Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Human Trafficking : Spread the Word

Over this semester I have told you about human trafficking in other countries, some cultural reasons that have led certain groups of people to become vulnerable to being trafficked, and what some organizations and governments are doing and have done to stop human trafficking. If these facts and anecdotes have left you wondering why you should care about an issue in other countries, I hope this blog will answer your questions.
In this globalized world we live in, you can talk to anyone in the world through a variety of technologies and our clothes, food, and most of our remaining material possessions are made, grown, or mined in wide variety of foreign countries. This globalization has come with the consequence that our actions and desires as a United States society can have effects on the rest of the world. On the Ivory Coast in Africa, half of the world’s supply of cocoa is grown and harvested. When the World Bank made the governments along the Ivory Coast get rid of the price guarantee for cocoa, the price of cocoa greatly decreased. This led many cocoa farmers to use slavery as a way to cut costs for their workers. Many young men from Mali have been kidnapped and taken to the plantations where they are unpaid, overworked, beaten, and even trapped inside a shed to prevent their escape during the night. According to Deabi den Baily, a senator in Mali who used to work for the Malian Association, “at least 90% of cocoa plantations along the Ivory Coast involve slavery”. This is just one example of how the desire for luxuries such as chocolate affects the lives of people in other countries. There are many other industries that have used and continue to use slave labor. Such industries include cotton, especially during the harvesting, woven rugs, and brick kilns. These last two industries have caused kidnappings of young children in rural India, to use them to weave the rugs and make the bricks.
Our lifestyle’s contribution to slave labor and human trafficking are not the only reasons a United States citizen should care about human trafficking; the United States has its own problems with human trafficking. When the World Bank wanted representatives of other countries to move to the United States, the United States offered a reward for those World Bank employees; they could bring domestic servants with them. These workers have been treated as slaves since they have not been paid, have been forced to work long hours, and have been treated cruelly by their employers in many other ways. Some workers were forced to kiss their employer’s feet, wear a dog collar, forced to sleep outside, and called bad names by their employers. Many of these workers have been young women, 14 to 16 years old who were tricked into coming to United States with the promise that their employer would provide them with an education and a high paying job(). This situation is, in many ways, very similar to that of other victims of human trafficking; these workers were tricked with false promises and once they entered the US they were controlled through fear and violence. What is most striking about these examples of human trafficking is the fact that these workers were working in the homes of people with high paying jobs who did not have to use forced labor to cut costs of employment and these were homes in a suburban area of upscale Washington DC – the last place one would think to look for signs of human trafficking. Human trafficking is recently used to obtain cheap workers for the agricultural work in the rural parts of the United States. These agricultural workers are tricked into debt bondage, the form of modern day slavery in which a person is most often offered a way into another country and a job opportunity in return for money , when that person reaches their destination they are told the debt is much higher than they were originally told. In fact the debt is so high that the person would have to work many years for their trafficker, versus the months they were told they could work off the debt in, or the person could never work it off. This situation then forces the person to continuously work without pay for many years or even for the rest of their lives. One way that these traffickers keep the victims in this situation is the fact that these victims are illegal and thus if they try to get help from the police they could be arrested themselves and taken back to their original country that they had paid to leave. Sex trafficking is also a very big problem in the United States. According to the US Department of State, “an estimated 200,000 American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry”.
In the past, the United States government has shown its concern for the issue of human trafficking by passing legislature to help law enforcement fight better against human trafficking. One such law was the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, which provided victims of human trafficking and domestic violence with shelter and other basic necessities. This law was reformed in 2008, which gave the Department of State’s Global Trafficking in Persons office more funding and granted benefits to human trafficking and domestic violence victims regardless if they agreed to help law enforcement or not. This meant that all victims could be helped even those who were afraid to testify against their traffickers.
Currently, there is a bill in committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives that would allow the United States to help foreign countries fight against human trafficking. This bill is called the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009.Its purpose is to give the Secretary of State the ability to offer assistance to countries who have the highest rates of human trafficking in order to decrease the rates of trafficking, increase the number of prosecutions against traffickers, and to help the victims rebuild their lives. I believe this bill should become law because it addresses some of the main methods of preventing human trafficking that have been the most successful. It mentions prosecutions against traffickers, thus it involves helping the local law enforcement to make the traffickers pay for their actions. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, this has been very successful in Nigeria, where it was used to stop parents from abandoning their children which had been making children vulnerable to human trafficking, and in the Philippines where the help the local law enforcement received from the International Justice Mission, led to a dramatic decrease in the rates of human trafficking- it decreased by 70% within 2 years. As I mentioned before, the prosecution of people who do not follow these laws, means people who might otherwise be involved in human trafficking have a very good reason not to be. This bill also mentions helping the victims rebuild their lives. As I talked about in an earlier blog post, it is not enough to free someone from slavery; you must find a way to make sure that person does not have to return to that same situation in order to live. By providing funding for assistance for victims of human trafficking, this bill could help people escape the dangers of having to fall back into their previous situations.
So now that you know more about why you should care about the issue of human trafficking, your daily life affects it and it is happening within your own country, I hope that you have decided that the fight against human trafficking is a worthy cause. If indeed this is your decision I suggest that you put this into action by emailing the senators and members of the House of Representatives committees for Foreign Affairs to let them know you want them to support the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009. The committees for Foreign Affairs in House of Representatives and the Senate are currently looking over this bill to decide whether it should be voted on by Congress or not. By emailing them about your interest in this bill you can help them make that decision. Now I have to be honest with you, they are probably not going to respond or even personally read your email. However, the people who work for these senators and representatives will read your email, and such emails are used to figure out how interested the citizens of the United States are in certain bills. So I encourage you to email these senators and representatives to do your part in helping to stop human trafficking and help its victims.
For more information about the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009 and where it is in Congress please go to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-3184
To contact the House of Representatives Committee for Foreign Relations please go to: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/contact.asp
To contact the members of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate please email the following senators:*
*The best way to get the most impact in your email to email a senator that corresponds with your state, if none of these senators is from your state , email the Committee for Foreign Relations in the House of Representatives
Sen. John Barrasso [R-WY]
Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA]
South Carolina
Sen. Jim DeMint [R-SC]
Sen. Russell Feingold [D-WI]
New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
Sen. James Inhofe [R-OK]
Sen. Edward Kaufman [D-DE]
Richard G. Lugar
New Jersey
Sen. Robert Menéndez [D-NJ]

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Good News About Human Trafficking

These past few weeks I have been learning how the boycotts and buycotts that are used to try to raise awareness about international issues or even solve international issues, such as sweatshop labor, do not work as well as they claim to or as much as people would like them to be. In fact some boycott campaigns can do more harm to than good to people they are meant to help. Throughout this semester I have been researching what governmental and non-governmental organizations have done to raise awareness about and prevent human trafficking. One of the practices that many of these organizations have had success with has been local involvement. I am going to use this blog to show how local involvement has helped these organizations fight against human trafficking.
A charity from the United Kingdom called Stepping Stones Nigeria, partnered with a local non-governmental organization called Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network(CARN) to work with the children who have been kicked out of their homes because they were labeled ‘witches or wizards’. Stepping Stones Nigeria helped CARN and the children build houses and a school at the CARN shelter. CARN and Stepping Stones Nigeria have also hired teachers to educate the children. In addition to formal education, the children are also taught, marketable skills such as farming, sewing, building, and soap making. The two organizations have been talking with local professionals to set up apprenticeships for the children when they get older. The rabbit, poultry, and snail farms at the CARN shelter help the children make money, from sales, and give them protein rich food. Another success of these two organizations has been the Prevent Abandonment of Children Today (PACT) campaign. The campaign began in November of 2006 and with the help of international and local officials and activists, the campaign has led to the arrests of many parents who had abandoned their children. This has helped stop the abandonment of children because now that the police are enforcing the rules against child abandonment, parents are less likely to abandon their children. The PACT campaign has also gotten local radio and TV stations involved. These stations have daily advertisements warning their viewers and listeners, that child abandonment is illegal and immoral.
The International Justice Mission has worked with local police around the world to make sure laws against various types of human trafficking are enforced. In the Philippines child trafficking in particular has been a major problem. IJM members with experience in law enforcement have helped to give training to the Philippians’ police, who had not received formal police training before, due to lack of funding. In May 2003, the Philippians’ government passed an anti-trafficking law which can penalize traffickers with jail time up to life. Another law has also been passed in the Philippines with the help of IJM officials, this law makes sure that children in jail are not in adult prisons. This is a positive change because it prevents abuse of the children while they’re in jail.
Thus by working with local police and community members Stepping Stones Nigeria and the International Justice Mission have been able to create change in areas where human trafficking is a major problem.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Want to Know More?

Throughout my research about the many forms of modern slavery, I have found some sites that I have found very useful. Below are some of these sites as well as other websites created by organizations that should have very reliable information on modern slavery.
The following sites are run by governmental organizations, both national and international.

• http://naptip.gov.ng/
This is a site created by the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters .This site has wide range of information about the various departments of the agency, such as the departments of investigation, monitoring, public enlightenment, legal matters, and research and program development. There is also a department for the rehabilitation and counseling for victims of human trafficking.
• http://www.humantraffickinginasia.net
This site was created by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asian Foundation and the United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The site covers current new and articles about human trafficking, as well as information from studies about human trafficking. The site also talks about the legal matters concerning human trafficking such as initiatives and laws protecting victims. It also mentioned the relatively unknown form of modern slavery called organ trafficking.
• http://www.osce.org/cthb
This site focuses on the Secretariat Office of Special Representative and Co-coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and their activities. The Secretariat Office is part of the Organization for Safety and Co-operation in Europe. The site has information about human trafficking which includes: statistics about traffickers and victims as well as many publications about helping the victims of human trafficking and about how the traffickers can be prosecuted.
• http://www.state.gov/g/tip
This site is run by the United States’ Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The site contains information about anti-trafficking and awareness programs, as well as legislation which focuses on human trafficking. One of the useful sources that can be found on this site includes a Trafficking in Persons report which covers information about human trafficking in 175 nations.
• http://www.ungift.org/
This site is managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Labour Organization, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nation Children’s’ Fund(UNICEF), the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This site contains information about initiatives, conventions of groups fighting human trafficking, knowledge centers, and legal protocols.
• http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/index.html?ref=menuside
This site is managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This section of the website contains information on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Such information includes recent news and events. It also tells about the roles of the departments of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime for the prevention of human trafficking, the protection of the victims, and the prosecution of the traffickers. The site also has reports about global patterns of human trafficking and training materials for Criminal Justice professionals that want to know what they can do to fight human trafficking.

The next websites listed are from non-governmental organizations.
• http://www.antislavery.org/english/default.aspx
This site is run by the Anti-trafficking Monitoring group. This organization has branches all over the world. Some of the information on this site includes articles, reports, and other resources which discus the many forms of slavery that are present in the world. It also has resources about colonial slavery. One section of the website discuses what people can do to get involved in the fight against human trafficking.
• http://www.catwinternational.org/
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is a nongovernmental organization which promotes women’s rights and works to combat sexual exploitation through work with international human rights. This work with human rights includes campaigns, programs, and projects aimed at raising awareness about sex trafficking and in the prevention of sex trafficking. A resource that could be very useful when one needs to find facts about trafficking is the Fact book of Trafficking, Prostitution, and Other Exploitations , which can be found under the heading ‘resources’.
• http://hrea.org/index.php?doc_id=430
This site is maintained by the Human Rights Education Associates, which is a non-governmental organization which supports educating people about human rights issues. This link will take you to a section of the site which contains information on slavery and forced labor. The information which this link discusses includes: the eight main forms of slavery according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the national and international legal documents against forced labor, and national and international anti-slavery agencies. The portion of this link that discusses the anti-slavery agencies is particularly helpful because it can lead to websites about those organizations. This link also contains teaching materials for advocates against slavery and for teachers.
• http://www.ijm.org
This website is run by the International Justice Mission, a human rights agency which fights against slavery, sexual exploitation, and other human rights violations by raising awareness, helping the victims, prosecuting against the traffickers and other perpetrators, and helping the communities of the victims. I highly recommend this site because IJM does not only teach about human rights issues and free the victims, it helps the victims gain marketable skills so they will not need to return to their form of slavery in order to make a living and has projects that try to help the communities so its citizens are less vulnerable becoming victims. The resources this site contains includes: stories about the victims who have been freed and how IJM has continued to help them, statistics and fact sheets about the forms of slavery and other human rights violations, a press center which contains press releases, articles, and video clips from IJM in the news, reports on the IJM projects, and resources to show how to be involved through a career in human rights and by praying for an end to injustices. This site also has a section which shows the many ways people can get involved in the work IJM is doing, whether they are a student, organization, or church.
• http://www.lastradainternational.org/
La Strada International is a European network against human trafficking. This site contains a wide range of information which includes: legal documents from the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, discussions about the root causes of human trafficking and the trends for victims and traffickers in particular countries, reports of human trafficking, a resource center which contains background information about human trafficking, and links to many governmental and non-governmental organizations.
• http://www.polarisproject.org/
The Polaris Project is one of the largest anti-trafficking organizations in the United States and Japan. It has programs at international, national, and local levels. It provides social services and housing for victims of trafficking. It also runs the National Human Trafficking Resource Center which is a hotline for human trafficking, works towards anti-trafficking legislation, and helps communities get involved in the fight against human trafficking. This site contains information about: what human trafficking is, how people can report a possible case of human trafficking, what laws at the federal and state level protect victims and fight trafficking. It also has news about the organization’s projects and the community organizations the Polaris Project has helped to create.
• http://www.terredeshommes.org/
The Terre des Hommes International Federal is a group of national organizations which works for the rights of children and community opportunities without discrimination. This site contains information about the projects the organizations have created to improve living conditions of disadvantaged children, their families, and their communities and the organizations’ campaigns against child trafficking. These organizations have projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Resources which this site contains includes reports on the projects, publications about the prevention of child trafficking and inter-country adoption, and information on how to get involved through donations or political lobbying in Europe.
• http://www.humantrafficking.org/
This site contains information from governmental and nongovernmental organizations in East Asia and the Pacific that work against human trafficking. This site was created after the Asian Regional Initiative Against Trafficking. It contains a wide variety of information about campaigns and projects to prevent human trafficking and help the victims. There are also articles which talk about reasons behind human trafficking in specific countries. This site is very useful for finding links to other sites about projects and campaigns created by governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
• http://humantraffickingsearch.nd
This site is a search engine for human rights issues which was created by the National Multicultural Institute. It has several sections which are for: human trafficking, child labor, forced labor, and sex slavery. I found this site to be very useful since it led me to more reliable sites than google.com did.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Modern Witch Hunt Leads to Modern Slavery

After the slavery of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, termed colonial slavery, was abolished in the early 17th century, slavery didn’t disappear; it evolved into a new form. This form is rampant throughout the world today in developed countries as well as the developed countries. Modern Slavery can take many forms including human trafficking, debt bondage, contract slavery, and chattel slavery (in which people are sold). There are many differences between the new form and the old form, but the basic formula remains the same. Violence, whether it involves physically harming, threatening, or verbally demeaning the victim, is used to gain fill control over the victims. Once the victims can be controlled, they can be used for many purposes, such as sex and labor. Since slavery is illegal, it is not regulated as colonial slavery was. One can’t tell an enslaved person from a free person by sight alone, there are no distinctive markers. During colonial slavery one race was enslaved, if a person was of African descent they were most likely a slave, but almost anyone, regardless of race or nationality, can become a victim of the modern slavery. However, cultural factors, major events (such as civil war), and personal circumstances can make a person more vulnerable to becoming a slave.
An example of these factors joining to make a person more vulnerable to the modern slave trade can be found in the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. Here a 6 week witch hunt resulted in many deaths, in one community 120 people were killed (Foxcroft, 2008). This aftermath of death left many children orphaned by one or both parents. The orphans who were without parents, had no place to live. Those that were only orphaned by one parent were said to be ‘witches’ or ‘wizards’ by their surviving parent’s new spouse, and many were then abandoned to live in the streets. These ‘child witches’ were blamed for every misfortune that happened to the family or the community, whether it be drunkenness, disease, divorce, or infertility. Pastors of local revivalist Pentecostal churches only added to the hysteria by offering to ‘deliver’ the child with or wizard through exorcisms in exchange for a fee. These exorcisms involved chaining up the child and making them drink poisonous liquids, as well as beating and torturing them (Foxcroft, 2008). Those who were not exorcised were killed by being bathed in acid, burned alive, buried alive, drowned, or poisoned. If they were not killed they were imprisoned and tortured to extract a confession.
These horrifying conditions make the children living in this area of Nigeria particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Those that live on the streets or in abandoned buildings because they have no home or have been kicked out of their home can be more easily kidnapped by traffickers since there is no one taking care of them and therefore no one keeping track of them. However, children that are still living with their families, whether they are among those that are labeled ‘child witches’ or not, are still vulnerable to human trafficking. This is because they are recruited for trafficking by family members. In this area, many parents release their children to traffickers; girls in particular are recruited for ‘housekeeping’. In most cases, these girls are sexually abused and if those that do return to their community are often psychologically damaged and have unwanted pregnancies and HIV/ AIDS (Foxcroft, 2008).
Recruiting for trafficking can be found cross culturally and is most common in areas where conditions such as natural disaster, extreme poverty, or severe shortage of jobs, cause family or friends to take the risks of their children or friends being trafficked in the hopes that they will have a better life elsewhere. The alternative view of the recruiting of family and friends for trafficking is that the ‘recruiter’ has been bribed by the traffickers. By looking at the situation in the Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, I can see why parents would be willing to take these risks to get their child out of the community.
While Nigeria accounts for 60% of the UK’s source of child trafficking in Western Africa, the Akwa Ibom State is worse off than any other region of Nigeria in terms of vulnerability to trafficking (Foxcroft, 2008).The combination of the children who are kidnapped off of the streets and those who are given to traffickers by parents, have given the Akwa Ibom State the highest rate of child trafficking and child labor in Nigeria.
Works Cited
Foxcroft, G. (2008). Supporting Victims of Witchcraft Abuse and Street Children in Nigeria. Stepping Stones Nigeria .

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Horrors of Human Trafficking in Europe

Recently, I met with a representative of the International Justice Mission, Mike Hogan, when he came to my university for Abolition Week, to educate students about human trafficking. He answered some questions that I had about the aftercare that IJM provides for the victims of human rights abuses and how IJM helps the victims rebuild their lives. He told me that the aftercare specialists help by teaching them basic life skills such as how to balance a check book and how to find a job (Hogan, 2010). According to Hogan, many of the victims of forced labor don't know these skills because they were born into this form of slavery, or have been in it for most of their lives. He also told me about how the girls who are victims of sex trafficking are provided with psychological help and are taught marketable skills by the aftercare specialists. These skills help to ensure that the girls do not have to resort to prostitution to make a living.
Since the purpose of this blog is to look at the cultural reasons for human trafficking, I will use the remainder of this blog post to talk about human trafficking in Europe and some of the cultural aspects that might be influencing human trafficking within the continent.
According to a report from the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center, two thirds of European countries are the homelands of the child victims of human trafficking and more than three fourths of European countries are destinations for the victims
(Bissell, 2008).There's also a lot of human trafficking within country borders; approximately half of the countries in Europe have internal trafficking. While one might think that a family with money problems would make a child particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, the child's personal problems may also make the child vulnerable. In the Netherlands, there is a particular type of child trafficking known as 'Lover Boys'. This involves a 20-30 year old man who pretends to be in love with a teenage girl, usually younger than 18 years, in order to push her away from family and friends and make her completely dependent on him. Once the girl is dependent on the 'lover boy', he takes her away from her home to somewhere she can be easily exploited. Sexual exploitation is the most common but the girls have also been used for other purposes, including drug smuggling and money laundering. According to the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center, low self esteem and severe family problems put girls at risk for this particular form of human trafficking.

The study conducted by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center also looked at the factors that put certain groups of children in the greatest risk for human trafficking. In Eastern Europe, teenagers from 13 to 18 years of age are at risk because they think that life would be better in another country. This belief is encouraged by the success stories of people who have left their homeland. The fact that there are very limited options for legal migration, leads these teenagers to use trafficking to try to escape their country. In South Eastern Europe, there are many factors that can put minors at risk, these include: poverty, severe family problems, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. While children whose families who are abusive or in trouble money wise are at risk, children with ‘loving and caring’ families who would not consider themselves ‘poor’ can also become victims of trafficking. Particular risk groups are minors who live in institutions, have dropped out of school, or have no home. A lack of employment opportunities can also put minors at risk. The UNICEF Innocenti Research Center also mentioned that migrants and minority groups made vulnerable by the standard of supervision of unaccompanied minors at immigration reception centers and residential care centers, which is of lower quality than the care for nationals. The fact that some countries deport these unaccompanied minors and that child victims of human trafficking are penalized for immigration violations that resulted from being trafficked, have only helped the child trafficking market in Europe to thrive.

Works Cited

Bissell, S. (2008). Child Trafficking in Europe: A Broad Vision to put Children First . Florence ,Italy: UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund.

*Hogan, M. (2010, March 2). International Justice Mission . (J. Wedam, Interviewer)

*Mike Hogan is an employee of the Washington DC headquarters of the International Justice Mission. His official title is regional director of church mobilization and he is based in Portland, Oregon.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

History of Human Trafficking

The History of Human Trafficking

How did it begin?

There are several arguments about when human trafficking could have started. Some say that the slave trade in which Africans were captured by slave traders and shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas,was the first human trafficking.Others argue that the forced labor of children during the 1700s was the real beginning of what is now known as human trafficking. Human trafficking for sexual purposes was first legally recognized by the term 'white slavery'.According to Kristiina Kangaspunta,the Executive Officer of the Applied Research Program of the UNICRI branch of the United Nations, 'white slavery' is obtaining of a white woman or girl- by the use of force, drugs, or by dishonesty- for sex which is unwanted by the woman or girl(Kangaspunta). Kangapunta, has also argued that international governments began to discuss 'white slavery' after the
Transatlantic slave trade was made illegal.

The Fight Against Sex Trafficking

The British were the first to make a law against slavery in 1807, when they passed a law that made the Transatlantic Slave Trade illegal. In 1820,the United States followed Great Britain's example by making the slave trade a crime that was punishable by death.
In 1899 and 1902, international conferences to talk about white slavery were organized in Paris, France. Then in 1904, an international agreement against the 'white slave trade' was created, with a focus on migrant women and children. In 1910, 13 countries signed the International Convention for the Suppression of White Slave Trade to make this form of trafficking illegal. This International Convention led to the creation of national committees to work against the trafficking of white women. However, the first World War halted these efforts, and it wasn't until 1921 that the fight against trafficking continued. In June of 1921, a the League of Nations held an international conference in Geneva, in which the term 'white slavery' was changed to 'traffic of women and children'. This was done to make sure that: the trafficking in all countries was dealt with , the victims of races other than those termed 'white' were recognized, and that male children were also recognized as victims. During this conference, 33 countries signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children.
In 1923,the League of Nations had a group of experts carry out two studies on the trafficking of women and children. These studies were created to answer the following questions:were there many foreign women selling sex in the countries studied;was there a demand for foreign women prostitutes, if so , why was there a demand;what areas of their home countries were these women taken from and did they leave their home country by themselves or did someone help them; who were the people trafficking these women; what countries did these women come from, why did they leave their home countries, and how did they get to where they were. According to the results of the first study, most of the women came from many different European countries and were sent to countries in South America and Central America, and to Egypt, Algeria, and Tunis. The second study focused specifically on the sex trafficking between Asia and Europe and America. The results showed that very few Asian women were trafficked to Europe or America, and instead, mush of the trafficking victims were Americans and Europeans that were trafficked to Asian countries. The results of the second study also showed a pattern of Asian women being trafficked from one Asian country to the next, and of Asian women trafficked to men of their own ethnic background who were living in or visiting places outside of Asia. Both of these studies showed that the main ways traffickers used to convince women to be trafficked was the use of force and deception.
In 1949,the United Nations Convention of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was passed.This was the first convention about human trafficking that was legally binding to the countries that signed it and required the countries to make prostitution illegal. However, like all of the conventions before it,this convention still dealt only dealt with human trafficking that had a sexual purpose. In 2000, the United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons was passed. It made all forms of human trafficking illegal.
Human Trafficking Now
While human trafficking is internationally recognized and there have been many international laws passed against it, it is still a very serious issue around the world. According to a report given in 2004 by the US Department of State, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year and more people are trafficked within their home countries(Cree,2008).
Human traffickers currently still use methods for obtaining their victims that are similar to the methods that were seen the League of Nations 1923 study. According to Linda Woolf, a professor of Psychology at Webster University,the methods include coercion, which includes promises of a job or marriage, kidnapping, and some girls are sold to traffickers by their own parents(Woolf).

Cree,V.E.(2008).Confront Sex Trafficking:Lessons from History.International Social Work ,763-776.

Kangaspunta(n.d.)A Short History of Trafficking in Persons.Retrieved February 23,2010 from Freedom from Fear:http://www.freedomfromfearmagazine.org

Woolf,L.M(n.d.)Sex Trafficking. Retrieved February 24,2010 from Women and Global Human Rights:http://www.webster.edu/~woolfln/trafficking.htmld

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Human Trafficking and the International Justice Mission

This semester I am going to focus my blog on human trafficking. Since I am pursuing a degree in anthropology, I chose an issue that is cross-cultural.Over this semester, I hope to find out why human trafficking occurs in so many different countries which have different cultures, as well as find out what is being to prevent human trafficking and help its victims.This topic connects with themes of the UH 370 class, because structural violence helps human trafficking to continue.
I am going to use this first blog to look at how the International Justice Mission(IJM) works against human trafficking and other human rights abuses.I chose IJM as the first organization to talk about, because joining the IJM club at my university directed my interest to the issue of human trafficking in the first place.
The International Justice Mission is a human rights agency made up of lawyers,investigators, and social workers.The organization works in and with 12 countries.The case IJM takes deal with:sexual violence,slavery,illegal arrest,police brutality,sex trafficking,and illegal removal of property.The organization works against these human rights abuses from many different angles. The victims are rescued and receive help from social workers to rebuild their lives. The Lawyers and investigators make sure that the human rights abusers are held legally accountable. the organization also tries to prevent these human rights abuses, by strengthening weaknesses in the local judicial systems and in the communities.
I think the approach IJM uses in handling its cases is particularly effective,because its helps the victims create a stable life after they are rescued.Otherwise, the victims might be forced to return to their abusive situation.For example, a 14 year old girl who had run away from an abusive home, was tricked by a brothel owner who had promised the girl a well paying job.When the girl was rescued from the brothel, she left the only job and home she had had.If she could not find a job, she might have had to resort to prostitution or could have been vulnerable to being tricked again.I will try to find out that ways in which the members if IJM help the victims recreate their lives.
While searching through information about human traffficking, I have noticed that females are particularly at risk. According to the US Department of State, 80% of human trafficking victims are fem,ale and around 50% of all the victims are underage girls. I would like to try to find out why females are more at risk than males for hum,an trafficking. I also want to find out where human trafficking happens most often and what cultural influences have lead to increase or decrease in human trafficking.