Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Story of the Day-Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

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Trafficking in persons—in which men, women, and children from all over the globe are transported to other countries for the purposes of forced prostitution or labor—inherently rejects the dignity of the human person and exploits conditions of global poverty.”
-Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope
What is human trafficking?

Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Annually, about 600,000 to 800,000 people -- mostly women and children -- are trafficked across national borders which does not count millions trafficked within their own countries.

Examples of recent cases of human trafficking in the U.S. include adolescent Mexican girls trafficked to the U.S. for forced prostitution, Indian men trafficked for forced labor, and African women and children trafficked for domestic servitude, among others.

People are snared into trafficking by many means. In some cases, physical force is used. In other cases, false promises are made regarding job opportunities or marriages in foreign countries to entrap victims.

What help is available for trafficking victims?
Anyone in the United States identified by law enforcement as a victim of a severe form of trafficking has certain rights and may be eligible for benefits, including immigration relief, social services, and access to refugee benefit programs.

When trafficking victims are first identified, they may be granted continued presence by the Attorney General, allowing them to stay in the country temporarily during an investigation or prosecution. They can also apply for a “T-visa,” a special three-year visa for victims of trafficking which also allows them to apply for legal permanent residence status at the end of the three-year period. The victims must be willing to assist in every reasonable way in the investigation and prosecution of the trafficking case to qualify for the T-visa unless they are under age 18.

A person who is granted continued presence or applies for the T-visa, and is willing to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the case, may also be “certified” as a victim of trafficking by ORR. Once certified, the person is eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as a refugee. Therefore, certification allows the person to access resettlement services, public benefits such as food stamps or Refugee Medical Assistance, etc.

What impact does human trafficking have on the world?

Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat: it deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels the growth of organized crime.

Human trafficking has a devastating impact on individual victims, who often suffer physical and emotional abuse, rape, threats against self and family, passport theft, and even death. But the impact of human trafficking goes beyond individual victims; it undermines the safety and security of all nations it touches.

What is the United States doing to stop trafficking?

Trafficking impacts many nations, including the United States. That’s why the U.S. Government has taken a number of serious and significant actions to combat trafficking occurring at home. A few examples of American efforts include:

Congress passed legislation so Americans who sexually prey on children abroad can be prosecuted and sentenced to as many as 30 years in prison.
The Department of Justice has focused on increasing the number of trafficking victims rescued and the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is certifying trafficking victims so they may qualify for the same assistance available to refugees. HHS is also running a major public awareness campaign to alert victims in the U.S. that help is available through the hotline number 888.3737.888.
The Department of Defense has implemented a zero-tolerance stand against any actions by Defense personnel that contribute to human trafficking and is instituting a service-wide mandatory training program.
The Departments of Labor and Homeland Security, USAID, and other government agencies are executing action plans to combat human trafficking.
What is the U.S. doing to help other countries?

Because human trafficking is transnational in nature, partnerships between countries are critical to win the fight against modern-day slavery. The U.S. is reaching out to other countries in a number of important ways:

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush raised the issue of human trafficking and asked leaders of the world to work together to end it.
The State Department is working extensively with governments on action plans for prevention, protection of victims, and prosecution.
Congress last year strengthened anti-trafficking legislation and provided more than $70 million in funding worldwide for efforts to end slavery. The U.S. is providing money around the world for:

Rehabilitation and work training centers for victims
Special housing shelters for victims
Law enforcement training and legal reform assistance
Information and awareness campaigns
Voluntary repatriation for displaced victims
Training for immigration officials, medical personnel and social workers
Combating sex tourism
Rescuing victims from slave-like situations
What needs to be done?

When dealing with an issue of this importance and urgency, there is much to be done. The U.S. is asking governments to immediately take action to step up their anti-trafficking efforts:

There is a critical need for increased rescues of trafficking victims and prosecutions of traffickers.
People freed from slavery must be treated as victims of crime, not criminals.
The demand for modern-day slaves must be stopped. This is not a victimless or harmless crime, and the public should be informed of the risks involved with it.
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Human Trafficking in Colorado

Trafficking of human beings is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking involves a process of using illicit means such as 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.

Exploitation includes forcing people into prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. For children exploitation may include also, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for begging or for sports (such as child camel jockeys or football players).
Some causes of trafficking include:

Growing deprivation and marginalization of the poor
Insufficient penalties against traffickers
According to the UN a major factor that has allowed the growth of sexual trafficking is "Governments and human rights organizations alike have simply judged the woman guilty of prostitution and minimized the trafficker's role."

Driven by demand; demand is high for prostitutes and other forms of labor in host countries; therefore there is a very profitable market available to those who wish to become handlers.
Trafficking in people has been facilitated by porous borders and advanced communication technologies, it has become increasingly transnational in scope and highly lucrative. Unlike drugs or arms, people can be "sold" many times. The opening up of Asian markets, porous borders, the end of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the former Yugoslavia have contributed to this globalization.

Government action against human trafficking
Actions taken to combat human trafficking vary from government to government. Some have introduced legislation specifically aimed at making human trafficking illegal. Governments can also develop systems of co-operation between different nation’s law enforcement agencies and with non-government organisations (NGOs).

Other actions governments could take is raise awareness. This can take on three forms. Firstly in raising awareness amongst potential victims, in particular in countries where human traffickers are active. Secondly, raising awareness amongst police, social welfare workers and immigration officers. And in countries where prostitution is legal or semi-legal, raising awareness amongst the clients of prostitution, to look out for signs of a human trafficking victim.
Raising awareness can take on different forms. One method is through the use of awareness films or through posters.
Only You Can Prevent Slavery

The National MultiCultural Institute works with individuals, organizations and communities in creating a society that is strengthened and empowered by its diversity. Fighting human trafficking is one of NMCI’s major goals.

“Each year about 17,500 individuals are brought into the United States and held against their will as victims of human trafficking.”

Some estimate the number is as high as 60,000 annually. These numbers do not include those who are migrants already in the United States, runaways, displaced persons, those from oppressed/marginalized groups and the poor."
Combating human trafficking is a daunting task and emergency healthcare providers have a critical role to play.

Medical providers are a frontline of defense for victims - especially providers in an emergency department setting. Victims present here, often with their traffickers, and receive medical attention but not the further help they need to remove them from the environment that places their lives at risk daily. Emergency healthcare providers often miss the signs of human trafficking, mistake the signs for intimate partner violence, and are rarely aware of how to help. Instead victims are sent back "home" with their traffickers. This situation can change and it must.
Emergency care providers must identify these victims and provide the opportunity for appropriate treatment. This website contains information to give practitioners a basic introduction to what human trafficking is, the clinical presentation of such patients, and the unique treatment needs of this patient population. Click on the "Educational Tools" tab for helpful instruments in educating providers at your institution.
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What Human Trafficking & Slavery May Look Like?
A young girl in Russia is promised a good job in France as a child care worker, ends up in Germany as a brothel worker.
A child in India is abducted from his parents’ home and taken to work in a carpet factory hundreds of miles away.
A young girl in Thailand is sold by her parents to work in the big city, is forced into prostitution, and trafficked to Tokyo.
A young 7 year old boy in the Sudan is captured by marauders and made to live with herd animals for 10 years in servitude to a local family.
A young Mexican man is captured at the U.S. border and forced to work in agriculture in Florida or in construction in Iowa, or in prostitution in Los Angeles.
A Moldovan woman is promised restaurant work and is trafficked via Ukraine to Turkey for prostitution.
A West African woman asked by her aunt to come to the U.S. on a domestic worker visa, is on call 24 hours a day, abused and never allowed to leave the household.
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Modern Day Slavery - Human Trafficking
A Human Security Crisis of Global Proportions
Human Trafficking – An Overview
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2007 Trafficking in Persons Report
Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Remarks at the Release of the 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report
Washington, DC
June 12, 2007
As Prepared

Good morning. Thank you Secretary Rice. It is an honor to succeed Ambassador John Miller as Director of an extraordinary office, dedicated to ending a deeply dehumanizing form of exploitation.

Human trafficking, or trafficking in persons, is modern-day slavery.

At the heart of U.S. efforts to end human trafficking is our commitment to protect human dignity. Every day, all over the world,

people are coerced into bonded labor,
bought and sold in prostitution,
exploited in domestic servitude,
enslaved in agricultural work or in factories,
and captured to serve unlawfully as child soldiers.
Estimates of the number of victims vary widely. According to U.S. Government estimates, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. About 80 percent are female, and up to half are minors. These figures do not include millions who are trafficked into labor and sexual slavery within national borders.

Stomach-wrenching individual stories of suffering tell more than the aggregate numbers. And these are the people who motivate everyone active in the movement to abolish human trafficking.

Let me tell you about one victim. At age 22, Ko Maung left Burma with his new bride to find work in a neighboring country. He took a job on a fishing boat for two years because he was promised good money, $70 per month. But the boat stayed at sea for three years and the workers were fed only fish and rice. They didn't get enough vitamins, so they began to starve. They were denied medical care or passage home. The "good job" was a floating death camp. One by one, the men began to perish, including Ko Maung. His body was dumped overboard. So were the exhausted, malnourished bodies of 29 other modern-day slaves. The 60 fishermen who survived weren't paid at all. Police refuse to prosecute the employer, since there are no bodies to prove a crime.

In a climate of official indifference, with forced labor violations typically not criminalized, desperate migrant laborers are especially vulnerable to force, fraud, and coercion-the fundamental markers of human trafficking. The seventh annual Trafficking in Persons Report is dedicated to Ko Maung and to his grieving family.

The purpose of this Report is to call the world's attention to the existence of modern-day slavery, and the desperate need to eliminate it the same way the world ended the African slave trade more than a century ago.

Human trafficking plagues every country including the United States.

The Report covers 164 countries and territories, together comprising 85 percent of the world. It ranks 151 countries and territories where some 100 cases of human trafficking or more have been identified. It spells out what countries are doing on prosecution, protection, and prevention, and what more we can do together on all three fronts.

The U.S. Government is committed to taking action, in cooperation with other nations. The process of bilateral diplomatic engagement to mitigate the problems documented in the Report goes on throughout the year.

Our sources of information include U.S. Embassies, NGOs worldwide, brave activists, foreign law enforcement, and staff visits feed into the mix. Extensive analysis, based on criteria provided by Congress, goes into the assignment of country's into Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 "Watch List," or Tier 3.

A country falls into Tier 3 if its government is not making significant effort to combat human trafficking. A Tier 3 country can be sanctioned if it does not take serious concerted anti-slavery action in the next 90 days.

Sadly, this year, the list of countries on Tier 3 has grown due to a lack of effort by these governments to combat this serious transnational crime. A total of 16 countries are in Tier 3; 7 dropped to Tier 3 last year: Algeria, Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, and Qatar.

It is especially disappointing that so many wealthy countries of the Near East, that are not lacking adequate resources to make significant progress to end these crimes, are on Tier 3. Saudi Arabia is on Tier 3 for a third year.

These are countries that rely extensively on foreign migrant labor. Practices such as "sponsorship laws" create conditions that make guest workers especially vulnerable to trafficking in this region.

"Sponsorship laws" give employers extensive personal authority over workers, allowing them to control movement and legal status. There are cases of workers escaping abuse in private homes or worksites. They flee to local police. But if their sponsor denies them an exit permit to leave the country, the exploited worker is effectively held hostage in a shelter or police detention center, sometimes for years.

The power given to sponsors over foreign workers should be limited and counter-balanced with rights for workers to seek legal redress.

And governments in destination countries should be more active in protecting workers.

Thirty-two countries are on Tier 2 Watch list, the same as last year. Tier 2 Watch list should be a warning. Unfortunately, too many major countries on Tier 2 Watch List have ignored this warning, year after year.

India, Mexico, and Russia are on Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year.

Armenia, China, and South Africa are on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year.

For all Tier 3 and Tier 2 Watch countries, the U.S. outlines a short-term action plan through which to spur bilateral commitment and specific action.

Tier 2 Watch list is not supposed to become a parking lot for governments lacking the will or interest to stop exploitation and enslavement on their soil. We stand ready to cooperate with these nations and support any efforts they make to end this travesty within their borders. Those governments must take action if they wish to improve their standing in the Report.

On a positive note, 10 governments ranked on Tier 2 Watch list last September (when the President made final determinations on Tier status) moved up to Tier 2 on this Report.

Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Israel, Taiwan, Peru, and Jamaica, were among those 10, moving up to Tier 2, based on significant new efforts. Belize moved up from Tier 3 to Tier 2 in one year.

The Government of Brazil renewed its commitment to confronting slave labor in the Amazon with a number of new measures.

The Government of Indonesia enacted a sweeping counter-trafficking law providing protection for all victims including migrant laborers who are fraudulently recruited for overseas work but fall into trafficking traps.

Last week, a raid in Taiwan demonstrated a welcome, new attitude: Working with U.S. law enforcement, Taiwan broke up a cross-border trafficking ring, arresting 12 people suspected of trafficking women to the U.S. and other countries where they were exploited in prostitution and pornography.

Countries that have established credentials in good governance and rule of law are more likely to move quickly in protecting victims of trafficking and handing down justice to exploiters.

For example, while China resists joining the international community in upholding universal anti-trafficking standards, Taiwan's vibrant civil society and democratic character have helped it adopt significant reforms over the past year.

Three countries appear this year in Tier 1 for the first time: Georgia, Hungary, and Slovenia.

Georgia's performance is particularly notable considering it is the only Tier 1 country in a region struggling to strengthen the rule of law. Georgia has shown admirable political commitment in confronting human trafficking. Georgia's improvement includes efforts to prevent girls and women from being lured into the global sex trade where exploiters turn women and girls into mere commodities, with their bodies for sale.

Young girls and unsuspecting women are often lured or kidnapped or sold into the omnivorous sex industry. The link between prostitution and sex trafficking is indisputable, which is why we must move with more creativity and commitment against the demand for victims.

Prostitution is not a victimless crime. It ruins lives from Mexico to Malta, from Tel Aviv to Tokyo, and from Albany, New York to Abuja, Nigeria.

Sexual servitude is a particularly grotesque face of human trafficking. The Report is interspersed with stories of survivors who have been aided by U.S. programs that demonstrate the U.S. Government's strong commitment to rescue and rehabilitate innocent victims.

Let me point out two worrisome trends highlighted in the 2007 Report: The use of debt as a tool of coercion, and stalled progress in strengthening rule of law.

First, in both labor and sexual exploitation, illegal or illegitimate debt is increasingly used to keep people in servitude. This debt is used by traffickers as an instrument of coercion.

How does it work?

First, people are enticed into fraudulent offers of work abroad that require a steep payment up front for the services of a labor agency arranging the job or a payment that goes straight to the future employer.

To pay the fee, workers often borrow money from relatives and friends or they mortgage property.

Sometimes, additional debt is added at the place of employment-inflated fees for supposed costs of room and board, or equipment. Sometimes, new, unexpected transportation fees are added. The debt becomes exorbitant, yet workers are trapped into trying to pay it off. For years!

This debt is as effective as overt force in keeping them in bondage, yet invisible and often overlooked by criminal investigators.

In trafficking for prostitution, we are increasingly aware of debt being used to coerce and control victims. Daily fees charged by brothel owners for rent, food, drugs, even condoms, create an inescapable financial burden that amounts to debt bondage-a form of human trafficking.

Second, The 2007 TIP Report reflects our overall sense that progress on the critical front of rule of law appears to have stalled.

Democracy and rule of law are crucial to fighting human trafficking. And fighting trafficking is crucial to the future of democracy worldwide since trafficking is one of the most brutal forms of disempowerment of women worldwide.

This lack of progress on rule of law can be traced to official corruption and criminal complicity on one hand, and indifference on the other. These passive and active factors perpetuate abuse-despite increased public awareness, and despite extraordinary bravery on the part of activists and NGOs around the world.

It hurts my heart to share with you this very recent example which typifies the confluence of officials' complicity and indifference in the face of heroism to end modern-day slavery.

One of the heroes highlighted in this year's Report, Kailash Satyarthi of the Indian NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) prompted the rescue of 92 Bengali children enslaved in goldsmith and jewelry factories in India's capital city, New Delhi.

The children were forced to eat, sleep, and labor in workshops, 10 to a room. Dangerous chemicals were used for making gold ornaments in the same rooms they were kept, 24 hours a day. Most of the children were under age 14. According to the children, many were physically and sexually abused.

Just days after this rescue-which didn't result in any arrests-the factory owners, managers, and their thugs showed up at BBA's shelter with iron rods, sticks, and bricks. They tried to recapture the children. Shelter staff members were injured. When police finally responded, no one was arrested. The connections and clout of these traffickers were enough, apparently, to thwart justice.

India has the world's largest labor trafficking problem, with hundreds of thousands of sex trafficking victims, and millions of bonded laborers, including forced child laborers. And as for debt: Sometimes debt is passed between generations of a caste treated as less than human by their fellow humankind, in India. In India, there is no national anti-trafficking effort, no recognition of bonded labor, and poor efforts against sex trafficking. The world's largest democracy has the world's largest problem of human trafficking.

The goal of this report is not to punish, but to stimulate government action-in concert with the United States-to end modern-day slavery as well as to celebrate the heroism of those helping spare victims from pain.

The Report identifies anti-trafficking heroes from around the world and commendable practices. Individuals and local initiatives can make a difference in leading path-breaking efforts to protect victims, increase global awareness, and prosecute criminals. I urge you to review these inspirational examples on pages 38-41 of the Report.

The United States is deeply committed to fulfilling its responsibilities in the fight against trafficking in persons within our own borders as well. We have a problem at home which we are confronting forcefully, and we are a partner to those abroad, including through substantial, compassionate funding: In fiscal year 2006, we contributed more than $74 million abroad, funding 154 international projects in 70 countries. Since FY 2001, the US Government has funded more than $448 million to fight human trafficking.

Modern slavery has been met with a powerful movement-those seeking its abolition in the 21st century-assuming the mantles of William Wilberforce and Josephine Butler.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for joining us. By broadcasting this tragic but true story you help prevent this widespread crime against human dignity and give victims hope for escape.

7 Nations Added to Trafficking Blacklist
The Bush administration on Tuesday added seven nations, including several key U.S. allies in the Middle East, to its human trafficking blacklist.

Countries going on this list are subject to possible sanctions for not doing enough to halt the flow of women and child sex slaves as well as laborers and domestic workers.

Among the new countries getting a failing grade were Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, which along with Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Malaysia, join perennial offenders like Myanmar (Burma), Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria in the State Department's annual "Trafficking in Persons Report."

Sixteen states in all — four more than in 2006 — were given so-called "Tier 3" status in the 236-page survey of global efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking that covers sex workers, forced child labor, child soldiers, involuntary and bonded servitude.

The ranking means they "do not fully comply with the minimum standards (to fight trafficking) and are not making significant efforts to do so," which makes them eligible for U.S. economic sanctions.

Three countries that had been placed on "Tier 3" in 2006 — Belize, Laos and Zimbabwe — were promoted to "Tier 2" this year for improving their records, according to the report.

Bahrain, the Persian Gulf home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, was cited for failing to crack down on human traffickers who are bringing in men, women and children for forced labor or commercial sex work, the report says.

"Bahrain made no discernible progress in preventing trafficking this year," it said, noting that laws aimed at protecting foreign workers, many from South and Southeast Asia, are not enforced and that authorities are not seriously investigating alleged widespread abuses.

Oil-rich Kuwait "made modest progress in preventing trafficking in persons this year," the report said, but added that "Kuwaiti efforts to improve its protection of victims of human trafficking had little effect."

Oman was cited for not applying and enforcing existing laws against human trafficking as well failing to distribute pamphlets aimed at educating foreign workers about their rights, it said.

Qatar, long accused by the United States of ignoring the plight of child camel jockeys, was demoted from "Tier 2" to "Tier 3" this year for not enacting legislation to outlaw all forms of human trafficking and for producing only two convictions among numerous cases of alleged abuse of domestic servants, according to the report.

The complete list of "Tier 3" countries identified in this year's report is: Algeria, Bahrain, Myanmar, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

Human Trafficking

US puts Middle East allies on human trafficking blacklist
WASHINGTON (Thomson Financial) - The US' Middle East allies Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, as well as Malaysia were added today to a Washington blacklist of countries trafficking in people, the State Department said.

Algeria and Guinea were the other additions to the blacklist of the State Department's annual 'Trafficking in Persons Report,' which analysed efforts in about 150 countries to combat trafficking for forced labor, prostitution, military service and other purposes.

The seven countries, all of which were on a special watch list last year, join Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Venezuela in the dreaded 'Tier 3' list as the worst offenders in human trafficking.

Being on the blacklist, they could face sanctions, including withholding by the United States of non-humanitarian, non-trade related foreign aid.

Countries that receive no such foreign assistance would be subject to withholding of funding for participation by government officials in educational and cultural exchange programs.

'Defeating human trafficking is a great moral calling of our day,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in the 236-page report.

'Together with our allies and friends, we will continue our efforts to bring this cruel practice to an end,' she said.

US government research shows 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, about 80 pct of them women and girls and up to half of them minors, the State Department said.

The majority of victims are females trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, it said.

Belize, Laos and Zimbabwe were removed from the blacklist this year.

Singapore, which had been in the Tier 1 list, was relegated to Tier 2 this year.
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Trafficking of Women & Children

U.S. raps several Arab allies for human trafficking
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States accused its Arab allies Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar on Tuesday of being among the world's worst offenders in permitting the sale of people into the sex trade and indentured servitude.

In an annual report on human trafficking, the United States included the four in a list of 16 countries subject to possible U.S. sanctions, including the loss of U.S. aid and U.S. support for loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The others in this category were Algeria, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

Under U.S. law, these countries have three months to improve their record before being slapped with sanctions. The Bush administration can also choose not to impose sanctions if it deems this appropriate.

"Trafficking in persons is a modern-day form of slavery," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an introduction to the report. "Perpetrators prey on the most weak among us, primarily women and children, for profit and gain."
Victim of trafficking presented at conference
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A VIETNAMESE victim of human trafficking was introduced to the participants at the inter-regional conference on migrant workers’ rights which concluded in Doha yesterday.
Nguyen Van Dung, aged 23, said that he was duped into working for a Qatari construction company eight months ago. However, the company turned out to be fake.
He and some other Vietnamese and Nepalese who came to work for the same company found themselves stranded in Doha airport for days.
Vice-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Nabil Rajab, who introduced Dung to the participants, said he was a victim of human trafficking by both the recruitment agencies in his homeland and by the system here.
“It cost Dung QR8,000 to come here. He sold lots of his properties just to find an opportunity here. There are thousands of Dung in several countries, not only in Qatar,” he said, while appealing to the participants to help him find a solution to his problem.
Mohamed Fouad, an adviser at the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), said that Dung’s trafficking crime took place in Vietnam. “We have a clear policy toward such abuses. We blacklist the company committing the crime. The Human Rights Committee has set up an office and a 24-hour hotline in the airport so that stranded workers can report their cases to the committee from the airport. We are always trying to help them, either finding them alternative sponsor or helping them to return to their home countries,” he said.
However, Fouad admitted that Qatar’s labour law has a few loopholes. The NHRC has suggested that they be plugged. “Qatar’s labour law is generally in compliance with the relevant international conventions. But the main problem lies in the sponsorship law issued in 1963. This law would be abrogated and replaced by a new one which the NHRC has reviewed,” he said.
Amal Ibrahim, an expert at the National Office for Combating Human Trafficking, also blamed the trafficking on the victims’ countries of origin saying that they have been firstly duped by people in their countries. “We have received those stranded workers and reported their cases to their diplomatic missions here after finding out that the exploitation crime was committed in their countries,” she added.


"Human trafficking is so hidden, you don't know who you're fighting — the victims are so scared, they're not going to tell you what's happening to them," said Zambian Given Kachepa, a former victim of a ring that exploited Zambian orphans touring the United States in a boys choir.

Embassy builders in Iraq accused of human trafficking

The Department of Justice is investigating whether or not a Kuwaiti construction firm contracted to build the US Embassy in Iraq has carried out human trafficking with its laborers, according to a report in Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

"The Department of Justice launched the probe of First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Co. after former employees alleged that workers at the company were told they were being sent to Dubai, only to wind up in Iraq instead... First Kuwaiti confiscated the workers' passports, so they were unable to depart Baghdad, these people said," wrote Yochi J. Dreazen.

The Kuwaiti company denied a Justice Department investigation was going on, and said the State Department had already found no violations of the workers' rights.

Indeed, the State Department's Inspector General reported that there was "no evidence of Trafficking in Persons violations...[workers] were being paid and had the ability to quit at any time...and return to their home country."

Still, Dreazen writes that the charges may be credible.

"While Justice may ultimately clear the company of the present allegations, its involvement suggests they are serious enough to merit investigation," he wrote.

Iraqis were not hired by First Kuwaiti for the $592 million project out of fear that they could compromise the project's security.

"Instead, it hired nationals from poor countries such as Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan," the Journal notes.

Dreazen's full report can be read at this Link

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Britain to help in checking human trafficking

With concerns rising in New Delhi over human trafficking and cheating of Indian girls by NRIs through marriage, Britain has promised to take steps to address these.

"We welcome people in the UK coming through proper process. But those coming illegally are not entitled to be there," visiting British Minister of State for Legal Affairs Baronness Ashton told media.

Ashton, who met Law Minister H R Bhardwaj and a top official of the Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), said Britain was ready to work with India in prevention of illegal movement of people from India to Britain.

Human trafficking has been a concern in India and it got serious after recent detection of alleged involvement of MPs in the illegal activity.

BJP MP Babubhai Katara was arrested at the Delhi airport last month when he was allegedly trying to smuggle out a woman and a boy on the passports of his wife and son. Investigations that followed have indicated involvement of some other Parliamentarians in such illegal activity.

Ashton, who is here to work out a mechanism for cooperation between legal services of the two countries, also promised steps in the cases where Britain-based NRIs cheat Indian girls through marriage.

"We are keen to see if we can help in addressing that," when referred to concerns about NRIs indulging in dubious marriages.

Modern Day Slavery: Slaves Among Us

Highlighting human trafficking
Saatchi and Saatchi has joined forces with the International Organisation for Migration's (IOM) Southern African Counter-Trafficking Assistance Programme (SACTAP) to create a television advertisement message aimed at raising awareness of human traffickers operating on the continent.

The TV ad conveys the chilling duplicity of human traffickers and will be flighted on SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and e.tv in primetime slots, as well as CNN and BBC World on DStv, which broadcasts throughout southern Africa.

Saatchi & Saatchi creative director (Jhb) Liam Wielopolski says an enormous amount of corporate goodwill has driven the advertisement's development and expanded the scale of its play: “Production house Fresh-Eye Productions, SABC and e.tv were brought on board, making significant in-kind contributions to support the cause.

“We were all touched by the work being done by IOM and the difference they make to women who are trapped in appalling conditions.”

The ad story focuses on a young rural African woman who is lured to travel to SA with the false promise of a modelling career. The woman is not aware of her trafficker's deceptive ploys, but the audience is alerted through a series of subliminal phrases that appear around her – in text on a passing taxi and via graffiti on a wall, for example.

Subtitles reveal truth

These subtitles reveal the truth: the girl is being trafficked into forced prostitution. The advert features IOM's counter-trafficking helpline for South Africa – 0800 555 999 – and IOM hopes the advert will help reach and assist more victims.

Based on research in the region since 2002, IOM believes that trafficking in persons is flourishing in Southern Africa, with South Africa and its expanding sex industry the main destination for trafficked women in the region.

IOM estimates that at least 1000 women are trafficked from Mozambique each year into SA, with poverty a huge factor in their susceptibility. IOM is also aware of women trafficked to SA from South East Asia, Eastern Europe and other African countries.

Karen Blackman, SACTAP's information and awareness raising specialist, says: “Human trafficking is happening in Southern Africa today, but awareness levels are worryingly low. We hope that this advert will raise awareness levels and increase calls to our counter-trafficking helpline. This has been a dynamic partnership with Saatchi and Saatchi and IOM wishes to thank them and everyone else who dedicated their incredible talents to this project.”

The 30-second ad will be screened a total of 94 times over a two-week period
Human trafficking Ad - UN

Human Trafficking Commercial

Stop Human Trafficking

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NGOs Work To Eradicate Human Trafficking, Help Victims
Worldwide efforts raise awareness and thwart illegal activities
Washington -- U.S.-funded nongovernmental organizations around the world are working to prevent human trafficking, provide resources to victims and arrest and prosecute child-sex offenders.

From Africa to Europe to Asia, initiatives are raising worldwide awareness of the illegal practice of human trafficking.

According to the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, human trafficking involves forced or coercive methods of transporting individuals, including children, for purposes that include sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Trafficking victims, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, have “either never consented or, if they initially consented, that consent has been rendered meaningless by the coercive, deceptive or abusive actions of the traffickers.”


In West Africa, the Lutrena Project for the Mobilization and Building Capacity of Road Haulers, a local NGO, formed an alliance with the National Truckers Union in Burkina Faso to intercept and repatriate human trafficking victims.

The project established an anti-trafficking alert system at bus stations in seven of the 13 regions where child trafficking is prevalent and successfully intercepted 549 children, including four girls, in 2006 and enabled the prosecution of 29 traffickers.

The anti-trafficking network in Burkina Faso includes representatives of truckers' unions, security forces and social action and religious groups who identify and report suspected trafficking situations.

In Cambodia, the ChildSafe network, created and managed by the NGO Friends International, helps crack down on child-sex tourism by training drivers of moto-taxis to identify and report suspicious behavior by tourists who may intend to exploit children.

The ChildSafe project has trained 36 moto-taxi drivers and employees of 25 guesthouses to identify and protect children who are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in Sihanoukville, a beach resort town.

Shakti Samuaha in Nepal is the first NGO in the world formed by trafficking survivors, and more than 120 survivors attended its conference in March to commemorate International Women’s Day. Conference participants focused on preventing human trafficking of vulnerable populations, particularly adolescent girls, and providing rehabilitative services for other trafficking survivors.

The NGO INCIDIN, a prominent advocate of children’s rights in Bangladesh, works to prevent underage male prostitution in the country. INCIDIN has worked to shed light on this phenomenon and to remove the stigma of discussing it. INCIDIN opened a night shelter for street children in Dhaka and worked with the government of Bangladesh to expand the program to other parts of the country.


In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the NGO Vasa Prava provides free legal assistance to victims of human trafficking. Founded in 1996, the organization runs 16 permanent offices and 50 mobile units, staffed by 80 employees. It has assisted more than 400,000 Bosnians. Attorneys from Vasa Prava are available to domestic victims from the time they arrive at a shelter, and they arrange residency permits and asylum applications for foreign victims.

Victims assisted by Vasa Prava are more likely to testify against their traffickers in criminal proceedings, and their testimony has led to the conviction of several notorious traffickers and organized crime rings.

In Malawi, police officers specially trained to recognize child victims of exploitation, including trafficking, are raising community awareness and helping grassroots organizations provide reintegration assistance for victims. Nearly 400 child protection officers in the country’s 27 local government districts are serving a critical role by monitoring communities for signs of trafficking, and they identify about half of the reported trafficking cases in Malawi.


Soccer stars in Germany and South Africa are calling attention to the issue of human trafficking by kicking off public awareness campaigns.

The government of Germany, international organizations and NGOs initiated prevention and protection measures for the 2006 World Cup in mid-2005 that serve as an effective model for future large-scale international sporting events.

More than a year before the World Cup began, German law enforcement authorities developed specialized strategies to prevent and investigate sex trafficking during the games, including an overall World Cup National Security concept, a state-federal law enforcement information-sharing network and greater police presence in prostitution districts.

Politicians and public figures at all levels promoted anti-trafficking efforts during the World Cup, and government-funded public campaigns conducted by NGOs supported 24-hour telephone hotlines for trafficking victims and World Cup attendees. Posters and flyers were displayed in key areas where fans gathered to watch games on large outdoor screens, reaching a much larger audience than previous anti-trafficking campaigns.

South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs wore T-shirts with a countertrafficking message and the toll-free telephone number of the NGO International Organization for Migration during the pre-game warm-up of a Premier Soccer League match in 2006. The game, which was nationally televised, officially inaugurated the country’s National Human Trafficking Awareness campaign, aimed at reducing the crime before the 2010 World Cup, which South Africa will host.


An elite police unit in the Czech Republic is tasked with combating labor trafficking. The unit coordinates with labor inspectors who enforce laws on working conditions and strengthens intragovernmental cooperation in forced labor investigations and prosecutions.

In Cambodia, the NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) helps police arrest traveling child-sex offenders. As a result of APLE’s work in 2006, Cambodian authorities arrested 21 pedophiles and child-sex offenders. APLE works with local police and judicial officials to facilitate greater coordination with foreign police officials and provide legal counsel to victims.
There is nothing pretty about the trading of women for sex and there is no happy ending.

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Human trafficking during World Cup 2006

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Lives for Sale excerpt

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Sex Trafficking

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Anonymous said...

WOW!! What a tremendous amount of useful information regarding this most henious crime. well done and thanks

Ethics in said...


Ex-Museveni Maid Sues Whitaker

The Monitor (Kampala)
6 July 2007
Posted to the web 5 July 2007

By Grace Matsiko

An American adviser to the NRM government on trade and investment has lost a preliminary appeal in a U.S. court to dismiss a fraud case filed against her by her Ugandan housemaid.

Ms Idah Zirintusa, a former State House employee, sued Ms Rosa Whitaker in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for fraud, unjust enrichment, and illegal interference with her earlier contract with State House.

Ms Zirintusa alleges in court papers that Ms Whitaker entered into a three-year oral employment contract with her promising four times the wage she earned in Uganda, full tuition at an American college, food, and shelter.

It is further alleged that Ms Whitaker promised Ms Zirintusa to make separate payments to support her family in Uganda.

In the pleadings, a copy of which Daily Monitor has obtained, Ms Zirintusa further says that Ms Whitaker violated various provisions of the US Fair Labour Standards Act, D.C. Payment and Collection of Wages Law, and D.C. Minimum Wage Act by failing to pay her the minimum wage and overtime fee to which she was entitled for the domestic services she provided Ms Whitaker and her friend Ms Pauline Harris.

Ms Whitaker worked as the assistant U.S. trade representative for Africa under President Bill Clinton, and during the early years of Mr George W. Bush's presidency.

In that job, she "developed and implemented the African Growth and Opportunity Act and other bilateral and multilateral trade policy initiatives towards Africa".

When she left the trade representative's office, Ms Whitaker founded The Whitaker Group, a consultancy firm that advises several African countries, including Uganda, on international business issues.

The Whitaker Group officials were recently in Uganda pushing for increased production of organic cotton to make apparel for the American market.

In her defence, Ms Whitaker argues that Ms Zirintusa could not sustain her claims because she was not legally permitted to work in the United States.

She also argues that her accuser is not entitled to overtime pay under either federal or Washington D.C. law because Ms Zirintusa lived in her employer's home - in this case Ms Whitaker's home.

Ms Whitaker bases her defence in part on the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) which makes it illegal for aliens to sue for breach of contract. In its ruling, however, the judge allowed Ms Zirintusa to proceed with the suit.

The court stated that nothing in IRCA prohibits undocumented workers from asserting their labour rights under the US Fair Labor Standards Act.

The court also ruled that Ms Whitaker acted fraudulently when she "made material misstatements of fact" in January 2003, September 2003, and July 2004.

The court found that Ms Whitaker falsely promised Ms Zirintusa that if she accepted her offer of employment, the American lobbyist would provide payments for the care and support of the accuser's family in Uganda.

According to the court's ruling, Ms Whitaker made these representations knowing they were false and Ms Zirintusa reasonably relied on the misstatements to sell her possessions at a significant loss and leave her family in Uganda to work for Ms Whitaker in the United States.

"The Court finds that these facts are sufficient to overcome a motion for judgment on the pleadings," reads part of the January 3, 2007 ruling.

Ms Zirintusa, who once worked as a catering officer at State House Nakasero, arrived in the United States on August 18, 2004 on a student visa.

On the issue of unjust enrichment, the court held that Ms Zirintusa proved that Ms Harris had received a benefit at Ms Zirintusa's expense by accepting domestic services without paying for those services.

Ms Zirintusa, who still lives in the United States, is now demanding full compensation for the value of the services rendered.

The court is yet to set a date to hear the Ugandan's compensation claims against Ms Whitaker. Efforts to reach both women for further comment were unsuccessful.

President Museveni's press secretary said he was not aware of the case. "If it is true that there was an employment agreement," Mr Tamale Mirundi said, "then that lady has a right to sue."