Yasmin Vafa is Co-founder and Director of Law and Policy at Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls), a human rights organization focused on gender-based violence and its impact on vulnerable young women and girls in the U.S. Ms. Vafa earned her bachelors degree from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.
Those of us fighting trafficking as part of a broader human rights movement must recognize that failing to advocate for the use of these laws to punish both buyers and sellers serves to perpetuate very serious racial disparities in who we are deeming culpable and who we are criminalizing for trafficking.
With as much emphasis as there has been on the crisis of human trafficking recently, there is almost complete disregard for the unfettered demand that is fueling this multibillion dollar industry. It’s time to collectively demand we hold all exploiters of children accountable, both traffickers and buyers of child sex.
Originally passed in 1994, VAWA has been consistently reauthorized and improved with broad bipartisan support. This year, however, the far right wing in the House is insisting on leaving specific groups of women unprotected. Why?
When we hear about solitary confinement, we often imagine it as a form of extreme punishment inflicted on the most vicious and dangerous criminals in prison. The last thing you would expect is for this practice to be inflicted on children. But it is.
To argue that contraception, condoms, or abortion cannot be referred to or provided to young girls and women who have been sexually brutalized beyond imagination is an extreme point of view. These victims deserve more from us.
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