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Fight Slavery Now! Message Board › In the News

In the News

Steven B.
Group Organizer
Bonita Springs, FL
Post #: 11
This is a thread to post relevant items from the news.

Here is a useful link to breaking news about human trafficking from around the world: Google News
Steven B.
Group Organizer
Bonita Springs, FL
Post #: 16
Over 1,000 foreign workers stranded in Iraq: UN
Indo-Asian News Service
Friday, December 12, 2008, (New York)

International contractors have brought more than 1,000 foreign workers to Baghdad's international airport without proper legal labour protection, the United Nations office in Iraq (UNAMI) said on Thursday.

The workers are stranded in the airport, prompting charges of human trafficking, UNAMI said.

"UNAMI takes the allegations of human trafficking by contractors in Iraq very seriously and is concerned about their predicament," said Stefan de Mistura, the UN envoy for Iraq.

De Mistura said the UN was aware of other cases of human trafficking, which have been brought before Iraqi courts to see whether international labour law standards have been breached.

He said the UN has begun its own evaluation of the situation at the Baghdad airport with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration and other groups with the aim of helping the workers.­
avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 656
From the newsletter of our compatriots in Washington DC, StopModernSlavery.Org­, come these news items:

CLOSE TO HOME: The threat of human trafficking
According to the U.S Justice Department, more than 450,000 children run away from home every year in the United States. A third of them — 150,000 — will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. Their average age: 12 years old. They belong to all races, ethnicity and religions and cross all socio-economic classes. They can be female, male or transgender. Many have been victims of sexual assault or family molestation. A large number live on the streets or in foster care. What do these youth have in common? They are all vulnerable, frightened and caught in a continuing cycle of abuse.

Prosecutors say wealthy residents used slave labor
By: FREEMAN KLOPOTT, Examiner Staff Writer
July 1, 2009 (excerpt)
Some of the Washington area's wealthiest residents hired illegal immigrant women who had been forced into what experts called human slavery by a Falls Church man, federal prosecutors said.
Over the last eight years, Soripada Lubis enticed at least 20 Indonesian women away from the employers who brought them to the United States and farmed the women out as domestic servants to households in Potomac and elsewhere, according to court documents filed in Alexandria's federal court.
Prosecutors say Lubis threatened the women and their families with violence if they disobeyed him, and held their passports so they couldn't flee.

Asian Police Join to Combat Trafficking of Sex Slaves
Police officials from across Asia meeting in Australia have decided to form unprecedented joint operations to combat the trafficking of sex slaves. Law enforcement experts say the trade in young women is far more organized than first thought. Law enforcement officials from Australia, China, Indonesia other Asian nations have agreed to intensify their efforts to combat human trafficking.

65 suspected human trafficking cases investigated
CARL O'BRIEN, Social Affairs Correspondent
GARDAÍ ARE investigating a total of 65 cases of suspected human trafficking into the State for exploitation, according to new official figures. Fourteen of the cases involve children.

The Department of Justice has confirmed that the cases are being considered as potential victims of trafficking under the provisions of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, 2008, which was enacted in June of last year.
avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 673
Great article brought to our attention by Barbara:

Not certain this is the proper place to be putting this message........

There is an excellent article in Friday's July 17th New York Times. It is about sex trafficking in Albania and the problems they have incarcerating the traffickers and keeping them locked up. It provides some good statistics too which maybe we can use in the presentation of our film. Perhaps it might be something you would want to use in your next newsletter. The title is "On speedboats, legal again, Albania's illicit sex trade flares.

Sorry but i don't know how to hyperlink it on this message board:)
Well, here it is:
On Speedboats, Legal Again, Albania’s Illicit Sex Trade Could Flare

First time users of the NY Times online will be asked to register for free. It only takes a moment and is a very good resource. For future reference, to create any link, just click on the "Link to" box on top of the reply box. That will bring up a screen on which to enter the URL (web address) and also to enter whatever you wish to appear to the viewer, as the article headline in this instance. You can then 'Preview' to make sure the link works before hitting 'Submit'.
Barbara G
New York, NY
Post #: 14
Avra.......Thanks for the instructions. I was fiddling around with it for a long time and just couldn't get it. Also thanks for putting in the link!!
Tommy F.
New York, NY
Post #: 6
This is fantastic guys.
This already proving to be a great news resource.
Thanks so much Barbara!

Awesome job Avra!
avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 702
N.Y.’s Hidden Trafficking

“New York is a center for human traffickers. The 747 is the new slave ship.” Soodalter

Joseph Yannai’s neighbors expressed shock last month when a young Hungarian woman told Westchester County police the 65-year-old man had forced her into sexual slavery. Yannai maintained his innocence, yet police had long wondered about the succession of foreign-born women living in his house.

“You’d think a warning bell would go off in a neighbor’s mind,” said Ron Soodalter, author of the new book “The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today.” Yannai, police said, hired the women as au pairs, though he has no children.
The State Department estimates 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. and enslaved each year as housekeepers, farm hands, factory workers and prostitutes. But that’s a guess, because less than 1 percent of cases get prosecuted.
“It’s the invisible crime,” said Nassau County Detective John Birbiglia. He thinks the number of enslaved people is much higher, though he’s only solved three cases over four years running the Long Island Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces. His most notorious case involved a couple who held two Indonesian women as captive domestic workers.
These days Birbiglia’s focused on massage parlors. “We used to arrest these women,” he said. “Now we know they’re victims.”
Safe Horizon’s Jennifer Dreher says her group has seen 350 cases since 2001. Sixty percent involved forced labor, and most were women from Latin America. “It’s very real,” she said.

avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 711
Thanks to FSN Steering Committee member Sharon:

Eye To Eye With Katie Couric: Human Trafficking (CBS News)(11:36)

David Batstone is the author of "Not For Sale" and a leading authority in the abolitionist movement.

In this interview with Hannah Storm he gives a good overview of the problem in this country including recognizing and reporting trafficking, along with good advice for parents.

Peace, Justice, and Freedom... Avra
avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 735
Unprecedented Court of Women hears testimonies from the trafficked and sexually exploited Nusa Dua, Bali (Indonesia), August 7

The jury deliberating on a most unusual trial - the first South East Asia Court of Women on HIV and Human Trafficking in South East Asia - here have urged the governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations and others to urgently to address the vulnerabilities of women to trafficking and HIV.

However, these responses should be rights and gender-responsive and should not "re-victimise" the women who have been trafficked, they said. What is required are joint-efforts based on human rights principles rather than inappropriate law enforcement.

This was no typical court proceeding, but was instead a symbolic court held in conjunction with the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), which opens here on 9 August.

"The vulnerabilities of women to trafficking and HIV are rooted in the disproportionate human insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and disempowerment that they face in their daily lives," the Jury said in a statement issued at the end of the Court. In several countries, women who are trafficked are chased by the same law that is meant to protect them: they are treated as "illegal migrants" and "criminals" and are often denied their rights and choices.

The jury of six eminent legal and human rights experts heard real-life testimonies in the Women's Court, including harrowing stories of trafficking, violence and exploitation. The Court provided a forum for women across SE Asia to share their personal survival stories and to create further awareness about trafficking, sexual exploitation, bonded labour, and HIV in the region.

Alongside the powerful and poignant testimonies of women who suffered at the hands of traffickers, "expert witnesses" presented data and powerful analyses to highlight the intense violation of dignity and rights of thousands of other women from South East Asia. The Court brought together leaders, politicians, activists and communities who are working to make a difference to empower women and reduce their vulnerability to trafficking and HIV in the South East Asia region.

The event was organised by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Women's Human Rights Council (AWHRC), and Yakeba, a Balinese NGO , with financial support from the Japanese Government and in partnership with UNODC and others.

Opening the court, Ms. Meutia Hatta, Minister for Women's Empowerment of Indonesia, said: "of the total number of people trafficked globally, one-third is from South East Asia and gender inequality and unequal power relations are the main fuelling factors for this phenomenon." In view of the seriousness of the issue, the Government of Indonesia enacted the anti-trafficking law in 2008. The spread of HIV in the region is increasingly impacting women 2-3 times more at risk of contracting HIV than men in the same age group.

In her key note address, Dr. Nafis Sadik, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific region, said that trafficking was matter of legislation alone, though laws were essential. They should be drafted with due respect for human rights and there must be even-handed enforcement. "Too often, we find double or triple standards at work." She added: "the sex workers are endowed with the same rights as other human beings; and that coercion in all its forms, including trafficking, has no part to play".

The testimonies heard by the Court included:

* Wanta, a young Cambodian woman selling sugar care juice on the streets of Phnom Penh couldn't resist the lure of an overseas job that promised her a decent salary. Smuggled out of her country through the Cambodia-Thai border, she ended up in Malaysia as a bonded sex worker. After months in several brothels and a jail, she is now back in Phnom Penh, thanks to the intervention of an NGO. But with a battered past and HIV, life is a daunting struggle for her.

* Nitha from Indonesia took a job in the Middle East as a domestic worker, but faced extreme hardship and escaped, ending up in a detention centre in Jakarta. Unable to make both the ends meet, she tried for another job in another country. This time, the working conditions were worse. "They forced me to work without a break and withheld my pay frequently. I fell unconscious often. I was raped several times."

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. El Mostafa Benlamlih, UN Resident Coordinator for Indonesia and UNDP Resident Representative, said: "there are no borders between human trafficking, violence and HIV/AIDS as there are no borders between nation states. When human insecurity and poverty thrive; migration, human trafficking, violence against women and HIV breed on each other." "Behind the voices of the testifiers at the Court, there is suffering of human beings, men, women and children; misunderstood, victimized, exploited, raped, infected, imprisoned, blamed and thrown at the margins of society."

"The timing of the Court is significant in that the current economic crisis has narrowed the opportunities for formal migration, making women in particular vulnerable to various forms of exploitation including trafficking. What is needed is collective and inclusive responses, given the diversity of views that exist on the issue," said Mr. Jeff O'Malley, Director, HIV/AIDS Practice, UNDP, New York said. The Court has brought together these critical views and has made an affirmative move towards joint efforts against trafficking and HIV that build on human rights principles and empowerment strategies, rather than inappropriately using only law enforcement, he added.

"In addressing the dual challenges of human trafficking and HIV, we need to ensure that the voices of women who are most affected are heard. The Regional Court of Women in attempting to bring such unheard voices to the public domain is laudable," said Christian Kroll, Global Coordinator of HIV/AIDS, UNODC.

"We need to urgently shift the deeply embedded norms, attitudes and behaviours that socially sanction unspeakable forms of violence against women. Rampant human rights violations, gender inequality, severe deprivation and unsafe migration; which create a fertile environment for trafficking of women are the same factors that increase their vulnerability to HIV, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, Regional HIV Practice Leader, Asia Pacific, UNDP, said.

Ms. Corinne Kumar, International Coordinator, Courts of Women, said: "in its experience of a new imaginary, the Courts of Women are finding different ways of speaking truth to power; but also speaking truth to the powerless, seeking the conscience of the world, creating other reference points than that of the rule of law, returning ethics to politics."

The eminent jury included Hon. Mieke Komar Kantaatmadja (Supreme Court Justice, Indonesia), Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn (Prof. of Law and Former UN Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Thailand), Marina Mahathir (Steering Committee Member, Asia Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV/AIDS and Development, Malaysia), Annette Sykes (Lawyer, New Zealand), Sylvia Marcos (Director, Center for Psycho-ethnological Research, Mexico), and Esperanza Cabral (Social Welfare and Development, Philippines).
avra c.
New York, NY
Post #: 739
Two incidents in the news yesterday caught my attention. While not directly related to human trafficking, they both concern the treatment of women and the culture of extreme inequality that exists in much of the world.

(Both) New York Times, Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Sudan: Sudan Court Fines Woman for Wearing Trousers
The woman, Lubna Hussein, an outspoken journalist who had recently worked for the United Nations, faced up to 40 lashes in the case, which has generated considerable interest both inside and outside Sudan...
It was the potential lashing, customarily carried out with a plastic whip that can leave permanent scars, that seemed to raise so many eyebrows. On Monday, diplomats from the British, French, Canadian, Swedish and Dutch Embassies showed up at the Khartoum courthouse, along with a throng of female protesters, many wearing pants. Witnesses said several bearded counterprotesters in traditional Islamic dress also arrived and yelled, “God is great.”

In Afganistan: Journalist Jailed for Blasphemy Is Released Early in Afghanistan
Prosecutors said he showed contempt for Islam by asking questions about women’s rights and by distributing an article he had taken off the Internet that asks why Islam does not give women equal rights. He also supposedly wrote his own comments on copies of the article.
The original death sentence set off an international uproar, and in a second trial, judges lightened the sentence to 20 years. Rights groups sent thousands of petitions condemning the imprisonment and calling for Mr. Kambakhsh’s release.
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