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The Stolen Ones

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper published a special project recently: The Stolen Ones investigates the local child sex trafficking industry, and documents stories from survivors and their families. (SFW, but some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 25, 2013 - 15 comments

Of Human Bondage

The Walk Free Foundation has released its latest report on the contemporary slave trade, the Global Slavery Index (interactive map). As summarized by Al Jazeera, over 29 million people are in some form of involuntary servitude, ranging from kidnapped fishermen to women forced into prostitution to child brides. The countries with the largest populations of enslaved people include Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Back in 2012, J. J. Gould wrote on the difficulties in confronting slavery in today's society: In the West, and particularly in the United States, slavery has long settled in the public imagination as being categorically a thing of the past.... It can mean having a harder time recognizing slavery when it's right in front of us.
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 17, 2013 - 12 comments

"But what will I wear in jail?"

The Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills. (Single page version) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 4, 2012 - 30 comments

Faster and Furiouser

"The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal: A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust." [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Jun 27, 2012 - 63 comments

"Abolishing it [...] is no more feasible than eliminating agriculture or the auto industry."

"A statistical summary of women in prostitution is a chronicle of human wreckage—economic, physical, and chemical." GQ magazine's three-part investigation into the global sex trade is fascinating, if horrifying, reading: Part 1 (on sex clubs in the Phillipines), Part 2 (on human trafficking in Moldova), Part 3 (on sex tourism in Costa Rica).
posted by Catseye on Dec 11, 2011 - 95 comments

Surely this..

A new BBC Documentary titled This World: Spain's Stolen Babies alleges that up to three hundred thousand Spanish infants were stolen from their mothers at birth over a fifty year period, and then sold by the Catholic Church through illicit adoption services.
posted by FatherDagon on Oct 17, 2011 - 64 comments

Longform investigative journalism remains awesome

According to national statistics, one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes. Vanguard correspondent Mariana Van Zeller travels to Rosebud reservation in South Dakota to investigate the alarmingly high incidence of rape and sexual assaults. What happened to 19-year-old Marquita, and how can the reservation's understaffed police force keep it from happening again? Candid interviews with her family members, classmates and police reveal many of the disturbing social attitudes and behaviors that lead up to her death. It is one of many compelling guides to the kinds of lives most never see in Current TV's season before last of Vanguard. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 8, 2011 - 27 comments

The Girls Next Door

I’d always dismissed the idea of human trafficking in the United States. I’m Indian, and when I went to Mumbai and saw children sold openly, I wondered, Why isn’t anything being done about it? But now I know—it’s no different here. I never would have believed it, but I’ve seen it.
posted by AceRock on May 24, 2011 - 97 comments

Deal of the Century

How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
posted by kliuless on Mar 21, 2011 - 69 comments

ATF: Fast and Furious

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed assault rifles to be smuggled into Mexico, so they could be tracked. The weapons were then used in a spree of murders, including that of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The operation was called "Fast and Furious". The Mexican government was apparently unaware of the operation, and is investigating. The ATF is going to have a review of whether their strategy supports "the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 7, 2011 - 66 comments

Keep It Pimpin

Keep It Pimpin is a handwritten rhyme-filled pimp business plan, uncovered in Youth Radio's investigation of sex trafficking.
posted by domnit on Dec 11, 2010 - 67 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

Another Development in the Immigration Debate

Hawaiian leaders speak out over farmers convicted of human trafficking.
posted by parmanparman on Sep 5, 2010 - 34 comments

"This human rights abuse is universal, and no one should claim immunity from its reach or from the responsibility to confront it."

This year, for the first time ever, the U.S. included itself in the State Department's annual report on human trafficking. Most Americans associate human trafficking with sexually exploited women and children, but the definition includes guest laborers who have been trapped into indentured servitude as well. "More investigations and prosecutions have taken place for sex trafficking offenses than for labor trafficking offenses, but law enforcement identified a comparatively higher number of labor trafficking victims as such cases often involve more victims.” The full report--with victim stories, "TIP Heroes," methodology, definitions, etc.--is here.
posted by availablelight on Jul 31, 2010 - 10 comments

Child trafficking in Portland, Oregon

Last night Dan Rather reports presented on child sex trafficking in Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian newspaper briefly covered the Dan Rather report and also had a longer article in January about the same issue. Dan Rather wrote a short piece in the Huffington Post yesterday, saying that Portland is second in the nation for child prostitution. The organization ECTAP-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) published this 2005 (PDF) report about child prostitution in the US, linking it, in part, to the strip club industry.
posted by bluedaisy on May 19, 2010 - 51 comments

Sister Ping and the Golden Venture

Cheng Chui Ping came to the US like many others from the Fujian province in China. Through hard work and determination, she rose in the ranks of New York City's Chinatown business community. But, "Sister Ping" was not one to follow laws if it didn't suit her. Among the snakeheads who engaged in human trafficking, none were better than her. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 2, 2009 - 15 comments

A Crash in Shanghai raises questions about an airline...

A Zimbabwean cargo aircraft crashed earlier today at Shanghai-Pudong airport, killing three and seriously injuring four. It is not yet known why the aircraft, an ex Varig MD-11F (pic) operated by an airline called Avient, failed to become airborne, but the airline itself has received quite some attention recently. Headquartered in Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, they almost went bankrupt, leaving behind massive debts in France, only to almost out of nowhere get this MD-11F, which crashed within a week of being acquired. (pprune, reg req) But that's not the only shady thing about this airline... [more inside]
posted by krautland on Nov 28, 2009 - 32 comments

The Countertraffickers

William Finnegan reports on rescuing the victims of the global sex trade. You can also listen to Finnegan talking about the research for the article. (New Yorker)
posted by fourcheesemac on May 1, 2008 - 11 comments

Jesus Malverde: Narco-Saint

Jesus Malverde : modern-day Robin Hood and "patron saint" of narcotics traffickers everywhere.
posted by falconred on Oct 8, 2007 - 6 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

Working like hell.

China faces slavery and human trafficking.
posted by pwedza on Jun 18, 2007 - 24 comments

Kava Abuse in Australian Aboriginal Communities

"Troy is only 8, but he knows the words to Yanguna, an Arnhem Land song celebrating kava. He sings in tune with Saltwater Band's anthem to the drug as the car bumps along the dirt track. Kava came to Arnhem Land 20 years ago as a ray of hope. Aboriginal community leaders believed the calming drink from the Pacific could be a peaceful alternative to alcohol, then raging through Aboriginal communities like a cyclone. But kava became just another abused substance.
posted by jason's_planet on May 1, 2007 - 43 comments

They say you can buy anything in Cambodia... and NYC.

The modern slave trade is thriving. The Dept of State estimates that 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are trafficked - brought across borders and forced to labor. Among them, DOS estimates, hundreds of thousands are minor children. Some of those children - as young as 5 years old - are being sold as slaves and kept in cages while they are raped and sold for sex, some servicing as many as 30 men a day. They are bought for as little as $10 from desperate parents. But all is not lost: Somaly Mam, a former child prostitute, is the Mother Theresa of Southeast Asian child prostitutes, using AFESIP as her vehicle for saving them. Glamour awarded her their Woman of the Year honor, and she has been lauded in other ways internationally. Cambodian sex traffickers weren't as happy with her, though - her opponents kidnapped her 14-year old daughter, held her hostage for days, and raped her. It's hard to be on the wrong side of this issue, but some advocates raise a few hackles by claiming legalized prostitution and porn contribute to sex trafficking and child prostitution. Sex trafficking, and child prostitution, is a sizeable problem in the US as well. Although trafficking is illegal in the US, combating trafficking is tough in part because victims often fear authorities, personal reprisals, harm to their families at home, or even deportation (although special visas - T visas - are available to them in certain circumstances). In Southeast Asia (and throughout the world), child sex tourism is even harder to stop.
posted by Amizu on Jan 24, 2007 - 41 comments

sex trafficking

The demand side of sex trafficking In international policy circles, it is increasingly common to hear talk of the need to address “the demand-side of trafficking”, and a number of research studies on this phenomenon have recently been commissioned. Though the idea that “sex trafficking” is stimulated by the demand for commercial sexual services has a certain commonsense appeal, this paper argues that questions about the relationship between exploitative and abusive labour practices in the sex sector and the demand for commercial sexual services are rather more complicated than is allowed in dominant anti-trafficking discourse.
posted by halekon on Aug 3, 2006 - 30 comments

Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor

Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor
"A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records." ...this is "zero tolerance" ?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 27, 2005 - 42 comments

Exploitation in the United Arab Emirates

Exploitation in the United Arab Emirates: A total of 36 Bangladeshi children employed as 'camel jockeys' in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have returned home yesterday ending their prolonged sufferings in the oil-rich nation. "The job is very tiresome. We had to work from morning till night, tending the camels, training them, cleaning their faeces and mounting the camels in the racing games." In 2003, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights reported on the issue. Pictures via AntiSlavery.org.
posted by dhoyt on Aug 12, 2005 - 6 comments

UN Drug Day (Anti)

Hey! Didn't anybody notice that today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, sponsored by those bleeding hearts at the UN? The UNODC is declaring "even occasional use of marijuana is a link in a long and dangerous cycle of crime, degradation and terrorism." In Afghanistan, 30 -or is it 60?- tons of drugs have been burned in large bonfires (If they're not sure how much, blame the contact high). Meanwhile China celebrated the day with a massive demonstraton and a few executions. The United Arab Emarites is issuing a stamp. And the U.S.ofA.? Well, it's on the State Department Calendar, but the Office of National Drug Control Policy has never heard of it. Still, you can send an Anti-Drugs Day Greeting to someone you know (is a user).

BREAKING NEWS: In Kenya, 49 Killed, Hundreds Harmed by Poisoned... er... Alcohol. (nevermind)
posted by wendell on Jun 26, 2005 - 35 comments

Sneaky! Grr . . .

Sneaky! Grr . . . A few months ago, while surfing for wreck diving info, I stumbled upon this page as a main link entitled Nightlife in the Philippines. Because it promotes outright trafficking of women, I made a ruckus and sent an email complaining about it to the site admin and our government's Department of Tourism. (Prostitution, BTW, is illegal in the Philippines.) Shortly afterwards, the site admin removed the main link. So how come it's still on the site via this page? I know Southeast Asia (the Philippines second only to Thailand, I think) has a rep for cheap beer and women, but I HATE the fact that many foreigners (like the owners of this shop,) feel that they can buy anything they want while on vacation in third world countries, and that it's alright to perpetuate the trafficking of Filipino women under the guise of tourism. Bah.
posted by lillitot on Apr 13, 2002 - 31 comments

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