Worldwide, up to 27 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time, and 800,000 new victims are sex-trafficked each year (Free the Slaves, ILO, 2005). Sex trafficking is a 32 billion dollar industry, where 5-7 billion dollars per year is spent on trafficked women and transactional sex, putting women in very vulnerable situations (International Organization for Migration, 2011). While 14 years old is the average age a child is trafficked, girls as young as five years have been sold into child prostitution (National Human Trafficking Center, 2011). These individuals are at risk for mortality, and morbidity such as severe depression, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, abortions, and addiction to drugs (trafficking.org, 2020). In America, 300,000 children are sold for sex each year. Pennsylvania ranked in the top ten states for human trafficking in 2019, and Pittsburgh ranked 10th of cities affected (pahousegop.com, 2019). To date, in Pennsylvania, there are at least 9 county organizations aimed to stop human trafficking Berks Coalition Against Human Trafficking (BCAHT), Chester County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (CCAT), FREE From Human Trafficking of Berks County (FREE), Lancaster Anti Trafficking Network (LATN), Montgomery County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition, Operation T.E.N. of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Valley Against Sex Trafficking (VAST), and the York County Human Trafficking Task Force. I saw a need for a centralized coalition in Pennsylvania to bridge communication between these organizations and to serve communities in Pennsylvania who are not currently being served. At the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Human Trafficking (PCAHT), we seek to educate parents, teachers, and children about human trafficking and provide services to survivors. We currently have a Facebook group for parents and children to learn about human trafficking (Learn about Human Trafficking by PCAHT), a Facebook support group for survivors (Human Trafficking Support Group by PCAHT), and a Facebook support group for survivors of sexual abuse (Sexual Abuse Survivors by PCAHT). We also have zoom meetings for survivors. Are you interested in volunteering with us or completing an internship? Send us a message to let us know how you would like to be involved.
TOGETHER WE CAN STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING!
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