Trafficking Deeply Rooted in No. VA, but Education and New Laws Aid in Fight

Last in a three-part series on human trafficking in our region

By Wallicia Gill:

Every high school in Fairfax County had at least one case of human trafficking in 2018, while in the county as a whole more than 250 victims were identified, one third of them children.  These sobering statistics came from two human trafficking experts speaking at a recent meeting of the Women’s Rights Committee of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.  But the speakers also reported some good news: six pieces of anti-trafficking legislation passed in the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year, including strengthening the role of Child Protective Services.

The Women’s Right Committee, chaired by Holly Hazard, sponsored a Zoom call for members and others on April 5 featuring Alison Kiehl Friedman, executive director of International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, and Erin Fischer, director of community engagement at Just Ask Prevention.  Ms. Fischer said that 27 cases of human trafficking were reported in Fairfax County in 2018 — 19 for sex trafficking, the others for labor trafficking — involving 252 victims, of which about one-third were children.  She added that legislation just passed in Richmond will allow Child Protective Services, part of the state Dept. of Social Services, to start the process of protecting children before the police become involved.  Child Protective Services (CPS) professionals often see and observe family dynamics.  CPS workers can interview a child without the parent present if they are suspicious that a child might be a victim of trafficking.  Another new law, she said, broadens the definition of human trafficking to include victims of the forced labor trade.

The International Labor Organization reports 25 million people worldwide are modern day slaves, unwilling participants in a $150 billion industry. While most are children and women working in the commercial sex industry, many are forced laborers in global supply chains, including coffee, the shrimping industry in Southeast Asia, clothing, and electronics. Ms. Friedman was instrumental in launching a website, that allows consumers to understand how certain products contribute to modern day slavery.

Children and women often work in horrible conditions to supply these products in India, the Amazon, and other parts of the world – including the USA, where the trafficking trade is estimated at $35 billion annually.  The speakers gave examples of human trafficking and exploitation of women and children—including rapes and assaults—on sheep farms in Idaho, ice cream parlors in New Jersey, hair braiding salons in Florida, and even an exploited domestic worker in Falls Church, Virginia.  The speakers noted that Texas receives 25% of all US hotline calls on human trafficking – partly because Texas law requires liquor stores to publicly post the human trafficking hotline number — (888) 373 7888.

Simple laws like this one, as well as training teachers, social workers, and health care providers to spot victims of human trafficking could significantly reduce these crimes.  In fact, according to the speakers, education is a key to stopping exploitation of women and children.  When community members know what to look for, reporting is more likely.  “Just Ask” provides a website that offers information to parents and community members.  “Just Ask” also developed and provided a Trafficking Prevention Curriculum included in Family Life Education for schools.

Survivors of human trafficking need support gaining employment and health care, noted the speakers. Pity and charity are not helpful—jobs and inclusion are. Many people believe that trafficking survivors typically have access to healthcare and are able to gain needed services, but this is not the reality.  Ms. Friedman is willing to connect individuals wishing to offer human trafficking survivors employment. She can be reached at  Countrywide, a major resource to help trafficking victims and survivors, and to report potential cases, is the National Human Trafficking Hotline – (888) 373 7888. This is a 24-hour a day, confidential service.

Dr. Wallicia Gill is a retired middle school principal, adjunct professor at Shenandoah University, and member of Sully District Democratic Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation.

June Special Announcements:

October 2-Day Event – The decision to open registrations for the 2020 Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards this October was delayed, due to the social distancing restrictions of COVID-19.  The Board of Directors decided to plan for a virtual 2-day event this year.  Planning for the 2-day event takes several months, and since there is no set date in the foreseeable future of the country returning to normal public gathering, GWPF has decided to plan for a virtual event.  Within a couple of weeks, the site will be open for registration and setting up teams to fundraise in support of our programs. We will utilize social media and video conferencing in October to host the Global Woman Awards on Friday, October 16th and the Walk To End FGM on Saturday, October 17th.  We will make every effort to have everything we have done, annually since 2014, with the exception of physically walking together.  This year will be different but fortunately for technology, GWPF will still host the Walk To End FGM and the Global Woman Awards.  In fact, we will have some fun things with more opportunities to participate this year.  Stay tuned for the announcement of open registration.  Thank you for your continued support.


Monthly Support Group – Our monthly Support Group will meet this month on Saturday, June 20th at 3:00pm Eastern Time, via GoToMeeting Conferencing.


Board Meeting – Our Board will convene for the 2nd Quarter meeting on Saturday, June 27th at 11:00am Eastern Time, via GoToMeeting Conferencing.

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2020

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21st.  Please remember to make GWPF your Favorite Charity when you shop at Amazon for your Father’s Day gifts at  In your charitable contributions and donations in 2020, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 14001-C St. Germain Drive #453 Centreville, Virginia 20121.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2020:

  • Donations (including in-kind donations)
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship Program
  • Volunteering
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

Upcoming – Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2020 Calendar

Please Save these Important Dates

  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, June 20th
  • Second Quarter Virtual Board Meeting – Saturday, June 27th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 18th
  • Virtual Support Group Meet – Saturday, August 15th
  • Virtual Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 19th
  • Third Quarter Virtual Board Meeting – Saturday, September 26th
  • Virtual Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 16th
  • Virtual Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 17th
  • Support Group Thanksgiving Feast – Saturday, November 21st
  • Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 5th

We will update the preceding calendar as events develop during the Year

The Education Toolkit – Now Available and Downloadable

Our Programs to Support

Survivor Resettlement Program

  • Asylum Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Permanent Residency Assistance
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Health Insurance Assistance
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Application

Wholesome Organic Relief Program

  • Professional Counseling
  • Support Group Workshop
  • Survivor-only Support Group
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) Support
  • Restorative Surgery Sponsorship
  • Physical Therapy

Kids Reach Shield Program

  • Education & Information
  • Understanding of the Practice
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Resources


Just4You Program

  • Sanitary Items Distribution to Girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Scholarships to Girls in Liberia and Sierra Leone

Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-832-2642

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                           410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center             301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                                 410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police              202-727-9099

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program             703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness                  703-392-7083

National Hotline                                                                 800-994-9662