Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trafficking and the Olympics

A collection of news items regarding the serious problem of sex trafficking during the Olympic games. Many women and girls are brought to the cities where large sporting events take place (e.g. Olympics, World Cups) to meet a demand by visiting fans for prostitution. It is important to be aware of this with the Winter 2010 Games coming up in Vancouver.

Please sign this petition to the Canadian government asking them to enact and enforce better anti-trafficking laws: SIGN PETITION HERE

FROM BBC RADIO - Can mobile phone operators tackle prostitution?
The Mayor of London is asking mobile phone companies to help crack down on prostitution and trafficking in the run up to the Olympics. Research shows that incidents of trafficking ahead of the Athens Olympics rose by nearly 100 per cent. The men behind the sex trade still advertise prostitutes’ services by dropping cards containing mobile numbers into the city’s phone boxes. Now City Hall wants to see an agreement between mobile operators and the police that would see the cards removed and the numbers disconnected. Is it a good idea and will it work? Jane is joined by the Deputy Mayor of London with responsibility for policing, Kit Malthouse, and by Diane Martin, Chair of Lambeth Multi-Agency Prostitution Strategy Group. LISTEN TO THE RADIO SHOW AT

Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan is getting heat from activists against human trafficking after a remark last week that he doesn't object to the idea of a legalized "co-op" brothel in the city.

The Committee Against Human Trafficking called on anti-human trafficking activists across the country to swamp Sullivan's office on Tuesday of this week with letters, faxes, emails, packages and phone calls.

The campaign aimed to show the link between the normalization of prostitution and increased human trafficking, and called on Sullivan to oppose legalizing brothels.

The proposal for the brothel came from a group of Vancouver prostitutes who believe legalized brothels would help protect sex-trade workers when visitors flock to Vancouver for the Winter Olympics in 2010.

Big sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup soccer tournament are known to generate an increase in prostitution, which in turn leads to a rise in human trafficking...

Int'l: Registering the World's Invisible Millions

This five-year-old girl from Bolivia is one of some 40 million children helped

FROM THE BBC - A birth certificate is a fact of life for many. Yet there are millions of babies born each year who are never registered, depriving them of vital education and health care and leaving them vulnerable to abuse. Plan International has gone some way to reverse this situation, as the BBC's Penny Spiller explains.

Togolese teenager Awawou had overcome the toughest of childhoods to build an education for herself. After years of hard work, and against all the odds, she was about to sit her school exams when she learned she was not eligible because she did not have a birth certificate.
Her parents had died when she was small and she had not been registered at birth. It took Awawou a year of running errands to earn the $10 (£6) she needed to buy the certificate and sit her exams. Now, aged 18, she hopes to become a dressmaker.

Awawou is one of half a billion children who are estimated to be without a birth certificate. It is thought that at least 51 million of the babies born each year are not registered.

Without registration, it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain access to vital services such as health care, education and welfare support, says child rights organisation Plan International.
It also denies them the possibility of voting or getting legal aid.

Children without any record of identification are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse such as human trafficking and prostitution, being forced into under-age marriages or into becoming child soldiers, the organisation adds...


NY: Emma Thompson Takes a "Journey"

NEW YORK - Oscar-winning actress and writer Emma Thompson is touring the world with an art exhibit she created about sex trafficking. The installation, called "Journey," is made up on seven shipping containers and is based on the experience of Elena, a Moldovan women who was sold into prostitution in London. Thompson brought the project to New York this week.


UN: Geneticists Coordinate Action to Fight Against Traffic in Human Beings

Figures are impressive and, at the same time, shameful for the civilized world of 21st century: according to data from the United Nations through the UN.GIFT programme managed by UNODC/UNDD (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being a source, transit and/or destination country. The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age but an estimated of 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. During the time they are victims of trafficking the 95% experience physical or sexual violence, the 79% are trafficked for sexual exploitation and the 18% are trafficked for forced labour.

Traffic in human beings is a serious and complex problem. It is estimated that by 2010, human trafficking will be the No. 1 crime worldwide, ahead of arms trade and drug trafficking. That is the reason why it requires international collaboration, but specially needs effective measures to combat and deter it, to achieve its final eradication. .

DNA - Prokids Programme was set up in 2004 by the University of Granada (Spain) to fight against human trafficking in cooperation with the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, in the USA, and with the contributions of financial institutions such as BBVA, Fundación Botín (Banco Santander) or CajaGRANADA. Its objectives are:

  1. 1.To identify the human trafficking victims and return them to their families (reunification), or to the place where they are best protected.
  2. To hamper traffic in human beings thanks to identification of victims
  3. To gather information on the origins, the routes and the means of this crime (police intelligence), key elements for the work of police forces and judicial systems.