A21 Campaign Abolishing Injustice in South Carolina

The A21 Campaign is a global organization with the mission to abolish human trafficking in the 21st Century. They launched the Lowcountry, South Carolona campaign in June 2012 to raise awareness, be proactive and to educate.

The staff at the A21 Campaign work closely with victims of human trafficking to help them start a new life and get restored. But identifying a victim is not easy. “A lot of times what happens is victims are brought to us after a bust of some sort – when law enforcement are looking for a trafficking ring,” said CaraLee Murphy of The A21 Campaign. Last year alone those types of operations rescued 103 minor victims, some of which were South Carolina natives. The A21 Campaign offers victims a variety of resources, from basic needs, to therapy, to education and jobs.

“A DEA agent we work with sat down with a trafficker once and he said ‘How do you get these young, beautiful girls?’ The trafficker responded that ‘it is so easy. You can walk into any mall in America and find a girl who is alone. You tell her she has beautiful eyes and if she thanks you and walks you let her go. If she shows any sign of insecurity, etc., I know I have her.’ After striking up a relationship, the trafficker smothers her with compliments, says he wants to be her boyfriend, etc.,” said Murphy. “It’s all about filling a void. Once he has her, he tells his victims they work for him now or he will kill her family and hurt and beat the victim.” Statistically a girl who has survived the seven to nine year time-frame of being victimized can successfully go through recovery after being rescued. Most end up taking their own life if they have been abused much more past nine years.

The A21 Campaign has many roles, all centering on protection, prevention, awareness and education. Prevention starts with arming the public and professional community with tools such as what tactics to look for and a written curriculum for ninth and 10th grade classes that is aligned with common core standards. Its Medical Protocol is offered to emergency room doctors. Its Operation Missing Person is geared toward the hospitality industry, training front desk personnel and security and equipping them with a binder with photos of missing and runaway girls ages 11 to 18 years old.

“The last initiate is that we need people help spread the word, talk to people, support the girls,” said Murphy. “We just need the community to rally behind ending trafficking in Charleston, South Carolina, the United States and the world.”

Learn more at Sully Witte’s Moultrie News article: Abolishing injustice in the 21st century.

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One thought on “A21 Campaign Abolishing Injustice in South Carolina

  1. Thankfully, in South Carolina, we have a new comprehensive law in South Carolina (SC Act 258) which created a united front of NGOs, law enforcement and government agencies, as well as individuals steeped in the fight againgst human trafficking in South Carolina. Via this law as it continues to be implemented, the A21 Campaign will have partners and alliances to work together to carry out the federal plan of prevention, prosecution, protection and partnerships over the next five years. We must give kudos to Professor Shirley McClerklin-Motley and Coker College for setting high standards to educate and advocate at the first SC conference on human trafficking this past week. We started on this road nearly four years ago, when SC Rep Nelson Hardwick noted that huma trafficking needed to end and asked what he could do. We handed him a draft bill to introduce into the House, and he did so, and he stood by it the whole journey. We held a Lobby Day in 2012, and six months later, after intensive public awareness campaigning, and law enforcement and victim service provider training, we cheered across the State, the bill became law with unanimous Yay votes in both the Senate and House, and the governor signed the bill into law soon thereafter. Meanwhile, one of its greatest supporters, the National Association of Social Workers- SC Chapter held the very first training (and almost the first in the nation!) in trauma-informed care. TIC is the leading edge of providing assistance, treatment and reintegrative services to victims of human trafficking. We continue to work as a united front to uncover trafficking situations, to find and reintegrate victims, to raise awareness, and to deepend knowledge about human trafficking throughout the State of South Carolina. The A21 Campaign has a solid foundation already in South Carolina to become a part of that united front. We welcome their participation. They do not need to reinvent the wheel here, as they would have had to nearly four years ago.

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