Human Trafficking News

Compiled by Students & Artists Fighting to End Human Slavery

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sex workers help police catch gangs, August 21, UK

I find it incredibly important that women who identify as "sex workers" collaborate with social institutions to combat violence. However, one concern that is raised in this article, are simply more questions. The article focuses on "young girls who have been forced into the sex trade", but what of women (not girls) who are forced, exploited? Also: "Over the past two weeks, officers have been gathering information about brothels in the county that may be using woman brought into the country by traffickers." However, as many activist are finding and already know, international trafficking cross national borders is only one small component of human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world.

For more on debates about "sex workers" rights:
and closer to home here in the Bay Area, California:

Sex workers help police catch gangs

21 August 2007

The Hunt's Post


SEX workers have been calling police with vital information that could help in the fight to stamp out sex-trafficking in Cambridgeshire.

Police have has already rescued six woman from 'sex prisons' in the county, and have launched Operation Radium to hunt down the gangs behind the human trafficking.

Over the past two weeks, officers have been gathering information about brothels in the county that may be using woman brought into the country by traffickers.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fullwood, who is leading the operation, said the response has been good - especially from women working in the sex industry.

He said these women wanted to help the young girls who have been forced into the sex trade, and who are often beaten and abused.

"The women who have been in touch with us see and hear things that other people wouldn't," said DCI Fullwood. "Their information as 'insiders' is very important to the intelligence-gathering and preparation side of Operation Radium."

Since the public launch of the operation two weeks ago, members of the public have provided detectives dozens of sites of suspected brothels in Peterborough, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire and the Fenland area.

"This stage of the operation may take many weeks to complete before we are in a position to take the tough action needed to bring the organisers of this sordid trade to justice," said DCI Fullwood. "In the meantime, it is vital that people keep calling us with any information they may have, no matter how trivial it may seem.

"Please remember that these brothels may operate under the guise of other businesses or even work from behind the facade of ordinary-looking homes in quiet streets.

"We are very, very grateful for the response we have had so far. Please keep the information coming in."

Posters and postcards seeking further information will be distributed across the region within the next few weeks.

INFORMATION: Anyone with information is asked to contact Cambridgeshire police on 0845 4564564 saying the call is in connection with Operation Radium, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, again mentioning Operation Radium.


Robert Moossy
Human Trafficking
Prosecution Unit
Civil Rights, Criminal Section
Department of Justice

[] []

MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2007 (202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON - Elizabeth and James Jackson, of Culver City, Calif., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Los Angeles to felony charges related to forced labor and human trafficking. Elizabeth Jackson pleaded guilty to a single count of forced labor, and James Jackson pleaded guilty to a single count of alien harboring.

Elizabeth Jackson admitted to forcing a Filipino woman to work against her will in the Jacksons’ home for several months in 2001 and 2002 by creating a climate of fear through threats of abuse of the legal process. James Jackson admitted to harboring the same Filipino woman in the Jacksons’ Culver City home for several months in 2001 and 2002, even though he knew her work visa had expired.

Elizabeth Jackson faces a maximum sentence of 46 months in prison for her forced labor charge. James Jackson’s sentence will include 200 hours of community service, including providing immigration-related legal advice for indigents. Both of the Jacksons are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 5, 2007.

“These defendants subjected their victim to what amounts to modern-day slavery,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. “The Justice Department will remain dedicated to rooting out this horrible crime and prosecuting those who would enslave others.”

“No person should ever be forced to live in a world of fear, isolation and servitude, particularly in a country that prides itself on its freedoms,” said Julie Myers, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Today’s guilty pleas should send a message to those who traffic in human beings that ICE is committed to protecting those who cannot protect themselves.”

“Freedom is the most basic of human rights and no one has the right to harbor illegal aliens and force them into labor,” said Salvador Hernandez, Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI takes human trafficking crimes very seriously and is committed to investigating those involved in the systematic abuse and degradation of this essential right.”

The Attorney General has made the prosecution of human trafficking crimes a top priority. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court.

The case was prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Andrew J. Kline from the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and Douglas Kern from the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Labor.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

9 indicted in L.A. on sex-trafficking charges, August 10, LA, USA

Human Trafficking and Guatemala:
Another article that was published on March 1, 2007:

9 indicted in L.A. on sex-trafficking charges

They are accused of luring young Guatemalans to U.S. with job promises but then forcing them into prostitution.
By Greg Krikorian
August 10, 2007

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted nine people, including six members of the same family, for allegedly running a sex trafficking ring that lured young women and girls from Guatemala with the promise of honest work but then forced them into prostitution.

The 50-count indictment, unsealed Thursday, represents the largest sex trafficking case prosecuted in Southern California by the federal government in at least a decade, the U.S. attorney's office said.

It replaces smuggling charges first filed in December and adds both additional defendants and various charges, including sex trafficking of children and violation of the Mann Act, which bans the interstate or foreign transport of minors for prostitution.

The investigation by various federal and local agencies began last October when authorities were contacted by two alleged victims of the prostitution ring and a male customer who helped them escape. The following month, authorities say, they rescued two other women from the scheme.

According to the indictment, the victims were recruited in Guatemala for what they believed were legitimate jobs as baby-sitters, waitresses and other positions, then smuggled across the border with the understanding that they would repay the people who had helped them get into the United States.

Once in the U.S., they were forced into prostitution to repay inflated smuggling debts.

The minors were ordered to lie and say they were older than 18 if questioned by customers or the police, the indictment alleges.

In one case, an underage girl was told to solicit customers from a car rather than walking in downtown Los Angeles near 8th and Alvarado streets with other prostitutes.

Throughout their ordeal, authorities charge, the young women and girls were kept in line with the threat that if they did not repay their debts or tried to escape, they or their families -- including children -- would be beaten or killed.

The defendants, all of whom are in the United States illegally, also took some victims to reputed "witch doctors" in Los Angeles, warning them that a curse would be placed on them and their families in Guatemala if they tried to escape.

"This case is particularly egregious because the victims, some of whom were as young as 13 years old, all came here believing they would have a better life and could make money that they could send back to their families," federal prosecutor Caroline Wittcoff said. "Then, when they got here, they were all forced into a nightmare of prostitution."

J. Stephen Tidwell, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said the case was a "dreadful" crime that was solved as part of a large effort by federal and local law enforcement agencies -- including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Los Angeles Police Department -- to combat human trafficking.

"This was one of those cases in which you could not succeed if you did it piecemeal" with individual agencies, he said.

Named in the indictment are Gladys Vasquez Valenzuela; her sisters, Mirna Jeanneth Vasquez Valenzuela and Albertina Vasquez Valenzuela; Albertina's children, Maria de los Angeles Vicente and Luis Vicente Vasquez; and Maribel Rodriguez Vasquez, who is the niece of Gladys, Mirna and Albertina.

Also charged were Mirna's live-in boyfriend, Gabriel Mendez; Maria's live-in boyfriend, Pablo Bonifacio; and Luis' live-in girlfriend, Flor Morales Sanchez.

All nine live in Los Angeles, the FBI said.

The most serious charges that many of the defendants face carry mandatory minimum sentences of 10 to 15 years for each count, Wittcoff said.


Pact on human trafficking with IOM signed, August, Thailand

More literature:

A Modern Form of Slavery: Trafficking in Burmese Women & Girls in Thailand

by Human Rights Watch Staff (Editor), Asia Watch and the Women's Rights Project, Asia Watch, Sidney Jones

Sex and Borders: Gender, National Identity, and Prostitution Policy in Thailand

by Leslie Ann Jeffrey

Pact on human trafficking with IOM signed

(IOM/TNA) -- The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Thailand's Ministry of Social Development on Monday signed a counter-human trafficking pact extending a decade of cooperation.

The Thai Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in the Implementation of Projects Addressing Trafficking in
Persons and Assistance to at- Risk Groups.

Monday's MOU will facilitate and strengthen the establishment of a cooperation framework focusing on five areas:

-- cooperation in establishing care and assistance programmes for victims of trafficking, including: victim screening and identification procedures; building referral mechanisms and institutionalizing 'good practice' shelter management arrangements; and establishing operational standards and arrangements for the return of victims.

-- training and other capacity building support to Thai MSDHS staff, other relevant government officials, and others responsible for implementing national policies and programmes on human trafficking.

-- extending bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Thailand and other concerned countries on the issue of return and reintegration of victims.

-- help to develop bilateral and multilateral agreements, MOUs and standard operational procedures supporting bilateral cooperation on trafficking between Thailand and other countries in the best interest of the victims.

-- developing national awareness-raising and prevention strategies to reduce vulnerability to trafficking though cooperation with the ministry's provincial offices.

VN, China work together to fight human trafficking, August 8

In anti-trafficking initiatives, it is important for destination and source countries to work with each other on combating cross national exploitation. An example in which organizations have taken up this ideology is evident in The Asia Foundation (

Article Source:

VN, China work together to fight human trafficking


HA NOIVietnamese and Chinese police have stepped up co-operation in the battle against human trafficking.

Progress of the teams was reviewed at a workshop on the prevention and fight against human trafficking on Monday by the Vietnamese police and their Chinese colleagues.

Since 2006, police have uncovered 110 cases of trafficking women and children and arrested 214 suspects. In active coordination, Chinese police have rescued and returned 511 victims to Viet Nam.

In the review period, 149 cases of human trafficking to China were discovered, involving as many as 271 people, including 59 children. Victims were from rural and isolated areas in northern provinces.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of victims from central, Central Highlands and southwestern provinces. — VNS

MTV launches anti-human trafficking campaign, August 9

To read more visit:
Or look below

You know when an issue has the attention of young people and it is seen as marketable; it is when it is on MTV. It focuses on Asia and the Pacific. Nice scope, but let's not forget: domestic trafficking.

MTV launches anti-human trafficking campaign

Mumbai, Aug 9 : MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom and the MTV Europe Foundation, a registered UK charity has announced the launch of MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) across Asia and the Pacific.

As a part of the anti-trafficking campaign by MTV-Exit a documentary, featuring gut wrenching stories of victims of human trafficking in Bangladesh and Nepal, presented by Bollywood star Lara Dutta, will be aired in September.

The documentaries will be followed by a series of public service announcements in 2007 and 2008, along with a multi-language website,, and live awareness and prevention events.

According to United Nations (UN) estimates, there are 2.5 million victims of trafficking in the world with the majority being in Asia and the Pacific. It is the second largest illegal trade after drugs, with criminal traffickers earning over 10 billion US dollars every year through the buying and selling of human beings.

According to the UN '' Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, and receipt of a person for sexual or economical exploitation by force, fraud, coercion, or deception in order to make a profit. Often, victims are young men and women, who are guilty only of aspiring a better life for themselves and their families''.

It had been estimated that over the past decade in south Asia alone, some 30 million people, mostly children, had been trafficked.

And India is a major destination and a transit point for human trafficking in the sub continent. The majority of trafficking in India, both trans-border and in-country, happens for the purpose of sex work. A combination of growing demand for cheap domestic labour, labour and sex coupled with extreme poverty makes human trafficking an easy and lucrative business in India.

But trafficking can be fought through awareness and prevention.

Thus, MTV EXIT will highlight and address three major forms of trafficking in Asia and the Pacific: sex trafficking and forced prostitution, labour trafficking, and forced domestic servitude.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Bill Roedy, Vice Chairman, MTV Networks said,''Human trafficking has become a critical human rights issue facing young people across the Asia and Pacific. Victims are subject to horrendous abuses, including rape and torture, with women and girls particularly affected. Education is a key to prevention.

MTV EXIT is part of our commitment to help for highlighting issues affecting young people in Asia and across the world''.

The MTV EXIT initiative across Asia and the Pacific is an extention of the successful MTV EXIT European campaign, which has been raising awareness and increasing prevention of trafficking and exploitation in Europe since 2004. Many influential artists have supported MTV EXIT’s special programming and events in Europe, including Angelina Jolie, Helena Christensen and Roedy informed.

--- UNI

Monday, August 13, 2007

Still Here, by Being Stubborn, Not Mellow, New York Times, August 7

Fox on Pimp Culture:,2933,97519,00.html
Hip hop videos: sex exploitation on the set:

Still Here, by Being Stubborn, Not Mellow


Separately, they’re the rappers Pimp C, left, and Bun B; together they’re known as UGK.

Published: August 7, 2007
The New York Times

What do rappers lose when they get older? In the case of Bun B and Pimp C, two rappers in their 30s from Port Arthur, Tex., who perform together as UGK, the answer is, not much.

Lots has happened to them since they first got together, in the late 1980s. They helped put nearby Houston on the hip-hop map, and they helped inspire a generation of Southern hip-hop stars, from OutKast to Lil Wayne. They had a fluke hit when Jay-Z invited them to add verses to his song “Big Pimpin’,” in 1999. Then they had an even flukier miss, a couple of years later, when record-company disputes sabotaged “Dirty Money,” the 2001 album that should have been their breakthrough. Soon after the album’s release, Pimp C went to prison, where he served almost four years on charges stemming from an aggravated-assault conviction. Bun B lobbied tirelessly for his imprisoned partner, shouting, “Free Pimp C!” whenever he got near a microphone, which was often.

Through it all, they have put together a solid ­ sometimes brilliant ­ series of albums, guest appearances and mixtape tracks. Almost from the start, UGK was known for tough but smooth rhymes delivered over elegant, leisurely beats. Their lyrics chronicle a Texan underworld full of pimps who talk slick, pushers who talk tough, snitches who talk too much. They are, among other things, astute chroniclers of Southern poverty, but they’re not particularly interested in being good guys.

They prove that once more on their long-awaited new double album, “Underground Kingz” (Jive), which arrives in stores today. In a silky song called “Gravy,” Bun B waxes physiological: “When I put one up in your dome/You’ll be leakin’ out plasma and pus, and your mouth’ll fill up with foam.”

Somehow, these two have grown older and wiser without outgrowing their genre; you never get the feeling that they think they’re too good for this kind of thing. Other veterans succeed by rising above the fray, but these two succeed by remaining part of it.

In 1992, when UGK made a major-label debut with “Too Hard to Swallow,” a long career hardly seemed guaranteed. On the contrary, some listeners probably thought these two were just a couple of Texas knuckleheads cashing in on the so-called gangsta-rap fad. And yet gangsta rap, broadly speaking ­ streetwise protagonists, explicit lyrics, hard-boiled stories ­ turned out to be hip-hop’s future, to the consternation of gripers past and present. Southern gangsta rap, in particular. It’s now clear that Bun B and Pimp C were ahead of their time.

Not that it would have mattered if they hadn’t been so obsessed with craft. Pimp C is the group’s main producer, and he has created a brilliantly effective template: hard, loping drums; slow-motion bass lines; suave nods to 1970s soul.

He’s also a flamboyant rapper, equipped with a pinched, braying voice and a tendency to lean hard into vowels, bending them to his will. (He also has a reputation for obstreperousness; he recently had to apologize to the entire city of Atlanta for claiming that it wasn’t really part of the South.)

Meanwhile, Bun B is the diplomatic wordsmith, respected and even beloved by his peers. He is equally capable of an unexpected insight or a brute-force barrage of steady syllables, with shifting stress patterns and varied line lengths to keep listeners off balance.

True to UGK form, the new CDs didn’t have a smooth voyage from recording studio to record store. The first single, “The Game Belongs to Me,” never caught on at radio, which helps explain why the album’s release date kept being moved back.

The second single is a glorious confection called “Int’l Players Anthem,” with a couple of spectacular guest verses from the members of OutKast and a lush beat (sampling Willie Hutch) by Three 6 Mafia. It’s just about perfect, and unexpectedly romantic, but it’s probably too unhurried ­ too stubborn, you might say ­ to be a pop hit.

In fact, stubbornness is one of this duo’s greatest virtues. You can hear it all over “Underground Kingz,” a double-album that’s solid to a fault. There are guests ranging from the dirty-rap pioneer Too $hort to the British motormouth Dizzee Rascal; from Z-Ro, the moody Houstonite, to Talib Kweli, the levelheaded Brooklynite. But most of the tracks were produced by or with Pimp C, who hews closely to the formula he invented. Fans have been waiting five years for a new UGK album, and apparently now it’s time to overdose.

There is plenty of old-fashioned trash talking here. More than once, Bun B reminds listen ers that he and his partner have brash new nicknames: Big Dick Cheney and Tony Snow. Throughout these two CDs, kilos are sold, foes are threatened, cars are painted and repainted, prostitutes are put in their place.

But you can also hear a bracing kind of clarity, and maybe it’s the kind that comes with age. In “Still Ridin’ Dirty,” Bun B provides some grim context for the unapologetic rhymes elsewhere on the album:

“You live by the gun, you’ll die by the slugs, man/You live off of fiends, you’ll die behind drugs, man.” This is an acknowledgment, but it’s not a disavowal. And in “How Long Can It Last,” he scoffs at the idea that drug dealers are having fun: “They wish they lived in the ’burbs, wish they didn’t have to hang/out on corners in low-income housing projects and slang.”

Bun B and Pimp C are keenly attuned to the way these antiheroes make a virtue of necessity, the way a struggle to survive comes to seem like a swashbuckling adventure. Indeed, they are never more vehement than when they’re expounding on the aesthetics and ethics of street life. At one point, Bun B lists the group’s core values: honor, respect, valor and guts. (Actually, “guts” isn’t the word he uses, but it’s close enough.)

And in “Take tha Hood Back,” Bun B fulminates against would-be kingpins who are “really hustlin’ wrong” by associating with snitches, and he sounds like the exasperated elder he is when he huffs, “I’m teachin’ classes: Dope Slangin’ 101.” Kids today: they just don’t sell crack the way they used to.

Like all veterans, these two look back fondly on the world that made them. It’s nostalgia, but if anything, it’s nostalgia for a crueler world, not a gentler one. All these years later, their seeming nihilism seems more like integrity: a clear-eyed commitment to an old-fashioned ideal, despite its contradictions.

Surely this is part of the reason they have lasted so long, and aged so well. In their rhymes you can hear the irrational, irresistible process by which bad old days are transformed into good ones.


15:36 Thu 09 Aug 2007

Two of the journalists from BBC who exposed a baby trafficker in the Bulgarian coastal city of Varna have criminal records themselves.

The journalists, who reported on trafficking for a recently aired edition of the BBC Ten O'Clock News, have records for driving without licences, participation in fraud conspiracy, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Bulgarian Interior Minister has requested an emergency meeting with UK Ambassador to Bulgaria to discuss the issue, Focus news agency reported.

Bulgarian INTERPOL desk sent an official requirement asking the London desk to provide more information about the BBC journalists.

Varna's police officers detained the Bulgarian named in the BBC report.

Charity condemns escort job ads, August 8, UK

The power of media/advertisements are evident in understanding human trafficking / commercial sexual exploitation. While this article illustrates how language is used to gloss over the full scope of what an individual may experience in applying for an ad such as the one below, what is also important is recognizing how gender, race, and sexuality are also represented in advertisements.

Charity condemns escort job ads
A charity warns the adverts will lead women into prostitution
A government website aimed at helping people find work has been condemned for advertising escort jobs.

Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its website offers several personal escort positions around the country.

A charity which helps sex trade workers says the ads, for jobs paying up to £100-an-hour, will "clearly" lead women into prostitution.

A DWP spokeswoman said a court ruling meant it could not refuse the adverts.

One of the adverts - for a unisex escort agency - is seeking people in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

They have to be free to work between two and 15 hours a week and available day and night, Monday to Sunday. The job, the website states, is permanent and no pension details are available.

The job description reads: "Duties involve providing clients with a personal escort service in an unsupervised environment.

"Experience is preferred but is not essential. Duties will involve escorting and accompanying members of the public which may cause embarrassment to some people.

"Some cash handling will also be involved."

'Career choice'

But Frances Broderick, from charity Eaves, told Channel 4 news that the adverts were "clearly helping women into prostitution".

"I'm shocked that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are even advertising this as an opportunity," she said.

"It's clearly not a suitable career choice for the DWP to be promoting."

Labour MP Fiona MacTaggart, a former junior Home Office minister, told the programme: "At the moment, it's quite legal to buy or sell sexual services and I think maybe the time has come to tackle that, to actually change the law... to make it illegal to buy sex."

But the adverts cannot be banned by the website following a court ruling four years ago in a case brought by the sex toy and lingerie chain Ann Summers.

A DWP spokesman said: "The High Court over-turned Jobcentre Plus's policy which did not accept certain types of adverts connected with the sex and personal service industries."

He added there were safeguards in place to ensure customers were fully aware of the nature of the jobs and no benefit sanctions would occur if they did not apply for such vacancies.

Stopping Sexual Abuse of Children, August 9, Russia

To learn more about post-war and sex exploitation/violence visit the women for genuine security website:

Stopping Sexual Abuse of Children

One of the worst tragedies of post-Soviet Russia has been the increase in child abuse, particularly child prostitution. Besides the moral and ethical implications, the impact that sexual exploitation has on children's health and future development demands urgent attention. It is a problem that shows no signs of abating.

To read rest of article, visit:

AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY: Anti-Pornography Website

ECPAT: Pornography and Trafficking
Traffick Jamming with PRE:

Anti-Pornography Website

Welcome to Against Pornography! (Launched 07/25/2007) Against Pornography is a feminist anti-pornography website which aims at raising the awareness about the harms of pornography (as well as of prostitution) to women and children -- both inside and outside of the industry -- and, also, the harms of pornography to its users, to relationships and to the society in general. The goals of this website are also to create a venue for people to speak of the harms of pornography, to encourage them to take action against pornography, to educate them on the dangers of it, and to urge men to reclaim their fantasies from corporate power and regain their humanity.

Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry. The annual revenue of that industry is $12 billion in the U.S. and $57 billion worldwide. What was once called "softcore" pornography is now part of the mainstream media. The sexual objectification of women can be easily noticed on cable TV shows, MTV, reality TV shows, in fashion, advertising, men and women's magazines, music videos, Hollywood films, video games, etc... At the same time, hardcore pornography has become increasingly more violent, aggressive and misogynistic.

The pornographers have also taken advantages of the latest technological inventions ( DVD's, the Internet, cell-phones, etc...) to make more profit and increase the sales of their misogynistic material.

Pornography is usually defended in many countries as "freedom of speech" or "freedom of expression".

Pornography is everywhere! Its sexist, racist, classist -- and sometimes homophobic - messages and images have infiltrated the mainstream media and spread throughout the society and culture in America as well as in Britain. While the culture is glorifying pornography, a painful truth remains: Women and children are being sexually abused, sexually exploited and sexually victimized at rates that are epidemic! Many people in this society are becoming increasingly desensitized to violence.

Within such an overwhelming cultural, societal, technological and environmental "terrorism", a feminist critique of pornography is needed more than ever. Nevertheless, such a critique is largely censored from the mainstream media. When intelligent, educated, kind, considerate and potentially powerful feminist authors -- having with them piles of evidence of the harms of pornography -- want to get their articles published in the mainstream press, they are turned down, in order to protect the pornography business from criticism.

Asian pop stars back fight against human trafficking, August 7

Ricky Martin Fondation:

Asian pop stars back fight against human trafficking

Tue Aug 7, 2007 9:48PM IST

By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - Two of Asia's hottest pop acts, Thailand's Tata Young and South Korea's Rain, are to help highlight the fight against rampant human trafficking in Asia in an MTV-backed initiative on Wednesday.

"How could people do this to each other?" Thai pop sensation Tata Young told Reuters by phone from Bangkok.

"To hear all these stories of children and women and men going through human trafficking and exploitation, it hurts me so bad," added the confident, brassy 26-year-old, whose skimpy outfits and best-selling albums have led to her being dubbed Asia's Britney Spears.

Young will help host shows and documentaries on youth music channel MTV which is aiming to raise awareness of what has been described as a "tragic form of modern day slavery" in collaboration with the U.S.-based Agency for International Development (USAID).

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says economic disparities in Asian countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia fuel the trafficking of children and women towards Thailand.

Australia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are also considered major destinations by the ILO for the trafficking of prostitutes from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Human trafficking is a major global problem, particularly in Asia and Africa. The United Nations estimates 2.5 million people are currently coerced into forced labour or prostitution in a trade worth $7-10 billion annually.

Another Asian star, South Korea's King of Pop, Jung Ji-Hoon -- better known as Rain, will also help MTV publicise the cause.

Read rest of article, visit:

Caring for the trafficking victims, August 7, UK

Bay Area Social Services:
Standing Against Global Exploitation:

Rescue & Restore:
Polaris Project:

Caring for the trafficking victims

ONCE the victims of sex trafficking have been rescued it's voluntary organisations that help care for them.
One of these is Chaste – (Churches Against Sex Trafficking in Europe) – whose work includes advising the police, helping provide victims with a safe home and offering initial counselling.

Special report: Operation Radium - 'Evil and disgusting' trade in sex slaves
Sickened police officers visited 36 suspected city brothels in a matter of weeks in search of human sex slaves.

During the past three years the organisation has helped 91 victims.

Chairman Dr Carrie Pemberton said: "Some of the things that happen to these women are horrendous.

"Many are raped – some gang raped – to 'break them in' and often they are beaten, some with an inch of there lives.

"You don't have to be handcuffed in a locked room to be a prisoner.

"Some of these women are so terrified what will happen to them and their families that they do not dare leave.

"What happens to some of them is so horrendous that they are treated with less respect than animals."

She said the whole culture of using prostitutes needed changing, adding that some men who use the brothels may be abusing these women, who have been trafficked, without realising it.

External links:
For more information about Chaste, or to offer it vital support, visit

Another organisation that helps is the Poppy Project at

Information can also be found at

Is the US Able to Combat Human Trafficking?

Polaris Project Provides Perspectives on Human Trafficking Movement:
CATW Resource on the Demand and the Debate

Exclusive: Is the US Able to Combat Human Trafficking?
Jim Kouri, CPP

Author: Jim Kouri, CPP
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: August 6, 2007

The ability to eliminate human trafficking is critical to homeland security and human life. While Congress passes laws to protect against this crime, FSM Contributing Editor Jim Kouri reveals insufficient funding is holding us back from making real progress. Who is responsible?

Is the US Able to Combat Human Trafficking?

By Jim Kouri, CPP

Human trafficking is a transnational crime whose victims include men, women, and children and may involve violations of labor, immigration, antislavery, and other criminal laws.

To ensure punishment of traffickers and protection of victims, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which is subject to reauthorization in 2007. The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) lead federal investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed strategies, reports, and other agency documents; analyzed trafficking data; and interviewed agency officials and task force members.

Since the enactment of the TVPA in 2000, federal agencies have investigated allegations of trafficking crimes, leading to 139 prosecutions; provided training and implemented state and local initiatives to support investigations and prosecutions; and established organizational structures, agency-level goals, plans, or strategies.

For example, agencies have trained new and current personnel on investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons crimes through their agency training academies and centers, provided Web-based training, and developed and disseminated guidance on case pursuance. Agencies have also sponsored outreach and training to state and local law enforcement, nongovernmental organizations, and the general public through a toll-free complaint line, newsletters, national conferences, and model legislation.

Finally, some agencies have established special units or plans for carrying out their anti-trafficking duties. Federal agencies have coordinated across agencies on investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes on a case-by-case basis, determined by individual case needs, and established relationships among law enforcement officials across agencies.

For example, several federal agencies worked together to resolve a landmark trafficking case involving over 250 victims. However, DOJ and DHS officials have identified the need to advance and expand U.S. efforts to combat trafficking through more collaborative and proactive strategies to identify trafficking victims.

Prior GAO work on interagency collaboration has shown that a strategic framework that includes, among other things, a common outcome, mutually reinforcing strategies, and compatible polices and procedures to operate across agency boundaries can help enhance and sustain collaboration among federal agencies dealing with issues that are national in scope and cross agency jurisdictions.

To support U.S. efforts to investigate trafficking in persons, the Bureau of Justice Assistance has awarded grants of up to $450,000 to establish 42 state and local human trafficking law enforcement task forces.

BJA has funded the development of a train-the-trainer curriculum and a national conference on human trafficking and taken further steps to respond to task force technical assistance needs.

Nevertheless, task force members from the seven task forces we contacted and DOJ officials identified continued and additional assistance needs. BJA does not have a technical assistance plan for its human trafficking task force grant program.

Prior GAO work has shown the need for agencies that administer grants or funding to state and local entities to implement a plan to focus technical assistance on areas of greatest need. BJA officials said they were preparing a plan to provide additional and proactive technical assistance to the task forces, but as of June 2007, had not received the necessary approvals.

# #

Family Security Matters contributing editor Jim Kouri, CPP is currently vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and a staff writer for the New Media Alliance ( He�s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by
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� 2003-2007 All Rights Reserved

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Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

Other Articles by Jim Kouri, CPP...
Postal Security: Detecting Bio-Chemical Hazards and Weapons
Is the US Able to Combat Human Trafficking?
Homeland Security Attempts to Enhance Security of Passports and Visas
Third Suspect Arrested in DOD Bribery Cases in Iraq and Kuwait
Financing the Global War on Terrorism
US and Mexico Resume Voluntary Interior Repatriation Program Jim Kouri
Homeland Security Dept. Facing Manpower Shortages
Justice Department Unveils Measures to Enhance National Security Oversight
Counterterrorism: US Aids Colombia with Protection of Oil Pipelines
Task Force Arrests 22 Gang Members in "Operation Valley Star"

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APD arrests two in human trafficking ring, August 6, Austin Texas USA

New Task Force:

Coalition Against Human Trafficking in Texas:


APD arrests two in human trafficking ring
8/6/2007 6:04 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

Austin police have arrested two men in connection with a local prostitution and human trafficking ring.

Gustavo Luna and Javier Torres-Cruz have been charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution.

They're accused of forcing female immigrants to serve as prostitutes as payment for getting into the United States.

APD says it's a vicious cycle that never seems to end.

"What happens is what you're brought here for and the kind of work you're forced into almost becomes a way of life. And becomes like the Stockholm syndrome where you feel you become indebted to and comfortable with the person who is holding you against your will," Duane McNeil of APD said.

Investigators say the ring is operated through business cards that are passed out to prospective clients in the area.

Bail for Luna and Torres-Cruz has been set at $100,000 each.

Côte d’Ivoire: Peace Process Fails to Address Sexual Violence

Suggested read: Kathleen Barry,

Unicef report on commercial sexual exploitation:

Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast
Direct Website Link to Report:

Côte d’Ivoire: Peace Process Fails to Address Sexual Violence

National Authorities and International Community Must Act to Reverse Impunity

(Abidjan, August 2, 2007) – Pro-government and rebel forces in Côte d’Ivoire have subjected thousands of women and girls to rape and other brutal sexual assaults with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a new report issued today. Despite recent progress in the peace process, the latest accord fails to address this widespread sexual violence or the need for accountability.

Sexual violence has been the silent crime of Côte d’Ivoire’s military and political crisis. Combatants responsible for rape and other acts of sexual violence have enjoyed almost complete impunity, while the survivors have been denied both justice and medical attention.
Peter Takirambudde, Africa director of Human Rights Watch

While the worst sexual violence took place during the height of the armed conflict from 2002 to 2004, women and girls continue to be subjected to acts of sexual violence.

“Sexual violence has been the silent crime of Côte d’Ivoire’s military and political crisis,” said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “Combatants responsible for rape and other acts of sexual violence have enjoyed almost complete impunity, while the survivors have been denied both justice and medical attention.”

The 135-page report, “My Heart is Cut": Sexual Violence by Rebels and Pro-Government Forces in Côte d’Ivoire, details the widespread nature of sexual violence throughout the five-year military-political crisis. The report, which is based on interviews with more than 180 victims and witnesses, documents how women and girls have been subjected to individual and gang rape, sexual slavery, forced incest and other egregious sexual assaults.

Fighters on both sides have raped women old enough to be their grandmothers, girls as young as 6, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. They have also inserted guns, sticks, pens, and other objects into their victims’ vaginas. Combatants have abducted women and girls to serve as sex slaves, and have forcibly conscripted them into the fighting forces. Sexual violence has been often accompanied by other gross human rights violations against the victims, their families and their communities, including torture, killing, mutilation and even cannibalism.

Côte d’Ivoire – once considered a pillar of stability and progress in West Africa – has for at least seven years been consumed by a political and military crisis rooted in ethnic, religious, political and economic issues. Efforts to resolve the armed conflict between the government and northern-based rebels have produced a string of unfulfilled peace agreements, the deployment of more than 11,000 foreign peacekeeping troops, and the imposition of a UN arms embargo and travel and economic sanctions. In March, the government and rebels signed the Ouagadougou Agreement, envisioned to bring about an end to the crisis and lead to elections later this year. To date, both sides have taken encouraging steps toward its implementation, but the peace process has not resolved key issues that have contributed to the breakdown of previous accords in the past, particularly the criteria for establishing Ivorian citizenship, disarmament, and accountability for abuses by all sides.

Victims of sexual violence told Human Rights Watch about the acute physical and psychological distress they suffered as a result of rape. The report details how some rape victims died because of the sexual violence they endured. Others were raped so violently that they suffered serious bleeding, tearing in the genital area, long-term incontinence, and severe infections. Others suffered from botched abortions following the sexual assault. Many complained of bleeding, deep abdominal aches, and burning pains. Countless victims suffered from sexually transmitted infections and were put at high risk for the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Deterred by shame and poverty, few survivors of sexual violence ever receive the medical help they need.

The Ivorian government and the rebel New Forces (Forces Nouvelles) have made scant efforts to investigate or prosecute perpetrators of even the most heinous crimes involving sexual violence. This failure has contributed to an environment of increasingly entrenched lawlessness where impunity prevails. For its part, the international community has consistently sidelined initiatives to combat impunity in Côte d’Ivoire, presumably due to a fear of upsetting negotiation efforts.

“The government and the rebels alike have turned a blind eye to rape and other abuses committed by their forces,” said Takirambudde. “This has only emboldened perpetrators on both sides of the military divide.”

Sexual violence took place throughout Côte d’Ivoire, especially in the hotly contested western regions, which experienced the most fighting. Mixed groups of Liberian and Sierra Leonean fighters – operating as mercenaries in support of both the Ivorian government and rebel forces – were guilty of especially egregious and widespread sexual abuse. However, even after the end of active hostilities, from 2004 onwards, sexual violence has remained a significant problem throughout both rebel- and government-held areas.

In rebel-held territory, and particularly in the west, some women were targeted for abuse because of their ethnicity or perceived pro-government affiliation, often because their husband, father or another male relative worked for the state. Many others appeared to have been targeted randomly for sexual assault. Women and girls were subjected to sexual violence in their homes, as they sought refuge after being found hiding in forests, when stopped at military checkpoints, while working on farms, and at places of worship. Numerous women and girls were abducted and subjected to sexual slavery in rebel camps where they endured sexual abuse over extended periods of time. Resistance was frequently met with horrific punishment or even death. Some sex slaves, intimidated by their captors and the other circumstances, felt powerless to escape their life of sexual slavery. An unknown number of such women and girls remain with their captors.

Pro-government forces – including members of the gendarmerie, police, army, and militias – were widely responsible for rape and other forms of sexual abuse against women and girls, especially in the heavily contested western region and along frontlines. In addition to sexual violence associated with open hostilities, pro-government forces targeted women and girls whom they suspected of supporting the rebels, particularly women who were Muslim, came from the north or from neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, or were thought to support opposition political parties. Law enforcement officers, militia men, and other pro-government forces abused women at checkpoints, during raids, in makeshift prisons, and in marketplaces. The scale of violations by pro-government forces appeared to increase during periods of heightened political tension.

Human Rights Watch called on the Ivorian government and rebels to investigate and punish perpetrators in accordance with international standards. The United Nations Security Council should expedite the publication of the report of the 2004 UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations committed since 2002, and should discuss its findings and recommendations. The Ivorian government and its development partners must act promptly to provide much-needed medical, psychological and social services to the countless survivors of sexual assault. Lastly, given the fact that rights abuses have very often escalated during periods of heightened political tension, Human Rights Watch emphasized that drawdown or withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers must wait until after presidential and legislative elections.

“Ivorian and rebel authorities must demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law now and in the future by committing to prosecute key individuals responsible for atrocities, including those atrocities documented in this report,” said Takirambudde. “The organizations and governments working to consolidate peace, namely the United Nations, the French government and the African Union, must assist them in developing a concrete strategy for doing this.”

Selected testimony from victims interviewed for the report:

One young woman who was in her late teens when she was detained in 2003 as a sex slave in a rebel camp recounted:

They took me and for a week they raped me all the time, they locked me in a home. They used to tie me up with my legs spread apart and arms tied behind me to rape me. They’d rape me three or four in the night, they would put their guns next to you and if you refuse they kill you. They killed one of my friends and made us bury her. We were about 10 or 15 girls there, being raped.

A mother who was raped and whose two adolescent daughters had firewood shoved into their vaginas by rebels in 2002 described her agony:

Frankly I don’t know how I will cope. They took sticks to put in the vaginas of my two daughters ... When they took out the wood they put their hands in. Really, they ruined my children. The blood was running ... they told me to wipe it up. Wood, hands ... when they were done ... they beat my girls again and said they will kill us. I had to clean up the blood from my daughters.

A woman of Malian origin, living in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Abidjan, described how she was raped by soldiers in front of her husband on March 25, 2004:

During the crisis which followed the opposition march, I was raped by the military. They came into our house. My husband was in the living room and my three children were in their rooms. The soldiers locked the kids up. I was just coming out from the shower. They forced my husband to sit and watch them raping me under the threat of their guns. This shame prevents me from looking at my husband today.

A Muslim woman of Malian origin described the gang-rape of her sister by seven uniformed pro-government soldiers who wanted to ascertain the whereabouts of their brother, an opposition activist:

My big brother was in the RDR ... They came looking for him. We [my sisters and I] said “he is out.” They said, “we will kill the three of you if you don’t get him to come.” They found a notebook with his number and called him. He said “I am coming, just take some money, please don’t hurt them.” They hit me with a gun and broke my arm. Then they took my beautiful tallest older sister, tied her up and raped her over and over.

A woman who had been raped for over a year during the war by rebels in Bouake explained her appalling physical condition after managing to escape:

I could hardly walk, was bleeding all the time. I had no money for cloths to stop the bleeding or even for food ... I was so sick, they chased me away from the hospital, my living conditions were awful, I smelled bad, I couldn’t sleep, I crawled like a baby because I couldn’t walk, I felt so bad, I didn’t have anyone to help me.

Arrests made in Chinese human trafficking ring, August 5

Country Assessment:

Human Trafficking a Huge Problem in China:


Arrests made in Chinese human trafficking ring
By MaltaMedia News
Aug 5, 2007 - 4:50:45 PM

Five persons of Chinese origin were arrested by Italian police in connection with the organisation of illegal human trafficking based in Malta, Italy and China, Alice News reported.

The arrests were made in Rome, Palermo, Catania, Avellino and Ragusa.

The criminal group brought the Chinese migrants in Malta through the granting of a regular visa for studying purposes. The 200 Chinese were then accompanied illegally by motorboats to the Sicilian coasts.

Another eight persons within organisation, Alice News said, had been responsible for organising an illegal trip which had caused the death of two Chinese illegal immigrants in Donnalucata, Ragusa in November 2004.

Meanwhile, a Spanish resident was also arrested and another seven warrants against Europeans are expected to be issued.

US continues combating human trafficking, August 5

US Department of Justice Site:

US continues combating human trafficking

By Jim Kouri

(AXcess News) New York - Human trafficking is a transnational crime whose victims include men, women, and children and may involve violations of labor, immigration, antislavery, and other criminal laws.

To ensure punishment of traffickers and protection of victims, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which is subject to reauthorization in 2007. The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) lead federal investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed strategies, reports, and other agency documents; analyzed trafficking data; and interviewed agency officials and task force members.

Since the enactment of the TVPA in 2000, federal agencies have investigated allegations of trafficking crimes, leading to 139 prosecutions;provided training and implemented state and local initiatives to support investigations and prosecutions; and established organizational structures, agency-level goals, plans, or strategies.

Read More, Visit:

Sex tourism drives illicit trade, experts say, August 5, Caribbean

Campaigns Against Sex Tours:


Sex tourism drives illicit trade, experts say

By SUZANNE SHEPPARD Sunday, August 5 2007

THE LURE of sea, sand and sex tourism makes Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands attractive, not only to holiday makers, but to organised crime rings involved in the illicit and highly lucrative human trafficking trade.

Read More:,61837.html

Five minors rescued from Maharashtra brothels, August 5, India

Strengthening law enforcement response to human trafficking:

Rehabilitation for survivors:

Save the Children:

Five minors rescued from Maharashtra brothels

Express News Service

Kolkata, August 5: The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), which was inaugrated a month back, has rescued seven young girls from Mumbai and other suburbs of Maharashtra and brought them back to Kolkata.

A six-member team went to Maharashtra to rescue the girls, who were trafficked from South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas.

The girls were sold in various parts of Maharashtra for being used as commercial sex workers. The AHTU team visited Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Kalyan of Maharashtra and rescued the girls.

Of the seven, five are minors. Six of them are from South 24-Parganas and one is from Barasat in North 24- Parganas.

Officials said in most of the cases, the touts were either female traffickers or young men. After questioning the girls, AHTU officials have not ruled out the involvement of acquaintances or relatives.

Officials said that one of girl’s father had sold her to tout, who had taken her to Maharastra.

“After conducting a preliminary investigation, we believe that one of theminor’s father might have taken a sum of Rs 1 lakh from the tout,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, DIG, CID.

At present, the girls are staying in a city-based NGO. They will be handed to their parents. But if the parents are involved in the trafficking, the girls will not be returned to them, officials stated.

“Many cases have been reported from South 24-Parganas. We will send more teams to Maharashtra soon to rescue more girls from different parts of the state,” added Mukherjee.

According to police data, in four different operations conducted in the past three months, 20 traffickers were arrested and 14 child victims rescued.

Recently, the state government has decided to form a network to fight the menace of human trafficking. The social welfare department will act the nodal agency.

The health, backward classes welfare, self-help group and self-employment, panchayat and rural development departments will be a part of the network.

Police, CID, NGOs and the state women’s commission will play a key role in the initiative.

The primary objective of the network, the first of its kind in the country, is to spread awareness among the people both in the city and the rural areas so that they do not fall prey to this menace.

The network comes with the assurance of economic independence and proper rehabilitation of victims.

The state government has allotted Rs 1 crore for this purpose. The network was formed following a report on human trafficking prepared jointly by three Calcutta, North Bengal and Burdwan universities.

Draft plan to check human trafficking, August 5, South Asia

Overview of Combating Violence Against Women in India:

US Also focuses on protection and prosecution:

Draft plan to check human trafficking

Special Correspondent

Focus on protection, prosecution

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) will spell out a draft integrated plan of action to prevent and combat trafficking in women and children that will call for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to come together to deal with the issue.

Briefing reporters at the end of a two-day national consultation on preventing and combating human trafficking with special focus on children and women here over the weekend, NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the plan of action would focus on prevention, protection, prosecution and providing necessary help to the victims.

She said the participants felt that prevention strategies should be based on existent ground realities and every State should draw up an action plan after mapping the vulnerable areas ‘at risk.’ Involvement of the corporate sector in prevention and rehabilitation and sensitisation of the community are some other salient features of the action plan, the draft of which would be submitted to the Union Women and Child Development Ministry by the month end before the Union Cabinet’s approval is sought.

Ms. Vyas said the draft plan would suggest involving Ministries such as the Panchayati Raj, Health and Family Welfare, Labour, Tourism, Railways, Road Transport, Education, Defence and even the External Affairs to prevent trafficking and ensure rehabilitation of those rescued since the issue had international manifestations. She suggested the setting up of short-term stay home facilities on the international borders from where trafficking was carried out.

Protocols for repatriation

Stressing the need for identifying institutions that would provide safe custody to the victims, the plan of action would also suggest developing procedures, mechanisms and protocols for repatriation with the neighbouring countries, and sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.