Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Results are In: Sex Trafficking at the Superbowl

by Amanda Kloer

categories: Child Prostitution, Pimping

Published February 17, 2010 @ 04:00PM PT

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the incredible outreach efforts which took place in Miami to find child trafficking victims who were brought in and sold for sex during the Superbowl. This week, I checked in with Brad Dennis, Director of Search Operations for the KlaasKids Foundation, to see what the outreach team he was leading found. And the results are in! So far, their efforts have led to at least one arrest of a Hawaiian man who was importing kids to be sold in prostitution during the Superbowl. But more importantly, they may have prevented more children from being recruited by pimps.

The over 160 outreach workers who participated in the effort came away with little doubt that children were being sold for sex during the Superbowl. Throughout the four days of outreach, 23 direct contacts were made with potential commercial sexual exploitation victims. Local law enforcement personnel commented about the increase in numbers of potential victims, more than would usually be found in Miami at that time. There was also a significant increase in online advertisements such as and With all signs pointing to sex trafficking of children, the outreach team were able to find and pass on nine leads on potential child trafficking situations to law enforcement, for follow-up after the big game.

The greatest successes of the outreach, however, were the direct interventions and increased awareness of the issue. Six missing children were recovered during the outreach sweeps. Workers also directly intervened in four potentially dangerous situations, removing five girls from potential recruitment or exploitation by pimps. The other success story was the increase in awareness of child sex trafficking for local groups, law enforcement, faith-based organizations and through the media. If Miami during the Superbowl seemed like fruitful hunting ground for pimps looking to sell children into prostitution, they soon found out they were very wrong.

So sex trafficking of children does exist around the Superbowl, and local police commented that it seemed to be more prolific than usual during the big game. But without similar outreach efforts in Miami at other times, it's hard to state definitively that child sex trafficking increases around major sporting events like the Superbowl. The experience of KlaasKids Foundation and the outreach team in Miami certainly indicates a need for more research in this area.

If your home town is hosting a major sporting event and you're concerned that child sex trafficking might be coming into town with all the fans and vendors, there is something you can do. According to Brad Dennis, first become aware of the issue. Second, partner with organizations willing to train and deploy volunteers in an effort to educate and intervene on behalf of child sex trafficking victims. You can help prevent children from being exploited around major sporting events and help the anti-trafficking world better understand this phenomenon.

Thanks to Brad Dennis, KlaasKids Foundation, and the rest of the outreach team for all their hard work in Miami.

Baton Rouge - Human Trafficking

By Cheryl Mercedes - bio email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - According to Shared Hope International, Baton Rouge is among the top 10 cities in the U.S. for human trafficking. In 2006, the group estimated there were 100 victims of domestic sex trafficking in the Baton Rouge-New Orleans area under 18 years old. That same year, the Baton Rouge shelter, Youth Oasis, reported 57% of its visitors were victims of sexual abuse. Records by the Office of Community show 35 confirmed cases in Louisiana where a parent was directly involved of the prostitution of their child.

When most people think of human trafficking, they think of foreigners who are promised a better life but then sold into sex slavery. However, trafficking has many faces and one woman who is now in her 40s shared her story of abuse. Donna Frank has a steady job and a good group of friends to support her, but she wasn't always this person. She grew up in a small town in Canada and what she thought was a normal childhood was actually far from it. She said she was sexually abused by her father and he allowed others to abuse her as well.

"For the first time in my life, I realized, something bigger than my pain existed," Frank said. "I don't remember not being abused. I was just almost incapacitated by fear. My next door neighbor, we didn't have intercourse, but he would touch me or he would have me touch him. My father told me it was part of growing up. One day when I was 3, 4, or 5, I was laying on the carpet, trying to color inside the lines and my dad came and got me and took me upstairs."

Frank noted she still cannot stand the smell or sight of crayons. Before the interview, she was asked if she wanted her identity hidden. Frank stated she needed her identity protected 35 years ago when she was a victim, but she isn't a victim anymore. Although Frank doesn't classify her ordeal as human trafficking, Katherine Green, a member of an organization called Trafficking Hope, said Frank's story is similar to that of too many young people.

"There is no quick fix," said Green. "It's just being there for the victim and letting them know we're here. We're talking about children in South Downs, in elementary schools. You're looking at children who are 9 and 10 years old being bought and sold."

Human trafficking is a modern day crime that doesn't discriminate on the basis of race, gender or age. Trafficking Hope reaches out to victims on street corners, at truck stops and in strip clubs. Social networking sites and cell phones serve as tools of human trafficking. Green explained how it could start with something as simple as a boy recording an intimate moment with his girlfriend.

"If you don't have sex with anybody I tell you to, over this weekend, then this video is going to be out there for everyone to see," Green stated as an example.

U.S. Attorney David Dugas said he was shocked at how common human trafficking is. His office is working with Louisiana organizations to try to put a stop to sex crimes. He said stopping these types of crimes will take understanding and sensitivity from law enforcement officers who often come in contact with its victims on the streets.

"One of the things we've been stressing with law enforcement in training is to understand what is their situation and look beyond the obvious," he explained.

Trafficking Hope believes housing is key in helping victims transform their lives. It tries to help the young victims, but its resources are limited. Green noted there are only 44 beds in the U.S. for victims of sexual trafficking and those victims must be under the age of 18 to qualify for assistance. None of the beds are in Baton Rouge.

Frank now acts as a role model for other victims. She said she has helped women regain their lives while working at a home in St. Louis for victims. She believes once a community unites in the fight against human trafficking, the predators will begin to back down. She added every person can do something to stop human trafficking in Baton Rouge.

For more on how you can help Trafficking Hope reach its goals, call 1-888-373-7888.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GEMS - Service Providers by State

Need information on volunteering to help combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation?


Collaboration with organizations at the local, national and global level is a core part of GEMS programming structure. If you are a victim or survivor, or someone who wishes to volunteer with a local organization, please explore this list of organizations doing wonderful work around the country. To add your organization to the following list of services providers please contact us.


Catholic Charities DIGNITY House
Phoenix, AZ
24-Hour Intake Line: 602.486.4973 or 602.434.1100
Phone: 602.224.5457


Afterhours Ministry
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: 213.399.0057

Children of the Night
Los Angeles, CA
Hotline: 1.800.551.1300
Phone: 818.908.4474

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: 213.365.1906

George P. Scotlan Youth and Family Center
(Sexually Exploited Minors Program)
Oakland, CA
Phone: 510.832.4546

Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSEY, Inc)
Oakland, CA
Phone: 510.267.8840

Bilateral Safety Corridor Commission (BSCC)
San Diego, CA
Hotline: 619.666.2757
Phone: 619. 336.0770

San Diego Youth and Community Services (SDYCS)
San Diego, CA
Hotline: 619.325.3527
Phone: 619.221.8600

Center for Young Women’s Development (CYWD)
San Francisco, CA
Intake Line: 415.703.8800
Phone: 415.703.8800

Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE)
San Francisco, CA
Intake Line for Youth Services (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm): 415.358.2727
Intake Line for Youth Services (After hours/ Weekends): 415.595.5403
Phone: 415.905.5050

Voices for Justice
Ventura, CA
Phone: 888.702.7273


Polaris Project
Denver, CO
Hotline: 888.229.3339
Phone: 720.227.0542

Denver, CO
Phone: 303.974.2942


Paul and Lisa Program
Westbrook, CT
Hotine: 800.518.2238
Phone: 860.767.7660

District of Columbia

Polaris Project
Washington, DC
Hotline: 888.229.3339
Phone: 202.745.1008

Restoration Ministries
Washington, DC


Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (FCAHT)
Toll Free Number: 888.630.3350
Intake Line: 866.446.5600
Naples: 239.390.3350
Jacksonville: 904.384.0961
Tampa: 727.446.4177 ext 115
Shalimar: 850.651.2593
Miami: 305.547.1557
Orlando: 321.848.2202

Kristi House
Miami, FL
Phone: 305.547.6800


Center to End Adolescent Sexual Exploitation (CEASE)
Atlanta, GA
Intake Line: 404.224.4415 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Phone: 404.224.4415

Juvenile Jutice Fund
Atlanta, GA
Phone: 404.224.4415


Chicago Coalition for the Homeless – Prostitution Alternatives Roundtable (PART)
Chicago, IL
Phone: 312.435.4548

The Salvation Army Partnership to Rescue Minors from Sexual Exploitation (PROMISE)
Chicago, IL
Emergency Hotline: 877.606.3158

Young Women’s Empowerment Project
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.0127


Veronica’s Voice
Kansas City, KA and servicing Missouri
24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 816.728.0004
Phone Number: 816.483.7101


You Are Never Alone (YANA)
Baltimore, MD
Hotline: 410.905.5839
Phone: 410.566.7973


Reaching Out to Chelsea Adolescents (ROCA)
Chelsea, MA
Phone: 617.889.5210

Home for Little Wonderers
Boston, MA
Phone: 888.HOME.321

Roxbury Youthworks – A Way Back (AWB)
Boston, MA
Phone: 617.445.5500

Teen Prostitution Prevention Project of the Children’s Advocacy Center
Boston, MA
Phone: 617.779.2146


Alternatives for Girls
Detroit, MI
Crisis Line: 888.AFG.3919
Phone: 313.361.4000


Adults Saving Kids
Minneapolis, MN
Phone: 612.872.0684

Family & Children’s Service – Prostitution to Independence, Dignity, and Equality (PRIDE)
Minneapolis, MN
24-Hour Crisis Line: 888.PRIDE.99 or 888.774.3399
Crisis Line: 612.728.2062
Phone: 612.339.9101
Website: Click here for PRIDE’s Website

Breaking Free
St. Paul, MN
Phone: 651.645.6557


Veronica’s Voice
Kansas City, KA and servicing Missouri
24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 816.728.0004
Phone Number: 816.483.7101


Anti Trafficking League Against Slavery (ATLAS) Task Force
Crimes Against Youth & Family Bureau – Las Vegas Metro Police Dept
Las Vegas, NV
Phone: 702.828.0237

Network for Emergency Trafficking Services – Salvation Army, Family Services
Las Vegas, NV
Phone: 702.649.8240

Las Vegas, NV
Crisis Line: 702.385.3332
Phone: 702.385.2020
Safe Place Hotline: 866.827.3723
Hotline for Youth Services: 702.385.3332

New Jersey

Polaris Project NJ
Newark, NJ
Hotline: 888.229.3339
Phone: 973.624.5454

New York

Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
New York, NY
Phone: 212.926.8089


Second Chance
Toledo, OH
Crisis Line: 888.897.3232
Phone: 419.244.6050

Wake Up Youth
Toledo, OH
24-Hour Crisis Line: 419.870.4402
Phone: 419.244.8911


The Salvation Army
Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: 405.246.1100


Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC)
Portland, Oregon
Hotline: 503-604-5311


Letot Center/Catholic Charities of Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Letot Center Phone: 214.357.9818
Catholic Charities Phone: 214.520.6590
Letot Website: Click here for Website
Catholic Charities Website:


National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
Alexandria, VA
Hotline: 800.THE.LOST / 800.843.5678
Phone: 723.274.3900


New Horizon Ministries
Seattle, WA
Hotline: 206.795.1056
Phone: 206.374.0866

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Of Liquor and Stickers: Oregon Moves to Fight Sex Trafficking

A short while ago, an especially dark secret of Portland, OR, was revealed: the city has a human trafficking problem. However, on Feb. 11, the state’s House took its first step in the right direction by unanimously approving a bill that will mark the start of Oregon’s fight against sex trafficking. House Bill 3623 permits distribution of human-trafficking awareness stickers by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to 11,000 businesses throughout the state.

Let’s recap for a moment why Portland, in particular, has such a significant human trafficking problem. Key word: location. Two major interstates and two rivers provide a prime spot for any business. Add in certain key ingredients, such as a legalized sex industry, weak laws and enforcement efforts, as well as a significant homeless and seasonal farm-worker population and voilĂ : a city has itself a fairly tasteless recipe for widespread sex trafficking.

Under Oregon’s new bill, a nonprofit organization will supply the stickers, which feature a human trafficking helpline number, to statewide business that sell liquor. The stickers will be mailed with license-renewal letters that the businesses receive regardless -– meaning, this effort will require no extra cost from the state. Pretty smart, Oregon, pretty smart.

While Portland has a long way to go in tackling forced prostitution, this new state legislation is a positive and significant step in the right direction. Lawmakers have clearly acknowledged the issue and shown that they are willing to address it. To which we can only say, bravo. And, carry on.

article here

Photo credit: Darin Barry

Monday, February 15, 2010

In Our Own Backyard - Atlanta

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Suspect arrested on child pornography charges

VALDOSTA — A Lowndes County man was arrested Thursday on charges of alleged possession of child pornography.

A search warrant was issued at 3423 Skipper Bridge Road Thursday morning as a result of an investigation conducted by the Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine. The DA’s office was assisted by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“While executing the search warrant, numerous computer-related items and various other data-storage devices were seized,” Prine said.

Evidence collected from the home led to the arrest of the resident, 68-year-old William S. Buchanan, charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children, Prine said.Buchanan is being held in Lowndes County Jail. This arrest comes one month after a coordinated statewide raid on child pornography, which led to Lowndes County sheriff’s deputies arresting William Michael Bennett, 17, on a charge of possession of child pornography, Prine previously told The Times.

Bennett’s arrest stems from a three-month investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.As a result of the investigation, search warrants were executed in 34 counties across the state. The operation, known as Operation Restore Hope, involved 24 agencies, federal prosecutors’ offices and the state Attorney General’s office.

It also included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Service.

Friday, February 12, 2010

President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

Commitment to Action by the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

The President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons issued a joint statement of commitment to action on February 3rd, 2010:

Trafficking in persons violates the most basic of human rights. It degrades our common humanity and is intolerable in any society. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. To combat this heinous crime, we recognize and build on the progress of the past ten years since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Palermo Protocol.

As members of the President’s Interagency Task Force, we commit to a balanced approach in the prevention of human trafficking, the protection of victims and the prosecution of their traffickers. We pledge to uphold a system that provides for all victims, whether they have lost their freedom through sex trafficking or labor trafficking, and regardless of age, gender or immigration status. We will continue vigorously to investigate and prosecute traffickers and work toward dismantling the criminal enterprises that perpetuate human trafficking.

We will work tirelessly to overcome the barriers to victim identification and assistance, continuing a victim-centered approach and focusing on vulnerable populations at greatest risk.

We will collaborate with international, federal, state, and local counterparts, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations and advocates, recognizing that the key to ending this crime is rooted in strong and effective partnerships.

As the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, we will work with our partners across borders and oceans on behalf of the victims of trafficking to combat this violation of basic human rights.

For the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons:


Hundreds Forced Into Sex Trade, Ohio Report Concludes

About 1,000 American-born children are forced into the sex trade in Ohio every year and about 800 immigrants are sexually exploited and pushed into sweatshop-type jobs, a new report on human trafficking in the state said Wednesday.

Ohio's weak laws on human trafficking, its growing demand for cheap labor and its proximity to the Canadian border are key contributors to the illegal activity, according to a report by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission.

"Ohio is not only a destination place for foreign-born trafficking victims, but it's also a recruitment place," said Celia Williamson, an associate professor at the University of Toledo who led the research.

Formed last year by Ohio Attorney General Richard Condray, the commission also found that hundreds more in the state are at risk of being forced into sex trafficking or to work against their will in fields, restaurants, sweatshops or constructions sites.

read the rest here...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

End Global Slavery

Global Advocacy Days from David Hepburn on Vimeo.

Come join me as I help with the fight against human trafficking and slavery!