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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Timor-Leste: Trafficked people left unsupported
According to the Alola Foundation, a Timorese NGO focusing on women's issues and prevention of trafficking, lack of funding in Timor-Leste for trafficking victims is taking its toll.  "Even if someone was referred to us, we wouldn't have a designated place to put them now, says Susan Kendall, an international mentor at PRADET, a local NGO providing psychosocial support to victims.  The most recent US State Department Trafficking in Persons report notes that Indonesian and Chinese women are often forced to become commercial sex workers, while Camodian and Burmese men and boys are forced into labor or onto fishing boats.  The border authorities lack resources and the system of identifying victims have broken down, leaving trafficked persons vulnerable.  A draft law on trafficking still needs three ministers to sign off on it before it can go to Parliament for approval.

Long Beach man charged with running sex trafficking ring
Roshaun, aka "Kevin", Nakia Porter, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of forced labor and two counts of sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion.  The victims allege that Porter placed personal ads on craigeslist.com and seekingarrangments.com, but once a relationship was established he forced them to work as prostitutes.  The federal complaint adds that he kept control of the women by using physical violence and threatening them and their families.  If convicted on all counts, Porter will face life in federal prison.  The trial date is set for June 19.

Nigerians Become Most Trafficked into Italy's Sex Trade
Although Nigerian women and girls have been trafficked into Italy since the 1980s, the United Nations now estimates that between 8,000 and 10,000 are forced into the country's street prostitution trade every year.  Like other countries, these women are promised decent jobs and better wages, but what makes Nigeria unique is the trafficker's use of juju, or black magic, to cement the trafficker's agreement.  The traffickers make the girls go through a ritual where they swear to reimburse their sponsors for the trip.  Most of the victims are so terrified of the juju that they will not attempt to escape and they end up promising to repay up to $78,000.  This can translate into 10 customers a day.

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