Question

“Human trafficking terrifies me. I think it’s the scariest thing to be kidnapped and not know the language and place.”

The above words from a friend were said to me while I took a break from doing homework.

Fear is a negative form of power that induces shame. We can never truly understand one’s fear unless we go through the same experience they go through. Even then, do we really know how that person felt in that situation? We assume we know, or we can admit that we have no clue. There seems to be a certain type of privilege that comes with acknowledging the issue, expressing concern over it, and producing research and solutions that supposedly solve and make someone an expert on it. It makes you stop and think, “Do we know what we’re talking about?

Something to ponder on tonight.

Victims are people, too.

Those lines from Star Wars get me every time.

While the mission of this blog is to educate and foster awareness on human trafficking in the United States, one thing that needs to be emphasized is how to be a good anti-trafficking advocate. Most people assume that talking about the issue is enough to generate awareness. It is a fundamental part of the process, but in many ways it can be also be a misleading type of advocating. The way we speak about issues needs to be framed in a way that doesn’t sensationalize survivors and their story, but rather treats them as a fellow human being.

“There seems to be a pervasive belief that if you are interested in fighting human trafficking then you have the carte blanche to be as sensational as you like (FYI, you don’t). There also seems to be an incessant demand to ‘hear your story’ despite the fact that for people already working in the movement the benefit of repeated listening to graphic details is at best questionable and at worst voyeuristic. When allies are questioned or critiqued for their tactics, the ‘but we’re just trying to raise awareness’ defense is frequently invoked.  In fact, it’s often seen as poor form to voice these concerns , especially to do so publicly, even if the hurt or humiliation we experienced was public.  Critiquing actions of individuals and organizations within the movement  we’re often shamed by those same people for somehow not being grateful, that are responses are only because we’re still struggling with our own trauma, or laughably as if our commitment to raising awareness or fighting the issue is somehow far less valid than the organization that’s ‘just trying to help’.  Our concerns are frequently dismissed with comments about how ‘serious’ this issue is, as if hurting survivors isn’t serious, or that we’re wasting energy when we should be focusing on the ‘real’ problems. All of these responses simply minimize the damage that’s done and survivors are left feeling guilty, ‘over-sensitive’ or questioning their own healing and recovery.” (GEMS Founder, Rachel Lloyd)

To read Lloyd’s full piece on the above, click here.

Tomorrow in my International Activist Politics class, we’ll be doing a “campaign practice” on a sex trafficking case study. I haven’t read tomorrow’s class readings yet, but they all seem to present fascinating views on feminism and anti-trafficking movement. I’m challenging myself to think outside the box during tomorrow’s class and to keep Lloyd’s words in mind while we brainstorm ways on how to create awareness for victims of sex trafficking without “demonizing/pitying” them.

A Boy On The Streets

I make up 50% of child sex trafficking victims.

I’m not looked for or included in the statistics of anti-trafficking groups. The lack of publicity for my issue makes boy sex trafficking attractive to criminal networks, because they know law enforcement won’t hunt them down. We are the unspoken statistics that fill the pages of sex and pornography magazines.

I am only 13 years old. I know others who start at 11 or 12 years old.

Resources aren’t allocated towards us. We aren’t considered as a “high risk group” to be included in research, outreach, and rehabilitation services. I’m forgotten. I think I actually feel alone. I hate admitting to this vulnerability, and I don’t know if I should feel this way. I’m a man. I’m supposed to be tough. I’m supposed to practice this ideal that the media expects me to abide by. There are too many “I”s in this statement that make me feel there is no one here for me to talk to.

I have a “mama”. She’s my grandma. She tells me I need to work and make money for the household. There’s violence at home, but I’m used to it. I get hit from time to time, but I know how to position myself so the blows won’t hurt as much. Mama doesn’t pay much attention to me unless it has to do with work.  I contribute, so I get a place to stay; and when I’m referred to buyers, I get a substantial share of earnings. It’s somewhat “curious” and “fascinating”, but still strange. Is that what boys my age are supposed to do? I don’t know a life other than this. Some boys have told me about the “fee-for-service drive-by-pimp” which has a guy drive his car, ask a boy if he wants to make money for the evening, and then “pimp” him out. I’ve also heard of cases where families “pimp out their boys to support their drug addiction”. It’s a common occurrence to have boys in their late 20s continue to have pimps, and rent an apartment with other boys who work for them in exchange for them to get shelter.

Some of us enter the system as runaways or to escape the criminal justice system. Not a lot of us speak about the past, but brief moments of eye contact show a guarded expression. We’re broken spirits with tales to tell, but with no incentive to tell them.

I am a child. I am boy. One day, I will be a man.

/End.

The above was an attempt monologue to share the “day in the life” account of a typical male sex trafficking victim. Boys generally start at a young age; and eventually, there is the high possibility that they will become pimps themselves. This is mostly due to the fact that the “pimp” lifestyle is the only one they’ve known, and one that has influenced their masculinity. These males adopt the same behaviors that influence the cycle that continues through generations.

Male trafficking victims only get attention if the news breaks out as a local or national scandal. Other than that, the attention paid to them is scant. There seems to be a “gender construction” in being a victim. And while Hillary Clinton has famously dubbed “Women’s rights are human rights”, I can’t help but wonder what the public reaction would be if someone said “Men’s rights are human rights”. Public perception pictures girls as victim turned survivor turned leader; in other words, girls have hope for a better future. Boys, on the other hand, aren’t openly received as victims. They are only known to be the perpetrator, and their “normal male behavior” is to purchase sexual acts because that is deemed socially acceptable in terms of masculinity and peer pressure (Yen). Also, they aren’t encouraged to speak out when something happens; they are shunned to the side because of the belief they are more self-efficient and take better care of themselves. Men are put under the cloak of invisibility regarding topics on male sexual exploitation that has them as victims – such as male rape, domestic violence, and trafficking. There are countless of research materials on how to deal with female trafficking victims; but when it comes to male trafficking, the results don’t event count to half the results of female trafficking. When were these gender divisions put into place? What does it mean to have equality and justice when we practice this obvious gender bias in victim-hood?

While the image to the left does not pertain to male trafficking, the reaction a male trafficking victim would get would be the same if someone knew a man had been raped. Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed: http://bzfd.it/1bCDbYF.

While the image to the left does not pertain to male trafficking, the reaction a male trafficking victim would get would be the same if someone knew a man had been raped. Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed: http://bzfd.it/1bCDbYF.

It’s imperative to have stories of male trafficking on the news and show support. Male survivors can be supported by diminishing the shame factor and telling them that it is not their fault. We shouldn’t approach these men with pity, because that degrades their masculinity and leads into gay baiting. Mental health services should be provided to people who experienced trauma so that they can re-purpose their lives and not pass it down. That way, survivors can step up and become leaders. Survivor led and ran programs are the best as they understand the complexity involved in male trafficking; not only will they be given the confidence boost, but also the initiative for themselves to know and to teach others how to obtain long-term stable housing, education, job-placement, and compassionate behavioral health and medical care.

Sources:
Gummow, Jodie. “Demystifying the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Boys – Our Forgotten Victims.”AlterNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Yen, Iris. “Of Vice and Men: A New Approach to Eradicating Sex Trafficking by Redusing Male Demand through Educational Programs and Abolitionist Legislation.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-) 98.2 (2008): 653-86. Print.

Hey World!

The blog has been quiet for awhile, and Eli and I apologize for its lack of activity. We’ve been going crazy over school and other responsibilities that we haven’t had time to even sit down and talk about the blog and its future. We’re in the second half of our spring semester, so school activities are picking up for us – and so will A.T.I.P.! There is a lot to update you on, it’s unbelievable that so much has happened since we started A.T.I.P two months ago.

A.T.I.P.’s past blog posts focused on male victims of human trafficking; and while I consider it important to highlight them, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m disregarding female victims. They are equally important as male victims, but they receive more support and attention. The above video (shared with me by my dear friend Alvi) focuses on female victims of human trafficking from the non-profit organization LOVE146.

If you are familiar with famous YouTubers, then the mention of make-up guru Michelle Phan should ring a bell. Michelle is teaming up with LOVE146 to support victims of human trafficking in the Philippines, and she created this beautiful animation to show her support and provide background on LOVE146’s origins. Phan did a wonderful job with her animation in explaining why she is involved with LOVE146; it had a personal touch that wasn’t overly sensationalized. However, one thing that sparked my attention (as well as Alvi’s) was Phan’s use of the word “fragile”. Alvi and I thought that a much more empowering word could have used, since “fragile” suggests that the object it is referring to can be easily broken. We thought the word “delicate” would have been better to use since it presents alternative meanings of “gentle” and “exquisite”, which dispels the stereotype of girls as weaklings.

Towards the end of her video, Phan says, “This salute is to remember the girl. … Love the girl inside of you, the girl who’s waiting for you.” It’s great that Phan finished her video with the idea that we (the privileged viewers) can help the children of LOVE146 get a better life by supporting them with our donations. But it made me slightly uncomfortable that at no point throughout her video, Phan didn’t mention the victims having their own sense of agency in overcoming what they’ve been through. I am by no means bashing Phan’s video since I sincerely enjoyed it, but I’m just providing a critical lens to analyze her video. It’s easy to be captivated by the fantasy and beauty of videos that are just as compelling as Phan’s; but that shouldn’t take away from understanding the messages that come across through media outlets. So, while we “#RememberTheGirl”, we should also “#RememberTheMessage.”

LOVE 146 – #RememberTheGirl

Male Labor Trafficking: The Invisible 40%

Under the subset definition of “human trafficking”, labor trafficking gets the least amount of attention.

In the United States, men make up 40% of labor trafficking victims. Of that percentage, 66% of victims are foreign nationals, while 20% are American citizens. The foreign national population is made up of immigrants (primarily from Central and South America) who dream of a successful future in the United States and are tricked into being promised a visa (Carroll). False recruiters feed on the desperation and hope of these men to lure them into the country. It is a tactic that enforces the sad reality of men being treated like animals and working in exploitative conditions; a Salvadoran man shared how he was forced to pick vegetables at gunpoint, work without pay for five months, and that he was beaten, raped, and burned with cigarettes (Carroll). In regards to Valentine’s Day, male farmers in places such as  Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana work overtime in cocoa fields to fulfill the Valentine’s Day consumer quota  – approximately $750 million in sales. That’s further proof (commercial) love was never cheap to begin with, anyway.

Do you know where your Valentine’s Day chocolate comes from?

Labor trafficking victims work on farms, in restaurants, nursing homes, private homes, construction sites, and factories. (Jones) While these work places appear “normal”, the treatment of the men inside them is questionable. Farm laborers are forced to absorb deadly chemicals, live without water and shelter, and “eat and sleep in their pesticide-contaminated clothes and chemically abused skins.” (Jones) They are threatened with deportation if they try to escape. Once men realize they are trapped in their abusive workplace, this induces shame on their part since they know – but are not willing to admit – they are being exploited.  A U.S. Department of State report states, “‘many migrant workers may see their trafficking as bad luck rather than a serious human rights violation.’ Men also feel bound by social constructs of masculinity: to admit to exploitation is to admit to one’s failure to provide for his family or stand up for himself.” (Clymer)

Fatherhood is an aspiration of masculinity desired and attained by a select few who want to have a family. Its responsibilities entail “being breadwinners, masculine role models, involved parents, and nurturing caregivers” to their loved ones, and ensuring that they practice good time management and decision making skills to satisfy their commitments (Duckworth).  Compared to colonial times “when good U.S. fathers made sure that their children could quote scripture and not be a burden to communities, fatherhood has shifted to being breadwinners, masculine role models, involved parents, and nurturing caregivers.” (Duckworth) Therefore, a father’s display of masculinity directly influences his line of children, particularly the males. If they do not fulfill the role expected of them, then they are left feeling insecure and inadequate.

While we regard our fathers with care and occasional annoyance, I don’t think we consider their pressure to provide for their family. Putting the “family first” holds various meanings, but a general meaning agreed upon is “prioritizing families in different ways – from mundane daily routines to major life and career decisions.” (Duckworth) Most importantly, fatherhood is a web of responsibilities to others but foremost to their children (Duckworth). The “family man” embodies the “family first” ideal that requires the man maintaining control over all situations. If the man does not have that, he fails in his role as “guardian” and “protector”, and his self-esteem deteriorates into feelings of frustration, shame, and anger in being viewed as weak and unmanly – which relates back to how men find it difficult to express their feelings. Male trafficking victims and survivors struggle with this loss of power and dealing with the idea that since society is perceived to be a dominant patriarchal society, men are expected to always have power. That aforementioned thought is attributed to feminism observing men in power.

“Men’s feelings are not the feelings of the powerful, but of those who see themselves as powerless. … They are the feelings of men who were raised to believe themselves entitled to feel that power, but do not feel it. No wonder many men are frustrated and angry.” (Kimmel)

Powerlessness is a crippling feeling. While some women are taught to overcome it, men are expected to know how to handle it. In the world of human trafficking where men are under-reported, they continue to thrive as victims because of their conflicted understanding of sexuality and masculinity. We must give male trafficking victims encouragement, power, and the belief that they matter. The invisible must become visible.

Sources:
Carroll, Susan. “Traffickers force more men into servitude.” Houston Chronicle. Hearst Newspapers, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Clymer, Beth. “Why Human Trafficking is a Men’s Issue.” Meet Justice. N.p., 25 May 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Duckworth, John D., and Patrice M. Buzzanell. “Constructing Work-Life Balance And Fatherhood: Men’s Framing Of The Meanings Of Both Work And Family.” Communication Studies 60.5 (2009): 558-573. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.
Jones, Samuel Vincent. “The Invisible Man: The Conscious Neglect Of Men And Boys In The War On Human Trafficking.” Utah Law Review 2010.4 (2010): 1143-1188. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

Male Human Trafficking: Unseen & Unacknowledged

In the world of trafficking, men are mostly regarded as the “bad guy” or the “predator” – the pimp who sells females between borders and brothels; the one who benefits off this business of selling bodies. Rarely have I seen an advertisement concerning human trafficking that did not show a man as the victim. Looking at the images below, you’ll notice that all but one of them feature women.

These ads were plastered on the streets and subways of New York City.

Amnesty International Human Trafficking Promotion: “Woman in a Suitcase”. Read more about the campaign here: bit.ly/1cnkR3q.

Labor trafficking advertisement of a man on a bus.

One thing that bothers me a bit about these advertisements is how women are mostly used at the forefront of these campaigns. While it is common knowledge that human trafficking targets the most vulnerable populations (females and children) it is still disturbing to note the gender disparity regarding this issue in the media. It’s as if constantly portraying women is a self-accepted bias or stereotype that has become “normal.”

It is understandable that sensationalized images sometimes make for great advertising to capture the viewer’s attention. But I find that in most cases, the truth of the situation becomes obscured. If we are to really understand the nuances of human trafficking, we need to take it upon ourselves to know the facts and evaluate them fairly. That being said, here are some statistics regarding male trafficking:

  • An alarming statistic produced by the United States State Department reports that between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of adult trafficking male victims jumped from 6% to 45%.

With those statistics in mind, human trafficking should be recognized as an issue that happens to both genders. However, the media focuses on the female and children perspective. That could be because the advertising tactic of using women and children generates an emotional appeal to viewers; men are perceived to be “contemptuous or condescending. Commentators note that ‘less than 20%’ of media descriptions of men are positive.” (Jones)

Our skewed perception on male masculinity contributes to the larger issue of human trafficking more than we know. Men are born and raised with the idea that they must display ideal characteristics of masculinity: one must display strength, wield power, show emotion (but not too much for fear of being ridiculed), and not act in a feminine way that would have someone question their sexuality. These stereotypical characteristics are strictly enforced in our society and pressure men in our life more than than they would admit. In the words of American sociologist Michael S. Kimmel, men are “under the constant careful scrutiny of other men.” One’s manhood is always under inspection and competition, unconsciously and consciously done by fellow peers and family members. We assume that men behave the way they do to attract people of the opposite gender; but in fact, they do that to evaluate their own masculinity. An argument that presents itself here is to say to claim “Masculinity as homophobia.” (Kimmel)

How can masculinity be homophobia? As stated by Kimmel, “Homophobia is the fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do not measure up, that we are not real men. We are afraid to let other men see that fear. Fear makes us ashamed, because the recognition of fear in ourselves is proof to ourselves that we are not as manly as we pretend, … Our fear is the fear of humiliation. We are ashamed to be afraid.”

Being unmanly brings about undeniable shame. Nothing hurts a man more than having his pride damaged, displaying weakness, or losing power. “Like female victims, males are forced to participate in sex acts against their will, controlled through brutality, psychological manipulation, and routine drug use and addiction.” (Clymer) Through this exchange, dealing with repetitive accounts of losing power and/or control crumbles their self-esteem and has them doubt their masculinity. An ECPAT study revealed that boys are reluctant to declare themselves as victims or report incidents of exploitation to avoid the potential stigma associated with being viewed as gay.

It is interesting to note that while men are recognized to be trafficking perpetrators and victims, they are hardly ever featured as rescuers and activists. While we blame the media for having a large influence on this, the bigger problem is how masculinity is constructed in society. With the idea of a dominant patriarchal society in mind, we tend to view men on the violent spectrum of situations rather than on the nurturing side. Violence is associated as the prime example of displaying manhood. Being called a “sissy” or “faggot” carries gendered meanings open to interpretation and which become the case for judgment. There’s a certain type of stigma attached to being called a “sissy” or “fag”. For example, “When a boy calls another boy a fag, it means he is not a man but not necessarily that he is a homosexual.” (Pascoe) This fluidity of interpretation is something men can waver in between; but it is also a grey space they do not want to get caught in as it challenges their masculinity. Already, there is the strong stigma of emotional and physical expression that tugs on a man’s self-esteem and prevents him from expressing his feelings, especially accepting vulnerability. Men are trained to put on a certain act so that they won’t be deemed “unmanly”, or even worse – laughed at. (Kimmel)

Since men are taught to hide their feelings, male trafficking victims find it difficult to ask and get help. Male human trafficking is often unacknowledged that it comes to no surprise that there are a lack of services and attention for male victims. Men aren’t the focus of trafficking research or statistics; according to the United Nations 2009 human trafficking report, “Trafficking in males – adult men and boys is rarely represented in official national statistics.” (Jones) Even the Department of Justice recognized that “‘data on men, boys, persons who are trafficked for other work (e.g. agriculture, sweat shops, domestic work, servile marriage), and those who are trafficked within borders are excluded [from trafficking estimations].” (Jones) Admittedly, there is only a very small percentage of people who look for them and make them a priority in outreach and healing programs.

I find this interesting in how gender and society’s labels influence the male population. We are told to “be ourselves” and to not conform to anyone’s expectations, eventhough the opposite message is being portrayed. It seems like we are all slaves to something. As pastor Eddie Buyn said puts it,

“There are many slaves in the sex trafficking battle: The pimps who are slaves to greed, the johns who are slaves to lust, and those who are physically enslaved.” (Conaway)

Sources:
Clymer, Beth. “Why Human Trafficking is a Men’s Issue.” Meet Justice. N.p., 25 May 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Conaway, Cameron. “Human Trafficking: The Other 20%.” The Good Men Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec.
Jones, Samuel Vincent. “The Invisible Man: The Conscious Neglect Of Men And Boys In The War On Human Trafficking.” Utah Law Review 2010.4 (2010): 1143-1188. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
Kimmel, Michael S. “Masculinity as Homophobia.” PDF.
Pascoe, C.J. “‘DUDE, YOU’RE A FAG?’ Adolescent Male Homophobia.” PDF.

Human Trafficking: Would You Know It If You Saw It?

thirteenth_amendment

It is with regret that I inform you of the reality in the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution. “Slavery” and “involuntary servitude” still exist in the USA today, but in more covert forms than before. One of these forms is human trafficking. It is an issue that not only covers an international base, but strikes close to home as well.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking is:

“The recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

Human trafficking is an umbrella term for illegal activities that fall under its definition, such as sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is when people are sold for work in brothels and sex clubs. It can also include forced labor or services. At times, people are tricked into thinking that they have found a decent job, but are made to work in inhumane conditions (e.g. factory or construction work). Cases also show that many become victims of organ removal for black market sale. Most individuals would think they are aware of sex trafficking. They would not consider, however, the multiple activities listed above as part of the human trafficking umbrella. According to the Polaris Project, human trafficking affects an estimated 700,000 to 2 million people of the global population every year.

As with any complex issue, there are numerous facts and perspectives to consider; below are the top 5 common human trafficking myths identified and deconstructed for the purpose of shifting one’s perspective.

Myth #1: “Women are the only victims of human trafficking.”

Truth #1: Contrary to gender stereotyping, men, young boys, and transgender people are trafficked across borders too, normally for sex work or forced labor. They appear “invisible” in trafficking reports because some are too ashamed too talk about what has happened to them, and avoid law enforcement. Additionally, the United States Department of Justice estimates that boys are less than 10 percent of the victim population – not a large number, but one that deserves attention.

Myth #2: “The victim of human trafficking is to blame for their own involvement.”

Truth #2: Various victims may be aware that advertisements for these activities may be a scam. However, their decisions are influenced by their economic conditions and desperation. In most scenarios, victims are taken from recruitment locations to a brothel and stripped of their documentation. To earn their documentation back, victims need to work their way to earn the required money needed to retrieve their documentation. They are allowed to return home after they recruit new victims to take their place. This vicious cycle makes traffickers rich while sexually exploiting victims. Families also sell young children to recruiters to work on farms or in better economic conditions. They are unaware that they are being trafficked. We need to stop blaming the victims and recognize their circumstances.

Myth #3: “Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same thing.”

Truth #3: The difference between trafficking and smuggle is force. Human smuggling is when a person gives his or her consent to cross borders. This is normally the case of someone entering a country illegally. Trafficking involves perpetrators using coercion and exploitation to move a person against their own will, which renders them helpless.

Myth #4: “Most traffickers are gangster squads that also illegally trade drugs.”

Truth #4: Politicians and law enforcement often manage trafficking activities. Ventures can only be maintained with high profits and a consistent supply of people. Organized crime networks use corrupt law enforcement to complete border leniency. They also  pay bribes for law enforcement: for example, a German diplomat in the United Arab Emirates was arrested for human trafficking charges.

Myth #5: “There is nothing anyone can do to help prevent human trafficking.”

Truth #5: By taking small steps into advocating awareness, human trafficking can slowly be destroyed. Many trafficking victims possess similar characteristics such as lack of education, illiteracy, and poor economic conditions. We can also educate communities about this issue and help push for legislation and restrictions. We should focus on educating younger generations about human trafficking. This way, they will be able to join our fight to end trafficking in the United States.

Josh Holt, a senior at Wofford College in Atlanta, uses his artwork to raise awareness on human trafficking. Above are a few of his pieces. Read more about his artwork here: http://bit.ly/1bwyJLS.

Hello from Nelli & Eli!

Welcome to The Anti-Trafficking Independence Project – A.T.I.P. for short. This is Nelli and Eli, your resident bloggers.

We started this blog due to our mutual passion on human trafficking and the desire to create a non-profit organization in the future. We are currently college students attending Pace University in New York City, though we both have different majors. Eli is an Accounting Major, while Nelli is a Political Science & Women’s Gender Studies Major. Though we study completely different things, what we’re learning now will help us create our future non-profit organization.

Why the interest in human trafficking? Unknown to many, human trafficking is one of the world’s most complex and misunderstood issues. It is slavery that still happens in the United States where its history textbooks claim that “slavery was abolished”. Obviously, textbook writers need to double check their facts. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking has become the second fastest growing criminal industry (just behind drug trafficking). Incidentally, the United States is the third largest destination country in the world for human trafficking (Jones). Women, children, and men are treated inhumanely and sold between borders to fulfill their handler’s money deals. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center estimates it’s a $32 billion industry, with half coming from industrialized countries.

We were just as shocked as you were upon discovering those basic facts. From there, we were prompted to learn more and discover the injustices and myths that plagued human trafficking.

And that’s where this blog comes in – as an outlet to share information with you and to foster awareness on human trafficking. Our focus is human trafficking in the United States. We don’t identify ourselves as experts on human trafficking, but rather as anti-trafficking advocates. Moreover, we are not affiliated with any organizations; hence the “independence” component of our blog name.

We hope you’ll stick with us for the journey, or that you’ll check in from time to time. Let us know what you think by commenting on our blog posts – we would be love to hear from you.

– Nelli & Eli

Sources:
Jones, Samuel Vincent. “The Invisible Man: The Conscious Neglect Of Men And Boys In The War On Human Trafficking.” Utah Law Review 2010.4 (2010): 1143-1188. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.