Restoration Movement Symposium: SUCCESS!

1st and 2nd Year Graduate Art Therapy Students, along with Sue Wallingford, at the Transitions Symposium in Denver, September 29, 2012 (Photo by Erin Shannon)

What an incredible opportunity it was for representatives from NCAS-I to attend the Restoration Movement Symposium hosted by Transitions in Denver last weekend.  We learned about the urgency in bringing awareness to the issue of sex-trafficking, both here in Colorado and globally.  We learned that trauma-informed care is imperative when working toward rehabilitation and reintegration for survivors of sex-trafficking.  What’s more, we know that quality restoration care takes time, is worth doing well, and cannot be done alone.  Collaboration, a founding principle of NCAS-I, is key.

As we look to the future, we are very excited about the possibility of forging new partnerships with organizations in Cambodia, maintaining NCAS-I’s mission to actively engage with social justice organizations like Chab Dai, Transitions, and Polaris Project.

Moving forward, we find inspiration in James Pond’s words when asked, “How do you find hope with such difficult work?” The co-founder of Transitions responded, “It is the small successes that matter – when you actually have a girl reintegrate back into society without being re-trafficked, re-exploited or voluntarily engaging in prostitution.”  Follow James and Athena Pond and The Restoration Movement here!

Thank you to Sgt. Daniel Steele, Tovah Means, Stacia Freeman, Katherine Chon, Helen Sworn, and James and Athena Pond!

P.S. We walked away from the Symposium with a wealth of knowledge and look forward to sharing more with you as we continue our journey!  Thank you all for your support and please stay tuned!

Inspiration: Helen Sworn & Chab Dai (VIDEO)

Students and faculty of the Naropa Community Art Studio-International are so excited for the opportunity to attend “Restoring the Lives of Survivors,” a Symposium sponsored by Transitions.  At an all-day event tomorrow in Greenwood Village, CO, we will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of human trafficking, aftercare, and restoration, covering such issues as shelters, safe homes, aftercare programs, and other responses to serving victims of the sex trafficking industry.

The video below features Helen Sworn, Director of Chab Dai and a speaker at the Transitions’ Symposium tomorrow.  It highlights the organization’s collaborative way of working, inspiring our own mission, rooted in collaboration and a belief in the innate wisdom, creativity, and interdependence of all.  Check it out!

“Ethos of Collaboration,” by Chab Dai

Become Part of The Restoration Movement!

It’s not too late to sign up for “Restoring The Lives of Survivors Symposium” presented by Transitions!  And it’s easy…simply follow this link!

A few weeks ago we posted about the event, which you can read about HERE.  The symposium will feature a number of speakers and experts in the field of human trafficking, aftercare, and restoration, covering such issues as shelters, safe homes, aftercare programs, and other responses to serving victims of the sex trafficking industry.

General Information:
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Greenwood Community Church
5600 E. Belleview Avenue
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

***The Naropa Community Art Studio-International will be represented by some of its 2nd year Art Therapy students along with Sue Wallingford.  We hope to see you there!  

All information gathered from TransitionsGlobal.org… P.S. Did you now Transitions has a really informative blog?  Check it here!

Photo Credit:  The Naropa Community Art Studio-International, Cambodia, 2012

Be A Voice. Shine A Light.

In three days the NCAS-I will begin its journey to Cambodia.  Our main partnership with Transitions Global will give us the opportunity to help in supporting and empowering survivors of sex trafficking in a place where the trafficking industry is so prevalent.  We also hope to be a voice for survivors and shine a light on the trafficking industry as a way to combat human trafficking of the future.  Below are statistics from UN.GIFT (United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking) regarding Human Trafficking worldwide.  They are staggering.

Human Trafficking Statistics from UN.GIFT

  • 161 countries are involved in or affected by human trafficking in some way
  • Approximately 2.5 million people are forced into labor as a result of human trafficking
  • 1.2 million children are trafficked each year
  • 43% of human trafficking victims – over 1 million – are forced into commercial sexual exploitation, AND 98% of these victims are women and girls
We have posted a number of times about Patricia McCormick’s new book, ‘Never Fall Down,’ Arn Chorn Pond’s story of brutality and survival in Cambodia.  McCormick also published a book in 2006 called, ‘Sold,’ a harrowing account of sexual slavery.  This fall filmmaker Jane Charles will begin filming a moving based on the book ‘Sold.’  Expected to release in the spring of 2013, Charles has released this 60 second preview to build momentum for the project, be a voice and shine a light:

Charles’ Inspiration:  “I feel like these are all our children, whether Cambodia, India, Russia they are all our children we cannot turn a blind eye to it anymore we have to create change,” Charles said.  “These girls could be my daughter, they could be your daughter or they could have been one of us.”

We hope the information provided here on our blog is educational.  Thank you for following us!  Stay with us as we journey to Cambodia – your support is so appreciated!

(Statistics from:  http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/labour/Forced_labour/HUMAN_TRAFFICKING_-_THE_FACTS_-_final.pdf)

(Original 60 second preview and Charles’ quote from: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Momentum-builds-in-cinematic-effort-to-fight-human-trafficking-151770625.html?tab=video&c=y)

The Facts from CNN Freedom Project

CNN’s Freedom Project helps raise awareness and contributes to research on human trafficking. thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com

The challenges of counting a 'hidden population'

14 Indicted in Sex Trafficking Ring in Colorado

Earlier this week we posted articles addressing instances of sex trafficking and the Superbowl in the U.S. The lesson we took away from looking at these articles was that often it is easy to overlook the realities of trafficking in the U.S. by participating in spreading incorrect information about its occurrence.

The lesson was driven home yet again when we saw this article from the Denver Channel, “14 Indicted in Child Prostitution, Human Trafficking Ring.” Read the article here: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/30334550/detail.html.

Local police authorities recently arrested 14 individuals on 70 charges of human trafficking and child prostitution in the Denver, Boulder, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, and Lakewood areas. The story fits with the research that has been done on sex trafficking in the U.S. In the U.S., this is often referred to as Commercial Sexual Exploitation. It is defined as sexual activity involving a child in exchange for something of value, or promise thereof, to the child or another person or persons. The child is treated as a commercial and sexual object. It is estimated that the most frequent age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is between the ages of 12-14 (www.usdoj.gov) and that there are between 100,000-300,000 children at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year (Estes & Weiner, 2001).

As we think about sex trafficking in Cambodia we also want to be aware of and acknowledge sex trafficking happening right where we are.