Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘u.s. state department’

Sold into slavery: Report on human trafficking

In Human Trafficking on July 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

IT’S no secret that rights abuses are rife in Pakistan. How serious a problem this is, though, and how deep its roots permeate into the fabric of society, becomes apparent only when different sorts of abuses are considered separately. We know, for example, that women are forced by circumstances or by criminal gangs into prostitution. Delve into the issue a little deeper and it gets worse: boys and girls as young as five are bought, sold, ‘rented’ or kidnapped. Not only are they forced into the sex trade, they are also placed in organised begging rings and sold into slavery in domestic or workplace settings. There exists a structured system for forcing females, adult and minor, into prostitution, and there are physical markets where victims are bought and sold. Women are trafficked for prostitution into Iran and Afghanistan, and Pakistan is a trafficking destination for persons from Iran, Afghanistan and to a lesser extent Bangladesh. There are reports of child sex trafficking between Iran and Pakistan. Domestically, the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labour. These appalling facts are the findings of the US State Department’s 2013 report on Trafficking in Persons, the US government’s principle diplomatic tool in engaging foreign governments on the issue. Sadly, Pakistan is hardly alone in this dismal picture. Secretary of State John Kerry, whilst releasing the report, referred to the global trafficking problem as “modern-day slavery”.

Source: Dawn

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Human trafficking expert to visit Africa

In Human Trafficking on October 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Elizabeth Fildes will take a step into the belly of the beast this week when the Erie County sheriff’s deputy embarks on a 13-day tour intended to educate law enforcement officials in those countries on how to recognize and prevent sex crimes.

As a local leader in the anti-human trafficking effort here – Fildes has been involved in almost every major investigation over the past six years – she brings front-line, street-level expertise to any discussion of sex trafficking.

Charles Lewis/Buffalo News Elizabeth Fildes will give lectures and hands-on training on how to investigate and prevent human trafficking during a 13-day mission to Africa.

“It’s a crime that’s been hidden for so long,” Fildes said of the problems in Africa. “They’re finally coming to the realization that it does exist and that Americans and Europeans go there because of the sex trafficking.”

Fildes, who is recognized nationally as an expert in human trafficking, was picked as an envoy by the U.S. State Department and will visit several countries, including South Africa, Gambia, Botswana and Central Africa, as part of her mission.

She will give lectures and hands-on training on how to investigate and prevent sex trafficking, especially among children, a subject she is all too familiar with as head of the Western New York Human Trafficking Alliance, a task force of state, local and federal law enforcement officials.

The trafficking in underage girls and boys is especially acute in Gambia, an annual vacation destination for thousands of Europeans. Fildes said the government there has asked for her help in training its police force on how to deal with sex crimes.

“They have not been educated enough or made aware of the problems there,” Fildes said. “I see my mission as a way to reach out to them.”

Source: Buffalo News

Human trafficking victim Vannak Anan Prum uses art to tell his story

In Awareness, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on June 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

View Photo Gallery — Horrors of human slavery revealed in art: Cambodian artist Vannak Anan Prum created a series of drawings about his harrowing four years of kidnapping, forced labor and escape.

In 2006, Prum was kidnapped from Cambodia and forced into virtual slavery in Thailand. For three years, he worked on a fishing boat for 20 hours a day and was, according to the State Department, “mistreated, starved, and tortured.” He slept little and worked fatigued. Those who could not perform were beaten, thrown overboard or killed. Prum says he saw a man decapitated and his body tossed into the sea. Even those who tried jumping ship could not stray far; the boat would just turn around and retrieve them.

When the boat stopped in Malaysia, Prum and his cousin escaped, swimming to shore and then running into the jungle. They sought help from police officers and were placed in jail until the Malaysian Embassy could be contacted. But they soon realized that they had fallen into another trap.

Source: Washington Post

The scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery reaches into every corner of the globe, but perhaps nowhere more so than in East Asia and the Pacific. According to the International Labor Organization, the incidence of forced labor and sex trafficking is higher in the Asia-Pacific region than anywhere else in the world. And according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), victims from Asia are trafficked to the widest range of destinations around the globe. In addition to being trafficked overseas, many victims are trafficked within their own countries. In fact, the UNODC reports that most trafficking is national (not international) and is carried out by traffickers whose nationality is the same as their victims’ and within national borders. The most commonly identified form of human trafficking is sex trafficking, defined as the act of coercing, forcing, or deceiving a person into prostitution, or keeping a person in prostitution through coercion. Inducing a child into prostitution is also defined as sex trafficking under the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, even when coercion, force, or deception is not involved. Sex trafficking can also be the result of debt bondage, where women and girls are forced to stay in prostitution until they are able to pay off the unlawful debts they have supposedly incurred through their transportation or recruitment. The ILO estimates that 79 percent of identified trafficking victims are women or girls. In most countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the trafficking of women and children for sex is a widely recognized problem, and the laws and regulations are targeted to these particular groups of victims. Other, less-recognized forms of trafficking, such as the trafficking of men and forced laborers, may be under-reported because current laws do not readily facilitate the identification of victims of these forms of trafficking or allow for the prosecution of their traffickers.
TestimonyJoe YunDeputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human RightsWashington, DCOctober 27, 2011

In Human Trafficking on October 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Trafficking in Persons in East Asia and the Pacific

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario yesterday asked Canada to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in combating human trafficking and called for “a strong framework for cooperation on human rights to ensure that the benefits of the promotion and protection of human rights are felt by all the peoples of ASEAN.”“The Philippines itself has placed anti-human trafficking as one of its priorities and its resolve has led to its upgrade from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in the State Department’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report. But this campaign requires a united response from the international community because human trafficking is a scourge that transcends national boundaries,” he added. 
(Cristina Lee-Pisco for Journal Online)

In Human Trafficking on August 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Canada’s help sought vs human trafficking

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