Police ‘failing to deal’ with human trafficking misery

 

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Most victims of human trafficking are being ignored because police continue to focus on large-scale trade organised by criminal gangs, a new report claims.

The majority of people trafficked are brought into this country on their own or in groups of two or three and are left open to abuse, according to the study.

Those who do summon the courage to seek help from the police or councils find themselves turned away or not believed.

The research by London Assembly member Andrew Boff suggested concentrating on organised trafficking gangs allowed many cases to slip through the net.

Mr Boff highlighted several cases including three London police stations turning away a man who escaped from his traffickers.

Mr Boff said: ‘My research shows that there is total denial that the trafficking and sex grooming of boys exists, and this can be linked to the social stigmas attached to being a male victim as well as the stereotypes of being a man.

‘Labour trafficking cases will soon overtake sex trafficking cases and yet this serious form of exploitation is also downgraded by the authorities.’

A Home Office report on organised crime published this month said the human trafficking trade is worth an estimated £130million nationwide. Some estimates put the number of victims in Britain as high as 4,000.

Theresa May blog: An abhorrent evil in our capital

Figures from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency show there were 389 cases potential trafficking cases so far this year but just 36 were picked up by the Metropolitan Police, according to Mr Boff.

His report claimed the Met’s anti-trafficking unit is overstretched and there is a target driven culture in the force.

Mr Boff said human trafficking was ‘a very complex crime’ with many hidden and informal cases, which could mean domestic trafficking of Nigerian children under the guise of informal fostering, the exploitation of Latin Americans in the au pair industry, and the sex grooming of British boys on the internet.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said it was ‘disappointed’ with the report’s conclusions.

The force insisted it took a proactive approach and ‘responds to and builds up intelligence’.

Writing for Metro, home secretary Theresa May described equated human trafficking to modern-day slavery and described it as ‘the evil in our midst’.

 

 

 

source:  http://metro.co.uk/2013/10/14/police-failing-to-deal-with-human-trafficking-misery-4144814/

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Published in: on October 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cleveland man gets 20 years in sex trafficking case

A judge has sentenced a Cleveland man to 20 years in prison following his conviction on charges he forced a 15-year-old girl into a two-state prostitution scheme.

Defendant Ernest McClain had previously pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution and possession of child pornography.

Investigators said McClain and a co-defendant forced the 15-year-old runaway to prostitute herself 10 times a day over a month with 200 men.

Investigators said the pair also forced the girl from Ohio to Pennsylvania for the purpose of prostitution.

Cleveland federal judge Aaron Polster sentenced McClain to 20 years in prison Friday. McClain’s attorney declined to comment.

Co-defendant Chardee Barfield was previously sentenced to 70 months in prison.  Yes now how cool is that!

source:  www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/news/immigration/oceanside-couple-arrested-for-sex-trafficking-a-child/article_5cb1b427-e25e-51c2-8caf-34e2daddd228.html

One Woman’s Tale Of Surviving Sex Trafficking

When we hear “victim,” we may think of victims of violent crime, domestic violence, child abuse, rape. Victims of sex trafficking and exploitation often suffer all those tragedies combined.

Sex trafficking is a subset of the larger problem of human trafficking, which President Obama spoke out against during the Clinton Global Health Initiative in September:

It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity.  It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric.  It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets.  It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime.  I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.

Asia Graves, a victim of underage sex exploitation who was trafficked from Boston up and down the east coast, chose to speak out as well.  In 2010, she testified against her pimps, landing six men in jail. She now works as a case manager for FAIR Girls, which works against the exploitation of women.

Since 2010, Massachusetts has made strides to deal with human trafficking. In 2011, the state passed its first human trafficking bill, which went into effect in in February. In August, the Polaris Project, which rates all states on their laws combating human trafficking, named the Bay State the “Most Improved in 2012.”

When it comes to sex trafficking and exploitation, Suffolk County has been leading the state in its efforts to provide services for victims since 2005. One organization, My Life My Choice, focuses on adolescent girls vulnerable to exploitation. The co-founder and director, Lisa Goldblatt-Grace, joins us today to talk about what’s being done across Eastern Massachusetts to address the growing problem of underage sex trafficking.

Despite public and private efforts, Graves says there’s still much more to be done, and she too joins Radio Boston to share her harrowing tale from victim to survivor.

Guests:

 

source: http://radioboston.wbur.org/2012/11/30/sex-trafficking-exploitation

 

Published in: on December 2, 2012 at 3:12 am  Comments (2)  
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Texas senator cracks down on human trafficking

The U.S. Senate passed the Child Protection Act of 2012 on Tuesday, legislation several years in the making that will help protect victims of child pornography, sexual abuse and trafficking by strengthening law enforcement’s ability to apprehend the culprits.

The act — which was introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and approved just prior to Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January — passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature.

According to the U.S. Department of State, thousands of men, women and children are trafficked to the U.S. for sexual and labor exploitation. Many of these them are lured from their homes with false promises of a better life. Instead, they are entered into prostitution or other types of forced labor, according to the department.

“We need to provide law enforcement with every tool they need to crack down on the most vile criminals — child sex predators and traffickers — and protect the innocent young people who fall victim to these heinous crimes. This is an issue we can all agree on, and I’m pleased Congress has passed this important measure in a bipartisan fashion,” Cornyn said in a release. “I hope the President will sign this bill swiftly to bring greater justice and protection to victims and allow law enforcement to take immediate steps to stop child predators and traffickers in their tracks.”

Currently, the maximum prison term for the possession of child pornography depicting minors 18 years of age and younger is 10 years. The Child Protection Act would make the maximum prison term 20 years.

Current law gives courts the option to issue protective orders restraining harassment of minor victims and witnesses. After Obama signs the bill, however, the law will require judges to issue one if they find that a child witness is the target of harassment or intimidation.

By allowing courts to make this finding on their own motion, judges are encouraged to take an active role in protecting child witnesses in their courtroom, Cornyn said. The provision also fills a gap in current law by creating criminal penalties for intentional violation of these orders.

Other provisions originally outlined in the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act — legislation introduced by Cornyn and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) last year — that are included in the bill entail the reauthorization of funds for Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces, which train executive and judicial officials on how to deal with cases of child sexual abuse.

“Law enforcement and advocacy organizations across the country are hard at work to crack down on the scourge of human trafficking,” Cornyn said. “Unfortunately, this is a pervasive crime that continues to destroy the lives of victims. Sadly major cities in Texas, such as Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, are hubs for human trafficking due to a variety of factors, including major transportation thoroughfares, access to the border, and a high population of runaway youth who are more at risk to fall victim to trafficking.”

The term “human trafficking” and details of its underworld have been defined as a serious domestic problem in recent years. Current penalties for certain child exploitation offenses still do not recognize the aggravated nature of that crime when it is committed against young children.

In response to this, the Dallas office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations and leaders from 17 other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies formed the North Texas Trafficking Task Force two years ago.

Designed to combine expertise, training and law enforcement to identify human traffickers and prosecute them while also protecting victims, the NTTTF also consists of six police departments from the DFW area, including Plano.

With the human trafficking industry being even more secretive than other crimes, ICE relies heavily on tips from the public to dismantle these organizations. To help further educate the public, the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign was created to increase awareness.

“You can’t put a dent in it unless the public is aware because that is where the majority of our leads come from,” said Carl Rusnok, spokesman for ICE Central Region in Dallas.

With 29 press releases on ICE’s website pertaining to child pornography and exploitation in November alone, it’s clear that these crimes are increasing and the problem is mounting. Many people still do not understand that these threats are so close to home, said Shawn McGraw, group supervisor for the NTTTF.

“We view it as the public is not aware of it and people are still kind of shocked when you bring it up to them,” he said. “This is relatively new — it’s a learning process. It’s still so new people don’t know what it is or that it’s happening in their backyards. We have very few experts in it.”

In an effort to evolve the law to more effectively keep traffickers behind bars, prosecutors will typically use whatever laws they can to combat this crime, McGraw said.

“It’s taking the tool out of the tool belt and using it best you can,” he said.

If they’re not charged with trafficking, they use similar charges like harboring or a multitude of violations in order to create the outcome they want. The more arrests that are made, the more ICE and the NTTTF can help perfect the law.

Last year, the NTTTF made 48 criminal arrests, but there’s a lot more work to do, said Sean Carson, assistant special agent for the NTTTF. Cornyn’s act will hopefully enable them to do just that, he said.

“Our goal is to get more cases before judges to get these violators taken down,” Carson said. “They’re selling human flesh for profit. They’re earning large sums on a commodity that is reusable and resalable, much more than narcotics or illegal arms.”

source:http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/11/30/news_update/5946.txt#share

Three girls arrested in local sex trade sweep

Three girls were arrested on charges of prostitution during a four-day roundup of those involved in the sex trade industry in the valley, Las Vegas police said Thursday.

Sgt. Gil Shannon with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Vice Section said the sweep, which took place June 19-22, was intended to rescue children caught in the sex trade.

“Even one is successful when you’re taking children off streets who are engaging in prostitution,” Shannon said.

In addition, 61 adult prostitutes and five pimps were arrested locally during the sweep, dubbed “Operation Cross Country.”

Shannon wouldn’t disclose where the three girls were taken, saying only, “We have them in a safe location.”

He also wouldn’t specify the girls’ ages other than to say they were younger than 18.

Shannon said the arrests made only a small dent in the local prostitution market. He estimated that thousands of prostitutes work throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

Shannon said 37 agents with the FBI and Las Vegas police collaborated to make the local arrests.

Nationally, 345 people, including 290 adult prostitutes, were arrested in the sweep in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and other cities.

In Reno, agents arrested 13 adults.

 

source:http://www.lvrj.com/news/21958549.html

 

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New U.K. Study: One in Ten Women in Prostitution Are Slaves

An explosive new report out of the U.K. has estimated that at least one in ten women in prostitution in the country are victims of human trafficking. It also found that at least 15% of migrant women in prostitution are forced or coerced into the trade and up to 40% of them may be exploited just shy of slavery. These findings could help blow the lid off the notion that exploitation and trafficking in commercial sex is rare.

The report called Setting the Record, which was released this week by the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, used a sampling extrapolation method to estimate the number women in prostitution and the number of human trafficking victims in England and Wales. The results? They found that out of the 30,000 or so women in prostitution in the country, around 2600 are trafficking victims, or just shy of 10%. In addition to those women who are trafficked, researchers found 9600 other women they deemed “vulnerable,” meaning they showed some signs of trafficking and faced cultural or financial factors preventing them from exiting prostitution, but they tended to have day to day control over their activities. Taken together, these estimates indicate that as much as 40% of women in prostitution in the U.K. lack some control of their situation and are at high risk for or in current situations of slavery. You can read the report in full here.

As with any study trying to count human trafficking, this one has some flaws (which the authors readily own). First of all, the study focuses exclusively on organized, off-street prostitution, leaving out any potential trafficking victims in other forms of prostitution, including closed ethnic brothels. Second, the analysis of trafficking appears to have been applied primarily to the 17,000 migrant women in prostitution, leaving out any native trafficking victims. And finally, as with most similar studies of human trafficking, the report only provides estimates based on extrapolated sample data, not actual numbers of victims. Setting the Record has, however, been significantly more transparent about methodology for studying trafficking than many other prominent report-makers. <cough> U.S. Government <cough>.

(more…)

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stopping the traffic

Portland works to fight human trafficking

Many people in Portland used to brag about the city’s high number of strip clubs and porn shops. Portlanders took pride in their city’s illicit businesses. However, the jokes are not quite as common anymore, as Portland has woken up to a serious tragedy that occurs here every day: human trafficking.

Recently it has come to Portland’s attention that human trafficking has become a huge problem here.

According to the United States Department of Justice, approximately 300,000 youths are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Every year Portland is ranked second in the United States for minor sex trafficking.

More and more facts like these are surfacing, making people realize that the problem is not just overseas, but occurring right in Portland’s own backyard. One of the reasons Portland is such a hot spot for human trafficking is because of its position along the I-5 corridor, as well as its many ports along the Willamette River.

Government officials, activists and others are taking steps to try and make a change, as well as help Portland’s reputation. They are trying to help both the victims and the offenders by trying to make a dent in the problem.

One step being taken to help aid victims is that the YWCA in Portland will use $900,000 in federal money to help create a shelter for victims of human sex trafficking.

Providing a shelter will create a safe space, which could help make victims feel like they have options other than just servitude. They will have a place to go, a place to escape the horrible pain of the life that they are living.

Steps are also being taken to ensure that perpetrators own up to their actions. Multnomah County leaders are trying to open up a “john school” by the end of the year.

The john school is a day-long voluntary class for first-time offenders who pick up adult prostitutes.

The first john school existed in San Francisco, and the plan for Portland is to create a similar one. Although Portland has had two other john schools in the past, according to The Portland Tribune, it seems like a john school could be the answer for Portland’s troubles today. This is an important step in helping stop the human trafficking epidemic in Portland.

Offenders will be referred to treatment when necessary. The plan is also to teach offenders about the impact their crimes have on the people involved as well as the people within the community instead of just sitting in a jail cell.

Once the convicted offender completes the john school, they will get the charge erased from their record after six months if they do not commit further offenses. The offender must pay $1,000 to participate in the class, a fee that will go to paying the courts, police and victim services.

Ideally, with the establishment of the john school, repeat offenses could be stopped if the perpetrators can actually learn from their actions. If they cannot learn, then further actions could be taken.

While important steps such as these are being taken toward preventing human trafficking, it is important to make note that more can still, and should be, done.

Oregon must take another important step toward human trafficking prevention, and that is to create stricter laws for offenders who solicit sex for the first time. As the law stands, a first-time offender would typically receive probation or community service.

What is the incentive for first-time offenders to fork over the $1,000 for the john school class? Other than getting the crime expunged off their record, there is not much if the laws stay the way they are. Stricter punishments need to be enforced.

The steps that Portland is taking are important in making a dent in human trafficking. Portland’s plans make sense and are good first steps, but more needs to be done and more people need to be involved.

source:http://www.dailyvanguard.com/stopping-the-traffic-1.2302455

Susan Sarandon Speaks Out Against Child Sex Trafficking

Susan Sarandon’s career has surged this year. She’ll appear in Oliver Stone’s coming movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” just wrapped the Duplass Brothers comedy “Jeff Who Lives at Home,” and will begin work this coming Monday on the HBO pilot “The Miraculous Year” with director Kathryn Bigelow. She also received an Emmy nomination for her performance opposite Al Pacino in HBO’s April telefilm “You Don’t Know Jack.” In addition to her acting work, she’s lending her voice to causes she finds important, such as the eradication of child sex trafficking.

At a press conference this afternoon at the Morgans Hotel Penthouse, Sarandon talked about the importance of educating the public about the issue, saying that “unless you demand a change, governments won’t suddenly have a consciousness raising and decide to change a system that is so deeply rooted into these countries and our country, too.”

An estimated 1.2 million children annually are exploited in the U.S. and international sex trade, according to ECPAT, a network of groups and individuals working to end the sexual exploitation of children for commercial purposes. Starting August 2, ECPAT is helping to support a petition on the subject at The Body Shop stores and online calling for new legal protection for children under age 18.

“I chose very carefully the groups that I talk about and will put my reputation on the line for,” Sarandon said. “You get a big bang for your buck with this group because you know where the money is going.”

Also at the press conference was Somaly Mam, a Cambodian human rights activist who was abandoned as a child in the mid-70’s during the Pol Pot regime and sold into prostitution. As an adult, she has rescued, rehabilitated and provided shelter, education and medical care for thousands of girls in Southeast Asia through her self-named foundation.

Mam was profiled as Glamour magazine’s 2006 Woman of the Year by Mariane Pearl, the widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl. She was also lauded as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 by Angelina Jolie (who portrayed Mariane Pearl in the 2007 film “A Mighty Heart”). “My support, my energy, everything comes from the girls [that she rescues] and also my great staff at the Foundation,” Mam said.

Of her friendship with Sarandon, Mam said, “Susan always make me laugh when we have lunch. She takes care of me and protects me.”

About Mam, Sarandon said, “I’m grateful for her example. When I’m freaking out about some stupid little thing and I get a call from her about something that really is a big thing, it puts my life in perspective.”

In addition to Sarandon, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Dern, Rob Lowe and Uma Thurman also support efforts to stop child sex trafficking.

source: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/07/30/susan-sarandon-speaks-out-against-child-sex-trafficking/

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: http://malaysiantoday.com.my/node/1605

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.

source: http://www.globalshift.org/2010/05/flyleaf-allies-with-world-vision-to-stop-human-trafficking/