Friday, December 26, 2008

January 11th is National Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Awareness Day

Soroptimist International Clubs of Sonoma,
Marin, and Mendocino Counties
c/o Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa
P.O. Box 933
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

http://www.sisantarosa.org/

Press Release

Human Trafficking in the Bay Area January 11th is National Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Awareness Day

Human Trafficking is modern‐day slavery. The victims are among the most vulnerable members of society. It is estimated that 70% of trafficked victims are women and children who are forced into hard labor and sexual slavery. The US Government estimates that 700,000 to 2 million women and children are trafficked across borders each year to be used as illegal labor or sex workers.

California is the top destination for human traffickers according to a report released by the state’s anti‐human trafficking task force. According to task force members, the problem goes far beyond the sex trade and extends to migrant farm and construction workers, household employees, and workers in motels and restaurants.

The report’s findings, along with acknowledgements by Sonoma County Officials, convincingly show that Human Trafficking is present in our communities here in the North Bay!
On Sunday January 11th, 2009, Soroptimist International clubs in Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino counties are bringing awareness of this issue to citizens and agencies in the North Bay. This event will be a continuation of a coordinated movement toward prevention of Human Trafficking.

The PBS Documentary “Sex Slaves” will be featured followed by a panel discussion with law enforcement agencies and local organizations who are currently fighting the battle against Human Trafficking. The panel discussion will be moderated by Monique Lessan, a state licensed Private Investigator, owner of Eye Investigate, specializing in recovery of abducted children and runaways.

Location:
Finley Community Center
2060 West College Ave
Santa Rosa, Ca 95401
Time: 3:00‐6:00 pm
Reservations required – Admission is free
• Email: Investigatrix@gmail.com or call: 707‐996‐7517 or 858‐568‐4972

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SEX TRADE OF MINORS IN INDIA -YOU TUBE VIDEO


THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROJECT

http://traffickingproject.blogspot.com/

In a small gathering of women in Calcutta, India Manijeh Lessanian, an Iranian journalist asks the women frankly about the core issues of Sex trade, economically and healthwise. The women get the equivalent of US$1.50 for sex, $2 on a good night, less than a dollar on a bad night. To have sex without a condom, men will often pay more or, after a few visits, tell the women they love them. But there's a tragic fact behind their laughter: more than half of the sex workers here are HIV positive.

For the pimps and brothel owners, the sex industry is a multi-million dollar business in which money, not health, is the bottom line. The highest prices go for the youngest girls, many of whom have been kidnapped from other countries and trafficked to India, or sold by their own families into the industry.

Lessanian travels to the Sanlaap Shelter in Calcutta, where she meets a group of girls who have been rescued from prostitution. The girls tell their stories -- fathers and uncles who sold them, madams who held them hostage. None of them was told about the dangers of HIV. They found out only upon arriving at the shelter, and now it's too late. Many of them are already HIV positive.

Although Soliciting for sex is illegal in India, Lessanian sees that the police are often part of the problem. Prostitutes tell Lessanian that when arrested, they're forced to either have sex or pay bribes for their release. And the youngest girls are the most vulnerable.

Even when few of the girls get rescued or run away miraculously, most of their families won't take them back after they've worked as prostitutes. But these girls are the fortunate ones. Thousands of other young girls are left behind. And what happens to them in many ways will determine the future of AIDS in India.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Human traffciking is a reality that still exists


Human trafficking is not a myth Human Trafficking is a reality that still existsSlavery was outlawed in the US in 1864, and it is not legal anywhere in the world, yet there are more slaves in the world today than at any time in human history. 27 million people around the world are estimated to be victims of slavery, for forced prostitution, labor, domestic work, and other forms of exploitation, with approximately 50% of victims being under the age of 18. UNICEF estimates that one million children will be forced into prostitution this year. In South Asia, traffickers will pay $150 to parents for their child's life. Brothel owners can purchase the same child from the trafficker for about $1000. For traffickers, sex slavery is a lucrative business, generating over 7 billion dollars a year. Trafficking is often controlled by organized crime syndicates. Victims of trafficking are subject to gross human rights violations including rape, torture, beatings, starvation, dehumanization, and threats of murdering family members. In the case of trafficking for sexual exploitation, girls often have their virginity sold first, followed by multiple gang rape to break down their resistance. Since the bodies of young girls are not ready for sexual intercourse, this often results in abrasions, making the girls susceptible to HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Slavery was outlawed in the US in 1864, and it is not legal anywhere in the world, yet there are more slaves in the world today than at any time in human history. 27 million people around the world are estimated to be victims of slavery, for forced prostitution, labor, domestic work, and other forms of exploitation, with approximately 50% of victims being under the age of 18.UNICEF estimates that one million children will be forced into prostitution this year. In South Asia, traffickers will pay $150 to parents for their child's life. Brothel owners can purchase the same child from the trafficker for about $1000. For traffickers, sex slavery is a lucrative business, generating over 7 billion dollars a year. Trafficking is often controlled by organized crime syndicates. Victims of trafficking are subject to gross human rights violations including rape, torture, beatings, starvation, dehumanization, and threats of murdering family members. In the case of trafficking for sexual exploitation, girls often have their virginity sold first, followed by multiple gang rape to break down their resistance. Since the bodies of young girls are not ready for sexual intercourse, this often results in abrasions, making the girls susceptible to HIV/AIDS and other diseases. How do People End up as SlavesPeople are trafficked in various ways: Some are sold by their parents or other relatives, who often think the "agent" will find their children education or employment. Some are tricked by false job offers, thinking that they will be working as a waitress or model in a richer country. Traffickers will also make false marriage offers to lure young women, who go willingly to their future "husband." Others are forcibly kidnapped or abducted. Even for those who go willingly, expecting that they will be paid for their work, most find themselves in slave-like conditions. Since they have given the traffickers their passports and other legal documents, for travel processing, they are often viewed as illegal immigrants.Poverty is a factor which makes people vulnerable to trafficking, along with war, civil unrest, and natural disasters. Within a family, the death of a parent or the trafficking of an older sibling can make a person at particularly high risk for being trafficked.Where does Human trafficking still existCurrently, the regions of the world with the most severe trafficking problems are Southeast Asia (the Mekong region including Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar/Burma), South Asia (the Indian subcontinent, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), the former Soviet Republics (including the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic).Human Trafficking in the U.S.Human Trafficking is a highly complex issue that affects potentially thousands of foreign and domestic men, women, and children in the United States. No one is certain how many people are trafficked in the United States every year. The US Government, state agencies, and various non-governmental organizations throughout the US are committed to preventing trafficking, protecting victims of trafficking and prosecuting traffickers.It is important to know the difference between trafficking and smuggling, and the difference between trafficking and exploitation, as not all cases of labor exploitation or prostitution are instances of trafficking. Trained authorities and service providers, after interviewing the trafficked person, can be the best judge of whether there is a trafficking situation (instances of force, fraud, or coercion constitute sex or labor trafficking).American girls as trafficking victims?Underage American girls, many of them runaways or throwaways, also get caught up in forced prostitution in the United States. These can also be considered instances of trafficking, though again, trained authorities and service providers would be the best judge.
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About the Author
http://eyeinvestigate.com
What You Should Know About Human Trafficking


What is Human Trafficking?
Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining, by any means, any person for labor or services involving forced labor, slavery or servitude in any industry, such as forced or coerced participation in agriculture, prostitution, manufacturing, or other industries or in domestic service or marriage. International law has largely defined trafficking as the movement of women and girls across borders for the purpose of prostitution. As plenty of debates in international forums have since shown, trafficking in persons is far broader in scope. It may well involve forcing young women and girls into prostitution, but traffickers also use violence, deception, coercion, or exploitation to keep both men and women in slavery-like conditions. People can, for example, be trafficked into abysmal working conditions on farms, in factories, or in domestic households. Children are especially vulnerable to such forms of exploitation, including being forced to work in sweatshops, or as child soldiers.

Where is Human Trafficking taking place?
Trafficking is more widespread than most people realize, but the international community is increasingly taking notice. More information is now available about the range of abuses suffered by trafficked victims and an increasing number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have made combating trafficking a central element of their work.

Who is at risk of Human Trafficking?
While labour exploitation of all kinds is widespread, much of the trafficking trade involves sexual exploitation and is a criminal activity that primarily impacts young women and girls. As such, it has moved to the top of the women’s agenda. Victims, often underprivileged and promised good jobs in another country, find themselves forced into prostitution. They may be beaten, raped, or imprisoned by owners who seek to make substantial profits from the victim’s “services.” Ostracized from families and communities, these women and girls are frequently deprived of the most basic of human rights related to freedom of movement, shelter, and health care. While these are sad realities, greater awareness about the impacts of human trafficking is a first step towards its abolition.

What are some statistics of Human Trafficking?
Because of the illegal nature of the business, it is difficult to compile accurate statistics on trafficking. While the U.S. government estimates that about 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, this figure is probably a conservative one. For one thing, it doesn’t take into account the vast numbers of people who are trafficked within countries. Furthermore, because victims or law enforcement officers may not always have incentives to report crimes, they go under-reported. Thus, some international organizations and NGOs put the estimate of the number of people trafficked each year closer to 2 million.
Asia is a particularly burgeoning market where sex trafficking is concerned. Women are especially victimized in poor countries like Nepal where they have low status and limited employment opportunities. UN agencies estimate that some 200,000 Nepalese women and girls are in sex brothels in India, for example. While there are heated debates over what constitutes voluntary vs. involuntary prostitution, it remains that thousands of women and girls are forced into this business. Countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Bangladesh are also at the center of the sex trafficking trade.

Does Human Trafficking exist in the West?
There is no question that trafficking is also prolific in the West. Although some NGOs say the figures are much too low, U.S. officials estimate that about 20,000 women and children are brought into the U.S. every year under false pretences and held in servitude, including for domestic work, prostitution, or agricultural labor. While the figures are also contested in Europe, it is estimated that anywhere from 200,000-500,000 women are trafficked annually into the European Union. Many of these are from the Balkans.



Why is trafficking so pervasive in the first place?
It’s big business for one thing. Although estimates vary, it is thought that about $7-9.5 billion is made every year from human trafficking. After arms sales and drug dealing, trafficking in persons is the fastest growing criminal industry. Additionally, because there is little risk of prosecution for traffickers themselves, the business continues to thrive. Some governments are starting to impose stricter penalties on those caught for trafficking, but, from the trafficker’s perspective, the gains to be made still far outweigh the risks. For all of these reasons, more effective prosecution of traffickers is fundamental. Some organizations have also argued, however, that trafficking in unlikely to be stopped until economic hardship and poverty are addressed. When faced with ongoing deprivation, the promises offered by traffickers of a better life can be hard to resist. Trafficking is fueled by more vulnerable and displaced people flooding into the cities to look for work and a global demand for cheap labor. Providing alternative options for employment, educating potential victims to the hazards of trafficking, and improving gender equity can all make a difference.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A JOB OPPORTUNTIY IS WAITING FOR YOU OVERSEAS


Natalya lives in a small village in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe. A single mother of two young girls, she must also take care of her sick brother, and struggles to find work in her economically depressed town. Natalya’s neighbor Katerina tells her of an employment opportunity in Odessa, Ukraine, with a local bar owner. Katerina says she can get Natalya work as a waitress in a bar and offers, for a fee, to help arrange Natalya’s travel to the northern port city.
Within a few weeks, Natalya is on a plane to Odessa, eager to make money and support her brother and daughters. However, once she arrives, Natalya realizes that she has been horribly deceived—that there never was a bar, or waitress job, and that Katerina—her neighbor and friend, has helped to sell her into sexual slavery. The bar owner turns out to be a small-time criminal and pimp, and the bar is his brothel. Before she has time to process what’s happened, her passport is confiscated and she is driven from the airport to a cramped apartment where she—along with a dozen other young women— will stay for the duration of her servitude.
First, she is raped by the pimp who claims he must “try out the goods” and Natalya has her first taste of the violence and degradation that is to follow. Before long, she is forced to service more than a dozen clients a day—business men, locals, and tourists—interested in quick sex for cash. After several months of sexual abuse and physical violence, Natalya is mentally and emotionally destroyed and is resigned to her position. Eventually a friendly client “buys” Natalya from her pimp, and sends her home. But once back in Moldova, it is apparent that there is no work in her small village. The only answer, thinks Natalya, is to prostitute herself in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. “I am already broken, after all….”
Defining TraffickingSex trafficking is the exploitation of women and children, within national or across international borders, for the purposes of forced sex work.
1 It includes the recruitment, transportation, harboring, transfer or sale of women and children for these purposes.
Each year, an estimated 800,000 women and children are trafficked across national borders.2 According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, human trafficking is estimated to annually generate 9.5 billion dollars of revenue.3 Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded that human trafficking is now tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today.4
According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the United Nations Inter-agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Mekong Sub-region, sex trafficking appears to be growing in scope and magnitude, with increasing numbers of countries involved due in large part to globalization and the relative ease with which traffickers are able to transport victims between countries.
5
Sex trafficking is a widespread problem, implicating nearly every country in the world:
Around 75 percent of all human trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation.6
About two million women and children are held in sexual servitude around the world, but many experts believe the actual number of trafficked peoples is upwards of 10 times as much.
7 Because of its clandestine nature, it is difficult to determine the magnitude of human trafficking. According to the Dutch National Rapporteur Against Trafficking in Human Beings, only around 5 percent of trafficking cases are ever reported.8
An estimated 120,000 women and girls are trafficked into Western Europe each year.
9
There have been reports of sexual trafficking in at least 20 U.S. states, with most cases occurring in New York, California and Florida.
10 Once issues of domestic trafficking are included, all 50 states would be implicated.
An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
11 And at any given time, there are 30,000 – 50,000 sex slaves in the United States.12
Sex trafficking fuels the commercial sex industry, which includes both legal and illegal prostitution.
Sex trafficking happens in both public and private locales. In some cases, trafficking victims are highly visible and engage in street-level prostitution, but in most cases, sex trafficking takes place in underground venues, such as private homes or brothels. Often, public and legal locations such as massage parlors, spas and strip clubs will be a front for illegal prostitution and trafficking.
13
Human trafficking is sometimes called the “new slavery,” because it retains many of the same characteristics of a slave (trafficking victim)/master (trafficker) relationship. In the new slavery, women and girls are purchased cheaply and sold to customers at a high profit margin. Rather than serve one master or in one locale, victims are passed around among a variety of “owners.” And because of the seemingly endless supply of women and girls, slaves are ultimately disposable.
14
Many countries lack tough anti-trafficking legislation and even when legislation is in place, laws are often not enforced. Relatively few trafficking cases are prosecuted, and of those, very few result in convictions. Fear and shame keep many women and girls from seeking help, and widespread police corruption, exemplified by Thailand and Russia, makes it unsafe for trafficking victims to approach local and national authorities.
15
Occasionally, women and girls are rescued from traffickers and receive support, care and compassion. More often, though, trafficking victims are treated like criminals by the police. Women and girls arrested in trafficking circles are often processed as illegal immigrants rather than trafficking victims, and are immediately deported to their home countries where, because few economic alternatives exist, they begin the cycle of trafficking and exploitation all over again.
The Supply: Who is Trafficked Trafficking involves coercion and fraud, and should not be confused with the practice of moving within and across borders by choice. Once in the cycle of migration, many are coerced into trafficking and prostitution. Not surprisingly, many of the poorest and most unstable countries have the highest instances of trafficking.
Extreme poverty is a common bond among nearly all trafficking victims. While adult women constitute eighty percent of all transnational victims, fifty percent of those are minors.16 Children as young as 1 and 2 years old have been found in brothels; children are typically forcibly taken or sold into sexual trafficking by their parents, many of whom believe that their children are being sold to adoption agencies. In some cases, poverty, along with the relatively low value placed on girl children, drives parents to knowingly broker their daughters into sexual slavery.
The former Soviet Republics and other Eastern Bloc countries, which struggle with rampant poverty and political and social corruption, are fertile breeding grounds for the trafficking industry, as are many Asian countries, including Thailand and China, which play major roles in the trafficking industry.
According to the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, “the rise in competition in the la­bor market, unemployment and the loss of job security have un­dermined women’s incomes and economic position. A widening gender wage gap, an increase in women’s part-time and informal sector work, as well as atypi­cal work arrangements have pushed women into poorly paid jobs and long-term and hidden unemployment,” leaving women vulnerable to traffickers.
17
The Suppliers: Who Traffics
Organized crime is largely responsible for the proliferation of human trafficking.18 Crime groups involved in the sexual trafficking of women and girls are often also involved in the transnational trafficking of drugs and firearms, and frequently use violence as a means of carrying out their activities.19
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the greatest numbers of transnational traffickers are from Asia, followed by Central and Southeastern Europe, and Western Europe.20 Traffickers tend to have strong national connections to the destination countries that their victims are being trafficked to, allowing them to cultivate strong client bases and develop channels of cooperation with local protective authorities.21
Unfortunately, due to the clandestine nature of the behavior, the vulnerability of victims, and widespread corruption among local and national protective authorities, traffickers are rarely apprehended or prosecuted. Additionally, most trafficking cases are dependent on victims’ complaints, and trafficking victims rarely speak out.22 If prosecuted, human traffickers typically receive light sentences when compared to drug or weapon traffickers.23
How Women and Girls are TraffickedSome women are lured into trafficking with the offers of legitimate and legal work as shop assistants or waitresses, for example. Others are lured with promises of marriage, educational opportunities and a better life. Some are sold into trafficking by boyfriends, friends, neighbors or even parents.
Women and girls are abducted or recruited in a country of origin, transported through transit countries and then forced into exploitative labor or sex work in destination countries. Trafficking victims often pass among multiple traffickers, moving further and further from their countries of origin.24 In many cases, traffickers and victims share the same nationality. A trafficker in the Ukraine, for example, may traffic her neighbor to Turkey. Once there, she may sell her victim to a Turkish trafficker, who will take the woman to Thailand, her final destination.
While transnational human trafficking has received more attention then intra-state trafficking, the reality is “that much of the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of persons occurs within communities and countries, if even only initially.”
25 There is minimally reported evidence in the area of intra-state trafficking leaving institutions like the UNODC, who recognize the graveness of the problem, without the tools to eradicate it.
Both men and women participate in the trafficking of women and girls into sexual slavery. Men generally control a trafficking ring, but women are instrumental in effectively managing the trafficking victims. Female traffickers gain the trust of their victims in order to better psychologically manipulate them.
Typically, once in the custody of traffickers, a victim’s passport and official papers are confiscated and held. Victims are told that they are in the destination country illegally, which increases victims’ dependence on their traffickers, and are often kept in captivity. Victims are also trapped into debt bondage, whereby they are obliged to pay back large recruitment and transportation fees before being released from their traffickers. Many victims report being charged additional fines or fees while under bondage, requiring them to work longer to pay off their debts.
26
Trafficking victims experience various stages of degradation and physical and psychological torture. Victims are often deprived of food and sleep, are unable to move about freely and are physically tortured. In order to keep women captive, victims are told their families and their children will be harmed or murdered if they (the women) try to escape or tell anyone about their situation.
27 Because victims rarely understand the culture and language of the country into which they have been trafficked, they experience another layer of psychological stress and frustration.
Often, before servicing clients, women are forcibly raped by the traffickers themselves, in order to initiate the cycle of abuse and degradation. Some women are drugged in order to prevent them from escaping. Once “broken in,” victims of sex trafficking can service up to 30 men a day, and are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy.
The Demand: Who Purchases Trafficked Women and GirlsThough sex trafficking takes place around the world—on city streets, in suburban neighborhoods and in rural villages—little emphasis has been placed on the demand-side of the trafficking equation. There is a misconception that sex trafficking only occurs in and affects developing nations. However, many of the biggest destination countries are developed nations, and men from all sectors of society support the trafficking industry. Furthermore, domestic trafficking is also a widespread problem in developed countries.
In many parts of the world, there is little to no perceived stigma to purchasing sexual favors for money; prostitution is viewed as a victimless crime. In Japan, for example, many men consider visiting prostitutes a sensible solution to the difficulties of juggling work and relationships. Patriarchal and misogynistic beliefs about the status and value of women underscore many men’s attitudes toward sexual trafficking and prostitution. There are instances of parents in Thailand financing a new television set with the sale of a daughter. “A recent survey in the northern provinces found that of the families who sold their daughters, two-thirds could afford not to do so but instead preferred to buy color televisions and video equipment.”
28
One major component of the proliferation of trafficking is sex tourism. Sex tourism is the practice of traveling or vacationing for the purpose of having sex, and is estimated to be a billion dollar annual industry worldwide.
29 According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), sex tourism makes up between 2 and 14 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Many sex tours explicitly feature prepubescent girls, marketing almost exclusively to pedophiles who prey on young children, and men who believe that having sex with virgins, or young girls, will cure sexually transmitted diseases. Often, these men spread HIV and other STDs to their young trafficking victims, creating localized disease epidemics. A recent study from the UN Commission on Human Rights found that “the influx of international aid workers, military personnel, peacekeepers and employees of international organizations in situations of armed conflict or political instability often brings about a demand for services deriving from sexual exploitation.”30 In an effort to combat this, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has enacted a zero tolerance policy regarding trafficking by NATO forces and staff.31 The Palermo Protocol also holds countries accountable to end trafficking as it calls upon governments to take social and legislative measures to discourage demand. As of October 2007, 115 countries have ratified and thus committed to this effort.32 A widespread belief exists that men who support the trafficking industry are “from somewhere else” and that trafficking does not happen within local communities. In fact, men who support the trafficking industry come from all walks of life, and many are highly respected members of their communities. A 2004 New York Times article on trafficking explored the sexual trafficking of young Mexican girls whose main customers were American businessmen. Said one young trafficking victim, “I was told my purpose was to keep these men from abusing their own kids.”33 A 2005 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show detailed the story of Kim Meston, a Tibetan trafficking victim that was held hostage in the United States by a well respected Christian minister and routinely sexually abused.34
In order to deter trafficking, men must be educated about the harmful effects of trafficking and the commercial prostitution industry. Additionally, negative and sexist attitudes about women and girls must be addressed.
The High Cost of Human Sex TraffickingSex trafficking of women and girls has astronomical costs, both to the women and girls who are its primary victims, and to society as a whole. Trafficking is an abuse of physical and mental integrity, security of the person, freedom of movement, and privacy. Trafficking “violates the universal human right to life, liberty and freedom from slavery.”
35
Sex trafficking also has widespread negative consequences for individuals and societies:
• Sex trafficking helps to promote societal breakdown by removing women and girls from their families and communities. If and when victims are able to return to their communities, they often find themselves doubly victimized by social stigmatization, discrimination and rejection.
• Sex trafficking fuels organized crime groups that usually participate in many other illegal activities, including drug and weapons trafficking and money laundering.
• Sex trafficking negatively impacts local and national labor markets, due to the loss of human resources. The effects of trafficking on economies include “depressed wages, fewer individuals left to care for elderly persons, and an undereducated generation. These effects leads to the loss of future productivity and earning power,” especially in child trafficking victims.
36
• Sex trafficking burdens public health systems. Trafficking victims often suffer from myriad physical and psychological traumas, including sexually transmitted diseases, anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. Victims also often suffer physical complications from unsanitary living situations and poor nutrition.
• Sex trafficking erodes government authority, encourages widespread corruption, and threatens the security of vulnerable populations.
37
Combating TraffickingIn order to end the sexual trafficking of women and girls, efforts must be made on both the supply side (the traffickers and victims) and demand side (trafficking clients and sex buyers) of the problem.
38
It is critical that economic opportunities and alternatives are developed for potential trafficking victims. Examples of such initiatives include micro-lending programs, job training and counseling, educational programs, and grants to non-governmental organizations to accelerate and advance the political, economic, social and educational roles of women in their home countries.
39
In order to better serve trafficking victims and to prevent sexual trafficking of women and girls, countries and regions are encouraged to increase public awareness about trafficking and develop educational materials for the public about trafficking. Lawmakers and law enforcement officials are urged to produce and enforce legislation that punishes traffickers and those that purchase sex. Domestic violence shelters and social support services are encouraged to develop programs to handle the needs of trafficked women and girls. And rehabilitative transitional living programs should be implemented to serve trafficked women and girls who are attempting to return to mainstream society.
In 2000, the United Nations passed the Palermo Protocol “to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.” The Protocol calls for countries to “adopt or strengthen legislative or other measurers, such as educational, social or cultural measurers, including through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children, that leads to trafficking.”
40
Because trafficking is a transnational problem, it requires the cooperation and coordination of multiple national and international agencies. Thus far, efforts to counter trafficking have been largely inefficient and ineffective. When considering how to best combat trafficking demand, it is imperative that law enforcement and government officials “vigorously prosecute traffickers; fight public corruption which facilitates and profits from the trade; identify and interdict trafficking routes through better intelligence gathering and coordination; clarify legal definitions of trafficking; and train personnel to identify and direct trafficking victims to appropriate care.”
41
In many countries, trafficking victims do not receive adequate assistance. A recent report from Anti-Slavery International found that authorities tend to give trafficking victims irregular migrant status, rather than consider them as victims of trafficking, which makes it difficult to track and manage cases of trafficking. The report also found that trafficking victims lack access to shelters and legal services, as well as inadequate security and few alternatives to returning to their home countries. Most countries lacked special services for trafficking victims under 18.
42
Also critical is that work be done to reduce the demand for trafficking. This involves not only stricter punishment for men found financially supporting the trafficking industry, but also an increase in efforts to educate men about the struggles of women and the negative impact of misogyny, sexism, abuse and violence.
How Soroptimist Works to End Trafficking of Women and Girls. Soroptimist is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist clubs undertake a number of different projects to confront local realities facing women and girls. Many projects directly and indirectly help trafficking victims and women vulnerable to trafficking by providing direct aid to women and girls, and giving women economic tools and skills to achieve financial empowerment and independence. As an organization, Soroptimist supports the following programs:
Soroptimists STOP Trafficking—Soroptimists launched a public awareness campaign to address the sexual trafficking of women and girls in 2007. Soroptimist clubs around the world distributed printed materials and conducted media outreach to raise awareness about this devastating issue. The project launched on Sunday December 2, 2007, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. In the United States, the project launches on Friday, January 11, 2008, the first National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness. Soroptimist members will participate by distributing flyers on that day that focus on the message: Someone in this transportation center may be here against her will.
Women’s Opportunity Awards—The Women’s Opportunity Awards program is Soroptimist’s major program. The awards improve the lives of women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills, and employment prospects. By helping women receive skill and resource training, Soroptimist provides women with economic alternatives to sex trafficking and prostitution.
Many Women’s Opportunity Award recipients have overcome enormous obstacles in their quest for a better life, including poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse, and in some cases, trafficking. Each year, more than $1 million is disbursed through the awards at various levels of the organization to help women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. Since the Women’s Opportunity Awards program began in 1972, it is estimated that $20 million has been disbursed and more than 22,500 women have been assisted. In 2007, the Women’s Opportunity Awards received the Summit Award from the ASAE & The Center, its highest honor, bestowed on associations that implement innovative community-based programs.
Soroptimist Club Grants for Women and Girls—Often the abilities and ambitions of Soroptimist clubs exceed their financial resources. Soroptimist introduced the Soroptimist Club Grants for Women and Girls in 1997 to assist with community projects that improve the lives of women and girls. Each year, grants are given to clubs working on projects that help foster economic independence, provide job skills training and education, and provide women with the resources necessary to move themselves and their families out of poverty. Projects of this type give women economic alternatives to migratory work and keep them out of the hands of traffickers. For the 2006-2007 club year, Soroptimist is funding more than $175,000 in club grants. Since the program’s inception, nearly $1.6 million has been awarded and clubs have assisted more than 100,000 women and their families.
Clubs have used Soroptimist Club Grants to support projects that raise awareness about trafficking. In 2005, for example, two clubs in Japan shared a $9,000 club grant for their Prevention of Trafficking Project. The clubs printed and distributed 6,000 brochures and 1,000 posters in eight languages, containing information on trafficking and how to obtain help for victims. They also held an international symposium to raise awareness about trafficking and offered support to a shelter for trafficking victims.
Several other clubs have developed projects and initiatives that benefit trafficking victims, among them:
A club in the Philippines supports a shelter for abused women and girls escaping from sexual trafficking. Members provide shelter residents with much-needed items, including toiletries and food, and health care services.
A club in California held a conference in support of the Western Regional Task Force on Human Trafficking. More than 200 people attended the meeting and 35 club members participated in organizing the event.
For the past eight years, a club in Chicago has made trafficking a major project focus. Club members have coordinated several projects, assisted groups in helping teens and women involved in the sex trade, and partnered with organizations to advocate for legislation and funding for victims.
Making a Difference for Women—The Soroptimist Making a Difference for Women Award honors women who, through their personal or professional activities, worked to improve the lives of other women and girls. Each year, Soroptimist chooses one finalist, who is honored and receives a $5,000 donation to her favorite charitable organization.
Kathryn Xian, Soroptimist’s 2006 Making a Difference for Women recipient, has devoted her life to improving the lives of women and girls though her non-profit organization, The Safe Zone Foundation. In 2004, Kathryn and the Safe Zone Foundation led a grassroots campaign to raise awareness about sex trafficking and tourism, and organized protests against a local tour company offering Asian sex tours. She also testified at a State House of Representatives hearing on trafficking. The hearings resulted in the passage of Act 82, which makes “promoting travel for prostitution” a Class C felony violation. Act 82 now serves as model legislation for other states.
Soroptimist’s Disaster Relief Fund—The Soroptimist Disaster Relief Fund provides financial assistance to regions affected by natural disasters or acts of war. Women and girls are hardest hit by acts of war and natural disasters, and poor women and single mothers—the poorest of the poor—who lack access to support services and aid following disasters are especially vulnerable to traffickers. Following the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, for example, there were many documented cases of rape, sexual abuse and trafficking.
43 Many poor women lack the necessary resources to escape acts of war and natural disaster, and because of pre-existing poverty and gender inequality, are less able to recover from their losses and rebuild their lives after disaster has struck. Many of these women and girls are left vulnerable to traffickers and the trafficking industry. Because relief efforts targeted to women are often overlooked during a crisis, and because women and girls have special needs in times of crisis and disaster, Soroptimist’s Disaster Relief Fund supports projects that specifically assist women and girls. Clubs can apply for disaster relief grants for local areas hit by natural disasters or warfare, and the fund also supports international disaster relief projects. In the wake of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, Soroptimist donated more than $100,000 to three reconstruction projects that benefit women and girls. More than $50,000 was donated to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to analyze the impact of Hurricane Katrina on women and girls, and $10,000 was donated to the Louisiana Coalition of Domestic Violence.
Soroptimist International of the Americas is a 501(c)(3) organization. In December 2004, Soroptimist received the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) Seal of Excellence for its successful compliance with the Standards for Excellence program. PANO recertified Soroptimist in 2007.


Sources
1This white paper will primarily discuss human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. However, human trafficking for the purpose of labor is also a pervasive international problem. Trafficking, according to the United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network is the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that approximately 12.3 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time. “Trafficking in Persons Report.” 2007, page 8. <http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/> —back to whitepaper
2“Trafficking in Persons Report.” 2006, page 13. U.S. State Department. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006 —back to whitepaper—
3“Trafficking in Persons Report.” 2006, page 13. U.S. State Department. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006 —back to whitepaper—
4“Fact Sheet: Human Trafficking.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004, page 1. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/about/fact_human.html —back to whitepaper—
5“Trafficking in Persons: A Gender Rights Perspective Briefing Kit.” 2002. United Nations Development Fund for Women and the United Nations Inter-agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Mekong Sub-region. http://www.unifem-eseasia.org/resources/others/traffic.htm. —back to whitepaper—
6“UN Commission on the Status of Women Adopts U.S. Human Trafficking Resolution.” March 18, 2005, page 1. U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/fs/2005/43630.htm.—back to whitepaper—
7“The Cause of Sex Trafficking is the Demand for It.” 2006. Captive Daughters. http://www.captivedaughters.org/demand.htm. —back to whitepaper—
8“Trafficking in Persons Global Patterns.” 2006, page 4. United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) http://www.unodc.org/pdf/traffickinginpersons_report_2006ver2.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
9’Connor, Monica, and Grainne Healy. “The Links Between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: A Briefing Handbook.” 2006, page 3. Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the European Women’s Lobby. http://action.web.ca/home/catw/attach/handbook.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
10Richard, Amy O’Neill. International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime. 1999, page 3. DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Program, Center for the Study of Intelligence. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/trafficking.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
11“Stop Violence Against Women: Trafficked Women and Girls Questions and Answers.” 2005, page 2. http://www.amnestyusa.org/women/trafficking/question_answer.html. Because of the difficulty in gathering true data, these statistics are often changing. —back to whitepaper—
12Landesman, Peter. “The Girls Next Door (How Sex Trafficking Works).” January 25, 2004, page 2. The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B04EEDA1439F936A15752C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted. This quote is attributed to Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves. Because of the secrecy around and general lack of knowledge about this issue, it is difficult to find reliable statistics. —back to whitepaper—
13“Fact Sheet: Sex Trafficking.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/about/fact_sex.html —back to whitepaper—
14Bales, Kevin. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. University of California Press: Berkeley, 2004. —back to whitepaper—
15Richard, Amy O’Neill. International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime. 1999, page 8. DCI Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Program, Center for the Study of Intelligence. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/trafficking.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
16“Trafficking in Persons Report.” 2007, page 8. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/—back to whitepaper—
17O’Connor, Monica, and Grainne Healy. “The Links Between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: A Briefing Handbook.” 2006, page 6. Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the European Women’s Lobby. http://action.web.ca/home/catw/attach/handbook.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
18Organized crime tends to be less of an issue in domestic trafficking. However, in countries such as Japan, organized crime is a central factor in domestic and international trafficking. —back to whitepaper—
19Ibid, page 24. —back to whitepaper—20“Trafficking in Persons Global Patterns.” 2006, page 80. United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) http://www.unodc.org/pdf/traffickinginpersons_report_2006ver2.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
21Ibid. —back to whitepaper—
22“Protocol for Identification and Assistance to Trafficked Persons and Training Kit.” 2005. Anti-Slavery International. http://www.antislavery.org/homepage/resources/PDF/Protocoltraffickedpersonskit2005.pdf.—back to whitepaper—23“The Race Dimensions to Trafficking in Persons—Especially Women and Children.” 2001. United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.http://www.un.org/WCAR/e-kit/trafficking_e.pdf. —back to whitepaper—
24In 2006, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) examined the flow of trafficking victims around the world. Countries were ranked according their involvement in the trafficking industry and their role in the cycle of trafficking. Origin countries are countries from which trafficked women and girls originate. Typically, origin countries are developing countries with high levels of economic strife and social unrest. Major origin countries include Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Lithuania, Nigeria, Romania, the Russian Federation, Thailand and the Ukraine. The UNODC found 127 countries of origin. Transit Countries are countries through which trafficked women travel. Transit countries may also function as destination and origin countries for various populations of trafficked women. Major transit countries include Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Thailand. Though there is less data available on transit countries, the UNODC identified 98 transit countries. Destination Countries are countries to which trafficked women are sent to work in the sex industry and the point of exploitation. Major destination countries include Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey and the United States. In all, the UNODC, found 137 destination countries.

Monday, September 22, 2008

human trafficking of women and children from Armenia


The Armenian genocide resulted in the kidnapping of thousands of Armenian women from their families, usually during deportations or overnight stops. After the organized mass killings of the Armenian male population, during the first stage of state-orchestrated policy of extermination, the Ottoman governors implemented another pre-meditated phase of the genocidal policy: the destruction of the rest of Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire, this time targeting the elderly, women and children.
Some of those individuals who were kidnapped and integrated into Muslim family life, over time forgot about their Armenian ethnicity and even lost the ability to speak their native language. In order to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones many Armenian women forcibly to adopted Islam. They eventually were married off to Muslim men and in keeping with local tribal customs, were marked with specific tattoos. Tattoos were extensively used as amulets in the Middle East and Islamic countries, with the wearers believing that the mark imbued them with magical powers. These tattoos were often in the form of dots or a small “x” and provided protection, strength or fertility. These new markings represented new belonging and a marked change in their life.
What is ironic in this story is that Armenia’s society and especially the government do almost nothing to stop the ongoing and current human trafficking of women and children from Armenia.

Sexual Addiction and Online Perpetrators




Sexual Addiction and Online Perpetrators
PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION STATS
Pornography Addiction and Industry Statistics
As of 2003, there were 1.3 million pornographic websites; 260 million pages (N2H2, 2003).
The total porn industry revenue for 2006: $13.3 billion in the United States; $97 billion worldwide (Internet Filter Review).
U.S. adult DVD/video rentals in 2005: almost 1 billion (Adult Video News). Hotel viewership for adult films: 55% (cbsnews.com).
Unique worldwide users visiting adult web sites monthly: 72 million (Internet Filter Review).
Number of hardcore pornography titles released in 2005 (U.S.): 13,588 (Internet Filter Review).
Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women (internet-filter-review.com).
More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (comScore Media Metrix).
More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).
Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children (National Center for Mission & Exploited Children).
100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography (U.S. Customs Service estimate).
As of December 2005, child pornography was a $3 billion annual industry (internet-filter-review.com)."At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago." (Divorcewizards.com)
Christians, Pastors and Church Pornography Statistics
A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.
51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001).
Over half of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography last year.
Roger Charman of Focus on the Family's Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
In a 2000 Christianity Today survey, 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.
29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group).
57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005).
Statistics on Women with Pornography Addiction
28% those admitting to sexual addiction are women (internet-filter-review.com).
34% of female readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll and 1 out of every 6 women, including Christians, struggles with an addiction to pornography (Today’s Christian Woman, Fall 2003).
Statistics on Pornography's Effect on Families and Marriages
47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2003 - divorcewizards.com).
Statistics on Child Pornography Use
9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).
Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old (internet-filter-review.com).
Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 - 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).
Adult industry says traffic is 20-30% children (NRC Report 2002, 3.3).
Youth with significant exposure to sexuality in the media were shown to be significantly more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 (Report in Pediatrics, April, 2006)."Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions." - U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (1996).
Statistics on Online Perpetrators
1 in 7 children who use the internet have been sexually solicated - 2005. (Internet Filter Review)
1 in 4 kids participate in Real Time Chat. (FamilyPC Survey, 2000).
1 in 5 children (10 to 17 years old) receives unwanted sexual solicitations online (Youth Internet Safety Survey, U.S. Department of Justice, 2001).
2 in 5 abductions of children ages 15-17 are due to Internet contact (San Diego Police Dept.).
76% of victims in Net-initiated sexual exploitation cases were 13-15, 75% were girls. "Most cases progressed to sexual encounters" - 93% of the face-to-face meetings involved illegal sex (Journal of Adolescent Health, November 2004).

Statistics on Child Pornography Use


9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).
Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old (internet-filter-review.com).
Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 - 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).
Adult industry says traffic is 20-30% children (NRC Report 2002, 3.3).
Youth with significant exposure to sexuality in the media were shown to be significantly more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 (Report in Pediatrics, April, 2006)."Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions." - U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, at l, ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (1996).
Statistics on Online Perpetrators
1 in 7 children who use the internet have been sexually solicated - 2005. (Internet Filter Review)
1 in 4 kids participate in Real Time Chat. (FamilyPC Survey, 2000).
1 in 5 children (10 to 17 years old) receives unwanted sexual solicitations online (Youth Internet Safety Survey, U.S. Department of Justice, 2001).
2 in 5 abductions of children ages 15-17 are due to Internet contact (San Diego Police Dept.).
76% of victims in Net-initiated sexual exploitation cases were 13-15, 75% were girls. "Most cases progressed to sexual encounters" - 93% of the face-to-face meetings involved illegal sex (Journal of Adolescent Health, November 2004).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Human Trafficking a local issue




By Tracie Morales
Press Democrat

Girls and women working as prostitutes on Santa Rosa Avenue are evidence that Human Traffciking is a problem not confined to distant countires, experts said Wednesday July 2nd.
This is a call to awarness, to understand an a call to action.
Santa Rosa police Lt. Nicholas Sensley said during a forum on human traffciking at congregation
Shomrei Torah.

About 250 people heard local, state and national officals and human rights advocates discuss the issue in Sonoma county.
Bobbi Turner, Crisis intervention manger with United against Sexual Assualt in Sonoma County said runaways are the most vonurable.
Most of the women working on Santa Rosa Avenue about 55 percent got started in Human Trafficking, she said.

About 250 people heard local, state an antional officials and human rights advocates discuss the issue in Sonoma County. The event was sponsored by local Soroptimist International of santa Rosa.

TRADE ........

The CIA estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 girls, boys and women are trafficked annually into the Unite states to be pimped out or sold for FORCED SEX.

Worldwide more than one Million people are trafficked across international borders against their will.

" WE ARE NOT FINDING VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES
BECAUSE WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR THEM."

Department of Justice.

Kidnapped 10 year old boy from China was Recovered by Monique Lessan




TESTIMONIALS
STEPHEN J. NUTTINGAttorney at Law6th Floor Nauru BuildingP.O. Box 5093Saipan, MP 96950
June 7, 2008Dear Monique:
Thank you so much for assisting my client in recovering her child. Despite the fact that we had a court order giving my client custody of her 7-year old son, and ordering the return of the child to Saipan, we had been waiting months for the California authorities to act on that order. During all of this time, I was receiving almost daily calls from my client asking for additional information on what was happening with her case. Unfortunately, I never had any news, and felt very ineffective. At the time there seemed that there was little I could do but advise my client that "these matters just take time."
Because of the many accolades for your firm I found on the internet, I decided to advise my client to retain your services. Because I specialize in family law matters, I know how difficult it can be dealing with the emotions involved, and the stressful situations those emotions produce. But you and Randy Torgerson, managed to control the situation, and to give my client confidence and trust, even when confrontations with the abductor/father proved extremely contentious, and threats of never-ending litigation seemed imminent. The manner in which you used the local authorities to convince the father to release the child to the mother, without resorting to the courts, was truly masterful and clearly shows the respect you must command from law enforcement personnel.
The mother and child have returned to Saipan and came into my office yesterday, bringing me a gift for all that I have done. I must admit that I felt somewhat guilty taking it, because I know that you and Mr. Torgerson were really responsible for reuniting this child with his mother. You truly made one little boy very happy and gave a mother back the real joy in her life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Horrifying Information on child trafficking in Chile

I would like to share some of the relevant findings regarding children and trafficking in Chile:
Total population 15,988,000 Population Reference Bureau 2004
Child population 4,156,880 Population Reference Bureau 2004

Child labor: In 2000, less than 1% of children age 10 to 14 we working. Children do work in the following sectors: agriculture, fishing, ranching, shepherding, meat and shellfish processing, bagging in grocery stores, domestic service and street sales. US Dept. of Labor 2003 Findings on the worst forms of child labour

Children out of school: In 2001, 195,600 primary school aged children between the ages of 6-11 were out of school. UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005
Child Slavery: No confirmed reports.

Child Trafficking: Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for both laboral and sexual exploitation. Traffickers are know to contact victims and their families directly or through advertisements offering jobs as domestic help, model, or product promoters. US Dept of State TIP 2005

Child prostitution and pornography: A 2003 SENAME study found at least 3,700 children were victims of commercial sexual exploitation. US Dept of State TIP 2005 More can be found on that in my piece here. Also, in 1998 “Operation Cathedral” exposed a link between Chilean pedophile network and the international pornography trade. This include 19 other countries as well. There are reports of children as young as 7 expoited through prostitution and sex tourism in Chile’s 4 largest cities. In 2003 a US man was arrested in the Santiago airport for possessing child pornography. Although the national authorities deny it, ECPAT claims that Chile is a sex tourism destination Ecpat CSEC database

Children used in crime: Children are involved in sale of drugs and prostitution. US Dept of Labor’s 2003 Findings on the worst forms of child labor.
Child soldiers: Under 18s could be recruited with their parents’ consent. No numbers are available. CSUCS, Global Report on Child Soldiers, 2004
Posted in Chile, Human Trafficking, child labor, children, prostitution, sex tourism, slavery, trafficking children
« Class consciousness
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Responses

[...] Similarly on the global scene Clare has a lot of info. [...]
By: Prostitution and Human Trafficking « HAPLOGROUP - bit that makes us human. on October 3, 2007 at 6:59 am

UN.GIFT (United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking) website http://www.ungift.org aims to be an extension of UN GIFT activities worldwide.


http://www.eyeinvestigate.com
Monique Lessan
Eye Investigate International

Human Trafficking in Sonoma County

Screening of the Film Cargo: Innocence Lost
with Director Michael Cory Davis followed by a panel discussion with local, state and natioal experts.

Moderated by Nicholas Sensley


Confirmed panelists will include representatives from the District Attorney’s office, Sheriff’s Dept., Santa Rosa City Attorney’s office, FBI, ICE, US Dept. of Justice, and United Against Sexual Assault (UASA).

Location: Congregation Shomrei Torah
2600 Bennett Valley Road
Santa Rosa 95404

Times: 5 PM Reception
6 PM Screening of CARGO: Innocence Lost, followed by panel discussion

Admission is free.

NOTE: The film is rated “R” and contains descriptions and dramatizations of violence that may not be suitable for all viewers.

Monique Lessan: http://www.eyeinvestigate.com/

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sex Slavery/Trafficking: Frequently Asked Questions


What is trafficking?What is sex slavery/trafficking?
Who trafficks women and girls? How are women trafficked?
Who purchases trafficked women and girls?
What is the impact of sex trafficking?


What is trafficking? A $32 billion annual industry, trafficking is a type of slavery that involves the transport or trade of people for the purpose of work. According to the U.N., about 2.5 million people around the world are ensnared in the web of human trafficking at any given time.
Trafficking impacts people of all backgrounds, and people are trafficked for a variety of purposes. Men are often trafficked into hard labor jobs, while children are trafficked into labor positions in textile, agriculture and fishing industries. Women and girls are typically trafficked into the commercial sex industry, i.e. prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation.
Not all slaves are trafficked, but all trafficking victims are victims of slavery. Trafficking is a particularly cruel type of slavery because it removes the victim from all that is familiar to her, rendering her completely isolated and alone, often unable to speak the language of her captors or fellow victims.
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What is sex slavery/trafficking? Sex trafficking or slavery is the exploitation of women and children, within national or across international borders, for the purposes of forced sex work. Commercial sexual exploitation includes pornography, prostitution and sex trafficking of women and girls, and is characterized by the exploitation of a human being in exchange for goods or money. Each year, an estimated 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders—though additional numbers of women and girls are trafficked within countries.
Some sex trafficking is highly visible, such as street prostitution. But many trafficking victims remain unseen, operating out of unmarked brothels in unsuspecting—and sometimes suburban—neighborhoods. Sex traffickers may also operate out of a variety of public and private locations, such as massage parlors, spas and strip clubs.
Adult women make up the largest group of sex trafficking victims, followed by girl children, although a small percentage of men and boys are trafficked into the sex industry as well.
Trafficking migration patterns tend to flow from East to West, but women may be trafficked from any country to another country at any given time and trafficking victims exist everywhere. Many of the poorest and most unstable countries have the highest incidences of trafficking, and extreme poverty is a common bond among trafficking victims. Where economic alternatives do not exist, women and girls are more vulnerable to being tricked and coerced into sexual servitude. Increased unemployment and the loss of job security have undermined women's incomes and economic position. A stalled gender wage gap, as well as an increase in women's part-time and informal sector work, push women into poorly-paid jobs and long-term and hidden unemployment, which leaves women vulnerable to traffickers.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine are among the countries that are the greatest sources of trafficked persons. The UNODC cites Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the United States as common destination countries of trafficked women and girls.
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Who trafficks women and girls? Organized crime is largely responsible for the spread of international human trafficking. Sex trafficking—along with its correlative elements, kidnapping, rape, prostitution and physical abuse—is illegal in nearly every country in the world. However, widespread corruption and greed make it possible for sex trafficking to quickly and easily proliferate. Though national and international institutions may attempt to regulate and enforce anti-trafficking legislation, local governments and police forces may in fact be participating in sex trafficking rings.
Why do traffickers traffic? Because sex trafficking can be extremely lucrative, especially in areas where opportunities for education and legitimate employment may be limited. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the greatest numbers of traffickers are from Asia, followed by Central and Southeastern Europe, and Western Europe. Crime groups involved in the sex trafficking of women and girls are also often involved in the transnational trafficking of drugs and firearms, and frequently use violence as a means of carrying out their activities.
One overriding factor in the proliferation of trafficking is the fundamental belief that the lives of women and girls are expendable. In societies where women and girls are undervalued or not valued at all, women are at greater risk for being abused, trafficked, and coerced into sex slavery. If women experienced improved economic and social status, trafficking would in large part be eradicated.
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How are women trafficked? Women and girls are ensnared in sex trafficking in a variety of ways. Some are lured with offers of legitimate and legal work as shop assistants or waitresses. Others are promised marriage, educational opportunities and a better life. Still others are sold into trafficking by boyfriends, friends, neighbors or even parents.
Trafficking victims often pass among multiple traffickers, moving further and further from their home countries. Women often travel through multiple countries before ending at their final destination. For example, a woman from the Ukraine may be sold to a trafficker in Turkey, who then passes her on to a trafficker in Thailand. Along the way she becomes confused and disoriented.
Typically, once in the custody of traffickers, a victim's passport and official papers are confiscated and held. Victims are told they are in the destination country illegally, which increases victims' dependence on their traffickers. Victims are often kept in captivity and also trapped into debt bondage, whereby they are obliged to pay back large recruitment and transportation fees before being released from their traffickers. Many victims report being charged additional fines or fees while under bondage, requiring them to work longer to pay off their debts.
Trafficking victims experience various stages of degradation and physical and psychological torture. Victims are often deprived of food and sleep, are unable to move about freely, and are physically tortured. In order to keep women captive, victims are told their families and their children will be harmed or murdered if they (the women) try to escape or tell anyone about their situation. Because victims rarely understand the culture and language of the country into which they have been trafficked, they experience another layer of psychological stress and frustration. Often, before servicing clients, women are forcibly raped by the traffickers themselves, in order to initiate the cycle of abuse and degradation. Some women are drugged in order to prevent them from escaping. Once “broken in,” sex trafficked victims can service up to 30 men a day, and are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy.
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Who purchases trafficked women and girls?
Many believe that sex trafficking is something that occurs “somewhere else.” However, many of the biggest trafficking consumers are developed nations, and men from all sectors of society support the trafficking industry. There is no one profile that encapsulates the “typical” client. Rather, men who purchase trafficked women are both rich and poor, Eastern and Western. Many are married and have children, and in some cases, as was reported in one New York Times article, men have sex with trafficked girls in lieu of abusing their own young children.
One reason for the proliferation of sex trafficking is because in many parts of the world there is little to no perceived stigma to purchasing sexual favors for money, and prostitution is viewed as a victimless crime. Because women are culturally and socially devalued in so many societies, there is little conflict with the purchasing of women and girls for sexual services. Further, few realize the explicit connection between the commercial sex trade, and the trafficking of women and girls and the illegal slave trade. In western society in particular, there is a commonly held perception that women choose to enter into the commercial sex trade. However, for the majority of women in the sex trade, and specifically in the case of trafficked women and girls who are coerced or forced into servitude, this is simply not the case.
In addition, sex tourism—that is, the practice of traveling or vacationing for the purpose of having sex—is a billion dollar industry that further encourages the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Many sex tours explicitly feature young girls. The tours are marketed specifically to pedophiles who prey on young children, and men who believe that having sex with virgins or young girls will cure sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Often, these men spread HIV and other STDs to their young victims, creating localized disease epidemics.
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What is the impact of sex trafficking?Trafficking has a harrowing effect on the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of the women and girls ensnared in its web. Beyond the physical abuse, trafficked women suffer extreme emotional stress, including shame, grief, fear, distrust and suicidal thoughts. Victims often experience post-traumatic stress disorder, and with that, acute anxiety, depression and insomnia. Many victims turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
Sex trafficking promotes societal breakdown by removing women and girls from their families and communities. Trafficking fuels organized crime groups that usually participate in many other illegal activities, including drug and weapons trafficking and money laundering. It negatively impacts local and national labor markets, due to the loss of human resources. Sex trafficking burdens public health systems. And trafficking erodes government authority, encourages widespread corruption, and threatens the security of vulnerable populations.