Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

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Human Trafficking Becomes Attractive, 11 February 2005 – Source:

Click [here] to connect to the article.  Its URL is not displayed because of its length

[accessed 21 January 2011]

They said tens of thousands of women and children are trafficked out each year from Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world. Poverty provides traffickers with people who have no alternatives for survival. They trust the offers of work or marriage abroad, which promise security but lead them to slavery.




Scale of African slavery revealed

BBC News, 23 April, 2004

[accessed 23 January 2011]

COMPLICITY - Much of this trade in children often has the tacit collaboration of the victims' own families where it is seen not so much as criminal activity but as a way for a large family to boost its poor income.

The story of Joseph in Benin is fairly typical.  When he was 13 years old, a stranger arranged with his parents for him to go to neighbouring Togo for a better life.  However, he was put to work from 0500 to 2300 each day as a domestic help and was regularly beaten.  It took him three years of saving money to be able to phone home and be rescued by an uncle. Now 16 years old, he is back in school.  "I was so happy to see my little brother again when I returned home to Benin," he says.




African "slave ship" highlights spread of child slavery

Trevor Johnson, World Socialist Web Site, 19 April 2001

[accessed 23 January 2011]

Although there may be a superficial resemblance to the African slave trade of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the driving forces behind this modern form of slavery are entirely new. The roots of today's slave trade are to be discovered in the way that capitalism has developed in Africa during the last few decades.

The conditions of extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa have attracted transnational corporations (TNCs), which can profit from Africa's rich mineral resources and other primary products by exploiting the plentiful cheap labour needed to produce and process them. The TNCs are able to sell these products in Europe and America for many times more than they cost to produce.




Trafficked in China, originally from Bolivia

Oliver Poole. “Young Mother’s Dream of Fast Fortune Ended in Nightmare” South China Morning Post (11 March 1997)

[accessed 23 January 2011]

TESTIMONY OF PATRICIA - From her home in an impoverished village in rural Bolivia, the prospect of quick riches as an escort girl proved impossible to resist for 23-year-old Patricia Suarez.  A neighbor working for a Hong Kong gang suggested the trip, promising the young mother an escape from part-time work as a domestic servant that paid only US $50 (HK $387) a week.  Desperate for money, the former university student left her two-month old baby with her mother and six brothers and sisters—unaware that she was heading for a nightmare trapped in a sleazy underworld.




Child trafficking takes new forms in Southeast Asia

Rafael D. Frankel, Special to The Christian Science Monitor, Battambang Cambodia, December 12, 2001

[accessed 26 January 2011]

When he was 12, his parents in rural Cambodia sold him to a trafficker who forced him to beg on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, and the resort town Pattaya. He lived with seven other children in one room. All were Cambodian. Some were as young as six.

"The trafficker told my parents he would send them $55 a month," the boy says. "But I would earn $18 or $25 every day or night I begged."

Over the next three years, the boy escaped twice and made his way home. But the trafficker found him, repurchased him, and took him back to Thailand. The second time, his parents sold his younger brother as well.




‘Summer Brides’: Under-age daughters sold as ‘sex-slaves’ in Egypt, report claims

Al Arabiya News, 15 July 2012

[accessed 16 July 2012]

Egypt has laws in place that aim to combat human trafficking which prevent foreigners from marrying an Egyptian woman if there is more than ten years age difference, but marriage brokers have found a way around that by forging birth certificates to make the girls appear older and the men younger.  These contracts also eliminate any potential problems with hotels and land lords who may demand to see proof of marriage before allowing a couple to stay in a room together, since pre-marital sex is prohibited in Islam.

In some cases the men take the Egyptian girls back to their home country to work as maids for their first wives. But even the girls who stay in Egypt do not fare much better since they often become ostracized by society and find it difficult to re-marry in the traditional way, particularly if the “summer marriage” resulted in a child.

Many abandon the child out of shame, either to orphanages or leaving them to join the hundreds of thousands of street children that already exist in Egypt.  Dr. Hoda Badran, who chairs the NGO Alliance for Arab Women, explained to the Sunday Independent that poverty is the main factor behind this phenomenon.




Gem industry in need of regulation

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ilakaka, 17 September 2003

[accessed 19 February 2011]

One of the most disturbing aspects of Madagascar's gem industry has been the use of children to work in the mines. A report by the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), a branch of the International Labour Organisation, has warned that children as young as eight are being used in mines - because they can get into the cramped spaces in the mines more easily than an adult.

The report noted that children are often exposed to very serious dangers and can, for example, die of suffocation if the mine caves in.  Dominique Rakotomanga, who works for IPEC in the capital, Antananarivo, told IRIN: "This is a really big problem, especially in Ilakaka. We are trying to raise awareness about the problem, find alternative ways for the children to make a living, and ensure that they don't miss out on their education. But because of the poverty here and elsewhere, it is very tempting for them to work underground."




NGOs urge Moldova and Pridnestrovie to work together in fight against sex slave trade

The Tiraspol Times & Weekly Review, Chisinau, 11/Mar/2007

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

TOP EXPORT: PROSTITUTES - In Moldova, the situation is much worse. Although formerly one of the most wealthy parts of the former Soviet Union, Moldova is today officially the poorest country in Europe. With nearly total unemployment, the registered daily income of 80% of the population is below a dollar per day. This fact can explain why desperate people sell their organs for money and sex trafficking is rampant. Moldovan prostitutes are now the country’s main export.

40% of Moldova's sex slaves are kids, and both the traffickers and the involved government officials know that children are highly sought after for the sex trade.




Why Nepal's freed labourers want to return to slavery

Sanjaya Dhakal, Kathmandu, OneWorld South Asia, January 27, 2004

[accessed 9 December 2010]

"Between 15 and 20 percent of the families declared free have returned to the same old practice of slavery," says Dilli Chaudhary, president of an NGO called Backward Society Education.

Bonded labourers in Nepal are called "kamaiyas" and belong to the country's backward Tharu community. It is sheer poverty that forces the poor to borrow rice and food from their employers - generally big landlords - and get trapped in slavery.

Under the practice, once indebted, the labourer and his heirs are 'bonded' to the landlord. They had to actually reside on the landlord's property until the debt was completely repaid, which seldom happened.



North Korea

Human Trafficking Thrives Across N.Korea-China Border

The Chosun Ilbo, 03 Mar 2008

[accessed 14 December 2010]

A 26-year-old North Korean woman, Mun Yun-hee crossed the Duman (or Tumen) River into China in the dawn of Oct. 22 last year, which at that point was some 40 m wide, guided by a human trafficker. She was being sold to a single middle-aged Chinese farmer into a kind of indentured servitude-cum-companionship. Both of them wore only panties, having stored their trousers and shoes in bags, because if you are found wearing wet clothes across the river deep at night, it is a dead giveaway that you are a North Korean refugee.

Mun was led to a hideout, and the agent left. Asked why she crossed the river, she replied, "My father starved to death late in the 1990s, and my mother is blind from hunger." Her family owed 300 kg of corns, beans and rice and sold herself for the sake of her blind mother and a younger brother. The middleman paid her 350 yuan, or W46,000 (US$1=W939), equivalent to half of the grain debt.



Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands

Delegates agree to strengthen efforts to reduce demand for Commerical Sexual Exploitation Of Children

Joint Media Release: ECPAT International, UNESCAP, UNICEF, 11 November 2004, Bangkok

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

[accessed 10 September 2011]

In the Pacific Islands, ongoing research is revealing growing problems of commercial sexual exploitation. In the Solomon Islands, for example, girls are still forced into early marriages and recent violence has led to a surge in child rapes and in boys and girls being forced into prostitution for economic survival. Child marriage is also a major problem in Papua New Guinea, and is a basis of demand for internal trafficking of children.




SUMMARY - Extreme underdevelopment

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Somalia 2004 Appeal

[accessed 23 December 2010]

Somalis still face extreme poverty and underdevelopment. They consistently rank among the lowest in the world on key indicators of human development, life expectancy, per capita income, malnutrition and infant mortality.

Somalis also suffer widespread human rights violations, including: murder, rape, looting and destruction of property, child soldiering, kidnapping, discrimination against minorities, torture, female genital mutilation, unlawful arrest and detention, and denial of due process.




Human Trafficking: Greed and the Trail of Death

The Independent, 5/25/2006

[accessed 23 December 2010]

The human trafficking trade out of Somalia is now one of the busiest, most lucrative and the most lethal in the world. The ferocious violence and anarchy in the region has kept the scale of profits and misery the most hidden from outside eyes.

Dozens corpses are found floating in the Arabian Sea every month, often with gunshot wounds, often with hands tied behind their back - victims of traffickers who have jettisoned their cargo in the most final way.




Iraqi children forced into prostitution in Syria

Business Travellers against Human Trafficking, Global news on human trafficking, 6/24/2005

[accessed 28 December 2010]

[accessed 11 September 2014]

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There is growing evidence of Iraqi children being used as prostitutes in Syria. It is estimated that there are around 700,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria, many of whom are struggling in situations of poverty. Cases are emerging of families sending their teenage daughters to work as prostitutes, in order to survive.  Abdelhamid El Ouali, the representative for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Damascus said “”It’s a serious problem because there are young girls doing this — 11, 12, 13 years old,” There is little or no discussion of this in Syria, and the government does not release figures on prostitution.




Prostitution on the rise

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ankara, 5 September 2005

[accessed 8 March 2015]

There is an unprecedented situation in Turkmenistan when [some] husbands, fathers and brothers push their wives, daughters and sisters into illegal ways, including prostitution, because they don't have a job and means to get by,

Even more disturbing, the report alleged that parents had taken to selling their daughters and setting up brothels in their homes in this otherwise traditional society.




Tanya: It’s Better to Die of AIDS Than Hunger

Stanley Karombo, New Internationalist Magazine, Issue 377, April 1, 2005

[accessed 17 January 2011]

‘Soon after the death of my father I was evicted from the house where my parents lodged in Mbare.  I went to stay with my grandmother who lives in Mabvuku.  There were 10 of us children staying there and we had all been left by deceased relatives.  Life was difficult because, being an old woman, my grandmother had no means of sustaining herself and all of us at the same time.’

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