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mercoledì 21 dicembre 2016

Fighting Human Trafficking and Modern Slave Trade

Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence software that can automatically detect new child sexual abuse photos and videos in online networks and help prosecute offenders
There are hundreds of searches for child abuse images every second worldwide, resulting in hundreds of thousands of child sexual abuse images and videos being shared every year.
The people who produce child sexual abuse media are often abusers themselves said researchers including those from Lancaster University in the UK.
Spotting newly produced media online can give law enforcement agencies the fresh evidence they need to find and prosecute offenders, they said.
However, the sheer volume of activity on peer-to-peer networks makes manual detection virtually impossible.
The new toolkit automatically identifies new or previously unknown child sexual abuse media using artificial intelligence.
"Identifying new child sexual abuse media is critical because it can indicate recent or ongoing child abuse," said lead author Claudia Peersman from Lancaster University.
"And because originators of such media can be hands-on abusers, their early detection and apprehension can safeguard their victims from further abuse," said Peersman.
There are already a number of tools available to help law enforcement agents monitor peer-to-peer networks for child sexual abuse media, but they usually rely on identifying known media.
As a result, these tools are unable to assess the thousands of results they retrieve and can not spot new media that appear.
The Identifying and Catching Originators in P2P (iCOP) Networks toolkit uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to flag new and previously unknown child sexual abuse media.
The new approach combines automatic filename and media analysis techniques in an intelligent filtering module. The software can identify new criminal media and distinguish it from other media being shared, such as adult pornography.
The researchers tested iCOP on real-life cases and law enforcement officers trialled the toolkit.iCOP on real-life cases and law enforcement officers trialled the toolkit.
It was highly accurate, with a false positive rate of only 7.9 pre cent for images and 4.3 pre cent for videos.
It was also complementary to the systems and workflows they already use. And since the system can reveal who is sharing known child sexual abuse media, and show other files shared by those people, it will be highly relevant and useful to law enforcers.
The research was published in the journal Digital Investigation.

CLEVELAND, OH – The FBI, Cleveland Police and the Elyria Police departments have been working on finding the person responsible for the abduction of 6 year-old Nevaeh Wylie since May. Today, a press conference was held at Cleveland FBI headquarters to announce the arrest of a person they believe is responsible for the Wylie abduction and other related crimes.
Using a new technology called "familial DNA search," authorities were able to identify, track down and arrest a man believed to be a serial predator of children in Northeast Ohio.
On Friday, Justin Christian, 29, was arrested in Lorain on charges of kidnapping and rape in connection with the abduction and sexual assault of a 6-year-old Cleveland girl in May. Law enforcement officials say Christian is also connected to an attempted abduction of a 10-year-old Elyria girl in February.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine described familial DNA search as a tool used to identify someone with a genetic near-match to the person who actually committed a crime, whether that’s a brother, father or son.
"When I learned that a predator was breaking into homes to snatch children from their beds, I wanted to immediately launch this new testing in Ohio, which we had been studying and validating for some time," said Attorney General DeWine. "This is a first for BCI and a first for Ohio.”

Serial abductor child rapist monster arrested 6 dicembre 2016


DeWine authorized BCI to start researching familial DNA searches in 2012. Software was purchased and validated. Then BCI developed a 12-page protocol, which outlines the cases that can be considered for familial DNA searches. The very time-consuming process will be limited to the most serious unsolved crimes or serial cases with a public safety component and cases in which all other leads have been exhausted.
We had a child rapist who would break into homes to steal children. When all leads were exhausted, I called Mike DeWine,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy J. McGinty. “Familial DNA will only be used in the most serious crimes. Without it, this case would not be solved.”
If BCI can identify a potential familial DNA match, then BCI criminal analysts help authorities identify the person who might have committed the crime. That information is then shared with detectives on the case, who will do additional work before determining if they can make an arrest.
The FBI believes this is the man responsible for 6 year-old Nevaeh Wylie's abduction:
“Detectives and agents have worked this case tirelessly for the last seven months and we are pleased to announce an arrest in this case,” said Cleveland Division of Police Calvin D. Williams. “With this suspect behind bars, our children are safer. This case could not have been solved without the partnered effort of all of these agencies.”
"Our two young victims, their families and the community can rest easier knowing this child predator is now behind bars,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “There is no higher priority than protecting our children and thanks to the hard work, persistence and collaboration by numerous law enforcement professionals, Justin Christian has been brought to justice and will be held accountable for these terrible crimes."

FBI and Police Use New DNA Technology to Catch Serial Child Predator December 5, 2016

Forensic Evidence Links Recent Unsolved Child Abduction Case to Attempted Abduction in Elyria May 29, 2016


Technology, like most things, is never wholly bad or wholly good. Though it takes a lot of criticism for helping to facilitate human trafficking, it is also leading a variety ways to help fight the practice.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that human trafficking “is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world” as of 2011. Aiding the organized crime, Reuters explained, was how sex traffickers are quicker to pick up on new technology than the government and law enforcement has resources to combat as it is now.
“I’d actually say technology in the broad sense facilitates and perhaps even increases human trafficking overall from what existed pre-Internet. Like drugs and child porn, humans are bought and sold on the dark web (and sometimes the mainstream web), though humans have been bought and sold in some manner for many thousands of years,” said Jessica Hubley, co-founder and CEO of  AnnieCannons, a nonprofit working to train survivors of human trafficking in computer programming, in an interview with MediaFile.
Ashton Kutcher, whose own foundation Thorn is focused on developing digital tools to fight exploitation, has even explained on the Today Show how human trafficking is happening easily online, “just like everything else now.”
The BBC created a 360 video about human trafficking in Mexico, inserting audiences right into the “horrors.” They are taking advantage of new technological experiences to highlight the problem and what contributes to it.
All this is painting a dark picture of the technological world. But this humanitarian crisis, which the International Labour Organization estimates has 4.5 million people trapped into sex trafficking, is prompting innovation to provide light in the darkness.
The aptly named Beacon of Hope is taking advantage of the Internet of Things—when everyday items are hooked up to the internet—to allow victims of sex trafficking to alert law enforcement of their location. The technology allows a small beacon to be hidden in tampons and sanitary napkins available at places like gas stations, rest stops, stadiums and casinos. When activated, they alert local law enforcement to the victim’s location. They can easily hide the items in a bag, in their shoe, or somewhere else on their person to keep police aware of their location without tipping off their captors.
The twin sisters who created Beacon of Hope were inspired to help women who have been forced into the trafficking pipeline when their own aunt was abducted, as they told Kill Screen. But survivors of human trafficking themselves are also developing ways to fight back.
The site Survivors.io was developed by graduates of AnnieCannons. It tracks sexual assault and creates “a crowdsourced map of sexual assault statistics built in coordination with other social justice groups. It seeks to eliminate victim-shaming and build community, as well as providing a platform from which survivors can organize for political action against rape culture” said Hubley.
Hubley explained that her organization is about putting power and agency back in survivor’s hands, while incorporating volunteers from a field that is striving to fight the negative effects technology can create.
“The thing about trafficking is that it is caused by a lot of other social problems: poverty, discrimination, violence, misogyny, etc. We build solutions that target those causes, while helping survivors rebuild their lives,” she said.
But you don’t have to be a nonprofit or be familiar with any sort of code to use technology to fight the practice. Anyone was able to experience the journey that the BBC presented, but they can turn to the app TraffickCam in order to do something about it.


TraffickCam, l'app contro il traffico sessuale di bambini 9 luglio 2016

The app, which is available for free on Apple or Google app stores, was developed to allow people to enter their hotel name and room and upload photos. The goal is to be able to cross reference these images with pictures from pimps in order to quickly find and apprehend those involved and save the people being trafficked.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Molly Hackett, the leader of an organization that combats the exploitation of children called Exchange Initiative and Nix, found the inspiration for the app came when working with police to find a child who was being trafficked. It took three days after a picture was posted, and she knew that was too long with today’s technology.
Hubley knows, for all the problems that arise for people trying to fight human trafficking and exploitation from technology, that the field is also filled with people who want to work together to find the solutions.
“A lot of people, including a lot of people in technology, care about this issue. Technology can help reach them and help bring their ideas together in service of solutions. Plus, software sort of has a knack for solving problems more cheaply than they used to be solved,” she said.

Technology and Human Trafficking Athanasia Zagorianou 27. July 2015


LONDON: In a British suburb in central England, police officers accustomed to burglaries and household disturbances are breaking new ground by finding ways to battle the latest crime wave – human trafficking.
Sgt. Alex Sobolewski of the West Midlands Police who is based at Brierley Hill about 210 kilometers northwest of London said a large part of his work now concerns people trafficking, a crime barely discussed five years ago.
With an estimated 46 million people globally living in slavery, human trafficking is being taken increasingly seriously in all countries with Britain home to an estimated 13,000 slaves and authorities identifying about 3,260 people victims in 2015.
Modern slavery has become a catch-all term to describe human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, sex trafficking, forced marriage and other slave-like forms of exploitation.
Sobolewski, who was born in Poland but moved to Britain aged 6, said the West Midlands police were having to find new methods to stop traffickers exploiting vulnerable people from Poland and Romania as cheap labor.
Identifying victims was the first challenge as often these people did not realize they were being abused and then it was critical to find practical means to stop the traffickers.
“These will be perhaps people with an alcohol dependency. Certainly people unemployed. They will target homeless people, people who really don’t have great prospects in life,” Sobolewski told the Thomson Reuters Foundation while giving a tour of the area.
“They will bring these people over. And I suppose that’s why some of them don’t really see themselves as victims. They’ll see that the life over here, however hard and bad it is, it’s better than it is in Poland.”
Of the people identified as victims of modern slavery in Britain last year, 139 were Polish nationals brought over for labor exploitation with West Midlands Police currently investigating 70 claims of human trafficking from Poland.
According to Britain’s 2011 Census, over 52,000 people from Poland were living in the West Midlands.
In the West Midlands, long an important center of commerce and industry for Britain, Sobolewski said workers are in demand in factories of all kinds and recycling plants.
“Often, the employers aren’t aware that these people are being exploited,” said Sobolewski, a keen triathlete who is clearly protective and keen to help his compatriots.
“Wages will get paid into a worker’s account ... and somebody will come and draw that money for them and give them a cut. A cut, and usually it will be a very small cut of what they’ve earned for that week.”
Britain has taken a lead internationally in trying to crack down on human trafficking, introducing the Modern Slavery Act last year which has been hailed as a milestone for joining harsh penalties with progressive measures such as better protections for people at risk of being enslaved.
From life imprisonment for human traffickers to forcing pimps to pay compensation to their victims, Britain now has some of the world’s toughest sanctions against modern slavery.

Police in central England find new tools to fight human trafficking Scott Corben Reuters Dec. 20, 2016

Human trafficking in Gloucestershire is more prevalent than we think, says Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre.
The charity has spoken out about the abuse that human trafficking victims and sex workers face, following the news that a gang from Gloucester have been jailed for human trafficking after forcing women to work as prostitutes in Bristol.
"Unfortunately sex trafficking is very common. Local men are paying – it's an industry that exists because men want to pay for it. We get phone calls from people who have been trafficked and don't know where they are."
"Trafficking is so underground – it's very difficult to ascertain where they are. These traffickers are all linked - it's one huge criminal organisation. Often the victim's passports are taken and they are threatened with violence."
GRASAC provides free, confidential support and information services to women and girls affected by any form of sexual violence including rape, sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse.
"What is needed is the right support for women once they are found. They need emotional support, because they would be suffering from trauma, would be terrified and separated from their family too. Often they need rehabilitation, because they have been given alcohol and drugs."
Louise said that one of many difficulties is protecting the family of the victim, as they are often threatened with violence.
But it is not just human trafficking victims that suffer abuse – Louise said that often, sex workers are subject to it as well.
"People see prostitution as something high end, but the reality is awful and traumatizing. With our English sex workers, there can be a lot of violence. The women are terrified of coming forward because they don't want to get into trouble with the police."
But thanks to the work of the Nelson Trust sex worker outreach project, there is a place to go for street sex workers who are working to fund their substance misuse.
If you need help, you can contact the GRASAC helpline by calling 01452 526770 or by visiting http://www.glosrasac.org/

Stark warning issued about human trafficking in Gloucestershire after gang jailed LilyPattinson  December 05, 2016

British police have arrested three people in pre-dawn raids as part of an operation against a suspected organised slavery ring in the southern county of Kent.
Raids were carried out simultaneously at seven different properties in Canterbury and Maidstone after an investigation prompted by an Al Jazeera documentary Britain's Modern Slave Trade.
The operation targeted car washes and residential addresses and resulted in the arrests of two men, aged 32 and 36, and a 21-year-old woman.
The documentary, broadcast earlier this year, contained undercover footage spread over several months of conditions at a car wash. 

UK: Arrests made in slavery raids after Al Jazeera film 07 12 16



The Irish government is failing to protect victims of human trafficking, according to the country’s human rights watchdog.
In a report submitted to the Council of Europe, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) said there is a “deficit” in the protection of victims of trafficking and called on the Irish government to act immediately to ensure victims are properly identified and protected.
“Victims of human trafficking in Ireland are not getting the kinds of supports they should be getting,” said Emily Logan, the organisation’s chief commissioner.
Logan met with members of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (Greta), who visited Ireland last week. They are examining how the Irish state deals with human trafficking and how victims are supported and protected. Their second evaluation report is due to be published in 2017, four years after the group’s initial report highlighted numerous gaps in the protections given to victims of trafficking in Ireland.
Colin Smith, a leading Irish human rights barrister who specialises in trafficking law, said IHREC’s report highlights the “unhappy fact” that Ireland lacks a coherent anti-trafficking system capable of effectively prosecuting and punishing traffickers while also protecting their victims.
“It underlines, in particular, the urgent need for a statutory mechanism to identify victims of trafficking,” said Smith. “Every day that passes without substantive reform means that traffickers are going unpunished and victims are going unprotected. We need to move away from thinking of trafficking as an immigration problem and towards a system that is quick and fair, and that treats human trafficking as a serious human rights issue.”
Logan highlighted the case of a 54-year-old Vietnamese woman known as “Ms P”, who was charged with drug offences after being arrested by Irish police during a raid on a cannabis grow house in 2012. Ms P said she was trafficked, but the police did not recognise her as a victim and she was detained for nearly three years. Last year her case against the police was heard in the High Court and the judge ruled that the scheme for identifying and protecting trafficked victims in Ireland was inadequate under EU law.
“The identification process has not improved for victims of trafficking in Ireland,” said Logan.
The report said reform of Ireland’s system for the early identification of trafficking victims was “long overdue”. Logan urged the Irish government to legislate immediately for the identification and protection of victims of trafficking.
“We are saying it should be included as a piece of legislation which obliges the state to comply,” she said. “The likelihood is that the victims will get a better response.”
Sole competence for the identification of potential victims of trafficking is with the Irish police, which the report said “does not represent good practice”. There is concern that, without reform, unidentified victims will experience further human rights violations.
Earlier this year, the US State Department’s annual report (pdf) on Trafficking in Persons (TiP) said victims of forced labour had been identified in the Irish restaurant industry and in car washes. Moreover, for the first time, a non-EU person was identified as a victim of trafficking in the Irish fishing sector.
The IHREC report raised concerns that no prosecutions have taken place in relation to human trafficking for labour exploitation, even though eight potential victims were reported in 2014. The commission said labour inspections must be properly resourced and targeted at high risk sectors such as domestic and restaurant work, the maritime industry, car-washing services and agriculture. The report called on the Irish government to criminalise the use of services that are the object of labour exploitation.
Logan said she had been approached by people in the Irish agri-food sector who have alleged exploitation. Early next year, an IHREC advisory committee involving various trade unions will be set up to focus on labour issues.
Irish human rights groups and NGOs have previously expressed concern about how potential trafficked victims are treated. The Immigrant Council of Ireland’s anti-trafficking manager, Nusha Yonkova, welcomed the report and expressed support for its recommendations.
Ireland is failing victims of human trafficking,” she said. “The IHREC submission makes it clear that little progress has been made since the first Greta visit in 2012.”
In a statement, Ireland’s Department of Justice said they had not yet had the opportunity to consider the report’s recommendations in full. The department added that they had consulted with IHREC and included their recommendations in the second national plan to prevent human trafficking, which was published in October.
The trafficking of vulnerable children into Scotland has risen threefold since 2011, according to new figures.
More than half of the 105 children who were found to have been trafficked in the past five years were Vietnamese, brought in to work on cannabis farms and in the sex industry.
One service provider said the figures were "just the tip of the iceberg".
Under the 1989 Children Act, it is a council's legal responsibility to care for under-18s who arrive in their local authority area from abroad, placing them into foster care or "semi-independent living" situations with funding from the Home Office.
The Scottish Guardianship Service (SGS), funded by the Scottish government, then helps them to navigate the complex asylum, trafficking, and welfare processes.
The bulk of unaccompanied children are in the care of English counties such as Kent which encapsulates the port of Dover and the London borough of Hillingdon where Heathrow Airport is situated.
But there has still been a year-on-year increase in numbers in Scotland.
Many children who arrive in Scotland alone have come actively seeking asylum from conflict and persecution in their home countries.
However, the latest figures from the SGS reveal that 40% of the 262 unaccompanied children it has registered since 2011 were brought to Scotland by traffickers.

Case study: Trafficked from Vietnam

Sang was just 10 years old when he was taken in by a Vietnamese gang.
His parents had recently died and he had no other way to fend for himself.
Forced to beg and shine shoes on streets by the gang, he was also regularly beaten by its members.
Then one day, a few years later, Sang was ordered to get into the back of a truck.
"I was told I had to get in, otherwise they'd beat me to death," he recalls.
The following months were a blur for Sang as he was transported like cattle in the back of lorries - often without food or water - between halfway houses in countries including Russia and France.
But at least he wasn't alone - he remembers there being many other Vietnamese and African children being held there.
When Sang's long journey finally ended in Glasgow, he was locked in a secluded house.
"One of the men showed me his gun to threaten me - he said if I tried to escape from the house he would kill me."
Only when the police finally raided the house a few months later did he know he was in Scotland.
Sang is now getting support from Migrant Help.

Vulnerable people

A quarter of those trafficked over the five-year period were forced to work in the illegal cultivation of cannabis, another quarter in the sex industry.
Many become domestic slaves behind closed doors. Others turned up on the high streets, being used as force labour in establishments such as nail bars.
A freedom of information request also revealed that a quarter of the unaccompanied children in Glasgow City Council's care since 2011 were under 16 years of age.
A Scottish government spokesman said: "Those who take part in the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people bring misery and long-term harm to their victims.
"New legislation came into force this year that makes it more straightforward for our law enforcement agencies to take action.
"However, we know legislation alone won't stop trafficking which is why we are working with others including Police Scotland and the Crown Office to raise awareness of these appalling crimes, and to identify perpetrators and disrupt their activity."

'Tip of the iceberg'

Catriona MacSween, a service manager at SGS, doubts that their figures on child trafficking provide an accurate picture of the situation.
She said: "[These figures] are really just the tip of the iceberg because we only see the kids that are lucky enough to escape or be rescued from their situation.
"There's probably a lot of children that we still don't know about, that are still being exploited.
"Quite often the children we work with have been sexually exploited, and then moved on to work in a nail bar, moved on to work on a cannabis farm - so there's a lot of movement there."

Disappearances

But for the young Vietnamese in Scotland, their nightmare does not always end when they escape.
Seven children - all of them Vietnamese - have disappeared from council care since 2011, including 15-year-old Thanh Van Bui, and are feared to be back with the gangs that trafficked them.
2008 Scottish government report noted that some traffickers insisted a child apply for asylum to give them a legitimate right of temporary leave to remain in the UK - essentially treating council accommodation as holding pens for trafficking victims.
Ms MacSween said the main reason for these disappearances was that the children were "debt-bonded to the trafficker so they still owe them money".
She added: "They're maybe still getting threatened by the trafficker to pay that debt, maybe threatening their family back home.
"The trafficker may tell them they're going to get deported if they come across the authorities in this country, that nobody's going to help them, nobody's going to believe them."

'Most unlikely person'

But Ms MacSween said another contributory factor was that many councils lack suitable accommodation in which to place unaccompanied children.
She said they were often placed in bed and breakfasts - increasing the chances of them absconding, and also leaving them open to being re-taken by traffickers.
John Powell, from the charity Migrant Help UK, said it was important for the public to recognise the signs.
He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "One of the great tragedies of this whole area is that many of the people that have been trafficked are hidden in plain sight.
"Part of the criminal success in doing that is the ignorance of the public at large as to what's in front of them.
"We haven't been good as a nation at ensuring that people understand what trafficking's about - the numbers involved across the whole of the UK, we estimate about 13,000 or probably more - and understanding what the signs are.
"As a charity, we always say that the victim is the most unlikely person to present themselves to the police or anyone else. It's really the public that are going to spot it and report it. But if they don't know what they're looking at, then how can they determine that there's something not quite right?"


People-smuggling in Libya is now a major part of the economy worth hundreds of millions of dinars according to the EU.
In the report by the European Union Naval Mediterranean Force, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino warned the 28 member states that Libya’s economy is benefitting from an estimated $300 million per annum in human trafficking.
Reporting on the EU Navy’s performance during the first ten months of 2016, Credendino warned how the human trafficking trade is now increasingly being used by “Islamic extremists”.
Al-Qaeda and AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), aligned with the Tuareg tribe in southwestern Libya, are assessed to be financially exploiting these smuggling routes,” Credendino warned.
Traffickers have been charging around $1,000 for every person wishing to travel by sea to Europe which has been some 350,000 migrants this year with 4,690 dying en route.
Amnesty International has accused people smugglers of engaging in numerous murders, sexual violence, torture and religious persecution.
In a bid to curb the risks, the navy will need to regularly monitor the waters within Libyan territorial waters but this will not be the case anytime soon.
“It is clear that the legal and political pre-conditions have not been met,” Credendino explained, citing how greater cooperation with the Libyan authorities was needed to initiate this.
For the EU naval vessels to operate in Libyan waters, permission from the Libyan government, the Presidency Council, and a vote in favour by the UN Security Council is needed.
Earlier this year, Libyan coastguard members were accused of using excessive force when boarding a rubber dinghy that 20 migrants drowned from. The charity Sea Watch claimed that the migrants died after a Libyan coastguard attacked one of its rescue operations when the boat was in distress, which the Libyan navy subsequently denied.


The stiff jail sentence for a man convicted of human trafficking is a welcome punishment for a horrible crime. Faroz Ali, 46, is the first person convicted of this offence in New Zealand, and will serve nine and a half years.
Faroz's punishment is a reminder that human trafficking and a form of slavery still exist in modern New Zealand. Most Kiwis would be shocked to hear that amid our comfort and taken-for-granted human rights there is exploitation and misery.
Ali and his mates lured 15 Fijian workers to New Zealand, promising them high wages and working visas. What they got was long hours for miserable pay, mistreatment and huge debts disguised as fees for service.
Justice Paul Heath called trafficking an "abhorrent crime" and Business New Zealand has also rightly condemned such practices. But doubts remain about whether enough is being done about it.
A recent report by Auckland University researcher Christina Singer gives a disturbing account of the kinds of abuse and exploitation some migrant workers are suffering. Workers told her about having to work excessive hours - up to 18-hour shifts and 80 to 90-hour weeks - for little or no pay.
Horticulture workers were paid as little as $5 an hour. Construction workers  sometimes had to pay recruitment fees of $10,000, and their passports were withheld until the bond was paid off.
These are disgraceful crimes and dishonour any employer who practises them. Unfortunately, there are obvious reasons why they are not easy to detect.
Too often the workers themselves put up with exploitation in the hope that they will get permanent residency. And some employers are immigrants themselves who have learned how to avoid paper trails and pay workers in cash, says Union Network of Migrants co-ordinator Dennis Maga.
One disturbing trend is the exploitation of foreign  students. There are also plausible reports of foreign students resorting to prostitution to pay extortionate bonds demanded by immigration consultants.
Some workers complain that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment  tends to accept the tales told by the employers.
The report recommends creating a human trafficking office to co-ordinate enforcement and act as the workers' first point of call.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse wants to downplay the "unscientific" Auckland report, saying it was just a small snapshot and that the Government has toughened the law and increased the number of inspectors.
The US State Department warned back in 2004 that New Zealand was a target for human trafficking. Reforms have taken place only in the last couple of years. And nobody believes this modern slave trade has been stamped out.

Editorial: Slavery and human trafficking in NZ must be stamped out December 19 2016

Cambodia celebrated a National Day Against Human Trafficking, drawing attention not only to the challenges the country faces, but also to the strides that it has made in combatting trafficking. Last year, Cambodia implemented the first national action plan against trafficking and in June, the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report upgraded Cambodia to Tier 2 status from its Tier 2 Watch List. While these are positive steps, a surge in cross-border migration is putting an increasing number of Cambodian overseas workers at risk of exploitation.

Official estimates suggest there are over one million Cambodian men and women currently working overseas, the majority in Thailand. While Korea and Japan are increasingly becoming sought-after destinations for Cambodian migrants, they demand relatively higher qualifications, including language proficiency and a significant financial package necessary to support migration-related costs. Such demands are prohibitive to the large majority of migrants who are forced to look for alternative destinations like Thailand, where most migrants are undocumented, working in construction, manufacturing, fishing, and the agriculture and service sectors. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), only about 116,000 Cambodian migrants were recruited to work legally in Thailand over the period of 2006-2016, with the remainder going through illegal channels to obtain work. Many of these migrants become victims of exploitation and trafficking.
Thailand is not the only destination where cases of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking are happening. In 2011, Cambodia imposed a ban on sending domestic helpers to Malaysia in response to a rise in abuse cases. In December 2015, Cambodian and Malaysia signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to resume deployment of low-skilled workers to Malaysia, but as of now, no official recruitment has taken place under the new terms.
Women are also increasingly taking great risks to migrate to China, where many work through brokers who promise them job opportunities but instead force them into marriages with Chinese men against their will. Only 100 of the 7,000 Cambodian women that Chinese authorities say have married men in China did so legally, said Chou Bun Eng, secretary-general of the Interior Ministry’s committee to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation. In late 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that 679 trafficked Cambodian migrant workers were repatriated from different countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia.
Also in 2015, Cambodia’s newly established National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons (NCCT) began working with the Chinese government to develop an MoU on Anti-Trafficking in Persons between the two countries. An agreement, signed in October, while by no means comprehensive, serves as the first legal framework surrounding trafficking between the two countries.
The reasons that Cambodians migrate overseas for work are many, but mostly driven by economic necessity. Currently about two-thirds of Cambodian households are in debt, mostly to Micro-Finance Institutes (MFIs) where the interest rates range from 25-41 percent per annum. This has placed tremendous pressure on Cambodian families to repay their loans, and migration has become an alternative income option to do so.
Another factor is related to a high school dropout rate across Cambodia—21 percent at lower secondary and 27 percent at upper secondary school. Those who drop out of school often help with the family’s livelihood or migrate to find jobs in urban areas or overseas. The risk of falling victim to trafficking and exploitation is highest for those with limited education and limited access to information.
The Asia Foundation and local partner Khmer Youth Association (KYA) are currently working in the three provinces known as hotbeds for cross-border migration—Siem Reap, Prey Veng, and Kompong Cham—to reduce the incidence of trafficking of young people. Last year, we conducted a series of campaigns for a total of 2,580 students across schools to help raise their awareness of trafficking issues and safe migration practices. We also conducted half-day mobile campaigns, with community-youth participants who spread messages about the risk of trafficking on their bicycles, carrying loud speakers and banners to raise awareness, and distributing booklets that shared real trafficking stories and information about support services in Cambodia and abroad that migrants can access.
By the end of the campaign, the majority of participants were able to clearly articulate elements of smart labor migration, the consequence of labor migration, and what they should do if they believe they are being exploited or trafficked.
Since 2010, we have also been working with Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE) on a tertiary scholarship program that has provided university scholarships to a total of 147 female high school students from disadvantage families in Kompong Cham province, one of the most densely populated provinces in Cambodia and the second-largest origin community for young migrant laborers to Cambodia’s cities. Ninety-eight percent of the past two cohorts of graduates were successfully employed, and now serve as role models in their community where parents are encouraged to invest in girls’ education.
In the end, a combined approach that teaches safe migration, empowers households economically, and advances economic opportunity will be essential to Cambodia’s efforts to end human trafficking.

Cross-Border Labor Migration Surges in Cambodia, Raising Risk of Human Trafficking December 14, 2016 Siv Hong Lim

An Australian nurse operating a fertility clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia has been arrested following a crackdown on surrogacy.
Tammy Davis-Charles, 49, was detained by anti-human trafficking police after the Cambodian government banned commercial surrogacy on October 24, Fairfax Media reported.
The fertility specialist and mother of twin boys through surrogacy in Thailand organised for more than 20 Cambodian women to bear children through her Fertility Solutions PGD Clinic.

Australian nurse running a fertility clinic in Cambodia is arrested by anti-human trafficking police Tanya Li for Daily Mail Australia 20 November 2016

Indonesian Navy uncovers human trafficking on the sea Fadli Fadli The Jakarta Post Batam | Wed, December 7, 2016

As a developing country, the Philippines is vulnerable to human trafficking.
Problems connected with poverty force most Filipinos to seek jobs outside the country, forming a culture of migration that contributes to human trafficking.
A 2015 report by the Philippine Statistics Agency show that 26.3 percent of Filipinos live below the poverty line which fuels the need to look for better opportunities which makes them more vulnerable to human trafficking.
Atty. Darlene Pajarito, executive director of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, explains that there are really no willing victims of human trafficking since victims agree to job opportunity presented to them but not the looming exploitation. 
“The consent here in human trafficking is not the consent in the real sense, it’s what we call vitiated consent because this consent is tainted with violence or deception,” she said.

WATCH: The Philippines and human trafficking ABS-CBN News Dec 03 2016

Human trafficking increases in Luxembourg 2 December, 2016 

I contrabbandieri delle ONG, mafia che agisce con il beneplacito dell’Unione Europea hanno sbarcato migliaia di migranti illegali in Europa dietro il pretesto di salvare la gente, tutto ciò con l’assistenza della guardia costiera Italiana che ne ha coordinato l’attività.
I trafficanti di esseri umani contattano la guardia costiera Italiana in anticipo per ricevere assistenza nel caricare a bordo i loro dubbi “carichi”. Le navi delle ONG si dirigono verso “punti di salvataggio” anche se coloro che dovrebbero teoricamente salvare si trovano ancora in Libia. Le 15 navi di cui abbiamo osservato i movimenti, le quali sono di proprietà, o risultano noleggiate, da ONG, lasciano regolarmente i loro porti in Italia dirigendosi verso Sud, fermandosi prima della costa Libica a caricare il loro carico umano per poi ritornarsene in Italia, a 260 miglia di distanza, quando il porto di Zarzis in Tunisia si trova a sole 60 miglia di distanza dal “punto di salvataggio”.
Le organizzazioni in questione sono: MOAS; Jugend Rettet, Stichting Bootvluchting, Médecins Sans Frontières, Save the Children, Proactiva Open Arms, seawatch.org, Sea-eye e Life-boat.
Le vere intenzioni che motivano le persone che stanno dietro a queste ONG non sono chiare. Non saremmo sorpresi se la motivazione non è nient’altra che il denaro. Possono anche essere politicamente motivati: le attività dell’organizzazione con base a Malta, MOAS, di traffico di esseri umani in Italia, sono la migliore garanzia di non ritrovarsi nessun immigrato sulle coste Maltesi. MOAS è diretta da un ufficiale della marina militare Maltese ben noto a Malta per episodi di maltrattamento dei rifugiati. Un’ulteriore possibilità è che tali organizzazioni siano gestiti da ingenui “buoni samaritani” che non comprendono come offrendo i loro servigi finiscono per funzionare come un magnete che incentiva l’immigrazione per la gente Africana, così indirettamente causando più incidenti e morti, senza nemmeno considerare il fatto che le loro azioni sono in ultima analisi un contributo alla destabilizzazione dell’Europa.
Per quanto possano essere alte e nobili le intenzioni di queste organizzazioni, le loro azioni restano azioni criminose, dal momento che la gran parte di questi migranti non hanno valide motivazioni per avanzare richiesta d’asilo e finiranno nelle strade di Roma o di Parigi a minare direttamente la stabilità dell’Europa, esasperando già esistenti tensioni sociali a sfondo razziale.
Bruxelles ha prodotto una speciale legislazione che protegge i trafficanti umani da essere regolarmente processati. Nella sezioni di una delle risoluzioni UE sull’argomento, intitolata “Disposizioni In materia di ricerca e salvataggio” (On Search and Rescue), il testo recita che “possessori di natanti privati e ONG che assistano in operazioni di salvataggio nel Mare Mediterraneo non devono rischiare di andare incontro a sanzione per il fatto di provvedere assistenza in tal modo”.
Durante i due mesi di durata delle nostre osservazioni, abbiamo osservato almeno 39.000 Africani introdotti illegalmente in Italia, il tutto con il pieno consenso delle autorità Italiane ed Europee.
Informazioni aggiuntive:
In Ottobre abbiamo scoperto 4 ONG intente a prelevare clandestini in acque territoriali Libiche. Abbiamo prova che questi trafficanti comunicavano le loro intenzioni in anticipo alle autorità Italiane. Dieci ore prima che i migranti lasciassero le coste Libiche, la Guardia Costiera italiana guidava a distanza le ONG al “punto di salvataggio”. Articolo originale con resoconto completo: Caught in the act: NGOs deal in migrant smuggling
L’organizzazione MOAS has stretti legami con il famoso appaltatore militare Americano “Blackwater”, con l’esercito Americano e con la marina militare Maltese. Resoconto completo: The Americans from MOAS ferry migrants to Europe
Qui potete trovare una rassegna completa delle imbarcazioni coinvolte: NGOs Armada operating off the coast of Libya e qui potete leggere di come le persone vengono incoraggiate a venire in Europa: Death road to Europe promoted on the web
 Fonte: https://gefira.org

NGOs are smuggling immigrants into Europe on an industrial scale 4.12.2016

Le ONG stanno contrabbandando migranti in Europa su scala industriale GEFIRA .ORG 

Workers in labor bondage overlooked in U.S. human trafficking tally, U.N. expert says Reuters 17 December 2016


"Neither Safe nor Sound": l'Inferno dei minori non accompagnati 15 DICEMBRE 2016



UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Tuesday on all countries to investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking and said the most vulnerable victims are women, children and refugees caught up in conflict areas around the globe.



"We have to fight trafficking for the sake of the victims," Ban said. "When we do, we will also decrease funding for terrorists — and make everyone safer."

Most children lured into human trafficking are between the ages of 12 and 14, and their average life expectancy after being trafficked is seven years.
Some children are at higher risk, like those in the foster care system and those categorized as missing or homeless.
It’s not always like it’s shown in the movies. It’s not always a dramatic kidnapping. Children are recruited by their friends in school, by people on social media, by their boyfriends and sometimes by their own family members to provide sex acts for something of value. That something of value could be money, drugs, gasoline or even food, Palmer said.
Traffickers aren’t usually the guy wearing gold chains or the ones you see in jail mug shots. They come in all shapes and sizes, Palmer said.
Studies have shown that 47 percent of the buyers have college degrees and 53 percent are married.
Janiece Charlez, whose 21-year-old Temple daughter, a victim of human sex trafficking, was found murdered on Sept. 22 in Houston, said that agencies weren’t able to help her in her struggle to rescue her daughter because Natalie wasn’t a minor.
Natalie became part of a sex ring in Dallas, her mother said. 
Charlez was able to track her daughter’s location in July 2015 to Mississippi through a cellphone and through Backpage ads featuring her daughter. The pimp was arrested on promoting prostitution and sex trafficking charges, but he was released after he paid a bond, Charlez said.
Natalie then got pregnant with her second child, and her pimp allowed her to come home to Temple in October 2015 to have the baby, Charlez said. But after her daughter was a month old, on Nov. 21, 2015, a cab drove up to Charlez’s house and Natalie left again. Her pimp provided her with a bus ticket, Charlez said.
Charlez kept calling agencies and others to get help. But Natalie told her mother that her pimp threatened to kill her if she didn’t return to him.
Natalie was only gone from Temple for four days before she was arrested in Houston and charged with prostitution. She was jailed for more than four months when her charge was dismissed and she was back on the street again, Charlez said. Natalie and another girl called men, got them to come to a hotel for sex, and the pimps would rob the men when they left.
Later, Charlez made arrangements with a safe house in Alabama to take Natalie in, and Natalie got on a plane in Austin that transferred in Dallas. Natalie walked out of the airport and went back to Houston, Charlez said. Natalie was determined to earn the money to help her pimp, Charlez said.
Natalie changed her mind the time her pimp was arrested in Louisiana, along with other girls working for him. However, one girl contacted Natalie in Temple and convinced her to return to prostitution and earn money to get the man out of jail.
An urgent message from Natalie to her mother said that she wanted to come back home, but it was very hard. Charlez went to pick her up. Two miles down the road, however, Natalie said that she couldn’t leave Houston.
Her new pimp called Natalie and even talked to Charlez, saying that he would pay her for her lost time and expenses if she would bring Natalie back to him.
“I told him no. There wasn’t enough money he could pay me to take her back to him. I wasn’t going to let her out of my car,” Charlez said.
But by the time Charlez and Natalie reached Nacogdoches, Natalie was kicking the car windows, and something inside Charlez said she had to let her go. She told Natalie that she loved her and that she didn’t have to go, but she let Natalie got out of the car and her daughter walked away.
Charlez drove away.
“I texted her (Natalie) that I was sorry. After that, Natalie said that she was going to get the money to catch a bus home,” Charlez said.
That was the last time Charlez saw Natalie, she said.
When Natalie sent her mother an urgent message that she needed help, Charlez tried to find help again.
Charlez said that she and Natalie did a three-way call to a ministry program for help, but no one ever called them back. They called a hotline, which put her on hold, but no one ever called them back, either.
Natalie refused to call the police for help, but said that she would get on a bus and come home. She never made it to Temple.
Natalie’s body was found a week later, ending Charlez’s two-year struggle to try to get help for her daughter. Natalie was found in a ditch near some bushes and had multiple wounds, according to a Sept. 22 Houston newspaper article.  
Among the things Natalie loved were writing and music, but she also loved her two daughters, ages 3 and 1, Charlez said.
The girls are now being raised and adopted by Charlez and her husband, Jonas. 

Natalie's Story: How Natalie was trapped into modern day slavery.

Currently, the Starry Counseling Program, located at 2027 S. 61st St. in Temple, provides free counseling for victims and their families, but the entire family must participate, Director of Counseling Services Angela Bulls said Thursday.
Kathy Ylostalo with the ARK (Acceptance, Restoration and Kinship) Foundation, located at 716 College St. in Belton, is working to organize a drop-off, daytime facility in Bell County, especially after Traffick911 had to close its aftercare facility because of legal roadblocks, which Palmer mentioned during the presentation.
Now, Traffick911 is geared toward prevention and rescue, Palmer said.
Volunteers are desperately needed to help with all different aspects of prevention and care in Bell County, Bulls, Ylostalo and Palmer said.
To volunteer, contact Bulls at angela.bulls@starry.org; Ylostalo at Ark2freedom@gmail.com; and Palmer at bellvolunteers@traffick911.com.
Charlez wants to find a way to start a support group in the Central Texas area for parents of human sex trafficking victims, she said.



An Onslow County man is accused of meeting a teenager online and then forcing her into prostitution. 
Deputies say last Wednesday they went to a home on Weatherington Road for a report of a runaway teen.
While they were at the home, the runaway asked deputies for help to leave.
They discovered that Harold Tanner had traveled to the teen's home and brought her back to Jacksonville.
The 67-year-old is charged with human trafficking-child victim, sexual servitude-child victim, two counts of promoting prostitution of a minor, and two counts of maintaining a dwelling for prostitution.
The runaway girl was returned to her family, while Tanner was jailed on a $375,000 secured bond.

Man charged with human trafficking of runaway teen girl Dec 05, 2016 

KUSA - A Denver man was sentenced to 24 years in prison after an Arapahoe County jury found him guilty of human trafficking for sexual servitude.
Phillip Hines, 46, convicted back in October of human trafficking, pimping and a misdemeanor count of pandering. 
Hines, who went by the street name “Philly,” arranged meetings, booked hotel rooms, and orchestrated prostitution activities for the woman he coerced into working for him in Denver, Lakewood and Glendale- all for his own personal gain, investigators say. 
All of the money the victim earned from January 2011 until January 2015 went directly to support Hines.
Hines would control his victim both through beatings and through the use of drugs.

Orange woman admits to running human trafficking ring December 16, 2016

Thirteen charged during investigation of human trafficking, related crimes  OAK RIDGE TODAY STAFF

POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) — Detectives in Polk County have arrested a total of 114 suspects after a six-day-long undercover operation focusing on human trafficking and those who advertise prostitution services online.
“Operation Not So Silent Night” ran from Thursday, December 8th through Tuesday, December 13th. Of the 114 arrested is 42-year-old Matthew Phillips, PhD, who is the Director of Elementary Curriculum at the Osceola County School Board. He arrived at the undercover location to have sex with a prostitute.
Officials said Phillips told the undercover detective he needed to do a “cop check” when he arrived, and grabbed her.
Also arrested was 50-year-old Matthew Irvin of Oakland, who detectives say told his wife he was going out to buy Christmas presents for his children, but came to the undercover location instead, to have sex with a prostitute. Also arrested, 33-year-old Erik Hernandez of Kissimmee, who detectives say setting up for his 9-year-old daughter’s birthday party that same day, and went to the undercover location to have sex with a prostitute. Another case, 40-year-old Michael Bonislawski of Davenport, left his pregnant wife was at home the same day their baby was due, and showed up to the undercover location.
Also arrested was a corrections officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Coleman, Florida, and a 20-year retired police officer from Puerto Rico.

In addition to the 114 suspects arrested, two suspects were arrested after they traveled to an undercover location to have sex with who they thought were children. Of the 114 suspects arrested, detectives believe four are victims of human trafficking.
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a press conference that one person arrested if believed to be part of an international sex-trafficking ring, but did not identify the suspect.
Collectively, all suspects have over 600 previous charges. Twenty-eight of them admitted to investigators they are married.
The Sheriff’s Office also confirmed one female suspect had been charged previously with knowingly trying to transmit HIV/AIDS and spit on detectives while she was being arrested during the sting.
During the investigation, female undercover detectives posted fictitious ads online, and male undercover detectives responded to ads posted online by others.
We are exceptionally pleased that we were able to potentially identify four victims of human trafficking, which is the goal of this operation. We are thrilled that we arrested two men who prey upon children, preventing them from doing so. We are extremely disappointed that we arrested a high-ranking official within the Osceola County School Board, whose occupation focuses on teaching and mentoring children.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff.

The drawing is of a woman’s face, framed against the rush of her hair in the background. A dollar bill is stretched across her mouth, gagging her like duct tape. A single tear trickles down her right cheek.
Weld District Attorney’s Office prosecutors showed that sketch at the sentencing hearing of Paul Burman, 33, Wednesday. In August, a jury convicted Burman, also known as “Haylo,” of 32 counts relating to his trafficking and prostituting of women and underage girls in northern Colorado and Nebraska. Weld District Judge Julie Hoskins on Wednesday sentenced him to 248 years in prison, which prosecutors say is longest sentence ever in Colorado in a human trafficking case.
“(Burman) told her money was more important than her voice, and more important than her bodily integrity,” Weld Deputy District Attorney Tamara Love said. “Because of his love of money, her voice was taken away.”
Burman was convicted after a 13-day trial. That trial delved into his career as a human trafficker and a pimp, stretching from October 2012 to April 2014. He was arrested in December 2014 after a massive investigation conducted by the Greeley Police Department, the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force and the Colorado State Patrol.
That investigation began when one of Burman’s victims, in rehab, told her story to authorities. The investigation took police to the hellish depths of the American human trafficking underworld, and gradually Burman’s mode of operation emerged.
According to police reports, Burman usually began by messaging girls — often teenagers — through social media and offering them a chance to earn money. They would agree to meet up with them, he would give them drugs or alcohol, then arrange for them to have sex with his customers. According to witnesses, it was often with multiple customers in a night. He would keep the money and keep his victims in servitude, even going so far as forcing one girl to get a tattoo with the phrasemoney over bitches.” Clark said Burman also fostered drug addiction in the girls he prostituted, and used it as a way to control them, but he had other methods, too. He threatened violence, and once he beat and sexually assaulted a girl who didn’t earn enough money and talked back to him.
Another of his victims, who spoke before prosecutors showed the sketch, said Burman had turned her life into a “running nightmare.”
“He forced me to do things that were unbelievable,” said the woman, whose name The Tribune will not print because she is a victim of sexual assault. “He literally put a price tag on my body. I felt like no one could ever love me. Sometimes I still wake up screaming.”
His threats didn’t stop with his victims.
“Burman attempted to make contact with me,” said the lead investigator on the case, whose name The Tribune will not print because of concerns about her safety if her name were to be widely disseminated. “Local police officers had to guard my residence. Because of Paul Burman, my child still has nightmares and is unable to sleep alone.”

Greeley man sentenced to 248 years in capstone of sweeping human trafficking case Tommy Simmons November 24, 2016

Lawrence Gunn Jr., 32, who was arrested without incident last month at a Woodland Hills apartment complex, faces felony charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gunn — also known as “Classified”branded his prostitutes with tattoos of his nickname to mark his “stable” of sex workers, federal prosecutors allege.
The investigation into Gunn began in February when the 16-year-old was traced to a Moreno Valley motel, where authorities discovered five victims who were working for Gunn — three of whom were minors, court documents allege.
Several of them had tattoos that read “Classified,” including the 16- year-old girl, who had the tattoo over her right eye, according to court papers.
The victims had placed advertisements for commercial sex acts on Backpage.com and that Gunn had about a dozen women and girls working for him, prosecutors allege.
One of the victims had posted hundreds of ads for sex services in states as far away as Alaska and Minnesota, according to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.

Little-girl hookers branded by pimp? Human trafficking horror in court TONI MCALLISTER  

A 23-year-old man is in a Winnipeg jail on human trafficking charges after police allege he held a woman against her will and forced her to work as an escort at various Winnipeg hotels.
"She had been driven to Winnipeg from Montreal on Dec. 4 ... for this sole purpose," police wrote in a news release, adding she was threatened if she failed to comply.

Winnipeg a 'hub' for exploitation

He said the suspect assaulted the woman with a weapon while he was in control of her.
"We were just thankful that we were able to respond quickly," Michalyshen said.
A 19-year-old woman was also found with the 23-year-old woman and the man. She claimed to be his girlfriend.
The man is charged with trafficking in persons, advertising sexual services and assault with a weapon.
Alaya McIvor is a survivor of sex trafficking and now works with victims at Sage House, a street women's health and outreach centre.
She was trafficked seven years ago across Canada and said the crime continues regularly in Winnipeg.
"It's a hub here," she said, adding trafficking happens in all parts of the city.
McIvor said traffickers often start grooming their victims by offering love and gifts.

'It's not a date'

She said it's usually not long before the victim is forced to work, often from hotel to hotel across the country. McIvor said victims are listed online as escorts but insists they are being exploited.
"When you're an escort it's just a name that they try and classify themselves as it's exploitation all around," she said.
"It's not a date."
McIvor said once pimps have groomed their victims, the threats begin and it can be hard to escape.
"The majority of the time they use their kids or the family [threatening] that they're going to murder them."
McIvor said victims of sex trafficking can call the Manitoba sex trafficking hotline to get help.
The number is 1-844-333-2211.

Man charged with human trafficking drove victim to Winnipeg from Montreal, police say Aidan Geary, Austin Grabish, CBC News Dec 17, 2016

If human trafficking is an epidemic, why are many Canadians so surprised to learn about it?
According to victims’ advocate Joy Smith, who served as a Member of Parliament from Manitoba between 2004 and 2015, the issue has been “under the public radar” for a long time.
One problem, says Smith, is the confusion with prostitution — women who work in the sex trade by choice — versus girls, many of them under 16, who are brutally coerced into it.
Whatever the reasons for public ignorance, there’s a hint of hope in the nightmare that sees young girls trapped and exploited: Awareness is finally growing.
That will be thanks to people like Smith who have worked tirelessly to help victims and combat predators. Smith has committed herself to the battle against human trafficking, both in her work as a politician and through her charitable organization, the Joy Smith Foundation. Smith’s foundation works with the organizations that rescue and rehabilitate victims and with law enforcement; they are also dedicated to educating the public.
Toronto Police’s Human Trafficking Enforcement Team has made 77 arrests this year alone, including five arrests earlier this week involving allegations women were branded with tattoos, threatened, beaten, fed drugs and forced into the sex trade — a now all-too-commonplace crime the head of the unit described as an “epidemic in Canada.”
But it is a crime nobody talked about until fairly recently, Smith says. Even parliamentarians, she says, were unaware.
A former math and science teacher, Smith’s work on behalf of victims of human trafficking motivated her to enter politics. She is the only private member to have twice successfully amended the Criminal Code to further protect victims and ensuring, since 2012, Canada has a national plan of action to fight human trafficking.
The laws are fairly new, Smith says.
“But people are finally starting to talk about it”.
Her son’s work with Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) — a counselling program for children who have fallen victim to online sexual exploitation — is what started Smith’s involvement with victims of human trafficking. In her efforts to help these young women, she learned about the brutality and horror of their experience.
“I was appalled,” she says. “It changed my whole life.”
She dedicated herself to the victims’ plight and to educating the public about these crimes.
When I found out that kids were being bought and sold, I could do nothing else.”
Smith is currently raising the profile of her foundation and the work it does with the help of celebrity helpers such as country music star Paul Brandt and former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, whose work on behalf of child abuse victims is well known.
“Thanks to them,” says Smith, “people are finally becoming aware of it.”
Smith adds that the more publicity these crimes get, the more the predators are threatened.
“They’re afraid to do as much as they used to do,” she says.
They’re like rats, scurrying back into their hole when the spotlight is on them.”
Want to help? Visit JoySmithFoundation.com

Canadians slowly becoming aware of human trafficking epidemic LIZ BRAUN, POSTMEDIA NETWORK  DECEMBER 13, 2016

A Toronto man who forced victims to tattoo his name on their bodies is facing an additional 18 charges in a human trafficking investigation, police announced Monday, Dec. 12.

According to police, multiple victims were coerced, exploited and forced to work in the sex trade by a man between Aug. 7 and Nov. 30. The man controlled the victims by forcing them to use various drugs and threatening their families.
As a result of an investigation into the allegations, a man was arrested Aug. 16.
Matthew Maxwell, 27, of Toronto, is charged with 16 human trafficking-related offenses relating to a 21-year-old female victim.
Police allege Maxwell was procuring victims from a correctional facility.
Maxwell was charged with 18 additional human trafficking-related charges after another victim came forward with allegations.
He appeared in court at Toronto East Courts Nov. 3.
Police are concerned there may be more victims and are encouraging anyone affected to contact police to gain access to support services and an exit strategy, even if victims don’t want to proceed criminally.
Anyone with information about the investigation or suspect, or anyone who knows someone with a Matthew Maxwell tattoo, is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474. Anonymous tips can be made through Crime Stoppers at www.222tips.com or 416-222-8477.

Toronto man charged with human trafficking, tattoo 'branding' victims City Centre Mirror Dec 13, 2016

Human trafficking cases in New York City are up 50% this year with documented cases totaling 84 in comparison to last year’s 55. The same goes for trafficking-related arrests, according to the NYPD. The Deputy Commissioner of Public Information stressed that case numbers quantify suspected reports of trafficking from various outside sources and don’t necessarily result in the squad pursuing the case.
“The reality is, most victims are betrayed by those who they have grown close to, either through friendship or romance,” a spokesperson of the NYPD said in a statement. “The first time being forced to commit sex acts is usually masked behind the false, ‘Just this one time for financial reasons’ and ‘If you love me, you'll do this.’ Once the act is committed, that becomes another tool of manipulation by utilizing threats to expose their actions to those who know them. Physical violence is not required (though often used), but the fear of violence is ALWAYS present.”

Inside New York's bustling but unseen world of human trafficking SARAH GROCHOWSKI NEW YORK DAILY NEWS December 10, 2016


City attorneys have drafted a local ordinance that aims to combat human-trafficking operations disguised as massage parlors.
The local ordinance would regulate a massage industry that currently doesn’t require licenses or background checks for a business to operate.
Kansas is one of only a few states that do not regulate the massage industry. Human-trafficking operations have taken advantage of the lack of regulations, and both the Lawrence police department and the Douglas County district attorney have encouraged Lawrence to use city code to help fight the problem.
Absence of statewide regulation allowed sex-traffickers to bring their operation to Lawrence even after being convicted of similar crimes in another Kansas town. Two Chinese nationals, Chen Li and Guihong Xiao, were convicted last year of human trafficking and promoting the sale of sexual relations at their massage parlor in Lawrence. In 2013, the two had been found guilty of promoting prostitution at two massage businesses in Bonner Springs.

ST. GEORGE — A recent training conference conducted by Truckers Against Trafficking brought together the state Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Trucking Association to discuss best practices in successfully detecting and investigating human trafficking crimes with the help of the the trucking industry.

Trafficking has been recorded in all 50 states in a variety of venues,” Truckers Against Trafficking Coalition Build Specialist Esther Goetsch said. “So, everywhere from hotels and motels, casinos, parking lots, truck stops to business fronts.”
Truckers Against Trafficking has partnered with every state trucking association in the country in order to educate truckers and truck stop workers about human trafficking.
“The unique thing about drivers is that they are everywhere at all hours of the day and night and that’s why they’re such critical folks to be trained to recognize these signs,” Goetsch said.
Truckers are trained to look out for red flags that indicate trafficking, including signs of branding or tattooing, talks of quota or “daddies” and signs of pimp control, such as fearful interactions, not making eye contact and lacking personal identification.
“Certainly, the most obvious sign that we want people everywhere to know is that any minor selling commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking under federal law,” Goetsch said.
The program has been successful in fielding tips about trafficking victims and putting away criminals.
One such success story involves a Conway truck driver named Kevin Kimmel whose training allowed him to spot suspicious activity leading to the rescue of a victim and the arrest of two traffickers.
Kimmel was at a truck stop and saw an RV that didn’t look typical. As he observed the situation, he saw a man enter the RV, and a commotion ensued. A young woman attempted to look out the RV window when the curtain was hastily closed.
Kimmel called local law enforcement, and they were able to rescue the young woman who was reunited with her family. The two traffickers are now in prison for forty years.
Truckers Against Trafficking provides numerous resources for trucking industry employees, including a wallet card with information about how to spot possible trafficking and the number to an anonymous 24-hour tip line. This and other resources can be acquired through the Utah Trucking Association or the safety director of almost any trucking company.
We want every driver out there trained,” Goetsch said.
The organization also runs the Freedom Drivers Project, a semitractor-trailer equipped with training resources that travels around the country to educate truckers, law enforcement and the public about trafficking.
The project garnered a lot of interest and praise when it stopped in Utah this fall, Goetsch said, and it will likely make its way to the state again soon.

Truckers Against Trafficking helps Utah truckers spot victims on the road Written Joseph Witham December 11, 2016

The Red Sand Project was started by Molly Gochman, an experimental artist and an activist based in New York City.
“Red Sand Project is an activist artwork created to raise awareness of modern-day slavery,” Golchman notes on her website. She is expecting this art installation to be a metaphorical and tender approach to our society about the serious global issue.
One of Red Sand Walk participant’s signs noted, “trafficking is all around you.” This may hard to believe, but according to an FBI report, human trafficking is the third-largest criminal activity in the world.

Fourteen Colombian women have been rescued from a transnational human trafficking ring in the Dominican Republic, authorities said Monday.
Officials from Colombia, the United States and the Dominican Republic arrested one American, three Dominicans and one Colombian involved with the organization.
The Colombian, identified as Julian Andres Sanchez, a.k.a. “El Baby,” was detained in Medellin after arriving on a flight from Bogota.
He is alleged to be responsible for recruiting the women via social networks and coordinating their travel.
“The women, possibly victims of sexual exploitation, had been contacted in Colombia through social networks and were being held in four nightlife establishments in the city of Santo Domingo,” said Colombia’s Immigration Department in a press release.
TOLEDO (WTVG) - Christmas is just a week away and a local organization is asking for donations to help human trafficking victims
The organization is called STARS, an acronym for "Standing Together Against Real Slavery."
The founder is a survivor herself and hits the streets everyday looking for victims who need help.
Right now they are in need of winter coats, gloves, gift cards or money to help provide Christmas for young teenage girls in this outreach program.
"I just want everybody to be able to have some hope," said Elesondra DeRomano, the founder of STARS.
If you'd like to donate any winter gear, gift cards or money, you can call STARS at 419-280-2451 to schedule any pickups.
Drop-offs can be made at Unity United Methodist Church in Northwood.
Donations can also be sent to: STARS 1910 E. Broadway Northwood, OH 43619

Help for human trafficking victims Sanaa Orra | Dec 19, 2016

Judges in Tierra del Fuego province have condemned local brothel owner Pedro Montoya to seven years of prison after finding him guilty of human trafficking in a historic trial for Argentina.

One of the women they held, Alika Kinan Sánchez, brought the case against her former captors, the first time a victim of human trafficking has acted as plaintiff against the people who forced her into prostitution.

Montoya’s two accomplices, Ivana García and Lucy Alberca Campos, were also given suspended prison sentences of three years. The judges also declared that the Municipality of Ushuaia will be forced to compensate Kinan $780,000.

Montoya was the owner of a brothel in Ushuaia called “Sheik”, and was found guilty of sexually exploiting at least eight women between 21 and 28 years of age. García is his wife and must also pay a fine of $30,000 whereas Campos, a Peruvian woman who ran the brothel, was only given the suspended prison sentence.

Alika Kinan was rescued from the brothel in October 2012 by Protex (Procurator of Trafficking and Exploitation of People) when she was 36 years old. Protex had started investigating the venue after a trafficking victim in Tucumán had reported being forced into prostitution there.

During the trial, Kinan testified that she had been abandoned by her parents when she was 16 years old and moved to Ushuaia when she was 18 in 1996. She says her captors gave her the “false image of family” which she never had. She recalled that they ensure that “no one would open my eyes [to what was really happening], so that I would continue to be productive, they instilled habits of cleanliness, order and punctuality in me so that I would be shaped for the brothel’s clients.”

Kinan said that she was presented to the local police to get a DNI and to see whether she could be a “good prostitute without a criminal record.” She said she survived this and “daily gropings, fights, beatings and blood, lots of blood, marks on my face and other parts of my body.”

On hearing the judges’ verdict on Wednesday, Kinan embraced various members of social feminist organisations who supported her and she said: “now we are going to go after the pimps in the whole country.”

She also sent a message to all those who are in conditions of slavery and sexual exploitation. “Everyone can. Even those who today are not recognised as victims, and those who stigmatised me. If I can, then everyone else can too.”

Much like its neighbors in the “Northern Triangle”, Honduras is beset by a host of challenges: high rates of crime and violence, weak or under-supported government institutions, and a lack of economic opportunity for a vast number of its citizens. Unfortunately, these factors contribute to another issue affecting countless victims across the country: human trafficking.
HAITI - The National Committee for the Fight against Human trafficking (CNLTP) in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Canada, officially launched to the Ministry of Justice the free phone number 840. There is also another paying alternative number (3333-1300).



This free number allows to report all cases of human trafficking, illicit trafficking of migrants, gender-based violence and cases relating to the protection of children.



The free number is in operation in the Departments of Nippes, South, Southeast, Grand Anse and West, precised Dr. Fils-Lien Ely Thelot, President of the CNLTP.


The Minister of Justice Camille Edouard Jr. applauded this initiative aimed at strengthening the protection mechanisms of the person. 



Captured ‘Realities’ of Human Trafficking: Analysis of photographs illustrating stories on trafficking into the sex industry in Serbian media Elena Krsmanovic Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women 14 December 2016


Human trafficking is a stark reality in South Africa and it can happen to anyone at anytime.
In light of recent events that played out in Weltevreden Park as reported in Roodepoort Northsider on 29 November where an attempt was made to abduct a child, the Sandton Police have warned the community to be vigilant.
According to the report, the children were playing in the street when four males in a Volkswagen Polo stopped next to them and asked if they knew a certain person. One of the four suspects then tried to grab one of the children but fled the scene with the victim’s cellphone after one of the children called out for his mother.
Constable David Mothapo, spokesperson for the Sandton Police Station said, “Although there have not been any recent cases in the Sandton area, it is a reality that can happen.”
He said that children are often exploited and forced into labour. “It doesn’t just happen to children and anyone, regardless of age or sex, can become a victim of trafficking,” said Motapo.
Mothapo said that there are various reasons why people get trafficked and these include:
  • Sex trafficking such as pornography, prostitution or escort services which are forced
  • Trafficking for non-commercial purposes, which may include early and forced marriages
  • Maternity trafficking which is forced impregnation with the intent to sell the child
  • Illegal adoptions with the intent to sell or exploit the child
  • Forced labour and child labour which may include sweatshops or forced labour
  • Organ and body part trafficking which is forced and illegal selling of body parts
  • Forced begging and participation in criminal activities.
  • Missing Children South Africa is an organisation that creates awareness of the reality of children going missing in South Africa. They also assist the South African Police Services and families when a child goes missing.
The organisation has provided a few tips to keep safe during the holiday season:
  • Ensure you and your children know where the nearest police station and hospitals are
  • Be wary of people you meet on holiday
  • Ask the locals which areas to avoid
  • Do not wait 24 hours to report a missing person, especially during the holidays
  • Always ensure you know where your child is, with whom and what they are wearing.
Mothapo said that during the festive season the Sandton police will have extra visible policing at malls conducting foot patrols. “The focus will be on a variety of crimes such as theft out of motor vehicles and other crimes.”
Details: For more details or in an emergency contact Sandton police 011 722 4200; 10111 or Missing Children SA on 021 950 1546; info@missingchildren.org.za; Emergencies 072 647 7464.

Human trafficking in South Africa is a reality Pieter Dempsey,  Caxton Publishers


In Nigeria, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons and other related matters has since inception in 2003 prosecuted over 300 cases of human trafficking in the country, the Acting Director General of the agency, Mr Abdulrazak Dangiri has said.
He further disclosed that more than 8000 victims were rescued from their traffickers in various parts of the country and have been empowered into various trades and some enrolled into schools.
The Director made the disclosure Tuesday at the public presentation of the book titled “Eight evils of human trafficking” by the Nigerian guild of editors in collaboration with human dignity project.
Dangiri who was the keynote speaker at the event lamented the degrading effects of human trafficking which he blamed on poor parentage and other socio economic factors in the society.
He said the trend in human trafficking had led into erosion of moral values, prevalence of under aged militia groups in the society
Speaking at the same occasion, Hajiya Aisha Jumai Alhassan, the minister of women affairs who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the book launch called on religious and traditional leaders and other opinion leaders to sensitise the people within their spheres of influence against menace of human trafficking.
She described it as the worse form of slavery in the 21st century.

Over 300 cases of human trafficking prosecuted, 8000 victims rescued by NAPTIP- DG Richard P. Ngbokai Dec 6 2016

The clear and present danger of human trafficking Uzor Maxim Uzoatu Dec 4 2016




Nadia Murad Basee Taha, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, waves while being recognized by the speaker in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Oct. 25, 2016.

A Yazidi woman imprisoned and raped by Islamic State fighters said she had no idea about the scourge of human trafficking until she found herself enslaved with thousands of other women.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha has become the face of Yazidi women captured in northwestern Iraq in the summer of 2014 and used as sex slaves by the Islamic militants.
Since escaping her captors in November 2014, she has become an advocate for the Yazidis, and for refugee and women's rights in general, as well as a campaigner against human trafficking.
"Before 2014 we didn't know there was something called human trafficking," Murad said Thursday, speaking at Trust Women, an annual women's rights and trafficking conference hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Murad, who is also a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, said she was told she was a "slave captive" after IS fighters rounded up Yazidis in the village of Kocho, near Sinjar in northwest Iraq.
The Yazidis are a religious sect whose beliefs combine elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions. IS considers them devil worshippers.
Escape to Germany, beyond
Murad, now 23, was held by IS in Mosul but escaped after several months, reaching a refugee camp and eventually making her way to Germany.
She has since traveled to Egypt, Greece, Kuwait, Norway, the United States and Britain to try to raise awareness about the plight of the Yazidis, urging the international community to do more to bring the jihadist militants to justice.
"The world needs a lot of work to move forward," she said. "There are millions of people waiting for freedom."
Nearly 46 million people globally live as slaves — forced to work, sold for sex, trapped in debt bondage or born into servitude — according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index by rights group Walk Free Foundation.

Former Yazidi Sex Slave Uses International Stage to Spotlight Trafficking December 01, 2016 


When society refers to slavery, it usually does so in the past tense. And though chains and shackles may not be visible to society’s naked eye, as one woman has pointed out to the Valley, slavery is very much alive and well.

Timea E. Nagy, author, speaker and human trafficking advocate, was born in Hungary.

Initially attracted by a job offer to work in Canada, Nagy found herself enslaved in the sex trade.

Many girls in her situation, Nagy says are removed from families and support and are relocated far from their own countries and culture, having to handle a foreign language and hostile captors face grim prospects.

In a presentation at McBride Secondary, Nagy detailed how these victims — who are often times underage — are threatened, brainwashed, physically and/or emotionally abused are coerced and blackmailed into working 18 hours a day, mostly with no food or sleep for many hours at a time.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which force or coercion is used to control victims and make them engage in commercial sex acts or labor services against their will — The National Human Trafficking Hotline
Most cannot escape, do not have the courage or will, and have nowhere to go or ask for help, as Nagy says, “their spirit is broken.” Closer involvement of parents, school and community to help support their youth is the solution, she says.
It’s almost hard to believe, but there are now more slaves than ever in the history of the world, according to the campaigning group Free the Slaves (FTS).
The organizations estimates about 30 million people worldwide are trapped in some form of slavery, although according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, the number is closer to 46 million.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which force or coercion is used to control victims and make them engage in commercial sex acts or labor services against their will, according to The National Human Trafficking Hotline, as India has by far the greatest number of enslaved people, but other countries with significant slave labor are China, Pakistan, Bangladesh.
We, here in North America unknowingly consume many products made by slaves, such as clothing from South Asian sweatshops. Canada is not immune to this scourge of human trafficking and slavery, Nagy says, but virtually all countries in the world are affected either as a source, transit, destination, or combination thereof.
Internal movement and exploitation within a country is seemingly more prevalent than trans-border trafficking. Besides sexual slavery, Nagy says exploitation in construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and the domestic and food service businesses are prevalent in many places. Slavery generates over $150-billion for the traffickers every year, according to FTS; of these victims, 78 per cent are in labor slavery, 22 per cent are trapped in sex slavery.
Even more disturbing, 26 per cent of today’s slaves are under the age of 18, according to FTS.
Children are the most vulnerable victims of slavery, of course, and also are involved in different markets for trafficking — some not mentioned in this article previously — such as trafficking in organs, child soldiers, mail-order brides and adoption.
With luck and resilience, Nagy escaped slavery and turned her fate around. Today, she travels the country and speaks for this cause with eloquence and even humor.
Since 2009, Nagy has been involved in training over 10,000 police officers, investigating over 120 cases and assistance of 300 enslaved girls. Her advice for us is to get involved wherever we can; although the victims of trafficking today do not wear chains, they might not ask for help, or might not even look like victims, they badly need our help.
Donate to agencies involved in freeing the slaves, she says, talk about it, advocate, protect the youth and educate yourself from resources such as Polaris Project.

Gillian Anderson has spoken at the Trust Women Conference anti-slavery event hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The actor stars in Sold, a film based on the true story of a survivor who was trafficked from Nepal to a Kolkata brothel as a young child.

Ms Anderson spoke to the Today programme about how slavery has become the fastest growing black market industry in the world


Gillian Anderson: 'Slavery a $150bn business' 1 December 2016 


SOLD Power elite and human trafficking 21 DICEMBRE 2016



While human trafficking is a global problem, America seems to be apathetic and asleep at the wheel. Washington doesn’t seem serious in the battle against this epidemic of human exploitation.
A new film, 8 Days, attempts to shake viewers out of their hibernation to engage their local comunity to fight the sex slave market.
Set in white suburbia, Amber sets out with some friends to party by duping her parents. When things go wrong, she finds herself in the darkest horror imaginable without an escape in sight.
With a meager backstory to set up the lifelong prostitutes, filmmaker Jaco Booyens keep the audience rooted in Amber’s nightmare with perfectly timed cut aways and a series events which break a parent’s heart – how could you save her?
This is no high priced Hollywood film, but accomplishes the goal of raising awareness through the conversations which start when the film ends. The core group of actors pull of their roles, but a weak a supporting cast is distracting at times.
There is a PSA nature to the end of the film, which was almost unnecessary, but I did like the TV interviews as a post-script the film.
Contrasting Taken by bringing the attention back home to the US, 8 Days conveys a great scenario which says: “this can happen to anyone” so what will you do…what is your one thing to prevent it from happening in your community.
Get more inforation, watch the trailer or find a local screening: http://www.8daysfilm.org/

‘8 Days’ Film Review: Intense, Emotion Reality Check On Human Trafficking Horrors Feb 6th, 2015

Fighting against human trafficking Devin Wilger DECEMBER 16, 2016


Gujarat: 13-year-old girl kidnapped, sold, raped for five months Dec 20, 2016

14-year-old girl forced into prostitution gang-raped by 8 25 novembre


Sex Trafficking in New Delhi 31 AGOSTO 2016

‘Gudiya’ Sex Trafficking in Varanasi AUGUST 16, 2016

Sex Trafficking In Italy 8 agosto 2016

Prostitution and Rape Culture 16 MAGGIO 2016

Promoting Prostitution 19 SETTEMBRE 2015

La Capitale della della Prostituzione 13 FEBBRAIO 2015

Men who pay for sex 19 OTTOBRE 2015

Raped 43.000 times 13 NOVEMBRE 2015

Raped 3000 times for 6 years 8 agosto 2016

Human trafficking, child sex exploitation in Utah 15 luglio 2016

Sex Trafficking in USA 7 SETTEMBRE 2015

Sex Slavery in America 15 OTTOBRE 2015

The Booming Sex Slave Market of the Middle East 14 SETTEMBRE 2015

Traffico di Esseri Umani: Catastrofe Nepal AUGUST 15, 2015

Human Trafficking A Global Evil Trade SEPTEMBER 12, 2015

Human Trafficking in Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, India MAY 6, 2015


Serial abductor child rapist monster arrested 6 dicembre 2016

“TrafficKing” Conchita Sarnoff exposes billionaire pedophile Jeffrey E. Epstein AUGUST 21, 2016

Innocent photos of children exploited on Twitter 28 NOVEMBRE 2016

New York High School Teacher Arrested For Child Porn 28 NOVEMBRE 2016

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