Activities Related to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
HFF has focused many recent funding activities to create awareness and constituencies to bring to justice those involved in human trafficking and the crimes against children – specifically, the buyers and the sellers -- and to make the public aware that this horrible crime is happening to our own children as well as victims from other countries. These activities include:
Training and Resources United to Stop Trafficking (TRUST)
TRUST (Training & Resources United to Stop Trafficking) is working to foster collaboration among local agencies and organizations involved in fighting sex trafficking in Arizona communities, with particular focus on the youth who become victims of this horrible crime. Funded as a program of the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network (AATN), the TRUST team is identifying, engaging and connecting the various activities already underway in the community to address and respond to the various aspects of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.
It is intended that TRUST will focus on providing quality information, training and networking opportunities for anti-trafficking actors while also strengthening the broader community’s awareness and investment in the movement.
TRUST has become a central point of communication among the players in Arizona, bringing community activists, funders, law enforcement and service providers together to share resources and collaborate in order to effectively address the buying and selling of Arizona’s children.
For more information, visit www.trustaz.org
Law Enforcement Training in Identification of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims
Shared Hope International researched child sex trafficking in the US with the finding that first responders were mis-identifying trafficked children as juvenile delinquents, runaways, or “child prostitutes.” This resulted in the criminalization of the victims while the men renting their young bodies rarely were being treated as the criminals. In response, Shared Hope developed awareness and response training for law enforcement and other first responders. Scholarships were provided for law enforcement officers and prosecutors from across the nation, and over 30 from Arizona to attend the training program held in Washington, DC in November 2013. The training is a community model of training and collaborative response building for six populations of responders: law enforcement, prosecutors, juvenile service providers, Defenders (men only), advocates for youth, and the general public. Each participant is equipped with knowledge and materials to return to train others in their area of influence. This training is resulting in identification of victims, and prosecutions and imprisonment of the individuals who buy and sell their innocence. Shared Hope-trained first responders are a part of bringing justice to trafficked children across the nation, and making their home communities safer for children.
Funded through the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, Project ALWAYS provides free legal services to youth and young adults who are homeless or who are impacted by sex trafficking, sexual exploitation or family violence. Direct representation may include orders of protection, judicial requests to set aside prior convictions, good cause exception applications to the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting, and family law and immigration services. Direct representation does not include defense of pending criminal charges or CPS allegations, but referrals will be provided whenever possible.
For more information, visit www.projectalways.org
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST)
CAST, headquartered in Los Angeles, assists persons who have been trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices. There is a growing population of US citizen children and youth who are being trafficked in the sex industry by individual pimps and organized crime gangs that have discovered that trafficking in humans is more lucrative, less risky and more efficient than trafficking drugs. Domestic minors do not require dangerous border crossings and, as human “inventory,” they can be used again and again. As in Arizona, under current California state law, a child under the age of 18 engaging in prostitution is a criminal even though the child cannot legally consent to sex. There is no program currently in place in Los Angeles County to effectively address the special needs of these sexually exploited youth, and incarceration is not an effective tool as it criminalizes and stigmatizes these youth. This grant provides for legal representation of these victims by a CAST attorney while developing a legal “specialization” protocol to represent more of these endangered youth in the future.
For more information, visit www.castla.org
Shared Hope International - Demanding Justice Project
America’s youth are at risk because of a simple economic principle—demand for sex with children drives the market of exploitation. Little has been done to address the culture of tolerance or confront the obvious conclusion that penalizing buyers is the ultimate answer to protect our youth from becoming prey. Unfortunately attempts to find answers to the problem of demand have been scarce. The few studies that exist have been cited, and include a limited repertoire of responses including education or exposure. In a very limited number of cases a buyer has been convicted federally under a provision of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and this needs to be developed for greater applicability at the state level. Shared Hope International was given a grant to bring this effort forward in 2014.
For more information, visit www.sharedhope.org
Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation Forensic Examination Program and Youth Sexual Assault Clothing Project
The overall project purpose is to assist vulnerable and at-risk youth in Maricopa County who are victims of sexual exploitation and in the care of Scottsdale Healthcare’s Forensic Nurse Examiner’s Program. This is an integrated project with objectives to support forensic sexual assault nurses in conducting accurate and timely medical-forensic exams and provide appropriate medical treatment; ensure detailed forensic electronic medical records are maintained, rapidly retrieved and forwarded to the county health department; provide emergency assistance to young patients by providing prophylactic medication for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, clothing, referrals and resources for housing, CPS assistance, drug abuse, etc.; and provide testimony in Superior Court that assists prosecution in preventing the practice of minor sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
For more information, visit www.shc.org
The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Crews'n Healthmobile
The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Crews'n Healthmobile’s mission is to provide holistic and comprehensive care to homeless children and teens in Phoenix. It is a 38-foot Mobile Medical Unit that provides free, comprehensive medical help directly to children, youth and young adults who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. The Crews’n Healthmobile is specially outfitted with three exam rooms and the latest technology to allow the healthcare providers on board to treat patients for a variety of conditions ranging from minor surgical procedures, basic blood work, upper respiratory illnesses, skin infections, fractured bones, strained and sprained extremities, sexually transmitted illnesses, asthma, influenza, dehydration, chest pain with ECG changes, diabetes, pregnancy, hypertension, depression and obesity.
For more information, visit www.phoenixchildrens.org/community/healthcare-outreach/crewsnhealthmobile
Novel Nano Delivery System to Treat Lung Cancer - UCLA/California NanoSystems Institute
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and, therefore, is a major health issue both in developed and less developed countries. Lung cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage in a majority of patients which is the primary reason behind the high mortality rate associated with this disease. This grant was provided in 2013 to UCLA/California NanoSystems Institute researchers to develop a nano-technology drug delivery system to treat patients with lung cancer. While this constitutes a novel approach, the scientific background behind the plan as well as preliminary results are very promising. A world-class team of scientists and physicians spanning expertise in cancer biology, cell and molecular biology, oncology and nanotechnology has been assembled to participate in this research activity. The project represents a new and optimized approach to biomarker-directed, personalized cancer therapy.
For more information, visit www.ucla.edu
Project Peanut Butter Malawi Factory Relocation and Construction
In 2011, Project Peanut Butter embarked on a new factory in Mali; however, political unrest and circumstances that resulted after the initial effort was begun required that the plan be abandoned and the PPB staff extricated to safety. It was determined that resources would be better served to relocate, upgrade and stabilize the original PPB factory activities in Malawi. The funds have made the now-PPB owned land and facility state-of-the-art to produce ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for distribution in the region as well as sale to UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and other NGO’s on a cost recovery basis.
Supporting Native American Connections’ HomeBase Youth Services
Since assuming management and operation of the HomeBase Youth Services programs, NAC has continued to provide services to stabilize at-risk and homeless youth in crisis and engage them in activities and supportive programs to help them gain employment, learn life skills, and ultimately move toward greater independence. HFF has provided financial support to sustain the positive impact that the HBYS Outreach Program and Day Resource Center continue to offer, as well as support of the Transitional Living Program that helps this young population prepare for independent living and a healthy lifestyle.
For more information, visit www.nativeconnections.org/behavioral-health/HomeBase-youth-services