A Growing Problem ...

Child prostitution and slavery is a growing problem worldwide. About 27 million people are bought, sold, held captive, brutalized and exploited for profit.

Trafficking is a direct assault on the basic human rights and lives of men, women and children. It involves the movement of people against their will by means of force, deceit, or coercion for the purpose of sexual or labor exploitation.

Statistics are overwhelming ...

    According to recent U.S. government estimates, 18,000-50,000 persons are trafficked into the United States each year for purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims of human trafficking are located in both rural and urban areas of the United States.
    • Over 100,000 children are believed to be involved in commercial sexual exploitation.
    • At least 350,000 juveniles are involved in prostitution.
    • More than 200,000 children are engaged as sex workers.

150 Child Slave Victims Identified

August 13th, 2018

Nearly 150 children, some as young as two, were trafficked into Wales with many facing sexual exploitation, anti-slavery officials have said.

In the last 18 months, the children aged between two and 17 were identified as potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and given help.
The majority were girls said the Welsh Government’s anti slavery co-ordinator.

Eva was a teenager when she was brought to Wales on the pretence of a nanny job and forced into prostitution.
She had been trafficked from Lithuania.

A friend of a neighbour had promised her a job caring for his sister’s children but when she arrived it quickly became clear there was no childminding job.
“He brought someone to show me how to shave my legs and I’m thinking, ‘If I’m going to be a nanny why do I need to shave my legs? Why do I need to put makeup on?’” she said.
“The next day she came in with my pimp to take me to work… I opened the door and all the girls had stockings, high heels, sexy dresses and I’m like ‘where’s the kids?’
“I was petrified, I was crying, shaking, it was really hard.”

Undercover investigation reveals work exploitation human trafficking trio guilty of running sex ring. ‘My captors took everything, my job gives me a future’

She said she suffered violence every day -”My back used to be black and blue” - and she was forced to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One day she told her pimp she needed her passport to prove she was entitled to treatment at a sexual health clinic - and she fled.

But she had nowhere to live and was not entitled to claim benefits so was forced to continue working as prostitute bouncing between friends’ sofas and homeless hostels.
Her story is not unusual to Stephen Chapman, the Welsh Government’s anti-slavery co-ordinator.

He said slavery such as forced prostitution and labour, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude had all been uncovered in Wales.
He was not able to give specific details of individual cases but said: “The majority of the children are female and the majority of offences they’ve been brought here for are sexual exploitation.
“Some will say that’s shocking. I will say that’s really good news because we now have 143 children safeguarded who weren’t being safeguarded before.”

Since January 2017, Wales has been one of three independent child trafficking advocates early adopter sites along with Greater Manchester and Hampshire.
It means all children identified as potentially trafficked in Wales must be referred into Barnardo’s ICTAs service who will make contact with the child within 24 hours and help them navigate the complex systems of social care, immigration and criminal justice.

In 2012 there were 34 potential adult and child victims referred to the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) National Referral Mechanism and passed to Welsh police forces for crime recording purposes. This jumped to 193 in 2017.

Mr Chapman, who has been tasked with making Wales hostile to slavery and to co-ordinating support for survivors, said there was better identification of victims and almost all types of slavery had been unearthed in Wales including forced prostitution and labour, child trafficking, criminal exploitation such as county lines and domestic servitude.
Victims are often forced to work on construction sites, cultivating cannabis, in brothels, nail bars and car washes.
He said the public had a responsibility to educate themselves on the signs of slavery: “How can anyone wash a car for £5?
“If you’re willing to pay £5 you’re putting money into organised crime’s pockets. You’re supporting slavery, not stopping it.
He said criminals in Wales were becoming bold: “You could be at one of these car washes and you could be offered sexual favours.”
But he said more victims were being helped than ever before: “We’d like to say to people who are out there still enslaved we do know about you…
“We are recovering more people than we ever have done, we’re getting smarter at identifying people so we are coming, we will rescue you.”

Some of the cases of trafficking and modern day slavery unearthed in Wales:
 Darrell Simester case lifted the lid on modern slavery in Wales
 Michael Hughes kept in “appalling conditions”
 Juju magic ‘more controlling than chains’

Eva managed to escape her ordeal and in 2017 was introduced to Cardiff-based charity Red Community which has a befriending project for survivors of trafficking and slavery.
“Some of our befrienders fed back, ‘Would there be any scope in setting up somewhere to employ some of these survivors, where there can be a strong emphasis on pastoral care, understanding and caring for them in a way which is appropriate for what they’ve been through?’” a spokesman said.
From this suggestion coffee roastery Manumit was born in June 2017.

The not-for-profit company sources ethical coffee beans and employs two survivors to roast the beans part-time, paying them the national living wage.
Eva was one of the company’s first employees.

“It’s the best life experience I ever had. The best job ever. I have my own home, I have my own bedroom, living room kitchen and a garden with flowers, I’m really happy,” she said.
Manumit has trained 11 survivors in foundation level barista skills and is hoping, if they sell enough coffee, to take on another two survivor employees.

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Robbed of Freedom, Right Here in Colorado

August 13th, 2018

Colorado Springs man tied to Asian sex-slave operation gets 10 years in prison on child pornography charges.
A Colorado Springs man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after Homeland Security Investigations agents found 700,000 child pornography images including pictures depicting sadomasochistic sex abuse of preteen children.
Denver U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello on Thursday also sentenced 64-year-old Michael Lyle Blair to serve seven years of supervised release following prison. Arguello ordered him to pay $21,000 in restitution to seven child victims.
Blair pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

“Blair stole more than innocence with the 700,000 images he obtained. For years he left a trail of silent victims,” U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said. “With this sentence, those victims are finally heard. And Blair will pay every day for the next 10 years in federal prison.”
Prior to his arrest in March 2017, HSI agents had been investigating Blair, his wife, Sona Blair, and other co-conspirators in a human trafficking network. They were bringing Asian females to the U.S. and forcing them into lives of prostitution. Sona Blair charged the women $200 for transportation from Denver International Airport and then drove them to massage parlors where she forced them into prostitution, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
During a Dec. 12, 2013, search of the Blair’s home they discovered a computer and external hard drives containing hundreds of thousands of child pornography in folders called “hardcore childporn” and “kinderporn.”
Blair and Sona Blair, 58, were originally charged with multiple counts of trafficking adults in the sex trade in June 2013. In a plea deal with the El Paso County District Attorney’s office, each of them pleaded guilty to one count of pimping. Blair and his wife were sentenced to four years probation.

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FOSTA/SESTA Becomes Law!

August 13th, 2018

In the presence of survivors and advocates the President signed into law H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (also known as FOSTA/SESTA)!

With the President’s signing of H.R. 1865, anti-trafficking advocates and survivors of sex trafficking and their families celebrate this long awaited progress in the effort to combat online sex trafficking.

This bill signing came days after federal agencies seized Backpage.com—a website that the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reported is knowingly facilitating child sex trafficking—and charged seven Backpage executives in a 93-count indictment.

With FOSTA-SESTA signed into law, state prosecutors can prevent similar websites from taking over Backpage’s market share and courtroom doors have been opened to trafficking survivors who seek to hold exploitative websites civilly liable. These concurrent efforts by federal law enforcement, Congress and the President are drastically changing the landscape that, until now, has allowed the sex trafficking industry to thrive.

Thank you for your advocacy! Your voice helped to make these victories possible.

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National Human Trafficking Hotline Expands Services to Text, Chat Services

August 13th, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 7, 2018)—The National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) announced today that it has expanded the modes of communication survivors can use to reach out and get connected to help to include 24/7 SMS texting and online chat services in both English and Spanish. This expansion provides additional, discreet ways for survivors to get connected to support through as many modes of communication as possible. Previously, communication from survivors and people reporting suspected tips was limited to phone calls, emails, and webforms, as well as limited hours for texting through a separate service provided by the Hotline’s operator, Polaris.

The number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Hotline has increased significantly every year since 2007. More than 7,600 cases were reported in 2016, and 2017 is projected to surpass that number by 10 to 20 percent. More survivors than ever are also reaching out to access services. Polaris will be releasing data in early March on the cases reported to the National Hotline across the entirety of 2017.

“As technology evolves, so must the National Hotline so survivors can reach out in whichever way they are most comfortable with, allowing them to get connected to the help that’s available across the nation,” said Caroline Diemar, Director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline. “We consistently hear from survivors that they need as many options as possible to access help, and text and chat offer a safe way to speak with our trained hotline advocates, especially when traffickers are nearby.”

Polaris launched an independent SMS service, the BeFree Textline (233733), in March 2013 that provided similar capabilities the National Human Trafficking Hotline offered through the phone, but was limited to certain periods of the day and only in English. As part of this change, the BeFree shortcode is now fully integrated into the National Hotline. Online chat, which is accessible from www.humantraffickinghotline.org, is a completely new service. Callers can still access the Hotline via the phone (including in more than 200 languages through the use of a secure translation service), email, and webform.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is operated by Polaris and funded through Grant Number 90ZV0134-01-00 from the Office on Trafficking in Persons, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Polaris was awarded a new three year grant in September 2017, which is making these text and chat services possible.

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Family Members Linked to Nearly Half of Child Trafficking

August 13th, 2018

November 28, 2017 - Geneva – Almost half of identified cases of child trafficking begin with some family member involvement, according to new data released by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

These statistics, which are critical to human trafficking prevention efforts and the identification and protection of survivors, are based on data released by The Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), the world’s first human trafficking data portal to include such data contributed by multiple agencies.
The extent of family involvement in the trafficking of children is up to four times higher than in cases of adult trafficking, suggesting the need for more prevention efforts specifically targeting children and their families. In addition, boys are more likely to be recruited by a family member than girls.

Children are most commonly trafficked into forced sexual exploitation, begging, and domestic work. The new data also show that children are most likely to be coerced into trafficking through physical, sexual and psychological abuse, while adults are more likely to be controlled having their documents confiscated, or having someone exploit their irregular status in a foreign country.

The CTDC is a new data portal initiated by IOM, in partnership with Polaris, a non-governmental organization that works to combat and prevent modern-day slavery and human trafficking, to host the world’s largest open access, multi-stakeholder repository of human trafficking data.
“Our Organization is taking a leading role in increasing the access to this critical information in order to strengthen counter-trafficking interventions,” said IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing.

“Modern slavery is a clandestine crime operating in the shadows as efforts to fight it are often based on only partial information. That’s why comprehensive data is essential, so we can put more targeted pressure on trafficking and reach more survivors so they can leave their exploitative situations. The CTDC is a leap forward to better illuminate the reality of modern slavery and facilitate coordinated efforts to combat it across borders,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.

The CTDC is continuing to build partnerships with other counter-trafficking actors, with the NGO Liberty Asia being the newest contributor, bringing the total number of records of human trafficking cases hosted by the site to nearly 80,000 victims of 180 nationalities exploited in 117 countries. Further data is to be contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world in the coming months. The availability of such data for the first time is expected to have a large counter-trafficking impact.
These statistics related to child trafficking cases with family involvement are based on nearly 12,000 survivors of trafficking for which the information related to the recruitment process is known.

In response to these concerning statistics, IOM is calling for governments and other development and humanitarian partners to step up counter-trafficking interventions aimed at children, by:
· *Helping heads of household to make the best long-term plans for themselves and their family, which respect the agency and aspirations of their children. Where this includes the decision to migrate, it is important to tackle the root causes of unsafe migration as a survival strategy. Families should not feel compelled to send their children out into the world unsafe and unprepared. Children and their families should be equipped to identify and defend themselves against abusers and would be exploiters.
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· *Enabling children to address their own vulnerabilities through helping them to identify potentially dangerous or exploitative situations, recognize unhealthy relationships that are not based on mutual respect, know where and how they may be able to receive support, and understand options available to them to pursue their aspirations.
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· *Ensuring that protection and systems are accessible to all children, regardless of their migration status. Child protection systems should also act in the best interests of the child in all circumstances, including in the provision of solutions to bring sustainable resolutions of their cases.

More research is needed to better understand the specific risk and protective factors that make children vulnerable to human trafficking. The voices of children should be heard in the design, implementation and evaluation of services, policies and interventions, and the legitimacy of their aspirations should be recognized.

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Everyone Has a Role to Play to Fight Human Trafficking Worldwide

August 13th, 2018

This article was written by the President and CEO at Marriott International

In the early morning hours in one of our hotels in New Orleans last March, a safety and security associate at the hotel noticed a 12-year-old boy in the company of two men buying snacks. The associate overheard one man say to the other, “I may take this one home.” Trained to notice signs of human trafficking, the associate thought the situation didn’t look right to her and the overheard statement was an alarm bell. Following her training, she alerted her supervisor and they called the police.
When the police arrived and questioned the men and the little boy, they confirmed our associate’s suspicions. Things were definitely not right. The young boy had been missing for three days. Thanks to the quick actions of the associate, this story has a good ending.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Last year, over 40 million people worldwide were trapped in some form of slavery, according to the International Labor Organization. This is a staggering number, equal to the entire state of California. Most of them are women and children. They can end up as forced laborers, victims of sex trafficking, or worse.
At $150 billion a year, human trafficking is one of the largest global criminal enterprises.
Here in the U.S., more than 4,400 sex trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center last year alone. Not surprisingly, there is much more that goes unreported.

This is a horrifying daily tragedy that no one can afford to ignore — and the hospitality and tourism industry has a unique opportunity to do something about it.
As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres put it last November, “Slavery and other such egregious abuses of human rights have no place in the 21st century.”

I could not agree more.

It is an unfortunate reality that traffickers sometimes use hotels to exploit victims and commit their crimes. But rather than wish it were otherwise, we decided to make our 6,000-plus properties worldwide part of the solution.

Several years ago, we teamed up with End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, or ECPAT-USA, a non-profit policy organization that focuses on ending the sexual exploitation of children, and Polaris, a non-profit that works to fight human trafficking, both leaders in the fight against human trafficking, to develop a comprehensive training program for our hotel staff.
In January, we made human trafficking training mandatory for all associates and developed training tailored to the specific roles on our properties. Over 225,000 of our associates completed the training this past year and we’re on our way to our goal of 100%.

The objective of the program is simple. We want the associates in our hotels to be aware of the scale of human trafficking, our commitment to stopping it, to learn the many indicators or unusual behaviors of traffickers, and to report suspicions to management, who in turn, alert local authorities. To make the training program more readily available, we teamed up with the American Hotel & Lodging Association to make it accessible to all of its members. The training was translated into 15 languages, so it can be used more effectively worldwide.

Now Marriott is taking the next step to enhance its partnership with ECPAT-USA by signing ECPAT’s Code, which requires organizations to take steps to fight the exploitation of children, including establishing policies and procedures to address trafficking and committing to train employees to recognize the signs. Though Marriott has been working with ECPAT since 2011, we felt it was time to deepen our commitment to fighting human trafficking for many reasons. The fact is that human trafficking is an urgent issue that is not going away. As a global hospitality company, with nearly 700,000 people wearing a Marriott badge around the world, we can create a force for good in thousands of communities. By elevating the fight against human trafficking, we are not just standing up for the most vulnerable, we are also protecting our associates and customers, as well as our company’s reputation.

David Rodriguez, Marriott International’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer, signed the ECPAT Code at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol that also featured remarks by Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Ben Cardin of Maryland. We are immensely proud to join the global network of hotels, airlines, car rental, and ride-sharing companies, and others involved in the travel and tourism industry around the world, that have decided to take a stand against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Trained on the signs of human trafficking and empowered to say something if they see something, our associates are passionate about making a difference in this fight.

And the training is working. The story from New Orleans ends the way it does because our associate knew what to do.
I know that putting an end to modern slavery is an enormous task that can’t be accomplished by one person or even one company; however, I’ve also seen the progress and positive impact that can be achieved in a short period of time through partnership and collaboration. Let’s do more by working together.

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Human Trafficking Taskforce of Southern Colorado

May 2nd, 2016

The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado is a local initiative dedicated to reducing human trafficking and making the community safer by creating a collaboration of organizations and individuals with the same goal in mind. The HTTFSC holds monthly meetings every 2nd Tuesday of the month. Please see below for further details on these meetings.

Human Trafficking Task Force meetings are:
2nd Tuesday of each month
First United Methodist Church
410 N. Nevada
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Room #233
Use Boulder St. Entrance.

Next meeting:
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our guest speaker this month will be Jessa Dillow Crisp.
A respected speaker, writer, and mentor, Jessa Dillow Crisp uses her childhood experience of severe abuse and trafficking to illustrate both the stark realities of sex trafficking, and the truth that healing transformation is possible.

After her escape and recovery process, Jessa got her degree in Counseling and is presently working on her Master’s as a step towards obtaining a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

In addition to making some of the best lattes in Colorado, Jessa is the co-founder and Executive Director of BridgeHope and is part of the Rebecca Bender Initiative speaker’s team. Jessa inspires others through speaking engagements around the world, gives hope through mentoring other survivors of human trafficking, and provides high quality training and consultation services to anti-trafficking organizations around the USA.

Some highlights of Jessa’s speaking career include speaking with legislators at the Colorado State Capitol, keynoting at the ANSR Sociological Research Conference, training the Department of Homeland Security, speaking at the National Character Leadership Symposium, and filming with both Real Women Real Stories and 27Million.

When she is not working, Jessa enjoys hiking Colorado’s mountains with her husband John, finds delight in artistically expressing herself through photography, and is passionate about deeply connecting with people over freshly brewed coffee.

For more information on the HTTFSC please visit their website at www.ht-colorado.org

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