‘ACT-NOW’ Collaborates with Polaris Project and HomeStretch to Cause Child Trafficking Awareness


December 29, 2012

By Staff Reporter & Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella

The three NGO's are focused on different community issues but align in combating human trafficking and work towards providing security, dignity, peace, and prosperity to victims

December 29, 2012

By Staff Reporter & Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella

The three NGO's are focused on different community issues but align in combating human trafficking and work towards providing security, dignity, peace, and prosperity to victims

McLean, VA — Abolish Child Trafficking Now Inc. (ATC-NOW), Polaris Project, and HomeStretch are non-profit 501c (3) organizations, geared to combating child trafficking.

Located in Metro Washington, these organizations work to prevent the trafficking of children into commercial sex, and forced labor.

Close to 50 representatives of various corporations attended a 'Happy Hour' fund-raiser held on Thursday, December 20th at Capital Grille restaurant in Tysons Corner, VA, organized by ACT-NOW, to benefit the child trafficking awareness campaign. Media outlet, MyDosti.Com, supported the initiative.

Victims of Human Trafficking

Child trafficking is committed by organized groups and networks.

Sex trafficking victims, found usually in awful and appalling situations, are easy targets of traffickers. Situations vulnerable include — displaced homemakers, homeless individuals, job seekers, kidnap victims, runaway teens, refugees, tourists, drug addicts, powerless minorities, etc.

Victims are not permitted to leave once they arrive at their destination. Their passports and identification papers are confiscated. They may be beaten and promised their freedom only after earning through prostitution.

The economic principle of ‘supply and demand’ drives the sex trafficking-industry. So long as buyers and traffickers are not prevented from exploiting children, there will be a market for them. When the demand is stopped, the cycle is broken.

Collaborating for a Noble Cause: (Left to Right) Bradley Myles, Executive Director of Polaris Project, Promod Sharma, Co-founder of ACTNOW DC, Christopher Fay, Executive Director of HomeStretch

Promod Sharma, President of Criterion Systems and co-founder of ACT-NOW welcomed the attendees and said: “We became aware of the level of trafficking right here in Metro Washington, and we decided to direct our charitable efforts to this region.”

Jeff Brouse, another ACT-NOW co-founder, said, earlier this year: “It is sad that these children are trafficked and prostituted…Within 5 to 10 years, if we work aggressively, causing awareness with help from social media organizations like MyDosti.Com, we can nullify child trafficking in Metro Washington.”

(Actnowdc.org) website quotes— U.S. Department of State— that in the United States, 300,000 children are forced into child prostitution and child pornography each year. In Washington DC alone, trafficking innocent children is a $100 million industry.

HomeStretch places a special emphasis on children, and only accepts families with children under the age of eighteen. It provides subsidized housing, and a variety of services including case management, employment counseling, ESL classes, computer literacy training, GED tutoring, domestic violence education and counseling, therapy, substance abuse counseling, life skills training, transportation assistance, and numerous services for children.

Christopher Fay, Executive Director of HomeStretch said: “Families can stay with HomeStretch for two years or more as they acquire the skills and resources they need to live productive and independent lives.”

Fay talked about a trafficked woman from Congo who was rescued and rehabilitated, by HomeStretch, and is today a registered Nurse earning $65,000, a year. He thanked the organizers of the event, and those who attended to support the cause: “This is a noble cause — thank you, all!” (http://www.homestretch-inc.org)

 According to UN.GIFT (Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking):

  • An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labor (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking.
  • Out of 2.5 million people trafficked, 1.4 million – 56% – are in Asia and the Pacific; 250,000 – 10% – are in Latin America and the Caribbean; 230,000– 9.2% – are in the Middle East and Northern Africa; 130, 000 – 5.2% – are in sub-Saharan countries; 270,000 – 10.8% – are in industrialized countries
  • 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being a source, transit or destination.

Polaris, of Polaris Project, is named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, in the US

Polaris Project is a leading human-trafficking combating organization in the United States, serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. The organization protects victims of human trafficking while seeking accountability for traffickers.

Bradley Myles, Executive Director of Polaris Project, talked about a frightened and tongue-tied nanny, who was trafficked and stuck, till Polaris Project coordinated her rescue with help from FBI.

Polaris Project helped win passage of federal legislation and anti-trafficking laws in dozens of states, to eradicate human trafficking.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a program of Polaris Project, working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking.

NHTRC welcomes calls related to potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to be occurring. (http://www.polarisproject.org).

For help against human trafficking, call hotline — 1-888-373-7888 — NHTRC will answer your call, 24/7, 365 days.

A collaborative effort of the federal government, state governments, NGOs, and responsible citizens can conquer child trafficking.

It’s time to end modern human slavery.

Community Special by MYDOSTI.COM