Wednesday, January 26, 2011

California Against Slavery: Development / Capital Campaign Manager

From Idealist

California Against Slavery (CAS) has an immediate opening for a Development/Capital Campaign Manager with proven record of successful large scale fundraising. The Manager plays a crucial role in raising $1M by November 2011 to fund the CAS ballot initiative.

ABOUT: California Against Slavery (CAS) is a 501(c)4 non-profit, non-partisan human rights organization. Founded in 2009, our goal is to put an initiative on the 2012 California ballot to strengthen current human trafficking laws and increase victims’ rights. CAS needs $1M by November 2011 to hire professional signature gatherers and management volunteers during our signature campaign in the Fall of 2011. For more information, please visit

Working closely with the Executive Director, Volunteer Coordinator, and members of the team, the Campaign Manager will be responsible for all aspect of fundraising including new donor acquisition, major gifts, partnerships with corporations and other non-profits, online fundraising campaigns and special events like walkathons.
The ideal candidate has a strong record of success in large fundraising efforts, works well with volunteers, feels a personal calling to abolish human trafficking, and loves a good challenge. This position is part-time, unbenefited position ending December 2011.


▪ Working with Leaders and a topnotch fundraising consultant, develop a $1 million campaign strategy

▪ Implement and manage the $1 million campaign strategy

▪ Identify and contact philanthropists in California and the nation who may be interested in funding the initiative

▪ Establish solicitation priorities, manage prospect lists and research, develop and execute targeted cultivation plans and solicitation strategies for a range of prospects

▪ Manage the writing and development of capital campaign print and electronic collateral materials and coordinate their design and production;

▪ Design and develop campaign communications, creating content for the e-newsletter and talking points for the media; integrate campaign milestones into ongoing public relations outreach;
▪ Organize and manage cultivation and recognition events;
▪ Recruit and manage campaign volunteers; schedule and support campaign leadership meetings;
▪ Ensure that data related to prospects and donors is recorded and tracked in electronic and hard copy files; manage campaign record keeping, evaluate progress towards goals, prepare periodic reports on fundraising and present to the Board and senior staff; recommend revisions to the fundraising plan, as needed, to meet goals;
▪ Ensure donor acknowledgement, stewardship and public recognition, as appropriate;
▪ Participate in solicitations;
▪ Other duties, as assigned.

▪ 7 10 years of professional experience in fundraising with a track record of success, with specific experience in capital campaigns, individual giving and/or major gifts;
Proven success at securing major gift support;
▪ Knowledge of California and national philanthropic communities that support human rights, children’s and women’s issues, and victims rights;

▪ Experience in scheduling and staffing solicitation calls and conducting follow up and stewardship;

▪ Strong ethics, laser sharp focus, independent, committed;

▪ Demonstrated experience in producing campaign materials;

▪ Excellent interpersonal, analytical and organizational skills, capable of working effectively with board members, staff members, volunteers, and donors/prospects;

▪ Energetic, self-motivated, flexible and adaptable with a sense of humor, able to multi-task and work independently;
▪ Computer fluency in MS Office, Powerpoint, web applications, and knowledgeable about the role of technology and electronic communication in fundraising

TO APPLY: Send resume and list of some of the fundraising campaign you were involved in (include size of the campaign and your role) to Your prompt response is appreciated.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Underage Sex Trade Still Flourishing Online

By Amber Lyon and Steve Turnham

Her ankles and wrists are shackled. She's wearing used sweats in the bright colors of the jailhouse, orange, blue and yellow. She shuffles to the courtroom to face the judge, her mother, and an uncertain future.

Selena is a 13-year-old who was sold for sex.

She wants to go home to her house in the suburbs and the baby sister she hardly knows. And now, facing a sympathetic judge and a loving mother who wants to make sure she's safe, Selena is being told she can't go home.


"I want to go home and I want to be with my family, that's all I want," she tells Juvenile Court Judge William Voy, her face bathed in tears. "This isn't making me any better in here."

Selena was arrested by undercover police on the Vegas strip on prostitution charges. But although she exchanged sex for money, in the eyes of the law, she's a victim, by virtue of her age and the circumstances under which she was sold: by a pimp on the website, a pimp who used drugs to entice her, and took everything she earned.

"It made me feel so nasty, I always just want a shower and get it off. I was like, oh, it's so disgusting," she said. "And it never made me feel pretty, not one time, not one time."

She told us she was seeing four or five men a day, at the standard rate of $300 for an hour, $150 for a half.

She may be a victim, but she can't go home, because no one trusts that she won't run again, back into the arms of a pimp. . .

Read the full story here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Super Bowl and Human Trafficking

The 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, Texas will bring thousands of people to the city in the hopes of witnessing greatness. Sadly, in the shadows of all the glitz and glamour, as many as a few thousand children will be trafficked as sex slaves, bought and sold countless times throughout the event.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Children and Families assisted 24 minors who were trafficked as sex slaves for the Super Bowl. Texas State Attorney General, Greg Abbott, is taking initiative, and announced plans to send 12 individuals from his human trafficking task force to help Dallas law enforcement fight human trafficking. A number of organizations, such as Traffick 911 and Free the Captives, are mobilizing ground efforts in Dallas to raise awareness and support prevention efforts in the area.

The awareness campaign is assisted by Dallas Cowboy player, Jay Ratliff, who recently filmed a public-service announcement for Traffick 911’s I’m Not Buying It Campaign. Watch the PSA here:

This Super Bowl Sunday there is more at stake than who wins the game on the field. The countless lives destroyed by trafficking reveal the true victory comes when we stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children off the field.

Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Women.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keep Human Trafficking Victims in the Brothels to SAVE them? Who would have thought?

What is the first step to take in saving a victim of sex trafficking? My initial reaction, and I venture to say that many others share my view, that removing the individual from the brothel would be the most sensible first step. However, my logic went to hell after reading about a group named of Freeset.

Freeset, located in the Kolkata red light district, has a mission identical to hundreds of other anti-trafficking groups around the world. As stated on their website, they “… would like to see the 10,000 sex workers in our neighborhood empowered with the choice of leaving a profession they never chose in the first place.” From 2001, Freeset has helped workers leave the sex trade by offering the alternative livelihood of manufacturing bags for export. Freeset offers girls an alternative lifestyle while still remaining inside the brothels.

Of course when I learned about Freeset’s model, my mind raced with a million questions. Can a girl live in a brothel and not be part of the sex trade? Can they help to effect change from the inside? Is this a model that other groups should emulate?
As we fight to end modern slavery, it is important to learn what all of us are doing to combat the evil. We learn from each other, good or bad. An educated anti trafficking group is by definition a better trafficking group.

Freeset’s model may be unappealing at first blush but it has a proven track record. Its success should teach us to learn so that we avoid the pitfalls of applying our experiences in a foreign land. How many of us have even been to Kolkata? How many of us can even understand how desperate a worker might be. Doesn’t Freeset teach us that even an ex-sex trade worker needs a livelihood? Isn’t that obvious?

For myself, I admit the Freeset model wouldn’t have been my first suggestion, and perhaps not even in my top 100. That failure of imagination reflects poorly on me. Now that I know of Freeset, I want to learn more, do more, and I never want to forget that real people need real help starting with food, shelter, and dignity. I will accomplish success before I ever give in, no matter the price or the time.

To learn more about Freeset and the work they do, please
click here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Country Club Slavery

South Florida Country Clubs Contracting in Slave Labor: Feds
A husband and wife are accused of forcing 39 Philippine immigrants into slavery


Updated 2:43 PM EST, Tue, Jan 11, 2011

Country clubs are often reserved for the rich and well off and have the best amenities money can buy.

But membership in several exclusive South Florida clubs came with a sinister perk that has the feds working overtime - slavery.

Federal agents claim Alfonso Baldonado Jr. and his wife, Sophia Manuel, are behind an elaborate scheme that forced 39 Filipino workers into slave labor at local country clubs.
The couple allegedly ran a company called Quality Staffing Services based in Boca Raton and sent the workers to posh clubs to work incredibly long hours with little pay.

"What people need to realize that it is happening here in Miami and at an alarming rate," Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Carmen Pino said. "It's a big problem here and there is human trafficking. This is slave labor and even sex trafficking."

The feds singled out the pricey Indian Creek Country Club on Miami Beachand Miami Shores Country Club as frequent clients of the slave labor company.

Nine other golf courses in Broward and Palm Beach counties also contracted with Baldonado, but investigators have not said whether any of the clients knew of the illegal activity.

Read the full article here.

A couple in south Florida is accused of forcing nearly 40 Filipino workers to work in country clubs. The workers were forced to work in luxury country clubs for up to 16 hours with little pay. While some of the clubs might not have known that the workers were enslaved, one of the clubs appears to be a repeat offender.

While it seems recently that Florida has been in the news a lot with cases of forced labor and human trafficking, this does not necessarily mean that it is more rampant in the state. Florida has become more proactive in the fight against modern slavery and while its sad to see cases such as this come to light, learning about the trends and types of places where people are enslaved, is crucial. This case is further proof that slavery does not always happen in isolated, far away places, it can happen right in front of our eyes.

If you would like to report a case of potential slave labor/human trafficking please call either the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888 or ICE's hotline at 1-866-dhs-2ice.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fair Trade Universities

Friday, January 14, 2011

Upcoming OVC Web Forum: Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

January 19, 2011—Join an Online Discussion

On January 19, 2011, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will present a Web Forum discussion with Mollie Ring on best practices for serving child victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Ring is the Director of Anti-Trafficking Programs at the Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) Project, a nonprofit organization working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adults. She coordinates direct services for domestic minor and international victims of human trafficking and leads outreach, training, and public education efforts. She also oversees technical assistance initiatives for local, regional, and national partners. Prior to joining SAGE in 2008, Ms. Ring served as a consultant to the United Nations Children’s Fund’s Evaluation Office and the United Nations Development Programme.

Visit the OVC Web Forum now to submit questions for Ms. Ring and return on January 19 at 2 p.m. (eastern time) for the live discussion. Learn how to participate beforehand so you are ready for the discussion.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Freedom Network Conference

Presentations and workshops by experts on human trafficking issues for Advocates, Legal Representatives, Social Service Providers, Government Officials, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement Officers

Conference Registration:
Registration Fee: $295
Early Bird Registration before Feb. 5th: $265
Third person or more from same organization: $265

Registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks. The Freedom Network conference is at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center located in Washington, DC. For Hotel reservations book online or call the hotel directly at 1-888-324-2111.

Questions? Please contact Stephanie Fletcher at

For more information on previous Freedom Network conferences, and for conference updates, please check here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2011

This year, HTP has signed on to a letter produced through a collaborative effort in Boston, Massachusetts to produce a statement in light of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Today is also your opportunity to find out what is going on your local community, and find a way to get involved. Towards the bottom of the letter are some suggestions. And please remember that we here at HTP are always looking for volunteer writers and submissions.

Dear Boston Area Residents,

We are service providers, faith leaders, teachers, students, law enforcement, advocates, parishioners, civil servants, NGO leaders, business owners, and survivors from the Boston area. We work to combat human trafficking--what many call ‘modern-day slavery.’

We are uniting today, on Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2011, to ask you to learn about and discuss human trafficking and modern-day slavery with your families, neighbors, churches, coworkers, friends, and fellow students.

Human trafficking is widespread throughout the United States today, including the greater Boston area. It is a hidden crime and often goes undetected by authorities and advocates. The lack of public awareness about human trafficking, together with a lack of understanding about trafficking survivors and the services they need, present major barriers to combating it.

Within the Boston area there have been numerous incidents of international sex and labor trafficking, as well as the sex trafficking of U.S. citizens. Sex trafficking of children is sometimes referred to as CSEC (the commercial sexual exploitation of children).

Survivor stories from the Boston area are diverse: a woman from Southeast Asia trafficked into years of domestic servitude, a young Eastern European woman looking for a better life but forced into sexual exploitation, a child from Latin America sent to the U.S. by her family who ended up being exploited for labor, and an American teenager who fled abuse at home and then relied on her “boyfriend” who prostituted her. Women, men, girls, and boys from a variety of backgrounds are being trafficked for sex and labor in our communities today. Many of these individuals can’t see a way out of their situations, and are afraid to speak up for themselves due to threats, coercion, or violence.

Please join the anti-trafficking movement. Your involvement, voice, and skills can make a difference. Below are three things you can do. These action items all begin with educating yourself. Details are available at

Talk about human trafficking in your communities and ask others to educate themselves
  • Invite a speaker from a local organization to talk to your group
  • Read a book, hold a documentary screening, write a blog or an editorial
  • Use Google alerts to send news about trafficking and slavery to your email
Tell your legislators to take action - Massachusetts is currently one of five states that has failed to pass anti-trafficking legislation
  • Write your legislator
Get involved with a local organization
  • Support, volunteer for, or spread the word about a local organization
  • Donate or fundraise to ensure the work continues
We, the undersigned, pledge to continue to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery in greater Boston and beyond. Please join us.

For a full list of signatories, please click here.

For more specific suggestions from signatory organizations, please click here.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Forced Labor News from December

Throughout the month, there are many cases or stories that break regarding forced labor. They are usually not on the front pages of our newspapers, rather they are buried deep and sometimes are only accessible through the internet. These are some of the stories, both headline articles and those that are not, from December.

A couple in South Florida was sentenced for forcing almost 40 Filipinos to work in country clubs and hotels. The couple pleaded guilty to crimes such as visa fraud. The workers had their passports confiscated and were not allowed to leave their living quarters without an escort. The victims were also deprived of their wages and proper medical care.

A woman from Russia is suing a man she married in California for forcing her and her daughter into slave labor. She met the man through an online dating service. Within weeks of moving to the US, the man and his son began beating the women and forcing them to work seven days a week performing tasks such as moving large rocks on the father's rural property.

Carmakers have until January 31st to make comments on proposed regulations to prevent the use of conflict minerals in the production of vehicles. Some of the mines where minerals such as tin and tungsten are extracted employ slave and child labor.

A journalist from Hong Kong claims that Local Communist Party officials in the Sichuan Province of China are behind an organization that kidnapped people who were homeless or mentally disabled and forced them into slave labor. The investigation suggests that some of the victims were shocked, beaten and forced to live in very poor conditions.

During an INTERPOL operation, 140 victims of child labor were discovered in Gabon. The operation focused on victims exploited in the local markets, but the children were from a total of 10 different countries. More then 44 suspected traffickers were arrested. The children were forced to do various tasks including carrying heavy items and selling goods.

A jury in Brooklyn awarded a Hindu priest $2 million after finding he had been forced to work in a temple in Corona, NY for 7 years. He worked up to 18 hours a day doing everything from ministering to construction work and was only paid $50 a week amounting to merely $21,000 over seven years. His passport was confiscated and was told he would be arrested if he left.

Police in Florida raided two houses and found 27 potential victims of human trafficking. Police believe the victims were forced to work at a buffet restaurant. Though there are not many details at this time, neighbors noticed that there were many people living at the two houses and that white vans would pick up people early in the morning and would not return until very late at night.

The United States Department of Labor added a dozen countries to its list of countries that use forced or child labor. On a positive note, the department suggest that the number of child laborers is decreasing. Some of the more common products on the list include cotton, sugar, diamonds and gold. You can see the full report here.

Two British firms, Cargill Cotton and ICT Cotton, are facing charges of breaking international rules on child labor by sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan, which is well known for its use of child labor during the cotton harvest. The complaint, filed by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, claims the organizations are linked to Uzbekistan through branches in the country's capital and partnerships with state-owned merchants.

More details emerged about the the first case of human trafficking to come to trial in Canada. This article provides more details about the conditions workers endured, who is being charged and the types of evidence the government has against the families involved.

Photo by Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

‘I can’t get my sister back:’ Investigators warn of sex traffickers targeting Natives

By KYLE HOPKINS for The Village

A disproportionate number of women working in the Anchorage sex trade are Alaska Native and pimps and sex traffickers are pursuing Native girls at events like AFN, police warned tribes and villagers today.

“There have been traffickers and pimps who specifically target Native girls because they feel that they’re versatile and they can post them (online) as Hawaiian, as Native, as Asian, as you name it,” said Jolene Goeden, a special agent for the FBI in Anchorage.

Far from home and surrounded by strangers, girls from remote villages are particularly vulnerable to sex-trade recruiters said Goeden and Sgt. Kathy Lacey, supervisor for the Anchorage police vice unit. The investigators delivered a kind of “Prostitution 101” to people from villages across the state at an annual Bureau of Indian Affairs conference, telling community leaders and health workers to be on the lookout for pimps preying on Alaska Native women and girls.

The pair gave a a similar, shorter talk in October in Bethel. For some, the stories were personal.

“We don’t think that this is happening in our in small villages. It happens. It happened to my baby sister,” said a woman from a rural hub city, who said her sister was 14 years old when she disappeared while visiting the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage about four years ago.

Read the full article here.


Native American women experience domestic violence and sexual assault at more than double the rate of other racial groups in the United States. An Amnesty International report in 2007 estimated that Native American women are 2.5 times as likely to experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

Despite this reality, there is a dearth of services for Native American women who experience sexual assault or domestic violence, particularly culturally competent services. Similarly, there are very few services for Native American women and girls who are victims of sex trafficking.

In 2009, the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center released a report on "The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of American Indian Women and Girls in Minnesota," which is one of the best sources of information and data on sex trafficking of Native Americans.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Same Crime, Different Face

Earlier this year, the BBC aired a five part series called “Working Lives” about modern day slavery. I recently caught one part of it on BBC International. This particular part of the series focused on Kenyan women who found themselves enslaved as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.

What struck me about this segment of program was that the focus was not on prostitution or the sex trade. Certainly these women were particularly vulnerable to sexual assault by the men in the households where they were held captive but they had not been trafficked with the intention of being forced into prostitution. Those who take an avid interest in anti human trafficking efforts are aware of just how many guises this crime can be committed under; there are a multitude of variations on the theme, each one murkier than the next and consequently more difficult to identify.

But the general public knows only what the media deigns to highlight and sitting in an editor’s chair, the unfortunate truth is still that sex sells. Your average citizen is already disinclined to spend too much time thinking about human trafficking and the devastating impacts that it can have. But they are more likely to respond viscerally to the story of a 14 year old girl who was forced into prostitution than they are to the story of a middle aged man who has spent his life in indentured servitude. Both crimes are equally abominable and both victims equally deserving of our attention and our empathy.

As a journalist, I’m glad for any article that focuses people’s attention on the severity of the threat that is posed by human trafficking. If that means story after story about all the women and children who are trafficked and forced into the sex industry, then I’d write each one myself if I could.
Whatever it takes to make people aware that their involvement is required to put an end to the trafficking of persons. But the advocate in me is driven by different sensibilities. It’s not enough to talk about human trafficking in the context of sexual exploitation.

The fact is – according to a 2005 study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) – less than half of all the people trafficked annually are involved in the sex trade. Many more of them are trafficked for labor purposes although this does not prevent them from being sexually assaulted or raped as well as overworked and otherwise abused.
When a crime has as many faces, literally and figuratively, as human trafficking then the efforts to combat it must be equally varied.

This crime doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t recognize borders, religion, socio economic realities or cultural differences. It impacts all of us in one way or another whether we realize it or not.
And for as long as there is one man, woman or child – one human being - anywhere in the world that is being trafficked and enslaved, all the rest of humanity is held captive right along with them.

Monday, January 03, 2011

2010 Year in Review

2010 was an exciting year for anti-trafficking work, from the inclusion of the U.S. for the first time in the Trafficking in Persons Report, to the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the TVPA, to the European Union passing a new directive aimed at addressing trafficking. The year also saw a number of high profile cases and challenges. As we look forward to increased action in 2011, here are some of 2010's milestones:

In September, a federal grand jury in Hawaii brought an indictment against the president, three executives, and two labor contractors with Global Horizons "on charges that they imposed forced labor on some 400 Thai farm workers, in what justice officials called the biggest human-trafficking case ever brought by federal authorities," according to the New York Times. The workers were recruited from Thailand, and in 2007 they told reporters for the Seattle Weekly about their situation, which involved exorbitant debts, poor working conditions, little to no pay, threats, and document confiscation as a means to compel them to work. According to the indictment, Global Horizons attempted "to compel the workers’ labor and service through threats to have them arrested, deported or sent back to Thailand, knowing the workers could not pay off their debts if sent home." This case is noteworthy both for the size of the case and number of potential victims, as well as for exposing the ways that workers under the H-2A visa program may be exploited and for the ways that force, fraud, and coercion can operate in labor trafficking situations.

In late December 2010, The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) called for member states to ratify the Trafficking In Persons Protocol, which supplements the UN Convention against Organized Crime. One of the hugely important elements of this protocol is its focus on the rights of the victims and survivors of human trafficking. As much focus and energy goes into preventing the crime from even taking place, we have to deal with the current realities as well.The reality is that people are trafficked. The reality is also that those who escape exploitation are more often than not treated as if they were the criminals rather than the victims. That is unacceptable and it is up to us - as advocates or diplomats or simply empathetic individuals - to ensure that the correct infrastructure and systems are in place to aid the physical, psychological and emotional recoveries of those who survive being trafficked.

Elise: The United States was included in the tier rankings for the first time since the State Department began releasing the annual Trafficking In Persons Report. Previously, the TIP Report relied exclusively on data provided by the DOJ's report to Congress when adding information about the US's anti-trafficking effort. This year, however, Secretary Clinton stated that, "“We have to ensure that our policies live up to our ideals, and that is why we have for the first time included the United States.” The US gave itself a Tier 1 ranking, the highest out of the four rankings a country may receive. The country report mentions that the standardization of data collection in the US has yet to develop, which is why, still to this day, we do not have an accurate representation of what trafficking looks like in the US. What will also be more helpful to understanding trafficking is data collection that reflects the nuances of cases that involve both sex and labor trafficking. Forty-two states have enacted specific anti-trafficking statutes using varying definitions and a range of penalties. Such statutes are only gradually coming into use; during the reporting period, two states obtained their first convictions under anti-trafficking statutes passed in 2003 and 2007. The report also mentions the disparities between states on public benefits that are available to survivors. While there has been a 210 percent increase in certifications of foreign victims over the past five years, there has been no corresponding increase in funding for services. The report goes into further detail about the complications and burden the funding delivery structure also places on service providers; a problem that most directly affects survivors.The report also made a lengthy list of general recommendations that the US should engage in order to improve its response: improve data collection, increase law enforcement training, increase funding to service providers, improve cooperation among stakeholders, make immigrant and migrant workers more aware of their rights.

In October, the U.S. celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The TVPA and its subsequent re-authorizations are the main federal legislation addressing human trafficking in the US. The law aims to be comprehensive and address "prevention, protection, and prosecution," and is responsible for everything from authorizing the T visa for trafficking victims to making human trafficking a federal crime. A DOJ report on states "The Tenth Anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) gives us occasion to reflect upon the remarkable strides our nation has made in combating human trafficking in the decade since the TVPA’s landmark provisions took effect on October 28, 2000. The enactment of the TVPA sparked a decade of progress toward eradicating modern-day slavery, a national endeavor that traces back to the Thirteenth Amendment’s command. . . Over the last ten years, we have recognized more than ever before that the fight to deliver on the promise of freedom can only be won through broad-based, collaborative efforts to address all dimensions of human trafficking. Among all the advances since passage of the TVPA, perhaps the most notable is the evolution of the strong partnerships between federal, state, local, and international law enforcement, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who assist victims of human trafficking and advocate to bring an end to modern-day slavery." The act was most recently re-authorized in 2008, and will be up for re-authorization in 2011, making this an important time for anti-trafficking advocates in the US to not only reflect but to also look forward.

The human trafficking landscape in the European Union took a step towards abolition on December 14, 2010 with the European Union’s passing of a new anti-human trafficking directive. Member states, excluding Denmark and the UK, will have two years to adopt and implement the new directive, which replaces the current 2002 Framework Decision on combating human trafficking. Tougher penalties for traffickers include a minimum five year sentence, rising to ten years if child exploitation, threat to life, and/or organized crime are involved. The harsher penalties and improved victim assistance measures were outlined as key measures of the directive however a proactive stance is also being developed. Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur Anna Hedh (S&D, Sweden) said, "We also have to work on the roots of human trafficking, such as the demand for services. The human body is not a commodity that can be used and sold for money.” The EU is adopting a multi-pronged strategy to address human trafficking, with a proactive focus on identifying the root cause of the problem. The shift from a reactive to proactive stance is crucial if we are to change the systemic inequalities helping perpetuate the cycle of abuse. The global community’s recognition of the severity of the problem through legislative mandates is a key aspect in the fight to move beyond a culture of ignorance to a culture of action. The new legislation is complemented by the recent launch of the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Website. With each passage of anti-human trafficking legislation we spring forth from the silence and stop the complicity inherent in avoidance of the issue.

Although the California law SB 657 is directed toward U.S. companies, the bill will undoubtedly have international effects through the thousands of businesses with global supply chains, which will now be required to disclose measures they are taking to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from those supply chains. As Governor Schwarzenegger stated during the signing event, "This legislation will increase transparency, allow consumers to make better, more informed choices and motivate businesses to ensure humane practices throughout the supply chain." Representative Carolyn Maloney is considering introducing a similar bill on the federal level. While consumers do have the power to demand accountability through purchasing power, these laws can help ensure we have the information we need to make those decisions. I am certain 2011 will see more of these types of bills progress and hopefully have the desired effect of preventing some forms of trafficking.