Newscast Media BERLIN—Traffickers have kidnapped, tortured, and killed refugees,
most from Eritrea, in eastern Sudan and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, according to dozens
of interviewees said Human Rights Watch. Egypt and Sudan have failed to adequately
identify and prosecute the traffickers and any security officials who may have
colluded with them, breaching both countries’ obligation to prevent torture.
The 79-page report, “‘I Wanted to Lie Down and Die:’ Trafficking and Torture of
Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt,” documents how, since 2010, Egyptian traffickers have
tortured Eritreans for ransom in the Sinai Peninsula, including through rape, burning,
and mutilation. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian police said Monday that they have broken up a
trafficking ring in Moscow that forced women from the former Soviet country of
Moldova into sexual slavery.
Six Moldovan women were freed and one 45 year-old Moldovan man arrested as a
result of the operation, according to a police statement.
“After arriving in the Russian Federation, the group put [the women] in flats or houses
in the Moscow region, took their documents and, with threats or beatings, forced
them to work as prostitutes,” the statement said.
Police said the women were recruited in Moldova, a small landlocked country
sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, with the promise of jobs in Russian cafes
and bars. Moldovans do not need visas to enter Russia.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, with more than 25 percent of its population
living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media ROME—Following a wish expressed by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences, together with FIAMC (World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations) are organizing a preparatory workshop on 2-3 November 2013 in the Casina Pio IV (or Villa Pia) in Vatican City, to examine human trafficking and modern slavery, in order to establish the real status quo and an agenda to combat this heinous crime.
For example, natural sciences today can provide new tools that can be used against this new form of slavery, such as a digital registry to compare the DNA of unidentified missing children (including cases of illegal adoption) with that of their family members who have reported their disappearance.
“No one can deny that the trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights and is an accelerator of criminal wealth creation in this new century,” the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo said.
“The Second Vatican Council already stated that slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, and disgraceful working conditions where people are treated as instruments of gain, constitute a supreme dishonor to the Creator,” he added.
The Vatican also said that each year, it is estimated that about 2 million people are victims of sexual trafficking, 60% of which are girls. Human organ trafficking reaches almost 1% of that figure, thus affecting around 20,000 people who are forced or deceived into giving up an organ (liver, kidney, pancreas, cornea, lung, even the heart), not without the complicity of doctors, nurses and other medical staff, who have pledged to follow Hippocrates’ oath Primum non nocere instead. But these chilling figures “represent only the tip of the iceberg, as criminals generally go to great lengths to prevent the detection of their activities”.
Some observers speculate that, within ten years, human trafficking will surpass drugs and weapons trafficking to become the most profitable criminal activity in the world.
Newscast Media PARIS—France has recognized modern-day slavery as a new crime punishable by up to 30 years in jail. Previously, courts were only able to convict suspects on other charges, such as taking advantage of vulnerable people, that carry lighter sentences.
The bill, unanimously adopted by France’s upper house, the Senate, last Thursday, means that anyone holding people against their will and making them work for free, will face between seven and 30 years in prison.
Romana Cacholi, head of advocacy with London-based Anti-Slavery International, told Radio France Internationale that his organization welcomes France’s tough stance. Almost 21 milllion people around the world are currently victims of forced labor, according to the International Labour Organisation.
French anti-slavery campaigners receive more than 200 reports of enslavement per year but believe that it is much more widespread, because it happens in private, often within families.
In France the majority of victims are minors from west Africa, according to Sylvie O’Dy, head of the Committee Against Modern-Day Slavery in France.
“They hope to find a better life in France,” she explained. “They are vulnerable and most of the time, have no clue about our country or our laws. They are therefore easy prey for unscrupulous people.”
The group will now be helping to train the police and legal teams to identify victims of slavery.
Source: Radio France Internationale
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking April 9, the Obama administration released its latest plan to combat a practice that has been called modern-day slavery and to provide help for its victims. In his remarks at the forum, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new strategic plan will better coordinate the efforts of U.S. federal agencies in dealing with a crime that enslaves an estimated 27 million victims worldwide.
“Attorneys, analysts, researchers, investigators,and law enforcement officials are coming together as never before to study the latest trends in human trafficking,” Holder said. “Over the next five years, this plan will enable us to reinforce our relationships with nongovernmental allies — and build public-private partnerships. It will lead us to develop innovative new strategies for identifying, assisting and seeking
justice on behalf of those trapped in some form of slavery, bonded labor or forced prostitution.”
U.S. officials said the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking will take anti-trafficking efforts to a new level. Holder added that the plan will increase support for legal and victim service providers.
According to the attorney general, the plan sends “a strong message to anyone who would prey on their fellow human beings: that, in this country, human trafficking will not be tolerated. Our commitment to moving aggressively in identifying and prosecuting human traffickers — and supporting those who bring help and healing to victims — has quite simply never been stronger.”
The plan also calls for new public-private partnerships that will provide cutting-edge technology tools to aid law enforcement’s efforts to bring traffickers to justice, as well as new online applications to help link victims with much-needed services. According to the White House announcement, leading technology companies have partnered with advocates and survivors to develop new applications to reach trafficking victims online and on their phones and to link them with services in their community.
The plan also calls for a free legal services network for trafficking victims. The Department of State is establishing a public-private partnership with New Perimeter, LLC, a nonprofit organization established by the law firm DLA Piper designed to increase the availability of pro bono legal services to combat human trafficking. The partnership will use the “3P” framework of prosecuting traffickers, protecting survivors and preventing victimization.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is asking students to come up with new and innovative ways to end modern slavery. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced the Campus Challenge to Counter Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) on October 11 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
Across three phases and through the USAID website ChallengeSlavery.org, the C-TIP Campus Challenge is designed to increase global awareness about trafficking, inspire activism among students and scholars at colleges and universities worldwide and generate new, creative ideas and solutions to stop human trafficking and help the 20.9 million people around the world are enslaved in sex or labor exploitation, USAID said.
During the first phase from October 11 to November 28 at ChallengeSlavery.org, students will have the opportunity to participate in discussion groups on various trafficking subtopics, host online conversations, and crowdsourcing issues that will frame the problems to be addressed in the next phase.
The contest phase, from November 28 to January 8, 2013, will be open for applications from U.S. and international students proposing innovative technological solutions to advance trafficking-in-persons prevention and protection.
From January 9, 2013, to January 30, 2013, the ChallengeSlavery.org community will be invited to rate the proposals and provide suggestions on how submissions can be improved. On February 1, 2013, USAID will announce the semifinalists and in the following three weeks, semifinalist proposals will be judged by an expert C-TIP and technologist panel. The winners will be announced at the end of February and will be invited to share their proposals with donors, C-TIP and technology professionals.
Included in the implementation of the USAID’s 2012 C-TIP Policy, and building on President Obama’s speech at the Clinton Global Initiative, USAID policy and programs place a heightened emphasis on innovation, technology and empirical research to help prevent trafficking and provide assistance to victims, USAID said.
USAID said it is partnering with Not for Sale, Slavery Footprint, Free the Slaves and MTV Exit on this project to maximize efforts and inspire millions of people already working on the issue and invite new activists to the cause, ultimately, strengthening the movement to return freedom to the millions of people robbed of their dignity every day.
The report represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. The U.S. government uses the TIP report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs.
In addition, USAID programmed $163.3 million in C-TIP activities in 68 countries and regional missions between 2001 and 2010 and continues to work around the world.