Human Trafficking Issues
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CNN’s Freedom Project - CNN is joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting success stories and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.
January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, dedicated to raising awareness of sexual slavery and human trafficking worldwide.
AAUW: State Policy Sex Trafficking Tool Kit - AAUW believes that global interdependence requires national and international policies against all forms of human trafficking. All states should have statutes in place that address protection of victims, prosecution, and prevention, including provisions that cover safe harbor, victim assistance, civil remedies, the ability to vacate convictions for survivors, and strict hotline posting requirements.
PowHer Plays: Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act - In 2015 New York State passed a series of women's equality laws that will effect the lives of all NYS women. This video focuses on the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act, S.7(Lanza)/A.506 (Paulin) and features Hon. Amy Paulin, NYS Assembly Member and Sonia Ossorio from NOW-New York.
WPBS's Public Eye: Human Trafficking Panel Discussion (Jan. 15, 2015)
AAUW in the News: Human Trafficking Awareness Month to be marked by St. Lawrence County branch of AAUW Jan. 11 (Jan. 10, 2015)
Video: Human Trafficking in the North Country - Sabel Bong (EOP Counselor, SUNY Canton) and David Bugg (Director of Learning Communities/Associate Professor of Sociology, SUNY Potsdam) gave a presentation on the scope and character of Human Trafficking in the North Country on March 26, 2014 in Potsdam, NY. This program was jointly sponsored by AAUW-St. Lawrence County and the League of Women Voters of SLC.
Download the End Trafficking Toolkit
The Polaris Project's 2014 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws - Ratings reveal progress, but more legislation is needed across the country to assist victims with services.
International Justice Mission: How human trafficking works, captured brilliantly - and soberingly - by MTV Exit.
Updated January 12, 2017
- Seafood Slavery: Human Trafficking in the International Fishing Industry - Over the last two years, however, a series of groundbreaking investigations by news organizations and advocacy groups exposed horrific treatment of laborers aboard commercial fishing vessels and at aquaculture sites and seafood processing plants in Southeast Asia.
- Sex Trafficking Survivor Says It’s Time to Stop Glamorizing Prostitution - Many people envision human trafficking as kidnapped children in developing countries, but the reality of modern slavery exists among us in our very own communities.
- Scotland's first human trafficking strategy launched - Consumers are to be asked to consider whether people working in their local nail bar, car wash or shop might have been trafficked into the country. The new Scottish government guidelines are part of the country's first human trafficking strategy.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces human trafficking bill - The bill, called the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016, has bipartisan support and seeks to clear nonviolent criminal records that are the direct result of trafficking, the senator’s office said.
- Why Do We Lock Up Survivors of Sex Trafficking? - In the fight to end sex trafficking in the United States, survivors are being arrested, and often prosecuted for prostitution. With a record of prostitution, it’s much harder for these young women to attend college, receive public assistance, and live independent lives. Sometimes they are even required to register as sex offenders. Though it’s difficult to find exact numbers, a recent study suggests that there are about 10,000 kids sold for sex each year.
- Hundreds of nuns trained in Kung Fu are biking the Himalayas to oppose human trafficking - Five hundred nuns from the Buddhist sect known as the Drukpa Order, completed a 4,000-km (2,485 mile) bicycle trek from Nepal's Kathmandu to the northern city of Leh in India to raise awareness about human trafficking in the remote region.
- Franklin County receives grant to help victims of abuse, sex trafficking - MALONE — The county’s Department of Social Services is receiving a $50,000 grant to better help the victims of child abuse and sex trafficking.
- Slavery At Sea: The Ugly Underbelly Of Oil Shipping - If you think slavery doesn’t exist anymore—think again. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), almost 21 million people are victims of forced labor today. Of those, nearly 19 million are exploited by private individuals or enterprises, compared to slightly over 2 million who are exploited by the state or rebel groups.
- 'How modern slavery is destroying the environment' - If slavery were a country it would have a population of some 35 million people and the gross domestic product of Angola, in global terms a small and poor nation -- but, according to my research, it would be the third largest emitter of CO2 (2.54 billion tons per year) in the world after China (7.39 billion tons) and the United States (5.58 billion tons).
- FL Football Player Arrested After At Least 16 Students Allegedly Had Sex With Girl in HS Bathroom - A high school football player is the first person to be criminally charged in a disturbing incident at Florida’s South Fort Myers High School, where between 16 and 25 male students are alleged to have had sex with a 15-year-old female student in a school bathroom. The girl’s family said last week she was previously a victim of human trafficking.
- Two Tennessee pastors are among 32 arrested for human trafficking during undercover sting - The Knoxville anti-trafficking operation, called “Operation Someone Like Me”, is the fifth operation of its kind in the state between the TBI and partner agencies to help identify, investigate and prosecute trafficking, and rescue victims.
- Alleged Sex-Trafficking Scheme Involved Foreign Students - A Florida man accused of recruiting international students to the U.S. on false pretenses to further a prostitution business has been indicted on charges of sex trafficking and attempted sex trafficking by fraud, wire fraud, importation of aliens for prostitution or immoral purposes, and use of a facility of interstate commerce to operate a prostitution enterprise.
- How thousands of truck drivers are combatting human trafficking, one truck stop at a time. - Truckers Against Trafficking, or TAT, a nonprofit organization rallying America’s 3.4 million truck drivers to combat trafficking. There are over 214,000 people trained by TAT; they have partnered with hundreds of companies in the trucking industry, including Walmart Transportation and UPS.
- Charles Wade, a prominent Black Lives Matter organizer, was arrested in April on human trafficking charges. - A prominent Black Lives Matter activist was arrested for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl into prostitution, officials said. Charles Wade — a former celebrity stylist who turned to activism in the wake of the 2014 shooting death of unarmed Missouri teen Michael Brown — posted ads online promoting the “fun and sexy” teen and pocketed all the cash his victim made from performing sex acts, according to a police report.
- Sex trafficking on American Indian reservations - old problem, new name - Law enforcement, advocates and residents of Fort Peck, a vast, remote reservation of windswept plains in the U.S. state of Montana, say they have been seeing cases of sex trafficking for years without labeling them as such. Tribal law at Fort Peck only added sex trafficking as a distinct crime earlier this year, distinguishing it from rape, sexual abuse or kidnapping, experts say. Public awareness of the crime is critical, say activists who held a conference last month on recognizing trafficking on the reservation.
- Human trafficking report: Victims reveal devastating impact of abuse with 80 per cent suffering mental health problems - Study suggests thousands of victims of 'something akin to modern slavery' are suffering from post-traumatic stress, severe depression and anxiety
The findings of the report, commissioned by the Department of Health, were stark: nearly 80 per cent of the women were still suffering from post-traumatic stress, severe depression or anxiety an average of 16 months after they were freed.
- French law that makes it illegal to pay for sex 'revolutionary': activists - A new law passed in France that makes it an offence to pay for sex and moves the punishment from prostitutes to clients, has been hailed as revolutionary by activists who hope it will help stamp out sex trafficking.
- Congress can require pimps to pay restitution to overseas sex-trafficking victims, 11th Circuit says - The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) on March 24 that convicted pimp Damion St. Patrick Baston had to pay $400,000 to a woman he forced to perform prostitution work for him in Australia, the Daily Business Review reports. Baston was also ordered to pay the woman $78,000 for her work in the United States, and to pay a total of $21,270 to two other victims.
- U.N. Embraces ‘Sold’ As Way to Fight Trafficking With Art - On March 23, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime held a conference on the role of the arts in ending human trafficking as one of the final side events to this year's Commission on the Status of Women. The packed-to-capacity event, filled with diplomats and artists, was timed to stoke interest in the movie "Sold" as a way of aiding the U.N.'s goal of ending human trafficking by 2030.
- Man who pimped out 15-year-old girl in Manhattan hotel during Super Bowl week gets 25 years in prison - Damon Hayes, 45, was found guilty at in January of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child for the disturbing January 2014 ordeal involving a child from Florida. He was slapped with a sentence of 12 1/2 to 25 years behind bars — the maximum — at the Wednesday proceeding in Manhattan Supreme Court. A year ago, the girl's mother, Yolanda Ostoloza, 41, started a three-year sentence for her role in exploiting the girl, who she claimed was only going to do "fetish stuff."
- In the Philippines, sex trafficking of young girls moves online - Sex tourism has long been a scourge in the Philippines, an industry that thrives on trafficked human beings and deep poverty in this nation of 100 million. But the sex trafficking industry, as always, seems a step ahead in the game. It has expanded online.
- Queens Men Plead Guilty to Sex Trafficking 14-Year-Old Runaway Girl: DA - Two Queens men have pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection with the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old runaway girl who they forced to work as a prostitute, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
- ‘Modern-day slavery’: Human trafficking is on the rise in Jefferson County - For many north country residents, human trafficking is a foreign concept — a heinous crime that exists only on the streets of large cities or in the plots of dramatic movies and television shows. However, a story like Selena’s is not rare in the north country. Human trafficking has surreptitiously made its way into Northern New York communities in recent years, riding on the coattails of the region’s heroin epidemic.
- Securing a Future for Child Soldiers - In dozens of armed conflicts around the world, there are currently tens of thousands of children -- and some estimates even go as high as 250,000 -- engaged as soldiers or being held by armed groups. In South Sudan and six other countries, the Children, Not Soldiers campaign -- an initiative undertaken by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict -- continues to work with governments and other groups to end the use and recruitment of child soldiers. Helping children rebuild their lives after such unfathomable traumas is central to the Children, Not Soldiers campaign -- reintegration is part of each and every action plan signed by governments with the United Nations.
- Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ): An important step to reduce child sex tourism - Now awaiting the president's signature, H.R. 515 - the International Megan's Law - authorizes the creation of a comprehensive, reciprocal notification system between U.S. and foreign law enforcement regarding the travels of those required by law to be on government sex-offender registries.
- Bringing Awareness To Human Trafficking In The North Country - The Sisters of Saint Joseph's in Watertown are trying to educate the North Country about what they're calling modern-day slavery. It held a prayer service and an information session on the topic Sunday.
- Protect Female Farmworkers - ACROSS the country, some 400,000 women, mostly immigrants, work in agriculture, toiling in fields, nurseries and packing plants. Such work is backbreaking and low-paying. But for many of these women, it is also a nightmare of sexual violence.
- What being a flight attendant taught me about human trafficking - A few years ago, my airline started training us on spotting telltale signs of human trafficking on the plane. Can the passenger speak for themselves, or is someone with them controlling what they say? Does the passenger avoid eye contact? Do they appear fearful, anxious, tense, depressed, nervous, submissive? Are they dressed inappropriately, or do they have few possessions - even on a long flight? Can the passenger move independently, or are they accompanied by someone seemingly controlling their every movement?
- Teens Are Starting to Study, Talk About Sex Trafficking - Advocacy groups are sending their curricula into classrooms as a way to prevent some of what the U.S. Justice Department estimates as 300,000 cases of sex trafficking each year in the U.S. Estimates of those being sex trafficked globally range between 12 million and 30 million.
- Religious Sisters Pose As Prostitutes To Rescue Trafficking Victims From Brothels - An army of religious sisters who rescue victims of human trafficking by posing as prostitutes to infiltrate brothels and buying children being sold into slavery, is expanding to 140 countries.
- Modern Slavery: Labor Trafficking Is Everywhere and Nowhere - Labor trafficking in the US is pervasive and intertwined with the way we live. There are humans who have been tricked or forced into working for meager wages, often in dreadful conditions, in almost every sector of the economy, from agriculture and domestic work to computer programming and carnivals.
- New Film to Focus on Threat of Human Trafficking to Refugees - The EU refugee crisis is dominating headlines as hundreds of thousands of refugees (more than a quarter of them children) arrive in the EU in the months and years ahead. Bloomfield-based documentary filmmaker Bob Bilheimer is working on a new film, The Heart of the Matter, which focuses on how refugees are especially vulnerable to the crime of human trafficking.
- New study provides first clinical evidence on the serious toll human t - A new study by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London provides the first clinical evidence on the toll human trafficking has on mental health, including high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, amongst a patient population in South London.
- Man admits to sex trafficking a 14-year-old child - A Rochester man admitted to a charge of sex trafficking a minor. Brandon McNeal, age 24, now faces up to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 10 years.
- Trafficking sting saves 149 exploited children - A nationwide sweep called Operation Cross Country IX recovered 149 sexually exploited children, the youngest of whom was 12, including one from the Jacksonville, FL area, and led to the arrests of more than 150 pimps and other individuals. The FBI partnered with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for the operation, which was conducted in 135 cities.
- LA Garment Industry Rife With Sweatshop Conditions - A new report on the health and safety conditions of garment workers in Los Angeles may give pause to shoppers who buy garments “Made in the USA,” in an attempt to avoid participating in the exploitation of workers in foreign sweatshops. A survey of garment workers in Los Angeles by the Garment Worker Center found an violations in the garment industry that employs an estimated 45,000 in Los Angeles County.The majority of garment workers in Los Angeles, one of the world’s fashion centers, are Latinos and most are undocumented. About 20 percent are Asian, mostly Chinese immigrants. None are unionized.
- Human smuggling incident near Cornwall, Ont., ends in 2 deaths, police allege - Quebec man charged with criminal negligence causing death, conspiring to bring an alien into the U.S. Two men from India drowned and a third was rescued in the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ont., in what police allege was a human smuggling attempt.
- CBS News Sunday Morning: "How the Fair Food Program is making a difference for struggling migrant farm workers…" - This is powerful video is an excellent, in-depth report on the CIW's Fair Food Program. T piece traced the hard-fought transformation of Florida's fields from the "Harvest of Shame" days in 1960 to what is being called the best working environment in American agriculture in the New York Times today. The CBS Sunday Morning "cover story" featured not only interviews with CIW members, but also with representatives of the Fair Food Standards Council, participating growers, and buyers such as Whole Foods, in whose produce aisles the Fair Food label recently debuted.
- The Global Lawyer: The Slave Next Door - To rehab oil rigs after Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast shipyards faced a labor crunch. Signal International Inc. lured nearly 500 welders and pipefitters from India with the promise of a green card. Problem is, the workers never got a green card. Instead, they were stuck with an "H-2" visa, under a flawed program for unskilled guest workers that immigration reformers and pro bono lawyers call an invitation to wage servitude.
- Pimp Sentenced To 17 To 34 Years In Prison - A 51 year old Rochester man is going to prison for sex trafficking. Vandon Jones was sentenced Wednesday in Jefferson County Court. He received a total of 17 to 34 years in prison. Jones was arrested in Watertown last October on charges he ran a prostitution business.
- 7 Charged With Promoting Prostitution by Working on Rentboy.com, an Escort Website - Although the site, founded in 1997, required visitors to accept the terms of service, the criminal complaint said visitors would arrive at a home page stocked with escorts' profiles listing sexual services and fees.
- Rochester man found guilty of sex trafficking in Watertown - A Rochester man was found guilty Friday in Jefferson County Court of charges that he forced two women into acts of prostitution.
- Rohingya Women Flee Violence Only to Be Sold Into Marriage - As thousands of Rohingya women flee persecution and peril in Myanmar, many end up trapped by smugglers, vulnerable to exploitation and forced into prostitution and arranged marriages.
- Slave in the Fields: A Reporter Goes Undercover in the San Quintin Valley - There is no public policy to protect the human rights of migrant farmworkers of the San Quintin Valley who are subjected to labor abuses and low wages because they cannot speak Spanish.
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