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Top Story: Trafficker Gets Life Sentence in America!

November 2021: Walk For Freedom

After our North Carolina office worked with the lead survivor witness for years, a judge sentenced her trafficker to life behind bars—the highest possible penalty for his crimes.

This is a precedent-setting court victory for future cases of human trafficking and a significant win for this survivor and many others.

Trafficker Gets Life Sentence in America 
Our North Carolina team celebrated a ground-breaking court victory in 2020. After working with the lead survivor witness for years, a judge sentenced her trafficker to life behind bars—the highest possible penalty for his crimes. This is a precedent-setting court victory for future cases of human trafficking and a significant win for this survivor and many others.

Life Sentence for trafficker posters

Two Survivors’ Testimonies Lead to 7 Sentenced Traffickers
Two survivors in Greece bravely shared their testimonies despite significant opposition—resulting in the conviction of seven members of a trafficking ring. This is a substantial victory that not only brought justice to these survivors but continues to bring justice to future human trafficking cases in Greece.

Judicial Seminar on Human Trafficking, Forced Labor, & Child Exploitation in Thailand
A21 Thailand co-sponsored a judicial conference on human trafficking to 32 judges from across Thailand and ten observers from the British Embassy, Dutch Embassy, Australian Embassy, and other NGOs. Our Government Relations Director and Thailand Country Manager gave presentations on victim-centered prosecutions and addressed questions specific to online child exploitation cases and the use of computer forensics. This was the first conference for judges focused on human trafficking in Thailand—and it’s just the beginning.

Support for Survivors in Court Results in Conviction of Trafficker
Often, facing traffickers in court is an emotionally challenging journey for survivors. But A21 came alongside several survivors in the U.S. by attending the court hearing with them and providing appropriate clothing for court, transportation, food, consistent counseling, and emotional support so they could reach stability and effectively testify against their trafficker. As a result, the trafficker was convicted in the U.S. Federal Court, including charges of sex trafficking, production of child pornography, transporting victims interstate for prostitution, operating an interstate prostitution enterprise, and more.

Major Court Victory for Two Thai Survivors of Child Sex Tourism
After months of working with attorneys and government officials, a U.S. citizen received ten years in federal prison for traveling to Thailand to engage in sex acts with minors and was ordered to pay $10,000 compensation to each survivor. Our team is journeying alongside the survivors by working collaboratively with an attorney and financial advisor to create a life plan for each individual, ensuring they have proper guidance. We believe this will set a precedent for similar transnational prosecutions in the future—giving victims the financial and legal support they need across borders. It also sends a message to perpetrators that they will be prosecuted—no matter where the crime is committed.


 

How to Shop for a Survivor and Their Family


December 2021: Amazon Wishlist

Amazon Wish List

This December, we are opening the A21 Holiday Shop for the second time in our Freedom Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The A21 Holiday Shop provides survivors the opportunity to experience the joy of holiday shopping for their children at no cost to them.

To be a part of making this event happen, visit A21 Freedom Center Charlotte Wish List on Amazon and pick out the item(s) you want to contribute. These items will be sent directly to the staff at the Freedom Center in Charlotte, where they’ll put them on display in the A21 Holiday Shop. With your support, we can extend the joy of this beautiful season to survivors and their families.

To obtain items in time for holiday shopping, the last day to purchase items off the wish list is Friday, December 3rd, 2021.

  Shop for a survivor  

 


Why Legal Prosecution Is One of the Most Challenging and Powerful Things We Do

November 2021: Legal prosecution

When one brave survivor testifies in court and traffickers are convicted, thousands of other victims may be freed or spared from exploitation.

We’ve seen the ripple effect first-hand.

In Greece, two survivors testified against an individual who was prosecuted for trafficking up to 1,000 victims.

In the U.S., survivors testified against a trafficker who was convicted of charges including sex trafficking, production of child pornography, transporting victims interstate for prostitution, operating an interstate prostitution enterprise, and more.

In Thailand, three traffickers were given a groundbreaking prison sentence between 167-320 years each. Five other men involved were also found guilty and ordered to pay compensation to the child victims.

These are just a few of the many legal cases A21 has been a part of over the years. Each case with its own challenges, victories, and wave of impact.

Ripple Effect

 
Every court victory stops the cycle of human trafficking in its tracks.
It takes one more dangerous person out of the picture.
It uncovers trafficking rings that lead to the freedom of more victims.
It protects vulnerable, at-risk people from future exploitation by putting perpetrators behind bars.
It sends a loud message that traffickers will be convicted and justice will be served.

Legal prosecution is more than just prison sentences and fines. They are precedent-setting victories for the future we want to see, for the safety and protection of victims who no longer have to live in fear of their abusers. It reminds us that justice will prevail when we fight for it.


Sela's Story

October 2021: Walk For Freedom 

Sela's Story


Sela*
is a 7-year-old girl near a small village in Cambodia. Taken from her village by a family member, she and other children were forced to beg on the streets each night. She was beaten and denied food if she didn't return with enough money–until one day the Thai police discovered the kids and assisted them to safety. Without family to return to, Sela felt alone until she was connected to A21 and placed with a loving foster family.

 


 

Learn How Children in Our Aftercare Program are Overcoming Trauma

August 2021: Why emotional resilience can change a life 

Brave Hearts Strong Minds

Child survivors of human trafficking have experienced unimaginable trauma, but developing emotional resilience at a young age helps them navigate future challenges in a healthy way. 

That’s why our team developed Brave Hearts, Strong Minds— a group program designed to help child survivors develop emotional resiliency skills to manage the aftermath of their trauma.

We’ve been piloting this program in our Child Advocacy Centers, and the feedback has been phenomenal. Children in our care are learning how to manage their emotions, cultivate a healthy response to triggers, and overcome trauma symptoms.

Brave Hearts, Strong Minds (BHSM) is a nine-session, interactive program to help children understand trauma, identify emotions, and learn how to manage their triggers in a fun and engaging group dynamic. Children learn best when they have fun! 

With that in mind, BHSM is intended to be delivered in an enthusiastic and engaging manner while being aware of the sensitive nature of topics discussed.

It provides an opportunity for child survivors to talk about complex topics in a relatable and safe environment. 

The recommended participant age is 7 - 12 years. However, the program content and delivery may be varied slightly to suit the participant age group.

When you give today, you make healing possible for survivors in our care.

Support Child Survivors →

 

 

Brave Hearts Strong Minds

 

Let's Talk About Our Feelings 

Brave Hearts, Strong Minds Photo
Brave Hearts, Strong Minds Photo
Brave Hearts, Strong Minds Photo

  
One of the key aims of Brave Hearts, Strong Minds is for child survivors of trafficking to develop a healthy understanding of and relationship with their emotions. One of the children's favorite activities is a game that involves different colored balloons. Each balloon color represents a feeling.

For example:

Blue = sad
Red = anger
Yellow = happy
Green = anxious
Pink = calm


Here's how it works:

  1. Children choose what color balloons represent their feelings.
  2. They blow up each balloon to represent the intensity of that specific feeling. 
  3. They draw a picture of a face on each balloon to represent how a specific emotion makes them feel.

When children are given language around their feelings, they learn to respond to their emotions in a healthy way without fearing them or pushing them away. This helps prevent and intercept ongoing mental health challenges allowing children to grow up with a healthier response to their trauma.

By giving a donation to A21, you’re ensuring this program continues and more children begin to flourish.


Give Today →

 


 

Take a Stand for Child Survivors this October: Show Up & Walk!

August 2021: Join a Walk For Freedom in a City Near You!
 

Walk for Freedom 2021

Last year you made an impact by participating in the Global Freedom Summit—thank you!

This year, we’re inviting you to take your impact to the next level by registering for Walk For Freedom 2021. By signing up today, you are raising awareness of human trafficking and supporting programs like Brave Hearts, Strong Minds. 

Walk For Freedom is our global mobilization event, rallying tens of thousands of people, taking millions of steps, in hundreds of cities all over the world. It’s an outward expression of A21’s inward desire to see slavery abolished everywhere—in our cities, in our communities, and in our world.

Every step helps child survivors experience peace, hope, and freedom.

Sign up to participate in a Walk For Freedom near you, happening October 16.


Register Today! →
 


 

Join us on July 30, 2021 for A21's Global Broadcast

Global Broadcast 2021

 

July 2021: We're going global

 
On July 30, 2021, join us for a global event that will unpack the complexities of human trafficking, common recruitment methods traffickers use today, and what you can do to stop exploitation in your local community.

When you understand how trafficking happens and how to respond, you too can stop one of the most horrific injustices the world has ever seen. Join thousands of abolitionists on July 30 for the World Day Against Human Trafficking by registering for the A21 Global Broadcast.

What topics will be covered during the broadcast? We’re so glad you asked.

In this one hour training, you’ll learn:

  • The complexities of human trafficking and A21’s solution to end it
  • Most common recruitment methods used by human traffickers today
  • How recruitment happens through our newest film
  • How to identify trafficking situations and respond appropriately
  • What you can do to fight for freedom and make a difference right where you are


Tune into the Broadcast →


How one couple’s awareness was the difference between exploitation & freedom—Read Gia’s Story:

April 2021: Gia's Story of Freedom
  
Read Gia's Story

Halfway through third grade, Gia* was taken out of school to help support her family.

Growing up in an underprivileged home in Cambodia, her family struggled to generate enough income to eat. In Gia’s teenage years, she felt more pressure to support the family financially.

One day, a woman approached her with pictures of big houses, nice cars, and happy families. The woman offered a solution—marry abroad to have a better life and provide for her family.

 
Gia accepted. But when she arrived abroad, she was locked in a room and stripped of her legal documents. What she thought was a promising future was something very different.

Desperate to help, Gia accepted and packed her bags. But when she arrived abroad, she was locked in a room and stripped of her legal documents. Abused since day one and forced into sexual exploitation, Gia lost hope of ever seeing her family again.

Until one day, a couple noticed she was trapped. The couple was aware of human trafficking and helped Gia escape through an open window. Gia braved the dangerous journey across the border back to Cambodia without legal documents. Upon her return, she was referred to A21’s aftercare program.

Today, Gia is safe, free, and taking steps towards restoration—regaining her strength through counseling, life skills training, and vocational support to restore a life of independence. We’re proud of Gia’s accomplishments and grateful to be part of her journey to freedom.
The couple’s awareness was the difference between exploitation or freedom for Gia.

Will you give today to help us spread awareness and prevention everywhere, forever?

Give Now →

Announcing A21 Latin America

April 2021: A21's newest location
A21 Latin America

 

We’re so excited to officially announce our newest location—A21 Latin America!

Human trafficking happens in every country. When deciding where to expand our work, we look for opportunities where our model will have the most impact in the fight against slavery.

We ask ourselves three questions:

  1. Is there a problem?
  2. Is there an opportunity?
  3. Do we have the right person to lead it?

Having the right people in place is essential to creating a sustainable model for impact. And later this month, you’ll meet the manager of A21 Latin America and learn her story.

Our vision for Latin America is to empower our local partners with programs and resources to advance freedom farther and faster than ever before–to expand the work far beyond us.

Check out our A21 Latin America website here 


  .

Our U.S. Aftercare is Growing!

Our U.S. Aftercare is Growing!

 

Our U.S. Aftercare is Growing!
FEBRUARY 2021: We’re excited to announce that A21 received funding to open a second Freedom Center in the United States!


As we begin planning for this new venture, we look forward to the  new avenues of care this center will provide for survivors in our aftercare programs. The center will be based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is expected to open later this year.

The Freedom Center is at the core of A21’s Restore Strategy–it's an independent, community-based model of aftercare. 

From holistic healthcare and one-on-one support to job training and life skills, your support gives survivors of human trafficking a fresh start and a hopeful future. Providing a sense of home, a safe place to heal, rediscover hope, and take steps toward restoration and independence. 

Click here to learn more about aftercare at A21 →


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