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United States of America

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

Victims of human trafficking in the United States are young children, teenagers, men and women. Approximately 800,000 to 900,000 victims annually are trafficked across international borders world wide, and between 14,500 and 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor.

After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is the fastest growing. The ILO estimates that the trade in human beings generates $31 billion annually.

Many victims of human trafficking in the US are forced to work in prostitution or the sex entertainment industry. But US trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.

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Latin America

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

In Latin America today, an estimated 100,000 women and children fall victim to human trafficking rings every year. As in Asia and Eastern Europe, they are lured away from their homes and families by false job offers, marriages, or are kidnapped outright. Though many are trafficked within their own countries or into other parts of Latin America, others are sent even farther from home- to North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Source countries, such as Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico, tend to be poorer, and the government’s infrastructure broken down by years of corruption, civil war, or other forms of violence and economic crisis. Trafficking in these countries tends to affect primarily indigenous women, who often make the lower classes. Destination countries for Latin American trafficking rings include Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic- and of course, wealthy countries abroad, including the United States.

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Asia

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

Asia has several types of slavery, ranging from sexual to labor exploitation. Many people are trafficked across borders, others within the same country, but all face extreme hardships in situations of slavery.

Debt Bondage: Perhaps the greatest percentage of the world’s slaves are held in debt bondage, mainly in India. Poor families, often the dalit or "untouchables," are unable to obtain fair-paying jobs. They are forced to borrow from money-lenders or work in exchange for basic necessities and are rarely ever able to leave this situation. Bringing their families into the same situation only compounds the effects, forcing children to work in industries such as carpet-weaving, cigarette-rolling, stone-breaking and sari sewing. The children are automatically placed in the same situation and incur the debt left by their parents, continuing the cycle of poverty and slavery.

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Africa

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

The continent of Africa has some of the worst forms of human slavery, and here are some of the major examples found throughout Africa:

Chattel Slavery: This form of human trafficking is the most similar to the “old” form of slavery that existed during the Atlantic slave trade. Men, women, and children are bought and sold as household servants, field workers, etc.

Child Soldiers:Children are often recruited, abducted, or tricked into African armies that perpetuate war and instability in several countries. These children are traumatized and face long processes of social reintegration if they are ever allowed to return.

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Eastern Europe

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

With the break-up of the Soviet Union, several countries that were once protected by the Kremlin fell into political and economic uncertainty. These countries could no longer provide sufficient employment opportunities for their citizens, causing many to seek jobs abroad. Many young men were recruited into criminal organizations that survived by exploiting other “comrades.” These factors fueled the already growing practice of human trafficking in Eastern Europe, a practice that has continued into the 21st century. After studying and working in Russia, I have found three reasons that help explain why trafficking in persons is so common in this region: Lack of economic opportunities, Organized crime, and the Orphanage system.

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General Welfare Pratisthan

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

GWP serves 350 survivors of sex trafficking and very high risk girls in rural Nepal and the border areas, offering training, counseling, AIDS prevention and medical care, and income generation programs including papermaking, animal husbandry, cultivation and tailoring. Survivors raise community awareness of trafficking through street theater in the hardest hit areas of Nepal, and GWP works together with law enforcement and local people to break down trafficking networks in remote areas.

GWP survivors produce a line of handmade paper journals and notecards.

Our handmade paper products are made from a renewable resource – the Daphne plant, a large bush that grows wild throughout Nepal.

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New Life Foundation, Thailand

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

The New Life Center works with tribal minority girls in northern Thailand who have come out of exploitative labor situations, or are at-risk for becoming victims of exploitative labor.

New Life has been working in this field since 1987. Some of the girls they serve are refugees from neighboring countries, victims of human trafficking, and/or survivors of sexual abuse. In northern Thailand, labor exploitation frequently takes place in domestic work, factory situations, and commercial sexual exploitation.

New Life works in both prevention and after-care for victims of exploitative labor. They provide education, vocational training, life-skills training, and an opportunity for residents to earn some income through the handicraft program. The group currently serves over 100 residents, ages 13-22, with 16 staff who are all tribal people.

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Freeset, India

05.04.2007 in Uncategorized

Freeset is a social purpose business based in Calcutta’s notorious Sonagachi red light district. This group employs 80 women who were formerly working in the sex trade – most had been trafficked as children. They also employ teenage daughters of women involved in the sex trade to prevent them from being forced into prostitution.

Our Indian partners tell us that prostitution is one of the few industries where a person’s earning-power decreases with experience. Young girls (9-13) fetch the highest prices in the first three years of their captivity. The older women (20-30) have no choice but to perform more degrading and dangerous sexual acts in order to attract clients, and they almost always have children to support at that point. By the time they are in their 30s, women are often too ill to entertain their clients at all, and often sleep thrown out of brothels to literally sleep on the sidewalks.

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Bhaktapur Craft Printers, Nepal

25.03.2007 in Uncategorized

Bhaktapur Craft Printers is an NGO making handmade paper using traditional methods and easily replenished raw materials. The business employs around 50 poor and low-caste women, who are naturally a high-risk group for trafficking. Bhaktapur was originally funded by UNICEF but they are now a self-sustaining business.

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Rahab Ministries, Bangkok, Thailand

25.03.2007 in Uncategorized

25-30 survivors and former prostitutes are employed by Rahab Ministries, a faith based NGO in Bangkok. Many of Bangkok’s prostituted women were trafficked as slaves as children.

Rahab also provides emergency grants to women who are attempting to leave exploitative situations along with their children, and who need financial assistance to launch a new life.

This group enjoys a wonderful sense of camaraderie and joie de vivre, despite all that its members have suffered.

Their freshwater pearl floating necklace was the runaway hit of our Christmas ’07 season, after being featured in Traditional Home Magazine.

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