An Introduction from Ali and Mona
For us, 2012 marks the beginning of an independent research project on human trafficking in the U.S.
‘Traffic In Our Streets’ was developed out of an interest to get to the root of human trafficking in the U.S. sex trade. However, as we conduct our research, we understand that there is a lack of attention to the many varieties of human trafficking that exist throughout the country. Including labor trafficking, domestic servitude and debt bondage.
There is an attitude among many Americans that these are problems of the developing world. Our work is focused on allowing people in the U.S., and around the world, to understand that human trafficking takes place much closer to home.
We find it essential to make it clear to our followers that human trafficking does not necessarily mean sex trafficking. Therefore, we will be exploring different areas of trafficking throughout our project as opportunities for such research arise.
We are interested in speaking with people on the ground to hear what they feel are the most prevalent issues in the area of human trafficking, so that we may share their opinions in our work and portray the issues appropriately.
We are traveling through the U.S. to regions with reportedly high levels of trafficking. We plan to speak with various agencies, organizations and academics in the field to gain a better understanding of human trafficking throughout the country.
We are researching how government agencies, non governmental organizations, and the media represent these issues. Our research will provide us with a better understanding of what the issues looks like within the U.S., and who it is exactly that is at-risk for being trafficked.
In addition, we are questioning agencies and organizations on the effectiveness of anti-trafficking laws within each state to see what progress or challenges have been seen since the establishment of these laws. We intend to report our findings through blogging, magazine/newspaper articles, as well as the final, formal documentation of our research.
We will identify the social and economic problems resulting in individuals being trafficked, particularly into the sex trade, through force, fraud, or coercion; or provoking individuals, including children, to enter into the sex trade of their own volition.Through identifying these issues we are working to educate others on what we find to be the most substantial problems relating to human trafficking in the U.S.
This blog is a medium for us to spread awareness of the problems. We hope to be a useful source of information about the grave issues of human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world, and bring to light efforts in on-the-ground prevention, rescue and victim care, as well as policy development.
Mona Sulieman graduated from Indiana State University in May 2011 with a BA in Liberal Studies, a focus on cultural studies and minor in Language: “Having been raised among various nationalities, I was exposed to different societal and economic problems around the world. While my studies followed evident international conflicts and humanitarian issues, I came to understand that some of the gravest issues were closer to home than I had imagined. Human trafficking in the United States is a dire problem, knowledge of this topic and awareness efforts are vital to the fight against it. This awareness has provoked my interest in researching human trafficking in order to work towards a solution. With our research, we will expand our knowledge of the roots of human trafficking, as well as help to educate others and strengthen the fight for basic human rights.”
Ali Wolf graduated from Northeastern University in January 2012 with a BA in International Affairs; minors in Middle East Studies and Arabic; and a focus on human trafficking: “After four and a half years of study, research and work experience focused on various political and humanitarian issues around the world I am excited to begin my chosen career of prevention and awareness of human trafficking. From an early age I was appalled by these issues around the world and inspired by those individuals who had dedicated their lives to ending the sexual exploitation of our youth in whatever region of the world they decided to focus. I recently returned from spending eight months in Thailand working with a non-governmental Thai-run organization (NGO) on the prevention of human trafficking. Through community involvement and extensive research on the issue I also became increasingly aware of the grave issues facing us worldwide, in particular, how this tragedy is just as pervasive in our own backyards. Unfortunately, there is little public awareness in the U.S. of just how extensive the issue is, which is why I am dedicated to this research”
Please contact us with questions, suggestions, or comments on our research project. As we are often on the road, and will be in and out of service areas, email is the quickest way to get ahold of us.
Alexandra Wolf, email@example.com
Mona Sulieman, firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit our Facebook Page: Traffic In Our Streets