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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.
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Updated March 5, 2014
- In the News: Syracuse man pleads guilty to running prostitution ring from Jefferson County jail - The three allegedly preyed on girls as young as 15, recruiting them to work as prostitutes and then forcing them to stay through intimidation and by giving them drugs, the attorney general’s office said last fall.
- In the News: Courts Take a Kinder Look at Victims of Child Sex Trafficking - It's a stunning contradiction in the law: Girls who are too young to legally consent to sex are being prosecuted for selling it.
- In the News: Chinese police save hundreds of babies from online trading racket - China has smashed four child-trafficking rings and arrested more than a thousand people for using websites and instant messaging groups to trade babies; police from 27 provinces across China rescued 382 babies and arrested 1,094 people suspected of buying and selling infants online, China's Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website.
- In the News: Targeting the Johns in Sex Trade - There's a growing awareness that sex trafficking is one of the most serious human rights abuses around, with some 100,000 juveniles estimated to be trafficked into the sex trade in the United States each year.
- In the News: A Court’s All-Hands Approach Aids Girls Most at Risk - Girls Court brings an all-hands-on-deck approach to the lives of vulnerable girls, linking them to social service agencies, providing informal Saturday sessions on everything from body image to legal jargon, and offering a team of adults in whom they can develop trust.
- In the News: Untold History: More Than a Quarter of US Presidents Were Involved in Slavery, Human Trafficking - As the country marks Presidents' Day, Amy Goodman looks at an aspect of US history that is often missed: the complicity of American presidents with slavery.
- In the News: Where women work, and don’t: A map of female labor force participation around the world - International Women's Day is coming up in a couple of weeks, so it's worth looking at an issue that's extremely important both for women's rights and welfare as well as for any country's overall economic health: female labor force participation.
- In the News: SUNY Canton instructor says human trafficking an issue in Northern New York
- In the News: Shedding Light On Forced Marriage In America - Forced marriage in America. Muslim. Hindu. Jewish. More. A big new exposé tells the story.
- In the News: Booming Oil Fields May Be Giving Sex Trafficking A Boost - To address prostitution, you need to start with a focus on human trafficking. "Seventy percent of the women that have gotten into prostitution started at the age of 13 to 14, when they were recruited by pimps."
- In the News: The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking - Many, but not all, of our clients are, in fact, trafficked, and many more have survived an extensive amount of brutality, violence and trauma. Turning them into defendants and pushing them through the criminal justice system contradicts any claim of assistance.
- In the News: Video: Super Bowl Brings NYC Trafficking Warning - The GIFT Box, launched in London in 2012 during the Olympic Games, is a walk-in exhibit displayed near Union Square, at Broadway and 17th Street, that invites pedestrians to enter a big, colorfully wrapped box, where they are confronted with the harsh realities of sex trafficking through photographs and survivor stories. It will be on display until the Super Bowl.
- In the News: Super Bowl Sex Trafficking Target of SOAP-Up NJ Effort - Volunteers deliver bars of soap, information on missing children, to raise awareness of human trafficking at hundreds of motels and hotels near MetLife Stadium.
- In the News: Sex ring targeted: 11 arrests timed to smash gang's Super Bowl plan - New York law enforcement authorities cracked down Thursday on a prostitution ring that they said advertised on public access cable TV, took credit cards and used text messages to market 'party packs' of cocaine and sex to clients.
- In the News: The Superbowl is the Biggest Human Trafficking Event of the Year, Says Law Enforcement - Federal officials are working with transportation officials and the public to help identify and rescue victims.
- In the News: NYPD conducts pre-Super Bowl crackdown on sex trafficking - Most of the operation has focused on johns and sex traffickers. The police department has stressed that in most cases, they treat sex workers as victims.
- In the News: Education effort planned for next steps after 'Trafficked No More' - An effort to educate the community about the warning signs of human sex trafficking are planned as the next steps for the Las Vegas community.
- In the News: Superbowl XLVIII - National Anti Trafficking Message
- In the News: Young prostitutes get help, not jail, under new law - Lawmakers hope recently enacted legislation will combat sexual slavery and human trafficking in New York. Under the new law, the court system has the authority to refer 16- and 17-year-olds with prostitution offenses to the Person In Need of Supervision program instead of jail.
- In the News: NJ Works to Curb Sex Trafficking Before Super Bowl - AAUW-NJ has been working very hard on this issue in coalition with these groups.
- In the News: Governor Signs Bill Extending NY Safe Harbor - Groundbreaking new law ensures sexually exploited children receive services New York State is a national leader in the fight to end human trafficking.
- In the News: UNICEF USA: "I just wanted to die" -- A Trafficked Child Speaks out - In this video, you will learn about the thousands of kids in the United States that are trafficked and prostituted from a retired FBI agent as well hear from victims of sex trafficking.
- In the News: Children trafficked for sex need our help - Oakland is facing a human-rights crisis. Social services agencies have identified more than 300 cases of commercial child sexual exploitation in the last two years, and those are just the ones we know about. These aren't just numbers; these are young women who have a history of abuse who have been recruited for their vulnerability and histories of trauma and are then forced to perform dehumanizing acts on a nightly basis.
- In the News: Pa. Senate passes human trafficking bill - The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill to combat human trafficking and create the Pennsylvania Council for the Prevention of Human Trafficking. The bill moves to the state House for consideration. AAUW-PA members advocated for the House to pass this legislation during their first-ever Lobby Day, which occurred the day after the Senate bill passed!
- In the News: California Prostitutes Win Victim Compensation - Spurred by emotional testimony from sex workers, California officials voted Thursday to change a 1990s-era anti-crime regulation and allow prostitutes to receive money from a victim compensation fund if they're raped or beaten.
Under the current system, those harmed in violent crimes can be paid for medical costs and related expenses, but prostitutes are excluded because their activities are illegal. The three-member board voted unanimously to end California's status as the only state with such a prohibition, though it will take several months to formally repeal the regulation. The change does not affect the illegality of prostitution.
- In the News: City Bar Justice Center Releases Special Report on 150 Human Trafficking Cases - City Bar Justice Center’s Immigrant Women & Children Project (IWC) released a special report, “Spotlight on 150 Human Trafficking Cases.” This report reflects over a decade of direct representation of low-income immigrant survivors of human trafficking in the New York City metropolitan area and informs the Justice Center’s advocacy and policy recommendations. The report states, in part, “Of the 150 human trafficking cases, 54.6% involved labor trafficking and 45.3% involved sex trafficking. Domestic work was by far the most frequently reported form of labor trafficking, representing nearly 80% of the labor trafficking cases.”
- In the News: France prostitution: MPs back fines for clients - The French Parliament passed a bill that establishes a fine of at least 1,500 euros ($2,030) for buying sexual acts. Under the new bill, prostitution will remain legal and the act of soliciting will now not be punished. Pimping will remain illegal.
- In the News: The Role of Sex Trafficking - In the quest to end AIDS, the role of sex trafficking should not be ignored by the public health community – but until recently, it largely was.
- In the News: Authorities focus on sex trafficking around MetLife Stadium ahead of Super Bowl - In the shadows of MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands where the NFL’s two best teams will duke it out in this year’s Super Bowl, law enforcement is already scrambling to neutralize a nasty brew of abuse and exploitation – cooked up by sex traffickers. For thousands of young women and underage girls who are forced into a life that amounts to modern day slavery the danger is real.
- In the News: Brazil's Child Sex Trade Thrives as World Cup Looms - "We're worried sexual exploitation will increase in the host cities and around them," said Joseleno Vieira dos Santos, who coordinates a national program to fight the sexual exploitation of children at Brazil's Human Rights Secretariat.
- In the News: Video: Spotting human trafficking on flights - CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports on a new initiative to teach airline workers how to spot human trafficking on flights.
- AAUW: The Shocking Scope of Human Trafficking
- In the News: 10 Surprising and Counterintuitive Facts About Child Sex Trafficking
- In the News: Cindy McCain: NFL no help on sex trafficking - Anti-human trafficking activist Cindy McCain disparaged the NFL for not confronting human trafficking at the upcoming New Jersey Super Bowl. An NFL spokesman added that the NFL supports law enforcement and believes the human trafficking concerns in advance of the 2013 New Orleans Super Bowl were unfounded. All the more reason to be grateful that AAUW of New Jersey is deeply involved in efforts to fight human trafficking at the 2014 Super Bowl! Learn more on AAUW's blog.
- 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.
- AAUW: The Shocking Scope of Human Trafficking - The stories of trafficking are so compelling often because they are so shocking, grim reminders of the horrors lurking behind the American dream. Indeed, although the United States proudly calls itself the home of the free, the Polaris Project estimates that at least 100,000 children are engaged in the sex trade here each year. That number doesn’t include adults, and it doesn’t include anyone, like Cruz, trapped in a forced or exploitative labor situation.
- In the News: ‘I Sold My Sister for 300 Dollars’ - Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis are visiting Syrian refugee camps to buy virgins. They pay 300 dollars, and they get the girl of their dreams.
- Video: How Can YOU Address the Demand for Human Trafficking? - Human trafficking is a business, operating on the principles of supply and demand. There is a large demand for commercial sex, cheap labor, and cheap goods. As long as there is a demand, there will always be someone willing to meet the supply, even at the expense of another human being. On this G+ Hangout on Air, we discussed what organizations are doing to address demand and what YOU can do to help us.
- In the News: UK police arrest couple suspected of holding three women captive for 30 years - British police have arrested a couple on suspicion of holding three "extremely traumatized" women captive for more than 30 years, Scotland Yard announced Thursday. One of the women -- a 30-year-old Briton -- "appears to have been in servitude for her entire life," Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland said. She and the other two women, a 57-year-old from Ireland and a 69-year-old from Malaysia, have been taken to a place of safety and are being cared for by a charity, police said.
- In the News: '12 Years a Slave' Highlights America’s Shocking Record of Female Subjugation - Traces of an oppressive past still haunt women, especially African Americans in the rural South.
- In the News: Sex-trafficking app to tip off police - A free cellphone app debuting Friday aims to teach citizens how to identify signs of sex trafficking and send in tips to police — and provide law enforcement with data that can help officers rescue victims and build criminal cases against pimps and men who pay for sex.
- In the News: Child Sexual Abuse Via the Internet On the Rise - Sexual abuse of children and adolescents can have serious health consequences for victims. Early studies have revealed that child sexual abuse is associated with an increased risk of later mental and physical health problems and risk-taking behavior. The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich, the Psychosomatics and Psychiatry Department at Zurich's University Children's Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at University Hospital Zurich discovered that sexual abuse is alarmingly widespread in a representative sample of more than 6,000 9th grade students in Switzerland. Both genders reported "sexual harassment via the Internet" as the most frequent form of abuse. This form of sexual abuse was experienced by roughly 28 percent of girls over the course of their lifetimes and by almost 10 percent of boys.
- '12 YEARS A SLAVE' AGONIZINGLY MAGNIFICENT - Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is an agonizingly magnificent movie: the first great big-screen dramatization of slavery. Based on actual events, it begins in 1841 and tells the story of a free black man from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a musician named Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who walks around in a natty gray suit, secure in the courtly modesty of his life as a husband and father of two. But then he accepts an offer to go to Washington, D.C., with a pair of traveling entertainers, and when they're out at a restaurant drinking wine, we get the queasy feeling this is too good to be true. It is. Solomon isn't being hired for his talents. He's being trafficked.
- In the News: Demystifying the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Boys - Our Forgotten Victims
- In the News: Slavery still grips tens of millions worldwide, report says
- AAUW Grassroots Efforts Fight Human Trafficking Close to Home
- In the News: With Special Courts, State Aims to Steer Women Away From Sex Trade - New York State is creating a statewide system of specialized criminal courts to handle prostitution cases and provide services to help wrest human- and sex-trafficking victims from the cycle of exploitation and arrest, the state’s chief judge announced on Wednesday. The initiative is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
- In the News: Escape From an LA Sweatshop: How Modern-Day Slaves Become Lobbyists
- In the News: Human Trafficking: Documents offer revealing glimpse into human smuggling networks that pass through Akwesasne: A frozen river, a basement, a motel and the taxi ride into the hands of US authorities
- In the News: Human Trafficking: Stubborn Cycle of Runaways Becoming Prostitutes - The Justice Department has estimated that about 450,000 children run away from home every year and that one-third of teenagers on the street will be approached by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home.
- In the News: Human Trafficking: Women, Bought and Sold in Nepal
- In the News: From foster care into the sex trade - Lawmakers are trying to make sure teenage sex trafficking victims get social services instead of criminal records
- In the News: A heavy toll for the victims of human trafficking
- Polaris Project Releases 2013 State Ratings on Human Trafficking - Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking and slavery, released its 2013 state ratings to evaluate state laws aimed at preventing human trafficking, punishing traffickers, and supporting survivors. Polaris Project identified Arkansas, Wyoming, Mississippi, and New Jersey as the most improved states in 2013.
- The Department of Homeland Security launched its redesigned Blue Campaign to end human trafficking. - DHS uses a victim-centered approach to combating human trafficking, which places equal value on the identification and stabilization of victims, as well as the investigation and prosecution of traffickers.
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