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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Human Trafficking Subject of Auburn Conference

Auburn - A human trafficking survivor will be the featured speaker at a conference on the topic in Auburn.

Minh Dang will tell her personal story at Friday's conference, which is titled "Not Here." The conference will include areas of interest for Maine law enforcement, health care professionals, social service agencies, faith-based organizations and community members.

Maine is among the majority of states that outlaw human trafficking, the forced transfer of people for prostitution, factory work and other forms of forced labor. Maine's law allows victims to sue for damages.

Thomas Delahanty, the U.S. attorney for Maine, will open the conference. Representatives of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also address the conference.

The event will be followed by a community rally and concert on Saturday.
(The Associated Press)

Student Activist Chinny Fights Human Trafficking In Her Backyard

Photo: Chinny Law (Against Our Will PSA)
What would you do if you found out that your favorite go-to restaurant was using slave labor? For student activist Chinny Law, this discovery led to one phone call that impacted her entire community and ignited her passion for social change. Chinny took action--and is encouraging other college students to do the same!

What started off as a senior project turned into something much bigger after Chinny and fellow classmates observed a suspicious restaurant in town. They reported their observations to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and an entire human trafficking ring was uncovered blocks away from her college campus.
“I researched everything I could about my community. Georgia is a large hub for trafficking because we have a big international airport. Finding out that this huge issue was happening in my hometown, literally in my backyard, was a really big shock,” said Chinny.
Now a law student, she is making it her mission to “prosecute the bad guys!” and is urging other students to do their part as well. College students are in a unique position to learn about the issues surrounding human trafficking by incorporating it into their studies (like Chinny did!) and to spread the word by Facebooking, tweeting, and blogging about it.
Explained Chinny: “College students can do so many things! Knowledge is power so do as much research as you can. Trafficking happens in all 50 states – find out what people are already doing about it and see if you can work together. Try to be socially conscious. If you’re buying a t-shirt for three bucks--someone somewhere isn’t making a profit. I know it doesn’t seem like much but if we’re ALL concentrating on buying free trade products, free of slave labor, then we can really make a difference.”
Chinny continues to make an impact outside of the classroom by running a donation drive -- collecting items such as clothes and toiletries for Atlanta’s rehabilitation centers. By working with her friends, family, and community she is raising awareness about human trafficking and helping to change the lives of those affected by it. As she told Act, “Human trafficking is a human issue. The Dalai Lama says respect life, spread love, be kind, be compassionate. Behind that mindset is just respect for life--that’s what we need to be doing.”

Tacoma man gets 9-year term for sex trafficking

A 24-year-old Tacoma man was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday for human trafficking.
Published: 09/30/11 4:57 am | Updated: 09/30/11 4:57 am
A 24-year-old Tacoma man was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday for human trafficking.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan also sentenced Lashad Alexander to three years of supervised release and imposed a $130,000 restitution fee.
Alexander pleaded guilty in February to forcing a 17-year-old girl to work for him as a prostitute.
He recruited the teen in 2005 and she worked for him until Lakewood police arrested Alexander in March 2010 after the girl called her brother for help, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Alexander occasionally hit the teen, forced her to hand over her earnings, helped her post sex advertisements on the Internet and bought condoms, motel rooms, cell phones and clothing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Stacia Glenn, staff writer

Read more:

. Pros and cons

October 1, 2011
The Whistleblower Cop this ... Rachel Weisz as UN observer Kathryn Bolkovac in a role based on a true story.

The confronting world of sex trafficking is brought out of the shadows, writes PAUL BYRNES
Rachel Weisz is often the best thing about her movies and that's true of The Whistleblower, a crusading drama clothed as a thriller. Weisz has the capacity to submerge her sense of self in a way that few actors do. Most of the time we pay to see actors become bigger than themselves, playing the kind of person we dream of being - superhero, supermum, superstud. Weisz sometimes does those roles, too, but she is better playing ''ordinary women''. Of course, there's no such thing but her characters seem like someone who might sit opposite you in the train - if you were lucky.
She's also drawn to causes. There is a reforming agenda behind many of the stories she picks, some great crime that needs addressing. That's certainly true of The Whistleblower, based on a shocking true story about sex trafficking in Bosnia. The film has a great cast, with Vanessa Redgrave and David Strathairn in key supporting roles. It would have needed all of this actor power to get made, as the subject matter is so confronting.
The publicity stresses a connection to the great political thrillers of the 1970s without naming which ones but I'm guessing films such as All the President's Men and maybe Julia, given Redgrave's presence. Back then it was easier to get films such as these made. Audiences were more adventurous, money flowed. Studios now are conservative, partly because of tougher times. This movie has been put together by smaller companies and seed money from Telefilm Canada (director Larysa Kondracki is Canadian and this is her first feature).
I'm reluctant to criticise it. There are few films about human trafficking; fewer still based on moving true stories. An end title quotes an estimate of 2.5 million people being trafficked globally without giving a source. I don't know if that's true. I have researched some of this story and the facts are pretty close. If anything, the real story was worse. That makes the film relevant and for some people, that will be enough. Others, me included, look for more. I've never believed it is enough for a film to have its heart in the right place; I want it to grab me by another part of the anatomy, like the two films mentioned above.
I think Kondracki believes in the same thing; she just doesn't do it as well as is necessary, partly because the script tries to cover too many points of emotion. She and co-writer Eilis Kirwan researched this topic for years. They have a lot to say and no one telling them not to say it all. Thus the film has about four endings as bits are tied up and conclusions are reached. It's partly a fear we won't get it; sometimes that comes from lack of confidence in one's own storytelling.
The film is based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a police officer from Lincoln, Nebraska, who went to Bosnia in the late 1990s as a United Nations observer. She was hired by an American corporation, DynCorp, although the name has been changed in the movie to Democra Security, presumably for legal reasons. Weisz plays Bolkovac, who takes a job with the UN's International Police Force because it pays $100,000 a year and she needs the money. Her former husband, who has custody of her children, is moving to Florida and she can't get a transfer.
The movie begins in Kiev, as two teenage girls contemplate their own plans for a quick score. Raya (Roxana Condurache) and Luba (Paula Schramm) think they're going to Romania to a job. By the time Bolkovac arrives in Bosnia, they are working as prostitutes in seedy bars that exist largely for the 20,000 international peacekeepers. Vanessa Redgrave, as Madeleine Rees from the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, puts Kathryn to work investigating battered and trafficked women. Strathairn comes to her aid as an Internal Affairs man when she discovers that her colleagues are involved in the trafficking.
The movie's best idea is to make Kathryn's discoveries slow and unpredictable, so she becomes a crusader reluctantly. The worst is that we can tell instantly by the casting whether someone will be a decent human being or a rat-fink scumbag. There are a lot of the latter and the movie gets into some dark places. It is awful to think this is true; a little reading on the internet makes clear it's worse than we see here.
Bolkovac wrote a book about her time working for DynCorp, a company worth $3 billion a year, most of it US government money. DynCorp is training much of the police forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Whistleblower is flawed in dramatic structure but its depiction of the activities of the fictional Democra Security is beyond alarming.
Directed by Larysa Kondracki
Rated MA, 112 minutes

Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Trapped by Tradition': Your questions on slavery in India

September 26th, 2011

Last week we asked for your questions about 'Trapped by Tradition', the documentary featuring actor Anil Kapoor which explored how in someIndia villages girls are sent into prostitution by their families. Here is a selection of your questions, answered by CNN correspondent Mallika Kapur, who worked on the documentary.
Question: Creating awareness is good but what measures have been put in place to help eradicate this abnormal tradition and give these girls hope for a new beginning? – labelle
Answer: Groups like Plan India and its sister organization, Gram Niyojan Kendra, are working hard to stop this practice. Their goal is to prevent the next generation from falling into the same trap, so they are building schools in the area and encouraging children to attend. They have a team of people who work closely with the men and women in the village. They also spend a lot of time counseling people and explaining the dark side of this tradition. Often the people involved don’t realize what they are doing is wrong because it’s been this way for generations, so nobody questions it. One lady, Ranu, who works with Gram Niyojan Kendra, has been living in the village for 10 years. She runs a residential school/shelter and looks after the babies of prostitutes while they are at work. She does this so that the babies are brought up in a safe environment and don’t end up being forced into the sex trade. So yes, there’s a lot of work being done to change the mindset of the people, and to encourage children to go to school.
Question: What is being done to the criminals who are involved in these activities? – Twaha
Answer: Unfortunately, many times, nothing happens at all. This is because the men who push the girls into prostitution are family members of the girls, so it gets difficult to prove they are traffickers.India does have a law against trafficking – the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act – but many anti-trafficking groups say it isn’t very effective. Also, traffickers can be punished only if someone files a police report first. Because family members are involved in trafficking themselves, who is there to file a police report? That’s one of the main reasons traffickers don’t get tried and punished.
Question: How long has this been going on? What part of India? Is there anything we can do to help? – Concerned
Answer: This has been going on for generations. In our documentary, we focused on the Bedia community which lives in a few villages in Bharatpur district in Rajasthan state, western India. You could contact Plan India which works with 40 villages in this district to find out how you can help.
Question: Who started this tradition/business and what do you think about the government’s duty in this matter? – A. Bhattacharjee
Answer: This has been going on for generations and is a by-product of poverty and tradition. Also, the people here are at the bottom of the caste system. Historically, they had few job opportunities and were exploited by the rich, upper castes. They formed the most vulnerable strata of society and had to resort to sending their own daughters and sisters into the sex trade to earn money.

The Indian government has good policies and intentions but anti-trafficking groups will tell you what the government really needs to have is targeted intervention. It needs to have specific programs to help this group of people. For example, if the government decides to build schools, it needs to have a school right there in the middle of the village so that the children don’t have a long commute. It needs to counsel the people to send children to school. It needs to sensitize the community there not to attach a stigma to the children of sex workers. So a targeted, specific intervention for this vulnerable community is essential.
IMPORTANT-It is not trapped by tradition it is TRAPPED BY POVERTY!!!!! - Shree
Answer: Yes, absolutely. Poverty breeds desperation and in this case, extreme poverty meant these people had no alternative but to send the women to work in the sex trade so they could earn money to feed their families. It’s vital to provide the people of these villages with an alternative form of income, so groups like PlanIndia and Gram Niyojan Kendra are providing them with vocational training programs and working to link them up with government-run employment schemes. The challenge is to provide an income that matches the hefty earnings the women get from prostitution. For instance, a sex worker can earn as much as $2,000 a month. While it’s hard to find a job that pays as much, anti-trafficking groups say their focus is convincing the people here to find a job that gives them dignity and a way out of this dark tradition.

South Florida ICE official arrested on child porn charges

September 29, 2011 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
Anthony Mangione faces three charges related to child pornography, the Justice Department says.
Anthony Mangione faces three charges related to child pornography, the Justice Department says.
  • NEW: Report: Anthony Mangione will undergo a psychological evaluation
  • NEW: He pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court
  • Mangione's indictment was unsealed Wednesday, authorities say
  • If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison
Miami (CNN) -- The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for South Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.
Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.
"According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct," the statement said. "The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period."
Mangione was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents and made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.
During the appearance, Mangione pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to CNN affiliate WPTV. Both the prosecution and the defense requested that he undergo a psychological evaluation, and the judge approved that request.
"The government has concerns that given the magnitude of the charges, that he might melt down," defense attorney David Howard told WPTV. "So there is ... real concern, and it's going to be addressed."
Attempts to contact Howard on Wednesday were not immediately successful.
Mangione, a 27-year law enforcement veteran, wore a gray jumpsuit with "federal prisoner" on the back in court Wednesday, and his hands and feet were shackled, WPTV said. He made no statement during the hearing.
He was being held in the Broward County jail, according to jail records.
A law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media said Mangione has been on leave from his job at ICE. WPTV reported that he was placed on paid administrative leave in April amid a federal investigation into four images on his home computer he allegedly received via e-mail.
According to its website, ICE targets and investigates child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators and human smugglers and traffickers of minors, among others. The agency developed Operation Predator, which it describes as "an initiative to identify, investigate and arrest child predators and sexual offenders."
If convicted, Mangione faces up to 20 years in prison, the Department of Justice said. He also faces a term of supervised release from five years to life following his prison sentence and he will be required to register as a sex offender.
"On the arrest of our former (special agent in charge) in Miami, we have cooperated fully in that investigation," ICE Director John Morton said Wednesday morning when asked about the case during a news conference on another matter. "We'll see how things unfold today, and beyond that, we don't have any comment."
The case is being investigated by the Broward County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, the Department of Justice said. Broward County referred questions to federal authorities, and the FBI referred them to the Department of Justice.
CNN's Ashley Hayes and Athena Jones contributed to this report.

World must do better to tackle human trafficking, stresses Assembly President


General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
26 September 2011 –
The President of the General Assembly today called for redoubled efforts to tackle human trafficking, which the United Nations anti-crime agency says is a multi-billion dollar industry and one that enslaves some 2.4 million people at any given time, many of whom are children. “Although human trafficking takes place in the dark margins of our societies, we must not ignore its presence,” Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said in remarks to the second ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking.
He told the gathering, which took place on the margins of the high-level debate of the Assembly’s 66th session, that nations must work together to end this global scourge, which ranks as the world’s third most profitable crime after illicit drug and arms trafficking.
“We must prosecute and punish the criminals involved and protect and reintegrate the victims into their communities. We must spur governments and all members of society into action to reduce the vulnerability of victims, and increase the consequences for traffickers,” he said.
The President noted that despite the proclamation in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that all humans are born free and that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, millions of people today, the majority of them children and women, are victims of human trafficking.
He called for redoubling efforts to ensure that the rights and freedoms of every person are upheld.
“No country is unaffected. We must do better,” said the President.
He noted that a global partnership aimed at fostering good governance, debt relief and official development assistance can contribute to reducing poverty and corruption, limiting the supply and demand for trafficking.
Cross-border and international cooperation are necessary to monitor and stop child trafficking, he added.
Last year the Group of Friends turned the concerns of Member States into concrete action by negotiating and passing by consensus a comprehensive UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
In addition, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking was launched to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of human trafficking. Administered by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it has already begun to establish a small grants facility to start distributing funds to victims.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

‘Human trafficking, maltreatment seen’

 Laborers rights vital issue: Ashour
SOLO, Indonesia, Sept 28, (KUNA): Protecting the rights of foreign labor in Asia is an issue of vital importance for Asian nations, said a Kuwaiti lawmaker on Wednesday.

Head of the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation to the international conference on principles of friendship and cooperation in Asia MP Saleh Ashour said, during the meeting for the special committee on foreign laborers’ rights, that the increasing numbers of foreign laborers in hosting countries has led to negative outcomes such as human trafficking and maltreatment.

As for Kuwait, Ashour said, the GCC country had signed an international convention that regulates the relationship between employers and employees.

He revealed that in February of 2010, Kuwait issued a new law that ensured the rights of foreign laborers.
Ashour called for national campaigns in Asian countries to ensure the rights of laborers, local or foreign, stressing that it was important to commit to principles announced by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in regards to the protection of foreign laborers rights.
The current conference in Solo, which kicked off Sept 27 and will last till Sept 29, is held on a proposal by the Executive Committee of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA).

2 human traffickers fall, 11 victims rescued

By | Thursday| September 29, 2011 | Filed under: Top Stories
ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 September) – The Sea-Base Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) have arrested two human trafficking suspects and rescued 11 victims in this city, police officials disclosed Wednesday.
Supt. Celso Bael, head of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime’s (PCTC) Western Mindanao field office, said the suspects were arrested Monday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan, west of this city.
Bael said the 11 victims who were rescued when the suspects were arrested are from the municipalities of Ramon Magsaysay and Salug, Zamboanga del Norte province.
Bael said the arrest of the suspects and rescue of the victims came after authorities received information about the presence of a group of people who are about to depart for Malaysia through Tawi-tawi, the country’s southernmost province.
The private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan also serves as docking area of wooden-hulled vessels transporting cargoes from this city to the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi and vice-versa aside from being the unloading port of fishing boats.
Lately, authorities have kept watch on the Baliwasan private wharf after they discovered an attempt to slip out victims of human trafficking through the area since security had been tight at the port of Zamboanga manned by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
Bael said the victims revealed during investigation that they were hired to work at an oil palm plantation and at a factory in Sabah, Malaysia.
The two suspects, a man and a woman whose identities were withheld, were detained at the Zamboanga City police headquarters, Bael said.
Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, Zamboanga City police director, lamented they are now confronting a problem in the filing of criminal case against the two suspects – no one among the 11 rescued victims are willing to pursue the case.
De Ocampo said the victims are in the custody of the Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF), a non-government organization (NGO) working in issues of domestic work, child labor and human trafficking, especially of women and children.
The suspects will be released if and when the 36 hours reglementary period of detention will lapse, De Ocampo said. (MindaNews)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

[ A Somalian Bro Hamza Abdigani ].Very Emotional Quran Recitation

Why We Fight for Our Kids- Human Trafficking in the Media


Posted: Fri, September 23, 2011
There were three articles on the same page of the NYT recently that once again reminded me of the importance of our work together as we fight for the lives of homeless kids with no voice of their own..
One was a heart tugging account of a young woman sold into prostitution from the age of 13 who is seeking to have her criminal record of past prostitution offenses vacated so she can move forward with her life.
Another was a horrifying account of a still at-large serial killer preying on prostituted women. And the third was a common sense and welcome statement that New York State’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is calling for a new approach to juvenile justice that would transfer jurisdiction for 16 and 17 year- olds accused of less serious crimes from the state’s criminal courts to family court where rehabilitation takes priority over retribution.
The first article’s relationship to human trafficking is obvious. A child of thirteen being bought and sold to the highest bidder is sickening. A-13-year-old simply cannot consent to sexual activity. Federal law therefore makes perfectly clear that there is no such thing as a child prostitute, but rather there are far too many sexually exploited children used for the commercial gain of others. States have been too slow to follow suit. The fact that this young woman, now 22 and trying to rebuild her life, must answer yes to questions on job applications about whether she has ever been a convicted of a crime is absurd. Thanks to a 2010 New York state law allowing the prostitution convictions of trafficking victims to be overturned, this injustice may finally be corrected.
The article about the serial killer reminds us about the terrible violence that exploited women endure in daily life. These victims are real life people with loved ones who faced not only a brutal death, but most likely lives of violence. And although the victims of this killer may have been adults at the time of their death, the odds are high that they were once sexually exploited children.
Fortunately the third article, discussing a move from adult criminal court to family court for 16 and 17 year old offenders was filled with logic and common sense. This is good news for many of the young people we see at Covenant House whose lives have been filled with adversity and abuse which can lead to the making of wrong choices. Let’s give young adults the rehabilitative services they need instead of saddling them with criminal records that will make it even harder to choose a new path.
Although this will be a positive change for all of the young people we see at Covenant House, it is especially welcome for victims of commercial sexual exploitation. I have been somewhat frustrated that New York’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act, which was designed to treat minor victims of commercial sexual exploitation as victims instead of criminals, does not truly help 16 and 17 year olds. Although the law was written with the intent to help commercially sexually exploited children under age 18, the law’s mechanism converts juvenile delinquency petitions to Persons In Need of Supervision petitions, a less punitive and more rehabilitative form of petition. Yet because children must be under age 16 to have a juvenile delinquency petition in family court in the first place, the law has little impact on 17 and 18 year olds.
At what age does a child who was commercially sexually exploited at 13 turn into a criminal or prostitute, simply by the passage of time? The trafficked young people we see at Covenant House may be as old as 21, but to me they are no more culpable than the exploited children they once were. The only thing they are guilty of is that no one offered them the help they needed before the clock ran out and they hit the age majority. All commercially exploited young people should be treated as victims instead of criminals regardless of the number of candles on their birthday cake. I will welcome the chance to see New York’s courts treat 16 and 17 year olds as the children they are -- and have the right to be.

Porn charges for alleged child trafficker

Seth Jovaag
Group reporter

A Verona man accused of child trafficking in July for allegedly trying to buy sex with an 8-year-old has been indicted on federal child pornography charges.

Paul M. Ketring, 39, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Madison with knowingly receiving visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and two counts of possessing a computer hard drive containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to a news release from the federal Department of Justice.

The indictment alleges Ketring downloaded child pornography videos on computer hard drives seized by authorities July 26. It also seeks the forfeiture of computer equipment used to commit the alleged offenses, the
release said.

If convicted, Ketring faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in federal prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years on each receiving count and 10 years on each possession count.

Ketring was charged with child trafficking, a felony, in July after a Madison woman told police that he offered her $50 to bring him an 8-year-old girl on July 20, apparently so he could have sex with her.

Police on July 26 searched Ketring's apartment on Kimball Lane. Among items catalogued were handguns, a stun gun, ammunition, marijuana, a photo album showing girls in "provocative positions, and a refrigerator magnet that read "unregistered sex offender." Police also found four computer hard drives with more than 270,000 still images and 3,000 videos, "many of which ... depict apparent child pornography or erotica," according to a criminal complaint.

The child trafficking charge against Ketring will be adjudicated in Dane County Circuit Court. He remains in Dane County Jail on $30,000 bail.

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