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DC Stop Modern Slavery Newsletter August 28, 2011

From: Rachel
Sent on: Sunday, August 28, 2011 6:44 PM

DC Stop Modern Slavery Newsletter August 28, 2011



On October 22, 2011, thousands of people will gather on the National Mall for the annual DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk, a united effort to celebrate human rights, raise awareness about the crime of human trafficking, and raise funds for organizations that are working to end human trafficking. We hope for full participation from the SMS community.


If you are interested in joining the walk planning team, email [address removed]

NEW - Curious about the status of efforts to combat modern-day slavery in South America?

Attend a stellar panel on the subject this Thursday evening at George Washington University. Journalists, law enforcement officials, NGO workers and government representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador and Panama will discuss their efforts to fight human trafficking in their respective countries, with an emphasis on combating the sexual exploitation of children.

Light refreshments will be provided.

When: Thursday, September 1; 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: GWU Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St. NW, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602


REMINDER - Do you have a few hours to help input household survey data on debt-bondage practices in India?

Free the Slaves is holding another Data Entry Day on Saturday, September 10 where local volunteers will come together at the international anti-trafficking organization’s Dupont Circle headquarters to pore through surveys conducted by local NGO partners in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar -- two regions where debt-bondage and human trafficking are particularly prevalent.

A pizza lunch will be provided. Volunteers are asked to bring their laptops.

When: Saturday, September 10; 10:00am - 5:00pm (It is fine if you can only make it for part of the day.)

Where: Free The Slaves Dupont Circle Office

To volunteer, email [address removed] with your name, email address, phone number and availability.

NEW - Love happy hour? How about raising money for a really important anti-trafficking cause?

Swing by the L2 Lounge in Georgetown on September 22 for a happy hour fundraiser for the Bridge to Freedom Foundation. All proceeds will go directly to BTFF’s efforts to support human trafficking survivors as they work to build sustainable, thriving livelihoods.

When: Thursday, September 22; 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Where: L2 Lounge, 3315 Cady’s Alley, NW

Donation: $15 at the door


NEW - Curious about where your home state ranks on human trafficking laws?

The Polaris Project policy team has finished their yearly evaluation of state laws from all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the presence or absence of 10 key provisions that are critical to building a robust national anti-trafficking framework. In 2010, the bottom tier of states was labeled the “Dirty Dozen,” a group of twelve states with only 0 to 2 statutes addressing human trafficking. Notably, this year, only nine states remain in this bottom tier -- the “Nine Lagging Behind.”

Check out where your state ranks by clicking here,

If you are a resident or have personal ties to one of the states in the “Nine Lagging Behind,” Polaris Project has organized resources for you to create and send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper to encourage them to cover human trafficking with the aim of making this a key issue for the state legislature. You can visit the campaign site here,

REMINDER - Want to boost awareness for a national campaign that seeks to end the commercial sexual exploitation of girls and minors?

Launched in 2009, the Girls Educational & Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) Girls Are Not For Sale campaign has been dedicated to transforming the public perception and criminal justice system’s view of sexually trafficked girls. The campaign’s gripping video uses real-life survivor-informed terminology that seeks to dismantle historic prejudices and stigmatizing labels that blame trafficked minors for their commercial sexual exploitation.

For the impact it already is achieving, Girls Are Not For Sale has been nominated for a prestigious Stay Classy Award for Most Effective Awareness Campaign by a Charity. You can increase GEMS’ shot at the award and the $15,000 prize by voting here:


REMINDER - Do you admire the work that Polaris Project does in fighting domestic human trafficking? Care to get involved yourself?

Polaris Project is now accepting applications for volunteer fellows for the fall semester. Ten fellowships are available for duties as considerably varied as Japan liaison, NHTRC hotline, and Training and Technical Assistance. Polaris fellows gain a wide variety of skills with an emphasis on teaching leaders of tomorrow how to combat human trafficking. Fellowships last 3-4 months. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply early as the selection process takes place on a rolling basis.

To see a list of the available fellowship positions and to apply, visit:

REMINDER - Would you like your voice to be heard on a short documentary on human trafficking?

Local DC filmmaker and SMS member Dexter Sumner and the Hague Files crew are looking for anti-trafficking activists to provide 30-seconds or so of soundbyte outtakes on their feelings about modern-day slavery. Participants do not have to be an expert to talk about the issue though experts are welcome to contribute soundbytes!

Soundbyte topics the documentary is focusing on are:
• Runaways and the lack of shelter(s) to house them.
• Debt bondage practices with a particular interest in the experience of Korean women trafficked into the United States.
• Voices for the voiceless -- who speaks for trafficked victims, particularly children?
• Violence -- what kind of violence would someone who is trafficked face?
• The real reasons why individuals enter the sex trade and public misconceptions about those reasons.

Participants are also welcome to comment on other human trafficking issues not addressed above. To get involved, email, [address removed]

REMINDER - Love event planning? Have ideas for DC SMS Meetup locations, speakers, or activities?

As DC Stop Modern Slavery is a community group, we all have the opportunity to shape our gatherings. If you have a knack for event planning and/or have ideas for meetup locations, speakers, or activities, please email [address removed].


REMINDER - Have you heard about the New Underground Railroad?

It’s a web-based portal where anti-trafficking activists across the globe can link up to share information about campaigns, one-time events, important legislation, internships and job positions. Create your own FREE account with End Slavery Now -- the world’s largest database of volunteers, organizations, facilities and service professionals fighting to stop modern day slavery.

To sign up, visit

REMINDER - Interested in reading news articles gathered from around the country and the globe that cover human trafficking crimes and efforts to eliminate modern-day slavery? Sign up to receive The Abolitionist’s Digest -- produced by DC SMS members and emailed each Wednesday morning.

Sign up to receive the weekly digest here,

Thanks to those who provided submissions. Future submissions and any feedback on how this newsletter can be improved should be sent to [address removed].

If you wish to no longer receive mail from DC Stop Modern Slavery, you'll need to leave the group on To do this, go to the DC Stop Modern Slavery page, click the members tab, select "my profile," and click the "leave this Meetup Group" link. We'll miss you!


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