Picked up from Howard County Patch; ByElizabeth Janney
Howard County a 'Perfect Storm’ for Sex Slave Trafficking
A man approached a group of girls at the Mall in Columbia and told one he’d love to be her modeling agent. He handed her his business card and said he would sign her that day but needed to take her picture, and he’d left his camera in the car.
They walked to his car, and he pushed her inside.
As he drove away, the girl opened the door and rolled out, a maneuver she’d learned from Denene Yates, founder of Safe House of Hope in Baltimore, which provides support services for victims of human trafficking.
Yates speaks at schools around the area, and about a month ago she spoke at the Bain Center in Columbia to more than 100 people about a trade she said was right under their noses.
The girl didn’t want to report the incident, said Yates, but there are still substantial reports of trafficking nonetheless.
“The Department of Justice recognizes [that up to] 293,000 of our own teens” are involved in human trafficking, said Yates.
Human trafficking is a business built around forced labor, defined as a "commercial sex act induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age,” according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Currently, human trafficking is a misdemeanor.
“Abduction of a minor for the purposes of prostitution—and that’s a minor under 16—is a misdemeanor which is a $500 fine and up to a year in jail,” said Yates.
The practice is occurring across the country, and a local group called Howard County Advocacy Group Against Human Trafficking and Slavery (HoCoAGAST) is working to raise awareness locally.
“We believe that Maryland is the perfect storm of factors for human trafficking,” said Jeanne Allert, chair of the Maryland Rescue and Restore Coalition, during a workshop HoCoAGAST sponsored this spring. Allert will also speak at a meeting of HoCoAGAST on Tuesday, June 5, about ways citizens can help.
"We have a significant problem in this area," said Allert, a Howard County resident. "We are not immune. We have issues with street prostitution and massage parlors."
She added that businesses may appear as a nail salon or cafe but "the true business going on behind those suspiciously shaded windows seems a little suspect."
She said she has been involved in research into sex trafficking at the state level.
"The number-one destination in the United States for child sex tourism is Atlanta," said Allert. "What we learned was they're in a large metropolitan area with major stadiums, major entertainment venues; they have a population in the suburbs that commutes into urban centers; they have affluence and poverty juxtaposed; they have a large drug trade....Is it starting to sound at all familiar to anyone?
Continued Allert: "With Baltimore being a major seaport and our location next to Washington, D.C., but also having slots going in Anne Arundel County, we have upped the ante."
On Tuesday, June 5, Howard County Advocacy Group Against Human Trafficking and Slavery will host a meeting for those interested in volunteering to combat human trafficking. The meeting will be at Owen Brown Interfaith Center (7246 Cradlerock Way) in Columbia from 7 to 8:30 p.m
Friday, June 08, 2012
Thursday, June 07, 2012
I have a love/hate relationship with Ancestry.com. The Company has a number of negatives but they also have data I don't think I could find anywhere else so I pay the fee and have to be happy with what I get. One of the items I don't think I would have found in my research locally is ship crew and ship passenger records. In the past three months I have found on Ancestry.com a crew list containing the name of one of the Hastings family when he was a second mate on an oil tanker in the 1920's, the passenger list showing my ex-sister-in-law's father and mother arriving from Italy in 1947, and the passenger list showing my Uncle Bill McCauley arriving in America in 1920 from Ireland when he was nine with the other members of his family. Now the family has always known that Arthur Hastings was a sailor, Tony and Emma Lucca came from Italy and Uncle Bill came from Ireland but seeing the passenger and crew list with the ships name, other passengers, and various other official data that is on a ship's list brings it to life.
A little before 6 AM this morning members of the Delmar Police Department (human and canine) assembled at the State Line to begin their leg of the 26th annual Delaware Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics
Handing over the torch
The Run Is On
The Torch will arrive in Odessa this evening about 6 PM
Monday, June 04, 2012
Prior year photo above.
This Thursday at 6AM the Delmar police department will particate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run
They usually take off on RT13 in front of McDonalds - come on out and support them with a send off.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
I was to Day In The Park yesterday - it was great day for it. First person I came across was Gary Horseman who gave me a big horse laugh about my gripes with the Delmar speedway. he said he told me to build my new house somewhere other than Delmar and now it is proving true.
It is an election year and the candidates trying to take over Biff Lee position as 40th district State Representative were there. All seem to be orientated to Laurel and I heard nothing to indicate they had plans to do anything for Delmar. All are small business owners (good thing) or in Tim Duke's case a pastor for 25 years (same as a CEO). None has been elected to anything before. I would prefer to see some one who had held "some" elected position before trying out for one of the top elected positions in the state - reminds you of the way the Libertarian party works.
The Delmar Police Department was there. At the last Joint Council Meeting I asked if the Red Speed Photo enforcement camera would continue for the summer since school would shortly be out. Mayor Carl Anderton said he would check and get back to me but I never heard from him, so I asked Lt Remo who said the camera would continue year round. So what do you think School kid safety or revenue generator?
So last night I watched the Hatfields and McCoys miniseries on the History channel. This miniseries is suppose to have drawn a large audience (14.3 million viewers) and rave reviews. The three-part miniseries, starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as the patriarchs of the famous feuding families, was the History's channel first foray into "scripted programming." I found it boring as hell but did watch the six hours of it in hopes something would improve. You had 50 guys in beards, big hats, and coats running around shooting one another and you couldn't remember who was who and frankly after a while you didn't care. The only character that stood out was Bad Frank Phillips http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/k/i/n/Benny-M-King/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0095.html who you hoped would end up killing off both sides of the feuding families. Again it reinforces my theory to never waste your time watching a Kevin Costner movie (Ok "Dances with Wolves" was good but the wolf made the movie.)