Torture in  [USA]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [USA]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [USA]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [USA]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                       gvnet.com/humantrafficking/USA.htm

The United States of America (USA)

The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $48,000. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace.

The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: USA

Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households.

Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that 50,000 people are trafficked into or transited through the U.S.A. annually as sex slaves, domestics, garment, and agricultural slaves.

The United States is a destination country for thousands of men, women, and children trafficked largely from Mexico and East Asia, as well as countries in South Asia, Central America, Africa, and Europe, for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Three-quarters of all foreign adult victims identified during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 were victims of trafficking for forced labor. Some trafficking victims, responding to fraudulent offers of employment in the United States, migrate willingly—legally and illegally—and are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude or debt bondage at work sites or in commercial sex. An unknown number of American citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country, primarily for sexual servitude.

The U.S. Government (USG) in 2008 continued to advance the goal of eradicating human trafficking in the United States. This coordinated effort includes several federal agencies and approximately $23 million in FY 2008 for domestic programs to boost anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, identify and protect victims of trafficking, and raise awareness of trafficking as a means of preventing new incidents. – Adapted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [more]

 

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the USA.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Anti-Human Trafficking Resources - 888-3737-888

Homeland Security

www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1265647798662.shtm

[accessed 8 January 2011]

VICTIMS - If you are a victim, or believe you might be a victim, of human trafficking, seek help. The toll-free National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline is available to answer calls in over 170 languages from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Call for help. Call with questions - Any time - Any language - 888-3737-888

Call 911 if you are experiencing an emergency

Gov't Effort to Stem Human Trafficking Helps Very Few

Editor Pueng Vongs, a journalism fellow in Child and Family Policy of the University of Maryland-Foundation for Child Development, Commentary, Pacific News Service PNS, Dec 16, 2004

news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=df2c06061d2a7eacf62138f61492e80f

[accessed 26 August 2011]

But what the ads don't mention is, in order to take advantage of these benefits, victims must first agree to cooperate in the criminal Investigations of their abusers. This is not a viable option for most.  Those who cooperate may face retaliation from their exploiters or risk harm to their loved ones in their homelands. For example, a Thai domestic worker who has agreed to testify against her abuser may want to bring her two children from Thailand to safety before the abuser is released from jail. He often threatened to have them killed if she were to ever seek help.  Victims who come forward must also go through the arduous task of proving themselves survivors of "a severe form of trafficking." And they must demonstrate they would face extreme hardship if returned to their home country.

Feds charge three Kansas City-area companies with labor trafficking

Kansas City Business Journal, May 27, 2009

www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2009/05/25/daily15.html

[accessed 8 January 2011]

“This RICO indictment alleges an extensive and profitable criminal enterprise in which hundreds of illegal aliens were employed at hotels and other businesses across the country,” Whitworth said in the release. “The defendants allegedly used false information to acquire fraudulent work visas for these foreign nationals. Many of their employees were allegedly victims of human trafficking who were coerced to work in violation of the terms of their visa without proper pay and under the threat of deportation. The defendants also required them to reside together in crowded, substandard and overpriced apartments.”   Many of the workers were employed at hotels in the Kansas City area and in Branson, Mo., Whitworth said.

Child maids now being exported to US

Associated Press AP, Dec-28-2008

www.zimbio.com/AP+News/articles/7537/Child+maids+now+being+exported

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Shyima was 10 when a wealthy Egyptian couple brought her from a poor village in northern Egypt to work in their California home. She awoke before dawn and often worked past midnight to iron their clothes, mop the marble floors and dust the family's crystal. She earned $45 a month working up to 20 hours a day. She had no breaks during the day and no days off.

Once behind the walls of gated communities like this one, these children never go to school. Unbeknownst to their neighbors, they live as modern-day slaves, just like Shyima, whose story is pieced together through court records, police transcripts and interviews.

Shyima cried when she found out she was going to America in 2000. Her father, a bricklayer, had fallen ill a few years earlier, so her mother found a maid recruiter, signed a contract effectively leasing her daughter to the couple for 10 years and told Shyima to be strong.

She arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 3, 2000, according to court documents. The family brought her back to their spacious five-bedroom, two-story home, decorated in the style of a Tuscan villa with a fountain of two angels spouting water through a conch. She was told to sleep in the garage.   It had no windows and was neither heated nor air-conditioned. Soon after she arrived, the garage's only light bulb went out. The Ibrahims didn't replace it. From then on, Shyima lived in the dark.   She was told to call them Madame Amal and Hajj Nasser, terms of respect. They called her "shaghala," or servant. Their five children called her "stupid."

Young workers in the oldest profession - Clark County girls make up a third of the underage sex workers in Portland

Isolde Raftery, The Columbian, December 6, 2008

-- Source: www.columbian.com/article/20081207/NEWS02/712079963

genderberg.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3628

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Sarah was 16 and addicted to crack cocaine when she heard there was easy money to make in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant off Fourth Plain Boulevard.   “I went there to pick up guys,” Sarah, 22, said. “They would buy me what I wanted as long as I had sex with them.”   After working for a year in Vancouver, Sarah ventured to Portland. Willowy, her greasy blond hair pulled tight into a bun, she looks exhausted.   “I got here on Sandy and 82nd, and this guy, D.C., asked me if I wanted to get high,” she said one morning last summer, sitting on a curb in northeast Portland. “Then he told me I owed him money and to go get money.”   Sarah was trapped. She’d fallen prey to a pimp’s come-on and become one of the 20 to 30 juveniles Portland police say work the streets at any given time. Like more than a third of those girls, she is from Vancouver. And like many of them, she remains beyond the reach of police efforts to separate her from her pimp. It’s been six years, and Sarah is still on the streets.

‘SNITCHES DIE, YOU KNOW’ - “I can cite case after case of girls coming from average families, and once the pimp was able to intervene, the family didn’t matter anymore,” Dick said. “I know of officers’ daughters who got into it, a federal prosecutor’s daughter, a DA’s daughter, a politician’s daughter.”   Cherise was a rebellious 15-year-old when she met her first pimp, Deandre Green, at Lloyd Center in Portland. Green was a 25-year-old Bloods gang member from Aloha, Ore.   He sweet-talked her to a nondescript, two-story motel and told her the rules: This is business, don’t be out of pocket, respect your pimp and give me all your money.   According to court documents, when Cherise said she had second thoughts, Green said, “I know where you live and where your family lives. I will kill you and your family if you say anything to anybody. You’re mine now.”

Human trafficking cases increase in El Paso

Louie Gilot, Libertas, November 12, 2006

libertasuiuc.blogspot.com/2006/11/human-trafficking-cases-increase-in-el_12.html

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Gardes showed the photograph of a field worker standing on top of a large farm truck -- a scene common across the Southwest. His name is Ricardo, she said. He was smuggled across the border in Arizona and abandoned in the desert for eight days with only three days' worth of food and water. He was found by another smuggler who offered to guide him, for a fee. When Ricardo couldn't pay, the smuggler sold him to a Florida labor contractor for $1,100.  This became Ricardo's debt. He worked in a field for $80 a week to repay it. At the same time, his trafficker overcharged him for rent and other necessities. Gardes said he was never meant to be able to repay the debt.  One day, another trafficking victim escaped, was recaptured and was beaten in front of Ricardo and the others. "At this point, Ricardo realized this was really slavery," Gardes said.

Sexual Slavery in Southern California Today?  Epidemic, say officials

C.S.I. , February 9, 2004 -- Source: www.scientology.org/news-media/news/2004/040209.html

groups.yahoo.com/group/Shetubondhon/message/7981?l=1

[accessed 8 January 2011]

She was a teenage girl from an impoverished village in Bangladesh. The American couple offered her transport to America and a better life: a nice job as their nanny and housekeeper, wages and opportunity. The dream offer dissolved into a nightmare as soon as she reached sunny Southern California. The couple informed her she owed them a huge sum for bringing her into the country and forced her to work without wages for years in their home, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten by the husband and abused by the wife. After three failed attempts, and with the help of good Samaritans, she finally escaped.

Runaway raped, held as sex slave

Judi Villa and Lindsey Collom, The Arizona Republic, Nov. 9, 2005

www.operationlookout.org/Lookout_Magazine/2005/11/runaway-raped-held-as-sex-slave/

[accessed 13 June 2013]

Since September, the 15-year-old girl had been raped repeatedly, threatened with death and sold for sex over the Internet, police said.  Her captors hid the runaway in a hollowed-out box spring covered with a piece of wood and tucked underneath a bed in a small apartment complex adjacent to Interstate 17 in west Phoenix.

The (ongoing) San Diego, California Child Mass Sexual Slavery Scandal

LibertadLatina, July 31, 2009

www.libertadlatina.org/LatAm_US_San_Diego_Crisis_Index.htm

[accessed 8 January 2011]

The articles here below describe one of the largest known child and youth sex trafficking cases in the United States to date.  In one of several related cases, hundreds of Mexican girls between 7 and 18 were kidnapped or subjected to false romantic entrapment by organized criminal sex trafficking gangs.  Victims were then brought to San Diego County, California.  Over a 10 year period these girls were raped by hundreds of men per day in more than 2 dozen home based and agricultural camp based brothels.

 

ARCHIVES   [Part 1 of 4]

Undocumented immigrantrs held captive and tortured

WOAI News 4 San Antonio, Dimmit County, 9 May 2014

news4sanantonio.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/exclusive-undocumented-immigrants-held-captive-tortured-11474.shtml

[accessed 13 May 2014]

Law enforcement busted a stash house just outside Carrizo Springs today that authorities say was holding undocumented worker being held against their will and tortured.

"They were trying to make money, he said. "They were trying to make money the illegal way."

Once inside, he says they found the victims and one of them couldn't walk. Boyd said he believes at least six undocumented workers were held for ransom and tortured. "They used a stick to beat him in the knees," said Boyd. "They cut his fingers with a box knife." Another victim told authorities his kidnappers beat him with a hammer. The abuse didn't stop there. Boyd says a female victim was repeatedly sexually assaulted for four days.

Forced to have sex with 60 men a day and tattooed with the name of their pimps: Human trafficking victims tell of torture they suffered at hands of three brothers who 'treated them like property'

Ryan Gorman, MailOnline, The Daily Mail, 8 February 2014

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2554818/Forced-sex-60-men-day-tattooed-pimps-Human-trafficking-victims-tell-torture-suffered-hands-three-brothers-treated-like-property.html

[accessed 8 Feb 2014]

PHOTO CAPTION -- Poverty-stricken: Tenancingo is relatively free of the drug gang violence that has ravaged a large part of Mexico, but sex traffickers routinely kidnap young women

Carmen was ferried around the tri-state area and forced to have sex with men in their homes and with seasonal workers in rural areas of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, she testified in court, according to the paper.   The depraved pimp forced her to have sex with as many as 60 men in one day.   ‘At the end of the day I was bleeding and in great pain caused by these men,’ she recalled, adding that he would savagely beat her if she wasn’t out earning money.   Carmen hoped her tormentor would beat her to death.   I was upset because he hadn't killed me and that I had to live another day of torture,’ she said.

Carmen finally escaped in 2010 but was locked in suicide ward at a city hospital to keep her from killing herself, she said it’s the only time she had felt safe in years.  HTUSAMX

Anti-Human Trafficking Resources - 888-3737-888

Homeland Security

www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1265647798662.shtm

[accessed 8 January 2011]

VICTIMS - If you are a victim, or believe you might be a victim, of human trafficking, seek help. The toll-free National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline is available to answer calls in over 170 languages from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Call for help. Call with questions - Any time - Any language - 888-3737-888

Call 911 if you are experiencing an emergency

A Blight on the Nation: Slavery in Today's America

Ron Soodalter, The Carnegie Council, April 27, 2009

www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/commentary/data/000122

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Overwhelmingly, they come on the promise of a better life, with the opportunity to work and prosper in America. Many come in the hope of earning enough money to support or send for their families. In order to afford the journey, they fork over their life savings, and go into debt to people who make promises they have no intention of keeping, and instead of opportunity, when they arrive they find bondage. They can be found—or more accurately, not found—in all 50 states, working as farmhands, domestics, sweatshop and factory laborers, gardeners, restaurant and construction workers, and victims of sexual exploitation.

These people do not represent a class of poorly paid employees, working at jobs they might not like. They exist specifically to work, they are unable to leave, and are forced to live under the constant threat and reality of violence. By definition, they are slaves. Today, we call it human trafficking, but make no mistake: It is the slave trade.

For 2 refugees, a nightmare in captivity

Patricia Montemurri, Free Press, Nov. 7, 2010

pqasb.pqarchiver.com/freep/access/2182299451.html?FMT=ABS&date=Nov+07%2C+2010

[partially accessed 26 August 2011 - access restricted]

Leave your family in Kiev, Ukraine, and come to learn English and work as a waitress at a seaside summer resort, they told the 19-year-old Katya, which is not her real name.   Instead, when Katya and a friend accepted the offer and flew to the U.S. in May 2004, they were put on a bus to Detroit and three days later began their life in America in a way neither of them imagined.   They were forced to work as strippers at a club on 8 Mile.   At Cheetah's on the Strip, the two teens worked from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. six days a week. They turned over all of the money they made to their captors, who wouldn't let them keep a dollar to themselves.   The two men who had charmed them into coming to the U.S. now threatened to hurt them and kill their family members in Ukraine if they tried to flee.

For nine months, Katya and her friend, who spoke no English, lived in a Novi apartment without a phone. They could only leave the building in their captors' presence. After about nine months, they confided their story to an acquaintance at the club, who spirited them away one day to the customs office in Detroit.

Human Trafficking Class Action Case Filed in Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi (PRWEB) October 29, 2011

www.prweb.com/releases/2011/10/prweb8920562.htm

[accessed 30 October 2011]

Court documents show these immigrant workers signed the loan agreements because they had been given employment offers for work in the United States with specific employers at pay rates above minimum wage that would have allowed them to easily repay the loans. However, when the immigrant workers arrived in the United States they discovered the jobs offered to them were not available, and they were instead sent to other employers that had no involvement with their visa applications. The immigrant workers were sent employers that placed them in jobs making less than minimum wage and did not properly pay overtime wages. These positions paid so low the immigrant workers could not afford to pay the loans back. Additionally, in some circumstances the immigrant workers were placed in substandard living conditions, such as, placing several immigrant workers in a filthy, unsecured, and totally bare trailer trucks that had no running water, food, proper beds, or even mattresses.

Tampa man is fifth suspect arrested in human trafficking case

Kameel Stanley & Jamal Thalji, St. Petersburg Times

[access information unavailable]

Police have arrested a fifth man in connection with what authorities believe is the first human trafficking ring in the area that involved local women as victims.

The warrant details how the ring lured one woman in with promises of financial help, then took her captive, repeatedly raped and beat her, then prostituted her and other women at a Pinellas County strip club.

Helping those hurt by human trafficking

CJaye, May 23, 2009 – Source: legal-ledger.com/item.cfm?recID=11817

www.nowpublic.com/world/helping-those-hurt-human-trafficking

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Bukola Oriola came to Minnesota from Nigeria in 2005 to join the man who was chosen to be her husband.   The two had been introduced over the phone by a friend of the man’s, and their families had agreed to a traditional marriage. Bukola thought she was going to start a new chapter in her life in the United States that would involve pursuing her career as a journalist.

But her life here quickly became more of a nightmare, Bukola, 32, explained in fluent English at a state Capitol news conference on Thursday.   During the next two years Bukola became a victim of human trafficking – at the hands of the man she married.

“I was alone in the house. I cried to go out. I was always looking forward to Sunday to go to church,” Bukola said.   When she was pregnant, the man had her confined to the house. After she gave birth, she was turned into the man’s sex slave. When the man realized she could braid hair, he’d have her work in Brooklyn Park and then take her wages, even after her visa expired.   “I didn’t know there was help out there,” said Bukola, who now lives in Anoka.

Pinellas deputies: 3 arrested in human trafficking case

Ray Reyes, The Tampa Tribune and Natalie Shepherd, News Channel 8,  Treasure Island, May 10, 2009

tbo.com/pinellas-county/pinellas-deputies--arrested-in-human-trafficking-case-90303

[accessed 8 January 2011]

A waterfront home became a prison for several women who were told they would be taken care of but were instead forced into a life of prostitution, authorities say.   The women also had to dance at clubs in the Tampa Bay area and elsewhere while being physically and mentally abused, detectives say.   "It was violent," Pinellas County sheriff's Capt. Theresa Dioquino said at a news conference Sunday. "There was a lot of mind control, and the personal liberties these individuals actually had at one time were taken from them."

Politics of the Plate: The Price of Tomatoes

Barry Estabrook, Gourmet Magazine, March 2009

www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2009/03/politics-of-the-plate-the-price-of-tomatoes?currentPage=1

[accessed 8 January 2011]

The beige stucco house at 209 South Seventh Street is remarkable only because it is in better repair than most Immokalee dwellings. For two and a half years, beginning in April 2005, Mariano Lucas Domingo, along with several other men, was held as a slave at that address.

Lucas’s “room” turned out to be the back of a box truck in the junk-strewn yard, shared with two or three other workers. It lacked running water and a toilet, … Everything had a price. Lucas was soon $300 in debt. After a month of ten-hour workdays, he figured he should have paid that debt off.

But when Lucas—slightly built and standing less than five and a half feet tall—inquired about the balance, Navarrete threatened to beat him should he ever try to leave. Instead of providing an accounting, Navarrete took Lucas’s paychecks, cashed them, and randomly doled out pocket money, $20 some weeks, other weeks $50.

Taking a day off was not an option. If Lucas became ill or was too exhausted to work, he was kicked in the head, beaten, and locked in the back of the truck. Other members of Navarrete’s dozen-man crew were slashed with knives, tied to posts, and shackled in chains.

Trafficking victims try to remake lives

Monica Rhor, Associated Press AP, April 13, 2009

www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/apr/13/trafficking-victims-try-remake-lives/

[accessed 25 February 2013]

Like dozens of other workers from Vietnam and China, Tiep Ngo had been lured to the Daewoosa clothing factory in American Samoa by hollow promises of good pay. She left behind her child, her husband and her parents and paid $5,000 for her job contract, only to be starved, beaten and cheated of wages.   For nearly two years, Ngo labored in the stifling, overcrowded factory, subsisting on meager portions of rice and cabbage and longing for her family.

How Clearwater helped destroy an international sex slave ring

Jonathan Abel, St. Petersburg Times, March 15, 2009

www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/article984066.ece

[accessed 9 January 2011]

She came from Guatemala, a woman in her early 20s smuggled into the United States for what she thought was a housekeeping job.   The journey from her small town to the Texas border took 26 days. From there she was whisked to a safe house near Houston, then brought to Tampa and moved once more to a house in Jacksonville.   There, an enforcer for the human trafficking operation told the woman her debt had jumped from $5,000 to $30,000.   The enforcer demonstrated how to use a condom by rolling it over a beer bottle. He said she'd have to pay back the debt as a prostitute, according to authorities.   She turned 25 tricks the next day and nearly every day for eight or nine months.   This tortured existence — the daily life of a human trafficking victim — ended May 22, 2007, when authorities intervened.

“Rape Trees” Frame Arizona-Mexico Border: Grim Reminders of Human Trafficking

ChattahBox, March 15, 2009

chattahbox.com/us/2009/03/15/%E2%80%9Crape-trees%E2%80%9D-frame-arizona-mexico-border-grim-reminders-of-human-trafficking/

[accessed 9 January 2011]

A recent report from the Cronkite News Service, a student-run news service of Arizona State University, shed the national spotlight on a new immigration problem plaguing the desert border towns of Arizona: so called “rape trees,” trees on the U.S. side of the border littered with women’s undergarments. Mexican drug cartel members and the coyotes, who smuggle immigrants across the border, are believed to rape the women as soon as they enter U.S. territory to instill fear, intimidate and control them. When the coyote-rapists are finished, they hang the women’s panties from the trees as trophies to mark their brutal conquests.

These “rape trees” are becoming more common along the Arizona border counties of Pima and Cochise, as coyotes and drug cartel members find human trafficking more lucrative than drug smuggling.

Horror of teen sex slavery not foreign woe; it's here

Alan Johnson, The Columbus Dispatch, January 25, 2009

www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/01/25/traffic.ART_ART_01-25-09_B1_VFCLSF9.html?sid=101

[accessed 9 January 2011 – access may  now be restricted]

Minutes after getting a call, Flores would silently slip out of the house, cut through the backyard and get in a car waiting at the curb. She would then be whisked away from her home in an affluent Detroit suburb to homes and hotels, anonymous places where she was forced to have sex for hours with strangers.

"I can't describe to you the feeling of terror. No child should ever have to know that kind of fear. I didn't know what I was going to have to endure that night, for how long, or if I was going to come back home."

What started innocently with Flores' infatuation with an older male classmate turned to date rape caught on film by some of the rapist's friends. They used the photos to blackmail the girl into sexual slavery that lasted two years and involved hundreds of men.

Dancer in human trafficking case fears family will be dishonored

Andria Simmons, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 16, 2009

www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2009/01/16/human_trafficking_lilburn.html

[accessed 9 January 2011]

www.allvoices.com/news/2273624/s/27000880-dancer-in-human-trafficking-case-fears-family-will-be-dishonored

[accessed 4 September 2012]

Shirke is one of six entertainers that were allegedly recruited from India with promises of profits - tips - from their dancing at the bar and restaurant, only to be paid slave wages and have every movement carefully guarded once they arrived in Georgia on Nov. 20.   Shirke is worried the arrest of her bosses will shame her parents and brother in Mumbai, India, even though she and the other dancers didn’t participate in prostitution or stripping. The two male performers played in a band while the six women performed traditional folk and Bollywood-style dancing between eight and 14 hours a day, seven days a week …

The doors to the five-bedroom house where the entertainers lived in Lilburn were always dead-bolted from the inside by guards who stayed in the sparsely furnished house with them, Shirke said. She said the girls, who did not have the key to the door, were not permitted to go anywhere without an escort.   The eight performers had signed a contract before they left India, stating they would surrender their passports and be confined to their home when they weren’t working, Shirke said.   “They said it was for our safety, and we believed them,” Shirke said.

Feds charge three Kansas City-area companies with labor trafficking

Kansas City Business Journal, May 27, 2009

www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2009/05/25/daily15.html

[accessed 8 January 2011]

“This RICO indictment alleges an extensive and profitable criminal enterprise in which hundreds of illegal aliens were employed at hotels and other businesses across the country,” Whitworth said in the release. “The defendants allegedly used false information to acquire fraudulent work visas for these foreign nationals. Many of their employees were allegedly victims of human trafficking who were coerced to work in violation of the terms of their visa without proper pay and under the threat of deportation. The defendants also required them to reside together in crowded, substandard and overpriced apartments.”   Many of the workers were employed at hotels in the Kansas City area and in Branson, Mo., Whitworth said.

Child maids now being exported to US

Associated Press AP, Dec-28-2008

www.zimbio.com/AP+News/articles/7537/Child+maids+now+being+exported

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Shyima was 10 when a wealthy Egyptian couple brought her from a poor village in northern Egypt to work in their California home. She awoke before dawn and often worked past midnight to iron their clothes, mop the marble floors and dust the family's crystal. She earned $45 a month working up to 20 hours a day. She had no breaks during the day and no days off.

Once behind the walls of gated communities like this one, these children never go to school. Unbeknownst to their neighbors, they live as modern-day slaves, just like Shyima, whose story is pieced together through court records, police transcripts and interviews.

Shyima cried when she found out she was going to America in 2000. Her father, a bricklayer, had fallen ill a few years earlier, so her mother found a maid recruiter, signed a contract effectively leasing her daughter to the couple for 10 years and told Shyima to be strong.

She arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 3, 2000, according to court documents. The family brought her back to their spacious five-bedroom, two-story home, decorated in the style of a Tuscan villa with a fountain of two angels spouting water through a conch. She was told to sleep in the garage.   It had no windows and was neither heated nor air-conditioned. Soon after she arrived, the garage's only light bulb went out. The Ibrahims didn't replace it. From then on, Shyima lived in the dark.   She was told to call them Madame Amal and Hajj Nasser, terms of respect. They called her "shaghala," or servant. Their five children called her "stupid."

Young workers in the oldest profession - Clark County girls make up a third of the underage sex workers in Portland

Isolde Raftery, The Columbian, December 6, 2008

-- Source: www.columbian.com/article/20081207/NEWS02/712079963

genderberg.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3628

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Sarah was 16 and addicted to crack cocaine when she heard there was easy money to make in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant off Fourth Plain Boulevard.   “I went there to pick up guys,” Sarah, 22, said. “They would buy me what I wanted as long as I had sex with them.”   After working for a year in Vancouver, Sarah ventured to Portland. Willowy, her greasy blond hair pulled tight into a bun, she looks exhausted.   “I got here on Sandy and 82nd, and this guy, D.C., asked me if I wanted to get high,” she said one morning last summer, sitting on a curb in northeast Portland. “Then he told me I owed him money and to go get money.”   Sarah was trapped. She’d fallen prey to a pimp’s come-on and become one of the 20 to 30 juveniles Portland police say work the streets at any given time. Like more than a third of those girls, she is from Vancouver. And like many of them, she remains beyond the reach of police efforts to separate her from her pimp. It’s been six years, and Sarah is still on the streets.

‘SNITCHES DIE, YOU KNOW’ - “I can cite case after case of girls coming from average families, and once the pimp was able to intervene, the family didn’t matter anymore,” Dick said. “I know of officers’ daughters who got into it, a federal prosecutor’s daughter, a DA’s daughter, a politician’s daughter.”   Cherise was a rebellious 15-year-old when she met her first pimp, Deandre Green, at Lloyd Center in Portland. Green was a 25-year-old Bloods gang member from Aloha, Ore.   He sweet-talked her to a nondescript, two-story motel and told her the rules: This is business, don’t be out of pocket, respect your pimp and give me all your money.   According to court documents, when Cherise said she had second thoughts, Green said, “I know where you live and where your family lives. I will kill you and your family if you say anything to anybody. You’re mine now.”

Forced labor operation busted

Freeman Klopott, The Examiner, 11/24/08

washingtonexaminer.com/article/104581#.UEZQFSJ62So

[accessed 4 September 2012]

MAN ALLEGEDLY CONFISCATED THE WOMEN’S PASSPORTS AND THREATENED TO KILL THEIR FAMILIES IF THEY LEFT

For the past seven years, federal authorities say, a Falls Church man forced almost a dozen female illegal immigrants from Indonesia into a form of slavery, selling their services as housekeepers to Montgomery County families.  Soripada Lubis has been charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants. He has been released on bail and ordered to stay at his Roosevelt Avenue home with his wife and children.  It’s in that home, a federal agent said in a sworn statement, that Lubis kept between seven and 11 women at a time, sometimes sleeping two to a bed. He allegedly held the women’s passports, and threatened kill their families in Indonesia and alert immigration officials if they left him, the statement said.

Peruvian Nanny Exploited In Shocking ICE Case

KTVU News, WALNUT CREEK, Calif, November 18, 2008

www.ktvu.com/news/18012707/detail.html

[accessed 9 January 2011]

Agent Welsh and ICE officials won't speak specifically about Dann's case, but the complaint alleges that in July 2006, Dann brought Zoraida Pena-Canal from Peru to Walnut Creek under a three-month visitor's visa.  Investigators say Dann promised Pena she'd live in a big house with a private bathroom and would be paid up to $600 a month to care for Dann's three young boys.  Instead, ICE says Pena became a virtual prisoner for almost two years.  Dann, her children and Pena shared a two-bedroom apartment. Investigators say Pena was forced to sleep on the living room floor while working from dawn to dusk every day, cooking, cleaning and caring for the children.  The complaint alleges Dann didn't pay Pena a salary and actually charged her $15,000 for clothing and other expenses.

Dann allegedly confiscated Pena's passport and visa and physically and verbally abused the nanny, threatening her with deportation if she talked to outsiders.

The complaint alleges Dann smashed Pena's radio and a television set, to prevent her from listening to Spanish language programs that would, quote "put ideas in her head."  Investigators say Dann told Pena: "When you come to the United States, you must suffer."  "They may not be physically restrained, but they're told, 'You're here illegally,'" says Special Agent Walsh. "They may not speak the language, they're told 'If you cause problems or try to get away, I'll report you to immigration and they'll put you in jail.'"  Investigators say Dann even rationed Pena's food, weighing the meat she purchased and hiding fruit from Pena. Neighbors say Pena often appeared daily in the same clothes.

Connecticut Man Sentenced to 360 Months in Prison for Leading Brutal Sex Trafficking Ring That Victimized U.S. Citizens

U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, October 14, 2008 – Press Release 08-920

www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2008/October/08-crt-920.html

[accessed 9 January 2011]

Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Paris operated a prostitution scheme in the Hartford, Conn., area in which he exploited young, uneducated girls from troubled backgrounds and forced them to perform commercial sex acts for his financial benefit. The evidence demonstrated that Paris used a combination of deception, fraud, coercion, brutal rapes, threats of arrest, physical violence and manipulation of addictive drugs to maintain control over his victims.

The evidence established that Paris "purchased" two of the victims from a co-defendant, Brian Forbes, who previously pleaded guilty to five counts of sex trafficking and was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in recruiting and exploiting minors and vulnerable young women into prostitution, as well as using beatings, rapes, drug withdrawal, threats and unlawful restraint, to compel them to perform commercial sex acts. - htcp

LAGON: Modern-day slavery

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, The Washington Times, October 6, 2008

www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/06/modern-day-slavery/?page=1

[accessed 9 January 2011]

A millionaire perfume maker in Islip, N.Y. was convicted and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for committing a crime - human trafficking - that most people had never heard of just five years ago. That crime is the modern-day equivalent of slavery. In this case, the victims were two Indonesian women who were beaten, starved and never allowed out of the mansion where they worked as domestic servants.

Imprisoned in the American Nightmare

Ronnie Garrett, OFFICER.com, September 2008

www.officer.com/print/Law-Enforcement-Technology/Imprisoned-in-the-American-Nightmare/1$43295

[accessed 9 January 2011]

Like many before her, she immigrated to the United States filled with promise that she too would be part of the American dream.  "When I arrived into the United States, I was happy," she recalls. "I think I'm coming to make friends, to have a good life and to make money."

But her dreams vanished as she found herself living a nightmare — trapped in a house all day, barred from speaking to anyone, and expected to work grueling hours until she collapsed into bed at night.  "When I'd complain, they'd threaten me … and I feel so sad … because when I was in my own country I used to work, I made friends," she says. "Now I come here, I'm locked in the house, not talking to anyone, not going anywhere …"

Human trafficking victim speaks out in Aiken

NBC News, Augusta,-September-15-2008

www.nbcaugusta.com/news/southcarolina/28434359.html

[access date unavailable]

Micheline Slattery talked about how at just five she was forced into slavery in her native Haiti.  At 14, she was sold for $2,500 and brought to the United States.  Slattery described how she was forced to do housework and essentially serve as an unpaid nanny.

"It is really tough when you have been programmed to believe you are worthless," she said. "I was like, there had to be something different, something better than what I was living. I decided I wasn't going to stay there anymore and ran away."  Now Slattery is a nurse and when she can, she tells her story.  "I want the world to know that slavery is not history, it still exists," she said.

Brothers Plead Guilty to Enslaving Farmworkers in Florida, Co-defendants Plead Guilty to Related Felonies

U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, September 3, 2008 – Press Release 08-770

www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2008/September/08-crt-770.html

[accessed 9 January 2011]

All five defendants pleaded guilty to harboring undocumented foreign nationals for private financial gain and identify theft. In addition, Cesar and Geovanni Navarrete pleaded guilty to beating, threatening, restraining and locking workers in trucks to force them to work for them as agricultural laborers. Cesar Navarrete also pleaded guilty to re-entering the U.S. after being convicted of a felony and deported, and Ismael Navarrete also pleaded guilty to document fraud. Cesar and Geovanni Navarrete face up to 35 and 25 years in prison, respectively. The other defendants face a range of 10-25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for various dates in September and December 2008.

The defendants were accused of paying the workers minimal wages, driving them into debt, while simultaneously threatening physical harm if the workers left their employment before their debts had been repaid to the family.

 

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