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Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Slavery News Round-up

Europe cycle raises awareness of human trafficking A team of passionate anti-trafficking campaigners has just returned from an 11-day cycle that took in some of Europe's human trafficking routes. The Freedom Challenge cycle started on October 6 in Sofia, Bulgaria and took in 10 countries, finishing on Wednesday afternoon in Westminster. The purpose of the cycle was to raise money and awareness for the A21 campaign against human trafficking ahead of anti-slavery day today. The cyclists hope to raise 210,000 euros for A21 shelters and victim assistance programs.

Human trafficking an American problem, experts say at forum Wednesday
The average American is largely unaware of how prevalent human trafficking is across the country, trafficking experts said Wednesday. “Often people think it’s an international issue, but primarily it’s a much bigger issue here in America,” said Jaime Meyers, managing director of Children at Risk. Undercover Dallas police officers pose as buyers online to target trafficking sales online. The program, called “Operation Brick and Mortar,” rescued six children from June of last year to August, said Lt. Alfred Diorio of the Dallas Police Department’s High Risk Victims and Trafficking Unit. The unit has made 118 arrests in the past year, many of which resulted in “significant sentencing” for the perpetrator, Diorio said.

 Maine efforts to combat human trafficking get federal funding
Advocates for homeless teenagers and young people with disabilities in southern Maine say a $400,000 federal grant will help dedicate resources for young people who have been coerced into trading sex for money or a place to sleep. The two-year grant from the Department of Justice to Preble Street allocates funds directly to help victims of human trafficking. The social services agency in Portland, which also operates a teen center, will administer the money to agencies in Cumberland and York counties. The money will also be used for health and mental health programs for victims, for legal assistance to vulnerable immigrants, and for protective orders.

Palawan intensifies campaign against human trafficking
In an effort to intensify campaign against trafficking in persons in Palawan, the provincial government spearheaded the holding of a seminar-workshop attended by members of the provincial Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).The two-day activity discussed salient features of Republic Act No. 9208 or “Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act” and the recent Republic Act No. 10364 or the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012,” which was enacted for a stronger anti-human trafficking measure. Under the RA 10364, disclosure of the identities and circumstances of human trafficking offenders is already allowed. It also looked at the present situation of trafficking in persons in the national level and to zero in on the provincial situation. Palawan and Puerto Princesa City have had human trafficking cases particularly in southern Palawan taking the so-called “backdoor” to Malaysia.

Thailand must do more to end human trafficking
According to humantrafficking.org, Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking: ‘It is a destination-side hub of exploitation in the Greater Mekong sub-region, for both sex and labor exploitation.’ The majority of Thai trafficking victims are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bahrain and China, for both sexual and labor exploitation. It also said that the Mekong region, compared to many other parts of the world, contains very diverse patterns of human trafficking – internal and cross-border; highly organized or small-scale; sex and labour, through both formal and informal recruitment mechanisms.

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