Should the United States government, given the current, depressed economic state, increase efforts to investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes and increase funding to victims through protection services?

Human trafficking in the United States is currently the fastest growing crime. The main contributors to human trafficking are classism, poverty, racism and economic instability. The United States’ government is ultimately in control of this issue and controls the support of all change at the state and local levels through funding and establishing harsher laws.

1)    Not For Sale Campaign:

Not For Sale Campaign is a global campaign to prevent and prosecute human trafficking and slavery. This website posts articles about new developments and real-life stories about survivors of human trafficking. It provides information about current prevention projects, events and ways all members of society can become involved in stopping this issue. This source can be categorized as institutional because Not For Sale is a non-profit organization that is advocating for survivors and the prevention of human trafficking. The sources used on this website are academic, institutional, journalistic and government sources. They include press releases, articles from academic sources, journalistic articles about the issue from around the United States and the world and governmental current news dealing with the issue. The audience that Not For Sale is speaking and advertising to, are likely young Americans looking for information and ways to help prevent modern day slavery around the world. This campaign thrives off member donations and purchases from their “freedom store” which sells free trade products. Not For Sale Campaign’s goal is to increase aid and funding to survivors of trafficking. This website relates the issue of human trafficking to both poverty and racism and stresses that in order to bring the changes resources needed, funding is a necessity.

http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ (Feb. 21, 10 9:50 am)

2)    Esther Nelson:

Esther Nelson is an advocate for minors of sex trafficking at the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) in the local Portland Metro area. She provides a voice and relief for girls who would otherwise not have a voice in the justice system and recovery process. Esther is a citizen source who supports the end to human trafficking through increased funding for programs that provide services to victims. She also supports harsher prosecution of traffickers and more state funding to the investigative system for discovery and prosecution.  Esther and her work at SARC, reach out to local teens and young women. SARC is government funded and can only give as many resources as the government will allow its funding to cover. SARC and other resource centers in the local area are unable to provide full care and continual services if the state funding is not suffice.

Esther Nelson- SARC: 503-626-9100 ex:222

http://www.sarcoregon.org/ (Feb. 21, 10 at 11:00 am)

3)    Jeri Williams :

Jeri Williams works for the city of Portland as a civil engagement officer and is also an activist who fights for justice and the prevention of human trafficking. A victim of human trafficking herself, Jeri has made it her goal in life to not only fight for all types of justice in the United States, but also to be an inspiration to survivors. Jeri is a citizen source who spreads her story and activism to citizens all over the nation. Jeri works with organizations such as Global Health Promise which is a non-profit institutional source.  Her work is directed mainly towards the State Government, in an attempt to create legal change. As an activist, she has helped pass the House Bill 3623 through the Senate, which requires the hotline for human trafficking to be posted on the door of every liquor store in Oregon. She is currently fighting for extended services to victims of trafficking and more government funded programs. Jeri argues that the only way change can be brought to this issue is through legal adjustments.

Jeri Williams- Diversity and Civic Leadership Advisor: 503-823-5827   jeri.williams@ci.portland.or.us

4)    Global Health Promise:

Global Health Promise is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the families and children of prostituted, trafficked and sexually exploited women. This is an institutional source that includes journalistic sources within website such as articles, news archives and media coverage. The journalistic sources included within the website give the viewer a basic interpretation of the current and ongoing issue of human trafficking. Global Health Promise is directing its information to a general audience, including U.S. citizens who would be likely to give donations. Donations are the main source of funding for this organization. Their donations go towards providing help and services to the trafficked mothers and families. Global Health Promise’s goal is to reach out to as many trafficked victims and families as possible, but as always, funding is a must, and this organization cannot make their impact if they do not receive donations or government funding.

http://www.taskforce.org/globalhealthpromise/index.htm (Feb. 21, 10 2:10 pm)

5)    The White House:

Whitehouse.gov is a government source that details the actions being taken by the United States government towards issues such as human trafficking. In 2010, in section 110 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, President Obama declares the actions he will take toward ending human trafficking. Obama states that prevention efforts through education and awareness campaigns must be spread, efforts must be increased for the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and efforts for the protection, justice and aftercare of victims must also be increased. The documents, on whitehouse.gov, are institutional government sources, but provide research that can be identified as academic. Before an issue can be given attention and prevented, it must be addressed and accurately depicted. These academic sources, used on whitehouse.gov, address the growing issue of human trafficking in the United States through the White House documents. The audience absorbing this information is the U.S. citizenry and the government is paying for this information. The U.S government dictates the amount of prevention and funding to organizations through their judgment of the circumstances of the issue.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/search/site/human%20trafficking (Feb. 22, 10 at 4:22 pm)

6)    Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States:

This publication is a study that depicts human trafficking in the United States through accumulated studies of human trafficking survivors and research reports. The main study used interviews of 128 trafficked women to compile an analysis about violence, crime, and the sex industry in the United States. This publication is a journalistic source, but contains academic research that influences the reader through data and statistical interpretations. The academic research found that the main contributors to human trafficking in the United States were economic desperation, poverty, classism and more frequently targeted racial groups. This study provides the audience with statistics and real life accounts of human trafficking in America. It was created using Federal Funds provided by the U.S. The conclusion this publication came to is that stricter penalties and laws must be enforced through collaborative prevention and awareness to thwart human trafficking.

Raymond, Janice and Hughes, Donna. Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States:International and Domestic Trends. Maryland: NCJRS, 2001.

http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/187774.pdf (Feb. 22, 10 at 5:15 pm)

7)    Foreign Policy in Focus:

The article titled, Sex Trafficking: The Abolitionist Fallacy, published by Foreign Policy in Focus explains what the United States government should do to create substantial change in the issue of human trafficking. This article that analyzes foreign policy during the Bush administration argues that prosecuting the prostitute in the crime of trafficking will only create a larger issue. Instead, the U.S. government, under the Obama, administration must reject these old policies and move forward by providing the victims with professional treatment and harshly prosecuting the pimp. This is a journalistic article that uses government sources such as the Bush and Obama administrations and also references the journalistic book, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Kara. The changes proposed in this article would be government funded and controlled. The context is simple for a general audience to understand as it is addressing the former and current policies of prostitution in the United States. The argument made is that all prostitution is trafficking, and that the United States’ method of creating change by locking away the victims will not effectively stop this crime.

http://www.fpif.org/articles/sex_trafficking_the_abolitionist_fallacy (Feb. 22, 10 at 8:40 pm)

8)    National Institution of Justice:

This website is a compilation of research and data collected in the United States about human trafficking. It provides information about statistics and projects conducted for prevention and research, as well as previous and current developments and community prevention methods. This is an academic source that contains institutional, government source links that provide funding and mission statements. There are also some journalistic sources that display the research in journalistic ways.  These sources lay a background for human trafficking and provide the approaches that have been taken in attempt to end this issue. This website provides research to the world and human trafficking organizations, in addition, evidence that pushes the point that change needs to be made. The National Institute of Justice funds all research. This website makes the argument that law enforcement must make a significant response to this issue.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/international/programs/inttraffick.html (Feb. 23, 10 at 10:00 am)

9)    GEMS:

GEMS, which stands for Girls’ Educational and Mentoring Services, is an organization that feeds support and positive self-esteem to youth who are survivors of human trafficking. This website provides news and media coverage of this issue, as well as empowering music, videos and publications. This website is a community source but provides journalistic and institutional sources. These sources provide the viewer with current information about the issue in the U.S. and campaign/prevention efforts. Like an institutional source, GEMS survives off of community and organizational donations. With these donations, GEMS creates impacting videos and events that serve the purpose of change. This website stresses the argument that survivors need services, aftercare and support, and without organizations such as GEMS, this issue would be even larger.

http://www.gems-girls.org/ (Feb. 23, 10 at 10:12 am)

10) Methodological Challenges in Research with Trafficked Persons: Tales from the Field:

This article was written by anthropologists in an attempt to display the research they obtained, through ethnography, about how survivors live their lives after being trafficked. Their research found that The United States focuses on the victim being rescued, but scarcely on the victim in the years following the rescue. This is a journalistic source, but all research done for this publication is academic research. This publication found that the United States focuses on the origin and prevention of trafficking and that more research needs to be done about the victims themselves to prevent this issue. This publication was funded by the International Organization of Migration and was made to present the research to a global population, specifically other social academic researchers. The argument this article makes is that the U.S. should begin to pay more attention to the causes of human trafficking and the similarities of the victims and the traffickers to create change.

http://lastradainternational.org/lsidocs/282%20IOM%20survey%20trafficking%20%28Global%29.pdf#page=37 (Feb. 23, 10 at 12:20 pm)

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