Human Trafficking - More Info

on Monday, 18 June 2012. Posted in Bangladesh, Brazil, Myanmar, Burundi, The Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, The Facts, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, HIV/AIDs & other diseases, Romania, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Extreme Poverty, Exploitation, Uganda, Human Trafficking, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Slave Labour & Exploitation, Kenya, Cambodia, Zambia, The Philippines

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Warning: Some of the content of this article is disturbing - reporting treatment of trafficking victims.

What is human trafficking? According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), human trafficking is defined as, "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation."

What was the worst thing that happened to you when you were eight years old? Maybe your parents grounded you for flunking a subject or disobeying set rules. Now imagine being kidnapped, taken to an unknown place, away from everything you know and love, forced into manual labor, exploited sexually, all at the same innocent age of eight. This is not a scene from some book based in another planet, but a reality of this world that we live in. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry (if we can call it an industry) in the world, along with the arms trade, second only to the criminal activities involving drugs and narcotics. Human trafficking statistics suggest that almost USD 9 billion is amassed from trade in humans.

The largest human trafficking case in recent U.S. history occurred in Hawaii in 2010. Global Horizons Manpower, Inc., a labor-recruiting company, bought 400 immigrants in 2004 from Thailand to work on farms in Hawaii. They were lured with false promises of high-paying farm work, but instead their passports were taken away and they were held in forced servitude until they were rescued in 2010.

According to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both in the United States and around the world.

Read more at Buzzle:

Facts and Figures About Human Trafficking

Popular notions suggest that human trafficking entails movement to another country but that is far from true. Facts about human trafficking will tell you that you do not need to be physically moved in order to be a victim of human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking are kept against their will, exploited for labor or commercial sex, and are generally threatened to work for the trafficker. Most traffickers lure victims by promising them a better life in a new country and promises of jobs. Once there, they are either threatened by physical abuse or forcibly addicted to drugs and then made to do as the trafficker wants. While it may be structured in a manner to resemble a work contract, there are minimal or no wages and the terms and living conditions are quite uninhabitable.

This violation of basic human rights is generally of three types. Forced labor is when victims are forced to work against their wishes threatened by violence. They are not free and are generally owned by someone to a certain degree. Bonded labor which is the least talked about but most widely practiced method of human trafficking is when a person is forced to work for someone to repay a previously taken loan. Sex trafficking is the most widely known form of human trafficking where easy targets are taken in by traffickers and exploited sexually. Given below are some facts and statistics that will help you understand how severe this problem is.

The group that is most affected by human trafficking are children with almost 13 million children being victims of some form of slavery, including child labor.
Studies show that children who have been victims of child exploitation and have been physically abused are more prone to suffer from mental health problems. Victims of trafficking are also more likely to engage in delinquent behavior.
According to studies, 80% of human trafficking involves sexual labor and exploitation, and 19% accounts for victims of forced or bonded labor.
If you look at estimates around the world, the average cost of a slave would come up to about USD 90.

A large percentage of women and children forced into sexual labor, contract HIV.

One of the important facts about human trafficking in the United States is that as many as 20,000 victims are trafficked into the United States every year.

Within the United States as many as 200,000 people are exploited for commercial sex and physical labor every year.

Facts suggest that most victims of this criminal activity are either runaways, or belong to marginalized groups.

Although human trafficking is often a hidden crime and accurate statistics are difficult to obtain, researchers estimate that more than 80% of trafficking victims are female. Over 50% of human trafficking victims are children.

The end of the Cold War has resulted in the growth of regional conflicts and the decline of borders. Many rebel groups turn to human trafficking to fund military actions and garner soldiers.

According to a 2009 Washington Times article, the Taliban buys children as young as seven years old to act as suicide bombers. The price for child suicide bombers is between $7,000-$14,000.

UNICEF estimates that 300,000 children younger than 18 are currently trafficked to serve in armed conflicts worldwide.

Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video is about human trafficking. In the video, Gaga is trafficked by a Russian bathhouse into sex slavery.

Human trafficking is the only area of transnational crime in which women are significantly represented—as victims, as perpetrators, and as activists fighting this crime.

Global warming and severe natural disasters have left millions homeless and impoverished, which has created desperate people easily exploited by human traffickers.

Almost 49% of the profit generated from human trafficking is in industrialized countries, followed closely by Asia.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises because it holds relatively low risk with high profit potential. Criminal organizations are increasingly attracted to human trafficking because, unlike drugs, humans can be sold repeatedly.

Human trafficking is estimated to surpass the drug trade in less than five years. Journalist Victor Malarek reports that it is primarily men who are driving human trafficking, specifically trafficking for sex.

Due to globalization, every continent of the world has been involved in human trafficking, including a country as small as Iceland.

Many times, if a sex slave is arrested, she is imprisoned while her trafficker is able to buy his way out of trouble.

Today, slaves are cheaper than they have ever been in history. The population explosion has created a great supply of workers, and globalization has created people who are vulnerable and easily enslaved.

Human trafficking and smuggling are similar but not interchangeable. Smuggling is transportation based. Trafficking is exploitation based.

Some of the countries where most victims of human trafficking end up are Australia, Brazil, India, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

In 2006, figures showed that for every 800 people who were made victims of human trafficking, only one trafficker was convicted of the crime.

In countries like Cambodia and Kosovo where the UN and NATO peacekeeping forces were stationed, prostitution increased by huge numbers. This connection has been the cause of many debates, and both the UN and NATO has faced severe criticism from women's rights and human rights groups for not doing anything concrete about the situation. Human trafficking violates every single right on a list of human rights, denying victims the basic right of freedom and expression. Robbing a human being the basic right of being able to live their life the way they want to is a crime that should be punished in the harshest manner possible.
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Approximately 75-80% of human trafficking is for sex.

Researchers note that sex trafficking plays a major role in the spread of HIV.

There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.

There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking.

Victims of human trafficking suffer devastating physical and psychological harm. However, due to language barriers, lack of knowledge about available services, and the frequency with which traffickers move victims, human trafficking victims and their perpetrators are difficult to catch.

In approximately 54% of human trafficking cases, the recruiter is a stranger, and in 46% of the cases, the recruiters know the victim. Fifty-two percent of human trafficking recruiters are men, 42% are women, and 6% are both men and women.

Human trafficking around the globe is estimated to generate a profit of anywhere from $9 billion to $31.6 billion. Half of these profits are made in industrialized countries.

Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.

Human traffickers often use a Sudanese phrase "use a slave to catch slaves," meaning traffickers send "broken-in girls" to recruit younger girls into the sex trade. Sex traffickers often train girls themselves, raping them and teaching them sex acts.

Eighty percent of North Koreans who escape into China are women. Nine out of 10 of those women become victims of human trafficking, often for sex. If the women complain, they are deported back to North Korea, where they are thrown into gulags or are executed.

Approximately 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year.

An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old.

More than 30% of all trafficking cases in 2007-2008 involved children being sold into the sex industry.

The Western presence in Kosovo, such as NATO troops and civilians, have fueled the rapid growth of sex trafficking and forced prostitution. Amnesty International has reported that NATO soldiers, UN police, and Western aid workers "operated with near impunity in exploiting the victims of the sex traffickers."

Over 71% of trafficked children show suicidal tendencies.

After sex, the most common form of human trafficking is forced labor. Researchers argue that as the economic crisis deepens, the number of people trafficked for forced labor will increase.

Most human trafficking in the United States occurs in New York, California, and Florida.

According to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), over the past 30 years, over 30 million children have been sexually exploited through human trafficking.

Several countries rank high as source countries for human trafficking, including Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, China, Thailand, and Nigeria.

Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S. are ranked very high as destination countries of trafficked victims.

Women are trafficked to the U.S. largely to work in the sex industry (including strip clubs, peep and touch shows, massage parlors that offer sexual services, and prostitution). They are also trafficked to work in sweatshops, domestic servitude, and agricultural work.

Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg, a convicted trafficker, said, "You can buy a woman for $10,000 and make your money back in a week if she is pretty and young. Then everything else is profit."

A human trafficker can earn 20 times what he or she paid for a girl. Provided the girl was not physically brutalized to the point of ruining her beauty, the pimp could sell her again for a greater price because he had trained her and broken her spirit, which saves future buyers the hassle. A 2003 study in the Netherlands found that, on average, a single sex slave earned her pimp at least $250,000 a year.

Pregnant women are increasingly being trafficked for their newborns.

Babies are sold on the black market, where the profit is divided between the traffickers, doctors, lawyers, border officials, and others. The mother is usually paid less than what is promised her, citing the cost of travel and creating false documents. A mother might receive as little as a few hundred dollars for her baby.

Sex traffickers often use brutal violence to "condition" their victims.

Sex traffickers use a variety of ways to "condition" their victims, including subjecting them to starvation, rape, gang rape, physical abuse, beating, confinement, threats of violence toward the victim and victim's family, forced drug use, and shame.

Family members will often sell children and other family members into slavery; the younger the victim, the more money the trafficker receives. For example, a 10-year-old named Gita was sold into a brothel by her aunt. The now 22-year-old recalls that when she refused to work, the older girls held her down and stuck a piece of cloth in her mouth so no one would hear her scream as she was raped by a customer. She would later contract HIV.

Some human traffickers recruit handicapped young girls, such as those suffering from Down Syndrome, into the sex industry.

According to the FBI, a large human-trafficking organization in California in 2008 not only physically threatened and beat girls as young as 12 to work as prostitutes, they also regularly threatened them with witchcraft.

Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that is fueled by poverty and gender discrimination.

Human traffickers often work with corrupt government officials to obtain travel documents and seize passports.

Women and girls from racial minorities in the U.S. are disproportionately recruited by sex traffickers in the U.S.

The Sunday Telegraph in the U.K. reports that hundreds of children as young as six are brought to the U.K. as slaves each year.

The FBI estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from nine to 19, with the average being age 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from "good" families who are coerced by clever traffickers.

Japan is considered the largest market for Asian women trafficked for sex.

Airports are often used by human traffickers to hold "slave auctions," where women and children are sold into prostitution.

Sex traffickers often recruit children because not only are children more unsuspecting and vulnerable than adults, but there is also a high market demand for young victims. Traffickers target victims on the telephone, on the Internet, through friends, at the mall, and in after-school programs.

Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and in some U.S. territories.

Brazil and Thailand are generally considered to have the worst child sex trafficking records.

The AIDS epidemic in Africa has left many children orphaned, making them especially vulnerable to human trafficking.

Nearly 7,000 Nepali girls as young as nine years old are sold every year into India's red-light district—or 200,000 in the last decade. Ten thousand children between the ages of six and 14 are in Sri Lanka brothels.

Human trafficking victims face physical risks, such as drug and alcohol addiction, contracting STDs, sterility, miscarriages, forced abortions, vaginal and anal trauma, among others. Psychological effects include developing clinical depression, personality and dissociative disorders, suicidal tendencies, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

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