Human Trafficking Services
McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center works with Onondaga County and other community-based, youth-serving agencies to increase awareness, identify victims, and provide comprehensive and victim-centered services to potential victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Commercial sexual exploitation occurs when anyone buys, trades, or sells sexual acts with a child. A commercial sex act is any sex act where anything of value is given to or received by any person. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking of persons or modern-day slavery, is a crime that involves the exploitation of a person for the purpose of compelled sex or labor.
Victims of human trafficking come from all walks of life. Anyone can be a victim, regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education level, or citizenship status. Although there is no defining characteristic that all victims share, traffickers frequently prey on individuals who are poor, vulnerable, living in an unsafe situation, or are in search of a better life.
We offer case management coordination and advocacy to potential commercially sexually exploited youth. With our partners, we help youth access emergency shelter, medical care, mental health counseling, and financial assistance as well as address other safety needs while working with county-wide agencies.
We provide accompaniment to court, medical appointments, and other essential appointments that will help them on their path to healing and freedom of exploitation. Advocates provide assistance in applying for Office of Victim Services benefits.
Professional education is a key element in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation of children. Deficits in awareness and understanding among professionals who work with children contribute to low identification of those who are at high risk as well as those who are actively being trafficked and exploited in the commercial sex industry.
Teachers, social workers, law enforcement officers, and others interact with youth without intervention – often because they do not know what to look for or the right questions to ask – and are not always equipped to respond.
Our training helps equip professionals by navigating the causal factors of human trafficking and exploitation, key vulnerabilities, recruitment tactics, dynamics of power and control, signs of abuse and exploitation, and how to respond to disclosures.
Volunteer Teams are central tools of our mobilization and advocacy. Volunteer Teams are passionate volunteers wanting to learn more about trafficking and take action together with MRCAC staff.
Through our mobilization efforts, we are seeing people equipped to become high-impact abolitionists and advocates of change. Everyone plays an important role in ending trafficking and exploitation.