March 25, 2011
Oklahoma truckers learn how to stop human trafficking
OKLAHOMA CITY — It's been nearly 30 years, but Mark Brown still remembers the face of the teenage girl who approached him at a truck stop in California.
He'd just finished a long day of driving across the country when the girl, who wasn't more than 15 or 16 years old, knocked on his window and asked if he wanted a date.
He said he ignored her and let her proceed down the row of trucks, knocking on windows trying to sell her body for money.
"I still regret that decision to this day," he said. "I should have helped her."
Brown now uses his position as assistant director of Driving Instruction at Central Tech in Drumright, Okla., to teach new drivers about what they can do combat the industry's hidden secret. He passes out wallet cards with tips and information to students and is going to distribute a training video to other schools across the country about human trafficking.
And ... [more]
The Kansas City Star
March 26, 2011
Labor Department cracks down on work visa fraud
Surging fraud and abuse is prompting the U.S. Labor Department to propose changes to a guest-worker visa program.
In announcing the proposed changes, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis emphasized the benefits to U.S. workers who must sometimes compete with foreign labor, but added that foreign workers should not be forgotten.
“The department cannot ignore this rise in successful criminal and civil prosecutions, which demonstrate the abuse of the H-2B program,” a recent announcement in the Federal Register noted.
The proposed rule changes would close a large loophole that human traffickers often have exploited. If made final, the new rule would eliminate job contractors from the program.
While many job contractors operated legitimately — obtaining large numbers of workers and selling their services to hotels and resorts — others did not.
Such abuse led in May 2009 to criminal charge... [more]
March 28, 2011
Man convicted in prostitution trafficking
Chicago, Ill. —
A 46-year-old who went by the nickname "Magnificent" faces up to 30 years in prison for operating a prostitution ring in and around Chicago.
The Cook County State's Attorney's office says a jury last week convicted Troy Bonaparte of Chicago on felony charges, including human trafficking.
Prosecutors say Bonaparte rented motel rooms where women might see up to 25 customers a day. They say he'd threaten to beat or kill the women if they refused to follow his orders. They've said previously that Bonaparte told the women to call him "Magnificent."
Bonaparte was arrested in August of last year in an Elk Grove Village motel. He's scheduled to be sentenced May 3.
Cook County prosecutors say Bonaparte's the first person convicted under tougher human trafficking laws adopted last year.
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March 30, 2011
PHL govt launches anti-human trafficking hotline
With almost a thousand cases of human trafficking involving Filipinos recorded as of February 2011, the Philippine government has launched a 24-hour anti-human trafficking hotline that will respond to emergency calls from victims in Metro Manila and the provinces.
In a release posted Friday night, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking-Advocacy and Communications Committee (IACAT-ADVOCOM) launched the 1343 Actionline “Laban Kontra Human Trafficking" campaign, which became fully operational on March 15.
The 1343 hotline may be accessed from any point in Metro Manila, and can be accessed from the provinces by dialing Manila's area code (02), and the hotline number.
It is set to become toll free all over the nation and even globally in the near future, the DFA said.
"We need this hotline because a lot of trafficking victims and their famili... [more]
The Times of India
March 18, 2011
16 abducted baby girls rescued from brothels in MP
BHOPAL: Sixteen innocent girls, who should have been in nursery school learning their first alphabets, were rescued by the police from brothels lining the highways in Mandsaur.
Over the past five days, the police in Mandsaur district rescued the girls aged between two and seven years who were abducted from their homes and sold at prices ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 60,000 to flesh traders of the 'Bachhra' tribe. The little girls were being held in captivity so they could join the traditional occupation of the Bachhras as soon as they entered puberty.
Bachhras are one of the most backward tribes of the country residing in the districts adjoining Rajasthan on the western areas of the state. While their men don't work, the women are made to earn for the community through prostitution. Bachhras are known specially for child prostitution, with families making their first daughters into... [more]
The Harrow Observer
March 7, 2011
Retired doctor guilty of keeping woman as slave
A HARROW pensioner who kept an African woman as her slave has been found guilty of human trafficking.
Retired doctor, Saeeda Khan, received a nine month jail sentence, suspended for two years - meaning she was allowed to walk free from court, after a jury convicted her exploiting a Tanzanian woman at her Whitmore Road home in West Harrow.
The 68-year-old was also ordered to pay her victim, 48-year-old Mwanahanisi Mruke, £25,000 in compensation for the three-and-a-half-year ordeal in which she was forced to sleep on the kitchen floor, fed two slices a bread a day, and kept at Khan's beck and call by a bell she kept in her bedroom.
During the trial, which began on March 7, the jury heard how detectives from the the Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command arrested Khan, after receiving intelligence that she had trafficked a woman from Tanzania to work as a slave in her home.
March 16, 2011
Dutch-Based International Pedophile Ring Busted
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Police said Wednesday they have smashed a huge international pedophile ring, rescuing 230 children from abuse and arresting 184 suspects -- including teachers and police officers.
The three-year investigation code named Operation Rescue uncovered 670 suspects and identified and safeguarded children in more than 30 countries by arresting people accused of abusing them, said Rob Wainwright, director of the European Union police agency Europol.
The ring was centered on an Amsterdam-based online forum called boylover.net, which Wainwright described as "probably the largest online pedophile network in the world."
"These are very serious crimes on a truly global basis," he added.
The heavily encrypted forum, whose administrator appeared in a Dutch court on Tuesday charged with sex offenses, had up to 70,000 members.
The investigation was led by Britain's Child Exploi... [more]
PR Urgent News
March 10, 2011
Delta Air Lines Signs Tourism Code of Conduct, Joining ECPAT-USA in Fight Against Child Trafficking
New York, NY – ECPAT-USA, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies to protect sexually exploited children, announced that Delta Air Lines has become the first major airline in the world to enter the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children by signing the tourism Code of Conduct (The Code). The Code specifically focuses on the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries. While The Code has been signed by almost 1,000 travel industry members worldwide, Delta is the first U.S. air carrier and the third U.S. organization to sign.
As a subscriber to The Code, Delta will implement policies that condemn child trafficking and provide training to help their employees identify and report trafficking activities. Delta will also raise awareness among customers by including informat... [more]
The Wichita Eagle
March 13, 2011
Men charged with rape, human trafficking
The 13-year-old girl saw the black Cadillac Escalade pull up to a QuikTrip, and she climbed inside with a man she had never met.
She had been told by another teen that this man would treat her better than the other pimps in Wichita.
Last week, the girl mumbled through tears in Sedgwick County District Court to tell a judge how men bought and sold her for sex.
The men she accused also were in court last week. Prosecutors say it's the first time they have charged both a pimp who they say provided the child and the "john," who they say paid for her.
Donald L. Davis, 48, and James M. Cochran, 54, stood silent as a judge entered pleas of not guilty on their behalf. If convicted, they face charges that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives.
Davis is charged with rape and human trafficking. Cochran faces three charges of rape. Their attorneys declined comment at their arraign... [more]
March 6, 2011
Shadowy figures lurking on the fringe
The boys' choir from Zambia sang in churches, schools and shopping malls across the United States. In exchange for their hard work, the boys were promised an education, wages that could be sent home to family and a school that would be built in Africa.
People who heard the 12-member a cappella choir were touched. They reached into their wallets and purses and offered up donations. The boys, ranging in age from 12 to 17, sang a mixture of gospels in English and their native tongue. They brought in more than $1 million, yet saw little of it. They received room and board and the occasional token payment, but no wages, no education, no school back home.
The boys are among the faces of modern-day slavery - in their case, trafficked into the United States under the guise of a faith-based organization that preyed on them.
"They were brought here for a specific purpose and that was to get as much out of them - wi... [more]
Radio Free Asia
March 4, 2011
Women Tricked, Trafficked into China
Many are traded as commodities and sexually assaulted.
North Korean women crossing into China as defectors are frequently preyed on by trafficking gangs, with some targeted for abduction before they even leave their homes, according to sources in the region.
Sometimes, the process of entrapment begins with brokers scouting for women willing to leave the North, sources say.
“Members of trafficking gangs operate in North Korean cities like Hoeryong, Chungjin, and Hamhung,” said Kim Jae Sung, a North Korean defector living in China.
“If the gangsters see pretty girls walking down the street, they tempt them by asking if they would consider living a ‘good life' in China.”
Many “fall for the trick” and follow the traffickers, said Kim, who escaped from North Korea's North Hamgyeong province in 2009 and now works in the Chinese border city of Yanji.
Once they cross the border into China, he sa... [more]
March 2, 2011
Girls lured into Philippine cybersex industry
Maricel is a shy, attractive girl, who looks younger than her 15 years. But in her short life, she has already had to deal with experiences that would badly scar many adults.
Two years ago her aunt told her about a job in the city of Olongapo, several hours away from her home.
"She told me I would be working as a domestic helper and a babysitter," said Maricel. "But when I got there, she told me to dress up and go in front of the computer.
"She even showed me how to do it - so I had no choice but to follow her instructions."
Maricel had become what is known here as a "cybersex chat girl".
Her friend Kim was soon lured into the same trap, and worked alongside her.
"We did a show in front of the camera, using a webcam and a phone," said Kim.
"When the customers requested us to show our bodies, we removed our clothes… If they were satisfied with our show, they requested us for another ... [more]
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 2, 2011
Sex trafficking bill passes House
The Georgia House took aim at those who prostitute children on Wednesday, overwhelmingly agreeing to make it easier to go after pimps and others who exploit minors for sex.
House Bill 200 also would significantly increase the penalties for the crime of human trafficking and sexual servitude, bringing them in line with those for drug trafficking.
It passed the House with bipartisan support, 168-1. The lone dissenter, Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, said he objected only because of constitutional questions about how many features the bill contained. He said he did not oppose the bill's goals.
House members applauded themselves after the vote.
“Passage of this bill sends a strong message: ‘Not in our Georgia,' ” said Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, the bill's sponsor.
The approval comes just a year after legislators let a bill designed to help children trapped as sexual slaves die over... [more]
February 28, 2011
Authorities: Man persuaded moms to abuse kids
DETROIT -- A Michigan man built an online profile posing as a good-looking single dad and caring psychologist and persuaded mothers across the country to sexually assault their children as a form of therapy, then send him the images of the attacks, authorities said Monday.
Since authorities arrested him in October, seven children were rescued and at least three mothers have been arrested. Prosecutors say all of the children are now safe.
Steven Demink, 41, of Redford Township, Mich., appeared in federal court in Detroit to enter his plea on six charges related to the sexual exploitation of children. Seven charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. He faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in June.
Court documents paint a picture of a man who targeted single mothers, and in some cases, promised them a date if they followed through with his directions. He w... [more]