Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I hope you can join us for our last online conference of the academic year THIS WEDNESDAY, May 25 from 2:00-4:00 pm EST. The focus of this online conference is Best Practices to Combat Human Trafficking in the United States. And no travel is necessary to participate! In order to be in the online audience, just click on the registration link below (and you must register prior to the online conference in order to participate).
A detailed invitation is included in this email. If you know of other colleagues and friends who might like to participate, please forward on to any who might be interested. Do let me know if you have any questions on how the online conference works or how to register.
Thank you in advance for being a part of our online audience!
All my very best,
Christina A. Bain
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
In Oakland, Redefining Sex Trade Workers as Abuse Victims
Published: May 23, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. — Dr. Kimberly Chang, a physician at a community clinic in Chinatown, will never forget the first young girl she suspected had been sold for sex.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Kalea, a 15-year-old Cambodian-American girl who grew up in Oakland, kept coming in to be examined for sexually transmitted diseases, the beginning of a grim cycle of diagnosis and treatment. “I started asking, ‘Are you having sex with new people?’ ” Dr. Chang, 37, recalled. “It was always, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ Eventually she confided that she was worried about ‘a friend.’ That’s when I asked, ‘Are you trading sex for money?’ ”
Emerging from a long, dark tunnel, Kalea slowly began to spill her stories. How her father beat her. The childhood rape. The out-of-control john who tied her up in a motel bathtub and filled it with scalding water.
Seven years and hundreds of patients later, Dr. Chang’s clinic, Asian Health Services, is in the vanguard of a new public health approach to treating American-born minors lured into the sex trade, a problem enforcement officials and child advocates say has exploded with the Internet.
Once viewed as criminals and dispatched to juvenile centers, where treatment was rare, sexually exploited youths are increasingly seen as victims of child abuse, with a new focus on early intervention and counseling. There is growing recognition that doctors can be first responders, intervening before long years of exploitation and abuse can take an even greater toll.
In Oakland, a handful of organizations that grew out of Asian Health Services have developed new programs for Southeast Asian minors that “take into account the complex culture of foreign-born parents and their American-born children,” said Dr. Sharon Cooper, a forensic pediatrician and child abuse expert at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 American-born children are sold for sex each year. The escalating numbers have prompted national initiatives by the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies, and new or pending legislation in more than a dozen states, most recently Georgia, which enacted a toughened human trafficking law this month.
The Oakland health clinic is confronting an underground within an underground — the demand for Asian-American girls, with Cambodian-Americans among the most vulnerable. Many immigrant Cambodian parents struggle with poverty compounded by the experience of genocide and its traumatic aftermath, depression. The emotional fallout is ricocheting through generations.
“Oakland is an open-air sex market for young children,” said Sharmin Bock, assistant in charge of special operations for the district attorney’s office in Alameda County, where Oakland is.
The abusers may be pimps, even brothers, who recruit or kidnap girls from the streets and market them online through sites, where they are featured in pulsating ads for massage parlors, escort services, strip clubs, even acupuncturists.
“Asian women are exoticized in our culture,” said Elizabeth Sy, the co-founder of a program for at-risk girls called Banteay Srei that grew out of Dr. Chang’s clinic. “Many Southeast Asian girls come from new refugee populations. Recruiters target these girls because they know they are struggling with issues of cultural identity.”
Girls from many Southeast Asian families chase “an Americanized idea of love,” Ms. Sy said, growing up in emotionally distant households in which, she said, “parents never ask ‘How was school today?’ or say ‘I love you.’ ”
They fall prey to abusers who are highly motivated: the Polaris Project, a national advocacy organization, estimates that a stable of four girls earns over $600,000 a year in tax-free income for the pimp. Drug dealers here are increasingly switching to prostitution, inspired by the bottom line and fewer risks.
“The person dealing drugs has a finite amount of product to sell,” said Jason Skrdlant, an officer with the Oakland Police Department’s vice and child exploitation unit. “But a girl is reusable.”
Over time, Dr. Chang and her colleagues became aware of a disturbing pattern: young patients coming in regularly would bring their friends to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases. To provide social support, Banteay Srei was started to provide peer counseling, classes in women’s health and exchanges with elders to strengthen cultural bonds, including cooking classes.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Following on yesterday's post (which showed up on the blog as a few days ago, for some strange reason) about one immigration attorney's representation of a victim of trafficking...
To inform others about the abuse that trafficking victims suffer, Immigration attorney Brandmiller forwarded this translated account from her client:
I was nineteen years old when US immigration officials discovered me in the trunk of a car at a random immigration stop in Hidalgo, Texas. And I thank God that they found me because if they had not rescued me, I am sure that I would be dead by now. I had suffered for three long months at the hands of brutal men and women who used me for sex and tortured me for fun.
Three months before, at a train station in Mexico, a woman had approached me and said she could make arrangements for me to get a job in the US, so I went with her. After a few weeks, three men came to the house, and I heard the woman say, “I have one for you,” and I saw them give her money for me. I tried to ask who they were and where they were taking me but they hit me and told me to just shut up and do what I was told.
They drove me to a house out in the country with nothing else around. They took all my identification documents from me, and they locked me in a room. For the next three months, I was repeatedly sold for sex, beaten, threatened, drugged and starved.
One night several of the men took me outside to a car and locked me in the trunk. I was scared and it was difficult to breath. I was in that trunk until the next day driving to Hidalgo. Immigration officials stopped the car in the US, and finally, someone found me in the trunk.
They could see I was hurt, bruised and with bite marks all over my body, but they took me to immigration detention. After I had been detained for nearly six months, Sophia, another inmate in Pearsall, called the Catholic Charities Immigration Department in San Antonio. Linda, the Director of Immigration, came to see me.
That was two years ago. Last month, Linda called me with the news that the government recognized that I was a trafficking victim. I was so relieved and we both cried. Now, I want to be a voice for other trafficking victims who do not understand this system, who do not find Linda or someone like her who will fight for them, especially when the experts turn them down and do not believe they meet the requirements to be considered a trafficking victim. There are many, many victims like me out there, and they all need help.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Newsletter – LegalFront – State Bar of Texas Newsletter (March 25, 2011)
Last month, after two years of legal struggle, Catholic Charities attorney Linda Brandmiller finally won protection for her client as a victim of human trafficking. “For two years, this case has highlighted the failures in the T-visa system. Now, I use this case as a powerful example of how a victim can overcome all of the governmental hurdles if people are willing to fight hard enough,” Brandmiller said. One of those governmental hurdles was an initial denial of the client’s trafficking victim certification: Although the captors had sexually abused the client and smuggled her in a locked trunk, authorities denied her certification because she had previously wanted to come to the US. The denial due to ‘consent’ infuriated Brandmiller. “That is like telling a woman suffering domestic violence that she is not a victim because she ‘wanted’ to get married!” she said. Brandmiller hopes her client’s case will help improve protections for human trafficking victims. “There is a huge disconnect between the intent of the T-visa program and its implementation: To combat a billion dollar trafficking industry, the US granted only 1,200 T-visas in the past ten years.”
Here’s a video of Dawn Conway at Lexis Nexis – she gives a brief talk about the basics of human trafficking and then goes on to discuss a corporate initiative they are heading up.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
This blog offers a space to discuss the law as it relates to human trafficking and surrounding practices. People sometimes ask whether I find my job depressing, whether it's too sad to work with people who have been exploited and victimized. I tell them that while it can be difficult to hear people's stories of untold trauma, it is empowering to know that I can help them move forward with their lives. I am posting Kristof's latest article today not because it relates directly to human trafficking, but because I have represented women who have fled an impending "cutting" who have sought asylum in the U.S. Several students of mine have argued convincingly that human trafficking should be a potential ground for asylum as well. I would love to hear your thoughts on this article, or on anything related to the practice of female cutting...or anything at all! Thanks for reading!
A Rite of Torture for Girls
Damon Winter/The New York Times
People usually torture those whom they fear or despise. But one of the most common forms of torture in the modern world, incomparably more widespread than waterboarding or electric shocks, is inflicted by mothers on daughters they love.
It’s female genital mutilation — sometimes called female circumcision — and it is prevalent across a broad swath of Africa and chunks of Asia as well. Mothers take their daughters at about age 10 to cutters like Maryan Hirsi Ibrahim, a middle-aged Somali woman who says she wields her razor blade on up to a dozen girls a day.
“This tradition is for keeping our girls chaste, for lowering the sex drive of our daughters,” Ms. Ibrahim told me. “This is our culture.”
Ms. Ibrahim prefers the most extreme form of genital mutilation, called infibulation or Pharaonic circumcision. And let’s not be dainty or euphemistic. This is a grotesque human rights abuse that doesn’t get much attention because it involves private parts and is awkward to talk about. So pardon the bluntness about what infibulation entails.
The girls’ genitals are carved out, including the clitoris and labia, often with no anesthetic. What’s left of the flesh is sewn together with three to six stitches — wild thorns in rural areas, or needle and thread in the cities. The cutter leaves a tiny opening to permit urination and menstruation. Then the girls’ legs are tied together, and she is kept immobile for 10 days until the flesh fuses together.
When the girl is married and ready for sex, she must be cut open by her husband or by a respected woman in the community.
All this is, of course, excruciating. It also leads to infections and urinary difficulties, and scar tissue can make childbirth more dangerous, increasing maternal mortality and injuries such as fistulas.
This is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses worldwide, with three million girls mutilated each year in Africa alone, according to United Nations estimates. A hospital here in Somaliland found that 96 percent of women it surveyed had undergone infibulation. The challenge is that this is a form of oppression that women themselves embrace and perpetuate.
“A young girl herself will want to be cut,” Ms. Ibrahim told me, vigorously defending the practice. “If a girl is not cut, it would be hard for her to live in the community. She would be stigmatized.”
Kalthoun Hassan, a young mother in an Ethiopian village near Somaliland, told me that she would insist on her daughters being cut and her sons marrying only girls who had been. She added: “It is God’s will for girls to be circumcised.”
For four decades, Westerners have campaigned against genital cutting, without much effect. Indeed, the Western term “female genital mutilation” has antagonized some African women because it assumes that they have been “mutilated.” Aid groups are now moving to add the more neutral term “female genital cutting” to their lexicon.
Is it cultural imperialism for Westerners to oppose genital mutilation? Yes, perhaps, but it’s also justified. Some cultural practices such as genital mutilation — or foot-binding or bride-burning — are too brutish to defer to.
But it is clear that the most effective efforts against genital mutilation are grass-roots initiatives by local women working for change from within a culture. In Senegal, Ghana, Egypt and other countries, such efforts have made headway.
Here among Somalis, reformers are trying a new tack: Instead of telling women to stop cutting their daughters altogether, they encourage them to turn to a milder form of genital mutilation (often involving just excision of part or all of the clitoris). They say that that would be a step forward and is much easier to achieve.
Although some Christians cut their daughters, it is more common among Muslims, who often assume that the tradition is Islamic. So a crucial step has been to get a growing number of Muslim leaders to denounce the practice as contrary to Islam, for their voices carry particular weight.
At one mosque in the remote town of Baligubadle, I met an imam named Abdelahi Adan, who bluntly denounces infibulation: “From a religious point of view, it is forbidden. It is against Islam.”
Maybe the tide is beginning to turn, ever so slowly, against infibulation, and at least we’re seeing some embarrassment about the practice. In Baligubadle, a traditional cutter named Mariam Ahmed told me that she had stopped cutting girls — apparently because she knows that foreigners disapprove. Then a nurse in the local health clinic told me that she had treated Ms. Ahmed’s own daughter recently for a horrific pelvic infection and urinary blockage after the girl was infibulated by her mother.
I confronted Ms. Ahmed. She grudgingly acknowledged cutting her daughter but quickly added that she had intended only a milder form of circumcision. She added quickly: “It was an accident.”
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Because of the relationship between immigration and the population of trafficked persons, it is important to understand the current immigration debate. To that end, here is one opinion on the current state of affairs related to immigration reform.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
"the monolithic conception of human trafficking is problematic and I suggest that trafficking occurs as a result of women’s willingness to immigrate –for work, for a better life etc."
Her point is well taken. I wanted to direct her and fellow readers to the work and perspectives of Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against the Trafficking in Women (CATW). Ms. Ramos does not believe in the concept of "sex work" and shares the reasons behind her opinions in speeches and papers available on the CATW website.
Check out this interesting international organization:
Monday, May 9, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Scholar Who Studies Sex Trafficking Wins National Journalism Award
By Lauren Sieben
Carrie N. Baker had only recently broken into magazine journalism when she received a national award for her reporting on sex trafficking.
Ms. Baker, an associate professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Berry College, in Georgia, became the first honoree of the Jane Velez-Mitchell Journalism Award this year. The award—named for the host of the talk show Issues on the HLN network—honors a journalist who brings attention to the issue of violence against women and girls.
Michelle Bart, public-awareness chair for the Northwest Region of Soroptimist International, one of the award's sponsors, solicited Ms. Baker's application after reading an article the professor wrote for Ms. magazine about legislation to protect victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Baker submitted her application materials, which included a personal essay and a few pages of basic paperwork, but she didn't elaborate much on her academic background.
"To gain more perspective on who this woman was, the committee Googled her," says Ms. Bart. "When we got reading on Dr. Baker, it was like, 'Oh my goodness, look at all this.'"
Ms. Baker, 46, received her bachelor's degree in philosophy from Yale University in 1987 and earned both a law degree and a Ph.D. in women's studies from Emory University before joining Berry in 2002.
She has written for scholarly journals about women's studies in the rural South and issues of race, class, and sexual harassment. Her book, The Women's Movement Against Sexual Harassment (Cambridge University Press, 2008), documents the grass-roots movement of the 70s and 80s that helped create public policy on sexual harassment.
Despite her prolific background in academe, Ms. Baker was a stranger to journalism until she attended a workshop for scholars through Ms. last summer. She thought of the workshop as an opportunity to bring her scholarly research to a wider audience. Just a few months earlier, she had attained tenure at Berry, so it seemed like a good time to branch out with her writing.
"Academics obviously write like academics," she says. "Journalism is very, very different. As an academic, you get so in your rut of writing 50-word sentences. I think it was really good for me as a scholar to kind of say, Let's bring this to a level where it can be popularly consumed."
In her Ms. article, "Jailing Girls for Men's Crimes," Ms. Baker examines how several states have worked toward establishing safe-harbor laws that protect underage girls and victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted for prostitution.
In the article, she explains that sex trafficking "tends to conjure images of girls in Southeast Asian brothels or women from former Soviet-bloc states," but that in 2010 the U.S. Department of State included for the first time a country narrative about the United States in its annual "Trafficking in Persons Report." The document cited cases in this country involving compelled labor, debt bondage, and forced prostitution, among others.
The five-person committee that selected Ms. Baker for her honor included Ms. Velez-Mitchell, who is known primarily for her TV commentary on high-profile crimes and court cases and for speaking out against what she calls "the war on women." Next year Ms. Baker will also serve on the selection committee.
Ms. Baker accepted the award from the television host in Portland, Ore., in January. The media exposure has led to other opportunities, including a TV appearance on Issues with Ms. Velez-Mitchell. The professor continues to contribute to Ms. as a blogger—the scholars who attended the Ms. workshop were invited to blog for the magazine's Web site—and she's also started to use Ms. as a teaching tool in her own women's studies classrooms.
"I think of the classroom as a place for activism and social change," she says. "I want my academic work to be relevant to the broader world. I want to make my students engaged citizens. I'm not trying to tell them what to think, but I'm trying to communicate to them the importance of engaging in the world around them."
Ms. Baker hopes to write more articles for Ms. this summer, when her academic workload is a little lighter. She will move to a new position beginning this fall as an assistant professor of women and gender studies at Smith College, where she plans to continue to do research on sex trafficking.
"For my students to be able to go to my blog or have them read my article ... I really feel like that informs my teaching and my scholarship," she says. Reaching not just scholars but activists and other women through Ms. "makes the rubber hit the road. It brings it to the real world, and then I can come back into the scholarly world and use that experience."
Monday, May 2, 2011
Standing Up for Guest Workers
Published: May 1, 2011
Slavery and human trafficking are alive and well in the United States, according to lawsuits filed by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of farm laborers in Hawaii and Washington State and shipyard workers on the Gulf Coast.
The suits allege that labor recruiters and employers lured, trapped and abused foreign workers hired through federal guest-worker programs. The government charges that more than 500 Indian men hired by Signal International of Alabama for rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina were confined in squalid camps, illegally charged for lodging and food, and subject to discrimination and abuse. When they complained, the suit says, Signal agents tried to intimidate workers’ families in India. Two lawsuits filed in Hawaii and Washington against other employers make similar charges about 200 men brought from Thailand.
The United States urgently needs to strengthen protections for guest workers who are lied to by recruiters and tied to employers with too much power to exploit them. Today’s shackles are the threats of deportation and financial ruin. They might as well be iron.
A recent agreement by the federal Labor and Homeland Security Departments to work together on immigration and labor enforcement at work sites is encouraging, though there are serious concerns about Homeland Security’s past behavior. Sworn testimony in a separate civil lawsuit against Signal International charged that rather than protecting the Indian workers, immigration officials coached the company on how to silence and deport them.Workers in the new lawsuits may win some money and be eligible for special visas for trafficking victims. But they are only a handful of workers — both documented and undocumented — stranded in a system that accepts their labor but fails to prevent their exploitation.
(This is an excerpt from this Administrator’s Corner newsletter produced by the ALSO STAAR Project with funding from the Office on Violence Against Women, US Dept of Justice)
Special Topics on Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking:
Meeting the Challenge with STOP Funding
Robin H. Thompson, JD, MA
Human trafficking is an area where STOP funds can assist law enforcement, prosecution, the courts and victim services with their responsibilities under the Violence Against Women Act. Rape and other forms of sexual violence are tools used by traffickers to control victims. This article will feature a series of “True or False” questions regarding human trafficking and sexual violence to further describe and outline how victims of human trafficking are routinely subjected to sexual violence. It will also offer policy and program responses as to how the STOP Grant Program can assist these survivors and hold traffickers accountable under the law.
In his introductory letter to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report (2010 TIP Report), Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, who directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, noted the drastic increases in women who are trafficked for labor calling it “the feminization of labor trafficking,” and says that:
…like their brothers, husbands, and sons, women are trapped in fields, factories, mines, and restaurants, often suffering the dual demons of forced labor and sexual assault. As we more fully understand the plight of women who are victims of labor trafficking, we continue to see the devastating effects of sex trafficking, where services for survivors are as rare as programs that address the demand for their victimization.
Policy and Program Responses:
- Victim services programs, including counselors and clinicians, therapists and advocates, must be trained to be able to recognize and respond to human trafficking. Centers report that the victimization and trauma suffered by someone who is forced by a trafficker into prostitution is very different from that suffered by another who is date raped and still another who is raped by a stranger. All of these violations are severe and horrific and staff should be trained and familiar with how to counsel and advocate for these victims. An association with a local anti-trafficking task force or coalition will undoubtedly bring local service providers in contact with local training events. It is also a good idea to ask the state coalition to provide a training specific to human trafficking for all programs in their state. Rape crisis staff is not alone: far and away the greatest need facing all victim services agencies, law enforcement, prosecution and the courts is education about human trafficking. While some states and communities have organized human trafficking task forces or coalitions, there are still vast numbers of members of those same communities who do not yet have these associations or understand human trafficking. If those who are encountering victims of trafficking do not know how to ask about trafficking, they cannot be providing them with the comprehensive and specific services they need. Moreover, the crimes of human trafficking are going unnoticed and unprosecuted.
- Sexual violence programs should post and share information about local, statewide and national programs available to assist victims of trafficking. These include the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-3737-888) and the Department of Justice trafficking in persons line (888-428-7581). FREE multi-lingual posters, brochures and fact sheets, presentations, screening tools and other valuable awareness information are available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/.
- Rape crisis programs should join with local anti-trafficking coalition or task force members if there is one in their area. Like current efforts with Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART), at the core of effective service delivery for human trafficking victims at the community level is coordination. No one agency, organization or person can do what is necessary to help a survivor with her needs nor can one law enforcement agency effectively investigate and prosecute traffickers without the assistance and participation of the survivor witness.
- Sexual violence advocacy programs should also help to raise awareness about the high number of labor situations that do not involve the sex industry and where victims are sexually assaulted. At the same time, they can bring awareness to local task forces and coalitions as well as to the community at large concerning the numbers of women who are forced into prostitution and into committing other commercial sex acts such as stripping or pornography.
- Sexual assault and rape crisis programs should consider how to incorporate information, including training and awareness building activities into their current work. One expert suggests informing all members of the local SART about human trafficking, and building a training program into its local member and community training and awareness activities.
- State sexual assault coalitions and national advocacy programs should develop protocols to help local programs and responders to assist sex and labor trafficking survivors. State coalitions and local programs should also work on how to incorporate human trafficking into their prevention programs and develop a “Best Practices for Prevention Educators on Human Trafficking.” This would be valuable information to include in a range of prevention efforts from those directed toward at-risk youth to women in prison.
Here, the distinction between children and adults is important. If a child is “induced” to perform a commercial sex act, then that child is a victim of sex trafficking. Thus, a 17 year old whose 21 year old boyfriend says “you will do this if you love me” and if by that he means for her to have sex with other men for money, she is a victim of trafficking and he is a trafficker. She should not be arrested but rather should be treated like a victim and given the help and services she needs.
On the other hand, if a child or an adult is committing acts of prostitution without being “induced” by anyone to do so (if a child) or without being subject to force, fraud or coercion (if an adult), that person would not be deemed a victim of trafficking under the law. Arguably, they are acting under their own volition. Sometimes this is referred to as “survival sex.”
The 2010 TIP Report, speaks further to this when it describes adult sex trafficking:
When an adult is coerced, forced, or deceived into prostitution – or maintained in prostitution through coercion – that person is a victim of trafficking. All of those involved in recruiting, transporting, harboring, receiving, or obtaining the person for that purpose have committed a trafficking crime. Sex trafficking can also occur within debt bondage, as women and girls are forced to continue in prostitution through the use of unlawful “debt” purportedly incurred through their transportation, recruitment, or even their crude “sale” – which exploiters insist they must pay off before they can be free.
Policy and Program Responses:
1. Law enforcement, prosecutors and victim services programs should carefully examine how their state laws and the federal law define human trafficking and prostitution and treat any child under the age of 18 as a victim of trafficking, per federal law. They should not conflate human trafficking and prostitution as there are important legal and practical differences. All sectors should take a victim-centered approach and work with victims of trafficking in their programs in ways that reflect that person’s history and experiences and needs.
2. Any organization or agency that comes in contact with any victim of trafficking should be aware of the programs and laws that are emerging to assist domestic minor victims of sex trafficking (DMST). This training includes school counselors and school resource officers who may be able to prevent a child becoming prey to a trafficker and effectively intervene if they see the signs.
In terms of specialized human trafficking programs, there are some agencies and advocacy groups that work with only U.S. citizen minors or other children, others that may assist mainly or exclusively international victims. Some may focus on sex trafficking and others primarily on labor trafficking. These same areas of specialization are often reflected in law enforcement and prosecution agencies. For instance, many law enforcement agencies house their “human trafficking units” within their vice units or they may focus only on crimes against children (they would more accurately be called “child sex trafficking units”). This makes it a foregone conclusion that the focus of the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases will be on child sex trafficking.
Policy and Program Responses:
1. Greater resources must be directed to assist victims of trafficking, both within agencies that can be dedicated solely to helping these survivors and within agencies such as existing sexual violence, domestic violence, homeless, runaway, and youth and other programs. Victims of trafficking are in dire need of housing and a wide range of other kinds of basic assistance. Professionals who assist them need more extensive and in-depth training and access to resources from others in the community such as with mental and physical health care, legal representation and basic living needs.
2. Law enforcement and prosecution units should consider whether their current responses to sex and labor trafficking might be lopsided or limited when deployed. If the focus is on sex trafficking, these professionals should also be trained and organized to pursue labor trafficking crimes that are committed in their areas, particularly as most women who are labor trafficked are also victims of sexual violence.
Prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, rape crisis center staff, counselors, advocates, clinicians, and all others who assist, represent, advocate for victims of sexual violence must understand that they will see women who are victims of human trafficking. These can be survivors of sex trafficking or labor trafficking and even in labor cases they will very likely have faced rape and other forms of sexual abuse at the hands of human traffickers. This makes it all the more important for STOP administrators and state Implementation Plans to consider how to train and equip their core STOP grant recipients with the knowledge and resources to be able to investigate human trafficking crimes, prosecute traffickers, and assist sexual assault survivors of both forms of trafficking with their unique needs.
 This article appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of Administrators’ Corner, the newsletter for STOP Grant administrators, which is produced by the STAAR Project of the Alliance of Local Service Organizations.
 U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 (2010 TIP Report) found at http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142745.htm.
 E.g., The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Abuse (NCCASA) employs an anti-trafficking coordinator, and has featured statewide sex trafficking workshops and publications; see http://nccasa.net/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) www.fcasv.org provided a statewide training conference in February 2010.
 For the Department of Health and Human Services information see http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/. For the National Human Trafficking Hotline see http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/the-nhtrc/our-services. For the Department of Justice see http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/htpu.php.
 As prostitution is defined in law.
 See the Victims of Trafficking Violence Prevention Act of 2000, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10492.pdf
(8) SEVERE FORMS OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS.—The term ‘‘severe forms of trafficking in persons’’ means—
(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
(9) SEX TRAFFICKING.—The term ‘‘sex trafficking’’ means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
 Many argue that the larger conditions of society that devalue, objectify and oppress women and children, as well as others who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are coercive in that there are insufficient alternatives to economic survival for many beyond selling their bodies for sex. This view of “coercion” does not meet requirements under federal law.
 TIP Report found at http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142747.htm. The 2010 TIP report goes further in the “Topics of Special Interest” section to say: “Prostitution by willing adults is not human trafficking regardless of whether it is legalized, decriminalized, or criminalized. However, pursuant to the TVPRA of 2008, the definitions of human trafficking under U.S. law are not construed to treat prostitution as a valid form of employment.” http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/142750.htm#3
 See The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children on the website of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at http://www.nsvrc.org/publications/reports/national-report-domestic-minor-sex-trafficking-america%E2%80%99s-prostituted-children