• Latest News

    The State Of Women Trafficking Today

    History has bear witness in to the heinous and inhuman practice of trafficking women and children who are sold into slavery, prostitution and labor. However, this illegal practice of transporting, transferring, recruiting and ultimately selling women as if they are goods have continued to persist even in this era of globalization and technological advancements. What seemed to be an improvement in the modern age has actually proven to be an additional advantage for organizations that are trafficking into and within nation. Nowadays, human traffickers have even established their own stations or recruitment groups in the more impoverished countries in the world.
    Just like in the earlier years, women who come from less developed countries still makeup the majority of the victims in this human trade. According to the US State Department, approximately 640,000 women are being transported illegally into the United States every year, majority of which are being sold as sex slaves, while the rest are forced into labor. Women coming from Asian, African and South American countries, where the literacy rate is still lower than the rest of the world, are constantly recruited in the guise of “better, high-paying jobs.” Once hey arrive in the country, though, they are already stripped off their possessions and are coerced into prostitutions.

    Although these countries have been dubbed as “nurseries” for human traffickers, trafficking is actually not very far from home. Only recently, the government has discovered that this inhumane conduct is actually being practiced within the United States. It is estimated that around 325,000 American minors are actually in the potential risk of being sexually exploited. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released reports stating 47,472 American girls who have been caught in 2006 were identified as runaways. Studies indicate that there is actually a high risk for these girls to be coerced into prostitution, given that they are unprotected by adults. In certain cities within United States bear proof of this claim. In San Francisco, 96% of women who are prostituted ran away from their homes, while in Boston and Chicago the percentage also seems significant at 72% and 56% respectively.

    According to researches, sex traffickers normally approach adolescents who seem to just have recently run away from home. It is during these periods that minors appear lost, unguarded and vulnerable and traffickers are going in for the kill. They recognize the weaknesses that these young escapees have such as the lack funds, place to sleep in, or even the skills to get a job, making it easier for traffickers to manipulate them.

    Today, a lot of organizations are already formed globally and within the country in order to address this prevailing issue. National organizations such as the Polaris Project and international organizations like the United Nations Office and Crimes are teaming up with authorities on different cities and countries in order to provide a solution to this long-standing problem. The US Department of Justice also provides assistance to victims of the crime. For adult women who have been forced, intimidated and transferred in the country for purposes of sex or labor trafficking, they can approach the US Department of Human Health Services for assistance. Minors who are survivors of trafficking are eligible to receive benefits from the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program.
    Although there are existing laws concerning human trafficking, there are still no major studies which provide the perfect solution to prevent this type of crime. Being a victim of human trafficking is a traumatic experience, and that is why the government and some NGOs provide promising programs in order to assist them in their recovery process.

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  • Latest News

    House Passes Anti-Sex Trafficking bill

     Websites could be held liable for enabling sex traffickers under a bill passed by the House on Tuesday, a major setback for Silicon Valley firms that opposed legislation they believe could threaten a wide array of internet companies which allow users to post their own content.

    The measure passed by a vote of 388 to 25. It now goes to the Senate, where a similar bill already enjoys broad bipartisan support.

    The legislation would allow state attorneys general and victims to sue websites that “knowingly” facilitate sex trafficking. It’s targeted at sites like Backpage.com, the subject of a long-running Senate investigation, which was accused of hosting ads that promoted the trafficking of minors.

    But parts of the internet industry believe the measure creates a dangerous precedent that could open up internet companies like Google and Twitter to a litany of lawsuits and potential criminal liability for content posted on their platforms.

    “We will be sending a clear message: Businesses that sell human beings online can no longer do so with impunity,” said Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), a sponsor of the House bill.

    The House vote represents the first tangible outcome of the so-called techlash, the growing bipartisan criticism of the tech industry and its expansive power over people’s lives. Facebook, Twitter and Google have faced intense scrutiny in recent months over their role in Russian election meddling, the spread of online conspiracy theories, and addiction to social media.

    Silicon Valley and its lobbyists have managed to tamp down most of the regulation talk, but they haven’t been able to slow the momentum of the anti-sex trafficking legislation, which has deep support on both sides of the aisle. Lawmakers are motivated by frustration with sites like Backpage.com, as well as the stories of victims who’ve been canvassing the Hill with emotionally charged tales of abuse.

    “We are thrilled that the House and its leadership heard the voices of children and survivors from across the country, all of whom have been fighting for this bill,” said Mary Mazzio, director of the sex trafficking documentary “I am Jane Doe.”

    The House bill is poised for a relatively smooth ride in the Senate. It was amended Monday to incorporate language from a Senate measure, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act which is already backed by 67 senators.

    The legislation alters Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from lawsuits over user-generated content. Tech groups portrayed the provision as a sacred tenet of the internet, helping give rise to the free flow of communication online.

    But those arguments proved difficult to make without appearing soft on sex trafficking. Ultimately, tech associations and companies split under the pressure. The Internet Association and Facebook, one of its prominent members, publicly voiced support. Engine, the Consumer Technology Association and NetChoice, among others, stood opposed. Non-internet tech companies, including Oracle, IBM, 21st Century Fox and Disney, also supported the legislation.

    Now that the legislation is gaining traction, tech groups say they’re determined to make sure Congress and the courts do not further erode laws that protect the internet industry.

    Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice, said the trade group hopes “the law is not abused to undermine things like user-generated content or small businesses that have no interest in and are actually fighting sex trafficking.” The Internet Association said Tuesday it “will defend against attempts to weaken these crucial protections.”

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