Human Traffic Watch

Archive for the ‘Forced Labor’ Category

St. Patrick knew all about human trafficking

In Child Labor, Forced Labor on March 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Green beer sales mark the globalized celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and for many who are only Irish once a year little more is thought of.   But it may be time for St. Patrick’s Day to become an occasion of global awareness for something more than the taste of Guinness, namely the problem of human trafficking.

Patrick was only 16 when he was seized by human traffickers.  Removed from his family and home in Roman Britain, he was transported across the Irish Sea to the foreign surroundings of Dalriada  in what is now Northern Ireland.  The traffickers sold Patrick to a local warlord who exploited the young Briton for six years of forced labor.

Patrick escaped and fled Ireland, yet his conversion to Christianity while a slave gave him a mission to return to minister to his former captors.  From that point Patrick’s ministry in Ireland became so significant that his identity and the country’s are difficult to separate.   Yet it is easily forgotten that Patrick’s early experience of his adopted country was as a victim of human trafficking.

Today when people think of slavery they rarely think of a modern problem, but rather something belonging to earlier centuries. But in the transnational world that is ‘flattened’ modern slavery can take many different forms than those associated with plantations or estates in the Caribbean or American South.

Source: National Post

Special Report: Thailand secretly supplies Myanmar refugees to trafficking rings

In Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on December 6, 2013 at 10:19 am
Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar wave as they are transported by a wooden boat to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar, in this file picture taken April 8, 2013.  CREDIT: REUTERS/JUNAIDI HANAFIAH/FILES

Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar wave as they are transported by a wooden boat to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar, in this file picture taken April 8, 2013.

One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Thai immigration officials said he was being deported toMyanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them into brutal jungle camps.

As thousands of Rohingya flee Myanmar to escape religious persecution, a Reuters investigation in three countries has uncovered a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

The Rohingya are then transported across southern Thailand and held hostage in a series of camps hidden near the border with Malaysia until relatives pay thousands of dollars to release them. Reporters located three such camps – two based on the testimony of Rohingya held there, and a third by trekking to the site, heavily guarded, near a village called Baan Klong Tor.

Thousands of Rohingya have passed through this tropical gulag. An untold number have died there. Some have been murdered by camp guards or have perished from dehydration or disease, survivors said in interviews.

Source: Reuters

Made in a Free World: Who Made My –?

In Awareness, Child Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on December 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm


Source: Made in a Free World


Human trafficking and south-east Asian women: it’s not all about sex work

In Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The way that the issue of women and the global trafficking industry is framed lags behind the reality, says Cathy Zimmerman, a global trafficking researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“I think the word trafficking still means sex trafficking for many funders and the public at large, largely to do with the exposure of the brutality and enslavement of women by sex traffickers within the past few decades,” she says.

“When we at the school first started looking at this issue, we focused exclusively on sex trafficking, largely because nobody was identifying or assisting people trafficked for other purposes, but now this is shifting. There is a growing realisation that labour trafficking is a much wider, more subtle phenomenon, and, in terms of numbers, an extensive problem affecting women from all over the world.”

In response to this shift in emphasis, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have launched a £9.75m anti-trafficking initiativeaimed at helping to prevent 100,000 south-east Asian women from being trafficked into forced labour in the garment industry and as domestic workers.

The Guardian

Doing More to End Sex Trafficking

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Labor, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Much more should be done to prevent young girls from being vulnerable prey for sex traffickers and predators. Broadly speaking, human trafficking occurs when people profit from the control and exploitation of others. This includes what some mischaracterize as child prostitution. Our nation’s kids do not simply choose to sell themselves on the street, they are victims manipulated and coerced into a life of sexual assault and commercial rape.

A good starting point for reform would be taking a look at the connection between the foster care system and child sex trafficking. Traffickers often provide foster youth with the attention and reinforcement that can oftentimes be elusive during a life spent bouncing from home to home. They shower young girls with gifts and attention to help lure them into a life of illegal activity. Sadly, older foster youth perpetuate the cycle when traffickers use them to recruit younger foster youth into prostitution.

Some estimates show 300,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of domestic sex trafficking each year, with foster youth comprising as much as 80 percent of victims. Many states report abuse occurring while youth are in foster care or group homes, which pimps target as hubs to recruit vulnerable girls.

U.S. News & World Report

Capital becomes hub for traffickers

In Child Labor, Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Last year on Eid, Hina (13) went missing from Nizamuddin Basti. This Eid too Hina’s parents may not meet their daughter. The police did not manage to trace her and neither was the complaint sent to the anti-human trafficking unit. On Friday, Hina called her parents and said she is in Mumbai. Immediately, a lady snatched the phone and said Hina was on duty and had no time to talk.

Hina’s story is reminiscent of a thousand other such cases in Delhi. People are trafficked not just for sex trade but also for labour and to be employed as live-in maids. Delhi receives people from the northeast states, West Bengal, Nepal, Bangladesh and Jharkhand. Meerut and Mewat, which are close to Delhi are infamous for being “rearing points” for trafficked girls, according to anti-trafficking experts.

A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC), titled ‘Current Status of Victim Service Providers and Criminal Justice Actors in India 2013’ documents how Delhi is one of the emerging hubs and transit points for trafficking. The report also highlights how girls are often kept in remote locations in the NCR, especially by people from tribes like Bedia, Nat and Kanjar, who sell them once they attain puberty.

Uzbekistan falls under US sanctions on human trafficking

In Bonded Labor, Child Labor, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on July 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

“According to a variety of sources, the government of Uzbekistan enforced a decree resulting in a sweeping reduction of the number of children under 15 years of age in the 2012 cotton harvest, but the government continued to subject older children and adult laborers to forced labor in that harvest,” states the 2013 Trafficking in Persons report.

Independent sources report that forced child labor was used in the spring of 2013 for weeding of cotton fields.

“One activist reported at least one case of a mental hospital subjecting its patients to domestic servitude,” write the author’s in the TIP Report. “In addition, there are recent reports that teachers, students (including children), employees in private businesses, and others have been forced by the government to work in construction, agriculture, and in cleaning parks.”

Furthermore, some Uzbekistani men and women are subjected to forced labor outside of their country. Seasonal workers from Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan, Russia, and—to a much lesser extent—Ukraine occasionally fall victim to forced labor in domestic service, agriculture, and the construction and oil industries.

Source: Uz News

Human trafficking more frequent in Kazakhstan

In Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on July 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

Human trafficking is becoming more frequent in Kazakhstan, reports citing head of Department for Countering Organized Crime of the Criminal Police Commission of Kazakhstan Interior Ministry Kairat Orazalin.

“We have been registering a growth in the number of crimes related to human trafficking every year. The statistics confirms the growth. Over 190 of such crimes have already been registered this year, while the total of 250 crimes were committed last year. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend,” Orazalin told the journalists after the discussion of the draft law On amendments to certain legislative acts on countering human trafficking in the Senate today.

The new draft law toughens administration sanctions for providing premises for prostitution and procuration and introduces liability for violation of the labor legislation against minors.

For more information see:

Mother of Human Trafficking Suspect Speaks Out

In Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on July 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm

The F.B.I. along with Ashland police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio claims the victim and her five-year-old child were padlocked in a room they were forced to share with reptiles. They were threatened harm by pit bulls and snakes if they did not work around the house and worse.

“Suffice to say, these victims were repeatedly exposed to sub-human living conditions such as frequently being denied meals, access to bathroom visits; they were physically punished for toiletry accidents; they were threatened not only with weapons but also with vicious animals to include pit bulls and pythons,” said FBI Special Agent Eric Smith on Tuesday.

Investigators believe the victim’s government assistance checks were stolen by the suspects.

On one occasion, they smashed her hand with a rock so they could take her pain medication for themselves.

Source: Fox 8

Modern-day slavery: an explainer

In Awareness, Child Marriage, Child Soldiers, Child Trafficking, Forced Labor, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Organ Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 7, 2013 at 9:29 am
A worker carries a bag of charcoal on to a truck in Rondon do Para. Brazil was the last country to withdraw from the transatlantic slave trade. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

A worker carries a bag of charcoal on to a truck in Rondon do Para. Brazil was the last country to withdraw from the transatlantic slave trade. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty

How is slavery defined?

Slavery is prohibited under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

Definitions of modern-day slavery are mainly taken from the 1956 UN supplementary convention, which says: “debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage and the delivery of a child for the exploitation of that child are all slavery-like practices and require criminalisation and abolishment”. The 1930 Forced Labour Convention defines forced labour as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”.

As contemporary systems of slavery have evolved, new definitions, including trafficking and distinguishing child slavery from child labour, have developed.

Some of the forms of slavery are:

Bonded labour: people become bonded labourers after falling into debt and being forced to work for free in an attempt to repay it. Many will never pay off their loans, and debt can be passed down through the generations.

Forced labour: where people are forced to work, usually with no payment, through violence or intimidation. Many find themselves trapped, often in a foreign country with no papers, and unable to leave.

Descent-based slavery: where people are born into slavery because their families belong to a class of “slaves” within a society. The status of “slave” passes from mother to child.

Trafficking: the transport or trade of people from one area to another and into conditions of slavery.

Child slavery: children are in slavery as domestic workers, forced labour – in, for example, the cocoa, cotton and fisheries industries – trafficked for labour and sexual exploitation, and used as child soldiers.

Early and forced marriage: women continue to be married without consent, often while still girls, and forced into sexual and domestic servitude.

Source: The Guardian

%d bloggers like this: