Child Sex TraffickingSurvivors

Tech Training for Survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

By July 18, 2014 November 1st, 2016 No Comments

Recently, law enforcement officials rescued 168 child victims of commercial sex trafficking in a nationwide child sex trafficking bust. But what happens to these children after they’ve been rescued?

That’s where organizations like Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) come in. GEMS works to empower girls and young women in New York who have experienced domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. Nationally recognized and acclaimed, GEMS is one of the largest providers of services to commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked youth in the US.

Based on our national survey of sex trafficking survivors, we’ve learned that often times these individuals need support to find other types of employment in order to stay out of the life. Based on this feedback, we looked into ways we could help survivors re-enter the work force with enhanced job skills and technical training.

Working with Survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

In an effort to leverage technology to fight child sexual exploitation, we are excited to partner with SamaUSA and GEMS to launch a pilot program in New York City to bring technical training curriculum to survivors of sex trafficking. The program will leverage SamaUSA’s technical skills training curriculum and bring it to survivors currently working with GEMS for a ten week pilot program. With the launch of this program, we’re working to provide people who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking with skills that will help them leverage technology as a tool for professional growth.

Thorn is funding the program and is determining how to expand this partnership between SamaUSA and the child sex trafficking prevention field into other cities to help some of our country’s most vulnerable individuals and prevent them from becoming victims of trafficking. Thorn is also working with its tech task force, to help graduates with networking after going through the program, and to help them find long-term employment.

It’s important to realize that there are many factors that contribute to commercial sexual exploitation. In many cases, survivors of domestic trafficking were exploited as teenagers and didn’t have the opportunity to complete their education or to participate in workforce development programs. GEMS is committed to empowering survivors and giving them options for economic opportunities, and this step to bridging the digital divide is critical to their organization’s theory of change. By teaching people technical skills that can provide them increased employment opportunities and can help them earn an income, we can help ensure that they have real choices and the ability to build a better future.

Learn more about the program, read SamaUSA’s full announcement here.

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