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Cassandra Clifford
Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Monday, October 29, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

National Human Trafficking Hotline Bill Passed 
Great news everyone! The Human Trafficking Hotline Act has passed the PA legislature. It is now on to the Governor's Office for final approval. Once the Governor signs the legislation, it will take effect in 60 days. House Bill 235 was introduced by Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks) as a companion bill to Leach's Senate Bill 338. The bills would require the Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number to be placed prominently in certain establishments and locations in an effort to curb the incidence of human trafficking in Pennsylvania and help victims. You can view the Press Release here: SB 338 Press Release

Shrimp Exports to West tied to bonded labor
In the third chapter of Siddarth Kara's new book on bonded labour, she explores the shrimp industry of Bangladesh. Chingri (shrimp) harvesting provides a highly illustrative case study of the very powerful ways in which environmental change can directly contribute to human trafficking, debt bondage, and forced labor exploitation, especially in the far reaches of the developing world. Each of the stages of Bangladesh's shrimp industry supply chain is tainted by some form of severe labor exploitation.

Increase in Teen Sex Trafficking in DC
If you think human trafficking is something that happens only in other countries, think again. It's happening to girls as you as 12 years old right here in the area of the Nation's capital. FAIR Girls is a non-profit organization that helps victims of human trafficking to survive. Asia Graves of Northwest DC works for the organization, speaking out in high schools and telling her story. At age 16, she was bought, beaten, raped, choked and sold again. She's 24 today, a college student, an advocate and a true inspiration. But her path wasn't easy. This college student, and now-women's right advocate has scars you can see, and many you can't. She says her hell started when she ran from her drug-addicted mom and alcoholic dad, "The support I found was from young men as well as men who were actually pimps who told me they loved me. They were the father figure that I never had," she said.

Forced Migration in the 21st Century: Urbanised and Unending
More than 70 million people have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict, political upheaval and disasters, as well as by climate change and development projects, and are now living as migrants, the International Red Cross said on Tuesday. The World Disasters Report 2012 said most forced migrants are displaced for the long term or are  permanently dispossessed, requiring governments and humanitarian agencies to adopt more flexible approaches to migrant and integration. The cost to the international community of forced migration is at least $8bn (£4.9bn) a year, according to the report.

New Human Trafficking Law to Make Prosecutions in Scotland Easier
It is hoped that the statutory aggravation legislation will make it easier to prosecute the perpetrators. The move was one of a series of measures agreed at a summit on human trafficking held in Edinburgh. The meeting came on the day it was revealed there were 93 suspected victims of the crime in Scotland last year. The inter-departmental ministerial group also showed the majority of trafficking victims north of the border came from Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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