January 30, 2012
Fourteen Indicted In Child Sex Trafficking Ring
DENVER, Colo. -- Four ringleaders and ten others are charged in a Colorado child trafficking ring.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced Monday that his office has secured an indictment for 14 individuals suspected of running, abetting and patronizing a human-trafficking ring that trafficked children for sex at locations ranging from Denver to Grand Junction.
According to the 70-count indictment, 22-year-old Patrick Lloyd McGowan, 20-year-old Chad Armand Gow, 20-year-old Roy Manuel Ibarra-Gonzales and 21-year-old Bryan Steven Burns oversaw a human trafficking ring that involved the prostitution of children as well as the sale of methamphetamine and cocaine. McGowan, Gow, Ibarra-Gonzales and Burns are suspected of arranging "out calls" for their child victims through the Internet and coercing their victims through the use of drugs and threats of violence. The suspects are suspected of tr... [more]
January 30, 2012
Former massage parlor owner convicted of human trafficking
A northwest suburban massage parlor owner who forced four foreign women into prostitution — and made them to get tattooed with his moniker to show he owned them — was convicted by a federal jury Monday.
Alex Campbell was found guilty of three counts each of forced labor, harboring illegal alliens for financial gain, and confiscating passports and other immigration documents to force the victims to work. He was also convicted of one count each of sex-trafficking by force and extortion, a release from the U.S. Attorney's office said.
The jury deliberated for two to three hours beginning last Thursday after a three-week trial.
Trial testimony showed that Campbell, who formerly operated the Day and Night Spa on Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect, used violence and threats of violence to force three women from Ukraine and one from Belarus to work for him without pay, and ... [more]
January 30, 2012
Life in prison for man who beat and raped woman he trafficked
DUBAI // A human trafficker who beat up and raped a woman who refused to work as a prostitute was jailed for life yesterday.
Two other men were jailed for 10 years for running a brothel, and another woman was jailed for five years for consensual sex and prostitution. All four are from Bangladesh, and will be deported after serving their sentences.
The victim's plight emerged when she fell while trying to escape through the window of the flat where she was being held.
She was taken to hospital for treatment to facial bruises and swelling, and reported her ordeal to a police officer.
The woman had travelled from Bangladesh to Dubai on May 4 last year on a maid's visa. The gang locked her inside an apartment in Fareej Al Marar, then she was taken to another apartment in the same building where two other Bangladeshi women were working as prostitutes. When she refused she wa... [more]
January 27, 2012
Pasadena pair accused of human trafficking, forced prostitution of teenager
A Pasadena woman and her associate are accused of forcing the woman's 14-year-old daughter to prostitute herself.
Edith Sauceda and Reynaldo Alaniz, also of Pasadena, are charged with trafficking of persons and compelling prostitution, according to documents retrieved from the Harris County court system.
According to probable cause documents, the girl was living in the Empire Village apartment complex on Burke Road with her mother, who started taking the child with her when she was allegedly working as a prostitute at different apartment complexes.
Eventually, the customers started asking if they could have sex with the girl, court documents state, and Sauceda then allegedly made her daughter work as a prostitute every day during a period in August and September.
The girl told a forensic interviewer at the children assessment center that “sometimes I didn... [more]
January 29, 2012
Tulsa human-trafficking case far from over
The train ride to Bombay took several hours, and then Jagdish Prajapati had to wait in a line that often stretched out the door, sometimes wrapped around the block.
Hundreds of men would apply for dozens of jobs, coming back week after week to try again.
It took months for Prajapati to get an interview, and then he had to pay two months' salary as an "application fee."
"That's what people are willing to do because they love their families and want a better life for their children," says Prajapati, who gave up an engineering job in India to become a welder in the United States.
"In India, even if you have a job, you don't have any money. I always dreamed of life in America."
Ten years after coming to Tulsa to work for the John Pickle Co., Prajapati is finally living the life he imagined, but only after "going through hell," as he describes it.
"I was asking myself, what have I do... [more]
January 26, 2012
2 Accused In Child Sex Trafficking Case
Police in Titusville say two people face charges after a sex trafficking sting.
Police say 25-year-old Debra Blackmon and 23-year-old Tony Hammond forced a minor to have sex for money.
According to a police news release, Blackmon is the minor's legal guardian.
Investigators said they have been looking into the pair for weeks. Officers said a report made to the Department of Children and Families' Florida Abuse Hotline tipped them off.
Blackmon and Hammond are being held in the Brevard County Jail.
President Barack Obama declared January Human Trafficking Awareness month.
New York Times
January 25, 2012
How Pimps Use the Web to Sell Girls
In November, a terrified 13-year-old girl pounded on an apartment door in Brooklyn. When a surprised woman answered, the girl pleaded for a phone. She called her mother, and then dialed 911.
The girl, whom I'll call Baby Face because of her looks, frantically told police that a violent pimp was selling her for sex. He had taken her to the building and ordered her to go to an apartment where a customer was waiting, she said, and now he was waiting downstairs to make sure she did not escape. She had followed the pimp's directions and gone upstairs, but then had pounded randomly on this door in hopes of getting help.
Baby Face said she hurt too much to endure yet another rape by a john. She told prosecutors later that she was bleeding vaginally and that her pimp had recently kicked her down a stairwell for trying to flee.
That 911 call set in motion the arrest of Kendale Judge, then 21. Judge has... [more]
January 24, 2012
Theresa Briscoe, Former Prostitute, Fights Human Trafficking With Hot Cocoa
At 12 she was a prostitute. By her teenage years she was homeless. Now, at 49, Theresa Briscoe is helping other women escape the suffering she once endured daily.
Briscoe is the outreach coordinator for No Boundaries, a group dedicated to helping human trafficking victims in southern Oklahoma, according to NewsOK.com and part of No Boundaries International, the umbrella organization that works to end trafficking in Sierra Leone, Southeast Asia and Moldova, KFOR reports.
Now that No Boundaries has partnered with the Salvation Army, Briscoe drives the organization's van around town, stopping to hand out coffee and hot chocolate to prostitutes in hopes of sparking conversations that can eventually lead to liberating them, NewsOK.com reports.
"We're able to talk with them, ask questions about them, and really get to know them and care about them and pray for... [more]
January 24, 2012
Wife Sues In-Laws, Says Arranged Marriage Turned to Slavery
Diptiben Mistry was a 20-year-old college student in India when she married Himansu Udwadia, then 24, who was working as an accountant in the United States.
Mistry says it was an arranged marriage, common even in Indian-American families, and that she was promised a good life and the opportunity to finish her education in hotel management in India.
But after a brief honeymoon, all those dreams vanished, according to a lawsuit Mistry filed on Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against her in-laws, Chandrakant and Nilam Udwadia.
Mistry's father-in-law allegedly told her she needed to return immediately to the United States with the family, and the couple eventually settled in the same house as her husband's parents in Elk City, Okla., in 2007.
There, she alleged that the Udwadias controlled her life -- rationing food, depriving her of medica... [more]
January 20, 2012
Columbia man charged in human trafficking prostitution ring
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An ongoing investigation by Kentucky State Police into human trafficking has led to the arrest of a Columbia, Kentucky man in Taylor County. Investigators say 27-year-old Adulfo DeAquino Cancino used young girls in a prostitution ring.
"Mr. Cancino was charged with human trafficking and unlawful transaction with a minor," said KSP Trooper Andy Olson, a Public Affairs Officer with Post 15 in Columbia.
Cancino, an undocumented alien is behind bars for using girls under the age of 16 for prostitution.
"As of now, Mr. Cancino has been charged in Taylor County," Olson said, "however, we do believe that it is possible that these events occurred in several of the surrounding counties in the Post 15 district."
Several weeks ago KSP detectives got a complaint that at least two young girls were involved in the prostitution ring. But unlike a recent federal case w... [more]
Eye Witness News
January 23, 2012
More girls trapped in forced prostitution
A Johannesburg teenager who escaped a suspected human trafficking ring said she came forward with her story to raise the plight of other girls who could not escape.
She said there were still a large number of South African girls trapped in a life of forced prostitution.
The 16-year-old was abducted near her Bramley home in October 2011.
The teen was drugged and woke up in a compound along with other girls in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
She was raped, beaten and told she would become a prostitute on the streets of Cape Town.
After one of her attempts to run away failed, she staged a dramatic escape in Long Street and made it to the Cape Town police station.
She said her abductors are still holding at least 10 other girls.
“They were definitely South African girls between 13 and 19. Some of them had bruises. If we were told to do something and we did not then they forced themselv... [more]
January 9, 2012
Nationwide Day of Action to Free Human Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan
January 11, 2012 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and we hope you'll take a just a few moments of your time to help lend a voice to Sara Kruzan, a human trafficking victim who has been in prison for the last 17 years after she killed the man who raped her at age 11 and forced her into prostitution at age 13. At only 16 years old Sara was tried as an adult, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
During the last 17 years, Sara has earned a college degree and has been a model prisoner - correctional officers named her Woman of the Year in 2009. Before leaving office in 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted Sara's sentence to life with the possibility of parole. But she will not be eligible for parole for eight more years . We believe she has served enough time and that eight more years in prison is waste of California taxpa... [more]
Kansas City Infozine
January 6, 2012
Lebanon Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking
Admits Torturing Woman Who Was Coerced as a Sex Slave.
Lebanon Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking, Torturing Woman Who Was Coerced as a Sex Slave
Kansas City, MO - infoZine - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lebanon, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in the sex trafficking of a young, mentally deficient woman who was coerced into being a sex slave for several years while she was tortured in a trailer home located in a wooded area in Lebanon.
Michael Stokes, also known as “The Rodent,” 63, of Lebanon, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to his role in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. Stokes' guilty plea today marks the fourth and final customer in this case to be convicted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Stokes becam... [more]
January 6, 2012
West Java Teens Say They Were Trafficked to Papua
Five teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 18 from Sukabumi district, West Java told local police that they had fallen victim to a human trafficking syndicate.
One of the teenagers said she was initially told she would work as a baby-sitter in Kalimantan but was instead taken to Papua, where she was forced to work as a prostitute at a local discotheque.
Noneng, the mother of one of the teens, said that upon learning that her daughter was working at a nightclub, she contacted the teen's workers' placement agency and was told to pay Rp 2 million ($220) for her daughter's return.
The five teenagers escaped with the assistance of one of the nightclub workers, who alerted their parents.
Sukabumi Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Witu Urip Laksana said police were pursuing the man posing as a workers' placement agent.
“We are still investigating the case. Hopefully, we can arrest th... [more]
The Phnom Penh Post
January 4, 2012
Maid's mum tells tale of abuse
A mother who has been fighting since November to have her daughter brought home from Malaysia because she is allegedly being beaten and tortured by her employment agency will file a complaint with the Ministry of Interior tomorrow.
Chea Si Yan, 58, told the Post yesterday her daughter Sanh Makara, 31, whom recruitment agency Champa Manpower sent to Malaysia to work as a maid last March, had recently called her to say the company's partner agency in Malaysia had beaten her because they were unhappy with her performance.
“Her last employer ordered her to cook a cake, but she did not understand – she is not good at English – so the employer was angry with her and sent her back to the agency,” Chea Si Yan said.
“The agency then beat her until she needed to be taken to hospital.”
Chea Si Yan said she also feared for the safety of her 30-year-old goddaughter Moa Chamroune, who was working in Malaysia... [more]
December 30, 2011
Obama declares human trafficking prevention month
President Obama is declaring January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
"We stand with all those who are held in compelled service," Obama wrote in a proclamation issued today. "We recognize the people, organizations and government entities that are working to combat human trafficking; and we recommit to bringing an end to this inexcusable human rights abuse."
Obama wrote that "trafficking networks operate both domestically and trans-nationally, and although abuses disproportionally affect women and girls, the victims of this ongoing global tragedy are men, women and children of all ages."
In declaring National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Obama noted that Jan. 1 is the 148th anniversary of the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Obama's full proclamation:
Nearly a century and a half ago, President Abraham Lincoln ... [more]
December 30, 2011
California law turns up heat on labor conditions
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A new California law will force retailers and manufacturers to disclose from 2012 how they guard against slavery and human trafficking throughout their supply chains, ratcheting up scrutiny over some of the largest U.S. corporations.
From January 1, about 3,200 major companies doing business or based in California, a list that includes Apple Inc and Gap Inc, will be required to disclose steps they take, if any, to ensure their suppliers and partners do not use forced labor.
Companies risk getting sued by the state attorney general if they flout that law. But experts say the real pressure will come from the court of public opinion: consumers who care about ethical working conditions and take an interest in how their favorite brands get made.
Major U.S. consumer companies that have already come under fire include Apple. A group of suicides at supplier Foxcon... [more]
Journalism in the Americas
January 2, 2012
Two TV journalists in Argentina kidnapped while trying to cover complaints of alleged human trafficking
An Argentine television reporter and cameraman were beaten, threatened with death, and ordered to strip when they tried to cover a human trafficking story about Bolivian families on a farm in the western province of Mendoza on Dec. 29, reported the official news agency Télam and Diario Uno.
Journalist Julián Chabert and cameraman Raúl Zalazar, of Channel 7 of Mendoza, said they were investigating reports of 15 Bolivian immigrants -- mostly minors -- suffering labor exploitation, when the owner of the farm, Horacio Isgró, locked the journalists in the kitchen and threatened to kill them, according to the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA in Spanish).
The two journalists went to the olive producing plantation in the district of Los Corralitos in order to cover an inspection by the Labor Undersecretary and investigate clai... [more]