Friday, July 31, 2009

USA: National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America's Prostituted Children

USA - Shared Hope International, an organization aimed at eradicating sex slavery in the United States, has released a landmark report detailing child prostitution.

In 2006 Shared Hope International received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to perform field research on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST)—the sex trafficking of American children. The National Report is the culmination of ten field assessments conducted in targeted locations in the United States, providing a comprehensive understanding of child sex trafficking across America. This unprecedented report reveals the starling reality that American children are being recruited from our neighborhoods and sold on our streets!

The National Report found misidentification of victims to be the primary barrier to properly addressing America’s trafficked children. Consequently, this misidentification often leads to the criminalization of victims, barring them from receiving proper treatment and care. In fact, in nearly every location American child victims of sex trafficking are being arrested for the crime committed against them while their abusers walk free. In addition, the study found a severe lack of appropriate protective and therapeutic shelters. Finally, the National Report emphasizes that although buyers are a critical in addressing the issue of child sex trafficking, buyers most often escape criminalization.

Click the link below to download more information:

The National Report [PDF 1.58mb]
Printer friendly version [PDF 1.25mb]

South-Eastern Europe: Transnational Referral Mechanisms for Trafficked Persons

From the ICMPD (International Centre for Migration Policy Development) -

Programme to Support the Development of Transnational Referral Mechanisms (TRM) for Trafficked Persons in South-Eastern Europe

In order to ensure comprehensive and effective assistance and protection for victims of trafficking, experience has shown that institutionalised co-operative frameworks, including all concerned state and non-state actors, are indispensable. Such frameworks should focus on the process management of individual trafficking cases and cover the entire sequence of case measures, from identification, assistance and protection, participation in and support during legal proceedings and legal redress, to return/resettlement and/or social inclusion of the victims in their destination-, origin- or third country...

READ MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM AT ICMPD.org

West Africa: Sex Trafficking & Report


UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME - Thousands of women are continually trafficked from West Africa to Europe in a multi-million dollar criminal industry.

The women come from Nigeria and to a lesser extent Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon and Guinea. They are usually taken to Italy, as well as the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and other countries. With an estimated value of between $152 million and $228 million annually, the market sees a yearly inflow of between 3800 and 5700 women. It is estimated that West African trafficking victims comprise about 10 per cent of the forced sexual labour pool in Western Europe.

Research shows that known traffickers themselves are Nigerian (mainly from the federal state of Edo) who reside both Nigeria and in destination countries. In both Europe and Africa, detected traffickers are more likely to be women (referred to as madams) than men. Men are often involved in supervising the travel, but, increasingly, they are also exploiters or recruiters. The growing involvement of men appears to be associated with growing levels of violence in the business.

The modern European market for trafficked women from West Africa began in Italy in the 1980s and in the Netherlands in the early 1990s. Women of the Edo ethnic group from Benin city in Nigeria (colloquially known as "Binis") began to migrate to Europe in search of work, and found a market for sexual services. They began to recruit other women from their region, fronting the money for travel and creating a system of debt bondage that evolved into human trafficking...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT UNODC.org

LINK TO FULL 103 PAGE REPORT "Transnational Trafficking and the Rule of Law in West Africa: A Threat Assessment"

Mexico: Sex Traffickers Victimize 10,000 Women Every Year

MONTERREY, MEXICO - Every year, rings engaging in human trafficking entrap or abduct 10,000 women in the southern and central states of Mexico for sexual exploitation in the northern part of the country, according to a study presented on Monday.

The investigation, the work of the state University of Nuevo Leon and funded by the National Science and Technology Council, focuses on the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women in northern Mexico, the study coordinator Arum Kumar told Efe.

The investigators found, for example, that in Monterrey, capital of Nuevo Leon and a leading business hub, most sexually exploited women are brought by gangs from other regions under the false pretense of getting them jobs.

“We’re finding that those who entrap the women take photos to their villages showing that Monterrey is a first-world city, they show women pictures of the metropolitan municipality of San Pedro Garza and tell them that they can work there for a salary of between $50 and $100 a day,” Kumar said.

Once the women get to the city of their destination and find they are being duped into working in brothels, most of them decide to return home – at which time they are threatened and submitted to all kinds of physical, sexual and psychological violence to make them stay.

Monterrey, the biggest city in northern Mexico, is one of the most frequented destinations of sexual tourism thanks to its proximity to the United States, the study found...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT Latin American Herald Tribune

Friday, July 17, 2009

Albania: On Speedboats, Sex Trade Could Flare

Matt Lutton for The New York Times

An abandoned fishing boat on a beach in Vlore, Albania, a city known for being a hub for human trafficking across Europe.

VLORE, ALBANIA— It was only after her trafficker sealed her mouth with electrical tape, drugged her and threatened to kill her family that the childlike woman, now 27, says she realized that the man she had planned to marry had seduced her with a terrible lie.

Her journey at age 18 from an Albanian village to a London brothel, where she said she spent five years working as a prostitute, began with a gold engagement ring, the promise of a better life abroad and — like many before her — a speedboat trip to Italy under the cover of night.

So many women, men and children had been trafficked abroad to work as prostitutes, forced laborers or beggars that the Albanian government three years ago barred all Albanian citizens from using speedboats, the favored transportation used by traffickers to get people out of the country.

This drastic measure, coupled with stricter border controls and revenge killings of traffickers by victims’ families, had a significant effect, reducing trafficking by more than half and all but ending Albania’s role as a major transit point for people trafficked to Western Europe from eastern and southern parts of the Continent, say experts who follow trafficking...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT NYTimes.com

Friday, July 10, 2009

UNODC: Trafficking Victim Identifcation Handbook

UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME - The early identification of trafficked persons is a prerequisite for their recognition as victims and, consequently, their access to assistance and protection. Persons who are likely to be in contact with victims (such as the police and justice officials and staff of health and social services) should receive training in order to enable them to identify victims and to be sensitive to their needs. This is especially significant for those who may come into contact with victims of trafficking who are without the resources of citizenship in the destination State and are thus especially vulnerable.

It is crucial to enlist the cooperation of all persons and groups that come into contact with victims of trafficking, such as border guards, police and immigration officers, doctors, medical and social workers, housing and agricultural inspectors, and staff of organizations concerned with the rights of immigrants, women and victims, as well as refugee protection and asylum organizations. Proper training can help these various individuals to identify trafficked persons in order to refer them to victim support organizations. A network of professionals and agencies should be involved in the identification of potential victims and should work together in order to protect victims and ensure a referral network without gaps...

LINK TO THE FULL HANDBOOK AT UNODC.org

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Int'l: Women's Philanthropy Outpaces the Pack

Recent charitable giving by funds focused on girls and women rose at a faster rate than that of overall foundations, according to a June 22 report by the Foundation Center and the Women's Funding Network.

The 55 women's funds in the report increased their giving by 24 percent between 2004 and 2006, compared to a nearly 15 percent rise in foundation giving overall in that same time period.

"Accelerating Change for Women and Girls" looks at giving patterns and trends among larger private and community foundations and funds that invest in organizations and programs led by women and focused on social change...

Read the full article at WomensENews.org