MAKERS Profile

Malika Saada Saar

Human Rights for Girls

In this video

Malika Saada Saar on working with victims of sex trafficking and the fight to curb online prostitution.
Malika Saada Saar is a Washington-based advocate for women and girls’ rights. She is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Project for Girls, a new effort focused on the human rights of vulnerable girls in the U.S. She is also the co-founder and former director of The Rebecca Project for Human Rights.   Saada Saar grew up in Pennsylvania, raised by her mother and grandmother. As a teenager, she worked with the iconic Washington-based activist for the homeless, Mitch Snyder, living in a shelter for a period to immerse herself in the issue. She went on earned a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. in Education at Stanford University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University. While at Georgetown, Saada Saar started Crossing the River, a written and spoken word workshop for mothers in recovery from substance abuse and violence. The group evolved into the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, a policy and advocacy group for vulnerable women and families.   At the Rebecca Project, Saada Saar led the effort to shut down Craigslist sex ads that served as the leading site for the trafficking of children for sex, ended the federal practice of shackling pregnant mothers behind bars in U.S. prisons, and successfully advocated for millions in federal funding for treatment and services for at-risk families. Saada Saar left the organization in 2012 to head the Human Rights Project for Girls.   She has been selected by President Obama to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights.

More From Malika

Finding Balance in Modern Marriage
Saada Saar reflects upon the benefits and challenges of modern marriage.

Mothering Makes Me Stronger
Saada Saar assesses how being a mother has influenced her work as an advocate.

Divided Support
Saada Saar expresses her disappointment that there were some feminist activists who didn't support the Craigslist shutdown.

Child Prostitutes
Saada Saar tells the story of one young girl's plea on behalf of victims of child trafficking to be seen as such.

American Teens Are Trafficked Too
Saada Saar explains why terms like "child prostitute" make us hold the wrong people accountable.

No One's Immune to Violence
Saada Saar points out that despite the gains women have made, violence against girls and women is still pervasive.

"High Heels for 4-Year-Olds”
Saada Saar on what fashion styles for kids reveal about our social values.

When Race and Gender Collide
Saada Saar talks about Anita Hill and her own experiences in college taught her how issues facing women of color are often overlooked.

Staying Grounded
Saada Saar on how she kept herself grounded throughout law school.

Being a Better Advocate
Saada Saar talks about the encounter that compelled her to go to law school.

A New Way of Seeing the World
Saada Saar explains how legendary advocate for the homeless, Mitch Snyder, inspired her to become an activist.

Getting Congress's Attention
Saada Saar shares the lesson she learned from Mitch Snyder, about getting Congress's attention.