Viewing posts categorised under: Human Trafficking

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

REAL MEN DON’T BUY GIRLS

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Sean Penn, Justin Timberlake and Ashton Kutcher joined this campaign

1-An estimated one million children are forced to work in the global sex industry every year.

2-The global sex slavery market generates a $39 billion profit annually.

3-Selling young girls is more profitable than trafficking drugs or weapons.

Tactics to deter or prevent men from buying sex.

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There are at least 12 major types of interventions —and variations within each one—that are used to deter or prevent men from buying sex.   The major categories of tactics are liste, to view this list, give a click to the link http://www.demandforum.net/tactics/ .

Three Texas Teens Narrowly Rescued from Trafficking

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September 1, 2011
Child sex trafficking victims are not victims by choice. It is their naivete and vulnerability that puts them into the hands of traffickers. Had they realized the steps they were taking to put themselves into the hands of traffickers, they would not have chosen this path.
Three north Texas teen girls were transported to California by a 26 year old man. The teens were together for a  sleepover when they met the man who said he wanted to take them to California to hang out at the beach. He then took them to California where the girls say they were taken shopping to buy heels and dresses for their new “job” as sex trade workers.  They were also drugged. The man was arrested (date) and charged with transporting minors with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, according to a release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The girls were reported missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by a relative who gave the tip that they might be in California. With the help of the Irving, TX Police Department, Orange County Police Department and the FBI, the three girls were found in a motel in Orange, CA two weeks after they were reported missing. Their trafficker was found in the same hotel room and subsequently arrested.  They were returned safely to Texas and are now in protective custody and are safe.  They had not yet started working for the trafficker.
Had the girls not been reported missing by their relative and had the relative not given the tip as to their possible whereabouts, they might still be living out of the motel, under the watch of this 26 year old trafficker. The dresses and heels they bought to work in would have been put to use, and their chance of survival would have been grim. This is one of many cases to be celebrated because of the quick response from law enforcement, and the resources used to track and rescue these young girls.
It is important that we continue to tell our friends, families and neighbors about child sex trafficking in the United States. The more we educate ourselves and educate others, the easier it will become to stop this heinous crime. Learning who is most at risk,  and learning about the manipulation tactics used by traffickers, can be extremely helpful in finding traffickers and rescuing victims.
If you suspect trafficking is happening, DO NOT intervene physically.  Find a safe location and call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or contact us by sending an email at rbcorazones@gmail.com.

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

Sex trafficking trial begins

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SAN ANTONIO -With graphic allegations, prosecutors outlined their human trafficking case against Bobby “Spider” Moreno in 379th District Court on Wednesday.

“Not only did he rape the child, beat the child and threaten the child and her family,” prosecutor David Henderson told the jury during opening arguments, “he kidnapped her and tied her down and he let other people rape her for money.”

The victim, a 13-year-old girl, was abducted by Moreno and his brother when she visited the men’s East side crack house in Decmber 2007, trying to buy drugs, Henderson said.

“She was not a perfect 13-year-old. She was a chronic runaway and she had drug problems,” Henderson said.

But he said her testimony is credible.

The teen’s credibility was called into question by Moreno’s attorney.

“The key question throughout this trial is going to be, ‘Is this little girl telling you the truth?’” Defense Attorney Robert Shaffer told the jury. “Or did she make this up? Is it a lie?”

In December 2010, Moreno’s brother, Juan Moreno, 47, was convicted in the case. It was the first human trafficking case ever tried by the Bexar County District Attorney’s office.

He was sentenced to four life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Like his brother, Bobby Moreno is facing life in prison if he is convicted.

Testimony will resume on Thursday in Judge Ron Rangel’s 379th District Court.

Source: http://www.ksat.com/news/Sex-trafficking-trial-begins/-/478452/15480782/-/5cf74dz/-/index.html

High school students learn to fight sex trafficking at summit

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SALT LAKE CITY — For years, child sex traffickers have targeted teens at malls and schools. Now they're doing it on social media. It's so disturbing to a group of Utah kids that they've volunteered to become the next-generation's weapon against human traffickers.

This week, the teens are learning the warning signs and skills to alert the community to the underdog child sex trafficking industry.

Predators now use the internet to lure or force children into prostitution. In 2011, Salt Lake Police reported rescuing 150 kids in Utah from the sex trade since 2006. Nationally, the Polaris Project, a non-profit which tracks human trafficking, has reported that 100,000 to 300,000 American kids become slaves each year. The Department of State also reports that approximately 80 percent of trafficking victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors. Ages 13 to 17 are the most vulnerable.

High school students from California, Idaho, Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, Arizona, Iowa, and Utah converge at the University of Utah for the Backyard Broadcast Summit. This week-long summit hosted by Child Rescue aims to train students to be "station chiefs" within their communities. In essence, these teens will learn the realities of modern-day slavery and the tools to keep themselves and their peers safe.

"It's mind blowing," said Jacob Ferrell as he sighed and pounded his chest. "It got me you know."

So far, this youth summit has been a life altering experience for the Davis High student.

"The biggest misconception with this is that it's not happening," Ferrell said. He's making it his mission to tell his classmates what he's learning about the child sex trade happening here in Utah and across the country. "I start on the subject and they're like ‘Yeah, but maybe in New York, maybe in LA', but I'm like 'no,'" he said.

Ferrell heard from an undercover Los Angeles police agent who sees first-hand the transactions between perpetrators and victims — one recently here in the Salt Lake area.

"He was sitting in a restaurant and he saw a deal happen right outside the restaurant," said Ferrell. "He couldn't do anything because, one, this isn't his area and he didn't want to blow his cover."

Backyard Broadcast reports that the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world is the trafficking of human beings. According to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is second only to drugs in revenues. The UN estimates that $31.6 billion is made from buying and selling people around the globe.

"When they catch the traffickers, they're really saving so many more people than if they're putting the prostitutes in jail," said Alta High student Ciana Bataineh. "It's hard to convince kids that they can make a difference and that they can do something and they should do something. It's kind of all up to us kids, at this point."

Bataineh is one of 25 youth attending the summit. Today, it seems like she's just playing games on the University of Utah rope challenge course, but experts say fighting child sex trafficking is quite a challenge. These teens feel if they can rise to the challenge of these difficult tasks, it'll only prepare them for the bigger battle ahead.

"Instead of scaring people, motivate them," Bataineh said.

Motivation is exactly why Amira Birger travels around the country to share her stories of abuse as a child that prompted her to run away from home and eventually be lured into child prostitution at age 15. She said it's up to the community to help rescue kids.

"When kids are acting out, it's really easy to blame the children for quote-unquote 'being bad.' But these kids are acting out of pain," Birger said.

Each of the teens who participated in the summit this week will be responsible for starting a chapter at their school.

"As a society, it's a hard topic to think about and it's hard to discuss and really the change has to come from the people first before it's going to make it all the way up to law enforcement," said Backyard Broadcast Director Danielle Palmer.

The Child Rescue organization is shifting its awareness campaigns to target teenagers. It seems to be working. West Valley high students raised $20,000 last year, which helped pay for law enforcement training.

Source: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=21216818

Sexual Exploitation Victims Should Not Be Criminalised, Howard League Report Says

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Sexually exploited girls commit crime as a cry for help and should not be prosecuted, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Out of place: The policing and criminalisation of sexually exploited girls and young women, released by campaign group the Howard League for penal reform, points to cases like the recent child-sex ring in Rochdale in which girls were exploited after being targeted by gangs.

Jo Phoenix, a professor of Criminology at Durham University, who carried out the research, told The Huffington Post UK: "Because we have a framework that allows us to punish them for their misdeeds we are likely to punish them. We will send them to court.

"I think where we're dealing with children we need the government to send a very clear, very strong message that there should be no criminalisation of sexually exploited girls and women. We should not need them to tell us they are being victimised."

Frances Crook, the Howard League's chief executive, said in a statement that sexually exploited girls "can commit crime as a cry for help."

"They will, for example, shoplift in front of security guards in order to be arrested and removed from their abuser. "

Professor Phoenix said the current system "relies on the young girl herself disclosing this information.

"Say a young girl takes a cricket bat to her boyfriend's car because the night before he allowed six men to rape her. The police are called and they will arrest her.

"All the police are concerned with are the signs of criminal damage. She pleads guilty if it's tried in the youth court. Nobody has stopped to ask broader questions because they may not even know about it."

She added: "One of the complexities in the whole of this is often girls will come to police attention because of the crimes they are committing but police and youth services that are dealing with those girls may not necessarily know anything about the sexual exploitation that this girls are experiencing because the girls themselves may not have told the police, the youth court, or the youth justice board."

The group point to women like "Kim", who had several convictions for being drunk and disorderly and criminal damage. Kim was having sex in exchange for money and drugs by the time she was 18 years old. The group argue her convictions were related to her sexual abuse, which was not picked up by the authorities.

"These young women have had a lifetime, normally, a lifetime of abuse. The one group of police that are quite different in this are the ones who are trained specifically to help people who have been sexually exploited," Professor Phoenix said.

The report calls for girls be treated as child victims so they can get the help they need, rather than being classed as petty criminals.

The report called for more support for girls and better links between youth justice and sexual exploitation agencies.

It argues criminal justice agencies should also be "more sophisticated and child-centred in their approach to girls who come to their attention and should introduce more training to enable girls to be referred to more appropriate services."

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/09/sexual-exploitation-victims-howard-league-report-criminalise-_n_1659449.html?show_comment_id=167580899#comment_167580899

Pimp Who Allegedly Forced 15-Year-Old Into Prostitution Arrested

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A man accused of forcing a 15-year-old Riverside girl into prostitution has been arrested and is facing a litany of charges.

James Grady III, 27, was arrested at the end of last month and has been charged with four counts of lewd act on a child and one count each of pimping a minor under 16, pandering by procuring a minor under 16, assault with a firearm and receiving stolen property, according to City News Service.

Grady is accused of forcing the girl to perform sex acts on him and meet daily quotas. He once allegedly Tasered her for not meeting her quota. In other instance, he allegedly put the barrel of a rifle under her chin and threatened to kill her and her family if she missed her quota.

All of this happened between January and May of this year, when she was finally able to make a run for it and escape, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. It's believed that this teen was part of a bigger trafficking ring, and police are looking for more victims.

Grady was locked up in lieu of $375,000 bail and is due in court at the end of this week.

Source:http://laist.com/2012/07/11/riverside_prostitute.php

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