Sunday, March 27, 2011

Article regarding human trafficking


Three years ago, President Bush declared that he had "zero tolerance" for trafficking in humans by the government's overseas contractors, and two years ago Congress mandated a similar policy.

But notwithstanding the president's statement and the congressional edict, the Defense Department has yet to adopt a policy to bar human trafficking.

A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records.

The lobbying groups opposing the plan say they're in favor of the idea in principle, but said they believe that implementing key portions of it overseas is unrealistic. They represent thousands of firms, including some of the industry's biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns

Exploitation of Bangladeshis in Malaysia - HR activist terms it human trafficking
The exploitative practices centring Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia constitute nothing other than human trafficking; the governments of Bangladesh and Malaysia have not been able to protect the workers' rights, said Irene Fernandez, a veteran migrants' rights activist of Malaysia.
When they brought workers in surplus numbers to Malaysia, they were only interested in making fast cash. The outsourcing companies told Bangladeshi job brokers 'you pay me 500 ringgit per worker and find jobs for them and do whatever'. So, Bangladeshi job brokers then bought the workers from the outsourcing companies, and literally made them slaves. The brokers then told the workers 'you go and work, I will give you food and lodging'. And the workers were put to work for two, three, or four months. So, the contract that had been signed between the workers and recruiting agencies in Bangladesh, which was attested by the Bangladesh government, had no meaning any more.
The question is now, why no action is being taken against the Malaysian outsourcing companies for the fact that they violated the contracts. Again, the governments of both countries have not been able to enforce the rules. Malaysia has to make its companies accountable, and Bangladesh has to make its recruiting agencies accountable. Because the passports of the workers are being held and the workers who don't have any job are being locked up by the job brokers or the outsourcing companies, it constitutes nothing but human trafficking. And, with the global economic recession, the situation is going to worsen, because many of the companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are collapsing.

Malaysia gets praises for battling human trafficking.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he was informed by the prime minister's office yesterday that Australian Prime Minister recognised Malaysia's efforts and seriousness in tackling the issues of human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants.The australian prime minister conveyed this to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a phone conversation.Expressing his delight, Hishammuddin said that the Anti-Trafficking in Persons (Amendment) Bill received a consensus from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition MPs."It shows that all of us can make a stand and agree on the importance of the bill," he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.He added that the amendment of the bill was monitored by the Australian government and they were impressed with the actions taken by Malaysia in taking precautionary measures in dealing with cross-border crimes.Hishammuddin added that he had also received the contents of the speech by Gillard through the Australian embassy.

"In the speech, Australia has stated clearly their committment to cooperate with Malaysia to reduce crimes in areas of terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants as these are still very prevalent, and efforts will be strengthened and continued."
Earlier in parliament, Hishammuddin said from Feb to July 4 this year, 154 human trafficking cases were investigated, of which 127 cases were brought to court for trial.Of the 127 cases, 83 people were charged involving nine cases.To questions from MPs as to why those found guilty of human trafficking were not charged under the Immigration Act, Hishammuddin said it was not specifically enacted for tackling human trafficking."The Immigration Act does not have any elements on human trafficking and is not as comprehensive compared with the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill. Moreover, its penalties are lower."
He said under the Immigration Act, the only action that would be taken is to charge foreign immigrant with lack of proper travel pass and deport them back to their original countries.Earlier during the debate on the bill, Hasbi Habbibollah (BN-Limbang) said many girls from the neighbouring countries were duped into the flesh trade after they were initially promised other jobs.
"In my constituency, I have personally seen teenagers who managed to escape from human traffickers and sought refuge in a mosque."
He said the country's porous borders and lack of enforcement in the area made it harder for the government to check the problem.


80 Filipino women on way to jobs in Malaysia, Middle East rescued from human traffickers

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Philippine police have rescued 80 Filipino women from a suspected human trafficking syndicate that was planning to send them to be maids in Malaysia and the Middle East.
Police Superintendent Celso Bael said they stopped the women, who pretended to be tourists, from boarding a chartered flight from the southern city of Zamboanga to Malaysia on Thursday.
He says that, from Malaysia, some would have been be sent to Libya, Lebanon and Egypt.
He says they were recruited from the Philippine capital and nine provinces around the country.
The women have been brought to the Social Welfare Department for counselling.
Few employment opportunities at home have forced millions of Filipinos to find work abroad, even in dangerous areas


Sunday, March 20, 2011


Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purposes of slavery, forced labour (including bonded labour or debt bondage) and servitude.Human trafficking differs from people smuggling. In the latter, people voluntarily request smuggler’s service for fees and there may be no deception involved in the (illegal) agreement. On arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is usually free. On the other hand, the trafficking victim is enslaved, or the terms of their debt bondage are highly exploitative. The trafficker takes away the basic human rights of the victim.
Victims are sometimes tricked and lured by false promises or physically forced. Some traffickers use coercive and manipulative tactics including deception, intimidation, feigned love, isolation, threat and use of physical force, debt bondage, other abuse, or even force-feeding with drugs to control their victims. People who are seeking entry to other countries may be picked up by traffickers, and misled into thinking that they will be free after being smuggled across the border. In some cases, they are captured through slave raiding, although this is increasingly rare.

Who are the victims?

Trafficked people are usually the most vulnerable and powerless minorities in a region. They often come from the poorer areas where opportunities are limited, they often are ethnic minorities, and they often are displaced persons such as runaways or refugees (though they may come from any social background, class or race). Women are particularly at risk from sex trafficking. Criminals exploit lack of opportunities, promise good jobs or opportunities for study, and then force the victims to become prostitutes. Through agents and brokers who arrange the travel and job placements, women are escorted to their destinations and delivered to the employers. Upon reaching their destinations, some women learn that they have been deceived about the nature of the work they will do; most have been lied to about the financial arrangements and conditions of their employment; and find themselves in coercive or abusive situations from which escape is both difficult or dangerous. Trafficking of children often involves exploitation of the parents’ extreme poverty. The latter may sell children to traffickers in order to pay off debts or gain income or they may be deceived concerning the prospects of training and a better life for their children. In West Africa, trafficked children have often lost one or both parents to the African AIDS crisis. Thousands of male (and sometimes female) children have also been forced to be child soldiers. The adoption process, legal and illegal, results in cases of trafficking of babies and pregnant women between the West and the developing world. In David M. Smolin’s papers on child trafficking and adoption scandals between India and the United States, he cites there are systemic vulnerabilities in the intercountry adoption system that makes adoption scandals predictable. Thousands of children from Asia, Africa, and South America are sold into the global sex trade every year. Often they are kidnapped or orphaned, and sometimes they are actually sold by their own families. Men are also at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work predominantly involving forced labor which globally generates $31bn according to the International Labour Organization. Other forms of trafficking include forced marriage, and domestic servitude.


Trafficking is a fairly lucrative industry. In some areas, like Russia, Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and Colombia, trafficking is controlled by large criminal organisations. However, the majority of trafficking is done by networks of smaller groups that each specialise in a certain area, like recruitment, transportation, advertising, or retail. This is very profitable because little startup capital is needed, and prosecution is relatively rare

Thursday, March 17, 2011

US involvement in Latin American Trafficking

Human trafficking is a global trade that generates over 10 billion dollars in revenue every year. The US State department estimates that nearly 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across borders worldwide for various reasons including ranging from forced labor to sexual exploitation. Latin American is one of the primary locations for human trafficking.It is estimated that nearly 1 million children in Latin America are domestic servants and are subject to various forms of abuse.This has forced a action from the United States to curb this rising dangerous trade. In response to rising trafficking the US State Department has issues annual Trafficking in Persons Report or TIP. The TIP has 4 levels. A country with a TIP level at Tier 4 has a severe trafficking problem, and the level of trafficking severity increase with increase each level. This report ranks and categorized countries based on how severe the trafficking problem is. Since its inception the their has been notable improvement in Latin American countries. In the the 2006 TIP report only the Belize, Cuba, and Venezuela were in the Tier three area. While other countries in the region had a relatively decent TIP rate compared to previous years. Though over Latin America did have the most Tier 3 than any other region. Sanctioned are supposed to be imposed on countries who have a poor ranking but as was the case with countries like Ecuador and Brazil few times are any penalties exacted except international disapproval. United States also passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act which give aid to foreign countries to combat human trafficking. Which provides about 361 billion dollars in aid

The US has provide over 94.7 billion dollars in aid worldwide with with help going to support nearly 61 countries in Latin America receiving nearly 29% of overall worldwide aid.[4] Programs to help trafficking in Latin America are headed by such departments in the US such as Department of State, the Agency for International Development, Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.[4] Among the top countries reaching US implemented programs are Mexico and Brazil. These organization set up events such as conferences, workshops, and public campaigns to raise awareness of human trafficking. Also in areas like Mexico the US has made a concentrated effort to work and set up programs with Mexican law enforcement to identify, arrest and detain traffickers and smugglers on the US-Mexican border. The program name Operation Against Smugglers Initiative on Safety and Security or OASISS concentrated efforts on these task and sought to improve communication between US law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement. A major problem encountered in Mexico is that