The United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, transgender individuals, and children— both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals—subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Trafficking occurs in both legal and illicit industries, including in commercial sex, hospitality, sales crews, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, janitorial services, construction, restaurants, health and elder care, salon services, fairs and carnivals, peddling and begging, and domestic service.
Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) works with girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking in New York. GEMS provides survivors with home, board, and structure resulting in hundreds of young women and girls aged 12–24 exiting the cycle of sexual slavery and embracing futures full of opportunities. GEMS is the only organization in New York State that specifically targets the under-served population of Americans who are victims of sex trafficking and exploitation.
THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE
Polaris Project is a Washington, D.C. based organization that runs the United States’ National Human Trafficking Hotline. The hotline has received more than 44,000 calls over the past decade, with roughly 1,500-2,000 new calls and tips coming in each month. Polaris provides rescue and rehabilitation services for victims of trafficking, trains police officers and other law enforcement officials, conducts advocacy campaigns, and raises awareness about the issue with the public. The organization also works with the U.S. Government to construct and pass laws to prevent human trafficking, and to protect victims in need of help and sanctuary.
Mentari is a survivor empowerment program operating in New York and Indonesia. They provide survivors of human trafficking with job training and life coaching. Mentari helps survivors find work, and helps to build their future careers so that they can become fully reintegrated into society. In Indonesia, their programming has lead to the creation of educational comic books, to warn children and their parents about the dangers of human trafficking. The organization's founder and leader is Shandra Woworuntu, a human trafficking survivor and a recently appointed member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
Verité, based in the U.S., is the leader in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). They operate through four different programs: social auditing; training; research; and consulting. Verité audits every level of the supply chain, including factories, raw materials, and the recruitment of workers. Their invaluable expertise has enabled companies to protect their workers when companies have found problems and to help implement long-term solutions.