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Monday, August 5, 2013

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Former Child Trafficking Victim Now Mentors Others
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines. Sheila White grew up in a troubled home. She was abused and ended up in foster care as a teenager. Not long after that, feeling low and confused, she met a man who soon became her pimp. During the years she was forced into sex work, White was exposed to extreme violence. But, she explains, some victims have a hard time leaving their exploiters. Read More

Human trafficking: Suburbs' dirty little secret
While other 7-year-olds were playing with dolls and going to summer camp, Amy was being prostituted on the streets of Texas, Virginia, and Oregon. By her grandfather. "It's happening right under everyone's nose," said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. The scale of the problem is huge - and it's not just a big-city problem. Unlike cities, where trafficked girls often are visibly on the streets working as prostitutes, in the suburbs, the problem is more discreet, said Kate Keisel, director of the national nonprofit Polaris Project's program in New Jersey. Trafficked women in suburbia are offered up for sex in ads on Internet sites. They often work in brothels advertised as "massage parlors." Read More

New French Laws Bans Mondern Slavery
France has recognized modern-day slavery as a new crime punishable by up to 30 years in jail. Previously courts were only able to convict suspects on other charges, such as taking advantage of vulnerable people, that carry lighter sentences. The bill, unanimously adopted by France's upper house, the Senate, on Thursday, means that anyone holding people against their will and making them work for free, will face between seven and 30 years in prison. Almost 21 million people around the world are currently victims of forced labor, according to the International Labor Organisation. French anti-slavery campaigners receive more than 200 reports of enslavement per year but believe that it is much more widespread, because it happens in private, often within families. Read More.

Modern-day slavery: Mira's story
Last week marked a key date in the history of slavery. The full emancipation of all slaves was legally granted on August 1, 1838, with the abolition of the apprenticeship system, which replaced slavery. The apprenticeship system meant slaves still had to work for their previous masters for a very low wage. Although full emancipation was granted 175 years ago, slavery isn't an issue just confined to the past. Certain characteristics distinguish slavery from other types of human rights violations, according to the Anti-Slavery human rights organisation. A slave is forced to work through mental or physical threat and is owned or controlled by an employer - usually through mental, physical or threatened abuse. They could be dehumanized treated as a commodity, physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.  Read More.

Human smuggling - modern day slavery
Human trafficking is a horrific crime that subjects its victims to modern day slavery – forced labor – for little or no pay. According to the U.S. State Department, as many as 27 million men, women and children worldwide remain trapped as slaves by traffickers who strip away their dignity and basic human rights by preying on their vulnerabilities and exploiting them for involuntary labor and compulsory prostitution services. This horrendous crime touches victims across the globe – and right here in Texas. Read More.

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