Around the world, indigenous women are overrepresented as victims of trafficking compared to dominant populations, according to the United Nations. Smith, who has been out of the life for five years now and still participates in Breaking Free, says she is ready to start the next chapter of her life, and help those who may be at risk behind her. But the problem is even more widespread than that. Brought to you by:
Minnesota became a Safe Harbor state in , enacting a law that focuses on treating women caught in prostitution as victims instead of criminals and raises the fines on johns who hire them, using the extra revenue to help fund support programs for trafficking victims. Often, the kids are in single-parent households, not doing well in school, and have a history of either child abuse or neglect, he said. Smith, who has been out of the life for five years now and still participates in Breaking Free, says she is ready to start the next chapter of her life, and help those who may be at risk behind her. Brought to you by: In India, Latin America and Africa, indigenous girls are often the victims of sex trafficking, especially in areas of conflict, and have little access to police help or justice, according to the report. Also, the reason so many Native women are homeless and impoverished is, in part, because of federal policies that have made the population the poorest ethnic group in the nation. She also said that traffickers and pimps know this fact, know that Native girls are more likely to come from unstable homes and therefore be vulnerable to their approaches. Eventually, when she got pregnant, Smith went to her adopted parents and asked for help. The majority of trafficking victims globally are from Southeast Asia, and the majority are from indigenous communities, she said. Paul, Minnesota, in a small apartment rental that is used by women struggling to get out of trafficking. She spent the next 11 years having a normal childhood, she says, until she met that guy and fell in love. Discovering My Culture and My Call to Activism The trafficking of Native girls within the US is unique in how it connects the reservations with the urban areas, advocates said. Paul to parents struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction, Smith was put up for adoption at the age of 2 and placed with a family she describes as good, stable, and loving. Martin, the Duluth police investigator, has developed a prevention system by which police try and identify kids who might be vulnerable to being trafficked. Chris Martin, an investigator with the Duluth, Minnesota, police department who represents the police on the Duluth Trafficking Task Force, said that girls on reservations in need of money will often make a trip to the cities — Duluth, Minneapolis — for a few days or weeks to make some money in prostitution before going back home. Girls between the ages of 12 and 16 from tribes in remote areas make up most of the victims of trafficking in the region, according to a report from UNPFII. Advocates point out that poverty, homelessness, and addiction make women vulnerable to entering into prostitution or being trafficked because pimps can help meet those basic needs. I was trading money for sex, money for drugs, whatever he wanted me to do. And of the high-risk youth he works with, about one-third are Native American kids, he said. She has seen multiple generations of women in a single family practicing prostitution, encouraging the young girls to learn the trade as they became of legal age. Around the world, indigenous women are overrepresented as victims of trafficking compared to dominant populations, according to the United Nations. But the problem is even more widespread than that. If a juvenile has three or more runaway reports and any history of sexual abuse or exploitation, Martin goes to the home to interview them, both in order to build a relationship and to try and get other social services involved early to solve problems that could lead to trafficking later. He was her first pimp.
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