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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Woman kingpin of Goa sex racket held from Mumbai

PANAJI: A 35-year-old woman was arrested from Mumbai on the charges of allegedly running a prostitution racket in the coastal state, police said on Wednesday.

A team of Goa Police, led by deputy superintendent of police Sammy Tavares and police inspector Uttam Raut Desai, on Tuesday apprehended Shahin Pathan from the suburban Nalasopara in Thane district adjoining Mumbai, they said.

Shahin, who is termed as a kingpin of the racket, used to lure Mumbai-based girls under the guise of providing them jobs in casinos and in dance bars in Goa, police said.

These girls were later forced into prostitution through an organised inter-state racket, they said.

The accused could be nabbed after a 25-year-old woman, who managed to escape from the clutches of the racketeers, spilled beans on the flesh trade.

The accused was brought to Goa on Wednesday morning and was being presented before a court for remand, added police.

Shock: Ethiopian Nanny who was tortured by Gaddafi's wife

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Housegirls’ lucrative ‘mboga trips’ exposed

Sunday, 28th August 2011

By Maureen Akinyi
Mama Opish, as she is popularly known, has been running an undercover brothel from her house in Eastleigh.
Outside her house, she was a humdrum vegetable grocer and few would have guessed that was merely a front for her real "business."
Her clients were housegirls whom she would lure when they came to buy vegetables from her kibanda.
"She told us that she would double our salary if we come to her house ‘to keep some old men warm’," said one of the housegirls.
With the current harsh economic conditions, this offer proved irresistible and few house girls turned her down.
They would come to buy vegetables and as Mama Opish sorted out their purchases and prepared them for the pot by slicing them into neat little pieces, the girls would duck into her house to hustle a quick buck from some fat geezer.
The deal was good, with business spreading by word of mouth.
In no time, housegirls found themselves doing more mboga trips than usual to make quick money and meet increasing demands for financial support from their families back home.
Dirty secretOne girl confessed she was making twice her monthly income from the mboga trips while another says she intends to go to college with the extra money she has been making.
But like all deals that are too good to be true, Mama Opish’s well-guarded dirty secret blew up in her face.
One of the housegirls’ bosses smelt a rat when she noticed that her house help suddenly started taking too long whenever she went to buy vegetables.
More curious, whenever the girl went to the grocer, she spruced herself up and even went through cheap make-up rituals, unlike before.
So one day, she sent the girl for the veggies but followed her secretly.
The girl spruced herself and then left for her usual trysts, not knowing that her boss was secretly trailing her.
When she reached Mama Opish’s grocery, she placed her order and then made her way to a rendezvous in a house on the top floor of a five-storey building.
But to her horror, her lady boss bust in and found her with a middle-aged man.
The boss involuntarily screamed when the set up unravelled before her eyes, alerting other neighbours who stampeded in to see what was going on.
But in the ensuing confusion, the man hastily wore his pants, and ran for dear life.
When Mama Opish saw her "client" burst out of the building and run down the street like a thief, she sensed it would never be business as usual and quietly melted into the bustling Eastleigh street crowds.
ScamIt is unbelievable how she managed to carry out a scam of this nature in broad daylight, without anyone, save for housegirls who were beneficiaries of the deal — getting wind of it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Human trafficking probe - two men appear in court

Laganside Court House
A man accused of trafficking eastern European women into Northern Ireland to work in the sex trade, took up to 80% of their earnings, a court has heard.
Details emerged as two men appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court on Friday on charges connected to an investigation into a Europe-wide vice ring.
They were arrested after the PSNI raided properties in the city on Wednesday.
Six women alleged to be victims were rescued.
One of the suspects, 29-year-old Bronislav Rybensky, a Czech Republic national with an address at College Central Apartments, King Street, Belfast, is charged with trafficking into and within the UK, controlling prostitution and brothel keeping.
Also in the dock was Lyle Lamont, 22, of Squires Hill Crescent in the city.
He is charged with brothel keeping and controlling prostitution.
A detective constable told the court Mr Rybensky is believed to be the main instigator in a crime group which trafficked women from eastern Europe into Northern Ireland through Dublin.
The officer claimed the women thought they were coming for modelling work.
Escort website But on arrival they were allegedly told they owed money for flights and accommodation and had to repay it through prostitution.
The officer claimed Mr Rybensky took between 50-80% of their earnings from each client.
Photographs of the women were also taken for internet advertising on an escort website, it was alleged.
The court was told clients were charged £100 for a 30-minute session and £160 for an hour.
Opposing Mr Rybensky's bail application, the detective claimed he could commit further offences or flee the jurisdiction.
It was alleged that he had used a bank account to book up to 70 flights.
Cross-examined by a defence lawyer, the detective confirmed only one of the women claimed she had been physically assaulted.
The allegation related to an incident where she was put in a bath or shower and had cold water poured over her.
The court was told that all of the women had travelled to Northern Ireland voluntarily, with some of them having worked in the sex industry in the Czech Republic.
Surveillance The defence lawyer said: "One of the alleged victims stated she believed she was here to model. All of the others came knowing they were coming to work as prostitutes."
He added that covert surveillance evidence has already been obtained, arguing that this reduced the threat of Mr Rybensky interfering with witnesses.
But despite his client having a potential bail address at his mother's home in west Belfast, District Judge Fiona Bagnall refused bail.
Mr Rybensky was remanded in custody to appear again by video link next month.
Mr Lamont was also remanded in custody until next week when he is expected to apply for bail.
His solicitor stressed in court that Mr Lamont was not charged with any trafficking offences.

Chicago Sex Trafficking Ring: Authorities Arrest Nine Accused Of Forcing Minors Into Prostitution

First Posted: 8/25/11 02:32 PM ET Updated: 8/25/11 03:51 PM ET

Eight men and one woman were charged with involuntary sexual servitude of a minor and human trafficking Wednesday following an 18-month undercover investigation that broke open a sex trafficking ring in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Authorities described the “major” human sex trafficking operation run by Vice Lords and other South and West side gang members at a news conference Wednesday, according to the Sun-Times. The investigation, called “Operation Little Girl Lost,” uncovered a prostitution ring led by “vicious predators” who recruited girls as young as 12 on CTA trains and at local grocery stores.
"I've worked approximately 23 years in sheriff's department, the last 12 I've done child exploitation crimes and this is the worst with what we've seen, the beatings, the manipulation, the violence involved," said Cook County Sheriff's Dept. Vice Team Commander Mike Anton at the news conference, according to FOX Chicago News.
The investigation was the first in the nation to use state wiretaps to track the offenders running the sex trade, thanks to the new legal provision of the Illinois State Children’s Act, that permitted thousands of cell and landline calls to be recorded, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said at the conference, FOX reports. The resulting 35 page affidavit “pulls at [investigators’] heart strings,” Chicago Police superintendent Garry McCarthy said, according to FOX.
The affidavit details physical abuse including beatings, branding and tattooing, death threats and instances where victims were locked in car trunks for extended periods of time as punishment.
Investigators suspect that these arrests provide a window into a larger-scale crime ring with ties to gangs across Chicago. Seven of the eight men arrested have gang ties from the West and South Sides of Chicago: Sahura “Hollywood Allen, 26, Jaymes Hart, 25, Travis Creekmore, 31, Jerrell Creekmore, 21, Arthur Deshazor, 29, Vincent “Snake” Davis, 39 and Norman Hicks, 37, the Sun-Times reports.
“What we've noticed is gang members are loosely connected to each other and sell girls to each other," Alvarez said, according to FOX. "In one case, we saw where a 13 year old girl was sold from one pimp to another for $100.”
Also arrested in connection with the prostitution ring were Lenaris “Lil Daddy” Brown, 25, and Katrina Zaia, 24, of Evergreen Park. Investigators believe Zaia, who was romantically linked to Travis Creekmore, helped recruit young women and girls and arranged exchanges for them on websites like Craigslist or Backpage, the Sun-Times reports. Prosecutors say the girls were also forced to work the “tracks”--walking the streets in search of clients. But Alvarez asserted during the news conference that the appearance of voluntary solicitation doesn’t mean the victims were working willfully. according to the Sun-Times..
“These offenders first prey on their vulnerabilities such as poverty, homelessness or addiction and then force them into a violent and demeaning cycle of violence,” Alvarez said, according to the Sun-Times. “I hardly think that there’s an 11 or 12-year-old girl out there who is prostituting herself. Obviously she is being put on the street and sold and someone’s making money off of this.”
Travis Creekmore’s former home at 4626 S. Lake Park is believed to have been central to the prostitution ring, where neighbors reportedly saw women constantly entering and leaving the building, according to the affidavit. The building’s maintenence man told the Sun-Times that he saw women sprawled out throughout the home, and that Creekmore often made “the girls sleep on the porch,” even during cold weather. The document also reports that Creekmore’s mother, who lived in the home, charged the trafficking women with children $50 per day to watch them while they were forced to work.
The wiretaps were a key information source in the investigation, in conjunction with information from victims and tips, and included conversations discussing violence and threats directed at the victims. During a conversation with Creekmore, Hart allegedly said that any girl who reported him to the police would be “kidnapped, murdered and her body dumped in the river.” During another conversation, Hart allegedly said “You gotta beat on them hos man... Just f---- em all up and they gonna stay in love.”
Gang members involved in the ring are believed to have made thousands of dollars, working many women for up to 24 hours a day and pocketing all of their profits, FOX reports.
Since the investigation began, many of the victims have received counseling and changed their lives, assistant state’s attorney Lou Longhitano told the Sun-Times. Already he says there are “success stories,” and some teenagers freed from the crime ring have graduated high school.
WATCH FOX Chicago News’ coverage of the sex trafficking ring bust:

B.C. sues for house in human trafficking case

Posted: Aug 26, 2011 9:09 AM PT

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2011 10:28 AM PT

Accessibility Links
An African woman claims she was held as a virtual slave in this West Vancouver home for one year.  
An African woman claims she was held as a virtual slave in this West Vancouver home for one year. (CBC)

Beginning of Story Content

The B.C. government is attempting to seize the $3.1 million home of a West Vancouver woman charged with human trafficking.
According to the civil claim filed by the province's Director of Civil Forfeiture in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday, Mumtaz Ladha and two family members used the home as an "instrument of unlawful activity."
Ladha, 55, was charged with human smuggling after a 21-year-old woman claimed she was being confined as a servant at the family's British Properties home.
The young woman left the home in June 2009 after living there for one year and made her way to a women's shelter, police said earlier this year.
The director of civil forfeiture wants all or part of the property where Ladha allegedly made the woman work up to 22 hours a day for a pittance of a wage.

Worked for $200 a month

According to the court documents, the servant was offered a job for $200 a month. But when she arrived from Africa in 2008, she began a life of indenture that saw her wash cars for the family and its friends, launder underwear by hand and shovel snow for Ladha's vehicles, clad only in a cotton dress and sandals.
Ladha also allegedly took possession of the woman's passport after she arrived in Canada, according to police.
The claim also provides insight into the RCMP investigation. Border services officials told police the servant's initial visa application was refused, but later accepted on the basis of a doctor's note which said Ladha needed help with an alleged health condition — vertigo.
But the alleged victim later told investigators that to her knowledge Ladha was in "perfect health."
No statement of defence has been filed by Ladha or the other family members, but in the past the family has said police have got it all wrong and the African woman making the allegation was never forced to work as a slave in Canada.
Ladha was arrested without incident at Vancouver airport on July 19 as she returned to Canada and is facing one charge of human trafficking and one charge of human smuggling.

Six 'trafficking victims' rescued

Six suspected victims of human trafficking have been rescued.
Three men and a woman have been arrested in Belfast as part of the planned Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) operation against organised crime and the vice trade.
All the women rescued by detectives are from eastern Europe and were allegedly being forced into prostitution. They are being cared for at a specialist police facility in Belfast where they will be offered services provided by the UK Human Trafficking Centre.
Two of them, both aged in their 20s, were rescued from an apartment block in the King Street area and a property in College Park North.
Police said the other four women had been rescued over the past number of weeks as part of a three-month PSNI investigation. Details of those rescues have only now been made public.
Of the four suspects detained, two men - aged 29 and 22 - were arrested in the King Street apartments while a 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were taken into custody on Cavendish Street, off the Falls Road in west Belfast.
The four suspects have been taken to police stations in Belfast for questioning. Police said three of them are eastern European; the fourth is from Northern Ireland.
The PSNI officer leading the investigation, Detective Inspector Douglas Grant, said the suspected criminal operation stretched well beyond Northern Ireland.
"We have been investigating a trafficking and prostitution ring stretching across Europe for the past three months," he said.
"Police have an ongoing commitment to rescue victims of human trafficking, who in this case we believe were being used for the vice trade. And we have an equally strong commitment to dismantle the organised crime gangs involved."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Freedom From: Modern Slavery in the Capital at The Museum of London


24 August, 2011
by: Jumanah
Jumanah Younis checks out the opening night of the new exhibition at the Museum of London.
Chris Steele-Perkins Magnum Photos
A new exhibition exposing the reality of human trafficking and forced labour in the capital has opened to the public this week at the Museum of London. The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Museum of London and Anti-Slavery International; the world’s oldest human rights organisation. I went along to the opening on the 23rd August, which was scheduled to coincide with the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition – a hefty topic for any museum to take on, you would assume. And yet the exhibition stretches across all of…half a room. The Museum of London says that the exhibition is its first cross-site show, but the Museum of London Docklands is only displaying one piece in relation to the exhibition; a patchwork quilt made by survivors of trafficking.

Freedom From comprises a short introduction and an array of photographs showing some victims of human trafficking and other individuals working to try and combat the issue. The most significant feature of the exhibition for me is the map showing the various London boroughs, with details of individual cases of trafficking that have taken place in each area. Finding the place where you live and reading a case of sex trafficking that has happened near your house is truly horrifying. As you turn away from the map to a small facts wall, you have successfully reached the end of the exhibition. Not as comprehensive as you might have hoped.

The small show runs alongside another exhibition (situated in the other half of the same room) entitled ‘The Dispossessed’. This focuses on the London Evening Standard’s ‘Dispossessed Fund’; a campaign set up to encourage people to donate money to help alleviate poverty in Britain. The exhibition involves several photographs by Chris Steele-Perkins of people who the ‘Dispossessed Fund’ has helped. The first is a teenager who couldn’t afford the £19 required to submit a UCAS application and was set to miss out on the opportunity to go to university because of it (He was receiving just £50 a week in benefits, the typical amount for unemployed people under 25). A rallying cry of horror from Evening Standard readers, a rattle round of the collection tin and lucky Vincent was able to attend university after all.

The Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes, whose speech marked the opening of the Freedom From exhibition, seemed to be applauding this ‘big society’ approach. Of two things he thought people should do in relation to the eradication of human trafficking, the first was: “next time you see a police officer in the street, go and say hello!” As the news comes in of the third death during an arrest conducted by the police this week, you’d think the Deputy Mayor would understand some people’s reticence in striking up friendly conversation with the local bobby on the beat...

More problematically, Mr Barnes failed to address the government’s latest plans to remove visas for migrant domestic workers, limit stay to a one year maximum and tie migrant workers to an employer. How exactly does the Deputy Mayor see this fitting into the anti-trafficking campaign? As one domestic worker, and activist for Justice for Domestic Workers campaign, explained to me at the opening, if legal routes for working in the UK are tightened, migrant workers will be more vulnerable to human trafficking and will be more likely to be exploited once in the UK.

For an exhibition that has a fairly troubling message at its heart, the show is not as shocking as it could be. In fact, considering the fact that the government’s recent proposals on immigration and the rights of migrant workers have sparked concern among workers and activists about a return to systems of slavery, this exhibition manages to overlook some strikingly important developments. The Museum of London should be commended for raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking; but the finished show is unfortunately very narrow.
Freedom From: Modern Day Slavery in the Capital continues until 20th November 2011.

UN boosts children nutrition to prevent stunted growth in drought-hit Horn of Africa

Print Email Share1

New Somali arrivals in Kobe camp in Ethiopia’s Dollo Ado area are often emaciated, malnourished and exhausted
19 August 2011 –
In an effort to tackle high levels of malnutrition among children in areas of the Horn of African affected by the severe food crisis, the United Nations reported today it had launched programmes to boost nutrition by providing special products to prevent damage to children’s physical and mental development. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was enhancing nutritional support for more than 90,000 children in Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya with a supplementary feeding programme for those under the age of five. The number of refugees in Dadaab has swelled to 440,000 with the continuing influx of people from famine-hit areas of Somalia.
The agency will tomorrow begin distributing food in six drought-affected Kenyan districts to boost nutrition for all children below the age of three, as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers. Working with the Kenyan education ministry and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WFP is also providing school meals to 587,000 Kenyan pupils in the worst-affected areas during the August school holidays. The Government has decided to keep schools in those areas open.
WFP has airlifted 120 tons of a ready-to-eat specialized food product and 24 tons of high-energy biscuits to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and the regions of Gedo, Lower Juba and Bakool, to provide enough nutritional support for 30,000 people.
The agency is also expanding its hot meals programme in Mogadishu. Three new hot meals centres have opened, bringing the total in the city to 23. WFP is also providing cooked meals in six hospitals.
In Ethiopia, food distributions have begun for refugees who have been transferred to the newly-opened camp in Hilaweyn, the fourth and newest refugee camp in the Dollo Ado area, which opened August 5. The camp is expected to house about 15,000 people by the end of the month.
The UN food aid agency will also open a new logistics corridor which will be used to transport vital food supplies from the port of Berbera in Somaliland into Ethiopia and down to Dollo Ado. The food will then be transported across the border by WFP-contracted trucks and delivered to drought-affected communities in southern Somalia.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), meanwhile, has continued emergency aid distributions to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern and central Somalia, reaching some 30,000 of them this week alone.
The agency has since early July assisted some 180,000 people displaced by drought, famine or conflict. “Our plan is to reach another 180,000 internally displaced Somalis before the end of August,” said Andrej Mahecic, the UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.
This week’s UNHCR deliveries focused on settlements close to Villa Somalia in Mogadishu’s Waaberi district, Baadheere in the Gedo region and Sakow in Middle Juba region.
In eastern Ethiopia, a large-scale effort is under way to address the high mortality rates among new arrivals from Somalia. Malnutrition remains the leading cause of death in four refugee camps in the Dollo Ado area, but the situation is being compounded by suspected measles and other diseases.
“We are expanding existing nutritional programmes to older children and are rushing to open a dedicated stabilization centre for severely acute malnourished children in Kobe camp, which has been experiencing the highest mortality rates,” said Mr. Mahecic.
In Djibouti, the authorities are working to reopen the old Holl-Holl camp to house the more than 3,500 Somalis who have arrived this year. An existing camp known as Ali Addeh is already overcrowded with 17,000 refugees from previous refugee arrivals.
“Much work remains to be done to prepare the site for the new refugees, including digging boreholes for water, building latrines, a health centre and a school,” said Mr. Mahecic. “We hope the camp can start receiving refugees by mid-September.”
UNHCR also announced that it had launched a new website to provide detailed and regularly updated information on the refugee and displacement emergency in the Horn of Africa.
The new site will provide a comprehensive information-sharing portal for all of the refugee agency’s operational partners involved in providing relief.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

On eve of Horn of Africa pledging conference, UN calls for generous donations

Print Email Share2

Somali refugees at the world's largest refugee complex at Dadaab in north-east Kenya
24 August 2011 –
Senior United Nations officials are calling on countries, businesses and individuals to give generously to support efforts to tackle the food security crisis gripping the Horn of Africa, warning that the world cannot “afford to lose momentum” in the fight against famine, disease and starvation. As the continent’s leaders prepare to gather in Addis Ababa tomorrow for a pledging conference hosted by the African Union, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said all segments of society – including governments, the public, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector – need to play their part in dealing with the crisis.
“We ask you, we ask everybody to make donations to multilateral efforts, pooled international funds, so that we can jointly identify where the needs are greatest and how that money should be spent,” Ms. Migiro told UN Radio ahead of the pledging conference, which she will address. “We also need your help in getting the access we need to allow us to save lives.”
Ms. Migiro noted that the international response to the crisis – which is affecting Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, but Somalia in particular – is accelerating, despite restrictions and security concerns in some parts of Somalia.
“In areas where Western and UN agencies have not been able to gain access, many Islamic organizations have arrived and are responding to the needs,” she said.
More than 12 million people across the region are estimated to need outside humanitarian assistance, and a state of famine has been formally declared in five regions of southern and central Somalia, including the area in and around the capital, Mogadishu.
Some 3.2 million Somalis are thought to be on the brink of starvation, and the UN and its aid partners say another billion dollars is needed to pay for humanitarian operations across the region.
“We cannot surely afford to lose momentum,” Ms. Migiro stressed, noting that famine could spread to other areas of Somalia within the next four to six weeks.
Kanayo Nwanze, the President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), issued a statement ahead of the pledging conference in which he emphasized that Africa itself must play a pre-eminent role in ending the crisis.
“I have said before that Africa should not wait for the international community to solve its problems,” he said. “Africa will conquer hunger when African governments give Africans the tools and resources they need to feed themselves. Change – real change – comes from within.”
Ms. Migiro, for her part, welcomed the efforts of the AU in staging the pledging conference.
“They have shown that they are ready and willing to come together during a moment of profound challenge and raise the resources needed to end the suffering,” she said.
Mohamadou Mansour N’Diaye, the chef de cabinet of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, described tomorrow’s meeting as a positive step and said that the Horn of Africa’s drylands can prosper, despite the current situation.
“It is not too late to act because we know and have the tools to better manage the drylands,” Mr. N’Diaye said. “The productivity and prosperity in other dryland parts of the world, such as the North American Great Plains, the Pampas of Argentina, and the wheat-belts of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, should put to rest the myth that the drylands are empty, barren places worth little.”

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Thailand must fight mounting human trafficking more effectively, UN expert warns

Print Email ShareNew

Special Rapporteur Joy Ngozi Ezeilo
22 August 2011 –
Thailand must do more to effectively combat the rising rate in human trafficking and protect migrant workers who are increasingly vulnerable to forced and exploitative labour, a United Nations expert has said, warning that deep-rooted corruption is impeding the battle. “Thailand faces significant challenges as a source, transit and destination country,” the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, said in Bangkok at the end of a 12-day mission to the country on 19 August, calling on the Government to promote zero tolerance to corruption.
“The trend of trafficking for forced labour is growing in scale in the agricultural, construction and fishing industries,” she added, urging the Government to cooperate with neighbouring countries more effectively in preventing and combating trafficking in persons.
Ms. Ezeilo, who works in an independent, unpaid capacity and reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, also found that “internal trafficking in children is rampant,” particularly highlighting the vulnerability of migrant, stateless and refugee children, including those belonging to hill tribes, to trafficking and exploitation.
While commending the enactment of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008 in line with relevant international standards, she warned that the implementation and enforcement of the law remains “weak and fragmented,” often hampered by the deep-rooted corruption, especially among low-cadre law enforcement officers at provincial and local levels.
“Root causes of trafficking, particularly demands for cheap and exploitative labour provided by migrant workers, are not being effectively addressed,” Ms. Ezeilo said.
She voiced concerns at the frequent misidentification of trafficked persons as irregular migrants subject to arrest, detention and deportation, as well as long stays at shelters, turning the shelters into “detention centres and a vehicle for violations of human rights, especially the right to freedom of movement and to earn an income and live a decent life.”
The Government should scale up capacity building trainings for all actors, especially law enforcement and immigration officials and labour inspectors. As a prevention measure, she called on the Government to review its labour and immigration laws and increase safe migration options to eliminate the vulnerabilities of migrants to trafficking.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Over 2,000 saved from human trafficking since 2008

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 12:15:00
Human trafficking seminar
SAVING LIVES: (From left) Malaysian Council for Child Welfare vice-president Datuk Dr Raj Abdul Karim, Nassirahman and Pan Pacific; Southeast Asia Women's Association president Datuk Rahmah Hamid
KUALA LUMPUR: Since the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (MAPO) was activated by the Home Ministry in February 2008, authorities have rescued 2,114 people from 20 countries from human trafficking syndicates.
Of the total, 799 were identified as "actual" victims subjected to abuse, sexual exploitation and forced labour, and these were mostly women.
In addition to saving foreigners trafficked into Malaysia, authorities also arrested 492 locals and foreigners for their involvement in human trafficking.
"Of the 799 deemed actual victims, 217 were sexually exploited or bound for the sex trade," MAPO secretary general Nasirrahman Saad Khiruddin said at a seminar on human trade and smuggling of migrants at Citrus Hotel yesterday.
"Of the 492 arrested for human trafficking, 347 were charged in court, some under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007."
Of those rescued, the mostaffected migrants were from Indonesia with 551, followed by Sri Lanka (327), China (320), the Philippines (222) and Vietnam (154). Nasirrahman said the syndicates usually targetted those from poor families with minimal education and low opportunities for income.
"The victims come from backward communities or rural areas. When the syndicates go there and offer jobs opportunities to the girls and young women, their families would accept the offer. To further convince the families, the syndicates usually paid the families. This approach makes it hard for the poor families to turn them down," he said.
"Once brought here, the victims are forced to work in entertainment outlets, spas, massage parlours and  karaoke outlets. In some cases, the women, including teenagers, are forced to become mail-order brides."
On why human trafficking syndicates target Asian women, Nasirrahman said syndicates believed their customers find Asian women more desirable.
"Asian women are particularly susceptible due to their 'fragile' nature, and are usually earmarked for the flesh trade. The women who fetch the highest prices are virgins, especially those below 21," said Nasirrahman.
He urged the public with information on victims of human trafficking to call 999 or the MAPO secretariat at 03-88863149.

What MAPO is about

UNDER the provisions of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007, the Home Ministry activated the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (MAPO) on Feb 28, 2008. MAPO is chaired by Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam. Its main responsibilities are to co-ordinate the implementation of the Act and formulate policies and programmes to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
MAPO is assisted by five committees, each carrying out tasks assigned to them according to their respective
jurisdiction. The five committees are as follows:
● Legislation Committee, headed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers;
● Enforcement Committee, headed by the Royal Malaysian Police;
● Victim Protection and Rehabilitation Committee, headed by the Women, Family and Community
Development Ministry;
● Media and Publicity committee, headed by the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry and;
● Special Committee to Study the Issues of Labour Trafficking, headed by the Human Resources Ministry.

Undercover op leads to human trafficking charges

abc NEWS

Updated at 01:00 PM today
Nine people were arrested after an undercover investigation into sex trafficking of girls and women by alleged gang members.

The investigation, called "Operation Little Lost Girl" was conducted by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Chicago Police Department under the provisions of the Illinois Safe Children's Act, which was signed into law last year. It allows for the use of wire taps, which experts say is a new practice for states.
The Illinois law also treats minors arrested for prostitution as victims rather than criminals. They enter the child protection system.
Four of those arrested for trafficking are expected in bond court Wednesday.
The Cook County state's attorney's office has planned an afternoon news conference to release more details.
The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and federal officials estimate at least 16,000 girls and women are involved in Chicago's commercial sex trade.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
(Copyright ©2011 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)