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Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Monday, July 22, 2013

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Andrea was 14 years old the first time a voice over the Internet told her to take off her clothes.
"I was so embarrassed because I don't want others to see my private parts," she said. "The customer told me to remove my blouse and to show him my breasts."  Andrea, which is not her real name, said she had been lured away from her rural, mountain village in the Philippines by a cousin who said he would give her a well-paid job as a babysitter in the city. She thought she was leaving her impoverished life for an opportunity to earn money to finish high school. Instead, she became another victim caught up in the newest but no less sinister world of sexual exploitation; cyber-sex trafficking. Read More

Fighting Forced Labor Helps Women Beat Poverty.
Across the planet, about one in every seven of us lives in extreme poverty, having to survive on less than $1.25 a day. Every day, they and the millions more living just above the poverty line struggle to have enough to eat, and dream of a better life and of earning enough to provide for their families.  Geeta Devi was one of these people. The 32 year-old mother of two from Nepal had been struggling to support her children and, like millions before her, made the difficult decision to leave her family behind in search of better work. Geeta, whose real name is being withheld to protect her safety, left her home believing she had secured a job through a local recruitment agency to work in a hospital in Lebanon. Read More

 Forced Labor Accounts for Thousands Missing in Mexico’s Drug War 
A recent report indicates that civilians caught in the crossfire between drug cartels and the Mexican government may be also serving as human chattel, forced to perform labor in gang-run camps. The Spanish-language magazine Proceso features interviews with victims’ relatives and members of civil society, all of whom tell of a vast system of forced labor throughout Mexico. These laborers are counted among the 26,000 “disappeared” in Mexico. Civil society groups tell of some of these captives being alive but forced to perform “jobs” on behalf of the cartels. These can include “forced killings, preparing marijuana, constructing tunnels, cleaning safe houses, preparing food, installing communications equipment, and acting as lookouts or sex slaves.” The idea of cartels kidnapping individuals to perform specialized tasks is also well-documented, lending credibility to Procesco’s report. InSight Crime notes, however, that some of the claims Proceso make could still be inflated. Read more here.

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