River of Innocents: Modern Slavery in Our Nation and World.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 2010–Terry Lee Wright will speak at Georgetown Law this Thursday, January 21st, at noon, about modern human slavery and his experience writing River of Innocents.

“Slavery is everywhere today, even a few dozen blocks from the U.S. Capitol,” explains Wright. “Slavery is a living fact: thousands of people are enslaved for the first time every day, many of them teenagers in the United States. I wrote River of Innocents because we can end that slavery–because of the people who can and should be free. Each of us can help make that freedom a reality.”

The U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Person’s Report indicates that human trafficking is a criminal enterprise with millions of victims annually but fewer than five thousand prosecutions world-wide each year.

The Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has called River of Innocents “A global call to arms in the fight against trafficking.”

source: http://www.traffickingblog.com/?p=99


Cross River battles trade in underaged kids

A group of children at an anti-kidnapping event in Calabar

Security and child rights activists in Cross River state are determined to put an end to the scourge of child abduction which is prevalent in several local councils in the state.

Particularly in Calabar, the state capital, December is synonymous with merriment. It is a month of revelry, loaded with non-stop social and cultural activities under the re-branded Calabar festival which, incidentally, ends today.

While tourists flock to the city, sharks gather in rural communities of the state to prey on innocent youth. These human sharks from the cities sail to the hinterlands with unlimited promises.

As smooth talkers, they easily succeed in taking young people away.

On the prowl

These individuals have, in the last 10 years, found the rural parts of Cross River state a source for steady supply of cheap labour for plantations in the south west zone of the country, commercial sex workers and houseboys/girls for urbanites, and casual workers in factories, building sites and others.

This recruitment peaks every last month of the year and in first month of a new year.

The visitors cash in on the festive mood of the parents and guardians to lure their children and wards away.

This vice had remained intractable, despite efforts against it.

A few years ago, the Cross River state government enacted a law against human trafficking. On May 26, 2009, the child rights law came into being. But the problem is largely caused by the inability of the state government to enforce these laws.

The traffickers have also continued to devise new ways of carrying out their trade every year. Agents in the rural areas are recruited to take the ‘human cargo’ away; and the agents recoup the monies spent in this quest through commissions.

Sometimes though, their mission is made easy: when guardians and children are carried away by the flashy appearance of some of those trafficked earlier, who visit for Christmas.

But no year passes without these communities receiving two or more bodies of children who have died while serving their masters. They die from torture, unsafe abortion, HIV/AIDS infection, industrial accidents or ritual sacrifice.

To the rescue

Now, security agencies, NGOs and vigilante groups in urban and rural areas of the state have formed a coalition to check the rising menace. The police, immigration service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Network to Curb Sexual Abuse (NETCUSA), traditional rulers and youth leaders are in this coalition.

These groups have stepped up surveillance of rural areas henceforth to ensure that young people, especially those from broken homes, orphans, poor families and school dropouts, widows, teenage mothers and street children amongst others are not driven out of the state in lorries and trucks either at night or day.

Maureen Adama Dawodu, the officer in charge of Anti-Human Trafficking/Child labour at the immigration service, said more children were being trafficked nationally and across national borders.

Mrs. Dawodu listed poverty, lack of adequate education, conflict and ignorance as causes. She said traffickers often beat the laws put in place by changing their tactics from time to time.

“These ever changing trends include deception (false employment offers, adverts for husband overseas, promise of good job and lying about work condition]. Under coercion is threat to life, physical restraint, use of (witch) doctors, charms and promise of disastrous misfortune. Another is abduction,” she said. “These traffickers also make use of transportation – including petrol tankers covered with no windows – to deceive enforcement agencies.”

The officer explained that trafficking in Nigeria is usually for the purpose of baby-sitting, making of babies, prostitution, house helps and forced marriages to old men.

Sensitising the people

Recently, child-based NGOs led by NETCUSA have launched a sensitisation campaign across the state to preach against the evils of human trafficking. Founder of NETSUSA Bene Madunagu said there is no difference between slave trade and human trafficking.

Mrs. Madunagu, a professor at the University of Calabar, said “human trafficking is fast becoming endemic given the increase in abdication of parental roles, love of children for material wealth, population explosion, unemployment, get rich quick syndrome, display of wealth by those who have and lack of government’s programmes to accommodate the needs of young people.”

The local government areas notorious for the vice in Cross River State are Yala, Bekwara, Ogoja, Obanliku, Igede (noted for child labour), Yakurr, Abi, and Ugep, Ediba, Odukpani, Akamkpa, Calabar (noted for prostitution).

Mrs. Dawodu said the battle against human trade can only be successfully waged at the grassroots level.

She also called for the establishment of special courts to try cases of human trafficking.

source: http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/National/5501921-146/story.csp#

Cuba, US, Italy and Syria other hotspots for human trafficking – Police

The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service says the sex syndicate uncovered in Russia is only a tip of the iceberg.

The unit says similar rings exist in Italy, the USA, Cuba, Syria and along the west coast of Africa.

Investigators are working with Ghanaian missions abroad to arrest the gangs involved.

Speaking in to Joy News on Wednesday, Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Police Service, DSP Patience Quaye, said steady progress is being made in Russia and the other countries to which Ghanaians are sold into modern slavery.

“We’ve mounted some surveillance, tracking down some of the suspects in Ghana. We know the others are in Russia,” she said and hinted that “anybody could be trafficked to any country depending on the mission that the person wants to accomplish.”

DSP Quaye cited an incident where a gang which had promised its victims business in the USA, took them to Cuba.

The police has so far ensured the conviction of three persons in connection with human trafficking whilst six other cases are pending before the courts, DSP Quaye stressed.

source: http://news.myjoyonline.com/news/200912/39037.asp

Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 8:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Nationals Park Hold Anti-Human Trafficking Night

WASHINGTON, D.C. – You’ve no doubt heard of Bat Day or Banner Day at Major League Baseball games, but Thursday night’s contest between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies was a first. It was Anti-Human Trafficking Night at Nationals Park.

The D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force asked for a night to spread public awareness of the issue. The Washington Nationals complied.

The task force sold t-shirts to raise money for their cause. It claims that on any given day roughly 27 million people around the world are kept as slaves.

The State Department’s point person on human trafficking was honored before the game. Ambassador Luis de Baca told FOX 5 about the case of a Sony Corp. executive in Los Angeles who, along with his wife, kept their maid as a slave. It was investigated by the Justice Department.

Now, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington is prosecuting a 42-year-old Temple Hills man who has been indicted on charges he kept young girls to work as prostitutes on the streets of D.C.

To see what Anti-Human Trafficking Night at the ballpark was like, check out our story that aired during the FOX 5 News at 10.

source: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/local/091009_nats_hold_anti_human_trafficking_night