Human Remains Found Near Red Rock Canyon

LAS VEGAS — Hikers at the Red Rock Conservation Area on Thursday stumbled upon remains that turned out to be human. Now investigators are trying to figure who it was.

“It could be an injured hiker that was unable to find his or her way out of the area. It could have been a suicide. It could be remains from a homicide. That’s unknown and undetermined at this time,” said Metro Police Lt. Les Lane.

Metro says around 2:30p.m. Thursday, hikers found and reported what appeared to be parts of a human spine wrapped in a shirt. It is too early to tell whether the remains belong to a man or a woman or how old the person was. The bones were found near Black Velvet Canyon in the Red Rock Conservation Area.

Other hikers described the rough terrain near the canyon.

“The only trail that really goes back into the canyon is through a wash which has got a lot of big boulders, like house/vehicle-sized kind of stuff,” said hiker Bryan Hendrick. “At a certain point, it’s blocked and past that, you have probably a 30 foot cliff you have to climb past to continue going up.”

Metro’s Search and Rescue will head to the area Friday to recover the bones. Crime scene investigators will also scour the area looking for any possible evidence. Police say crews will need some time to positively identify the remains.



Support the Child Protection Compact Act 2010 By November 15th

On November 15, The Child Protection Compact Act (CPCA), a bill which would create international partnerships to stop child trafficking, will be voted on by the Senate. This historic bill will fight child trafficking not just within countries, but between them. But only if it passes. Contact your Senators today so they know you support it.

The CPCA was introduced in the House on June 5th by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Its goal is to provide assistance through the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to “focus countries” — countries with a need and a will to stop child trafficking within and across their borders but without the means to do so. Focus countries would receive support to build effective public justice systems to investigate crimes against children and prosecute enough perpetrators to create a powerful deterrent, eventually eliminating the crime altogether. The legislation would also authorize more assistance for the aftercare of trafficking survivors.

This approach to irradicating child trafficking has seen great success in the hands of NGOs like the International Justice Mission, whose field offices have seen significant decreases in crimes against children wherever their prosecutors can work in tandem with willing governments to bring perpetrators to justice. That’s why IJM, World Vision, and other child advocacy groups are now supporting a similar bill introduced to the Senate on March 25th by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), called the Child Protection Compact Act 2010 (S.3184).


Take Action to End Slavery in Corporate Supply Chains

Millions of men, women, and children are enslaved around the world, producing the raw materials that create products we use every day. Slaves pick the cotton that ends up in our t-shirts, mine the tungsten that makes our laptops run, and harvest the cocoa we find so delicious. But two pieces of pending legislation in California could help end the use of slavery in major corporations’ supply chains. Will you help make them law?

The proposed legislation would be California state law, but if it passes, the effects will be felt all over the country and all over the world by reducing the market for slave-made goods. The California Supply Chain Transparency Act of 2010 (SB 657) would require retailers and manufacturers doing business in California and having more than $100 million in annual worldwide gross receipts to publicly disclose some basic things about what they’re doing to end slavery in their supply chains. That includes whether or not the company uses verification to evaluate and address human trafficking risks in product supply chains including if they used 3rd party verification, conducts audits of suppliers and whether audits are independent and unannounced, direct supplier certification and what they do to train and maintain internal accountability for employees and contractors failing to meet company standards on slavery and trafficking.With this information, consumers across the country will have better tools to help them make ethical decisions about what they purchase.

Because California is such a large economy, this new law would affect major corporations all over the world, including those who produce some of the biggest supply chain slavery offenders, like consumer electronics, clothing, and food products. Of course, that means the big business interests who would be affected are fighting hard to keep the law from actually requiring them to simply tell us what they do, if anything, to keep slavery out of the products they sell us. Right now, they’re hiding behind the skirts of big business association like California Manufacturers and Technology Association and a mountain of cash, but they are fighting. And that’s why we need you, wherever you live, to let California know the world is watching their decision.

Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 6:33 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Welcome to the flesh market


There is a law that can hold criminals accountable for their crimes in trafficking children for sexual exploitation. But Malaysia is one of three countries in Southeast Asia that hasn’t signed this Protocol. What are you going to do about it? 

Once upon a time, we wished for our younger siblings to be gone. We wanted them out of our lives, and wished they would disappear so we could have our own rooms or never have to pick up after their mess again or even keep an eye on them all the time.

But what would happen if they really went missing? Would you ever forgive yourself for your secret wish if you found out that they had suddenly vanished because they were among the 1.2 million children trafficked for sexual abuse and exploitation every single year?

Of course you wouldn’t want that! The level of annoyance of your pesky sibling could never amount to wanting any physical injury to befall them, even if you did say or think of some really mean things that you wished would happen to them in your many moments of rage.

However much money you said you’d gladly part with, just to have someone take him or her away, it would never have crossed your mind for your brother or sister – no matter how irritating, mischievous or painful – to be part of a staggering 79 per cent of US$27 billion, gleaned from the sexual exploitation of children.

In the end, while you sometimes can’t even stand the sight of your brother or sister, you’d never wish for them to be kidnapped, raped, beaten, tortured and violated sexually or turned into the object of some pedophiles’ lust, because deep down, you know you care for them deeply.

 Blood is thicker than water and because of this, you know that you would even fight to protect them. And this is why, as youths, you must also be aware of the uphill battle we all face against child sex trafficking. It is your war too.

The State of Things

Just last month, Malaysia was upgraded to Tier 2 from Tier 3 in the United States Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, showing recognition of the efforts of the government to fight illicit trafficking.

And even more recently, the penalties of human trafficking were increased 10-fold, showing a move in the right direction to deter and curb this crime against humanity.

But despite all that, Malaysia is still one of only three countries in South East Asia who have not signed on to the Optional Protocols (Articles 34 and 35) in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – a shocking fact, for these protocols are crucial in putting precedence on the rights and protection of children victimised by sexual trafficking.

What is Child Sex Trafficking, and what are the Optional Protocols?

The definition of trafficking of children is: “the movement of a child (anyone under 18) for the purpose of exploitation is considered trafficking, even if it doesn’t involve coercion.”

Sexual exploitation of a child for commercial purposes is sex trafficking, and often, sex trafficking is for any or all of these purposes: child pornography, child prostitution, child brides and child sex tourism.

This is where the Optional Protocols come in to protect children against such crimes.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Articles 34 and 35 of the CRC state that the government should protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse and take all measures possible to ensure that they are not abducted, sold or trafficked. In this protocol, it is made compulsory to criminalise these offenses. This Optional Protocol strikes hard on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and is to supplement the Convention, and to provide detailed requirements to end sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

What Now?

But Malaysia is not bound by these Optional Protocols. Malaysian children are at great risk of sexual exploitation with little to no consequence to the monsters who are responsible.

 “So many Malaysians are appalled at the crime of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, yet no concrete action is undertaken,” said Noreen Proseeur, Training and Education Director of P.S. The Children. “The Optional Protocol, once ratified, will be a solid platform to advocate for meaningful child protection with respect to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.”

The Optional Protocol (to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography) reinforces and extends the duty of the government to initiate protection measures relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, explained Nooreen.

“It is a lack of political initiative that stops the government from signing to these protocols – they don’t deem it important,” she said. “The government is only looking into human trafficking, but much more still needs to be done to stop child sex trafficking.”

After all, said Noreen, raising fines is not a deterrent for criminals involved in multi-billion dollar crimes.

“The sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography is mostly syndicate oriented. Many of the individuals caught by law enforcement agents are “small fry”,” she said. “The arrest and prosecution of the syndicate leaders will require the unwavering commitment of all stakeholders, effective judiciary measures including a strong legal framework, adequate training for the judiciary and enforcement agents, inter-agency collaboration as well as inter-regional co-operation.”

“Malaysia needs a well-thought-out strategic plan to deal with this issue and not have knee jerk reactions just to get ourselves from Tier 3 to Tier 2,” added P.S. The Children director, Madeleine Yong. “It’s more than that: There needs to be prevention; managing of investigations, prosecution of perpetrators and protecting and assisting children in their recovery.”

Taking Action

One organisation taking matters into their hands is The Body Shop, who in collaboration with their non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners, are embarking upon their second year of their campaign against child sex trafficking.

Last year, The Body Shop launched their ‘Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People’ campaign with the aim of creating awareness of this highly secretive and lucrative crime, urging the people to face the facts: Malaysia is a destination, transit and more shockingly, source country for trafficking, with an estimated 90 children getting trafficked every month.

This year, they are pushing even harder for the signing of the Optional Protocols – and the reason is clear.

“Child pornography is an extremely grave concern, now more so than ever. Technology has made it so easy to film a child for pornographic purposes; times have moved on and so has technology,” said The Body Shop MD, Datin Mina Cheah-Foong. “You can do so much more that you could not do before. It’s as easy as installing a spy camera in a kindergarten, for instance, and the pictures get circulated all over the world among pedophiles!”

So the Optional Protocols are to protect our children against just that, and to hold the perpetrators responsible and punishable for their actions.

“It’s shocking: There was a case overseas where a childcare centre caretaker was selling pictures of toddlers and young children under the pretense of changing their diapers! These are such instances that the Optional Protocol steps in.”

Credit must be given where credit is due, she said, for the government has taken many steps to fight human trafficking.

“This is just one more step to take. As it is, we are signatories for the CRC, so it is also to ensure that the law protects against child pornography.” The best example of this is the recent case of three-year-old Nicole Soo Siew Ching, who was abducted by her own father on June 26.

“Her frantic mother believed that Nicole had been taken to be sold by her father, to cover his gambling debt! But these protocols specifically make provisions to make his actions a crime, and not just a family dispute. This means that as soon as her mother lodges a report, it makes it a crime that the police are obliged to investigate, instead of her mother being told to go to the courts and apply for a court order to compel the father to return the child.”

It is to ensure that the government is obliged to actively do all within its power to recover a missing or abducted child, added Cheah-Foong. “It means more work, but it is the responsibility of the government! This is why we’re calling for the government to ratify it and include it into the CRC. This is why we’re working with our NGO partners to ensure that no matter what, there will be somebody who will never give up looking for the missing child.”

Why Should the Youth Care?

 “Everybody is someone’s somebody.” Your sister, your brother, your niece, nephew or cousin – when somebody goes missing, the effects are devastating.

“Not only that, the youth are getting trafficked too. It could be you – but you’d never think of it. When you’re young, you feel invincible,” said Cheah-Foong. “You always think that the bad things never happen to you, it only happens to somebody else. You say: I’m aware, I’m street-smart. But if not you, then somebody you know and somebody you care about.”

 “Truth be told, the newly amended fines are just not enough. What is RM 500,000 in a multi-billion US dollar industry? It’s pocket change! But the death penalty (the penalty of convicted drug trafficking) is not a true deterrent either.”

What she believes will be a true deterrent to child traffickers is what is called ‘Fruits from a Poisoned Tree’, where any material gains that have been acquired during the duration of involvement in trafficking is to be confiscated  – whether those gains were as a direct result of trafficking or from legitimate means.”

“A lot of traffickers have legitimate fronts. They need it to conduct their trafficking business. As it is, the government has laws that seize illegally gained assets. Why not extend it? I personally don’t believe in the death penalty – a criminal can only die once.”

What Can You Do?

In light of that, The Body Shop has made it their pledge to continue to urge for the ratification of the Optional Protocols, and simultaneously raise funds for their NGO partners with the sale of the Soft Hands, Kind Hearts hand cream (RM 39.90), where net proceeds will go to the NGOs directly. Working also hand in hand with INTI College, they are planning a march to raise awareness along the busiest street in KL, Jalan Bukit Bintang, at a yet-to-be-confirmed date.

In addition to that, you can sign the petition for the ratification of the CRC and the inclusion of the Optional Protocols at all Body Shop outlets nationwide.

There is still much to be done to protect our children from being sold to the highest bidder. There is a long way to go before child prostitution and pornography is crushed and defeated. And it begins now: As soon as you put down this paper and head out to tell somebody you know about the Optional Protocols. Because if knowledge is power, then we ourselves will be the most powerful weapon against the monsters of child sex trafficking.

Source URL:

What Can We Teach T.V. Shows About Human Trafficking?

Last month, I wrote a post discussing the ways in which television shows may be further along in understanding the evils of human trafficking than we are in reality. But then I realized that I was neglecting the other side of the debate; the ways in which we can teach T.V. writers a little something about the truth behind trafficking and forced prostitution.

When watching shows like CSI: Miami, we see beautiful, self-confident, and unwavering young women dressed in high-end expensive clothing strutting around the Miami-Dade Police Department without a care in the world. They are often conniving young women, out to take the men who purchase their services for everything they have. But prostitution is rarely so glamorous and usually doesn’t provide such a strong sense of power. It is not filled with luxury cars, diamond earrings, or 4-inch, $350 heels as our favorite crime-fighting shows want us to think. While it may be the ticket into the high life for some, for most, it is a horrifying nightmare.

What about the young women and girls kidnapped off the streets who have no where else to turn? Or the women forced into prostitution by men claiming to love them? Why don’t we make more of an effort to portray their side of the story and the realities in which they live? While some T.V. programs do present this view, more often than not we are left with the image of the high-class, expensive escort or prostitute.

Why do we sensationalize prostitution to this extent?


The African Union Takes on Trafficking

When the U.S. State Department’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons report was released last week, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Mauritania, Sudan, and Zimbabwe were included on the list of countries that have made the least effort to combat trafficking.  Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Mali,

, many countries in Africa can do more to show a true commitment to stopping trafficking. On this blog, we’ve highlighted some examples of trafficking and forced labor in several specific industries across Africa, including tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, rubber, diamonds, and many minerals used for modern electronics.

The good news is that last week, the African Union (A.U.) announced that it is establishing an A.U. Commission Initiative against Trafficking. The new campaign, announced on the Day of the African Child, will focus on ensuring that member states are adopting and properly implementing international protocols to eliminate trafficking. The new campaign is an important step for the A.U. and will help to provide resources to assist African governments in implementing strong policies to stop trafficking, especially of women and children.


Iraqi Child Sex Slave? Welcome to Prison!

Iraqi prisons are filled with young girls. Some of them were jailed for having relatives with ties to terrorist groups. Others have been charged with crimes ranging from petty to serious. But among the population of Iraqi girls in prison are victims of child sex trafficking, sold into prostitution against their will. In Iraq, imprisoning victims too often passes for justice.

One of those girls is 15-year-old Zenia. Two years ago, her father took her to Syria to visit her grandfather. But when they arrived, Zenia learned that this was no average family trip. Her family had brought her to Syria to sell her to a sex trafficker, who took her from Syria to the United Arab Emirates. There, Zenia was forced into prostitution.

Distraught and desperately looking for a way to escape, Zenia fled her captors and contacted the police in the UAE. Sure, prostitution is illegal in both the UAE and Iraq, but Zenia was just a child forced into it against her will. Surely the police would understand?

They didn’t. Zenia was unceremoniously deported to Baghdad. And when she arrived, her reward for summoning the courage to escape slavery, to protect herself from abuse, and notify the police about criminal activity, was rewarded with a two year prison sentence. Apparently, in Iraq, this passes for justice.


Flyleaf Allies With World Vision to Stop Human Trafficking

Texas based rock band Flyleaf is partnering with World Vision in a campaign to stop human sex trafficking, and is offering a free download of their song inspired by the fight against trafficking. Human trafficking is “essentially a modern day slave trade,” where people, often children, are kidnapped and exploited to be soldiers, labor slaves or sex slaves. World Vision estimates that there are as many as 27 million people worldwide caught enslaved through human trafficking. More than half of these victims are women and children.

World Vision published a document with “10 Things You Need to Know About Human Trafficking” that offers information and dispels myths about human trafficking as well as things people and governments can do to stop it. Facts from the document include “girls are trafficked into many industries besides brothels,” “adoption is still a trafficking risk,” and “boys and men are trafficked too.”

Lead singer Lacey Mosley had this to say in a release discussing the band’s interest in the cause and the inspiration behind the free track.

When we were recording the song ‘Set Apart This Dream’ for our new CD, ‘Memento Mori,’ I was thinking about the innocence that is so easily and often stolen from so many kids.  Today, there are 2 million children around the world who are victims of sex slavery.  We named this tour Unite and Fight sometimes we have to fight violence with peace and that takes unity.  We have to fight thieves who steal children and sell them with generosity.  This also takes unity.  It’s our way of bringing a bit of attention to a grave matter.  All of us who are in a safer place have the ability to help lift some of the burden of such a heavy and disgusting injustice.”

You can download the track here and learn more about the World Vision’s work to stop human trafficking and how to help at their website.


Will Abercrombie & Fitch Shareholders Do the Right Thing?

Abercrombie & Fitch’s advertising has been raising eyebrows for years. Their glossy spreads in magazines usually feature muscular, tanned men and women playing sports and enjoying the good life, often while wearing a surprisingly small amount of clothes for a clothing advertisement.

But behind the pretty pictures lie many questions about the conditions under which Abercrombie’s clothes are produced. Unlike a large number of major companies, A&F does not have a vendor code of conduct to ensure that its suppliers respect workers and the company does not publicly report on its labor practices globally.  Shareholders at the upcoming A&F shareholder meeting on June 9, 2010 will be requesting that the company implement all of these missing elements.

The vacuum of labor rights protections has led to some specific problems for A&F in the past. For example, in 2002, the company settled a lawsuit with workers in Northern Mariana Islands who claimed to have been exploited by an A&F supplier.

More recently, readers of this blog may remember that A&F is one of the few clothing companies that has refused to speak out against forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. In Uzbekistan, the government removes thousands of children from their schools every harvest season and forces them to pick cotton to enrich the ruling regime. The egregious abuses of children in the production of Uzbek cotton have led a large number of the biggest global clothing brands to speak out publicly and to commit to eliminating cotton from Uzbekistan in their supply chains until they can be assured that the government ends the forced labor of children.

Charita Goshay: Enshrinee’s arrest exposes an ongoing travesty

Once a year, Canton becomes Football Nirvana as thousands of Cheese Heads, Hogs and Dawgs descend on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement celebration.

The enshrinees always seem genuinely touched that so much effort would be put into honoring them. It’s one of the few times you’ll get to see a grown man cry.

But every now and then, a story will seep out about a visiting former player who’s, shall we say, less than gracious to fans who plunked down $75 to shiver in some frostbitten stadium to cheer him on.

Because of Lawrence Taylor’s reputation as a womanizing drug fiend and all-purpose hell-raiser, the Hall of Fame considered adding a morals clause as a condition of induction.

However, the few times the New York Giants enshrinee has been in town, he was generally friendly and accommodating to those in the cheap seats.

Taylor seemed to have pulled his life together in retirement. In a 2003 “60 Minutes” interview, he said he had found sobriety and salvation in golf.

Obviously, that isn’t the case. Upon his arrest last week on rape charges, the married Taylor told investigators he had paid $300 to have sex with what turned out to be a underage prostitute.

He claimed he was told she was 19, not 16.

But that isn’t really the point, is it?


However, Taylor’s arrest must not be allowed to subvert the bigger story, namely that a 16-year-old girl was bought and sold like a slab of meat.

It is not simply another case of another celebrity in trouble. It is the travesty of human trafficking, hiding in plain sight.

The story is that there are adults who see nothing wrong in trafficking a child for sex and, worse, there are adults willing to pay for it.

It happens here, too. The Trafficking in Persons Study Commission notes that of the estimated 1,800 people trafficked into Ohio every year for sex and cheap labor, 1,000 are children.

Another 2,800 kids are lured into prostitution, such as the teenage runaway in Taylor’s case, who likely was forced into the trade, as evidenced by the bruises on her face.

Despite a new state law that increases the criminal penalties for trafficking, make no mistake: Child-sex trafficking remains in business. In March, a 17-year-old was found working as a dancer and prostitute in an Akron strip club.

But you don’t even have to look that far.

The next time you see a young girl strolling through the Newton Zone, or loitering outside some dive when it’s clear she’s too young to be there, think twice before you disparage her. She may be a hostage to a so-called “victimless” crime.


A story I wrote last week about the St. Dymphna National Shrine in Massillon neglected to mention its founding chaplain, the Rev. Matthew Herttna, who died in 2006.

Located on the campus of Heartland Behavioral Healthcare, the shrine will celebrate its 72nd anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday. St. Dymphna is the patron saint of people who suffer from mental and emotional distress.


for educational purposes only