tv The Stream Al Jazeera January 31, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EST
and you can watch "the stream," go to aljazeera.com, and remember to tune in to ali velshi with his special program on america. he airs every night at 7:00. our digital producer wajahat ali is here wiping you all the feedback. it's tough topic because the stories are very tragic and real but the numbers surrounding it are widely contested. >> that's the point of contention with our community. everybody acknowledges it's a problem, but huge debate whether or not we are hyping this up,
tying it to the super bowl . whether or not these numbers are inflated and whether or not that hype is actually warming the victims. here are carol we can check out a debate. carol says : >> i assure you that's not our intention. and a response to her: hannah agrees : on facebook matt says, this doesn't happen at all, but it does to sale news. so a lot of cynicism there, but people do agree that this issue you does exist. >> it does, indeed and we'll try to get down for some of the nitty-gritty of it. we tend to think of sex traffic beining astrafficking ace foreign phenomenon.
24 children were victimized in he tam fa florida. media reports disagree on the arrests for previous super bowls, some claim more than 100 cases so we contacted some of the law enforcement agencies and advocacy groupings, those groups those numbers were attributed to and they said they were not the source of the information. new jersey is mobilize to go crack down on trafficking at this weekend's super bowl . others contend the link between section trafficking and the super bowl is not only a myth but one that wastes resources that could be put to better use. so how can the american s*eubgs sex trafficking industry be take undone? is this once a year focus superbowl helping or hurting. to help us sort through all of that we are joined by morris a founder of. brook is the executive director of more to life also a survivor
of sex trafficking. jane wells is the producer and co direction tour of tricks, that's a new documentary that takes a comprehensive look at sex trafficking in the u.s. and tracey thompson assistant attorney general of new jersey and chair of the new jersey human trafficking task force. women come, everyone to the "the stream." so brook prostitution and and being a sex slave are different things, most victims of trafficking are pulled in to it at a very young age, you started when you were 11, how did that happen? >> with most victims and like to say champions, i would violently raped. i came from a single-parent home, and i was violently raped. we ended up running away. and like a lot of kids, and i was snatched off the street by traffickers. and i didn't know what sex was. i was a straight-a student and there i was in a dirty bathtub, injected with drugs and told this is what you are going to do
and insurgent what you are right. so you are right, lisa prostitution and sex trafficking are very close, but not exactly the same thing all the time. >> jane, you have created what could be one of the most comprehensive documentaries about sex traffic in america, it's called tricked. what's the unheard story when it comes to these victims that your movie exposes? >> oh, i think that every story is so tragic on its own. so there are all unheard until we really change the -- what's happening on the ground. i think some of the saddest stories for me have been that i went and interviewed people who are still stuck in that life. and when we turned off the cameras they had to go back out on the streets and keep working. and that for me was perhaps the most tragic part and the saddest store. >> i our community has been tweeting in all day, lisa, a facebook they say these women are not in business for
themselves they are slaves. however this debate that we talked about in the begin, adam says this is a myth about all the sexer trafficking increasing during the super bowl it has to be the biggester ban ledgeers ever. benjamin says it highlights the issue but also miss informing. benjamin says there has been no distinction drawn between sex work examine sex trafficking anna says it receives more aware ons this issue sex trafficking is a crisis that occurs every day. and kenneth, look, i want to go to you with this. there has been this debate in our community that this is a myth and that the numbers are inflated and we have two prominent anti-trafficking groups, polaris project and global alliance against the traffic of women who say that there is no evidence linking between increased numbers of sex trafficking and the super bowl. so if that's true why are we seeing this increase in headlines, if you will and does it detract from helping victims
of sex traffic something. >> well, i think that when you look at the numbers, there is no hard data to show that there is an increase in sex trafficking, but when you look at historical slavery in the 19th century when the emancipation proclamation was signed we knew there were 4 million slaves freed because they were part of the -- they were property. they were on people's wills. and when you look at this issue today, this is an underground, illegal activity. so it's very hard to count what you can't see. i can say that sex slavery is very real in communities all over the country and the time that we spend in schools trying to educate young people on existence of human trafficking in honeste an effort to prevent them every knowing in horrific crime it's very real. when you look at specific data around the super bowl it's hard to make the claim. >> to that points, tracy, since there are no firm statistics when it comes to numbers that support an increase around these
major athletic events, one, are you at all concerned that the numbers are inflated? and two, how do you tackle a problem if you don't know how big it is? how do you know you are coming up with the trite rite strategy? >> let's begin here, if it's your child wouldn't you want the state to use every resource that was available to rescue your child from this horrific activity? and let's get back to the data. so class kids and other nongovernmental organization that his we have been dealing with show that there is a spike almost three times as many postings for commercial sex ads on online sites, they increase around the weeks leading up to the super bowl and the weeks following the super bowl. and then number three, there are other data, and reports to the contemporary do exist, but new jersey is not going to be that state that turns a blind eye because the statistical analysis
may not be as complete as some others would like it to be. >> complete versus nonexistent, though. when you ask a lot of advocacy groups they say there are no hard and fast numbers some of the leaders in this analysis we talked to them today major numbers that were attributed to them. they say these are not our numbers, we don't know where it came from. it's hard to quantify anything. of course if it's your child or anyone's child, you want this activity to stop. but the question is, when irrelevant investing a massive amount of resource for a problem that you don't know the scale of it, how do you go about doing that? >> well, because our strategy is long-term and sustainable. new jersey was working on human trafficking before the super bowl, and we'lling working on human trafficking after the super bowl . our four-pronged approach is law enforcement, training, education, out reach awareness and victim services. so these things will be in place long after the super bowl is gone. we didn't connect it.
>> but, brooks, so -- >> yes. >> coming from a woman who has lived this and you know dozens if not hundreds that have lived this. these great talking points that we get it sounds good, but then how does that translate to really helping these girls and boys sometimes take then to a sexual life of sexual slavery. >> fear is never a great way to bring awareness, focusing on one event like this is not really the way to go about it. but what is missing a lot of the times is what you can do with an vents like anevents like this, uplifting address and p.s.a.s that people aware the family dynamics fbi and law enforcement statistics and work with them during last year's super bowl. there is a 20% hike in sex ads
and there are a lot more people in the city and a lot more busts victims that are found, is it up flighted? completely inflated. is fear a way to go? no. but if we are going for focus on the super bowl we have to -- everyone is watching the super bowl, so uplifting ads that make families aware of the family dynamic. ground street people passing out chap sticks and awareness cards because you might be able to reach a victim right there. law enforcement, detective andée dawson of los angeles who is also part of the fbi task force said that a lot of victims come out of the woodwork. it's not that they have crossed a jurisdictional line but come out of the wood works during the super bowl and fbi agents from around the world will be in new jersey this weekend just for that, for victim identification. so that's a good thing but it's what do you do after? what do you do after? >> our community echos that brook. at the very least awareness can
help. chris on facebook says sex trafficking is one of the big unspoken prongs i problems in tn world maybe it's because we don't like anything icky like section particularly in america. >> new jersey is mobilize the public to be on the look out to sex trafficking. what signed are they watching for? and will the time and the money invested net significant results? think about that and we'll be right back.
♪ ♪ welcome back. we are talking about sex trafficking around major sporting events like the super bowl. tracy, you are the assistant attorney general for the state of new jersey. talk about some of the things being done in preparation for this weekend to both crack down on sects trafficking and to help its
victims. >> obviously we have a strong law enforcement i nerve tiff. some operations are covert but you will see an increased police presence, stayed wide, not only in the meadowlands, not only in bergen county. but beyond that, for the past two weeks, we have been holding say something assemblies. and that is geared towards fifth graders through 12th graders, we have been going to schools or holding them at various community and state colleges around the state educating students, boys and girls, about sex trafficking, how to prevent it, how to help a friends, how to save a life and where to turn to for help. >> kenneth, this is something that you have to jump in on. your whole organization fake are focuses around a strong educational curriculum. talk about that and the affect that his you have seen from it. >> well, i love absolutely love what is happening in new jersey because we have believe this is the way that this issue you should be addressed in communities, we as human beings
tend to act with an abundance the heart first and i think the way it's addressed communities is reactionary. we react to victims and provide services and rehabilitation as we should and we need to continue to do that, but we need to really look at prevention education and get at the root of the problem. so that we can prevent a young person from ever knowing this crime if you look at the example of what is happening in new jersey, they are training law enforcement, hospitality workers are being trained. students are getting information that's going to help protect them. and this is the way that you really can go about affecting change and the resources that are spent to prevent this, i think are going to be a lot less, the cost is going to be a lot less than trying to clean up the disaster or operate in disaster mode after somebody has been victimized. >> kenneth, you mentioned rehabilitation and annie on 30 mentioned going we have to insure the victims are not treated as criminals especially the underaged. rehabilitation and safe housing
not jail, examples new york safe harbor law. marvin said it's more of a crime to sale drugs in many states than people that needs to change on a nation and state level. we have a question from monica on facebook what does one look for when being on the look out for this stuff, aside from seeing young girls shoved in to the drunk of limos. and brook i go to you for that question. our community asks what are tell tale signs that we can look for to spot this so we as a community and citizens can help. >> first i want to say victim identification is so important and i just was training today and i think i am one of the first survivors in the organization to hire a male full time for prevention series that works with men, young 10 years to 26. but oftentimes, a bottom girl and a trafficker, she's also a trafficker, will have a young girl and try to look like a family. so you have to try to find some unique things which when i have worked with fb.
and i law enforcement survivor are good at pointing those out. little things that you look at something out of place with that victim. and with that trafficker. it's like they are acting like a family but something is off. and he's clutching her hand and not letting it go. oftentimes within a super bowl kinds of situation, he can be walking behind her and she could be in a short skirt and she's walking ahead of him and you can tell that he's talking to her but she never turns her head and he walks buyer her really fast and says something but never stops to have dialogue, ther the are a lot of little nuance to his spot them. jane, i see you nodding your head were these some of the things that you came to realize throughout shooting your documentary? >> yes. >> i think the lack of eye contact is a good sign and good indicator and obviously signs of bruising and things that could look like domestic abuse and
tattoos that immaterial fly enslavement in some way or the name of somebody i think are also signs to look for. >> one of the things that is going on, leading you want to super bowl , tracy, and we mentioned it briefly, is there are legions of people out canvassing communities. what do you hope to gain from that? >> a number of things, we hope that through spreading information about missing children. there was a missing children booklet developed through our glitch to trafficker program that we are working with in conjunction with kraft kids, free international and the salvation army and distributing posters that have our state hot line on them. we want people to be aware that there is help. and help is available. and that traffickers will be prosecuted. new jersey has one of the toughest laws in the country and that's something that we are really proud of. you are looking at 20 to life if you are found guilty of trafficking. >> tracey, you mentioned the word awareness and our community has picked up on it.
linda tweets in, sure sporting events like the super bowl seem to be the context of sects trafficking but this coverage is highlighting awareness on this issue you. and charles on facebook says, yep, the same things happens in las vegas every day and chicago. portland, new york city, los angeles, memphis, miami, seattle, detroit and on and on. >> yeah, you know, that one tweeter makes a good point about coverage that highlights and creates an awareness. the question is does it have to happen more than one day a year or one week a year which is what we see with the super bowl. we'll talk about that when we come back. because this issue you comes up like clock work and there are other major sporting events that say the same thing happens around them. so is the problem being attacked in the best way possible? and creating awareness year round? do you have any ideas for a more productive approach? tweet us your thoughts using #ajamstream. waj will get them in on the other side of the break but here are some other story that his we are
♪ljazeera america presents ♪ i knew, i knew that the third day i knew what he was trying to do, i knew what he was trying to mike me do he told me, you are going to be aer who. this is exactly what he said, you are going going to be a whore. my ho and you are going to give me this money and that's what is going to happen and you don't
have any [beep] say in it because i have already got you here. i just wanted my daddy . >> that's heartbreaking. that's a clip from tricked. before the break we asked community if there is a better way to deal with the prop year-round. >> yeah, and you mentioned that clip we saw was hard breaking and our community's hard is going out empathizing with the victims a and a trends of decriminalization . weapon says. jewel i says : g.a. goes says. annie says: >> so, jane, the laws are on the
books. the stories are out there, it doesn't seem that a lot has changed. you have spent so much time with pimps and the victims of sex trafficking. from your perspective is there a better more logical way to attack this problem? >> i think it's so complexion we need a multi-faceted approach. and i think that's what they are doing in new jersey admirably, especially the education of middle school kids, it's fantastic. i also feel strongly from what i have seen that we need to -- we all need to be more aware of what district attorneys are doing whether they care about this issue you. and the general public needs to be better informed so that they can be good jurors when the criminal justice system brings people to trial. and they are very hard case to his prosecute. and in juries don't understand the complexity of control that traffickers have over their victims it makes it really hard to bring them to justice. i think we all have a pa are the to play in change actually.
>> brook, speaking of that control, what, if anything, can the communities do to help the victims break the bondage of their pimps? >> i think one thing is understanding that the word sex in and of itself is -- sex has the root word of intimacy, sex slavery really isn't sex, and sex offensers are really rape offenders and it's not really an offense. so when you think about sex, the tweet legalize sex work. sex isn't work. and over 90% of prostitutes who got in to it over 18 self loathe and have self hatred. and so i understand not to judge, not to assume just because someone is over 18 or 25, most prostitutes got in to it as a child. so by the time they get there, the brain develops until you are 26 they think that they want to be there and don't see a way out and so i think having more compassion and not
discriminating against someone. all the victims that i work with and the survivors the number one thing i wanted to know is who i was. developing your identity takes time and we need to give survivor champions time to discover who they really are. >> tracy that has to be an enormous complication when prosecuting these cases because as brook mentioned a lot of the victims go back to their cap tours because they don't know anything else and for a jury that's uneducated about this they think you made a choice you chose to keep doing this. it must make prosecuting effectively very difficult. >> well, it does make it difficult. fortunately, about 18 months ago senator former attorney general did institute the directive 2012-2 which provided for the uniform investigation of human trafficking crimes provided for the liaisons in each of
the 21 counties trained in human trafficking and the whole purpose of the direct tiff was to create an atmosphere in investigation and in prosecution that would encourage victims to wants to participate in the traffickers. we are this year proud to announce that we created a 350,000-dollar grant specifically for victim service providers. and we will be announcing the recipients of that grant very shortly. it's to provide holistic statewide services. there is no one organization currently in the state that provides services from hackensack to cape may which is the breadth of our state. >> you know, brook, -- >> that's wonderful. >> brook, i have covered enough of these stories and spent a considerable amount of time with women who have been in the sex trafficking industry and no matter how much they are assured by people in positions of authority that they can be
protected the thing i have heard over and over on the street is no, you can't protect me. no, you can't stop them from going to my home and breaking my baby's leg. no, you can't step them from take this is out on my family and the level of fear is so great that it almost seems impossible to overcome from all these well-insteade intended agencies. >> when you talk about the hippo campus the seed of the base of the brain, the heart. it takes time. the brain doesn't develop. this is rooted in to the very fabric of your being. and just like helen keller, she was born a normal kid. but then something happened she got an illness and it took time and years for her to one day say apple and didn't seem like she was getting anywhere. if we stick with survivors, stick with champions therapy, love, holistic restorative practices and justice like what tracy talked about doing in new jersey, this is key. eventually, just like me and
tina, and rachel, you begin to open up. one day you say apple, tree, it takes time. people have to be patient in the process of getting to wholeness. >> our community says the best legislate i have solution is to identify, and rehabilitate all players, kenneth let's talk about inoculation with the last 30 seconds that we have. prevention education. how can that be implemented? >> our curriculum has been approved by the new york city department of education for use in new york city public schools and as a result of that, we have been hearing from cities all the over the country about bringing our prevention education curriculum. and one of the common themes that i hear when talking to groups that have been been working so hard on this issue you for 20 years, and not really seeing a lot of progress is that they have not tried education, and when we talk about -- >> i have to cut you off there, kenneth i am sorry, we are out of time. thanks to all of our guests for a wonderful discussion tonight,