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Monday, October 22, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Beedi industry's child workers trapped in economic slavery
Each day, between 10 and 14 hours, Indian women and children roll at least 1,000 beedis- for less than $2. Beedis, traditional hand-rolled Indian cigarettes, make nearly half of India's entire tobacco market and while the manufacturers make billions of dollars, the millions of workers are trapped in economic slavery.  A study estimated over 1.7 million children working in the industry and it is usually the only way to keep food on the table.  "The pressure to keep up with the speed and meet the target is so intense that many skip their meals and even avoiding drinking water so they do not need to go to the toilet," says Shanu, a community volunteer. The situation of the beedi workers involves violations of their fundamental right sand freedoms.

Life gets strange hunting traffickers in the US
CNN Freedom Project is reporting on the fight against sex trafficking- not in the developing world, but in the affluent Orange County near Los Angeles.  Undercover cops are working to earn the trust and confidence of  girls forced into prostitution, a new attitude of law enforcement that prostitutes are victims, controlled and manipulated by their pimps.  The police set up sting operations to capture these pimps, but even with months of surveillance, it can be difficult to get charges to stick.  Despite the frustration, the women are offered shelter, protection and a chance to start anew.

Canadian teen girls charged with human trafficking
Two girls have been charged with human trafficking and a third teenager is still at large for alleged pimping.  Three separate incidents were identified where three female victims were lured to a housing complex in Ottawa through social media and then forced to other locations for prostitution purposes.  Staff Sgt. John McGetrick said that the meetings were supposed to be an "enjoyable activity", like a hang out.  "There was no ill-intention in the invite."  Police believe that there were no adults involved in the operation and the police are now looking for the johns that sexually engaged with the victims.

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