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

Friday, January 25, 2013

America is a LIBERAL Country?

Sex traffickers reach girls via social media

The Columbus Dispatch 

12 to 14 is average age girls are lured into prostitution, expert reports

By  Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch Thursday January 24, 2013 7:05 AM

The latest battlefront in sex trafficking isn’t on the streets or in a massage parlor, but on social media.
Young girls are lured by sex traffickers who contact them on social-media sites such as Facebook by using a few taps of the keyboard on a laptop computer, a tablet or a cellphone.
Girls might be invited to parties, to meet at the mall, or just to become friends. But the friendship sometimes becomes a trap when girls are forced into providing sex-for-sale, often with a dozen or more men a night.
Judge Paul M. Herbert of Franklin County Municipal Court said yesterday at a Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on human trafficking that in his court, police are more often seeking search warrants to access social media on computers and cellphones.
“If you have daughters, talk to them. Get them some education,” Herbert urged. “You can’t believe what happens on social media and how vulnerable they are. ... Once it starts, it’s devastating.
“It can do downhill for a 14-year-old pretty fast,” he said.
Herbert runs the CATCH court, an acronym for Changing Actions To Change Habits. Most defendants in Herbert’s court are women caught up in prostitution. Herbert wants the courts and law enforcement to view them as victims rather than criminals because most were pushed into sex trafficking by the threat of force or the lure of drugs.
For every 1,000 women arrested on prostitution-related charges, only 10 men are arrested, even though the men are involved as “buyers” in almost every case, he said.
Herbert was joined at the forum by Attorney General Mike DeWine and Michelle Hannan, director of professional and community services for the Salvation Army, an organization that has long been involved in helping human-trafficking victims.
A study released last year estimated that at least 1,000 juveniles are being trafficked in Ohio, and thousands more are at risk.
Hannan stunned many in the audience when she said that 12 to 14 is the average age that girls get lured into prostitution. While traffickers can reap $500 to $1,000 a night from each girl, she might get “a trip to McDonald’s or get her nails done,” Hannan said.
DeWine said sex-trafficking cases are difficult to investigate and even harder to prosecute, in part because the women are fearful and often don’t want to implicate their traffickers.
“We’ve come a long way, but we can’t be happy where we are,” DeWine said.
The Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition operates a 24-hour hot line for victims: 614-285-4357.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

To Japan and back: Indiana woman shares story of human trafficking

Posted: 01/11/2013
Last Updated: 4 hours and 25 minutes ago
CINCINNATI - In 1984, Marti MacGibbon suffered from a full-blown drug addiction and was sold into the multibillion-dollar human trafficking industry.

A set of vulnerable personal circumstances set in motion what would be MacGibbon’s ordeal in human trafficking. MacGibbon was addicted to drugs, living in her car and managing anyway she could.

“Traffickers watch for vulnerability,” MacGibbon said. “I was living in my car, had a crazy boyfriend, [and I] was just trying to make ends meet.

“I wasn’t in touch with my family or friends. I was isolated and the person who trafficked me knew all of that.”

Thursday marked Human Trafficking Awareness Day around the world, and there’s a likelihood human trafficking has touched the lives of Tri-State residents one way or another.

In MacGibbon’s case, she was raised in a typical middle class family in Muncie, Ind. She was a successful standup comic who scored an appearance with Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show." MacGibbon said up until the appearance, she was a recreational drug user, but after the excitement of meeting Carson, she spiraled out of control.

It was then she encountered the woman who changed the course of her life. The unidentified woman was an illicit distributor of young women to serve Japanese businessmen, MacGibbon said.

“I knew that’s what it was, but I was told it would be in a five-star hotel and I would be in control and I could make decisions about what I wanted to do,” MacGibbon said. “I was desperate enough to go, I took her up on it. I had a one-way ticket and very little cash.”

McGibbon was imprisoned for two months, locked in an apartment and was told by the traffickers “her body would end up in the bay” if she didn’t cooperate.

One of the businessmen MacGibbon was assigned to helped her make her escape back to the United States. He possessed intimate knowledge of the human trafficking trade and bought her freedom, she said.

“I’m one of the lucky ones,” MacGibbon said. “I wasn’t supposed to even come back. The trafficker [who originally sent her to Japan] sent a girl every month, and I checked into the other girls when I got back to the U.S.

“I’m the only one that returned.”

All the while her family had no knowledge of her captivity in Japan. When she returned to face them, she didn’t want to burden them with what happened to her, and rather than changing her previous habits, she continued to abuse drugs in an effort to cope, she said.

MacGibbon shared her story in her book “Never Give in to Fear: Laughing all the way up to Rock Bottom” (Download Marti’s book on Kindle for free Friday).

Unfortunately, MacGibbon’s case is only one of millions occurring around the world and around the Tri-State every day.

The human trafficking industry generates more than $32 billion annually and is the second-most profitable criminal enterprise globally, according to a report by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.  The report indicates there are more than 27 million victims of human trafficking around the world today.

“Facing the numbers is hard for people to wrap their heads around,” said Gretchen Hunt, the training coordinator at the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Program said. “The natural impulse of people is to say that human trafficking doesn’t happen because it’s too awful. We don’t want to think it can happen.”

In Kentucky, up to half of the victims trafficked started as children.

“This is very much a child-protection issue,” Hunt said.

In the world of human trafficking, the average age of women is between 12 and 14, with the FBI suspecting that 1 out of every 5 involved in prostitution in the United States is a child.

Locally, law enforcement authorities should remain vigilant of the telltale signs of child trafficking, such as runaways, older boyfriends and even branding, Hunt said.

“They can look for somebody with tattoos with the name of their pimp,” Hunt said. “When people are dehumanized, they are treated as chattel and the same thing happens with girls in the sex industry.”

The tattoo reinforces in the psyche of the girl slave she is property and signals to other traffickers she is already owned. Trafficking exists in Tri-State communities, rural and urban.

One such case in Kentucky involved a family acquiring a Filipino woman to serve as a domestic worker. She allegedly worked 18-hour days for 50 cents per hour; meanwhile the family apparently demanded she pay the $8,000 debt to the network that trafficked her to the states, according to the study “Human Trafficking in Kentucky” conducted by T.K. Logan, Ph.D.
The National Underground Freedom Center study examined federal and Tri-State laws relating to human trafficking, and found loopholes hindering the prosecution of violators.

Traffickers are able to easily bounce from state to state and across city borders where laws and regulations on human trafficking differ, according to the report.

“A lot of it is being concerned about people, caring about your neighbors,” Hunt said. “If something doesn’t seem right, call someone, call the police or the National Human Trafficking hotline. Do something to show concern for those people.”

The National Human Trafficking Hotline number is: 1-888-3737-888

Click here to be directed to the National Policy Group.
Digital Editor Kareem Elgazzar contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Modern Slavery - Czech Republic

Drug Crazed - USA

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Homeland Security

Posted by Senior Counselor Alice Hill
On December 31, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to recognize the vital role we can play in eliminating all forms of human trafficking. And as we begin a new year, we also mark the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a powerful reminder to rededicate ourselves to bringing an end to slavery and human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a horrendous crime and at DHS, we are committed to doing all we can to prevent it. Every year, we initiate hundreds of investigations and make arrests, while providing support for victims through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Victim Assistance Program. To protect victims, we also provide immigration assistance in the form of Continued Presence, T visas and U visas.
DHS also works to educate state and local law enforcement and members of the public on how to identify victims of human trafficking and report the crime. Through the Blue Campaign, the Department’s unified voice in combating human trafficking, DHS works in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations to protect the basic right of freedom, and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.
In October, Secretary Napolitano joined Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman to announce a new partnership among DHS, the Department of Transportation and Amtrak to broaden our network of partners in our fight to prevent human trafficking. Amtrak is using training and awareness materials developed by the Blue Campaign to educate all of its employees, including Amtrak Police Department officers, on potential indicators of human trafficking.
We further broadened our network of committed partners last fall when Secretary Napolitano joined INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble in France to sign a joint statement reaffirming a mutual commitment to combating human trafficking. Broadening our network of domestic and international partners is just one way to help us identify and rescue victims, and help bring perpetrators to justice.
While we pay close attention today and this month, we must continue this fight every day. I encourage you to get involved by learning about the indicators of human trafficking and how to report it to the proper authorities.
Everyone has a role in identifying and combating human trafficking, and together we can help protect innocent victims and prevent this form of modern-day slavery.
To learn more about human trafficking and what you can do, please visit and the Blue Campaign Facebook page.

Bags of Hope delivered to victims of Houston's dirty little secret

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It's our city, our home, and yet there is so much happening right in front of us that we never notice.

"Houston is the number one city for human trafficking in the United States," said Jackelyn Viera Iloff of Force4Compassion, a 501(c)3 organization created to spread awareness about the domestic and international problem of human trafficking.

The organization's statistics reveal 12 is the average age of girls forced into prostitution and 55 percent of girls living on the streets have engaged in prostitution.

"It's your neighbor, your cousin, your friend,"  Iloff said.  "If they have a daughter or a son that is (a) runaway, those children are at risk for human trafficking."

Force4Compassion recently teamed up with the Harris County Sheriff's Office to distribute "Bags of Hope".  The goal was to offer hope to some of those victims of sex trafficking.

"It has a change of clothes and toiletries that allows them to feel safe," Iloff said.

Bags of Hope are designed to meet the immediate needs of a rescued girl.  They contain sweatpants or long shorts, t-shirts, a sports bra, modest underwear, socks, make-up remover, a comb and hair ties.

Deputies carry them around in their patrol cars in case they encounter someone in need.

"It's almost like a teddy bear, if you will, for children we encounter during traumatic circumstances," Sheriff Adrian Garcia said.  "This is a (metaphorical) teddy bear if you will.  (It's) a bag of hope for those victims of human trafficking.  It's an incredibly undignified circumstance that some of these victims go through. Let's let them know that number one: we see them as a victim and number two: we want them to have hope."

Forces4Compassion will also hold a "Hope & Freedom Walk-A-Thon" on January 26, 2013.  You can walk or volunteer at the event by registering online on their website.


How India treats its women

An Indian schoolgirl holds a placard during a prayer ceremony to mourn the death of a 23-year-old gang rape victim, at a school in Ahmadabad, India, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.

People have called her Braveheart, Fearless and India's Daughter, among other things, and sent up a billion prayers for a speedy recovery.
When the unidentified woman died in a Singapore hospital early on Saturday, the victim of a savage rape on a moving bus in the capital, Delhi, it was time again, many said, to ask: why does India treat its women so badly?
Female foetuses are aborted and baby girls killed after birth, leading to an appallingly skewed sex ratio. Many of those who survive face discrimination, prejudice, violence and neglect all their lives, as single or married women.
TrustLaw, a news service run by Thomson Reuters, has ranked India as the worst G20 country in which to be a woman. This in the country where the leader of the ruling party, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, at least three chief ministers, and a number of sports and business icons are women. It is also a country where a generation of newly empowered young women are going out to work in larger numbers than ever before.
But crimes against women are rising too.
With more than 24,000 reported cases in 2011, rape registered a 9.2% rise over the previous year. More than half (54.7%) of the victims were aged between 18 and 30. Most disturbingly, according to police records, the offenders were known to their victims in more than 94% of the cases. Neighbours accounted for a third of the offenders, while parents and other relatives were also involved. Delhi accounted for over 17% of the total number of rape cases in the country.
And it is not rape alone. Police records from 2011 show kidnappings and abductions of women were up 19.4%, women being killed in disputes over dowry payments by 2.7%, torture by 5.4%, molestation by 5.8% and trafficking by an alarming 122% over the previous year.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has estimated that more than 100m women are "missing" worldwide - women who would have been around had they received similar healthcare, medicine and nutrition as men.
New research by economists Siwan Anderson and Debraj Ray estimates that in India, more than 2m women are missing in a given year.
The economists found that roughly 12% of the missing women disappear at birth, 25% die in childhood, 18% at the reproductive ages, and 45% at older ages.
They found that women died more from "injuries" in a given year than while giving birth - injuries, they say, "appear to be indicator of violence against women".
Deaths from fire-related incidents, they say, is a major cause - each year more than 100,000 women are killed by fires in India. The researchers say many cases could be linked to demands over a dowry leading to women being set on fire. Research also found a large number of women died of heart diseases.
These findings point to life-long neglect of women in India. It also proves that a strong preference for sons over daughters - leading to sex selective abortions - is just part of the story.
Clearly, many Indian women face threats to life at every stage - violence, inadequate healthcare, inequality, neglect, bad diet, lack of attention to personal health and well-being.
Analysts say deep-rooted changes in social attitudes are needed to make India's women more accepted and secure. There is deeply entrenched patriarchy and widespread misogyny in vast swathes of the country, especially in the north. And the state has been found wanting in its protection of women.
Angry citizens believe that politicians, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are being disingenuous when they promise to toughen laws and speed up the prosecution of rapists and perpetrators of crime against women.
How else, they ask, can political parties in the last five years have fielded candidates for state elections that included 27 candidates who declared they had been charged with rape?
How, they say, can politicians be believed when there are six elected state legislators who have charges of rape against them?
But the renewed protests in Delhi after the woman's death hold out some hope. Has her death come as an inflexion point in India's history, which will force the government to enact tougher laws and people to begin seriously thinking about the neglect of women?
It's early days yet, but one hopes these are the first stirrings of change.
Soutik Biswas, Delhi correspondent Article written by Soutik Biswas Soutik Biswas Delhi correspondent

India's rulers 'too slow' over rape protests

Many believe violent protests in Delhi against a shocking gang rape could have been prevented if India's rulers had stepped in earlier.
Read full article 


Female foeticide in India
© UNICEF/India/2007
By Alka Gupta
Eligible Jat boys from Haryana travel 3,000 km across the country to find themselves a bride. With increasingly fewer girls in Haryana, they are seeking brides from as far away as Kerala as the only way to change their single status.

The girls have not vanished overnight. Decades of sex determination tests and female foeticide that has acquired genocide proportions are finally catching up with states in India.
This is only the tip of the demographic and social problems confronting India in the coming years. Skewed sex ratios have moved beyond the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. With news of increasing number of female foetuses being aborted from Orissa to Bangalore there is ample evidence to suggest that the next census will reveal a further fall in child sex ratios throughout the country.
The decline in child sex ratio in India is evident by comparing the census figures. In 1991, the figure was 947 girls to 1000 boys. Ten years later it had fallen to 927 girls for 1000 boys.

Since 1991, 80% of districts in India have recorded a declining sex ratio with the state of Punjab being the worst.
States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have recorded a more than 50 point decline in the child sex ratio in this period.
Despite these horrific numbers, foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by unethical medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million). Social discrimination against women, already entrenched in Indian society, has been spurred on by technological developments that today allow mobile sex selection clinics to drive into almost any village or neighbourhood unchecked.
The PCPNDT Act 1994 (Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act) was modified in 2003 to target the medical profession - the ‘supply side’ of the practice of sex selection. However non implementation of the Act has been the biggest failing of the campaign against sex selection
According to the latest data available till May 2006, as many as 22 out of 35 states in India had not reported a single case of violation of the act since it came into force. Delhi reported the largest number of violations – 76 out of which 69 were cases of non registration of birth! Punjab had 67 cases and Gujarat 57 cases.
But the battle rages on.
In a recent landmark judgment the Mumbai High Court upheld an amendment to the PCPNDT Act banning sex selection treatment. The Court pronounced that pre natal sex determination would be as good as female foeticide. Pre-conception sex determination violated a woman’s right to live and was against the Constitution, it said.
While the boys from Haryana may have found a temporary solution to the problem of missing brides, experts warn that the demographic crisis will lead to increasing sexual violence and abuse against women and female children, trafficking, increasing number of child marriages, increasing maternal deaths due to abortions and early marriages and increase in practices like polyandry.

There have been only two convictions -- a fine of 300 rupees ($7) and another fine of 4,000 rupees ($98) -- from over 400 cases lodged under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.
Bringing about changes in the demand for sex determination is a long process and has to be tackled through women’s education and empowerment including the right to property and land rights. States in the North East and in Kerala where women have these rights show a comparatively better sex ratio.
The battle against sex selection has proved to be long drawn out. But some signs are visible that demonstrate that the fight can be won.
Lakhanpal, a small village in Punjab has turned the tide of male births for the first time. In a state that has the lowest sex ratio in the country, the village boasts of 1,400 girls for every 1000 boys.

Arvind Kumar, the collector of Hyderabad district has illustrated the power of the Act. Hyderabad had the lowest child sex ratio (0-6 years) in Andhra Pradesh. After taking over in 2004 he tracked down all 389 diagnostic clinics in the city and took action. 361 ultrasound scan centres were issued notices for non compliance with the PNDT Act.
Licenses of 91 centres were cancelled. 83 machines were seized and 71 released after an undertaking and fine. Three suppliers were prosecuted for supplying machines to clinics with no registration licenses.
External links open in a new window and take you to a non-UNICEF web site.

The girls stolen from the streets of India

A woman holds up a picture of her daughter who has been missing for two years  
Bilasi Singh's daughter Bisanti has been missing for two years
The death of a student who was gang-raped on a Delhi bus has prompted anguished soul-searching about the place of women in Indian society. The widespread killing of female foetuses and infants is well-documented, but less well-known is the trafficking of girls across the country to make up for the resulting shortages.
Rukhsana was sweeping the floor when police broke into the house.
Wide-eyed and thin, she stood in the middle of a room clutching a broom in her hand. Police officers towered above her, shouting questions: "How old are you? "How did you get here?"
"Fourteen," she replied softly. "I was kidnapped."
But just as she began to say more, an older woman broke through the circle of policemen. "She is lying," she shouted. "She is 18, almost 19. I paid her parents money for her."
As the police pushed the girl towards the exit, the woman asked them to wait. She leaped over towards the girl and reached for her earrings. "These are mine," she said, taking them out.
A year ago, Rukhsana was a 13-year-old living with her parents and two younger siblings in a village near India's border with Bangladesh.
Rukhsana (right) being questioned by police after being rescued  
Rukhsana's father looks on as she talks to police about her kidnapping
"I used to love going to school and I loved playing with my little sister," she remembers.
Her childhood ended when one day, on the way home from school, three men pushed her into a car.
"They showed me a knife and said they would cut me into pieces if I resisted," she said.
Map showing the states of Haryana and West Bengal and the cities of Delhi and Calcutta
After a terrifying three-day journey in cars, buses and on trains, they reached a house in the northern Indian state of Haryana where Rukhsana was sold to a family of four - a mother and her three sons.
For one year she was not allowed to go outside. She says, she was humiliated, beaten and routinely raped by the eldest of the three sons - who called himself her "husband".
"He used to say, 'I bought you, so you do as I tell you.' He and his mother beat me. I thought I would never see my family again. I cried every day," she said.
Tens of thousands of girls disappear in India every year. They are sold into prostitution, domestic slavery and, increasingly, like Rukhsana, into marriage in the northern states of India where the sex ratio between men and women has been skewed by the illegal - but widespread - practice of aborting girl foetuses.
The UN children's agency Unicef says it's a problem of "genocide proportions" and that 50 million women are missing in India because of female foeticide and infanticide - the killing of baby girls. The Indian government disputes this estimate, but the reality of life in Haryana is hard to argue with.
"We don't have enough girls here," the woman who bought Rukhsana cried as she tried to convince the police to let her stay. "There are many girls from Bengal here. I paid money for her," she wailed.
There are no official statistics on how many girls are sold into marriage in the northern states of India, but activists believe the number is on the rise, fuelled both by demand for women in the relatively wealthy north, and poverty in other parts of India.
"Every house in northern India is feeling the pressure, in every house there are young men who cannot find women and who are frustrated," says social activist Rishi Kant, whose organization Shakti Vahini (or Power Brigade) works closely with the police to rescue victims.
In just one district, called South 24 Pergana of the Sunderbans in West Bengal, the BBC visited five villages and every one had missing children, most of them girls.
A graph showing the percentage more boys than girls at birth in different states in India
According to the latest official data, almost 35,000 children were reported missing in India in 2011 - and over 11,000 of them were from West Bengal. Police estimate that only about 30% of cases are actually reported.
Trafficking peaked in the Sunderbans after a deadly cyclone destroyed rice paddies around the area five years ago.
Local farm worker, Bimal Singh - like thousands of people - was left without income, and so he thought it was good news when a neighbour offered his 16-year-old daughter Bisanti a job in Delhi.
"She went on a train. She told me 'Father, don't worry about me, I will come back with enough money so that you can marry me."
They never heard from her again.
"The police have done nothing for us. They came once and knocked on the door of the trafficker but they didn't arrest him. They don't treat me well when I go to them, so I am afraid to go to the police," Singh says.
In a Calcutta slum we manage to meet a man who sells girls for a living. He doesn't want to give his name, but speaks openly about the trade.
"The demand is rising, and because of this growing demand I have made a lot of money. I now have bought three houses in Delhi.
"I traffic 150 to 200 girls a year, starting from age 10, 11 and older, up to 16, 17," he says.
"I don't go to the source areas, but I have men working for me. We tell parents that we will get them jobs in Delhi, then we transport them to placement agencies. What happens to them after that is not my concern," the man says.
The man says he makes around 55,000 rupees ($1,000; £700) from each girl. Local politicians and police, he says, are crucial to his operation.
"Police are well aware of what we do. I have to tell police when I am transporting a girl and I bribe police in every state - in Calcutta, in Delhi, in Haryana.
"I have had troubles with authorities but I am not afraid - if I go to jail I now have enough money to bribe my way out."
The head of the Criminal Investigation Unit in charge of anti-trafficking in West Bengal, Shankar Chakraborty, describes police corruption as "negligible" and says his unit is "absolutely resolute" in its determination to tackle the problem of trafficking.
"We are organising training camps and awareness campaigns. We have also recovered many girls, from different areas of the country. The fight is on," he says.
The very existence of his unit, he adds, shows the government's resolve and activists agree that police are now more aware of the problem. Every police station in West Bengal now has an anti-trafficking officer. But their caseloads are overwhelming, and resources are scarce.
"Simply changing the police will not give results. When we rescue a child together with the police, then what?" says Rishi Kant from Shakti Vahini.
"What we need is fast rehabilitation. We need social welfare and judiciary systems that work."
Rishi Kant says there is a need for fast-track courts - like the court being used to try the suspects in the latest gang-rape case - to prosecute perpetrators, and make it more difficult for them to get out on bail.
Even greater, some argue, is the need for a change in attitudes.
A meeting of elders in Haryana
Two weeks before the notorious Delhi rape case, a group of influential local elders, all of them men, came together in a Haryana village to discuss what they called the most pressing issues their communities face - rape, illegal abortions and marriage laws.
One speaker addressed what he called an "alarming" increase in rape cases. "Have you seen the suggestive ways that girls ride scooters?" he said. "There is no modesty in the way women dress or act any more."
Another man spoke about the roots of female foeticide. "These days the society has become very educated and the girls from this educated society have started eloping. When girls bring shame on their own parents and behave like that - who would want a girl?" he asked.
Rupa, a 25-year-old woman was trafficked to Haryana from Bihar. She was sold as a wife to a man who failed to find one in his own community. The family forced her to have two abortions until she was finally pregnant with a baby boy.
In India, the cycle of abuse carries on.

Why are there fewer girls in the north?

Two young girls at a centre for trafficked children in India
Indrani Sinha, director and founder of Sanlaap (Dialogue), an NGO that works on trafficking
In Haryana, people don't want to give birth to girls, so they kill their own children. It has gone on so long it has become tradition. The main reason is dowry.
Haryana is a rich state because they have a lot of land and good agriculture. But education is very, very low, and the dowry is big because of all this land.
Boys work on the farm and inherit the farm. But if it's given to a girl, it is for her family too.
It's a cultural thing too. In Kerala, they don't think that women are a burden. The girl child is educated and will work.
But some women - particularly in Punjab - believe that if they have many girls they won't be popular in the family, so they think abortion is better.
In places where there is money, they get ultrasounds done and they sometimes kill the child. When the government issues an ultrasound machine, they try to follow up to see what happens. There are many people who practice foeticide.

Natalia Antelava's Assignment airs on 10 January at 09:05, 13:05, 16:05 and 20:05 GMT on BBC World Service. You can also listen via iPlayer or download a podcast.
You can follow the Magazine on Twitter and on Facebook

Missing millions

Three veiled women in Haryana
  • An estimated 25-50 million "missing" women in India
  • As well as infanticide and foeticide, childhood neglect is a problem and many women die early in adulthood
  • Use of ultrasound for sex determination is illegal in India, but remains widespread
  • The states of Punjab and Haryana have the highest proportion of missing girls at birth
  • Rich and modern cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Ahmadabad show some of the worst child sex ratios

Defining terms

  • Foeticide - The act of destroying a foetus or causing abortion
  • Infanticide - The crime of murdering an infant after its birth, perpetrated by or with the consent of its parents

Find out more

  • Natalia Antelava was reporting for the documentary Assignment on BBC World Service
  • Her programme airs on 10 January at 09:05, 13:05, 16:05 and 20:05 GMT

Monday, January 7, 2013

Somalia: Rape flourishes in Mogadishu’s IDP camps

Having fled violence in their home regions, Somali women remain at risk from sexual predators while in temporary homes.
Many homes in informal IDP encampments are not secure in any meaningful way [Laila Ali/Al Jazeera]
Many homes in informal IDP encampments are not secure in any meaningful way [Laila Ali/Al Jazeera]
By: Laila Ali
Aljazeera.ComMogadishu, Somalia – After a protracted conflict that has lasted more than two decades, there’s now a sense of relative calm and security in Somalia. The unidentifiable gunmen that patrolled the streets have been replaced by men in smart uniforms.
Road blocks that once divided the city between government and al-Shabab controlled areas have been removed; traffic flows freely. Somalis are flocking to the beach, old houses are being renovated and are glistening with fresh coats of paint.
But not everybody enjoys the newly found sense of security.
Camps filled with Internally Displaced Persons – people forced to flee the violence and insecurity of their home regions – are still a common sight. But for the women who live in them, violence and insecurity are still pertinent issues.
Nura Hirsi is a 27-year-old widow living in the Burdubo IDP camp in the Tarabunka neighborhood of West Mogadishu. She says she was raped by seven government soldiers when they forced entry into her home on Saturday, December 29.
“It was 1am, my children were sleeping when these men entered my house,” she told Al Jazeera. “Some of them were armed with AK47s. They slapped me, ordered me outside and raped me. They did all kind of things to me. I couldn’t fight them or defend myself. How could I against seven armed men?”
Nura said that nobody would come to help her during the attack.
“People are afraid to leave their houses at night to come see what is happening. Everybody is afraid; they are scared for their lives.
“After they left, I cried. In the morning I went to the hospital and they gave me some medicine to take, but I didn’t tell them of all that took place. They are Somalis and I don’t want people to know.”
Authorities do not take allegations of rape – even gang-rape – seriously, she said.
“I went to the police but they were not really interested. People get killed in Mogadishu; I didn’t die. To them rape isn’t so serious. Nobody is ever arrested. Even the person in charge of the IDP camp was not interested. He didn’t say anything when I told him. I would even like to speak to the radio stations – but who will give me that chance?”

Stigma of rape

Abdalle Muumin is a Somali journalist. He said much of the country’s media ignored sexual violence, leading to an enduring stigma faced by rape victims.
“There is a culture in Somalia, where a victim of rape will report that so-and-so attempted to rape them, but nobody is ever comfortable to come forward, speak up and say that they were raped,” he said.
“Another reason why you don’t hear anything about IDP-related news is because editors and media owners are not interested in that. When reporters file news regarding IDPs it is not aired; in fact it’s referred to as shuban biyood ["diarrhoea"].
“Editors and owners are more interested in political news; it cost money to produce a radio package. In politics, there is money.”
Fartun Abdisalaan Adan is a co-founder of Sister Somalia, an organisation formed in 2010 which opened the first rape crisis centre in Mogadishu.
Attitudes towards rape are slowly changing, she said. The subject is no longer taboo – but a lot more needs to be done to tackle it: “When we first started our work, there was a lot of denial from the government and men, and a lot of women were ashamed to speak up – but slowly we gained their trust. Now people in Somalia talk about it, no-one can deny that it is happening, although the response is still slow.”
Rape is still a huge problem, however, and as many as seven new victims arrive each week at Sister Somalia’s Mogadishu office alone.
“Women in the IDP camps are especially vulnerable. If you look at IDP camps, it is mostly lone women with children who live there,” she said. “[The camp] is not a house, there is no door. A man can come in any time and do whatever he wants to you, knowing he will get away with it.
“When [victims of rape] come to our office, our first reaction is to take them to a hospital to get medical help and pay their fees; then it’s back to our centre where the counselling begins. We also discuss whether they want to go back to their home, if they choose to move then we assist them with relocation. We have also established a safe house where they can stay temporarily until suitable accommodation is found. Currently, we are assisting around 400 women who have been raped or whose daughters were raped.”
The safe house is especially useful to young girls who have run away from their families after becoming pregnant as a result of rape.
“Younger girls, often 16 or 17, are usually afraid to tell their parents they have been raped and may now be pregnant, for fear they will not be believed, especially by their fathers; so they run away and stay at our centre. These younger victims are the ones who are most reluctant to report they were raped because they are also worried about their future and whether being a victim of rape will lessen their chances for marriage.”

‘Not a women’s issue’

Speaking via a telephone from Galcayo, south central Somalia, humanitarian activist and this year’s Nansen Refugee Award winner, Hawa Aden Mohammed, expressed concerns about the cultural reservation among victims to speak out, as well as the seeming culture of impunity for the perpetrators of sexual violence.
“It is not so easy to pursue legal action when the law is so relaxed or non-existent,” she told Al Jazeera. “In my experience, 90 percent of women who were raped are reluctant to go to authorities because they are afraid or they are not confident anything will be done. There is also a need to educate; a lot of these women feel ashamed, they view themselves as haram, spoiled, dirty – and are unwilling to talk about it.
“The government needs to do more to address the issue of violence against women in all its forms. This is not a women’s issue, it is a society issue.”
The new Somali government has only been in power for two months, but, according to the Director General at the Minister for Labour, Youth and Sports, Aweis Haddad, “the government is doing it best to prevent such things. One of the first things that president did when he came to office is speak out against rape and gender based violence.”
He concluded by shifting blame, denying state troops were primarily responsible for the sexual violence against women such as 27-year-old Nura.
“A lot of people are able to put on government uniforms and pretend to be the police or the army, but they are not. In some cases it’s the Shabab,” he said.
“We treat every crime seriously. If people in government are found to behind such things, action will be taken.”
Names of rape survivors have been changed to protect their identity.
Follow Laila Ali on Twitter: @LailaInNairobi
Source: Aljazeera

Sunday, January 6, 2013

News Feature: Human trafficking is everyone’s concern

Philippine Information Agency

By Rebecca Grace S. David
Sunday 6th of January 2013
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga, January 6 (PIA) -- To identify trafficking victims, people should know what to look out for. Women and girls are trafficked for sex while men and boys are exploited for labor.

These are among the tips given by the Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Riacat) in a forum on how to spot a victim.

"What are the other signs of sexual exploitation which are the result of trafficking? Women and young girls are forced to prostitute in streets by knocking on cab doors and at bus stops. They are also forced to sell sex in hotels to meet the nightly quotas and turn money over to the traffickers," the Riacat said in a press statement.

Pimps use coercion and violence to force young girls to submit themselves to sexual exploitation.

The Riacat also identified simple initiatives which anyone can do to eliminate human trafficking.

These include the distribution of cards or stickers printed with the trafficking hotline number 861-2413, discuss the signs of trafficking and what people can do when they observe them, call hotels and resorts to educate their staff about the signs of trafficking and what steps to take if a guest is suspected of sex trafficking, and organize events and request for speakers or trainers on anti-human trafficking to create awareness on how to stop this menace.

"Educating people about trafficking is just as important as apprehending the perpetrators and assisting the victims" the Riacat said. (CLJD/RGSD-PIA3) 

Police charge three suspects with human trafficking, prostitution in two separate cases

EDMONTON- Edmonton police have charged three men with a number of offences including human trafficking and procuring juvenile prostitution, in connection with two separate cases.

In July 2012, it's alleged that 25-year-old Ali Saghafi helped lure an under-age female to Edmonton from Saskatoon for the purpose of prostitution. The teen was reportedly sexually assaulted, beaten, and forced into prostitution.

"The accused spent lots of money on (her)- makeup, food, clothes- and then it came time where there are expectations," explained EPS Communications Advisor Scott Pattison.

After several attempts, police say the victim managed to escape a south Edmonton motel where she was being held against her will. She has since returned to Saskatoon.

Saghafi was arrested on December 20, 2012 and charged with a number of offences including trafficking of a person under the age of 18 years, sexual assault, procuring prostitution and living off the avails of juvenile prostitution.

Investigators believe other females may have been recruited online for purposes of prostitution in Edmonton, in relation to Saghafi's case.

Police say in another recent case, an 18-year-old local woman was allegedly held against her will in a west Edmonton motel and forced into prostitution by two male suspects, after being lured to them by another teen girl.

On Thursday, police arrested 31-year-old Hamid Fazli Ghejlou and 23-year-old Shahin Ranjbar.

Both are facing numerous charged including trafficking and procuring prostitution.

Officers are urging parents to monitor their children's internet usage, but warn that some young girls are being lured into prostitution by teens their own age.

"We want to make sure that kids know not to let their guard down, and parents continue to know and ask questions about who (their) children are with," said Pattison.

Pattison says the two cases are not linked.

Read it on Global News: Global Edmonton | Police charge three suspects with human trafficking, prostitution in two separate cases

Labour exploitation, main reason for human trafficking --IOM

 05/01/2013   |   01:33 PM | World News
تصغير الخطتكبير الخط
(with photos) GENEVA, Jan 5 (KUNA) -- Half of the human trafficking cases brought before IOM for assistance in 2011 involved victims of labour exploitation according to IOM's first report on counter trafficking and assistance to vulnerable migrants.
The report which looked into human trafficking trends in 2011, by way of assistance, collected information from more than 150 IOM Missions.
During the period, IOM provided assistance to some 3,014 victims of labour exploitation, which represents a 53 percent of all recorded instances of assistance sought by victims of human trafficking.
By contrast, only 27 per cent of the cases assisted by IOM involved trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Since 2010, labour trafficking has overtaken sexual exploitation as the main type of trafficking, seen in cases assisted by IOM.
IOM keeps the world's largest case level statistics on human trafficking.
Labour trafficking is a feature of many economic sectors, particularly those requiring manual labour such as agriculture, construction, domestic work, fisheries, and mining.
In many cases, the exploitation takes place under the guise of legal and contractual work, but with degrading conditions of work which are different from the promises given to the workers.
Though assistance to female victims of trafficking has remained fairly on the same level as that of 2008, the report says there has been an increase of demand for assistance from male victims of trafficking from 1,656 individuals in 2008 to 2,040 in 2011.
Women however, says the report, continue to represent the majority of trafficked persons receiving IOM assistance, making up nearly two thirds (62 percent) of cases assisted by IOM. This includes cases involving sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, and a combination of sexual and labour exploitation.
During the 2011 period, IOM provided help to around 2,700 trafficked and exploited migrants, the majority, 835, were Ukrainians.
The figure shows a decline of seven percent in assisted cases, compared with the number of persons assisted in 2010.
The decline is attributed to external factors rather than being a reflection of the actual drop in cases of human trafficking.
The main countries of destination for human trafficking victims according to the report are the Russian Federation, Haiti, Yemen, Thailand and Kazakhstan. Top countries of origin were named by the report as Ukraine, Haiti, Yemen, Laos, Uzbekistan and Cambodia.
IOM provides a wide range of assistance to victims of human trafficking including legal and medical assistance, voluntary return , reintegration assistance, protection and shelter prior to voluntary repatriation. (end) ta.rk KUNA 051333 Jan 13NNNN 

5-man human trafficking racket busted

Kuwait Times

KUWAIT: Five people were arrested in connection with a major forgery racket that was involved in selling forged work permits to Asian laborers. According to report, the five released 20 work permits using a suspended license. Investigations got went underway as per directions from the Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Immigration Affairs, Major General Abdullah Al-Rashid, who received information about a cleaning company involved in human trafficking. The information indicated that the company’s license was used to issue a forged request to hire drivers, based on which a number of work permits were issued and then they were sold to expatriate laborers. The laborers in turn used the forged permits to land in Kuwait without being offered a job.
Migration department detectives first contacted the labor department and found out that the company in question was in suspension. The company’s owner was summoned for investigations during which he divulged information about an Arab man he had hired as a manager for the company and was given authority to sign labor-related documents. The manager was also placed under arrest who admitted that he was working with four other Arab men in forging labor-related documents. Further investigations revealed that the racket collected a total of KD 4,000 from 20 workers, KD200 from each, who came to Kuwait using the fake driver permits. The five suspects will remain in custody pending trial

Rape case in US state of Ohio unravels online

Delhi police refute India gang-rape account

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Escaped a Cult (Nat Geo 2012)

9-year-old defiled by immigration officer

Kenya: Prostitution, Human Trafficking, and the Drug Trade

The Star (Nairobi)

About five hundred years ago, in what is today Belgium, an unruly giant, very ruthless, rapacious and capricious - like the Erymanthian Boar in Ancient Greek folklore - terrorised residents of Antwerp City.
The giant had built a castle on River Schelde which passes through Antwerp, like the odours Nairobi River, and the legendary Nile in Cairo. The giant imposed exorbitant tax levies on anyone passing by his castle. Woe unto boatmen who did not have money; their hands were severed. A boatman needs his hands to pull the oars and row the skiff! People were murdered and their cadavers given to sharks! A brave young man barely known to the community emerged and killed the giant. He cut off the giant's hands and threw them in the river. The overjoyed people watched with amazement. They named their city "Handwerpen," which loosely translates into "to throw a hand away."
Much about places and how they got their names! Nairobi is named after a river, whereas Kenya is named after Mount Kenya. Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe writing of Antwerp in On Black Sisters' Street is not in the business of educating you on how your village or town acquired its name. In fact this digression in her novel is an allusion to the sacking of young African ladies into sex slavery. Chika Unigwe may not be the hero who confronted and cut off the hands of the unruly giant, she is however, the brave scribe who risked wearing the lipstick and a skimpy skirt, as the undercover police do, and went behind Antwerp to unearth an international cartel of sex trade and human trafficking.
Set in the Belgian city of Antwerp, On Black Sisters' Street is the tragic story of four African ladies who find themselves ensnared in forced prostitution in Europe. Wrapped in the glittering cellophane that is "life abroad," the unsuspecting women in their prime are made to believe that Europe offers a better life than their Africa. Like trans-national drug trade, human trafficking is a multi-billion industry that thrives under the nose, and with the tacit approval, of immigration officers and security agents. The masterminds grease the palms of these officers in order to circumvent the law. Once at an airport in Africa, I saw a veiled woman overlap the queue with the aid of an airport officer, who winked at the clearing officer at the desk, and accompanied her through all the rigorous security checks and delivered her to the waiting lounge where the lady sat secluded and started making telephone calls.
Chika Unigwe makes the link between Africa and Europe. She unmasks the players in Africa, invades the secret lives of their European clients, and shows how the trade works: A girl is lured to Europe. She is coached to present an almost believable story to immigration officers in the host country; show her vulnerability and lay claim to asylum status. The immigration officer, working in cahoots with the cartel, punches holes into the story and declines to approve her application. When the girl goes back to her hosts, she is told flatly that she is in the country illegally, but she could be helped to live under fake papers, but she must pay. Her passport is taken away and she is directed into a brothel to start work.
"He was harmless, everyone knew it. So the hammer hitting into Sisi's skull had come as a shock. She was not yet dead when he dragged her out on a deserted road." That is how Sisi, a university graduate and major character in the novel, meets her death. Nine months into her psychological torments, Sisi decides to quit without reporting to police because she does not want to jeopardize the lives of her "black sisters" who are still entangled in the undignified business of parading their flesh. Scared that Sisi knows much about their underworld, the barons murder her, carefully covering their tracks. There's a resonance here with the tragedy of a Kenyan university student who died in almost equal circumstances. Depending on your call in society, you may remain indifferent, disaffected, or be cajoled into doing something.