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Abstract

Human trafficking is regarded by Interpol as the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This letter is submitted in response to the topic of Human Trafficking addressed in Volume 2, Issue 1. In response to the ever-increasing attention to this problem, various programs focus on the rescue of survivors in anti-trafficking efforts - sometimes overshadowing efforts to prevent human trafficking and rehabilitate those harmed. A comprehensive, responsible approach requires a system of rescue and rehabilitation with a deliberate eye toward prevention. The basic human rights of survivors are at risk of being violated by “so-called rescue missions, despite the good intentions of would-be rescuers.” At the prevention level, a firm human rights approach is needed. When interventions shift their emphasis to prevention and tackle the innate contributors to inequality, then the roots of trafficking and slavery can be firmly extirpated. By taking a thoughtful and vested approach to tackling all areas of trafficking— including prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation—resources can be used more effectively, and communities are likely to have a more extensive impact in the fight against this hideous crime against humanity.

Key Take Away Points

  • Current anti-trafficking efforts appear to overemphasize the rescue of survivors, often at the cost of bolstering prevention and rehabilitation efforts.
  • The challenges of prevention and aftercare require a multifaceted, human rights-centered approach to counter inadequate responses to trafficking, which often include: denial of the problem, failure to consider the human rights of survivors of exploitation, and/or have an improper definition of the crime of sex trafficking.
  • Those involved in anti-trafficking efforts can take a more responsible position by doing the following: building resources from within communities, challenging misogynistic views of young women, building sustainable support within communities by raising awareness of those exploited or at-risk, and empowering survivors and those at-risk to use their voices effectively.

Author Biography

Glori Gray is a licensed social worker and holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina and a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from George Fox University. Presently, she is pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, while working at the Oregon Health and Sciences University and teaching at Concordia University. Her dissertation explores resilience from a multicultural perspective and examines the specific strengths of young women who have been trafficked within the human slave trade. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings –including private practice, non-profit, residential treatment, and hospital settings. Prior to her current work, Glori Gray spent five years in private practice, working as a psychotherapist with traumatized children. To contact Glori Gray, please email glori@alumni.unc.edu. Haley Crowl is a doctoral candidate at George Fox University. She holds a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology and works as a Behavioral Health intern within the Family Medicine clinic at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She has also counseled adolescents at an alternative high school and has worked in residential treatment. For her dissertation she is conducting a program evaluation of Mending the Soul, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that empowers communities and equips churches to help youth impacted by abuse and exploitation. She can be reached at haley.crowl@gmail.com. Kimberly Snow is a pre-doctoral intern at Providence Health and Services and holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from George Fox University. She specializes in trauma interventions in her work with children and adults. Mrs. Snow’s experiences extend from her work in private practice, residential treatment, and hospital settings. To contact Kimberly Snow, please email kimnicole@gmail.com.

Acknowledgements

Great appreciation is offered to Dr. Winston Seegobin for his willingness to engage me in dialogue regarding the effects of trafficking. Additionally, further thanks is extended to Dr. Glenn Miles and Sophorn Phuong of Love 146, Samchet Serey and Jane Lopacka of Phnom Penh Counseling Centre, Tha Manoren and Visalsok Nou of the Cambodian Embassy, Ben Rath of Oregon Health and Science University, and Carl Gierisch, Chandra Chap, Sophorn Cheang, and Chanly Bob.

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A Response To:

Human Trafficking by .