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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Feds dismiss largest US human trafficking case
Last Friday a federal judge dismissed human trafficking charges against executives and associates of Global Horizons Manpower Inc., a labor recruiting company.  The firm was accused of exploiting 600 of workers from Thailand through debt, confiscating passports and threats of deportation.  The case was dropped after it was made clear to prosecutors that they could not prove the charges "beyond a reasonable doubt."  Even Global Horizons attorney, Michael Green, stated that it was "very unusual" to dismiss a case with no intention of bringing it back.

Spotlight on human trafficking in Pennsylvania
A recent study released last month by a research agency has prompted an effort to legally define human trafficking in a broader sense in Pennsylvania.  The state has been known as a "transportation hub", but the study shows that it is also a source and destination for victims of trafficking.  Human trafficking was made a felony in 2006, but there is no clear distinction between labor and sex trafficking and victims are still treated as criminals.  The study confess that "while the crime...is not in its infancy, combating [it] at the state level is new."

Teen's brothel escape triggers Mexico clampdown
Only 14 years old, two cousins were abducted while waiting for their evening bus home and then sold to a pimp who forced them into prostitution.  These girls were beaten, raped, forced alcohol and drugs.  They were witness to terrible crimes, including the induction of an eight year old into their world.  After finally escaping, these girls' stories have resulted in the State's Attorney Office closing down 600 establishments and making human trafficking a federal crime, punishable up to 40 years in prison.

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