In 1998, with only a computer and $30, Ashoka Fellow, Reebok Human Rights Award winner, and leading child sex trafficking advocate Rachel Lloyd established Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) to support American girls and young women survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. Since its inception as a one-woman outreach program in 1998, GEMS has grown steadily, building its services and programs and garnering increased visibility and recognition under Lloyd’s leadership. Now the nation’s largest organization offering direct services to American victims of child sex trafficking, GEMS empowers girls and young women, ages 12-24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the sex industry and develop to their full potential. Lloyd is a nationally recognized expert on the issue of child sex trafficking in the United States, and played a key role in the successful passage of New York State’s groundbreaking Safe Harbor Act for Sexually Exploited Youth, the first law in the country to end the prosecution of child victims of sex trafficking. Her trailblazing advocacy is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary Very Young Girls (Showtime, 2007) and her memoir Girls Like Us (Harper Collins, 2011). Lloyd’s passion and achievements have made her a popular focus of national and international news coverage, with profiles and interviews on CNN Anderson Cooper 360, ABC News, NBC News, NPR, National Geographic Channel, Access Hollywood, and in the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, Variety, Essence Magazine, Glamour Magazine, New York Magazine, Village Voice, Marie Claire, and other leading outlets. Lloyd was named one of the “50 Women Who Change the World” by Ms Magazine, one of the “100 Women Who Shape New York” by the New York Daily News, “New Yorker of the Week” by NY1, and a “Notable New Yorker” by CBS TV.
September 15, 2013
September 08, 2013
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