Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gambino Mafia, Child Sex Trafficking and Craigslist

I came across the three news articles below regarding new charges of the Gambia Mafia family running a Craigslist child sex trafficking ring.

It's been well-reported that sex traffickers use Craigslist to sell "services." I've watched a stories on CNN, Dateline, MSNBC, and other news reports of law enforcement using Craigslist to track down predators and traffickers. Due to added pressure from attorneys and abolitionist groups, Craigslist made some changes to their "adult services" section in 2008.

But the question is, are they the right changes and are they enough? Many believe it was just a cosmetic change and more needs to be done.

Here are the Craigslist Changes.
1. Changed the name to "Adult Services."
2. More clearly specified rules for posts along with a message to report any child sex posts.
3. Doubled the "Adult Services" posting fee from $5-$10.
4. Vowed to work with law enforcement to combat trafficking.

Here are two problems I have.
1. It appears that doubling the "Adult Services" posting fee did not deter posts. In actuality, Craigslist is making more money than ever before off of the "Adult Services" section. It's estimated they will make $36M of their annual $122M directly from "Adult Service" advertising. That would make Craigslist the richest pimp in the world.

2. Craigslist still posts over 3.5 million "Adult Service" ads per year with no real screening for child prostitution. If you're making that much money off the advertising, you can afford to hire people and put a screening process in place.

Evidence can be seen that sex trafficking continues on Craigslist with the new charges of the Gambino Mafia using Craigslist to run a sex trafficking ring. Below are 3 stories regarding the Gambino Family and Craigslist. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.


If you feel Criagslist needs to do more screening and prevention, please sign the petition.

Thank you,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

6 Things You Can do to Combat Modern Slavery

There are many things all of us can do in the fight against modern slavery. We all have different talents, ideas, circles of influence and opportunities to make a difference. USE YOUR SKILLS as only you know how.

In addition, here are 6 simple things everyone can do to make a difference.

ACTION 1: Get educated by reading books, blogs, articles, videos, etc... Knowledge is power and understanding. Plus, it will help you generate ideas on how you can help.

ACTION 2: Request your library to buy modern abolitionist books and/or donate them yourself. See my previous post on this for more information.

ACTION 3: Sign and/or start petitions to send to government and business leaders. It's easy to do and really makes a big difference in reaching policy makers. Collectively we have the power to move governments and change policies.

ACTION 4: Choose an abolitionist organization and donate/raise money for them monthly. Organizations need consistent funding more than one-time gifts. Monthly funding allows them to budget accordingly so they can plan programs and maintain their efforts. Here's how I budget being able to donate to groups.
ACTION 5: Learn the signs of human trafficking and look for them in your neighborhood, travels, etc... Report anything suspicious to the National Hotline 1-888-3737-888 or email them at
Here is a FREE community guidebook on combating slavery in your neighborhood.

ACTION 6: Raise awareness by sharing the issues of modern slavery with everyone you know and then by asking them to do Actions 1-5 as well.

To quote Obama,
"YES WE CAN!" We can make a difference in the fight against modern slavery. Many hands make lighter work.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Remember that Human Trafficking Happens to Men as Well

Calif man arrested in human trafficking, rape case

LEMOORE, Calif. — A Central California man faces human trafficking and sexual assault charges after a 20-year-old man allegedly escaped a house bound in duct tape.

Lemoore police arrested 47-year-old Randy Lee Chiles on Thursday.

Police say Chiles' neighbors reported that the terrified man had knocked on a door in a quiet cul-de-sac Monday wearing torn boxers and duct tape around his ankles. The alleged victim told neighbors he'd been held hostage and raped.

Police say the victim escaped after he heard that his captor had planned to sell him. They declined to release any other details about the case.

Chiles is being held on suspicion of human trafficking, sodomy, false imprisonment, assault and other charges. He's being held on suspicion of $315,000 bail.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2009 Annual US Government Report on Human Trafficking

Each year the US Government puts out an annual report on human trafficking globally. I know this is old news for many abolitionists, but I'm fairly new to the movement. The 2009 report was published in June 2009 and we should look forward to the 2010 report in a few months.

The report is 324 pages long and is free to download a PDF version. I've started researching the report for myself and it will be a while until I'm finished. I also suggest taking a look at the 1 page "Fact Sheet" for a quick look at some of the highlights of the report findings.

Below is a video of Secretary Clinton and members of congress announcing the release of the study. Regardless of your political leanings, the video gives a great preview of the report. Basically, what I'm trying to say is even if you dislike Hillary Clinton, you should still watch it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2 Part Investigative Report "Children for Sale"

Every year thousands of children in India are sold into slavery by their parents. Most often they are conned into "selling" their children and don't realize what is happening. Then their children disappear and the parents can never find them again. But sometimes they are outright sold into brothels and forced labor to pay for parents debts.

This 2 Part report investigates the methods of traffickers, the stories of child victims and work being done to combat slavery in India.

News Report "Children for Sale" Part 1

News Report "Children for Sale" Part 2

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Traffickers Use Social Media

Should Facebook Have a 'Panic Button'?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tampa, Florida is an Example in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in the United States

It's been mentioned before, but modern slavery is not just a problem in 3rd world countries. It's a problem globally, including the United States. Here are some stats.

  1. Within 48 hours of running away, a child will be contacted by a human trafficker.
  2. In the United States, the average age for girls to enter into prostitution is 12-14 years old.
  3. It's estimated that 14,000 - 16,000+ people are trafficked into the United States each year. That's appx. 1,250 people/month or 41 people/day.
  4. There are over 300,000 slaves in the United Sates today. That's the equivalent of...
  • The total stadium attendance for 10 Major League Baseball games.
  • The number of people attending Disneyland over 9 days.
  • The population of New Orleans, LA.
  • The total number of children attending 500 elementary schools in the USA.
Due to their geographic location and large population, Tampa, Florida has become one of many hot spots for human trafficking in the United States. BUT they are fighting back. The series of videos below are part of their awareness and reporting campaign to stop trafficking.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY: Trafficking in Tampa

PSA #1: Forced Labor in Florida

PSA #2: Forced Labor in Florida

PSA #3: Sex Trafficking in Florida

These are some of my favorite videos to share at abolitionist presentations. They clearly show the impact of trafficking in the United States, how law enforcement is working to combat it and what you can do to help. It's happening here and we should all be aware and on the lookout.

Remember, if you suspect human trafficking is happening in your area, REPORT IT. Simply call or email the national hotline below.

CALL: 1-888-3737-888 (Multi-Lingual)
EMAIL: Report@PolarisProject.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Friday, April 9, 2010

Human Trafficking Manuals and Resources for Police, Lawyers and Service Providers

The following are books and manuals I've come across to help train police, lawyers and service providers in finding and caring for human trafficking victims. I have not read any of these, so I can't offer a review or opinion of the manuals. You can click on the links below to read full descriptions and decide what materials will fit your needs.

Free PDF Training Manuals:

Books available from

If you know of any other resources out there, let me know in the comments section below.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kevin Bales: The Plan to End Slavery

Kevin Bales gave this at the TED Conference earlier this year, February 2010. It's a basic synopsis of his book Ending Slavery, which I suggest every abolitionist read, and it lays out the following.

1. The Economics of Slavery
2. Why Slavery is on the Brink of Extinction
3. How Slaves are Being Freed Today
4. How Slaves and Slave Villages are Staying Slave Free
5. The Freedom Dividend (How economies grow and the environment is protected when slaves are freed.)
6. How We Can End Slavery in the Next 25 Years

So sit back, relax, maybe make some popcorn and take a listen to Kevin Bales explain how we can end slavery. Every Abolitionist should watch this.

Be sure to checkout Ending Slavery from your local library, or you can order it online from below. By clicking the link below to buy the book, 4% of your order will be donated to support AbolitionistJB.

Together we can end slavery in the next 25 years. I know and believe this with all my heart.

Thank You,

Stop Truckstop Child Sex Trafficking

Why Truckers Are First Line

Defenders Against Child Prostitution

There is one group of Americans who are perhaps more powerful than any other to stop children from being sold into prostitution. I'm not talking about parents, teachers, or even police officers. I'm talking about truck drivers. America's truckers are, in many ways, the first line of defense against child prostitution and child trafficking. And there are more and more groups and resources empowering truckers to use their unique power to save kids' lives.

There are a number of reasons why truckers are in a special position of power to fight human trafficking. First, a lot of child trafficking goes on at truck stops. Among some truckers, the girls and women sold at truck stops are called "lot lizards," a derogatory term indicating that the girls are pests. There have been several cases where truck stops were one of the primary locations traffickers sold teen girls. Truck drivers are in an ideal position to observe the prostitution and trafficking that takes place at truck stops and report the presence of minors and adult women who look frightened or like they aren't in control of the situation.

Another reason truckers are important in the fight against child sex trafficking is that pimps and traffickers use the interstate system to move children from place to place more often than other forms of transportation. As frequent travelers, truckers have the opportunity to observe and report suspicious behavior. Also, the vast majority of truckers are men. Many truckers understand how macho, male-dominated culture that can sometimes support the exploitation of girls and women exists within the industry.

In an effort to help truckers who want to end trafficking within the industry better identify and report human trafficking, the NGO Truckers Against Trafficking is putting on three free educational webinars for truck drivers, truck stop workers, and other people who are involved with the trucking industry. The goal of these programs is to educate people in the trucking industry about human trafficking and how to identify it, in the hopes that more truckers will report trafficking taking place at truck stops. The webinars will take place on April 14, 21, and 29 at 9:00 pm EST. For more information or to find out how to listen to one of these free educational programs, visit Truckers Against Trafficking's website.

Education is important, but to truly address the rampant sale of trafficking victims at American truck stops, some aspects of trucker culture will need to change as well. For example, as long as truck drivers, even those who don't use commercial sex, refer to the young girls sold at truck stops as "lot lizards," those girls will be seen as objects. Truckers and truck stop workers need to understand that many of those girls are victims of child sex trafficking, that coming to that truck stop was not their choice, and that they deserve respect and assistance -- not mockery. Fortunately, there are groups like Truckers Against Trafficking who are comprised of truck drivers and others leading the way in this change of culture.

For a close-up look at child trafficking at one truck stop just outside of Portland, check out the video below.

Photo credit: ClatieK


Amanda Kloer has been a full-time abolitionist for six years. She currently develops trainings and educational materials for civil attorneys representing victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I love Not only do they have some great content, but they make it so easy to get involved by signing and starting petitions. They have an informative human trafficking page on with articles and 40+ petitions you can sign regarding modern slavery/human trafficking.

It's easy to do. You can take action today and let your legislators and businesses know your take on the issues of modern slavery. Take the time to sign right now and let your voice be heard!


You can also become my friend on by visiting my AbolitionistJB profile page.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Protecting South African Children from Slavery During the World Cup 2010 Starting in June

South Africans Open Homes, Churches to Kids During World Cup

June will be a pretty exciting month for most South African school children -- they get a whole month off of school, their parents won't have to go to work, and the World Cup will be played in their country. But some children will face a very different scenario. Kids with troubled families or whose parents work in service industries and other industries which don't get time off for the World Cup will find themselves with no school to go to for safety. Many people are concerned those kids will be the targets of pimps and traffickers. But one group of South Africans is offering a solution and issuing a call to action: if you live in South Africa, make your home or church a safe place for kids.

The 2010 Our Children Campaign is based on the simple, somewhat old-fashioned idea that it takes a village to raise a child. In other words, the welfare of a child is not just something for his or her parents to think about, but an issue for the whole community. They are asking South Africans to open their homes, churches, and community centers to children who need a safe place to stay during the day. This includes children who are homeless for most of the year, as well as those who may simply be alone all day because their parents have to work, and school is canceled for the month. If kids know they have a safe place to go, they'll be less likely to fall prey to predators on the streets.

To participate, you don't need a fancy, intensive program. Just reach out to the families in your area and let them know you're willing to be a sanctuary for kids during the school holiday, if they need one. The website suggests that a few toys and games will provide more than enough entertainment. In the U.S., an ad-hoc day camp without in-depth background checks for staff probably wouldn't fly with parents, and the same may be true of families in South Africa. But for some families, simply knowing that the church down the street or a neighbor is willing to look in on their children will offer piece of mind.

There has been a whole lot of back-and-forth about how much additional human trafficking the World Cup will actually generate in South Africa. I'm thus far sticking with my original prediction that there will be a modest increase -- far below the tens of thousands of victims some are estimating, but an increase nonetheless. But whether there are 100, 1000, or 10,000 more child trafficking victims than usual, this program is a good idea. In fact, it's really how communities would function all the time, ideally. A child gets into a dangerous situation and needs to go somewhere close by for help? There should lots of places for him or her to turn to.

If you don't live in South Africa but you'd like to support the Our Children Campaign, you can donate to support their basic operating costs here. But remember, child trafficking is by no means unique to South Africa or to the World Cup. Consider how you might make your community a safer place for children.

Photo credit: Andrew Turner


Amanda Kloer has been a full-time abolitionist for six years. She currently develops trainings and educational materials for civil attorneys representing victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence.

In addition, I came across the petition below for people to sign and let the United States government know you want them to help support South Africa and kick trafficking out of the World Cup 2010.

Thank You,

Q: What Will Happen When Slavery Ends?

On Twitter I was asked the following question.
What will happen when slavery ends?

Here's my response.

1. Aftercare will be essential for former slaves to receive the mental health, education and training to live a happy productive life.

2. Economies will improve as these newly freed dreamers will build businesses, get jobs and actually pay taxes. We've seen this in India where freed slave villages have began producing and paying taxes. The government is amazed since the slave owners never paid taxes, just bribes. Their local economies improved and essentially created a shield from future enslavement.

3. New ideas and advances in technology and medicine will come. Think about it. If 27 million slaves were freed today, they, along with their future posterity, will have opportunities for education. With a pool that large of newly educated dreamers, we will surely have new advances and ideas.

4. Fewer wars will take place when governments realize they can improve their economies by eradicating slavery. Their governments will become more stable as will their economies. Stable governments and economies lead to fewer wars.

5. World hunger will begin to dissipate. As wars decrease and slaves began to work and earn for themselves, they will have more money, a stable economy and a chance to grow crops for themselves.

That's what I think will happen as slavery ends. It will be a process over time, country by country, but it will happen. Every country has anti-slavery laws on the books. Now it's a matter of enforcing them and weeding out corruption. For more ideas and thoughts, I suggest reading "Ending Slavery," by Kevin Bales.

What do you think? What will happen when slavery ends?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Short Documentary on Human Trafficking in South Africa

As part of our support for the Red Card Campaign, we have been posting a new video about trafficking in South Africa over the last week. Today's video features a mini-documentary on the issue of modern slavery in South Africa.

In addition, I came across a petition you can sign to let the United States government know you want them to help kick trafficking out of the World Cup 2010.

If you know of any other petitions surrounding trafficking in South Africa and the World Cup, let me know in the comments section below. I will be sure to add it to the next blog post.

Thank You,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

254 Sudanese Liberated from Slavery. Chalk One Up for the Good Guys!

254 Sudanese Liberated from Slavery

CSI Urges President Obama to Revive Anti-Slavery Policy

AWEIL, Sudan and WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Christian Solidarity International (CSI) facilitated the liberation last week of 254 black Southern Sudanese slaves. Most were captured by Arab/Muslim militiamen backed by the Sudanese government during the North-South civil war (1983-2005). Some of the youngest victims were the offspring of female slaves and their masters.

Despite the suspension of the capture of Southern Sudanese slaves as a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005), over 35,000 remain in bondage in Northern Sudan, according to James Aguir of the Government of Sudan's Committee for the Eradication of the Abduction of Women and Children.

CSI again found a pattern of physical and psychological abuse, including beatings, mutilations – especially female genital mutilation – death threats, forced conversions to Islam, racial and religious insults, and forced labor. Many witnessed the execution of other slaves who failed to obey their masters' orders.

Some of the victims were interviewed and documented by Michael Gerson(1), columnist for the Washington Post, andEllen Ratner(2), White House Correspondent for Talk Radio News.

Both the Clinton and the Bush administrations pledged to work for the eradication of slavery in Sudan. In 2000, Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice met with freed slave women and announced the U.S. Government's commitment to stamp out the "heinous" practice. In 2002, President Bush placed the eradication of slavery as a precondition for lasting peace inSudan and established the U.S.- led international Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to investigate this "crime against humanity" in Sudan.

The EPG called for: 1) A financially transparent, functional Sudanese national institution for locating, liberating and repatriating slaves; 2) A program of research on all aspects of slavery in Sudan; 3) An institution with international and indigenous components to monitor slavery and its eradication; 4) An international mechanism to follow-up the Eminent Persons' recommendations.

Writing today to President Barack Obama, Dr. John Eibner, CEO of CSI (USA), observed that these recommendations remain a "dead letter", despite the call to action in the Presidential Proclamation of January 4, 2010 at the onset of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Eibner concluded by urging the President "to implement the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group and to restore the eradication of slavery as a central component of the United States' policy for peace in Sudan."



Contact: Elliott Daniels,, (919) 440 9729

SOURCE Christian Solidarity International (CSI)

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