The State Department issues a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report annually. This report ranks countries according to their anti-trafficking efforts and urges other countries to improve on their efforts. For example, the Philippines, a country where labor and sex trafficking are common, enhanced its efforts when faced with a possible demotion in the ranks on the TIP Report and possible loss of U.S. foreign assistance.
Such is only one example of how the TIP Report has encourages the leaders of countries around the world to open their eyes to human trafficking and put an end to the free reign traffickers have within their borders. So why then was the TIP Office’s budget cut by Congress for this upcoming fiscal year? With the success thus far, should there not be more money allocated toward fighting global trafficking?
To find out more, read International Justice Mission’s vice president for government relations Holly Burkhalter’s report.
On June 1st, 2011, police in Nigeria freed 32 teen girls from the dark depths of human trafficking. Each girl was pregnant, as they were enslaved as baby making machines in this horrific “baby factory.”
Thanks to a tip, police raided the clinic in Aba, known as The Cross Foundation. The tip had informed the police that the owner was keeping pregnant girls and forcing them to sell their babies. Some of the girls, ages 15 to 17, reported that they were forced to sell their babies for $190. These babies fell victim to the region’s sex trade and human trafficking markets. Some allegedly were even sold for tribal rituals.
The owner could face up to 14 years in prison for selling the babies of these girls. The owner denies the charges, stating that the clinic only cared for girls who had unwanted pregnancies.
The women are now safely at the regional headquarters of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, an anti-trafficking organization.
Virginia has made leaps and bounds this year legislatively on a state level, and now we need your support on a federal level. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) are major supporters of legislation against minor sex trafficking and are reintroducing a bill that will establish a grant program to support victims. Please call your senators today in support of S.596, Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence & Victim Support Act. Below you will find facts about the bill provide by Shared Hope International.
Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee (effective 3/18/2011)
It will provide $2m to $2.5m a year in funding to six state and local pilot projects to serve and shelter child victims of sex trafficking.
Applying entities must have a multidisciplinary, collaborative plan to combat the sex trafficking of minors.
67% of funds must be used for direct services and shelter for victims.
Funds can be used to increase law enforcement efforts to combat the sex trafficking of children.
This is a bipartisan bill.
The legislation is sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
To track this bill, please visit here. Contact Warner here or call him at 202-224-2023.
Thank you again to all who attended our lobby day in January. We are happy to announce House Bill 2190, House Bill 1898 and Senate Bill 1453 have all passed the Virginia General Assembly and are now heading to the Governor’s office for his approval. Please contact the governor’s office in support of these bills by sending this letter.
The bills are as follows:
HB 2190 –Introduced by Delegate Ebbin
Requires the Department of Social Services to develop a plan for identifying victims of human trafficking and coordinating the delivery of services such as housing, health care, legal services, job training, education, as well as advising victims of any benefits the victim may be eligible for under Virginia or federal law.
HB1898 – Introduced by Delegate Hugo & Delegate Watts
Amends the current statutes to criminalize abduction of any person for purposes of prostitution, extend evidentiary protections to victims of human trafficking, and criminalize receiving money for causing a person to become a victim of forced labor or services, prostitution, concubinage, or the manufacture of pornography.
SB 1453 – Introduced by Senator Newman
Gives the Department of Criminal Justice Services the power and duty, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, to advise law-enforcement agencies and attorneys for the Commonwealth regarding the identification, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking offenses using the existing criminal statutes in the Code of Virginia.
The Attorney General of Texas announced Thursday, February 17th “the North Texas Trafficking Task Force (NTTTF) – which included the Attorney General’s Special Investigations Unit, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and six North Texas police departments – conducted undercover operations through Super Bowl Sunday that resulted in a total of 133 arrests”. The office also released the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force Report 2011.
Gawker.com has not only shown their distaste with the removal of adult sections on various ad-sites, but they have gone a step further by advertising and supporting adult services themselves. A recent article posted on their website promotes sex for money transactions and adult escort services disturbingly void of any normal conscientious activity. They have gone to a new level by promoting various websites that advertise adult services accompanied with a detailed description of each and the services they offer. The result is a list of women and men that make up a giant market of human flesh for sale.
Amanda Kloer spotlights Gawker.com for the corruption they are promoting and what is happening within these sites and others like it. There is a petition available in the article to get Gawker.com to stop their promotion of the sex industry, take the time to sign it and be part of the collective voice against human trafficking.
As the year draws to a close, it is amazing to look back and see the growth of RJI from an idea in someone’s heart to a fully active Richmond-based organization fighting modern-day slavery. There was a successful documentary showing at the Byrd movie theatre, a silent auction, several social fundraisers, talks at local schools and area Churches, an awareness night at VCU and U of R and a symposium at the Police Training Academy to name a few highlights. These events point to something larger: a growing movement within our Richmond community of individuals, churches, families, and organizations that are committed to stopping the trafficking of other human beings. This came out of a growing realization that Modern Day Slavery is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, and the key to stopping it is a community of individuals using their gifts and talents to stop this injustice.
The reality of 27 million individuals in chains today is a call to each of us to become modern-day abolitionists. In the words of Lucy Liu, an actress and UNICEF ambassador: “The reality is detestable, nauseating — but we cannot allow ourselves to turn away. In order to put an end to this worldwide injustice, we must become as organized, as sophisticated, and as relentless as the criminal syndicates who perpetrate it.”
We invite YOU to become a member of RJI, an advocate, an abolitionist, a freedom-fighter in the coming year of 2011. Partner with us by volunteering, praying, spreading the word about RJI, and contributing financially. As a non-profit without any full-time staff, RJI is in need of resources – people, connections, time, and money – as we fight an injustice, which is supported by a sophisticated criminal syndicate.
As a grassroots organization we give abundant thanks to each of you who have made the work of RJI possible this year . . . and we call upon you to join us in the coming year of 2011. We have a very FULL year ahead of us as we are responding to the needs around us. We truly do need “all hands on deck” as we are looking to introduce several awareness/Training programs; Middle school, High school and University Initiatives; Advocacy Campaigns; Internship program development and more!
I want to thank you so much for considering an end of year tax deductible donation that will go directly towards our fight to end Modern Day Slavery. We cannot fight this battle alone and truly appreciate your partnership in your gift and your prayers.
Best of wishes this Christmas season!!
And RJI team!
Donate: Please write your tax deductible donation to:
1836 Park Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 878-1729 Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org Spread the Word: Tell your friends and family about the work of RJI!
Trafficking in Persons Report: 10th Edition. Rep. U.S. Department of State, June 2010. Web. 22 Dec. 2010. <https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/142979.pdf>.
A bill has recently been passed that will benefit underaged girls throughout the country who are victims of trafficking. This bill has major ramifications when it comes to funding, providing assistence and raising awareness. Check out the article and stay informed with how you can turn the hand of the government by speaking out and rallying for justice.
The american populus is under the dangerous assumption that modern slavery is a myth, and that it certainly hasn’t reached our shores. Author Nicholas Kristof; known for his book- Half the Sky, takes the personal story of a trafficked woman and destroys that myth.
Walk through her story, feel her hurt, learn about her scars. The greatest tool that we have is awareness, spread these stories and seek out justice.
In recent news from around the country we’ve seen men and women stepping up to defend freedom for all people. There is justice happening in our world, and we have hero’s to thank for doing their part to bring freedom to the oppressed. These are just two cases that we have been able to celebrate recently.
Memphis, TN:Memphis has recently been a hot-spot for illegal immigration of young Mexican girls who are brought in solely for the selling of their bodies in brothel’s. Four Federal Officials have been honored for their part in the fight for justice for these girls and bringing this trafficking ring into the light. See the article below for a full report.
Boulder, CO:A restaurant owner in Boulder has recently been charged with numerous immigration, trafficking and tax-evasion crimes and faces a severe penalty including prison time and forfeiture of property. The man who is originally from Thailand has a track record of dealing in human-trafficking and abusing the rights of others. Authorities chose to not overlook this and have successfully defended the rights of these men and women. Read this article for further details about the case and exactly what agents from ICE are saying about freedom.