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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

U.N.: 2.4 million human trafficking victims
The U.N. crime-fighting office said Tuesday that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time.  Statistics show that 80% of these victims are sexual slaves and 2 out of every 3 are women.  Further, only 1 out of 100 victims of trafficking are rescued, says Yuri Fedotov, head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.  Trafficking is second only to the illegal drug trade in profitability and there is a lack in strong legislation and police training to combat it.  M. Cherif Bassiouni, an emeritus law professor at DePaul University in Chicago urged the general assembly to reassess "who is a victim and who is a criminal."

Missing children raise trafficking concerns
At least 182 Indonesian children, ages 0 to 12, were reported missing by their parents in 2011, says Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the National Commission on Child Protection.  Thirty nine of these children were stolen from maternity clinics and Sirait suspects they are being used by a human trafficking network for illegal adoption, commercial sexual exploitation, drug trafficking and domestic and international labor.  Police have a difficult time investigating these networks because ringleaders promise better facilities and and more money if victims recruit more people.  As of right now, less than 1% of cases are being brought to court.

Feds charge Chicago man with trafficking minors for sex
Carl Brandon Smith, also known as "Moo", was arrested last week for trafficking minors for sex.  His allegations include bringing one of the minors from Wisconsin in order to force her into prostitution.  These charges are a result of the combined work of the FBI and the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force as federal authorities look to ramp up their prosecutions of sex trafficking cases.  Charges say Smith forced two minors into the commercial sex trade, as well as two women older than 18 into prostitution and he could receive anywhere from 10 years to maximum life behind bars for each of the counts he is facing.

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