Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mark P. Lagon: Law and Morality of Human Trafficking

I absolutely love I don't have the ability to travel to various human rights conferences, Anti-TIP forums, etc...but through I have been able to watch and learn from dozens of Anti-Trafficking leaders via video (see all videos). This is a great tool for everyone to learn more about the history, laws, problems and solutions to human trafficking across the world.

The videos below are from a 2008 lecture given by ambassador Mark P. Lagon. At the time, Mark Lagon was the director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and was a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The focus of his lecture is about migrants and how to protect from traffickers, what are the causes and forces behind trafficking, and how we can combat trafficking going forward.

You can SKIP the first 10 minutes of the full video as it's all introduction and thank you's. The full lecture is about 90 minutes long, but I've also placed 2-4 min. highlight videos if you don't have time for the full length feature.


T-VISA and protecting people trafficked into the United States

Why Migrant Women are Greatest at Risk

Human Trafficking is NOT just a Foreign Problem

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Filippino Government gets $500,000 in aid for human trafficking

By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) Updated August 20, 2010 12:00 AM 

MANILA, Philippines – The government is set to receive financial assistance worth $500,000 from the US for its intensified campaign against human trafficking operations in the country.

The fund, entailed in a letter of agreement (LOA) signed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., will be used for a three-year joint project for improved prosecution and conviction of leaders and members of syndicates involved in human trafficking.

Ambassador Thomas told reporters at the DOJ that the US and the Philippines “share a strong and mutual commitment to protect and promote respect for human rights and to combat the gross injustice that is human trafficking.”

He said the agreement is “another milestone in our shared effort to end the scourge of human trafficking, a modern-day form of slavery.”

Under the LOA, a program titled “Strengthening Capacity to Prosecute and Convict Human Traffickers in the Philippines” will be created to expand and strengthen the Philippine justice system.

The enforcement sectors will investigate, prosecute and convict persons engaged in human trafficking through technical assistance, training and mentoring.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Mexico, A Whole Town Built on Sex Trafficking

by Amanda Kloer

On the surface, Tenancingo looks like any other small Mexican city. Situated partway between Mexico City and Veracruz, Tenancingo is full of extended families, children celebrating birthdays in parks, and busy public markets. But Tenancingo has a secret industry which is both hidden and known by many — the forced prostitution of women which has kept the town alive for three generations. Here's how one Mexican town became a petri dish for sex trafficking.
Tenancingo has thrived as a center for sex trafficking for so many years because of several factors which have come together to help forced prostitution flourish. First, Tenancingo has a large supply of vulnerable women and girls. The town was industrialized at the end of the 19th century, but almost all industry has now vanished, leaving a thick layer of poverty and a lack of good jobs. The people of Tenancingo are also mostly Indians, and indigenous people are often more vulnerable to human trafficking than others because of the additional social and economic oppressions they face. Tenancingo (like many other towns in Mexico) also has cultural traditions of "machismo," bride kidnapping, and forced marriage, and other gender-unequal customs. These traditions have grown into an "understanding" among men that they allow each other to subjugate women without interference.
Another reason sex trafficking thrives in Tenancingo is the complete lack of desire to address the issue by local authorities. According to town council member Maximino Ramirez, "In this day and age, in the 21st century, are you going to tell me that a woman of 18 or 20 can be tricked? Maybe they went into (prostitution) of their own free will, and then after a while, they say: You know what? They forced me to."

Brazil's Child Sex Tourism Industry Is on the Rise

by Maia Blume

Step aside, Thailand, and make room for Brazil, the fastest growing hotbed for child sex tourism. Sex-hungry tourists are flocking to South America in droves for the promise of cheap, young, and easily accessible prostitutes. Not only that, but they have their choice of young kids (cheaper than the price of an older girl, according to one taxi driver), teens, and transvestites, and all for under $5. Quite the deal, eh?
Many young girls and boys in the country's growing sex industry are forced to sell their services by by pimps, and sometimes even their parents. The BBC's Chris Rogers headed to Brazil to investigate, and found many young kids selling sex because of their parents' demands and families' needs. He encountered one 13-year-old girl, Pia, who was forced into prostitution to support her mother's (and her own) crack cocaine addiction, and two other young boys — dressed as girls — who used their earnings to buy food for their hungry and impoverished families. And their stories are not uncommon; many desperate kids, teens, and young women from Brazil's favelas are left with no choice but to enter the prostitution industry, and others are forced into it with the typical promises of money, a better life, and happiness.
According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 250,000 child prostitutes in Brazil, and that number is growing. Sex tourists from all over the world, particularly the United States and Europe, head to that country for the promise of cheap, pleasurable sex in the countless "love motels" that can be purchased by the hour. Classy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sign the Susan Sarondon & Body Shop USA "Safe Harbor" Petition

Those of you who frequent this blog know that I'm a BIG fan of petitions. They are an effective ways to combat trafficking by changing laws, business policies and bringer greater awareness and pressure against traffickers. Susan Sarandon and the Body Shop USA, both long-time anti-trafficking advocates, have partnered to start a worldwide petition for "Safe Harbor Laws" in each state and countries around the world. Take the time to sign the petition by clicking the link below. You can also read the full Wall Street Journal story.


Susan Sarondon Launches Worldwide Crusade against Child Sex Trafficking

Updated: Saturday, 31 Jul 2010, 8:27 AM PDT Published : Saturday, 31 Jul 2010, 8:27 AM PDT
Shelly Banjo
Susan Sarandon_20100122124814_JPG
WALL STREET JOURNAL - American actress Susan Sarandon has launched a worldwide petition to lobby state governments for "Safe Harbor" laws to fight child sex trafficking, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
"Safe Harbor" laws protect victims of sex trafficking from being arrested and prosecuted for prostitution.
The petition is in partnership with the Body Shop, the U.S. branch of nonprofit End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) and the Cambodia-based Somaly Mam Foundation.
Currently, child victims of trafficking are only protected in New York, Connecticut and Washington State.
"I choose very carefully the groups I talk about," said Sarandon, who's been an active fund-raiser for presidential candidates such as Ralph Nader, anti-war causes and gay rights. "We need to put a face to this issue in order to take the problem from abstract to specific."
The U.N. children's agency UNICEF says that about 1.2 million children a year are trafficked for cheap labor and sexual exploitation.