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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Minister broaches decriminalizing sex work
The Trafficking in Persons Prevention Committee of Antigua was challenged this past week by Minister of National Security, Dr. Errol Cort, to "think outside the box."  He asked them to do so by considering the prospect of decriminalizing sex work in Antigua and Barbuda.  Cort used the Sweden Model as back up to this brainstorm.  President of Woman Against Rape (WAR), Alexandria Wong, was also in favor of the board discussing this option.  "The suggestion should not be thrown out.  It should be given  a lot of consideration as we go forward in the process."

'Summer Brides': Under-age daughters sold as sex slaves in Egypt
According to the newly released Trafficking in Persons Report, wealthy Arab tourists are paying paying money to purchase under-age Egyptian girls as "summer brides".  These marriages are not legal and are often set up by the girl's parents for supplemental income.  The marriage ends when the man decides to return home to their families.  A bride can cost  anywhere from $459 to $4,950 and the girls can be used as both servants and sex slaves by their "husbands".  Dr. Hoda Badran, chairman of the NGO Alliance for Arab Woman, explains that it's mostly poverty that drives families to sell their daughters.  "You can imagine how poor they are."

Google search for human traffickers, drug cartels
For the past few months Google has been using its resources and capabilities to catch criminals.  As drug cartels, money launderers and human traffickers set up their businesses online, Google Ideas has been working with the Council on Foreign Relations to search for ways to break up these international crime rings.    "Google is in a great position to take these on, says Rani Hong, a survivor and adviser to the United Nations.  Officials are meeting this week for a summit in California to develop strategy.

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