Posts tagged with "Sex Trafficking"

Handcuff art via Allison Christensen for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Human trafficking can be defined as “a crime that  involves the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” 

The illegal ring of human enslavement primarily for sex acts has been a problem in the United States for quite some time. The popularity of social media combined with the ongoing stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic have only furthered the presence of human trafficking in the country.

Human enslavement has been a rampant problem often stemming from the Midwest, expanding through the rest of the country. The Midwest serves as the epicenter for trafficking endeavors for several reasons. First off, the number of federal interstates that are common make it easier to transport victims. Commerce tends to be high in areas such as St. Louis and Chicago, simplifying the traveling process of victims. The Midwest has, too, been regarded as a safe part of the country, which masks the existence of human exploitation in this part of the country.

Although servitude of humans has great linkage to the Midwest, it has an intense correlation to the Black community, specifically Black woman. According to the FBI, 53% of all children involved in juvenile prostitution arrests are Black.

This linkage stems back to the racism and oppression prevalent in US history, combined with sexualization of people of color. The Center on Poverty and Inequality generated a study to investigate this point, and found that adults generally regarded Black girls as “less innocent and more adult like than white girls.” Black women continue to be targeted, predominantly by white men. A 2012 research study found that about 85% of people who purchased sex online were white men.

These prejudices impact perpetrator motives, as they are statistically more likely to go after Black girls/ women. A two-year review of alleged enslavement occurrences found that 40% of sex trafficking victims were Black women.

The pandemic and the rise of social media, too, has played its factor in the rise of human subjugation. With many individuals suffering from economic and social deficiencies, trafficking systems have grown exponentially. The victims tend to be vulnerable, often children, in search of some form of attention. Victims often are coerced into enslavement with false promises of jobs or stability.

The growing commonness of human trafficking in the US is alarming and must come to a stop. One of the key problems that prevents victims from being identified is that they often do not believe they are victims. Victims cannot comprehend or see what they’re going through to be considered exploitation, as they often form trauma bonds with their abusers, are hidden in plain sight.

Common signs that can help us identify human trafficking:

  • Physically appearing malnourished
  • Physical injuries
  • Avoidance of eye contact, social communication; primarily with law enforcement
  • Rehearsed replies in social communication
  • Lack of identification documents
  • Staying at hotels/motels with older males
    • Victims refer to males as boyfriend or “daddy” – street slang for pimp
  • Young children serving in family restaurants
  • Individual not allowed in public alone, often spoken for

Trafficking cases continue to grow in numbers, with victims regularly becoming younger and younger. A North Carolina woman was recently sentenced to over 19 years in prison for sex trafficking a 13-year-old girl. This NC proceeding provides insight into common patterns that occur in human enslavement circumstances. It highlights the dominance of social media used in trafficking acts, the susceptibility that victims face and how perpetrators are typically somewhat close to victims.

Authorities were made aware of this case on January 1, 2020, when a 23-year-old girl was a believed victim of sex trafficking. They were able to uncover that from December 2 to the 25 of 2019, Simone McIllwain had been sex-trafficking the young girl in the Charlotte area.

The girl met McIllwain through a shared relationship, when McIllwain started advertising the girl online for commercial sex. She arranged that the 13-year-old girl would perform sex acts in her own hotel room, while she obtained segments of the profits.

She pleaded guilty of sex trafficking of a minor in April 2021, when she was placed in federal custody. Now, she has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

Website: http://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

Written By: McKinley Franklin 

image from Sarah Weinstein Dennison for use by 360 Magazine

LILA IKÉ — “BATTY RIDER SHORTS” VIDEO

Her New Single Calls To Protect Our Children from Sexual Predators

“Lila’s vocal agility can bend notes and transcend genres, the kind of voice that makes you want to turn to your friend at a show and say “Is she for real??” — NPR Tiny Desk

Rising Jamaican star Lila Iké reveals the video for her brand new single “Batty Rider Shorts,” available now via In.Digg.Nation Collective/Six Course/RCA Records. You can watch the video, directed by Dezignr Studios, HERE.

The Jamaican singer shared a personal story behind the song. “I have been writing ‘Batty Rider Shorts’ for over a period of four years. This song was inspired by a situation I observed within my community. An innocent child (age 10 or so) who I would often sit and speak with about life and give words of encouragement (even whilst I was a child myself ) eventually was taken advantage of by someone who should have been looking out for her. I was moved to tears on my drive back from the country as I thought about how her light became infiltrated by the dark energies that are hovering over children everyday, all over the world. We need to all be more responsible as a community, as friends, as parents, as extended family and just as people. Look out for each other but most importantly our children.”

The powerful track, produced by Ziah .Push, is her first original solo song since the  release of her 2020 debut EP The Experience.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Oct 12, 2021 @ Paard in The Hague, Netherlands

Oct 13, 2021 @  Doornroosje in Nijmegen, Netherlands

Oct 19, 2021 @ Melkweg in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Oct 22, 2021 @ Post Tenebras Rock (PTR) – L’Usine in Geneva, Switzerland

Oct 23, 2021 @ Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland

April 28, 2022 @ Cabaret Sauvage in Paris, France

Jul 1, 2022 @ Summerjam Festival in Cologne, Germany

About Lila Iké:

Lila Iké has become one of the most sought-after musicians to emerge right now. Born in Manchester, Jamaica, the singer is gaining attention at home and abroad with her distinctive delivery, old-school sensibilities and modern-day swagger. She can freestyle and sing in the same breath. Her lyrics are razor sharp. Her cadence is bold. In May 2020, Lila Iké released her debut 5-track EP The ExPerience to critical acclaim via In.Digg.Nation Collective/RCA Records/Six Course. In that year alone, she was nominated for Best Reggae Act at the 2020 British MOBO Awards, named one of 2020’s Most Interesting Artists via SPIN and selected for BBC 1xtra’s Hot For 2020 Artist list. Her song “I Spy” was also chosen as one of VICE‘s Best Songs for 2020.  She joined the late night stage on A Late Show #PlayatHome with Stephen Colbert with Protoje and performed on NPR Tiny Desk At Home, raking in over 2 million+ views. Before the global pandemic, in 2019, Lila embarked on her very first solo tour throughout Europe and opened for Protoje on his U.S. tour. She has performed on international festival stages including Rototom Sunsplash (Spain), Sole DXB Festival (Dubai), Reggae Sumfest (Montego Bay, Jamaica) and BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! (NYC, USA).

Cover via Sarah Weinstein Dennison of RCA Records for use by 360 MAGAZINE

LILA IKE × BATTY RIDER SHORTS

Lila Iké continues to turn heads as one of the most promising stars. The fast-rising songbird hailing from Jamaica unleashes her first single “Batty Rider Shorts” since the release of her 2020 debut EP The Experience. The powerful song (produced by Ziah .Push) carries an important message of responsibility to protect and nurture our youth.

“Batty Rider Shorts” addresses child sex trafficking and pedophilia, a recurring issue worldwide, but one particularly close to Lila’s heart as it has been ravaging her native country. There has been an alarming rate of missing young girls, murder, rape and reports of child molestation over the past year alone.

The singer, who is known for her genre-fusing blend of reggae, R&B, dancehall and hip hop, talks about the song’s significance. 

“My hope is that a little girl who doesn’t understand why a particular man is being so nice to her might hear a song like this and wonder ‘Hmm, I wonder if he’s trying to…’  because a lot of young girls are just not socialized into healthy relationships.” 

She continues, “I think it’s very important to speak about these things. The history of our music was a medium for bringing information to the people, especially reggae music. We can have fun, listen to party and dance music and songs about love, but we still have real issues that need to be addressed too.”

Listen to “Batty Rider Shorts” HERE.

A visual, directed by Dezignr Studios, will follow next week.

Lila Iké will continue to release new music throughout the year and is currently recording music for her anticipated debut album.

This October, she kicks off a mini Europe tour and will perform songs from her EP The Experience for the first time live.

Tour Dates:

Oct 12, 2021 @ Paard in The Hague, Netherlands

Oct 13, 2021 @  Doornroosje in Nijmegen, Netherlands

Oct 19, 2021 @ Melkweg in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Oct 22, 2021 @ Post Tenebras Rock (PTR) – L’Usine in Geneva, Switzerland

Oct 23, 2021 @ Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland

April 28, 2022 @ Cabaret Sauvage in Paris, France

Jul 1, 2022 @ Summerjam Festival in Cologne, Germany

About Lila Iké:

Lila Iké has become one of the most sought-after musicians to emerge right now. Born in Manchester, Jamaica, the singer is gaining attention at home and abroad with her distinctive delivery, old-school sensibilities and modern-day swagger. She can freestyle and sing in the same breath. Her lyrics are razor sharp. Her cadence is bold. In May 2020, Lila Iké released her debut 5-track EP The ExPerience to critical acclaim via In.Digg.Nation Collective/RCA Records/Six Course.  In that year alone, she was nominated for Best Reggae Act at the 2020 British MOBO Awards, named one of 2020’s Most Interesting Artists via SPIN and selected for BBC 1xtra’s Hot For 2020 Artist list. Her song “I Spy” was also chosen as one of VICE‘s Best Songs for 2020.  She joined the late night stage on A Late Show #PlayatHome with Stephen Colbert with Protoje and performed on NPR Tiny Desk At Home, raking in over 2 million+ views. Before the global pandemic in 2019, Lila embarked on her very first solo tour throughout Europe and opened for Protoje on his U.S. tour. She has performed on international festival stages including Rototom Sunsplash (Spain),  Sole DXB Festival(Dubai), Reggae Sumfest in (Montego Bay, Jamaica) and BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! (NYC, USA).

Handcuff illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Facebook × Child Predators

SURVIVOR OF FACEBOOK-FACILITATED CHILD PREDATOR ABUSE TELLS SHAREHOLDERS TO “DELAY END-TO-END ENCRYPTION” UNTIL PLATFORM CAN ADEQUATELY PROTECT CHILDREN

Searing Testimony Shows Danger Facebook Poses to Young Children and How Ill-Conceived Steps Justified on Privacy Grounds Would Only Hurt More Children.

A survivor of child abuse and exploitation who was approached on a Facebook platform urged shareholders today at the company’s annual meeting to delay plans to move ahead with end-to-end encryption that would see Facebook “become one of the world’s most dangerous ’playgrounds’ for children.”

That warning was delivered today by Sarah Cooper, who was approached as a teenager through Facebook Messenger, met a predator in Boston and New York City, and was sold into sex slavery.

The following is Sarah Cooper’s full statement: 

“My name is Sarah Cooper and I am a member of the Survivor’s Council of ECPAT-USA, the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States.

I am here this morning to present resolution #6 asking the Board to report on the risk of increased sexual exploitation of children as the Company develops and offers additional privacy tools such as end-to-end encryption.

One year ago, I told my personal story publicly for the first time, of being groomed and trafficked by a predator that I met on Facebook. He seemed to be my age but was actually decades older. I was groomed starting when I was 15 until just after my 18th birthday. It seemed innocent enough at the beginning. I received a Facebook friend request from someone I didn’t know.  

We exchanged messages back and forth and after some time I sent photos to my predator, then more images to him. He groomed me for over two years.   I thought he was a friend, someone I could trust. I didn’t really know anything was wrong until I met him in person, and saw his face, I finally realized he was closer to 40 than 18.  Once I stepped into his car it was too late… When I was trafficked, given drugs, sold into sex slavery and held against my will at gunpoint… my instinct was to survive.  I was lucky enough to have been rescued by a friend and thankfully survived my ordeal, some are not as lucky and never make it home.

For years, I was unaware of the dangers lurking on the internet, until I myself became a target.  Today, as an advocate working to prevent child sex trafficking, I’ve come to understand that law enforcement in the field relies extensively on tips from Facebook to bring predators to justice.  But what will happen when you go to end to end encryption on the Messenger app? 

Facebook admitted that in going forward with implementing end-to-end encryption it will not be able to see child sexual abuse materials online, and the number of these reports will go down.  Therefore, the number of children’s lives that could be saved or helped, will be less.

Facebook made nearly 21 million reports of child sexual materials last year, and it has been estimated that 75% of these will become invisible once it applies end-to end encryption.

Those reports are not just ‘reports’ – they are children. Children who are scared and hurt, children who need our help, children who believe Facebook would never hurt them. They are someone’s daughter, sister, grandchild and neighbor. 

Facebook needs to immediately improve age verification, increase human monitoring of content, work in tighter cooperation with law enforcement – and it should absolutely delay expanding encryption on its platforms until it can protect children.

Privacy is important, but we need a balance of privacy and protection of the most vulnerable members of society, our children.  

Facebook is a great platform, but it is not a safe platform. And with encryption it will become one of the world’s most dangerous ’playgrounds’ for children.

Thank you.”

Ms. Cooper spoke in favor of Proposal 6 at the Facebook annual meeting, which calls on Facebook to conduct a study of its central role in online child abuse and  “assessing the risk of increased sexual exploitation of children as the Company develops and offers additional privacy tools such as end-to-end encryption.”  The resolution was filed by Proxy Impact, Lisette Cooper, the Maryknoll Sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, NJ, and the Stardust Fund. In 2020, the same resolution attracted the support of 43 percent of non-management shares of the company that is tightly controlled by Mark Zuckerberg.

How bad is the child abuse and exploitation problem at Facebook? And how much worse could it get? 

Veteran US Diplomat Fears for Missing & Displaced Immigrant Children

Former U.S. Ambassador of Senegal Harriet L. Elam-Thomas, who currently sits on the advisory board of the University of Central Florida‘s The Center for the Study of Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery program, is concerned about the welfare of approximately 1,500 missing immigrant children, as well as the most recent group separated from their parents at the border.
As someone who has personally witnessed human trafficking, I know how crucial it is for us to police the police, says Elam-Thomas. What is the vetting process for those responsible for these children? Who is accountable for keeping track of them? There needs to be a thorough investigation into their safety, and the loopholes that make children vulnerable in a foreign country with no parent to protect them.
A Career Minister, with 42 years in the U.S. Department of Americas Foreign Service serving in France, Turkey, Greece and Africa, the former Ambassador is heartbroken by the inhumane treatment of immigrant families seeking asylum.
My heart is heavy, my soul is troubled and my faith in my country is being tested each and every day. Where is our conscience? Where is our sense of justice? Where are our morals? Where are we?
Historically, America has a different approach to non-Western or Eastern European refugees or laborers attempting to immigrate to the U.S. The Polish, Irish, Lithuanians, and other white immigrants had the privilege to acquire ambiguous last names and assimilate into society. Black, brown and yellow people cannot hide or become invisible.
Despite our frequent condemnations of other nations human rights violations, our history of human rights violations is not one for which we can be proud. A country that was founded on slavery, racism and unequal treatment of others is repeating the ugly history we would like to forget. I still remember images of children torn from their mothers’ arms and sold at the slave markets. The new Smithsonian Museum – The National Museum of African American History and Culture begins with that sobering history. Scores of people of all races visit there on a daily basis (8,000 per day). Sadly, our current Administration continues to be insensitive to the suffering of innocent children. I doubt the toddlers,orthose young teenagers seeking asylum with their parents, are members of M-13.
From 1942-1945, the U.S. Government instituted laws to intern Japanese citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese internment camps have come to be considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.
Until the presidents recent executive order, America was guilty, yet again, of manifesting the total opposite of the values that supposedly sets America apart from so many other governments. I cannot imagine being abroad and trying to explain the U.S. Government policy to foreign audiences this past month, or year.
Silence is consent. The unanimous outrage of so many citizens sparked change. We all must continue to use our voices and speak out against the atrocities happening on American soil.
Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas is Director of the University of Central Florida Diplomacy Program and author ofDiversifying Diplomacy: My Journey from Roxbury to Dakar.” Elam-Thomas’ stellar career with the U.S. Department of America’s Foreign Service spanned forty-two years, during which time President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
The retired Ambassador will be in New York City from
June 25-July 2, 2018, to launch an initiative titled,
“CIVILITY STRATEGIES: HEALING APPROACHES THAT UNITE PEOPLE AND STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH

Sex Trafficking is considered the New American slavery and the U.S. Justice Department estimates that 14,00-17,500 people are trafficked in the US every year. The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 57,700 people are victims of human trafficking and most of those that are impacted are young children, teens and women. Each year 244,000 American Children and youth are at risk for sex trafficking each year.

 

Jan is an upcoming national leader and she is getting program certified with the American Emergency Nurses Association so they can lead the course for Trauma, ER and Pediatric Nurses and she just got her first request from a Doctor so that she can train their staff.

 

Jan Edwards is the founder and CEO of Paving the Way, an organization committed to being a fierce disruption in the cycle of child trafficking around the globe. This is accomplished through educational and training programs that empower communities to break the cycle.  She’s been featured in the Huffington Post, Marie Claire UK, on iHeart Radio as an expert in prevention and was recently awarded Humanitarian of the Year. Jan is also the writer and producer of the award-winning film, Trapped in the Trade, which was featured on CNN.

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Watch Jan on CNN herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_us4TF9wB4