TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS THE EVIL OF MODERN DAY SLAVERY WHAT IS TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS Trafficking in persons is a serious social problem because it poses a very large threat to fundamental human rights - right to life, to free movement, right to be free of torture. . Human trafficking as a phenomenon has complete disregard for any human rights. THE SCOPE OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS Human trafficking is global. It would be safe to say that all countries are affected. We speak of countries of: origin transit destination Some countries could be classified as all three. Millions of women, children and men are forced into prostitution, domestic service, work on plantations, in sweat shops, begging and other forms of coercion; Other forms include - organs, adoption, forced marriage, mail order brides and the entertainment industry. PEOPLE ARE TRAFFICKED WITHIN THE BORDERS OF ONE COUNTRY (INTERNAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING) BUT ALSO INTER-CONTINENTALLY (TRANSNATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING) According to the United Nations, 700,000 women, children and men end up in human trafficking every year. The US State Department estimates that 900,000 women, children and men fall victim to trafficking every year. Other surveys claim that 27 million people today are in servitude, 8 million of whom are children. Human trafficking is one of the 3 most profitable criminal activities (besides trafficking in drugs and arms). Profits gained are estimated at 7 - 60 billion US dollars, and according to some estimates, up to 507 billion US dollars a year. WHY ARE PEOPLE TRAFFICKED? PUSH AND PULL FACTORS! MOSTLY THE PUSH FACTORS RESULT FROM GREAT POVERTY IN THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN but IT IS MORE COMPLEX THAN THIS THE PULL FACTOR IS THAT THERE IS A DEMAND IN THE COUNTRY OF DESTINATION WHO ARE THE KEY AGENTS? Many persons such as: agents in the trafficking networks tour operators and travel agencies employment agencies foremen and trafficking gangs crime syndicates with bases in many countries bar madams, local women recruiters parents, relatives and friends school teachers villagers and village headmen “mamasans”, brothel owners pimps and procurers customers, clients, bar owners corrupt officials (e.g. police, customs, immigration, peace keepers, border patrollers). HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? LOCAL CONTACTS DIRECT SALE DECEIT DEBT BONDAGE KIDNAP FALSIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS BRIBES TRANSPORTATION A TERRIBLE STORY Nigerian police have found more than 60 children packed into a shipping container in the Nigerian City of Lagos. A police spokesperson said yesterday that it was believed they were to be sold as slaves or servants. A woman accompanying the children was arrested after the discovery of 60 -70 boys and girls aged 5 to 14. The children were in a container normally used to carry fish, Nigerian police spokesman Emmanuel Ighodalo said from Abuja, the capital. “We are trying to find out what they would be doing with children aged 5 to 14. We are thinking maybe they are using them for slaves and house boys”. WHAT COST HUMAN LIFE? WAGES FOR THE CHILDREN (OR THEIR BUYING PRICE) ARE AS FOLLOWS: 6 - 8 years: Rs 100 - 150 ($3.50Aust) 8 - 10 years: Rs 150 - 300 ($6.50 Aust) 10 - 14 years: Rs 300 - 500 ($12.50 Aust) The most a child can be bought for is 15 Australian dollars. (India) It is estimated that 2 million children - mostly girls - are enslaved in the global sex trade Between 60 and 100 million women who should be alive today are “missing” as a result of violence associated with gender discrimination Globally, one woman dies every minute due to problems related to pregnancy 99% of these deaths are in the developing world Women earn only 10% of the world’s income, yet they work two out of three of all labour hours worldwide More than 2.5 million children are at risk each year of contracting HIV from their mothers, even though preventative interventions are inexpensive Every year, an estimated 10,000 girls from Myanmar are recruited (many forcibly) to work in Thai brothels ABUSES - Trafficked women and children may experience the most horrifying abuses: • • • • • • • Rape Physical abuse, including beatings with weapons Threats and violence against them and their family Verbal abuse Imprisonment Little or no access to health care Minimal food, and of poor quality • • • • Dirty and cramped living conditions Forced abortions Forced use of drugs & alcohol Trafficked women and children are kept in an environment of fear, and are thus vulnerable to being exploited by pimps, corrupt immigration officials and police, and the men who create the demand for prostitutes. WHY ARE PEOPLE VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING? Globalization Population explosion – The number of people in the world has tripled with most growth in the 3rd world. Corruption Sexism and the objectification of and violence towards women. – One of every three women worldwide has been beaten, forced into sex or experienced another form of violent abuse. (John Hopkins Institute for Public Health) WHY ARE PEOPLE VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING? Women and children are most vulnerable to poverty due to lack of education and power. – 70% of the 1.6 billion people living in severe poverty are women and girls. (United Nations Development Project) – Two thirds of all those who are illiterate today are women. (US State Dept.) WHAT DOES TRAFFICKING LOOK LIKE? Military prostitution Mail order bride selling Sex tourism Brothels Strip clubs Bars Disco Clubs Karaoke clubs Massage parlors Modeling & talent agencies Escort services Fraudulent advertisements/job opportunities Pornography (including internet porn) PROFIT Human trafficking has now surpassed drugs and arms as the most lucrative form of organized crime in the world. It is a multi billion dollar industry. Victims are sold and used over and over again increasing profits. Low risk for getting caught. HOW DO TRAFFICKERS CON THEIR VICTIMS? Traffickers entice victims through job offers, advertisements, beauty contests, “modeling” contracts and fraudulent matchmaking agencies. Women are lured through the promise of high pay, good working conditions and the chance to escape oppressive conditions. Traffickers use fraud, deception, false marriage, intimidation, threats, beatings, outright kidnapping, torture, sexual exploitation, rape, starvation, death threats, and threats to family members to acquire and control victims. (Stop Trafficking of People, USCCB) FURTHER FORMS OF MANIPULATION Debt bondage Confiscation of passports Shaming victims Telling victims they will be deported or imprisoned for immigration violations if they contact the police Isolation from the public Control of victims money THE VICTIMS Blame themselves (don’t think they are victims) Are afraid of deportation Don’t know the language, customs, and laws of the new country THE VICTIMS Often have: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – STDs Injuries Unwanted pregnancies Chronic infections Miscarriages Forced abortions Hepatitis B and C HIV/AIDS Drug or alcohol abuse Anxiety, stress, trauma Eating disorders Depression Suicidal tendencies Acts of Self-mutilation (Migration and Refugee Services, Office of Refugee Programs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) THE DEMAND Pornography is addictive. #1 role of women in video games is that of a prostitute. (Randall, Common Sense Media) Most male clients of prostitutes are upper middle class white men from the suburbs. (So Deep a Violence) Peacekeepers and military personnel around the globe keep up the demand for sexual services thereby promoting trafficking. FARM LABOUR Farm labourers, particularly migrant labourers are vulnerable to forced labour – Poor working conditions and stagnant wages. – Weak legal protections. – Little monitoring of work conditions. DOMESTIC SERVICE In the US, visas require the domestic worker to remain with their employer or face deportation. This makes it less likely for workers to report abuses. Is this true in Australia? It is difficult to monitor working conditions of domestic workers because work takes place in private homes. SWEATSHOPS Most sweatshops are in the developing world, however, many sweatshops exist in the US. Are there any in Australia? Competition with overseas manufacturing pushes labour costs to a minimum resulting in sweatshops. Do Australians purchase items made by these producers? Sweatshops operate within the informal economy making it more difficult to enforce labour laws. The US island territories produce goods marked with “Made in the U.S.A.” labels but workers have fewer labour protections and rights than workers on the mainland. (Hidden Slaves, Forced labor in the US, 2004) Are any of these items on sale in Australia? What hidden slaves are there in Australia? How are they treated? DOMESTIC SERVICE Are household workers in Australia defined as “employees”? Can they organize for better working conditions or wages? Can domestic workers be brought to Australia by their employers under an immigration policy which makes them more vulnerable? IT IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forums (ARTICLE 4 UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1948) No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ARTICLE 5 UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1948) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS 1. The United Nations Conventions for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, 1949 (for the first time in an international instrument, the Convention declares prostitution and the traffic in persons to be incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and to endanger the welfare of the individual, the family and the community. The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 1979 The provision on trafficking in women goes as follows: Article 6 States parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation,to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women. The united nations convention on the rights of the child (CRC) 1989 Article 34: States Parties undertake to protect the Child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent: (a) the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; (b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials Article 35: States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form Article 39: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflict. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child. WHAT DOES THE CHURCH SAY? “All human beings…are clothed in the same personal dignity. For this reason they must be respected, and no reason can ever justify their being used at whim, as if they were objects.” Pope Benedict XVI, 1 January 2007 “The trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights." John Paul II, May 2002 WHAT CAN I DO? Raise awareness - tell people about the fact that TIP exists and exists in Australia. Become more educated about TIP in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Lobby for an improved visa framework for victims of trafficking. Support those establishing safe houses for victims. Support Millennium Development Goal (MDG) initiatives to reduce poverty and hence reduce the vulnerability to trafficking in source countries. e.g. Fair Trade; Fair Wear USEFUL WEBSITES www.acrath.org.au http://www.goodshepherd.com. www.caritas.org.au www.talithakum.info www.ozspirit.info/ www.unanima-international.org www.projectrespect.org.au www.antislavery.org.au IF WE WORK TOGETHER, WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD WHAT WILL YOU DO?
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