Chula Vista hosts anti-trafficking forumInternational Network of Hearts, a nonprofit organization that helps children recover from human trafficking, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office jointly hosted a Binational Human Trafficking Conference at Chula Vista City Hall on March 16. Interim District Attorney Summer Stephan said the purpose of the conference is to bring together governmental and non-governmental organizations from both sides of the border to strengthen collaborations in the fight against human trafficking in the region. She said the district attorney’s sex crime and human trafficking division is doing all it can to combat human trafficking. She said the district attorney’s office uses a “Four Ps Formula,” to combat human trafficking. The formula is the same one used by the U.S. Department of Justice and California Department of Justice. The formula focuses on prevention by stopping trafficking before it begins by educating children, teachers and communities. The second part of the formula is the protection of trafficking victims; the third P is prosecution, effectively prosecute human trafficking offenders; lastly the formula ends with partnerships, the district attorney’s office creates partnerships to help victims recover. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Human Trafficking is the fastest growing form of organized crime in the world and is tied in second place with the illegal arms trade. Alma Tucker, president of the International Network of Hearts, said her organization has seen a rise of human trafficking victims throughout the years. “The crime of human trafficking is growing and growing and it’s very profitable,” Tucker said. Adam Braverman, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said that human trafficking is one of the world’s most lucrative and fastest growing illicit enterprises in the world. “The trafficking of men, women and children for labor or sex is so appalling and so pervasive in our country and around the world,” he said. “It is one of the department of justice’s top priorities and one of the top priorities for our office.” He said his office has seen an increase in human trafficking cases filed, defendants arrested and defendants convicted for human trafficking crimes. He said just last year, the Department of Justice convicted more than 500 individuals for human trafficking. Braverman said in 2014 it was estimated that proceeds from human trafficking where as high as $150 billion world-wide. Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said human trafficking affects children, teenagers and women the most. She said the San Diego-Tijuana border is the busiest land crossing in the world and makes San Diego County an international gateway for human trafficking. Kennedy added that Chula Vista is seven miles from the San Diego – Tijuana border. “In Chula Vista, we are doing our part to combat trafficking by aggressively investigating this appalling crime using two different units at our department – our family protection union and our special investigations unit,” she said. Kennedy said both units regularly work sting operations at the city with the San Diego Human Trafficking Taskforce. See full article here
Binational cooperation is required to tackle human trafficking, Tijuanenses question the resources used to guard U.S. President Trump and more in our biweekly roundup of border news.
San Diego’s Human Trafficking Problem Requires Binational WorkSan Diego was identified as one of the Federal Bureau of Investigations highest sex trafficking areas in the country back in 2003 — and the problem hasn’t gone away. The city’s location, adjacent to Tijuana and on the busiest border crossing in the Western hemisphere, plays a big role in why we see so much human trafficking in the region. That’s why nonprofits, government prosecutors and survivors of human trafficking from both Baja California and San Diego gathered in Chula Vista on Friday to strengthen their collaboration in combating human trafficking. “It’s about the network,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan. “We can only beat it by working together and leaving no border where they can run to.” The binational conference was organized by International Network of Hearts, a nonprofit that helps victims of human trafficking, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office. Just the night before the conference, dozens of men were taken into custody during a sex trafficking sting in the Mission Valley area. “It’s one of the world’s most lucrative illicit practices,” said Southern District of California U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. According to a 2015 study from the University of San Diego, human trafficking is the second largest underground economy in San Diego after drug trafficking. The study estimated that, in 2013, the illicit sex economy in San Diego garnered roughly $810 million in annual revenue. Since that 2015 study, some progress has been made in addressing human trafficking in the region, but prosecuting the crimes remains a challenge. Eric Roscoe, an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California, revealed during one of the panel sessions that his most successful human trafficking case took three years to prosecute and, though two victims had been assaulted on the same night by the same perpetrator, the case resulted in an acquittal — exemplifying how difficult these cases can be to prosecute. Roscoe said that the victims gained some relief in being able to speak out. Working across the border, officials in Baja California focus their efforts on education and prevention, trying to raise general awareness of human trafficking and associated crimes and improving their efforts to identify and help victims. “Slavery continues to this day,” said Hector Orozco, a prosecutor of trafficking crimes for the Baja California Attorney General’s office, in Spanish. “The worst thing is that now they are invisible slaves, because before we saw people in shackles and we knew they were slaves.” See full article here
When Alma Tucker learned of cross-border sex trafficking, she had to act
PROGRESS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKINGThose trying to cross the border from Mexico to the US risk being abused or trafficked. Alma Tucker has created a safe home for girls caught in this trade. By Brooke Binkowski, Contributor JANUARY 14, 2016
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UC San Diego Researchers Study Prevalence Of Minors In Tijuana’s Sex Trade
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that 1,000 individuals participated in the study instead of 600.
The Underage Girls Of Mexico's Sex Trade: Hope Amid The Horror
The Catholic Church signed an agreement on Monday in the Vatican with representatives of Islam and the Anglican Church that is committed to fighting to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking worldwide by 2020 and to encourage other confessions to join the fight. The statement stresses that "modern slavery and human trafficking is a crime against humanity" and that "the physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children condemn 30 million people to inhumane conditions and degradation." This is a translation. Source: http://www.notisistema.com/noticias/firman-iglesias-acuerdo-para-erradicar-la-esclavitud-moderna/
MEXICO CITY, March 16 -. More than 70 percent of female victims of sexual exploitation in Mexico City at their release from traffickers returns to the world of prostitution due to the lack of job opportunities, therapeutic support and social stigma. 77 percent of 15 thousand sex workers that have turned to the Street Brigade Support organization Women Elisa Martínez, AC for 15 years that they claimed to be survivors of trafficking, continue in sex work "not because they like prostitution, not because they feel victimized, but because there are no other labor choices, for all women and men in this army of the sex trade. " Jaime Montejo, spokesman and founder of Street Brigade organization maintains that the authorities and the city's society "all women who engage in prostitution are victims" and they focus operations on victimizing prostitution without generating long-term options after their bailouts. The organization has 22 years of life, it trusts in the work made by the Central Office of Research for the Care of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons of the Attorney General of Justice of the Federal District (PGJDF), but believes that the solution to eradicating sexual exploitation is not through lockouts, but with the regularization and acceptance. Last week, in a historic event, 14 sex workers won an injunction through the first district judge in administrative matters, Paula Maria Garcia Villegas, because the GDF recognizes them as self-employed workers after 20 years of legal proceedings. With this resolution, Mexico City could be the first institution in the country to offer options to organize a first union; cooperatives to avoid the assigning of leaders that allow the trafficking of women and presence of pimps. What the judge says is that there are those who are forced into prostitution, and must be rescued, but there's willing prostitution, and those who decide to continue in prostitution, the GDF must guarantee their rights so that they are not extorted, don't suffer police abuse, and are not forced to testify against strangers. "The Secretary of Labor, Patricia Mercado, is offering opportunities to be reviewed for those who want to learn a different profession, with no obligations," Montejo said in an interview. She warned that this model will work if you allow the process to be personal. "If in this new rearrangement control of these documents is re-put in the hands of few, trafficking and pimping will be refounded, and a comprehensive law against trafficking will serve for nothing. Right now, it works for that when it's massive, it's known who has no birth certificate, who does not have IFE, who is a minor, and whether adult women without documents are likely to be reported missing in other states," she said . Street Brigade suggested that the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF) is present in the operations, because some women are in the sex industry by choice and they can't all be characterized as victims. He said that the closure of the tables in Cuajimalpa is only causing greater hiding in homes and communal areas. This is a translation. Source: http://www.excelsior.com.mx/comunidad/2014/03/16/948931
Today's edition of Marketplace will give you an insight into life at La Casa del Jardin.
A 19-year-old woman with a baby face covered in heavy makeup and a hestitant, toneless voice shares her experiences in the past year: an old friend asked her for help, again and again, until she agreed. He kidnapped her and forced her to work as a prostitute.Read the full article and listen to the audio clip at Marketplace Online.
"Alma On A Mission" is the cover story of the January, 2014 edition of local Chula Vista news magazine, SDPrime. The article describes life at La Casa del Jardin, a "safe-house" in Tijuana for survivors of human sex trafficking. Click on 2014-01-sdprime-alma-only to read the article or click on 2014-01-sdprime-full for a full copy of the January 2014 edition of SD Prime.