International Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day!
Here are 4 ways to get involved with FCAHT:
1. Help raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking. Host an event, re post an article posted on the FCAHT Facebook/Twitter page or simply let others know that slavery still exists.
2. Learn more about Fair Trade Certified products and purchase those products instead. Just by purchasing products such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream can make a big difference in the fight against Labor Trafficking!
3. Volunteer! Everyone has something to contribute. FCAHT has numerous opportunities for you to use your talents to help make a difference.
4. Start a fundraiser for FCAHT. You can go to Fundsgiving.com and start your own fundraising campaign!
In 2010, Law enforcement was on board to address the issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children within the Tampa Bay region. However, one issue that they were coming across was that many of the local services providers were not providing services to victims of CSEC. According to FBI, about 20% of the youth recovered were receiving services. FCAHT decided to lend a hand and see why only 20% of the youth recovered were receiving assistance. FCAHT at that point decided to put together a working group that would solely focus on the issue of CSEC. On October 25, 2010 The Tampa Bay Rescue and Restore Coalition was born! The first meeting was held at DCF office. Advocates from DCF, HKI, Redefining Refuge and FCAHT came together to brainstorm on the many ways that we could help make an impact.
Slowly but surely, the word began to spread and now, 46 different agencies, including FBI, and Eckerd Youth have come to the table to continue to improve how the Tampa Bay region address victims of CSEC. Many changes have occurred over the last 5 years including the mission of the Tampa Bay Rescue and Restore. The mission of the TBRRC is to build a safety network of partnerships that will work together to identify, rescue and restore victims of Child Trafficking in the Tampa Bay Area. Our group has expanded to the issue of forced labor of youth as well. Under the TBRRC, we began the Education Subcommittee to address the issue of education. Since the subcommittee started, members of the TBRRC have assisted in training over 1,000 other social service providers within the Tampa Bay region. We have also partnered with the SHOCK Education Youth Diversion program to help educate at risk youth on the issue of human trafficking. And since 2010, we have seen the increase of services for victims of CSEC with now over 50% of youth recovered by law enforcement receiving the assistance that they are entitled to. These past 5 years have been an amazing journey!
Here we look at a couple other statistics that have been debunked by Fact Checker.
The first is: “In the U.S., some 300,000 children are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation.” and “There are upwards, according to the Justice Department, of 300,000, mostly young girls, at risk for this.”
This number comes from a report by Richard J. Estes and Neil Weiner, written in 2001. However, the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire came out with another report stating “PLEASE DO NOT CITE THESE NUMBERS”, referring to Estes and Weiner’s estimate. Estes and Weiner’s report contained many problems and was outdated. When it comes to statistics one has to be cautious as, the Justice Department’s sponsored report stated, “No reliable national estimate exists of the incidence or prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States”.
Fact Checker: 300,000 Children Claim
The next statistic states: “At least 100,000 children in the U.S. are commercially sexually exploited.”
This statistic was stated by Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2010. Allen used the 300,000 figure that we just debunked and estimated that 150,000 of these were runaways, thrown-away or homeless children, all between the ages of 10 and 17. He said that he rounded down to 100,000 to make it sound like a more conservative number. Allen stated that he wanted to come up with a specific figure because “with any social issue, if you can’t quantify it, it must not be a problem in the view of policymakers”. Whether that statement hold truth or not, it still does not mean statistics should be fabricated.
Here are two other debunked statistics that are circulating around:
“It’s estimated that child sex trafficking in the United States alone is a $9.8 billion industry.”
“This (human trafficking) is domestically a $9.5 billion business.”
The first was posted on the internet by an organization. One problem with this statistic was that the staff was supposed to write human trafficking, not sex trafficking. But even despite that mistake, the report that was sited for this figure does not even mention a $9.8 billion industry of human trafficking in the United States. What it does mention is an estimate of $13 billion in profits for forced sexual exploitation in 36 countries. So where did the $9.8 billion figure come from? Basically it was the result of multiplying a guesstimate of profits to a guesstimate of people forced into prostitution. Read the article below for the specific details.
The second claim was said to be an FBI estimate. They have no record of this. Fact Checker suggests that the $9.5 billion figure may have come from a 2004 congressional testimony. However, even in this, the official was talking about profits from human smuggling and trafficking worldwide. So this estimate simply does not exist.
“On average, girls become victims of sex trafficking at 13 years old.”
This is just one of the statistics that we’ve heard that leads to some questioning. The following Fact Checker article explores this claim to explain how this number simply isn’t credible.
Fact Checker Article
The statistic was said to come from the FBI. However, it originally came from an opinion article that was once posted on the FBI website. The article sited a report from 2001, which interviewed 107 girls from either the street or in human service agencies. The average age of 13 was briefly mentioned in the report. The report was not peer reviewed and it is also at least 15 years old. So it is risky to generalize this number from a such slim outdated research.
It’s been 11 years since the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking opened it’s doors. FCAHT was organized in an effort to identify, rescue and restore victims of human trafficking found within the State of Florida. It’s been an amazing and eye-opening 11 years! My team and I have been able to assist in the empowerment of over 600 lives. Our team has been able to assist victims of all forms of human trafficking as well as various ages, walks of life and gender. We have also had the privilege of not only working with Domestic survivors but International survivors as well. Many of these cases have made an impact in my life as well as my team members lives. Imagine not only assisting a 14-year-old survivor of labor trafficking but also assisting her 9 month old son as well. To see both mother and son, who is now 7 years of age, succeed and thrive was simply inspiring to say the least.
The work and dedication of the FCAHT team speaks for itself. Some of our team members and myself have been blessed to also be part of amazing training delegations that have traveled to over 30 countries and provide training to law
Enforcement, Customs officials, Prosecutors, Non Governmental Organizations, Government officials, Ambassadors and UN Peace Mission Military Officers before they were deployed.
It’s been 11 years of sacrifices but our passion and dedication has made a difference for so many throughout Florida, the U.S. and the Americas.
As a result of our training’s, community events, awareness and education, we have witnessed other Anti Human Trafficking non profits open within the last couple of years. We have also been able to witness the seeds that we planted throughout the state start to blossom as more and more community members are aware of the issue of human trafficking.
The FCAHT Team and myself would like to thank each and every one of you for your continuous support. Our team hopes and prays that more survivors of domestic servitude, labor trafficking and sex trafficking are identified, rescued and restored.
I personally would like to take the time to personally thank all of our volunteers and interns for dedicating your time and energy to such a worthy cause. It has truly been a pleasure working with each and every one of you. You all do such amazing work! Thank You!!
I also would like to personally thank the members of the FCAHT team as well. You all share the same passion as I have to make a dent in the fight against human trafficking and making a difference within the Human Rights field! It is wonderful to be surrounded by such strong, loving women who really do make a difference within the community, the state, and the Nation. I look forward to so many more years of working side by side with you.
Happy 11th Anniversary FCAHT!
2011 Florida Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee
Makers Award Recipient
On May 5th the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation will be hosting the event Give Day Tampa Bay. This event is a 24-hour online giving challenge which encourages the Tampa Bay community to donate to non-profit organizations. Just a heads up per Give Day Tampa Bay, the minimum donation is just $25.
This year the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking will be participating in this event. We encourage all to partake in Give Day Tampa Bay. This event is a great way to show your support for all the work non-profit organizations provide to the Tampa Bay area and nationally.
Here is some background information about FCAHT’s founder, Anna Rodriguez. She had her first experience with a Human Trafficking case in 1999; U.S. vs. Tecum. Anna served as a victim advocate with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and an outreach coordinator for the Immokalee Shelter for Abused Women in Collier County, Florida for 10 years. Her first human trafficking case developed from a “home visitation”, in where she was following up on a domestic violence incident. She noticed the presence of a young female who turned out to be a victim of human trafficking. Anna identified “red flags” that made her suspicious and eventually she helped get the victim out. Today the Tecum case has become a major case study by agencies including USDOJ, FSU, Croft Institute for International and New York Times. Mrs. Rodriguez has accumulated 16 years of experience in the identification, rescue, victim assessment and victim services of human trafficking victims both nationally and internationally. In 2004 Anna founded the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking is an International and Domestic Anti-Trafficking Agency. The mission of FCAHT is to improve and provide outreach and services to victims of human trafficking throughout the State of Florida by developing support programs, networking, coalition building, training, service delivery, and referrals to victims in need. FCAHT provides direct services to LGBTQ, male and female adult victims of human trafficking with or without substance abuse issues or any other medical issues or any disabilities. FCAHT also coordinates and assists with case management to minor of human trafficking. FCAHT will provide services to all forms of human trafficking victims: labor trafficking, sex trafficking, DMST and domestic servitude.
Anna Rodriguez has taken the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking globally. Mrs. Rodriguez has traveled to Central and South Americas and the Caribbean conducting human trafficking training to law enforcement agencies, immigration officials, service providers, government officials and Consular designees on victim identification, victim assessment, trafficking indicators and short and long term victim care. Mrs. Rodriguez has received numerous awards and recognitions for her valuable work and was also recognized by former President George W. Bush, Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller. In December of 2009, Mrs. Rodriguez was recognized by Diputada Cordoba from the Congress of Argentina for her valuable assistance in the writing and passing of the human trafficking laws in Argentina. She also assisted in the organization of the Maria De Los Angeles Foundation in Tucuman, Argentina. Mrs. Rodriguez has also assisted numerous law enforcement agencies and service providers around the United States in coordinating services and developing a strong working relationship between civil society and law enforcement agencies. Her assistance helped the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in San Antonio, Texas identify their first human trafficking case 3 days after they returned from training with Mrs. Rodriguez in Florida. Many agencies across the US seek out FCAHT for their human trafficking assistance and training’s.
The FCAHT spearheads a holistic, comprehensive model used to combat human trafficking. The model is comprised of five major components:
One of the major components of our model is Education and Awareness. FCAHT provides training to law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, faith based, civil and community organizations to bring awareness and recognition to the signs and symptoms of Human Trafficking. This past year FCAHT has been able to promote human trafficking awareness and train 4,490 individuals statewide. FCAHT community outreach and awareness programs have informed over 3, 140 individuals just in the past year about human trafficking.
One of the ways the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking promote awareness to the youth is through the F*Bomb Campaign (Friendship Bomb). This campaign was started by the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Tampa Bay Crisis Center. The F*Bomb campaign teaches the youth to drop an F*Bomb if they know someone who is being sexually exploited. The purpose of this campaign is to catch the attention of the youth. The F*Bomb campaign does this by not lecturing to the youth but by relating to them.
FCAHT works closely with community service providers to provide victims with emergency food and shelter, medical and psychological treatment and other services as needed to help these individuals restore their lives and their freedoms.
FCAHT provides community awareness with events such as Coffee & Conversations. Coffee & Conversations allows for the community to come together to discuss the issue of Human Trafficking within the Tampa Bay Area. Another way FCAHT promotes awareness is through the Freeze Project! This events gains the publics attention by freezing for 3-5 minutes and once unfrozen they are able to promote awareness of human trafficking with posters or by handing out information on human trafficking.
When considering donating to a charity, many people tend to research the issues connected to that organization. As a result, you become more educated about social injustices around the world.
Our organization is fighting against human trafficking to help victims of all forms of trafficking. Your donation on #givedaytampabay will help a great deal.
Giving to a non-profit organization may improve your sense of happiness. By providing donations to organizations it can give you a sense of purpose. By helping these organizations you are helping people in need which allows you to be apart of the community efforts.
By foraging new partnerships and building on existing ones FCAHT continues to make great strides towards raising awareness and ending human trafficking in all its many forms. The best part is this work was made possible through the ongoing dedication of volunteers, interns and countless donations from supporters like you!
So take a look at this snapshot 2014 report and see what your support has helped us accomplish!
Human Trafficking Survivor Assistance
This year, the FCAHT team provided support with case management referral assistance to 20 domestic survivors, both adults and minor victims. FCAHT was also referred cases from HSI in Virginia, FBI Minnesota and Bilateral Safety Corridor in San Diego. Referral assistance is important because without it survivors can’t access the services they need and find pathways to health and freedom.
It’s a Numbers Game
Our Human Trafficking community awareness events, outreach and training sessions attracted a lot of attendees this year. Check out these numbers!
Florida Statewide total: 4,490
• Professional Training: 950
• Community Outreach and Awareness Programs: 3,140
• Youth Engagement: 400
• T.V and Radio Interviews: 16
But we don’t just work in isolation, founded by FCAHT in 2010, Tampa Bay Rescue and Restore Coalition (TBRRC) is a working group made up of agencies that provide services to children who are victims of crime. Through partnerships with high level organizations like the FBI, Homeland Security, Department of Children & Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Eckerd Youth, Redefining Refuge and countless others, the TBRRC has been able to accomplish amazing things!
• Child Welfare Service Provider Training: 730
• SHOCK Education Youth Awareness: 65
FCAHT also reaches out nationally by participating in key events and training sessions across the US along with other organizations to help all Americans understand and learn how to combat human trafficking where they live.
Organization of American States Human Trafficking Panel in Washington DC: 80
National Human Trafficking Training’s: 455 people
• Birmingham, Alabama: 200
• Mobile, Alabama: 100
• Shawnee, Oklahoma: 25
• Chicago, Illinois: 50
And of course FCAHT is always looking for ways to support and engage on human trafficking with the international community, since in many cases, victims are coming from abroad and are exploited by local traffickers who bring them to the US.
International Human Trafficking Training’s: 800 people
• Asuncion, Paraguay: 325
• Ciudad del Este, Paraguay: 175
• La Paz, Bolivia: 300
In the end it is all about actions and public understanding of human trafficking that will make the most difference in this fight. So FCAHT takes every opportunity to get the conversation started. Drop and F-Bomb was a campaign FCAHT supported towards just that. We partnered with The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Women in Action and Dunn & Company for a youth awareness campaign aimed at getting young people talking about child sex trafficking and what to do about it. The Drop an F-Bomb campaign was featured during local events such as 97 X’s The Next Big Thing Concert. The F-Bomb Campaign also made at stop at the University of Tampa and was featured in a book titled “How You Can Fight Human Trafficking: 50 Ways to Join the Fight”.
We even got into baseball this year when the Kansas City Royals made it the World Series! FCAHT was asked by the Department of Children & Families Kansas to assist them in preparing the event staff at Kauffman Stadium on how to recognize a potential victim of human trafficking. Our staff was able to provide DCF Kansas City with a specially designed indicator card for the staff to use. This is the first time that a team of professionals outside of child welfare or law enforcement has ever asked to be trained on how to spot human trafficking. A great game, a great experience and a great year for FCAHT full of amazing learning, targeted action and fun!
Happy New Year!
Are you the one who could help us with obtaining Grants? We’re looking for a passionate, energetic, and talented grant writing volunteer. Your role will involve seeking out and identifying appropriate grant opportunities, and seeing them through to fruition. Plus, you will get to join a fun, passionate team, working for an important cause–and build your own skills and network in the process. Remote volunteers are happily accepted.
Desired Skills and Experience
Our ideal volunteer would have: strong writing skills; attention to detail; a passion for content creation; a positive attitude and strong work ethic; experience with grant writing is a must.
About this company
Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, an International and Domestic Anti-Trafficking Agency, is a 501(c)(3) organization that has been helping victims of human trafficking since it’s creation in 2004.
The mission of FCAHT is to improve and provide outreach and services to victims of human trafficking throughout the State of Florida by developing support programs, networking, coalition building, training, service delivery, and referrals to victims in need.
The FCAHT spearheads a holistic, comprehensive model used to combat human trafficking. The model is comprised of five major components:
• Education and Awareness: Paramount to the fight to eradicate human trafficking is the need to bring the issue to the forefront of community consciousness. FCAHT conducts numerous outreach campaigns to equip community members with the knowledge to identify human trafficking victims and report their suspicions to the appropriate authorities.
• Victim Services: Upon identification of a human trafficking victim, FCAHT initiates a continuum of services for the victim. The continuum of care incorporates basic needs such as shelter, food and medical attention and spans to encompass victim advocacy, financial literacy, legal representation, and job preparation.
• Technical Assistance and Training: In an effort to create a cohesive response to identifying and responding to cases of human trafficking, FCAHT provides ongoing training to professionals serving within the following capacity: law enforcement, prosecutors, non-governmental organizations, healthcare workers, and faith-based organizations.