Welcome to the Bridge to Freedom Foundation Blog


Thank you for visiting the Bridge to Freedom Foundation (BTFF) blog, where we look forward to bringing you inside information on the inner-workings of BTFF, inside information on our volunteer team and leadership, in-depth coverage of BTFF and partner events, news and happenings from across the globe and so much more.

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Thank you for your support!
Cassandra Clifford
Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day

14% of all men and 36% of all women in prison were abused as children.

Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.






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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

South Sudan sides 'recruit 9,000 children to fight' More than 9,000 child soldiers have been fighting in South Sudan's brutal civil war, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said. Both the army and rebel forces had recruited the children, she said. Ms Pillay said South Sudan faced the threat of a famine, but there was an "apparent lack of concern" on the part of its leaders. She was speaking at the end of a visit to South Sudan, where the conflict has displaced about a million people.

  Nigeria girls' abduction: Protest march in Abuja
Hundreds of mainly women protesters have marched through the Nigerian capital, Abuja, to press for the release of 230 schoolgirls abducted by militants two weeks ago. The government should, if necessary, negotiate with their captors to secure their release, a protester said. The Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for abducting the girls from their school in Chibok, Borno state. Boko Haram has not yet made any response to the accusation. The group, whose name means "Western education is forbidden" in the local Hausa language, has staged a wave of attacks in northern Nigeria in recent years, with an estimated 1,500 killed in the violence and subsequent security crackdown this year alone.

Sex trafficking in your backyard
Minnesota brings many things to mind — open prairies, 10,000 lakes and Midwestern values. Yet even in America's heartland, the most wretched of crimes, human trafficking, is a growing menace. Last year, the FBI identified Minnesota as one of the nation's 13 largest centers for child sex trafficking. The Women's Funding Network says that monthly, about 200 adolescents are sold for sex there through the Internet and escort services. In 2011, Minnesota courts had nearly 400 trafficking-related convictions.

Human trafficking victim shares her story
Amanda Dobyns said her mother traded her for drugs when she was younger. “She owed her drug dealer several thousand dollars and he told her you can either give me your daughter or pay me the money you owe me,” Dobyns said. It happened when Dobyns was only 13 years old. “Anytime she wanted a fix she would just trade me to him and get her drugs and he and multiple men would rape me,” Dobyns said.

  New Hampshire: Human trafficking bill moves to House The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee unanimously passed a comprehensive human trafficking bill Tuesday, setting the stage for floor action next week. The bill is considered a significant step forward for New Hampshire, which has been lagging behind other states in establishing laws against those who engage in sex and labor trafficking. "This bill contains big advancements that are super important," said Amanda Grady Sexton, public policy director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. In a national ranking of state sex trafficking laws, the national anti-trafficking organization Polaris Project placed New Hampshire third from the bottom.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day


About 80% of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.



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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day


Abused and neglected children are 11 times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult.


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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day

3.6 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the U.S.



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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day


Boys (48.5%) and girls (51.2%) become victims at nearly the same rate.




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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day



Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse.




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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day


In 2010, 1,537 children died of abuse or neglect.
79.4% were under the age of 4 and 47.7% were under the age of 1.




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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day


Most children become victims of abuse and neglect at 18 months or younger.




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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day


90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way.
68% are abused by a family member.



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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Fact of the Day



1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.


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Source for this month's facts:
DoSomething.org, (2014). 11 facts about child abuse. Retrieved from website: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-child-abuse.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2014



During the month of April, in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, people across the country come together to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention (PCAV, 2014, n.p.). In the United States of America, “every child should have every chance in life, every chance at happiness, and every chance at success” (Obama, 2014, n.p.). Yet tragically, hundreds of thousands of young Americans “shoulder the burden of abuse or neglect” (Obama, 2014, n.p.). During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, President Obama calls the nation to “strengthen our resolve to give every young person the security, opportunity, and bright future they deserve” (Obama, 2014, n.p.).

Without question, the entire nation has a role to play in preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as in helping young victims recover. According to President Obama (2014):

From parents and guardians to educators and community leaders, each of us can help carve out safe places for young people to build their confidence and pursue their dreams. I also encourage Americans to be aware of warning signs of child abuse and neglect, including sudden changes in behavior or school performance, untreated physical or medical issues, lack of adult supervision, and constant alertness, as though preparing for something bad to happen. To learn more about how you can prevent child abuse, visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/Preventing/. (n.p.)

In Virginia, PCAV annually spearheads Child Abuse Prevention Month activities to raise awareness and encourage statewide support for the initiative. This year’s PCAV theme is “Look. Listen. Respond” (PCAV, 2014, n.p.). In partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services, PCAV implements a Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign that includes “a Proclamation from the Governor, the Child Abuse Prevention Month Packet, and an Annual Conference” (PCAV, 2014, n.p.). In addition to these campaigns, PCAV also spearheads other activities throughout the month, such as: Pinwheels for Prevention and Wear Blue Day (PCAV, 2014, n.p.).

“There are numerous ways to participate in raising awareness of child abuse and neglect prevention,” states PCAV, which hosts a calendar of events and activities for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Those interested in playing a hands-on role in the campaign should visit the following site: http://pcav.org/events/.

“Our Nation thrives when we recognize that we all have a stake in each other” (Obama, 2014, n.p.). This month and throughout the year, President Obama urges: “Let us come together -- as families, communities, and Americans -- to ensure every child can pursue their dreams in a safe and loving home” (Obama, 2014, n.p.).

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Reference

Obama, B. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. (2014). Presidential proclamation: National child abuse prevention month, 2014. Retrieved from USA.gov website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/31/presidential-proclamation-national-child-abuse-prevention-month-2014.

Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, (2014). 2014 child abuse prevention month. Retrieved from website: http://pcav.org/child-abuse-prevention-month-2/.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

Human Trafficking Bill Goes to State Committee
According to the Florida Current, HB 7141 would set the framework for a screening and assessment process for possible human trafficking victims and create a team of specially-trained counselors working under the state Department of Children and Families.

Philippine police accuse Italian ambassador of human trafficking and child abuse

Philippine police have detained a vacationing Italian ambassador and filed complaints of human trafficking and child abuse after he was allegedly found in the company of three underage boys at a resort. Police arrested Daniele Bosio, a diplomat based in Turkmenistan, at a water fun park near Manila at the weekend following a tip-off from a local child rights group.

Human trafficking brings shame to humanity, UN Special Rapporteur tells an ecumenical consultation
In an ecumenical consultation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, called human trafficking a criminal activity, on rapid increase in the world. Ezeilo said that not a single country or entity has yet been able to stop this practice, and the magnitude of this problem is enormous.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Facts: 11 Facts About Human Trafficking



1. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
2. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
3. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
4. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
5. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. More than 70% are female and half are children.
6. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
7. California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
8. The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
9. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
10. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
11. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

Victim helps raise awareness of human trafficking
An estimated 27 million people, mostly women and children, are forced into exploited labor or sex acts each year, according to the U.S. State Department, and groups that track human trafficking data rank North Carolina as one of the top 10 states for the illegal activity. The Governor's Office and several organizations hosted a day of panel discussions at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School on Monday to raise awareness about human trafficking in the state among students from across eastern North Carolina.

Human trafficking to be focus of OSUM seminar
A former human trafficking victim will headline a seminar this week to discuss the growing problem. De Romano runs a program called Wake Up Youth, which caters to human trafficking victims and survivors. She assisted FBI agents in getting women to testify against traffickers in the Precious Cargo case, which was a massive bust in 2005 in Harrisburg, Pa., that involved numerous Ohio victims and offenders. She also works with Shared Hope International, an anti-human trafficking organization. The Ohio State University at Marion also is taking donations of toiletry items that will support De Romano’s outreach work to get young people off of the streets.

Anti-human trafficking measure moves forward
Victims of human trafficking may see more state services made available to them, if legislation that would allow for intervention through the court system passes.House Bill 569, sponsored by Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, which gained approval from the House Judiciary Committee last week and will be heard on the House floor, would allow district courts to create a division for human trafficking cases. Traditionally, Louisiana has looked at victims of human trafficking as prostitutes. Over the past few years, Louisiana lawmakers have tried to change that perception. Stokes’ bill is a part of a package that would strengthen penalties for captors, provide more money for victim support services and allow courts to intervene and to secure counseling and shelter.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Facts: Nobody is Safe from Trafficking

       

At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor. This makes sex trafficking one of the largest international crimes in the world. Nobody is safe from trafficking. It can happen on vacation, at school and at home. The only thing we can do to stay safe is be aware of situations that may put you in danger.

       Do not trust strangers. This one goes way back to when we were children, but putting your trust in strangers can be one of the major contributors to human trafficking. Not ever talking to strangers on a college campus could be detrimental to your social life, so we have to take a chance on trusting people, but while choosing your friends keep in mind that not everyone on campus is looking to be your friend. College students are drinking, doing drugs, gambling and some have been raped. College students are facing the threat of sex trafficking, but are forced to make friends with complete strangers every day.
      Another way to help prevent being sex trafficked is to avoid other illegal things. People who are doing or selling illegal drugs many times also take part in the illegal act of sex trafficking. Traveling can increase the chance of being entered into a sex trafficking ring.

     Wandering off with a group of people you don’t know, in a country you don’t know, with a language you don’t speak is dangerous as is, but especially with sex trafficking on the rise. It is helpful to learn the current events in places out of the country to know if it is currently a safe place to visit. If the country has a sex trafficking background it is better to be more cautious in that place.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

Texas: 100 people found in suspected human trafficking stash house
A house overflowing with more than 100 people presumed to be in the US illegally was uncovered just outside Houston on Wednesday, a police spokesman said. The people were primarily from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, he said. Two of the people, a pregnant woman and a man, have been taken to a hospital for unknown treatment, he added. Although Palmore said it was too early to say whether this was part of a human trafficking operation, he said it appeared that way.

Wichita men held for human trafficking
Prosecutors said 21 year-old Polo Miller is charged with 2 counts of aggravated human trafficking and 2 counts of commercial sexual exploitation of a child. 20 year-old Alexander Lane is charged with 2 counts of aggravated human trafficking. Both men made their first court appearance Thursday.

Iowa lawmakers wrangle with human trafficking bill
Lawmakers in Iowa are taking action to crack down on sex trafficking involving minors across the state. Legislation on the topic has won unanimous support in both chambers. Most recently, a measure that Rep. Greg Heartsill, a Republican from Melcher-Dallas, calls a "hybrid" of House and Senate versions overwhelmingly passed Wednesday in the House, 97-0. Democratic lawmakers worry that changes made to the bill, like the removal of reporting requirements and a victim support fund, take away from making the victim the priority.

Bern officals crack Thai human trafficking ring
The Bern cantonal prosecutor’s office says it has charged a 52-year-old Swiss-Thai woman for human trafficking and exploiting 25 sex trade workers from Thailand. The victims, including young women and transexuals, were working in brothels financed by the woman and operated by other people of Thai origin in the canton of Aargau, Bern and Lucerne, the office said on Friday.

Nation's top human trafficking route runs through Houston
A congressional hearing took place at Texas Southern University on Thursday to discuss the issue. The federal government considered the Houston area to be one of the biggest hubs in the country for human trafficking. In fact, the 1-10 corridor has been labeled as the number one trafficking route in the country.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fact: The U.S. is a Primary Destination Country for Human Trafficking

     
The United States is primarily a destination country for adults and children trafficked from all over the world for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.

The top countries of origin for foreign victims identified in 2010 were Thailand, India, Mexico, Philippines, Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Internal or domestic sex trafficking, where American children and legal residents are trafficked within the United States, also occurs. US citizen victims of child sex trafficking are usually homeless, runaways or come from a broken home or dysfunctional family. Trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation takes place in street prostitution, massage parlours and brothels. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the primary element of trafficking has changed from transportation to exploitation; thus sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, is classified as child trafficking under this law

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Our Midst: Human Trafficking in US Schools (Part II)



Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2013), federal law defines human trafficking as including: “(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or (B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery” [U.S.C. §7102(8)]. Moreover, those who recruit minors into commercial sexual exploitation “violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion” (ED, 2013, n.p.).

A report issued by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students summarizes the literature on the scope and severity of human trafficking of children within the United States. Moreover, the report details the grave effects that human trafficking has on U.S. school systems, while offering suggestions for identifying and reporting suspected human trafficking situations.

Part II of the report is as follows:

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How Do I Identify a Victim of Human Trafficking?

Indicators that school staff and administrators should be aware of concerning a potential victim:
• Demonstrates an inability to attend school on a regular basis and/or has unexplained absences
• Frequently runs away from home
• Makes references to frequent travel to other cities
• Exhibits bruises or other signs of physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression, anxiety, or fear
• Lacks control over his or her schedule and/or identification or travel documents
• Is hungry, malnourished, deprived of sleep, or inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or surroundings)
• Shows signs of drug or alcohol addiction
• Has coached/rehearsed responses to questions

Additional signs that may indicate sex trafficking include:
• Demonstrates a sudden change in attire, personal hygiene, relationships, or material possessions
• Acts uncharacteristically promiscuous and/or makes references to sexual situations or terminology that are beyond age-specific norms
• Has a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” who is noticeably older
• Attempts to conceal recent scars, bruises, or any other forms of physical injury or trauma

Additional signs that may indicate labor trafficking include:
• Expresses need to pay off a debt
• Expresses concern for family members’ safety if he or she shares too much information
• Works long hours and receives little or no payment
• Cares for children not from his or her own family

How Do I Report a Suspected Incidence of Human Trafficking?

• In the case of an immediate emergency, call your local police department or emergency access number.
• To report suspected human trafficking crimes or to get help from law enforcement, call toll-free (24/7) 1-866-347-2423 or submit a tip online at www.ice.gov/tips.
• To report suspected trafficking crimes, get help, or learn more about human trafficking from a nongovernmental organization, call the toll-free (24/7) National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.
• To report sexually exploited or abused minors, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST, or report incidents at http://www.cybertipline.org.

Resources and Publications

Information on human trafficking can also be found on the following Web sites:
• Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign
• National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
• National Human Trafficking Resource Center
• Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center
• United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
• U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes



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Reference

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students. (2013). Human trafficking of children in the United States. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Education website: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/factsheet.html.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

Wisconsin Senate passes human trafficking bill
Wisconsin's human trafficking laws would be tightened under a bill that has passed the state Senate.The proposal would allow trafficking victims to ask a judge to vacate or expunge prostitution convictions. The judge could grant the request if he or she gives the prosecutor a chance to respond and determines society won't be harmed.

Groups fight human trafficking through awareness
Human trafficking is a $32 billion criminal industry in the US and abroad, but one group in south Louisiana is hoping to stamp it out. Trafficking Hope and the Junior League of Baton Rouge are hosting a screening of the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. It takes viewers on a journey around the globe and around the US, opening people's eyes to the world of human sex trafficking.

MI bill to crack down on human trafficking could result in land grab
Legislation aimed at cracking down on human trafficking could result in government taking more property from citizens in Michigan. At issue is a “willful blindness” clause inserted into House Bills 5230 and 5233that would allow government officials to take property from people who, while not involved with a crime, benefit by getting property as a result of some form of criminal activity.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In Our Midst: Human Trafficking in US Schools (Part I)



Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2013), federal law defines human trafficking as including: “(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or (B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery” [U.S.C. §7102(8)]. Moreover, those who recruit minors into commercial sexual exploitation “violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion” (ED, 2013, n.p.).

A report issued by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students summarizes the literature on the scope and severity of human trafficking of children within the United States. Moreover, the report details the grave effects that human trafficking has on U.S. school systems, while offering suggestions for identifying and reporting suspected human trafficking situations.

Part I of the report is as follows:

___________________________________________________________

What Is the Extent of Human Trafficking in the United States?

An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country for sexual servitude and forced labor. Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 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.

Common examples of identified child trafficking cases include:
• Commercial sex
• Stripping
• Pornography
• Forced begging
• Magazine crews
• Au pairs or nannies
• Restaurant work
• Hair and nail salons
• Agricultural work
• Drug sales and cultivation

How Does Human Trafficking Affect Our Schools?

Trafficking can involve school-age youth, particularly those made vulnerable by challenging family situations, and can take a variety of forms including forced labor, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation.

The children at risk are not just high school students—pimps or traffickers are known to prey on victims as young as 9. Traffickers may target minor victims through social media websites, telephone chat-lines, after-school programs, at shopping malls and bus depots, in clubs, or through friends or acquaintances who recruit students on school campuses.


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Reference

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students. (2013). Human trafficking of children in the United States. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Education website: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/factsheet.html

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Celebrate, Support and Empower Women: International Women's Day


Today, March 8th is International Women's Day and with that we wanted to take a moment to honor and thank all of the amazing, strong, beautiful and intelligent women across the globe. We want to especially take a moment to thank all the amazing and courageous survivors who embody a relentless spirit few are ever able to possess.

While Bridge to Freedom Foundation does not work with female survivors alone, women and girls comprise 80% of modern slavery victims.   Therefore we ask on this day to not only thank the women in your life, but to honor and support those women and girls who are fighting daily for their basic freedoms and rights. While we not only use this day to honor these women we also celebrate the inspiring and courageous work that so many women -and men- around the world are doing to secure and ensure that the rights of women and girls are put into place to see a future for all that is both more tolerant and sustainable for all. Please remember that many voices have been silenced in the battle for gender equality -speak loudly so that their silence will be forever broken.

This year we ask you consider making a donation to our Violence Prevention Program, where a $45 donation will give a survivor a 3 hour specialized self-defense (Krav Maga) workshop.  Even a donation a little as $10 will make a great impact.  Please click here to learn more about the program and donate.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In Focus: Reiterating the Gravity of Gender-Based Violence (Part II)



To continue the discussion on the gravity on gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women (VAW), part II of the fact sheet (issued by WHO) offers the following summary of the literature:

________________________________________________________________________

Risk factors:

Factors found to be associated with intimate partner and sexual violence occur within individuals, families and communities and wider society. Some factors are associated with being a perpetrator of violence, some are associated with experiencing violence and some are associated with both.

Risk factors for both intimate partner and sexual violence include:

• lower levels of education (perpetration of sexual violence and experience of sexual violence);
• exposure to child maltreatment (perpetration and experience);
• witnessing family violence (perpetration and experience);
• antisocial personality disorder (perpetration);
• harmful use of alcohol (perpetration and experience);
• having multiple partners or suspected by their partners of infidelity (perpetration); and
• attitudes that are accepting of violence and gender inequality (perpetration and experience).

Factors specifically associated with intimate partner violence include:

• past history of violence;
• marital discord and dissatisfaction;
• difficulties in communicating between partners.

Factors specifically associated with sexual violence perpetration include:

• beliefs in family honor and sexual purity;
• ideologies of male sexual entitlement; and
• weak legal sanctions for sexual violence.

The unequal position of women relative to men and the normative use of violence to resolve conflict are strongly associated with both intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.

Health consequences:

Intimate partner and sexual violence have serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for survivors and for their children, and lead to high social and economic costs.

• Violence against women can have fatal results like homicide or suicide.
• It can lead to injuries, with 42% of women who experience intimate partner reporting an injury as a consequences of this violence.
• Intimate partner violence and sexual violence can lead to unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, gynecological problems, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The 2013 analysis found that women who had been physically or sexually abused were 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection and, in some regions, HIV, compared to women who have not experienced partner violence. They are also twice as likely to have an abortion.
• Intimate partner violence in pregnancy also increases the likelihood of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies.
• These forms of violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, emotional distress and suicide attempts. The same study found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence were almost twice as likely to experience depression and problem drinking. The rate was even higher for women who had experienced non partner sexual violence.
• Health effects can also include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health.
• Sexual violence, particularly during childhood, can lead to increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, and risky sexual behaviors in later life. It is also associated with perpetration of violence (for males) and being a victim of violence (for females).

Impact on children:

• Children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioral and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.
• Intimate partner violence has also been associated with higher rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity (e.g. diarrhoeal disease, malnutrition).

Social and economic costs:

The social and economic costs of intimate partner and sexual violence are enormous and have ripple effects throughout society. Women may suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.

Prevention and response:

Currently, there are few interventions whose effectiveness has been proven through well designed studies. More resources are needed to strengthen the prevention of intimate partner and sexual violence, including primary prevention, i.e. stopping it from happening in the first place.

Regarding primary prevention, there is some evidence from high-income countries that school-based programs to prevent violence within dating relationships have shown effectiveness. However, these have yet to be assessed for use in resource-poor settings. Several other primary prevention strategies: those that combine microfinance with gender equality training; that promote communication and relationship skills within couples and communities; that reduce access to, and harmful use of alcohol; and that change cultural gender norms, have shown some promise but need to be evaluated further.

To achieve lasting change, it is important to enact legislation and develop policies that:

• address discrimination against women;
• promote gender equality;
• support women; and
• help to move towards more peaceful cultural norms.

An appropriate response from the health sector can play an important role in the prevention of violence. Sensitization and education of health and other service providers is therefore another important strategy. To address fully the consequences of violence and the needs of victims/survivors requires a multi-sectoral response.


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Reference

World Health Organization, (2013). Violence against women: Intimate partner and sexual violence against women (N°239). Retrieved from World Health Organization website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fact: Average annual return on investment of a slave in 1810 was 15%-20%; today it is 300%-500%

     
 "The average annual return on investment of a slave for the exploiter in 1810 was 15%-20%; today it is 300%-500%, even higher for sex slaves."
                     -Siddharth Kara Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (2009)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In Focus: Reiterating the Gravity of Gender-Based Violence (Part I)



A review of the literature, as summarized by the World Health Organization (WHO), offers support regarding the gravity of gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women (VAW), globally.

The WHO (2013) issued a fact sheet on the matter, which included the following:

___________________________________________________________________

Key facts:

• Violence against women - particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women - are major public health problems and violations of women's human rights.
• Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
• On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.
• Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner.
• Violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.
• Risk factors for being a perpetrator include low education, exposure to child maltreatment or witnessing violence in the family, harmful use of alcohol, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality.
• Risk factors for being a victim of intimate partner and sexual violence include low education, witnessing violence between parents, exposure to abuse during childhood and attitudes accepting violence and gender inequality.
• In high-income settings, school-based programs to prevent relationship violence among young people (or dating violence) are supported by some evidence of effectiveness.
• In low-income settings, other primary prevention strategies, such as microfinance combined with gender equality training and community-based initiatives that address gender inequality and communication and relationship skills, hold promise.
• Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence and present new forms of violence against women.

Introduction:

The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."

Intimate partner violence refers to behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors.

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.

Scope of the problem:

Population-level surveys based on reports from victims provide the most accurate estimates of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in non-conflict settings. The first report of the "WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women" (2005) in 10 mainly developing countries found that, among women aged 15-49:

• between 15% of women in Japan and 71% of women in Ethiopia reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime;
• between 0.3–11.5% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by a non-partner since the age of 15 years;
• the first sexual experience for many women was reported as forced – 17% in rural Tanzania, 24% in rural Peru, and 30% in rural Bangladesh.

A more recent analysis of WHO with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council, based on existing data from over 80 countries, found that globally 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner, in some regions this is much higher. Globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.

Intimate partner and sexual violence are mostly perpetrated by men against women and child sexual abuse affects both boys and girls. International studies reveal that approximately 20% of women and 5–10% of men report being victims of sexual violence as children. Violence among young people, including dating violence, is also a major problem.

___________________________________________________________________


Reference

World Health Organization, (2013). Violence against women: Intimate partner and sexual violence against women (N°239). Retrieved from World Health Organization website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Former victim of human trafficking helps raise awareness among lawmakers
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers says it's a $32 billion global industry. On Thursday, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado raised awareness about the issue at the State Capitol. Aubrey Lloyd was a featured guest. She became a victim of human traffickers at age 16. "I was an honor roll student, who was lied to by a friend," she told 7NEWS. Lloyd says she experienced "tons of abuse and confrontation" while growing up.

30 arrested in All-Star weekend sex trafficking
Louisiana state police say an investigation involving local authorities and the FBI resulted in 30 arrests in connection with sex trafficking during the NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans. The arrests included 22 women and four men arrested on prostitution-related charges. Four other men were booked for allegedly using computers to solicit minors for sex. The operation also resulted in the rescue of a juvenile believed to have been exploited since she was 14.

Couple found guilty of running human trafficking op in Boston
A husband and wife were found guilty of running a human trafficking operation in Boston. After an eight-day trial, a Suffolk Superior Court jury found Rafael Henriquez, 40, and Ramona Carpio Hernandez, 52, both of East Boston, guilty on the charges of trafficking in persons for sexual servitude, being an owner of a house of prostitution, deriving support from prostitution, and keeping a house of ill fame.

13-Year-Old Girl at Center of Human Trafficking Case Again Missing, As Police Car Shows Up at Family's Home
Before authorities say a 13-year-old girl was forced to dance nude at a Miami Beach strip club, she was reported as a runaway. In a recorded interview released by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office the girl told a Miami Police detective she had left home before and talked about how she was forced to have sex for money. Four people have been arrested and charged with human trafficking in the case, including 36-year-old Vilbert “Vitto” Jean and 22-year-old Marlene San Vincente, a former Club Madonna dancer. The 13-year-old told police how she ended up dancing there.

Exhibit in Coralville displays human trafficking, hope to those held captive
An exhibit detailing the reality of human trafficking is on display for the second time in eastern Iowa. The Journey to Freedom is currently on display at the Big White House in Coralville. The exhibit looks at the lives and situations of millions of people around the world living without freedom. Melanie Baker, the exhibit coordinator, says they not only want to raise awareness, but also give hope to those taken captive by human trafficking, including those in eastern Iowa.

Friday, February 21, 2014

10 Surprising and Counterintuitive Facts About Child Sex Trafficking


At present, the commercial sexual exploitation of children has become a staple of often scary tabloid and other media coverage. The sensationalist sex trafficking narrative commonly depicted in mass media by celebrities and activists doesn't always reveal the full story of this complex and misunderstood phenomenon, which is often buffeted by data and themes that detract from potential remedies. Here are 10 child sex trafficking statistics that you most likely didn't read….
1. Boys make up 50 percent of the sex trafficked victims in the U.S.
2. Most children who are sex trafficked don’t have a traditional ‘pimp’.
3. Many youth show a surprising amount of agency and control over their work.
4. For most exploited children, their trafficking situation is not the greatest trauma they've endured – the majority has a history of sexual abuse and neglect.
5. Trafficked children are treated as criminals despite federal law classifying anyone under 18 years of age a victim.
6. Women make up buyers and traffickers as well.
7. Online websites such as backpage.com can be a sex trafficker’s haven.
8. Criminalizing commercial sex work and branding ‘trafficking’ as the same thing raises the stakes for victims.
9. Most kids engaged in sex trafficking don’t consider themselves victims.
10.Sex trafficking funds and resources are misappropriated.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

9 Investigates teenager sex trafficking
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Channel 9 has done several stories about central Florida’s growing human sex trafficking problem. A recent study showed one out of every 12 teens who was given the assessment was a victim of human trafficking. DCF told Welch that local teens of every race and background are being recruited. The experts said parents need to monitor who their children talk to online. They should also be on the lookout for suspicious tattoos because pimps often brand their girls with tattoos.

Number of children being sex trafficked soars
The number of British children being trafficked for sexual exploitation has more than doubled over the last year, according to official figures. Police forces, charities and immigration officials identified 50 young British girls and 6 boys being trafficked in order to be abused as part of the sex industry. The figures represent a 155 per cent increase on the previous year but are thought to be just the tip of the iceberg as much of the problem remains desperately under reported.

Florida ranks 3rd in calls to human trafficking hotline
Jacksonville University professor Nathan Rousseau and local attorney Crystal Freed, are organizing a series of events with Jacksonville University, Artworks For Freedom and other organizations to be held around the area, which aim to bring awareness to the issue. Rousseau said millions of people are caught in the trap of human trafficking -- often kids and women held against their will, sometimes only freed by their own deaths. According to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, about 2.5 million people are enslaved at any given time by human trafficking and more than 9 out of 10 people suffer from physical or sexual violence.

Artist in residence explores human trafficking in U.S.
Albion College’s Artist in Residence Lea Bult sets the record straight about human trafficking in the U.S. Her “Out of Sight” exhibition promotes public awareness of the horrific prevalence of such modern-day slavery. The gallery features unassuming landscapes such as parking lots, factories and even a massage parlor. Bult often includes a truck or van in these images
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Rights group: Egypt turns blind eye to human trafficking in Sinai
CAIRO -- Scarred, terrified and systematically tortured, the victims of human traffickers in the Sinai peninsula have been largely abandoned to their fate by Egyptian authorities, a leading human rights group alleged in a report released Tuesday. The report by New York-based Human Rights Watch details a brutal extortion racket in which victims, most of them would-be migrants from Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, are beaten, burned and mutilated by smugglers while their anguished relatives – contacted by mobile phone – are forced to listen to their screams.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolate Love...


It's Valentine's Day and many people of you are reaching for that tasty and sensual chocolate treat to give to your loved ones. Chocolate has long been associated with romance, but this seductive sweet has a bitter dark side you may not want to think about. This seductive treat has not seduced lovers alone, but those who prey on the innocence of others and lust after wealth. The irony is that chocolate -the happy and love induced sweet, is also source of pain and captivity.

There is a price for this dark and creamy treasure. In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, children are often kidnapped from neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso in order to provide slave labor on cocoa plantations. In Bitter Chocolate, journalist Carol Off describes the conditions in which these child slaves work:

 “The farmers were working the young people almost to death. The boys had little to eat, slept in bunkhouses that were locked during the night, and were frequently beaten. They had horrible sores on their backs and shoulders… Farmers were paying organized groups of smugglers to deliver the children to their cocoa groves, while police were being bribed to look the other way.” These children are responsible for climbing cocoa trees, cutting down bean pods, and chopping them open with machetes, which leads to inevitable accidents. They are exposed to hazardous pesticides that they spray without protective equipment. They are fed corn paste and bananas, the cheapest food available, and they’re not paid.  When one former child slave was asked what he’d stay to chocolate-eating Westerners, he answered, “When people eat chocolate, they are eating my flesh.” Despite the fact that the cocoa industry’s awful human rights record is now public knowledge, “Big Chocolate” – Cargill, Nestlé, Hershey, Mars, Ghiridelli etc. – have not taken the necessary steps to guarantee that their products are slave-free. Many problems could be alleviated, or at least improved, if these companies paid their workers a living wage, one that is high enough to maintain a basic standard of living that includes education, health care, and savings.  A big part of the problem is that Western consumers love eating cheap chocolate so much that they don’t pressure the industry to change. Rather than being viewed as a rare, expensive treat, chocolate has become “a universal luxury – a reasonably priced frivolity for everyone, except those who’ve never heard of it or can’t afford to buy it. Ironically, that unenviable group includes the people who produce its most essential ingredient.” (Bitter Chocolate)

What can you do?  The first and easiest thing you can do is read labels. Fair trade is a decent option, as it ensures producers sell chocolate at above-market prices, generating extra income to improve community infrastructure and give a higher quality of life to farming communities. The downside is that certification can be very costly, and is often not affordable for small-scale operations- therefore sometimes you have to do a little research (but then again is that really such a big price to pay?). Please also keep in mind there is more than one label -in 2012, Fair Trade USA split from the International Fair Trade Organization.  There is also the Rainforest Alliance stamp, which ensures that farmers are growing cocoa in environmentally responsible ways – protecting shade trees, planting native species, maintaining wildlife corridors, conserving natural resources, and reducing pesticide use.

Chocolate: More and more retailers carry Fair Trade chocolate so just keep your eye out for the Fair Trade label as you shop.  You can also purchase special valentines gifts online including heart-shaped chocolates from Divine Chocolate, the sweet and spicy chocolate sampler from Equal Exchange, the Valentine’s Day Heart Box from Sweet Earth Chocolates and a full tub of chocolate hearts of cherry  or dark chocolate with raspberry bar from Sjaak’s.  Sweet Earth Chocolates Classic Red Velvet BoxChocoDream SpreadsKopali Chocolate Covered Cacao NibsTCHO “My Heart’s Desire” Adigard 12-Bar SamplerAlter Eco Dark Velvet Chocolate and sweetriot riotous riotBar gift set.  Why not reach outside the box and  try Kopali’s Dark Chocolate Covered Bananas.

Learn more and see what products are "safe" by reading our post from last year and checking out all the great resources and links: http://bridgetofreedomfoundation.blogspot.com/2013/02/make-sure-your-valentines-day-is-not.html?spref=tw

Fact: Children Trafficked to Sell Flowers and Beg in Thailand

   
In an impoverished town in Thailand near the border with Myanmar, a trafficker offered a desperate Burmese widow 5,000 baht (US$160) on the spot, followed by an additional 4,000 baht ($120) per month for two of her 10 children to sell flowers in the Thai capital, Bangkok. The rent-a-child deal was to last three months, after which the boys would return home.

     But the deadline passed and the monthly payments stopped. After another three months the older brother, 10-year-old Ongsi, ran away and managed to make his way home to tell his mother they had to return to the capital to rescue 8-year-old Siyathon from a life of late-night flower selling and beatings.
   
Their case is not unusual. Across the city of more than 10 million, little Burmese vendors sell flowers and Cambodian children beg money from motorists, tourists and bar crawlers.

    “Most of these children are not Thai,” said Witanapat Rutanavaleepong, who manages the Stop Child Begging project for the Mirror Foundation, a leading Thai NGO that has become a focal point for child trafficking.

     He estimates there are at least 1,000 child beggars and flower sellers working in cities and tourist spots around the country. Since he began working with the Mirror Foundation two years ago, Witanapat has come across only one case involving three Thai children, although he handles up to 30 cases a month. The problem remains intractable in the capital.

   “Thailand has a problem with child begging that is hard to solve because the authorities do not see it as a problem that affects their [the children’s] future or society,” Witanapat said. “They see them as only child beggars, but the girls and some boys often go on to become sex workers, and the boys often become traffickers themselves.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

Teen killed in Yorba Linda was a human trafficking victim, police say
A 17-year-old girl found stabbed to death in an upscale Yorba Linda neighborhood Tuesday was a victim of human trafficking in Santa Ana about two weeks before she was killed, authorities said. Officers identified Aubreyanna Sade Parks as a victim of human trafficking during a crackdown on prostitution in Santa Ana. Marsalis Joseph Smith, 26, was arrested on Jan. 21 and is charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, pimping and pandering. Smith was in jail when Parks was killed. According to prosecutors, Larry Soo Shin, 35, of Yorba Linda began communicating with Parks early Tuesday morning and asked her to meet him in Yorba Linda. When she arrived, he allegedly stabbed her and left her body on a grassy area in the neighborhood, prosecutors said.

Middlesex pimp, girlfriend admit roles in NJ human trafficking prostitution ring 
A pimp who with his prostitute girlfriend swiped $500,000 worth of diamonds from a john at Manhattan’s Cosmopolitan Hotel pleaded guilty to human trafficking today — one of the first in New Jersey under the statute. Percival R. Williams — also known as Tayvann Dunston — admitted using violence and threats of violence to enslave women in a high-priced prostitution ring, after pretending to be a music producer while tooling around in high-performance Maseratis and a Porsche, state authorities charged.

Man headed to prison for human trafficking
A former fugitive who was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” is going to prison for human trafficking and other charges. Rufus Byers was arrested in 2011 for not only forcing a California woman to prostitute herself in Albuquerque, but for holding her 3-year-old daughter hostage in California. Byers bonded out of jail, then fled to Dallas. He was re-captured there in 2012 and returned to Albuquerque to face charges.

Dutch experts to visit PHL for anti-human trafficking programs
A team of anti-human trafficking experts from the Netherlands will visit the Philippines next week and meet with officials to strengthen both countries' effort to fight human trafficking. The Dutch delegation, led by Herman Bolhaar, will meet with members of the Philippine government's Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT). According to the DOJ, which supervises the IACAT, the Dutch team's visit will "enhance cooperative efforts and mutual assistance with foreign countries through bilateral and/or multi-lateral arrangement to prevent and suppress international trafficking in person."

FBI rescues 16 juveniles in Super Bowl human trafficking operation
The FBI rescued 16 juveniles and arrested more than 45 pimps in conjunction with a child sex trafficking operation that revolved around the Super Bowl. The sex workers ranged from 13-to-17 years old, and some of them had been reported missing by their families. The Bureau is now working to provide food, shelter, counseling and medical care to the workers while also trying to contact the workers' families.

Making the Case: Withholding of Food as a Form of Gender-Based Violence



Little research currently addresses gender-based violence specifically from the viewpoint of withholding of food. Previously compiled research, however, suggests that the withholding of food and/or manipulation regarding access to and control over food is in fact a form of gender-based violence, especially in the context of associating food availability to control over sex and child-rearing (Miller et al., 2011, p. 1515; Power, 2006, p. 258-259).

In recent times, research on gender-based violence has expanded to include other lesser-known and infrequently considered, yet equally important and prevalent, behaviors encompassed under the greater umbrella of violence against women. With increasing evidence, the consideration of “withholding of food, healthcare, medication, adequate clothing, and hygiene products” as forms of gender-based violence has grown in acceptance (“Dynamics,” 2010-2011, n.p.). A study done by Ackerson et al. (2008) explored the context of malnutrition in association with domestic violence. To investigate this relationship, the authors “analyzed data from 69,072 women aged 15–49 years and 14,552 children aged 12–35 months in the 1998–1999 Indian National Family Health Survey” (Ackerson et al., 2008, p. 1193). Self-reported physical domestic violence victimization was utilized as a measure, along with anemia and underweight categorizations as indicators of malnutrition (Ackerson et al., 2008, p. 1193). Findings from this study revealed “withholding of food as a documented form of abuse in Indian households and is likely correlated with the perpetration of physical violence” (Ackerson et al., 2008, p. 1193).

Moreover, research available on withholding of food has revealed “reports of men denying their partners the resources to buy food,” along with reports of “primary male sexual partners... [withholding] food as a means of controlling the circumstance under which sex would occur (Miller et al., 2011, p. 1515; Power, 2006, p. 258-259). The overarching issue of food insecurity has “led to increased sexual vulnerability among women” (Miller et al., 2011, p. 1512). For example, “Women [are] often compelled to engage in transactional sex or remain in violent or abusive relationships due to their reliance on men in their communities to provide food for themselves and their children” (Miller et al., 2011, p. 1512).

In sum, “the unequal position of women relative to men and the normative use of violence to resolve conflicts” have been found to be “strongly associated with [gender-based violence]” in almost any form by any perpetrator (WHO, 2011). Referencing cases of withholding of food as a form of gender-based violence, “Domestic violence is strongly associated with a woman’s inability to make decisions for herself and her family, including the choice of types and quantities of food that a woman prepares as she cares for herself and her children” (Ackerson et al., 2008, p. 1193).





References

Ackerson, L., & Subramanian, S. (2008). Domestic violence and chronic malnutrition among women and children in India. American Journal of Epidemiology, 167(10), 1188–1196. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn049.

Dynamics of domestic violence in API families. (2010-2011).

Miller, C., Bangsberg, D., Tuller, D., Senkungu, J., Kawuma, A., Frongillo, E., & Weiser, S. (2011). Food insecurity and sexual risk in an HIV endemic community in Uganda. AIDS and Behavior, 15, 1512-1519. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9693-0.

Power, E. (2006). Economic abuse and intra-household inequities in food security. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 97(3), 258-260.

World Health Organization, (2011, September). Violence against women: intimate partner and sexual violence against women. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fact: Sex Trafficking in the U.S.

     
Sex trafficking occurs when people are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. Child sex trafficking includes any child involved in commercial sex. Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry. Sex trafficking exists within the broader commercial sex trade, often at much larger rates than most people realize or understand. Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues of the overall sex industry, including residential brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

College Conference Invites Public For Human Trafficking Awareness DAVIE (CBSMiami) — Broward College in Davie is inviting the public to become more aware of human trafficking in Florida and in the rest of the world, through a conference Thursday. The free, day-long conference is being held in recognition of National Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

AG awards human trafficking victims grants
TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Five Kansas groups have been awarded funds from the attorney general’s office to help victims of human trafficking. The assistance program was established last year after the Legislature passed new laws cracking down on the crime. The attorney general’s office said Thursday the grants total nearly $70,000 and will be used by groups that aid human trafficking victims in Lawrence, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. More than 200 human trafficking victims were identified for services by the organizations since passage of the 2013 legislation.

EmberHope receives grant to combat human trafficking
EmberHope received a grant of $20,442 from the Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Fund, which was created by the new Kansas human trafficking law enacted last year. During state fiscal year 2013, Schmidt said, more than 200 trafficking victims were identified by victims service organizations in Kansas.
Along with EmberHope, which is the new name for Youthville and features expanded services, other grant recipients were:
 • Veronica’s Voice, Kansas City: $14,957
 • GaDuGi Safe Center, Lawrence: $13,384
 • YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, Topeka: $23,000
 • SafeHomes, Winfield: $13,000

Fighting human trafficking in Kalamazoo
The state is setting in motion its plan to combat human trafficking, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told an audience in Kalamazoo yesterday evening. Earlier Thursday state lawmakers announced that they would seek changes in the way state law treats victims of sex trafficking so they’re not prosecuted for prostitution. Advocates also say they’re working hard to raise public awareness of an issue they say hides in plain sight.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/31/4653818/couple-face-njs-new-human-trafficking.html#.Uuwm3D1dWjA#storylink=cpy

Friday, January 31, 2014

Facts: 1.2 Million Children are Trafficked Each Year

Child trafficking is defined as the transport of persons, by means of coercion, deception or consent for the purpose of exploitation such as forced or consensual labor or prostitution.
Unfortunately, trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of young children remain prevalent in many parts of the world. An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, according to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, UNICEF. Children are most vulnerable to being trafficked when they are transient and all alone, particularly at times of political crisis or in the face of social or economic pressures.
Some children may willingly consent to being smuggled in order to escape a desperate situation or to seek better opportunities. However, once they are a part of the smuggling network, they may find themselves to be trapped as victims without protection and exploited in the commercial sex trade.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Activists seek justice for RI worker in HK ‘slavery’ case
The governments of Indonesia and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must launch a fair investigation into the alleged torture of 23-year-old Indonesian migrant worker Erwiana Sulistyaningsih by her employer in Hong Kong, activists and workers say. According to local media reports, Erwiana — who is now undergoing medical treatment at a local hospital in her hometown of Sragen, Central Java — might have been abused for around eight months after arriving in Hong Kong in May last year to work for a local family, during which she was also banned from speaking to others. “What happened to Erwiana is not a crime but modern slavery. Shame on the government to have failed to prevent such an incident from occurring,” Anis Hidayah, the executive director of Migrant Care, an NGO focusing on workers’ rights, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Labor, sex traffickers, modern slavery in Colorado
The FBI's Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force rescued 59 teen prostitutes from flesh peddlers in Colorado this year, up from 49 in 2012. In July, Operation Cross Country, a nationwide sweep that targeted victims of underage prostitution and their pimps, recovered 105 juveniles and bagged 150 pimps in 76 cities. Denver ranked fourth in the number of teens rescued, with nine juveniles, fewer than only San Francisco, Milwaukee and Detroit.

Huge nationwide prostitution ring promised women a luxury lifestyle but subjected them to 'modern-day slavery' where they were branded with bar codes 
A San Diego street gang operated a vast nationwide prostitution ring that spanned 46 cities in 23 states, federal prosecutors revealed on Wednesday. The group promised luxury lifestyles to girls and women but instead they were branded with tattoos and bar codes, and treated like slaves. 'The kind of sex trafficking described in this indictment is nothing less than modern-day slavery,' said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy as she announced racketeering conspiracy charges for 24 people.

Feds: Be Aware Of Human Trafficking Signs As Detroit Auto Show Opens
With the North American International Auto Show opening Saturday at Detroit’s Cobo Center, federal authorities warning the public about several common human trafficking indicators because demand for commercial sex services increases around high-profile events. Agents say human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security (HSI) investigates. In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims pay to be illegally transported into the United States only to find themselves in the thrall of traffickers. They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts – often after entry in the United States, officials say.

UK family sentenced for keeping slave
A family has been jailed in the UK for keeping a man with learning difficulties as their slave. Craig Kinsella was beaten and made to work 19-hour days for no money by a couple and their son. It was modern-day slavery in a Sheffield suburb. The Rooke family were caught on their own CCTV camera attacking the man they kept enslaved in their garage. The victim was Mr Kinsella, 34, who has learning difficulties.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fact: Human Trafficking is a $34 Billion Dollar a Year Business


According to ILO (International Labor Organization), the estimated total global profits from Human Trafficking are $34 billion a year 21 billion forced labor 13 billion for sex trafficking More males victims are now being recruited for the labor force.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Modern Slavery News Round-up

How social enterprises are combating modern slavery
It is estimated that nearly 30 million people around the world are trapped in modern slavery while many others have survived human trafficking or are in situations of risk. Social enterprises could offer a sustainable solution to the problem of economic vulnerability that ensnares people in modern slavery. The UK's modern slavery bill, that will tighten laws on human trafficking, was published at the end of last year and will be introduced before the current session of parliament ends next spring. The draft bill briefly mentions that the government will work with businesses to "ensure their workforce and supply chains are not exploited", but does not explain how. In fact there is little mention of the role businesses or charities can play in countering the issue in the whole 62-page document.

Man jailed for six-and-a-half years for keeping vulnerable man a slave
An ice cream business owner who kept a vulnerable man like a slave has been jailed for six-and-a-half years by a judge who said it was staggering that it could happen in modern society. David Rooke forced Craig Kinsella, 34, to live in a garage where he suffered regular beatings and ended up scavenging for food in bins, Sheffield crown court heard. Rooke, 44, admitted falsely imprisoning and attacking Kinsella and was jailed along with his wife Donna, 40, and son Jamie, 19.

Global slavery index researchers welcome constructive criticism
Attempting to measure modern slavery is not for the faint hearted. You're essentially trying to measure something that is hidden, poorly understood and massively under-reported. Nevertheless, the global slavery index approach is to take an estimate based on the best available information, as Free the Slaves co-founder Kevin Bales outlined in a piece for the network in October. The index estimates the size of modern slavery country by country, regionally and globally. It estimates that there are 29.8 million people in some form of modern slavery globally, whether this is a forced marriage or enslavement of workers in brick kilns. Estimates depend in large part on information derived from secondary sources, but also draws upon the limited survey data that is currently available, as well as expert assessment.