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I almost became a victim of human trafficking

Writer and sports personality Brittney Cason thought she had been recruited for what seemed like a legitimate network job covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Only days before she left, flags started going up.
posted by dry white toast on Feb 26, 2014 - 94 comments

Sex-trafficking, fraud and money at the Somaly Mam Foundation

Cambodia Daily just ran two controversial features on Somaly Mam, a well-known trafficking survivor and head of the anti-trafficking non-profit, the Somaly Mam Foundation that funds shelters in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Somaly Mam, Cambodia's most well-known anti-trafficking activist, partly due to Nicholas Kristof whose "live tweeting" a brothel raid with Somaly Mam was roundly criticised by other NGOs in Cambodia, is accused of false stories of abuse, murder and kidnapping of young women, and the organization of hugely over-paying top staff including Somaly Mam herself. [more inside]
posted by syncope on Oct 16, 2013 - 7 comments

This time, I'm innocent.

Since the 80s Tony Galeota managed Porky's, a Hialeah dive notorious for drugs, prostitution, and violence, where he was part pimp, part bouncer, and completely untouchable. When he left to open a bona fide brothel in Panama, Galeota thought the country's lax prostitution laws (NSFW) would make him rich. Instead, he's trapped in a labyrinthine legal system, alone and unable to speak Spanish.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 7, 2012 - 58 comments

The Invisible Army

The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 22, 2011 - 37 comments

“My bet is that, within two years, you’re going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it has nothing to do with the church.”

Paul Haggis Vs. the Church of Scientology. Haggis' defection was discussed previously on the blue, as were allegations of abusive practices in Scientology's Sea Org. This week's New Yorker includes a massive investigative piece by Lawrence Wright, part of an upcoming book by Wright that has already been the subject of some speculation.
posted by availablelight on Feb 6, 2011 - 68 comments

You are alive, you have to do it.

I've never known of a single colleague who has been tortured, or who lives with the threat of death and persecution for their work, in such a confused state of mind that they believe that working in the defence of individual and collective freedoms is an act of heroism. We know full well that it is nothing more than an exercise in survival and shared dignity. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Feb 6, 2011 - 10 comments

"Please try to respect the youth. They are the ones who are going to build the next generation."

Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes highlights and rewards "Everyday People Changing the World." This year's Hero of the Year (chosen by public poll) is Anuradha Koirala, whose group Maiti Nepal has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery along the India / Nepal border since 1993. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 26, 2010 - 9 comments

Inside the world of the Bacha Bazi

In Afghanistan, the bacha bereesh -- "boy without a beard" -- is dressed in women's clothes and taught to dance like a woman at weddings or parties. After the dancing is over, the boy is often shared as sexual chattel among his male audience (the bacha bazi) which is often composed of powerful warloads. The underground practice, though illegal, is widespread despite Taliban homophobia. The PBS series Frontline went inside the world of the bacha bazi, who seemed willing enough to talk about the forbidden practice. [54-minute flash video, well worth watching.] [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Apr 22, 2010 - 80 comments

Slavery in Burma

From Hunter to Hunted "In his quest to free slaves around the world, Aaron Cohen thought he’d seen it all. Then he went to Myanmar."
posted by homunculus on Jul 1, 2007 - 25 comments

Human Trafficking

The 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department has been released. It reviews 150 countries.The introduction provides a broad overview of the report with anecdotal stories, legislation imperatives, methodology, definitions, specific country reviews and suggested remedies. It is a commendable document and well worth perusing. UN page. via
posted by peacay on Jun 7, 2005 - 2 comments

A tale of modern day slavery

Slavery is not just the shameful stuff of history books - not in Florida. Last year, 7 journalists spent 9 months in a behind-the-scenes exploration of the state's immigrant workers. In more than 30 articles and photo essays, they revealed a system where workers are threatened, beaten, locked up, injured, forced into prostitution, and trapped in a spiral of debt and abuse. Powerful forces are arrayed against them in a state where agricultural laws are shaped by politician-farmers who have a vested interest in the status quo. - more -
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 11, 2004 - 28 comments

Anti-Slavery International,

Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest international human rights organization, says that 27 million people around the world live in slavery. That is a staggering number. (More information on slavery at iAbolish). Also, the OSCE says that the trafficking of humans has become the world's largest illegal business. The advancement of international human rights has a long way to go.
posted by homunculus on Jul 16, 2002 - 5 comments

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