Super Bowl Sunday is famous for more than just football. This time of year sees a spike in human trafficking, and a spike in awareness to go with it. Trafficking involves selling, buying, and transporting human beings to be exploited in some capacity. It often involves forced prostitution, and victims are controlled through bribery or force. Lots of experts assert that Super Bowl weekend has the highest volume of human trafficking than any other event in the United States. In fact, it’s been a favorite phrase of newscasters and talk show hosts over the past several years. Others say that statistic is untrue, but drawing attention to the issue means more lives saved, so it’s hardly worth disputing. The fact of the matter is that thousands of people are exploited and trapped into this form of modern day slavery each year, and fewer people are aware of that than you’d imagine. Keep reading »
Women’s rights charities in the UK are warning women and girls who are being trafficked into forced marriages to hide spoons inside their underwear at airports to set off metal detectors. The Guardian UK reported that when women have done this, they have been taken aside by airport security for further questioning and have been able to seek help from authorities. Keep reading »
When we think of slavery, most Americans likely consider the slave history of our own country. We relegate slavery to the past, believing that such a barbaric concept couldn’t ever exist in our current world.
We were wrong.
Slavery is alive and well, and happening in more places than you think. There are 27 million slaves in the world today, involved in a variety of industries and in a multitude of countries. There’s the forced prostitution and trafficking of women around the world; the men forced to work in the copper, diamond and coltan mines in the Congo; and the trafficked migrant workers of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
But that’s just a fraction of the slave and indentured labor that happens all over the world, employed to create products and services we use every day. Keep reading »
Well, this is sad/infuriating: Two 15-year-old girls in Ottawa, Canada, have been charged with human trafficking after they forced several other underage girls into prostitution. The victims were between the ages of 13 and 17, and were allegedly driven to various locations by the two girls and their 17-year-old accomplice. Aside from the young age of the girls, Ottawa police say they’re shocked that the offenses occurred in a quiet, middle class neighborhood.
According to affadavits, there were no men involved in the trafficking ring. “We don’t know about any further incidents,” said Staff Sgt. John McGetrick.. “But if there are, we want women out there to know that they can some see us and we’ll work with them and help them out. We’d love to help them.”
The girls face charges of human trafficking, procuring, forcible confinement, assault, sexual assault, robbery, abduction and uttering threats. [National Post]
I can’t stop thinking about how insane it is that journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years in a North Korean labor camp for committing a still undefined crime. President Obama has promised to stop at nothing to get them released, but still—if I ever took my freedom for granted, I won’t anymore. What did these women do? Did they cross the Chinese border into North Korea illegally? Were they being used as bargaining chips in a U.N. debate? All we know is that they were chasing a human rights story for Current TV. Now the details of the story they were tracking are finally starting to emerge.
Keep reading »