HEADLINES: Trafficking

Published On: Donate

Asia Graves has overcome much as a survivor of sex trafficking in Boston, but has now emerged as one of the most influential and powerful voices speaking out against human trafficking.  Graves was recruited at age 16, after which she was psychologically and physically abused while being trafficked by her pimp for two and a half years.  When she finally broke free from the “life,” she became one of the few survivors to testify against her former traffickers, leading to their eventual arrests. Now she has moved to Washington DC to work with the anti-trafficking NGO, FAIR Girls, and has continued to speak out to the media and advocate against sex trafficking, despite the high risks this carries. [BostonGlobe]

New evidence from Los Angeles county officials finds that the “the majority of young people arrested on prostitution charges in LA county come from the county’s own foster care system.”  In fact, pimps will use the foster care system as a pool for potential trafficking victims, using victims to recruit others in the system.  This past election, Californians voted in a landslide for Proposition 35, which will strengthen penalties for traffickers while decriminalizing prostitution for minors. This will thus thrust the brunt of this problem onto the Children and Family Services Department, which some fear will only exacerbate the situation.  “The average age for entry into prostitution is 12 years old and the average life expectancy following entry is 7 years.”  [Huffington Post]

A new piece of legislature passed through the Senate this week fighting against child pornography and sex trafficking entitled, Child Protection Act of 2012, and is currently waiting to be signed into law.  The bill would double the maximum sentence for possession of pornography depicting children under 12 to 20 years, among other reinforcements of anti-trafficking measures.  In response to the bill’s passage, Sen. John Coryn, the bill’s co-sponsor, said, “We need to provide law enforcement with every tool they need to crack down on the most vile criminals – child sex predators and traffickers – and protect people who fall victim to these heinous crimes.  This is an issue we can all agree on, and I’m pleased Congress has passed this important measure in a bipartisan fashion.” [Examiner]


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