A new study finds spending on the underground sex trade in Seattle has gone way up. Of the cities studied, Seattle is one of only two where spending increased, and it’s not pennies: $50 million in 2003 to $112 million in 2007.
Those caught up in it call it "the life." It usually involves a pimp, coercion and prostitution.
For young victims of sex trafficking, getting out of that life and building a new one can be a monumental task. Having a rap sheet for prostitution makes it incredibly difficult to apply for jobs, or housing, or school — the things it takes to start over.
Two and a half weeks ago the FBI, in partnership with local law enforcement, conducted a cross-country sweep looking to help stop child sex trafficking. They recovered dozens of under-age victims who have been forced into prostitution, and they arrested their pimps. Three child victims were found in Washington state, and nine people were arrested here.
On Tuesday, something very different happened at FBI offices in downtown Seattle.
Understanding The Facts Behind Human Trafficking Is Seattle the number one place for sex trafficking in the country? Is Washington state third in the country? That’s what some people are hearing. Facts and figures are used to inform the public and lawmakers about human trafficking but misinformation can be passed on as well. KUOW’s Sara Lerner joins us to explain how we get the right and wrong information about human trafficking.
Reflections On Commencement Seattle’s Tom Doelger has been teaching English to high school students at Lakeside School since 1985. This time of year he’s often called on to speak to graduating students and their families. Doegler's reflections on life’s crossroads are always drawn from his own personal experiences. Doegler's path to teaching was an unlikely one. He underwent a jarring life transition as he moved from the glamorous world of 1970s Aspen, Colo. ski patrol to a job teaching writing to middle schoolers. Doelger speaks with KUOW’s Dave Beck about his book “On Occasion: Tom Doelger Speaks.”
The Woman Behind “Let’s Pretend” There weren’t a lot of female directors during the Golden Age of Radio. Nila Mack was one of the few who earned herself an office on the 14th floor of CBS beside Edward R. Murrow.
Recommended Eating Food writer Sara Dickerman joins us with a lunch recommendation. Prefer to cook for yourself? She also has a pick for a great cookbook!
It's obvious from his interview with The Guardian newspaper that Andrew Snowden knew leaking NSA secrets would get him into hot water. But he seems to have planned for that. Somehow, he's disappeared from his Hong Kong hotel room. Some have suggested he might find refuge in Russia, on mainland China, or on some remote island in the Philippines.
Christopher Pyle knows a thing or two about blowing whistles. In 1970, while in the U.S. Army, he disclosed the extent of the military's surveillance of the protest movement. That led, in part, to the Watergate scandal. Mr. Pyle now teaches politics at Mount Holyoke College and is the author of several books on military surveillance of civilians. The CBC's Carol Off asked him for insight on Snowden's situation.
Last week, we began running an outstanding series on human trafficking from WGBH called "The Underground Trade." We're halfway through, with more episodes scheduled through the week. If you've just tuned in, this is your chance to catch up.
A System Of Modern Slavery That Touches All Points On The Globe
Boston-based reporter Phillip Martin began with a police bust of a ring of massage parlors that offer more than massages. Many reporters would have stopped there. But Phillip started pulling on the "thread" of that story, and over his eight-part series, he's unraveled the whole sweater, tracing the route of human traffic all around the world to its roots in Southeast Asia.
In a recent radio piece, WGBH’s Phillip Martin explored forced prostitution in East Asia. That’s a problem in the Puget Sound region, too.
Pimps here often prey on young girls who’ve run away from home. Detective Todd Novisedlak of the Seattle Police Department says that in some ways it’s similar to cases in Vietnam. He said traffickers here, too, prey on young girls’ susceptibility to fall in love.
Stephen Hawking is perhaps the most famous user of what's called "adaptive and assistive technology." He uses a speech synthesizer to communicate with others. Schools in New York City have begun using similar devices to help integrate special needs students into standard classrooms.
In New York, this school year was the first year neighborhood schools were required to accept students with special needs into regular classrooms. They've made the transition with the aid of high-tech gadgets. You can hear that story online.
Michelle Buetow says we could learn something from New York's experiment. She's co-president of Seattle's Special Education PTSA. She says although Seattle is a high-tech city, its approach to special education is decidedly low-tech. She says “it’s borderline criminal that a city built on high-tech resources has chosen not to fund these kinds of gadgets for students with special needs.” But school districts strapped for cash have struggled to find money for these kinds of technologies.
People take long flights to pay low prices for sex. In a radio story from WGBH, Phillip Martin explores the international sex tourism industry. Here in the Seattle area, Highway 99 hosts one main corridor where prostitution is easy to see. Hot spots dot the roadway, from Northgate to Sea-Tac.
Some of those prostitutes are also underage girls, forced by pimps to walk the streets. That's called child sex trafficking.
There's a new Superman movie coming out this month. Why does the story of the man of steel continue to resonate with people? Perhaps he represents a myth we like to tell ourselves: that given absolute power, we would choose to use it for good.
Slavery. When we hear that word, we often think of it as something in the distant past. But an underground network of human cargo thrives right under our noses.
Today, we hear the first in a special series on human trafficking. We'll start small, as police bust up a prostitution ring in a small Boston town. It's a story that could have happened anywhere. Here in Seattle, police busted a similar ring two years ago.
Boston investigative reporter Phillip Martin wanted to go deeper than the breaking stories of busts and find out what's beneath the surface. As he began unraveling the story, it took him all over the globe. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll follow him from Boston to Thailand to China and back, and over that period we'll discover that these stories of prostitution rings are part of a much larger story. It's a story that links two different kinds of men: the western man who believes Asian women are more willing to please, and the kidnapper who transports young girls across Southeast Asian borders.
This Week In Olympia With the end of the legislative session nigh, will lawmakers be able to wrap up their work or will there be a special session? Jerry Cornfield, reporter and political columnist for the Everett Herald, is waiting for answers along with the rest of us.
Breaking The Cycle Of Human Trafficking In Kolkata, India’s red-light district, the New Light Foundation runs two centers that provide poor and abandoned girls with health care, meals, tutoring and in the case of 40 children, a roof over their head. Urmi Basu, founder and director of New Light, is now in the process of establishing a home for young boys so that they too can leave the red-light district.
The Beauty Of Endangered Birds There are 590 bird species that are endangered or critically endangered. Some only live in captivity. Around the world there are places where only old nests and the memories of their songs remain. Photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes bring us the story of endangered birds.
This month, hosts Sarah Rosenthal and Kamna Shastri bring you stories about the reality of human trafficking in the Seattle area.
First we hear from Kathleen Morris, an advocate for trafficking survivors with the International Rescue Committee. She tells us what human trafficking is and what to look for in a trafficking situation. Then we hear an incredible story from Yasmin Christopher, a law student at Seattle University whose family was trafficked to rural Grays Harbor County from Bangladesh. Finally, RadioActive reporter Katherine Sims brings us to Westlake Center in downtown Seattle where a vigil is held once a month to stand up against human trafficking. She talks to one high school student, Emily Kubota, who has been going to the vigil for two years.
Seattle-area officials are touting a new campaign to fight human trafficking. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announced the new effort Wednesday that mainly involves Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.