Friday News Roundup: Justice for Victims Across the Nation
Every Friday, Polaris highlights noteworthy human trafficking stories in the media for our readers to check out, share, and respond to. Tell us your thoughts on these stories in the discussion below!
DC Woman Speaks After Surviving 10 Years Forced into Prostitution
NBC 4 News 10/10/2016
A D.C. woman who survived being sold into slavery as a child and forced to work as a prostitute for 10 years is on the road to recovery and is telling her story. Amora, 21, is safe now but she still lives in fear. Her journey began when she was 10 years old and her father was addicted to crack cocaine. Amora's story is not unusual, said Bradley Myles, the CEO of the organization Polaris. The group works to eliminate modern slavery. "This isn’t something that’s happening far away in Cambodia or Thailand -- it’s happening here in the United States, in our communities, and people need to wake up and realize that it's happening," he said.
Backpage.com Raided, CEO Arrested for Sex-Trafficking
ABC News 10/6/2016
State agents raided the Dallas headquarters of adult classified ad portal Backpage and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer on Thursday following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site. Ferrer, 55, was arrested on a California warrant after arriving at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport on a flight from Amsterdam. "Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.
Thailand-US sex-trafficking ring busted, 17 arrested
CBS News 10/4/2016
About a dozen people were arrested in cities across the U.S. on Tuesday for running what authorities called a sophisticated sex trafficking operation in which hundreds of women were brought from Thailand to America under fraudulent visas and forced to work as prostitutes to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in bondage debts. The women - including one who was forced to have sex with strangers for 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week- were not allowed to move about freely and were “effectively modern day sex slaves,” according to a redacted indictment unsealed Tuesday. The arrests, along with the recent arrest of the organization’s boss in Belgium, will effectively dismantle the operation, said Alex Khu, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Minneapolis.
Sex Trafficking victims found in illicit Texas social sites, report finds
More than 1,000 women and girls have been apparent victims of sex trafficking in illicit cantinas in the United States that largely operate beyond the reach of law enforcement, the anti-slavery group Polaris said on Thursday. Half of the trafficking cases in cantinas arose in Houston, Texas, a city near the Mexican border with a large Latino population, Polaris said in a study tracking calls to its trafficking hotlines from over the past decade. Cantinas, social gathering spots popular in Latino communities, may disguise the cost of commercial sex in very high drink prices, and women are forced to flirt and drink with patrons, the study's author Tessa Couture told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Photo credit: Flickr / North Charleston