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     News: Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door

    Human TraffickingSex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door
    Vanity Fair

    Even as celebrity activists such as Emma Thompson, Demi Moore, and Mira Sorvino raise awareness about commercial sex trafficking, survivor Rachel Lloyd publishes her memoir Girls Like Us, and the Senate introduces a new bipartisan bill for victim support, the problem proliferates across continents, in casinos, on streets, and directly into your mobile device. And, as Amy Fine Collins shows, human trafficking is much closer to home than you think; victims, younger than ever, are just as likely to be the homegrown American girl next door as illegally imported foreigners. Having gained access to victims, law-enforcement officials, and a convicted trafficker, Collins follows a major case that put to the test the federal government’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

    The names of all victims and their relatives have been changed. Quotes from Dennis Paris, Gwen, and Alicia are taken from court testimony.

    “He called me a stupid bitch … a worthless piece of shit.… I had to tell people I fell off stage because I had so many bruises on my ribs face and legs.… I have a permanent twitch in my eye from him hitting me in my face so much. I have none of my irreplaceable things from my youth.”
    —From the victim-impact statement of Felicia, minor prostitute-stripper enslaved by trafficker Corey Davis.

    “Prostitution is renting an organ for ten minutes.”
    —A john, interviewed by research psychologist Melissa Farley.

    “Would you please write down the type of person you think I am, given all that you’ve heard and read?… I’ve been called the worst of the worst by the government and it’s going to be hard for you to top that.”
    —Letter postmarked June 27, 2008, to Amy Fine Collins, from Dennis Paris, a.k.a. “Rahmyti,” then inmate at the Wyatt Detention Facility, in Central Falls, Rhode Island, now at a high-security federal penitentiary in Arizona.

    The Little Barbies

    In the Sex Crimes Bureau of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, in the pediatric division of Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Medical Center, in the back alleys of Waterbury, Connecticut, and in the hallways of Hartford’s Community Court, Assistant D.A. Rhonnie Jaus, forensic pediatrician Dr. Sharon Cooper, ex-streetwalker Louise, and Judge Curtissa Cofield have all simultaneously and independently noted the same disturbing phenomenon. There are more young American girls entering the commercial sex industry—an estimated 300,000 at this moment—and their ages have been dropping drastically. “The average starting age for prostitution is now 13,” says Rachel Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (gems), a Harlem-based organization that rescues young women from “the life.” Says Judge Cofield, who formerly presided over Hartford’s Prostitution Protocol, a court-ordered rehabilitation program, “I call them the Little Barbies.”

    The explanations offered for these downwardly expanding demographics are various, and not at all mutually exclusive. Dr. Sharon Cooper believes that the anti-intellectual, consumerist, hyper-violent, and super-eroticized content of movies (Hustle & Flow), reality TV (Cathouse), video games (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), gangsta rap (Nelly’s “Tip Drill”), and cyber sites (Second Life: Jail Bait) has normalized sexual harm. “History is repeating itself, and we’re back to treating women and children as chattel,” she says. “It’s a sexually toxic era of ‘pimpfantwear’ for your newborn son and thongs for your five-year-old daughter.” Additionally, Cooper cites the breakdown of the family unit (statistically, absent or abusive parents compounds risk) and the emergence of vast cyber-communities of like-minded deviant individuals, who no longer have disincentives to act on their most destructive predatory fantasies. Krishna Patel, assistant U.S. attorney in Bridgeport, Connecticut, invokes the easy money. Criminals have learned, often in prison—where “macking” memoirs such as Iceberg Slim’s Pimp are best-sellers—that it’s become more lucrative and much safer to sell malleable teens than drugs or guns. A pound of heroin or an AK-47 can be retailed once, but a young girl can be sold 10 to 15 times a day—and a “righteous” pimp confiscates 100 percent of her earnings.

    read the rest at http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105

    Posted by SMBerg on Tuesday, June 14 @ 13:46:04 EDT (52380 reads)
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    Human TraffickingPublished in The Portland Alliance, February 2010

    I have been a feminist a long time. First just a feminist, then a liberal feminist, then a sex-positive feminist by my early 20s. To my life-changing joy, I discovered radical feminism and I'm still in that camp, but traipsing through my early 30s brought me to a new way of working for women's rights. I am now a soroptimist. Since last week I have been asking people if they know who the Soroptimists are and what they do. Some folks had vague recollections of community do-gooders, but most externalized the dialogue that ran through my brain upon receiving word of the conference, “Sorop-wha?” Soroptimist means “best for women.” They are an international volunteer organization of professional women comprising more than 1,400 clubs in 19 countries who work to improve the lives of women and girls. From microcredit to funding media projects and more, throughout the day I heard astonishing success stories that convinced me they're not bragging about that “best for women” declaration. Soroptimists are the key constituents behind the Northwest Coalition Against Trafficking (NWCAT), the official sponsor of the anti-trafficking conference that drew a crowd of 500 to Portland's Red Lion Hotel on January 9. Soroptimist International Northwestern Region is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that has formed a coalition of agencies, political leaders, community organizers, media and business contacts throughout the Northwest to work against trafficking. And mama mia is there trafficking in the Northwest. Deputy Keith Bickford, director of the Oregon State Human Trafficking Task Force, explained why Portland is a major slave hub in the United States, “Lots of pimps have come to Portland because there have been few prosecutions.” One pimp told him “schools are buffets” where slavers can find teen girls to turn out by the bunch. Bickford blamed the city's legal sex industry, lax trafficking enforcement, large numbers of homeless youths, proximity to two interstate freeways and seasonal farmwork, but highlighted the fact that pimps only provide what johns demand. Research on Scottish johns from 2008 revealed twice as many prostitute-using men identified themselves as politically left than politically right (32% versus 17%). Portland progressives need to stop smirking at the sexual capitalism that has masqueraded under liberalism's aegis for too long. Talk of building a shelter for prostituted girls has been buzzing for about two years, but little headway has been made into the enormous project. Greg Moawad of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office used his session “Prosecution 101” to explain the critical role of a safe haven in seeing traffickers brought to justice. Prosecution is almost impossible without victim testimony, but these girls are scared for their lives. “The very reasons she was selected as a victim makes it hard for her to effectively prosecute them,” Moawad reported. Between the arrest date and the court date, girls often run away rather than go to court and face their enslavers. A shelter will provide victims with the security and social assistances they need to put these career criminals in jail. It is easy to be against trafficking, tantamount as it is with slavery. More difficult by far is to take issue with the trafficker's propaganda machine: the porn industry. Criticisms of pornography that go beyond jokes about bad music, fake breasts, and other purely aesthetic offenses are anathema in Portland. I have reported on many anti-trafficking events over the years and very rarely have the educational sessions or speakers broached the topic of pornography's influence on sexual slavery. Imagine my delight when I walked into Esther Nelson's workshop and encountered a slide depicting pornography as a form of sex trafficking. Nelson was there representing the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) and she did a bang-up job explaining how porn stimulates men's desire to use prostitutes. To separate pornography from prostitution is to deny that women and children are often exploited by pimps who can operate camaras. Men who pay to watch prostitutes be prostituted on film are long-distance johns, and many move on to buying sex locally. An increasingly pornified culture was Nelson's target and she criticized the current valorization of all things pimp; television shows like “Pimp My Ride”, feature movies like “Hustle & Flow,” and songs like 50 Cent's career-making “P.I.M.P”:
    I let em' do as they please, as long as they get my cheese
    Even if they gotta freeze, or if it's a hundred degrees
    I keep em' on they knees, take a look under my sleeve
    I ain't gotta give em' much, they happy with Mickey D's
    Later that afternoon, Soroptimist International of the Americas President Cathy Standiford made a soroptimist out of me when she also pointed a finger-o'-blame at pornography, “80 percent of prostitutes say johns have shown them porn to illustrate what they want.” Read the rest

    Posted by smberg on Tuesday, February 09 @ 11:34:30 EST (10863 reads)
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     News: Israel's fight against sex trafficking

    Human Trafficking By Raffi Berg
    BBC News, Jerusalem

    Marina rarely leaves her two-room home in northern Israel these days.

    She is in hiding - wanted by the Israeli authorities for being an illegal immigrant, and by the criminal gangs who brought her here to sell her into prostitution.

    Marina - not her real name - was lured to Israel by human traffickers.

    During the height of the phenomenon, from the beginning of the 1990s to the early years of 2000, an estimated 3,000 women a year were brought to Israel on the false promise of jobs and a better way of life.

    "When I was in the Ukraine, I had a difficult life," said Marina, who came to Israel in 1999 at the age of 33 after answering a newspaper advertisement offering the opportunity to study abroad.

    "I was taken to an apartment in Ashkelon, and other women there told me I was now in prostitution. I became hysterical, but a guy starting hitting me and then others there raped me.

    "I was then taken to a place where they sold me - just sold me!" she said, recalling how she was locked in a windowless basement for a month, drank water from a toilet and was deprived of food.

    That part of her ordeal only ended when she managed to escape, but the physical and mental scars remain.

    Last year, the United Nations named Israel as one of the main destinations in the world for trafficked women; it has also consistently appeared as an offender in the annual US State Department's Trafficking in Persons (Tip) report.

    While this year's report said Israel was making "significant efforts" to eliminate trafficking, it said it still does not "fully comply with the minimum standards" to do so.

    Like Marina, some trafficked women are brought into the country legally, while others are smuggled by Bedouins across the border from Egypt.

    In all cases, the traffickers - as many as 20 in the chain from recruitment to sale - take away the women's passports before selling them on to pimps.

    Sometimes the women are subjected to degrading human auctions, where they are stripped, examined and sold for $8,000-$10,000.

    Sanctions threat

    Prostitution in Israel is legal, but pimping and maintaining a brothel are not.

    The law however is not widely enforced and few brothels are closed down.

    In Tel Aviv's Neve Shaanan district for instance, just a short walk from the city's five-star tourist hotels, brothels masquerading as massage parlours, saunas and even internet cafes, fill the side streets.

    One such place even operates opposite the local police station.

    There are bars on windows and heavily-built men guard the doors, which are only opened to let customers in and out.

    Inside, groups of sullen-looking women sit in dimly-lit rooms, waiting for their next client.

    Foreign women fetch the highest prices, with trafficked women forced to work up to 18 hours a day.

    For years, the absence of anti-trafficking laws in Israel meant such activity - less risky and often more profitable than trafficking drugs or arms - went unchecked.

    "During the first 10 years of trafficking, Israel did absolutely nothing," said Nomi Levenkron, of the Migrant Workers' Hotline, an NGO which helps trafficked women and puts pressure on the state to act.

    "Women were trafficked into Israel - the first case we uncovered was in 1992 - and not much really happened," she said.

    "Occasionally traffickers were brought to trial, but the victims were arrested as well, they were forced to testify, and then they were deported."

    In 2000, trafficking for sexual exploitation was made a crime but the punishments were light and its implementation was poor, NGOs say.

    It was only after repeated criticism of Israel by the United States - and the threat of sanctions - that authorities began to act.

    Investigations into suspected traffickers increased, stiff jail terms were handed down and Israel's borders were tightened against people smuggling.

    Changing tactics

    Campaigners say things began to change for the better in 2004, when the government opened a shelter in north Tel Aviv for women who had been trafficked for sex.

    It marked a change in the way the state perceived them - as victims of a crime rather than accomplices.

    There are some 30 women at the Maggan shelter - most from former Soviet states, but also five from China.

    "When they come here they are in a bad condition," said Rinat Davidovich, the shelter's director.

    "Most have sexual diseases and some have hepatitis and even tuberculosis. They also have problems going to sleep because they remember what used to happen to them at night," she said.

    "It's very hard and it's a long procedure to start to help and treat them."

    Police say their actions have led to a significant drop in the number of women now being trafficked into Israel for sex - hundreds, rather than thousands, a year - and they say the women's working environment has improved too.

    "There is a significant change in the conditions that the women are being held in," said anti-trafficking police chief Raanan Caspi.

    "In 2003 we used to find women who were being raped, incarcerated and suffering violence. In 2007, the situation is completely different - they get paid in most cases and the conditions that they're in are much more humane."

    Now most trafficking occurs through what people like to call discreet apartments and escort agencies. But the true picture might not be so clear-cut.

    Campaigners say increased police activity has also had an adverse effect. Instead of operating openly in brothels, traffickers have become more discreet, plying their trade in private apartments and escort agencies, making the practice more difficult to detect.

    "We've been keeping tabs on trends, in terms of, for instance, prices of exploitative services," said Yedida Wolfe, of the Task Force on Human Trafficking.

    "Those prices have not gone up, which leads us to believe that the supply of victims has not gone down.

    "While government officials are saying that their efforts have drastically cut the number of victims in the country, the NGOs on the scene really don't feel that's true."

    Israel might well have turned a corner in its fight against the traffickers, but the battle is far from won.

    Posted by smberg on Tuesday, November 06 @ 14:39:53 EST (4102 reads)
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     News: International Justice Mission Receives $5 Million Grant to Fight Sex Trafficking

    Human Traffickinghttp://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060314/dctu004.html?.v=49

    Bill & Melinda Gates Funded Project to Focus on Communities Where Human Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation is a Significant Problem

    WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Human rights organization International Justice Mission has received a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create a replicable model for combating sex trafficking and slavery. The initiative, named Project Lantern, will allow International Justice Mission to open a new office in a community affected by trafficking. Where trafficking flourishes, victims are at greater risk of infection with the HIV/AIDS virus. IJM will develop a model for working with local law enforcement officials in fighting trafficking in that community that will then be shared with stakeholders in the anti-trafficking community to be replicated around the globe.

    The global plague of sex trafficking is massive in proportion. The United Nations reports that one million women and girls are newly trafficked every year. In addition, the lack of choice that these victims have over their sexual activity, together with poor living conditions, violence, lack of protection, and no access to health care, all combine to create an increased vulnerability to contracting the disease. Only rescue from their illegal captivity will fully ensure that current victims are protected from HIV/AIDS. Successful prosecution of the perpetrators of these crimes will result in a reduction of the overall number of victims of trafficking, in turn decreasing the number of new HIV/AIDS cases.
    "Traditional HIV prevention efforts are focused on helping people avoid high risk sexual encounters, but there are millions of women and girls who don't get to make choices about their sexual encounters and are left utterly unprotected from the disease," said Gary A. Haugen, president and CEO of IJM. "Project Lantern will provide hope and a model for success." Helene Gayle, director of HIV, TB, and reproductive health at the Gates Foundation, said, "The global sex trade not only violates human rights, it also fuels the spread of HIV. Efforts like Project Lantern are urgently needed to help fight sex trafficking and save lives." International Justice Mission has years of proven effective experience working with local law enforcement and other partners to arrest and prosecute traffickers and others involved in the business of human trafficking. With the funds provided through this grant, the organization will research various regions with high reported rates of sex trafficking, and then identify one region in which to start operations. The office will commence full operations for three years, including undercover investigations, law enforcement training, engagement and involvement, victim rescue, ensuring appropriate aftercare and seeking perpetrator accountability. At the end of these three years, IJM aims to have created a successful model that other governments and organizations may replicate in their communities. Why Project Lantern: The name "Project Lantern" was chosen because a lantern was a symbol of hope and freedom during the period of the Underground Railroad in the antebellum United States. Slaves looked for illuminated lanterns, strategically placed by a network of supporters in front of "safe houses," along the road to freedom. Similarly, Project Lantern strives to light a safe path towards freedom for victims of modern-day slavery. To schedule an interview, contact Emily Nichols: news@ijm.org, 703.465.5495 For ongoing updates on the project, visit http://www.ijm.org About International Justice Mission: International Justice Mission is a human rights organization that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression. A multi- national team of law enforcement professionals and a highly qualified legal staff conduct criminal investigations and collect evidence to rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice. IJM works to ensure victims have access to quality aftercare that meets their broad and complicated needs. The work of IJM has been featured on Dateline NBC, FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, and in Forbes, the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.

    Posted by p2r9s on Friday, March 17 @ 16:36:24 EST (8960 reads)
    Read More... | News | Score: 5

     News: Take action: sign petition to fight trafficking for World Cup

    Human TraffickingI got this today in an email alert from the UK anti-pornstitution activists at Object. http://www.object.org.uk

    Please sign this petition by March 8, International Women's Day.

    Petition to fight trafficking during the World Cup

    This petition has just been brought to our attention by the European Women's Lobby

    content of the petition letter

    Dear President Barroso,

    Thousands of women and girls will be trafficked into Germany for prostitution during the World Cup. I urge you as President of the European Commission to take action, in cooperation with EU countries, to stop this crime.

    800,000 people are trafficked across borders every year.
    90% are women and girls.
    The majority are sexually exploited.

    Celebrate the World Cup.
    Fight sexual slavery.


    Brothels are legal in Germany.
    A massive increase in demand is anticipated with the influx of male supporters.
    This demand cannot be met except through trafficking.

    Posted by smberg on Thursday, March 02 @ 12:01:33 EST (4296 reads)
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     News: Soccer World Cup Anti-Prostitution Campaign Kicks Off

    Human TraffickingFebruary 23, 2006 Deutsche Welle

    The initiators of "Red Card for Forced Prostitution," seeking to fight against an influx of prostitutes during the World Cup in Germany this summer, launched their campaign in Berlin on Wednesday.Publicity in all countries and announcements in the German media will seek to make the public aware of prostitution "as a form of modern slavery," said Konrad Freiberg, president of the German police union (GdP), which has joined the campaign. He said the demand for prostitutes would increase during the sporting event, which will attract millions of people to Germany. Some 175,000 women are already involved in prostitution in the county, according to the German Protestant Church, which is also part of the awareness campaign. Another 40,000 prostitutes, mainly from Eestern Europe, could come to Germany during the soccer World Cup, several associations fighting prostitution estimate. The tournament is to be held in Germany from June 9 to July 9, and the anti-prostitution campaign's name refers to the red card given to soccer players for penalties forcing them to leave the pitch.

    Sweden particularly concerned with trafficking

    Sweden's justice minister, Thomas Bodström, on Tuesday also voiced concerns to his European counterparts about the risk of forcing women into prostitution during the World Cup. Bodström, a premier league football player in the late 1980s, said he was worried that "when you have a large gathering of people far away from home you tend to have a rise in prostitution and hence in trafficking." Prostitution is legal in Germany but illegal in Sweden. Despite Swedish concerns, Bodström stopped short of asking his southern neighbors to ban prostitution. Germany has assured all those countries taking part in the month-long tournament that the issue of prostitution and other security concerns will be dealt with and will not interfere with the event. "All measures are taken to ensure that the World Cup will take place in a safe and civilized way," a German diplomat said. Prostitution at the World Cup and the implications it may have on the trafficking trade will be discussed at a European chiefs of police meeting at the beginning of March, Austria, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said.

    Posted by smberg on Friday, February 24 @ 16:02:30 EST (4044 reads)
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     News: Slavery Slips Through Cracks in U.S. Policy

    Human Trafficking(part one of two)

    by Michelle Chen

    Jul 5, 2005 - Nearly sixty years after the international community declared it a crime against humanity, slavery today is far from banished. Involuntary servitude persists in developed and underdeveloped regions, and the United States remains one of the major destinations for traffickers and their captives. But according to activists and researchers, despite recent progress in anti-trafficking policies and enforcement, what many consider the basest form of human exploitation continues to thrive in the US. Pointing to inadequate enforcement of human rights laws, lagging community awareness, and a dearth of resources for victims, anti-slavery advocates say that behind the crime of forced labor is a societal failure to protect the most deeply subjugated. According to the research and advocacy group Free the Slaves, forced labor is largely concentrated in illegal or minimally regulated industries: nearly half of trafficking cases involve forced prostitution, about 27 percent involve domestic service, and manufacturing and farm work collectively account for approximately 15 percent.
    Public awareness of the issue has risen slowly with the landmark federal anti-trafficking law, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, passed in 2000. The act provides funding for anti-trafficking programs and offers legal protections for survivors, including legal resident status. The legislation defines its target, "severe trafficking," as the commercial trade of human beings for purposes of labor or sexual services that involves "force, fraud or coercion." But grassroots advocates for forced labor victims have a simpler definition. "We use the word ‘trafficking,’ but that’s really a euphemism," said Bill Bernstein, deputy director of the Texas-based social service group Mosaic Family Services. "What we’re really talking about is modern-day slavery."

    Posted by smberg on Wednesday, January 04 @ 08:59:07 EST (3481 reads)
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     'I was raped and beaten. I lost the will to run away'

    Human TraffickingBy David Harrison

    Irina Valinsky perches on the edge of her bed in a north London flat and puffs anxiously on a cigarette. "Twenty-five to 30 a day," she says nervously. The 21-year-old Lithuanian is not answering a question about her tobacco habit, but about the average number of men she is forced to have sex with every day.

    Working at two flats and a "massage parlour" six days a week, she charges £150-£400, depending on the time and services supplied - but has to hand over almost all the money to her Russian pimp.

    She is one of thousands of vulnerable young girls who have been trafficked to Britain in the past few years from Eastern Europe, beaten, raped and coerced into a life of sexual slavery. Last week, in the Sunday Telegraph, I reported on how I was offered the chance to buy a Romanian woman for £1,300.

    Irina is typical of many of the girls brought to Britain from countries such as Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Albania and Russia.

    The explosion in trafficking has been fuelled by the expansion of the European Union - many Eastern Europeans no longer need visas for Britain - falling travel costs, criminal gangs exploiting any opportunity to make big money, and a seemingly limitless demand.

    Up to 6,000 women are estimated to have been trafficked into Britain in the past few years. About 1,500 traffickers were arrested last year and the Government and police are drawing up urgent measures to combat this relatively new crime.

    "There's always been some sex trafficking," said one Scotland Yard detective, "but the trickle has become a tide." More than 80 per cent of "off-street" prostitutes in London are now foreigners, mostly from Eastern Europe, compared with less than 20 per cent 10 years ago, according to recent research.

    Like most trafficked women, Irina was duped into coming to Britain and held under threat of violence to her and her family. She was "excited" when she landed a job as a waitress in London, after replying to a newspaper advertisement in Vilnius.

    But, once in England, she was introduced to an Albanian who took her passport and said he had paid £4,000 for her - and that now she would be working for him as a prostitute until she had paid it all back.

    "That first night he raped me, to break me in," she said. "I thought about escaping but he never let me out of his sight. He hit me in the face and his friends raped me. I lost the will to run away." After a year Irina was sold to her current pimp.

    The arrival of the girls from Eastern Europe has coincided with - and fuelled - a disturbing expansion of the sex industry. Most end up in the "off-street" sector: massage parlours, saunas, brothels, private flats, and, increasingly, lap-dancing and other "gentlemen's clubs". They are frequently sold on several times.

    "The traffickers and pimps rule by fear," says Denise Marshall who runs the Poppy Project, Britain's only refuge for women who escape from their sadistic controllers. "The girls are totally traumatised. It can take years for them to get back to anything resembling a normal life.

    "These girls are victims but are too often dismissed as prostitutes and illegal immigrants."

    Trafficking is "easy money" for criminals, says Ms Marshall. "Why should they risk carrying a bag of heroin into Britain when they can buy two girls, bring them in legally on the Eurostar and get their money back in a week?"

    The two-year-old Poppy Project, based in south London, is funded by the Home Office. It can house 25 girls and is full. The girls who make it to the shelter, usually after a referral from the police, have all experienced horrific abuse. Anna, a Ukrainian in her twenties, was raped at an early age and then beaten and gang-raped regularly, before being trafficked to Britain to work as a prostitute. Maria, a Moldovan was trafficked to London, beaten, raped, and sold as a prostitute three times.

    The Government is using the EU presidency to draw up a Europe-wide anti-trafficking "action plan" and will set up an organised crime agency in April next year. "The fact that so many women are being trafficked against their will has added a shocking new dimension to prostitution," said Paul Goggins, the Home Office minister for serious organised crime.

    Senior police officers want to see a new offence introduced for men who use trafficked women as prostitutes and say local authorities should close down saunas and massage parlours that offer sexual services.

    Det Chief Supt Steve Kupis, the head of Operation Maxim which fights organised immigration crime in London, said: "Trafficking women into prostitution is modern-day slavery."

    There have been successes. Last month, two men were jailed for a total of 36 years in Sheffield for auctioning two Lithuanian girls for £3,000 each at a coffee shop in Gatwick. Two weeks ago, two Moldovans were jailed for bringing 600 women into Britain illegally and forcing them into prostitution. On Friday at Cardiff Crown Court, a 21-year-old Lithuanian claimed that she was tricked into coming to Britain for a better life only to be sold into prostitution for £5,000 to three Albanians.

    Back at her flat Irina stubs out another cigarette. I ask her what would it take for her to flee this life of sexual servitude. She stares at a kitsch painting of a child on the wall and says, wearily: "I don't know. It is dangerous. They would get me or my family. What else could I do? Where could I go?"

    • Some names have been changed

    Posted by smberg on Monday, November 14 @ 08:11:38 EST (8291 reads)
    Read More... | Score: 3.62

     News: NY State Wants to Make Human Trafficking a Felony

    Human TraffickingFilipino Reporter, News Report,
    May 30, 2005

    ALBANY, N.Y. — Last March, a Filipino-American Wisconsin couple — both physicians — was indicted for human trafficking for holding a Filipina as a domestic servant in their home for 19 years by threatening her with deportation, imprisonment and physical restraint.

    Last fall, a 60-year-old Filipino woman in California won an $825,000 lawsuit after claiming she was enslaved and assaulted, working 18 hours a day, and sleeping in a dog bed.

    And last month, federal agents broke up a prostitution ring in Brooklyn exploiting Asian girls.

    They are among as many as 20,000 immigrants smuggled into the U.S. each year headed toward possible slavery or prostitution often through the major ports of New York, California and Florida, according to federal officials and a study by Florida State University.

    New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with powerful majority sponsors in the State Assembly and Senate wants to make the act of human trafficking a felony, as well as give prosecutors tougher and more effective laws than the current statutes used, including kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. The law also provides a way for victims to recover payments for their physical, psychological and financial pain.

    Posted by p2r9s on Thursday, June 09 @ 16:01:14 EDT (5201 reads)
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     News: Japan cracks down on human trafficking, but sprawling sex industry is a toug

    Human TraffickingUpdated at 15:12 on May 1, 2005, EST.

    TOKYO (AP) - Monica's life as a Tokyo prostitute was her own choice. Like thousands of others over the past two decades, she took what she thought was a good offer of lucrative work in Japan's multibillion-dollar sex industry.

    But the Colombian woman had no idea of what awaits foreign prostitutes in Japan: debt bondage, sometimes violent working conditions, "fines" imposed by pimps or brothel owners for any attempt to escape - and an utter lack of help from authorities.

    "The reality is different once you arrive. It's much harder than you ever imagined," says Monica, 31, a single mother who still works the Tokyo streets. She spoke on condition she only be identified by her first name.

    Thousands of cases like Monica's are at the centre of a new crackdown on human trafficking in Japan, which was placed on a U.S. watch list last year, and again cited for trafficking in a U.S. human rights report in February.

    Posted by p2r9s on Monday, May 09 @ 14:59:33 EDT (4586 reads)
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