Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Interesting New Moo-vie

The arts are a great way to promote information regarding human trafficking. This film, just sent to me by a good friend, shows that in India, it is cheaper to buy a full-time child sex slave than a cow.

Where the boys are

As rightly noted by one of my students in our Human Trafficking Law seminar at FSU College of Law, much press and many studies fail to recognize that men and boys are also victims of human trafficking.

This article ( describes how in one instance, boys were lured to the offender's home for sex, but then not permitted to leave, and allegedly locked in a closet. Sigh, boys, too, are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

100 Years of Servitude

Thanks to my great friend for sending me a link to this story on the horrors of labor trafficking:

Please send along anything you read on this subject that you'd like to share with other readers to


Badly Behaving Ladies

I don't know what explains my naivete, but I am still surprised when I find out that women are traffickers, too.

Check out this trafficking ring in Taiwan. The leader had a girlfriend involved, and not to be outdone, his stepson had both (not just one) of his wives participate in the movement of women from mainland China. For the record, the coverage of this story indicates that some of the women might not have been trafficked. Still, it's not the only instance of women participating in the forced prostitution of other women.

For instance, during our seminar yesterday on Human Trafficking Law, Professor Terry Coonan discussed the many women involved at "leadership" levels in the human trafficking ring that included Tallahassee in its grasp. I mean, I am all for more women CEOs, just not in criminal enterprises.

Monday, March 28, 2011

He guided me to Tennessee

This article, while balanced on the whole, unfortunately focuses too much on sex trafficking and fails to mention trafficking for labor. I mean, not even once!

That said, the article is also interesting because it highlights this new state law in Georgia, where Atlanta has seen increasing amounts of trafficking in humans. Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, said that the new law "would allow victims to avoid being charged by testifying against a suspect." Okay. But, in terms of immigration law, victims of sex trafficking under age 18 are not required to testify against their traffickers. So, this law would actually be worse for young victims engaged in commercial sex. Also, what are these victims being "charged" with? Is the assumption here that in lieu of being charged with prostitution, they could instead testify against their trafficker? If a victim is engaging in prostitution due to force, fraud or coercion, then first, how is that a crime that the victim is committing? Is not a crime against them? If the prostituted persons are the victims, what exactly are they being "charged" with? Feel free to weigh in here! Comments welcome!

Check it out:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't mean to drop the H-bomb, but...

If any of our readers live in the Boston area, this looks like a great event. It's free and open to the public!

Carr Center for Human Rights Policy,  Harvard University

Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery

Dear Colleague,

Adrian Hong, a leading activist and policy expert on North Korean human rights, will discuss the scope and gravity of human trafficking of North Koreans with a particular focus on forced marriage and its implications.

Please forward this to any interested colleagues. This event is open to the public.

Co-sponsored by:

Harvard Kennedy School North Korea Study Group,

The Program on Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery,

Harvard Kennedy School Human Rights Professional Interest Council, and

Harvard Kennedy School Student Government

Adrian Hong

Photo Credit:

Adrian Hong, Founder and Director of The Pegasus Project, Co-founder and former Executive Director of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). Mr. Hong is currently a visitor at Princeton University's CITP.

Adrian Hong currently serves as Director of the Pegasus Project, an initiative to use cutting-edge technology to support freedom of information and communication in closed societies. Mr. Hong is co-founder and former Executive Director of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), an international NGO devoted to human rights in North Korea and the protection of North Korean refugees all over the world.

In December of 2006, Mr. Hong was arrested along with two LiNK field workers and six North Korean refugees in the People's Republic of China and imprisoned before being released and deported.

Mr. Hong was a Visiting Lecturer in 2008 teaching "America, Human Rights and Foreign Policy" at Korea's Ewha University, and was recently selected as an inaugural TED 2009 Fellow, a 2009 Arnold Wolfers Fellow at Yale University, and an inaugural TED Senior Fellow. In 2009, he was selected to receive the the Japanese American Citizens League "Vision Award."

When Escape Becomes Bondage

North Korea

Photo Credit:

Human Trafficking of North Koreans:

When Escape

Becomes Bondage

Monday, April 4, 2011

5:00-6:30 p.m.

Taubman Building

Wiener Auditorium

(ground floor)

Harvard Kennedy School

of Government

79 JFK Street

Cambridge, MA

Refreshments will be served!

For more information, contact :

Christina Bain: 617-496-9308


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Even more exciting than the Moose!

Positive changes afoot in Alaska:

This article highlights the fact that according to federal law, U.S. born children can also be considered victims of human trafficking, whether any movement occurs into or out of a particular state.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

UMich does something awesome

Launched in February 2011 by the Human Trafficking Clinic at Michigan Law School, the HTLP is the first publicly available database of human trafficking cases within the United States. Through the HTLP, the Clinic hopes to help strengthen anti-trafficking laws in the United States and to support government officials, law enforcement, and practitioners who are working on behalf of human trafficking victims.

Prepare to be dazzled:

OMG---where did you get that shirt?

Increasingly, we find ourselves navigating an ongoing obstacle course of products brought to us by way of practices that violate our values. Recognizing this reality, California passed last year the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, which will require major retailers and manufacturers doing business in the state to disclose their efforts to eliminate human trafficking and slavery from their direct supply chains. Similar legislation has been proposed at the federal level. Such legislation is an important first step. We face much work ahead in meeting our anxiety over mounting abuses with action to guarantee that disclosure yields more than a public relations response from companies and resignation from a weary public.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dark Chocolate

As chocolate Easter bunnies line the shelves of stores this month my thoughts turn to The Dark Side of Chocolate, a documentary I've been meaning to see that examines the disturbing connection between the cocoa industry, and child labor and trafficking in West Africa. (Additional info on child labor in the cocoa sector is available through Tulane's Payson Center for International Development.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Prostituted Child? Victim of Trafficking? Both? Neither?

Questions concerning the overlapping/identical population of trafficked or prostituted children boggle my mind. Labeling or classifying this group of people is only the first challenge. Next, we need to figure out how to respond. I wrote an article exploring some of these questions:

This New York Times article given to me by a friend helps identify many of the difficult issues surrounding the population of chronic runaway youth:

Love to hear your thoughts on ideas for solutions, both large and small-scale, for how to prevent this kind of prostitution or trafficking from occurring in the first place, and how to best care for the victims involved.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Trafficking in the Phillipines

Interesting article on updates to anti-trafficking laws in the Phillipines. I love the part where they suggest that victims would be encouraged to testify against their traffickers provided they could have "shelter, livelihood and moral support" from non-government organizations. Well, yes, that would be a start, but what about safety? If a victim of trafficking cannot be assured that they and their family members will be free from reprisals for testifying, then how do you convince a victim to testify?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Race, Sex, and Human Trafficking

Melissa Ditmore discusses racism and sexism in today's efforts to combat human trafficking at Race-Talk:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japanese tragedy brings the potential for more

Last week's tsunami and earthquake in Japan wrought immeasurable damage, devastating families, livelihoods, and support structures, and displacing thousands of survivors from their homes. While Japan confronts this immense tragedy, relief agencies and advocates worldwide must ensure that disaster victims are not made victims once more by those who would exploit their vulnerability for profit. As witnessed in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake last year, human trafficking can thrive amid destruction. In Haiti and elsewhere, traffickers prey upon homeless and orphaned children, among others, shrouding forced labor and sexual slavery in promises of much-needed safety, food, and shelter.

While natural disasters sadly may be an inevitable part of the world's future, the victimization of disaster victims by traffickers surely need not be.