Throughout the holiday season, many people take long road trips to visit family and friends. The week of Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year in the United States, with 54 percent more drivers taking long trips than at any other time of the year. Truck stops and rest stops along heavily populated highways are popular locations for sex traffickers to sell their victims.
The Mara Salvatrucha, better known by their acronym MS-13, is one of the largest and most violent transnational criminal organizations in the world. Their motto is “Kill, Rape, Control.” Since the 1980s, MS-13 members have typically engaged in a wide range of violent and criminal activity including, drug distribution, murder, rape, prostitution, robbery, home invasions, immigration offenses, kidnapping, carjacking/auto thefts, and vandalism. More recently there has been a rise in MS-13 engaging in human trafficking.
The terms “sex trafficking,” “sex work,” and “prostitution” are often conflated. While both sex work and sex trafficking involve prostitution by definition, sex work entails a willing engagement in commercial sex while sex trafficking involves force, coercion, or deceit. Some enter the industry willingly as sex workers but may eventually become victims of trafficking.
In August 2014, ISIS attacked the largely Yazidi populated region of Sinjar, Iraq. The Yazidis are a minority group located primarily in northern Iraq, by the Syrian border. The Yazidi religion has aspects of Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, but differs in their belief in reincarnation and the idea that God put the world in the care of seven holy beings. Because of this, the group has been targeted heavily by ISIS, who label the Yazidis as devil worshipers.
Global leaders convened at a United Nations summit in September, 2015 and adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs focus on people, the planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. With these new goals, member states that were present at the summit are expected to establish a national framework to end poverty and fight inequality. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will help combat human trafficking through goals 5, 8, and 16.
Started in 2010 by founder Alezandra Russell, Urban Light fights the sex-trafficking of young males in Chiang Mai, Thailand, through the variety of services offered at their Youth Center. Summer Fellow Joanna DiBiase spoke to Russell about her organization and their impact on human trafficking in Thailand and around the world.
The US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report is regarded as one of the most reliable resources on how countries around the world handle the complex issue of human trafficking. Using a tier-ranking system, the TIP report ranks countries Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List, or Tier 3 based on a set of criteria to prosecute and prevent all forms of human trafficking.
In the United States the minimum age for marriage is 18, but in most states child marriage is legal with a parent’s consent. Girls as young as 12 in Virginia, 13 in New Hampshire and 14 in Alabama are able to legally wed with a parent’s signature.
Over two months have passed since Dr. Haleh Esfandiari’s groundbreaking piece highlighting ISIS’s cruelty towards women and the little media …