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Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of "labor or services," such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will.  Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.

(Source: Polaris Project)


1. Sign on to the Polaris Project petition to tell Village Voice Media to stop selling ads that others use to sell minors on by shutting down the Adult section of the website.

2. Join the "Girls Are Not for Sale Campaign."

3. Call or write a letter to your members of Congress and ask them to support the following bills:

  • S. 1301 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2011
  • H.R. 2759 Business Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act
  • H.R. 2730 Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act


1. My Life My Choice Project (MLMC)

MLMC is a nationally recognized, groundbreaking initiative designed to reach adolescent girls most vulnerable to commercial exploitation. MLMC provides a unique continuum of prevention, victim identification, and intervention services.

2. Kim's Project

Kim's Project offers services for women impacted by the sex trade and street economies and is led by women who know first hand the realities of the sex trade in their lives. Kim's Project is committed to raising awareness and challenging public perceptions, since engaging in prostitution or related activities is often about poverty, as well as race and gender inequalities.

3. Polaris Project: For A World Without Slavery

Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002.

4. Roxbury Youthworks, Inc.

A community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to help youth that are caught in cycles of poverty, victimization, and violence to transition successfully to adulthood.

5. Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)

GEMS is an organization in New York that serves girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS works to end human trafficking by empowering victims, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth.



The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as "an act of recruiting, transporting, transfering, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them." Before becoming an advocate for victims of human trafficking, it is important to educate yourself about the issue:

1. Watch the film Very Young Girls to learn more about human trafficking in the United States and why this is not just a foreign issue.

2. Read this Boston Globe article and listen to this four-part radio report about sex trafficking in Boston.

3. For more information about human trafficking, visit this site sponsored by Mount Sinai Emergency Medical Department.


Join Rallying Efforts Against Contemporary Trafficking (REACT), a student organization working to raise awareness about human trafficking on campus.