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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Afghanistan's "dancing boys" exploitation
According to Afghan human rights researchers, the practice of wealthy Afghans exploiting underage boys as sexual partners who are often dressed up as women to dance at gatherings is on the rise.  Mirzahan, a 22-year-old farmer, purchased a 9-year-old boy because marrying a woman would have been prohibitively expensive.  Boys who are perceived as particularly beautiful can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars and can then be rented out to as dancers at male-only parties.  Once they become too old many of the boys turn to pimping or prostitution.  Wurth, a U.N. official, says she is not aware of any prosecutions in the area.  "A kid who is between sexually exploited, if he reports it, he will end up in prison."

Women enslaved by Spain's brothel tourism boom
Thirty years ago nearly all the prostitutes in Spain were Spanish and nowadays almost none are.  The networks today that bring in women to the area vary widely and are constantly changing.  Valentina, a Romanian woman, believed she was coming to work in a hotel through the help of her boyfriend.  Instead she became a prostitute on the side of the road and the man threatened her children if she did not comply.  Most of Spain's economy is struggling, but prostitution is booming.  Civil rights activists believe this is due to the change in customer: it has shifted from middle-aged men to young tourists.  Out of the 90,000 prostitutes, 90% of the them are believed to be trafficked.

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