Thursday, August 14, 2008

WA: Human Trafficking Increasing Worldwide

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - Human trafficking crimes are increasing around the world but remain misunderstood and seldom prosecuted, underscoring the need for a more targeted response by government and private industry, panelists said during a legal conference Monday in Seattle.

Although the public often perceives trafficking as children forced to work in the sex trade overseas, the problem also involves domestic servitude and other forms of modern-day slavery in the U.S.

Trafficking occurs not just in foreign lands but on "the next street over," said Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

He moderated a panel of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, which continues through Wednesday.

"It's the third-largest and fastest-growing crime worldwide (because it combines) high profit and low risk," said Bradley Myles, deputy director of the Polaris Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that works to combat human trafficking internationally.

The organization often hears about American-born pimps, he said, as well as about immigrants from Central and South America and Asia who are forced or coerced to work in mom and pop operations, nail salons, farms and garment factories...


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