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Trafficked Youth and Women Spotlight in World Youth Foundation Conference

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Beneath the casinos of Las Vegas, in warehouse trucks, and abandoned storage houses, the cries of trafficked American and immigrant women are silenced by walls and outside noise, reports a survivor.

 

Fleeing her sadist husband, the American woman was homeless until a female pimp offered her a job in a dating-only service. She was later subject to being showcased for sex, raped, beaten, and sold to a wealthy man over the course of five years. She freed herself after running away from her owner, seeking shelter in churches and reaching out to an online advocate, who advised her to move out of state.

 

Some 27 million women and children in the world are trafficked today, according to the US Department of State's "2013 Trafficking in Persons Report." “Severe” trafficking is the “force, fraud, or coercion” of a person under 18 years old for commercial sex. Trafficking is also defined as forced labor or servitude against an individual’s will in environments including factories or domestic services.

 

One organization to address the issue is the World Youth Foundation.  It will hold an International Conference on Trafficking of Young Women and Children for five days, September 3 –7, in Melaka, Malaysia. Young adults aged 18-30 are invited “to discuss, understand, share, find solutions and develop strategies” in collaboration with the UN’s Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP).

   

Lectures, workshops, and case studies will be featured at the event, as well as speakers from the NGO’s, the UNAIP and the Royal Malaysian Police Force. Topics range from “Economics of Human Trafficking,” “Mental Health Assistance of Human Trafficking Victims,” to “The Link between Pornography and Sex Trafficking.”

 

Young adults from institutions of higher learning, mental health officials, law enforcement officials and scholars are encouraged to apply as a Youth Representative by August 15. Applicants wishing to participate must be proficient in English, able to present and able to contribute resources to the community. Observers who do not wish to be a representative are also encouraged to apply, but must pay the registration fee in full.

 

Registration fees range from $500-$550 for Malaysian locals, and $80-$250 for international visitors depending on country of origin. Room, two daily meals and transportation to activities are covered in the fees. Airfare is not included. More information can be found here. A tentative itinerary can also be found here.

 

If you would like to register for the event, click here.

 

Trafficking Statistics

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery in which persons are scouted, tricked into joining, and then exploited, as defined by the UN

 

According to a 2012 report by the UN, 58 percent of trafficking is for marketable sex, while 37 percent is for forced labor. Sex trafficking is more common in Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, while forced labor trafficking is more common in Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia, as well as the Pacific.

 

Victims of 137 nationalities were found in 118, or over half, of the countries in the world, from 2007 to 2010. Women make up 55-60 percent of the trafficked population, while children make up 27 percent—of which two girls and one boy make up every three victims.

 

Trafficking also occurs within many trades. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reports that persons are sold for their organs, for begging, forced marriages and illegal adoption. In 2010, 1.5 percent persons were used for begging.

 

 

How You Can Help

 

Learn more about trafficking of persons in U.S. Department of State’s “2013 Trafficking in Persons” report here and the UN’s “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012” here

 

Raise awareness with these non-profits and government organizations:

 

Report or get help at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at (888) 373-7888, of the Polaris Project Non-Project. Specialists are available 24/7 to recieve calls from both victims and persons reporting suspicious activity. You can also submit a tip online here.

 

Watch the 30-minute documentary "Not My Life" on global human trafficking, by Worldwide Documentaries. It reveals children who are forced into labor, child soldiering and sex tourism in America and abroad.

 

The film was adapted from the full-length feature film for the US Fund for UNICEF's End Trafficking campaign. If you are interested in screening the film, email endtrafficking@unicefusa.org, or learn more about the campaign at unicefusa.org/endtrafficking.