Global News 28/01/2011

Indonesia

The client looks through the photos and contacts the website administrator when they’ve decided which one they’d like to purchase. It’s the kind of online shopping that happens every second of every day across the internet. But this time it’s different.

The website? A Facebook group.

The site administrator? A human trafficker.

The products in the photos? Young women and girls.

As hard as it is to believe, an Indonesian man arrested on suspicion of human trafficking has admitted creating a private Facebook group where victims of sex trafficking were put on sale to customers around Indonesia.

Perhaps even more incredibly, this Facebook ‘buying group’ for trafficking victims had been operating for 2 years. Read more…

 

Haiti

It’s not uncommon for traffickers to take advantage of people’s increased vulnerability following a natural disaster. Since the earthquake that decimated Haiti 12 months ago, there have been reports from various agencies indicating a huge rise in the number of Haitian children trafficked for sex and labour. There is a well-documented problem of children being kidnapped and forced to work in neighbouring Dominican Republic on sugar cane fields. Government figures also estimate that up to 300,000 Haitian children between 6 and 14 year old are currently working as domestic servants, many of whom are reported to be subject to appalling abuse.

This week the US government has announced a $4.75 million grant to strengthen the anti-trafficking effort in Haiti which “signifies the United States’ continued commitment to rule of law and the protection of children in Haiti as well as strengthening law enforcement responses against traffickers taking advantage of vulnerable persons in a post-disaster situation.” Read more…

 

Greece / Bulgaria

According to Greek and Bulgarian authorities, “a baby boy would be sold for about 25,000 Euros, while girls would be priced between 18,000 and 20,000 Euros.” Police in the two countries have uncovered a trafficking ring that has been trafficking pregnant women from rural Bulgaria to Greece. On arrival, the Bulgarian women would give birth and willingly sell their babies to Greek buyers. In most cases, the mothers received about 3,000 Euros of the sum.

Police were tipped off by one of the woman who gave birth to a baby girl in Greece, the Bulgarian ministry said. She reportedly refused to leave the child, which was then taken from her by force. Read more…

 

US

One of America’s most wanted fugitives – believed to be the mastermind of an extensive human trafficking operation – has been arrested. Vulnerable women were trafficked from Eastern Europe to Detroit on the pretence of a better life and well paid jobs. In her testimony, one of the young women said, simply, “I was their slave”.

Forced to work up to 12 hours a day in Detroit strip clubs, physically and sexually abused, the women had to hand over all their earnings to their traffickers – totalling more than $1 million. Read more…

 

By Simon Butcher

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