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Fwd: The Abolitionist's Digest - May 11, 2009

From: Ray L.
Sent on: Monday, May 11, 2009 5:33 PM
Hey Everyone,

If you haven't already done so, please remember to subscribe to the new SMS Abolitionist's Digest. ?This will be a weekly newsletter highlighting important news about human trafficking from around the world. ?The digest is created by SMS community members to promote awareness of the issue. ?Please support our efforts by signing up for the digest and forwarding this email to your friends, family, and co-workers.

See below for the latest edition of the digest.

Thank you
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stop Modern Slavery <[address removed]>
Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 at 8:15 AM
Subject: The Abolitionist's Digest - May 11, 2009
To: [address removed]

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online.
Stop Modern Slavery

Girls on Our Streets

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times

Published May 6, 2009

Jasmine Caldwell was 14 and selling sex on the streets when an opportunity arose to escape her pimp: an undercover policeman picked her up.

The cop could have rescued her from the pimp, who ran a string of 13 girls and took every cent they earned. If the cop had taken Jasmine to a shelter, she could have resumed her education and tried to put her life back in order.

Instead, the policeman showed her his handcuffs and threatened to send her to prison. Terrified, she cried and pleaded not to be jailed. Then, she said, he offered to release her in exchange for sex.

Afterward, the policeman returned her to the street. Then her pimp beat her up for failing to collect any money.

"That happens a lot," said Jasmine, who is now 21. "The cops sometimes just want to blackmail you into having sex."

I've often reported on sex trafficking in other countries, and that has made me curious about the situation here in the United States. Prostitution in America isn't as brutal as it is in, say, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Cambodia and Malaysia (where young girls are routinely kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by brothel owners, occasionally even killed). But the scene on American streets is still appalling -- and it continues largely because neither the authorities nor society as a whole show much interest in 14-year-old girls pimped on the streets.

Americans tend to think of forced prostitution as the plight of Mexican or Asian women trafficked into the United States and locked up in brothels. Such trafficking is indeed a problem, but the far greater scandal and the worst violence involves American teenage girls.

If a middle-class white girl goes missing, radio stations broadcast amber alerts, and cable TV fills the air with "missing beauty" updates. But 13-year-old black or Latina girls from poor neighborhoods vanish all the time, and the pimps are among the few people who show any interest.

These domestic girls are often runaways or those called "throwaways" by social workers: teenagers who fight with their parents and are then kicked out of the home. These girls tend to be much younger than the women trafficked from abroad and, as best I can tell, are more likely to be controlled by force.

Pimps are not the business partners they purport to be. They typically take every penny the girls earn. They work the girls seven nights a week. They sometimes tattoo their girls the way ranchers brand their cattle, and they back up their business model with fists and threats.

"If you don't earn enough money, you get beat," said Jasmine, an African-American who has turned her life around with the help of Covenant House, an organization that works with children on the street. "If you say something you're not supposed to, you get beat. If you stay too long with a customer, you get beat. And if you try to leave the pimp, you get beat."

The business model of pimping is remarkably similar whether in Atlanta or Calcutta: take vulnerable, disposable girls whom nobody cares about, use a mix of "friendship," humiliation, beatings, narcotics and threats to break the girls and induce 100 percent compliance, and then rent out their body parts.

It's not solely violence that keeps the girls working for their pimps. Jasmine fled an abusive home at age 13, and she said she -- like most girls -- stayed with the pimp mostly because of his emotional manipulation. "I thought he loved me, so I wanted to be around him," she said.

That's common. Girls who are starved of self-esteem finally meet a man who showers them with gifts, drugs and dollops of affection. That, and a lack of alternatives, keeps them working for him -- and if that isn't enough, he shoves a gun in the girl's mouth and threatens to kill her.

Solutions are complicated and involve broader efforts to overcome urban poverty, including improving schools and attempting to shore up the family structure. But a first step is to stop treating these teenagers as criminals and focusing instead on arresting the pimps and the customers -- and the corrupt cops.

"The problem isn't the girls in the streets; it's the men in the pews," notes Stephanie Davis, who has worked with Mayor Shirley Franklin to help coordinate a campaign to get teenage prostitutes off the streets.

Two amiable teenage prostitutes, working without a pimp for the "fast money," told me that there will always be women and girls selling sex voluntarily. They're probably right. But we can significantly reduce the number of 14-year-old girls who are terrorized by pimps and raped by many men seven nights a week. That's doable, if it's a national priority, if we're willing to create the equivalent of a nationwide amber alert.

? $400m to Hit Human Trafficking Networks

By Tom Allard

The Brisbane Times

Published May 7, 2009

THE Federal Government will unveil a $400 million package to combat people-smuggling in next week's budget as it employs an aggressive strategy to extradite bosses of crime networks for prosecution in Australia.

There will be significant new funding for the Border Protection Command, the joint Customs and Defence effort to patrol the sea routes to Australia's north.

The package will also seek to engage neighbouring countries by bolstering their law enforcement and immigration surveillance capabilities.

The move follows the influx of hundreds of asylum-seekers to Australia by boat this year, a surge that has caused political angst for the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. The Opposition claims it is the result of a "softening" of immigration laws and an underfunding of agencies on the frontline such as Customs.

The budget package comes as an alleged Indonesian people-smuggler was arrested following a joint operation by Indonesian and Australian police. Ali Cobra, also known as Sultan Ali and Ali Basa, was allegedly responsible for a boat that sunk earlier in January off West Timor, killing at least nine people.

Police said Cobra was responsible for at least three attempted boat crossings to Australia in the past six months, involving people from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Burma.

He was arrested on Monday in Makassar in south Sulawesi, an emerging centre of people-smuggling activity, Indonesian police said. He could face life in prison, with Indonesian authorities planning to charge him for the deaths in January.

Spread over four years, the money will go to departments and agencies including Customs and Defence, Immigration, Foreign Affairs, Australian Federal Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney-General's Department.

The AFP will get about $60 million, earmarked for its transnational crime division, which leads its people-smuggling operations. Much of that money is expected to be allocated to improve the equipment and training of Indonesian police, who have formed a close working relationship with their Australian counterparts.

Ft. Meade Soldier Charged with Human Trafficking

By Scott Daughtry

The Capital

Published May 1, 2009

A Fort George G. Meade soldier lured a 16-year-old girl from Ohio to Millersville and forced her into prostitution, county police said.

Spc. Craig Allen Corey, 22, of both Millersville and Fort Meade, was charged Monday with two counts of human trafficking, one count of operating a prostitution business and numerous drug charges. Those charges are in addition to another count of human trafficking filed in February in Baltimore County as part of an unrelated prostitution investigation there.

Corey, an active-duty supply specialist with the 741st Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Meade, is being held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center on $25,000 bond. If convicted of just one human trafficking charge, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

The Anne Arundel charges stem from an April 24 raid on a Millersville apartment that was leased in Corey's name. Detectives were investigating an alleged prostitution ring that was advertising on when they found a girl who had been reported missing in Ohio. That girl, who turned 17 April 24, told police Corey forced her into prostitution.

Sgt. James Fredericks, a spokesman for the department, said detectives are still actively investigating what was happening inside Corey's apartment on Millwright Court. He stressed that human trafficking charges are "very unusual" in Anne Arundel County.

"They just don't happen here," he said.

According to court documents, Corey and his girlfriend - who has not been charged with any crimes - brought the teen from Ohio to Maryland to attend a party. When they arrived in Millersville, however, there was no party and the girl said she wanted to go home.

Corey told the girl - who has known his girlfriend for about three years - that she would have to wait a week or two before she could go back to Ohio, police said. While she waited for Corey to take her home, Corey had her pose for an almost-nude photo which was posted on Craigslist, and then had her engage in prostitution, according to the charges.

The girl serviced three clients between April 21 and April 23, police said. The proceeds, however, were split between Corey and his girlfriend. The girl said she did not receive any money, police said.

The girl told police she agreed to the photo and online postings because she was afraid of being thrown out of the apartment. She told them she did it because she did not know where she was and did not have any friends or family in the area.

But the girl said she was free to leave if she could get a ride, according to charges.

According to court documents, this is not the first time a runaway from Ohio has ended up at Corey's apartment. A 19-year-old woman called her parents in January 2009 to say she that was there and that the owner would not let her leave. She said the owner disabled her vehicle.

The woman's parents, along with deputies from the county Sheriff's Department, picked up the girl at the apartment. The woman had a black eye and numerous bruises on her arms and legs, according to court documents. Deputies also said they determined someone removed a wire from her car to disable it.

That runaway, however, would not say what happened, and no charges were filed. Fredericks said county police were not informed of that incident and detectives did not investigate.

Baltimore County police charged Corey with human trafficking Feb. 24 in Baltimore County District Court during a prostitution investigation. Cpl. Mike Hill, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department, said detectives arranged to meet a prostitute Feb. 23 in a parking lot. He said Corey dropped off Teri Lemaster, 28, of Wellston, Ohio, before she approached the officer's car.

Lemaster was convicted March 31 of one count of prostitution.

Anne Arundel police cracked their human trafficking case while investigating a potential prostitution businesses operating in the county and advertising on Craigslist. Fredericks, of the Anne Arundel police, said the department's investigation was "completely unrelated" to the case in Baltimore County.

According to court documents, vice detectives responded to an advertisement offering "companionship" at the rate of $80 for 15 minutes.

While the ad specifically said "Holly" was not a prostitute, it left the door open for sex.

"Anything else that may take place is a matter of personal choice made between consenting adults and it is NOT contracted NOR is it requested to be contracted in any way," the advertisement read, according to court documents.

Detectives responded to the ad on April 24 and arranged a meeting that morning at Corey's apartment. There, an undercover officer said he gave a 28-year-old woman - who answered to the name "Holly," but whose real name was Tiffany M. Campbell - $100 to have sex with him.

After the money was exchanged, police raided the apartment and found four women and two men inside. Detectives also found a gun and small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, the hallucinogenic drug ecstasy and Xanax in the apartment.

Corey and his girlfriend were not in the apartment at the time of the police raid. Detectives said they found several of Corey's belongings - as well one of his military uniforms - in a bedroom, though.

In addition to Corey, police charged the following people with four counts of possession of various drugs:

Ronald Palmer, 27, of Chillicothe, Ohio.

Kaleigh M. Horn, 18, of Chillicothe, Ohio.

Courtney R. Fulgham, 20, of Lusby.

Richard Allen Johnson, 22, of Baltimore.

Police charged Campbell, of Chillicothe, Ohio, with two counts of prostitution.

UAE Human Trafficking Cases Nearly Double

Published May 7, 2009

Human trafficking cases in the UAE nearly doubled to 18 in 2008, up from 10 in the previous year, and?a government minister said the overall number over the past two years is relatively high compared with other countries.

A February report by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said most such victims in this country were women from Uzbekistan, Moldova and South Asia forced into prostitution and more than half of convicted offenders were south Asian men, UAE daily the National reported on Wednesday.

"These numbers indicate that there is a real effort being exerted," Anwar Gargash,?minister of state for foreign affairs, was quoted as saying in reference to cases decided by UAE courts in two years.

Last year's cases?involved 36 defendants and 30 victims, while in 2007 there were10 cases.

Gargash added some other countries handled up to 40 cases every year without mentioning any specifics.

In 2006, the UAE government introduced a law setting a minimum sentence of five years in prison for human traffickers - the first such law in the Arab world, the National reported.

Gargash said the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking is drafting a document that would serve as a memorandum of understanding to be signed by the UAE with other countries to tackle such crime.

The committee is also training law enforcement personnel on how to uncover cases of trafficking that might be disguised as other forms of crime, such as prostitution.

Zimbabwean Migration Camouflages Human Traffickers


Published May 1, 2009

SOUTH AFRICA - To the untrained eye, the human tide surging through the South African border town of Musina is just that: a mass of people leaving behind Zimbabwe's collapsed economy to seek job opportunities and a better life, or refuge in a neighbouring country.
Sebelo Sibanda, of Lawyers for Human Rights in Musina, is a more acute observer; he sees changes taking place in a migration that is believed to number between one million and more than three million people.

"A trend started in the last two or three months, where you see more and more women coming in with groups of children - the children are too numerous and often too similar in age to be from one mother," he said.

The Zimbabwean migration, comprising asylum seekers fleeing political persecution, economic migrants from a shattered economy, traders, shoppers and unaccompanied minors, provides ample camouflage for human traffickers.

The border between South Africa and Zimbabwe is a fertile ground for criminal gangs. The "magumagumas" prey on migrants, robbing and raping them as they make their way to South Africa, while the "malaicha" arrange safe passage for migrants, but do not always keep to the contract.

Nde Ndifonka, the southern African spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, told IRIN: "The conditions are there. We believe there is a high incidence of human trafficking happening there [the South Africa-Zimbabwe border]".

Parents living in South Africa often pay a malaicha to bring children across the border, Sibanda said, and it was a "small step" to becoming a human trafficker.

Ndifonka said the malaicha were part of trafficking rings and targeted "specifically, vulnerable young children, as there is a demand for labour and sexual exploitation in South Africa".

In mid-April 2009, during a spot check, police found two unaccompanied minors - boys aged about four and five - in a car en route to Johannesburg. "The woman at first said they were her children, but when I interviewed the children separately they said they did not know who she was," Sibanda said.
The Unseen Crime??

"The woman then maintained that she was their mother's sister, but the children did not know who she was, but were told by her to call her 'aunty'. The woman then said she was taking them to meet their mother in Johannesburg, but the children said their mother was living in Cape Town."

The woman is expected to be charged with kidnapping or a lesser charge of smuggling, as South Africa has yet to adopt human trafficking legislation.

An international children's agency, which declined to be identified, fearing it might attract human traffickers to its offices, told IRIN it had begun trying to trace the children's relatives. The aid worker said people claiming to be the relatives or friends of parents had tried to lure children away from the shelter.

"Human trafficking is difficult to detect, as people are generally not aware they are being trafficked. We know it [human trafficking] is happening but cannot detect it," Jacob Matakanye, CEO of the Musina Legal Advice Centre, told IRIN.

"The only way to prevent trafficking is to educate people about it in the country of origin ... Zimbabwe is an ideal opportunity for traffickers, as it is next to South Africa [the continent's richest country]," he said.

The UN defines human trafficking as "The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of 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, or of the giving of or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation."?

The Abolitionist Summer Academy


  • Session One: May 25th-June 5th (Arriving 24th; leaving 6th)
  • Session Two: June 22nd-July 3rd (Arriving June 21st; leaving July 4th)
  • Session Three: August 3rd-August 14th (Arriving Aug. 2nd; leaving August 15th)

Where:? San Francisco, CA

Held in the heart of San Francisco, The Abolitionist Summer Academy is an in depth two week training session for those desiring to become Abolitionist Investigators of modern slavery. Attendees will be educated on how to properly record, document, and map all of the various types of human trafficking through hands on education, training, and meetings with experts in the field. They will learn how to identify probable cases of human trafficking, how to properly record cases of human trafficking, and how to effectively confront slavery in supply chains. By certification, attendees will be equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to become investigators of modern slavery in their own backyards.

?More info, and registration, online HERE.
Stop Modern Slavery | P.O. Box 73064 | Washington, DC 20056
To report a tip about human trafficking, please
contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at[masked].

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