In the 21st Century there are 27 million slaves worldwide. The theme of our panel held this year in conjunction with the UN Commission on the Status of Women, was ‘Eliminating Violence and Discrimination Against the Girl Child.’
Approximately 50% of those enslaved today are children. We must join hands to fight this global phenomenon, and comprehend how the eight different faces of human trafficking interconnect and overlap transcriminally and transnationally.
The U.S. Federation for Middle East Peace human trafficking forums literally walked the audience across the globe with trafficking and health experts, a survivor, journalists, and a law enforcement official with expertise on all continents – specifically covering Russia, Canada, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Balkans, Latin America, the United States, Africa, and the Mideast. Human trafficking on the street generates $31 Billion annually on the street and Internet pedo-criminality generates $34 Billion. Over the Internet, babies and toddlers are being raped. This is morally repugnant.
This human trafficking session will address the eight different human trafficking faces engulfing this horror – sex, labor and war slaves, Internet pedo-criminality, sex tourism, organ and skin trafficking and ritual abuse torture.
Members of our first panel: Canadian Ritual Abuse Torture experts, Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald, shared their ground breaking work on ritual abuse torture. Kelly Watt, a survivor of ritual abuse torture; Lois Herman, Coordinator of the Women’s UN Report Network, who has led trafficking projects around the world also participated with powerful lectures on these major issues.
The second panel, Clive Michel of the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center and Virtual Global Task Force – an international law enforcement operational task force, which is heeding the call to catch the predators and traffickers, shared stunning statistics. Aarti Kapoor, a U.S. and U.K. lawyer who has served as legal advisor in South East Asia flew in from Cambodia to join us, lending her expertise on the subjects.. Christine Dolan (pictured above), an investigative journalist also gave dynamic testimony.
At our 2006 Panel during the Commission on the Status of Women, we learned that over the past decade, trafficking in human beings has reached epidemic proportions. No country is immune; the search for work abroad has been fueled by economic disparity, high unemployment and the disruption of traditional livelihoods, and traffickers face few risks and can earn huge profits by taking advantage of large numbers of potential immigrants.
Human trafficking is not confined to the sex industry; children can be trafficked to work in sweatshops as bonded labor, and men often work illegally in “three D-Jobs” – dirty, difficult and dangerous. A recent CIA report estimated that between 45,000 to 50,000 women and children are brought to the U.S. every year under false pretenses and are forced to work as prostitutes, abused laborers or servants. UNICEF
estimates that more than 200,000 children are enslaved by cross-border smuggling in West and Central Africa.