The Outlaw Ocean: Q&A with Ian Urbina

his week, Love146 is highlighting the work of Ian Urbina, who has spent the past several years reporting on trafficking at sea – with some of the boys and girls being as young as 13. Ian Urbina is an investigative reporter for “The New York Times” based in Washington. He has received a Pulitzer, a George PolkAward in Journalism, as well as being nominated for an Emmy. Since then he’s been at sea and continuing reporting for a book titled The Outlaw Ocean.


Read Post

July Updates

Addressing race and human trafficking, prevention work in California and Africa, our Facebook petition, and other news and insights from the field.


Read Post

Let’s Talk About Race and Human Trafficking

“My dark-skinned friends and I were sold for less. These aren’t just ideas about relative worth in society or perceived racial disparities – these are cold, hard numbers that taught us that white children were literally worth more than children of color. Trafficking exemplifies the continued racism and oppression that exists in modern-day America.” Due to the disproportionate number of children of color who are trafficked each year, human trafficking is a racial justice issue. It is time that we begin to have a comprehensive conversation about this matter in order to identify the root causes and be proactive about dismantling systems that perpetuate this crime.


Read Post

May Updates

It happens to boys, too. Fight for a world where anyone, regardless of gender, can ask for help without stigma … and other news and insights from the field.


Read Post

April Updates

What does it mean when we point out that a victim is “someone’s daughter”? — the latest news and insights from the field.


Read Post

“I hope he rots in jail … He will never do to other children what he did to us.”

Perpetrators we all read about in the headlines have hurt children now in our care. When I read these headlines, I always ask myself, “Where are the children?” One of those children is Maya, who is quoted above about a man in one of those headlines. When we say “survivor” we mean a lot of things. But one of the things we mean is that some don’t make it out alive. Maya made it out alive.


Read Post

Facebook’s “Privacy-Focused” Future Won’t Do Enough to Protect Children

Facebook has a long history of taking a vocal and ardent stance against child sexual exploitation, yet it continues to be one of the most popular platforms traffickers use to groom and recruit the youth we serve. Still, Facebook knows and encourages children to use its platform, and does nothing to further protect the privacy of the children who use it. But there is one tweak they can make that will actually help address the problem.


Read Post

Will Robert Kraft’s arrest send a powerful message? We’ll see.

Earlier this year, police say New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft was filmed receiving sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. I think a year from now, Kraft will be filmed sitting in his box seats at the Superbowl, as though nothing happened. I have a hunch that next year, my family will be watching the NFL championships again – and just like this year, Kraft will be up there in the box clapping. He’ll probably pay criminal fines that amount to what he might pay for a few nice bottles of wine; another expense in a luxury budget.


Read Post

As the Red “X” fades, our (collective) resolve will not

Every February, many of us from all over the world participate in the @enditmovement’s annual campaign to “Shine a Light on Slavery.” Depending on what you used to draw a red X on your hand (symbolizing your commitment to the movement), it will either fade rapidly or over time. No matter what, it WILL fade.


Read Post

Listening isn’t easy. “The stuff that my teen finds interesting is soooo borrrring” – Perspectives & Advice from fellow parents.

In the trenches of parenting, there aren’t always right answers — but there are strategies & wisdom tested by the day-to-day tangle of family life. For January, during National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Love146 shared new resources for Parents & Caregivers to keep children safe. Then we asked: What specifically works for you? How do you raise children to be safer in our world? We received several beautiful responses, filled with tips and insights from fellow Love146 supporters who are parents.


Read Post

October Updates

How do we measure success? — and other quick updates about how we’re continuing to fight child trafficking…


Read Post

My Body is Mine: Perspective from one Malagasy teammate

A member of the Love146 team in Africa reflects on presenting our “My Body is Mine” flip chart: “The children in Madagascar need to be reached because their parents aren’t talking about sexual abuse, or sexuality, with them. So kids aren’t aware of it. Even me, I was not. I didn’t know the meaning of the word “rape” until I was 15. It wasn’t until I was older when I understood what it was.


Read Post

Ethnically Appropriate Shampoo

A report from a Love146 social worker: Survivors of child trafficking live in lots of different settings, and I go where they go. One of my youth is living in a group home that only offers a certain generic shampoo, and as a black girl it leaves her curly hair dry and brittle. Imagine having a bad hair day – everyday – while you’re trying to do some really really hard emotional work, like recover from sexual assault and trafficking. Love146 makes sure needs are met so youth can focus on the huge task of reclaiming their lives. Sure, sometimes that has high price tags, but last week, just $8 got her some ethnically appropriate shampoo. And it was a big deal.


Read Post

“Back to School” Means More for the Children In Our Survivor Care

The education of youth is often interrupted by their exploitation. For children in our Survivor Care, re-engaging with school is like trying to climb a hill while carrying a heavy weight. The hill has typical steps and obstacles that everyone has to learn how to master. Like showing up on time. Like learning how to ask for your own makeup work. The kinds of things that every teenager has to learn how to do. Love146’s role is to make sure that the weight of exploitation and recovery doesn’t ultimately pull students backwards or prevent them from making that climb.


Read Post

The Radical Kindness of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”

The documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” has appeared in the midst of a resurgence of interest in Mr. Rogers, fueled by a growing hunger for kindness in a world that has become increasingly angry and cynical. If you know anything about Mr. Rogers, you know his main theme was about the neighborhood — and about who the neighbor is. It’s a value that the children in our care remind us of on a regular basis.


Read Post

A Day in the Life of a Love146 Social Worker – Part 1

No time for breakfast. Meet a new youth coming into our care. Go over safety planning. On to next appointment. Grab a salad. Meet with another youth who was the victim of a traumatic assault. Try not to cry. Remind myself that with the right support we know they can have wonderful lives.


Read Post

We Type Them Up: A Father’s Day Memory

“My father, now 89 years old with Alzheimer’s Disease, can’t recall my name. But my memories of him from my early years are more vivid today than ever— including what he taught me by example about being a father, and how I see a similar approach in how Love146 cares for children.”


Read Post

Drive Like Your Kids Live Here

Proximity inspires action. The closer we are in proximity to the actual people affected by injustice, abuse, or harm, the more we are impacted and the deeper we engage. Oftentimes a human rights issue, such as the trafficking and exploitation of children, seems “far away” or feels like something that happens “over there.”


Read Post

Seeing the full picture: The right training can change everything

A recent report from from the UK has everyone talking. On the surface, the news is disheartening. The number of British national children referred through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) has gone up by an astonishing 66 percent since 2016. In fact, the new numbers don’t point to an actual surge, but a noticeable change in practice of frontline staff who have received better NRM training and are now able to identify these children.


Read Post

Action Update: Jail Traffickers, Not Victims

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a number of bills that impact child trafficking. Among them is a bill would be a powerful tool that will help bring traffickers to justice. And two others that could actually harm children who have been affected by trafficking. You can help: Please call your legislators and let them know you stand with children who have been trafficked.


Read Post

END IT

Shine a Light on Slavery Day is part of the growing movement of people coming together to take a stand against human trafficking. It’s a day for us to celebrate how far we’ve come and rally for the fight ahead. It’s a day for us to take a stand, to join together and use our collective voices to say no more. It’s a day when you can look around and see how many others are standing with alongside you in this conviction. We are here to fight until the abolition of trafficking and exploitation is complete.


Read Post

The Gift of Home

In the UK more than a third of all trafficking victims are children. Many were brought here with false promises, threats, and abuse. Because it’s not an easily visible crime, it’s a bit hard to believe — that such a progressive and generous nation could still hold so many children in modern slavery. But it’s true. These young people are all around us: working in your local nail bar, at the carwash on the corner, as domestic servants, or forced to grow and sell drugs. The truth is, if they are invisible, it is because we have not taken the trouble to see them.


Read Post

Conquering Rain, Potholes & Mountains for Children

A group of four ambitious bike riders traversed the French countryside on a fundraising tour for Love146. Their grit and determination reminds us that childhood is not the only time to which these kinds of adventures should be confined, inspiring us to dust off our bikes and relive our childhoods so that trafficked children may yet have an opportunity to live theirs.


Read Post

Sextortion in Schools: Advice for Educators

Students are growing up in a world of social media. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat — these are today’s gathering places. The space where youth engage in the normal adolescent behavior of exploring and testing their boundaries. As a preventative measure, we want to teach kids how to safely navigate the Internet, how to recognize when something may be getting out of control, and how to access help when needed.


Read Post

“They look after me like I am their daughter.”

When Jelena first came to our care, she wouldn’t discuss what happened to her, but little by little, she has begun to open up and process. Jelena enjoys caring for the animals on the Love146 farm, going to school, and she recently won first place in the rope jumping contest.


Read Post

Take Action: It should be illegal for a website to sell your child

As a parent, you have a miraculous connection to your child. That connection is the fuel that propels you out of bed in the middle of the night when a baby cries, soothes tears when a child falls and scrapes her knee, or is the last one picked for the team. And when the worst happens, when your child goes missing, when your little girl becomes someone else’s Jane Doe, sold on Backpage.com, you harness the synergy of that miraculous connection and put that same determination into changing. the. law.


Read Post

Beyond Resilience

Resilience generally means the ability to bounce back or recover from trauma or difficulties. In the physical sense, resilience is the ability of a material to resume its shape, after being deformed. For the children in our care at the Love146 safe homes in the Philippines, resilience means more than that.


Read Post

Reaching New Heights: Our Growing UK Team

This is both a challenging and exciting time for the Love146 UK team. More children than ever need the support we offer, and we have just taken steps towards serving more young people with the addition of several new team members. Growing our capacity is one of the practical ways that we offer young people the very best that we can.


Read Post

“If Only I’d Known”

My first experience with this phrase is deeply etched in my mind: A young girl shared that she had met a group of people — people she thought were her friends. When things began to change, she wasn’t aware what was happening until it was too late. She said, “If only I’d known then what I know now.” These “friends” became her traffickers. They identified her vulnerability and need for connection, and they skillfully exploited it.


Read Post

A Story for Those About to Give Up on Abolition

Giving up is never the right answer. Reevaluating, yes, reimagining, of course — but never giving up. Yet that was nearly the end result of one Volunteer Team after a year of floundering. What a mistake that would have been. They rebounded with more impact than they had considered possible. Here’s how it all went down.


Read Post

Inspiring Action: Why Being on a Volunteer Team Matters

When people hear about child trafficking and exploitation they want to do something about it. But the issue is daunting, and thinking about what you can do tangibly to make a difference is vexing. We get it. We want you to know that engaging with a grassroots movement in your community, such as a Love146 Volunteer Team, is one of the most powerful and impactful actions anyone can take towards making a safer world for children. Here’s why.


Read Post

Children Who’ve Had To Live As Adults

Many say they can’t relate to others their age; they date older men, and explain to me that since they’re more mature they need to be with more mature men. They see other children their age as “kids,” whereas they themselves are “adults.”

I’m in this sticky position where I need to acknowledge the fact that they have been through more than any child should have to go through, and yet encourage them to be a child. To put down that burden of “adulthood,” and to experience childhood. They deserve to be children.


Read Post

The Art of Not Asking Questions

At Love146, we cultivate a long-lasting relationship that models healthy boundaries and allows the youth to “dig” when they feel safe, trusted, and valued. Youth then allow us to bear witness to their stories in their own time, in their own way. They are in control, which is one of the most important things we can restore to their lives.


Read Post

Can we just take a minute to celebrate the cutest tiny friendship ever?

These two little ones have a lot in common. They’re both from the same region. Peter is four, and Yamile turned four last summer. They both came to into our Survivor Car around the same time, at the age of two. Today, in 2017, they’re practically joined at the hip. They walk to school together with a Love146 staff member every morning and sometimes go swimming together in the afternoons in the pool at the White Home.


Read Post

Who are these children? They are scholars.

Whenever we were with the children in public places, people would ask, “Who are all these children? Are they siblings?” I would say, they are cousins or they are playmates, or just ignored the question. Now I have determined that Love146 children will be called “scholars” instead of “clients” as they would be called in all the other safe homes or shelters in the Philippines. The children’s eyes lit up when they heard the word “scholar.” And as I explained why “scholar” is an appropriate term for them, I thought I saw great self-worth dawning upon their faces.


Read Post

“I used to think I was invisible. But you see me.”

Our Rapid Responses help youth understand how a perpetrator uses manipulation, tricks, and force to take advantage of them. We talk about how easy it is to be taken advantage of. How everyone has things they need, things they struggle with, and how someone could use these things to build trust for the sole purpose of exploitation. This may be the first time that he or she is told: “It is not OK that someone treated you this way.” It may be the first time they hear: “It is not your fault.” Or that: “You are valuable and important.”


Read Post

What is the first night of freedom like?

She’s still a little nervous as she gets out of the car, walks through the garden. This brick path has carried many young people with heavy histories and cautious steps. But she’s grinning from ear to ear, taking in the plants and the cricket song and the sweet night air.


Read Post

Brianna’s Story

“I’ve heard of pimps and I knew to be scared of them – but I didn’t realize that the person I thought was protecting me was actually my pimp.”

— Brianna, one of more than 200 youth who have been served by our U.S. Survivor Care program


Read Post

These girls.

These girls are fighting daily for everything they deserve, despite what they’ve been dealt. When we sell them short, we hold back all of humanity.


Read Post

I look around to see if people notice…

I open my email and begin reading the details about another youth coming into our care. I’m infuriated that another kid has experienced this. Infuriated that another adult thought it was okay to use a child as a sex object. Infuriated that all the adults who should have protected this child, have failed her so horrifically.


Read Post

The power of a stable relationship

What makes my work with Love146 so special is that no matter how many times a young person is uprooted or shuffled around from place to place, I can promise them that I’ll stick around. Our relationship to them won’t be uprooted and wiped away.


Read Post