by Stoyan Zaimov
Newscast Media ATLANTA—The End It Movement, a coalition of organizations fighting to end human slavery, led by Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta, has posted a powerful new video showcasing a group of sex slaves being driven around a transparent bus, prompting shocked reactions from onlookers.
“We are here to shine a light on slavery. No more bondage. No more sex trafficking. No more child laborers. No more, starting now,” the End It movement says. “Slavery still exists. We want every man, woman and child to know that there are 27 million men, women and children, just like them, living in the shadows, working as slaves, in 161 countries, including our own.”
END IT Movement Anti-Slavery/Human Trafficking Video
A man posing as one of the kidnappers shouts at the captives, as the people looking at the truck react with disbelief, shock and confusion.
“Every year, women are trafficked to major sporting events to be sold as sex slaves,” reads the side of the truck driving through the city.
While the truck with the sex slaves is a staged re-enactment, the responses from the onlookers are real – the movement says that the footage was filmed “at a national sporting event in Atlanta, Ga., on the weekend of April 6th.”
The End It Movement held its “Shine a Light on Slavery” day on April 9, where tens of thousands of people across America participated by marking or wearing the symbolic red X, the group’s logo, and encouraged others to find out more about human trafficking and what they can do to help.
“Then people have to ask – ‘what is this?’ At that point, we as a nation can raise our voice in honor of the 27,000,000 slaves. The hope of the movement [is] for everyone to know. Indifference is NOT an option,” Masi Willis, project manager of the End It Movement, previously shared with The Christian Post. The video ends with the question: “If you could see it, would you end it?”
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking April 9, the Obama administration released its latest plan to combat a practice that has been called modern-day slavery and to provide help for its victims. In his remarks at the forum, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new strategic plan will better coordinate the efforts of U.S. federal agencies in dealing with a crime that enslaves an estimated 27 million victims worldwide.
“Attorneys, analysts, researchers, investigators,and law enforcement officials are coming together as never before to study the latest trends in human trafficking,” Holder said. “Over the next five years, this plan will enable us to reinforce our relationships with nongovernmental allies — and build public-private partnerships. It will lead us to develop innovative new strategies for identifying, assisting and seeking
justice on behalf of those trapped in some form of slavery, bonded labor or forced prostitution.”
U.S. officials said the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking will take anti-trafficking efforts to a new level. Holder added that the plan will increase support for legal and victim service providers.
According to the attorney general, the plan sends “a strong message to anyone who would prey on their fellow human beings: that, in this country, human trafficking will not be tolerated. Our commitment to moving aggressively in identifying and prosecuting human traffickers — and supporting those who bring help and healing to victims — has quite simply never been stronger.”
The plan also calls for new public-private partnerships that will provide cutting-edge technology tools to aid law enforcement’s efforts to bring traffickers to justice, as well as new online applications to help link victims with much-needed services. According to the White House announcement, leading technology companies have partnered with advocates and survivors to develop new applications to reach trafficking victims online and on their phones and to link them with services in their community.
The plan also calls for a free legal services network for trafficking victims. The Department of State is establishing a public-private partnership with New Perimeter, LLC, a nonprofit organization established by the law firm DLA Piper designed to increase the availability of pro bono legal services to combat human trafficking. The partnership will use the “3P” framework of prosecuting traffickers, protecting survivors and preventing victimization.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—April was declared Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month by Barack Obama, as he reminded the nation that sexual violence was an affront to human dignity that cannot be tolerated and calls on Americans to offer their support to survivors of such crimes.
The proclamation reads:
In the last 20 years, our nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help.
But even today, too many women, men, and children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they need.
Sexual violence is an affront to human dignity and a crime no matter where it occurs. While rape and sexual assault affect all communities, those at the greatest risk are children, teens, and young women. Nearly one in five women will be a victim of sexual assault during college.
For some groups, the rates of violence are even higher — Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience sexual assault as the general population. Moreover, we know rape and sexual assault are consistently underreported, and that the physical and emotional trauma they leave behind can last for years.
With Vice President Joe Biden’s leadership, we have made preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors a top priority. Earlier this month, I was proud to sign the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which renews and strengthens the law that first made it possible for our country to address sexual assault in a comprehensive way. The act preserves critical services like rape crisis centers, upholds protections for immigrant victims, gives state and tribal law enforcement better tools to investigate cases of rape, and breaks down barriers that keep lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims from getting help. It also expands funding for sexual assault nurse examiner programs and sexual assault response teams, helping states deliver justice for survivors and hold offenders accountable.
Just as we keep fighting sexual assault in our neighborhoods, we must also recommit to ending it in our military—because no one serving our country should be at risk of assault by a fellow service member.
Where this crime does take place, it cannot be tolerated; victims must have access to support, and offenders must face the consequences of their actions. Members of our armed forces and their families can learn more about the resources available to them at 1-877-995-5247 and www.SafeHelpline.org.
All Americans can play a role in changing the culture that enables sexual violence. Each of us can take action by lifting up survivors we know and breaking the silence surrounding rape and sexual assault. To get involved, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/1is2many.
Together, our nation is moving forward in the fight against sexual assault. This month, let us keep working to prevent violence in every corner of America, and let us rededicate ourselves to giving survivors the bright future they deserve.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Of all the stories that Newscast Media covers, we especially put an emphasis on stories that involve human trafficking, and have been leading the fight to expose this grotesques practice. On January 3, we also front-paged the article, “ICE busts sexual exploitation ring open with 120 victims involved.”
Our mission at Newscast Media is to speak out against oppressed innocence and we are glad the president has also thrown his weight behind this fight and promises to “combat this scourge”, by dismantling trafficking networks and strengthening sanctions on governments that allow human trafficking to occur.
The White House released Barack Obama’s proclamation of January 2013 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and as always, Newscast Media gives credit where credit is due. We therefore wish to commend the president for his bold and pragmatic approach in his condemnation of human trafficking, and for the January 2013 proclamation month.
“As Americans, we have long rejected such cruelty. We have recognized it as a debasement of our common humanity and an affront to the principles we cherish. And for more than a century, we have made it a national mission to bring slavery and human trafficking to an end,” Obama said.
“Our commitment to stopping human trafficking does not end at our borders. As a leader in the global movement to combat this scourge, the United States has renewed sanctions on governments that harbor the worst offenders. We have partnered with groups around the world to help men, women, and children escape their abusers…We have aided others in addressing modern slavery’s root causes, and encouraged
nations across the globe to pass comprehensive anti-trafficking laws, enforce them rigorously, and care for survivors,” Obama added.
*Click here to read Obama’s full proclamation from the White House.
Despite the mainstream media’s unwillingness to cover human trafficking stories because they cannot be sensationalized, we are pleased that the policy-makers are paying regular attention to this Web site, and are responding accordingly.
Below are some of the highlights of stories Newscast Media has covered, to expose human trafficking — from the earliest to most recent stories:
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents during an international operation aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce images of child pornography, identified over 120 victims of child sexual exploitation.
Of that number, 44 children were directly rescued from their abusers and 79 were identified as either being exploited by others outside of their home or are now adults who were victimized as children.
HSI launched Operation Sunflower in November 2012 to commemorate the one-year anniversary in which the identification of a sunflower-shaped highway road sign led to the rescue of an 11-year-old girl in Kansas. Operation Sunflower was executed through the first week of December 2012, but victim identification and rescue efforts continue under HSI’s Operation Predator.
“The sexual abuse of young children, often at the hands of people they trust, is a particular wrong,” said ICE Director John Morton. “Whenever our investigations reveal the production and distribution of new child pornography online, we will do everything we can to rescue the victim and prosecute the abuser even if takes us years or around the world to do it. A relentless fight against child exploitation is the only answer.”
HSI and partner law enforcement agencies arrested 245 individuals during the operation, which took place Nov. 1 to Dec. 7. Of the 123 victims, 110 were identified in 19 U.S. states.
Of the 123 victims identified during Operation Sunflower: five were under the age of 3, nine were ages 4 to 6; 21 were ages 7 to 9; 11 were ages 10 to 12; 38 were ages 13 to 15; and 15 were ages 16 to 17. Twenty-four of the victims identified are now adults who were victimized as children. Seventy were female and 53 were male.
Now, the public’s help is being sought with any leads that can help provide clues in several cases and rescue more victims.
“We applaud our partners at ICE for their worldwide work in identifying these victims of child sexual exploitation and for helping to remove these children from extremely dangerous situations,” said NCMEC CEO John Ryan. “We know that there’s more work to be done. Anyone could know these victims, not knowing that they’re being harmed. They could be your neighbors’ children, your child’s classmate, or even your own child. We thank Director Morton and everyone at ICE for their strong commitment to rescuing the most vulnerable of victims.”
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C. — Survivors of human trafficking must be given the opportunity “to move past what they endured and make the most of their potential,” says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Speaking at the State Department June 19 at an event marking the release of the department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, Clinton said: “Traffickers prey on the hopes and dreams of those seeking a better life. And our goal should be to put those hopes and dreams back within reach, whether it’s getting a good job to send money home to support a family, trying to get an education for oneself or one’s children, or simply pursuing new opportunities that might lead to a better life.”
The annual report, which tracks how human trafficking is handled in 186 countries and territories — including the United States — emphasizes proven and innovative practices for protecting victims via psychological support for victims, immigration laws to protect migrant victims and training for labor inspectors to recognize trafficking, Clinton said.
According to the State Department, there are some 27 million people around the world who are enslaved for labor or for the sex industry. Statistics provided by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization estimate that 55 percent of forced labor victims are women or girls, as are 98 percent of sex trafficking victims.
Among the recommendations the report makes:
• Provide victims with shelters but do not detain them there. Victims should have freedom of movement.
• Victims should be informed of their rights as early as possible in a language they understand.
• Victims should be given the choice of how much of their information is shared.
• Governments should offer victims permanent residency and the right to work.
Benefits — rather than forced deportation — facilitate the law enforcement process, the report says. The report also cautions governments not to confuse trafficking, in which victims are coerced, with illegal immigration.
“Authorities often fail to look beneath the surface for possible indicators of forced labor, debt bondage or sex trafficking,” the report says. It is the traffickers, not the trafficking victims, who are the criminals, the report says. You may read or download the 2012 Trafficking in Person’s Report.