August 11th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Teen helps fight human trafficking

Fifteen-year-old Anna Demian is not taking on your typical high school project. She will be a part of the Ignite the Road to Justice Tour, a campaign to bring awareness to human trafficking. The tour, hosted by Miss Canada 2011, Tara Teng, takes off on August 15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will reach 10 major cities across Canada.

Anna is the youngest member of the tour and wants to show that young people have power to effect change.

“It’s for those people who don’t have voices. And I have a voice and I believe it is my responsibility to use it,” Anna said, according to the bclocalnews.com.

The Ignite the Road to Justice starts at 7 p.m. PT on August 15 at Coastal Church, 1160 West Georgia Street in Vancouver. The tour will wrap up in Toronto on September 4.

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  1. Naomi

    Tara Teng is a Christian and also a pastor's daughter. Christians have been fighting for the neediest of the needy for 2,000 years all over the world.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • blahhhh

      when did this become a christian thing? the article doesnt even mention religion

      August 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • mrwiggle

      They did a lot of help during the crusades. Nothing like a little religious persecution to help the neediest of the needy.

      August 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
    • think

      The problem has little to do with religion. The deeper problem lies with powerful organizations and individuals. Consider child sex slavery scandals involving US defense contractors.

      From the Wikipedia:

      DynCorp (and other military contractors) Employee involvement in child sex slave traffic

      According to whistleblower Ben Johnston, a former aircraft mechanic who worked for the company in Bosnia and Herzegovina, DynCorp employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves.[18] Ben Johnston ended up fired, and later forced into protective custody. According to Johnston, none of the girls were from Bosnia and Herzegovina itself, but were kidnapped by DynCorp employees from Russia, Romania and other places.

      On June 2, 2000, members of the 48th Military Police Detachment conducted a sting on the DynCorp hangar at Comanche Base Camp, one of two U.S. bases in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all DynCorp personnel were detained for questioning. CID spent several weeks working the investigation and the results appear to support Johnston's allegations. For example, according to DynCorp employee Kevin Werner's sworn statement to CID, "during my last six months I have come to know a man we call 'Debeli,' which is Croatian for fat boy. He is the operator of a nightclub by the name of Harley's that offers prostitution. Women are sold hourly, nightly or permanently."[19]

      Johnston is not the only DynCorp employee to blow the whistle and sue the billion-dollar government contractor. Kathryn Bolkovac, a U.N. International Police Force monitor hired by the U.S. company on another U.N.-related contract, filed a lawsuit in Great Britain against DynCorp for unfair dismissal due to a protected disclosure (whistleblowing), and on 2 August 2002 the tribunal unanimously found in her favor.[20] DynCorp had a $15 million contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time she reported such officers were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex-trafficking.[21] Many of these were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity, but none have been prosecuted, as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bolkovac's story was made into a film, The Whistleblower, in 2010. She has also co-authored a 2011 book with Cari Lynn titled The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors And One Woman's Fight For Justice.

      DynCorp has admitted it fired five employees for similar illegal activities prior to Johnston's charges.[22] In the summer of 2005, the United States Defense department drafted a proposal to prohibit defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor. Several defense contractors, among others DynCorp, stalled the establishment of a final proposal that would formally prohibit defense contractor involvement in these activities.[23]

      Dancing boy incident

      DynCorp workers who were employed to train Afghan policemen took drugs and paid for young "dancing boys" (child prostitutes) to entertain them in Kunduz, according to one of the US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.[24][25][26] The cable stated that the Afghan interior minister at the time, Hanif Atmar asked the assistant US ambassador to try and "quash" both the story and release of video from the incident. The story was eventually published by The Washington Post in July 2009[27] and downplayed the incident, calling it a "questionable management oversight" when it was in fact being discussed at the highest levels of the Afghan government. According to The Guardian, the incident was influential in causing the Afghans to demand that private security companies were more strictly controlled by governments,[28] although the leaked diplomatic cable states that "placing military officers to oversee contractor operations at RTCs [i.e., DynCorp Regional Training Centers] is not legally possible under the current DynCorp contract."

      At the time of the leaked cable's writing, an investigation was on-going and disciplinary actions had been taken against DynCorp leaders in Afghanistan. An investigation by Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior (MOI) resulted in the arrest of two Afghan police and nine other Afghans for the crime of "purchasing a service from a child." The United States' Assistant Ambassador to Afghanistan cautioned that an overreaction by the Afghan government would "only increase chances for the greater publicity the MOI is trying to forestall."[29]

      According to employees who spoke anonymously for fear of retribution, four senior managers were sacked as a result of this and other incidents in Afghanistan.[30] The State Department was reportedly investigating whether DynCorp had ignored signs of drug abuse among employees in Afghanistan. According to the State Department Inspector General, a "substantially completed" review specifically pertaining to the dancing boy incident had uncovered no criminal activity. Following government investigations into its programs in Afghanistan and other conflict zones, DynCorp was reported to be strengthening its ethics practices, and had created a chief compliance officer position whose focus included ethics, business conduct, and regulatory compliance.[31]

      August 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Douglas W. Nelber

      Christian or not, I admire her for her courage to help speakout. Human trafficking is enclosing the globe. It is happening here in the tiny island countries here in the North Pacific. We all should hepl speak out in any which way we can.

      August 30, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  2. Benjamin

    When the fathers were doing it, they thought the children will not see it, only God can save this mother earth.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:55 am | Reply
  3. Naomi

    Mother Earth hates mankind and she is asking God to get rid of them. Read Romans chapter 8.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • abdirahman

      mother earth dosnt hate its mankind, but its the mankind who are not obeying the command of the creator.!

      August 13, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Naomi

      @Ab, it's been sarcasm for those who use the term "mother nature" or "mother earth." I feel sorry for the creation world when humans call it "mother." It's such a disgraceful term for the innocent creation world.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:27 am | Reply
      • shelby

        i agree with you its a joke

        August 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  4. think

    Photos of Prince Andrew with child prostitute, and lurid details of 'naked pool parties'.

    http://www.dailymail (replace this dot) co (replace this dot, too) uk/news/article-1362380/Prince-Andrew-naked-pool-parties-paedophile-friends-house.html

    I guess the wealthy can do this with impunity.

    August 13, 2011 at 2:06 am | Reply
    • alex

      THE POOR AS WELL DO THIS WITH OUT QUESTION...A lot of poor people choose to sell them selves..i live in south america and see it all the time

      August 16, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • Sara

      I don't see any 'child prostitute' in the article you directed us to... I guess some people see what they *want* to see.

      Stop wasting our time

      August 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  5. salih

    It is wonderful to see that this young lady aware about the danger of human trafficking and she want to play a effective role in order to fight aganist human trafficking.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:40 am | Reply
  6. Asya Gonzalez

    I am PROUD to see another teen fighting against Human Trafficking! Great job, Anna! I'm right here beside you fighting every step of the way. We may not stop it, but we can show the rest of the world that if a teen can do it, so can an adult. We are paving a path of awareness! Keep going!

    sheisworthit.org

    August 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  7. revolutionary

    they need to make prostitution legal , as long there is demand this will never stop. Is too way too late for this to stop by trying to break them one by one....

    August 16, 2011 at 8:13 am | Reply
  8. Pratcaya

    เราต้องช่วยกัน

    August 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  9. bebopper76

    CNN News is telling lies about Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Slavery, CNN Freedom Project is lying.

    CNN leads the media's mass paranoia, lying, lies over a nonexistent Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Slavery, Prostitution epidemic

    BY TONY ORTEGA
    VILLAGE VOICE
    PUBLISHED: JULY 06, 2011

    I remember the last couple of mass panics. Do you?

    There was the daycare scare of the 1980s, when we were told that child molesters had infiltrated childcare centers across the country. From the beginning of the panic, with the infamous McMartin Preschool trial (which ended in zero convictions), it should have been obvious that there was something hard to believe about the media reports of this nationwide crime epidemic.

    Toddlers who had been hypnotized reported that they were being flown to Mexico to be sexually abused, killed, eaten, and then magically restored before Mom and Dad could pick them up (that is actual testimony from one particularly incredible trial that did, in fact, send a Texas couple to prison).

    Gripped by mass fear, it took the public some time to wake up from that fever dream. About the same time, America was hyperventilating over another nonexistent threat: satanic cults that, experts swore, were sacrificing thousands of victims across America.

    Remember that one? I'm sure Geraldo Rivera does.

    We've panicked in other ways since those days, but if we tended to see terrorists everywhere after 9/11, at least there was vivid evidence that we had become a target.

    But even that threat is fading. Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are receding fast from public consciousness. Our economy is gradually crawling back. Crime remains at record lows. A new presidential campaign is only in its earliest stages.

    What's there to panic about today?

    A small group of political activists is quite ready to provide the answer. In the second decade of the 21st century, we are being told that there's a widespread, growing, and out-of-control problem to fear in our country. And it has a catchy name: "trafficking."

    In cities across America, we are told over and over, like a mantra, that "100,000 to 300,000" underage sex slaves have been stashed away from public view, with more joining them every day. It's a problem growing so quickly that the United States soon will be no better than Moldova or Nepal in regard to child sex trafficking. Why go to the Third World looking for this nightmare when our cities and suburbs are bursting with children in bondage?

    Feel that panic in your chest? Must have been what Geraldo experienced. Now, step back and take a deep breath.

    As we showed in our cover story last week, the newest panic is like the ones that preceded it—an emotional reaction, based on good intentions, but grounded in bogus information.

    The actual data behind this "epidemic" is wanting in the extreme. It involves guesses by activist professors, junk science by nonprofit groups trying to extract money from Congress, and manipulation by religious groups hiding their real agendas about sex work.

    And one of the most visible enablers in this national fantasy has been young CNN reporter Amber Lyon.

    Lyon is best known for ambushing Craigslist founder Craig Newmark last year, questioning him about what are known as "adult ads." At the time, Craigslist was heavy with such ads. Having cornered the timid Newmark—who has told people he's a borderline Asperger's case—it didn't take much for the aggressive Lyon to reduce Newmark to catatonia with her questions about Craigslist's facilitating the enslavement of young girls across the country.

    Under pressure by the attorneys general of several states, Newmark initiated a lawsuit in South Carolina, which he won. (In fact, he won every time he went to court.) But facing the further pressure of congressional hearings about its sex ads, Craigslist dropped its adult sections last fall. (You can still find the ads on the site, if you know where to look.)

    Lyon has been known to tell people that her ambush of the meek Newmark resulted in the shuttering of "the Walmart of child sex trafficking." Now, she has set out to take down a new target: Village Voice Media.

    Seven years ago, the people I work for were smart enough to start Backpage.com, a competitor to Craigslist. While other newspapers were doing little more than publicly condemning Newmark for the way Craigslist has, for years, eaten into their classified-ads revenue, we decided to fight back. That's just how we operate.

    Backpage.com has since inherited some of the adult business that left Craigslist. The Village Voice itself has been taking such ads since the mid-1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, the adult business was a large part of the paper. Today, it's a smaller presence in the print edition, and the Voice's website has no adult advertising—that business appears only at Backpage.com.

    Backpage.com is not a newspaper. It's an Internet bulletin board where people can place ads for anything from rental apartments to bicycles to lawnmowers. And, yes, it's a place where adults can post notices so that other adults can contact them.

    What happens when two adults find each other through Backpage.com? I couldn't tell you. The whole point of Backpage.com is that we aren't involved after two consenting adults find each other through the community bulletin board, which exists solely so that people can freely express themselves—sometimes in ways that make other people uncomfortable. We're First Amendment extremists that way. Always have been.

    We've spent millions of dollars putting in place strict policies and monitoring services to make sure that it is only adults finding each other through Backpage.com's adult pages. Not only do we have security specialists making constant searches for keywords that might indicate an underage user, but we're quick to cooperate with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when we find suspicious ads. In some cases, our reports about suspicious ads have resulted in underage runaways being traced and recovered—as opposed to the underground economy of bus stations and street corners where kids are truly invisible.

    Backpage's 123 employees, who screen about 20,000 ads every day, alert NCMEC when they find something suspicious, who in turn contacts law enforcement. That process triggered 230 reports last month. For more on how quickly and often Backpage reports problems, see Caleb Hannan's story at our sister paper, Seattle Weekly.

    Underage prostitution is a persistent problem in this country, but as we established in last week's cover story, it exists at a level that is nothing like what is being trumpeted by Amber Lyon on the behalf of activists who want to put us out of business. Lyon and other journalists—even the New York Times—may repeat uncritically the figure of "100,000 to 300,000" underage prostitutes, but as we showed last week, that number is based on a flimsy study by a couple of activist professors who included in that figure runaways (most of whom are back home in a week) and any teen who happens to live near an international border, supposedly putting them "at risk."

    Using official law enforcement data, we showed that underage prostitution arrests are closer to 800 per year for the entire country—a number that has not increased over the past decade. Far from a widespread and rapidly growing problem, this is, instead, a small problem that stays about the same size because its underlying causes—drug addiction and teen homelessness—are not targeted with federal funds the way scaremongering is.

    In December, we sent information to CNN about what we're doing to keep Backpage.com's adult pages for adults only as Amber Lyon prepared a sensationalistic piece about the mythic hundreds of thousands of underage American sex slaves, for whom she wanted us to appear responsible.

    When her piece aired in February, however, this is what Lyon said: "What is [Backpage.com's] holistic plan? We don't know because [Backpage.com security adviser] Hemu Nigam wouldn't talk to us."

    We subsequently pointed out to CNN that we had, in fact, provided Lyon with a two-page, single-spaced data sheet about what we're doing to keep underage users out of Backpage.com's adult pages. In a later rebroadcast of her piece about us, her legal department forced Lyon to tack on this correction: "Backpage.com sent us a statement in late December saying, 'Backpage.com is committed to preventing those who are intent on misusing the site for illegal purposes.' And they went on to say that they implemented new safety measures to that end, which are listed on the company blog. There is evidence these measures have had some results. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Backpage reported 30 suspicious ads in 2010. And in the first month of 2011, they reported 65."

    Well, that was something. But Lyon's reporting has been manipulative, at best. When you watch her special, "Selling the Girl Next Door," it should be obvious that Lyon is less interested in learning how Backpage.com actually operates than she is in making viewers squirm about sex. In one segment, she talks to the women working at a legal brothel in Nevada. In another, she talks to men who are undergoing counseling for paying for sex—none of them with underage girls. Each of these segments is intended simply to make viewers see sex work in the worst possible light. And that's no accident.

    At the end of her broadcast, Lyon's sources are singled out for "special thanks." The list includes several Atlanta-area foundations, deep in the Bible Belt, that have done as much as anyone to create the current panic about a nonexistent epidemic of sexual slavery.

    We recently found out that Lyon is even closer to these groups than you could tell from a list at the end of her broadcast.

    It's not unusual for reporters, after working with helpful sources, to feel that they've become friends. It's happened to me and just about every other journalist I know. But as professionals, we know that it's important to keep some distance from the sources we rely on for information.

    Someone forgot to mention that to Lyon, apparently.

    On May 4, FAIR Fund, one of the sources thanked in CNN's special, held a fundraiser in Washington's City Tavern Club.

    The event's emcee was Amber Lyon, and she didn't seem at all uncomfortable helping a source raise money. We know because we sent a reporter to watch and videotape her performance.

    "Hello, everyone, and thank you all for coming tonight to 'Pearls of Purpose.' And my name is Amber Lyon, and I'm an investigative and documentary reporter with CNN. This is just an amazing gala and an amazing way to really celebrate the empowerment of young girls all around the world," she said to the gathered crowd.

    It wouldn't be a Lyon appearance without the required mantra: "Somewhere around, anywhere from, 100,000 to 300,000 American children are being trafficked," she told her audience. "It's an honor to be here tonight hosting this. I'm definitely proud to be supporting FAIR Fund."

    I emailed Lyon, asking her to explain how she could help a source raise money while continuing to use it as a source for stories. I was also curious how much money her event had raised, with tickets ranging from $125 to $250 a plate.

    "We are declining your request for an interview" is how she responded.

    That surprised me. Lyon clearly has ridden her fame for how bravely she stood up to mild-mannered Craig Newmark. I didn't expect her to duck some straight questions about her involvement in a semireligious crusade.

    Meanwhile, CNN has made trafficking its pet issue. The problem is, the network seems to draw almost no distinction from what Demi Moore finds in Nepal and what is actually happening here in the United States. That's just bad journalism. But it's what happens when an organization takes on a cause, regardless of the facts.

    Article Links:
    http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-07-06/news/stuck-in-trafficking/

    Video and Transcript of CNN's Amber Lyon Helping Her Sex Trafficking Source, FAIR Fund, Raise Money:

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/07/cnn_amber_lyon_conflict_of_interest.php

    August 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  10. There are many places to research

    Brazil has a large history on slavery. Every month several cases come to the news but nothing change.
    Brazil has all kind of slavery you can imagine. Brazil is one of the largest supliers of sex slaves nowadays. Even foreigners, like bolivians, are slaves for fabrics in Sao Paulo. You can see sex tourism everywhere here, from the beaches to the bus stations. Parents offering their teenage kids to the foreigners in the North East beaches.
    Please, research and report about this and help this country.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Brazil
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_slavery
    http://womensenews.org/story/prostitution-and-trafficking/050619/brazil-tries-stem-tide-sex-slavery
    http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1615126

    August 20, 2011 at 6:56 am | Reply
  11. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    We are not the indiguinous, nor the poor, nor the defensless, nor the quiet peaple of the land that the filthy corrupt meager men women and children of bowells of the earth go against to oppress and exploit, we are symbols of the ORIGINATOR AND PROPRIETOR OF ALL AND ALL, whom those seek to foolishly offend.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply
  12. Ibrahim ahmad

    Lets take a stand to end modern day slavery

    August 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  13. Helen Danyil

    Trafficking has become the Order of the day, but I believe with much more effort to enlighten and empower these young girls,will curb this menace and end the slavery. There is need to create more awareness and enact laws that will prosecute and nab down the perpetrators of such dastardly act called human trafficking.

    August 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  14. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    The Saditiouse Satanic Secret Society agenda is one that:1. sees itself as more powerful,inteligent and beautiful than any other. 2.deserves to own everything (including peaple) 3.think and beleive (with their burning faith) that they have the exclusive rights of being the only peaple who can enjoy the GOD WORSHIP pleasure of opposit sex lovemaking between two consenting adults.

    August 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  15. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    I,Antonio Velasquez Jr.,am a product of CREATOR AND SOLE PROPRIETOR ingenuity,nothing more-nothing less;from whom logic and reason is accomplished.Onto and uponto all who love me or hate me,is a quantum portion of their own cup.

    August 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  16. Antonio Velasquez Jr.t

    The destructive race to be like the sands of the sea and the palm trees by the waters will come to an end.

    August 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  17. Antonio Velasquez Jr.t

    Money never made anybody popular,in fact often times those with an over abundance of money are common criminal cowards.Especially those who wrongfully deprive other working peaple of the privaledge they have earned.There has always been a secret society that thinks that in their vain arrogance of a royal faith,they can deprive any peaple they deem a challenge to their pathetic belief of supreme invincibility.To the extreme ,that they have criminally adapted to a money system that is as corrupt as the oldest demonic child sex trafficers in existance.

    August 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  18. Antonio Velasquez Jr.t

    ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt HERE,MY ENEMIES ARE LAID DOWNtt tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

    August 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  19. FREEDOM COME

    Hello i am called Steven and i am a sudanese born local Reggae Musician currently residing in melbourne Australia, i left my home land due to war.I dont have much to say but Here is my roots Reggae song that i recorded at the start of the year, Its called "Freedom Come. follow the link http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=10150331578097363

    May God bless all the sufferers arround the world

    September 2, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
  20. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    Suffering suckatash !

    September 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  21. Antonio Velasquez Jr.

    Freedom to do what ? dont you get the clear picture.There is no such thing as freedom,for as long as the essence is within the earthen vessel. And there and here and anywhere exist no such thing as happiness,only contentment and joy. Redemption begins when we accurately identify whth who we are,where do we come from and what is our purpose throughout this level of life. ALWAYS BEARING IN MIND THAT THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Reply

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