestic violence, became a victim of human trafficking. As a 7-year-old, she was used by her nanny in sexual transactions while her mother was sick and in the hospital. When Axtell's mother returned home, the cycle of sexual violence caused by her caretaker was put to an end.
- ISIS PUTTING PRICE TAGS ON IRAQI CHILDREN, SELLING THEM AS SLAVES, U.N. SAYS - ISIS is subjecting Iraqi children to a series of horrors, including torture, abduction and putting price tags on them for sale as slaves, the United Nations said.
- House passes second batch of human trafficking bills - The House passed 12 bills to help combat human trafficking. Most of those proposals were passed by a voice vote. AAUW supports the approach of several of the bills and will continue to monitor their progress as they move through the Senate.
- Victim Assistance Program Working to Meet Humanitarian Needs - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released an update on its Victim Assistance Program for victims of human trafficking.
- Guide Shows Educators How to Recognize, Prevent Child Trafficking - The U.S. Department of Education released a guide this week to help educators recognize, respond to, and prevent cases of child trafficking—"modern day slavery" that "involves exploiting a child for the purpose of forced labor, commercial sex, or both." An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide, the agency said, and it's not uncommon in the United States.
- House passes new legislation to combat sex trafficking - Members of Congress say close to 300,000 minors are affected annually by sex-trafficking. The House passed five bills to increase government efforts to reduce human trafficking by creating policies to find and protect victims of sex trafficking and to make it easier to prosecute offenders.
- Beyond Survival: A new report from the National Domestic Workers Alliance - The report contains recommendations for the United States, international governments, and service providers and advocates to help end human trafficking of domestic workers.
- Minnesota, North Dakota lawmakers renew sex trafficking bill - Two Democratic U.S. senators from Minnesota and North Dakota are reintroducing bipartisan legislation in an effort to crack down on sex trafficking across the county. The Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act is modeled after Minnesota's "Safe Harbor" law, which protects sex trafficking victims from being prosecuted as defendants. and a free, confidential hotline.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed January Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and unveiled a new poster that lists possible trafficking red flags
- New York Calls Attention To Human Trafficking - New York officials are calling attention to the trafficking of people for forced labor or sex and installing posters at 27 Thruway service plazas to promote a national hotline for reporting cases. The toll-free call center at 1-888-373-7888 is operated by Polaris, a nonprofit that says it's operating around the clock and can provide help in more than 200 languages. Polaris also says it launched a texting shortcode - BeFree or 233733 - where its call specialists can help victims plan escapes or connect to services.
- US Data War On Sex Trafficking To Reach Europe - Closer collaboration between financial institutions and New York City prosecutors is improving the chances of uncovering and convicting sex traffickers, according to Manhattan's top prosecutor, and a similar programme will be launched in Europe. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said a partnership between institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Western Union and Bank of America and law enforcement to share data on client transactions was starting to pay dividends.
- Protecting victims of crime and human trafficking as well as workers - The Department of Labor (DOL) is expanding and strengthening immigration options for victims of crimes (U visas) and trafficking (T visas) who cooperate in government investigations. An interagency working group will also explore ways to ensure that workers can avail themselves of their labor and employment rights without fear of retaliation.
- Tools For Working With Immigrant Victims Of Domestic Violence & Trafficking - The National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project (NIWAP) has several tools that are of use to domestic violence programs this is to specifically highlight comparison charts that are intended to help identify eligibility qualifications as well as screening tools to help advocates, attorneys, and police identify immigrant crime victims and children who are eligible for immigration relief.
- 13,000 Modern Slaves Working in UK, Authorities Say - As many as 13,000 people in the U.K. are victims of modern slavery, including sex trafficking, those 'imprisoned' as domestic helpers, factory workers and on fishing boats, according to a new analysis release by Britain's Home Office. Victims including women and girls forced into prostitution or manual labor on farms, in factories and on fishing boats for little or no pay, include people from more than 100 countries, with Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania, heading the list, although British-born adults and children were also included.
- Tinder campaign launched to highlight sex trafficking in Ireland - A campaign has been launched by the Immigrant Council of Ireland that utilises the matchmaking mobile app Tinder to confront users with the realities of sex trafficking in this country. According to eightytwenty, the initiative has attracted a large number of comments from users who are shocked upon learning about the harsh truths of sex trafficking in a modern society.
- Sex trafficking survivor recounts her experiences at York College - Shamere McKenzie took the stage in front of a packed auditorium at York College to tell her story - that of a survivor of the expansive American underground sex-trafficking industry, using her own tale to drum up support for the anti-trafficking cause. Colleges are a favorite recruiting grounds for traffickers, she said - it's where she met hers.
- Netherlands leads way in battle against sex slavery, trafficking - When it comes to tackling modern day slavery, the Netherlands is the world leader, according to the Walk Free Foundation, an Australian human rights group which on Monday ranked it first of 167 nations by their response to the problem.
- Is the State of Alaska Fighting Sex Trafficking or Targeting Women? - An anti-sex-trafficking law recently passed in Alaska demonstrates the failure of the criminal justice system to help or rescue victims of trafficking. In fact, women who are at the highest risk of violence, including some who have been sex trafficked, say that anti-trafficking laws put them more at risk.
- NYS to Seal Court Records of Human Trafficking Victims - New York State will begin sealing the court records of minors who are the victims of human trafficking to protect their privacy. It creates new rules that ensure any court records of young victims are kept secret so they don't have to explain their victimization to future employers.
- Trafficking victims will be spared court fee - A new bill was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that waives the crime victim surcharge fee for persons charged with prostitution recognized to be victims of sex trafficking. The new law calls for courts to exempt women recognized as victims of sex trafficking from the mandatory surcharge, in an effort to increase sensitivity towards their vulnerable position.
- Report Supports Hike in Age of Criminal Responsibility - A panel appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recommended that New York state phase in an increase in the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. In a report released on Martin Luther King Day, Cuomo's Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice said that allowing more 16- and 17-year-olds to be treated as juveniles will help more youths avoid prison and a life of crime and incarceration. Adopting the higher age of responsibility will divert more young people into detention rather than incarceration, and make juvenile interventions available to between 1,500 and 2,400 more youths each five years, the commission said.
- Lawyer Explores if Lawsuits Can Curb Sex Trafficking - Plaintiffs attorney David Boone has formed a nonprofit corporation to promote the use of the civil justice system to combat human trafficking. The group, called Civil Lawyers Against World Sex-Slavery, or CLAWS, held its first meeting at the Boone & Stone offices in Buckhead on Dec. 11.
- Moving Pictures and the Opportunity for Change - "The Long Night," a film produced by MediaStorm, directed by Tim Matsui and funded by the Alexia Foundation, is a gut-wrenching exploration of the effects of sex trafficking on seven people, including victims, survivors and law enforcement officers.
- Funding Sometimes Lags for Sex-Trafficking Victims - As awareness of America's sex-trafficking industry increases, state after state has enacted new laws to combat it. But while a few have backed those get-tough laws with significant funding to support trafficking victims, many have not.
- Entrepreneur Puts Human Trafficking In His Sights - Joe Schmidt has launched a nonprofit crowdfunding platform called ENDcrowd for the express purpose of ending human trafficking around the world. As the founder of the successful internet business Canvas on Demand, Schmidt may be just the guy to catalyze the world to end slavery. "Human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion a year industry and is the world's second largest criminal enterprise," he adds, citing the International Labor Organization.
- Google feature helps trafficking victims find services - Google recently launched a new feature that displays human trafficking hotline numbers when users type in relevant keywords in search. Since the launch, it has already helped National Human Trafficking Resource Center identify more human trafficking cases in the U.S.
- Targeting Sex Buyers, Not Sex Sellers: Arresting Demand for Prostitution - With the exception of some counties in Nevada, prostitution is illegal throughout the United States. But for every john or pimp arrested, multiple girls and women - some of whom were forced into the trade while still underage - are often arrested as well. Police harassment and incarceration can subject these women to further injustice, violence, and abuse.
- DARPA-funded research IDs sex traffickers with machine learning - Carnegie Mellon University is touting a new $3.6 million research grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, to build machine learning algorithms that can index online sex ads in order to identify sex traffickers. The research is part of a larger DARPA program called Memex that aims to index seedy portions of the public web and deep web in order to identify any type of human trafficking on a larger scale. One of the driving forces behind this type of effort is the simple fact that computers can analyze ads soliciting sex at a much greater scale than human investigators can.
- Global status report on violence prevention 2014 - The Global status report on violence prevention 2014, which reflects data from 133 countries, is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse. Jointly published by WHO, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report reviews the current status of violence prevention efforts in countries, and calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; and enhanced services for victims of violence.
- Canada's Flawed Sex Trade Law - In December, a new prostitution law came into force in Canada. The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, or Bill C-36, criminalizes the purchase (but not the sale) of sexual services, and restricts the advertisement of sexual services and communication in public for the purpose of prostitution. The bill replaces legislation, overturned in December 2013 by Canada's Supreme Court, which criminalized acts associated with selling sexual services. In its 2013 ruling, the Court deemed these laws in violation of sex workers' rights to safety and security, and gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government one year to implement new legislation.
- Victim recounts Mexico-to-NYC sex trafficking - A Mexican woman who said she was forced to work as a prostitute in New York City 15 years ago says she now wants to make sure other Latin American immigrants don't suffer the same fate.
- "Interviews from Mexico - Trafficking of Women" - Interviews from Mexico, hosted by Laura Carlsen, goes straight to the source -- the men and women making news and making history in Mexico and throughout the region. Today's program looks at growing problem of sex trafficking of women. Mexico has been identified as one of the worst countries in the hemisphere in terms of sex slavery and trafficking, mostly involving women and girls. The government's response, according to human rights organizations, has been inadequate. Carlsen interviews Teresa Ulloa, director of the Coalition against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean. Ulloa discusses the scope, trends, and new dynamics of the problem on a regional and national level and what is being done on the ground to address the situation on a general and individual level.
- Two More Nations, Canada and Ireland, Enact Demand-Focused Legislation to Regulate Prostitution, Signaling Global Trend to Combat Sex Trade - The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) applauds the legislatures of Canada and Ireland for their historic passage of laws that respectively target the demand for prostitution or buyers of sex, and decriminalize prostituted individuals. In Ireland, on November 25, 2014, the Cabinet passed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill of 2014 that criminalizes solely the purchase of sex, while strengthening Irish laws against sexual grooming, child pornography and harassment. The law will come into effect on January 1, 2015.
- Chinese police break up alleged baby-trafficking ring, rescuing 37 from pregnancy factory - Authorities have raided an abandoned factory in East China during a child trafficking bust and rescued 37 babies and a toddler, many suffering from HIV-AIDS and malnutrition, China Central Television reported this week.
- Australia's Brothel Boom: As the country's mining industry expands, so does its sex trade - In Western Australia, the sex-work industry operates in a gray zone: Prostitution is not illegal, but activities associated with it, such as brothels and pimping, are. (In some other states, it is legal.) Known as "fly-in, fly-out" women, they spend intense stretches living, working, and eating in the brothel. Many rent a bunk bed and locker for a small fee in addition to paying the $50 per night to work the floor.
- American academics condemn Japanese efforts to revise history of "comfort women" - A group of American historians is issuing a call to their Japanese counterparts to remain steadfast in the face of pressure from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government to play down the army's use of "comfort women" during World War II.
- World War II Sex Slaves Bear Witness - Chang-Jin Lee, a New York artist, wanted to commemorate what she feared would become a "forgotten history," she said. After reading an article in The New York Times in 2007 about the experiences of an estimated 200,000 women and girls who had been forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Lee, who grew up in Seoul, South Korea, took four trips to seven countries to interview survivors, take photographs and gather images, which she has exhibited in different ways across the United States and in other countries over the last few years.
- The Comfort Women and Japan's War on Truth - The official narrative in Japan is fast becoming detached from reality, as it seeks to cast the Japanese people - rather than the comfort women of the Asia-Pacific theater - as the victims of this story. The Abe administration sees this historical revision as integral to restoring Japan's imperial wartime honor and modern-day national pride. But the broader effect of the campaign has been to cause Japan to back away from international efforts against human rights abuses and to weaken its desire to be seen as a responsible partner in prosecuting possible war crimes.
- 2014 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws - Polaris has rated all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 10 categories of laws that are critical to a basic legal framework that combats human trafficking, punishes traffickers and supports survivors. 37 states passed new laws to fight human trafficking in the past year.ability to recognize their patient’s exploited state.
- In the News: What Is the Most Common Way People Are Sucked into Sex Trafficking? - New Study Shows Surprising Trends - A national hotline has reported more than 9,000 cases of human trafficking over the past five years.
- The NHTRC experienced a 259% increase in calls between 2008 and 2012.
- In five years, we received reports of 9,298 unique cases of human trafficking.
- The three most common forms of sex trafficking reported to the hotline involved pimp-controlled prostitution, commercial-front brothels, and escort services. Labor trafficking was most frequently reported in domestic work, restaurants, peddling rings, and sales crews.
- 41% of sex trafficking cases and 20% of labor trafficking cases referenced U.S. citizens as victims.
- Women were referenced as victims in 85% of sex trafficking cases, and men in 40% of labor trafficking cases.
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