Don't join any of these group ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Shabab and Boko haram these are human traffickers

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thailand police investigate baby sales ring

Thai police talk to the Vietnamese women at the Immigration Police Bureau in Bangkok on 24 February 2011  
Bangkok police made the arrests after the women appealed to the Vietnamese embassy for help

Police in Thailand say they have broken up a Taiwanese-run ring which forced Vietnamese women in Thailand to have babies for subsequent sale.
Several Taiwanese, Chinese and Burmese people were arrested for allegedly running the operation, police said.
The business, called Baby 101, advertises surrogate motherhood services in Thailand.
Thai officials said, however, that some of the pregnant women involved had been forced into it.
"This is illegal and inhuman. In some cases it looks like they were raped," said Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.
'Tricked' The Baby 101 company appears to have received orders by email or through agents for babies.
Its website boasts of the good looks and health of the male sperm donors and the female ovum donors; it shows houses and hospitals in peaceful grounds with a swimming pool and high security.
An official from the Ministry for Social Development and Human Security said up to 14 Vietnamese women were now being looked after in a safe place.
The official told the BBC the women were frightened, and said their passports had been taken by those running the business.
Police made the arrests after some of the women had sent an email to the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok.
"We found 13 people in two houses when we searched. We found one more today at the hospital," said Lieutenant Colonel Prasat Khemaprasit of the Immigration Police.
"Nine of the women said they had volunteered to work because they were told they would earn $5,000 (£3,102) for each baby. Four said they were tricked," said Major General Manu Mekmok, commander of investigations for the immigration department.
Officials from health, welfare and police departments are meeting to consider how to take the investigation further.
Surrogacy for commercial purposes is banned in Thailand, reports the BBC's Vaudine England in Bangkok.
The Medical Council can allow surrogacy in rare cases - but only if no money is involved and if the surrogate is a relative of the potential parents.
Officials said the issue had to be taken seriously to avoid Thailand becoming a magnet for this kind of business.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden

Click to play
The makers say the ice cream is pure, organic and totally natural
A restaurant in London's Covent Garden is serving a new range of ice cream, made with breast milk.
The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from 15 women who responded to an advertisement on an online mothers' forum.
One of the women, Victoria Hiley, 35, said if adults realised how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed.
Each serving of Baby Gaga at Icecreamists costs £14.
Mrs Hiley's donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.
Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor placed an advert appealing for breast milk donations and believes his new recipe will be a success.

Start Quote

What's the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash?”
End Quote Victoria Hiley Mother

"If it's good enough for our children, it's good enough for the rest of us," he said.
"Some people will hear about it and go yuck - but actually it's pure organic, free-range and totally natural."
Mrs Hiley, who gets £15 for every 10 ounces of milk she donates to the company, said it was a great "recession beater".
"What's the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash?" she added.
"I teach women how to get started on breastfeeding their babies. There's very little support for women and every little helps."
Mr O'Connor said health checks for the lactating women were the same used by hospitals to screen blood donors.
"No-one's done anything interesting with ice cream in the last hundred years," he added.


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Global Human Trafficking Roundup

Italy: legislative loopholes leave some victims vulnerable to re-trafficking

Two weeks ago, Italian police busted 40 pimps selling Romanian girls' virginity on the internet. The investigation began in 2007, when the Romanian girls reported the police that they were forced into prostitution by the criminal organization and that they were willing to collaborate with the investigation. According to the report, the virginity of young Romanian girls were auctioned for 6000 euros ($8000), and the victims were rescued from the police and receive victim assistance programs from the Italian government. But, many other victims are not as fortunate as these victims at the mercy of Italian police. In fact, the legislative loopholes lead some victims to be left behind in the immigration detention facilities without even getting a chance to explain their situation to the police.
The legislative loopholes

Though Italy's legislation, like Article 18, provides a relatively good victim assistance programs, victims are eligible for the assistance only when they cooperate with the police in catching the predators. In Italy, though nonprofits is in charge of assisting victims to receive aftercare assistance, the police has the ultimate authority to grand the victims a residential permit and an eligibility to receive the victim assistance. And, more often than not, police grants the victim assistance and residential permits to those who are willing to collaborate in catching the traffickers. Therefore, if a victim is unwilling to collaborate with the police, she or he is not considered as a victim by the police and deported to his or her own country. In such case, a victim is often re-trafficked by the same exploiters.

Neglecting victims living under fear

The problem rises when victims are unable to collaborate with the police investigation because they are afraid of their traffickers. For instance, many Nigerian traffickers use voodoo to force victims into slavery. Traffickers control victims with the threat of "destroying their souls or making them crazy" through voodoo magic. Therefore, under such circumstance with a cultural misconception, it is difficult for many Nigerian victims to testify against their traffickers to collaborate with the police and become eligible to receive victim assistance from the Italian government. In fact, one research recalls that more than 100 Nigerian trafficking victims were deported to their own country without even being granted the chance to explain their situation during the period of spring and summer 2003. Meanwhile, nonprofit groups said that Nigerian made up more than a half of Italy's 19000-25,000 street prostitutes in 2008.

What needs to be done

The Italian government should extend the definition of trafficking victims so that victims will be eligible to receive the aftercare assistance even if they are not able to speak against the exploiters. Of course, the Italian government may only be willing to use victim assistance program as an incentive to the victims who helped the police out to crack down on traffickers. But, without receiving aftercare assistance, many victims become vulnerable to not just being re-victimized but to become traffickers themselves for survival. In fact, many female traffickers in Italy initially came to the country as victims but become traffickers after paying off their debts. Therefore, Italy's failure to grand victim assistance to all victims, in essence, is the very source of proliferation of sex trafficking in Italy. 

Global human trafficking roundup 

(February 19-21, 2011)


Tennessee: FBI says human trafficking exists in east Tennessee. While he says that human trafficking cases are not common in the area, east Tennessee is a prime location for traffickers to set up a shop because of its proximity to interstate highway and the crowded tourist areas.
Texas: The three count indictment against ten people who forced young Mexican women into prostitution was unsealed yesterday. According to the indictment, the defendants were involved in transporting Mexican women and girls to the U.S. with the false expectation of legitimate jobs and forced them into sex slavery between 1999 and 2011.

Kentucky: A man was arrested for posting child pornography on his facebook pages under a pseudonym. According to the report, he used thirteen different profiles to send illicit images of children to others. The arrest was made after another man named facebook watcher reported him to the Kentucky law enforcement. After further investigation, FBI discovered that the suspect is a pastor at a local church in Kentucky.

Washington: A new bill was proposed to fight child prostitution in the state. The bill, if implemented, will allow the law enforcement to tape the conversation between suspected pimps and the child victims without a warrant. The bill aims to give law enforcement another tool to build evidence against pimps.


UAE: Police busted a human trafficking ring that forced an Asian woman into prostitution. The arrest came after the victim texted her friends of her situation. When the police found the victim, she was locked up in a room. Police also arrested five men for sex trafficking the victim.

The Philippines: A Korean man was arrested for allegedly running a sex tourism business in Manila. According to the Immigration Bureau, he posed as a tourist guide at a travel agency to carry out his illicit activities. 


Teacher in trouble for promoting sex aids to students

Kuala Lumpur - A high school teacher in Malaysia is in trouble for allegedly trying to promote a gel prevent premature ejaculation, the Malay-language daily Harian Metro reported Monday.

His side business was discovered by a shocked parent who found several pamphlets promoting the product in his son's school bag.

The father, identified only as Min by the daily, said he went to the website listed on the pamphlet and was aghast to see a photograph of and contact number for the teacher, who is in his 30s, touting the product.

"He is supposed to set good example and not try to earn extra income by selling such products," Min was quoted as saying, "The website is not suitable for students because it can exert a bad influence and lead to social problems."

The parent has lodged a complaint with the police and the school authorities in Johor state. The education department told the daily it was investigating the matter.//DPA

Friday, February 18, 2011

Global human trafficking roundup (February 18, 2011)


Florida: A new york man receives the maximum penalties in a federal sex trafficking case. He was convicted of "sex trafficking by force, threats of force and fraud; transporting women across state lines for prostitution; enticing, inducing and coercing a woman to travel across state lines for prostitution; and conspiracy to transport a woman across state lines for prostitution." He now faces "two consecutive life sentences plus 35 years in federal prison for his crimes."

Georgia: The state legislators holds the first hearing on a new bill to combat child trafficking. The bill will not only impose longer penalties on traffickers but also allow the authority to seize the traffickers' assets.

Texas: U.S attorney says that ten people, including the local bar and restaurant owners were arrested on human trafficking charges. According to the report, they brought women and girls from Mexico to Houston and forced them into prostitution.

Hawaii: Domestic sex trafficking survivor said that she wants harsher penalty for traffickers. She shared her story before the legislators yesterday during the informational briefing to implement new anti-human trafficking bill 576 in Hawaii. She said that she was raped with a gun pointed on her head and forced into prostitution for three months by her pimp. She also said that she lives in fear and hopes that her pimp will never find her.

Canada: A sex trafficking survivor says that she was saved by a newspaper article. She was 19 when she came to Canada to be a domestic worker. But, instead, she was forced into sex industry as a exotic dancer upon arrival. When she read the story of another trafficking victim and the local police asking other trafficking victims to come forward on the article, she was able to find her way to escape from slavery.
Guam: A jury found a brothel owner guilty of sex trafficking women from Micronesia. According to the report, she preyed on nine victims, including a 16 year old girl, by forcing them into prostitution after promising them a good job at a restaurant. The brothel owner is now facing a maximum of life in prison at a sentencing set for May 18.


Mexico: A mother sells her infant to pay for her elder child's cancer treatment. She sold the infant to a midwife for a little more than $400, who, in turn, handed over the baby to a U.S. citizen for $1670. Both the midwife and the U.S. citizen are in custody and may be prosecuted for human trafficking.


Switzerland: The new IOM report on human trafficking criticizes lack of victim assistance from some countries. It argues that lack of victim assistance also leads to re-victimization of many women and children. The report is based on the close studies of 79 cases of human trafficking victims and shows that none of the victims in the studied cases were offered neither a temporary nor a permanent residency from the country of their destination. According to the report, the international victims who received no assistance from the country of their destination are re-trafficked within the country of their origin after the initial rescue.


The Philippines: Local police rescued eighteen people who are believed to be trafficking victims. According to the police, the alleged victims came from various parts of the country and failed to present proper documents or working visas. Police also believes that the victims were illegally recruited to work in Malaysia.


Ghana: A couple are on trial for trafficking six women to Lagos. According to the police, they recruited six women from their hometown and another state in Ghana and transport them to Lagos to sell porridge. However, the victims were forced into selling porridge without compensation during the day and prostitution at night. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Global human trafficking roundup (February 17, 2011)


Alabama: An FBI agent says that human trafficking happens in Alabama, and the residents should be aware of the crime. One sex trafficking survivor says that she was sold and exploited when she was 6 years old. She doesn't remember her biological parents, and she ran away from her traffickers in the age of 11 but was exploited again by another family with selling drugs.

California: A sex trafficking survivor receives award from the community. She came to the U.S. from Mexico in 1997 to work at a restaurant as a waitress. But, she was locked into a warehouse with thirty other women and forced into prostitution. When the restaurant shut down, she was able to escape from the tragedy.

Texas: Authorities raided two business premises in eastern Houston in search of human trafficking victims and suspects. According to the FBI, the women came to the U.S. believing that they would work, but were forced into prostitution by their traffickers to pay off the debts. It is unknown how many were arrested, but the further details will be released later this afternoon.

Canada: Canada's first human trafficking case ended with three people pleaded guilty of keeping a common bawdy house but without conviction on human trafficking or any related criminal charges. According to the report, the arrest was made after the police found three immigrant women who were forced into prostitution. Despite of the terrified victims, the prosecutor had to dismissed human trafficking charges based on the lack of evidences.


China: Police rescued about 19000 women and children and arrested more than 3500 suspects during the crackdown on human trafficking. According to the report, Vietnamese women and children are particularly becoming more vulnerable to human trafficking in China.

Cambodia: A British nationale is on trial for prostituting two children. He was arrested at a guesthouse for allegedly purchased sex from two underage girls in 2006. According to the report, the victims testified that they had sex with him at least three times in 2006, and their lawyer said that he paid between $50-$100 per each session.

New Zealand: ECPAT representative says that child pornography trade is common in New Zealand. Child pornography is multi-million dollar industry which is closely connected to underage prostitution and child trafficking. According to ECPAT, child approximately 20 percent of internet pornography is child pornography since 1997, and the number of child pornography has increased 1500% .

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Associated Press

Mozambique: 50 illegal migrants die in a shipwreck

February 16, 2011

MAPUTO, Mozambique—Mozambican police say 50 illegal Somali migrants and a Tanzanian captain died after a ship sank off the coast of northern Mozambique.

Police spokesman Pedro Cossa said Wednesday that the boat full of illegal migrants was traveling to South Africa from Somalia when it sank Sunday. Mozambican marines sent the 89 Somali and Ethiopian survivors to a refugee camp which holds about 3,000 illegal migrants.
Cossa says he does not know the cause of the shipwreck.
South Africa, one of the continent's biggest economies, has become a popular destination for Africans fleeing economic and political crisis in their homelands. Hundreds of other migrants also die each year while attempting to cross from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East.

Monday, February 14, 2011

United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking

Teenage girls caught in sex slavery

Human Trafficking - 27 million slaves caught in human trafficking. Video...

Human Trafficking in Israel

American Chronicle

Human trafficking from Nepal can be stopped

Surya B. Prasai
The US State Department´s Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero´s visit to Nepal between 12 to 14, 2011 provides strong moral encouragement to the Nepal Government to curb human trafficking and promote the cause of a planned approach to safeguarding women and children´s rights in Nepal. Although Otero´s visit was planned to address in the main, the Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium in Kathmandu, part of the itinerary also included holding meetings with Nepali officials, experts and civil society representatives on trafficking of persons, which primarily concerns Nepali women and children. The US State Department has infused a lot of technical and financial assistance to various South Asian governments, including Nepal to reduce and curb human trafficking, although Nepal has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. Nepal forms the tip of the South Asian iceberg on human trafficking.

With Otero´s visit to Nepal one anticipates the Nepal Government will accelerate its efforts to comply with the minimum UN standards for the elimination of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers involved in cross border and transnational activities. Maria´s visit is also a significant encouragement to Nepali media wallas and civil society, in that she wears multiple hats at the State Department in charge of coordinating U.S. foreign relations on a variety of global issues, including democracy, human rights, and labor; environment, oceans, health and science; population, refugees, and migration; and combating trafficking in persons, besides serving as a Special Coordinator for Tibet.

As part of her Nepal trip, Maria´s visit to Anuradha Koirala´s Maiti Nepal is a significant tribute towards the cause of preventing women and child trafficking from Nepal. The two women also share a notable achievement: Anuradha was voted the CNN Hero of the Year in 2010 for primarily helping curb human trafficking from Nepal, while Maria was included among the 20 most influential women in the United States by Newsweek in October 2005; she is acknowledged a global authority on microfinance, women and poverty issues with notable leadership exhibited in the field with USAID and CEDPA earlier.

I have time and again written on the issue of human trafficking from Nepal about which three major points need to be noted by the reader. One, the trend of nearly 10,000 to 15,000 Nepali women and girls being trafficked to India annually remains unabated, despite major interventions from Nepali and Indian NGOs and Interpol efforts that stretch as far away as Japan, Fiji and Lebanon.

Two, Nepali poverty continues to drive the women and children to seek employment by any means to ward off extreme poverty. Nepal has a unique abhorred cultural system known as "Deukis," whereby rich zamindars (feudalistic agricultural families) having no children through a legally married wife, procure young girls from poor rural families and after initiating them into the household through the temple rites, take them as mistresses cum slave bonded laborers to produce offspring. Later on when the girl gets to be over 30 years and grows older, she is forced into prostitution. There is no respite to what the poor Nepalese girl has to suffer on in life once initiated into this system. In 2007 according to a UN report, there were nearly 30,000 deukis in Nepal compared to 1992, when there were 17,000 deuki girls according to Radhika Coomaraswamy in the UN Special Report on Violence against Women.

And three, Nepali and donor focus so far has been more on health, HIV/AIDS prevention and control, and shelter and counseling projects rather than focusing on strong legal mechanisms to goad the Nepal Government and lawmakers to think about constructive engagement at the national level to curb human trafficking. I remember a few years back while touring Maiti Nepal with Anuradha, how she complained on the political complicity, including from some senior Nepali politicians and police officials, who provided nefarious protection to some of the well known human traffickers in Nepal, and how her efforts so far had gone in vain given such obstruction. The fact is: curbing human trafficking from Nepal is possible, and here is how.

For one, the Nepal Government needs to step up cross border law enforcement seriously to include all types of trafficking, including forced child labor, bonded labor, fraudulent foreign labor quotas and open sex trafficking to Indian and South Asian cities. There must be a SAARC effort and protocol to adhere to formal procedures to identify the victims of trafficking and address their woes, including legal protection, counseling and rehabilitation of those found facing rape, physical and mental torture. Severe jail sentences must be given to traffickers caught in the act, and the media must expose their crimes relentlessly. Nepali media so far remains negligent in frequently exposing social crimes in general.

Until now, Nepal has made only transitional progress on stopping human trafficking and the civil conflict between 1996-2006 was actually a boon for human traffickers taking advantage of innocent women and children´s lives by selling them off in big Indian cities such as Mumbai, Kolkatta and New Delhi. The Nepali laws according to the 2007 Trafficking in Persons and Transportation Control Act prohibits all forms of trafficking with penalties between 10 to 20 years imprisonment and financial punishment, but most traffickers are let off the hook in a few months, given high level political intervention.

It is also well known to many foreign donor representatives and Nepali civil society leaders that most dance bars, massage and cabin restaurants in Thamel, Putali Sadak and Naya Baneswore are owned by senior army and police officials, besides those closely connected to influential Nepali politicians. For many young Nepali girls, working in these ´slavery depots´ of Nepal, performing well means the prospect of foreign employment, in effect a life led in slavery and prostitution abroad. There are other forms of exploitation as well such as domestic servants, forced arranged marriage against a girl´s will even among educated Nepali families, circus entertainers, factory workers or plain beggars who are picked up on the streets for sexual exploitation by many tourists.

These, in turn, have implications for Nepal´s increasing health sector woes, particularly the HIV/AIDS control and mitigation programs led by the Nepal Government. In Mumbai and Delhi alone, there are nearly 80 INGO and NGOs that specifically look into issues affecting the trafficking of women, primarily from Nepal and Bangladesh. With an estimated 2.3 million HIV infections in India, and the majority of Nepali trafficked women channeled into various brothels in Indian cities, it is hard not to imagine the number of sexually infected Nepalese women particularly those living with HIV who will ultimately die. If sent back to Nepal, they will re-marry and bear HIV infected children leading to a ´chain of death´ their own included.

The first known case of AIDS in Nepal was in 1986 and in the period 1996-2006, covering the decade long Nepali civil conflict, a total of 200,000 to 250,000 Nepalese young girls aged 12-29 were either sold or illegally exchanged for cash in various Indian cities by various human trafficking gangs or middlemen. The remnant accumulation of what I term ´death by self-defeat´ numbers is thus high and unreported in Nepal. About 13,700 people died in Nepal´s civil conflict between 1996-2006, but every year 15,000 Nepalis are dying of AIDS and much of it is going unreported, the majority being women and children, all related to Nepali human trafficking.

Thus, stopping official complicity means reversing Nepal´s AIDS death toll, and curbing the illegal trafficking of Nepali women and children for commercial sex purposes. As I write this article, somewhere in Jhapa, Janakpur or else in Dhangadi, there might be one young 13 year old girl being readied for her trip to India to marry "a rich husband" whereby the middleman has negotiated a deal of only 40 dollars to the poverty ridden family, still considered a large sum in Amartya Sen´s definition of poverty as abject human deprivation.

However, some aspects of the Nepal Government´s efforts to curb human trafficking are notable. Such as, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare which has increased its project activities in some 26 high risk districts to raise awareness and mobilize entire communities against trafficking, so far with mixed results. Nepal even celebrates a National Anti-Trafficking Day but not many know about it. Nepal Tourism Year 2011 provides a good means for the government to spare a rupee or two for the cause of halting human trafficking from all tourism generated revenues, but so far, I have not heard anyone notable in Nepal mention this to the media. Increasing police patrols between the porous Nepal-India border can help curb figures, but what concrete steps have been taken so far? To counter this all, Nepali men must also stop viewing women in their households as slaves or born of lesser dignity, despite ample measures in the Nepali Constitution to protect women´s rights. This can bring a sea change in the numbers trafficked from Nepal´s rural areas.

According to Asia Foundation, an American non-profit, there need to be regional programs to target the issue more broadly. The Foundation has supported policymakers, counter-trafficking practitioners, and vulnerable communities to plan and execute local, national, bilateral, and regional initiatives to combat human trafficking in 11 source, transit, and destination countries throughout Asia including Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Japan, and Mongolia. The Foundation's counter-trafficking programs center on the achievement of four major strategic objectives: (1) Preventing human trafficking and exploitation; (2). Improving and institutionalizing systems for effective law enforcement and prosecution; (3) Enhancing services and protection for survivors of human trafficking; and (4) Developing and strengthening cross-border and regional coordination.

The sad fact is despite such well known institutions and others such as Human Rights Watch which has chronicled the legal and human rights violations in the act, Nepali women and girls continue being trafficked and sold for prostitution in India and other Asia-Pacific, Middle East destinations. The work these institutions set out to do, is not easy since most donor programs in Nepal lack a built-in component to tackle child slavery and cross-border trafficking as part of Nepal´s post-transitional initiative. The Nepali civil conflict tore down most of the country´s rural development infrastructure. What is required in 2011 is a global action plan to halt the sad plight of Nepali women and young girls being trafficked abroad and Maria Otero´s recent visit to Nepal provides definite encouragement to everyone involved in the effort.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

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Sinai. Traffickers torture an Eritrean child

Roberto Malini to
Feb 10

Rome, February 10th, 2011. We have received another chilling update from don Mussie Zerai on the situation of the migrants being kept in chains in Northern Sinai. "I talked to one of the hostages who has been in the hands of the traffickers for seven months," reported Zerai. "He has already been sold four times, after being passed on to different gangs. He told me about the terrible conditions of Abiel Name, an 11-year-old Eritrean boy, who had an arm broken by the smugglers. The child keeps crying out with pain, but his fellow prisoners are unable to help him, because they are all chained up.  Abiel, too, is  shackled at the feet and hands. There are two other minors, aged 14, who are being subjected to the same inhumane treatment. These children were kidnapped in Sudan by Bedouins and sold to other traffickers in Northern Sinai. The witness reports that the group is just a few miles from the Israeli border. They are imprisoned inside a metal shipping container, exposed to the burning heat by day and the freezing cold by night. 'We are tortured often,' they say 'by having dripping hot plastic poured onto our backs'. This brutal torture is interspersed with other, even more wicked and humiliating practices that the young boys are ashamed even to describe. The Bedouins torture the prisoners in the hope of obtaining the ransom they have demanded for each of these unfortunate young people. The prisoners are calling out for help, asking for someone to intervene and save them from these horrors. For the past three months we have been appealing to the European institutions, the United Nations, the governments of those involved in the trafficking of human beings to take action. Today we are appealing once again to the Egyptian authorities deployed at the border, and the Israeli security services, to intervene and free the slaves of the traffickers. "

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By BosNewsLife Africa and Middle East Services

CAIRO, EGYPT (BosNewsLife)-- There was concern Sunday, February 13, about the future of hostages held by human traffickers in Egypt's Sinai Desert, including children, amid an uncertain security situation following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak after unprecedented protests against his rule.

Christian rights investigators said an eleven-year-old Eritrean boy, known only as Abriel, is one of at least three minors among those detained for ransom by traffickers, who allegedly also tortured and even killed several hostages to step up the pressure.

"The boy is reported to be suffering from a broken arm, but is bound by chains on his hands and feet, along with 150 other refugees and asylum seekers who are powerless to help him as he cries out in pain," said advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

There are believed to be Christians among the trafficked refugees, who have been fleeing reported persecution in Eritrea. "Two other children, aged fourteen are reportedly being held in the same inhumane conditions in metal structures close to Egypt’s border with Israel," CSW added.


While the three minors were reportedly abducted in Sudan, others in the group were tricked by Bedouin traffickers after paying for safe passage to Israel, according to CSW investigators in a statement.

“CSW condemns the mistreatment of the three minors and the denial of medical attention to an eleven-year-old child," added the group's CSW Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston told BosNewsLife.

His Britain-based organization said a hostage held for seven months and sold on to four different gangs of traffickers reported that the metal containers in which they are held are extremely hot during the day and very cold at night. "The group is also tortured regularly, with traffickers dripping melted plastic on their backs in order to elicit exorbitant ransom payments from their family and friends abroad."

CSW stressed it had received reports in November of 250 Eritrean hostages held along with other nationals by traffickers near the town of Rafah. They were allegedly being "repeatedly beaten, branded like cattle, and deprived of food and water."


Several men had been informed "their organs would be harvested in lieu of payment, while women were repeatedly raped by numerous assailants," the advocacy group said. Around 140 of these hostages were freed, but eight people were killed and 100 were sold on "and can no longer be located," CSW explained.

Other rights activists were reportedly able to make contact with a seperate group of 150 hostages held by a different gang. "Twenty five of these are now in Israel. However, one has disappeared, while a female hostage is still being held by her abductors."

Altough many hostages were freed after traffickers received "some form" of payment, "there has been no effective action on the part of the Egyptian government to secure" the release of others remaining behind, CSW said.

"Attempts may have initially been hampered by the terms of the 1978 Camp David Accords, which stipulate that Egyptian border troops must be lightly armed, in a marked contrast to the heavily armed Bedouin. In January Israel agreed to an initial request for an increase in border troops in following the outbreak of unrest in Egypt, but is now reported to have refused a second request."


Pope Benedict XVI, the European Parliament, and the United Nations refugee agency have also expressed concerns about the situation.

"The general deterioration of security in the Sinai, coupled with increasing reports that armed Bedouin are attacking the Egyptian security services, deepens our concern for the well-being of the remaining hostages," Johnston said.

"Clearly, Egypt’s delay in tackling the issue of trafficking is now having unfortunate consequences on the country’s internal security in this sensitive region. We therefore urge the Egyptian authorities to ensure that the additional troops are mandated to combat every source of insecurity in the Sinai area, including bringing an end to this modern form of slavery and releasing its victims”.

Egyptian authorities denied wrongdoing, while President Mubarak was still in power. The country’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters at the time that it has no information over the reports that there were hostages in the desert.


There are several reasons why refugees flee, including religious persecution in countries such as Eritrea, where thousands of Christians are held in prisons across the country, according to several human rights groups.

Most of them are believed to be evangelical Christians as Eritrea only recognizes four religious groups including Islam, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea. However, even members of recognized religions haven't escaped persecution, according to church observers.

Eritrean Christians say the government of President Isaias Afwerki has stepped up its crackdown on churches it has outlawed in 2002. The government says "no groups or persons are persecuted in Eritrea for their beliefs or religion."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

KXAN-Human Smuggling Ring Busted

Two human trafficking suspects arrested

Feb 10, 2011 4:47 PM | By Sapa

Two Chinese women suspected of involvement in a human trafficking ring were arrested and two others who were being held captive were rescued in Goodwood, the City of Cape Town said on Thursday.

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Photograph by: PETER DEJONG
Credit: AP
The pair face charges of kidnapping and assault and were expected to appear in the Bellville Magistrates Court on Friday, said assistant police chief Nathan Ladegourdie.
After an investigation, police swooped on a massage parlour that had been operating as a brothel.
Two women, aged 25 and 29, who were found tied up with nylon straps, were being forced to work as prostitutes.
Their captors allegedly lured women to South Africa with the promise of employment.
The victims told police they were promised positions in a reputable company with salaries ranging from R40,000 to R50,000 per month.
On their first night in Cape Town at the Goodwood residence, both women were allegedly raped. They are now being kept in a safe house.
Police also found that the business was not registered as a massage parlour


Twin brothers get 4 years for sex trafficking

Twin brother sex traffickers
Myrelle and Tyrelle Lockett (February 9, 2011)

Twin brothers from Dolton have pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to four years in prison for forcing young women into prostitution in the south suburbs, prosecutors said this morning.
Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, 18, pleaded guilty in the Markham courthouse Tuesday to felony charges of human trafficking for forced labor or services after an undercover sting operation found that they forced young women, including one underage victim, to perform sex acts with men for money, according to a news release.
In the sting, sheriff's police officers met with Tyrelle Lockett in a Lansing motel after they answered an Internet ad placed by the Locketts, authorities said.
The convictions were the first under a sex trafficking initiative that combines the resources of State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's office and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The brothers' operation involved making motel reservations and taking photos of the female victims for the Internet ads they created and posted, according to prosecutors. Once the meetings with clients were set, the victims would enter motel rooms to have sex with the men while the defendants waited nearby to collect payment.
The 17- and 18-year-old victims, who were not charged, told police that the brothers beat them and threatened them if they didn't perform the sex acts, and took all the money.
The sentences were handed down by Cook County Judge Frank Zelezinski.,0,7502232.story,0,7502232.story

Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Immigration Arrests Suspected Human Traffickers in Borno

Hamza Idris
11 February 2011

Maiduguri — Officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Borno State, yesterday paraded two suspects, who were arrested while attempting to cross the Nigerian border with three people, including a lady.
The state's Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Babayo Gamawa said the suspects, Christopher Bob, 34 and his brother, Avnenabiku John, 30, were arrested at the Darajamal-Banki border in Borno State.
He also gave the names of the victims as Nwankwo Joshua Nnabuche, 28, Oyibo Nelson Goody, 29 and 26-year-old Stepahanie Stephen.

"The suspects were heading to Italy. They intended to travel by land through Cameroun, Chad, Libya and finally Italy. They do not have visas or any employment papers. Also, they do not have any reasonable source of income," he said.
Gamawa, who said that in 2009 the Borno State Immigration office arrested 155 people for trafficking offences, added, that "perhaps the perpetrators changed their routes and moved elsewhere. This is the first time we are recording this type of case this year, but our men are always on alert."

The immigration boss, who handed over the suspects to officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), said the Comptroller General of Immigrations, Mrs Chinyere Uzoma was doing everything possible to check human trafficking in the country.
Bob, who is the prime suspect, said he is a marine engineer and that Stephanie is his girl friend.
"The other two guys are my brother's friends, we were caught while trying to cross the Nigerian border into Cameroun. But the fact is that I am not a trafficker. We were on our way to look for jobs," he said.
The Senior Intelligence Officer of NAPTIP in the state, Abubakar Tabra, said after investigation, the suspects would be charged to court while the victims would be rehabilitated.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Global human trafficking roundup (February 10, 2011)


Illinois: Twin brothers were sentenced to four years in prison for sex trafficking young women. The two 18 year old men pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges. Their operation involved taking pictures of victims and making hotel reservation for commercial sexual services, according to the prosecutor. The victims include an underage girl.

Missouri: A House committee hears bill about human trafficking. The bill, if implemented, will allow the court to impose convicted traffickers to pay minimum amount of $100,000 restitution to victims, among many other things.

Indiana: A 27 year old Chris Smiley gets 10 years in jail for trafficking a 19 year old girl for prostitution. The victim was held against her will, beaten, and forced into prostitution by the man. The victim was also taken into hostage in the age of 18 in February 2010 and forced to strip at a west side show club after her mother's boyfriend did not pay Smiley for crack cocaine.

New York: Actor Paul Haggis reveals human trafficking incidents in Scientology. After 34 years of membership at the Church, he recently walked away from the religion. He also stated that Scientology is guilty of human trafficking, sexual abuse, and forced labor, which involve child victims in some cases.


Germany: A man is on trial for allegedly sexually abusing her step daughter for more than two decades and forcing her into prostitution. The DNA test also shows that he at least fathered seven children by his step daughter that he molested.


India: Police busted one of the biggest human trafficking rings in India. The arrest was made after the tip from a young woman in New Delhi. According to the police, more than 40 victims were trafficked from their home states and resold in the capital city.

China: A Chinese microblog helps missing children to reunite with their family. One parent found his son through the site, on which the reunion was posted. The site currently has 170,000 followers as of Thursday, and six more children were found through the site.

Looking for volunteers to post human trafficking roundup over the summer. If interested, please leave a comment. Thank you!!!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Global human trafficking roundup (February 9, 2011)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


New York: Tom Cruise and Church of Scientology are under federal investigation for human trafficking charges. According to the report, Church of Scientology paid only $50 a week to members to meet Cruise demands, including customizing Cruise's building, repairing his boats, etc.

Georgia: Lawmakers proposed a bill to tackle sex trafficking in Georgia. The bill, if implemented, will increase the penalties for the crime to those similar to drug trafficking, with offenders facing up to 20 years in prison for human trafficking and 50 years in prison for trafficking in minors. The bill also will provide victims with aftercare assistance for recovery.

Texas: A federal grand jury in Dallas indicted five defendants for allegedly enslaving a Sri Lanka woman. According to the indictment, defendants forced the victim into labor and confiscated her travel documents and passports with an intent to pervert her from leaving or traveling. each defendant is facing multiple charges. They could each face up to 20 years in prison with $250,000 fine for the count of forced labor alone.

Florida: A Miami man is facing sex trafficking charges. He was caught after the police stopped his van without a license plate. Police said that he is accused of transporting three women for sex slavery and the violence of his family members used to keep the women working for him.

Hawaii: A federal grand jury indicted two additional defendants in relation to Global Horizon Manpower Inc. case, in which the company exploited 400 Thai workers with labor. Each defendants are facing 10 years and five years in prison for co- conspiracy in arrangement to force 400 workers into debt bondages.


UK: Prime Minster was urged to do more to stop human trafficking before London Olympics. According to the UK press association, the report expects that the Olympic game will magnet human trafficking victims and criminal gangs next year.

Italy: Police arrested 40 people for selling young Romanian girls' virginity online. Their organization is branched throughout several cities in Italy and men purchased the right to have sex with the victims for 6000 euro ($8,210) online.


The Philippines: The court made a first conviction of labor trafficking case. A woman is convicted of recruiting victims for housemaids in Malaysia without compensation. The victims testified that they worked for 9 months for their Malaysian employers but were not paid at all. According to the report, there have been total 38 conviction of human trafficking case, out of which 37 cases involved sex trafficking.

Saudi Arabia: US Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Dhahran allegedly used the labor exploited by their recruitment agency. According to the report, workers are found to be living in slavery conditions. The cleaners at the Embassy are only paid as little as $4.44 a day while gardeners are getting paid a little more than $3.00. Their contract has also been confiscated by the company.

Japan: The number of Filipino women entering Japan under entertainment visa is in rapid decline, according to the report. The decline occurred after the Japanese embassy in the Philippines imposed more strict immigration policies on entertainment visa. The restriction was followed by the criticism on rampant human trafficking in Japan by the U.S. State Department.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Africa: Insult to Injury - Women Refugees And the Stigma of Rape

Toni Bacala
7 February 2011

The road to safety does not always guarantee deliverance, especially not for many women refugees fleeing conflict in the Horn of Africa.
Increasing cases of sexual abuse against women refugees en route to sanctuary in Egypt and Israel have raised concerns about providing victims with proper mental health care to survive not only the psychological remnants of rape, but also the resultant stigma.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported a total of 39,461 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt as of November 2010, roughly 44 percent of whom were women.
Last December, the Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-Israel) made an urgent appeal for medical support after receiving an increasing number of women refugees in need of gynecological and reproductive help. Through its open clinic in Tel Aviv, PHR-Israel obtained testimonies of sexual assault from mostly uninsured African refugees during their detention in Sinai.
Eliciting testimony was difficult, as many women suffered extreme shame that kept them from confronting questions on sexual violence. Those women who braved a response shared experiences of rape, often at knife or gunpoint, and torture by Bedouins who smuggle asylum-seekers, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, who cross Sinai to Israel.

Victims endured serious injury, contracted STDs, and experienced mental anguish, including major depression and suicidal ideations. Raped victims who got pregnant sought out abortions at PHR-Israel's Open Clinic, which performed 171 abortions from January to mid-December 2010.
Many of these women come from communities with a discriminatory culture on rape; some even blame victims for the assault. As a result, victims suffer compounded psychological traumas, demanding appropriate mental care.
Victims of rape are threatened by ostracism from their families and community, as discussed in Nowhere to Turn, a report on sexually and physically assaulted Darfuri refugee women by the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI).

According to the report, these sexually assaulted women go home to find themselves disowned by their husbands, rejected by their families, and in some documented cases, physically punished by the community.
"If they face stigma as a result of sexual violence, this can sometimes be as traumatic as the attack itself," explained Jocelyn Kelly, Research Coordinator for HHI's Women in War program.
As most cases of gender-based violence (GBV) stem from the subordination and discrimination of women prevalent in many societies, integrating cultural dimensions in developing largely Western-based mental health programs is critical.
Dr. Elzbieta Gozdziak, Research Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University highlights the importance of collaborating with local, traditional and indigenous healing systems.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) also recommends appropriating cultural practices in the healing process. While the efficiency of traditional approaches may not always be clinically proven, dialogues with indigenous healers can facilitate understanding of the relational and psychological context of sexual violence.
Health care providers are also encouraged to involve the wider community, particularly the victim's family, in reconstructing support systems fragmented by cultural partiality on rape.
"Research by HHI has highlighted the very important role a woman's family members and communities play in helping (or hindering) her recovery from rape," Kelly told MediaGlobal.
The absence of family structures for psychological and emotional support severely complicates the healing process. Thus, in many cases, victims choose not to disclose their experience of rape, thereby depriving themselves of any help.
"These results speak to the need for better engaging male relatives and communities as a whole in supporting women who have faced this type of violence," Kelly added.
Gozdziak pointed out that the survivors of sexual violence are themselves valuable information resources. She posed, "What did they find helpful? What kind of indigenous strategies have non-Western women been using to deal with these issues?" Learning from their experience of coping also ensures the sustainability of interventions.
Although this multidimensional integration seems complex, it is not impossible. Through the collaboration of health care providers, survivors, and communities, these women may finally be released from the psychological trap of violence and set on the road to recovery.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Press TV

Time running out for Pharaoh Mubarak
Fri Feb 4, 2011 7:6PM
Mohioddin Sajedi
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
The Egyptian revolution is reaching the final stages of the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship. Hosni Mubarak has become a person who has no support in the country or elsewhere and who everyone wants to resign.

Some like protesters in different Egyptian cities are calling for the immediate ouster of Mubarak as the main prerequisite for negotiations on the transition of power in this ancient country.

Others like the US and European countries insist on the need for saving the regime and beginning the transition phase in a systematic and organized manner. The truth is that Mubarak's era has come to an end.

The people of Egypt expect more than lack of extension of Hosni Mubarak's presidency or abolishing the succession of his son, Gamal or even some changes to Egypt's constitution.

Mubarak, who until a few months ago, said that he would not step down as long as he is alive, deceitfully told an American journalist that he is “fed up with being Egypt's president” and that “he is ready to quit”, but since he is afraid that “stepping down would result in chaos in Egypt,” he feels that he should remain in power for the time being.

Mubarak's statements are exactly similar to what the deposed king of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi said before fleeing the county.

Exactly like any other dictatorship, Egypt has some people who are trained for such critical days with the mission to create a chaotic atmosphere in the country during protests and permitting any attempt that might intimidate people.

In Tunisia, there are still some trained mercenaries trying to intimidate the people. They act exactly like followers of former Iraqi despot, Saddam Hussein who tried to pave the way for the return of Saddam in a preplanned manner by attacking people and carrying out massive explosions in Iraq.

Understanding how a dictatorship uses organized mobsters to terrorize its opponents and at the same time acquits itself and expresses unawareness about their motives is much easier in the Middle East than other parts the world.

The continuation of protests in Egyptian cities, especially their gathering in Cairo's Liberation Square after the Friday Prayers leaves no doubt that the Egyptian government's policies for creating a rift among people and turning them into pro- and anti-Mubarak groups has not succeeded.

It goes without saying that if the attack by mobsters on protesters in Cairo's Liberation Square had achieved the desired results, the newly-appointed Egyptian prime minister and vice president would have praised the heroic performance of these mobsters, introduced them by name and described their actions as the result of the commendable policies of the government.

There is no doubt that Mubarak is still in power. Omar Suleiman is a person who grew up in the regime of Hosni Mubarak and managed to win his confidence to administer Egypt's security affairs. Suleiman knows more than anyone else the details about the mobsters and their mission.

In addition to sending mobsters to suppress the Egyptian people, Mubarak is trying to intimidate, especially the liberal Western governments and the political factions of the Muslim Brotherhood and the possibility of their control over Egypt's revolution. The West's liberal governments and political factions are ready to compromise with the worst dictators in the Middle East after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood is the most organized opposition group in Egypt and plays a very important role in pushing back the pro-Mubarak mobs in Cairo's Liberation Square, it has not talked about exclusively gaining power and does not seem that until the Muslim Brotherhood-like model of Turkey bears result, it will be looking to gain absolute power. Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood prefers to be that section of Egypt's movement that comprises of the youth and not the elite of the society.

The viewpoints of different Egyptian officials indicate that a certain kind of power struggle is going on behind the scene. Arrests and travel bans cannot only be regarded as an attempt for deceiving the Egyptian people. Dictatorships, like that of former regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, are ready to make some people scapegoats, who have served them the best, in order to calm the people

Mubarak's insistence on remaining in power until the end of his presidential term and a proposal by the newly-appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq for Mubarak to step down with dignity cannot be considered entertaining, but it shows that the Egyptian regime does not have any clue about the power of Egyptian people and that of his opponents. The influence of Egypt's popular movement has caused more confusion within the government.

Mubarak's respectful exit does not mean that the Egyptian government does not believe in the immediate transfer of power and is trying to help Mubarak remain in power. Mubarak's departure is not only tantamount to the departure of politicians, but it also the departure of businessmen who have become very rich due to their relations with Israel and the West because of the economic policies of Mubarak's son, Gamal.

King Farouk of Egypt left the country and relinquished power to the Free Officers Movement, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Farouk was officially escorted out of Alexandria by the Free Officers who had risen to power. The Question is will Mubarak choose to leave like King Farouk or will he leave like Zein al-Abidin Ben Ali?

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Press TV.