June 24, 2016

Friday News Roundup: Empowering refugee women and girls

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!

Ashley Judd: We Can't Ignore Refugees' Sexual Health
TIME 7/15/2016
Polaris Ambassador Ashley Judd writes about the refugee crisis and importance of empowering women and girls—who are in danger of abuse, trafficking, and exploitation. "Gender-based violence, which is really about power and control, escalates in fragile settings. Human rights abuses abound." A recent UNICEF report found that unaccompanied minors in migrant refugee camps are at high risk of being trafficked. 

Sex trafficking survivor: "They told me it would happen over and over" 6/23/2016
A woman who was trafficked at age 27 after a divorce tells her story. After meeting two men who promised to take her to her new house, she was forced to sell sex at truck stops with other women. She was threatened at gunpoint and forced to take drugs to prohibit her from leaving. She was finally able to leave her trafficking situation after a truck driver listened to her when she told him she was being trafficked. She now works for an organization that helps survivors move on and heal. And she's been able to do so: "Transcending is when it is no longer part of my life, it's a backdrop of who I am but it doesn't rule me. That is where I am now."

Obama, Clinton mark Juneteenth
The Hill 6/19/2016
President Obama called for the freeing of "modern-day slaves" this past Sunday in his commemoration of Juneteenth, the annual celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S. "Today, no matter our race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, we recommit ourselves to working to free modern-day slaves around the world and to honoring in our own time the efforts of those who fought so hard to steer our country truer to our highest ideals."

Photo credit: Frantisek Trampota / Flickr


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