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

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dayton considered a hub in human trafficking

Posted: 12:58 p.m. Sunday, April 22, 2012

DAYTON, Ohio —
A symposium is organized in Dayton to talk about human trafficking.
According to a Sunday bulletin from a Dayton area Catholic church, "Dayton, Ohio is considered one of the hubs."
The announcement reads:  In 2012, human trafficking sounds like a far away, almost ancient tragedy.  Yet in Ohio, it is estimated that 1900 children and adults are currently being pressed into forced labor and prostitution.  Dayton, Ohio is considered one of the hubs.  The problem has grown to a point that Gov. John Kasich has issued an executive order to combat this issue.  If you would like to learn more about this crime against humanity, please attend the symposium at Ascension Parish in Dayton on April 25 from 6:30 to 7:30.

Rwanda: Police Expand Hunt for Human Traffickers

The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda National Police has written to Interpol in China, requesting them to hunt down suspected human traffickers, The New Times has learnt.
The woman, names withheld, is said to have been identified by one of the suspects already in police custody.
"We are carrying out preliminary investigations with Chinese Interpol and have raised the issue of human trafficking of our girls with them," Chief Inspector of Police, Ismael Baguma, who heads Interpol Rwanda, said.
The move follows days after Police arrested two people suspected of trafficking Rwandan girls to China for commercial sex on the promise of getting them jobs.
Baguma said the two suspects arrested earlier have been forwarded to the National Public Prosecution Authority for prosecution.
Following the human trafficking reports, the Chinese Embassy in Kigali has already announced new stringent measures Rwandans seeking visas to China will have to face.
They will now have to provide an official letter from a well recognised institution from China and will also have to go through Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry to ascertain the authenticity of visa application.
According to a 2011 police report, last year, seven cases of human trafficking were registered in the country. Human trafficking is said to be one of the crimes on the increase across the region.
About 79 percent of cases related to trafficking of persons, target girls and women for sexual exploitation, according to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report.

Human traffickers target Rwanda


2012-04-22 14:17
Kigali - Rwandan police on Saturday said they had alerted Interpol's China section to a possible human trafficking ring targeting young Rwandans, mainly girls.
"There are signs pointing to the trafficking of young people, especially girls" to China, Rwandan police spokesperson Theos Badege told AFP.
They had informed the Chinese authorities and launched an investigation, he added.
Rwandan police were already holding three Rwandan men suspected of attempting human trafficking to China and to the Czech Republic, Badege said.
Two men were arrested after five young women were picked up at the Ugandan border, a police statement said earlier this week.
"A man called Walter approached us and said there were jobs in China's supermarkets and hotels," the statement quoted one of the young women as saying.
"He said he was willing to help us get there by helping pay for our travel documents and air tickets."
A third man was arrested at Kigali airport as he prepared to fly two young men and a young woman to the Czech Republic by way of Ethiopia, the statement added.
The suspect told police that he had intended to travel with the three to help out in several flower shows he was staging in Europe.
Badege warned Rwandans to treat promises from strangers of an education or a better life with scepticism.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Regulator criticised after woman assaulted in care home

Jonathan Aquino slaps Maria Worroll Jonathan Aquino was filmed slapping Maria Worroll
The Care Quality Commission is being criticised for failing to take sufficient action after undercover filming showed an 80-year-old woman being slapped by a care worker.
Jane Worroll secretly filmed her mother's room in Ash Court, London.
She recorded care worker Jonathan Aquino slapping her mother six times.
Aquino was convicted of assault. The CQC said the home still "ensures people who use the service are protected from abuse or the risk of abuse".
Prior to the assault, the CQC had rated the home as "excellent" .
Alarm clock camera
Ms Worroll placed a secret camera hidden in an alarm clock in her mother's bedroom, after suspecting she was being mistreated.
Maria Worroll suffers from Alzheimers and arthritis, and requires around-the-clock care.
Six weeks after her mother moved into Ash Court, Ms Worroll noticed bruises on her arms and legs.
She secretly filmed her bedroom on 17 and 21 June 2011.
The footage, acquired by BBC Panorama, shows care workers feeding Maria Worroll too quickly, manually rolling her over and hauling her roughly into bed - an action that should have been performed using a hoist.
Ms Worroll also filmed one care worker, Jonathan Aquino, slapping her mother six times.
She was deeply upset by the footage. She told Panorama: "[My mother] is just so vulnerable; she can't get up, she can't call for help. [The assault] is just totally sadistic."
All five of the main carers Ms Worroll filmed were sacked. Jonathan Aquino was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison in April 2012.
Forest Healthcare, which manages the home, say the assault was an isolated incident, and that Ash Court is "committed to working closely with all families and residents" and that they receive positive feedback on their care, which is subject to "continual improvement".
The CQC visited the home twice following the assault to assess the quality of care. It concluded: "Ash Court ensures that people who use the service are protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their rights are respected and upheld."
Ms Worroll said she felt let down by the inquiry. She told the BBC: "When I read [the report] it was just another slap around the face. I just felt like they'd basically given [Ash Court] a clean bill of health again, bar two minor adjustments.
"It makes me worry for other people who are potentially about to put a relative into a care home."
Judy Downey, head of the Relatives & Residents Association, a charity that supports care home residents and their families, also criticised the CQC report.
Maria Worroll and Jane Worroll Jane Worroll's mother Maria is now living in a different care home
She said: "It doesn't say that a member of staff has been charged. It is not an honest document, it isn't a helpful document.
"This is really an area where the CQC can do so much if it uses its powers. They can actually cancel the provider's registration if they're shown not to be fit. We would suggest that that provider was very clearly shown not to be fit."
The CQC told Panorama in a statement that its report into Ash Court made clear a "serious incident" had taken place. It visited again recently, and said that it was "confident" it had "acted swiftly and correctly in light of the evidence" available.
Panorama: Undercover Elderly Care is on BBC One, Monday 23 April at 20:30 BST. Watch online afterwards (UK only) at the above link.

5 arrested, accused of forcing high school girls to be prostitutes

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer
March 29, 2012 -- Updated 2052 GMT (0452 HKT)
  • Alleged gang members set to appear in federal court Friday in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Charges against Underground Gangster Crips include underage sex trafficking, officials say
  • Arrests follow those of six other gang members in the past year and a half, officials say
  • Officials: At least 10 girls ages 16 to 18 were recruited, were threatened if they tried to leave
Washington (CNN) -- Authorities in Northern Virginia on Thursday busted an alleged violent gang and arrested the accused ringleader and four others on charges of forcing high school girls to be prostitutes.
The defendants, most of whom were arrested overnight, were scheduled to appear in federal court Friday afternoon in Alexandria, Virginia, on charges that include underage sex trafficking.
The alleged ringleader is identified in court documents as Justin Strom, 26, of Lorton, Virginia, a suburb of Washington. He is described as the Fairfax County, Virginia, leader of the Underground Gangster Crips. The arrests of the five alleged members of the gang follow six other arrests of members of the gang in the past year and a half, officials said.
The investigation began in September 2011, but an affidavit lists alleged crimes by the reputed gang members dating back to 2006.
Officials from the U.S. attorney's office, the Virginia attorney general's office and others say Strom and his associates recruited high school girls to work for them as prostitutes and vowed violence if they tried to leave.
Authorities identified at least 10 high school girls between 16 and 18 years of age who were recruited.
The amounts of money involved were generally small, with prostitutes often receiving $50 for performing sexual acts.
Authorities arrested Michael Jefferies, 21, of Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
He allegedly handled the money. They arrested Strom and Henock Ghile, 23, of Springfield early Thursday. Ghile allegedly transported the girls.
Donyel Dove, an alleged bodyguard and driver, was arrested on March 24 in Warren County on separate charges.
The fifth man, Christopher Sylvia, 22, of Springfield, Virginia, was arrested on March 8 as a driver in the sex trafficking conspiracy.

Ferrero sets date to end cocoa slavery


Chocolate maker Ferrero has pledged to eradicate slavery from farms where it sources its cocoa by 2020, as part of a growing movement by the multi-billion dollar industry to clean up its supply chains.
The Italian company, which produces Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Nutella spread and Kinder eggs, follows Nestle and Hershey as the third major chocolate manufacturer to announce new anti-slavery moves since September.
It says it will eradicate child labor and forced adult labor from cocoa plantations it uses by 2020, verified by “independent and credible” third parties. Also, it says it will publish a more detailed progress report this summer and promises improved communication to customers.
Up to 75% of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in small farms in West Africa. In the Ivory Coast alone, there are an estimated 200,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create chocolate enjoyed around the world. Many of the children don’t even know what chocolate is.
In January, CNN highlighted the plight of the child labor in the Ivory Coast in a documentary, “Chocolate’s Child Slaves”, by correspondent David McKenzie.
A statement from Ferrero said its new goals were made “in the light of the need for transparency in the cocoa sector.”
The industry’s regulation over cocoa farms is largely self-regulated. Critics say progress is too slow.
Read all stories about Chocolate's Child Slaves
NGO Stop the Traffik, which worked with CNN on its documentary, welcomed Ferrero’s move as a “sweet deal” for children doing “back-breaking work”.
“Ferrero is the first global chocolate company to explicitly state they will fulfill the promise the chocolate industry made collectively in 2001 to eliminate the trafficking of children in their supply chain. Together with Mars, who have promised 100% certified chocolate by 2020, Ferrero is the only other chocolate company to have made comprehensive commitments towards their entiry cocoa supply chain.
“This individual acceptance of responsibility, coupled with a commitment to report on progress each year, should be an example to the other major chocolate companies, such as Nestlé, Kraft/Cadbury, and Hershey’s, to follow suit.”
The London-based NGO called on Ferrero to put labels on wrappers of its products so customers would know they were untainted by slavery.
A statement added: “2020 is still a long way away, and Stop the Traffik will be monitoring Ferrero’s progress.”
More than 10 years ago, two U.S. lawmakers took action to stop child labor in the industry. The Harkin-Engel Protocol, also known as the Cocoa Protocol, was signed into law on September 19, 2001.
But manufacturers raised concerns and a compromise was reached that required chocolate companies to voluntarily certify they were stopping the practice of child labor. The certification process would not involve labeling products "child-labor-free," as initially proposed.

The mother of rape victim in video speaks

Price of stealing in Cameroon

mambo ya mombasa kenya (ushoga)

Kakuma's Prostitutes

Uploaded by on Mar 9, 2010
19-year old jane, not her real name, fled her home in sudan several years ago and ended up in Kakuma refugee camp along with thousand sof other refugees. It's the same story for Anne and Lucy, (again not their real names) they've been chased away by their families and forced to live together in a one-roomed hut. All of them are prostitutes.
Prostitution is a way of life for most of these girls. They say they make about 200 shillings a day. "It may not be much, but it's a question of survival," Anne said.


Uploaded by on Jul 7, 2010
A look into the lives of three women selling their bodies for food and their children. Displaced by the Post Election Violence in Kenya in 2007 and 2008, the women tell their horrendous story of escape and how they ended up in a single room house in Naivasha with three children, and why they sell themselves in order to get by

Married women turn to Prostitution

Uploaded by on Jul 27, 2010
Prostitution has always been regarded as venture for single people. But as Citizen TV found out in Mombasa recently, some married women are turning to sex work. Our reporter Georgette Kareithi spoke to two married women who admitted to being commercial sex workers and even claimed their spouses knew about it.

Sex workers' day out

Published on Mar 5, 2012 by
A group of commercial sex workers in Thika joined the town's municipal council workers in a clean up exercise aimed at ridding the town of huge heaps of uncollected garbage. The group recounted their ordeal at the hands of city council askaris, re-igniting debate on whether or not commercial sex work should be legalized in the country.

Stateless woman living in JKIA toilet

US sex scandal, politically embarrassing

Keller church fighting human trafficking

Read more here:
Posted Friday, Apr. 20, 2012

Read more here: of Milestone Church in Keller are raising their voices and pounding the pavement on behalf of women and children throughout the world who have been silenced.
"God wants people who have voices to raise them for those who don't," church member Gabrielle Chesnut said.
"Basically, they're in slavery. They're scared and don't know how to get out without being hurt or their families being hurt."
Chesnut organized today's Stop the Traffick: Fun Run/5K, which benefits the A21 Campaign, an international organization devoted to abolishing human trafficking.
The 4,000-member church wants to do its part to stop human trafficking, said Milestone's missions director, Stacey Hatcher.
"I saw a video about it and was shocked at the magnitude," she said. "These are humans who are actually sold into slavery."
Many Scriptures tell Christians to care about such people, Chesnut said.
"I think about the greatest commandments -- to love God with all your heart, your soul and your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself," Chesnut said.
"When we care about the things God cares about, we have to care about people, because he cares about people."
Milestone's run is also intended to make people aware that the crime isn't restricted to Third World countries, Hatcher said.
"You always think about it being a problem in Thailand and Eastern Europe," she said. "Because of our border with Mexico, human trafficking happens in Texas, too."
The problem isn't just a border issue, either, said Carl Rusnok, a North Texas regional spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"People are basically kidnapped and forced to work in fields, in factories and in brothels," he said. "They can be kidnapped locally and bused to Houston to be prostitutes."
When the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force was formed in 2010, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the state had become a hub for international and domestic forced labor and prostitution.
The North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force -- with investigators from 16 police departments and six vice units -- has investigated more than 30 trafficking cases in Fort Worth, making three arrests and rescuing three victims, Fort Worth police spokesman Pedro Criado said.
Since it began in 2007, the national human-trafficking hotline, 888-373-7888, operated by the Polaris Project, has received 645 calls from Dallas-Fort Worth, spokeswoman Megan Fowler said.
Rusnok said increasing public awareness of human trafficking is essential to overcoming the crime.
"The victims are brainwashed and end up terrified of their traffickers and fearful of law enforcement as well," he said.
A third significant facet of Milestone's run is that it's community-focused, Chesnut said.
"We don't just want to be a local church that sits in a building, but really gets out into the community and makes a difference," she said.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Terry Evans, 817-390-7620
Twitter: @fwstevans

Read more here:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Portugal joins Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking

Photo: Blue Heart campaign Portugal
16 April 2012 - Portugal is the latest European country to join the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking. At any given time, an estimated 140,000 victims of human trafficking are trapped in a vicious cycle of violence, abuse and degradation across Europe. UNODC research shows that victims are often duped by a recruiter who is a relative, a supposed friend or someone they trust.
One-third of victims (32 per cent) come from the Balkans, 19 per cent from the former Soviet Union, 13 per cent from South America, 7 per cent from Central Europe, 5 per cent from Africa and 3 per cent from East Asia. Victims from South America tend to be concentrated in several European countries, including Portugal. Because of its geographic location, Portugal is both a destination and transit country for victims of human trafficking.
The Blue Heart Campaign was launched in Portugal by Ms. Teresa Morais, Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Equality, Mr. Manuel Albano, Portuguese National Rapporteur for Human Trafficking, and Mr. Pierre Lapaque, Chief of the UNODC Organized Crime Unit. The campaign aims to raise awareness about human trafficking among decision makers, civil society, the media and the general public in order to garner support for combating this crime.
"I hope to see this Blue Heart symbolizing active solidarity with victims around the world spreading ever wider" said Ms. Morais. "Launching the Blue Heart Campaign in Portugal is part of our national plan to combat human trafficking - being a global campaign, it allows us to extend the reach of our prevention work" added Mr. Albano.
Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking LogoHuman trafficking is a serious form of organized crime that affects all countries. "In Europe, one person is trafficked every eight minutes for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Trafficking in persons is one of the most lucrative illicit businesses in Europe", said Mr. Lapaque. Criminal groups are estimated to earn around €2.5 billion annually through the sexual exploitation of victims. Prosecutions, however, still remain relatively low compared to the number of victims.
According to UNODC, sexual exploitation is by far the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79 per cent). However, this may be due to the fact that this crime tends to be more visible and more frequently reported. In comparison, almost one-fifth (18 per cent) of human trafficking is for forced labour, which is likely to be under-reported, as victims often work in hidden locations.
"We must be extra vigilant and prevent vulnerable people from falling prey to criminals. We must invest in appropriate support mechanisms for victims and provide an effective law enforcement response to punish those who exploit others", said Mr. Lapaque. UNODC works closely with Governments, international organizations and civil society to counter organized crime.

Related information:

UNODC and human trafficking
Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking
United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking

South east England MEP urges people to “open their eyes” to human trafficking.


Joy Igaharo (left) and Esohe Ida-Ogabono. Joy Igaharo (left) and Esohe Ida-Ogabono.
FOLLOWING the disappearance of two Nigerian girls from Worthing, the MEP for south east England, Catherine Bearder, is urging people to “open their eyes” and be aware that trafficking happens everywhere, and not just in under-privileged areas.
Mrs Bearder said: “It’s an issue that happens everywhere which is why I’m campaigning so much – to raise people’s awareness. I think that people think that trafficking does not happen here because it’s a nice area, but it does.”
More than two million people across the globe are affected by human trafficking at any given time according to a UN study, be it in the sex trade, or forced labour.
The crime of human trafficking involves transporting people through use of force – with the intent of exploiting them for commercial gain, and has recently been reported in West Sussex.
Mrs Bearder said: “The UK is the biggest market for traffickers. It’s not limited to towns – it happens in villages, in small market towns and wherever the demand is.”
Mrs Bearder added that although it is often prostitution that people hear about, trafficking refers to anybody who is held against their will.
She said: “It’s not just girls who are trafficked, it’s anybody who is held against their will for commercial gain. They bring children in from Eastern Europe, from Nigeria, The Far East and Africa (The Far East and Africa are the longest journeys for traffics people) to work as pick-pockets.
“Some of these children do not even realise they are being trafficked, unless they come in for the sex trade – then they certainly know that they’re being held against their will.”
According to the MEP, the reason trafficking is such a big problem, is because people turn a blind eye, and often don’t report suspicious behaviour to avoid getting innocent people into trouble.
She said: “It’s easier not to talk about it, but while the public doesn’t talk about it, it goes unnoticed. If I can do nothing more, then I just want to raise people’s awareness so their eyes and ears are open. We need the public to be aware and for them to report it.
“I think very few people think it’s really happening, and if they do, they think it’s happening in Soho and the sleazy areas.”
Mrs Bearder thinks if people are aware of the issue of trafficking, then spotting the tell-tale signs is easier.
She said: “Awareness is going to lead to this problem being stopped. If you know a house in your street has people living in it who only come out at night, and the girls living there never go shopping, and people are only seen when they’re being loaded into vans and the curtains are closed all the time, then there’s a good chance that it will be used as a brothel or something like that.
“If you see children begging in the street, which is illegal in the UK, then there’s a good chance that they will be under control. “Some things to look out for are people who are being moved about but don’t look like they’re being moved by friends. They may be inappropriately dressed for that time of day and they probably can’t speak English, and do not speak to anyone.
“If you’re being controlled you’re quite timid in your behaviour.
“If you’re aware that this is happening then you’re more likely to notice the signs.”
One of the two Nigerian girls who went missing, after coming to Worthing, was found by Sussex Police on April 12, and they confirmed that both of the missing 15-year-old Nigerian girls travelled to Spain on Saturday, April 7.
One of them was detained at passport control and was returned to the UK and taken into the care of social services.
Mrs Bearder said: “One Nigerian girl we know is safe but we do not know what has happened to that other girl or where she is. With this girl, she is being held somewhere, which will be wherever the need is. Maybe somebody saw these girls being moved into a car, but thought nothing of it.”
Anyone who witnesses any suspicious behaviour should contact the police immediately, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Time to strike outdated prostitution laws from books

5:27 PM, Apr. 20, 2012  |  
The arrests of 16 men and women during the prostitution sting in Coralville last week has many local people wondering: why is prostitution still illegal at all?
There are numerous reasons why we should leave this archaic law behind, like other nanny-state laws from Prohibition to sodomy laws.
Let me count the ways:
1. Human trafficking is a completely separate issue. Coralville Police Lt. Shane Kron claims that prostitution sting operations are necessary to combat the crime of minors being forced into the sex trade. Trafficking is indeed a real crime of coercion that law enforcement should target. But why is it necessary to arrest adults consorting with other willing adults in order to do so? The public is not convinced by Kron’s deliberate conflation of a real crime and the victimless “crime” of prostitution.
2. Police time spent on victimless “crimes” prevents police from protecting us from real crimes. Where’s the victim when consenting adults agree to exchange sex for money? (“Society” or our injured personal feelings of morality aren’t real victims.)
3. Prosecuting people for these “crimes” that hurt no one breeds resentment and loss of respect for (and cooperation with) law enforcement. In the long run, this is bad for law and order in general.
4. Making something illegal makes it more dangerous and makes us all less safe. Outside the law, people must rely on “protection” from violent criminals who are attracted to the money and power of illicit activities. We should minimize the criminal economy by bringing prostitution and other victimless crimes out in the open.
5. Prosecuting victimless crimes is a flagrant waste of taxpayer money in an era of squeezed budgets.
6. It results in even further economic waste in lost productivity from jail time and having criminal records. The local dentist who was arrested in last week’s sting will undoubtedly suffer the loss of some of his business for being publicly branded a criminal. And for what? For the heinous crime against humanity of attempting to patronize the services of someone perfectly willing to sell them to him. The employees he will be forced to lay off will understand the folly of such stupid laws, even if our lawmakers can’t.
7. We must remember that just because we feel something is morally wrong doesn’t mean it should be illegal. Most people believe it’s wrong to marry for money, for instance, but we don’t arrest people for doing so. These are private moral decisions that should be handled by individuals and their families, perhaps with religious guidance.
8. Sex should be a private matter between consenting adults, period. As long as no coercion is involved, how adults negotiate sexual activity should be their own business. If a man buys dinner and jewelry for a woman with the hope of physical reward to follow, that is none of our business. If a more explicit deal is struck, it likewise should be none of our business.
9. As Joseph Dobrian pointed out in his Wednesday letter, prostitution laws imply that women do not really own their own bodies — that “society” can dictate what they are allowed to do with them. This is not how modern women view themselves, and our laws should reflect that.
10. Lastly, if women really are victims of prostitution, it’s hardly compassionate to arrest them, fine them and publish their names and photos so everyone in town knows about their “crimes.” The looks of angry humiliation on the faces of last week’s arrested women are haunting indeed. Is this how a humane society treats victims?
It’s time to strike down these inappropriate, over-reaching and needlessly damaging laws. Just as modern societies now understand that arresting people for the “crimes” of homosexuality and interracial sexual relations is both barbaric and not beneficial to society at all, so should the antiquated and inhumane laws against prostitution be struck from the books.
Writers’ Group member Beth Cody lives in rural Johnson County and owns a small business in Coralville.

In The Future, Robot Prostitutes Could Help Fight Disease, Sex Trafficking, Cheaters’ Guilt

Fri, Apr 20 - 2:49 pm ET

It’s Friday, so let’s do something light and weird, shall we? Like robot prostitutes. According to some New Zealand researchers, brothels of the future will feature robot prostitutes, “a range of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicity, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features” which could help stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections and human sex trafficking.
Is it cheating if it’s with a robot? In Robots, Men And Sex Tourism, the researchers—Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars of New Zealand’s Victoria Management School—stress the “guilt-free” aspect of robot sex. I can’t be the only one who would rather my significant other cheat with a real girl (or boy) than a bunch of creepy sex dolls “parading around in exotic G-strings and lingerie.” But perhaps it’s supposed to be ‘guilt-free’ in the sense that clients wouldn’t have to worry about catching an STI (at least that’s what the researchers say; apparently sex robots are bacteria resistant).
Yeoman and Mars predict what the robot sex industry will take off by 2050—a comparatively conservative estimate, according to io9. Robotics researcher David Levy predicts that Massachusetts will legalize human-robot marriage by 2050. And Henrik Christensen, chairman of the European Robotics Research Network, says folks will be diddling robots within 5 years.
The paper itself is paid-customers only, but (via io9) here’s an excerpt where the researchers imagine a theoretical 2050 sex club in Amsterdam:
The Yub-Yum is Amsterdam’s top sex club for business travellers located beside a 17th century canal house on the Singel. … Entry costs s10,000 for an all inclusive service. The club offers a full range of sexual services from massages, lap dancing and intercourse in plush surroundings. The Yub-Yum is a unique bordello licensed by the city council, staffed not by humans but by androids.
They go on to describe how an unsustainable amount of human sex trafficking in the 2040s combined with an increase in incurable STI’s brought about the ‘current’ robot bordello situation. Now, sex tourists can meet the likes of robots like Irena, “a tall, blonde, Russian exotic species who is popular with Middle Eastern businessmen.”
It’s not all good news in sex robot future, though. While the Yub-Yum club and similar establishments may have alleviated “all health and human trafficking problems” in the city (a bit optimistic, no?), “human sex workers say they can’t compete on price and quality.” [How much are Amsterdam's prostitutes charging that they couldn't compete on price with a $10,000 robot experience?] Prices, by the way—along with android sex workers hours of operations and sexual services—would be directly controlled by the city council.
The city council would have direct control over android sex workers, including prices, hours of operations and types of sexual services offered.
The Daily Mail points out that “robot sex workers have been a feature of science fiction for decades.”
In 1982’s ‘Blade Runner,’ pleasure robots were high prized in the hierarchy of androids. And the less said about the ‘Fembots’ in ‘Austin Powers,’ the better.”
The Mail also cites “the 1973 dystopian thriller ‘Westworld,’” where “wealthy tourists indulge themselves at a theme park staffed by robots who cater to their every desire.” While I guess that description is true in part, I don’t think ‘Westworld’—a film written and directed by ‘Jurassic Park’ creator Michael Crichton—presents the most inspiring vision for our robot sex future. Let’s just say things in Westworld do not end well four our wealthy tourists.

Man Arrested For Sex Trafficking in Sacramento County

FBI: Mahendar “Mike” Singh operated prostitution enterprise.
A former Sacramento resident was arrested Thursday for sex trafficking in Sacramento County and several Bay Area counties, the FBI announced.
Mahendar “Mike” Singh was sentenced yesterday to nine years in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced in a news release.
Singh, 40, pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to sex trafficking conspiracy. In pleading guilty, Singh admitted that he and his wife, co-defendant Helen Jean Singh (née Kearney), 22, conspired to operate a prostitution enterprise between spring and August 2011, according to the release.
“Today’s sentence is a victory not only for the young victims of this particular case but also for human dignity and the rule of law,” Clark Settles, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco, said in a released statement.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton. Judge Hamilton also sentenced Mahendar Singh, who was and will remain in custody, to a five-year period of supervised release following his prison term, according to the release. A federal grand jury indicted Mahendar Singh and Helen Jean Singh on the sex trafficking conspiracy charge on Dec. 1. Helen Singh, who is also in custody, pleaded guilty to the same charge on Jan. 18. Her sentencing date has not yet been set.
Anyone who suspects instances of human trafficking are encouraged to call the FBI, HSI, or the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Anonymous calls are welcome.
Related Topics: Fbi and sex trafficking
Did you know Mahendar "Mike" Singh? Tell us in the comments.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kenya: Claims of Slavery in Saudi Arabia Are Ill Founded

Capital FM (Nairobi)

Recent highly publicised media reports on Kenyan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, have painted an extremely grim picture of living and working conditions in that country.
The authors of these reports have cunningly sought to grossly sensationalise some incidences of maltreatment of domestic workers as representing 21st Century Slavery in Saudi Arabia. This is simply not true.
I would like at the outset to point out that Kenya values the excellent bilateral relations it enjoys with Saudi Arabia. These bonds of friendship, which are characterised by several centuries of cultural and trade contacts between the Arabian Peninsular and the East African Coast are today exemplified by the large number of Kenyans living and working in Saudi Arabia, as well as the many religious pilgrims who visit that country each year.
Thousands of Kenyans continue to earn decent livelihoods as drivers, technicians, salesmen, security guards, engineers, accountants, bankers and domestic workers. In total, over 100,000 skilled and semi-skilled Kenyans are today working in the Gulf Co-operation Council States (GCC). Within the last three months alone, the Saudi Embassy has processed over 8,000 work permits for Kenyans, a huge escalation, compared to the previous average of 17,000 permits per annum.
It is an undeniable fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has, in a span of two years facilitated the repatriation of a significant number of Kenya domestic workers in distress. This number has tended to increase as the demand for migrant labour, especially domestic house-helps has grown. Regrettably, the lucrative business of recruiting these workers has fallen into unscrupulous hands.
I would however wish to caution that as the media goes about reporting claims of torture and other forms of maltreatment of Kenyans by their employers in Saudi Arabia, it is important to do so with a fair sense of balance and proportion to guard against tarnishing the reputation of the Saudi people as a whole. Some of the reports are spurious as they have been deliberately peppered with falsehoods. An example of such a story, which was later recanted, is that of a domestic worker being forced to feed on snakes, aired by one of the television channels. It is for this reason that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, considers it duty bound to dispel the outrageous suggestion that there exists modern day slavery which is practiced on Kenyan workers.
Likewise, it has been implied in some of the reports that there has been complicity on the part of the Saudi Government. That is also not true. The Saudi Embassy in Nairobi has been co-operative and shown a lot of goodwill in working with the Ministry to address problems faced by Kenyan workers. There is in fact ongoing dialogue between the governments of Kenya and Saudi Arabia to conclude a Bilateral Labour Agreement that will increase protection of workers and also address the plight of migrants in distress. Similarly, in order to protect Kenyans from illegal or clandestine Recruitment Agents, the government has put the following long-term mechanisms in place:
• Private Employment Agencies and Agents are now required to submit their recruitment returns to the Ministry of Labour for vetting, accreditation and monitoring including employment of domestic workers' contracts.
• Private Foreign Employment Recruitment Agents must submit their labour market information to local private employment agents.
• Kenyans seeking employment abroad are required to verify the authenticity of any employment contracts with the Ministry of Labour.
• The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also upon request verify individual job offers with relevant authorities of the intended country of employment.
It is important to note that support from the Government of Saudi Arabia has impacted very positively on Kenya's development efforts especially in the areas of health, road infrastructure and water supply. Therefore as we report these stories we must do so with a high sense of responsibility and fairness in order not to bring harm or undermine the quest of many hardworking and law abiding Kenyans striving to earn a living in Saudi Arabia.
Thuita Mwangi, CBS, is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wives of U.N. diplomats tell Syria's first lady to 'stop being a bystander'

From Richard Roth, CNN
April 18, 2012 -- Updated 2259 GMT (0659 HKT)
U.N. wives plea to Syria's first lady
  • NEW: Asma al-Assad should "get her act together," Voss-Wittig says
  • The video contrasts images of Asma al-Assad against pictures of dead and injured children
  • It is the latest in a series of polished videos aimed at stirring people into action
  • "We want her to speak out for the end of violence," says Voss-Wittig
United Nations (CNN) -- The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nations have taken on Syria's first lady in an online video, calling on Asma al-Assad to "stop your husband" and "stop being a bystander."
The roughly four-minute video, posted to YouTube, juxtaposes pictures of an elegant al-Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, against images of other Syrian women, and dead and wounded children.
"We want her (al-Assad) to speak out for the end of violence. That is what we want. Stop the bloodshed. Stop it now. We know this is a risk for you, but take this risk," Huberta von Voss-Wittig, the wife of Germany's U.N. ambassador, told CNN.
Speaking to CNN in interviews Tuesday and Wednesday, Voss-Wittig said the Syrian first lady "should get her act together" and "not worry so much about her husband but worry a little bit more about women in her country."
A U.N. diplomat said the video was produced by Voss-Wittig and Sheila Lyall Grant, the wife of Britain's U.N. ambassador, "on their own initiative."
Voss-Wittig stresses that the video isn't a U.N. product or "done by us as spouses."
"It's done by us as women who care and as women who have an international profile ourselves," she said.
Syria has been engulfed in violence for 13 months as a national uprising spread after the government began cracking down on peaceful protests. The United Nations estimates at least 9,000 people have died since the demonstrations began, while others put the death toll at more than 11,000.
The video comes days after U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan forged what has become a fragile cease-fire.
"We think it's a good moment now that the cease-fire has been installed. It's very wobbly, it's not quite working yet but we think she should not hide behind her husband's back anymore and should come forward with a straight message for peace," Voss-Wittig said.
"Stand up for peace, Asma," a voice in the video demands. "Speak out now. For the sake of your people. Stop your husband and his supporters. Stop being a bystander."
In one clip, the Syrian first lady can be seen bending down to kiss a young girl stepping off a bus. The next image is of a woman embracing what appears to be a dead child.
"Asma, when you kiss your own children goodnight, another mother will find the place next to her empty," the narrator says.
The video is the latest in a series of professionally produced videos aimed at stirring or shocking people into action. It asks viewers to sign a petition.
Other recent examples that went viral include "Kony 2012," a documentary on a notorious Africa warlord's use of child soldiers in Uganda, and a video showing Mexican children acting out the roles of drug traffickers, kidnappers and victims.
Once described by Vogue magazine as "a rose in the desert," the London-born al-Assad graduated from King's College with a degree in computer science. She worked for JP Morgan as an investment banker before marrying Bashar al-Assad in 2000, just months after he became president.
According to a cache of e-mails leaked to CNN, the first lady appears to have spent much of the past year shopping online for expensive jewelry, art and furniture, and e-mailing boutiques in London and Paris.
In one e-mail exchange with an art dealer in London, she -- apparently using a false name -- inquired about six artworks that feature butterflies. The dealer responds that the works cost between £5,000 and £10,500 ($7,800 and $16,500).
The art inquiry was sent October 28, the same day Syrian protesters staged a massive demonstration in the city of Hama in which they called for an end to the Syrian president's rule.
"No one cares about your image," the voice in the video says. "We care about your action."

Brazilian Cannibals Arrested For Making Empanadas With Human Meat "Full ...

Published on Apr 15, 2012 by
Police in Brazil say three people arrested on suspicion of murdering at least two women have confessed to acts of cannibalism.
The accused, a man and two women, allegedly said they belonged to a sect.

Police said the suspects claimed "a voice" had told them to kill.
Police found two female bodies buried in the grounds of the house where the suspects lived in the town of Garanhuns, in northeastern Pernambuco state.

Speaking at a news conference, Garanhuns Police Commander Democrito de Oliveira said the three had told police they had eaten the flesh of their victims.

He said the two bodies were identified as those of two women who had been reported missing in Garanhuns earlier this year.

Mr Oliveira said police were investigating whether the suspects could be linked to the murder of another six women in Pernambuco.

He said one of the female suspects had claimed to have used some of the flesh of her alleged victims for making pasties, which she allegedly sold in Garanhuns.
Mr Oliveira said the three would be charged with murder, kidnapping, hiding bodies, fraud and offences against public health.

Agents dismissed in US Secret Service Cartagena scandal

Hotel Caribe, Cartagena, Colombia 15 April 2012 
 Military personnel and Secret Service agents were staying in the beachfront Hotel Caribe

Three members of the US Secret Service are leaving the agency following the prostitution scandal in Colombia.
Assistant Director Paul Morrissey said one supervisor was sacked, one retired and a more junior employee resigned.
Senior US officials said 20 women were found at the hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, before President Obama went to the Summit of Americas last weekend.
Lie detector tests are being used on the accused as investigations into the scandal continue.
Internal investigators have interviewed witnesses in Cartagena, where a group of agents and military personnel allegedly spent the night with prostitutes at a hotel being used by the American delegation.
Up to 12 members of the US military are also under investigation.
"We demand that all of our employees adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards and are committed to a full review of this matter," Mr Morrissey said in a statement.
He said inquiries were at an early stage, and another eight officers were still being investigated.

Start Quote

Could they have planted bugs or jeopardised [the] security of the president?”
Susan Collins US Senator

They have been placed on administrative leave and their security clearance had been revoked. They were not directly involved with presidential security.
The two supervisors leaving the Secret Service are both said to have more than 20 years experience.
The BBC's Steve Kingstone in Washington says the scandal is still causing huge embarrassment for the service. He adds that the agency's directors will hope this decisive action brings the scandal under control.
Senator Susan Collins said after a briefing by the head of the Secret Service Mark Sullivan that he was "rightly appalled by the agents' actions".
Dog-handlers investigated "He ordered all the agents to return to Washington immediately, and all have been interviewed," Ms Collins, the top Republican on the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Ms Collins, a Republican who represents Maine in the Senate, also said she had asked Mr Sullivan a number of questions during her phone briefing.
"Who were these women? Could they have been members of groups hostile to the United States? Could they have planted bugs, disabled weapons, or... jeopardised [the] security of the president or our country?"
A Marine Corps spokesman said on Tuesday that among the military service members being investigated were two Marine dog handlers assigned to support the Secret Service.
The White House meanwhile said it had confidence in the director of the Secret Service to investigate the incident, adding that he had addressed the matter quickly.
General Martin Dempsey said the military did not know exactly what had happened in the Colombian city of Cartagena, a colonial city on the country's Caribbean coast and venue for the Summit of the Americas.
"What we do know is that we distracted the issue from what was a very important regional engagement for our president," he said, adding it was an embarrassment for the agency.
Details of what happened on Wednesday night are still coming to light. The group of military and Secret Service agents were partying at Cartagena's Pley Club, which has been described as a high-end strip club in an industrial part of the port city.
Members of the Secret Service paid $60 (£38) each to the club's owners to bring at least two women back to the Hotel Caribe, where they were staying, the Washington Post reports.
The next morning one of the women demanded more money and a dispute ensued.
ABC News has said the agents were bragging about their work for the president, telling their company that evening: "We're here to protect him."

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ethiopian domestic workers cry for being stateless in the Middle East

Housemaid's suicide rattles Lebanon's conscience English
Friday, 06 April 2012

The body of an Ethiopian domestic worker was found in her hospital room in Lebanon after she reportedly hanged herself. Four days prior to her suicide, a video was released online of her being mistreated by a Lebanese man outside the Ethiopian consulate in Beirut.

Alem Dechasa, who took her life at age 33, came to Lebanon despite her country’s warning about domestic work in the Middle East. The mother of two traveled to Beirut via a Lebanese recruitment agency to work as a house maid.

Video footage circulated on the Internet showing the Ethiopian woman being brutally dragged on a street in Beirut, only a few days before she committed suicide. Shocked viewers reported the ongoing mistreatment of domestic workers in Lebanon.

The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International channel (LBC) released the video on February 24, recorded by an unidentified bystander, showing Dechasa lying on the street outside the Ethiopian consulate, crying and begging to be left alone.

Only moments later she could be heard screaming as she is forcefully dragged and pulled by her hair into a car by a Lebanese man, later identified by LBC as Ali Mahfouz.

Abuse of foreign workers has been so frequent in Lebanon that Ethiopia, the Philippines, Madagascar and Nepal have put restrictions on their citizens who want to travel to Lebanon for employment.

The Ethiopian Consul in Lebanon, Asaminew Debelie Bonssa, said he was approached minutes earlier by Mahfouz, the brother of the director of the recruiting agency that brought Dechasa to Lebanon, who brought her to the consulate, to complain about a dispute, claiming she was mentally ill and needed to be deported.

Bonssa said he informed Mahfouz that Dechasa needed medical treatment and that Mahfouz agreed to take her to the hospital. However, moments later Bonssa heard a loud voice coming from outside his second-floor window.

“We informed him (the policeman) and I myself went there, I explained to him that this incident is unacceptable and that as far as the government of this country has given her a visa, the government has to take the responsibility and so he agreed to take her to the hospital and also to take measures against this person (Mahfouz) and so it was after that unexpected incident which has already saddened everybody, and you know, Lebanese people are good people as far as I know.”

Dechasa later took her life by hanging herself using bed sheets at the hospital as she felt anxious due to the debt she owed to her recruitment agency and the discovery of her husband’s marriage to another woman.

Human Rights Watch says, on average, one domestic worker a week in Lebanon either commits suicide or falls off a balcony and dies.

The Lebanese cabinet called for an investigation into the case after the footage of her mistreatment was shown on television. Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi said that both the Justice and Labor ministries held an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.

Rola Abimourched, a project Coordinator at KAFA (enough violence and exploitation), a Lebanese NGO aimed at preventing violence against women, says the problem of the sponsorship system is that it ties a worker to her employer and creates vulnerability for the workers and a corresponding burden on the employers. The sponsorship system, she adds, means the domestic workers cannot change jobs unless their employer authorizes them to do so.

The video release and Dechasa’s suicide have highlighted the issue of workers’ treatment in Lebanon and put pressure on the government to approve a new law for foreign workers.