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May 13, 2016

Friday News Roundup: Max Scherzer's impact off the baseball field

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!

Max Scherzer Proves Himself on and off the Field
CBS Local 5/12/2016
On Wednesday night, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer made a historic twenty strikeouts. But he's not just making an impact on the field. Max and his wife Erica have also launched two fundraising campaigns to support Polaris. Supporters can pledge to donate for every stirkeout Max makes this season, in addition to getting their favorite signed memorabilia signed by him.

Owners of closed Torrance bakery accused of human trafficking ordered to pay workers $15.2 million
Daily Breeze 5/9/2016
Last year, a man and woman who owned a California bakery were charged with labor trafficking eleven Filipino workers. Now, a judge has ordered them to pay them $15.2 million. The trafficking victims came to the United States through guestworker visas, forced to work 15-hour days, and told they each had to pay off an $11,000 debt for airfare and accomodations. We know that visa programs are in dire need of more regulation and reporting in order to protect workers from labor trafficking; you can learn more here.

Florida man tricked Asian college students into prostitution by offering work in his nonexistent yoga studio
Newsweek 5/11/2016
Kazakhstani students who thought they were coming to Florida for positions at a yoga studio were instead forced into prostitution by a Florida man. The students were enrolled in a State Department work-study program, planning to do clerical work for 48 hours a week for $12 an hour. Instead, the yoga studio was a front for an illicit massage business; their trafficker posted advertisements on Backpage.com offering "sensual massages."

Photo credit: Geoff Livingston / Flickr

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