For more information: AAUW Fact Sheets and Position Papers on Affirmative Action, Athletics, Education, Managed Care Reform, Reproductive Rights, and Social Security Reform.
CNNís 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, 2015)
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 January 19, 2015
- 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. The court records could only be unsealed for use in prosecuting traffickers. The new law also contains greater protections for young trafficking victims who face charges such as prostitution or loitering. And the victims will have greater access to housing and other services.
- Gov. Snyder signs landmark legislation protecting Michigan residents from human trafficking - Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation protecting Michigan citizens from human trafficking and supporting victims by putting some of the strongest policies in the nation into place to combat this crime. Much of the legislation stems from a 2013 report by the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking.
- A Life-and-Death Struggle for Asylum in the US - As federal officials rush to prioritize resolution of minors' applications, members of Congress are aggressively attacking the current asylum system as well as children's claims they actually face mortal threats.
- For Families and Communities, Deportation Means Trauma - The psychological and emotional trauma of deportation is rarely examined in immigration coverage. Consequently, much of the public discourse lacks a human face. Deportations cause anxiety, behavioral problems, depression and PTSD - which not only affect individuals and families, but entire communities.
- Why more and more cities are refusing to help the government deport immigrants - One by one, have passed resolutions or enacted new policies refusing to hand over immigrants detained by local police to federal officials for deportation. The strategy, gaining further momentum this year with a statewide law in Colorado, is one way local governments dismayed by a broken federal immigration system have found to undermine it. In many ways, cities with large and deeply rooted immigrant populations have interests here directly at odds with ICE. They have scarce resources to devote to public safety, which they believe are better spent addressing actual crime than federal immigration.
- The Not-So-Good News About the Border Crisis - The White House recently announced, the government plans to give Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran children a chance to apply for refugee status without leaving their own countries. It will make this opportunity available to unmarried people under 21 with "certain qualifying lawfully present relatives in the United States." Translation: kids whose parents are citizens or have green cards.
- 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.
- 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 patientís exploited state.
- Release of ďConfronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: Guide for Health Care SectorĒ Part 2 - Since victims and survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking are exposed to such extreme situations, they have higher risk of experiencing physical and/or mental illness that may require treatment. The possibility of interaction between health provider and victim places health providers in unique positions where they can provide care and assistance while victims are being exploited. The greatest barrier, however, to providing appropriate care to victims, is the health care professionalís inability to recognize their patientís exploited state.
- US Senate passes bill to combat child sex trafficking - "To prevent and address sex trafficking of children in foster care, to extend and improve adoption incentives, and to improve international child support recovery."
- Cornynís sex trade bill progresses - The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, co-sponsored by Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn and Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, sets up a Domestic Trafficking Victimsí Fund with fines paid by people convicted of buying or selling trafficking victims. A companion bill already has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. That measure projects the victimsí fund releasing $800,000 in 2016 and building annually from then.
- Child trafficking in India: the story of one child's escape - Since 2005, 2013 Honoree Triveni Acharya has fearlessly led the way in rescuing more than 4,000 victims of child trafficking in India through her organization, Rescue Foundation. One of those children is 17-year-old Leena who was rescued from a brothel in Delhi in 2010. An affectionate and helpful girl, Leena is now recovering from her experiences, and helping Triveni rescue other girls who are trapped in similar situations.
- New Research: How Sexual Exploitation of Men and Boys Is Overlooked and Dismissed - Deep-rooted gender stereotypes can mean boys are overlooked as victims, by professionals as much as by others in their lives.
- 1,400 CASES OF 'APPALLING' SEXUAL EXPLOITATION REVEALED IN UK REPORT - Hundreds of children have been systematically raped, beaten and sex trafficked in a northern English town for more than 12 years. And it is still going on, a government commissioned report says.
- Thailand's despicable trafficking record - THIS YEAR'S parade of horrors in the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons Report included shocking accounts of child soldiers, organ trafficking, forced labor and more. The document is a sad testament to the depths of cruelty by humans to other humans. Mandated by Congress, this report is a chance not only to speak truth to power but also to seek change. Thailand needs to make more progress in fighting this scourge.
- "I Had No Idea I'd Been Sex Trafficked": A Terrifying True Story - Lured from Colombia, she was trapped in a sex ring run by the Japanese mafia - until she escaped to help others.
- With Surge in Child Migrants, New York Forms Task Force on Aiding Them - New York City officials have formed a task force in response to the surging population of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America who have arrived in the city in recent months and swamped community-based groups in search of help for their deportation cases, health issues, school enrollment and other urgent needs. Community-based groups that provide advocacy and services for immigrants met on Thursday afternoon with city, state and federal officials to discuss how they could "create a collaborative coordinated strategy to meet the varied needs of the children once they arrive here," said Camille Mackler, director of training and technical assistance at the New York Immigration Coalition, which organized the meeting.
- National Academies Release Victim and Support Services Guide about Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children - The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have released a guide for victim and support service providers summarizing their report "Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States." The OJJDP-sponsored report examines current approaches addressing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children. The guide highlights information relevant for providers of victim and support services and includes key terms, risk factors, emerging service strategies, challenges of providing services, and recommendations for preventing, identifying, and responding to these crimes.
- Immigrant Surge Rooted in Law to Curb Child Trafficking - As tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors cross into the United States this year, immigration reform is stalled. The issues are related but not the same, Here's why. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 is at the root of the potentially calamitous flow of unaccompanied minors to the nation's southern border. Originally pushed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers as well as by evangelical groups to combat sex trafficking, the bill gave substantial new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin.
- Five Countries Where Child Soldiers Still Exist - Child soldiers and child combatants may seem like a far away problem, but you might be surprised at how common they still are. If these children survive combat, they often grow up with a unique set of psychosocial issues that are rarely addressed in their home countries.
- Spreading awareness of human trafficking - Since May 2013, 29 victims of human trafficking have been identified in the Monroe County area through the Safe Harbour program - seven this year alone.
- Gov. John Kasich to sign sweeping new anti-human trafficking measures - Gov. John Kasich is scheduled to sign into law new measures against human trafficking, including tougher penalties for those who solicit minors for sex.
- Nepal's Organ Trail: How traffickers steal kidneys - On the streets of Kathmandu, the sight of people begging for kidney treatment has become common.
- House Passes Bills Aimed at Stemming Human Trafficking - The House on Tuesday passed a package of bills aimed at stemming human trafficking, an issue that has slowly begun to gain national attention. The measures passed easily with bipartisan support, and versions of many of them already await consideration on the Senate floor. According to the Justice Department, as many as 300,000 children may become victims of commercial sexual exploitation each year in the United States.
- Forced labor still 'hugely profitable,' says UN report - More than 60 years after the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights made slavery a worldwide crime, forced labor is a $150 billion industry, according to a new UN report.
- Trafficking survivors recount tales of abuse, urge action by the Legislature - A bipartisan group of legislators joined survivors of sex trafficking to implore legislative leaders to put aside politics and pass a bill that would provide greater protection for young people used in the sex industry and greater penalties for those who exploit them.
- Support for human trafficking bill growing in wake of news reports - In response to the recent high-profile kidnappings in Nigeria, a number of Assembly Republicans are pushing for legislation that would increase criminal penalties against human traffickers.
- Lawmakers push for standalone trafficking bill - The anti-trafficking measure in question would increase the penalty for sex trafficking to a class B felony, make sex trafficking an affirmative offense for women charged with prostitution and eliminate the word "prostitute" from the state's penal code in an effort to erase stigma. Several speakers at the Tuesday morning press conference said the issue has gained new prominence with the kidnapping of 200 girls by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
- Anti-sex trafficking advocates want a law, not a bill- "I'm here to say that I want this bill as a stand-alone," said Paulin, acknowledging that the Senate has shown no more willingness to pass the omnibus WEA than it showed last year.
- Paulin and Lanza want sex trafficking bill out of women's equality agenda - Assemblywoman Amy Paulin wants her bill that would protect victims of sex trafficking to be passed as a stand-alone bill this session. The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act has been a part of the controversial 10-point Women's Equality Agenda.
- In the News: Lawmakers Broadening Their Focus to Fight Against an Array of Sex Crimes - As the high-profile congressional fight over military sexual assault recedes, lawmakers are broadening their focus to an array of sex crimes like college campus assaults, preying on child and human trafficking.
- In the News: 3 Key Challenges in Combating the Sex Trafficking of Minors - While human trafficking is often thought of as an international problem that occurs in far-flung locations around the world, sex trafficking of children in the United States is becoming increasingly common.
- In the News: Four kinds of human trafficking in the North Country - More than 40 agencies across the North Country are coming together to fight some of the darkest underground crimes. The North Country Human Trafficking task force says smuggling rings funnel vulnerable people into forced prostitution, indentured servitude, and debt bondage.
- In the News: Jimmy Carter Issues 'Call To Action' Against Subjugation Of Women - On human trafficking: We have a terrible affliction here of slavery. There's a greater number of slaves sold now across international borders, according to annual reports by the U.S. State Department, than there was in the 18th and 19th centuries. And the total slavery income in these days, we call it human trafficking, is more than $32 billion.
- 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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