Episode #9

Rob Morris

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Monday, February 13, 2012


Rob Morris (Courtesy Love146)

The child sex trafficking industry is a $12-32 billion dollar a year industry. But Rob Morris wants us to consider the plight of individual children, rather than statistics. Morris is the president and co-founder of Love 146, an organization working to end child trafficking through survivor care and prevention education.

Morris and Love 146 want to increase the penalties predators face, and to protect children under 18 from being criminalized for their activity. Morris considers the Internet the “new streets” when it comes to sex trafficking, and he tells Alec he is determined to make sure child exploitation is included in mainstream sex education classes.  

READ | Interview Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [34]

Rob Byker from Rehoboth, New Mexico

Powerful interview. It was captivating throughout. The first story about the origin of "Love 146" was especially vivid. I know much more
about child-sex trafficking. Morris recollection of the Korean human rights worker who said, "Americans tend to react to injustice instead of think through an effective response" seems like a critique worth pondering.

I commend you Alec for the variety of topics and guests you choose for "Here's the Thing." Impressive!

Sep. 16 2013 07:26 PM

I've been enjoying Here's the Thing and catching up on past episodes via podcasts. I just recently listened to the interview with Rob Morris. Thank you for bringing his organization to the attention of your listeners. I have been spreading the word. Some hopefully not too picky feedback. Towards the end of the interview Rob was making some important points and was interrupted a few times. Rob had to speak over Alec in order to finish his thoughts. The same thing happened during the interview with Kristen Wiig. I appreciate the questions Alec asks and want to hear the answers from his interviewees. Keep up the good work.

Jul. 24 2012 05:22 PM
Kate from Toronto

Mr. Baldwin, I appreciate you.

Your retelling of the horrors experienced by Srey Pov dropped me to my knees. I listened to most of your interview in tears with only the refrigerator to hold me up.

I felt, for the first time in a very long time, called to attention. I am an avid news reader and listen regularly to radio & podcasts. I studied journalism but could never get comfortable with objectivity - I felt too much about the stories I would be reporting.

A very dear friend of mine recently won a DuPont-Pulitzer for her work exposing the sexual abuse of young athletes within Swim USA. Most of us know of the work that goes into concealing sexual abuse and the protection extended to those who prey on young people and children. Just this morning the NCAA applied its charges to Penn State University for the horrific actions of Jerry Sandusky and his keepers.

I appreciate your raising and publicly inquiring about the mind state of a predator. What do we know about where this desire for violence begins? Alice Miller argues in her book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, that behaviour of this kind is bread in, often unconsiously, abusive parental relationships experienced as children. She goes on to say, that these abuses can lead to atrocities as great as those committed by Adolf Hitler. In no way does this argument sympathize with those choices of sex traffickers and the predators who feed them. Yet, it strongly urges the concerned, and we should all be concerned, where to begin looking answers.

In my opinion there are two different diseases at play: the addict - the predator - the abuser - the john. And: the codependent - the enabler - the trafficker - the pimp.

What did we learn from the slavery of millions of Africans about these two groups? What did we learn from Adolf Hitler and his army of enablers?

The thousands of ways to answer these questions could weave a tapestry the world over.

Thank you for beginning that journey for me.

Your interviews with Robert Lustig, Kristen Wiig, Renee Flemming and Stephen Daldry are amoung my other favourites.

Jul. 24 2012 01:35 AM
Rick Smith from Princeton, NJ

AMAZING! It makes me so sad to think that anyone would put another human being through this.

Apr. 20 2012 02:54 PM
van peele from nyc

Please continue your work. Thank you so much!! van

Apr. 06 2012 03:52 PM
Christy from New York, NY

This episode inspired me to start making a monthly donation to Love 146. Thank you for shedding light on this topic. It's unbelievable that this is still an issue in the 21st Century.

Mar. 23 2012 08:44 PM
Captain Bob from Middletown, CA

Kudos to Rob for his efforts to eliminate sexual slavery through education and to Alec for his ongoing series of excellent thought provoking interviews.

Who know Alec was so insightful?

Mar. 21 2012 07:22 AM
KG from Hadley, MA

Thank you Alec for a wonderful, thought provoking program. You mentioned the show on "Wait, wait don't tell me" and I checked out the show. Your interviews are fabulous! Keep up the great work. I look forward to listening to future shows.

Mar. 18 2012 01:24 PM

I'm really enjoying your podcast Alec! It's a great mix of familiar voices and exceptional people doing important work. I really like the feeling of conversation that visiting them on site gives the broadcast. Thanks for a great show and I'm looking forward to many more.

Mar. 09 2012 06:11 PM
Samantha from Aspen, CO

I am currently listening to this interview, incredibly sad...but very important issue.

As a follow up to this, perhaps this organization could be featured.

Mar. 09 2012 12:00 PM

While listening to "Here's The Thing" (from the beginning),
I am constantly am reminded
of that Albert Brooks Film "Defending Your Life"
where the concept of "big brain" emerged.

I can now say, after listening to "Here's The Thing",
(and so many more of your film/TV/interview/etcetera works)
... you, "Sir Baldwin" (closest thing to "Knighthood respect" in USA)
are, in fact, a big brain.

Boodaw! (30)Rock on!

Mar. 08 2012 05:12 PM
Dennie Snyder from Cleveland Ohio

Enlightening. Frightening. Thank you.

Mar. 07 2012 12:08 PM
Melanmoney from NW Italy

This interview was very good and I hope it reached a large audience. It also brought to mind a young woman who also deserves a voice. I haven't read her book yet (Boys Will Be Boys), but I follow her blog and she has a very revealing story to tell that needs to be shared: she was forced into sex work by someone we all know and has been paying the price ever since.

I'm sorry if this is too off topic, but it is very timely in our present political climate.

Mar. 07 2012 04:49 AM
Greg Pond from Sacramento

At first I was wondering if this podcast was just another look into show buiz life until I heard this one on sex trafficking. Don't get me wrong, I was thoroughly entertained with your interview with Chris Rock, Lorne Michaels and Stephen Daldry but this interview with Rob Morris opened my eyes to the still prominent sex trafficking trade. Weather you set out to entertain or change the word, I commend you on using your influence to bring awareness to this horrible practice that still goes on today. Dick Cavett would never say this but I will... Awesome podcast.

Mar. 06 2012 11:35 PM
Robin from San Diego, CA

Thank you for exposing me to Love146. This is phenomenally important work. The podcast is so entertaining, but with gem's like this thrown, it brings us all up and hopefully we can all become drops in the bucket toward change.

Mar. 06 2012 01:45 PM

Here's the Thing is my new favorite podcast. I was surprised and delighted to hear this interview. My 8th grade students are immersed in writing I-Search research papers on modern day slavery. Thank you, Alec, for bringing more light on this subject by conducting this interview, and thank you, Rob, for all the wonderful work you are doing. If we continue to close our eyes and ignore this problem, it will continue, but if we educate and rehabilitate, we can help stop slavery.

Mar. 04 2012 09:18 AM
laila pillai from new york

very informative and gripping tale of human cruelty. alec is smart, incisive and transparent with his questions. he is a breath of fresh air who does not hide his sense of dismay while conducting this painful interview.

Feb. 27 2012 09:07 PM
JaniceMDavis from California

I love what you are doing here, it is very important the word gets out and thank you so much!!

Feb. 24 2012 07:31 PM
Rucy from San Francisco

This was the best interview I've heard in years, kudos Alec & Rob!

Freedom is my #1 value, I want everyone to taste it, I'll do all I can to support Love146.

Feb. 24 2012 03:22 PM
Pauline from Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi Alec & Co,

This was my first "Here's The Thing" podcast, and I must say, it was really good. I think the work Rob is doing is indispensable. I was left shaken at the idea that this all seems to go on right under our noses. One part I take issue with is that it is the modern society that is catapulting this behavior. I think it is a pathological issue, therefore was probably around always. Our media's focus on youth makes it much easier to sexualize children, but I don't think that is driving this problem, I think adult's human brains are. The show was really great, and you have won a regular listener and new subscriber. Unfortunately the streaming App will not work where I live (South Africa) so I do have to download them, but I enjoy it none the less.

Feb. 24 2012 02:44 AM

Alec made the statement that he would like to know more about how predators think in order to better understand ways to identify them and protect people. There is a good book to start with by Anna Salter, Ph.D., who has worked with predators in the prison system developing therapies for them. The book is Predators:Pedophiles, Rapists,& Other Sex Offenders. Who They Are, How They Operate, And How We Can Protect Ourselves And Our Children.

Feb. 23 2012 08:08 AM
Alec from Melbourne, Australia

Hi Alec!

Your talks have been great so far but WOW you really raised the bar with this one!I hope you intend to do more on this issue because I feel their is a lot more to talk about, again thank you for doing these! My eyes have rarely been opened so widely.

Feb. 22 2012 10:29 AM
jim from davidson, nc

A disturbing and insightful piece. Thank you, Alec for bringing Mr. Morris and Love 146 to the podcast. I admire his commitment to eliminating this insidious practice.

Feb. 21 2012 11:00 PM
J. Nguyen from NYC

Recent research that gets very little press has indicated that the majority do not get "lured in" to sex work by pimps or traffickers. For reasons largely economic US underage sex workers are working by choice. No-one is pimping them. In the US, underage sex workers need access to social services to stop hep them stop sex work & to help keep them safe - they need access to healthcare, safe housing, drug rehabilitation and education. The Village Voice had a great article a few months ago which revealed that many organizations within the US are getting access to relatively large amounts of federal funding to chase down and prosecute "child sex traffickers". BUT what is the sex trafficker is largely a bogeyman myth? If it turns out that the majority of American underage prostitutes are actually working by choice? To stop this kind of work they need access to other options & support services. It's morally & politically straight forwards to want to "save" kids from traffickers & pimps but most people don't want to hear that we live in a world where kids might actually CHOOSE sex work over their other available life options. In the US, many not-for-profit organizations & the police dept are using limited govt resources & possibly wasting much of them by them focusing on catching & prosecuting the very small organized crime element involved in child prostitution. It's actually disturbing that well intended advocates for kids can be so misinformed that they are diverting funds away from where they might actually positively impact at risk youth. It also is important to do this topic justice by differentiating between the sex industry in various countries. You can NOT simply discuss child prostitution in the US as if it is the same as child prostitution in other countries. In nations where there is mass abject poverty of the kind the US has never seen & the rule of law is weak & women & children legally have less rights, there really is a sex "slave" trade. If you really want to help people in need it is important to take the time to differentiate between various countries & circumstances - how can you offer a solution if you don't have an accurate assessment of the problem? This subject needs to be thoughtfully addressed & ALL sex workers irrespective of who their "Johns"/clients are (locals or foreign tourists) or how they ended up as sex workers should ALL be helped to make their way out of what is a degrading & dangerous industry. Anyone who cares to "help" sex workers should be applauded for their charitable & humanitarian impulses & of course minors should receive special focus as they are always more vulnerable to poverty, displacement & coercion than adults. Good intentions are a good starting place, but if efforts to help the children trapped in a life of prostitution are to be successful, the facts must be sorted from the myths around this emotionally disturbing topic.

Feb. 21 2012 04:20 PM
Melanie Gaudreau from montreal, quebec

thank you for this outview on fosting care system would be interesting also many "victims" of this system

many thanks!

Feb. 16 2012 09:57 PM
Richard from Toronto, Ontario

Listened to the podcast today and then saw this inforgraphic on the importance of sex education:
Keep up the good work Love 146 and Alec.

Feb. 15 2012 08:22 PM

So impressed you chose this subject to feature, it needs so much more attention than it gets in the media, Thank You Alec

Feb. 15 2012 08:09 PM
annie from Bronx

It's jarring to hear "So What" as background music when Alec Baldwin is talking about a program on child sex trafficking.

Feb. 15 2012 05:54 PM

Very interesting interview. I would love to here Alec interview Dan Savage. Besides being just an interesting advocate of sexual health (in general), Dan has some very interesting insights about fetishes, and has several times talked on his own podcast about letters he has received pedophiles who desperately wish they did not feel the way they do. Interesting...

Feb. 14 2012 01:04 PM
Ed from NYC

listening to the podcast and I can never get numb to the horror stories that I hear about child sex trafficking. Alec, I commend you on bringing this to light. I also hope that we may just not listen to this,but to do something about it as well. Another not for profit Child trafficking organization is and I hope that we truly make a change.

Feb. 14 2012 09:11 AM
Byron Swetland from USA

SIN at it's WORST!! - Thank you for the info! ~Byron

Feb. 13 2012 11:02 PM
Mandi from Fair Lawn NJ

Thanks so much for this informative and inspiring interview. I've become increasingly aware of this issue, and this has my heart pounding to get involved in rescuing and somehow rehabilitating trafficking victims. Let's end this.

Feb. 13 2012 07:14 PM

What about trying to kill "the demand." I appreciate what you are doing. You're a hero.
We can try to stop the pimps and help the children but lets start at the beginning. The Demand.
Bring back stocks and branding. Scourging was always a good deterrent.
Public humiliation, physical pain and scarring usually work VERY WELL. If this is something "predators" can do legally any where, they will. Stop the predators a.k.a the perverts and WE stop the cycle.

Feb. 13 2012 01:03 PM
Joannie from L.I., N.Y.

Very enlightening, very interesting interview. Thank God for Love 146. Thank you Alec for another informative interview.

Feb. 13 2012 12:44 PM

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