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By M.A. Student Megan Witt
On Wednesday, October 26, 2022 the MA in Human Rights students visited the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) at their office in Washington, DC. They were welcomed by Eileen Walsh, executive assistant, who gave them a tour of their beautiful office. The Vice President and Director of Development, Mark Crozet led a discussion on the mission of NCOSE, which is to promote the human dignity of each individual and to combat the objectification of individuals.
The founder of NCOSE, Fr. Hill, originally started the organization in the 1962 to combat pornography, but it eventually expanded to include child sexual exploitation, prostitution, sex trafficking, and much more. Mr. Crozet explained that they desired to have a more holistic approach to the issues. He explained that, “all of these issues are connected, we cannot focus on just one.” For this reason NCOSE expanded to having law, research, policy, corporate, and international centers. They also have a coalition with local organizations and government agencies to help combat sexual exploitation of all kinds and to educate individuals on the ground.
One of the many incredible initiatives and lawsuits they are involved in is called the Dirty Dozen list. According to their website it is, “an annual campaign calling out twelve mainstream entities for facilitating, enabling, and even profiting from sexual abuse and exploitation. Since its inception in 2013, the Dirty Dozen List has galvanized thousands of individuals like YOU to call on corporations, government agencies, and organizations to change problematic policies and practices. This campaign has yielded major victories at Google, Netflix, TikTok, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, US Department of Defense, and many more.” They are holding corporations accountable in ways that are effecting real change in combating sexual exploitation of all kinds.
The students also met Christen Price, Esq., who is lead counsel on a lawsuit NCOSE is currently involved in against the State of Nevada, where prostitution is legal in some counties and overlooked in others. Ms. Price and all of NCOSE is looking to create precedent that they can use for future cases in preventing sexual exploitation. They are arguing that, by allowing these brothels to hold women as prostitutes through exorbinate debt, they are in violation of the 13th Amendment prohibiting slavery. The students had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more in depth about what is being done by NCOSE and organizations like it to promote human dignity and ensure human rights to all.