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March 05, 2014

The New York Times Puts Faces to Human Trafficking

By Simone Salvo

Today the New York Times featured a collection of Nicholas Kristof’s most memorable pieces about sex trafficking around the world. “Inside the Brothels” chronicles the experiences, both harrowing and hopeful, of girls and women from Cambodia, India, Pakistan, China, and here in the United States.

“I found that the atrocities and scale aren’t as bad as in some foreign countries, but we still have a vast trafficking problem. We don’t have the moral authority to tell other countries what to do until we clean up our own act,” writes Kiristof.

Human Rights First believes unequivocally that America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values. As we gear up to extend our advocacy work to human trafficking, Human Rights First is teaming up with leading activists. Kristof’s series of highlights coincides with our focus on the groundbreaking work of Cindy McCain, co-chair of the Arizona governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking, and Letty Ashworth, the General Manager for Global Diversity at Delta Air Lines. 

Watch McCain and Ashworth talk about what the United States can do to end human trafficking at our 2014 Human Rights Summit.

McCain notes that increases in trafficking occur when large groups of men congregate in one area. As Arizona prepares to host the 2015 Super Bowl, McCain is advocating for legislation that would give law enforcement more power to target human trafficking. Based on recommendations from her task force, Arizona will implement a program to train police officers and other first responders about how to better help trafficking victims. 

Delta, a founding member of the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking, was the first airline to sign the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children for Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. In her testimony before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations in January, Ashworth announced: “Delta’s 80,000 employees worldwide – over 8,000 of whom live and work in the New York City Region alone - have received training and are in prime positions to be eyes and ears to spot potential cases of human trafficking and point them out to law enforcement for action.”

In the United States, this month is Women’s History Month, an opportunity to recognize women on the frontlines working tirelessly to make universal human rights for women a reality. In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, Human Rights First is profiling inspiring women worldwide fighting gender-based violence and discrimination 365 days a year. McCain and Ashworth are two such women and we look forward to working with them.