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]

Mom’s Crusade to Rescue Daughter from Sex Traffickers Forces Trial

A decade ago, Susana Trimarco’s 23-year-old daughter left her house in Tucuman, Argentina for a doctor’s appointment and said: “I’ll be back soon.”

She was never to be seen again.

Her daughter, María de los Angeles Verón, is believed to have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution, becoming one of the millions of human trafficking victims in the world.

That began Trimarco’s remarkable and dangerous mission to find her daughter: Chasing down leads in brothels, confronting pimps and standing up to politicians she says were complicit in her daughter’s disappearance.

Following a tip that her daughter was in a brothel in a northwestern province of Argentina called La Rioja, she posed as a prostitute and visited a series of dark and dangerous brothels looking for her daughter. She wanted to see how the networks operate, first hand and up close.

“I have no fear of this mafia, and I hope that Justice will make justice,” she said in court recently.

Her efforts, which have brought her international recognition –and kudos from the U.S. White House to Canada – have uncovered a network of human sex slave traffickers that reached as far away as Spain. A foundation Trimarco created in her daughter’s name has helped to rescue 150 victims of human trafficking around the world.

Her her daughter is not one of them. But Trimarco has never given up hope.

This month, 10 years after her Verón’s disappearance, seven men and six women accused of having been part of the network that kidnapped and forced her daughter into prostitution are finally being brought to trial.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/04/27/mom-crusade-to-rescue-daughter-from-sex-traffickers-forces-trial/#ixzz1tXDrtGC0

New York’s trafficking law evolving

In 2007, New York legislators approved one of the more expansive sex trafficking laws in the country — a law that, outside of New York City, has rarely been used.

Through late March there had been 145 sex trafficking arrests in New York under the bill signed into law in 2007 — and all but 13 were in New York City.

That means 91 percent of the arrests occurred in New York City, and only one person has been convicted for sex trafficking outside of the city.

Experts say there are multiple reasons why the law has so rarely been wielded: It is still a relatively new tool; many cases end up in federal court; and trafficking investigations can be difficult to build, especially because of reluctant victims.

“I think it’s a really slow process, but I do think we’re moving in the right direction,” said Lauren Hersh, a Brooklyn assistant district attorney who has been one of the state’s leaders in sex trafficking prosecutions.

Westchester Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, one of the anti-trafficking leaders in the Legislature, said the law may still be too new to critique for effectiveness.

“It’s relatively new,” she said. “The crimes of murder and robbery have been around a long time.”

But, some say, the biggest impediment to toughened anti-trafficking law enforcement may be the long-held belief that a prostitute is, first and foremost, a criminal.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE. 

EU to watch for fraud, trafficking at Euro 2012

EU authorities said Thursday they will be on watch for a spike in customs fraud and human trafficking during the European football championship, as the bloc’s border lies between hosts Poland andUkraine.

“The challenge for border guards at events like Euro 2012 is the management of large passenger flows across the borders,” said Gil Arias Fernandez, deputy head of European Union border agency Frontex.

“Our risk analyses say that criminal networks may try to hide the smuggling of cigarettes, petrol, et cetera, as well as stolen vehicles, taking advantage of the increased traffic at border crossing points,” he told reporters.

“There is also a risk of concealing the traffic of human beings in the midst of these flows, mainly women for prostitution purposes,” he added.

On Monday, Poland announced that during the championship, which runs from June 8 to July 1, it would reintroduce controls on its borders with EU neighbours Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania.

Such checks were dropped in December 2007 when Poland joined Europe’s travel-smoothingSchengen zone, which now comprises 26 countries, including several non-EU members.

Schengen rules allow members to resume border controls in certain cases, notably when large numbers are expected to flock into a country — and Euro 2012 is expected to draw more than a million people.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE.

11 Secret Service agents put on leave in prostitution inquiry

Details about what happened last week at the Hotel Caribe remained murky Saturday. At least 11 Secret Service agents and five military members faced discipline, however.

The U.S. Secret Service on Saturday placed 11 agents on administrative leave as the agency investigates accusations the men brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia, last week and a dispute ensued with one woman over payment.

In addition, five U.S. military service members who were working with the Secret Service agents were confined to quarters and are facing an investigation.

Secret Service Assistant Director Paul Morrissey said the officers had violated the agency’s “zero-tolerance policy on personal misconduct” during their trip to prepare for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit this weekend.

“We regret any distraction from the Summit of the Americas this situation has caused,” Morrissey said Saturday.

The rapidly unfolding scandal upstaged Obama’s trip to the summit, where he is discussing trade and the economy with 32 other regional heads of state. Though the agency has said Obama’s security was not compromised, the accusations of misconduct have brought intense scrutiny to an agency that had not had any major lapse since 2009, when two party crashers entered the White House uninvited.

The scandal grew Saturday as Defense Department officials said the five military personnel, also staying at the Hotel Caribe — where the Secret Service agents stayed — violated curfew Wednesday night and were confined to their rooms. The department will conduct its own investigation upon their return to the United States, said Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, where the military personnel were from.

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

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. 

In Spain, Women Enslaved by a Boom in Brothel Tourism

 

A prostitute waits for customers on a road in La Jonquera, on the border with France and Spain on December 11, 2011.

She had expected a job in a hotel. But when Valentina arrived here two months ago from Romania, the man who helped her get here — a man she had considered her boyfriend — made it clear that the job was on the side of the road.

He threatened to beat her and to kill her children if she did not comply. And so she stood near a roundabout recently, her hair in a greasy ponytail, charging $40 for intercourse, $27 for oral sex.

“For me, life is finished,” she said later that evening, tears running down her face. “I will never forget that I have done this.”

La Jonquera used to be a quiet border town where truckers rested and the French came looking for a deal on hand-painted pottery and leather goods. But these days, prostitution is big business here, as it is elsewhere in Spain, where it is essentially legal.

While the rest of Spain’s economy may be struggling, experts say that prostitution — almost all of it involving the ruthless trafficking of foreign women — is booming, exploding into public view in small towns and big cities. The police recently rescued a 19-year-old Romanian woman from traffickers who had tattooed on her wrist a bar code and the amount she still owed them: more than $2,500.

In the past, most customers were middle-aged men. But the boom here, experts say, is powered in large part by the desires of young men — many of them traveling in packs for the weekend — taking advantage of Europe’s cheap and nearly seamless travel.

“The young used to go to discos,” said Francina Vila i Valls, Barcelona’s councilor for women and civil rights. “But now they go to brothels. It’s just another form of entertainment to them.”

There is little reliable data on the subject. The State Department’s 2010 report on trafficking said that 200,000 to 400,000 women worked in prostitution in Spain. The report said that 90 percent were trafficked.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.