Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘exploitation’

Asia leads world in child-labor products: report By Robert MacPherson (AFP) – 13 hours ago WASHINGTON — India, Bangladesh and the Philippines lead the world in the number of products made by child workers, a US government stock-taking of the global scale of underaged labor revealed. Some 130 types of goods — from building bricks and soccer balls to pornography and rare ores used in cellphones — involve child labor in 71 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Department of Labor said. “We believe that we all have God-given potential … and every child should be given the right to fulfil their dreams,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis at the release of the 10th annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.” Focusing this year on hazardous work performed by children, and relying in good part on International Labour Organization data, the report examines efforts by more than 140 countries to address the worst forms of child labor. The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 215 million children are involved in child labor. One-third of countries have yet to define hazardous kinds of work prohibited to children, it said. Some nations have no minimum age for such work, and still more lack the means to monitor and enforce bans on dangerous child labor. A rundown of goods produced by child labor, issued alongside the report, underlined the degree to which youngsters in developing nations are forced to work, rather than go to school, for little if any wages. India topped the list, with its children being used to make no fewer than 20 products, including bidis, bricks, fireworks, footwear, glass bangles, incense, locks, matches, rice, silk fabric and thread, and soccer balls. India also led a separate list of products made by forced or indentured child labor — seven types of goods in all, including carpets, embroidered textiles and garments. In Bangladesh, children produced 14 kinds of goods, many of them of an industrial nature, such as bricks, footwear, steel furniture, leather, matches, and textiles including jute. In the Philippines, children took part in the production of bananas, coconuts, corn, fashion accessories, gold, hogs, pornography, pyrotechnics, rice, rubber, sugar cane and tobacco. The Department of Labor announced Monday a $15 million grant to the World Vision charity “to address the worst forms of child labor in sugar cane production” in the Philippines. Sandra Polaski, deputy undersecretary for international affairs at the Department of Labor, told AFP that India’s place atop the child-labor table reflected its billion-plus population, and not neglect of the issue. “India is one of the two largest countries in the world, and so the larger the country, if there is significant poverty, you would expect to see more” child labor, she told AFP. “The Indian government is the first to say they have to find more ambitious ways” of tackling the problem, she said, adding that New Delhi took a big step in 2010 when elementary education was made compulsory across the country. Worldwide, Polaski said, the United States expects to see an uptick in the use of child labor as a consequence of the economic slump of 2008 from which the world has yet to re-emerge. “We expect that some more children have fallen back into child labor,” she said. “As households have been pushed in some countries below the poverty line, they’ve made up the difference (in income) with child labor.” Child labor remains in much of Latin America, but Polaski welcomed signs of progress — particularly in Brazil where child labor persists in agriculture, but poverty-fighting policies are showing results. In Africa, children are working at mines in Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly at those producing cassiterite and coltan — both used in the assembly of mobile phones — and wolframite, used for tungsten steel. Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved 

In Human Trafficking on October 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

Asia Leads the World in Child Labor


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In Human Trafficking on September 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Peace cannot be kept by force…: How to Demand SlaveFREE Standards in our Products

Girls undergo systematic rape and torture in brothels

In Human Trafficking on September 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm


This is why my heart breaks daily for the victims of human trafficking, both in the US and abroad:

Girls undergo systematic rape and torture in brothels

KOLKATA: One doesn’t expect socialites to spend a languid rainy afternoon listening to horror stories. Especially when it’s a diminutive 62-year-old narrating the tales. But when it is one Anuradha Koirala doing the talk, the glamour quotient doesn’t matter. The grit that fuels this character does. It jolts listeners out of stupor and lands them in a stark world with sleaze and grime.

A packed audience, mostly members of the FICCI ladies organization, listened with rapt attention as the chairperson of Maiti Nepal (an NGO that has rescued over 18,000 women from sexual slavery and exploitation) recounted stories that touch a nadir in human depravation.

Radhika, a 16-year-old from a well-to-do high caste Nepali family, fell in love with a boy from a low caste and eloped to get married. But with the boy unable to find a job and the girl’s family unwilling to support them, the husband convinced her to sell one of her kidneys at Chennai for Rs 65,000. By then, they had already had a girl. After the money was spent, the husband sold her along with the daughter to a brothel in Mumbai. There she was first gang raped and then forced into sex trade. Her daughter’s tongue was burned to prevent her from crying for her mother when she was entertaining clients. They lived like this for six years till a client learnt about her tale and informed Maiti.

“We managed to rescue Radhika and her daughter. There are many instances when tip-offs from clients have led to rescue of Nepali girls forced into prostitution. But for every such fairytale ending, there are hundreds of cases in which a girl lives and dies a sex slave,” said Koirala.

Sarita, another Nepali girl trafficked to Mumbai and working in a brothel, broke both her legs after jumping off the three-storied building when she attempted to escape from forced oral sex. She survived. But for many girls, it is too late when rescued. “Several of them are infected with AIDS. Others become drug addicts. All that Maiti can then provide them is dignified death. At its hospice, there are 17-year-olds who look like 70, waiting for death to deliver them from a short, yet horribly cruel life. While women rescued from India are usually infected with diseases, those rescued from the Gulf are worse off with 57% psychotic cases from not just sexual but physical and mental abuse as well. Depravation reaches new levels when girls are trafficked to the Gulf. They are like zombies when rescued,” she said.

While most girls trafficked from Nepal land up in brothels in Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Surat, Delhi, Bangalore, Siliguri, Gorakhpur and Meerut, girls are increasingly being re-routed to the Gulf, China and South-East Asia as well. “While traffickers in India prefer girls with mongoloid features as prevalent in people from lower castes in Nepal, those in China prefer girls from high caste who have prominent nose and high cheek bone,” Maiti Nepal director Bishwo Ram Khadka said.

Of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked every year globally, 70% are women and children. Of this, 150,000 cases are in South Asia with Nepal accounting for a lion’s share. Maiti estimates there are 150,000-400,000 Nepali girls and women in Indian brothels. A big chunk of them are aged 7-24 years.

“The girls undergo systematic rape and torture. They are starved and scalded by smoldering cigarettes and sometimes even murdered. Those who are young are given hormone injections so that they appear big and then gang raped as an initiation into the trade. Thereafter, they are made to entertain 5-50 clients a day,” said Koirala.

While extreme poverty in west Nepal is considered the primary reason for Nepali girls being trafficked in large numbers, Koirala says gender discrimination is the root cause, citing social practices like Chaupadi, Deuki and Badi where girls are driven into flesh trade by families.

Koirala took up the cause of rescuing and rehabilitating women in 1993 after suffering domestic violence. “At the time, everyone in Nepal was speaking about trafficking but no one was doing anything. So I took a plunge and have been swimming against the tide since,” said Koirala, who was awarded CNN Hero of the Year 2010.

 Article taken from

The reality is far messier (and scarier). Underage sex trafficking and exploitation is happening everywhere, not just in Portland. Yet this is a bitter pill to swallow, and when national news reports confine the blame to one particular city, that seems to somehow make the rest of us feel better. That’s how pointing fingers and assigning blame works, right?
(Jessica Mack for Alter Net)

In Human Trafficking on September 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Portland, Oregon — Strip-Club City? Media Freak-Out Over Trafficking in Everyone’s Favorite Hippie Utopia

In Human Trafficking on September 13, 2011 at 11:23 am


Nepal’s Lost Circus Children

It’s pretty sickening that political conventions, which are packed full of the representatives that abolitionists hope will help end human trafficking and child prostitution, are expected to give the adult industry in Tampa business comparable to the Super Bowl. Disgusting. 

In Human Trafficking on September 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Tampa’s Adult Industry Gets Ready for the GOP Convention

In Human Trafficking on September 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm

This concept that you can differentiate between willing sex work and trafficking is really complicated, because sex work fuels trafficking, and there’s so much money involved,” she said. “Consider that one girl can have sex with 15 men in a night, at $100 an hour. This means she’s producing $35,000-$40,000 a month for whoever owns her.

Andrea Powell, Fair Fund (via cynthiavankleeck)

In Human Trafficking on September 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm


Be sure to check out Streetlight Phoenix, one of only a handfull of anti-trafficking organizations in America that provides safe homes for victims.

In Human Trafficking on August 29, 2011 at 11:57 am


The Dark Side of Dubai

This is an extremely long article, but worth the read if you have the time. If not, I have pulled a few of the most striking sections out and put them here. Basically, this article examines the real truth behind Dubai: it is completely run on slave labor. The author of this article found himself in shock at the reality of the slavery in Dubai and the flippant attitudes of the people who lived there toward the slavery that everyone knows exists, but the reality is that our entire world operates on slave labor – and it seems that most of the world has the same attitudes toward slavery today as the expats in Dubai. For them, it is worth it to live in luxury in exchange for destroying the lives of others, and that is really what the problem of slavery boils down to. My question that continually arises through fighting slavery looks like this: we live in a country that is based in “freedom,” yet our luxury is worth the freedom of others. Why are we so much better that we can trample on the lives of other people just for our own comfort?

The Dark Side of Dubai, by Johan Hari – sections that stood out

Sonapur is a rubble-strewn patchwork of miles and miles of identical concrete buildings. Some 300,000 men live piled up here, in a place whose name in Hindi means “City of Gold”. In the first camp I stop at – riven with the smell of sewage and sweat – the men huddle around, eager to tell someone, anyone, what is happening to them.

Sahinal Monir, a slim 24-year-old from the deltas of Bangladesh. “To get you here, they tell you Dubai is heaven. Then you get here and realise it is hell,” he says. Four years ago, an employment agent arrived in Sahinal’s village in Southern Bangladesh. He told the men of the village that there was a place where they could earn 40,000 takka a month (£400) just for working nine-to-five on construction projects. It was a place where they would be given great accommodation, great food, and treated well. All they had to do was pay an up-front fee of 220,000 takka (£2,300) for the work visa – a fee they’d pay off in the first six months, easy. So Sahinal sold his family land, and took out a loan from the local lender, to head to this paradise.

As soon as he arrived at Dubai airport, his passport was taken from him by his construction company. He has not seen it since. He was told brusquely that from now on he would be working 14-hour days in the desert heat – where western tourists are advised not to stay outside for even five minutes in summer, when it hits 55 degrees – for 500 dirhams a month (£90), less than a quarter of the wage he was promised. If you don’t like it, the company told him, go home. “But how can I go home? You have my passport, and I have no money for the ticket,” he said. “Well, then you’d better get to work,” they replied.

 Sahinal was in a panic. His family back home – his son, daughter, wife and parents – were waiting for money, excited that their boy had finally made it. But he was going to have to work for more than two years just to pay for the cost of getting here – and all to earn less than he did in Bangladesh… 

In every large city, gay people find a way to find each other – but Dubai has become the clearing-house for the region’s homosexuals, a place where they can live in relative safety. Saleh, a lean private in the Saudi Arabian army, has come here for the Coldplay concert, and tells me Dubai is “great” for gays: “In Saudi, it’s hard to be straight when you’re young. The women are shut away so everyone has gay sex. But they only want to have sex with boys – 15- to 21-year-olds. I’m 27, so I’m too old now. I need to find real gays, so this is the best place. All Arab gays want to live in Dubai.”…


It is an open secret that once you hire a maid, you have absolute power over her. You take her passport – everyone does; you decide when to pay her, and when – if ever – she can take a break; and you decide who she talks to. She speaks no Arabic. She cannot escape.

In a Burger King, a Filipino girl tells me it is “terrifying” for her to wander the malls in Dubai because Filipino maids or nannies always sneak away from the family they are with and beg her for help. “They say – ‘Please, I am being held prisoner, they don’t let me call home, they make me work every waking hour seven days a week.’ At first I would say – my God, I will tell the consulate, where are you staying? But they never know their address, and the consulate isn’t interested. I avoid them now. I keep thinking about a woman who told me she hadn’t eaten any fruit in four years. They think I have power because I can walk around on my own, but I’m powerless.”…

My patience frayed by all this excess, I find myself snapping: doesn’t the omnipresent slave class bother you? I hope they misunderstood me, because the woman replied: “That’s what we come for! It’s great, you can’t do anything for yourself!” Her husband chimes in: “When you go to the toilet, they open the door, they turn on the tap – the only thing they don’t do is take it out for you when you have a piss!” And they both fall about laughing…

Perhaps Dubai disturbed me so much, I am thinking, because here, the entire global supply chain is condensed. Many of my goods are made by semi-enslaved populations desperate for a chance 2,000 miles away; is the only difference that here, they are merely two miles away, and you sometimes get to glimpse their faces? Dubai is Market Fundamentalist Globalisation in One City.


There is something very interesting in this article: the newspaper purposely avoids the term “trafficking.” 

In Human Trafficking on August 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Augusta Man Caught Trafficking Girls

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