HEADLINES: Trafficking

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Perhaps the most important duo in the fight against human trafficking are Pierre and Pam Omidyar.  Pierre is a multi-billionaire co-founder of Ebay, but he and his wife Pam are committed to giving vast amounts of their income away to charity.  While they are beneficiaries of many different causes, the Omidyar’s have come to focus on anti-trafficking as their passion.  They started their Humanity United foundation, and have invested 115 million dollars in anti-trafficking work so far, and they have pledged another 50 million dollars in the next 4 years.  The organization has programs in five countries, including the United States, where Humanity United has successfully used its leverage to lobby for anti-trafficking legislation in Washington. [Forbes]

Atlanta has recently been denoted the worst city in America for sex trafficking.  As a major transit hub, Atlanta’s human trafficking industry has had explosive growth, but important community members and organizations are coming together to try and stop the growth of this heinous crime.  This past weekend, a high profile public forum was hosted by the Links Inc., a powerful Atlanta women’s group, on the issue, as prominent politicians and law enforcement officials from the state gave a grim appeal for the dire need to combat trafficking.  Gloria Patterson, the Links National Trends Chairperson, said, “we can talk to health professionals, we can talk to educators and churches and bring all these organizations and components together so we can really impact this city with information, and information is power. [Atlanta Daily-World]

As Austin, TX is preparing for the U.S. Grand Prix this weekend, many are looking forward to the race and the economic boon it is set to be for the city, but organizers and local non-profits are also concerned that a sharp increase in human trafficking will occur, specifically forced prostitution.  Large events, especially large events that traditionally appeal to men, are dangerous hubs for trafficking.  Last year, “during Super Bowl 45 in Dallas, law enforcement made 133 human trafficking arrests and rescued 8 victims.”  The estimates for potential victims at this year’s race have ranged up to about 200.  Over 300,000 people are expected to attend the event. [AustinYNN]

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