Tuesday, July 28, 2009

State Representative Maria Sachs Appointed to the Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking

CONTACT: Rep. Maria Sachs, 561-266-6645
For Immediate Release--Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TALLAHASSEE – State Representative Maria Sachs (D-Delray Beach) will serve on the Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking, under an appointment made by Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

The Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking is a 19-person panel created to evaluate the problem of human trafficking and to recommend strategies and actions for reducing or eliminating the unlawful trafficking of men, women and children into Florida.

“I am honored to be appointed to serve on the Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking for the state of Florida,” said Representative Sachs. “Human trafficking has become the number one crime issue in South Florida and one that impacts all of us. It has truly become a problem and Florida is at the center of this global epidemic.”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shared Hope International Exposes Child Sex Trafficking In South Florida

Posted on: http://www.robertstevenduncan.com/2009/07/shared-hope-international-exposes-child.html

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

(RSD) -- Shared Hope International will release a report and training video on domestic minor sex trafficking at the upcoming Child Slavery in Our Community Leadership and Training Summit.

The Assessment of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Broward and Dade Counties, Florida reveals that child victims of sex trafficking are being arrested for prostitution in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. These severely victimized and traumatized children are being misidentified as juvenile delinquents and punished for the crime that is being committed against them.

In fact, the report documents more than 500 juveniles were arrested for prostitution in Miami-Dade County from 1998-2008. A lack of training for social service providers and first responders is noted as the primary gap causing the misidentification of child victims of sex trafficking.

"Many service providers currently work with victims of domestic minor sex trafficking, but are not aware of how to properly identify and respond to these children. Misidentification of just one child victim of sex trafficking is too many. However, I believe that the upcoming training we are hosting this Thursday will provide a springboard for response and action as the communities of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties come together to find a solution," said former Congresswoman Linda Smith, President and Founder of Shared Hope International.

On July 9, 2009 law enforcement officers, social service providers, and child advocates from Broward and Miami-Dade counties convene at St. Thomas University School of Law for the Child Slavery in Our Community Leadership and Training Summit. Organized by Shared Hope International, the summit will bring an exclusive focus on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking - the commercial sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, pornography, and stripping.

Shared Hope International said it will use this event to release video with surveillance footage, survivor interviews, and expert testimony to educate and inform social service providers on how to identify and respond to American children who are commercially sexually exploited.

The new training video INTERVENE: Identifying and Responding to America's Prostituted Children, reveals how American children are recruited and tricked into prostitution in the United States and will assist social service providers in understanding who these victims are and how to better serve them.

In the video, child sex trafficking survivor "Maya" who was trafficked in South Florida said this of surviving prostitution as a child, "I would tell a social worker that she needs to be understanding and when she's talking to the girls to really focus on more or less why they want to be out of the life... If I had someone like Sandy from Kristi House years earlier I could have probably spared me a lot of years of abuse - of all the trauma and negativity."