Help us develop insight for anti-human trafficking efforts

Molly, one of our interns, has created a survey to gauge community awareness about human trafficking and fair trade products.  It would be greatly appreciated if you took this survey and distribute it throughout your online social networks.  The more information that we gather, the more useful it will be in deciding our next plan of action!

Click here to take the survey

 

Thank you so much for your time!

Peter Wilson

Intern

ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now

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Prevent Child Trafficking: An Article Review

Holly Smith, the writer of this article, was a victim of child sex trafficking and is making noise so more action is taken.  There have been an increasing number of human trafficking cases within the past six months.  The Eastern District of Virginia has had several cases alone, some of which were linked to differing gangs.  The tactics vary but most go for children with a similar predisposition.  Even though there are more cases being reported, does that mean it is expanding or getting more exposure?  I believe it is both.  If more efforts are not developed for the prevention and rehabilitation of human trafficking, it is going to become a more prominent threat.  Smith says that Virginia is not the exception but the rule.

I completely agree due to the misinformation that our society has generated around prostitution.  The statistics show that religious orientation does not deter followers of different faiths to employ prostitution services.   People see it as a negative aspect of culture but it is the prostitutes right to sell her body within a ‘free,’ capitalist society.  People do not realize that they are not enacting their rights but a trafficker’s demand.  The male buyer (the ‘John’) usually does not realize the processes and situations the prostitute has been forced through (The ones that do realize would not have the allowance to attend ‘John School’, a topic for the next blog.)    One of the main issues is that the American middle class has suffered due to the economic recession.  It is within these times that more people are capable of manipulating the inhabitants through a variation of means.

Look at two very prominent examples, Asia and Russia.  Russia started increasing trafficking after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Asia’s market collapse created a wave of poverty and desperation, a traffickers dream.  The country’s economy was suffering and people were desperate to get jobs and stability.  Since there is a need for money, many women seek employment through agencies promising jobs in foreign countries. Though there are legitimate agencies that allow what the girls are hoping for, it is not always the case.  Traffickers are able to lure girls into prostitution by employing various methodologies [servile marriage, prostitution].   So we have to teach them young, right?  Let’s stop cutting school budgets and introduce new programs that help human trafficking awareness and prevention through direct and indirect means.

M.S., another survivor of human trafficking, tells her story and how her teachers were a beacon of hope.  The issue is that teachers and social workers typically do not know the criteria or understanding to identify a victim of sex trafficking.  Virginia has implemented a program to teach teachers and social workers the skills to identify and converse with a trafficked victim.

If a person does not know the right questions to ask, it very difficult to identify the case as human trafficking due to their mental ailments induced by the trafficker.

The traffickers use this to their advantage, utilizing the police force as an inhibitor by turning in the victim and forcing them to stay in jail for months at a time.  It is commonly known that in the U.S. [NV excluded], prostitutes were arrested with the charge ‘crime against nature.’  The way the media has portrayed prostitutes is not helping those that are forced into its dark, daily routine.  We all need to work hard to get programs like Virginia’s in North Carolina!

As the video “The Quest to End Child Trafficking” states, advocacy groups and grassroots are the most auspicious for change in human trafficking laws and the rehabilitation of its victims.  Let’s work together and make this community one where prostitution and trafficking is no longer prevalent.  There are many things you can do to help the battle against modern-day slavery.  Support programs, buy fair trade items, talk to a friend about human trafficking and research the issues and threats in your area!

NCGS Chapter 14 Article 10A: The definition and ramifications of human trafficking in NC

Article read by and inspired:

Peter Wilson

ENC Stop Human Trafficking

Intern [Anthropology]

Freedom Climb to bring families together against human trafficking

If you have heard anything about the worldwide human trafficking crisis, you’ve likely heard this statistic: over 30 million people are victims of trafficking in the world today.

That number is overwhelming. It’s the equivalent of putting the entire nation of Peru–plus a few–in slavery. It can be difficult to know where to even begin to tackle a country-sized problem that’s spread out to every nation in the world.

But Operation Mobilization has found one small, yet significant way for families to do something about it: the Freedom Climb.

Sharon Scott went on OM’s last Freedom Climb up Tanzania’s famous Mt. Kilimanjaro. She and 47 other women climbed the 19,000-foot mountain to raise awareness and funds for OM projects fighting trafficking. The trek raised over $400,000 for OM to prevent trafficking and spread the Gospel across the globe.

“We have [projects in] India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zambia, Asia, Nearest, Middle East, Costa Rica, Mozambique, Cambodia, and Argentina,” says Scott. Funds went to assist all of these.

OM is recreating this climb in several new places now. The Kilimanjaro climb took a great deal of commitment and strength. It would be quite a feat for a family to do it together. Freedom Climb Atlanta, however, is on a much smaller scale, suitable for families.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE. 

Oxford child sex trafficking probe widens as number of ‘victims’ doubles to 50 girls, some as young as 11

A suspected sex trafficking ring in which girls as young as 11 were allegedly targeted was far larger than previously feared, according to police.

As many as 50 young girls have come forward claiming to have been sold for sex in Oxford, detective confirmed today.

It was originally thought that 24 girls, aged between 11 and 16 years, were the only victims but more youngsters have since contacted the police alleging they were also victims.

A total of 13 men were arrested when more than 100 police swooped in the raids across Oxford, codenamed Operation Bullfinch.

A group of six Asian men – including two sets of brothers – have been charged by police in connection with allegedly running the sex trafficking ring in the university city known for its dreaming spires.

Since the initial dawn raids last month, officers had made a further two arrests as part of the probe, a police spokesman said.

A 39-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman were detained on suspicion of ‘grooming’ this week.
Read more …

40000 Bihar children missing, says Amod Kanth

The magnitude of human trafficking in Bihar is alarming as about 35,000 to 40,000 children from the state were missing and nobody knew about their whereabouts, said former Delhi police commissioner Amod Kanth. There was no human development indicator in Bihar, resulting in the frequent use of child labour and violation of law dealing with it, he said.

Speaking on the first day of the three-day seminar on ‘Training of Master trainers: To combat human trafficking’, organized jointly by the crime investigation department (CID) of Bihar police and Save The Children, a civil society organization, here on Monday, Kanth stressed the need to redefine human trafficking as the present definition did not deal with the issue in its entirety. The Central government was working on a new manual to make it clear, he said, adding that the Immoral Trafficking Act discussed only about commercialization of sex and the Juvenile Justice Act talked only about children between 6 and 8 years of age.

Throwing light on the complexity of the issue, Kanth said human trafficking was related not only to prostitution but also with forced marriage, child sex and organ transplant. He said the present definition was itself so complex that it was creating problem in tackling the real issue.

Addressing the inaugural function, DGP Abhayanand said human trafficking was the worst form of rights violation and reiterated the Bihar police commitment to eliminate this evil from the state.

The DGP asked police officials to behave properly with victims of human trafficking, be alert about any information in this regard and take cognisance on priority basis.

Speaking on ‘Coordination: Police, community and civil society organization’, member of Bihar Public Service Commission and retired IPS officer, Rajyabardhan Sharma, said the local police should take the media help in busting the gangs involved in human trafficking. He, however, felt the media was not giving proper space to such serious issues.

State programme coordinator of Save the Children, Nitu Prasad, said the victims needed support as kids took to crime because of lack of awareness about law.

ADG (CID) A S Nimbran, IG Arbind Pandey and DIG Kamal Kishore were also present on the occasion.

Human Trafficking Victims: 2.4 Million People Across The Globe Are Trafficked For Labor, Sex

Romanian students dressed as caged brides attend an event to raise awareness to the risks of human trafficking and sexual exploitation faced by young girls lured by the prospect of a better paying job abroad, in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.

The U.N. crime-fighting office said Tuesday that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time, and 80 percent of them are being exploited as sexual slaves.

Yuri Fedotov, the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, told a daylong General Assembly meeting on trafficking that 17 percent are trafficked to perform forced labor, including in homes and sweat shops.

He said $32 billion is being earned every year by unscrupulous criminals running human trafficking networks, and two out of every three victims are women.

Fighting these criminals “is a challenge of extraordinary proportions,” Fedotov said.

“At any one time, 2.4 million people suffer the misery of this humiliating and degrading crime,” he said.

According to Fedotov’s Vienna-based office, only one out of 100 victims of trafficking is ever rescued.

Fedotov called for coordinated local, regional and international responses that balance “progressive and proactive law enforcement” with actions that combat “the market forces driving human trafficking in many destination countries.”

Michelle Bachelet, who heads the new U.N. agency promoting women’s rights and gender equality called UN Women, said “it’s difficult to think of a crime more hideous and shocking than human trafficking. Yet, it is one of the fastest growing and lucrative crimes.”

Actress Mira Sorvino, the U.N. goodwill ambassador against human trafficking, told the meeting that “modern day slavery is bested only by the illegal drug trade for profitability,” but very little money and political will is being spent to combat trafficking.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE. 

Financiers and Sex Trafficking

THE biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com.

This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.

That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.

Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America’s leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management.

“We had no influence over operations,” Andrea Raphael, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, told me.

Let’s back up for a moment. There’s no doubt that many escort ads on Backpage are placed by consenting adults. But it’s equally clear that Backpage plays a major role in the trafficking of minors or women who are coerced. In one recent case in New York City, prosecutors say that a 15-year-old girl was drugged, tied up, raped and sold to johns through Backpage and other sites.

Backpage has 70 percent of the market for prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a trade organization.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE.  

Schools called hotbeds for luring young sex slaves

It’s the most chilling of hunting grounds.

Sex traffickers who coerce kids into prostitution are using the city’s schoolyards and playgrounds as recruiting offices.

It’s such a troubling problem that Brooklyn prosecutors have started training educators on how to spot kids in peril on their turf.

“It happens enough that I can say it happens a bunch,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Hersh told the Daily News. “Many girls are forced to go to middle school playgrounds and recruit other young girls.”

Hersh, who runs a pioneering sex-trafficking unit for the DA’s office, has held several workshops and hopes to expand into as many schools as possible.

Last fall, pimp Abking Wilcox admitted turning girls as young as 15 into being sex slaves and making them recruit others in Bushwick and Brownsville middle schools.

Wilcox, who pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Criminal Court to three counts of sex trafficking, called it his “team.”

TO READ THE FULL STORY CLICK HERE.

On Thursday, Petition Protesting Backpage.com Will Be Sent to Village Voice Media

More than 99,000 people have signed the petition calling on Village Voice Media to shut down the adult ads section of its subsidiary, Backpage.com, in order to end the advertising of sex with children on the site.

On Thursday, these tens of thousands of signatures will be delivered to Village Voice Media headquarters in New York by faith leaders, Change.org users and “Alissa” (whose story of forced prostitution when she was 16 was told by Nick Kristof in last Sunday’s New York Times).  Along with the signatures, they will bring 100 pairs of girl’s shoes, symbolizing all of the unseen victims of child sex trafficking in the United States.


Twin Cities sex trafficking defendants face trial

Several mugshots from arrests of an alleged multi-state prostitution ring.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jury selection began Tuesday in Nashville in the case of an alleged sex-trafficking ring with strong ties to the Twin Cities.

Fifteen defendants are facing federal trial. Back in November 2010, federal prosecutors in Tennessee indicted 29 people on charges of running a child-prostitution ring.

Most of the defendants are from Minnesota. Authorities say the trafficking operation was controlled by three Twin Cities gangs: the Somali Outlaws, the Somalia Mafia, and the Lady Outlaws. A 30th defendant was added to the case last year.

So far, not a single defendant has pleaded guilty.

The sheer scope of the case is unusual and the trial could last two to three months. The remaining 15 defendants will be tried later.

The government says the gangs recruited Twin Cities girls to have sex in exchange for cash, marijuana and booze, and that the victims were as young as 12. But at least one defense attorney is challenging the age of one victim, saying her birth certificate was forged and that there is no true record of her birth.