Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prostitution: Legal or Illegal?

Source: National Geographics

This short documentary looks into the American Escort Services... selling sex.  These services work by offering "the real girlfriend experience" and according to the solicitors, whatever happens beyond that point is extra. However, it is implied that sex is included.  This is how services like these curb their way around the "prostitution" label.  From this video you can see that some women who sell themselves find the idea of "the real girlfriend experience" favorable.  You can also see that there is a negative mental challenge that comes along with a woman selling herself for sex. This documentary also shows the horrors of how sex slavery is tied into these escort services.  I wanted to keep the writing for this post to a minimum and really encourage you to watch this short documentary!  Trust me, it will be time not wasted.

After you watch, please comment and let us know...

Do you think prostitution should be legalized? Why?
Is it legal in your country?

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Friday, December 28, 2012

From Study Abroad to Slavery

"I was watching many TV shows about human trafficking, and could never believe that could happen to me." 

As the Christmas season slows down, and thoughts of celebrating the New Year arise, we may find ourselves consumed in thoughts of gifts, family, friends and fun times.  However, it is not like this for all people.  This video shares the story of "Katia," who planned on venturing to America from Russia with a study abroad program.  This wonderful idea of studying in America came to a quick turn when she arrived to the Virginia airport and was told that "plans had changed," and was forced into the sex trade. 
"They used systematic terror to train the girls not to escape. " 
- Attorney, Bridgette Carr

Imagine the thought of an exciting experience of culture and education in a new country, turned into terror of forced sex slavery and terror?
Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Below are some questions I pulled from the video, which are questions we all ask ourselves of this trade.

  1. What if you said no(to your pimp raping you)? The pimp would still force her to do it anyways.
  2. Your mom was back in Russia? There were threats on her life as well
  3. You weren't locked inside the home, why didn't you just leave?  We were really scared, they were physically abusing us and told us stories of what they did to other girls,they bombed their cars.

Thank goodness Katia was able to run away and escape.  This is only one of many stories.  How many more people are tricked into coming abroad?  What is our government doing to help prevent this? What can we do to help prevent this?

I want to hear your opinion!
Source: NBC News

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Typhoons Bring Philippines to Expand Anti-Human Trafficking Laws

“Remember that traffickers target the most vulnerable sectors of society and this is the injustice that we must act against."
-Legarda, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee

Just yesterday, the Philippines expanded their laws on anti-human trafficking [
REPUBLIC ACT Number 9208].  This includes amendments to the anti-human trafficking bill to address high-risk victims, ensuring added protection for all trafficked victims.  The affects of typhoons have led to an increased vulnerability of women and children in these areas.  This has lead to an increase in human trafficking. The law also provides a list of acts that promote human trafficking.  The bill, just passed by Congress yesterday is currently awaiting the signature of President Benigno Aquino III.  

“We have seen the need to strengthen the existing law, and we have acted swiftly on it. But human trafficking, and the related problems of the illegal sex trade, forced labor and other forms of slavery, is a complex web. Battling it requires concerted effort from all sectors of society.  We also look forward to the immediate enactment of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.” Legarda said in a statement issued on Friday.

Enactment of Standard Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, promoted by Sen.. Loren Legarda; PNP Chief Purisima, given the 4th Star Rank [December 23, 2012]

"It is important to realise that the changing climate will have its worst effects on the poorest of the poor, and nowhere is this clearer than in these reports of human traffickers prowling Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental," said Legarda, who also is chair of the Senate committee on climate change. 
"Men, women and children from marginalised and devastated communities are at high risk, and we must do everything in our power to stop these illegal operations once and for all," she added.
Legarda said the problem of human trafficking would only become more pronounced as Filipinos are left vulnerable as a result of disasters.
"We are now seeing the intersecting forces of natural hazards and human greed, and how they threaten those who are already marginalised. This is an issue of utmost importance,"

- Asia One

"More than the horizontal values, we need to inform them that there is going to be a better way of surviving."
-Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman

Sources: InquirerAsia OneLaw Phil

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CNN: Freedom Project

"CNN is joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting success stories and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life."
-CNN Freedom Project

Now days what, is the first thing you think of when it comes to slavery? What order of prominence do the different forms of slavery come into your recollection? Human trafficking? Sex slavery? Labor Trafficking? Do you ever think about forced begging?  Depending on what part of the world you live in, you may not have realized begging could be a form of slavery!

The CNN Freedom Project aims to fight against modern day slavery.  Unlike most organizations, this project looks into multiple forms of modern day slavery around the world.  Since they cover so much, I thought I would share a bit with you through this blog and strongly encourage you to visit their site, and learn about the many different forms of trafficking.  I hope thereafter, you can see the realities of trafficking and be inspired to take a stand.The traffickers have found many "creative" ways to capture and bring misery to people who deserve human dignity and the freedom to live, just as we do. It is up to us to use our creativity to find a way to help bring an end to problems like modern day slavery. 

The CNN Freedom Project includes:
Operation Hope 
Stand in the Sinai
Slavery in Mauritania
Chocolate's Child Slaves
Life in slavery
Domestic Servitude

Chocolate's Child Slaves |  This video touches upon child slavery in the chocolate trade.  Question for you as you watch: 
Where does your chocolate come from?
What are you telling companies through your purchase?
What child are you allowing to be hurt with your purchase?

 Operation HopeBelow is a photo of  Okkhoy, a 7 year old boy who was attacked by four men, bound, then hit over the head cracking his skull.  They also slashed his throat and sliced this chest, as shown. Yet this boy is alive today! 
Read and watch his FULL STORY & VIDEO HERE!

Visit the CNN Freedom Project by clicking their URL below!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sex Trafficking in America: Melissa Woodward's Story

It's that time of the year again - most of us spend our time worrying about what to get our friends and families and where to buy the nicest turkey. But some people are not so lucky, so it is a good idea to take the time out to do something nice and charitable for those less fortunate. It can often be difficult to understand the pain and humiliation felt by victims of sex trafficking, and this is why we bring you a documentary about the emotional journey of a sex slavery survivor. 

The story of Melissa Woodward is truly terrifying and describes the destructive effect on survivors' psyches. She talks about escaping the world of sex trafficking and how it dehumanised her. This very powerful story is truly eye-opening - take the time out to listen and learn. 

The video was produced by her organisation called For The Sake of One - a valuable source of information and justice. You can visit their website for more information, but let us share their wisdom on the most common misconceptions of sex trafficking.

Myth #1: This does not happen in America.
Reality: An estimated 300,000 children are sold in the United States every year and America is one of the top three destination points for victims.

Myth #2: These children are prostitutes & criminals. 
Reality: First of all these victims are our children and as such they have not the wherewithal to make such a choice. The truth is these children are often won over through false love, warmth, gifts and/or promises of a better life. However, once the trafficker has earned their trust they are often beaten, burned, raped, confined, provided forced drug injections, starved and then forced to perform thousands of sexual acts per year. 

Myth# 3: This only happens to girls. 
Reality: No, in fact boys are very much at risk. The average age for a boy to be sold in the U.S. is 11 years old.

Myth#4: Victims will immediately ask for help and identify themselves. 
Reality: In most cases, the opposite is true. Due to an extreme lack of trust, self-blame, shame, fear of arrest, threats of harm to family and/or other training methods by the traffickers these children may not immediately ask for help.

Myth #5: Sufficient help is available for these children. 
Realty: The stark reality is there is an extreme lack of services available for these children. Each and every report, study or analysis denotes the issue as almost epidemic and each sites a tremendous lack of available help.

Myth #6: Sex or Human Trafficking is a crime that must involve some form of movement across state or national borders. 
Reality: Although transportation may be involved in the crime, and although the word connotes movement, Human Trafficking does not require a person to be transported. Trafficking is a “compelled service” where an individual’s will is overborne through force, fraud, or coercion.

Myth #7 : Human trafficking is the same as human smuggling. 
Reality: Smuggling requires illegal border crossing, human trafficking involves a commercial sex act or labor or services that are induced through force, fraud, or coercion. Moreover, smuggling is a crime against a country’s borders, whereas human trafficking is a crime against a person.

Myth #8: Trafficking victims always come from situations of poverty. 
Reality: Poverty is certainly highly correlated with trafficking because it often provides an environment of vulnerability. However, it alone is not a single causal factor or universal indicator of a human trafficking victim. Trafficking victims can come from a range of all income levels and many may come from families with a high socioeconomic status.

Myth #9: Sex Trafficking only occurs in illegal underground settings. 
Reality: Sex Trafficking occurs whenever by means of force, fraud, or coercion a person is induced to perform commercial sex acts. The crime occurs in legal business settings such as strip clubs and massage parlors. It occurs on the streets and in neighborhoods as well as in the underground markets.

Myth #10: If the victim provided initial consent about the sex act, then it can not be sex trafficking or considered against their will because they “knew better.”
Reality: Consent is not relevant to the crime. A minor receiving consideration or providing consent is not a plausible defense or explanation to this crime.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Day for Celebration!

What | Local Outreach
Host | Amnesty International
Where |  New York, United States
Event | Human Rights Celebration Day

Written by: Christine, BASI Co-founder

Just today, member Dave (above, purple shirt right) and  myself (above, purple shirt left) participated in our college's Celebration of Human Rights Day, held by the organization, Amnesty International.  For this event, I created a tri-fold poster with the center dedicated to BASI's mission, model and outreach and the sides dedicated to facts on human trafficking.  We also had handouts with information on human trafficking, and face paint to write "I Am Abigail" on students!  

Not only did we raised awareness on human trafficking, but we represented our blogger community while collecting votes for the $2 million dollar competition that More Than Me's "I Am Abigail" Campaign has entered (see more below). 

I hope this post inspires you to take your blogging to the next level and make it more than just you.  Remember, behind almost every blogger is a soul that has a passion to connect with others. If this is you, I hope you can take your blogging to the next level, and join us to help bring the world at least one step closer to the end of social injustices(whether you that be in a stilleto or dunks). 

Blog to motivate.
Reach out to raise awareness.
Raise funds to help enforce.
Bring about change.

With love,


“Who the heck is Abigail?”

Written by: Gabriella, Advocate Member

Abigail was an orphan in West Point, Liberia. You may have read her letter in a previous article here on the Huffington Post. At six, she was left with prostitutes. She learned to work the streets in order to get access to drinking water and food. Education was not an option.

Then Abigail met Katie Meyler, the founder of More Than Me, an organization dedicated to getting girls off the streets and into schools. Katie and Abigail became fast friends, and More Than Me has raised the money to put Abigail through school. She is learning to bake, and aspires to one day be a Senator, so she can, in turn, help other girls like her.

Abigail could be you. Abigail could be your sister, your niece, your student, or your neighbor. Remember, we live in a global community; there is no “me” without “we”, Abigail is because you are, and you are because Abigail is.

5 Charities. $2 Million.

Chase Bank is giving away $2 Million to split between 5 amazing charities, and the More Than Me foundation is one of the 25 running to win! But this prize is based on online Facebook voting...

How YOU can help win $2 Million!

Take 15 seconds (yes, just 15 seconds) to make the lives of these girls a bit better by doing two very simple and extremely meaningful things:
  1. VOTE NOW through Dec. 4 for Abigail and girls like her at
  2. Share it with others
  3. Make your OWN “I am Abigail” picture!

Thank you!
Be sure to follow us on Facebook HERE!