Friday, June 9, 2006

US Dept of State's Trafficking in Persons Div. Releases 2006 Report

The US Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Person (TIP) released a new report this past Monday detailing the global trafficking epidemic, US funds delegated to combatting trafficking and outlining 12 nations that risk government sanctions for failing to adequately fight human trafficking.

The 2006 report, "Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000: Trafficking in Persons Report" details this form of modern-day slavery. Ambassador John Miller remarked of the report:
Here we are in the 21st century and we're talking about slavery. Wouldn't this be a shock to our abolitionist ancestors who thought they finished the job back in the 19th century.

Yes, the slavery is different in some ways. Back then it was state-sanctioned slavery based primarily on color. Today it's not based primarily on color and it's not state-sanctioned, although sometimes governments look the other way. But the tricks of the slave masters are still the same: deception, fraud, beating, kidnapping, rape. And the challenge of modern-day slavery extends into every country in the world, including the United States of America.
The reports places countries into one of three "Tiers" based on their ability and success at combatting trafficking. Tier 1 includes countries that are actively fighting sex trafficking; Tier 2 is comprised on those countries that are doing something to fight trafficking, but need to do more; while Tier 3 is made up of countries that have failed to adequately address the trafficking within their countries. Additionally, a "Tier 2 Watch List" has been introduced that includes countries that are in danger of slipping down to Tier 3.

Twelve countries comprise Tier 3 and risk sanctions imposed against them by the US government: Belize, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

Sex Slaves Auctioned at London Airports


The BBC News Online has created a new section specifically focusing on sex trafficking and forced labor called Slavery in the 21st Century including graphs, statistics and victim's stories.

This week, the BBC reports that London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Sanstead airports are busy locations not just for travelers, but also for sex slave auctions:
The CPS [Crown Protection Services] said traffickers were trading sex workers as soon as they arrived in the UK from countries, including states in eastern Europe.

"Brothel keepers are bidding for women destined for prostitution," it said.

Meanwhile the Sunday Telegraph reported hundreds of children as young as six are brought to the UK yearly as slaves.

A CPS conference on Monday is to discuss airport crime, and its director in west London, Nazir Afzal, said: "Criminal activity at the UK's airports is on the increase.

"We are now seeing 'slave auctions' being held in public places at airports where brothel keepers are bidding for women destined for prostitution."

One auction had taken place outside a coffee shop in the arrivals hall at Gatwick Airport, the CPS said. Others were believed to have been staged at Heathrow, Stansted and other UK airports, it added.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking Links Handbook

The European Women's Lobby has published a handbook on the correlation between prostitution and sex trafficking that is available for download as a PDF.

Go here to download "The Links between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: A Briefing Handbook"