Gerthon Saint Preux wanted only one thing as a teenager living in Haiti: to live the American dream. But after he arrived here, he realized he was living the dark nightmare of a child trafficked for labor.A woman from his hometown said she would be his sponsor in the U.S., so Saint Preux left his family for the chance to go to college and one day support his loved ones. When he arrived, his sponsor put him to work at her store, and also gave him chores in her home.There was always a reason why he couldn’t start school. And when his visitor’s visa ended, it only got worse.“From there, I could see hell,” Saint Preux told NBC 4 New York.He worked at the sponsor’s store seven days a week and then cooked and cleaned at her house, without ever being paid. He ate scraps and was forbidden to even sleep on the couch.“She said I’m damaging the couch. I have to sleep on the floor, but the floor has carpet. I just put a pillow there and I sleep,” he said.The sponsor monitored Saint Preux’s phone calls and convinced him that police were his enemy, he says. Even though he interacted with people every day in her store, he never spoke up or asked for help. The terrified teen even considered suicide.“I look for a truck to just throw myself under a truck. I don’t want to suffer — I want a truck to just hit me on the highway and I’m done,” Saint Preux recalled thinking.
Posts Tagged ‘forced labor’
A Filipino man and wife, who admitted to smuggling immigrants from the Philippines and forcing them to work in the couple’s elder-care business in Paso Robles, were sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Monday, February 13.
Along with the prison sentence, United States District Judge Audrey B. Collins, also ordered Maximino “Max” Morales, 46, and his wife, Melinda Morales, 48, to pay $600,000 in restitution to the nine Filipino victims who were not properly paid for the work they performed.
“The Filipino victims in this case were lured to the United States with false promises and were essentially performing slave labor,” US Attorney André Birotte Jr. said in a statement.
Source: Inquirer Global Nation
After 15 years of domestic servitude and never seeing a dime from the $50 a week she was promised, a woman was finally freed from enslavement. This did not happen in some foreign country where poverty is rampant, or in a war-torn area in a forgotten part of the world. This happened here in El Paso, a city that has become a highway for modern-day slavery or human trafficking.
Of all the immigration issues that this border town faces, human trafficking seems to be El Paso’s dirty little secret. “We know that (trafficking) is big and existent,” says Virginia McCrimmon, crime victim specialist with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. “We don’t know how big or how small.”
Since 2005, McCrimmon worked as the Salvation Army’s head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Program in El Paso, providing services to meet basic social and emotional needs of victims. In May 2011, she was hired to work with human trafficking victims at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
Throughout the years that she has been serving the El Paso community, McCrimmon has worked with approximately 15 men, women and children brought from China, Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. She says victims can be forced to work in practically any industry in the nation, including agriculture, sweatshop factories, construction, janitorial services and even restaurant services.
Source: Minero Magazine
While a lucrative deep-sea fishing industry places Thailand among the world’s leading exporters of sea products, a grim specter of human rights abuse lurks below the surface of an industry whose contribution to the national economy is estimated to exceed $4 billion a year.
A combination of factors – including a shortage of labor in this dangerous and physically demanding industry and pressures on marginalized populations – create opportunities for unscrupulous employment brokers and traffickers to prey on those desperate for work. Trafficking of migrant men and boys from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and within Thailand itself into the deep-sea fishing industry (DSFI) is an issue of growing concern to the governments of Thailand and neighboring countries, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the international community. A combination of economic pressures, language constraints, and lack of information on the risk of trafficking puts migrant populations at especially high risk of labor exploitation and trafficking. Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 250,000 migrants from Burma alone work in sea and land-based sectors of Thai fishing industry. Many of them are trafficked or subject to labor exploitation, while many more are at risk.
The release of hundreds of political prisoners is the latest in a series of steps taken by the Government of Burma in its move toward democracy. Furthering its promise to partner with Burma in its reform process, the U.S. has increased dialogue on another important rights issue: human trafficking.
“While this is a country endowed with many natural resources, the most precious is its people,” U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca said during a recent visit to the country. “They deserve freedom from modern slavery whether here or abroad.”
Ambassador CdeBaca recently met with officials in Burma for what he called a “frank and open” discussion on forced labor, sex trafficking and recruitment of child soldiers. Ambassador CdeBaca said he saw “a recognition of the problem and an openness to act,” in the meetings with his counterparts in the Burmese government. He was encouraged by actions by the government in recent months. For example, trafficking victims who had returned home were previously involuntarily detained for two weeks. The Burmese government has issued a decree ending this practice.
CNN’s Richard Quest talks with Sophi Tranchell of Divine Chocolate about efforts to end slave labor in the cocoa trade.
Freaking love Divine Chocolates, and LOVE how they work WITH farmers and keep things Fair Trade. Find a Divine source near your (often in fair trade shops) and support the farmers.
BBC documentary, Chocolate: The Bitter Truth
The next time you crunch into a Kit-Kat or Hersheys chocolate bar, or eat a birthday cake topped with chocolate frosting, consider this: a young, uneducated, unpaid, malnourished West African child has likely cut open the cacao fruits that held the cocoa seeds of the chocolate which you are now eating. This child is working in Ghana or the Ivory Coast (combined, the two countries provide 60% of global cocoa) and has been trafficked from Burkina Faso.
(Abraar Karan for Global Health Hub)