Kudos to Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore for their creation of the DNA foundation which focuses on the sex trafficking of children in today’s society.  Their public personas will no doubt increase the nation’s awareness and heighten the level of visibility surrounding this third-rail topic.  I welcome their voices, as I welcome your voice.  Activism is contact engagement, if you are, as I am, disgusted by the exploitation and enslavement of far too many of our nation’s children, then stand-up and take a stand.

Piers Morgan had Ashton and Demi on his show to discuss their foundation, the entire interview is available on CNN’s website.  The two discussed with Piers their take ont he situation and about their campaign, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.”  The most chilling portion of the piece was when the young lady, “Nicole”, shared her story of her enslavement from the age of 11. 

Demi and Ashton reacting to Nicole’s story

In December 2009 I wrote, Children as a Commodity  ”The year is 2009 and trafficking of our fellow humans is at its greatest level in the history of mankind.  And within this staggering ignoble statistic lays the painful realization that so many of these “fellow humans” are children. We don’t have to point to country X or country Y, we do, however have to raise our head and take an honest look around. Last time I looked, slavery had been abolished in the United States with the 13th Amendment, yet I look up from my desk today and see it still exists. Within our society we continue to allow to exist those who enslave, who treat our youth as a mere commodity, and who force our children into prostitution, forced labor or other slave-like situations.”  They year is now 2011, the situation remains the same – shame on us and our inability and unwillingness to address this  uncomfortable topic.  We we must marshal our efforts through the discomfort and save these children.  “Far too few children are being saved in comparison to the numbers of children being exploited …  the pimps on average earn $200,000 per child per annum as they prostitute the children they control.  And as long as society allows children to be treated as a commodity, the child will remain the perceived criminal and not the victim.  These children need our help, and they need it now.” (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the US - October 2010)

The skeptic says, This can not be.”  The hopeful says, “There aren’t many.”  And the activist says, “Where are they and how can I make a difference.”  I want to spark the activist in all of us, educate the skeptic in each of us and engage with you the shared hope that if we each take one demonstrable action we can take one of these individuals who are exploiting our youth off the street and make a difference to many children – today and tomorrow. (Children as a Commodity - December 2009) 

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DNA Foundation www.demiandashton.org

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the US
Sex Trafficking of Children in Texas
Sex Trafficking of Children in Nevada
Sex Trafficking of Children in Southeaster US (FL, AL, GA)
Human Trafficking: North Dakota
Children as a Commodity
Hearing on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (September 15, 2010) [approx 4 hours]

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Books:
The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today, With a New Preface The War on Human Trafficking: U.S. Policy Assessed Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: All Roads Lead to America One Child Sold: Human Trafficking & Rights Slave Hunter: One Man's Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking

Videos:
Trade Bordertown Human Trafficking

Real men don’t buy girls: