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Trafficking Offense Turned into an “Invisible” Crime in Indigenous Communities

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Mexico City. - Human trafficking has become an "invisible" crime in the indigenous communities, by virtue that their practice is confused with the customs prevailing in nearly 120 locations nationwide, which bring together eight million Mexicans. So said the Collective Against Trafficking in a training workshop realized within the Special Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The special committee chairman, Rep. Leticia Lopez Landeros (PAN), warned that eight-year old children , members of these communities, dream of being traffickers because they have become the prototype of those who have money, women and power" she therefore urged that the social and cultural problems be faced with public policy. This trend is registered in regions like Tenancingo, Tlaxcala, in one documented case, identified as the corridor Tlaxcala-Puebla, but is multiplied across the country, and are clearly identified targets of trafficking. "Poverty, marginalization, unemployment and lack of opportunities are exploited by organized crime to engage girls, children, adolescents, and women, which is a fact that the state authorities, from governors and mayors, do not accept that there are places of its entities devoted specifically to trafficking," said Lopez Landeros, federal legislator. PAN lawmaker said the government's failure to accept the presence of the crime of trafficking makes it more difficult to combat because it confuses and merges with traditional and customary practices in rural and indigenous communities. "Authorities do not accept this problem, on the contrary, they deny, keep it, and do nothing to fix it. This topic does not see colors, it is a background theme" that requires being addressed through comprehensive public policies, said the president of the Special Commission on Human Trafficking. She urged to confront this social phenomenon because it is disguised with the habits and customs of the indigenous and rural populations. Not only is it recorded in Tlaxcala, but in all the states, because this offense has acquired "subtle nuances, almost invisible" that occasionally complicate legal processes from being identified as trafficking in persons, and thus be classified as such. Another factor that contributes to strengthening the invisibility of the crime of trafficking in indigenous communities is the legal vacuum that prevails even in the recent General Act, passed last year, said Monica Salazar, representative of the Collective Against Trafficking Mexico , which brings together 15 social organizations. She explained that the existing legal framework does not include the indigenous population in terms of defining the offense of trafficking, because it merges with the customs prevailing in the communities, and brings up this scourge as normal and common in social life of these groups.

This is a translation. Source: http://www.oem.com.mx/laprensa/notas/n2947680.htm

Efforts of Fighting Human Trafficking Recognized in Baja California

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TIJUANA.-The American Consulate and social organizations recognized the efforts of Baja California in the fight against human trafficking, as a binational forum developed in Tijuana, as part of the celebrations of the abolition of slavery in the United States. In an event that took place in the American Consulate, Rosi Orozco, president of the United Association against Trafficking in Persons highlighted the way in which such cases have been processed in the State, as she also suggested the installation of a Call Center citizen, similar to what was installed in Mexico City. "Baja California is one of the few states that is addressing this problem, which is constantly fighting it, having most importantly rescued 118 human beings, but are only 6 federal entities that are fighting, that have statements, operations and that is to give the human being importance, "he said. Alma Tucker, president of International Network of Hearts handed out awards of the man and woman of the year to the attorney general, Rommel Moreno Manjarrez and the president of the municipal DIF, Carolina Garcia Bustamante, in this sense, Andrew Erickson, U.S. Consul stressed the importance of this forum. "But as a representative of my government, my hope for you is more transparency on the issue of trafficking in persons, is complicated, yesterday I had the good fortune of seeing the efforts of the government of Baja California and particularly of the Attorney Rommel Moreno in attacking trafficking in youth through programs of Baja California, "he said.

Jada Pinkett Smith Testifies Against Human Trafficking, Gets Support From Will and Willow

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Jada Pinkett Smith

The Smith family aren't just artists—they're activiststoo!

On Tuesday, Jada Pinkett Smith testified before Congress to bring attention to human trafficking in the United States and around the world.

Jada took the stand, but hubby Will and daughter Willow sat proudly behind her as she spoke her mind.

Per ABC News, Jada, 40, became interested in the plight of children forced into sexual slavery or used as soldiers after 11-year-old Willow showed her the Kony 2012 documentary.

"We need more adequate funding for programs that can actually, first, protect young women and men who are victims of trafficking and then also the programs that help transition our young people from those traumas into being able to create and develop lives so that they're not only survivors but they are thriving," the actress said. She also brought along three American survivors of human trafficking, telling Congress the young women "are not just surviving, but they're thriving."

It's nice to see this Hollywood fam supporting each other in supporting a cause.

Source: http://www.eonline.com/news/330955/jada-pinkett-smith-testifies-against-human-trafficking-gets-support-from-will-and-willow

Guyana slams US report on human trafficking

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GEORGETOWN—The Guyana government has denounced the latest US State Department report on human trafficking which contended that Georgetown has made no discernible progress in holding human trafficking offenders in Guyana accountable. It added that limited progress was made in preventing human trafficking during the reporting period.

Echoing previous editions of its annual report, the US State Department said: “Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. “Guyanese nationals have been subjected to human trafficking in other countries in the Caribbean region.

“Cases of human trafficking reported in the media generally involved women and girls in forced prostitution.” As in 2011, Guyana remains on Tier 2 in the latest report, which says that the government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.

Georgetown reacted on Wednesday via the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking with a detailed, strongly worded statement in which it claimed that the US report “fails to establish not one single fact.” It went on to state that the architects of the report “have not made significant progress in improving the veracity, coherence and validity of their annual assessments,” adding that the Task Force “considers the report an affront to its members…”

It condemned one aspect of the report as “a total falsehood.”

Source: http://m.guardian.co.tt/news/2012-07-09/guyana-slams-us-report-human-trafficking

Canada Stripping Visas for Foreign Strippers

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Canada's Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney

What’s this debate over Canada’s move to ban foreign strippers, escorts and massage-parlor workers really about? On one side, you have the Adult Entertainment Association, which is upset that the government is stripping away a pool of potential moneymaking workers, whereas on the other side, you have the government, which is saying that cutting back on human trafficking and exploitation is at the heart of the decision.

The Conservative Party government’s Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, announced that starting next month, Canada will no longer renew visas for foreigners working as strippers. Already the government has cut back on how many new visas it grants, down to just 12 in 2011. But it had been continuing to renew previous visas. Not anymore.

Kenney says the decision is part of a larger government effort to crack down on human trafficking, as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has expressed repeated concerns over the link between escort agencies, brothels and massage parlors and human-trafficking and sexual-exploitation cases.

The move will put hundreds of foreign strippers out of work in Canada and with no valid workers’ permit when their yearlong visas come up for renewal. The Globe and Mail reports that Kenney, in a speech given in Calgary, said, “The government cannot in good conscience continue to admit temporary foreign workers to work in businesses in sectors where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation.”

There could be anywhere from 500 to 700 women working in Canada on one-year visas. The Adult Entertainment Association says limiting access to the legal trade hurts the industry and creates a labor shortage. Other opponents of the move say it could have an adverse effect by pushing the industry underground and have threatened to hold workshops at universities to recruit foreign students to the industry, a loophole they plan to exploit.

But stories of repeated exploitation and abuse of exotic dancers in the legal industry have become widespread, according to the Globe and Mail. Women in Canada on a temporary visa are tied to a single employer, giving that employer quasi-power over the individual.

Source: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/07/08/canada-stripping-visas-for-foreign-strippers/

Mexico: Law against people trafficking and reforms to combat crimes against women

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  Mexico City, 13 June 2012. - President Calderón signed the decrees enacting the General Law on the Prevention, Sanction and Eradication of Crimes involving People Trafficking and the reforms to combat crimes against women, child abuse and crimes against human dignity.

In his address, he declared that the decrees were passed within the framework of the national security strategy comprising the three axes which, in addition to including the fight against criminals and the restoration of the social fabric, incorporate the reconstruction of law enforcement institutions and the strengthening of the normative framework. He declared that there is an urgent need to undertake reforms to make the authorities more efficient in the fight against crime. To this end, key legislative reforms have been undertaken regarding penal justice, human rights and injunctions. The decrees passed form part of these efforts.

The president subsequently described the main features of the General Law for the Prevention, Sanction and Eradication of Crimes regarding People Trafficking. He stressed that this is a general law, which closes legal loopholes and obliges the authorities at all levels of government to deal with this issue regardless of the division of skills. In addition, he explained that the new law clearly defines what people trafficking consists of, together with the appropriate sanctions. It regulates the reparation of the damage caused to victims in an integral, adequate, efficacious manner and ensures that the various forms of people trafficking are incorporated into the catalogue of crimes that may be committed by organized crime, by classifying them as serious crimes.

In regard to the reforms to combating crimes against women, the president declared that the crime of femicide has been incorporated into the Federal Penal Code and establishes a sentence of 40 to 60 years of prison for anyone who kills a woman for reasons of gender. He added that since this reform only applies at the federal level, all levels of government must adopt the new legislation. He subsequently reported that the reforms passed specify and increase the sentences for crimes that cause the greatest damage to women such as sexual abuse and rape. A chapter on Crimes against Reproductive Rights and Crimes against People’s Dignity was incorporated into the Federal Penal Code and the powers of the institutions responsible for persecuting these crimes were strengthened, especially those of the SSP, PGR and State Prosecutor’s Offices and progress was achieved in the integral supervision of all crime victims by stipulating in the Federal Penal Code that the reparation of damage must be integral, adequate, efficacious, effective and proportional to the severity of the damage caused and the harm suffered.

The president ended by declaring that the decrees published are a clear step forward in the construction of a safer, fairer and more prosperous country based on the rule of law.

Presidency of the Republic, Mexico (2012, June 13). Law against people trafficking and reforms to combat crimes against women. Retrieved from http://en.presidencia.gob.mx/2012/06/law-against-people-trafficking-and-reforms-to-combat-crimes-against-women/