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When Paying for Sex is a Quest for Intimacy

What drives someone to pay for sex?  Is it lust? Loneliness? Sexual addiction? A need for control? A search for power?  Here is one man’s explanation: Listening to this man fills me with sadness.  I am sad for the single moms and students who, according to him, constitute the majority of those he buys sex […]

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joysmithJune 7, 2014 - Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa. More than 2,000 migrants jammed in 25 boats arrived in Italy June 12, ending an international operation to rescue asylum seekers traveling from Libya. They were taken to three Italian ports and likely to be transferred to refugee centers inland. Hundreds of women and dozens of babies, were rescued by the frigate FREMM Bergamini as part of the Italian navy's "Mare Nostrum" operation, launched last year after two boats sank and more than 400 drowned. Favorable weather is encouraging thousands of migrants from Syria, Eritrea and other sub-Saharan countries to arrive on the Italian coast in the coming days. Cost of passage is in the 2,500 Euros range for Africans and 3,500 for Middle Easterners, per person. Over 50,000 migrants have landed Italy in 2014. Many thousands are in Libya waiting to make the crossing. (Massimo Sestini/Polaris)

Smuggling vs. Trafficking in the Mediterranean Migrant Crisis

What is the difference between human trafficking and smuggling?  In light of the current migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, this has become a relevant and important question.  In case you haven’t been reading up on what is happening off the shores of Italy, Greece, and Libya, here are some things you need to know. LIBYA […]

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Mean Tweets (Homeless Edition) – Or, Why I’m Sleeping Outside on April 9

While researching the connections between homelessness and sex trafficking, I came across a video that caught my attention.  In it, the homeless read mean tweets about homelessness. While I’ve never intentionally been cruel to the homeless, I am most certainly guilty of indifference.  I’m guilty of making quick assumptions, priding in self-righteousness, and shying away from uncomfortable […]

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When Your Exploitation Has No Start Date

A couple years ago in Budapest, I met with Balint Dora from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Hungary office.  By this point, Jay and I had already been to several Western European countries and had learned that Hungarian men, women, and girls represented a significant portion of trafficking victims across the continent.  Poverty was a […]

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Why Would a Parent Sell Their Own Child?

A few weeks ago, I came across a photo I assumed was staged.  It couldn’t be real.  In it, a mother had set her four children to sit on the front stairs of the house with a FOR SALE sign.   I decided to look into it further and discovered that the children were indeed […]

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