Tuesday, September 25, 2012

President Obama and Human Trafficking

President Obama will address human trafficking & modern day slavery at the Clinton Global Initiative 12PM EST Watch: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ending Demand Won't Stop Prostitution

A Misguided Moral Crusade
Published: September 22, 2012


BEATEN. Burned. Branded with a bar code or with a pimp’s name carved into her thigh. Thrown into the trunk of a car for punishment. Forced to provide sexual services for countless callous and violent men. This is the dominant image of young people in the sex trade, and it is fueling deeply flawed campaigns against prostitution.

Galvanized by public outrage and advocacy groups, policy makers have started to push to eradicate all prostitution, not just the trafficking of children into the sex trade. Under the catchphrase “no demand, no supply,” they advocate increasing criminal penalties against men who buy sex — a move they believe will upend the market that fuels prostitution and sex trafficking.

These tactics have gained significant momentum, prompting an initiative by the National Association of Attorneys General, law-enforcement stings and sweeps across the country, and even attempts to prosecute clients as traffickers. The problem is that the “end demand” campaign will harm trafficking victims and sex workers more than it helps them.

In a ballroom at Boston’s upscale Westin Copley Place Hotel this spring, more than 250 law-enforcement officers, advocates and survivors of the sex trade, sat riveted, some openly weeping, as they watched a video of a young woman in a dreary motel room, taking her clothes off, telling her grim life story to one uncaring, unhearing man after another. The videos’s final message: If men didn’t buy her, pimps couldn’t sell her.

For these modern-day abolitionists, ending all prostitution is the only solution. As Lina Nealon, director of Demand Abolition, told the gathered participants through tears, “Because of the work you are doing, my 2-year-old daughter and my soon-to-be-born daughter will find the idea of buying people for sex as incomprehensible as separate water fountains are to me.”

End-demand advocates’ prototypical victim — an abused teenage girl raised in the blight of the inner city and forced into the sex trade by an older man — does exist. But they disregard the fact that individuals, including boys, men and transgender people, enter the sex trade for a variety of reasons. The pimped girl who has inflamed the public’s imagination needs government services and protection, not to be made into a symbolic figure in an ideological battle to eradicate the entire sex industry, which, like many other sectors, includes adults laboring in conditions ranging from upscale to exploitative, from freely chosen to forced.

Unfortunately, despite their righteous anger, the end-demand crowd is quick to dismiss what many sex workers actually have to say. Some activists have gone so far as to brand those who criticize their campaign as “house slaves” unable to recognize their own oppression.

The end-demand crusade is premised on the idea that all prostitution is inherently exploitative. Some end-demand advocates came to their position from their work against pornography in the 1980s; others worked with a coalition of conservatives and evangelical Christians during George W. Bush’s presidency to abolish prostitution. Not surprisingly, these abolitionists ignore the legal distinctions between prostitution and human trafficking. Federal law states that trafficking for forced prostitution occurs only when a commercial sex act is induced through force, fraud or coercion, or when the person induced to perform it is under 18. Indeed, not all prostitution is trafficking, and not all trafficking — as those exploited and sexually assaulted in homes, fields and factories across our nation know too well — is prostitution.

Although it emerged out of anti-trafficking rhetoric, the end-demand campaign is actually a movement to change prostitution policy from our current legal framework — the criminalization of both buying and selling sex — to the “Swedish model,” in which selling sex is not illegal, but buying sex is a criminal offense. (Two other models exist: full legalization with government regulation and registration of sex workers, as in the Netherlands, and full decriminalization of both buying and selling sex with minimal state oversight, as in New Zealand.)

Based on an appealing, proactive vision of gender justice, the Swedish model has caught on in Iceland and Norway — even though it hasn’t panned out as planned in Sweden, where street-level prostitution dropped temporarily after the law took effect in 1999, only to climb again. Sweden’s sex workers say they are forced to rush negotiations and have to rely more on intermediaries to access wary clients. Prostitution hasn’t gone away; it’s simply gone underground.

Translating Swedish laws into an American context presents even more problems. America lacks the extensive services of Sweden’s social welfare state, which are vital to anyone leaving the sex trade. And American politicians don’t want to be seen as soft on crime or morally lax, making it unlikely that selling sex could ever be decriminalized here.

In this environment, any uptick in law-enforcement actions aimed at buyers inevitably results in increased criminalization of those selling sex. New York City’s “Operation Losing Proposition” earlier this year resulted in nearly 200 arrests; the operation allegedly targeted the demand side of prostitution, but it netted 10 individuals who sell sex as well. Attempting to implement the Swedish law in our punitive environment would most likely mean the criminalization of even more of those it’s intended to help — without a Scandinavian-style safety net for those leaving the life.

“You will see that in any country, when you criminalize both parts, the police go for the women,” said Kasja Wahlberg, a Swedish detective and the country’s rapporteur on human trafficking. According to Meagan Morris, a Colorado researcher who has studied law-enforcement approaches to prostitution, even so-called “victim-centered” approaches disproportionately hurt women, leaving them more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation because they have criminal records, which limit their access to affordable housing and sustainable-wage jobs.

End-demand strategies could also lead to more pressure on sex workers from pimps and traffickers. “Pimps don’t accept the rationale that there’s a new law and fewer johns now,” said Paul Holmes, a counter-trafficking expert and former Scotland Yard official. “So if a girl is working 16 hours, she’ll have to work 20, and under more brutality. You’ll also drive the trade underground, which makes it more dangerous for them and more difficult for us.”

However well-intentioned law-enforcement strategies might be, they have been engineered with little attention to the wants and needs of sex workers — and to the violence many of them have faced from government employees.

A study in Illinois found that police account for 30 percent of all reported abuse, compared with just 4 percent arising from pimps. According to one young person cited in the Young Women’s Empowerment Project’s study: “I was going to meet a new john. It turned out to be a sting set up by the cops. He got violent with me, handcuffed me and then raped me. He cleaned me up for the police station, and I got sentenced to four months in jail for prostitution.”

In New York, a woman who was trafficked into the sex trade as a minor told me sometimes “the cops are the ones abusing you, taking your money, beating you up” and they offer no help “even if I get raped” by a john. “I’ve had to provide services more than once in exchange for not being arrested,” she added. “Who is really going to hold them accountable?”

THE best law-enforcement strategy to prevent trafficking into forced prostitution is not an end-demand campaign that harms current sex workers. What’s needed instead is a commitment to seriously investigate and prosecute traffickers and impose harsh punishment on those who rape and assault sex workers. Police departments also need public ombudsmen, tough internal-affairs bureaus and vigorous monitoring to combat corruption and abuse. If those in the sex trade felt comfortable reporting rape to the police rather than running from them, police departments would have a much easier time discovering cases of trafficking.

But law enforcement is only one part of the solution. Many young people living on the streets turn to “survival sex” in exchange for food or shelter — and many do so without an intermediary. “I ran away from all the drug activity at home at 11,” one woman in Chicago told me. “I had to do it just to have somewhere to sleep, something to eat.”

Nearly 90 percent of the minors profiled in a John Jay College study indicated they wanted to leave “the life” — but cited access to stable housing as one of the biggest obstacles. In New York City alone, almost 4,000 homeless youths lack stable housing, yet there are barely more than 100 long-term shelter beds to serve them.

Starting in 2008, staff members at the Queens County AIDS Center could barely get the door open on cold days: the office was packed with young people sleeping on the floor. One of them was Donna, a transgender 25-year-old who started selling sex at 13 after running away from abusive foster and group homes.

For people like Donna, ending demand for prostitution is not the answer; satisfying the demand for basic social services is. Shelter, job opportunities and a responsive and sensitive law-enforcement system are vital to those who want to leave the trade. “People call you a survivor after you leave the life,” Donna told me. “But I was a survivor when I was in it.” She added: “I didn’t really like prostituting. But then, I had no other way out.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

More Florida Anti-Human Trafficking News: Safe Massage or No Massage

Governor Rick Scott Joins Law Enforcement and Anti-Human Trafficking Groups to Suspend Licenses of 81 Massage Therapists
Governor asks Department of Health to Conduct Review of Massage Therapy Schools

Tampa, Fla.- Today, Governor Rick Scott was joined by State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong, state and local law enforcement officials and anti-human trafficking groups to announce swift action to suspend the licenses of 81 massage therapists who appear to have obtained their licenses fraudulently.  Dr. Armstrong signed 81 emergency suspension orders (ESOs), suspending the licenses of massage therapists who are a part of ongoing investigations.

The Florida Department of Health, along with the Clearwater Human Trafficking Task Force and the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force began a joint investigation of several Florida massage establishments earlier this year.  During their investigation, more than 200 therapists appeared to have obtained their massage licenses through fraud. The investigations reveled that some massage therapists paid between $10,000-$15,000 to obtain fraudulent college certificates and transcripts, which they then submitted to DOH as part of their licensure applications.

Governor Scott also directed Dr. Armstrong to lead a seven day review of massage schools in order to make sure they are complying with all licensure requirements and regulations.

Gov. Scott said, “I want to make one message very clear - if you want to break the law, if you want to prey on the vulnerable, if you are in any way in the business of human trafficking, you do not want to do it in Florida. Our justice system here is thorough and swift. We will find you out and we will punish you to the fullest extent of the law. The Department of Health, all of our state agencies and every task force here and across our state are all working toward one goal - to keep our communities safe. We will make that goal a reality for the people of Florida.”

“Our close partnerships with agencies will help us stop those who illegally obtain licenses and threaten the health of our citizens and visitors,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Armstrong. “The Department will continue to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement to ensure the safety of Floridians.  Fraudulent licensing activity in this or any profession will not be tolerated in Florida.”

“The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work tirelessly to protect the victims of Human Trafficking.  Incidents such as these will not be tolerated,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “Our agency will work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement to apprehend and punish violators of these acts against some of Florida’s most vulnerable victims.”

“The Department of Children and Families has helped implement legislation that attempts to break the cycle of human trafficking and has taken the lead in providing support for the victims of this heinous crime, giving them the chance to pursue a rich and independent life," Wilkins said. "We will continue to work with our state and local partners, led by our front-line staff, to identify these victims and the perpetrators who are exploiting our children."

The Department of Health licenses massage therapists, among 40 other professions, and approved massage therapy schools are dually regulated by the Florida Department of Education and DOH.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Florida, Less Other Things

Attorney General Bondi Raises Awareness About Human Trafficking

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi launched a new webpage
dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking and recent efforts
to make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking. Attorney
General Bondi worked with the Florida Legislature to pass laws that enhance
penalties and provide additional measures to stop human trafficking.  To
access this new webpage, please visit MyFloridaLegal.com.

“Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime that exploits women, men and
children,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “We now have tougher criminal
penalties and enhanced tools to help law enforcement, prosecutors and
regulators stop these criminal enterprises.”

Additionally, Attorney General Bondi will attend the Florida Children and
Youth Cabinet Human Trafficking Summit on Monday, Sept. 24.  The Summit is
intended to start a statewide conversation among community members,
students, advocates and professionals about the status of human trafficking
in our state.  For more information on the Summit, please visit

Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry that exploits women, men and
children.  Attorney General Bondi is dedicated to partnering with federal,
state and local leaders to end this crisis.  Attorney General Bondi’s
Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute cases of human trafficking
to the fullest extent of the law.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Florida and Human Trafficking

Palm Beach County is 'perfect storm' of human trafficking
Promised work in Boca, workers used as slave labor in Mississippi
By Brett Clarkson, Sun Sentinel
8:04 p.m. EDT, September 15, 2012

Recruited from the Philippines and other developing nations, the workers were promised jobs that paid $7.50 an hour as servers at the Polo Club of Boca Raton.

It was a lie.

After arriving in the U.S. with temporary work visas, they were shipped out in a pickup truck to a grubby trailer on the edge of the woods in Purvis, Miss., where they would work 12 hours a day, six days a week picking pine straw, which is used to make mulch. At night, they slept in a filthy, unheated trailer with no potable water. It was November 2009 and there was snow on the ground.

"We were afraid," said Regie Tesoro, 35, one of the victims. "We didn't even know about why these people were doing this to us — just for money."
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Tesoro is one among thousands of victims of human trafficking, a crime federal investigators say is growing across the country – and in South Florida. Palm Beach County, with its agriculture and tourism industries always on the lookout for low cost labor, is a "perfect storm" for human trafficking, investigators say.

"It's a multibillion dollar business," said Carmen Pino, assistant special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Miami. "It's everywhere."

Pino said the crime is creeping into everyday life in South Florida, even though many people might not realize it.

"The possibility of anybody at anytime encountering a victim of human trafficking in South Florida is very possible," he said.

Human trafficking is akin to slavery and involves people, often foreign workers, being forced to perform work for little or no pay, usually by organized crime groups.

Whether it be prostitution, farm work, the hotel and restaurant industry, nail and beauty salons, or domestic help, the fields in which exploited people are working are many and varied, agents say.

Because of its tourism and agricultural sectors, Palm Beach County is a "perfect storm" of human trafficking, said Nestor Yglesias, ICE spokesman.

"We have seen a huge increase in human trafficking in Palm Beach," Yglesias said.

Pino and Yglesias said there were no state-by-state numbers available from for human trafficking investigations to quantify the rise in South Florida.

There are, however, national numbers.

In 2010, there were 651 human trafficking investigations, 151 indictments and 144 convictions.

In 2011, there was a marked increase on all fronts: 722 human trafficking investigations, 444 indictments and 271 convictions.

Those numbers come from ICE, which initiated the investigations that lead to the indictments and convictions.

Locally, Pino and Yglecias point to other indicators besides statistics. They say authorities are receiving more investigative leads from both average citizens and local law enforcement officers.

For instance, it was an anonymous tip in March 2010 that led to the arrest of Veronica Martinez, who was sentenced to 87 months in prison after smuggling two Mexican women into the country and forcing them to work at a Palm Beach County bar to pay off their smuggling debt.

In November 2010, two Boca Raton residents pleaded guilty forcing 39 Filipino workers to work in local country clubs. A year later, in November 2011, a Miami Gardens woman was sentenced to eight years after trying to smuggle 31 foreign workers into the U.S. by boat.

That same month, three Mexicans got 15 years each after forcing Mexican women to work as prostitutes.

More recently, in August 2012, four migrant workers who entered the country illegally launched a civil suit against a Cape Coral staffing company and three of its workers, all of Belle Glade, for allegedly abusing and threatening them while they worked in the fields.

They also said they lived in squalid conditions and were paid a fraction of what they had been promised.

In April 2012, one of the three Belle Glade farm managers pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Pino, who heads up an investigative team that probes human trafficking cases from Fort Pierce to Key West, said Mexican drug cartels traffic farm workers and prostitutes in the western parts of Palm Beach County. Closer to the beaches, workers are trafficked for hotels, restaurants, and as servants in the homes of wealthy residents, he said.

In Broward, especially the central part of the county, there are the massage parlors run by Asian organized crime groups, he said.

In Miami-Dade, Pino said Israeli and Russian criminal groups traffic high-end prostitutes in South Beach.

Then there are the brothels in suburban homes, he said, where Mexican women and girls are forced into prostitution and sold to make money for the cartels. Often the girls will be kept on high dosages of antibiotics to stop their menstrual cycles and keep them working.

But Pino also talked about something a little less criminally apparent, like nail salons.

The way he explained it: say a customer notices that every single day, the same person is working at the nail salon. The customer might try to spark a friendly conversation with the worker, who seems evasive. The boss will then come over and put a stop to the chat, acting like a gate keeper. That's probably a sign the worker might be a victim of human trafficking, Pino said.

"It's truly hidden in plain sight," he said, urging South Floridians to be on the lookout.

Tesoro, now living in New Orleans on a four-year visa granted to victims of trafficking, did what many victims don't do and came forward after escaping from the trailer.

Along with close to 40 other victims, he is suing West Palm Beach immigration fraudster Michael V. Lombardi and over a dozen other defendants.

"Lombardi, with the assistance of local recruiters in the Philippines, was bringing the workers over and perpetuating visa fraud," said the plaintiffs' Mississippi attorney, John Davidson.

According to a grand jury indictment brought against Lombardi in 2011, Lombardi applied for the foreign workers to be granted temporary work visas that would allow them to work in Boca Raton. The workers were granted the visas.

When the workers arrived in the U.S., they were instead sent to Purvis, Mississippi, in violation of their visas, according to the indicment.

Davidson said the Polo Club of Boca Raton was dropped from the civil lawsuit. Doug Green, president of the club, declined to comment.

"I don't have any response because I'm not involved in this whatsoever," Green said.

Lombardi, 41, was sentenced in August to four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to visa fraud.

"It's really trafficking," Tesoro said.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Second Place for Human Trafficking

Human trafficking recently became the second most profitable criminal industry in the world, surpassing weapon trafficking.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Human Trafficking in Florida


Human trafficking in our own backyard

By Alyson Ferrer
Special to the Star-Banner
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 14, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.
Human trafficking is the second fastest growing form of organized crime (just behind drug trafficking) in the United States, and children account for almost half of its victims — although many of these cases remain unknown because the victims live in such fear they remain silent.

Trafficking is a $32 billion industry with nearly half of that coming from industrialized countries. Children are abducted and sold for sex, domestic help is kept in captivity and wages withheld, and women are forced into prostitution and made to forfeit their earnings.

This crime is not biased to countries afar, it occurs domestically here in the United States, and in our own "Sunshine State." Although the media does not offer much information on the subject, human trafficking is a real problem that is literally growing in our backyard.

A conference on human trafficking is being held from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 at College Road Baptist Church and is free to the public. Speakers from various organizations will be providing useful information as well as a story of survival, "Beauty From Ashes." I urge the public to attend and gather useful information that may rescue victims and help prevent or protect potential victims.

Here are some facts, according to the State of Florida Department of Children and Families, about the 55 human trafficking victims served in Florida in 2010:

-- 33 were male, and 22 were female;

-- 52 were adults and three were children;

-- 50 were labor trafficking victims;

-- Five were sex trafficking victims.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, and it is alive and thriving. This conference will provide information to the public and awareness of the magnitude of this crime. As stated earlier, many victims live in fear and remain silent; therefore, awareness is the key to addressing this growing problem here the United States.

According to the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, our state has been identified as a hub for human trafficking activity, citing one of the highest incidences of human trafficking in the country. This crime affects all types of individuals, both foreign and domestic.

Just recently, a 72-year-old Belleview man was arrested for downloading images of child pornography. The images displayed children engaging in sexual acts. Where do you think these children came from?

As a community, we need to be informed and take action against acts of human trafficking. We live in a society that still allows slavery and abuse. We need to progress and be a catalyst for change, please plan on attending this event.

Alyson Ferrer is an Ocala mother and college student who volunteers with Women at Risk, an international organization that advocates for human trafficking victims.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Check Out the Human Trafficking Daily!


So much information!  So little time!

The Human Trafficking Daily
Next update in about 23 hoursSee all articles

 People Speak: Victim pushes for stricter human trafficking penalties
foxnews.com - "I was constantly at risk of rape or murder,” says Leah Albright-Byrd while walking in a public park near Century City in Los Angeles. “I have a friend who was killed as a result of being exploited...
Beauty From Ashes™
Human trafficking: a misunderstood global scourge - CSMonitor.com
csmonitor.com - During a diplomatic visit to Calcutta, India, in May, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped at a shelter for young women and girls. It was not an ordinary shelter, but one with a spe...
NY Anti-Trafficking
How do you contribute to modern day slavery of human trafficking? - CSMonitor.com
csmonitor.com - In this week's Monitor cover story on the misunderstood scourge of human trafficking, some human rights advocates suggest that the global problem gets eclipsed by the issue of domestic sex traffick...
Musicians Unite Voices Against Human Trafficking
thejakartaglobe.com - More than 25,000 people filled Lapangan Gasibu by Bandung’s Gedung Sate last Saturday to rock out to a lineup of some of Indonesia’s favorite musical acts, including PAS Band, The Changcuters, d’Ma...
MindaNews » ARMM forms task force vs human trafficking
mindanews.com - DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 September) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) recently formed a task force in response to reports it is the country’s primary source of victims of local and ...

unodc.org - What are the overlaps and differences between migrant smuggling and human trafficking? Which countries are affected by migrant smuggling? Who are the smuggled migrants and who are migrant smugglers...
Are we well protecting the unprotected?
loyarburok.com - Nazreen, programme coordinator at CAMSA (Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia), writes on the shortcomings of existing legislation with regards to the protection of trafficked persons. S...
Justine Tan
End Human Trafficking Before It's Too Late — Voices of Youth
voicesofyouth.org - They say that we as human being have a right to be free from any form of slavery, abuses, violence and fear. They say that those rights are our fundamental rights as human and we should be respecte...
EducationSee all
Group Raising Funds To Help Victims Of Human Trafficking
kake.com - All over the country and right here in Wichita, young girls are being recruited by pimps and sold into prostitution. The issue has pushed a local mother to go above and beyond to help young people ...
Beauty From Ashes™
Help us reach 1 Million Strong Against Human Trafficking! « Proposition 35: The CASE ACT
action.caseact.org - Copyright © 2012 CASE Act. All Rights Reserved. P.O. Box 7057, Fremont, California 94537 (510) 473-7283 Contact Us Paid for by Vote Yes on 35: Stop Human Trafficking in California, a coalition of s...
Prop 35: CASE Act
End Human Trafficking
f-4-c.org - Force 4 Compassion (F-4-C) is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and providing hope for children and survivors of sex trafficking in America and abroad. Through our programs an...
Force 4 Compassion
CrimeSee all
Sex traffickers force girls as young as 8 into prostitution in Central Florida - PeaceNext
peacenext.org - Fifteen-year-old C.G. was hanging out with friends in Tampa's popular Ybor City when she met a man, several years her senior, who offered her a ride home. FBI agents say C.G. accepted the ride, but...
Beauty From Ashes™
Two charged with forcing female teen into prostitution - Khaleej Times
khaleejtimes.com - An undercover police corporal entered the flat with a police informant claiming they were up for sex with the prostitutes. They were only allowed in after talking to the watchman on trial.
Human Trafficking
FBI — Former MS-13 Leader Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking a Teenage Girl
fbi.gov - ALEXANDRIA, VA—A former clique leader of MS-13 in Maryland pled guilty today for his role in a gang-run juvenile prostitution ring. Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District...
Chab Dai
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Support the Film - Anna & Modern Day Slavery
annaandmoderndayslavery.weebly.com - We want to thank you for your donation!  While you can donate any amount to this project (even as little as $1), we want to give back to those who help support this film!  Therefore, we are offerin...
Magda M. Olchawska
Video interview with Marta Fenollar - Costume Designer on the set of "Anna & Modern Day Slavery"
magdaolchawska.com - I help creative entrepreneurs: filmmakers, actors, writers, photographers, artists to: - find the right audience for your artistic outlet Anna, a strong & independent woman, leaves her partner & hi...
Magda M. Olchawska
Book Review: Trafficked – The Average Advocate
averageadvocate.com - Hardcover: 384 pages Publisher: Viking, Published by Penguin Group (February 16, 2012) Language: English ISBN-13: 9780670012800 Buy the Book: Amazon Hannah believes she’s being brought from Moldova...
LeisureSee all
antislavery.org - Anti-Slavery International, Thomas Clarkson House, The Stableyard, Broomgrove Road, London SW9 9TL t:             +44 (0)20 7501 8920       | f: +44 (0)20 7738 4110 | e: info@antislavery.org Registered Charity 10491...
Social Initiative
SCTNow - Portland Walk 2012 - SCTNow
events.sctnow.org - All paid registrants ($25 fee) who register 2 weeks prior to the event date will receive an exclusive walk day t-shirt. Children 12 & under can still register for free, with an option to purchase a...
Marshall Snider
Run Against Human Trafficking - 5K and 10K | Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919
active.com - Date: September 22nd, 2012 Place: Monument Valley Park Time: 6:30 -7:30 packet pick up. (packets will also be available at Pikes Peak Christian Church 4955 Bradley Road, C/S 80911 - Wed - Friday 8:...
WorldSee all
18 human trafficking victims rescued
sunstar.com.ph - EIGHTEEN victims, including six minors, were intercepted and rescued by policemen and operatives of the Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) at a private wharf west of the city, the polic...
Tony Rocha
UN team begins work on missing persons - thenews.com.pk
thenews.com.pk - As the visiting delegates were meeting Amina, a petition was being filed in the Lahore High Court about the disappearance of Mian Azhar, an engineering graduate from Noshera Virkan (Gujranwala). He...
LOCAL - 25 PKK militants killed in air raids
hurriyetdailynews.com - Twenty-five members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed in air raids between Sept. 5 and 9, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement released today. Fourteen target areas...
#humantraffickingSee all
faqs migrant smuggling
unodc.org - What are the overlaps and differences between migrant smuggling and human trafficking? Which countries are affected by migrant smuggling? Who are the smuggled migrants and who are migrant smugglers...
Are we well protecting the unprotected?
loyarburok.com - Nazreen, programme coordinator at CAMSA (Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia), writes on the shortcomings of existing legislation with regards to the protection of trafficked persons. S...
Justine Tan
Support the Film - Anna & Modern Day Slavery
annaandmoderndayslavery.weebly.com - We want to thank you for your donation!  While you can donate any amount to this project (even as little as $1), we want to give back to those who help support this film!  Therefore, we are offerin...
Magda M. Olchawska
#slaverySee all
How do you contribute to modern day slavery of human trafficking - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com
cbs8.com - In this week's Monitor cover story on the misunderstood scourge of human trafficking, some human rights advocates suggest that the global problem gets eclipsed by the issue of domestic sex traffick...
Soon Wuan Shyuan
Sex trafficking is America's cause célèbre. But does it miss the point?
alaskadispatch.com - During a diplomatic visit to Calcutta, India, in May, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped at a shelter for young women and girls. It was not an ordinary shelter, but one with a spe...
Katy Molloy
Sign up for Grassroots Network | Polaris Project | Combating Human Trafficking and Modern-day Slavery
act.polarisproject.org - Polaris Project works to empower and mobilize people from diverse backgrounds and of all ages to take meaningful action against human trafficking. Sign up below to receive regular updates from us o...

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Handy Reminder Sheet Highlighting the Differences Between Smuggling and Trafficking


What is Migrant Smuggling?
What are the overlaps and differences between migrant smuggling and human trafficking?
What is the role of consent in migrant smuggling?
How widespread is migrant smuggling?
Which countries are affected by migrant smuggling?
Who are the smuggled migrants and who are migrant smugglers?
What is the role of transnational organised crime groups in migrant smuggling?
Is there a legal instrument to tackle migrant smuggling?
What is the status of people who have been smuggled in respect of the Migrant Smuggling Protocol?
What are the major challenges faced in the battle against migrant smuggling?
Do many smugglers get caught and convicted?

What Is Migrant Smuggling?
Article 3 of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Migrant Smuggling Protocol) defines migrant smuggling as:
"..the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a state party of which the person is not a national".
Article 6 of the Migrant Smuggling Protocol requires the criminalization of this conduct.
In addition, Art. 6 requires states to criminalize the following conduct:
"enabling a person to remain in a country where the person is not a legal resident or citizen without complying with requirements for legally remaining by illegal means" in order to obtain a financial or other material benefit.
To summarise, Art. 6 requires states to establish as an offence or as offences the following conducts:
the procurement of the illegal entry

of a person into a state party of which the person is not a national

in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit
enabling a person to remain in a country

where the person is not a legal resident or citizen without complying with requirements for legally remaining

in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit
In short, the combination of the following elements constitutes 'migrant smuggling and related conduct':
1.      Either the procurement of  an illegal entry or illegal residence of a person; and;
2.      Into or in a country of which that person is not a national or permanent resident; and
3.      For the purpose of financial or other material benefit.
Furthermore, Article 6 of the Migrant Smuggling Protocol requires states to criminalize producing, procuring, providing or possessing fraudulent travel or identity documents when done for the purpose of enabling smuggling of migrants.
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What Are The Overlaps And Differences Between Migrant Smuggling And Human Trafficking?
The distinctions between smuggling and trafficking are often very subtle and sometimes they overlap. Identifying whether a case is one of human trafficking or migrant smuggling and related crimes can be very difficult for a number of reasons:
Some trafficked persons might start their journey by agreeing to be smuggled into a country, but find themselves deceived, coerced or forced into an exploitative situation later in the process (for instance, being forced to work for extraordinary low wages to pay for their transportation).
Traffickers may present an 'opportunity' that sounds more like smuggling to potential victims. They could be asked to pay a fee in common with other people who are smuggled. However, the intention of the trafficker from the outset is the exploitation of the victim. The 'fee' was part of the fraud and deception and a way to make more money.
Smuggling may not be the planned intention at the outset but a 'too good to miss' opportunity to traffic people presents itself to the smugglers/traffickers at some point in the process.
Criminals may both smuggle and traffic people, employing the same routes and methods of transporting them.
In short, what begins as a situation of migrant smuggling may develop into a situation of human trafficking.
Simply put, there are four main technical differences between human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Consent - migrant smuggling, while often undertaken in dangerous or degrading conditions, involves consent. Trafficking victims, on the other hand, have either never consented or if they initially consented, that consent has been rendered meaningless by the coercive, deceptive or abusive action of the traffickers.
Exploitation - migrant smuggling ends with the migrants' arrival at their destination, whereas trafficking involves the ongoing exploitation of the victim.
Transnationality - smuggling is always transnational, whereas trafficking may not be. Trafficking can occur regardless of whether victims are taken to another state or moved within a state's borders.
Source of profits - in smuggling cases profits are derived from the transportation of facilitation of the illegal entry or stay of a person into another county, while in trafficking cases profits are derived from exploitation.
To learn more about migrant smuggling, click here.
To learn more about human trafficking, click here.
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What Is The Role Of Consent In Migrant Smuggling?
Generally, smuggled migrants consent to being smuggled and provide those who smuggle them with a financial or material benefit in exchange for being smuggled. However, just because a person consents to being smuggled, does not necessarily mean that he or she consents to their treatment during the process of being smuggled or the conditions that they are made to endure. Smuggled migrants may retract their consent throughout the process of being smuggled upon discovering the nature of the process; they may still be forced to continue on with the journey. Smuggled migrants may fall victim to crimes by those who smuggle them, for instance, by violence being used or threatened against them or their families. Thousands of people have lost their lives as a result of the indifferent or even deliberate actions of migrant smugglers.
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How Widespread Is Migrant Smuggling?
It is difficult to assess the real size of migrant smuggling because it is a crime that takes place underground and is often not identified or is misidentified.  Information currently available is too scattered and too incomplete to be able to show accurately the numbers of people smuggled each year and the routes and methods used by those who smuggle them. However, the evidence available reveals that criminals are increasingly providing smuggling services to irregular migrants. As border controls improve, more migrants are diverted into the hands of smugglers. Further, not all persons who migrate have the legal opportunities to do so; as more and more people seek to migrate in search of a better life for themselves and their families, sometimes fleeing lack of employment opportunities, sometimes fleeing extreme poverty, natural disaster or persecution, a demand is created for services to help them. Profit-seeking criminals take advantage of this.
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Which Countries Are Affected By Migrant Smuggling?
Virtually every country in the world is affected by the smuggling of migrants, either as a country origin, transit or destination for migrants smuggled by crimals. Migrant smuggling and the activities related to it not only cost many people their lives, but also generate enormous profits for the criminals involved, fuelling corruption and organized crime in the countries travelled from, through or to during the smuggling process.
Not only does the crime of migrant smuggling seek to circumvent the border controls that sovereign states have put in place, it also has a negative impact on communities in countries of origin, transit and destination. In countries of origin, migrants and their families are often pushed further into destitution by profit seeking smugglers who may or may not deliver the services they sell. Where families and communities pool their resources to facilitate the migration of a key income-earning family member, who does not successfully migrate - or does not return - the negative impact on them is immeasurable.
Smuggled migrants and those who smuggle them can remain for long periods of time in transit countries, often under conditions of extreme hardship. Smugglers may recruit actors for their criminal activities among local or migrant communities, spreading the criminal impact of their business along the routes they use. The strain placed on destination country resources in attempts to intercept and process situations of migrant smuggling is significant; where they are under-resourced to appropriately resond to smuggling situations the crime may continue unchecked. Destination country communities are also impacted, with criminals being fed with a new supply of extremely vulnerable people to exploit. In short, migrant smuggling affects countries of origin, transit and destination - and therefore requires the collaborative response of all.
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Who Are The Smuggled Migrants And Who Are Migrant Smugglers?
There may be a range of different actors performing a range of different roles in the smuggling process. Small-scale smugglers would generally not employ other actors in the process but arrange all aspects of the actual operation themselves. Within larger smuggling networks there will be a division of work among the actors involved. Often, those individuals at the top of migrant smuggling networks are the most difficult to identify and bring to justice. Unless their activites are stopped, migrant smuggling will continue.
It is also difficult to generalize about the people using the services of smugglers since their profile constantly evolves with changing circumstances. Smuggled migrants can be men, women and children. Some studies from different parts of the world have shown that the first migrants who are smuggled are young men. This is often due to the expectations placed on males to provide for their families; often such men will have to risk their own life in order for a chance to make remittances to send back home in support of those they leave behind. However, research has also revealed that there is a feminization of migration, with more women migrating than before.
Many smuggled migrants are escaping poverty, lack of opportunity, natural disaster or conflict. Others may be seeking asylum. Many smuggled migrants (though not necessarily all) are poor and uneducated. Others may be middle class people who are educated. Perhaps the only generalization that can be made about migrants who are smuggled is that they are all on a quest for a better life.
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What Is The Role Of Transnational Organised Crime Groups In Migrant Smuggling?
In the case of migrant smuggling, without some element of cross-border movement there is neither smuggling, nor migration. The definition of migrant smuggling provided in the Migrant Smuggling Protocol provides for a crime that by its nature involves transborder activity. However, according to the Protocol domestic offences should apply even where transnationality and the involvement of organized crime groups does not exist or cannot be proved. In other words, prosecutors should not be required to prove either transnionality nor organized crime in order to obtain a conviction of migrant smugglers.
As with other forms of organized crime, groups formerly active in specific routes or regions have expanded the geographical scope of their activities to explore new markets. Some have merged or formed cooperative relationships, expanding their geographical reach and range of criminal activities. For some crime groups, migrants are viewed simply as one of many commodities to be smuggled along with drugs and firearms for instance.
Since the smuggling of migrants is a highly profitable business with a relatively low risk of detection, the crime is becoming increasingly attractive to criminals. Smugglers of migrants are becoming more and more organized, establishing professional networks that transcend borders and regions.
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Is There A Legal Instrument To Tackle Migrant Smuggling?
The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Migrant Smuggling Protocol) supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime entered into force on 28 January 2004.
Article 2 of the Migrant Smuggling Protocol sets out the three basic purposes of the Protocol;
To prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants
To promote cooperation among States Parties to that end
To protect the rights of smuggled migrants
To learn more about the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary Protocols, click here.
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What Is The Status Of People Who Have Been Smuggled In Respect Of The Migrant Smuggling Protocol?
It must be stressed that the Migrant Smuggling Protocol is concerned with the smuggling of migrants, not migration itself.  In this sense it is important to note that the Migrant Smuggling Protocol does not intend to criminalize family members or other groups who smuggle a person (or enable or facilitate their stay) for non-profit reasons. The Migrant Smuggling Protocol also in no way criminalizes the involvement of the migrants themselves for having being smuggled. Article 5 of the Protocol reads that 'Migrants shall not become liable to criminal prosecution under this Protocol for the fact of having been the object of conduct set forth in Article 6 of this Protocol'. In other words, a person cannot be charged with the crime of migrant smuggling, only for having been smuggled. However, as Article 6(4), explains, this does not mean that they cannot be prosecuted for having smuggled others or for the commission of any other offences against domestic law.
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What Are The Major Challenges Faced In The Battle Against Migrant Smuggling?
Migrant smuggling is a complex, ever-changing crime that takes different forms in different parts of the world. It is easily adaptable to shifting circumstances of supply and demand, as well as different criminal justice capacities in countries of origin, transit and destination. Despite the wide-spread nature of smuggling in migrants, the global efforts in curbing this phenonemon have largely focused on apprehending and deporting individual migrants with very little done to dismantle the organized crime behind this deadly business. Unless the organized crime groups who smuggle migrants are dismantled, migrant smugglers will continue to operate and quickly adapt their methdos and routes to changing circumstances such as improved border controls or changes in visa regimes. Similarly, where efforts are focused primarily on strengthening border controls, the effect is often to increase demand for smuggling services to enter countries illegally.
Tackling migrant smuggling necessitates a comprehensive, multi-dimensional response, which begins with addressing the socio-economic root causes of irregular migration to prevent it, and goes through to prosecution of criminals who commit smuggling-related crimes. From a UNODC perspective, the challenge is to dismantle the smuggling networks by strenghtening the criminal justice response, while protecting rights of smuggled migrants with strong multi-agency cooperation in all responses.
Read more about UNODC's response to migrant smuggling.
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Do Many Smugglers Get Caught And Convicted?
The absence or the inadequecy of legislation means that often migrant smugglers can continue their crime with little fear of being brought to justice. Only a limited number of governments have specific policies and mechanisms in place to address the crime. Lack of capacity to investigate and prosecute migrant smuggling means that criminal justice systems are often inadequate to meet the challenge of combating migrant smuggling. Beyond this, failure to secure smuggled migrants as witnesses to migrant smuggling crimes means that prosecutions are often difficult and opportunities to convict are missed. Key to combating migrant smuggling, is the need to increase international cooperation to ensure that actors in countries of origin, transit and destination work together to ensure that migrant smugglers do not have safe havens in the commission of their crime.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Man Gets 80 Years for Trafficking in Georgia


Man gets 80 years for human trafficking in Ga.
Updated 5:57 p.m., Wednesday, September 5, 2012
ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a judge has sentenced a man to 80 years in prison for trafficking victims as young as 15 years old for prostitution.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/PJtUl0 ) reports that 37-year-old Steven Donald Lemery was also sentenced Wednesday to the rest of his life on probation.

Lemery was found guilty on Aug. 24 on six counts of human trafficking, two counts of aggravated child molestation, and enticing a child for indecent purposes and pandering by compulsion.

Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley says two of Lemery's victims were 15 years old at the time of the offenses, and a third was 18. Ackley says one of the 15 year olds and the 18 year old were brought across state lines by Lemery and forced into prostitution.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Man-gets-80-years-for-human-trafficking-in-Ga-3842887.php#ixzz25gZrd8CH

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What Can You Do To Stop Child Trafficking?


Cave Creek woman will bike from Calif. to Fla. to help kids

by Philip Haldiman - Sept. 3, 2012 10:20 AM
The Republic | azcentral.com

A Cave Creek woman is using her love of biking to shine a light on child trafficking.

Amanda Larson will bike more than 3,000 miles from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla., today through Oct. 16.

She will be biking alongside Alabama resident Deb Hoenig, hoping to raise more than $10,000 on the ocean-to-ocean ride.

Larson, who will turn 40 on the ride, said along the way they will bring awareness to children who are trafficked for cheap labor and sex.

Funds will go to Melor Vinyewo, a group home in the village of Tafi Atome that will be built for child slaves rescued from Lake Volta in southeast Ghana.

The name translates to "I love all my children." The new home will sit on about 7 acres of land in Ghana, and Larson said the goal is for it to be completed by the end of 2013.

Initially the home will house 16 children, offering them a safe place to sleep, three meals a day, psychological and medical care as well as vocational training and arts education, Larson said.

She said she hopes the home will be an impetus for change.

"We wanted to name it something the children would recognize as a safe place, something from their culture that they could embrace," she said. "We don't want to raise these children to be regular Ghanian children, we want them to be Ghanian leaders."

Larson said officials estimate anywhere from 7,000 to 20,000 child slaves work on and around Lake Volta, most in the fishing industry. She said the government in Ghana is cracking down on slave owners, but many continue to exploit and abuse children.

"These children are sold by poor parents to masters, beaten, malnourished, and frequently die under dangerous working conditions," she said. "But there are about 150 children in one village whose masters say they will release them if they have a place to go."

Larson and Hoenig met in Ghana less than a year ago while on a mission trip to teach basic first aid to villagers on Lake Volta. Since then, they have secured land for Melor Vinyewo.

In the past year, Larson has spent about four months in Ghana preparing for the project.

"We've lived in mud huts, so we figure we can do this," she said.

Through their organization, Compassionate Journeys, the women have helped fund the completion of a medical clinic in the village, which opened in May.

She said doctors and other volunteers have seen more than 1,000 patients from the area, treating many different ailments and providing public-health education on issues such as teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and nutrition.

"Now it has a full-time nurse, two assistants and accepts government-issued medical insurance, which is pretty much an amazing thing," she said. "But for me, it's not just about what is accomplished on the ground ... It's a beautiful thing to be a part of, all around."

Compassionate Journeys

About: Compassionate Journeys is a non-profit registered in Ghana and the United States dedicated to providing volunteer opportunities for people of all ages, experiences levels and skill sets in Ghana, specifically with the goal of spreading awareness and creating opportunities for trafficked children and those villages actively trying to stop the cycle.

The ride: Today-Oct. 16, San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla. Larson is scheduled to ride through Phoenix on Thursday and Friday. A press conference will be conducted at noon Thursday on the State Capitol lawn. representatives from StreetLight USA, the O'Connor House, Arizona Interfaith Movement as well as the governor's and attorney general's office will speak about child trafficking.

More info: compassionatejourneys.com/Compassionate_Journeys_Volu.html, babesblockingtraffic.com.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/20120827cave-creek-woman-will-bike-from-calif-fla-help-kids.html?sf5884932=1#ixzz25UbIEDoq