Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Real Men Don't Buy Girls

Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that human trafficking is a topic about which I feel strongly. I belong to Just One, an organization that strives to eliminate human trafficking, whether it is for the sex trade or labor slavery. A lot of these modern day slaves are children. If you think that this is something that just can't possibly exist in the U.S., here are the current trafficking statistics (source: DNA Foundation):
  • The average age of entry into forced prostitution in the U.S. is thirteen
  • Ninety percent of youth trafficked for sexual purposes in the U.S. are citizens of our own country
  • Hundreds of thousands of American girls and boys are currently enslaved in the U.S.
  • An estimated one million children are forced to work in the global sex industry every year
  • The global sex slavery market generates a $39 billion profit annually
  • Selling young girls is more profitable than trafficking drugs or weapons
This week, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s DNA Foundation is launching an interactive online video campaign called “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” to raise awareness about the issue of child sex slavery. The goal of the campaign is to educate people about child sex slavery in the United States and to create a cultural shift around the buying and selling of humans. The message of the campaign is that “Real Men” don’t buy girls. Instead, “Real Men” do respect, love, care for, and protect girls. The short videos feature supporters Justin Timberlake, Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Jason Mraz, Ashton Kutcher, Drake, Adrian Peterson, Isaiah Mustafa…and YOU! Check out all the interactive, celebrity videos here.

To create a video by inserting your own photo with a celebrity supporter, go to the DNA Foundation Facebook page and click on the “Real Men” application tab. The application allows you to insert your own photo into the celebrity video – in order to create your very own “Real Men” video. After the video is created, you can share it with your friends by posting on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The goal is for as many people as possible to watch the videos, create a personalized video, and spread the word about child sex slavery. All videos can be viewed at www.demiandashton.org/realmen. It was really easy and took me only a couple of minutes to do.

A second component to the campaign is the “DNA T-shirt Challenge.” DNA has partnered with Threadless, a community-based design company, and retailer Steven Alan to create t-shirts around the concept of freedom.  More than 200 artists submitted designs and 60,000 votes were cast to determine the winners. The two tees selected (one of which is "Freed" by Alex Solis, pictured left) will be sold at Threadless.com and Stevenalan.com, as well as in all Steven Alan stores, with a percentage of proceeds going to DNA.

Ashton Kutcher said it best, “Child sex slavery is a difficult issue to think about, which makes it all the more important that we do. Real Men do not ever buy children for sex. Period.” Added Demi Moore: "People don't realize child sex slavery is a serious problem in the United States.  Young girls are victimized in the commercial sex industry every day.  No 13-year-old girl chooses to be exploited for sex. Real Men love, care, and protect girls. Real Men don’t buy girls.”

More information and links to other sources on modern day slavery can be found on the DNA Foundation website and the website for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which operates the Human Trafficking hotline: 1-888-3737-888.

Please check out the DNA Facebook page and the DNA Twitter feed and spread the word: Real Men Don't Buy Girls.

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