New Challenges to Prosecuting Sex Trafficking

Posted by GWEN
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Posted on August 08, 2013

In the wake of the FBI three-day, multicity child sex trafficking operation (Operation Cross Country) – a raid which recovered 106 teenagers and arrested 152 pimps – NPR reported that the operation highlighted an ongoing and often hidden problem in the US: the trafficking of young people and how the digital age is changing the tactics used by both pimps and law enforcement.

With the help of organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the FBI were able to collect and analyze information on missing and exploited children.

“Up until about five years ago, sex trafficking of both adults and children were occurring in traditional venues, like street corners and alleys, bus stops,” said John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The Internet has changed all that, particularly through social media platforms.”

While this unprecedented FBI sweep has rescued just a fraction of the children being exploited, the efforts must be applauded. More efforts need to be made to bring children out of prostitution.

It is important to raise awareness in our local communities — sex trafficking of minors is happening in our own backyard and we must come together to address the problem. Join GWEN and make a difference in your community today.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/08/03/208664066/online-the-web-of-sex-trafficking-can-be-even-more-obscure

Empowerment by Chong Kim, Trafficking Survivor & Activist, GWEN anti-trafficking expert

Posted by GWEN
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Posted on January 10, 2013

I think of the women’s rights movement, and how we have paved the way for change from gender bias situations to equality on all levels of humanity.  Now, entities like the National Domestic Violence Organization and RAINN are also recognizing same sex abuse that includes men falling victim.  With National Human Trafficking Day coming close, we still struggle with segregation of terminology — Labor Trafficking vs. Sex Traffickings, American vs. Undocumented Persons, American Adults vs. Domestic Minor, and whether male victims exist in the world of trafficking.  Seriously?  I’m not saying we are perfect, but we’ve made many strides along the way and even in an imperfect country like the US, we have encouraged other countries in Asia, India, Middle East and Europe to seek out equality and open the forum for women’s rights.  That’s why I admire so much about GWEN (Global Women’s Empowerment Network).  It’s one of the few entities that I respect, honor and choose to collaborate with on every front of our battle to end violence against all humans.  They continue to utilize survivors voices to promote legislative change, be the forefront of ideas of empowerment, and speak about those who are still disenfranchised — especially in the world of violence. I love that there’s an organization that continues to strive for human rights on all levels.  Whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Hindi or even Atheist, you are welcome.  I love the freedom it allows men, women, teens and even children to gain back their power of choice.

For me being a survivor, empowerment is so essential to me.  With GWEN, I find a welcoming hub of all persons involved.  Whether you’re faith-based or not, straight or LGBT, male or female, adult or child, GWEN welcomes all.  If you know me, I always strive to be as open-minded as possible.  I personally believe everyone has the right to live without violence, no matter who you are.  The sad reality is, there are entities, government agencies and even ministries that still hang on to gender bias and control, even use survivors as a model of “Poster Child Syndrome”.  Please refer to my blog: http://goo.gl/JwqQHm .  I’ve written extensively of what it is to be a “Poster Child” and it’s nothing but a form of manipulation.

GWEN is an entity that recognizes strength, voice, and most of all, empowerment.  It strives to bring our voices to the forefront and also remind us that we are not just a story, we are an inspiration!  This entity is definitely not gender biased, which I love!

I was first introduced to GWEN through a mutual friend that invited me to a club where he DJ’s.  He had also invited Tess Cacciatore to the club, who is the Executive Director of GWEN in Los Angeles.  It was there that I met Tess and we instantly clicked!  We talked about what empowerment meant to both of us, we listened to each other’s ideas, and before I knew it, I became part of the family of GWEN.  What I love about GWEN it allows you to share without showing your face, to articulate your talents through music, arts, writing, spoken word, whatever your creative spirit is meant to dazzle with.  It won’t allow you to self-sabotage, be a sound board, or use your story for sympathy.  GWEN wants YOU to feel empowered.  They want YOU to feel the wings of your spirit fly and say, “I am free from the slavery of abuse as well as my own enslavement.”  Ladies and gentlemen, if that isn’t empowerment, then I don’t know what is. Thank you!