Sex trafficking snares hundreds of thousands of American children

My report in Global Post, June 20, 2012 (don’t miss the interactive map at the end) 

Over 80 percent of cases of American sex slavery involve US citizens, not immigrants. It’s a problem this country must find creative solutions to solve through conferences like Demand Abolition, which took place in Boston recently.

Image: Ira Gelb (Flickr)

Beena Sarwar
BOSTON — She was only 15 when she escaped, but she had already been sold for sex up to nine times a day since she was two years old. Her parents pimped her out and beat her severely, but Mary (not her real name) is a survivor – no longer a victim. Twelve years later, she helps other survivors in the US and abroad, volunteering with the Not For Sale Campaign.

I met Mary over lunch at a convention on sex trafficking in Boston recently and she told me her story. It has taken “a lot of healing and hard work” to get this far,” she said.

Besides survivors like Mary, activists, government officials and law enforcement officers gathered at the intense, two-day event in Boston in May, organized by Demand Abolition, a program of Hunt Alternatives Fund. The focus of the conference was on abolishing the demand for commercial sex. (Read more >  Sex trafficking snares hundreds of thousands of American children)

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