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Sound of Freedom: A Response from the Frontlines

How Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Work

The Sound of Freedom movie made a splash in Hollywood and continues to enjoy success around the world for its depiction of the dark underworld of human trafficking. Interestingly, the reactions to the movie are a spectrum and have become divisive.

For Dark Bali, we always want to go back to those who have the most insight and are the most tied to the issue: survivors themselves. We also deeply believe in the importance of learning and working in a community, so we were honored to participate with many other anti-trafficking professionals this past July to formulate a collective response.

Please read through this brilliant, insightful response written by human trafficking survivors who are also professionals in the field.

For a longer conversation, check out this podcast in which our Executive Director spoke with the Beached White Male Podcast. They spoke about the difficulties of accurate media, the harm of perpetuating trafficking myths, and the many ways that non-professionals can be involved in anti-trafficking efforts. If you’ve been wondering about the movie (particularly how survivors and anti-trafficking professionals feel about it), this is a great episode for you.

The Truth About Recovering From Child Sexual Exploitation

The Truth About Recovering from Child Sexual Exploitation

To care for a child leaving the commercial sex industry, a caregiver absolutely must think in terms of holistic care. We have to realize that brain development has been compromised and slowed. We have to realize that basic things like autonomy, self-awareness, and personal boundaries have sometimes never been learned. We have to realize that in addition to the literal and figurative demons that child survivors face, they are fighting with their own bodies for basic health. So with these realizations, we are back to our first question: how long does it take to see a child survivor heal?

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The Harm of Fake Trafficking Stories

How Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Work

Last year, the world’s attention has turned toward human trafficking in new numbers. Particularly in the United States, #savethechildren made headlines as supporters took to the streets seemingly in support of victims of child trafficking. On social media, story after story was shared about people who believed they or their children had narrowly escaped being […]

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The Female Victim Myth: What About the Boys?

The Female Victim Myth What About the Boys

Typically, sex trafficking is presented as a crime primarily affecting women and girls. In data sets as recent as five years ago, researchers asserted that a whopping 97% of all sex trafficking victims are female. It is a narrative that has driven policy as well as justified the disproportionate allocation of funding and resources to […]

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When Human Trafficking Rescues Aren’t Ethical

When HT Rescues Aren't Ethical

While rescues or raids may still be necessary in some cases, they should always be performed under the leadership and authority of local law enforcement.

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Exploited for Profit: A Story of Two Street Kids

Exploited for Profit

There were two of them. One was probably around 7 and the other younger… maybe 4. They could have been sisters. They were both small and skinny, with tattered clothing and hungry eyes. I saw them as I was walking across the parking lot to the convenience store where I stopped to get a bottle […]

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The Truth About Survivor Success Stories

The Truth About Survivor Success Stories 2

When there is no longer a need to find food and shelter and physical safety, they have to wrestle with questions of their own value and the implications of what has been done to them. I cannot begin to describe how difficult this process is for a survivor.

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How Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Work

How Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Work (6)

While strategies are certainly nuanced, we can generalize the categories of responses needed to effectively address human trafficking. A helpful way of thinking about anti-trafficking work is breaking it down into its 4 major categories: advocacy, prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation.

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Sex Trafficking as a Capitalist System: Part 2

How Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Work (8)

If making the global sex trade less profitable is the cornerstone to the dismantling of the industry itself, it is important to know where the best place is to focus those efforts. As noted in part 1, the supply chain of the sex industry has four parts: the product, the wholesalers, the retailers, and the buyers. In the sex trafficking supply chain, the first two parts are the most resistant to intervention.

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Sex Trafficking as a Capitalist System: Part 1

How Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Work (1)

Put in economic terms, sex trafficking is a supply chain with a supply side and a demand side. The two parts of the supply side are the product (sexual services) and wholesalers (traffickers involved in recruitment and transfer). Retailers (traffickers involved in sales such as brothel employees, pimps etc.) and customers (those that pay for sex) make up the demand side

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