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.
International Justice Mission: How human trafficking works, captured brilliantly - and soberingly - by MTV Exit.
Updated August 8, 2015
- Rochester man found guilty of sex trafficking in Watertown - A Rochester man was found guilty Friday in Jefferson County Court of charges that he forced two women into acts of prostitution.
- Rohingya Women Flee Violence Only to Be Sold Into Marriage - As thousands of Rohingya women flee persecution and peril in Myanmar, many end up trapped by smugglers, vulnerable to exploitation and forced into prostitution and arranged marriages.
- Slave in the Fields: A Reporter Goes Undercover in the San Quintin Valley - There is no public policy to protect the human rights of migrant farmworkers of the San Quintin Valley who are subjected to labor abuses and low wages because they cannot speak Spanish.
- 'Sea Slaves': The Human Misery That Feeds Pets And Livestock - The misery endured by Mr. Long, who was eventually rescued by an aid group, is not uncommon in the maritime world. Labor abuse at sea can be so severe that the boys and men who are its victims might as well be captives from a bygone era.
- Thai lieutenant-general Manas Kongpan among 72 suspects charged with human trafficking offences - A senior Thai military officer is among 72 people indicted for involvement in human trafficking, just days before the US is set to issue its assessment of the country's anti-trafficking efforts.
- A Bangladeshi Town Gripped by Trafficking - The people of Shah Porir Dwip - fishermen, shopkeepers, police officers and shadowy bosses - were all drawn in, as participants or concerned observers, to a multimillion-dollar people smuggling business that sent roots deep into this impoverished corner of Bangladesh.
- Hidden In Plain Sight: Labor Trafficking In the Rochester Region - To the untrained eye, it might be hard to detect labor trafficking. Who are common victims and what does this act of illegal slave labor actually look like? There are victims of labor trafficking working in places we either visit or drive by on a regular basis: restaurants, factories, construction sites, farms, hotels and even homes.
- Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: A Closer Look at U.S. Citizen Victims - The Polaris Project released a new report about the realities of sex trafficking in the United States. The report, Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: A Closer Look at U.S. Citizen Victims, looks at key aspects of sex trafficking, including how victims are recruited and controlled, where trafficking occurs, and assistance for survivors.
- Brothel State in Mexico Is Conduit for Human Trafficking in New York - Running prostitutes and exporting victims to Queens is a family-run cottage industry in central city of Tenancingo.
- 3,000 Children Enslaved in Britain After Being Trafficked From Vietnam - An estimated 3,000 Vietnamese children are in forced labour in the UK, used for financial gain by criminal gangs running cannabis factories, nail bars, garment factories, brothels and private homes. Charged up to £25,000 for their passage to the UK, these children collectively owe their traffickers almost £75m.
- Human trafficking bill goes to Obama - The bill targets illegal trafficking for purposes of adult sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, peonage, and smuggling of human beings. Producers of child pornography would be deemed traffickers engaged in illicit sexual conduct.
- Thai police find second human trafficking camp - Thai police said Tuesday they had found a second camp used for human trafficking and had discovered three trafficking victims hiding in it.
- US Senate Approves Stalled Human Trafficking Bill - The Senate overwhelmingly approved on April 22 a stalled bill to fight human trafficking with a 99-to-0 vote. The Senate trafficking bill, which was intended to increase penalties for perpetrators and support for victims, particularly the preadolescent girls who are targeted, would also strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate trafficking, including through the expanded authority to intercept communications. It would also make patrons of traffickers equally responsible for the crimes, imposing harsher punishments on the so-called johns.
- New York Assembly passes anti-human trafficking bills - The Assembly passed on March 16th a package of anti-human-trafficking legislation, only one bill of which is poised to be signed by the governor. The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act increases penalties for sex and labor human trafficking, requires anti-human-trafficking training for law enforcement and creates a civil right of action to enable victims of human trafficking to sue their perpetrators for damages, among other things. The rest of the package, which includes bills aimed at training gaming facility employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking and creating a 24-hour hotline to report human trafficking, is made of new bills that face an uncertain fate in the GOP-controlled state Senate.
- NY City Asked to Boost Funds for Human Trafficking Courts - Human trafficking victim advocates called on New York City lawmakers to earmark money in the upcoming budget to help victims escape the commercial sex trade.
- Study Spotlights Gaps in Services for LGBTQ Victims of Human Trafficking, Youth - In a first of its kind report, "Surviving the Streets of New York" explored the experiences of nearly 300 youth engaged in survival sex who identified as LGBTQ, young men who have sex with men (YMSM), and young women who have sex with women (YWSW). Over 14 percent of the youth faced force, fraud, or coercion by pimps or exploiters during at least one point in their experience.
- Inside the $1 billion business of erotic massage parlors - A research study last year by the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, found 4,790 erotic massage parlors on just one site, EroticMP.com, which posts addresses and user reviews. Approximately 1,200 are open just in New York City (which, by way of comparison, has some 2,500 bars and nightclubs, along with 280 or so Starbucks).
- Texas State Program in Place to Teach Educators about Human Trafficking - The state is making a major push for all educators to receive human trafficking training. From forced labor to sex slavery, the state said children are at risk. Last July, the TEA created an 84-page training manual: Human Trafficking: a Guide for Texas Education Professionals
- Former Human Trafficking Victims Help RUN Ministries in Nepal Earthquake Outreach - RUN's work in Nepal focuses on rescuing girls from human trafficking. Girls that were once victims of trafficking and were rescued by NRP are now part of the RUN Ministries team and serving those affected by this recent disaster. Fourteen full-time workers and 30 volunteers are now operating as trained boots on the ground in areas devastated by the quake, bringing hope and relief to their people.
- 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").
- Slaves kept in locked cages catch seafood that ends up in global supply chain: 'I want to go home. We all do' - The men the AP interviewed on Benjina were mostly from Myanmar, also known as Burma, one of the poorest countries in the world. They were brought to Indonesia through Thailand and forced to fish. Their catch was then shipped back to Thailand, where it entered the global stream of commerce.
- At UN Conference, Domestic Workers Push for International Labor Standards - Representatives from the fast-growing global domestic workers movement came to New York to pressure the international community for the ratification and implementation of labor standards that would impact more than 52 million domestic workers all over the world, 83 percent of whom are women.
- The Modern Day Slaves Known as Domestic Workers - An estimated 53 million people, mostly women, are employed as domestic workers in private households around the world. While domestic workers are now considered crucial to the smooth running of national economies, as a workforce they remain one of the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and modern-day slavery. Human rights campaigners have catalogued a litany of exploitation faced by domestic workers at the hands of their employers, including forced labour, rape, daily beatings and being forced to work long hours with no breaks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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