International women’s Day 2014: Let’s talk about trafficking….
International Days is not a celebration of anything. They are dates to remind us of acute problems in need of solutions. Gender inequality is a fact and what women demand is equal treatment on the basis of traits/qualifications not gender, this being their right. A lot is going to be said/written today, as a tribute to what the day represents. Personally, I would like to raise the issue of female trafficking, out of concerne for those women and little girls exploited for money, because it’s huge, and deserves our attention. Because it is «modern slavery» and it has to be stopped. This is my token contribution to the day.
What the facts/statistics show us:
There are 27.000.OOO slaves in the world today. More slaves than at any other point in human history, men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will. The average age of trafficking victims is 12 years old. Women and children are often kidnapped into the industry or sold into it by family under desperate circumstances. The average age of victims continues to grow younger as clients
seek «fresh» product.(http://www.thea21campaign.org)
• Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 39 billion USD annually.
• Of the estimated 30 million people in forced labour internationally, 58% of victims are subjected to commercial sexual servitude,specifically in the Americas,
Europe and Central Asia.
• In recent years, the percentage of children trafficked has risen to 27%, with one out of every three victims a boy
• The International Organization of Labor estimates that 98% of sexual trafficking victims are female
• Globally, convictions against traffickers are few in number, and of the 132 countries monitored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 16% have not convicted a single individual for trafficking in persons.
• Concerning the sexual exploitation of trafficked human beings, there are a growing number of male victims, although services for these victims remain inadequate globally.
• Although most individuals involved in trafficking human beings are male, an increasing amount of women have been prosecuted and convicted, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
• Women under the age of 18 are particularly vulnerable to re-trafficking, specifically during the period immediately following their escape and transition.
The Problem and how to tackle it
«Human trafficking is an organized criminal industry that affects every nation. While the statistics can seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that every number represents the life of a human being. The A21 Campaingh has recognized a significant need and is committed to combating this injustice through rescuing one life at a time.»…. https://neutrinodata.s3.amazonaws.com/a21/userimages/TheProblem.pdf
What The A21 Campaign does towards «a solution to the problem»:http://neutrinodata.s3.amazonaws.com/a21/userimages/A21%20Website%20Resources-Our%20Solution.pdf
Inside the Brothels:Seven unforgettable stories in the battle against sex trafficking, collected over two decades of my reporting. (Nicholas Kristof)
We think of slavery in terms of those sepia photographs in the history books, the horror that Abraham Lincoln helped end. That’s what I thought when I first reported on sex trafficking in 1996 — and saw a terrified Cambodian teenager being sold for her virginity. She was a slave, I realized, every bit as much as those slaves in the history books.
I never expected to write about the subject again. But when you’ve seen teenage girls locked up and gang raped daily, it’s tough to go back and write about exchange rates. Millions of girls are subjected to this form of modern slavery, and to prove my case, I purchased two girls in Cambodia and left with receipts. When you get a receipt for buying a human being in the 21st century, something is profoundly wrong.
Then I began reporting on the issue here in the United States. I found that the atrocities and scale aren’t as bad as in some foreign countries, but we still have a vast trafficking problem. We don’t have the moral authority to tell other countries what to do until we clean up our own act.
This is also a soluble problem, but that means prioritizing the arrest of pimps, traffickers and customers. So when people ask me why I keep tilting at these windmills and writing about sex trafficking, I think back to that Cambodia teenager, who is probably dead by now of AIDS.
Here are seven stories about sex trafficking that I wrote over the past 18 years, the ones I cannot forget — a highlight reel of inspiration and heartbreak at once.