human-traffickers

Finally, Nigeria’s Kidnapped Schoolgirls Are Coming Home

Photo: Some of the schoolgirls Boko Haram kidnapped in mid-April. 

“On Friday, Nigeria’s government announced it had reached a deal with Boko Haram to release the approximately 200 schoolgirls held captive by the Islamist terror group since April.

The agreement, announced by the country’s defense minister, also involves a cease fire between Boko Haram and Nigeria’s military. The government expects the terror group will not back out on the deal. "Commitment among parts of Boko Haram and the military does appear to be genuine,” an official with Nigeria’s security forces told Reuters Friday. “It is worth taking seriously.”

Boko Haram militants abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from Chibok boarding school in northern Nigeria in mid-April, sparking a worldwide outcry and propelling the group onto to the international stage for the first time. Over fifty of the girls escaped early on. The rest have remained in captivity ever since.“

As reported by Mother Jones 

AWESOME NEWS - this has been such a nightmare to follow, it is so great to hear the girls are being released!

Protect Children from Human Trafficking

Since October 2013, U.S. border patrol has apprehended more than 52,000 unaccompanied children fleeing extreme violence from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Many of these children are at risk of being trafficked.

Sign the petition to help us protect these children from human trafficking.

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“Most people don’t realize human trafficking happens here. In the US, in our backyards. Survivors of human trafficking often go unheard and unseen but every voice deserves to be heard. And donors like you, Beyonce… help survivors like me.

Your amazing generous donation allowed 35 children, women and men move off our waitlist and begin healing from their trauma… And for that and all the other amazing things you do, we say XO. ♥”

Find out more about CAST: The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking and watch the video in full!

Christopher Columbus was not the first to discover America, but he was the first to introduce transatlantic slavery to the New World. In 1492, he described Caribbean Island natives in his journal, noting “I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men and govern them as I please.” Within a year, he’d initiated the enslavement, transport, abuse, mutilation, rape, and murder of millions of natives in what was probably the biggest slave trade of its time. Source Source 2 Source 3

edition.cnn.com
Human trafficking at airports: 7 warning signs - CNN.com
Airplanes can be used for human trafficking. Knowing these 7 warning signs could save someone from a life of slavery.

It’s vacation season for much of the world, with travelers flocking to airports to jet off for some hard-earned R&R.

But it’s not just holidaymakers who fly on planes. Airports are also hubs for human trafficking – where adults or children are transported into forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, and traffickers often use air travel to move their victims. Sometimes, victims are flown into another country on the promise of a legitimate job, other times traffickers move their victims within a country, to keep them powerless or to avoid detection.

But you can help. By being aware of the telltale signs that someone is being trafficked, you may be able to keep them from a life of modern slavery.

We asked four organizations involved in anti-trafficking initiatives to share some of the signs that could indicate that a passenger is being trafficked through an airport.

What you should do

It’s important to remember that even if you spot a number of these signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone is being trafficked. But if you do suspect someone is being trafficked, do not confront suspected traffickers or attempt to rescue suspected victims – instead, call emergency services or alert the airport authorities.

Warning signs:

1 – A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel.

You might notice right away that a traveler has few or no personal items. Victims may be less well dressed than their companions. They may be wearing clothes that are the wrong size, or are not appropriate for the weather on their route of travel.

2 – They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word “Daddy.”

Many people have tattoos, so a tattoo in itself is obviously not an indicator, but traffickers or pimps feel they own their victims and a barcode tattoo, or a tattoo with “Daddy” or even a man’s name could be a red flag that the person is a victim.

3 – They can’t provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information.

Traffickers employ a number of tools to avoid raising suspicion about their crime and to keep victims enslaved. Some traffickers won’t tell their victims where they are located, being taken, or even what job they will have.

Because victims don’t have the means to get home or pay for things like food, they must rely on traffickers in order to get by, forcing them to stay in their situation.

4 – Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story

Sometimes traffickers will coach their victims to say certain things in public to avoid suspicion. A traveler whose story seems inconsistent or too scripted might be trying to hide the real reason for their travel and merely reciting what a trafficker has told them to say.

5 - They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed.

People being trafficked into slavery are sometimes guarded in transit. A trafficker will try to ensure that the victim does not escape, or reach out to authorities for help.

6 - They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them.

Fear and intimidation are two of the tools that traffickers use to control people in slavery. Traffickers often prevent victims from interacting with the public because the victim might say something that raises suspicions about their safety and freedom.

7 - Child trafficking

A child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner, or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns.

This list was compiled with help from the following organizations:

Airline Ambassadors International: Offers a human trafficking awareness program to educate airport staff about the problem.

Polaris: Works to combat and prevent modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Free the Slaves: Campaigns against modern slavery around the world.

International Justice Mission: Works to protect the poor from violence in the developing world.

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Tell NBC: Exploitation and violence against Filipinas is NOT entertainment!

Please sign this petition to demand NBC cancel the show and share widely: tinyurl.com/FilipinasNot4Sale 

Exploitation and violence against Filipino women is not entertainment! NBC’s “Mail Order Family” is slated as a half hour “comedy” following a widower who purchased a mail order bride from the Philippines. “Mail Order Family” is the most recent example of how the exploitation and violence women face is normalized in U.S. mainstream media. The mail order bride industry in the Philippines is rooted in historical U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, feudal-patriarchal view of Filipinas, and current neo-colonial economic policies that have impoverished the Filipino people.

The mail order bride industry exploits and trafficks women who are economically disadvantaged and living in poverty. Filipino women make up one of the largest segments of mail-order brides in the world. Due to an economy ravaged by U.S. imperialist economic policies dictated upon the Philippines, Filipino women lack employment opportunities in the country and are forced to leave their homeland to support themselves and their families.

Mail order brides are victims of human trafficking as they are forced into sex slavery and domestic servitude. Mail order-brides are vulnerable to violence because of the fundamentally unequal nature and imbalance of power where money is exchanged for an arranged marriage. Many mail-order brides become vulnerable to violence because they may be financially dependent on their husband, are isolated in a foreign country, and husbands can easily threaten them with deportation.

#CancelMailOrderFamily #FilipinasNOT4Sale

Who We Are

We are from Mumbai’s red-light area.

We are daughters of sex workers.

We are girls who were trafficked.

We are survivors.

We are young women with big plans and big dreams.

We are leaders.

We are agents of change.

Kranti means “Revolution” in Hindi – and we are the Revolutionaries!

What We Do

Kranti is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that empowers girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas to become agents of social change. Kranti believes that, when girls like us have access to the same education, training, and opportunities as people from privileged backgrounds, we can become exceptional leaders.

Our backgrounds give us added value as leaders and agents of social change because we’ve had to develop innovativeness, compassion, and resilience in the face of marginalization and discrimination. By combining our experiences with the support, opportunities, and confidence Kranti gives us, we can revolutionize not only our own lives, but also our community, the people around us, and all of India. Look out world – here come the Revolutionaries!

How We Get There

Therapy: Because change starts from within
At Kranti, we believe that the first and most important step of becoming a social change agent is learning to love oneself. All of the Revolutionaries have faced abuse, rape, and other types of violence, as well as the emotional and mental burden of coming from India’s most marginalized populations. To help us overcome society’s prejudice toward us, our mothers, and our community, Kranti offers many kinds of therapy, including art therapy, dance movement therapy, and cognitive based therapy.

Education: Because changing the world requires critical thinking as well as literacy
At Kranti, we believe the purpose of education is not to attain employment; it is to achieve empowerment and social change. We study in mainstream schools and open schools, and attend trainings with partner NGOs, including Swaraj, PWESCR, CREA, and Pravah. We are also free to design our own curriculum and measure our own progress.

Extracurricular: Because social change is led by well-rounded human beings
Each Revolutionary is required to take two extracurricular activities: one physical and one artistic. We’re learning everything from photography, drawing, singing, piano, and drums to karate and dance!

Social Justice: Because social change must be taught and learned
The Social Justice Curriculum covers 20 topics including caste, class, religion, environment, gender, sexuality, and women’s rights. Through a combination of workshops, documentaries, theatre, guest speakers, and field trips, we learn about the root causes of India’s biggest social justice problems, what the situation is today, and how we can help solve the problem. We even get to design and implement our own projects for each social justice unit.

Workshops and Theater: Because changing the world requires practice
We have led dozens of interactive workshops across India for over 15,000 people at schools, companies and NGOs; topics range from trafficking and sex work to gender equality and sexual abuse. We have also written a play about their lives, which we have performed in over 50 venues in India. By telling our stories, we’ve changed audiences’ mindsets about us, our moms, and our community.

Travel: Because you can’t change the world without seeing it first
Kranti takes between 3 and 5 trips each year, including an annual Himalayan trek in India, Nepal, or Bhutan. Traveling provides the opportunity to learn from various NGOs and to lead workshops around the country, as well as develop the confidence, grit, and resilience that can only come from traveling.

Modern-day slavery, better known human trafficking, is one of the fastest growing crimes internationally, making it a huge problem facing humanity. There are currently more in the world than ever, both in numbers and per capita; in 2012, there were approximately 27 million worldwide and growing, with over 17,500 trafficked into the United States every year. Most of them are women and girls and many are used as sex slaves, but all of those trafficked are also used for labor among other heinous crimes for little to no compensation. more statistics: (x)(x)(x)

Even though the problem seems far away, there are slaves in every single country in the world; they may be in your very community. They affect your daily life regardless of their location, whether they be in your town or halfway around the world. They sew your clothes and assemble your electronics; they harvest your food and craft your jewelry. To see how many slaves it takes to lead your lifestyle, click here.

If you or someone you know is in danger: 

  • call (US): 1 (888) 373-7888
  • call (UK and Ireland): 0300 303 8151
  • text (US):  233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)
  • submit a tip (worldwide): (x)

To learn more and donate, check out these anti-human trafficking organizations and campaigns:

When Eril Andrade came back from sea in a coffin, his body was covered in bruises and cuts, and he was missing an eye and his pancreas. The handwritten note from his captain said he died in his sleep. An investigation suggests otherwise.

READ and WATCH it here.

Police discovered that thousands of men from the Philippines and surrounding countries have been recruited under false pretenses over the past two decades. The Southeast Asian manning agency has an egregious record of human trafficking.

How is this still happening? The New York Times investigates in this compelling series about abuse on our seas.

Some Latinx-American issues that are not discussed enough
  • A rapidly increasing number of hate crimes against Latinxs. From 2011 to 2012, the number of attacks reported increased more than threefold (x).
  • Racial profiling from law enforcement officers, which leads to a variety of other problems. Latinxs are 2.5 more likely to be issued a ticket, 1.5 times more likely to be arrested, and 20% more likely to have their vehicles searched for contraband although deputies are 85% less likely to find drugs than in vehicles driven by those of other ethnic groups (x).
  • Widespread police killings and brutality against Latinxs. Latinxs accounted for the second highest police-induced fatality rate in 2015 behind African Americans (x). These incidents become more common in heavily Latinx areas. For example, of the 23 people fatally shot in Los Angeles County from January to July 2015, 14 were Latinos (x).
  • Judicial bias has led to harsher and longer sentencing for young Latino males. Contributing to this situation, Latinx people are less likely to have the financial means for a private attorney; thus resulting in higher incarceration rates (x). A Latino male on trial has a 17% chance of serving prison time while a white male only has 6% (x).
  • Presidential candidate Donald Trump launched his campaign by denouncing Mexicans as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” and suggested building a wall on the US-Mexico border paid by the government of Mexico. If Mexico were not to comply, all remittances sent to the country would be blocked (x). In August 2015, two white men that identified as Trump supporters beat a 58-year-old homeless Latino man with a metal pole and then urinated on him. Trump responded by saying his supporters are “very passionate” (x).
  • Under the Barrack Obama administration, the number of deportations have grown rampantly. The US is removing immigrants at nine times the rate of 20 years ago with over 2.8 million people having been deported since Obama took office, easily making him the president with the highest number of deportations (x)(x)(x)(x). Deportation of non-criminal immigrants still accounts for the majority of all removals as well (x).
  • Medical repatriation allows hospitals to put undocumented patients, often unconscious, on flights back to their home countries. This is done to avoid the costs of keeping patients with uncertain financial means (x). Over 800 cases were found from 2006 to 2012 (x).
  • Arizona SB 1070 remains law in the state of Arizona as of 2010. The law requires aliens staying in the US longer than 30 days to register with the US government, carry documentation at all times if not be charged a misdemeanor crime, reserves the right for state law enforcement to stop or arrest suspected illegal immigrants, and imposed penalties on those sheltering, hiring or transporting illegal immigrants. These provisions were upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court and inspired a number of similar bills in other states (x)(x).
  • Arizona also banned ethnic studies in public schools. They are considered to be “un-American” (x).
  • Legislative proposals have been made to strip US-born children of immigrant parents of their birthright citizenship (x). A number of politicians have expressed support for this, including Trump (x).
  • Underrepresentation in political office at both federal and state levels (x). There are currently 28 Hispanics in the House of Representatives and 3 in the Senate despite the fact that Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US and account for an estimated 18% of the population (x).
  • Lack of representation in mainstream media. Since 2006, only five Latinx or Latinx-descendant artists have reached number one on the Hot 100 as a lead act. Latinxs are also the most underrepresented ethnic group in television, film, and even fewer exist in top media positions (x)(x).
  • Erasure of Afro-Latinxs in the media and a lack of understanding for the identity. Afro-Latinxs also face additional racism from within the Latin community (x)(x).
  • The gender wage gap affects Latina women most severely. On average, Latinas earn 55 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes. In some states, this ranges from 43 to 59 cents, thus making Latinas the most underpaid group in the US (x).
  • Human and sex trafficking. Hispanics account for the vast majority of labor trafficking victims in the US, with over 55% of all victims being Hispanic. Additionally, over 23% of sex trafficking victims are Hispanic (x).
  • Latinx households experience disproportionate levels of poverty and have lower household income than non-Hispanic whites. The median income for a Hispanic household is $42,491, whereas the median for a non-Hispanic white household is $60,256.  Poverty rates for Hispanics are at 24%, more than double the 10% of non-Hispanic whites. Ten percent of all Latinos live deep in poverty as well, compared to the national average of 7% (x).
  • Food insecurity.  Latinx households are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as non-Hispanic, white households. More than 1 in 4 Latinx children live in food insecure households (x).
  • Hispanics have consistently had the highest high school dropout rates by ethnic group since 1990 or before (x). A lack of financial resources, inadequate school resources, and parents’ limited knowledge of the US public school system have contributed to this (x).
  • Undocumented high-school graduates have less access to higher education. In all states, undocumented students are ineligible for financial aid from the federal government. Most states require undocumented students to pay out-of-state or international rates to attend colleges or universities in their home states, thus resulting in highly exorbitant costs and blocking many from higher education. In Georgia and other states, undocumented students are banned from enrolling in some public colleges or universities altogether (x).
  • According to a Pew Research Center, Latinx people are the 2nd most discriminated against ethnic group after African-Americans. An estimated 22% of Hispanic/Latinx workers reported experiencing workplace discrimination (x). Meanwhile, 58% of Latinx people agree that racism is a prevailing issue (x).

Here are some articles about the extensive trafficking, horrific treatment and frequent killings of Eritrean migrants by Bedouins in the Sinai that I really urge you all to read if you’re interested about what’s commonly referred to as one of the most neglected human crisis in the world.

It is clear why the United States of America has been given global recognition as the country with the most powerful military in the world. The U.S. government spends more on its military than the annual budgets of nearly all countries in the world. Aside from having the most weapons, aircraft, and satellites, the United States’ military presence worldwide has expanded so much that it has earned it the status of a modern-day imperialist nation — an imperialist nation that has been able to disguise its methods of expansion through military bases, foreign aid, and even humanitarian work around the world.

History shows us that the U.S. expanded from having 14 military bases abroad in 1938 to 30,000 large and small installations in approximately 100 countries by 1945. Today many of these installations have been closed, but the once-occupied communities have been left to struggle with the aftermath of U.S. military presence. While there is more awareness now of the ramifications of U.S. militarism and its destruction of the environment and livelihoods of local people, one of the less-known issues is how U.S. military expansion contributed to the growth of the international sex industry.

Perhaps one of the most discernible examples of this is the U.S. Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. In the 1980s there were more than 4,000 American officers and their dependents stationed there, following the Vietnam War-era heyday when some four million U.S. sailors passed through Subic every year. The base was described by the Wall Street Journal as the “central hub for U.S. military operations in the Asia-Pacific.”

But Subic Bay Naval Base also has a dark secret. In the 1980s, local brothels and traffickers generated an estimated $500 million from buying and selling women and girls to meet the demands of the servicemen stationed there. A women’s non-profit organization known as the Buklod ng Kababaihan was established in 1987 as a drop-in center for the staggering number of women being exploited through prostitution outside the Subic base.

When the base closed in 1992, the problem did not end. U.S. nationals continued to travel to the region, some to simply take advantage of the commercial sex industry established by what was once the biggest U.S. military base. According to the Buklod ng Kababaihan website, they fight for the approximately 300,000-400,000 women and 100,000 children who are still being exploited.

Following recent agreements made between the Obama administration and President Benigno Aquino III this year, some are eager to reopen the base. With U.S. troops being welcomed back into the Philippines, negative consequences are sure to follow in the already hurting community.

Sadly, Subic is not the only example. The Pentagon is aware of how the international sex industry is being perpetuated by the U.S. military. According to Humantrafficking.org, in December 2002, President Bush “declared zero tolerance for involvement in human trafficking by federal employees and contractors in a National Security Presidential Directive” following media reports detailing “the alleged involvement of DynCorp employees in buying women and girls as sex slaves in Bosnia during the U.S. military’s deployment there in the late 1990s.” However, the actual implementation of such policies has been minimal. This is why in 2011 the ACLU filed a lawsuit tackling the underreported problem of trafficking and abusive treatment of foreign workers on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Middle Eastern firms working under American subcontractors in Iraq were engaging in human trafficking.

The United States military is not expanding its military presence as much for national security or for helping allies as it is expanding its occupation to seek profit and power. In the process it destroys the environment and the livelihoods of the people whose lands are occupied, and it also creates and perpetuates systems of violence against women. Today, the sex industry is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world (profitable for pimps and traffickers, that is). The U.S. military’s role in supplying the demand for this industry is very clear. Militarism affects everyone. It’s an environmental justice issue, a social justice issue, an anti-imperialist issue, and a feminist issue.

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Real Cinderellas  

Thousands of young girls are being trafficked from villages in Togo, to various countries in the region, to work as unpaid domestic servants.

Girls as young as seven are taken from rural villages to Togo’s capital Lomé, neighbouring Nigeria or Benin by traffickers known as ogas, who are more often than not close female relatives such as aunts or older sisters.

According to children’s rights organisation, Plan International, the girls are put to work in households where they perform laborious domestic work for their bosses, such as washing, cooking, cleaning and caring for children.

Meanwhile, their wages are gathered as an income by the ogas, who can make up to CFA150,000 per year (approximately $250) if they have a number of girls working for them.

The trafficked girls miss out on school, and many experience physical violence, are not fed, or are raped and abused by men in the household.