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Survivor Leaders Meet to Discuss Demand Reduction Policies

As part of our commitment to gain insight from survivors, we convened leaders from across the country to propose a national policy framework that prioritizes reducing harm to victims and holding buyers accountable. Organized by a committee of survivor leaders, the August gathering in Denver was based on feminist salons, informal meetings that emphasize the exchange of ideas. This group will join our CEASE Network (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) coordinators at a convening in DC in November to continue these policy discussions.

Trafficking Victims Protection Act Reauthorized by Senate, Must Pass House

Last month, the Senate passed a bill reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), the nation’s key federal policy on sex trafficking. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) championed the bill, which features strong demand reduction language, including provisions that mandate demand reduction training in all federally-funded human trafficking training programs. While previous versions of TVPA had wide-ranging and positive effects on identifying victims, funding services, and penalizing pimps and traffickers, they failed to prioritize holding sex buyers accountable.

Now we watch for the House Judiciary Committee to take up Sen. Cornyn's TVPA reauthorization bill, getting it one step closer to the president's desk to be signed into law.

New Technology Addresses Sex Trafficking Supply and Demand

Robert Beiser, Executive Director of Seattle Against Slavery, recently demonstrated two technology platforms that address both the supply and demand of sex trafficking. The first innovation, an outreach tool called Victim Reachout, uses software to search for phone numbers in paid sex ads, then sends text messages offering exit services to the potential trafficking victims it identifies.

A second component is a “chatbot”—artificial-intelligence software set up to conduct automated conversations with potential buyers who respond to fake ads for paid sex. This tool simultaneously wastes a potential buyer’s time, gathers information on the person, and sends a deterrence message letting them know that their information has been given to law enforcement, and includes a link to a support website for men who want to stop buying sex.

Read more »

Cyber Tool Allows Law Enforcement to Combat Demand for Paid Sex Online

Tom Perez, Portland CEASE Network coordinator and founder of the EPIK Project, and Lance Christmann, from software company Visionations, facilitated a webinar to showcase a new cyber patrol platform designed to aid law enforcement in effectively combatting the demand for paid sex online. The tool allows law enforcement officers to anonymously communicate with online potential buyers via phone calls and text messaging, and to store those conversations as case files.

Upcoming Documentary Highlights the Global Trafficking Market

Based on a book by modern-day slavery expert and Demand Abolition board advisor Siddharth Kara, “TRAFFICKED” will be released in limited theaters starting October 6. The film, starring Ashley Judd and Anne Archer, tells the true story of three girls—one from America, one from Nigeria, and one from India—who are trafficked to a brothel in Texas, where they together attempt their escape.

Read more »

Competition Will Supportive City-Wide Responses to Human Trafficking

Partnership for Freedom announced its third and final anti-trafficking challenge, Pathways to Freedom. Eligible US cities can compete for funding to develop innovative, citywide responses to both sex and labor trafficking. The PFF will fund a Senior Fellow to address sex and labor trafficking for two years in up to three winning cities. Humanity United and the NoVo Foundation lead this challenge in collaboration with 100 Resilient Cities.

Read more »


More Than 100 Buyers Arrested in Police Sting

After shutting down a large prostitution ring, police near Seattle took advantage of the void in the market. They posted their own fake prostitution ads and arrested 110 men for trying to buy sex. Read more »

Buyer Fines May Fund Victim Services

In Wisconsin, state lawmakers are considering a bill to address the demand side of human trafficking by imposing convicted sex buyers with a $5,000 surcharge. These funds would be used to support victim services and police operations. Read more »

Alliance of Businesses Working to Prevent Trafficking in San Diego

A growing number of businesses and nonprofits in San Diego are joining forces to raise public awareness about human trafficking, prevent the exploitation of children, and address factors that contribute to the demand. This new coalition will implement best practices to prevent exploitation, including “adopting policies that prohibit sex buying; educating employees on the issue; supporting local anti-trafficking organizations; and creating safe job opportunities for survivors.” Read more »

New Report Summarizes Research On Sexual Exploitation

Our partners at World Without Exploitation published a document summarizing a collection of high-quality research studies on sex trafficking, prostitution, and sexual exploitation in the US. Read the report »

CEASE Network is a collaboration of pioneering cities committed to ending exploitation from prostitution and sex trafficking by stopping the demand for paid sex.

Learn more and get involved »

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625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Demand Abolition · 625 Mount Auburn Street · Cambridge, MA 02138 · USA