APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The campaign to end domestic trafficking for 20, 000 girls - approximately ten percent of girls being trafficked - by 2012 will first target the states most involved in the girl trade. These states labeled as Tier-1 are: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas. Each governor, attorney general, and major lawmakers in these states will be asked to sign a pledge to fully prosecute those persons who buy and sell girls, and to treat trafficked girls as victims. The campaign includes a faculty of trainers available to the states to train prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, local lawmakers, and other stakeholders to fulfill the pledge. The National District Attorneys Association, National Child Welfare Training Center, and the Juvenile Justice Fund will be key faculty members in trainings for the states. They will develop, in cooperation with trafficking survivors and NGOs, a special training manual for stakeholders. An interactive map will track those states that have committed to the pledge, and those states that continue to allow children to be bought and sold with impunity.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
There are Five Steps to End Domestic Trafficking for 20, 000 Girls by 2012. After a state has pledged to prosecute traffickers, the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, in collaboration with other NGOs, will facilitate each state's access to a faculty of trainers, technical assistance, and material support, and act as the coordinating organization to enable states to take the following steps:
- Legal language and strategy to inform increased prosecution for selling and purchasing children for sex
- Regular and scheduled contact and pairing with successful states to act as mentors
- Resource guide and step-by-step manual
- Website tracking map: state-by-state progress report. Map will show demand decrease; declining number of girls arrested for prostitution; trafficker and purchasers arrests increase per state, with link to each state's program and progress; and
- Faculty of trainers from National District Attorneys Association, National Child Protection Training Center, Juvenile Justice Fund, and A Future Not a Past, to train law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and child welfare agencies.
August - September 2010
Hire staff that will remain for the duration of the two-year campaign.
Convene advisory board to discuss planning and strategy.
Coordinate Girls Leadership week to identify formerly trafficked girl and women leaders.
Initiate meetings with key governors, mayors, attorney generals, and sheriffs.
Solidify partner commitments in all nine Tier-1 states.
Continue outreach to other partners for campaign. Advisory board members will continue to reach out and recruit influential community members and activists to join campaign to bolster national education and awareness.
Announce CGI partnerships for campaign.
Leverage additional commitments and partnerships for campaign post-CGI.
November 2010 - April 2011
Visit Tier-1 states that constitute the top domestic trafficking hubs.
Write editorials on the issue of trafficked girls in targeted Tier-1 states for respective newspapers.
Reach out to congressional delegations of Tier-1 states.
Develop girl leadership in Tier-1 states to advocate for states' commitment to pledge.
Coordinate technical assistance from campaign partners to help states interested in signing the pledge make the necessary efforts in law enforcement training to fully prosecute persons who buy and sell children and to decriminalize trafficked girls.
Work with NGOs on the ground to pressure their respective lawmakers in Tier-1 states to commit to pledge.
Set up interactive social media tools to follow the moving Mason-Dixon Line of states that declare themselves free of girl trafficking or still remain slave-holding.
May - 2011- October 2011
Extend outreach to Tier 2 and 3 states to commit to pledge.
Tier-2 states are the states that immediately surround Tier-1 states, namely: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, &Washington. These states will most likely become safe havens for pimps as increased prosecutions push pimps out of Tier-1 states.
Tier-3 states are the remaining states that need to be proactive about child sex-trafficking.
Replicate Tier-1 efforts with NGOs
Continue girl leadership efforts in Tier 2 and 3 states.
Work with congressional delegation in Tier 2 and 3 states to educate and implement proactive prevention policy measures to combat and prevent child sex-trafficking epidemic.
Maintain and extend interactive social media tools to see where Tier 2 and 3 states fall along moving Mason Dixon line.
Coordinate a status report and presentation for CGI on campaign
November 2011 - April 2012
Continue push for remaining states commitment to the pledge.
Hire research firm to begin evaluation benchmarks of increased prosecution rates of traffickers and purchasers of child sex and decreased rates of girls criminalized for sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
April 2012 - August 2012
Cost-benefit analysis paper, prepared for Violence Against Women Act's reauthorization, demonstrating the benefits of providing residential housing and comprehensive treatment for girls involved in commercial sexual exploitation.
Report to Congress, DOJ and foundations on the overall work and accomplishments of the campaign in generating political will to hold traffickers and purchasers accountable for their crimes against children and repositioning trafficked girls as victims, not criminals.
At the conclusion of the two year campaign, domestic trafficking will have ended for 20,000 girls. The Rebecca Project will use data showing the decrease in the prosecution of girls as the primary indicator of our object. The outcome will also be illustrated using each state's progress in arresting and prosecuting individuals who sell and purchase children. Additional indicators that will measure the campaign's success will be state legislation that increases penalties for child rape and trafficking or provides support and programs for sexually exploited children. The Schapiro Group, an Atlanta-based research organization that has conducted significant analysis on Craigslist and the demand for child sex, will assist the Rebecca Project in preparing a report at the conclusion of the campaign that will analyze, state by state, the improvements made and the impact of those improvements on girls involved in domestic trafficking.
The following facts emphasize the need for this campaign:
Sixth and seventh graders are sold for Sex. According to the Department of Justice, there are an estimated 100,000-300,000 American child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of them are girls between the ages of 11-14. Oftentimes, these young women are abducted or lured by traffickers or pimps and then routinely raped, beaten into submission, and sometimes even tattooed like cattle.
Since they are children, these girls often do not leave, they often do not tell, and because of severe shame and likelihood of incarceration, they believe that there is no other option then to remain controlled by the trafficker. These children are generally from homes or foster care placements where they have been abused or thrown away by their families. And sometimes, they are just girls snatched off the streets and sold for sex.
The number of girls trafficked is rising. The number of children being sold for sex has increased in recent years because it is more profitable and less risky to sell girls than, for example, drugs. Girls report being sold ten times a night at a rate of per customer; most traffickers have several children 'working' for them. Punishment is often minimal - traffickers and buyers are rarely charged or convicted for statutory rape or child endangerment. Demand is high because a sale can be executed conveniently and anonymously over the Internet.
Children pay the price for the crimes of the adult. In most situations, it is the sexually exploited child who ends up in jail. Child prostitution is among the leading reasons for girls' incarceration. And not only are these children more harshly punished by the legal system, they must also endure the trauma of being sexually brutalized without any help or treatment.
The cost of trafficking girls is too high. The absence of therapeutic interventions for sexually exploited girls leads to a predictable cycle of addiction and adult incarceration. This is an unsustainable and unnecessary cycle. The earlier it is broken, the better for everyone in society. For example, it is ,000 - ,000 to incarcerate one girl for one year versus , 207 it would cost to educate her.
When sexually exploited girls are given safety, stability, and the chance to heal, the benefits are extraordinary. For example, AK and MC are two examples of survivors who are now being given the chance to fulfill their potential:
AK survived being bought and sold for sex. The organization FAIR FUND helped to rescue AK from being trafficked in DC. AK now works for FAIR FUND as a youth advocate. AK draws upon her experiences as a survivor of sex trafficking to mentor other young women FAIR Fund assists in staying safe from or exiting situations of sex trafficking. She has participated in Congressional briefings on domestic trafficking and met with the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, on the issue of American children being domestically trafficked. She is now college-bound.
At eleven years old, MC was taken by a pimp and forced into prostitution until she was sixteen years old. She has been in jail 6 or 7 times and has been at Crittenton Children's Services three different times, and each time she has grown a little stronger. She is currently attending high school and is doing exceptionally well in all her classes. She is out of 'the life' and is exploring healthy options for her future when she turns eighteen.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Media/Marketing Opportunities
The campaign seeks partnerships from U.S. Governors, State Attorney Generals, Mayors, and Sheriffs to extend and fulfill the pledge, especially in states where girls are bought and sold for sex with impunity. In addition, the campaign's success requires financial, grant, and commercial investment supports, as well as public relations outreach.
OFFERING: Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information
The Rebecca Project offers partnerships with survivors of domestic trafficking and effective examples of U.S. Congressional and media outreach on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation. The organization also plays an important role in expanding the present discourse of gendered violence and trafficking to be inclusive of the U.S. such that the issue of sexual violence and exploitation against women and girls is framed in an authentically global context.