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Trafficking in Persons Report   -Report Home Page
Released by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 11, 2003

Country Narratives -- Countries H through P

HAITI (Tier 3)

Haiti is mainly a source country for trafficking of children for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Haitian children are trafficked internally by poor parents who place their children as servants (“restaveks”) in households of better-off families. Although not all children are victimized in this process, significant numbers are sexually exploited and otherwise abused in sometimes slave-like conditions. The Government of Haiti states that from 90,000 to 120,000 children are restaveks (UNICEF’s estimate is 250,000 to 300,000). Haitian children also are trafficked into the Dominican Republic where some are similarly exploited. Large numbers of Haitian economic migrants illegally enter the Dominican Republic where some become trafficking victims. On a smaller scale, Haiti is a transit and destination country. Victims are third country illegal migrants, often Chinese, transiting through Haiti on the way to North America, where they encounter forced labor exploitation to repay traffickers. Women from the Dominican Republic are trafficked into Haiti for prostitution. Reports indicate that many of these women travel voluntarily, but some are victims of trafficking.

The Government of Haiti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Although faced with a wide array of national challenges, the Government of Haiti needs to undertake significant steps even in the context of its limited capacity to address trafficking.

Prevention
The government is attempting to educate the public with national television and radio messages on the mistreatment of children, including restaveks. Officials, including the First Lady, have spoken out against the use of restaveks. However, more needs to be done. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, charged with redressing the restaveks abuse, is one of the least-funded in the government. In 2003, the government planned a series of seminars to target parents, educators, and children to discourage them from taking part in the restaveks practice.

Prosecution
The Government of Haiti has recently passed a law prohibiting the trafficking of children and held an inter-ministerial conference to plan its implementation; however, the government to date does not arrest or prosecute traffickers. There are national statutes regulating child domestic labor, but these laws are not enforced. Governmental measures to address the problems associated with restaveks are in their infancy. The government does not adequately monitor and control its border.

Protection
Government efforts to address abuses of restaveks have been frustrated due to continuing severe financial limitations. The Haitian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs finances four monitors (four others are financed by donors) to oversee the welfare of the tens of thousands of restaveks children. The government sponsors a hotline where abuses can be reported. Monitors investigate and respond to calls for assistance, but given the magnitude of the restaveks problem, these efforts are minimal. The number of children rescued from trafficking has declined in the past three years (in 2002 it was about 100). Government officials work with local NGOs to resettle children or find their natural families.

HONDURAS (Tier 2)

Honduras is a source and transit country for trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation. Most Honduran victims are young women and girls, who are trafficked to Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Women and children are trafficked internally, most often from rural to urban settings.

The Government of Honduras does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making efforts to do so despite limited resources. It acknowledges that trafficking is a problem, is aware that Honduran children are particularly vulnerable, and has a national plan to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Many of the government’s anti-trafficking measures are conducted in the context of combating the illegal movement of migrants. Honduras has been open to NGO engagement and international cooperation. The government worked with Mexico to identify and repatriate more than 200 Honduran minors working as prostitutes in southern Mexico. Honduran officials have also cooperated with American authorities on U.S. trafficking investigations in 2002. Further attention to issues of corruption and rule of law will strengthen the government’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The government has not undertaken public information measures against trafficking, but it has tried to raise awareness of children and women’s rights and risks associated with illegal migration. A national commission attempts to combat child labor abuses and seeks to reincorporate working minors into educational programs. Several government agencies, international organizations and NGOs have nearly completed developing a national plan against the sexual exploitation of children, which is an important first step in developing an overall anti-trafficking national plan. Finalization and implementation of this plan will be among the important indicators of the government’s progress in eliminating trafficking.

Prosecution
Government law enforcement efforts are inadequate. Honduras has no comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but assorted penal, child exploitation and immigration statutes criminalize trafficking and would enable the state to prosecute traffickers. Officials, however, have prosecuted very few traffickers. In 2002, the government arrested and prosecuted eight “coyotes,” some of whom were smuggling minors. It is unclear if any of these cases involved trafficking. Corruption is a serious problem and renders obtaining court convictions difficult. Some officials have been investigated and dismissed for corruption. The Immigration Director fired 35-40 officers for corruption in 2002, but further efforts to address corruption are needed. Honduran Frontier Police have worked with U.S. officials to construct a border control inspection facility that can be used against traffickers, but more steps need to be taken to control the country’s borders.

Protection
The government does not provide any assistance to foreign victims of trafficking, nor does it provide funding for NGOs helping victims; however, while constrained by a lack of financial resources, government officials are open to cooperating with NGOs where they can. Officials work closely with a local NGO, for example, to help Honduran children. Honduran consular officials are aware of trafficking issues when abroad. Foreign trafficking victims in Honduras are subject to arrest for residency violations.

HONG KONG (Tier 1)

Hong Kong is a point of transit and destination for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Although primarily a transit region for illegal migrants, Hong Kong is a destination for women from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Southeast Asian countries trafficked for sexual exploitation. Victims transit Hong Kong, originating from the PRC and Southeast Asia, en route to North America and Australia.

The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Hong Kong authorities implement anti-trafficking measures in the context of combating migrant smuggling. The government carries out effective border and immigration controls, information campaigns designed to educate shipping industry officials about smuggling patterns, and has a tight web of criminal ordinances designed to punish traffickers.

Prevention
Hong Kong maintains effective border and immigration control as its first line of prevention. There is inter-agency coordination among the police, immigration, customs, private industry, and the NGO community. Multi-lingual pamphlets are also distributed in key public areas to inform foreign women of their worker rights. Hong Kong’s human smuggling police unit publishes a biannual report that gives updates on tactics used by traffickers, and regularly shares this information with foreign governments. Officials have taken steps to curb the use of shipping containers for the clandestine movement of persons.

Prosecution
Hong Kong has no specific anti-trafficking law, but related criminal ordinances are used to prosecute traffickers. According to available data, law enforcement efforts resulted in at least six convictions against traffickers. Sentences ranged from one- to five-year prison-terms. Over 1,500 officers are deployed to monitor security, borders, airports, flights and shipping, and also monitor for potential trafficking. In the past year, there has been increased sharing of intelligence with friendly governments and more international cooperation on prosecutions. Although regularly published reports and general statistics are made available by law enforcement to keep the public informed, the government needs to take steps to keep better statistics on trafficking victims.

Protection
Trafficking victims have access to a breadth of general protective services provided in Hong Kong. Regardless of legal status or charge of offense committed, trafficking victims have access to temporary lodging in women’s refugee centers, basic necessities, medical services, and a victim support center. Women who provide testimony against their traffickers are granted immunity and allowed to return home without penalty. Foreign domestic helpers are given the same access to services as local workers in labor suits, such as free legal aid, against employers.

HUNGARY (Tier 2)

Hungary is primarily a transit, and secondarily a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Foreign victims from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria may be subject to exploitation in Hungary before being transited to Austria, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, and the United States. Men from Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan reportedly are trafficked through Hungary to European Union countries and the United States for forced labor.

The Government of Hungary does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is increasingly engaged with trafficking issues at its upper levels; however, lack of consistent prioritization within government ranks and insufficient cooperation between NGOs and government officials remained weaknesses in the past year.

Prevention
The government provides some financial assistance to prevention programs. With the assistance of IOM, the Ministry of Education implemented a national preventive education program in secondary school curricula; and the Ministry of the Interior posted information brochures on victim protection in every police station. The government consulted with NGOs to provide anti-trafficking sensitivity training to police, border guards, and consular officials.

Prosecution
Trafficking is specifically criminalized in Hungary with penalties commensurate with other grave crimes, including more severe penalties in cases involving minors and organized crime. The Ministry of Interior and the Hungarian Office of Interpol report 34 arrests in 2002, and Prosecutors brought legal proceedings in 30 cases related to trafficking. In many instances, police and immigration officials refuse to investigate reports of missing women. Border guard corruption remains a problem, but police have arrested border guards for assisting human smugglers or traffickers. The government established the International Center for Co-operation in Criminal Affairs, signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with Europol, and participates in organizations contributing to cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Southeastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI), the Stability Pact, and the Council of Europe.

Protection
The Victim Protection Office, recently established by the Ministry of Interior, operates in 46 localities, where they provide psychological support services and legal advocacy for victims, and safeguard victims’ rights. In theory, assistance with temporary residence status, short-term relief from deportation, and shelter assistance are available to trafficking victims who cooperate with police and prosecutors. However, in practice, the government only provides limited assistance to trafficking victims either directly or through assistance to NGOs. In many instances, potential victims are not accorded special rights or privileges, and may even be criminalized. There are no safe houses or other assistance programs to aid Hungarian victims of trafficking, although Hungarian victims would have access to the Hungarian social system.

INDIA (Tier 2)

India is a country of origin, transit, and destination for thousands of trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of women, men, and children for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, bonded labor, and indentured servitude is widespread. Indian men and women also are put into situations of coerced labor and sometimes slave-like conditions in countries in the Middle East and the West. India is a destination for sex tourists from Europe and the United States. Bangladeshi women and children are trafficked to India or transited through India en route to Pakistan and the Middle East for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor. Nepalese women and girls are trafficked to India for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of India does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite limited resources. It is strongest in the areas of prevention and protection. Significant progress was made in prosecution this past year but much more needs to be done. The government should speed up the prosecution of trafficking cases, increase training on trafficking for low-level police officers throughout the country, and increase prosecutions of corrupt officials. A major concern is the high number of child victims forced into commercial sexual exploitation in the mega-cities of India. Prosecutions of those involved in perpetrating the commercial sexual exploitation of children should substantially increase over the next year to combat this dreadful scourge.

Prevention
Both the central and state governments support prevention campaigns. They partner with international organizations, foreign governments, and faith-based groups in programs aimed at preventing trafficking and alleviating poverty. The central government’s Poverty Alleviation Project reserves forty percent of its budget for women’s projects and spent $3 million over the last year for micro-credit programs in key source areas for trafficking. In an effort to reduce the number of those vulnerable to trafficking, the project supports an educational scholarship program for girls and young women in 2000 of India’s poorest regions, and a Women’s Empowerment Scheme, covering 7,300 villages in 51 districts of several states. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established a child helpline that covers 40 cities. The central government and an international organization signed a $400 million agreement for a five-year program to prevent trafficking and to assist at-risk children. Together with another international organization, the government is conducting the world’s largest child labor elimination program, which includes providing primary education for 250 million children.

The state of Goa, together with NGOs, is supporting public awareness campaigns about pedophilia and sex tourism on the beaches. The State Transport Network in the state of Maharashtra conducts training programs for drivers and bus conductors to spot girls in distress and has prominently displayed anti-trafficking help line numbers at major bus stations. The state of Tamil Nadu established village level “watchdog” committees to prevent trafficking in women and children. These committees include representatives from the village council, school officials, representatives from police stations, and members of NGOs. The Chennai Central Railway Station set up a “Childline” to rescue and keep a record of children being taken out of the state for labor and to watch for runaways and other at-risk children. Stree Shakti (Women Power) is the state government of Karnataka’s movement to empower rural women below the poverty line to achieve financial independence through income-generating activities such as agriculture and farming. The plan has over 7,500 self-help groups with savings amounting to $1.8 million. In an effort to bring children back to school, the Karnataka State Education Department launched a massive public awareness campaign called “From Labor to Learning” to raise awareness about the legal implications of child labor among employers and parents. In Bihar and West Bengal, NGOs and representatives from village governments and police have developed community-level watch groups to monitor the movements of women and children from, to and through the area.

Prosecution
Prosecution of traffickers, brothel owners, and others associated with trafficking, once rare, has increased significantly over the past year. Three special courts in New Delhi have been designated to hear trafficking cases. A total of 48 cases against traffickers and brothel owners are in the queue to be prosecuted and 14 people have been convicted and sentenced in New Delhi so far. In Mumbai, a Swiss couple was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for kidnapping and molesting a child, and making child pornography films for distribution on the Internet. The three minor victims were allowed to testify in camera to avoid trauma. Forty-two trafficking cases involving hundreds of traffickers were booked in the Krishna district in the state of Andhra Pradesh alone. In two other districts of Andhra Pradesh, local police arrested 14 traffickers and rescued 70 victims. Ten cases are presently in court facing trial and investigations are pending for two cases. In Karnataka, the police and an NGO rescued 29 girls in the Mysore district and arrested 20 traffickers. All of these cases are proceeding to trial, and many of the traffickers are being held in jail awaiting trial. Bangalore city Police busted a prostitution ring involving women from Africa and the Middle East and arrested six people. Railway police at the Chennai Central Railway rescued five boys from Tamil Nadu being trafficked to Hyderabad to work as laborers and arrested the five traffickers. District administration officers in Tamil Nadu rescued 55 child laborers and 17 bonded laborers from brick kiln factories and charged the factory owners under the Bonded Laborers Act.

India has numerous federal laws criminalizing trafficking for sexual exploitation and labor. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) prohibits trafficking in persons, criminalizes sexual exploitation, and provides enhanced penalties for offences involving minors. During investigations, police frequently do not utilize all provisions of the ITPA and, as a result, may minimize potential criminal penalties against traffickers and brothel owners for exploiting minors. Officials used numerous provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act to prosecute traffickers. Legislation also exists in numerous states to prohibit the dedication to religious shrines of girls for exploitation. Forced, bonded, or indentured child labor is illegal in India. Penalties for trafficking are commensurate with penalties for rape or forcible assault.

India’s central government is handicapped in the fight against trafficking by the lack of federal laws to establish jurisdiction over inter-state crimes for central agencies to investigate. Although the anti-trafficking laws are national laws, their enforcement is a state government responsibility. The execution of the law is further complicated when it involves cross-border trafficking due to varying degrees of coordination and networking between state police forces. The government has significantly increased the number of arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers and brothel owners over the past year, but backlogged courts slow criminal justice proceedings.

Low-level border guards have taken bribes or turned a blind eye to trafficking across borders. In addition, some law enforcement officials have been implicated in “tipping off” brothels to raids. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), charged with investigating allegations of corruption, bribe taking, or collusion of public officials and law enforcement in trafficking, has prosecuted numerous police officers, public defenders, and prosecutors; those corrupt officials have been found guilty of receiving bribes and have been punished with fines and jail sentences. The CBI, in cooperation with law enforcement in Goa, investigated a foreign racket, in which a trafficker, a citizen of New Zealand, under the guise of running an orphanage for destitute children, sexually abused the children and supplied them to foreign tourists for sexual abuse and pornography. The ringleader was sentenced to life imprisonment. The CBI requested extradition of six other foreign nationals (of Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Thailand/UK, and France) in this case.

Trafficking and brothel-keeping are now crimes under an amended state of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, which means that those accused of these offenses are unable to receive bail. The Maharashtra police organized a course on preventing trafficking as a mandatory part of its training for direct-hire police officers. The state government of Andhra Pradesh instituted new anti-trafficking performance indicators for police officers that require they be evaluated on the number of arrests made of traffickers and brothel owners, not women for solicitation. Calcutta City Police and West Bengal State Police have agreed to permit NGOs to accompany them on brothel rescues.

The borders are patrolled and monitored but the levels of monitoring vary and there are many incidents of unchecked border crossing. The border between India and Pakistan is closely monitored. Passports and visas are not required for Nepalese to enter India, and thus the border between Nepal and India is very open. The Governments of Nepal and India have agreed to form a Joint Cross Border Committee against Trafficking in order to collaborate on investigations and more efficiently share information about traffickers. The border between Bangladesh and India is monitored, and passports and visas are required for entry; however, there continues to be a regular influx of migrants searching for work and women trafficked to India.

Protection
A recent Supreme Court of India decision held that victims of trafficking may testify in camera. The Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) helps NGOs finance the repatriation of women and children trafficked to India from other countries. Over the past two years, state governments have established eighty Protective Homes that provide custodial care, education, vocational training, and rehabilitation. The DWCD and the Juvenile Justice Act sponsor a network of 350 short stay homes for the protection and rehabilitation of victims. The DWCD launched a project in 2001 called “Swadahar” to provide services for women in difficult circumstances, including trafficking victims, that includes shelter, food, clothing, counseling, medical and legal assistance, vocational training, and education. Thirty programs in several states are in various stages of development. The central government supports rehabilitation projects in 11 states for 200,000 children removed from hazardous work conditions. The state government of Andhra Pradesh created a statewide rescue and rehabilitation policy, which requires every district to form anti-trafficking committees. Together with NGOs, the Calcutta City Police have opened support service centers in every police station that has a female police officer to help victims of trafficking or rape. Indian embassy officials in key destination countries help citizens trafficked into exploitative labor situations.

INDONESIA (Tier 2)

Indonesia is a source, transit and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual and forced labor. Indonesian victims are trafficked to Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Persian Gulf countries, and Australia. Extensive trafficking also occurs within Indonesia’s borders for labor and sexual exploitation; and the country is a destination for some victims trafficked for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the last year, the government approved key legislation to protect children from trafficking and established an anti-corruption commission and court. The government has also completed amendments to its criminal code and increased law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Indonesia is open to multilateral cooperation to combat trafficking — the Bali ministerial process on trafficking is a noteworthy example of this — but much remains to be done, particularly within the country. A major challenge facing the government is to end the direct participation of its own public officials in trafficking. Progress is needed in reducing trafficking-related public corruption.

Prevention
Through a presidential decree, Indonesia has adopted a national plan to combat both sexual and labor trafficking, but its implementation is hindered given the country’s overall lack of capacity and resources. Government efforts have increased the awareness of public officials at all levels, but overall public awareness of trafficking remains inadequate. The government works with NGOs, conducting sporadic information campaigns aimed at the public using television, radio, and printed materials in some areas. In conjunction with NGOs, the government has conducted some training of state employees in crisis centers, but officials, particularly at the operational level among police, military and immigration authorities, are not sufficiently educated on how to prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
The government has not yet passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but a bill is currently in the legislature. The legislature has amended the criminal code to include tougher penalties for traffickers and passed a Child Protection Act, which should help to protect minors from trafficking. The lack of a comprehensive statute against trafficking, however, hampers law enforcement. Officials have used existing statutes to carry out an increasing number of arrests, but no comprehensive nation-wide data on convictions are available. Corruption remains a major obstacle, but some arrests against public officials linked to traffickers have been carried out. More needs to be done. Much-needed international law enforcement cooperation, particularly with Malaysia, has begun freeing victims and arresting traffickers.

Protection
The national plan calls for proper treatment of trafficking victims, but implementation varies widely. Some local officials continue to treat victims as criminals and abuse them. Although overall government victim assistance has increased, it remained small in comparison with the scope of the problem. The government worked with NGOs and civil society organizations to establish some general shelters and provide limited counseling. Ministry of Foreign Affairs consular officials and Manpower Ministry have increased efforts to assist trafficking victims abroad.

ISRAEL (Tier 2)

Israel is a destination country for trafficked persons. Women from Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries in the former Soviet Union are trafficked to Israel for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Persons in search of work are trafficked into situations of coerced labor, where they endure physical abuse or other extreme working conditions. Many low-skilled foreign workers in Israel have their passports withheld, their contracts altered, and suffer non-payment of salaries of varying degree and duration. Construction firms and other businesses have brought male laborers from China and Bulgaria into Israel to work under conditions equivalent to debt bondage or involuntary servitude.

The Government of Israel does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the government has pursued numerous cases of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, it must continue taking steps to combat trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking is a relatively new phenomenon in Israel and the government should increase its efforts to prosecute those involved in perpetrating labor trafficking over the next year. The government should ensure that employers comply with labor regulations, protect the rights of migrant workers, and curb fraud associated with issuance of work permits.

Prevention
The government, in conjunction with NGOs, has undertaken public awareness campaigns that include the development and distribution in Israel of flyers and other information in Russian on trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. It also is using its consulates and embassies in source countries to provide information to potential victims of sex trafficking.

Prosecution
Israeli law criminalizes trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Other charges such as rape, false imprisonment, retaining a passport, forced labor, prostitution by means of coercion or fraud, and kidnapping for the purpose of prostitution may also be brought. The maximum penalty for aggravated trafficking or trafficking of a minor is 20 years in prison and the penalties proscribed by law are commensurate with those for rape and assault; however, the majority of cases are resolved through plea bargains that result, on the average, in sentences of about two years. Law enforcement actively investigates allegations of trafficking for sexual exploitation and last year opened 67 investigations of 138 people and arrested 92 suspects. The government prosecuted some 30 cases resulting in 28 plea bargains, many of which carried sentences ranging from six months to nine years and fines. The government also is investigating individual policemen for taking bribes or tipping off brothels of raids, but these instances of corruption are not widespread; a small cadre of dedicated officials works to combat trafficking, but low staffing and funding hamper the officials’ efforts. The Ministry of Justice held anti-trafficking seminars for prosecutors and police. To combat labor trafficking, the Immigration Authority was established in September 2002 to coordinate government activity related to foreign nationals, including the investigation of offenses against migrant workers. Labor laws determining minimum wage, guaranteed pay and annual leave apply to all workers in Israel but enforcement measures are mainly directed against migrant workers and not against the employers who may openly breach the law. The Immigration Authority has an investigation unit that has uncovered several networks of criminals involved in document forgery and fraud. Prosecutors filed an indictment against four suspects allegedly involved in abusing workers from Bulgaria. Israel exercises strict control and supervision of its borders.

Protection
Victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation who are willing to testify against their traffickers are housed in police-funded hostels, and are provided full board, pocket money, and access to medical care. Victims unwilling to testify are deported. Victims are not prosecuted or fined for offenses material to their trafficking, such as illegal entry or forged documentation. Police actively encourage victims to file complaints against traffickers. The government partially funds a hotline. Regulations stipulate that migrant workers who report a criminal offense are not detained, are allowed access to an interpreter, and may stay in Israel as witnesses during a criminal trial; some NGOs allege that these regulations are sometimes violated.

ITALY (Tier 1)

Italy is a country of destination and transit to other EU countries for sex and labor trafficking. Italian authorities estimate 70,000 victims of sex trafficking are reported in the country, originating from Nigeria, Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, China and South America (Ecuador, Peru and Colombia). Albanian gangs control the majority of street prostitution with the cooperation of Italian mafia.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Italian government has a strong legal framework that criminalizes trafficking and prioritizes human rights. Italian anti-trafficking law enforcement continued to be strong both domestically and internationally. Advocates are concerned that pending laws on immigration and prostitution may conflict with the currently strong legal protections for trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government focused its prevention efforts on bilateral activities with source countries, such as Nigeria, Albania, Ukraine, and Romania, to diminish trafficking. With Nigeria in particular, Italy has provided financial resources, equipment and training to Nigerian police and NGOs working on trafficking prevention. The government also entered a regional agreement with neighboring countries to strengthen border controls, cooperation, and visa requirements. The Ministry of Equal Opportunity sponsors information campaigns and a hotline for potential victims in both Italian and English. The police sponsored law enforcement sensitivity training on general trafficking, including increased efforts on labor trafficking awareness.

Prosecution
The government vigorously enforces its anti-trafficking criminal legislation, especially through coordinated international operations. Italian police have a special anti-trafficking unit trained and directed to enforce anti-trafficking criminal laws, dedicating 85 Italian law enforcement officers to trafficking cases. In conjunction with Europol, Italian police executed “Operation Sunflower Two” through which they apprehended 80 traffickers in several Western European countries. Through “Operation Kanun”, a joint operation with the Government of Albania, Italian police sentenced 104 Albanian traffickers to prison for trafficking-related mafia activities. According to public sources, Italian authorities arrested and prosecuted over 100 other suspected traffickers in the territory of Italy.

Protection
Over 2,500 temporary residency and work permits were given to trafficking victims in 2002, granting access to legal and medical assistance, work, education, and witness protection via an established network of government-recognized NGOs working on trafficking. Provisions for trafficking victims’ protection are outlined under Article 18 and administered by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity. The Ministry introduced the “Exit Door” publicity campaign to help prostitutes know their rights and exit the trade. While the government’s
2002 budget reduced the majority of all financial allocations for social services, including anti-trafficking expenditures, seventy projects out of eighty submitted last year were approved, representing a net increase of 10% compared to 2001.

JAMAICA (Tier 2)

Jamaica is a country of internal trafficking of minors for sexual exploitation, particularly connected to the domestic tourism industry. Jamaica is also a transit country for illegal migrants; some of those migrants may be trafficked.

The Government of Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government acknowledges that sexual exploitation of children is taking place on the island, but officials have been hampered in addressing the problem due to legal restrictions in convincing minors to testify. The government is in the beginning stages of devising a plan of action, much of which is tied to the “Child Care and Protection Act,” legislation currently being considered in the Parliament. The Jamaican Government is working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to develop an efficient entry/exit system that should reduce the unauthorized movement of persons. The government is also working with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to develop a strategy to address child labor issues (including underage prostitution).

Prevention
The government is aware that children are at risk and has begun to implement prevention measures. A newly established national steering committee for the protection of children is mapping out a strategy to deal with all issues of child labor in the country. The Ministry of Health inspects sex clubs and facilities where minors are suspected of working, but current law makes it difficult for officials to establish whether persons found there are minors. In an effort to address the root causes of trafficking, the Ministry of Labor provides microcredit lending and small loan programs to at-risk populations.

Prosecution
Law enforcement efforts need to be improved. There is no comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but criminal statutes prohibit procuring minors for prostitution. Currently, no information is available on the number of traffickers prosecuted. Officials conducted a raid in 2001 on an area in Sa La Mar where children were being “auctioned” off to clubs that promoted sexual exploitation of children. Arrests were made, driving the “auction” activity underground. More needs to be done. Prosecutions have been frustrated, however, due to criminal law procedures that require minors to act as witnesses against defendants. The Child Care and Protection Act, currently under consideration by the Parliament, will provide the cornerstone for a more aggressive approach to prosecuting traffickers. Immigration officials are working with their U.S. and British counterparts on improving procedures in Jamaica’s international airports. A new U.S. Government-funded project to create an efficient entry/exit system for Jamaica’s airports and seaports should augment the government’s efforts to deal with corrupt officials who facilitate the illegal movement of persons through Jamaica.

Protection
Appropriately, Jamaica does not arrest child prostitution victims. They are put in places of safety. Minors typically leave such protective custody and return to the sexually exploitative work. A number of NGOs are active in Jamaica, working with the government to rehabilitate street children and offer assistance services. The government is partnering with a range of organizations to remove minors from child labor and the street.

JAPAN (Tier 2)

Japan is a country of destination for men, women, and children trafficked for sexual exploitation. Victims come mainly from China, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Colombia, and Eastern Europe. Some victims are lured to Japan under false pretenses; others come aware that they will work in the lucrative Japanese sex trade and are abused after their arrival. Trafficking also occurs within Japan as victims are “resold” between traffickers.

The Government of Japan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is providing international funding for anti-trafficking efforts in Southeast Asia and conducting symposiums that help focus other governments. At home, however, measures are less advanced. The government has no national plan of action. Japan’s law enforcement and immigration response is seriously hindered because government officials, unclear on the nature of trafficking, tend to define the crime too narrowly and disagree among themselves about who is a trafficking victim.

Prevention
Japan is active internationally, conducting training seminars for immigration officials in source countries throughout Southeast Asia to help them prevent trafficking. Domestically, the government holds information campaigns against the abuse of foreign workers. The government sponsored a seminar in 2003 with UNICEF to raise awareness of child trafficking, but needs to take further legislative efforts to address the issue of commercial sex tourism where some citizens travel abroad with the express purpose of having sex with minors.

Prosecution
Japan has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking, although in practice it applies mainly the immigration and labor laws against traffickers. The government does investigate traffickers, but the number of prosecutions has been too few and the penalties too weak to act as an effective deterrent against the professional syndicates involved in trafficking. The 2003 arrest and conviction of kingpin trafficker Koichi "Sony" Hagiwara were significant. His criminal sentence, like many violent crime sentences in Japan, was light by U.S. standards (less than two years for a repeat offender who operated a criminal trafficking organization which moved hundreds of victims from Colombia) indicating a weakness in Japan’s punishment of traffickers. The government does not aggressively prosecute and punish the criminal organizations involved in trafficking.

Protection
The Japanese Government does not adequately protect victims. The government’s authority to provide temporary residency status to foreigners in an emergency is rarely invoked for foreign trafficking victims. Japanese officials are trained to deal with the extenuating circumstances of foreign victims; however, in practice, they tend to treat them as illegal migrants and quickly deport them. Victims who are suspected of attempting to avoid deportation may be held in detention centers, a treatment inappropriate to their status as crime victims. Facing deportation, victims have few options to seek legal remedies against traffickers in civil courts. Japan is active internationally making generous donations to UNDP and IOM to aid victims in Vietnam and Cambodia.

KAZAKHSTAN (Tier 3)

Kazakhstan is a source, transit and destination country for women and men trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Victims are trafficked to and through Kazakhstan from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and are trafficked from Kazakhstan to the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, and Albania. Some internal trafficking has been reported from rural areas to the cities.

The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government’s anti-trafficking focus and activity dropped significantly last year and it failed to follow through on plans devised in the previous year. However, it presented to Parliament long-awaited draft anti-trafficking legislation, which passed the lower house of Parliament on May 15.

Prevention
The government’s anti-trafficking prevention campaigns were limited to activities conducted in varying degrees at the regional level. With the departure of the former head of the President’s Commission on Women and Family from the position of government anti-trafficking coordinator, the Commission’s focus on trafficking weakened. However, the Commission, in conjunction with the Gender Crimes unit of the Ministry of Interior, conducted research on trafficking victimization, although the results were not yet released by April 2003. Representatives of the Commission conducted varying preventive activities, such as circulating NGO-produced anti-trafficking information in schools, in all 16 of Kazakhstan's administrative districts. The government began implementing a bilateral labor agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic that allows a quota of legally protected Kyrgyz workers in Kazakhstan.

Prosecution
The operative anti-trafficking article in Kazakhstan, Article 330, criminalizes organization of illicit migration, which includes trafficking across international borders and trafficking of minors. Some trafficking cases may be prosecuted under related crimes, such as recruitment for sexual or other exploitation and organization of brothels. While there were many reported investigations, officials reported no cases for any of the above-mentioned crimes which had proceeded to court. The police currently are investigating a case against a North Korean accused of trafficking women from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, as well as cases in Akmolinsk, Northern Kazakhstan, Southern Kazakhstan, and Zhambul oblasts. The government also cooperated with the governments of South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey on trafficking cases. The Financial Police arrested the owner of a suspect travel agency after Almaty police dropped a criminal case against the same company. The civil case has been ongoing for two years, as have advocates’ attempts to see prosecution. The suspect is now in custody. A working group led by the Ministry of Justice completed a set of anti-trafficking amendments to the criminal code and forwarded them to Parliament for a vote on May 15. The government appointed the Prosecutor General to take the lead as the focal point for trafficking efforts, and the Law Enforcement Coordinating Council is working on anti-trafficking strategies. The government included a three-hour anti-trafficking training module in the prosecutors’ mandatory re-certification training program.

Protection
The government does not have a system for identifying potential victims amongst vulnerable groups, which puts possible victims at risk for summary deportation and criminalization during police street sweeps. The government provides some protection in individual cases brought to its attention, but it does not actively screen for victims in order to offer protection. The criminal procedure code allows for certain protections in and out of court for witnesses; however, lack of resources prevents protection for witnesses in trafficking cases. Government officials refer victims to NGOs for services at the local level, although no reports were provided regarding actual victims assisted during the reporting period.

KENYA (Tier 2)

Kenya is country of origin and transit for trafficked persons, primarily women and children. Internal trafficking occurs in the form of forced child labor and child prostitution. There are an estimated 200,000 street children in Kenya, a significant number of whom are engaged in illegal activities, including prostitution. Women are trafficked to Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries for labor, while children are often trafficked to Uganda for work. Women from Eastern Europe and Asia are trafficked through Kenya en route to western countries.

The Government of Kenya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government needs to prosecute traffickers vigorously, provide training to law enforcement on the distinction between trafficking and smuggling, step up public awareness on child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor, and act against corruption among the police and immigration officials.

Prevention
The Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, and forced labor. The Children’s Act of 2001 prohibits all forms of child labor that would prevent children under 16 from going to school or that is exploitative and hazardous. The Children’s Act also prohibits child sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Home Affairs and an international organization have set up community-based District Advisory Committees to monitor child labor issues at the district and local levels, including school attendance and assistance provided to children. These committees have assisted 2,803 children; including 1,252 working in hazardous conditions and 297 working in forced labor conditions. The government is removing street children, placing them in youth homes and in social halls, and providing them with meals and shelter to prevent them from being victimized. The government participates in an international program seeking to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and is undertaking a survey of the extent of the problem.
The government also works with the child labor unit of the labor unions to assist children working in the agricultural sector, by providing training and education for employers about child labor. The government cooperates with international and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about child domestics. Free primary education has been reinstated as a means to assist vulnerable populations and prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
Although there are no laws that specifically prohibit trafficking, there is a law that prohibits child labor, the transportation of children for sale, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and the Penal Code prohibits detaining females against their will for the purposes of prostitution. Child labor laws are enforced by the Ministry of Labor’s Child Labor Unit, which has 10 full-time inspectors who also coordinate enforcement with other government agencies. A Human Trafficking Unit within the police was established in 2002, but its focus has been on immigration fraud. Government officials were implicated in identification fraud to facilitate illegal smuggling and six foreign nationals were deported for suspected smuggling of citizens to the Middle East.

Protection
The government provides programs to place street children in shelters. The government provides some support to international organizations and NGOs to assist children in domestic service that includes education, skills training, counseling, legal advice, and a shelter for girls abused by their employers.

KUWAIT (Tier 2)

Kuwait is a destination country for women from who are put into situations of coerced labor, where they may endure physical abuse or other extreme working conditions. Victims come primarily from Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. They may have their passports withheld, contracts altered, and suffer non-payment of salaries. Some male foreign laborers kidnap runaway maids and force them into prostitution. Boys reportedly are trafficked from Bangladesh and Pakistan to be camel jockeys.

The Government of Kuwait does not meet the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is strongest in preventing abuse of domestic servants and prosecuting those involved in trafficking. The government needs to take additional steps to ensure that children are not used in camel races and protect victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government established an interministerial task force to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts. The government works actively with labor attaches from source country embassies to resolve cases of labor contract disputes and cases involving the abuse of domestic servants. Foreign workers’ contracts are based on standardized contracts provided by the Ministry of Interior that clearly explain the rights and responsibilities of the employer and the employee. A foreign worker may not obtain a visa to Kuwait without presenting a contract signed by the employer and employee. The Camel Racing Club mandates that all camel jockeys must be 18 years of age or older to minimize the chances that children would be involved in these races.

Prosecution
The government does not have a law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons. There are laws against slavery, forced labor, coercion, rape, assault, kidnapping, prostitution, inducing or assisting others to commit prostitution, pandering and/or operating a brothel, and the exploitation of prostitution by means of coercion or fraud. Law enforcement investigates cases of mistreatment of foreign workers and allegations of abuse. In addition to criminal remedies, through administrative measures and mediation under labor law, the government allows and assists domestic servants and foreign workers to seek redress against traffickers. It is illegal to withhold a foreign worker’s passport; however, enforcement of this is mixed. The government has taken individual employers and companies to court for non-payment of wages and blacklists employers who do not fulfill their responsibilities. Over 4,000 Kuwaiti sponsors have been blacklisted from sponsoring domestic workers due to their failure to provide prescribed benefits. Persons convicted of heading prostitution rings or forcing women into prostitution face long jail sentences, deportation, and, in severe cases, death. Last year the Criminal Court sentenced a Bangladeshi man to death for kidnapping, raping, and forcing two women into prostitution. Police also arrested a Bangladeshi pimp for running several brothels. He admitted to kidnapping several Asian women, mostly runaway maids, and forcing them into prostitution. The penalties for rape or forcible sexual assault range from five years to life imprisonment, or, in severe cases, death. Victims of trafficking may file a criminal complaint or a civil suit against their employers. There is no evidence of government involvement in trafficking. The government adequately monitors its borders, but does not monitor immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking.

Protection
The government sponsors a center that assists domestics who have complaints against their employer that is staffed by female lawyers who help resolve labor dispute and ensure that employers meet contractual obligations. Disputes arise frequently, and the vast majority of problems are resolved through mediation. In addition, the government opened a conciliation center attached to a police station so that runaway domestics can file complaints against their employer. Many source country embassies harbor runaway domestics. The government works with foreign governments on trafficking when cases are brought to their attention. Victims of trafficking may be treated as criminals and are detained, jailed, or deported if they are violating other laws, such as those governing immigration or prostitution.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (Tier 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic is a country of origin, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination for trafficked women, men and children. Women are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Germany, and Greece for prostitution. Men and women are trafficked to Kazakhstan for forced labor. Women who are either destined for or transiting through the country usually come from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Overcoming a lack of available resources, the government showed increased political will to respond to trafficking, maximized its cooperation with IOM, and improved its collaboration with local NGOs to institute preventive and protective mechanisms.

Prevention
The government’s preventive efforts were weak, but it took some concrete steps, with the assistance of IOM. The National Action Plan on trafficking in persons was approved by Presidential Decree and the inter-agency task force charged with implementing the plan approved distribution of IOM educational materials in schools, public awareness materials on buses and in bus stations, free airtime on television and radio for anti-trafficking announcements, and directed hundreds of law enforcement officials at central and local levels to participate in IOM anti-trafficking lectures. The government’s Southern Regional Migration Service conducted a study of migration patterns and vulnerability to trafficking from that region to Russia and Kazakhstan. The Border Police are improving their border monitoring capabilities with assistance from IOM, including improving the security of its passports and visas, which are notoriously easy to fabricate. The government instituted stringent licensing procedures for firms sending would-be laborers abroad.

Prosecution
The current criminal code lacks sufficient provisions to prosecute the full range of trafficking activity. Before the draft anti-trafficking law, which was introduced to Parliament, enters into force, traffickers may be prosecuted under other laws. Although local law enforcement officers need greater support from the central level in order to prioritize trafficking investigations and cases, the government secured three convictions on recruitment of persons for exploitation and four convictions on trafficking in children. The government is investigating recruitment and employment agencies and in a recent review, the Migration Service found that two out of nine such companies lack appropriate licenses. A criminal investigation is underway against the founders of one of those companies. The Parliament approved mutual legal assistance treaties with five known trafficking destination countries to improve international cooperation. Endemic bribery and corruption prevents victims from seeking assistance from police.

Protection
The government does not have a method for screening trafficking victims nor for referring them to NGOs for assistance. NGOs active on the issue report good cooperation with local police and prosecutors in the few cases they refer for investigation. The government began implementing its bilateral labor agreement with Kazakhstan and will monitor the treatment of Kyrgyz workers through representatives there. The government is setting up labor offices in destination areas in Russia to better serve Kyrgyz nationals working in Russia who may be exploited. At least one of those offices will have consular representation.

LAOS (Tier 2)

Laos is a source of large numbers of economic migrants, some of whom are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are trafficked to Thailand, where they may end up in involuntary servitude or, in the case of girls and young women, into prostitution.

The Government of Laos does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources. The government recognizes trafficking as a problem and supports anti-trafficking endeavors, chiefly by cooperating with NGOs operating in its territory and providing some in-kind support such as office space and air time for public service announcements.

Prevention
The government does not directly fund any anti-trafficking prevention measures, and it does not control its long and porous borders well. However, it does utilize government-controlled party organizations to alert Lao citizens to the dangers of potential trafficking abuses in connection with international travel. Most anti-trafficking projects are carried out by international organizations and NGOs, and include consciousness raising and skills development for at-risk groups. State-controlled television and radio have broadcast anti-trafficking spots funded by NGOs and the government. The government cooperates with UN agencies, particularly the UN Interagency Project, to monitor, document, and suggest remedies for trafficking-related problems and has provided salaried government employees to work on an IOM project to gather data on prevention and protection statistics.

Prosecution
There is no specific anti-trafficking law in Laos, but there are laws against kidnapping and prostitution. The central government keeps no data on efforts of local officials to prosecute traffickers. Almost all government action to address trafficking is concentrated in the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MOLSW). As a first step, the ministry has provided some limited training to law enforcement officials, although police sensitivity to victims remains inadequate. Overall, judicial and law enforcement institutions are extremely weak, and the government is far short of developing a program to arrest and prosecute traffickers. Corruption remains a serious problem, as some local officials reportedly profit from activities involving the illegal movement of persons.

Protection
The Government of Laos signed a border control and labor memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thailand that addresses the repatriation of Lao trafficking victims. This agreement is the first of its kind in the Mekong region and commits governments to regularize the return of victims. Depending on how the MOU is implemented, the agreement may be a significant step forward. MOLSW has begun a program for repatriation of girls returning from prostitution or forced labor.

LATVIA (Tier 2)

Latvia is a source and transit country for women and an increasing number of girls trafficked to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Germany, and Portugal for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There has also been an increase in boys trafficked to Spain for both labor and sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation also occurs within Latvia, from rural areas of high unemployment to the capital.

The Government of Latvia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Improvements from the previous year are limited and include only a few new efforts.

Prevention
The government addresses trafficking through the national plan on organized crime, resulting in limited government resources for trafficking-specific programs. The roles and responsibilities of different ministries and law enforcement agencies are still undefined and central government coordination is lacking. The Ministry of Labor offers some free training for unemployed women and very often, local municipalities assist the government to fund trafficking prevention programs, sometimes with foreign funding, such as small prevention campaigns.

Prosecution
The Government of Latvia has legislation in place to prosecute trafficking crimes, impose stiff penalties and seize assets of traffickers. Trafficking in minors brings a prison sentence with a maximum of fifteen years. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem and has tasked the Latvian National Police Vice Squad, Border Guards of the Ministry of Interior, Department of Social Policy Development of the Ministry of Welfare, and Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare annual reports on their progress with combating trafficking in persons. The professionalism of the Vice Squad of the Latvia State Police, the principal anti-trafficking law enforcement institution, improved and the number of investigations increased. Eight people were convicted for trafficking related crimes, and six of them were sentenced to four years in prison and one sentenced to seven years. The most important trafficking case in Latvia was the conviction and sentencing of a trafficker to thirteen years in prison. However, some prosecutors and judges still do not view human trafficking as a serious crime and have reduced some of the sentences on appeal to higher courts. Cooperation between the Border Guards, Latvian Police and NGOs increased and contributes to the effective control of the border areas. International cooperation in investigations and prosecutions is well established with Denmark and Germany, but continues to be difficult with Spain. The Border Guard Service manages an information database used to reveal several trafficking trends in Latvia.

Protection
Law enforcement improved its relationship with NGOs, publicly recognizing and cooperating with specialists in witness protection and rehabilitation programs. Law enforcement officials do not treat victims as criminals, although some officials continue to blame the victim. The government provides a witness protection center, managed by the Latvia Criminal Authorities in cooperation with NGOs and encourages trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Most victims, however, do not cooperate due to fears of retribution and social stigma. The government also mandates training for consular officers from NGOs on victim identification, while Latvian missions abroad provide travel documents for trafficking victims.

LEBANON (Tier 2)

Lebanon is a destination country for persons, primarily women from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, trafficked to work as domestics. Many trafficking victims voluntarily and legally travel to Lebanon in search of work, but are put into situations of coerced labor. In such situations, they often endure extreme working conditions or physical abuse. Employers sometimes physically or sexually abuse domestics. To a lesser extent, women who travel from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria to Lebanon are forced into commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government’s strengths in combating trafficking are in the area of prevention. The areas of protection and prosecution, including law enforcement coordination with source countries, need to be expanded.

Prevention
The Ministry of Labor meets regularly with source country embassies to ensure that workers are aware of new employment agency regulations and the “complaint line” for reporting violations. Lebanon and Sri Lanka established a training program for Sri Lankan domestics bound for Lebanon. Two offices are open (and three more are planned). The Labor Ministry is working with Ethiopia to develop a similar program, which once established might be a worthy prevention measure. The Prime Minister engaged two human rights lawyers to draft a pamphlet defining trafficking, outlining the complaint process, providing contact information for government agencies, law enforcement, and non-governmental organizations. Officials will distribute it to migrant workers upon their arrival at the airport.

Prosecution
Lebanon does not have a law criminalizing trafficking in persons. However, the Penal Code criminalizes the deprivation of personal freedom of others by abduction or other means. The Ministry of Labor refers cases of abuse reported to its complaint line to law enforcement for investigation and prosecution. It also enacted regulations prohibiting employment agencies from withholding foreign workers’ passports for any reason and specifically defining sponsors’ responsibilities with regard to the treatment of domestics. In 2002, 18 employment agencies were closed for non-compliance with these new regulations. The Surete Generale actively investigates adult clubs employing “artistes” from Eastern Europe and issues warnings to those who do not comply with regulations. Last year it issued 20 warnings and closed one club. There are no indications that government officials condone or facilitate trafficking.

Protection
The government does not provide protection to victims, but does cooperate with non-governmental organizations that provide victim services. The Surete General allows NGOs access to the Retention Center for Foreign Persons to provide legal assistance, counseling and medical care to foreign workers. Victims may file civil suits or seek legal action. The government signed agreements with intergovernmental organizations to assist in repatriating illegal workers. Employers must show proof of health insurance for their employees every year to renew work permits. In addition, prospective employers of domestics must pay a deposit to the government that can be used for repatriation.

LIBERIA (Tier 3)

Liberia is a source and destination country for trafficked persons, and also has a significant internal trafficking problem. The government and rebel forces in Liberia forcibly conscript men, women, and children to serve as porters, forced laborers, combatants, and sex slaves. The use of child soldiers is widespread, and many are sent into conflicts in neighboring countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire. The government forcibly recruits conscripts from displaced persons’ camps. Anecdotal evidence indicates that Liberian rebel forces may traffick men, women, and children into Liberia from displaced persons’ camps in Guinea. Government officials reportedly use forced labor on their farms and reportedly force children to work in mines and on farms.

The Government of Liberia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government must stop forced conscription and the use of child soldiers, punish those—including government officials-- responsible for trafficking, and provide protection programs for trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government does not take action to prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
Although there is no specific anti-trafficking law, the law prohibits procuring a woman or a girl under the age of 16 years for prostitution or immoral purposes. However, the government does not arrest and prosecute traffickers.

Protection
The government provides no protection to trafficking victims. International and non-governmental organizations provide some protection and have created separate and secure areas for children in displaced persons camps.

LITHUANIA (Tier 1)

Lithuania is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in women and children, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Lithuanian women are increasingly trafficked to Spain, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden. Women are trafficked through and within Lithuania from Ukraine, Russia (including Kaliningrad), and Belarus.

The Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government showed strong preventive campaigns and increasingly vigorous law enforcement efforts, including against government officials complicit in trafficking.

Prevention
The government continues to earmark significant funds in its national budget to implement its two-year Program on the Control and Prevention of Trafficking in Humans and Prostitution. This program addresses the causes of human trafficking in order to design better preventive measures. The government conducted two vigorous preventive information and education campaigns with international and non-governmental organizations, and the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Education Ministry uses its regional network to focus on prevention among potential victims of sexual abuse and trafficking. Trafficking issues are presented during ethics and religion classes in schools and a toll-free hotline for students and their parents provides information on sexual abuse and trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Trafficking in persons into or out of Lithuania for purposes of sexual abuse, material or personal gain, and prostitution, is criminally prohibited. Penalties range from four to eight years of imprisonment, with more severe penalties for aggravating circumstances, including trafficking in children. The law also provides for asset forfeiture and confiscation, with new penalties for trafficking in minors, operating a brothel and possession of child pornography. The government successfully employed electronic and undercover surveillance, as well as videoconference technology in the courts, in investigations and proceedings against traffickers suspected of forcing several hundred women from Lithuania into European brothels. The government initiated 22 criminal cases against traffickers mostly concerning international trafficking, with six convictions handed down in 2002, and the government made its first arrests for internal trafficking. The government monitors its own police and six former police officers received sentences from three to seven years’ imprisonment for involvement in trafficking, extortion and pimping. The government has bilateral agreements with the Interior Ministries of more than 20 countries, including cooperation in the area of trafficking. The government coordinates with law enforcement from several regional and European countries via trilateral and bilateral agreements, Interpol and EU liaison officers stationed in Lithuania. Enhanced border control led to a decrease in trafficking victims from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, transiting through Lithuania, and the police have been working to create a national database to monitor traffickers through other related crimes. Trafficking increasingly falls under the mandate of the organized crime police.

Protection
Police provide temporary shelter, access to medical services, and some legal and counseling services to victims who need protection, and the government provides temporary to permanent residence status.
Legally, victims should not be punished for prostitution or illegal immigration into Lithuania; however, relief from deportation in trafficking cases is not always provided in practice. The Ministry of Social Security and Labor trained social workers assisting trafficking victims and the government trains Lithuanian consular and embassy staff in destination or transit countries, which may fund assistance to victims. Government agencies and NGOs also encourage victims to file civil suits or to seek legal action against their traffickers, but find that fear of retribution discourages this practice.

MACEDONIA (FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF) (Tier 1)

Macedonia is a country of transit and destination for women and children trafficked for prostitution from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria. Some victims remain in Macedonia, while others are trafficked to Albania, Kosovo or Italy.

The Government of Macedonia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government showed increasingly effective law enforcement activities in ethnic-Albanian areas not under government control during the 2001 conflict, and in areas where trafficking activity is prevalent. As a post-conflict country with limited resources, it focused significant efforts on combating trafficking. The low conviction rate relative to arrests emerged as an area of concern and numerous press and public reports were published questioning the integrity of members of the judiciary. Efforts should continue in the next year to strengthen the judiciary’s capacity to enforce rule of law.

Prevention
The government co-sponsored with IOM and local NGOs several preventive events, including a public awareness campaign for the public at large, and a focused campaign in the country’s third largest city. The inter-ministerial National Anti-Trafficking Committee, headed by the Ministry of Interior State Secretary, oversees implementation of the National Action Plan. The government instituted a new policy on issuance of work permits, whereby a centralized policy review board approves all work permit requests. Requests for permits for dancers and waitresses are given strict review and most are denied. The government continues to participate actively in Stability Pact regional ministerial meetings and capacity-building programs.

Prosecution
Criminal articles on organized and forced prostitution are used to prohibit and punish trafficking in persons. During the reporting period, courts handed down 11 convictions, ranging from six months to seven years. Police increased the ability to investigate and arrest traffickers in areas of previously limited government control, and the government filed over 70 trafficking-related charges against over 100 perpetrators. The government arrested and prosecuted notorious trafficking kingpin Dilaver Bojku and two associates. For activities conducted before enactment of the current anti-trafficking legislation, the applicable criminal article held only a maximum penalty of one year; the court handed Bojku a six-month sentence in Ohrid Jail, He was transferred to a prison halfway house, during which time the Ministry of Interior secured additional trafficking charges against him and extended his detention, pending trial. The government routinely cooperates with neighboring countries through its Southeastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI) liaison and through its bilateral cooperation agreements with UN authorities in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro and Bulgaria. Government efforts to crack down on corruption continued, and several internal investigations are ongoing. In 2003, charges were brought against a local police official on trafficking and other charges, and the case is proceeding through the court system.

Protection
Police routinely place victims found during anti-trafficking raids in the government’s transit shelter for trafficking victims. Once the victims are in the transitional shelter, a local NGO conducts interviews, and they are offered repatriation, counseling, medical and other support services through IOM. During the reporting period, 292 foreign female victims were processed through the shelter, of whom 23 were under 18. Victims of trafficking in Macedonia do not receive temporary residency status. While the government was working to enact a witness protection law and program, the police and IOM provided ad hoc witness protection for some witnesses willing to testify. Police and prosecutors receive training on trafficking.

MALAWI (Tier 2)

Malawi is a source country for women and children trafficked to South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Europe for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Nigerian traffickers are increasingly active in Malawi, trafficking women and girls to Europe. Malawi also is a transit for persons trafficked to The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Internal trafficking for forced labor and commercial exploitation also occurs. Sex tourism is an increasing problem. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has resulted in 2 million orphans and an increasing number of child-headed households, thereby drastically increasing the vulnerability of this population to traffickers.

The Government of Malawi does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government should increase its efforts to protect victims and follow through on its review of anti-trafficking statutes to enhance law enforcement efforts.

Prevention
The inter-ministerial committee on children implemented a child rights awareness program, an HIV/AIDS awareness program, domestic violence campaigns, workshops, and training sessions. Also, the committee disseminated the Convention on the Rights of the Child in local languages. In addition, the government has targeted local customs, such as girl-child initiation rights at puberty and early marriage, as putting children at risk for trafficking and launched campaigns against such practices. The government established an ombudsman on children’s issues and abolished school fees to encourage school attendance. The government provides assistance to the growing numbers of families caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and child-headed households, to minimize those increasingly at risk for trafficking. It also supports a multitude of youth associations working on children’s issues. The government is implementing programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and is withdrawing 1,500 children from hazardous work and providing them with alternative job skills training.

Prosecution
There is currently no anti-trafficking law in Malawi. The National Task Force on Child Labor and the Law Review Commission are reviewing child labor and trafficking statutes. The Penal Code prohibits commercial sexual exploitation of children. Laws against promoting, managing, or transporting any person for prostitution mandate a 14 year sentence, which is appropriately severe. Since 2001, police have prosecuted seven cases of trafficking and closed down at least two nightclubs during an international conference because of the presence of minor prostitutes. Malawian police are working with INTERPOL to investigate brothel rings controlled by organized crime.

Protection
The government provides repatriation assistance for victims, including health care. Juvenile-friendly courts handle cases involving minors.

MALAYSIA (Tier 2)

Malaysia is a destination and to a lesser extent a source and transit country for trafficking for sexual exploitation. Foreign trafficking victims come from Indonesia, Thailand, China, the Philippines, and Uzbekistan. On a smaller scale, Malaysian women (mostly ethnic Chinese) are trafficked to Japan, Canada, the United States, Australia and Taiwan for sexual exploitation. Some clandestine transiting may take place through the country’s international airports.

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem and enacts most of its anti-trafficking measures in the context of its fight against illegal migration. Malaysia needs to pass a comprehensive anti-trafficking law to enable officials to deal with the problem. Malaysia recognizes that anti-trafficking measures require a multilateral approach, and its growing cooperation with Indonesia is an important step. Officials are only slowly recognizing the importance of foreign victim protection.

Prevention
The government provides funding to NGOs, which inform Malaysian women of the dangers of sex trafficking. Government ministries provide direct job training assistance in rehabilitation centers to young Malaysian women considered at risk of falling into prostitution.

Prosecution
Malaysia has not passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Existing criminal and security statutes can be applied against traffickers, but most traffickers are prosecuted as smugglers under the immigration statute and as a result receive only fines or light sentences. Immigration officials have stepped up border security measures and are scrutinizing foreign visa applicants more closely to look for potential trafficking victims. Petty corruption is a problem, but the government is engaged in removing corrupt officials and police officers. The Home Affairs Ministry established an inter-agency task force to crack down on criminal offenses involving vice, including trafficking. Malaysia signed an agreement with the Philippines and Indonesia to cooperate on transnational crimes, including trafficking in persons, and will initiate law enforcement contact with its neighbors. Special cooperation is underway between the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the Indonesian state of Kalimantan.

Protection

The government provides extensive funding for NGOs in Malaysia working generally to assist Malaysian women; however, because the scope of the trafficking problem is small, relatively few of these women are trafficking victims. Overseas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides assistance to Malaysian victims trafficked abroad. In Malaysia, the government applies a lower standard of protection for foreign trafficking victims who are generally treated as immigration offenders, often detained and held for up to several months before deportation. They are released to the care of shelters or foreign consulates in the minority of cases when the government clearly identifies them as bona fide trafficking victims and not economic migrants. Malaysian officials are not trained in assisting foreign trafficking victims; operationally, officials continue to define trafficking narrowly and treat victims as accessories.

MALI (Tier 2)

Mali is primarily a source country for children trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire for farm labor. It has also become a transit country for children and women being trafficked to and from neighboring countries and to Europe; anecdotal evidence also suggests that it is a destination country for women from Nigeria. Some Malian children are trafficked internally to urban centers for forced labor.

The Government of Mali does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources. Mali should strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts through enhanced prosecution of traffickers.

Prevention
As part of Mali’s comprehensive plan to combat trafficking in children, the government has participated in several media campaigns including the “Red Card to Child Labor” program, introduced during the 2002 African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in Bamako. Since February 2002, minors are required to have written parental permission to cross borders; this program is believed to have been moderately successful in decreasing trafficking in its first year. The government is targeting high trafficking areas with public awareness campaigns. Mali is one of the West African countries participating in an international organization’s program to reduce trafficking in children and a regional effort to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
Trafficking in children is illegal in Mali and carries severe penalties under the law. Trafficking in adults can also be prosecuted under laws against slavery, kidnapping, and prostitution. We have no information on prosecutions. The government is investigating organized trafficking rings in Mali. The government has announced plans to train border officials in spotting and investigating traffickers. Mali’s cooperative agreement with Cote d’Ivoire appears to be working to combat trafficking. Cooperation with border authorities from Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso has also gained momentum. As a result of both the agreement and the instability in Cote d’Ivoire, the number of children trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire appears to be declining.

Protection
The government has established “welcome centers” which provide shelter and medical and psychological services to victims; more than 600 children have been repatriated through the centers since 2000. Victims are not treated as criminals, and the government encourages them to assist in investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Victims also have the right to seek legal action against their traffickers on their own.

MAURITIUS (Tier 1)

Mauritius is a source country for women and children trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation. Sex tourism is a serious concern and is being addressed through a broad coalition of government and civic service institutions.

The Government of Mauritius fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Mauritius could further enhance its anti-trafficking efforts by increasing the number of prosecutions.

Prevention
The government is aggressively implementing its 5-year plan to protect children against exploitation. The Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development, and Family Welfare, in conjunction with the University of Mauritius, conducted a survey of exploited children and is establishing a database to track commercial sexual exploitation. During the year, the government undertook anti-trafficking campaigns targeting child prostitution, created “Police de Proximite” to encourage community members to report information, educated children on their rights, and worked through women’s and youth centers, factories, and parent-teacher associations to explain trafficking and sexual abuse. Other actions included hiring a full-time consultant to work on pamphlets, television ads, radio spots, and booklets on child prostitution; a train-the-trainer program for 200 community and youth leaders; and establishment of mechanisms to use the 53 social welfare centers, 109 community centers, and 12 women and youth centers and village information councils as resources on commercial sexual exploitation. To decrease school absenteeism - identified as a primary cause of trafficking - the government assigns a social worker to truant children and their families. The government also provides income generating and micro-credit programs for poor families and educates parents about child prostitution. Sex Area Protection Committees and Child-Watch networks are being established in high-risk areas. An omsbudsman for children’s issues is being created. The government trains and funds NGOs.

Prosecution
The government is reviewing existing legislation to increase protection for victims and the penalties for trafficking. Trafficking is prosecuted under statutes prohibiting brothel keeping, debauchery, sex with a minor, and causing a child to be abused. Police at the Grand Bay Police Station report about 6 child prostitution cases per year. Thirty law enforcement officials are being trained in investigation and prosecution and a training manual for police is being developed. The government monitors and reports sex offenders to INTERPOL. Family courts are reviewing procedures for dealing with the commercial sexual exploitation of children. A Family Protection Unit of the police has been trained on child exploitation and an information technology unit has been established to monitor Internet solicitation of minors.

Protection
The Ministry’s Child Development Unit carries out intervention, treatment, and protection services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Victims are sheltered in government-supported, NGO-run facilities and the government mandates compensation from exploiters. The government also offers free medical, psychological, and legal assistance and has established a drop-in center for victims of sexual abuse.

MEXICO (Tier 2)

Mexico is a major source of and transit point for primarily Mexican and Central American migrants traveling to the United States, some of who are trafficked or at risk of being trafficked for labor or sexual exploitation. Others from Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe transit Mexico to the United States. Those who do not succeed in passing through are often forced into prostitution in Mexico, including a high number of children in the border area with Guatemala. In addition to international trafficking, Mexico has internal trafficking, especially for the sexual exploitation of children.

The Government of Mexico does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has launched a national campaign against the sexual exploitation of children and achieved a high level of success in interdicting illicit migration, including trafficking; however, efforts to assist victims and punish traffickers, especially those that sexually exploit minors, are still limited.

Prevention
The national campaign against sexual exploitation of children, which urges people to report the crime, has begun to show positive results. Continued and increased efforts to raise awareness under this initiative will help identify and assist a greater number of victims.

Prosecution
Mexico’s record on law enforcement against trafficking is uneven. There have been great successes, including the significant reduction of illicit migration and trafficking in persons between Baja California and the United States thanks to excellent cooperation between Mexican and U.S. officials. However, in other areas, such as Ciudad Juarez, which reports a high incidence of child prostitution and pornography, investigation was weak. Enforcement may improve in Ciudad Juarez as the federal social welfare agency recently contributed to a study of the problem and NGOs have begun sensitivity training for police. In Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, brothel owners have trafficked hundreds of Central American minors into prostitution with almost complete impunity. Mexico continues to improve its efforts to monitor its borders well in many places. In 2001, border officials turned back 15,000 undocumented aliens and hundreds of migrant smugglers and in 2002, federal police arrested the head of an international alien smuggling network. Some of these were traffickers and victims, but no data is available on the scope of the crime for two main reasons: Mexico is primarily a transit country, so the extent of trafficking may not be evident until the victim reaches the destination; and Mexican officials do not attempt to distinguish victims or traffickers, they simply deport all. Corruption and poor enforcement against exploiters of children weaken Mexico’s prosecution efforts.

Protection
The government’s social welfare agency assists trafficking victims repatriated from the United States by providing them with shelters and health care, and by returning victims to their families. The availability and quality of these programs varies widely by region. The federal government occasionally funds NGOs to assist victims, but overall the level of services should be expanded to meet the current need. Foreign victims of trafficking who are in Mexico illegally are generally deported instead of receiving public assistance while helping prosecutors to develop a case against the trafficker.


MOLDOVA (Republic of) (Tier 2)

Moldova is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked to the Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia-Montenegro and Kosovo); other European countries (Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey); and the Middle East (Lebanon, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan). There has been an increase in Moldovans trafficked to Israel, via Moscow and Egypt, and a recently discovered case of Moldovans trafficked to Japan. Moldovan men have been trafficked to Russia and neighboring countries for forced labor and begging. Moldova is also a transit country for victims trafficked from Ukraine to Romania. The border region of Transnistria, not under the central government’s control, also serves as a source and transit point for trafficking victims.

The Government of Moldova does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government established a National Working Group, which developed a multi-year strategic plan for combating trafficking. However, improvements from the previous year are limited, as the problems of endemic corruption, lack of resources and inadequate protection hinder the government’s comprehensive and effective response.

Prevention
The government acknowledges that Moldova is one of the most significant source countries for trafficked persons around the world, but does not yet treat it as a top priority. Most activities are initiated by international organizations, subsidized by foreign institutions, and implemented by NGOs, without any support from the government. The State Migration Service (SMS) increased its anti-trafficking efforts through maintenance of a database of legally licensed agencies that it can match with people interested in working abroad. The SMS works closely with international organizations to educate people about the potential dangers of working abroad. In addition, over 60 representatives from the Ministry of Labor serve as trainers in a regional women’s economic empowerment initiative.

Prosecution
Trafficking in persons is criminally prohibited in Moldova. During the reporting period, two people were convicted and sentenced to 15 and 10 years, respectively, for trafficking children to Russia for the purpose of begging. Of the 42 other trafficking criminal cases initiated, eight were referred to court, 19 are pending, two were suspended, and 13 were dismissed. Trafficking-related offenses are also prosecuted under laws on pimping, fraud, forgery and maintaining brothels. The government’s Counter-Trafficking Division actively employs special investigative techniques, such as electronic surveillance and undercover operations. The Government of Moldova also works with other countries under the Stability Pact and with international organizations to enhance anti-trafficking law enforcement skills and programs. Moldovan officials cooperate with their counterparts in other countries and shared data were incorporated into the majority of trafficking investigations in Moldova. Several human trafficking routes were closed due to international cooperation. Most recently, officials stopped a woman who trafficked other women to Japan. This was the first registered case of trafficking in Moldovan women to Japan. Widespread corruption and lack of resources prevent adequate border control and monitoring of traffickers, especially in the Transnistria region. The Moldovan Police Academy cooperated with an NGO to develop a new curriculum and implement an anti-trafficking module for the police academy training program. The government is investigating trafficking-related crimes involving government officials, such as a mayor who was arrested for taking a bribe for issuing false documents..

Protection
The Government of Moldova fails to protect victims adequately. While it does not treat victims as criminals it does not provide residency status, relief from deportation, shelter, or access to legal, medical, or psychological services for victims. The government encourages victims to assist in investigations and prosecutions. Moldovan law provides for witness protection, including change of identity and residence, but in practice this is not always provided due to lack of resources. There are no standard operating procedures for the identification of victims of trafficking, nor are victims provided compensation. Victims can obtain employment while the trafficker is prosecuted, but job opportunities are scarce in Moldova. The Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs improved victim identification and support strategies for Moldovan consular staff abroad.

MOROCCO (Tier 1)

Morocco is a country of origin and transit for trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of girls from rural areas to cities for domestic servitude as child maids is widespread. Internal trafficking of women for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation takes place on a smaller scale. Some Moroccan men and women seeking work in Europe and the Middle East as domestic servants or in the hotel or construction industry have been forced into situations of coerced labor, narcotics trafficking, or commercial sexual exploitation. There are also unsubstantiated reports that some who transit from West African countries through Morocco to Europe may be trafficked.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Prevention
The Government of Morocco participated in several high-level meetings with the European Union and the Governments of Italy and Spain to strengthen migration policies and procedures to Europe. Moroccan diplomats in both transit and destination countries are trained to assist Moroccan victims, and Moroccan consular officers are trained to provide counsel to unattended at-risk adolescents in Spain and Italy. Working with non-governmental organizations, the government has supported numerous anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns that warn young people about the dangers of migration to Europe and citizens against using child maids.

Prosecution
Morocco has no law that specifically prohibits trafficking; however, the government utilizes a number of statutes covering kidnapping, forced prostitution, and coercion against traffickers. Law enforcement agencies actively investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers. A former Belgian consul general was arrested in Morocco for recruiting Moroccan women to work in Belgian nightclubs. An accomplice working in the Moroccan Secretariat of the Royal Palace Guards was arrested and charged with deceit and forgery for drafting bogus letters of reference for the women. The police worked together with law enforcement from Saudi Arabia to break up a Moroccan trafficking ring consisting of 40 family members. Law enforcement officers participate in training and seminars about trafficking that are held by other countries. The Moroccan Council of Ministers announced that it had adopted a law that will increase punishments against traffickers. There is no evidence of official government involvement in trafficking, but some border officials and police have taken bribes to turn a blind eye to trafficking or smuggling. A government crackdown on all types of corruption within the public sector has investigated approximately 10,000 officials for allegations of corruption, including corruption related to trafficking in persons.

Protection
The government provides modest funds to non-governmental organizations, participates in anti-trafficking and anti-child labor campaigns with international organizations, repatriates former child maids to their families, and has created a Center for Immigration that provides counseling services including explanation of legal and civil rights to migrants. The Secretary of State for Family has taken custody of abused child maids.

MOZAMBIQUE (Tier 2)

Mozambique is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to South Africa for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking of children for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation occurs within the country.

The Government of Mozambique does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. Mozambique’s monitoring of borders remains weak, and corruption hampers cooperation with neighboring law enforcement officials.

Prevention
A multi-sectoral anti-trafficking “Campaign Against Trafficking in Children,” kicked off by the Prime Minister, includes public figures, well-known musicians, and Catholic Church dignitaries. The campaign continues with a massive public awareness effort on radio and television, training for journalists, workshops for children, and training for police officers. Children participate in nationwide debates, festivals, dances, dramas, and in the creation of leaflets to educate other children about prostitution. Lack of funds hampers the implementation of the national plan on abuse and exploitation of children.

Prosecution
There is no law against trafficking, and the government lacks investigative capacity; but prosecutions of cases of sexual assault and rape, some of which are trafficking-related, are on the increase. In 2002, there were seven cases in which exploiters were charged with indecent assault of a minor with penalties ranging from two to eight years. A training seminar was held to teach police officers how to recognize and investigate trafficking cases. Three pilot stations staffed with special officers trained to assist trafficking victims were set up in provincial capitals. Children are prohibited from going in nightclubs and cabarets. Two violations led to closure of the businesses.

Protection
Government assistance is available for victims on a short-term basis, but long-term care is limited by lack of funds. Victims are not mistreated when seeking assistance but are often asked to pay for medical tests. Government hospitals work with NGOs that provide victim assistance in Maputo, Beira, and Nampula. Maputo Central Hospital runs a youth psychological rehabilitation center to assist children traumatized by abduction and for victims of sexual abuse.

NEPAL (Tier 2)

Nepal is a source country of women and girls trafficked primarily to India for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and debt bondage. Nepali women traveling to the Middle East in search of work have been put into situations of coerced labor and other slave-like conditions. Internal trafficking also takes place in Nepal. Women are trafficked from rural areas to cities for commercial sexual exploitation and children are placed into debt bondage or other exploitative child labor by their impoverished parents. An ongoing Maoist insurgency has used violence to wrest control of remote areas from the government; many trafficking victims originate from those areas. The insurgents have forcibly conscripted girls and boys.

The Government of Nepal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. Pioneering efforts have been undertaken in preventing trafficking. More vigorous efforts to prosecute all forms of trafficking, stronger coordination of law enforcement efforts, and serious efforts to curb corruption will improve Nepal’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) supported local, regional, and national information campaigns on trafficking including radio and audio-visual programs, booklets, pamphlets, and signboards. As a pilot program, the government established “Village Vigilance Committees” in some districts to train local residents to recognize trafficking and alert authorities. The MWCSW publishes a newsletter and operates a program in 47 districts to emphasize the importance of sending children to school, a key component of the government’s campaign to eliminate child labor. The Ministry of Labor requires all workers traveling overseas to attend an orientation session explaining worker rights and safety issues. Government-initiated income generating projects have been introduced in 3900 villages; those projects include providing micro credit loans, introducing savings programs, and encouraging female entrepreneurs.

Prosecution
The Human Trafficking Control Act of 1986 prohibits selling persons and provides for penalties of up to twenty years imprisonment for traffickers. However, this legislation does not criminalize the separation of minors from their legal guardians with the intent of trafficking. Thus, trafficking children out of Nepal may not be prosecutable as a crime until it is too late. Last year 92 cases against traffickers were taken to court; prosecution and sentencing statistics are not yet available. Nepal’s open land border with India does not allow for stringent monitoring. Border officials receive training from non-governmental and international organizations on how to recognize potential trafficking victims. Former trafficking victims patrol along side border officials and help them spot potential trafficking situations. The Governments of Nepal and India have agreed to form a Joint Cross Border Committee against Trafficking in order to collaborate on investigations and more efficiently share information about traffickers.

Protection
The Government of Nepal provides limited resources to non-governmental organizations to provide victim assistance for rehabilitation, counseling, and medical care. Victims are not jailed, detained, or deported. Once a victim files a civil suit or makes a criminal complaint against a trafficker, the government will prosecute the case at no cost to the victim.

THE NETHERLANDS (Tier 1)

The Netherlands is both a significant destination and transit country for trafficking, most notably for the purposes of sexual exploitation, although there is also labor trafficking. Most victims originate from Central and Eastern Europe, primarily Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Moldova, and from African countries, primarily Nigeria. According to some experts, the number of reported trafficking victims, almost all foreign, has more than quadrupled over the past decade, rising from 70 to 341.

The Government of The Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Government of The Netherlands has numerous and sophisticated prevention, prosecution and protection programs. However, the lack of a specific law and punishment against forced labor trafficking, lack of punishment for sex traffickingof equal severity to that for other grave sex crimes, and limited outreach by the government to the large number of foreign victims of sex trafficking warrant concern.

Prevention
The Government of The Netherlands does not conduct prevention campaigns targeting the demand within the public at large, but it subsidizes numerous NGO information campaigns in Dutch schools and youth clubs. Dutch NGOs complain of insufficient efforts to target source countries, but the government engages in bilateral assistance to many countries to sponsor preventative education programs. Most impressive, the government funds a National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, who investigates trafficking and publishes in-depth reports.

Prosecution
Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is specifically prohibited and subject to punishment in The Netherlands. But while the punishment for rape is twelve years, the punishment for trafficking for sexual exploitation is six years with more severe penalties for aggravating circumstances, such as trafficking of a minor. The average sentence for trafficking for sexual exploitation alone is even lower: eighteen months. A law to prohibit and punish other forms of trafficking, such as forced labor and protection of victims of forced labor was introduced but was not adopted as of April 2003. There is a national public prosecutor for sex trafficking and an anti-trafficking coordinator in each district court. Sex trafficking is reportedly a high priority for police in many regions of the country. Approximately 217 cases were prosecuted last year, showing an increase from the previous year. While there were no reported convictions, the proportion of cases resulting in sentences was quite high in previous years. According to the Dutch Rapporteur, the majority of foreign victims do not usually avail themselves of the government’s B-9 immigration law, which allows the victim to remain in the country three months while pursuing prosecution. This is due to the lack of knowledge, unequal access to legal counsel, fear of retribution and restrictions on employment during this period.

Protection
The government subsidizes various Dutch and foreign NGOs working with victims trafficked for sexual exploitation and the Dutch government cooperates with source country governments. Most shelters are designed for Dutch victims of domestic violence, but seek to address the needs of all victims. The Health Ministry assisted in publishing a manual that instructs relief workers about the rights of foreign victims. Special shelters have been set up for underage foreign victims, but victim organizations have called for additional measures.

NICARAGUA (Tier 2)

Nicaragua is source and transit country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation. Many of the victims are minors trafficked within the country, including children in prostitution and girls who dance in nightclubs. Some Nicaraguan women and children are trafficked to other parts of Central America for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Nicaragua is also a transit country for illegal migrants; some of those migrants may be trafficked.

The Government of Nicaragua does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Aware of the problem, the government does not tolerate trafficking in persons. The government carries out measures against cross-border trafficking in the context of combating migrant smuggling. Government efforts to address internal trafficking, which most often involves the exploitation of children, are complicated by a lack of resources and politicization of the issue.

Prevention
A government national council headed by the First Lady has developed strategies to protect children against forced labor and sexual exploitation. These measures focus on raising awareness of public officials. The police work with schools to warn at-risk teenagers about trafficking. The government works with a number of international organizations and NGOs that promote children’s welfare, but the government does not conduct any public awareness campaigns.

Prosecution
Nicaragua has a law prohibiting trafficking for sexual exploitation, and authorities have made some arrests under this law, but there have been very few prosecutions. A joint Nicaraguan-U.S. task force coordinates strategy and law enforcement on the illegal international movement of persons. A special police unit combats trafficking as a part of migrant smuggling. Enforcement of child labor rules is spotty. Corruption is an overall problem, although there is no evidence that Nicaraguan officials are engaged in trafficking-related corruption. The government does not adequately monitor its borders, but officials are taking steps to improve technology and methodology.

Protection
The government does not provide special services to Nicaraguan trafficking victims beyond general limited assistance to victims of violent crime. The government does not provide assistance to foreign victims of trafficking. Police are not trained to recognize trafficking victims other than minors in nightclubs. Government efforts to inspect working conditions of children are limited.

NIGER (Tier 2)

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. Workers from Benin, Togo, Nigeria, and Ghana are promised well-paying employment in Niger but often find themselves exploited in poorly paid domestic work or prostitution. Internal trafficking of children for labor occurs which often leads to indentured servitude or debt bondage. Child prostitution is on the rise. Some religious leaders exploit children sent to them for education by forcing them to beg in the streets. Niger is a transit country for women being trafficked from West Africa to Europe through North Africa, primarily by Nigerian traffickers. Some children from Niger are trafficked within West Africa for forced labor.

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. A survey of migration and trafficking patterns would help the country assess needs, and Niger should undertake additional efforts to reach rural populations, implement newly passed anti-trafficking legislation, and prosecute traffickers.

Prevention
The President and Prime Minister discussed publicly the dangers of child trafficking. The government and international organizations conducted anti-trafficking information campaigns. The government’s Child Protection and Survival of Children division publicizes the rights of children through seminars, workshops, broadcasts, and other media. The division also actively reaches out to at-risk children about the dangers of prostitution, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The government hosted a regional meeting of five countries that resulted in the introduction of an Authorization Certificate for children traveling with people other than their parents. The Ministry of Justice, Association of Traditional Chiefs, and an international organization have joined forces to prevent early marriages and forced child labor. The government identified poverty alleviation schemes as a critical component to providing alternatives to families who allow children to work in exploitative conditions and offers short and long-term training programs for girls and micro-credit loans to families as a means to address some of the root causes of trafficking. The government participates in an international program to end the worst forms of child labor and a regional plan of action to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
There is no anti-trafficking law in Niger, but the abduction, harboring, or concealment of others is a criminal offense. The proposed anti-trafficking law will carry a sentence of five to10 years. We have no information on trafficking arrests in 2002, but in 2001, a trafficker from Nigeria was arrested escorting eight women on their way to Italy. The government provides training to police and border officials on trafficking.

Protection
The government supports the efforts of NGOs, primarily through in-kind support, to improve the living conditions of girls who are sexually exploited and is working with an international organization to assist street children and other children working in the gold mines. This includes providing education, medical care, support groups, and other activities for child prostitutes. The government has a witness protection program.

NIGERIA (Tier 2)

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons, predominantly women and children. Nigerians are trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of Africa for forced labor, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation. Nigerian women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, particularly to Italy, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire, and South Africa. Nigerian children are trafficked primarily for domestic labor within Nigeria and throughout West and Central Africa. Children from neighboring Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Cameroon are trafficked to Nigeria for forced labor.

The Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. More vigorous law enforcement response to all forms of trafficking, better protection efforts including a systematic repatriation network for trafficked children, and serious efforts against any officials found complicit would improve Nigeria’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
Nigeria is withdrawing children from the worst forms of child labor through international and regional programs to eliminate child labor and combat trafficking in persons. Several ministries sponsor information campaigns on child rights and child labor. Federal, state, and local government support active child rights clubs in schools. Several state governments are implementing aggressive public awareness campaigns about the dangers of child trafficking and trafficking to Europe. These campaigns include radio and television announcements, talk shows, documentaries, dramas, leaflets, briefings in local government areas, and augmented school curricula. The Nigerian Immigration Service’s newly created human trafficking unit carried out a sensitization campaign throughout the year that included meetings with governors, legislators, traditional rulers, religious leaders, and educators in trafficking-prone states.

Prosecution
The Senate passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law in March 2003. Anti-trafficking police units were created in 11 trafficking-afflicted states. The federal police anti-trafficking unit in Edo State, the primary source state for women trafficked to Italy, is actively investigating 100 cases, with 30 being prosecuted. One case involved a high chief, who was subsequently stripped of his title pending trial. The State Security Service intercepts victims and arrests traffickers. A 12-person trafficking syndicate was caught processing false documents and subsequently dismantled. A former customs officer and two others suspected of child trafficking are under investigation. A high-profile break-up of a Nigerian trafficking ring operating in Guinea fell apart after witnesses failed to testify without protection. Immigration authorities record 20 cases of child trafficking each month, but lack of equipment, logistical problems, and corruption hamper their effectiveness in processing cases to conclusion. Progress in monitoring child labor has been slow but noticeable and is overseen by a child labor office in the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Labor.

Protection
The government provides support to international and NGOs, which protect victims. Nigerian embassies in destination countries, particularly Gabon, provide assistance to victims, and the foreign ministry created a high-level position to facilitate victim repatriation. Regional centers to monitor child rights violations have been established. Witness protection remains weak; family involvement in trafficking also makes it difficult to protect victims.

NORTH KOREA (Tier 3)

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is primarily a source country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Economic and political conditions in North Korea drive large numbers of Koreans to seek a way out of the country, putting them at risk of victimization by traffickers. Women who enter Northern China may be sold as brides and exploited into prostitution. The Government of North Korea carries out widespread forced labor abuses within the country. North Koreans are transported to work in isolated regions in Russia, under circumstances of forced labor exploitation, in order to pay down the North Korean government’s foreign debt to Moscow.

The Government of North Korea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. North Korea does not recognize that trafficking in persons is a problem; in fact, the government profits from the labor of trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government does not take measures to prevent trafficking.

Prosecutions
There are no reports of government efforts to prosecute traffickers.

Protection
There are no reports that the Government of North Korea takes measures to protect victims of trafficking. In fact, North Koreans who were victimized by traffickers and later returned to their country may face detention and interrogation from government authorities.

NORWAY (Tier 1)

Norway is a destination country for a small but growing number of trafficked women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Children may be trafficked to Norway from the Balkans for sexual exploitation under the guise of adoption and refugee placement. There are also occasional instances involving household servants and youth from Eastern Europe forced to participate in petty theft rings.

The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Although trafficking-specific reports or statistics are limited, the government of Norway acknowledges that there is sufficient information to intensify anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The government’s National Action Plan classifies trafficking as a modern form of slavery, promotes cooperation between government authorities and NGOs, and allocates $15 million over three years to prevent and prosecute trafficking and protect victims. In 2002, during its Chairmanship of the Nordic Council, Norway initiated a Nordic-Baltic Campaign against Trafficking in Women and Children. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Norwegian Barents Secretariat of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council fund various prevention projects in the Baltics and Russia. The government launched a prevention campaign for all government employees, prohibiting the purchase of sexual services on official travel and reminding all Norwegian travelers that they will be prosecuted for engaging in child sexual abuse and/or trafficking, even if these acts take place in a foreign country. Under the National Action Plan, the MFA initiated projects targeting at-risk populations in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and South Asia. The Norwegian Development Agency allocates funding to organizations working to prevent trafficking and assist victims in developing countries.

Prosecution
Trafficking is not a separate criminal offense, but laws regarding, for example, labor, anti-slavery, indentured servitude, immigration, sexual assault, and prostitution were used to investigate trafficking cases. Although there is reason to believe there have been many prosecutions and convictions, the police force keeps information on trafficking investigations confidential to protect the victims, rendering it impossible to ascertain the exact number of actions against traffickers. The government earmarks significant resources to its organized crime divisions for investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. The government monitors its borders and immigration patterns for human trafficking. It works closely with EU countries and made an agreement with Finland and Russia on border control and surveillance.

Protection
Victims of trafficking have the same legal rights as other foreigners to apply for residency, asylum, welfare and social assistance, and emergency health care. The government introduced a reflection period, during which expulsion decisions may be suspended up to 45 days for trafficking victims. Most NGOs in Norway that provide victim assistance receive funding from the government. The Ministry of Health funds an NGO that manages a center staffed with social workers to provide legal assistance, counseling, harm reduction and health services for both domestic and foreign prostitutes. Other government agencies fund NGOs for training and/or seminars on victim assistance for public servants such as social workers and the police. The government is also assessing the needs of women and children who cooperate with investigators to improve current protection assistance, such as considering granting refugee status to trafficking victims.

PAKISTAN (Tier 2)

Pakistan is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Internal trafficking of women and girls from rural areas to cities for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor also occurs. Pakistan is a source country for young boys who are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar as camel jockeys. Pakistani men and women travel to the Middle East in search of work and are put into situations of coerced labor, slave-like conditions, and physical abuse. Pakistan is a destination for women and children trafficked from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and labor. Women trafficked from East Asian countries and Bangladesh to the Middle East transit through Pakistan.

The Government of Pakistan does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources and the fact that some of its territory is beyond the control of the government. The Government of Pakistan is strongest in prevention and protection. The government should increase training for low-level police officers, prosecutors, and judges throughout the country. Prosecution and conviction of those involved in perpetrating trafficking should increase over the next year.

Prevention
The government does not support specific anti-trafficking prevention programs. The government supports targeted prevention programs such as poverty alleviation, the eradication of child labor, promotion of girls’ education, and women’s income generation projects, aimed at eradicating the root causes of trafficking. A government child labor initiative to keep children in school also targets those children and families most susceptible to trafficking. The government started a new program with benchmarks and target dates to eliminate child labor. At the provincial level, the Punjab Ministry of Social Welfare established women’s workshops and training centers offering instruction in income generating activities. The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) Academy in Islamabad provides trafficking awareness training.

Prosecution
In October 2002, the government passed a law that criminalizes all aspects of trafficking, from recruitment and transporting to receiving a person. If rape or forced prostitution cases are prosecuted under the Islamic law-oriented Hudood ordinances, victims are reluctant to testify since, the woman’s testimony is tantamount to an admission of adultery if prosecutors conclude that her testimony does not meet the burden of proof. Law enforcement investigates trafficking cases. The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) reports that 11 people have been arrested for trafficking under the new statute and that prosecutions of those individuals are pending. Backlogged courts slow legal proceedings. Pakistan and Iran signed an agreement to conduct joint investigations on trafficking in persons and narcotics. The country worked with Iranian authorities on cases involving the trafficking of camel jockeys. The government is improving its ability to patrol its borders through training and equipment, but large areas of uncontrollable borders allow traffickers to bring women and children into Pakistan. Despite the establishment of a National Accountability Bureau and some noteworthy prosecutions of corruption cases, corruption remains a problem throughout Pakistan.

Protection
The government sponsors a variety of shelters and training programs throughout Pakistan that provide medical treatment, limited legal representation, and vocational training. The government provides temporary residence status to foreign trafficking victims, as well as a lawyer on demand. However, without the advocacy of an NGO, victims may be treated as criminals and detained on the basis of their illegal immigration status. Many victims languish in jail for months or years without having their cases heard. On the provincial and local level, the Punjab Ministry for Social Welfare collaborates with approximately 400 NGOs in providing women’s shelters, orphanages, and rehabilitation programs for women and children. In destination countries for Pakistani laborers, embassy officials assist those who have been trafficked or placed in abusive working conditions.

THE PHILIPPINES (Tier 2)

The Philippines are a source, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination country for persons trafficked for labor and sexual exploitation. A strong tradition in the country of seeking economic opportunity outside the Philippines puts many Filipinos at risk of trafficking. Filipino women are trafficked for sexual exploitation to destinations throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Traffickers lure such victims abroad with false promises of legitimate employment. International organized crime gangs traffick persons from Mainland China through the Philippines. Less frequently, the Philippines are the final destination point for victims from China. There is internal trafficking from rural to urban metropolitan areas. The sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines through pornography, the Internet, and sex tourism is a growing concern.

The Government of the Philippines does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government recognizes that trafficking is a problem and has been engaged internationally for a number of years to combat it. The Philippine president ordered a senior-level task force headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs to address trafficking. The 2002 agreement between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to work cooperatively on transnational crime matters, specifically to include trafficking in persons police work, has the potential to be a significant step forward. Despite economic fluctuations that affect its ability to provide consistent funding, the government still engages in good measures in the areas of prevention and protection. An area for improvement, however, is in criminal prosecution against traffickers.

Prevention
Fourteen government agencies are involved in anti-trafficking efforts, much of which is prevention-oriented. Officials oversee pre-departure sessions with overseas contract workers to warn them about trafficking. Officials have made commendable efforts to control “mail-order bride” businesses through increased monitoring. Government offices conduct information campaigns on child labor and sexual exploitation for the hotel industry and other tourism businesses.

Prosecution
The Philippines in March 2003, enacted a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The government carries out some arrests and prosecutions of traffickers, but those efforts are small in comparison to the scope of the problem. The number of convictions is a serious shortcoming. Available data on prosecutions is incomplete, but reports indicate that there were 18 arrests, one conviction and 29 trafficking establishments closed in the reporting period. There also were 13 arrests of child pornography producers. The government is addressing malfeasance in the issuance of official documents that certify women as “entertainers” eligible for foreign visas. Corruption remains a problem that requires further attention.

Protection
Given years of experience with trafficking cases, many Filipino officials have developed an understanding of the issue and how to assist trafficking victims. The government’s “Half-Way Home” program works with NGOs to repatriate victims and provide them temporary shelter, transportation, counseling and financial assistance. The government trains law enforcement officials on dealing with trafficking victims. Philippine embassies take steps to assist victims abroad. Consular officials in embassies receive awareness training on dealing with trafficking victims.

POLAND (Tier 1)

Poland is a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficking in persons, primarily women and girls, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some internal trafficking occurs. Individuals are trafficked to and through Poland primarily from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, and Russia. Polish nationals are trafficked to Western Europe, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands.

The Government of Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In the past year, the government continued its law enforcement activities and increased its support to NGO shelter projects, but it showed weaker progress in offering status in country to victims in need of protection or willing to testify in proceedings. As a country with relatively few resources and which is confronting serious economic difficulties, the government’s consistent efforts are commendable. Continual improvement in its efforts to identify and treat victims as victims will be vital in years to come.

Prevention
In the reporting period, the government cooperated with NGOs to publish educational materials on trafficking in persons and to organize training and workshops on the issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts education campaigns for young girls regarding how to identify potential traffickers and the Ministry of Education offers programs aimed at decreasing the teenage dropout rate.

Prosecution
Polish law prohibits forcing individuals into prostitution, trafficking, and pimping. The government actively investigates trafficking and while it is hampered by lack of resources, during the reporting period, police conducted 149 trafficking investigations leading to 47 arrests, 18 prosecutions and eight convictions. In all, these investigations uncovered 167 victims of trafficking. The government instituted a training course for police cadets on investigation of trafficking cases and treatment of victims. While there are reports of corruption among some police officials, no evidence of high-level governmental complicity in trafficking has emerged. Recognizing the gravity of the problem, the government approved an inter-ministerial plan to combat corruption. The government cooperates with other countries and regional security organizations in trafficking cases and the repatriation of victims. It also devotes considerable resources to monitoring its border. The Polish National Police participate in bilateral task forces with Czech, German, and Swedish police forces and a multilateral Baltic law enforcement task force.

Protection
The government provided a public building to an NGO to use as a shelter for trafficking victims, and gave another organization a grant to build a similar shelter. The number of shelters remains inadequate, however, for the number of victims. Legislation allows foreign victims with illegal status to remain in Poland during the investigation and trial of their traffickers, but resources are not available to support them financially. In many cases, victims are deported as soon as possible, preventing the government from providing assistance. In the past year, the government provided full assistance to three victims who cooperated in prosecutions. NGOs and police cooperate on police sensitivity training to improve treatment of victims during investigations. The government developed a pamphlet for police officers on treatment and resources for trafficking victims. There is no specific assistance set aside for repatriated victims to Poland, although they are eligible for unemployment and welfare benefits. Poland cooperates fully with other countries in anti-trafficking efforts and the repatriation of victims.

PORTUGAL (Tier 1)

Portugal is primarily a destination country for trafficked persons from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Lithuania, and Belarus, as well as Brazil, Angola and Cape Verde, for the purposes of forced and exploited labor of men and to a lesser extent, sexual exploitation of women. There is some evidence of internal trafficking of children from boarding schools and orphanages by an organized pedophilia ring, currently under investigation. Other trafficked persons transit mainland Portugal en route to the United Kingdom and other European countries.

The Government of Portugal fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Efforts were especially strong in the areas of prosecution and protection, with some additional prevention action taken since last year’s report.

Prevention
All government efforts were conducted in the absence of a central, governmental task force on trafficking, and without a constant and clear distinction between migrant smuggling and trafficking. The Portuguese Ministry of Labor continued to disseminate a “welcome guide” to teach new immigrants the basics of living and working in Portugal and prevent exploitation by traffickers. The government also helped to coordinate efforts of various non-governmental and international organization programs, including toll free hotlines and awareness-raising activities.

Prosecution
A new immigration act criminalizes new categories of trafficking and increases penalties for traffickers, but laws on false documentation, extortion, fraud and other criminal activities were also used to prosecute and convict traffickers. According to the Border and Foreigner Service (SEF), 329 trafficking-related investigations were undertaken in 2002-03. Of these, four Ukranians were sentenced from two and a half to nine years for related crimes; 3 Portuguese citizens were sentenced between seven and 15 years for involvement in a human trafficking network of 3,000 victims; and 16 defendants were charged with forced labor, trafficking and kidnapping of more than 300 Brazilian and Moldovan women forced into prostitution. The government trains its law enforcement officers on trafficking, coordinates well with Interpol and Europol and participates in occasional joint trainings; however, overall law enforcement efforts were hindered by jurisdictional rivalries. The government increased its border monitoring at the airport, but control over the land border - where the vast majority of traffickers and their victims enter the country – was weaker. The government is currently working with the governments of Germany, Italy and Spain to develop an organized crime database under Europol that will better track cross-country movement of human traffickers and other criminals, mostly from Ukraine and Moldova. The government employs special investigative techniques to investigate trafficking cases, and offers legal residency as an incentive for victim participation. The government investigates its officials where it has evidence of their involvement in trafficking persons. Judges instituted longer sentences of traffickers amid public pressure to address the spread of organized crime.

Protection
The rights of victims are respected, and the government provides legal residence status to victims who cooperate with authorities, and provides trafficking victim assistance. While most illegal immigrants are either quickly deported or asked to leave the country, new legal provisions allow the government to bypass residency visa requirements for victims who assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. The government provided witness protection and relocation for involvement in trafficking cases and offered some temporary shelter to victims. The Portuguese Border Authority subsidizes the voluntary repatriation and reintegration assistance of an international organization. The government introduced stronger child protection measures as a result of extensive media attention and public outrage at the recent discovery of an organized pedophilia ring trafficking children from boarding schools and orphanages. The government also supports NGOs via its Health, Education and Labor Ministries, including informing trafficking victims of their legal rights and assisting in their integration into Portuguese society.

Countries Q through Z

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LibertadLatina

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Updated: March 14, 2011


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Key new special sections
About the crisis of forced prostitution of minor girls and young women in the largest center for organized sex trafficking in Mexico: Tlaxcala state.

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Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Former Argentine spy Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola has been accused by his adult daughter, Lorena Martins, of running a sex trafficking ring based in Cancun, Mexico.

El “caso Martins”, al Congreso de la Unión

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados del Congreso de la Unión, solicitó la expulsión de Raúl Luis Martins Coggiola del país, debido a que significa un riesgo para la sociedad mexicana su presencia por lucrar con seres humanos.

La titular de la comisión, Rosi Orozco, afirmó que es urgente concretar la expulsión del país del ciudadano argentino Raúl Luis Martins al señalar que esta persona junto con un socio "está lucrando con seres humanos", por lo que es necesario que las autoridades mexicanas investiguen a fondo su presunta participación como líder de una red de trata de personas en Cancún y la Riviera Maya...

La legisladora federal explicó que "es urgente que las autoridades tomen cartas en el asunto, pues no entiendo cómo pueden no darse cuenta que el mismo abogado que defendió a Succar Kuri es quien ha estado defendiendo a este señor", puntualizó. Indicó que el asunto debe ser investigado de manera exhaustiva ya que se tiene una procuradora comprometida contra la trata de personas, a quien no le tiembla la mano para castigar a personas que explotan a niñas, niños y jóvenes. De acuerdo con medios de comunicación argentinos Martins Coggiola es líder de una red de trata de personas en centros nocturnos en su país y en Cancún, donde jóvenes sudamericanas son enganchadas con promesas de trabajo y posteriormente las obligan a prostituirse.

Lea el artículo completo

Congress considers the case of Raúl Martins

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the lower house of Congress has called for the expulsion of Argentine citizen Raul Luis Martins Coggiola, because his presence represents a risk to Mexican society due to his [ilicit] efforts to profit from human exploitation.

The head of the commission, Deputy Rosi Orozco, said it is urgent to realize the deportation of an Argentine Raul Luis Martins, stating that both he and a partner "are profiting from human beings," so it is necessary that the Mexican authorities thoroughly investigate his alleged role as the leader of a trafficking network based in [the beach resort cities of] Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Deputy Orozco explained that "it is urgent that the authorities take action on the matter...I do not understand how they have failed to realize that the lawyer who defended [infamous convicted millionaire child pornographer Jean] Succar Kuri is the same one who has been defending this man." She added that the matter should be investigated comprehensively, given that we now have a prosecutor who is dedicated to human trafficking cases and whose hand does not tremble when it comes to the task of punishing those who exploit children and youth. According to Argentine media reports, Martins Coggiola leads a human trafficking network based in nightclubs both in Argentina and in Cancun, Mexico, where young South American women are entrapped with false promises of jemployment, and are then forced into prostitution.

Read the full article

Por Esto

Feb. 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Lorena Martins, daughter of Raul Martins

Argentine ex-spy accused of sex trafficking

The daughter of former Argentine intelligence officer Raul Martins will arrive in Mexico this week with evidence that her father is running a sex trafficking ring in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, an activist told EFE Monday.

Lorena Martins will deliver the evidence to Mexican lawmaker Rosi Orozco, who chairs a special committee investigating human trafficking, Gustavo Vera, head of the NGO La Alameda, said.

Lorena has already filed a criminal complaint in Argentina accusing her father of luring Argentine women and girls to Cancun and then forcing them into prostitution.

Read the full article

IANS/EFE

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Prostitution Network Buenos Aries – Cancun case will go to the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City

Lorena Martins daughter of Raul Martins, an Argentine former spy accused of managing a prostitution network in Cancun that has reached even the mayor of Buenos Aires of receiving money for his campaign from this illegal activity in Mexico, will flight to Mexico City to denounce her father before the Chamber of Deputies, reported the Excelsior.

Lorena Martins will present emails, cell phones and other materials as proofs of a prostitution network between Buenos Aires and Cancun that ties her father Raul Martins with several businessmen, politicians and high ranking official in Mexico.

Read the full article

The Yucatan Times

Jan. 31, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina

Tratan de expulsarlo por la trata

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Diputados de México pidió que Raúl Martins fuera deportado. Sus abogados apelaron. Lorena, su hija, entregó a la jueza Servini de Cubría el diario de una ex de su padre en el que relata la trata de dos niñas.

La Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas de la Cámara de Diputados de México pidió ayer la expulsión de Raúl Martins. El pedido es un reflejo de la denuncia de su hija, Lorena, quien relató la forma en que la organización de su padre llevó chicas argentinas, brasileñas y de otras nacionalidades a ejercer la prostitución en Cancún. Ya en 2010, la multipremiada periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho, en su libro Esclavas del Poder, tituló el capítulo sobre Martins con el nombre de “El Intocable”. En Buenos Aires, Lorena se presentó ante la jueza María Romilda Servini de Cubría, que finalmente es quien investigará el caso, y le entregó pruebas manuscritas de un diario de una ex pareja de su padre en la que se relata cómo le trajeron dos chicas de 15 años. Otras evidencias fueron remitidas a la jueza por el procurador Esteban Righi.

Lorena Martins estuvo cinco días en México. Presentó las denuncias ante la Comisión de Lucha contra la Trata y también ante la Procuración General de la República. La joven fue recibida por la primera dama de México, Margarita Zavala, en la sede del gobierno azteca, de manera que el interés por el caso –adelantado en exclusiva por Página/12 en diciembre– llegó hasta el más alto nivel del país del Norte.

Ayer, la diputada Rosy Orozco, titular de la Comisión de Trata, pidió la expulsión de Martins de México, porque “está lucrando con seres humanos. Es urgente que las autoridades se den cuenta de que quien defiende a este señor es el mismo que defendió a Succar Kury”, un famoso pederasta, poderoso dueño de una cadena hotelera, que hasta decía en un video que mantenía relaciones sexuales con niñas, incluso de cinco años. El caso también fue investigado por Lydia Cacho en el libro Los demonios del Edén.

Lea el artículo completo

Congressional members call for the expulsion of Raúl Martins from Mexico

The Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking in the Lower House of Congress has requested that Raúl Martins be deported. Martins' lawyers have appealed. Martins' daughter Lorena has turned over evidence to a Judge Servini de Cubría

The Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons of the of the lower house of Congresss yesterday asked the expulsion of Raul Martins. The demand is a reaction to a complaint made by Martins' daughter Lorena, who recounted how her father's [ilicit human trafficking] organization has brought women from Argentina, Brazil and other nations to engage in prostitution in the city of Cancun, Mexico. In 2010, the award-winning Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, in her book Servants of Power, mentions Martins in a chapter called "The Untouchable." In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lorena appeared before Judge Maria Romilda Servini de Cubria, who investigated the case, and provided evidence in the form of a handwritten diary written by a former girlfriend of her father, in which she relates how Raul Martins had [sex] trafficked two 15-year-old girls. Other evidence was submitted to the judge by the prosecutor Esteban Righi.

Lorraine Martins [recently] spent five days in Mexico. She presented her complaints before the Special Commission to Combat Human Trafficking [of the lower house of Congress], as well as before the federal Attorney General's Office. She was also received by the first lady of Mexico, Margarita Zavala in the seat of the Aztec [Mexican] government, showing that the case, which was releaved by Page12 reporters in December of 2011, had reached the highest level of attention. .

Yesterday, Deputy Rosi Orozco, president of the congressional anti-trafficking commission, called for the expulsion of Martins from Mexico, because, she said, "he is profiting from human exploitation. It is urgent that the authorities realize that the lawyer who is defending Martins also represented [convicted child sex trafficker] Jean Succar Kuri," an infamous pedophile and powerful hotel chain owner, who had once been recorded with hidden video admitting that he had engaged in sexual acts with girls as young as age five. The case was [first exposed by anti-trafficking activist and journalist] Lydia Cacho in her book The Demons of Eden.

Read the full article

Raúl Kollmann

Page 12

Feb. 09, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Argentina / Paraguay / Dominican Republic

Prostitution ring brought people from Argentina to Mexico

Buenos Aires.- A prostitution ring operated by former Argentine spy Raul Martins, reported yesterday in Mexico by his own daughter, started by advertising vacancies in local newspapers and culminated in the sexual exploitation of women in Cancun, Mexico.

Gustavo Vera, representative of La Alameda, a prestigious organization dedicated to denouncing people trafficking for labor and sexual slavery in the South American country, told Notimex details of the operation.

In fact, La Alameda published the photo of Martins with the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, who is alleged to have received funding of the alleged pimp in his election campaign.

Read the full article

Cecilia Gonzalez

Notimex

Feb. 02, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mayoría de víctimas de trata de personas en NY son hispanos

Nueva York - Más de la mitad de los afectados por la trata de personas y que viven en el estado de Nueva York son inmigrantes latinoamericanos obligados a realizar trabajos forzados o a prostituirse, según datos de la mayor agencia de servicios a víctimas de Estados Unidos.

Un 58% de los clientes de Safe Horizon, la agencia más importante de servicios de víctimas en el país, proviene de Latinoamérica, dijo la organización a The Associated Press. Aproximadamente un 24% de esas víctimas son mexicanos.

Las victimas de trata no tienen oportunidad de denunciar su situación por temor a ser deportados.

Lea el artículo completo

The majority of human trafficking victims in New York are Hispanic

New York - According to data gathered by the largest [non profit] victim service agency in the United States, more than half of New York ressidents who are victimized by human trafficking are Latino immigrants who are forced into prostitution or labor exploitation.

Some 58% of the clients of Safe Horizon were Latin Americans, the organization told The Associated Press. Approximately 24% of those victims were Mexican.

[Many immigrant] victims of trafficking have have not had an opportunity to speak out de to their fear of being deported.

Read the full article

The Associated Press

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

Sex slave's story: Woman duped into leaving Mexico, forced to New York City's trafficking underworld

Sofia tells the Daily News how a "boyfriend" tricked her into leaving Mexico illegally -- and forced her into the life of a sex slave.

Her boyfriend told her they were leaving Mexico to live with his relatives in Queens, get restaurant jobs and build a happy life in America.

Instead, she was forced into a life of sex slavery — made to work as a “delivery girl” prostitute riding from john to john in a livery cab.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexican Member of Congress and leading anti-trafficking advocate Deputy Rosi Orozco

Cada semana llegan a Tijuana decenas de niñas y mujeres de para ser forzadas a prostituirse: Rosi Orozco

Diputada Rosi Orozco: "cada semana llegan a Tijuana, Baja California, autobuses y aviones con decenas de niñas y mujeres de entre 3 a 65 años de edad para ser forzadas a prostituirse, refirió."

Distrito Federal.-La presidenta de la Comisión Especial para la Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada Rosi Orozco (PAN), impulsa un punto de acuerdo para la colocación de un muro en las instalaciones del Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro, en el que se exhiban fotografías de niñas, niños y mujeres desaparecidos por posible trata de personas. Además, que el Canal del Congreso difunda, de manera permanente, cápsulas con las imágenes de las posibles víctimas, así como los datos de las instancias competentes para formular denuncias, como señal de solidaridad y efectivo auxilio, precisó la legisladora.

Señaló que la trata de personas con fines sexuales es el tercer negocio ilícito más lucrativo a nivel mundial, después del tráfico de drogas y armas; genera al año diez mil millones de dólares.

La gran mayoría de las víctimas provienen de contextos en los que difícilmente pueden conocer plenamente sus derechos, subrayó.

Lea el artículo completo

Each week, dozens of girl children and women are trafficked into sexual slavery in [the Mexico/U.S.] border city of Tijuana

Deputy Rosi Orozco: "According to a study conducted by the College of the Northern Frontier (Colegio de la Frontera Norte), each week dozens of girls and women between the ages of 3 and 65 are brought by bus and by air to the city of Tijuana, in the state of Baja California so that they can be exploited sexually."

Mexico Ciy - National Actional Party deputy Rosi Orozco, who is President of the Special Commission for Combating Trafficking in Persons in the lower house of Congress, has introduced a resolution for the placement of a mural on the premises of the Legislative Palace of San Lazaro, where the photographs of children and women who have disappeared and may be vicims of human trafficking will be displayed. In addition, Deputy Orozco proposes that the Congress Channel permanently broadcast segments that show the images of possible victims, as well as instuctions for filing human trafficking complaints, as a practical act of solidarity and assistance.

Orozco noted that human trafficking for sexual purposes is the third most lucrative illicit business worldwide, after drugs and arms trafficking, generating a year ten billion dollars.

The vast majority of victims come from contexts [situations] where it is difficult for them to fully know their rights, she said.

Read the full article

El Observador Diario

Feb. 04, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Human Trafficking Continues To Rise Along San Diego-Tijuana Border

San Diego - Nearly every official who attended the second annual bi-national forum to address human trafficking in Chula Vista agreed: Human trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border is on the rise.

Government figures show about 18,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year. But officials also acknowledge there are many more victims hidden in communities who are sold for prostitution, labor or other services. Often times the illegal practice goes unreported.

The goal of Thursday's forum was to improve collaboration between agencies on both sides of the border to help crackdown on human trafficking and child prostitution.

Read the full article

Marissa Cabrera

Fronteras Desk

Jan. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

New York City, USA / Mexico

ICE agent cites 'disturbing and subhuman' methods used to trick young women into sex slavery

"It’s very difficult for us to break through to the average American, the average New Yorker and let them know that people in 2011 and 2012 are actually held against their will," says Special Agent in Charge James Hayes, Jr., of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

G-men and cops are busting twice as many human traffickers, but advocates say a sickening number of immigrants are being forced into prostitution in the city.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement racked up 172 arrests for trafficking in the metropolitan area, up from 75 the previous year.

Read the full article

Erica Pearson

New York Daily News

Feb. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Presentan marcas de abuso sexual, bebes recuperados en Jalisco

En entrevista con Hoy por Hoy con Salvador Camarena, Tomás Coronado Olmos, procurador de Justicia de Jalisco, ratificó que bebés adoptados ilegalmente en dicha entidad presentan huellas de abuso sexual. “De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

“De los 11 menorcitos recuperados, seis presentan marcas de violencia sexual”.

Derivado de las investigaciones que realiza la PGR, dijo, hay nueve detenidos pero aun no se precisa si extranjeros de origen irlandés están relacionados con las agresiones sufridas por los menores.

“Los tenemos plenamente identificados y el embajador de Irlanda en México ha estado muy al pendiente. Una vez que concluya el proceso se determinará su situación jurídica”.

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Children put up for adoption in the cityof Jalisco show signs of sexual abuse

Jalisco state Attorney General Tomás Coronado Olmos has confirmed that the babies show signs of abuse.

"Six of 11 recovered todlers show signs of sexual abuse"

According to the federal Attorney General's Office, their investigations into this case have resulted in nine arrests. The authorities have not yet determined whether prospective adoptive parents from Ireland have any connection to the abuses.

"The [couples seeking adoption] have been identified. Ireland's ambassador in Mexico has been very attentive. After completion of the process the legal status of the prospective parents will be determined."

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wradio.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco at recent anti-trafficking forum

México, segundo lugar en pornografía infantil a nivel mundial

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

El 45 por ciento de las víctimas de trata son indígenas, dijo la diputada Rosi Orozco. En tanto que Margarita Zavala consideró fundamental combatir de manera frontal este delito.

México está ubicado en el segundo lugar en producción de pornografía infantil a nivel mundial, afirmó la presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha contra la Trata de Personas, diputada panista Rosi Orozco al inaugurar el Foro Líderes de Opinión Contra la Trata de Personas.

En presencia de la presidenta del Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, la legisladora subrayó que el delito de trata de personas ocupa el segundo lugar a nivel mundial, como el negocio ilícito más redituable para el crimen organizado, con 42 mil millones de dólares, y después está el de la venta de armas.

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Mexico holds second place globally in [the production of] child pornography

Some 45% of human trafficking victims in Mexico are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco. First Lady Margarita Zavala declares that confronting trafficking head-on is fundamental.

Some 45% of trafficking victims are indigenous, according to Deputy Rosi Orozco.

According to National Action Party Depurty Rosi Orozco, president of the Special Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Lower House of Congress, Mexico holds a second-place position in the global production of child pornography. Deputy Orozco made these remarks as she opened the forum Opinion Leaders Against Human Trafficking. The event was attended by Mexico's First Lady Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo, who is also the president of the National System for Integral Family Development (the nation's social services agency).

Depurty Orozco explained that the global human trafficking business brings in ilicit earning of $42 billion per year, making it the most profitable criminal enterprise after illegal arms trafficking.

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Grupo Fórmula

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

México, Segundo en Pornografia Infantil en el Mundo

Trata de personas y pornografía infantil, delitos graves… Al señalar que México es de los cinco países del orbe con el mayor problema en materia de trata de personas y segundo en pornografía infantil, la diputada panista Rosi Orozco previno que el delito de la trata, ya superó las ganancias que obtiene la delincuencia organizada por el tráfico de armas a nivel mundial, con más de 42 mil millones de dólares.

Al inaugurar el foro “Líderes de Opinión contra la Trata de Personas”, sostuvo que por todo ello, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas escogió a nuestro país para iniciar la campaña del Corazón Azul, donde se pretende sensibilizar a la población y a las autoridades para erradicar el delito.

En nuestro país, el negocio de la trata de personas sigue en ascenso; mientras que a la fecha, sólo 19 entidades del país tienen una Ley contra la Trata de Personas, y únicamente el Distrito Federal, Puebla y Chiapas han aplicado sentencias condenatorias.

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Mexico: The second largest producer of child pornography globally

Human trafficking and child pornography, felonies ... Noting that Mexico is among the five countries in the world with the biggest problem in terms of trafficking in child pornography and second, the National Action Party's Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is a member of the Lower House of Congress, has warned that the crime of trafficking has surpassed the profits earned through ilicit arms trafficking, and now amount to $42 billion dollars per year [in criminal profits].

During her presentation opening the forum Opinion Leaders Against Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Orozco added that the Organization of the United Nations chose Mexico to start its [global] Blue Heart campaign, which aims to sensitize the population and authorities with the goal of eradicating modern human slavery.

In our country, the business of trafficking in persons continues to rise, while to date only 19 states [out of 32 federated entities] in the country have a law against trafficking in persons, and only the Federal District [Mexico City], and the states of Puebla and Chiapas have have handed down sentences in criminal cases associated with these crimes.

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Jaime Arizmendi

Quadratín

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico No. 2 Producer Of Child Porn, Lawmakers Say

Mexico is the world's No. 2 producer of child pornography and is classified as a source, transit and destination country for people traffickers involved in sexual exploitation, lawmakers said.

Child pornography is the No. 2 illegal business, trailing only drug trafficking, and generates $42 billion annually, Special Committee to Fight People Trafficking chairwoman Rosi Orozco said.

Indians account for about 45 percent of the victims, Orozco, a member of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, said at the start of a forum in Mexico City on people trafficking.

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EFE

Jan. 26, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Estados más pobres, vulnerables a trata de personas: PAN

La diputada Rosi Orozco, apuntó que en el tema de la trata de personas, ahora se ha hecho mucha conciencia, luego que tiempo atrás se veía una marcada ignorancia de lo que sucedía. Asimismo, dijo ya hay acciones encaminadas a terminar con la pornografía infantil, "con los ciberdelitos que agreden tan fuertemente a los niños, niñas y jóvenes".

Rosi Orozco, diputada del PAN quien ha buscado combatir desde tiempo atrás la trata de personas, destacó el encuentro que se llevó a cabo el día de ayer en donde una chica por primera vez dio su testimonio sin cubrirse el rostro.

Explicó que la joven, quien en el libro "Del cielo al infierno", narró su historia de cómo la habían enganchado a través de enamoramiento, con el que se sentía en el cielo al estar con un príncipe, para después bajar a lo peor de un infierno de vida, de golpes para obligarla a prostituirse.

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Mexico's poorest states are vulnerable to human trafficking: National Action Party

During a recent event focused on the topic of human trafficking in Mexico, Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the National Action Party stated that significant public awareness of the issue has now been acheived, after a period in which ignorance about the facts had prevailed. She added legislation is being considered by Congress that will put an end to child pornography and "cybercrimes that seriously assault children and youth." First Lady Margarita Zavala and the media also attended.

Deputy Orozco, who has had long sought to combat human trafficking, said the meeting that was held yesterday included for the first time testimony by a victim who appeared without hiding her face.

Deputy Orozco explained that the youth, who's story is told in Orozco's book "From Heaven to Hell", related the story of how she was entrapped by a trafficker who pretended to fall in love with her. She felt that she was in heaven with her prince. Later, she fell into the worst depths of hell-on-earth when the same man beat her to force her into prostitution.

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Paola Rojas

Grupo Fòrmula

Jan. 25, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Avances, no descartan riesgos de frenar ley

No se descartan riesgos en San Lázaro que frenen la aprobación de la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas y los Delitos Relacionados, toda vez que al momento sólo 104 legisladores de todos los partidos la han avalado, todavía falta trecho por andar, y aunque “está bastante acordada”, todos los esfuerzos se hacen para que avance, a fin de combatir el lacerante comercio y explotación sexual de seres humanos: niñas, niños y mujeres.

La diputada del PAN Rosi Orozco, presidenta de la Comisión Especial de Lucha Contra la Trata de Personas aclaró: “no he politizado ninguna situación, realmente va más allá de los partidos, estamos hablando de nuestros mexicanos, de nuestros niñas y niños y protegerlos a ellos no tiene colores”, ya que es una esclavitud en pleno siglo XXI, advirtió en entrevista durante la sesión en San Lázaro.

Confió que en este último periodo ordinario de la LXI Legislatura salga la Ley para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Trata de Personas, “es una ley que no tiene por qué no salir, la gente que está en las comisiones está de acuerdo en que tengamos una Ley General, lo difícil fue sacar la reforma al artículo 73 y eso, pues ya se logró” apunta la legisladora albiceleste.

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Human trafficking legislation advances in Congress, members decline to reveal hidden threats to passage

Congressional lawmakers have declined to reveal the sources of hidden influences that are putting efforts to pass the proposed Law on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Trafficking in Persons and Related Crimes at risk. Currently, only 104 federal lawmakers from across Mexico's political parties have endorsed the proposal. Although significant work needs to be accomplished to achieve passage of the bill, basic agreement has been reached [on the need for an enforceable federal anti-trafficking law]. All possible efforts are being made to advance the bill, which will allow [a more effective federal effort to fight the damaging effects of the labor and sexual exploitation of girls, boys and women].

During an interview held in San Lazaro (the seat of Congress), National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Rosi Orozco, who is the president of the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in the lower house of Congress said: "I have not politicized this effort. It [is a campaign that] really goes beyond the [interests of individual political] parties. What we are talking about here are our Mexican people, our children. They don't have colors [political affiliations]." She added that this [crisis] is a 21st Century form of slavery.

Deputy Orozco added that she hopes that, during the latter period of the 61st [LXI] Legislature's regular session, the Law to Prevent, Punish and Erradicate Human Trafficking will be passed." She noted that there is no reason why the bill should not pass, given that the members of the relevant congressional commissions [committees] are in agreement that we should have a general law against trafficking [a general law is the only form of federal law that may actually be enforced by federal authorities in the states]. The hardest part was achieving the reform of Article 73, said Orozco [During 2011, President Felipe Calderón achieved the passage of amendments to Articles 19, 20 and 73 of the Mexican Constitution to remove certain obstacles to the prosecution of human trafficking cases].

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Luz María Alonso Sánchez

El Punto Critico

Feb. 03, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Ritmoson combate con música trata de personas

Crean campaña para generar conciencia del delito y cerrarán con un concierto

El tercer delito más lucrativo en México y otros países es la trata de personas, por ello, crear conciencia entre los jóvenes y niños para no ser víctimas de él es la pretensión del canal Ritmoson Latino.

Con la campaña Música libre, la señal internacional puso a andar su tercera iniciativa social, esta vez para combatir un “grave problema”.

Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez y Kinky, entre otros artistas, hacen el llamado que a partir de este mes y hasta julio próximo se transmitirá por televisión restringida y redes sociales oficiales.

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Ritmoson TV channel to run anti-trafficking campaign

The third most lucrative crime in Mexico and other countries is human trafficking. Therefore, the Latino Ritmoson channel, which is a part of the Televisa network, has created a trafficking prevention campaign to raise awareness among children and youth.

The international channel's Free Music campaign is its third social initiative, directed, this time, at addressing a "grave problem."

Performing artists] Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Selena Gomez. Kinky, among other artists will promote the campaign between now and July of 2012. It will be broadcast on television and by way of social media networks.

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Josue Fabián Arellano M.

El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

California, USA / Mexico

Bill Aims to Make It Easier to Prosecute Child Sex Traffickers

As child sex trafficking expands as a source of money for San Diego gangs, there’s an effort to make it easier for prosecutors to go after pimps.

The way California law is written now, prosecutors have to prove force or coercion when a sex trafficking victim is younger than 18. Because so many victims are lured by pimps through emotional bribery or promises of work, it’s been difficult for prosecutors to prove trafficking.

Susan Munsey is with the nonprofit group Generate Hope which helps trafficking victims get back on their feet. She said Assembly Bill 90, which changes the standard of proof from forced to encouraged or persuaded, is badly needed.

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Amita Sharma

Fronteras Desk

Aug..12, 2011


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Lideraba "La Niurka" red de prostitución de menores

Tijuana.- Una orden de aprehensión por el presunto delito de trata de personas le fue cumplimentada a María Guadalupe Román Valenzuela, alias "La Niurka", señalada como quien lideraba una red de prostitución con mujeres menores de edad desde el año 2005.

Fueron agentes de la Policía Estatal Preventiva quienes finalmente le concretaron el mandato judicial que pesaba en su contra desde el año 2007 por el delito de lenocinio, cuya figura delictiva fue cambiada con motivo de la entrada en vigor de la Ley Contra la Trata de Personas en el estado.

La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública Estatal informó que la detención de la fémina, también conocida como "La Tía", se llevó a cabo la tarde del domingo al ubicarla tras semanas de investigación en el fraccionamiento La Bodega, en la ciudad de Mexicali.

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Police arrest child sex trafficker known as "La Niurka"

The city of Tijuana - An arrest warrant for the alleged crime of human trafficking ihas been carried out against Maria Guadalupe Roman Valenzuela, also known as "The Niurka." Authorities indicate that since 2005, Roman Valenzuela has lead a prostitution ring that exploits underage girls.

The [Baja California] State Preventive Police (SSPE) arrested Roman Valenzuela, who had been wanted since 2007 on charges of pimping. The charges were later modified after the enactment of the state's Law Against Human Trafficking.

The State Secretariat of Public Security reported that the arrest of the suspect, who also went by the name of "Auntie," took place Sunday afternoon following a weeks-long investigation in the La Bodega neighborhood in the city of Mexicali.

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Manuel Cordero

El Sol de Tijuana

Jan. 17, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Journalist, women's center director and anti-trafficking advocate Lydia Cacho

Lydia Cacho wins Olof Palme Prize 2011

Lydia Cacho, Mexican journalist and writer, and Roberto Saviano, Italian author, were awarded with Olof Palme Prize 2011. They both spoke about justice and human rights issues in their native countries with a great deal of courage, and currently they are living under threats and persecution.

In 2009, Lydia Cacho received a lot of attention at the Göteborg Book Fair, where she presented the translated version of her book "I will not let myself be intimidated". She wrote it based on her life experience in Mexico – her motherland, where she is known for her accusations of corruption among Mexican politicians and businessmen.

In 2005, by having written "Demons of Eden", she exposed paedophile Succar Kuri's network in Cancun and named several accomplices among high-ranking politicians and businessmen. Since that moment the author has lived under constant death threats. Besides being an author and having written seven books in total, since 2000, Lydia Cacho has been sheltering vulnerable women and children in Cancún, where they get an opportunity to retreat.

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Göteborg Book Fair

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Lanzan campaña contra la trata de menores en la minería informal

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

La ONG Save The Children y la Unión Europea lanzaron este fin de semana una intensa campaña para erradicar la explotación sexual y laboral de niños y adolescentes en la minería informal en Madre de Dios (selva sur), una de las regiones más pobres de Perú.

"Una de las metas de la campaña es recuperar con apoyo de la policía y fiscalía a unos mil niños, niñas y adolescentes explotadas sexual y laboralmente en campamentos de la minería informal en Madre de Dios", dijo a la AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, representante de Save The Children en Perú.

En los campamentos las menores son explotadas en cantinas convertidas en prostíbulos conocidos como 'prostibares', así como en, entre otras actividades, en la extracción de oro y la servidumbre, señaló Carpio.

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NGO launches [million dollar] campaign against child trafficking in Peru's remote informal mining camps

THe NGO Save the Children and the Earopean Union are launching a compaign this week to intensity efforts to eradicate the sexual and labor exploitation of children and youth in the informal mining camps of Madre de Dios, one of Peru's poorest regions.

The NGO Save The Children and the European Union this weekend launched an intensive campaign to eradicate sexual and labor exploitation of children and adolescents in the informal mining region of Madre de Dios (Mother of God), one of the poorest regions of Peru.

"One of the goals of the campaign is to organize police and prosecutorial support to rescue approximately 1,000 children and teens who are exploited for sex and labor in informal mining camps of the Madre de Dios," he told AFP Teresa Carpio Villegas, who Save the Children's representative in Peru.

In the mining camps, children are exploited in bars that have been converted into brothels and are known as 'prostibars.' Minors are also exploited to work in gold mining and [other forms of] servitude, Carpio said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Jan. 30, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Indigenous Mexico

Indigenous women are marginalized in Mexican society. Comprising 15-to30 percent of the population, they and their underage daughters make up an estimated 45% of all human trafficking victims in the Aztec nation (Mexico).

Voces del pueblo indígena

México-. La situación de asimetría y desigualdad ha hecho que históricamente los pueblos indígenas en México sean marginados y excluidos de los procesos de toma de decisiones en el país.

En la actualidad, con una población que se acerca a los 16 millones de habitantes, de ellos más de mitad mujeres, de acuerdo con estimados de la Movimiento Indígena Nacional (MIN), estos grupos se localizan, fundamentalmente en los estados de Yucatán (59 por ciento) y Oaxaca (48 por ciento).

También en Quintana Roo (39), Chiapas (28), Campeche (27), Hidalgo (24), Puebla (19), Guerrero (17), San Luis Potosí (15) y Veracruz (15).

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Voices of indigenous peoples

Conditions of inequality have historically resulted in the indigenous peoples being marginalized and excluded from the decision making process in Mexico.

Today, with their population is approaching 16 million people. Over half of them are women, according to estimates from the National Indigenous Movement (MIN). These groups are located mainly in the states of Yucatan (where they are 59% of the state's total population) and Oaxaca (where they are 48%).

The indigenous population is also significant in several other states: Quintana Roo (39%), Chiapas (28%), Campeche (27%), Hidalgo (24%), Puebla (19%), Guerrero (17%), San Luis Potosi (15%) and Veracruz (15%).

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Deisy Francis Mexidor

Prensa Latina


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Agents save 13 from sex slavery in Mexican bar

The city of San cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas state - Investigators say they have rescued a group of 13 women and girls, mostly from Central America, who were forced to have sex with clients at a bar in southern Mexico.

Chiapas state prosecutor Miguel Hernandez says at least half of the 13 women were minors, and 10 were from Central America.

Hernandez and other agents raided the bar in the town of Teopisca Saturday and arrested the manager, 42-year-old Mauri Diaz, on human trafficking, prostitution and corruption of minors charges.

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The Associated Press

Feb. 4, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico unravels child trafficking ring

Zapopan - The Irish couples ensnared in an apparent illegal adoption ring in western Mexico thought they were involved in a legal process and are devastated by allegations organisers were trafficking in children, the families said.

"All the families have valid declarations to adopt from Mexico as issued by the Adoption Authority of Ireland," they said in a statement, which was read over the phone to The Associated Press by their lawyer in Mexico, Carlos Montoya.

Prosecutors in Mexico contend the traffickers tricked destitute young Mexican women trying to earn more for their children and childless Irish couples desperate to become parents.

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News24

Jan. 24, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico / Central America

Rescatan a centroamericanos víctimas del tráfico de personas

Some 73 undocumented Central Americans have been located and rescued by army units after being held in 'safe houses' that were presumably owned by human traffickers.

El Ejército mexicano encontró a 73 inmigrantes indocumentados en presuntas casas de traficantes de personas en el nororiental estado de Tamaulipas, informó el jueves la Secretaría de la Defensa.

La acción se realizó el martes en la ciudad de Reynosa "de manera coordinada, simultánea y sorpresiva" y permitió la detención de cuatro personas. Entre los indocumentados, cuyas nacionalidades no se dieron a conocer, había 18 menores de edad, informó DPA.

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Central American human trafficking victims are rescued

Se trata de 73 indocumentados localizados por el ejército en casas que presuntamente pertenecen a traficantes de seres humanos.

The Mexican army has found 73 illegal immigrants in alleged human trafficking safe houses located in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the Secretary of Defense announced Thursday.

The action took place on Tuesday in the city of Reynosa "in a coordinated suprise raid" that led to the arrest of four people. Among the undocumented, whose nationalities were not released, there were 18 children.

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El Universal

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

The World

UNODC: The Role of Corruption in Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC report focuses on the close interrelation between corruption and human trafficking, critiquing existing international legal instruments that deal only indirectly with this problem, and providing recommendations on how to strengthen these tools.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime outlines the impetus for its report:

Trafficking in persons and corruption are closely linked criminal activities, whose interrelation is frequently referred to in international fora. Yet, the correlation between the two phenomena, and the actual impact of corruption on trafficking in persons, are generally neglected in the development and implementation of anti-human trafficking policies and measures. This lack of attention may substantially undermine initiatives to combat trafficking in persons and prevent the customization of responses as needed. Only after recognizing the existence and the effects of corruption in the context of human trafficking, can the challenges posed by it be met.

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Insight Crime

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Oklahoma Human Trafficking Operation May Have Ties To Mexican Cartels

Oklahoma City - We're learning more about a human trafficking operation busted last week in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It appears to have ties to a Mexican human trafficking ring, which are said to be some of the most violent and brutal.

A search warrant obtained by News 9 reveals a victim of human trafficking, who was rescued in Tulsa, said she was also held against her will in Oklahoma City.

She told investigators she was held at the apartments off S.W. 59th Street and Harvey during the first part of January, and that she and others were forced to have sex with multiple strange men.

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Adrianna Iwasinski

Oklahoma News 6

Feb. 06, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Pretenden regular pornografía en Baja California

Baja california es uno de los estados que ofrece más turismo sexual en México, es por esto que el Partido Encuentro Social presentará este mes una iniciativa ante el Congreso del Estado para que las compañías proveedoras de internet regulen el consumo de la pornografía.

La iniciativa pretende regular el uso de internet en el aparto de Gobierno y el sector educativo, además el que vende internet debe cuidar el acceso de los menores el uso de la pornografía reveló el presidente Estatal del PES, Javier Peña García.

“Es una iniciativa ciudadana, pero estamos invitando a las diferentes fracciones de los partidos a que se adhieran en esto para que salga en común acuerdo con todos los partidos de Baja California”, adelantó.

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Legislators work to regulate online pornography in Baja California state

Baja California is one states that offers the most sex tourism in Mexico, which is why the Social Encounter Party will, later this month, present a proposal to the State Congress that will require Internet service provider companies to regulated the consumption of pornography.

The initiative seeks to regulate Internet use in government agencies and in the education sector. The measure will also insist that companies that provide Internet services take measures to limit that access of minors to pornography. which also sells Internet access to take care of children using pornography revealed the leader of the state branch of the Social Encounter Party (PES), Javier García Peña.

"It's a citizens' initiative, but we are inviting the different political parties in Baja California to agree to this so that we may present a common front on the issue," he stated.

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Uni Rdio Informa

Feb. 13, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Bolivia

In Bolivia, Many Indigenous Communities Turn to Vigilantism to Fight Crime

If a man kills another man in the harsh high plains of Jesús de Machaca or the lush lowlands of Beni, the people who catch him might not call the police. Instead they might call a meeting.

Far from courthouses and police stations that may not know their languages, and despite having no jails to lock up criminals, remote villagers in Bolivia have quietly kept justice in their own hands for centuries, handling everything from malicious gossip to murder. They have demanded fines, doled out whippings, even banished people from the pueblo. These community courts have sometimes been criticized for trampling on human rights, especially when it comes to the rights of women, but indigenous leaders say they work better for them than the regular system.

To press a case in the ordinary courts, “you must hire a lawyer and spend money on paperwork,” says Justina Vélez, who represents Pando, the northernmost province of Bolivia, in an organization of female peasants named for the indigenous hero Bartolina Sisa. “All the courthouses are located in the main cities.… The indigenous authorities are right here where we live.”

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Emily Alpert

Indian Country Today

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Mexico Official Admits Some Areas Out of Government Control

At a military ceremony yesterday, Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan Galva described the national security situation in stark terms. “Clearly, in some sectors of the country public security has been completely overrun,” said Galvan, adding that “it should be recognized that national security is seriously threatened.” He went on to say that organized crime in the country has managed to penetrate not only society, but also the country’s state institutions.

Galvan also endorsed the military’s role in combating insecurity, asserting that although they have a responsibility to acknowledge that “there have been mistakes,” the armed forces have an “unrestricted” respect for human rights.

InSight Crime Analysis

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Geoffrey Ramsey

InSight Crime

Feb. 10, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Operan 47 redes de trata de personas en México

Diputados piden a los tres órdenes de gobierno crear políticas adecuadas en la materia

La Cámara de Diputados pidió a los tres órdenes de gobiernos que combatan de manera integral el delito de trata de personas, debido a que en México operan al menos 47 redes que se dedican a este ilícito, de acuerdo con datos de la Red Nacional de Refugios.

Según cifras de la red, al año hay 800 mil adultos y 20 mil menores víctimas de este delito cuyas ganancias oscilan entre los 372 mil millones de pesos.

Las rutas incluyen los estados de Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero y Quintana Roo, así como países centroamericanos como Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

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Some 47 human trafficking networks are operating in Mexico

Congressional deputies ask the three branches of government to develop adequate policies to address human trafficking

Mexico's Lower House of Congress has asked the three branches of government (legislative, judicial and executive) to integrate their efforts to fight human trafficking, given that at least 47 trafficking networks exist in the nation, according to data released by the National Network of Refuges.

According to the Network, some 800,000 adults and 20,000 children are entrapped by modern human slavery each year, resulting in criminal earnings of some 372 million Mexican pesos ($28 million US dollars).

Trafficking routes exist in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Chiapas, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Quintana Roo, as well as in Central American countries including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Read the full article

Israel Navarro and José Luis Martínez

Milenio

Feb. 05, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

Costa Rica lags in sex-trafficking fight

“Mariel” became a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 17. She managed to escape, but still suffers anxiety and fear. Rahab Foundation is helping her recover.

“Mariel” fears that she will be kidnapped again.

At 17, she was lured into human trafficking by an acquaintance with the promise of work. Her captor used false documents to take her from Costa Rica across the border to Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Read the full article

Dominique Farrell

The Tico TImes

Jan. 27, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Costa Rica

La pornografía infantil existe en Costa Rica

Adultos sedientos de sentir y tocar la piel de un cuerpo junto al suyo, deseosos de pagar sumas de dinero por alquilar un rato de confort, quizás hasta hacer una película o tomar unas fotos, pero no de cualquier cuerpo ni de cualquier persona, sino de un niño o una niña costarricense.

La explotación sexual comercial -también llamada prostitución infantil- es un flagelo social que existe en Costa Rica y se concentra mayoritariamente en las zonas fronterizas y las costas, según cuentan organizaciones no gubernamentales que han dado seguimiento a los casos esta ha desembocado en una riada de producción de pornografía infantil en la que se utilizan niños y niñas costarricenses.

Según Rocío Rodríguez directora de Alianza por tus Derechos, en la actualidad las zonas más plagadas de casos –tanto de explotación sexual comercial como de pornografía- son Puntarenas, Guanacaste y Limón.

Lea el artículo completo

Child pornography exists in Costa Rica

Hungry adults feel and touch the skin of a body against thiers, eager to pay money to rent a bit of comfort, perhaps even make a movie or take some pictures, but not of any body or any person, but a boy or a girl in Costa Rica.

Commercial sexual exploitation, which is also known as child prostitution, is a social scourge that exists in Costa Rica. It is concentrated along the nation's borders and coasts, accourding to non governmental organizations who support victims. This reality has led to a flood in the production of child pornography that exploits Costa Rican children.

According to Rocio Rodriguez director of the NGO Alliance for your Rights (Alianza por tus Derechos), the cities of Puntarenas, Guanacaste and Limón are the regions that are the most plagued by both commercial sexual exploitation and pornography.

Read the full article

Daniela Araya

Costa Rica Hoy

Feb. 16, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Arrestan a pastor por violar niñas

De la secta Sendero de Luz.. Abusó de ellas durante años con la complacencia de sus padres

Delicias, Chihuahua.- Años de un sufrimiento en silencio fueron vividos por dos niñas desde que tenían 11 años de edad, pues un pastor de la denominada Iglesia Sendero de Luz les decía que "para ser siervas de Dios tenían que hacerle todo lo que les indicara", y eso incluía tener relaciones sexuales con él, acciones de las cuales aparentemente su padres estaban enterados.

Las familias de ambas sabían lo que pasaba con el religioso, pero su fanatismo les impedía actuar en su contra, según las jóvenes de ahora 22 años de edad, quienes comentaron que los abusos comenzaron desde el año 2001 y continuaron durante 9 años, hasta que se mudaron a la capital de estado.

Tras la denuncia impuesta por parte de las afectadas, agentes investigadores detuvieron mediante una orden de aprehensión a José Manuel Herrera Lerma, de 59 años, líder del grupo religioso previamente señalado.

Lea el artículo completo

Pastor is arrested on charges of child rape

Path of Light sect leader abused two girls over a number of years with the knowledge of the victim's parents

The city of Delicias in Chihuahua state - Two girls suffered years of sexual abuse in silence, from the time they were age 11, at the hands of their church pastor. The reverend of the Path of Light church told the girls that, "to be servants of God they had to do everything that he told them to do," and that included having sex with him. The parents were apparently aware of the pastor's behavior with their daughters.

The families of both girls knew what was happening with the pastor, but their religious fervor prevented them from acting against him. The victims, who are now both age 22, have stated that the abuse began in 2001 and continued for 9 years, until [the family] moved to the state capital.

In response to the complaint filed by the victims, investigative agents served an arrest warrant on José Manuel Herrera Lerma, age 59.

Read the full article

Marisol Marín

oem.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Children in Mexican adoption scam show signs of sexual abuse

Ten children were seized by authorities in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara after they uncovered the apparent child trafficking scam last weekend.

Eleven Irish couples hoping to adopt children in the country have been caught up in the investigation.

“There are four children who show signs of having been abused (sexually), perhaps not in a violent way but there are signs (of abuse),” the Jalisco state attorney general Tomas Coronado told reporters today.

Read the full article

TheJournal.ie

Jan. 12, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ecuador

148 millones invirtió el Gobierno en implementación de tres mil centros infantiles

Como parte de este proceso, 242 profesionales entre sicopedagogas, parvularias, tecnólogas en educación y especialistas en desarrollo infantil se incorporaron al trabajo en la provincia costera del Guayas, luego de un periodo de selección y capacitación.

Alrededor de 500 mil niños en Ecuador, entre 0 y 5 años, son atendidos por el Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES), en los Centros del Buen Vivir y el programa “Creciendo con nuestros hijos”.

La ministra de Inclusión Económica y Social, Ximena Ponce, indicó que el desarrollo infantil es uno de los seis proyectos de inversión prioritarios del gobierno del presidente Rafael Correa.

La meta es implementar un profesional por cada Centro para garantizar una conducción técnica en sus tres componentes: salud, educación y protección, especialmente en niños de 0 a 3 años.

Lea el artículo completo

Government invests $148 million to implement 3,000 children's centers across the country

As part of the initiative, 242 professionals have joined the effort in the key coastal province of Guayas

About 500,000 children, from newborns to age 5 are served by Ecuador's Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), through its Good Living Centers and by way of its program "Growing with our children."

Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion Ximena Ponce indicated that child development is one of six priority investment projects for the government of President Rafael Correa.

The goal is to provide one professional worker for each center to ensure technical leadership in its three focus areas: health, education and protection. The initiative is especially geared toward assisting children from 0 to 3 years of age.

Read the full article

eldiario.com.ec

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Guatemala

Former Guatemala dictator to give testimony in genocide trial

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt will be made to testify at his genocide trial, according to a statement by judicial officials on Saturday. Rios Montt was in control of Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 as a result of a coup and is being charged with crimes against humanity and genocide during his rule. He was protected from prosecution until this month because he was serving in congress. Rios Montt said he would cooperate with the court [EFE report, in Spanish]. The case involves at least 1,771 deaths and 1,400 human rights violations during the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] with much of the violations occurring during Rios Montt's rule.

The Guatemalan civil war resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, mostly among Guatemala's large indigenous Mayan population. According to a UN report [text, in Spanish] released in 1999, the military was responsible for 95 percent of those deaths. In response to these violations, the Guatemalan government founded the National Compensation Program (PNR) in 2003 to deal with claims by civilians affected by the civil war. The PNR, after setting up its administrative structure, has begun to use its $40 million budget to work through a backlog of more than 98,000 civilian complaints. Four former soldiers and two former police officers [JURIST reports] have already been convicted in relation to these crime. Spain attempted to extradite Rios Montt [JURIST report] in 2008, but failed due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Read the full article

Matthew Pomy

Jurist

Jan. 22, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Mexico

Dictan prisión contra tres hombres por trata de personas en Chiapas

Un juez penal dictó auto de formal prisión por el delito de trata de personas en contra de tres hombres que operaban un bar clandestino en San Cristóbal de las Casas, donde fueron rescatadas cuatro menores víctimas.

La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) informó que los presuntos responsables Abraham “N”, propietario del negocio, el encargado Rosendo “N” y el vigilante Diego “N”, son procesados en el centro penitenciario ” El Amate”.

Agentes de la Fiscalía Especializada en Asuntos Relevantes ejecutaron un operativo en el bar ” La Sirena”, donde rescataron a cuatro menores, sometidas a trata de personas y corrupción de menores.

En el sitio fueron sorprendidos también dos menores de edad que ingerían alcohol, lo que constituye una violación a las leyes de salud.

Lea el artículo completo

Three men are sentenced to prison in [the southern border state of] Chiapas

I jusdge has sentenced three men to prison on human trafficking charges who operated a clandestine bar in the cisty of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Four minors had been rescued from the bar.

The Office of the Chiapas State Attorney General (PGJE) has announced that three suspects, Abraham "N," a bar owner, bar manager Rosendo "N" and a guard, Diego "N," have been detained and sent to the "El Amate" prison.

Agents of the Special Prosecutor's Office for Relevant Issues executed an operation at the bar "La Sirena" (the Siren), where they rescued four children who had been subjected to the crimes of human trafficking and the corruption of minors.

The authorities also encountered two other youth who were drinking alcohol in violation of health laws.

Read the full article

Provincia.com.mx

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Peru

Piden cadena perpetua para acusado de violar a 15 menores en 2009

La directora del Programa Nacional contra la Violencia Familiar y Sexual, Ana María Mendieta, exhortó hoy al Poder Judicial a aplicar la pena máxima de cadena perpetua a Óscar Visalot, acusado de abusar sexualmente de 15 menores de edad en 2009.

Este pedido contra Visalot, quien fue capturado en octubre de 2010, surge ante la posible excarcelación del acusado por exceso de carcelería, precisó la funcionaria de ese programa perteneciente al Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (Mimp).

“Exhortamos al Poder Judicial, a la Primera Sala de Reos en Cárcel de Lima y a las autoridades penitenciarias a que el procesado sea trasladado a Lima y se le dicte una sentencia ejemplar de cadena perpetua”, sostuvo Mendieta.

Lea el artículo completo

Officials ask for a life sentence for a man accused in 2009 of the rape of 15 minors

The director of the National Programme Against Family and Sexual Violence (PNCVFS), Ana Maria Mendieta, today urged the judiciary to apply the maximum penalty of life imprisonment in the case of Oscar Visalot, accused of sexually abusing 15 minors in 2009.

The request to have Visalot, who was captured in October 2010, sentenced promptly arose from the fact that the defendant is being considered for release from prison due to a determination that the has spent an excessive amount of time in detention, said Mendieta, an official of the PNCVFS, which is a program under the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP).

"We urge the Judiciary, the First Board of Inprisoned Inmates in Lima and the prison authorities to transport the prisoner to Lima and [that the Court] hand down a sentence of life imprisonment," said Mendieta.

Read the full article

Andina.com.pe

Feb. 08, 2012


Added: Mar. 14, 2012

Ohio, USA

Man guilty of raping girl in 2005

Hamilton - The adoptive parents of a young girl raped and kidnapped by Butler County’s former “most wanted” fugitive say their daughter can finally start “healing from the nightmare she suffered at the hands of this monster.”

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for three hours Wednesday before deciding “Mario” Lopez-Cruz was guilty of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape for his attack on a 9-year-old Hamilton girl on Fathers Day 2005.

Lopez-Cruz faces life in prison without parole until he spends 10 years in prison on the rape charges and up to 10 years on kidnapping. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth will sentence him March 15.

Read the full article

Denise G. Callahan

The Oxford Press

Feb. 01, 2012



A sample of other important news stories and commentaries



Added: Aug. 05, 2011

About sex trafficker's war against indigenous children in Mexico

LibertadLatina Commentary

Indigenous women and children in Mexico

During the over ten years that the LibertadLatina project has existed, our ongoing analysis of the crisis of sexual abuse in the Americas has lead us to the conclusion that our top priority should be to work to achieve an end to the rampant sex trafficking and exploitation that perennially exists in Mexico. Although many crisis hot spots call out for attention across Latin America and the Caribbean, working to see reform come to Mexico appeared to be a critical first step to achieving major change everywhere else in the region.

We believe that this analysis continues to be correct. We also recognize the fact that the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia are other emergency zones of crisis. We plan to expand our coverage of these and other issues as resources permit.

Mexico is uniquely situated among the nations of the Americas, and therefore requires special attention from the global effort to end modern human slavery.

Mexico:

  • Is the world's largest Spanish speaking nation

  • Includes a long contiguous border with the U.S., thus making it a transit point for both 500,000 voluntary (but vulnerable) migrants each year as well as for victims of human slavery

  • Has multi-billion dollar drug cartels that profit from Mexico's proximity to the U.S. and that are today investing heavily in human slavery as a secondary source of profits

  • Has a 30% indigenous population, as well as an Afro-Mexican minority, both of whom are marginalized, exploited and are 'soft targets' who are now actively being cajoled, and kidnapped by trafficking mafias into lives of slavery and death

  • Has conditions of impunity that make all impoverished Mexicans vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking

  • Has a child sex tourism 'industry' that attracts many thousands of U.S., European and Latin American men who exploit vulnerable, impoverished children and youth with virtual impunity

  • Is the source of the largest contingent of foreign victims of human slavery who have been trafficked into the U.S.

  • Has a large and highly educated middle class which includes thousands of women who are active in the movement to enhance human rights in general and women's rights in particular

  • Has a growing anti-trafficking movement and a substantial women's rights focused journalist network

  • Has a politically influential faction of socially conservative men who believe in the sexist tenants of machismo and who favor maintaining the status quo that allows the open exploitation of poor Mexicans and Latin American migrants to continue, thus requiring assistance from the global movement against human exploitation to help local activists balance the scales of justice and equality

For a number years LibertadLatina's commentaries have called upon Mexico's government and the U.S. State Department to apply the pressure that is required to begin to change conditions for the better. It appears that the global community's efforts in this regard are beginning to have impact, yet a lifetime of work remains to be done to end what we have characterized as a slow-moving mass gender atrocity.

Recent developments in Mexico are for the most part encouraging.

These positive developments include:

  • The March 31, 2011 resignation of Attorney General Arturo Chávez Chávez (who had earlier failed to address the crisis of femicide murders facing women in Ciudad Juarez as Chihuahua state attorney general)

  • The replacement of Chávez Chávez with Marisela Morales Ibáñez as the nation’s first female attorney general (Morales Ibáñez was recently honored by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

  • Morales Ibáñez’ reform-motivated purge of 174 officials and employees of the attorney general’s office, including the recent resigna-tions of 21 federal prosecutors

  • Morales Ibáñez’ recent raid in Cuidad Juárez, that resulted in the arrests of 1,030 suspected human traffickers and the freeing of 20 underage girls

  • The recent appointment of Dilcya Garcia , a former Mexico City prosecutor who achieved Mexico's first trafficking convictions to the federal attorney general's office (Garcia was recently honored by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her anti-trafficking work)

  • The July, 2010 replacement of Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont with José Francisco Blake Mora. (Secretary Gómez Mont openly opposed the creation of strong federal anti-trafficking legislation.)

  • Success by President Calderón and the Congress of the Republic in achieving the first steps to bringing about a constitutional amendment to facilitate human trafficking prosecutions

  • Recent public statements by President Calderon imploring the public to help in the fight against human trafficking

  • Some progress in advancing legislation in Congress to reform the failed 2007 federal anti trafficking law, a reform effort that has been lead by Deputy Rosi Orozco

  • The active collaboration of both the U.S. Government and the United Nations Office eon Drugs and Crime in supporting government efforts against trafficking

Taken together, the above actions amount to a truly watershed moment in Mexico’s efforts to address modern human slavery. We applaud those who are working for reform, while also recognizing that reform has its enemies within Congress, government institutions, law enforcement and society.

Mexico’s key anti-trafficking leaders, including journalist and author Lydia Cacho, Teresa Ulloa (director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean - CATW-LAC), and Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have all raised the alarm in recent months to indicate that corrupt businessmen, politicians and law enforcement authorities continue to pressure Mexican society to maintain a status quo that permits the existence of rampant criminal impunity in relation to the exploitation of women, children and men. The fact that anti-trafficking activist Lydia Cacho continues to face credible deaths threats on a regular basis and must live with armed guards for 24 hours a day is one sobering indicator of this harsh reality.

The use of slavery for labor and sexual purposes has a solid 500 years of existence in Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Indigenous peoples have been the core group of victims of human exploitation from the time of the Spanish conquest to the present. This is true in Mexico as well as in other nations with large indigenous populations such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. African descendants are also victims of exploitation - especially in Colombia, and like indigenous peoples, they continue to lack recognition as equal citizens.

These populations are therefore highly vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation due to the fact that the larger societies within which they live feel no moral obligation to defend their rights. Criminal human traffickers and other exploiters take advantage of these vulnerabilities to kidnap, rape, sex traffic and labor traffic the poorest of the poor with little or no response from national governments.

A society like Mexico - where even middle class housewives are accustomed to treating their unpaid, early-teen indigenous girl house servants to labor exploitation and verbal and physical violence – and where the men of the house may be sexually abusing that child – is going to take a long time to adapt to an externally imposed world view that says that the forms of exploitation that their conquistador ancestors brought to the region are no longer valid. That change is not going to happen overnight, and it is not going to be easy.

Mexico’s current efforts to reform are to be applauded. The global anti-trafficking activist community and its supporters in government must, however remain vigilant and demand that Mexico continue down the path toward ending its ancient traditions of tolerated human exploitation. For that transformation to happen effectively, indigenous and African descendant Mexicans must be provided a place at the table of deliberations.

Although extending equality to these marginalized groups is a radical concept within the context of Mexican society, we insist that both Mexico, the United States State Department (a major driver of these reforms in Mexico) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC - another major driver in the current reforms) provide the social and political spaces that will be required to allow the groups who face the most exposure to exploitation to actually have representation in both official and NGO deliberations about their fate at the hands of the billion dollar cartels and mafias who today see them as raw material and 'easy pickings' to drive their highly lucrative global slavery profit centers.

Without taking this basic step, we cannot raise Mexico’s rating on our anti-trafficking report card.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011

Updated Aug. 11,2011

Note: Our August 4/5, 2011 edition contains a number of stories that accurately describe the nature of the vulnerabilities that indigenous children and women face from modern day sex traffickers, pedophiles and rapists.

See also:

Added: Aug. 1, 2010

An editorial by anti trafficking activist Lydia puts the spotlight on abusive domestic work as a form of human slavery targeting, for the most part, indigenous women and girls

Mexico

Esclavas en México

México, DF, - Cristina y Dora tenían 11 años cuando Domingo fue por ellas a la Mixteca en Oaxaca. Don José Ernesto, un militar de la Capital, le encargó un par de muchachitas para el trabajo del hogar. La madre pensó que si sus niñas trabajaban con “gente decente” tendrían la posibilidad de una vida libre, de estudiar y alimentarse, tres opciones que ella jamás podría darles por su pobreza extrema.

Cristina y Dora vivieron en el sótano, oscuro y húmedo, con un baño improvisado en una mansión construida durante el Porfiriato, cuyos jardines y ventanales hablan de lujos y riqueza. Las niñas aprendieron a cocinar como al patrón le gustaba. A lo largo de 40 años no tuvieron acceso a la escuela ni al seguro social, una de las hermanas prohijó un bebé producto de la violación del hijo del patrón. Les permitían salir unas horas algunos sábados, porque el domingo había comidas familiares. Sólo tres veces en cuatro décadas les dieron vacaciones, siendo adultas, para visitar a su madre enferma...

Slaves in Mexico

[About domestic labor slavery in Mexico]

Mexico City – Cristina and Dora were 11-years-old when Domingo picked them up in the state of Oaxaca. José Ernesto, a military man living in Mexico City, had sent Domingo to find a pair of girls to do domestic work for him. The girls’ mother thought that if they had an opportunity to work with “decent people,” they would have a chance to live a free life, to study and to eat well. Those were three things that they she could never give them in her condition of extreme poverty.

Cristina and Dora lived in the dark and humid basement of a mansion built during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876 to 1910). Their space had an improvised bathroom. Outside of the home, the mansion’s elaborate gardens and elegant windows presented an image of wealth and luxury. The girls learned to cook for the tastes of their employer.

It is now forty years later. Cristina and Dora never had access to an education, nor do they have the right to social security payments when they retire. One of the sisters had a child, who was the result of her being raped by one of their employer’s sons.

They are allowed out of the house for a few hours on Saturdays. On Sundays they had to prepare family meals for their patron (boss).

Today, some 800,000 domestic workers are registered in Mexico. Ninety three percent of them don’t have access to health services. Seventy Nine percent of them have not and will not receive benefits. Their average salary is 1,112 pesos($87.94) per month. More than 8% of these workers receive no pay at all, because their employers think that giving them a place to sleep and eat is payment enough.

Sixty percent of domestic workers in Mexico are indigenous women and girls. They began this line of work, on average, at the age of 13. These statistics do not include those women and children who lived locked-up in conditions of extreme domestic slavery.

Mexico’s domestic workers are vulnerable to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies, exploitation, racism and being otherwise poorly treated…

Recently, the European Parliament concluded that undocumented migrant women face an increased risk of domestic labor slavery. In Mexico, the majority of domestic slaves are Mexicans. Another 15% of these victims are [undocumented] migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Their undocumented status allows employers to prohibit their leaving the home, prohibit their access to education or deny their right to have a life of their own. The same dynamics happen to Latina women in the United States and Canada.

For centuries [middle and upper class white Mexican women] became accustomed to looking at domestic labor slavery as something that ‘helps’ indigenous women and girls. We used the hypocritical excuse that we were lifting them out of poverty by exploiting them. [They reality is that] millions of these women and girls are subjected to work conditions that deny them access to education, healthcare, and the enjoyment of a normal social life.

We (Mexico’s privileged) men and women share the responsibility for perpetuating this form of slavery. We use contemptuous language to refer to domestic workers. Like other forms of human trafficking, domestic labor slavery is a product of our culture.

Domestic work is an indispensable form of labor that allows millions of women to work. We should improve work conditions, formally recognize it in our laws, and assure that in our homes, we are not engaging in exploitation cloaked in the idea that we are rescuing [our domestic workers] from poverty.

To wash, iron, cook and care for children is as dignified as any other form of work. The best way for us to change the world is to start in own homes.

“Plan B” is a column written by Lydia Cacho that appears Mondays and Thursdays in CIMAC, El Universal and other newspapers in Mexico.

Lydia Cacho

CIMAC Women's News Agency

July 27, 2010


Added: Aug. 4, 2011

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina applaud U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Justice Department and all of the agencies and officers involved in Operation Delego, which shut down a grotesque  international child pornography network that glorified and rewarded the torture and rape of young children. We also wish you good hunting in taking down all child pornography rings, wherever they may exist.

We call attention to a recent story (posted on Aug. 4, 2011) on the rape with impunity of indigenous school children, from very young ages, in the nation's now-closed Indian boarding school system. The fact that the legislature of the state of South Dakota passed legislation that denies victims the right to sue the priests and nuns who raped them is just as disgusting as any of the horror stories that are associated with the pedophile rapist / torturers who have been identified in Operation Delego.

Yet neither the U.S. Justice Department nor the Canadian government, where yet more horrible sexual abuses, and even murders of indigenous children took place, have ever sought to prosecute the large number of rapists involved in these cases.

In addition, federal prosecutors drop a large number of rape cases on Indian reservations despite the fact that indigenous women face a rate of rape in the U.S. that is 3.5 times higher that the rate faced by other groups of women. White males are the perpetrators of the rape in 80% of these cases.

When former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired eight U.S. attorneys in December of 2006, it turned out that 5 of those targeted had worked together to increase the very low prosecution rates for criminal cases on Native reservations. Their firings did a disservice to victims of rape and other serious crimes in Indian Country.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas demand an end to the rampant sexual exploitation with impunity of our peoples, be they from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru or Canada.

We expect the United Stated Government to set the tone and lead the way in that change in social values.

Time is of the essence!

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Aug. 05, 2011


Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit, at Wheelock College

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, speaks

Wheelock professor and anti pornography activist Dr. Gail Dines, and survivor and activist Cherie Jimenez speak at Wheelock

LibertadLatina's Chuck Goolsby speaks up to represent the interests of Latin American and indigenous victims at Wheelock College

Wheelock College anti-trafficking event

Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking

This event is part of Wheelock's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

Speakers:

•Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Massachusetts Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking. She is a sergeant detective of the Boston Police Department.

•Cherie Jimenez, who used her own experiences in the sex trade to create a Boston-area program for women

•Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

•Gail Dines, Wheelock professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and chair of the American Studies Department

Wheelock College

March 30, 2011

See also:

Added: Apr. 17, 2011

Massachusetts, USA

Wheelock College to discuss Massachusetts sex trafficking

Wheelock College is set to hold a panel discussion on the growing sex trafficking in Massachusetts.

The discussion, titled "Stopping the Pimps, Stopping the Johns: Ending the Demand for Sex Trafficking," is scheduled for Wednesday and will feature area experts and law enforcement officials.

Those scheduled to speak include Donna Gavin, commander of the Boston Police human trafficking unit and the Massachusetts task force to combat human trafficking.

Experts believe around 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year, including those from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The panel is part of the Brookline school's sixth annual "Winter Policy Talks."

The Associated Press

March 30, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

On March 30, 2011 Wheelock College in Boston presented a forum that explored human trafficking and ways to end demand. Like many human trafficking gatherings held around the world, the presenters at this event provided an empathetic and intelligent window into current thinking within the different interest groups that make up this movement. Approximately 40 college students and local anti-trafficking activists attended the event.

Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) spoke about current human trafficking conditions around the world. Pornography abolitionist Dr. Gail Dines of Wheelock presented a slide show on pornography and its link to the issue of prostitution demand. Survivor Cherie Jimenez told her story of over 20 years facing abuse at the hands of pimps, and her current efforts to support underage girls in prostitution. Detective Donna Gavin discussed the Boston Police Department’s efforts to assist women and girls in prostitution, including the fact that her department’s vice operations helping women in prostitution avoid criminal prosecution to the extent possible.

The presentation grew into an intelligent discussion about a number of issues that the presenters felt were impacting the effectiveness of the movement. Among these issues were perceptions on the part of Dr. Dines that a number of activists in the human trafficking movement have expressed pro-pornography points of view. She added that the great majority of college students in women’s programs with whom she talks express a pro-pornography perspective. Panelists also expressed the view that many men who lead anti-trafficking organizations also have a pro-pornography viewpoint.

Cherie Jimenez shared her opinion that U.S. born victims do not get as much visibility and attention relative to foreign born victims. She emphasized that victims from all backgrounds are the same, and should be treated as such.

Jimenez emphasized that much of her work as an activist focuses on helping young women who, at age 18, leave state supported foster care, and must then survive on their own. She emphasized that foster care is a broken system that exposes underage girls to routine sexual abuse. CATW’s Ramos, who was a victim of that system herself, agreed.

Ramos, head of the global Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation (CATW), emphasized that men who operate in the arena of anti sex trafficking activism must be accountable to women activists, because the issue was a gender issue. She also stated that she approached the human trafficking issue from an indigenous world view.

In response to a question from a Latina woman about services for transgender youth, Detective Gavin of the Boston Police Department stated that they have not run into sex trafficking cases involving males. Norma Ramos did note that sex trafficked male youth did exist in significant numbers in the New York City area.

During the question and answer period of the forum, I spent about 15 minutes discussing the issue of human trafficking from the Latin American, Latin Diaspora and indigenous perspectives.

* I noted that as a male anti-trafficking activist, I have devoted the past dozen years of that activism to advocating for the voiceless women and girls in Latin America, the United States and in advanced nations of the world in Europe and Japan where Latina and indigenous victims are widely exploited.

* I pointed out that within the Boston area as elsewhere within the United States, the brutal tactics of traffickers, as well as the Spanish/English language barrier, the cultural code of silence and tolerance for exploitation that are commonplace within Latin immigrant communities all allow sex trafficking to flourish in the Latin barrios of Boston such as East Boston, Chelsea, Everett and Jamaica Plain.

* I also mentioned that during the current climate of recession and increased immigration law enforcement operations, Latina women and girls face a loss of jobs and income, and a loss of opportunities to survive with dignity, which are all factors that expose them to the risk of commercial sexual exploitation.

* I mentioned that the sex trafficking of women and girls in Latin America focuses on the crisis in Mexico, which, I stated was the epicenter of sex trafficking activity in the Americas.

* I stated that the U.S. anti-trafficking movement cannot make any progress while it continues to treat the sex trafficking crisis in Mexico as a secondary issue.

* I mentioned that Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), was a stellar activist who has provided the vanguard of leadership in anti sex trafficking activism in the region. I added that Ulloa recently promoted statistics developed by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, that state that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product across all Latin American nations is derived from human trafficking.

* I mentioned that a number of years ago, I called-on my local police department to enforce the law and arrest an adult man who was severely sexually harassing an 11-year-old Latina girl. These two officers told me in a matter of fact way that they could not respond to what the county Police Academy had taught them (in cultural sensitivity classes there) was just a part of Latino culture.

As is the case in most public events that I attend that address the crisis in human trafficking, the issue of Latina and indigenous victims (who are the majority of U.S. victims) would not have been discussed in detail without the participation of LibertadLatina.

The event was an enlightening experience. My perception is that both the activists and the audience were made aware of the dynamics of the crisis of mass gender atrocities that women and children are facing in Latin America, the Caribbean and in their migrant communities across the globe.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

April 17, 2011


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

Mexico

This map shows the number of types of child slavery that occur in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean

Indigenous children are the focal point for underage sex and labor slavery in Mexico

Around 1.5 million children do not attend school at all in Mexico, having or choosing to work instead. Indigenous children are often child laborers. Throughout Central and South America, indigenous people are frequently marginalized, both economically and socially. Many have lost their traditional land rights and they migrate in order to find paid work. This can in turn make indigenous peoples more vulnerable to exploitative and forced labor practices.

According to the web site Products of Slavery.org, child slavery, especially that which exploits indigenous children, is used to generate profits in the following industries in Mexico:

* The production of Child Pornography

* The production of coffee, tobacco, beans, chile peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, onions, sugarcane and tomatoes - much of which is sold for export

Key facts about Mexican child sex and labor exploitation defined on the Product of Slavery:

* Many indigenous children in Mexico aged between seven and 14 work during the green bean harvest from 7am until 7pm, meaning they cannot attend school.

* Amongst Mexico's indigenous peoples, 86% of children, aged six years and over, are engaged in strenuous physical labor in the fields six days a week working to cultivate agricultural produce such as chile peppers.

* Indigenous child labor keeps costs of production down for Mexican companies as boys and girls from indigenous families are frequently denied recognition of their legal status as workers, charged with the least skilled tasks, such as harvesting cucumbers, and so receive the lowest pay.

* Child labor is widespread in Mexico's agricultural sector; in 2000, it was discovered that 11 and 12 year olds were working on the family ranch of the then-President elect, Vicente Fox, harvesting onions, potatoes, and corn for export to the United States.

[I know a couple of U.S. ICE agents who can add 'another paragraph' to the above statement - LL.]

* Mexican children who are exploited by the sex industry and involved in activities such as pornography and prostitution suffer physical injuries, long-term psychological damage with the strong possibility of developing suicidal tendencies and are at high risk of contracting AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening illnesses.

* There are strong links between tourism and the sexual exploitation of children in Mexico; tourist centers such as Acapulco, Cancun and Tijuana are prime locations where thousands of children are used in the production of pornographic material and child prostitution is rife.

* Mexican street children are vulnerable to being lured into producing pornographic material with promises of toys, food, money, and accommodation; they then find themselves prisoners, locked for days or weeks on end in hotel rooms or apartments, hooked on drugs and suffering extreme physical and sexual violence.

* David Salgado was just eight years old when he was crushed by a tractor as he went to empty the bucket of tomatoes he had just collected on the Mexican vegetable farm where he worked with his family. The company paid his funeral expenses but refused to pay compensation to his family as David was not a formal employee.

The web site explores child enslavement in all of the nations shown in the above map.

Products of Slavery


Added: Feb. 27, 2011

North Carolina, USA

"For Sale" - A composite from a poster announcing Davidson College's recent event on Human Trafficking in Latin America

See the complete poster

Chuck Goolsby speaks at Davidson College

On February 3rd of 2011 I travelled to Davidson College, located in a beautiful community north of Charlotte, North Carolina, to provide a 90 minute presentation on the crisis of sexual slavery in Latin America, and in Latin American immigrant communities across the United States. I thank the members of Davidson's Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) and the Vann Center for Ethics for cosponsoring the presentation, and for their hospitality and hard work in setting up this event.

During my talk I described many of the dynamics of how sexual slavery works in the Americas. I summarized the work of LibertadLatina as one of the few English language voices engaging the world in an effort to place Latin American gender exploitation issues on an equal footing with the rest of the world's struggle against sex trafficking. I covered the facts that:

1) Sexual slavery has long been condoned in Latin America;

2) Community tolerance of sexual exploitation, and a cultural code of silence work to hide crimes of violence against women across the region;

3) The multi-billion dollar pockets of Latin American drug cartels, together with the increasing effectiveness of anti-drug trafficking law enforcement efforts are driving cartel money into major investments in kidnapping, 'breaking-in' and selling underage girls and young women into slavery globally, en mass;

4) Men in poverty who have grown up in [especially rural] cultures where women's equality does not exist, are prime candidates to participate in the sex trafficking industry - this is especially true in locations such as Tlaxcala state, just east of Mexico City, where an estimated 50% of the adults in the La Meca neighborhood of the major city of Tenancingo are involved in sex traffickers;

5) Male traffickers, often from family organized mafias of adults and teens [especially in Tlaxcala], either kidnap women and girls directly, or engage in false romances with potential victims that result in the victim's beating, gang rape and enslavement, getting the victim pregnant - and then leaving the infant with the trafficker's family as a form of bribery [threatening the baby's death if the victim does not continue to submit to forced sexual enslavement;

6) Traffickers typically take their victims from Tlaxcala, to Mexico City, and to Tijuana on the U.S. border - from which they are shipped like merchandise to Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC and New York City;

7) Traffickers also bring victims to farm labor camps large and small across the rural U.S.;

8) North Carolina, including the major population centers of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte are places where Latina immigrant sexual slavery is a major problem (given the rapid growth in the local immigrant population, who see the state as a place with lots of jobs and a low cost of living);

9) Mexico's government is reluctant (to be polite) to engage the issue of ending human trafficking (despite recent presidential rhetoric), as exemplified by the multi-year delay in setting up the regulations and inter-agency collaborations needed to actually enforce the nation's 2007 Law to Prevent and Punish Human Trafficking (note that only in early 2011 has the final element of the legislation been put into place to actually activate the law - which some legislators accurate refer to as a "dead letter.");

10) heroes such as activist Lydia Cacho have faced retaliation and death threats for years for having dared to stand-up against the child sex trafficking networks whose money and influence corrupts state and local governments;

11) it is up to each and every person to decide how to engage in activism to end all forms of human slavery, wherever they may exist.

Virtually everyone in the crowd that attended the event had heard about human trafficking prior to the February 3rd presentation. They left the event knowing important details about the facts involved in the Latin American crisis and the difficulties that activists face in their efforts to speak truth to power and the forces of impunity. A number of attendees thanked me for my presentation, and are now new readers of LibertadLatina.org.

The below text is from Davidson College's announcement for this event.

Slavery is (thankfully) illegal everywhere today. But sadly, it is still practiced secretly in many parts of the world. One persistent form of it occurs when women and girls are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery, sometimes by being kidnapped and trafficked or smuggled across national borders.

Chuck Goolsby has worked tirelessly for decades to expose and end this horrific, outrageous practice. As the founder and coordinator of LibertadLatina, much of his work has focused on sex-trafficking in the Latin American context.  Join us to hear from him regarding the nature and scope of the current problem, and what we can do to help stop it.

We have given similar presentations to groups such as Latinas United for Justice, a student organization located at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

We are available for conferences and other speaking engagements to address the topics of human trafficking in its Latin American, Latin Diaspora, Afro-Latina and Indigenous dimensions.

Please write to us in regard to your event.

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina.org

Feb. 26, 2011


Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Tiffany Williams of the Break the Chain Campaign

Highlighting New Issues in Ending Violence Against Women; More Women Afraid To Come Forward And Access Services

Congressional leaders will participate in an ad-hoc hearing examining violence against immigrant women this Thursday on Capitol Hill Washington, DC—Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Gwendolyn Moore (D-WI) will co-chair an ad-hoc hearing this Thursday afternoon, bearing witness to the testimony of immigrant women and advocates who are speaking out about increasing barriers to ending violence against immigrant women and families. Honorable guests Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) will join the co-chairs.

Maria Bolaños of Maryland will share her personal story. Juana Flores from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), an immigrant women’s organization in California and the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington will share the perspective of community groups, and legal advocates Leslye Orloff (Legal Momentum) and Miriam Yeung (NAPAWF) will offer testimony in light of the expected 2011 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

WHAT: Ad-hoc hearing on violence against immigrant women

WHEN: Feb. 10, 2011 - 2 pm-3 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2456

WHO: Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Gwendolyn Moore, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Napolitano, members of the press, domestic violence advocates, immigrant rights advocates, and other invited guest

Co-Sponsoring Organizations: 9to5, AFL-CIO, Family Values @ Work Consortium, Franciscan Action Network, Institute for Policy Studies, Legal Momentum, MomsRising, Ms. Foundation for Women, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Americans Leading Together, United Methodist Women/Civil Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

Contact: Tiffany Williams

Tel. (202) 787-5245; Cell (202) 503-8604; E-mail: tiffany@ips-dc.org 

The Institute for Policy Studies / Break the Chains Campaign

Feb. 9, 2011

See also:

Added: Feb. 10, 2011

The United States

Silencing human trafficking victims in America

Women should be able to access victim services, regardless of their immigration status.

Thanks to a wave of anti-immigrant proposals in state legislatures across the nation, fear of deportation and family separation has forced many immigrant women to stay silent rather than report workplace abuse and exploitation to authorities. The courts have weakened some of these laws and the most controversial pieces of Arizona's SB 1070 law have been suspended. Unfortunately, America's anti-immigrant fervor continues to boil.

As a social worker, I've counseled both U.S.-born and foreign-born women who have experienced domestic violence, or have been assaulted by either their employers or the people who brought them to the United States. I'm increasingly alarmed by this harsh immigration enforcement climate because of its psychological impact on families and the new challenge to identify survivors of crime who are now too afraid to come forward.

For the past decade, I've helped nannies, housekeepers, caregivers for the elderly, and other domestic workers in the Washington metropolitan area who have survived human trafficking. A majority of these women report their employers use their immigration status to control and exploit them, issuing warnings such as "if you try to leave, the police will find you and deport you." Even women who come to the United States on legal work visas, including those caring for the children of diplomats or World Bank employees, experience these threats.

Though law enforcement is a key partner in responding to human trafficking, service providers continue to struggle with training authorities to identify trafficking and exploitation in immigrant populations, especially when the trafficking is for labor and not sex. While local human trafficking task forces spend meetings developing outreach plans, our own state governments are undermining these efforts with extremely harsh and indiscriminate crackdowns on immigrants...

Regardless of their legal status, these women are human beings working hard to feed their families. Their home countries' economies have been by shattered by globalization. Our economic system depends on their cheap labor. Yet much of the debate about U.S. borders fails to acknowledge immigrants as people, or appreciate the numerous cultural contributions that ethnic diversity has provided this country. As a result, humane comprehensive immigration reform remains out of reach in Congress.

We're a nation of immigrants and a nation of hard-working families. An economic crisis caused by corporate greed has turned us against each other in desperation and fear. We should band together to uphold our traditional values of family unity, to give law enforcement the tools they need to provide effective victim protection and identification rather than reactionary laws, and ensure that women can access victim services, regardless of immigration status.

Tiffany Williams is the advocacy director for Break The Chain Campaign, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Tiffany Williams

The Huffington Post

Feb. 07, 2011

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Commentary

We at LibertadLatina salute the Break the Chain Campaign and their advocacy director, Tiffany Williams, for bringing voice to the voiceless immigrant working women and girls (underage teens) across the United States. Latin American and other immigrant women routinely face quid-pro-quo sexual demands of "give me sex or get out" from male managers and supervisors across the low-wage service sector of the U.S. economy.

My advocacy for victims of gender violence began with efforts to provide direct victim assistance to Latina women facing workplace gender exploitation in the Washington, DC region. My work included rescuing two Colombian women from the fearful labor slavery that they faced in two diplomatic households in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. I also assisted six women in bringing complaints to police and to our local Montgomery County human rights commission (a local processor of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission cases).

Immigrant women have never had free and equal access to the legal system to address these employer abuses. The Break the Chain Campaign rightly identifies the fact that the social and political climate in the U.S. in the year 2011 is creating conditions in which immigrant women and girl victims fear coming forward.

It is encouraging that the Break the Chains Campaign openly identifies the sexual and labor exploitation of immigrant women and girls in domestic and other low wage service jobs as being forms of human trafficking. Ten years ago, local anti-trafficking organizations in the Washington, DC region did not buy into that view of the world.

Conditions have not changed for the better for at-risk immigrant women and girls since we first wrote about this issue in the year 1994 (see below).

These community continues to need our persistent help on this issue.

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Feb. 10, 2011

See also:

LibertadLatina

Our section covering human trafficking, workplace rape and community exploitation facing Latina women and children in the Washington, DC regional area.

See also:

Latina Workplace Rape

Low wage workers face managerial threats of 'give me sex or get out!' across the U.S. and Latin America.

See also:

On the Front Lines of the War Against Impunity in Gender Exploitation

Government, corporations and the press ignored all of these victims cases in which Chuck Goolsby intervened directly  during the 1990s.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 1  

Workplace Rape with Impunity

A major corporation working on defense and civilian U.S. government contracts permitted quid-pro-quo sexual demands, sexual coercion and retaliatory firings targeted at Latina adult and underage teen cleaning workers.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 2

Workplace Assault and Battery with Impunity

A Nicaraguan indigenous woman cleaning worker was slapped across the chest and knocked to the floor by her manager in the Rockville offices of a federal agency, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The local Maryland State's Attorney's Office repeatedly pressured the victim (through calls to Chuck Goolsby) to drop her insistence on having her assailant prosecuted.

Rockville, Maryland - Case 3 

About the One Central Plaza office complex

Workplace Rape and Forced Prostitution with Impunity

Over a dozen women were illegally fired for not giving in to the sexual demands of three Latino cleaning crew managers who forced women and underage girls into quid-pro-quo sexual relationships as a condition of retaining their jobs. 

Some women were forced to commit acts of prostitution in this office building, that housed Maryland state government and other offices.

A medical doctor who leased office space at One Central Plaza filed a formal complaint with the building owners and stated that he was finding his patient examining tables dirtied by sexual activity after-hours (cleaning managers had keys to access these offices to have them cleaned).

A pregnant woman was severely sexually harassed, and was fired and told to come back after her child was born, when she could be sexually exploited. 

The Montgomery County, Maryland County Human Relations commission in 1995 literally buried the officially filed casework of this pregnant woman and another victim, who had an audio tape of a 20 minute attempt by her manager to rape her.

Both detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department (where I worked part-time during those times) and a team of Washington Post reporters refused to investigate this crisis of workplace impunity.

A Latina Washington Post reporter, when explaining to me why she would not cover the story said, "well, after all, you are trying to accuse these guys (the perpetrators) of felonies." The same reporter stated that her manager would not allow her to cover the story because it was a "dangerous situation."

To this day I continue to ask myself, If it was a dangerous situation, was it not, then, news!

See also:

The above three cases are among those documented in my below report from 1994.

Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.'s 1994 Report on the Sexual Exploitation of Latina immigrant Women and Girls in Montgomery County, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC)

The LibertadLatina project grew directly out of these initial efforts to speak truth to the official and criminal impunity in our society that openly targets innocent immigrant women and girls for sexual victimization.


Added: Sep. 29, 2010

India

Human trafficking slur on Commonwealth Games

The jinxed Commonwealth Games could have done without this. After being troubled by brittle infrastructure, CWG 2010 has now been blamed for a jump in trafficking of women and children from the Northeast. The accusation has come from Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC) general secretary Dino D.G. Dympep. The platform he chose on Tuesday was the general debate discussion on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and other intolerance at the 15th Human Rights Council Session at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The human rights situation of indigenous peoples living in Northeast India is deteriorating,” Dympep said, adding New Delhi has chose to be indifferent to human trafficking of and racial discrimination toward these indigenous groups.

“What worries the indigenous peoples now apart from racial and gender-based violence is the fear of alleged human trafficking for flesh trade.” The number of indigenous women and children trafficked particularly for the upcoming CGW could be 15,000, he said.

The rights activist also underscored the racial profiling of people from the Northeast on the basis of their ethnicity, linguistic, religious, cultural and geographical backgrounds.

Dympep also pointed out 86 per cent of indigenous peoples studying or working away from their native places face racial discrimination in various forms such as sexual abuses, rapes, physical attacks and economic exploitation.

“The UN has condemned India's caste system and termed it worse than racism. The racism faced by indigenous peoples of the Northeast is definitely the outcome of the caste system. Such negative attitude as ignoring the region will only lead to deeper self-alienation by the indigenous peoples, which comes in the way of integration in India,” he said.

Rahul Karmakar

Hindustan Times

Sep. 28, 2010

LibertadLatina Note:

Indigenous peoples across the world face the problem of being marginalized by the dominant societies that surround them. They become the easiest targets for human traffickers because the larger society will not stand up to defend their basic human rights. Exploiting the lives and the sexuality of indigenous women is a key aspect of this dynamic of oppression.

We at LibertadLatina denounce all forms of exploitation. We call the world's attention to the fact that tens of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Americas, and most especially women and girls in Guatemala and Mexico, are routinely being kidnapped or cajoled into becoming victims of human trafficking.

For 5 centuries, the economies of Latin America have relied upon the forced labor and sexual exploitation of the region's indigenous peoples as a cornerstone of their economic and social lives. Mexico, with an indigenous population that comprises 30% of the nation, is a glaring example of this dynamic of racial, ethnic and gender (machismo) based oppression. In Mexico, indigenous victims are not 'visible' to the authorities, and are on nobody's list of social groups who need to be assisted to defend themselves against the criminal impunity of the sex and labor trafficking mafias.

For Mexico to arrive in the 21st Century community of nations, it must begin the process of ending these feudal-era traditions.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Sep. 30/Oct. 02, 2010


Added: Jul. 21, 2010

New York, USA

U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca (second from left) and other presenters at UN / Brandeis conference

Hidden in Plain Sight: The News Media's Role in Exposing Human Trafficking

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University cosponsored a first-ever United Nations panel discussion about how the news media is exposing and explaining modern slavery and human trafficking -- and how to do it better. Below are the transcript and video from that conference, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on June 16 and co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Take a look as some leading media-makers and policymakers debate coverage of human trafficking. What hinders good reporting on human trafficking? What do journalists fear when they report on slaves and slavery? Why cover the subject in the first place? What are the common reporting mistakes and missteps that can do more harm than good to trafficking victims, and to government, NGO, and individual efforts to end the traffic of persons for others' profit and pleasure?

Among the main points: Panelists urged reporters and editors to avoid salacious details and splashy, "sexy" headlines that can prevent a more nuanced examination of trafficked persons' lives and experiences. Journalists lamented the lack of solid data, noting that the available statistics are contradictory, unreliable, insufficient, and often skewed by ideology. As an example, the two officials on the panel -- Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, head of the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Under-Secretary-General Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime -- disagreed on the number of rescued trafficking victims. Costa thought the number was likely less than half CdeBaca's estimate (from the International Labour Organization) of 50,000 victims rescued worldwide...

Read the transcript

The Huffington Post

July 15, 2010

See also:

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina Note:

In response to the above article by the Huffington Post, on the topic of press coverage of the issue of human trafficking, we would like to point out that the LibertadLatina project came into existence because of a lack of interest and/or willingness on the part of many (but not all) reporters and editors in the press, and also on the part of government agencies and academics, to acknowledge and target the rampant sexual violence faced by Latina and indigenous women and children across both Latin America and the Latin Diaspora in the Untied States, Canada, and in other advanced economies such as those of western Europe and Japan.

Ten years after starting LibertadLatina, more substantial press coverage is taking place. However, the crisis of ongoing mass gender atrocities that plague Latin America, including human trafficking, community based sexual violence, a gender hostile living environment and government and social complicity (and especially in regard to the region's completely marginalized indigenous and African descended victims - who are especially targeted for victimization), continue to be largely ignored or intentionally untouched by the press, official government action, academic investigation and NGO effort.

Therefore we persist in broadcasting the message that the crisis in Latin America and its Diaspora cannot and will not be ignored.

End impunity now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

July 21, 2010


Added: March 1, 2010

Mexico

Deputy Rosi Orozco watches Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

Video posted on YouTube

Video: Llama Gómez Mont a Visibilizar Delito de Trata de Personas

Video of Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the Feb. 23rd and 24th, 2010 congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking.

[Ten minutes - In Spanish]

Deputy Rosi Orozco

On YouTube.com

Feb. 26, 2010

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

Chuck Goolsby

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez Mont's presentation at the congressional Forum for Analysis and Discussion in Regard to Criminal Law to Control Human Trafficking has been widely quoted in the Mexican press. We have posted some of those articles here (see below).

The video of Secretary Mont's discourse shows that he is passionate about the idea of raising awareness about human trafficking. He states: "Making [trafficking] visible is the first step towards liberation."

Secretary Mont believes that the solution to human trafficking in Mexico will come from raising awareness about trafficking and from understanding the fact that machismo, its resulting family violence and also the nation's widespread extreme poverty are the dynamics that push at-risk children and youth into the hands of exploiters.

During Secretary Mont's talk he expressed his strongly held belief that federalizing the nation's criminal anti-trafficking laws is, in effect, throwing good money after bad. In his view, the source of the problem is not those whom criminal statutes would target, but the fundamental social ills that drive the problem.

The Secretary's views have an element of wisdom in them. We believe, however, that his approach is far too conservative. An estimated 500,000 victims of human trafficking exist in Mexico (according to veteran activist Teresa Ulloa of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Latin American and Caribbean branch - CATW-LAC).

A note about the figures quoted to describe the number of child sexual exploitation victims in Mexico...

Widely quoted 'official' figures state that between 16,000 and 20,000 underage victims of sex trafficking exist in Mexico.

We believe that, if the United States acknowledges that 200,000 to 300,000 underage children and youth are caught-up in the commercial sexual exploitation of children - CSEC, at any one time, based on a population of 310 million, (a figure of between .00064 and .00096 percent of the population), then the equivalent numbers for Mexico would be between 68,000 and 102,000 child and youth victims of CSEC for its estimated 107 million in population.

Given Mexico's vastly greater level of poverty, its legalization of adult prostitution, and given that southern Mexico alone is known to be the largest zone in the world for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), with 10,000 children being prostituted just in the city of Tapachula (according to ECPAT figures), then the total number of underage children and youth caught-up in prostitution in Mexico is most likely not anywhere near the 16,000 to 20,000 figure that was first released in a particular research study from more than five years ago and continues to be so widely quoted today.

Regardless of what the actual figures are, they include a very large number of victims.

While officials such as Secretary Mont philosophize about disabling anti-trafficking law enforcement and rescue and restoration efforts, while instead relying upon arriving at some far-off day when Mexican society raises its awareness and empathy for victims (and that is Mont's policy proposal as stated during the recent trafficking law forum), tens of thousands of victims who are being kidnapped, raped, enslaved and sold to the highest bidder need our help. They need our urgent intervention. As a result of their enslavement, they typically live for only a few years, if that, according to experts.

The reality is that the tragic plight of victims can and must be prevented. Those who have already been victimized must be rescued and restored to dignity.

That is not too much to ask from a Mexico that calls itself a member of civilized society.

Mexico exists at the very top of world-wide statistics on the enslavement of human beings. Save the Children recognizes the southern border region of Mexico as being the largest zone for the commercial sexual exploitation of children on Planet Earth.

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, Japanese Yakuza mafias and the Russian Mob are all 'feeding upon' (kidnapping, raping, and exporting) many of  the thousands of Central and South American migrant women who cross into Mexico. They also prey upon thousands of young Mexican girls and women (and especially those who are Indigenous), who remain unprotected by the otherwise modern state of Mexico, where Roman Empire era feudal traditions of exploiting the poor and the Indigenous as slaves are honored and defended by the wealthy elites who profit (economically and sexually) from such barbarism.

Within this social environment, the more extreme forms of modern slavery are not seen as being outrageous by the average citizen. These forms of brutal exploitation have been used continuously in Mexico for 500 years.

We reiterate our view, as expressed in our Feb. 26th and 27th 2010 commentary about Secretary Mont.

Interior Secretary Mont has presided over the two year delay in implementing the provisions of the nation's first anti-trafficking law, the Law to Prevent, and Punish Human Trafficking, passed by Congress in 2007.

  • The regulations required to enable the law were left unpublished by the Interior Secretary for 11 months after the law was passed.

  • When the regulation were published, they were weak, and left out a role for the nation's leading anti-trafficking agency, the Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women and Human Trafficking in the Attorney General's office (FEVIMTRA).

  • The regulations failed to target organized crime.

  • The Inter-Agency Commission to Fight Human Trafficking, called for in the law, was only stood-up in late 2009, two years after the law's passage, and only after repeated agitation by members of Congress demanding that President Calderón act to create the Commission.

  • Today, the National Program to Fight Human Trafficking, also called for in the 2007 law, has yet to be created by the Calderón administration.

  • In early February of 2010, Senator Irma Martínez Manríquez stated that the 2007 anti-trafficking law and its long-sought regulations were a 'dead letter' due to the power of impunity that has contaminated the political process.

All of the delaying tactics that were used to thwart the will and intent of Congress in passing the 2007 anti-trafficking law originated in the National Action Party (PAN) administration of President Felipe Calderón. All aspects of the 2007 law that called for regulations, commissions and programs were the responsibility of Interior Secretary Mont to implement. That job was never performed, and the 2007 law is now accurately referred to as a "dead letter" by members of Congress.

Those of us in the world community who actively support the use of criminal sanctions to suppress and ultimately defeat the multi-billion dollar power of human trafficking networks must come to the aid of the many political and non governmental organization leaders in Mexico who are working to create a breakthrough, to end the impasse which the traditionalist forces in the PAN political machine have thrown-up as a gauntlet to defeat effective anti-trafficking legislation.

Interior Secretary Mont's vision for the future, which involves continuing on a course of complete inaction on the law enforcement front, must be rejected as a capitulation to the status quo, and as a nod to the traffickers.

While "Little Brown Maria in the Brothel" - our metaphor for the voiceless victims, suffers yet another day chained to a bed in Tijuana, Acapulco, Matamoros, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Tapachula and Cancun, the entire law enforcement infrastructure of Mexico sits by and does virtually nothing to stop this mass gender atrocity from happening.

That is a completely unacceptable state of affairs for a Mexico that is a member of the world community, and that is a signatory to international protocols that fight human trafficking and that defend women and children's human rights.

We once again call upon U.S. Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca, director of the Trafficking in Persons office at the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama to stand-up and speak out with the moral authority of the United States in support of the forces of change in Mexico.

Political leaders and non governmental organizations around the world also have a responsibility to speak-up, and to let the government of President Felipe Calderón know that the fact that his ruling party (finally) supported presenting a forum on trafficking, and the holding of a few press conferences, is not enough of a policy turn-around to be convincing.

The PAN must take strong action to aggressively combat the explosive growth in human slavery in Mexico in accordance with international standards. Those at risk, and those who are today victims, await your effective response to their emergency, President Calderón.

Enacting a 'general' federal law that is enforceable in all of Mexico's states would be a good fist step to show the world that sincere and honest voices against modern day slavery do exist in Congress, and are willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue.

As for Secretary Mont, we suggest, kind sir, that you consider the age-old entrepreneurial adage, and either "lead, follow, or get out of the way" of progress.

No more delays!

There is no time to waste!

End impunity now!

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 1, 2010

See Also:

Mexico

Víctimas del tráfico de personas, 5 millones de mujeres y niñas en América Latina

De esa cifra, más de 500 mil casos ocurren en México, señalan especialistas.

Five million victims of Human Trafficking Exist in Latin America

Saltillo, Coahuila state - Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, the director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women's Latin American / Caribbean regional office, announced this past Monday that more than five million women and girls are currently victims of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During a forum on successful treatment approaches for trafficking victims held by the Women's Institute of Coahuila, Ulloa Ziaurriz stated that 500,000 of these cases exist in Mexico, where women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography and the illegal harvesting of human organs.

Ulloa Ziaurriz said that human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, a fact that has given rise to the existence of a very large number of trafficking networks who operate with the complicity of both [corrupt] government officials and business owners.

Mexico is a country of origin, transit and also destination for trafficked persons. Of 500,000 victims in Mexico, 87% are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation.

Ulloa Ziaurriz pointed out that locally in Coahuila state, the nation's human trafficking problem shows up in the form of child prostitution in cities such as Ciudad Acuña as well as other population centers along Mexico's border with the United States.

- Notimex / La Jornada Online

Mexico City

Dec. 12, 2007

See also:

Mexico: Más de un millón de menores se prostituyen en el centro del país: especialista

Expert: More than one million minors are sexually exploited in Central Mexico

Tlaxcala city, in Tlaxcala state - Around 1.5 million people in the central region of Mexico are engaged in prostitution, and some 75% of them are between 12 and 13 years of age, reported Teresa Ulloa, director of the Regional Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean...

La Jornada de Oriente

Sep. 26, 2009

[Note: The figure of 75% of 1.5 million indicates that 1.1 million girls between the ages of 12 and 13 at any given time engage in prostitution in central Mexico alone. - LL]


LibertadLatina

Analysis of the political actions and policies of Mexico's National Action Party (PAN) in regard to their detrimental impact on women's basic human rights


A child in prostitution in Cancun, Mexico  stands next to a police car with an adult john.

About Child Sexual Slavery in Mexico

Thousands of foreign sex tourists arrive in Cancun daily from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the intention of having sex with children, according to a short documentary film by a local NGO (see below link). Police and prosecutors refuse to criminalize this activity.

This grotesque business model, that of engaging in child sex tourism, exists along Mexico's entire northern border with the U.S., along Mexico's southern border with Guatemala [and Belize], and in tourist resorts including Acapulco, Cancun and Veracruz. Thousands of U.S. men cross Mexico's border or fly to tourist resorts each day to have sex with minors.

Unfortunately, Mexico's well heeled criminal sex traffickers have exported the business model of selling children for sex to every major city as well as to many migrant farm labor camps across the U.S.

Human trafficking in the U.S. will never be controlled, despite the passage of more advanced laws and the existence of ongoing improvements to the law enforcement model, until the 500-year-old 'tradition' of sexual slavery in Mexico is brought to an end.

The most influential political factions within the federal and state governments of Mexico show little interest in ending the mass torture and rape of this innocent child population.

We must continue to pressured them to do so.

End Impunity now!

See also:

The Dark Side of Cancun - a short documentary

Produced by Mark Cameron and Monserrat Puig

2007

About the case of Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva

Our one page flyer about Jacqueline Maria Jirón Silva (Microsoft Word 2003)


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

Award-winning anti-child sex trafficking activist, journalist, author and women's center director Lydia Cacho

Muertes por violencia en México podrían ser plan de limpieza social: Cacho

Especialistas indagan si asesinatos vinculados con el crimen son una estrategia del Estado, dijo.

Madrid. Las muertes por violencia en México en los últimos años, 15 mil en los últimos tres años, podrían formar parte de un plan de "limpieza social por parte del Estado mexicano", declaró este lunes en Madrid la periodista mexicana Lydia Cacho….

Deaths from violence in Mexico could be the results of social cleansing: Lydia Cacho

Specialists are investigating whether murders are state strategy, Cacho says.

Madrid. Deaths from violence in Mexico in recent years, including 15,000 during the past three years, could form part of a plan of "social cleansing by the Mexican State," declared Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho in Madrid, Spain on Monday.

"Experts are beginning to investigate at this time in Mexico whether these 15,000 murders are linked to intentional social cleansing by the Mexican State," Cacho said in a press conference in which she denounced human rights violations and persecution of the press in her country.

Since President Felipe Calderón [became president] three years ago, we have been witnessing a growing authoritarianism in Mexico "justified by the war " (on drugs), in which " militari-zation, and harassment of journalists and human rights defenders is increasing danger-ously," stated Cacho.

Cacho was kidnapped [by rogue state police agents] and tortured in Mexico after divulging information about a pedophile ring in which businessmen and politicians were involved.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will determine in an upcoming decision whether Mexican authorities violated the rights of the journalist in that case.

The foundation that bears Cacho's name, created in Madrid a year ago, is organizing a concert to raise funds to help pay for her defense before the IACHR...

Cacho is the author of [the child sex trafficking exposé] The Demons of Eden. In recent years she has received several awards for her work on behalf of human rights carried out through investigative journalism, including the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award.

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Nov. 23, 2009

See also:

Mexican Government Part of Problem, Not Solution, Writer Says

Madrid - A muckraking Mexican journalist known for exposes of pedophile rings and child prostitution said on Monday that President Felipe Calderón’s bloody campaign against Mexico’s drug cartels is “not a battle for justice and social peace.”

Lydia Cacho, who has faced death threats and judicial persecution for her writings, told a press conference in Madrid that Mexico’s justice system is “impregnated with corruption and impunity.”

Accompanied by the head of the Lydia Cacho Foundation, Spanish screenwriter Alicia Luna; and Madrid Press Association President Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja, the author said the nearly three years since Calderón took office have seen increased “authoritarianism” and harassment of journalists and human rights advocates.

The period has also witnessed “15,000 documented killings,” Cacho said, exceeding the carnage in Colombia at the height of that country’s drug wars.

“Specialists are beginning to investigate if those 15,000 killings are linked with intentional social cleansing on the part of the Mexican state,” she said.

Calderón, she noted, “insists on saying that many of those deaths are collateral effects and that the rest are criminals who kill one another.”

“It is a war among the powerful and not a battle for justice and social peace,” she said of the military-led effort against drug cartels, which has drawn widespread criticism for human rights abuses.

Cacho also lamented “self-censorship” in the highly concentrated Mexican media, saying that many outlets color their reporting to avoid trouble with the government and other powerful interests.

A long-time newspaper columnist and crusader for women’s rights, Lydia Cacho became famous thanks to the furor over her 2005 book “Los demonios del Eden” (The Demons of Eden), which exposed wealthy pedophiles and their associates in the Mexican establishment.

In the book, she identified textile magnate Kamel Nacif as a friend and protector of accused pedophile Jean Succar Kuri, who has since been sent back to Mexico from the United States to face charges.

Nacif, whose business is based in the central state of Puebla, accused Cacho of defamation - a criminal offense - in Mexico and arranged to have her arrested for allegedly for ignoring a summons to appear in court for the case.

In February 2006, Mexican dailies published transcripts of intercepted phone conversations in which Nacif was heard conspiring with Puebla Governor Mario Marin and other state officials to have Cacho taken into custody and then assaulted behind bars.

The transcripts indicated that Nacif, known as the “denim king” for his dominance of the blue-jeans business, engineered the author’s arrest by bribing court personnel not to send her the requisite summonses.

Cacho was subsequently released on bail and the case against her was ultimately dismissed.

EFE

Nov. 24, 2009

See Also:

LibertadLatina

Special Section

Journalist / Activist

Lydia Cacho is

Railroaded by the

Legal Process for

Exposing Child Sex

Networks In Mexico

See Also:

Perils of Plan Mexico: Going Beyond Security to Strengthen U.S.-Mexico Relations

Americas Program Commentary

Mexico is the United States' closest Latin American neighbor and yet most U.S. citizens receive little reliable information about what is happening within the country. Instead, Mexico and Mexicans are often demonized in the U.S. press. The single biggest reason for this is the way that the entire binational relationship has been recast in terms of security over the past few years...

The militarization of Mexico has led to a steep increase in homicides related to the drug war. It has led to rape and abuse of women by soldiers in communities throughout the country. Human rights complaints against the armed forces have increased six-fold.

Even these stark figures do not reflect the seriousness of what is happening in Mexican society. Many abuses are not reported at all for the simple reason that there is no assurance that justice will be done. The Mexican Armed Forces are not subject to civilian justice systems, but to their own military tribunals. These very rarely terminate in convictions. Of scores of reported torture cases, for example, not a single case has been prosecuted by the army in recent years.

The situation with the police and civilian court system is not much better. Corruption is rampant due to the immense economic power of the drug cartels. Local and state police, the political system, and the justice system are so highly infiltrated and controlled by the cartels that in most cases it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

The militarization of Mexico has also led to what rights groups call "the criminalization of protest." Peasant and indigenous leaders have been framed under drug charges and communities harassed by the military with the pretext of the drug war. In Operation Chihuahua, one of the first military operations to replace local police forces and occupy whole towns, among the first people picked up were grassroots leaders - not on drug charges but on three-year old warrants for leading anti-NAFTA protests. Recently, grassroots organizations opposing transnational mining operations in the Sierra Madre cited a sharp increase in militarization that they link to the Merida Initiative and the NAFTA-SPP [North American Free Trade Act - Security and Prosperity Partnership] aimed at opening up natural resources to transnational investment.

All this - the human rights abuses, impunity, corruption, criminalization of the opposition - would be grave cause for concern under any conditions. What is truly incomprehens-ible is that in addition to generating these costs to Mexican society, the war on drugs doesn't work to achieve its own stated objectives...

Laura Carlsen

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Nov. 23, 2009


Added: Dec. 03, 2009

Mexico

The Numbers Don't Add Up in Mexico's Drug War

Drug Seizures are Down; Drug Production, Executions, Disappearances, and Human Rights Abuses are Up

Just a week before Mexican president Felipe Calderón completes half of his six-year term, [leading Mexico City newspaper] La Jornada reports that 16,500 extrajudicial executions [summary murders outside of the law] have occurred during his administration. 6,500 of those executions have occurred in 2009, according to La Jornada’s sources in Calderón’s cabinet...

While executions are on the rise, drug seizures are down, and drug production is up, Mexico is also experiencing an alarming increase in human rights abuses perpetrated by government agents - particularly the army - in Calderón’s war on drugs. As Mexican human rights organizations have noted, human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces have increased six-fold over the past two years. This statistic is based on complaints received by the Mexican government’s official National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

No Mas Abusos (No More Abuses), a joint project of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center, the Fundar Center for Analysis and Investigation, and Amnesty International’s Mexico Section, monitors human rights abuses committed by soldiers, police, and other government agents.

Kristin Bricker

Dec. 1, 2009

See also:

LibertadLatina News Archive - October 2009

El Paso - …Mexican human rights official Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson [has] reported 170 instances of Mexican soldiers allegedly torturing, abusing and killing innocent people in Chihuahua [state].

The Associated Press

Oct. 17,2009

See also:

LibertadLatina Commentary

According to press reports from Mexico, the Yunque secret society is the dominant faction within the ruling National Action party (PAN).

El Yunque holds the belief that all social activists, including those who advocate for improving the lives of women, indigenous people and the poor, are literally the children of Satan. They take aggressive political action consistent with those beliefs.

During the 1960s, El Yunque perpetrated political assassi-nations and murders targeting their opponents. Although today they profess to adhere to the political process to affect change, it is not a stretch, given their violent history, to conclude that Lydia Cacho's concern, that the federal government of Mexico may be engaging in 'social cleansing through "extrajudicial killings" (which is just a fancy way to say state sanctioned murder of your opponents), may be valid. Cacho is a credible first hand witness to the acts of impunity which government officials use at-times to control free and independent thinking in Mexico. 

We have documented the steady deterioration  of human rights for women in Mexico for several years. Mexico is one of the very hottest spots for the gender rights crisis in the Americas.

The systematic use by military personnel of rape with total impunity, targeting especially indigenous women and girls, is one example of the harshness of  these conditions. The case of the sexual assaults carried out by dozens of policemen against women social protesters in the city of Atenco, Mexico in 2006 is another stark case.

The Mérida Initiative, through which the U.S. Government is funding Mexico's drug war to the tune of $450 million over several years, is financing not only that war, but it is also, apparently, strengthening the authoritarian rule of the El Yunque dominated PAN political party.

El Yunque, which has been identified as being an anti- women's rights, anti-indigenous rights,  anti-Semitic, anti-protestant and anti-gay 'shadow government' in Mexico, does not deserve even one dollar of U.S. funding.

Defeat the drug cartels?

Yes!

Provide funding for El Yunque's quest to build empire in Mexico while rolling-back women and indigenous people's basic human rights?

No!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 4, 2009

About El Yunque

The National Organization of the Anvil, or simply El Yunque (The Anvil), is the name of a secret society... whose purpose, according to the reporter Alvaro Delgado, "is to defend the [ultra-conservative elements of the] Catholic religion and fight the forces of Satan, whether through violence or murder "and establish" the kingdom of God in the land that is subject to the Mexican Government, to the mandates of the Catholic Church, through the infiltration of all its members at the highest levels of political power.

Wealthy business-men and politicians (mostly from the [ruling] National Action Party) have been named as alleged founders and members of The Anvil.

About El Yunque on Wikipedia.com



¡Feliz Día Internacional

de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina Statement for International

Women's

Day, 2010



March 8 / Marzo 8

2009


¡Feliz Día Internacional de la Mujer!

Happy International Women's Day!

LibertadLatina

Nuestra declaración de 2005 Día Internacional de la Mujer es pertinente hoy en día, y define bien la emergencia hemesferica que enfrentan las mujeres y en particular as niñas de todas las Américas.

Pedimos a todas las personas de conciencia que siguimos trabajando duro para inform al público en general acerca de esta crisis, y que aumentamos nuestra presión popular sobre los funcionarios electos y otros encargados de tomar decisiones, que deben cambiar el statu quo y responder con seriadad, por fin, a las   atrocidades de violencia de género -en masa- que afectan cada vez mas a las mujeres y las niñas de las Américas.

¡Basta ya con la impunidad y la violencia de genero!


LibertadLatina

Our 2005 statement for International Women's Day is relevant today, and accurately defines the hemispheric emergency facing women and especially girl children in the Americas.

We ask that all people of conscience work hard to continue informing the general public about this crisis, and that we all ramp-up the pressure  on elected officials and other decision makers, who must change the status quo and respond, finally, to the increasingly severe mass gender atrocities that are victimizing women and girls across the Americas.

End Impunity and violence against women now!

Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

March 8, 2008



LibertadLatina

Raids and Rescue Versus...?

Read our special section on the human rights advocacy conflict that exists between the goals of the defense of undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation on the one hand, and the urgent need to protect Latina sex trafficking victims through law enforcement action...

...As the global economic crisis throws more women and children into severe poverty, and as ruthless trafficking gangs and mafias seek to increase their profits by kidnapping, raping, prostituting and murdering more women and girls (especially non-citizen migrants passing through Mexico to the U.S.), the level of sex trafficking activity will increase dramatically. 

Society must respond and protect those who are at risk...

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

Dec. 18, 2008


Read our special section on the crisis in the city of Tapachula

Mexico

The city of Tapachula, located in Chiapas state near Mexico's border with Guatemala, is one of the largest and most lawless child sex trafficking markets in all of Latin America.

Our new news section tracks  events related to this hell-on-earth, where over half of the estimated 21,000 sex slaves and other sex workers are underage, and where especially migrant women and girls  from Central and South America, who seek to migrate to the United States, have their freedom taken from them, to become a money-making commodity for gangs of violent criminals.

A 2007 study by the international organization ECPAT [End Child Prostitution and Trafficking]... revealed that over 21,000 Central Americans, mostly children, are prostituted in 1,552 bars and brothels in Tapachula.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina



See: The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women

And: La Alianza Latina Nacional para Erradicar la Violencia Doméstica.

The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence


Added June 15, 2008

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Change-makers, a project of Ashoka International,  are conducting a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day human slavery.

View the over 200 entries from 45 nations

See especially:

Teresa Ulloa: Agarra la Onda Chavo", Masculini-dad, Iniciación Sexual y Consumo de la Prostitución ('Get It Together Young Man: Masculinity, Sexual Initiation and Consumption of Prostitution).

Equidad Laboral Y La Mujer Afro-Colombiana

(Labor Equality and the Afro-Colombian Woman)

Alianza Por Tus Derechos, Costa Rica: Our borders: say no to traffick-ing of persons, specially children

(APTD's news feed is a major source of Spanish language news articles translated and posted on LibertadLatina).

Prevención de la migración temprana y fortalecimiento de los lazos familiares en apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Hogar en Ayacucho

(Preventing early migration and re-enforcing families)... serving women in Quechua and Spanish in largely Indigenous Ayacucho, Peru.

LibertadLatina.org contributor Carla Conde - Freuden-dorff, on her work assisting Dominican women trafficked to Argentina

LibertadLatina

Our entry:

A Web-based Anti-Trafficking Information Portal in Defense of Indigenous, Afro-Descend-ent & Latina Women in the Americas

We present our history, plans for the future, and an essay discussing the current state of the anti-traffick-ing and anti-exploitation movements in the context of Indigenous, African Desc-endent and Latina women and children's rights in the Americas.

(Our extended copy of our Ashoka competition application)

Contribute your comments and questions about competition entries.

- Chuck Goolsby

LibertadLatina

June 15/21/22, 2008

See also:

Added June 15, 2008

The World

Entrepreneur for Society

Bill Drayton discusses the founding of Ashoka... "Our job is not to give people fish, it's not to teach them how to fish, it's to build new and better fishing industries."

- Ashoka Foundation

See also:

Ashoka Peru


Mexico

A woman is paraded before Johns on Mexico City's Santo Tomás Street, where kidnap victims are forced into prostitution and are 'trained'

(C) NY Times

The Girls Next Door

The New York Times' ground-breaking story on child and youth sex trafficking from Mexico into the United States

Excerpt:

[About Montserrat, a former child trafficking victim:]

Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners -- toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens -- as well as what she called a ''damage group.'' ''In the damage group they can hit you or do anything they wanted...''

- Peter Landesman

New York Times Magazine

January 25, 2004


Added March 23, 2008

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un millón de menores latinoamericanos atrapados por redes de prostitución

Former Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women - Alicia Elena Perez Duarte:

At least one million children across Latin America have been entrapped by child prostitution and pornography networks.

[In many cases in Mexico] these child victims are offered to [wealthy] businessmen and politicians.

Full story (in English)

See also:

Renuncia fiscal por vergüenza en resolución sobre Cacho

On December 14, 2007 Alicia Pérez-Duarte resigned as Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes Against Women [Fevim].  Duarte:

"I cannot work... where the justices of the Supreme Court won't bring justice in cases of grave violations of human rights."


Added March 1, 2008

Texas, USA

Kristal Minjarez - age 13, Armida Garcia - 15, and Brenda Salazar - 20... all raped and murdered by Andy James Ortiz

To Catch a Killer is the true story of Andy James Ortiz, his young victims, and the Fort Worth police and Tarrant County prosecutors who brought him to justice. The 24 chapter series ran in February and March of 2008.


Tengo 5 meses de edad y soy prostituta

I am 5 months old and I am a prostitute

LibertadLatina

Read our  section on the prostitution of infants by trafficking gangs across Latin America


About Baby Trafficking and [undocumented] Adoptions, and the connection to impunity and anti-Mayan racism in Guatemala



Hurricane Wilma - 2005

Earthquakes and hurricanes...

The impact of natural disasters on women and children's human rights in the Americas


Video

Roundtable on Trafficking of Women and Children in the Americas

- Organization of American States


United States

More than 163,000 Hispanic children... are reported missing and exploited in the United States every year.

- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

March 22, 2006


Latin America

Beyond Machismo - A Cuban Case Study

"I am a recovering macho, a product of an oppressive society, a society where gender, race and class domination do not exist in isolated compart-ments, nor are they neatly relegated to uniform categories of repression. They are created in the space where they interact and conflict with each other, a space I will call machismo."

- Cuban-American

theologian and ethicist

Dr. Miguel de la Torre

Remember, and FIND Jackeline Jirón Silva

Necesitamos su ayuda para ubicar a esta Niña.


Added Dec. 11, 2006

The World

Sex abuse, work and war deny childhood to tens

of millions

...An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year for labor or sex, and about 1 million children are thought to be exploited in the multi-billion dollar sex industry, UNICEF says.

- Reuters

Dec. 9, 2006

Added Nov. 7, 2006

The World

People trafficking ...is... big business, bringing in US $32 billion annually, worldwide. This makes people trafficking the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.

- Inter-American

Development Bank
 Nov. 2,2006


"Familia" by Salvadoran
artist Zelie Lardé. (1901-1974)

Who will protect them from impunity?

We Must!

We work for all of the children and women who await our

society's effective and substantial help to escape criminal

sexual exploitation's utter brutality and impunity!

End Impunity... Now!

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Charles M. Goolsby, Jr.

All other copyrighted materials © the copyright holder.

Copyrighted materials are presented for non-profit 

public educational 'fair use' purposes only.