Combating Human Trafficking

Community Foundation staff recently attended a panel discussion on combating human trafficking, globally and locally, hosted by the United Nations Association in the DC Metro Area and supported by the Community Foundation. An estimated 21 million people around the globe are currently being trafficked, generating a profit of $32 billion every year. Human Trafficking is the extreme exploitation of individuals for commercial sex and labor; the individuals do not have to cross borders to be traffic victims. It is a global issue that has a significant local impact: an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually. Twenty organizations engaged in the fight against human trafficking participated in a Resource Fair, with staff and documents available to attendees.

The UNA’s panel was made up of Ambassador Mark Lagon (Global Politics and Security Chair, MSFS Program, Georgetown University; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, and President-designate of Freedom House), Mr. Mike Beard (Executive Director, UN Foundatdion Advocacy; Global Health Director, Better World Campaign), and Ms. Tina Frundt (Executive Director, Courtney’s House). The panel of global and local experts not only discussed how to combat human trafficking, but also the immense need for survivor services. Currently, the U.S. has no national standard for survivor services, like housing, leaving survivors open to further mistreatment.

Panelist Ms. Frundt, who is herself a survivor of human trafficking, discussed her organization, Courtney’s House. Ms. Frundt describes Courtney’s House as a long-term recovery and drop in center, currently serving 52 survivors with an additional 37 survivors on their waiting list. Courtney’s House also helps create awareness of sex trafficking issues and assists police and families in searching for missing children. Most of the survivors Courtney’s House serves come from the Germantown, Rockville, and Gaithersburg areas. Community Foundation donors have provided $5,000 in support to Courtney’s House in recent years.

If you are interested in learning more…

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Polaris Project

If you are interested in getting involved locally…

Innocents at Risk

Ayuda

Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center

Northern Virginia Family Services

Former CFNCR CEO Terri Freeman is a member of the Advisory Council of the UN Association (www.uncnca.org).   If you are interested in the UN Association Human Rights Committee, which organized the event, contact one of the Co-Chairs, Sultana Ali (sultana.ali@gmail.com) and Christina Hansen (cmmorales@gmail.com)