Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

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Exploitation of Aboriginals



Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 23 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Faced with extreme poverty, many citizens were economic migrants, and some were victimized by traffickers as they moved from rural areas to cities and then abroad. Women and children, particularly from indigenous ethnic groups in the Altiplano region, were at greater risk of being trafficked. Children were trafficked within the country to work in prostitution, mines, domestic servitude, and agriculture, particularly harvesting sugar cane and Brazil nuts. Weak controls along its extensive five borders made the country an easy transit point for illegal migrants, some of whom may have been trafficked. Commercial sexual exploitation of children also remained a problem.

While there were reports that some adolescents were sold into forced labor, it appeared that most victims initially were willing economic migrants who were duped or later coerced into accepting jobs that turned out to be forced labor.




"Foreigners in Our Own Country": Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Amnesty International, Index Number: AMR 19/002/2005, Date Published: 28 March 2005

[accessed 24 February 2015]

1. INTRODUCTION - Amnesty International has documented and campaigned against human rights violations committed against indigenous peoples in Brazil, their leaders and those who defend them, for many years. In 2005, Indians(1) continue to be victims of attacks, killings and other forms of violence and discrimination, often committed with impunity.

4. IMPUNITY AND INSECURITY - Impunity for human rights violations in Brazil is pervasive and persistent. This is very often the case with regard to the killings of Brazilian Indians. An attack on indigenous peoples by settlers that caused particular national and international outrage was the Tikuna massacre, which took place in 1988. Shrouded in impunity for many years, there were hopes that justice had been served with the sentencing of the 14 men believed responsible in 2001. They were convicted on a charge of genocide, only the third such conviction in Brazilian legal history. However, a recent ruling overturned the sentence of and acquitted the man convicted of ordering the killings, and reduced the sentence of all others involved.




Solar Health Clinics in Burma

Geoffrey Schöning, SEI Newsletter Issue 17 - May 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

BACKGROUND - The Eastern area of Burma (often referred to as Myanmar), along the border with Thailand is a zone that has been under siege for the past several decades. The Burmese military have been constantly oppressing the indigenous peoples of this area, burning villages and crops, forcing men and women into slavery, raping, and killing.

In the past, it was possible to escape to refugee camps within the Thai border, and currently there is a string of refugee camps along the border with Thailand, the largest of which houses 45,000 people. However, political developments between Burma and Thailand have made it increasingly difficult to come to Thailand. Consequently, about 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in hiding surrounded by landmines without health care and permanent shelter




Aboriginal women fair game for predators amid public indifference

Jim Bronskill and Sue Bailey, The Brooks Bulletin, Ottawa, 18 Sep 2005

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Untold scores of society's most vulnerable members - young native women - have gone missing across the country only to be forsaken by a jaded justice system and neglectful media. The death and disappearance of aboriginal women has emerged as an alarming nationwide pattern, from western serial murders to little-known Atlantic vanishings. Grim statistics and anecdotal evidence compiled by The Canadian Press suggest public apathy has allowed predators to stalk native victims with near impunity.




Crime & Society -  Comparative Criminology tour of the World - Central African Republic

Dr. Robert Winslow, San Diego State University, A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World

[accessed 28 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - The indigenous Ba'Aka often are coerced into agricultural, domestic, and other types of labor within the country. The Ba'Aka often are considered to be the slaves of other local ethnic groups, and subjected to wages far below those prescribed by the labor code. Additionally there have been credible reports of three cases in which persons obtained a Ba'Aka child by deception and subsequently sent the child to Europe for adoption. One of the cases reportedly involved the implicit cooperation of government authorities.




U.N. Official Says Indigenous Face Extinction [Regarding Conditions in Colombia]

Stacey Hunt, 2004 Colombia Week, 2004-03-22

[accessed 30 January 2011]

Colombian indigenous communities are in danger of extinction as paramilitaries and guerrillas target them for massacre, torture, displacement, rape and forced recruitment, a U.N. official said March 16.

One group, the Kankuamos of northern Colombia's Sierra Nevada Mountains, has lost more than 200 members to killings since 1986, said Stavenhagen, a Mexican. Ten Kankuamos have been murdered since an October demand by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights that the Colombian government adopt measures to prevent the group's genocide, he added.

While indigenous peoples constitute only 2 percent of Colombia's 44 million inhabitants, their traditional territories cover 30 percent of the country.  Paramilitaries, guerrilla groups and government forces fight to control rural land and people for a variety of reasons, including drug cultivation, forced conscription and land grabs.



Congo DRC

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [DOC]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 2006$FILE/G0644909.doc

[accessed 27 February 2011]

[79] While noting with appreciation the ratification by the State party of relevant ILO Conventions, as well as the adoption of an appropriate legislative framework, the Committee is concerned at the lack of data on the issue of economic exploitation of children. The Committee is also concerned at information according to which children, in particular indigenous children, are exploited economically. Finally, the Committee is concerned at reports that children, in particular from the Democratic Republic of Congo and indigenous children, are recruited to clean sewers and latrines manually, which is extremely hazardous to their health.



Congo ROC

Congo ‘pygmies’ suffer daily atrocities

Roch Eulonge N'zobo, Roger Bouka Owoko & Alain Oyandzi, “The Situation of the Pygmies in the Republic of Congo”, Congolese Observatory of Human Rights OCDH and the Rainforest Foundation, 2004

[accessed 4 September 2011]

The Rainforest Foundation is urgently calling for justice, and recognition of the rights of the 'Pygmy' people, with the release of a report exposing alarming human rights violations suffered by 'Pygmies' in the Republic of Congo.

Beatings, rape, 'slavery' and discrimination were documented in the report based on investigations by our partners, the Congolese Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH). The report, published by the Rainforest Foundation, reveals cases of collective rapes, police brutality, and appalling health, housing and education systems. Very few 'Pygmies' have basic civil rights and most lack national identity cards.



Costa Rica

Child Trafficking Network Arrested in Costa Rica

Claire Saylor, Costa Rica News, March 4th, 2008

[accessed 30 January 2011]

The judge was said to be facilitating the sale of the minors who were obtained either illegally or purchased from poor and indigenous families who did not want the children for around $50 each, for a portion of the profits. They then sold the children for an estimated $10,000. The group would contact pregnant women in free clinics who could not afford the children and then have them put up for adoption.




The Protection Project - Ecuador [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Ecuadorians have been trafficked into the sex industry in Venezuela. Most Ecuadoran children trafficked into Venezuela come from the provinces of Chimborazo and Canar in the Andean region, a predominately indigenous area.  Children from Ecuador who are either sold by their parents or lured by false employment opportunities are trafficked for work in domestic service or prostitution in Venezuela.




Trafficking in Persons: USAID’s Response [PDF]

United States International Development Agency USAID, March 2006

[accessed 15 August 2012]

[page 25] GUYANA: SHELTER FOR TRAFFICKING VICTIMS, TRAINING POLICE AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS, AND RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS - Much of the trafficking in Guyana involves AmerIndian girls and takes place from hinterland communities to transportation and commercial nodes in coastal and hinterland areas for prostitution and involuntary domestic servitude. Girls are duped into prostitution with promises of employment as waitresses and bar attendants at coastal establishments and in gold and diamond mining areas; young men are exploited under forced labor conditions in timber camps.



India, Nepal & Pakistan

The Enslavement Of Dalit And Indigenous Communities In India, Nepal And Pakistan Through Debt Bondage [PDF]

UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, February 2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 September 2011]

[accessed 6 March 2018]

SUMMARY - This paper describes the gross and continuing violation of the rights of millions of people in India, Pakistan and Nepal, who are trapped in debt bondage and forced to work to repay loans. Their designation as persons belonging outside the Hindu caste system is a major determining factor of their enslavement. Evidence from all three countries shows that the vast majority (80%-98%) of bonded labourers are from communities designated as “untouchable”, to whom certain occupations are assigned, or from indigenous communities. In the same way that caste status is inherited, so debts are passed on to the succeeding generations.




The Promised Land

Ira Berlin, The New York Times, May 02, 2004 -- Review of the book, MISSISSIPPI IN AFRICA by Alan Huffman

[accessed 8 September 2011]

Of the many tragedies set in motion by the enslavement of African people in the United States, few are more sorrowful than the history of Liberia.

Rather than ending slavery, Liberia became both a place of enslavement and a host to other forms of coerced labor that differed from slavery in name only. The immigrants and their offspring mercilessly exploited the indigenous African population.


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