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Change.org’s List of 2010 #wins

January 3, 2011

Re:ACT Story

 

Change.org has published a top ten list of the major victories for the fight against human trafficking in 2010.  From slave-picked tomatoes in Florida to domestic workers in NYC, the past year has seen an impressive amount of headlines published and legislation passed that is bringing justice to victims.

Below are a few items from the list that feature major advances in rights for sexually exploited men, women, and children.

Craigslist blocked sex ads in the U.S and internationally. After years of pressure from anti-trafficking organizations, states attorneys general, and others, Craigslist abruptly closed their adult ads section in the U.S. in September. A couple months later, the AIM Group released a report which showed the site’s sudden ban of adult ads has meant a 48% drop in the overall volume of prostitution ads online, and the online commercial sex industry is now projected to shrink by $37 million this year. That includes a reduction in the untold number of children and trafficking victims who have been advertised on Craigslist. Over 11,000 Change.org members helped win this victory. And just three months after they shut down sex ads in the U.S., they did the same overseas after another 10,000 Change.org members advocated for a change.

Human trafficking was criminalized in the nation’s capitol. In June, after a four year struggle, the Washington D.C. City Council finally passed a law criminalizing modern-day slavery in America’s capitol. The progressive law provides severe penalties for anyone who knowingly benefits from the crime of trafficking, resources for victims, and a private right of action for victims to sue their traffickers.

The Washington Post stopped advertising for massage parlors. On the heels of Craigslist’s shutting down of their adult services section and Backpage.com’s lawsuit from a child trafficking survivor, The Washington Post announced in October they will no longer run ads for massage parlors. The announcement came after over 3,400 Change.org readers and several NGOs complained that these massage parlors are often fronts for human trafficking operations. The WaPo’s decision exemplifies the continued trend of businesses making socially responsible decisions, and has inspired other campaigns against similar ads in other papers.

Ohio passed its first anti-trafficking law. Ohio has long been a hub of human trafficking, in part because the state has not had a law prohibiting the crime. But this year, they finally criminalized human trafficking at the state level, which will help get justice for the thousands of victims enslaved in Ohio each year.

Choice Hotels took action to prevent child prostitution. The tragic death of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis after being sold into prostitution at a Comfort Inn prompted a campaign asking parent company Choice Hotels to prevent child prostitution in their hotels. After receiving letters from over 4,200 Change.org members, they agreed to incorporate child trafficking into their employee training.

The above selections were written by Amanda Kloer, a change.org editor and abolitionist.

These are just a few examples of people just like you that read a statistic or heard a story and chose to re:ACTTell us what you did in 2010 for the rights of the exploited, and we may brag about you on The SOLD Project’s blog and Facebook page!  Comment below or email us at react@thesoldproject.com

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