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Domestic Child Sex Trafficking and the Child Welfare


Response

[music]
KurtVolker:WelcometotheMcCainInstitute.TheMcCainInstitutewasfoundedto
honorthelegacyofservicetoournationofSenatorandMrs.McCainandtheMcCain
family,goingbackgenerations.Thatlegacyisabouthumanitarianactionandwork.It's
abouthumanrights.It'saboutnationalsecurityandaboveallaboutleadership,
characterdriven,valuesdrivenleadership.
ThatiswhatweseektopromoteattheMcCainInstitute.Wetrytomakesurethatwe
alwayspositionourselvesasadotank.Wetrytobeanorganizationthatisfocusedon
actionmorethanbeingathinktankandproposingideas.Thesimplewaytothinkofitis
ratherthancomingupwiththingsthatwewanttorecommendthatotherpeopledo,we
askourselvesthequestion"Whatcanwedo?"
Thatisthespiritinwhichwe'velaunchedourworkincombatinghumantrafficking.With
tremendousleadershipinpartnershipwithMrs.CindyMcCain,whoisthechairpersonof
ourAdvisoryCouncilonHumanTraffickingIseeatleastafewothersconnectedto
thatcouncilheretodaywehavebeenabletoraisepublicawareness.
Wehavebeenabletopromoteoriginalresearch.Wehavebeenabletoseestronger
legislationpassedinthestateofArizona.We'vecontributedtowardslegislationinother
statesintheMountainWest.We'vedevelopedpartnershipswithlawenforcement.We've
promotedtrainingforlawenforcementandsocialservices.
WehaveworkedwithotherNGOsthateitherareexpertsinhumantrafficking,like
Polaristheyrunthenationalhotlineor,alternatively,thosewhohavebeeninvolved
indevelopmentoftechnology,suchasThorn...
Whereweworkedtogethertoproduceaspotlightsoftwarethathelpslawenforcement
siftthroughallthemassiveinformationontheInternettocategorizeandstandardize,
makeiteasiertolookforpatternsthatmightindicatehumantraffickingontheWeb.
Thesearejustsomeexamplesofthethingsthatwehavedonetotrytoplayaveryactive,
handsonroleinfightingthisterrible,terriblephenomenonthatstillexiststhroughoutour
countryandthroughouttheworldtoday.
Today'sdiscussionispartofourConversationSeriesandpartofourawarenessraising.
Thefocus,particularlytoday,ischildsextrafficking,thevictimizationofchildrenandits
connectiontothechildwelfaresystem.Howdoesthechildwelfaresystemdealwith
that?Doesitcreateconditionsthatareconducivetothis?Canweturnthataroundand

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makesurethatweareactuallyusingitasatoolforhelpingchildren?
Withthat,I'mgoingtoturnthemicrophoneovertoMrs.CindyMcCaintointroduceour
moderator,andwe'llgettheconversationstarted.Thankyouagainsomuchforcoming.
Mrs.McCain.
[applause]
CindyMcCain:Thankyouverymuchforcoming.Ilovetoseeapackedroomand
peoplestanding.I'msorrywedon'thavechairsforallofyou,butthat'sagoodthing
today.Ireallyamexcitedaboutthis.
Firstofall,thankyouforcoming.Forobviousreasons,thisisaterriblyimportantissue.
WhenIwatchedmyownstate'schildwelfaresystemcollapse,itwasmadevery
abundantlycleartomethatwehadtogetinvolvedinthisissueinamajorway,asit
relatestotrafficking.
Wehavemanagedtocompiletodayagroupofexpertsonthisissue,peoplethathave
experiencedit,haveworkedinit,havelivedit,everyaspectofit,andareheretonotonly
exchangeideasanddiscussion,butalsotohearfromallofyou.
OurmoderatortodayisMalikaSaadaSaar,asyouknow.Sheneedsnointroduction.She
isoneofthemoreamazingwomenonthisissuethatIhaveeverhadtheopportunityto
know.I'mgratefulIcancallyoumyfriend.Thankyou.Welcome.Enjoy.Ihopethisisa
goodlearningexperienceforeverybody,andIhopewecandomoreofthesesoon.
Thanksforcoming.
[applause]
MalikaSaadaSaar:Hi,everyone.It'sreallyablessingtobewithyoutoday.Thankyou
forcoming.Wearegoingtodointroductionsofthepanelandthenreallystartto
unpackagetheissueoftheintersectionbetweenchildtraffickingandchildwelfare.
What'simportantabouttoday'sconversationisthatwhatdistinguishestheexperienceof
childrentraffickedinthiscountryistheirinteractionwiththechildwelfaresystem.We
knowsomanyofourchildrenwhoareboughtandsoldherearealsocomingoutoffoster
care.
Wewilllookintothatmoredeeply.I'msoblessedandhonoredtobeonthepanelwith
theindividualshere.StartingwithCongresswomanBass,ifyoucanintroduceyourself
andthengodownthepanel...
CongresswomanCongresswomanBass:Sure.CongresswomanBass.Iamservingin
mythirdterminCongress.IcomefromLosAngeles.IrepresentacommunityinLA.
LA'ssobig,wehaveactually12representativesintheregion,injustLACounty.Ihave
beeninvolvedandconcernedaboutthisissueformany,manyyears.

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BarbaraAmaya:Hello.I'mBarbaraAmaya.IamaSeniorTechnicalAdvisoratalocal
nonprofit,SeraphimGLOBAL.I'malsoanauthor,anadvocate,andasurvivorofhuman
trafficking.
AllisonGreen:MynameisAllisonGreen.I'maSupervisingAttorneyatDC'sChildrens
LawCenter.Weareattorneyswhorepresentthebestinterestsofchildreninthefoster
caresystem,inourlocalsystem.
Malika:Let'sgetstarted.CongresswomanBass,Iwanttostartwithyou.Acoupleyears
ago,myorganization,theHumanRightsProjectforGirlsrecognizedthatwehadtoget
thechildwelfareleadersinthistowntounderstandhowourchildrenarebeingtrafficked
andhowmanyofthosechildrenarecomingoutoffostercare.
Therewereveryfewvoicesandchampionsonthatissueoftheintersectionbetweenchild
welfareandchildtrafficking.Thefirstvoice,themostpowerfulvoicewas
CongresswomanBass.
Congresswoman,ifyoucanjusttalkaboutitintermsofcomingoutofLA,
understandingthelivesofourvulnerablechildrenasdeeplyasyoudo,whatbroughtyou,
reallyasoneofthefirstvoices,toshinethelightonthisintersectionbetweenchild
welfarecanchildtrafficking.
CongresswomanBass:WhenIlearnedaboutit,Iwasabsolutelyhorrified.What
happenedwasinLAtherewasastoryinthelocalpaperabouthowtherewasabigarrest
ofgirlsandalso...Idon'tliketousetheworkJohns,becausetomethey'rechild
molesters.Itwastraffickersandgirls.
TheFBIhadformedthistaskforcecalledInnocenceLost.IwentandImetwiththem.
Theydidapresentationforme,andtheytalkedaboutthegirls.Itwasjustmyinstinctthat
said,"Ibetalotofthesegirlsarefostergirls."
Theyreallydidn'thavedocumentationforit,buttheysaidtheyguesseditwasaround40
percent,andIassumeditwasmuchmore.Thenyoustartpiecingittogetherandyou
knowthatalotoftimeswhenthegirlsareperceivedashavingrunaway,whathappensto
them?
ItwassobadinLAthatliterallythere'sawebpageonthewebsitefortheLosAngeles
CountyDepartmentofChildrenandFamilyServicesofmissingkids.Theydon'tknow
whereallthekidsare.Someofthemtheyknowweretakenbytheirbirthparents,but
someofthemtheydon'tknow.Thenwhenkidsrunawayfromthesystem,ifthey'renot
found,that'skindofit.
Itjusthorrifiedme.TheninLA,wealsohavetheintersection.Iknowthisisinother
places,butnotnecessarilyeverywhere.Wehavetheintersectionofgangswhoare
involvedintrafficking,streetgangs,whohavediversifiedtheircriminalactivityaway
fromjustdrugtraffickingandnowtraffickinggirls.Itwasjusthorrificthatsomething

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likethiscouldgoon.
IdohavetomentionMalikathattheironyisIsitontheForeignAffairsCommittee.
Yesterday,weweredoingtheTIPreport,theTraffickinginPersonsReport.We'reso
worriedabouteverybodyaroundtheworld.AcoupleofyearsagowhenIsatforthat
report,I'mlike,"Well,where'soursection."[laughs]Weneedtoholdourselves
accountable.
[applause]
Allison:That'swhatIsay.
Malika:Iwanttofollowuponthat,becausewelookatwhathappensinotherpartsof
theworldwithchildrenbeingtrafficked.Inthiscountry,thereisnotonlytherealityof
thewaysinwhichthebrokennessofourchildwelfaresystemcanmakeourgirlsmore
vulnerabletobeingboughtandsold.
Oftenwhenwelookatourchildwelfareinvolvedchildrenwhoarebeingtrafficked,
manyofthem,ifnotmostofthem,aregirlswhohavebeenputinmorethanone
placement.Thesharednarrativeisgirlswhohavebeenputinmultipleplacementsin
care,andoftenrunawayfromcarebecauseofthat.
There'sthisotherreality,theothersystemthattheyinterfacewith,whichisthejuvenile
justicesystem,howweseethecriminalizationofourgirlsandboys,butmostlyourgirls,
1,000childreneveryyearwhoarearrestedforprostitution,eventhoughmostofthemare
notofagetoconsent.
Weknowthatthere'saracialdynamichere,where59percentofthosechildrenarrested
forprostitutionareAfricanAmerican.Assomeonewhojustsatinthatcommitteeroom
yesterday,couldyoualsotalkaboutthedistinctionofnotonlytheaddedvulnerabilityof
ourchildrenwhoareboughtandsoldinfostercare,thedisappearedoftenofthefoster
caresystem,butalsocriminalized.
CongresswomanBass:Tome,whenIfirstbegantorealizethis,theideaofevenusing
thattermthegirlisnotoldenoughtoconsentforsex,yetshe'scalledaprostitute
madeabsolutelynosenseatall.
Wedoknowthatalotofthegirlsarearrested,andthey'rearrestedforavarietyofthings.
They'rearrestedforprostitution,buttheyalsomightbearrestedforotherpettycrimes
relatedtothat,relatedtodrugaddiction,orrelatedtotheirbehavior.
Theideathatyouseeachild...andthat'sreallytomeacryforhelp.Whenachildis
actingoutlikethatpoorgirlin...wherewasthat,wheretheytackledher?
Allison:SouthCarolina.
CongresswomanBass:Yeah,SouthCarolina.Ifherparenthadcomeinanddonethatin

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theroom,theparentwouldhavebeenarrested.WhatIlearnedaboutSouthCarolinais
thattheycriminalizedadolescence.InschoolinSouthCarolina,andapparentlyanumber
ofthesouthernstates,ifyoumisbehave,it'sactuallyacrime.They'vemadeita
misdemeanor.
Inotherplaces,ifyoumisbehave,youmightgetdetention,butyougetarrested.There's
alloftheseentrypointsintothecriminaljusticesystem,andthenweknowthatoncethe
girlsareinthesystem,that'salsoarecruitmentplace,whereothergirlsmightrecruit.
There'ssomanyplaceswhereourgirlscanfalldowntherabbithole,andthenit'sa
questionofhowyoubringthemoutagain.
Malika:Barbara,youareasurvivor.Youhavethelivedexperienceatanotherpointin
timewhenchildrenweretraffickedinthiscountry,notinthesamenumbers,notthesame
issuesofvulnerability.Ifyoucouldjustgivevoicetohowyouhavecometotheissue
andcometounderstandwhatthisgenerationofchildrenwhoarebeingboughtandsold
need.
Barbara:Iknowthereis,ofcourse,theaddedelementtodayoftheInternet,andthat's
addedawholeotheraspect.WhenIwasayoungchild,Iranawayfrommyhomethe
summerIturned12,andIcontinuedtorunawayfrommyhome.Ithinklikenotall,but
somanyothervictims,Iwasbeingabusedinmyhome,soIranaway.
IwasinthejuvenilejusticesystemandIwascommittedtothestate.Iwassentto
detentioncenters,reformschools,andotherschools,andIfelldownthatrabbithole
becauseIwasmisidentifiedandIwasn'tidentifiedatallaschildinneedofservices.I
waslabeledincorrigibleanduncontrollable.Ididn'tevenknowwhatthatwordmeantat
thetime.
Ikeptgoingthroughthesedifferentsystemsandnotoncewasiteveraddressedwhatwas
happeningtome.WhywasIrunningawayfromthissuburbanFairfax,Virginiahome
to...DCwasinflamesatthetime.Itwasn'tagoodplacefora12yearoldtorunawayto.
Ifellintothehandsofhumantraffickers,andforthenext10yearsIendedupinNew
York,andIwastraffickedthere.
Onceagain,Iwascriminalizedinthesystem,andI'dbeenprogrammedtosayIwas18or
Iwas21,andgivefakenameandfalseaddresses.wascriminalizedandgotacriminal
recordthatI'vesincebeenabletogobackandvacate.
Someofthetacticsarethesame.Traffickersfoundamodelthatworks,howtoturna
childintoacommodity.Today,ofcourse,theaddedelementoftheInternethasjustmade
itallworse.IAlotofthemisidentificationisstillhappening.Justlikeithappenedthen,
it'sstillhappeningtoday.
Malika:Whatwastruethenandiscertainlytruenowisthatwehavecreatedthisfalse
distinctionbetweenrapingachildandpayingtorapeachild.Inthecaseofthelatter,
there'simpunityforthebuyer,andthere'salsothecriminalizationofthevictim.You

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wereandkidstodayareinasituationwhere,byvirtueofbeingachild...
Barbara:Achild.Rememberthat.
Malika:...andavictimofwhatessentiallyiscommercial,serialrape,bothofthose
conditionsoughttobeprotectedconditionschild,victim.Yetneitherwere
contemplatedthenorarecontemplatednow,tothedegreethatweshouldseewhenour
youth,whenourchildrenarebeingsubjecttothisformofcommercialrape.
Barbara:It'srape.Youcan'tsay"Childprostitute,"andyoucan'tsaythatJohnIcan't
standthatwordwashavingsexwithachild.No,hewasn't.Hewasrapingthechild.
Yet,Iwas12,13,14,15gettingacriminalrecord,beingarrestedforloiteringforthe
purposeofprostitution,whateveritwasinManhattan,andtheadultmalewasbeingsent
homewithnothing,nocharge.
Malika:Allison,Iwanttogotoyou.Wefindourselvesinthisdualspacewhenwetalk
aboutchildwelfareandchildtrafficking.Partofwhatwedoasanadvocacycommunity
istosay,"Thisisnotacriminaljusticeissue.Weshouldnotbecriminalizingour
childrenforbeingsubjecttocommercialrape."
Weargue,"Thisaboutchildprotection.Thisisreallyforthechildwelfaresystemtobe
abletohelpourkids,becausethesechildrenare,infact,abusedandneglectedchildren."
There'salsotherealitythatmanyofusknowthatmanyofthechildrenaretherunaways
fromgrouphomes,thosewhohavedisappearedfromfostercare.Inmanyways,how
theyhavebeentrafficked,orthattheyhavebeentrafficked,isoftenthemanifestationof
thebrokennessinthechildwelfaresystem.
Ifyoucouldjustspeaktothatononehandwewantthistobecontemplatednotasa
juvenilejustice,butasachildwelfaresituation,andatthesametime,weknowthevery
realwaysinwhichchildwelfarehasactuallyrenderedourkidsmorevulnerablebecause
ofplacementingrouphomes,becauseofmultipleplacements.
IfyoucouldjustspeaktothatandfromtheDCperspective.
Allison:It'sareallydifficulttension.Asanadvocate,it'sadifficulttensionbecauseto
getservicesandsafetyforachildclient,theyeffectivelyneedtobeanapublicsystem.
Wedon'thaveapublicsystemthatIhavefoundthatismadeforsexuallyexploited
youth,becausetheydon'tfitinanyoftheboxeswealreadyhave.Itdoesnotmakesense
toputtheminthejuvenilesystem,andthere'sareluctancetodothat,becauseit's
harmful.It'sdoublytraumatic.
Itlikewiseoftendoesn'tmakesensetoputtheminthechildwelfaresystem,especiallyin
caseswheretheirparenthasnotbeencomplicit.Wehaveseenfamilieswhereaparent
hastoessentiallypleadtoneglectinordertogetservicesfortheirchild,eventhoughthey
havenotbeenwillingthistohappen.

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It'sverydifficulttotrytotakeincrediblycomplexcasesandfittheminabox.Weseethe
samething,youweretalkingaboutthis,wherefranklywhicheversystemyoutouchfirst
ishowthetrajectoryofyourcaseandyourlifegoesatthatpoint.It'sreallyuptochance.
Youcanhavethesamechildwhomaycomeinasastatusoffender,whichiswhatwe
callarunawayyouth,andwhoistreatedfromapunitiveperspective.Ayoungwoman
maybeshackled.Shemaybedetained.She'sbroughtinbecauseshe'struantfromschool
orrunningway,eventhoughthat'sonlyasymptomofthebehavior.
We'lldealwiththatinajuvenilecourtonthefirstlevelofDCSuperiorCourt.However,
ifherJohnispickedupandprosecuted,thenupstairshe'stried,andshe'sbroughtinasa
victimwitness,andshe'sprotectedmuchmore,butshe'snotgettinganyservicesup
there.
Thedualityofthat,italmostblowsonemindthatinthesamedayyoucanbegoingfrom
acourtroomdownstairswhereshe'streatedasacriminal,andthengoupstairswhereshe's
treatedasavictim,anditreallydependsonwhatyouget.
Malika:Although,that'sprogress,becauseinmostsituationswhenachildtestifies
againsthertrafficker,she'streatedasonecriminaltestifyingagainstanothercriminal,
so...
[crosstalk]
Malika:...gladtohearthatyouhavesomeformofprotectionhappeninginDC.
CongresswomanBass,Iknowyouwantedtorespondtothis.
CongresswomanBass:Yeah,Idid,becauseoneoftheproblemsandthisisjustthe
crazinessofsomeofoursystems.Inthechildwelfaresystem,wedefinechildabuseand
childneglectasbyaparent.
So,ifit'sbyatrafficker,thenthatdoesn'tfitwithinourthinkingofthesystem,which
meansweneedtochangethesystem.Oneofthethingsaboutlegislation,frankly,that's
frustratingisthatyoucangetlegislationpassed.
Butunlessyoudotheworktomakesurethatpeopleknowit'spassed,itdoesn'treally
meananything.WedidgetaBillpassed,theStrengtheningChildWelfareResponseto
TraffickingAct.
ThisBillbasicallysaysthatstatesandcountychildwelfaredepartmentsaresupposedto
developprotectionplansthatoutlineprovisionsandprocedurestoidentifyandassessall
childrenknownorsuspectedtobevictimsoftrafficking.
Buthere'stheproblem.Allthesystemsareoverburdened.WehadthisfightinCalifornia
wherethechildwelfaresystemwaslike,"Oh,no.Pleasedon'tgiveusanymorekids."It's
like,"Youknowwhat?I'msorry.We'vegottofigureouthowtoexpandthesystem.
That'sjustnotacceptable."

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Ononeend,itmightbetofightfortheimplementationofthat,andIwonderifthere'sa
waytodothat.AnotherpartoftheBillprovidesforgrantsforstatesandcountiesto
begintodothetrainingthattheyneedtodo.
It'snotenoughjusttosay,"Childwelfaresystem,nowyoudealwithit."You'vegotto
trainthesocialworkerssotheyknowhowtoidentify.Thenyoualsohaveto
provide...Thereneedstobeacontinuum.
Oneofthebiggestproblemsiswheredoyoutakethechildifthepolicearen'tarrestinget
cetera.Butthesocialworkershavetobetrained,lawenforcementhavetobetrained.But
thereis,supposedly,grantstodothatnow,soIwonderifthere'swaysto...?
Barbara:Yeah,thedatapieceissoimportant,becausethere'snogooddataon...
[crosstalk]
Barbara:...theexactnumbersinourcountryforavarietyofreasons.One,there's
inherentunderreporting,becauseofdenial,becausesomeyoungwomenhave
experiencedwhat'scalledtraumaticbondingwiththeperpetrator,sothey'retryingto
protect.
Also,becauseoftheinherentnatureofthecrime,itgoesacrosstheboundaries,especially
hereintheDCarea.We'resouniquelysituated.YoucouldgetonthemetroinVirginia
andbeinthreedifferentjurisdictionswithinanhalfanhour.
Thesedatasystemsdon'ttalkacrossstatelines.
CongresswomanBass:Theydon'ttalk.
Barbara:Sowedon'thavegooddata.That'saproblemfromapolicyperspective,but
it'sreallyaproblemasanonthegroundcasehandler,becausedataiswhatinforms
fundingandfundingiswhathelpsgetplacementsandservicesformyclients.
Malika:Ijustwanttoliftupthoughthischangewenowhaveinfederallawwherelast
September,PresidentObama,signedintolaw,theStrengtheningFamily'sAct,preventing
childtrafficking.
Partofthatlawrequiresnowchildwelfareagenciestoassessandidentifyforchild
trafficking.Thisisthefirsttimenowchildwelfareagenciesarebeingrequiredtoidentify
andassessforchildrenwhoarebeingtrafficked.
WearestillwaitingforACFtocomeoutwiththeproperassessmenttools...
CongresswomanBass:Thereyougo.
Malika:...togivetochildwelfareagenciestodothattypeofassessment.Butwedo
haveanopportunitytofinallystartlookingatthenumbers,whichIthinkisimportantin

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termsofgettingatproperdata.
Allison:IguessIwouldaskyou,beforetheassessmenttoolsinour...canyouarguethat?
Insteadofthatparentgoing,"Ihavetoplead,"orwhatever,areyouabletousethelaw?
Inotherwords,tomakethechildwelfaresysteminDCrespondtothegirls?
Allison:ThechildwelfaresysteminDC,likemanyotherstates,takesthepositionthat
theyinterveneinparentalchildabuseandparentalchildneglect.
CongresswomanBass:Correct.
Barbara:Ifaperpetratorisnotaparentorcaregiver...
Allison:Right.Butthat'swhatthelawwassupposedtohavechanged.
Barbara:Right.[laughs]Whatithasnowchangedisourlocaldefinitionofabuseand
neglect.Fromtheirperspective,althoughsomeadvocatesmaydisagree,theycannot
proveacaseofabuseofneglectbecauseofthestatutorylanguage.
WhatweareseeingisthereisamovementtostartcomplyingwiththeStrengtheningof
FamiliesandFriendsAgainstSexTraffickingAct.
DidIputmymicoff.
Malika:Itgoesonandoff.
Allison:It'sgoinginandout.I'msorry.
Barbara:Ithinkwewillhavebetterdatatwoorthreeyearsfromnow,becausenow
we'restartingtheprocessofcollectingit,butit'sgoingtotaketime...
[crosstalk]
CongresswomanBass:...towork.
Barbara:It'sgoingtotaketimetoactuallystartthecollectionprocess,startthereport
back,andthengetthefundingthatcomesfromthat.
CongresswomanBass:Thatisalwaysaproblem.
MalikaIthink,CongresswomanBass,toyour...
[crosstalk]
Malika:Butwe'reseeingthisacrossthecountry...
[crosstalk]

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Malika:...ourorganizationisgettingcallsfromdifferentchildwelfareagencies,asking
about,"Howdowedothisassessment,becausewedon'tknowproperwaysof
identifyingchildrenwhoarebeingbought."
ButthenyourpieceoflegislationwaspartoftheJusticeforVictimsofTraffickingAct.
Whatwassopowerfulandtransformationalaboutitisthatitrecognizeschildtrafficking
asaformofabuseandneglect.
Thatwasbasedonhow,inmoststates,includingthedistrict,ifyouthinkyou'reseea
childbeingboughtandsold,andyoucallupthechildwelfarehotline,theytellyouto
hangupandcalllawenforcement.
Ifwe'retryingtoendthecriminalizationofchildrenfortrafficking,itdoesn'thelpthat
childwelfaretellsyoutocalllawenforcement.Floridawasanexampleofwherethey
traintheirchildwelfareworkerstorecognizeandidentifytraffickingasaformofabuse
andneglect.
Wehavethechallengenow,giventhatyourlawhaspassed,hadwemakeitareality
acrossthestates,acrossthechildwelfareagenciestounderstandit'stheirproblem,too.
CongresswomanBass:That'swhywhenyoupassalaw,youhavetohavethe
organizingandtheadvocacytofightfortheenforcementofthelaw.Becausetosaythat
it'sgoingtotaketwoorthreeyearstofinddataforasocialworkertothenbeableto
identifywhetherakidistraffickedisproblematic.
[crosstalk]
Malika:Itis,anditmustalsobemoreproblematicbecauseDCjustpassedthelaw
sayingthatthey'removingawayfromarrestingchildrentoputtingchildren...
CongresswomanBass:SafeHarbor.
Malika:...insafespaces,publichealthspaces.So,ifyoudon'thavechildwelfare
engaged,itmakesthatshiftallthemorehard.
CongresswomanBass:Buttome,itstillseemslikeanadvocacyissue.
Malika:Indeed.That'sright.Iwanttosurfaceanotheradvocacyissuein...we'retalking
aboutthisisthechallengeofwepassreallygoodlaw,andnowwehavetoseeproper
implementationatthestateandlocallevel.
Butthere'ssomethingelseherearoundchildwelfarethathasn'tbeenlookedat,thatI
wanttotalkaboutmore.WhichisthatIhavereallyseenthisissueaswhatisuncovering,
unearthingsomuchofwhat'snotworkinginchildwelfare.
ThefirsttimeIunderstoodhowindangerourgirlswerewasaneventthatwedidofgirls
whohavebeentrafficked,aswellashadbeenputinthejuvenilejusticesystem.

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Theyweretalkingtoagroupoflawmakers.Iaskedthemtochooseontheirownhow
theywantedtobegintheirnarrativeofbeingboughtandsold.Itwasabout14girlswho
wereintheroom.Theywereinafishbowl,andallthelawmakersandstopperswereon
theoutside.
Everysinglegirl,onherown,decidedtostartthestoryofbeingtraffickedwiththestory
ofhowshewasabusedincare.Thegirlssharedhowtheywereabusedincarebyan
uncle,afriendofthefamily,anotherchild.
Theydidnotdisclosetheabuse,becausetheywereeitherafraidofbeingremovedtoa
grouphome,ortheywereafraidofbeingremovedfromthehome,awayfromthesibling.
So,iftheyweretakenoutofthehome,thatwouldleavetheirbrotherorsistertobe
abused.
Partofitmademeunderstand,"Howdowedealwiththisissueofchildrenbeingabused
incare,andhavingthesupportstobeabletogivevoicetothat,"becauseIfoundit
remarkablethateverysinglegirlstartedherstoryofbeingtraffickedwiththestoryof
beingabusedincare,andtooafraidandunsupportedtodisclose.
Barbara:Byvirtueofbeingincare,theseareusedforwhocameinbecauseofabuseor
neglect.Soabusemayfeelnormativetothem.Thatmightbeapatternthatthey'reused
to,sodoexperience.
Again,inafosterhome,theinclinationisnottoreportortorun,becausethat'sjusthow
thingshavegone.Thatjustmightfeelhowtheywillcontinuetogo.Thesystemisoften
notthesafehaventhatitstrivestobe,becausebasicneedsaren'tbeingmet.It'svery
difficult.
Togobacktowhatweweresayingearlierabouttherunawayissues,manyyouth,even
thosewhoarenotbeingexploited,runaway.Runawaysareahallmarkfosteryouth
behavior.
Wehaveyouthswhofrequentlyrunbacktotheirbiologicalparents,forexample.Wecall
themrunaways,buttheyreallymaybeatafriend'shousefortheweekendwherethey're
notsupposedtobe.
There'salargepopulationoffosteryouthswhoarenot...theystayoutovernight,butthey
don'tworrythattheagency.So,running,whichisareallyimportantredflagforsexual
exploitationnolongerbecomesalarmingtotheagency.
Oneofourjobs,asadvocates,istoliftupthosecases,tosay,"Thisisdifferent.Thisisa
youthyoureallyneedtostartlookingfor,andlookingfornow,becauseshe'sindanger."
Evenbeinggonefor24hours.
"Thisisn'tayouthwho'sjustvisitinghermomfortheweekend,andthecourtdoesn't
wanthertobethere.Thisisdifferentandweneedgoodinvestigatorslooking,and
lookingurgently."

p.12

Malika:WhenwedidthetestimonyaroundtheStrengtheningFamily'sAct,Tee,whois
asurvivor,said,"Nobodyputsoutanamberalertwhenwegomissing."
CongresswomanBass:Iwasjustthinkingaboutthat.Ifanybodyinhere,ifyourkid
didn'tcomehomefor24hours,whatwouldyoudo?Youwouldbeawreck.Howthat's
evennormalized,[laughs]youknowwhatImean,tosaythatit'sOK.
Teealsosaidthatshefeelsthatthechildwelfaresystempreparedhertobetrafficked.
Malika:Definitely.
CongresswomanBass:Becausetheymovedheraroundfromplacetoplace,and
everybodythatwasinvolvedwithherwaspaid,soshesawherselfasacommodity.She
mademoneyforpeople.
Itwasdevastatingwhenshesaidthat.Ineverforgotthat.Itjustmademefeeltheweight
oftheresponsibilitytoaddressthisissue.
Malika:Barbara,didyouwanttoaddanything.
Barbara:Iwasjustsaying,Isaythatallthetime,thatitwastrainingground.Theearly
childabuse,andthenthenextabusebecomesnormalizedbecauseithadalready
happened.
Thenyou'reinthesystem,andpeoplearebeingpaidtotakecareofyou.So,whenyou're
beingprogrammedbyatrafficker,andfurtherturnedintoacommodity,it'snotso
unusual,becauseyou'reusedtothathappeninginyourlifefromanearlyage.
So,it'sdefinitelyatraininggroundfortraffickers.
Malika:Idowanttomakesurethatfolksintheroomknowthatnow,becauseof
StrengtheningFamiliesActbecominglaw,thatfostercareplacements,grouphomes,
individualhomes,arerequiredtoreportachildmissingfromcarebecauseofT's
testimony,andtheideathatwehavetobeconcernedwhenourkidsincaregomissing,
thatthatisaredflagthatmustbetakenseriously.
Barbara:Finally.
CongresswomanBass:It'sreallyaboutnormalizingthis.Tome,andIalwayssaythis
wheneverItalkaboutthisissue,iswhenyouthinkoffosteryouth,they'rejustlikeyour
ownkids.Ifyourkidsaremissingforfourhours,you'dhaveafit.
Wehavetostoplookingatthemdifferently.Ifwehaveaframeofourownkids,and
whateverourownkidsneedthenfosterkidsneed,thenit'sawholedifferentwayto
approachtheissue.
Malika:That'sright.Iwanttoaskfolks,becauseIknowwehavecreatedadismal

p.13

pictureoffostercare.Ialsowanttothinkaboutandtalkaboutwhatcanwedo.
Wehavehadtheseverysignificantreformsinthelastalmosttwoyears,sothefactthat
we'vegotsignificantreformsintwoyearsisabigdeal,toimprovechildwelfare's
responsetoourchildrenwhoaretrafficked.
It'sclearthatthereisachallenge,already,aroundimplementation,butwhatelsecanwe
thinkabout,intermsofreformingchildwelfaretobemoreresponsiveaswemove
forward,sothatwedon'tseethiskindofaddedvulnerabilityforourchildrenwhoare
underourcare,essentially?
Barbara:Everybodytalksaboutcollaborationandeverybodytalksaboutworkingwith
others.Idon'tknowexactlyhowtomakethathappenandhowharddataistocollect.
Datahowdoyoudothatwell?
Idon'thaveananswertothat,butIwishIdid.Weallknowitneedstobelookedat
further.Idon'tknowhowtoaddressthat.IwishIdid.
Malika:Allison,assomeoneonthegroundwho...?
Allison:OnethingthatI'mlookingtowardsandhopingforisbettertherapeuticservices
tohelpyoungmenandespeciallyyoungwomenwhoareexperiencingthis,becauseeven
whereyouhavebeenproperlyidentified,theyareoftenreferredforkindofatypical
therapyservice.
Talktherapyisveryusefulforalotofpeople,butthere'smanydifferenttypesof
differentmodalities,andsexualexploitationisdifferentbecauseofthisoperative
psychologywheretheyouthmaynotbelieveherselftohaveaproblemtobringa
therapistormaynothavechangeshewantstomake.
Wethinkalotaboutthestagesofchangemodelwherethere'sprecontemplationandthen
contemplation.Shemaynotbe[inaudible35:17]situatedtoanotherfosteryouthwho
wantstogotalkaboutherpasttraumahistory.
Iwouldliketoseethedevelopmentofserviceproviderswhohavemoreexpertisein
figuringoutwhatreallyaretheevidencebasedpracticesinhowtointerveneandwhat
programswork.Isitasurvivorledprogram?Isitsomeonewithabackgroundin
domesticviolence?
There'salotofparallelsbetweenthecyclesofdomesticviolenceandthecyclesofchild
sexualexploitation.Isitsomeonewhoreallyunderstandstrauma?
Iwouldputmoreinformationandthenmoreresourcesaboutreallytailoredservicesthat
help,sothatwe'renotjustcheckingtheboxandsaying,"OK,thisyouthhasatherapist."
Iwantthemtohavetherightone.
Malika:Yeah,that'ssoimportant.

p.14

CongresswomanBass:Ireallythinkthatthereneedstobealargescalemovementin
ourcountrywherefamiliesandkidsthatareinvolvedinthesystemareatthecenterofit,
andnotjustthepeoplethatarethe"Experts,"becauseIhappentothinkthatthebest
publicpolicyismadewhenpeoplewhoarethemosteffectedareatthecenterof
designingthepolicy.
Youcanpassalltheselawsbasedonyourideas,butalotoftimeswepasslawsthatare
contradictoryandweresowellintentioned.Lawsthatwerepassedyearsagothatsaid
thatwedidn'twantkidstolanguishinfostercare,andsowegaveatimeperiodorthe
person'sparentalrightswereterminated.
Ifthemomisincarceratedorifthemomisintreatmentandsherelapseandtimeruns
out,andthenshelosesherkids.Thekid'sfeelinglike,"Wow!Mymom.Thetimeranout
andmymomcan'ttakecareofmeanymore.NowI'mshuttledofftosomebodyelse."
Thatwasanextremelywellintentionedlaw,butagain,Ithinkifpeopleareatthe
forefrontofthelawandthenoncethelawispassedtheforefrontoftheimplementation.
What'sverycleartomeisthatwehavetofightforimplementation,becausepeopleand
systemsarenotgoingtojustlookatTVandgo,"Oh,theychangedthelaw.Let'sstop
everythingwe'redoinganddosomethingdifferently."
Theyhavetobepushedandforced.That'swhatIwouldliketoseehappeninour
country.
Atthesametime,ifyoubuildabroadbasedmovementlikethat,thatmovementcanalso
helptochangepublicawareness,raisepublicawareness.Again,kidsareviewedaskids
andnotassomethingelse.
Malika:That'sexactlyright.Ialsowanttoraiseupthisissueoftraumainformedcare
forourkids.Manyofyouintheroomhavebeenpartofconversationswherewe've
talkedabouthowdowemakeachildwelfaresystemthatistraumainformed.
Thekidswhoarebeingexploited,notonlyaretheyindesperateneedoftraumainformed
care,asyou'vetalkedabout,Allison,butthereisalso,thereistheneedtodealwiththe
preexistingabusethatyouhadspokento,andhowthathurtsachildsodeeply.
Thenthereistherealityofthecommercialrapethathashappenedtothechildrepeatedly,
andthenthere'stherealityofbeingrenderedproperty.Alotoftimes,intermsofcarefor
ourkidswhoareexploited,therearealotofgood,meaningfuleffortslikedoingyoga,or
makingjewelry,andthat'sallgood,butweneedastandardofcarethatis
traumainformed,becauseourkidswhoarebeinghurt,whoarebeingboughtandsold,
carrysuchintenseinjury,andit'snotenoughtosimplydoyogaormakeanecklace.
Theydeservecomprehensivecareandattention.
Barbara:Longterm.

p.15

Malika:Andlongterm,thankyou.
Barbara:Notsixmonths.
Malika:Exactly.
Barbara:Ortwoweeks.Seriously?Itneedstobealittlebitlonger.
Malika:Exactly.
[crosstalk]
Malika:Iwanttogoandopentotheaudiencetohearwhatpeople'squestionsareforthe
panel.Iseeonebackthere.
Wehavesomeonebackthere.
AudienceMember1:Thankyou.IrecentlyhavebecomeinvolvedwithMission14,
addressingsexualexploitationofchildren.AsI'msittinghere,I'mlookingatbasecause
ischildmolesters.
Ifwebroughtpublicawarenessmoretotheperpetrators,andwentafterthem,stopped
smackingthemonthehands...Wechangedthepublic'sviewonsmoking.Backinthe
day,wewouldallbesittingheresmoking.
Nowyou'reacriminal,almost,ifyousmoke.Whydon'twegetpublicperceptionand
lawschangedsothattheperpetratorsaretreatedassuch?
CongresswomanBass:That'swhatIwasreferringtowhenIsaidabroadbased
movement,becauseyouneedtochangesocialnorms.We'vewatchedthat.We'reinthe
middleofchangingallkindsofsocialnormsrightnow.
LGBTissues.Justthinkaboutit,afewyearsago.ButIcanthinkof,inmylifetime,
alcohol,tobacco,domesticviolence,wherecertainbehaviorsarerenderedunacceptable
bysociety.
Tome,itisunacceptabletoliveintheworld'srichestcountryandwecan'tfigureout
howtotakecareofhalfamillionkids.Thereare350millionpeopleinthiscountry,so
thisisabout500,000kidswhoareinandoutofourchildwelfaresysteminagivenyear.
That,tome,shouldbeourstandard.Itshouldbeunacceptable.Ifyouthinkaboutthefact
thatwhenyou'retalkingaboutkidsinthechildwelfaresystem,theyareunderthe
governmentcontrol.Thegovernmentistheparent,andthenthegovernmentbecomes
abusive.
Allison:Ijustwanttoaddthat,becausethisisabigthingforme,whichisthatwehave
togoafterdemand.Theantitraffickingcommunityandourlawmakershavebeenvery

p.16

purposefulaboutthetraffickers,andweshould,becausetheyarecertainlyculpable.
Therehasbeenalmostcompleteimpunityforthebuyers.Whenbuyersarearrested,if
theyarearrested,andtheyarerarelyarrested,itisforsolicitation.Itisfora
misdemeanor.
Butwhattheydo,inanyothercontext,wouldbeconstruesasstatutoryrape.Wehaveall
thelawsonthebooksthatweneedtogoafterbuyers,butwedon'tusethem.Wedon't
arrestbuyersforstatutoryrape,sexualassaultofaminor,childendangerment.
Wedonotdothat.TheFBIdidamajorstingtwoweeksagowheretheytalkedaboutthe
numberofgirlsandboyswhowererescued,andthetraffickersarrested.Notonebuyer
wasarrestedinthatFBIsting.
It'snotaboutalackoflaw.Wehaveallthelawweneednow,atthefederalandstate
level,togoafterbuyersforseriousfederaloffenses,forseriousfelonies,andyetit'snot
beingused,becausethebehaviorhasbeennormalized.
Asahumanrightslawyer,Iwouldsayanytimeyouhaveacultureofimpunity,that
protectstheviolence.Weareprotectingtheviolenceagainstourkids.
Malika:Ipromisedthisindividualbackhere.
LoriHandrahan:ThankyouforonethemosthonestdiscussionsI'veeverheardin
Washington,DC,onchildtrafficking.Congratulationsonagreatpanel.
MynameisLoriHandrahan.I'mstartinganorganizationcalleddata4justice.org.Rosie
O'Donnellhasjustagreedtobeonouradvisoryboard,andtheSundanceInstituteis
interestedindoingadocumentaryonmyresearch.
Myquestionis,youmentionedperpetrators,youmentionedtheracialelementandyou
mentionedalackofdata.Acoupleofthingsthatweren'tbroughtupthatIwouldliketo
raise,andthenaskaquestion,morethan85percentofallthemeninthiscountrywhoare
arrestedforchildpornareelitewhitemen.
Ifmorethan85percentofblackmenorMuslimmenwerebeingarrestedforchildrape,
therehadbeanoutcry.Themedianevermentionsthis.It'suponmywebsite.
It'salmostalwaysunderthree.It'sbrutalinfantandchildrape,andaccordingtoEuropol,
Americahousesmorethanhalfoftheserversintheworldthataredistributingchildporn.
Malika:Oh,really?Ididn'tknowthat.
Lori:Weknowwherethoseare.Wedon'tshutthatdown.It'sbeenreportedontheUK
media.TheUSmediahasnotreportedonit.
[backgroundconversations]

p.17

Lori:Myquestionis,aboutchildwelfare,I'mlookingforaninvestigatortohelp.Inthe
stateofMaine,aseniorchildprotectionworkernamedCynthiaWellmancameforward
andshesaidseniorchildprotectionworkersaretraffickingchildrenwithUniversityof
Maineprofessors.
Shewasforcedoutofherjob.Sheisnowbankrupt.Shesuedthestate.Thejudgethrewit
out,andnobodyhasevenopenedaninvestigation.
Weknowchildprotectionstaffareinvolvedinexploitingthesechildrenandinproducing
porn,andI'mhopingthatyouguyscanaddressthatissue.Thankyou.
Malika:Iwanttoaddressthat.Wedon'thavestatsthatdemonstratethat.Idothinkthat
it'simportantthatwedon'tdemonizechildwelfareoronegroupoffolksinchildwelfare.
Themajorityofchildwelfareworkersmymotherwasachildwelfareworkerare
hardworkingfolkswhodothisworkbecausetheywantthebestforchildren.Iamnot
interestedinengaginginthedemonizationofawholeentity.
Asinanyspace,whetherwe'retalkingaboutchildwelfare,juvenilejustice,ourschools,
youalwayshavebadactors,andwehavetobeabletocalloutthosebadactorswhenthey
goagainstwhatthepurposeoftheirjobsandtheexpectationsofthecommunityareto
protectourkids.
Anychildservingsystem,youmustbelievethatpeoplewhoengageinthatchildserving
systemwantthebestforkids,andwhentherearethosebadactors,we'dbeabletohold
themaccountable.
Idon'tknowifanybodyelsewantsto...
CongresswomanBass:Iagree.
Allison:IcansayIampaidtocomplainaboutthechildwelfaresystem.That'smyjobis
trulytobevigilantandtolookatthesecasescloselyandtoreporttothecourtwhenthere
aremissteps.
Ihaveneverseenorsupervisedacasewithaworkerorthat'scometoanybody's
attention,andI'mnotsayingthatitdoesn'thappen,butit'scertainlynotatrend.
Barbara:Iagreewithwhatyoujustsaid.Ineverygroupthere'sgoingtobesomebad
apples.
Malika:Absolutely.Goahead.
[crosstalk]
Cindy:...unilateralhere.Iapologize.

p.18

AnnaDillon:Hello.OK,nowIwillbetheone.It'son.
MynameisAnnaDillon,andIworkfortheChurchofScientologyNationalAffairs
Office.Ourgroup,togetherwithmanyotherfaithbasedandnonfaithbasednonprofits,
wewerepartofthecoalitionthat'sdoingwhateverwecouldtohelpsupportthe
legislationthatrecentlypassedonhumantrafficking.
I'mjustwonderinghowcancivilsocietyhelpatthenextstep?Good,wepassedthe
legislation.What'snext?
Usandothergroupsweworkwithonhumantraffickingissues,weareallequally
concernedabouttheselimitations.Thepanelisexcellent.Ijustwanttothankyouall.It's
fantasticdata,butwecanseethatthereisfurtherdifficulties,evenwhenthelawsare
passed.
What'snext?Howcanweimplementthem?Whatcanwedo,asacivilsociety?Howcan
wecollaboratewithyou?WhatelsecanwedoinCongress?Justwouldliketohaveyour
opinionsonthat.
CongresswomanBass:There'sanorganizationthatIworkwith.InsideofCongress,
there'sacongressionalcaucusonfosteryouth.OutsideofCongressthere'sanother
organizationcalledtheNationalFosterYouthInstitute,andoneofitsmaingoalsisto
reallycreatethatbroadbasedmovementtohaveactivistsineverysinglecongressional
districtbecausethere'skidsinthesystemineverysinglecongressionaldistrict.
Individualcountiesandstatesneedtobeheldaccountable.Iwouldcontactmycountyto
say,"Thislawwaspassed.Whatareyoudoingtoprepareyoursystemtotrainyour
workerssothattheycanscreenfolks?"
Granted,there'sfurtherimplementationthatneedstotakeplacewithassessmenttoolsand
allthat,butthere'snoreasontositandsay,"I'mgoingtowaittwoorthreeyears."
Allison:Untilsomeonebringsittome.
CongresswomanBass:Exactly,"Untilsomebodybringsittome."Youcanhaveyour
socialworkersaskafewquestions.Maybetheywon'tbetestedandallthat,butafew
questionscangetyoutoit.
Systemsaroundthecountryhavetobepreparedtodealwiththispopulation.Thatwas
thepointofthelaw.
Allison:Iwouldsayencourageyourmemberstobecomefosterparentsandtoopenup
theirdoors.Oneofthemainissuesweseeinthesecasesisthelackofplacementoptions.
Theseyouthreallyoftentimesneedtobemovedtoadifferentneighborhoodortoa
differentschooldistrictforsafetyreasons,butwe'reconstrictedbecausethere'sjustnot
enoughopenhomes.We'reoperatinginverynarrowmargins.

p.19

Whatwereallyneedismorefosterhomesandprogramsthathavebedsavailablesothat
wecanhaveoptions,havealargespectrumofoptionsavailable,sothatyouthcango
there.IfEveneedstobeinasingleparentfemaleheadedhouseholdbecausethat'swhat's
bestforher,that'sgreat.
IfEveneedstobeinadualparenthouseholdformoresupervision,sowehaveoptionsto
choosefrom,andwecanreallymakerecommendationsthatareintheyouths'best
interests.Encourageyourmemberstothinkaboutbecomingfosterparents.
AudienceMember2:Imaybewrong,butmyunderstandingisthatyearsandyearsago,
beforeStonewall,iftheBlazeraidedagaybar,thepatrons'namesendedupinthe
newspaper,andpeoplelostjobs,andtheirfamiliesgotbrokenup.
Whycan'tweputthenamesofthebuyersinthenewspapersinWashington,DC.
Malika:Letmejustquicklyrespondtothat,althoughI'mnotsureyouwanttoreplicate
Stonewalltactics.
Thatstillkeepsitinthespaceofviceandprostitution,andit'snotviceandprostitution.It
ischildabuse,andsothesamewaywehandleothersituationsofchildabuse,whichis
throughthelaw,weshoulddothathere.
Wedon'tneedtodoanythingbutarrestandprosecuteforstatutoryrape,sexualassaultof
aminor,childendangerment.Onceyoustartdoingthat,youwillseethewaysinwhich
demandarenotaspresent,andthepopularityofwebsiteslikeBackpagewillnot
continue.
ThereasonwhyBackpageoranyotherplatformissopopularisbecausethereis
impunitythere.Thereisnotfearofbeingcaught,arrestedforpurchasingachild.Idon't
thinkweneedtodoanythingelse,otherthanapplythelawtothesesituationsofchild
sexualabuse.
CongresswomanBass:Iwouldjustaddonething.Itmightbegoodtohavethembe
veryhighprofilecases,likewithanyothercriminalcase.Ifthat'sreallyliftedupand
exploredinthemediathroughthatlens.
Malika:Wehavetimeforonemorequestion.Ican'tchoosewhoitis,sowhoeverhas
themicrophone,I'llaskyou.
Iam,I'msorry.I'mtakinglibertytochoose.
JasmineHoffman:Hello,I'mJasmineHoffmanfromtheUniversityofMaryland.I'm
justgoingtoask.Whataresomeeffortsthatcanbemadeonasmaller,locallevelthat
youwouldbelievetobethemosteffective?
Whenitcomestohumantrafficking,manypeoplejustdividethemselvesintotwo
groups.Onesetofpeopleare,"Well,thisisahugenationalissuethatI'mnotnecessarily

p.20

connectedto,soletthepolicymakersandtheNGOsdealwithit,"andthesecondgroup
ofpeoplearepeoplelikemanyofyouhere;thepolicymakersandtheNGOswhoare
involvedinmakingoverarchingpoliciesandlawstohelpcombatthisissue.
Really,howdoyousuggestwegettheotherpeopleinvolvedatthelowestlevelorigin?If
we'retryingtochangethesocialnarrative,whatcanaregularindividualdoifthey'renot
necessarilyviewingit,andeveniftheyare,whatarewesupposedtodo?
Wealreadyrelyonalotofdifferentformsofhumantraffickinginourdailylives,suchas
buyingproductsfromslavelaboracrossthecountry.Howarewereallysupposedtodeal
withournationaltraffickingifwealreadyhaveasocialnarrativethatalreadyjustifiesall
theotherformsofit?
Malika:Thankyouforyourquestion.Whydon'tweeachtakeastabatthat?
Barbara:I'mnotevengoingtostartonthatone.
Allison:That'sagreatquestion,andwecouldbehereforanotherhourdiscussingit.I
wouldsay,inthesmallestformtopushbackonsomeoftheculturalelementsthathave
creptinthathavemadethisOKinourmedia.Idon'tneedtonamespecificmoviesorTV
shows.Oneofthemostfamoussongsofthesummerreallyglorifiessextrafficking.
Malika:Don'tgothere.[laughs]Music.
Allison:Intheeverydayinteractionswithfriends,family,otherstudents...
Malika:What'swrongwiththat?Let'sseewhatitis.
Allison:It'scalled"TrapQueen."[laughs]
Malika:OK,TrapQueen?
Allison:Yeah.
Barbara:What?TrapQueen?
[laughter]
Barbara:Movingalong.
Malika:I'veneverheardofthatone,butI'veheardofalotofotherswithpimpandhoe.
Allison:Iwouldsayinyoureverydayinteractionswhenyouencounterthesethingsor
there'smemesontheInternet,peoplemakejokesoutofthem...
Malika:Halloweencostumes.

p.21

Allison:Ithinkit'simportanttostoptheconversationthereandpause...
Barbara:Halloweencostumes?
[crosstalk]
Allison:...andcausepeopletoreflectandsaythisisn'tsomethingtojokeabout.This
isn'tsomethingtomakelightof.
[crosstalk]
Allison:Tostart,inaverysmallway,byhavingmaybeanuncomfortableconversation
andtellingsomeone,"Youknow,thisisn'tsomethingweshouldreallypaymoneytosee.
CongresswomanBass:Onthatnote,Irememberwhenmyadultdaughtercamehome
frommiddleschoolandsaid,"Ineedacostume.We'rehavingapimpandhoepartyat
school."
Iwent,"What?"BecauseIhadn'tselfidentifiedasavictimatthatpoint.Nobodyknew
mystory.Iwashorrified.Normalizing,weneedtostopatthatveryrootlevel.Thisisa
schoolfunction.
Barbara:Idon'tthinkIneed...
CongresswomanBass:Idon'tknow,OK.
Malika:Iwouldsayacouplethings,though.YoucanjointheNationalFosterYouth
Institute.Oneofthewonderfulthingsofsocialmedia,youcanbeactiveonsocialmedia
inyournetworkandspreadawareness.
YoucanbecomeaCASA,aCourtAppointedSpecialAdvocate,becausethere'saterrible
needforthat.Oneissueistotalkaboutkidsthatarecurrentlytrafficked.Theotherissue
istopreventotherkidsfrombeingtrafficked,sovolunteeringasaCASA.You
mentionedbecomingafosterparent.There'satremendousneed.Ithinkthere'smultiple
waysthatpeoplecangetinvolved.
Barbara:Mentoring.
Malika:Mentoring,yeah.
Allison:I'mgoingtoaddoneandthenwrapup.Inthelastfiveyearsmajormediaoutlets
haveusedtheterm"Childprostitute"5,000times.WehaveaChange.orgpetitionasking
theAP,whichisreallythestandardbeareroflanguageinmajormediaoutletstodropthe
term"Childprostitute"becausethereisnosuchthing.
Iwouldeachofyouwehave93,000signaturesrightnowtogotoChange.orgNo
SuchThingandsigntheNoSuchThingpetitionurgingtheAPtodroptheterm"Child

p.22

prostitute."Thereisnosuchthing.Thereareonlysurvivorsandvictimsofchildrape.
Excuseme.
[applause]
Malika:Iwanttothankyouall.I'msorryforthedifficultieswiththemicrophones.
Thankyousomuchforbeinghereandbeingpartofthisconversation.
[applause]
Kurt:Please,joinmealso.Malika,youdidafabulousjobmoderatingthis,sothankyou.
Thankallofyouforcoming.Thankyou,Mrs.McCain,foryourbeingwithustodayas
well.PleasegoforthandstayconnectedtouswiththeMcCainInstitute,andpleasekeep
upthisfight.Thankyou.
[applause]
[music]

TranscriptionbyCastingWords