Human trafficking and modern day slavery:Video Every Pakistani should see and stop this evil on our children

“Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [bytaking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart [by hating it and feeling that it is wrong] – and that is the weakest of faith” (Narrated by Muslim, 49)


POSTED BY  ON MAY 11, 2011  

Free the Slaves’ U.K. partner Anti-Slavery International estimates there are over 1.8 million people living in slavery in Pakistan. Canadian NGOSOS Children’s Villages recently sited an Asian Human Rights Commission report highlighting the enslavement of Pakistani children: “a possible 20,000″ disabled children forced to work as beggars; children trafficked to the United Arab Emirates.

Free the Slaves has seen slavery in Pakistan first-hand, when we honored Veero, a survivor of bonded labor, with the Frederick Douglass Freedom Award in 2009.

Last month, a breakthrough of sorts happened in Pakistan, when the country’s Minister for the Interior,Rehman Malik “admitted” to the National Assembly that the government remains “unable to fully control the menace of human trafficking” within its borders.

Since 2009, thousands of people have been arrested in Pakistan for human trafficking. But an estimated 40,000 people pass through the Torkham border, leading into Afghanistan, without “logging in and out.”

In neighboring India, it is estimated that millions of people live in slavery. Bonded labor is rampant in many parts of the sub-continent. Recently, CNN covered the groundbreaking anti-slavery work of Free the Slaves and our frontline partners in India. (FTS’ Free a Village Build a Movement campaign creates sustainable, generational change by eradicating the root causes of slavery—and helping survivors become economically self-sufficient, and vigilant against traffickers.)

In response to CNN’s coverage of FTS’ anti-slavery work, India’s Labor Minister Prabhat Chaturvedi gave an interview saying that there was no slavery in India. He refused to use the term “slavery” to describe the phenomena of millions of men, women and children laboring—sometimes for generations—to pay off debts.

Watch: Debate Swirls Around the “S” World

Despite Chaturvedi’s denial, debt bondage is recognized as a form of slavery by the United Nations. As with all kinds of slavery, it comes with violence—the threat of it, and the actualization of it. The aforementioned Veero, a survivor of bonded labor, told Free the Slaves:

“We were treated like animals. Anyone who refused [to work] was beaten up. The slaveholders hired men armed with guns and axes, and they guarded us the entire day.”

Veero’s courage to walk away from her enslavement was sparked when the slaveholder wanted to use her daughter for sex. She escaped, and walked in the dead of night to the nearest town. The police would not help her at first. So she staged a three-day sit-in. Eventually, the police relented, and helped free her entire family.



 Arabs from Saudi Arabia and UAE are the main exploiters and customers of the sex slaves from Pakistan. Pakistan’s corrupt government and immigration and border controls look the other way. Asif Zardari, PPP & ANP Jiyalas are involved as touts and procurers in Women’s enslavement to please the Saudi, Bahrain, Dubai, Sharjah,Qatar, Manama, and Sultan of Brunei monarchs and Sheikhs is a hidden policy of Asif Zardari, PPP, and ANP. 

Muslims are instructed to abide by the laws of the land they live in, according to the Quran. They are encouraged to serve the nation and its citizens whether or not the country they live in is a Muslim country. However blind patriotism, supporting the country with no consideration of right or wrong is unacceptable. A true Muslim citizen loves his country and fellow citizens and residents, and at the same time, whenever he sees that any injustice is being committed, he raises the voice. Speaking out against injustice is one of the most important dictates of Islam;“O you who have believed, persistently stand firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is Ever-Acquainted with what you do.” (Quran 4:135)

“Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [bytaking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart [by hating it and feeling that it is wrong] – and that is the weakest of faith” (Narrated by Muslim, 49)
Activism is defined as a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action. A study of the Quran or the biography (Seera) of the Prophet Muhammad demonstrates that Islam is a religion that requires activism from its followers. The Quran repeatedly exhorts its readers to be proactive in establishing good and preventing evil (Amr bil maruf wa nahi anul munkar)

Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Child Trafficking and Prostitution

UN Refugee Agency

Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 – Pakistan

Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and prostitution. The largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor, concentrated in the Sindh and Punjab provinces in agriculture and brick making, and to a lesser extent in mining and carpet-making. Estimates of bonded labor victims, including men, women, and children, vary widely, but are likely well over one million. In extreme scenarios, when laborers speak publicly against abuse, landowners have kidnapped laborers and their family members. Boys and girls are also bought, sold, rented, or kidnapped to work in organized, illegal begging rings, domestic servitude, prostitution, and in agriculture in bonded labor. Illegal labor agents charge high fees to parents with false promises of decent work for their children, who are later exploited and subject to forced labor in domestic servitude, unskilled labor, small shops and other sectors. Agents who had previously trafficked children for camel jockeying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were not convicted and continue to engage in childtrafficking. Girls and women are also sold into forced marriages; in some cases their new “husbands” move them across Pakistani borders and force them into prostitution. NGOs and police reported markets in Pakistan where girls and women are bought and sold for sex and labor. Non-state militant groups kidnap children or coerce parents with fraudulent promises into giving away children as young as 12 to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers. The militants often sexually and physically abuse the children and use psychological coercion to convince the children that the acts they commit are justified.
Many Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to the Gulf States, Iran, Turkey, South Africa, Uganda, Greece, and other European countries for low-skilled employment such as domestic work, driving or construction work; once abroad, some become victims of labor trafficking. False job offers and high fees charged by illegal labor agents or sub-agents of licensed Pakistani Overseas Employment Promoters increase Pakistani laborers’ vulnerabilities and some laborers abroad find themselves in involuntary servitude or debt bondage. Employers abroad use practices including restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Moreover, traffickers use violence, psychological coercion and isolation, often seizing travel and identification documents, to force Pakistani women and girls into prostitution in the Middle East and Europe. There are reports of child and sex trafficking between Iran and Pakistan; Pakistan is a destination for men, women and children from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Iran who are subjected to forced labor and prostitution.
The Government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so. The government’s prosecutions of transnational labor trafficking offenders and substantive efforts to prevent and combat bonded labor – a form of human trafficking – demonstrated increased commitment, but there were no criminal convictions of bonded labor offenders or officials who facilitated trafficking in persons. It also continued to lack adequate procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and to protect these victims.
Recommendations for Pakistan: Significantly increase law enforcement activities, including imposing adequate criminal punishment for labor and sex traffickers, as well as labor agents who engage in illegal activities; vigorously investigate, prosecute and convict public officials at all levels who participate in or facilitate human trafficking, including bonded labor; sensitize government officials to the difference between human trafficking and smuggling; improve efforts to collect, analyze, and accurately report counter-trafficking data; improve methods for identifying victims of trafficking, especially among vulnerable persons; consider increasing collaboration with civil society, the Bureau of Emigration and the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis’ Community Welfare Attachés to identify and protect trafficking victims; consider replicating the successes of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office in Oman to other labor-importing countries; and consider replicating Punjab’s project to combat bonded labor in the other provinces.
The Government of Pakistan made progress in law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in 2009. While the lack of comprehensive internal anti-trafficking laws hindered law enforcement efforts, a number of other laws were used to address some of these crimes. Several sections in the Pakistan Penal Code, as well as provincial laws, criminalize forms of human trafficking such as slavery, selling a child for prostitution, and unlawful compulsory labor, with prescribed offenses ranging from fines to life imprisonment. Pakistan prohibits all forms of transnational trafficking in persons with the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance (PACHTO); the penalties range from seven to 14 years’ imprisonment. Government officials and civil society report that judges have difficulty applying PACHTO and awarding sufficiently stringent punishments, because of confusion over definitions and similar offenses in the Pakistan Penal Code. In addition, the Bonded Labor (System) Abolition Act (BLAA) prohibits bonded labor, with prescribed penalties ranging from two to five years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both. Pakistani officials have yet to record a single conviction and have indicated the need to review and amend the BLAA. Prescribed penalties for above offenses vary widely; some are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes such as rape. Others –with minimum sentencing of a fine or less than a year in prison – are not sufficiently stringent.
During 2009, the government convicted 385 criminals under PACHTO – 357 more than 2008. The government did not disclose the punishments given to the trafficking offenders. Reported sentences under this law in previous years were not sufficiently stringent. Moreover, despite reports of transnational sex trafficking, the FIA reported fewer than a dozen such cases under PACHTO. Government officials also often conflated human smuggling and human trafficking, particularly in public statements and data reported to the media. In 2009, Pakistan reported 2,894 prosecutions and 166 convictions under the vagrancy ordinances and various penal code sections which authorities sometimes use to prosecute trafficking offenses; it is unclear how many of these prosecutions and convictions involved trafficking. It is confirmed that the government convicted at least three child traffickers; it is unknown whether these convictions were for forced prostitution or labor and what the imposed penalties were. The government prosecuted at least 500 traffickers: 416 for sex trafficking, 33 for labor trafficking, and 51 for either sex or labor trafficking. Only one person was prosecuted under the Bonded Labor System Abolition Act, with no conviction.
Some feudal landlords are affiliated with political parties or are officials themselves and use their social, economic and political influence to protect their involvement in bonded labor. Furthermore, police lack the personnel, training and equipment to confront landlords’ armed guards when freeing bonded labors. Additionally, media and NGOs reported that some police received bribes from brothel owners, landowners, and factory owners who subject Pakistanis to forced labor or prostitution, in exchange for police to ignore these illegal human trafficking activities. In 2009, 108 officials were disciplined, 34 given minor punishments, four permanently removed, and one was compulsorily retired for participating in illegal migration and human smuggling; some of these officials may have facilitated human trafficking.
In efforts to enhance victim identification practices, FIA officials and more than 250 law enforcement officers participated in anti-human trafficking training in 2009, provided in partnership with NGOs and governments of other countries. Various Pakistani government agencies provided venue space, materials, and travel and daily allowances, and law enforcement officers led and taught some of the training workshops. Police and FIA officials continued to receive anti-trafficking training in their respective training academies.
The Government of Pakistan made some progress in its efforts to protect victims of human trafficking. The government continued to lack adequate procedures and resources for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable persons with whom they come in contact, especially child laborers, women and children in prostitution, and agricultural and brick kiln workers. The FIA and the police referred vulnerable men, women and children, many of whom were trafficking victims, to federal and provincial government shelters and numerous NGO-operated care centers. There are reports, however, that women were abused in some government-run shelters. Shelters also faced resource challenges and were sometimes crowded and under-staffed. Sindh provincial police freed over 2,000 bonded laborers in 2009 from feudal landlords; few charges were filed against the employers. The FIA expanded protection services overseas and provided medical and psychological services to Pakistani trafficking victims in Oman. Some NGOs provided food, legal, medical, and psychological care to vulnerable children, including childtrafficking victims, in facilities provided by and partially staffed by the Government of Pakistan. Some NGOs and government shelters, like the Punjab Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, also rehabilitated and reunited children with their families. Female trafficking victims could access 26 government-run Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers and the numerous provincial government “Darul Aman” centers offering medical treatment, vocational training, and legal assistance. In September 2009, the government opened a rehabilitation center in Swat, which included a team of doctors and psychiatrists, to assist child soldiers rescued from militants.
The federal government, as part of its National Plan of Action for Abolition of Bonded Labor and Rehabilitation of Freed Bonded Laborers, continued to provide legal aid to bonded laborers in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North West Frontier Province), and expanded services to Balochistan and Sindh provinces. The Sindh provincial government continued to implement its $116,000 project (launched in 2005) which provided state-owned land for housing camps and constructed 75 low-cost housing units for freed bonded laborer families. The government encouraged foreign victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers by giving them the option of early statement recording and repatriation or, if their presence was required for the trial, by permitting them to seek employment. During 2009, all foreign victims opted for early statement recording and did not have to wait for or testify during the trial. The government did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Foreign victims reportedly were not prosecuted or deported for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Not all trafficking victims were identified and adequately protected. Pakistani adults deported from other countries, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, were fined up to $95, higher than one month’s minimum wages. Due to lack of sufficient shelter space and resources, police sometimes had to keep freed bonded laborers in the police station for one night before presenting them to a judge the next day.
During 2009, the Government of Pakistan completed a four-year project to repatriate and rehabilitate child camel jockeys who had been trafficked to the United Arab Emirates. The federal and provincial governments also collaborated with NGOs and international organizations to provide training on human trafficking, including victim identification, protective services, and application of laws.
The Pakistani government made progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. The Punjab provincial government continued implementation of its $1.4 million project, Elimination of Bonded Labour in Brick Kilns (launched in 2008). To date, this project helped nearly 6,000 bonded laborers obtain Computerized National Identification Cards, in collaboration with the government National Database and Registration Authority. It has also provided $140,000 in no-interest loans to help free laborers from debt and established 60 on-site schools that educated over 1,500 children of brick kiln laborers. The Bureau of Emigration continued to give pre-departure country-specific briefings to every Pakistani who traveled abroad legally for work; these briefings included information on how to obtain assistance overseas. The Punjab Child Protection and Welfare Bureau continued to fund 20 community organizations aimed at preventing child labor trafficking. The federal and provincial governments developed and began implementation of the Child Protection Management Information System, a national monitoring system that collects district-level data in five thematic areas, including child trafficking.
In 2009, all 250 Pakistani UN Peacekeeping Mission forces received training in various government training academies that included combating human trafficking. The government also took measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, some of which may have been forced prostitution, by prosecuting, but not convicting, at least 64 clients of prostitution. Government officials also participated in and led various public events on human trafficking during the reporting period. In February 2010, the federal government hosted an inter-agency conference for more than 30 federal and provincial officials that focused on practices for identifying and combating child trafficking, transnational trafficking, and bonded labor. Pakistan is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.


Hatef Mokhtar

Popular destinations for victims of the slave trade are the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf



Trafficking has become a lucrative industry and is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Globally, it is tied with the illegal trade, as the second largest criminal activity, followed by the drug trade. Human trafficking usually affects women and children more than it affects men. Sex trafficking is nothing less than slavery because when an offender takes a woman or girl against her will and forces her to engage in prostitution, he not only sells her body but also her freedom and dignity. Much sex trafficking is international, with victims being taken from places such as South and Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union, Central and South America, and other less-developed areas to more developed places including Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America. Those who profit from victimizing children and adults in the sex trade are only one half of the problem. The other half is those who patronize this industry.

The total annual revenue for trafficking in persons is estimated to be between USD$5 billion and $9 billion. The Council of Europe states, “People trafficking have reached epidemic proportions over the past decade, with a global annual market of about $42.5 billion,” and The United Nations estimates nearly 2.5 million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked around the world.

Human trafficking differs from people smuggling. As for smuggling, people voluntarily request or hire an individual, known as a smuggler, to transport them from one country to another, where legal entry would be denied upon arrival at the international border. After entry into the country and arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is free to find their own way, while smuggling requires travel, trafficking does not. Victims of human trafficking are not permitted to leave upon arrival at their destination, they are held against their will through acts of coercion and forced to work or provide services to the trafficker or others. The work includes anything from bonded or forced labor to commercialized sexual exploitation.

1. How Does Human Trafficking Take Place?

Traffickers find their victims from developing countries where poverty is widespread, commonly through force or deception. The victims are typically very young, from 8 to 18 years old and some as young as 4 or 5 years old. A common scenario involves a poor Asian or Eastern European girl who is offered a “better life” as a housemaid, restaurant server or dancer in a wealthy country such as the United States, Great Britain, or Italy. As she arrives, her passport is taken away, she is physically and sexually abused and forced into prostitution in a country where she neither speaks the language nor have any friends nor relatives. She is forced to service 8-15 clients a day and does not receive any pay as she is told that the money is used to pay off her “debt” to the trafficker and brothel owners for transportation, food, lodging and so on. After some period of time, she will be resold to another brothel owner, often in another country, and the cycle will continue all over again. She is likely to acquire HIV/AIDS, and to pass it on to her clients and their wives, all around the world. She has a greater chance than most of dying early, and is certain to live a horrible existence in whatever short years she has. Even if she is eventually rescued and repatriated to her country and community, she is likely to be ostracized as a result of her involvement in prostitution.

Government and police corruption, primarily in under-developed countries, play a large role in the perpetuation of the sex slave industry, with blind-eyes being turned toward openly active brothels and payoffs being accepted by those officials charged with the enforcement of national and international laws prohibiting trafficking, prostitution and child sexual exploitation.

 Click at the pictures for a larger image.

2. Types of labor work

Bonded labor, or debt bondage, is probably the least known form of labor trafficking today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving people. Victims become bonded laborers when their labor is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan or service in which its terms and conditions have not been defined or in which the value of the victims’ services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt. The value of their work is greater than the original sum of money “borrowed.”

Forced labor is when victims are forced to work against their own will, under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment, their freedom is restricted and a degree of ownership is exerted. Men are at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work, which globally generates $31bn according to the International Labor Organization. Forms of forced labor can include domestic servitude; agricultural labor; sweatshop factory labor; janitorial, food service and other service industry labor; and begging.

Sex trafficking victims are generally found in poor circumstances and easily targeted by traffickers. These circumstances include homeless individuals, runaway teens, displaced homemakers, refugees, and drug addicts. While it may seem like trafficked people are the most vulnerable and powerless minorities in a region, victims are consistently exploited from any ethnic and social background. Traffickers are known as pimps or madams, offers promises of marriage, employment, education, and/or an overall better life. However, in the end, traffickers force the victims to become prostitutes or work in the sex industry. Various works in the sex industry includes prostitution, dancing in strip clubs, performing in pornographic films and pornography, and other forms of involuntary servitude. Women are lured to accompany traffickers based on promises of lucrative opportunities unachievable in their native country. Most have been told lies regarding the financial arrangements and conditions of their employment and find themselves in coercive or abusive situations from which escape is both difficult and dangerous. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 1,229 human trafficking incidents in the United States from January 2007- September 2008. Of these, 83 % were sex trafficking cases.

Child labor is a form of work that is likely to be hazardous to the physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development of children and can interfere with their education. The International Labor Organization estimates worldwide that there are 246 million exploited children aged between 5 and 17 involved in debt bondage, forced recruitment for armed conflict, prostitution, pornography, the illegal drug trade, the illegal arms trade, and other illicit activities around the world.

3. Trafficking in children

Trafficking of children is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children can take many forms and include forcing a child into prostitution or other forms of sexual activity or child pornography. Child exploitation can also include forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, the removal of organs, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for use in begging or as athletes (such as child camel jockeys or football players), or for recruitment for cults.

Thailand and Brazil are considered to have the worst child sex trafficking records. One of the major reasons is the parent’s extreme poverty where they sell their children in order to pay debts or gain income. Some is deceived that the traffickers will give a better life and education for their children. The adoption process, legal or illegal, can sometimes result in cases of trafficking of babies and pregnant women between the West and the developing world. Thousands of children from Asia, Africa, and South America are sold into the global sex trade every year. Often they are kidnapped or orphaned, and sometimes they are actually sold by their own families.

Trafficking victims are also exposed to different psychological problems. They suffer social alienation in the host and home countries. Stigmatization, social exclusion and intolerance make reintegration into local communities difficult. The governments offer little assistance and social services to trafficked victims upon their return.

4. Global nature of the problem

Sex trafficking is global in nature and the victims come from all developing countries and are trafficked into or through virtually all developing and developed countries. It is estimated, for example, that 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year, most of who are sold into prostitution. This is not dependent on nationality, race or religion and not on economic or social standing. The one substantial difference is that it is the wealthy countries – through their military, businessmen, tourists, and Internet pornography subscribers, all of whom pay significantly more for the use of a sex slave that keeps this criminal industry extremely profitable for traffickers.

Trafficking does not only occur in poor countries, but in fact in every country. A source country is a country where people are trafficked and these countries are often weakened by poverty, war, corruption, natural disasters or climate. Some examples of source countries are Nepal, Guatemala, and the former Soviet Union, Nigeria, Thailand, China, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and many more. Then there is transit country where the victims are enslaved and the destination country is where the victim ends up. Japan, India, much of Western Europe, and the United States are all destination countries and the most common destinations for victims of human trafficking are Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the US, according to a report by the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).

Almost every human trafficking prevention organization works to spread public awareness of trafficking. Several methods have been used to achieve public awareness, and while some produce little results, others have succeeded in persuading governments to pass laws and regulations on human trafficking. By pushing the issue of human trafficking into the public eye through the media, organizations work to educate the general public about the dangers of being trafficked and practices of preventing individuals from being trafficked. Television, magazines, newspapers, and radio are all used to warn and educate the public by providing statistics, scenarios, and general information on the subject.

Regardless of the type of human trafficking, nearly 1 in 5 of its victims was children, according to various reports. Their innocence is abused for begging, or exploited for sex as prostitutes, pedophilia or child pornography. Others are sold as child brides or camel jockeys.”

In a 2008 report on human trafficking, the U.S. State Department listed Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as destination countries with widespread trafficking abuses, particularly forced laborers trafficked from Asia and Africa who are subject to restrictions on movement, withholding of passports, threats and physical and sexual abuse. The report found those countries made feeble efforts to rescue victims and prosecute traffickers. The department’s report also says slave labor in developing countries such as Brazil, China and India was fueling part of their huge economic growth. Other countries on the blacklist were Algeria, Cuba, Fiji, Iran, Myanmar, Moldova, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Sudan and Syria.

According to the Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. In Central Asia and Eastern Europe, women make up more than 60 percent of those convicted of trafficking. The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labor, or slavery, making up 18 percent of the total, although the writers of the report say it may be underreported. Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour counting 18 %. Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of Africa and the Mekong region, children are the majority, up to 100% in parts of West Africa.

  Click at the picture for a larger image

5. War and abuse

Women and girls in war zones are especially touched by the ugly side of war. They are not able to defend themselves and after being abused or sold they are stigmatized in their communities besides ending up pregnant or with HIV/AIDS.

In August 2001, soldiers with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Eritrea were purchasing 10 year old girls for sex in local hotels.

Before the arrival of 15,000 UN troops in Cambodia in 1991, there were an estimated 1,000 prostitutes in the capital. Currently, Cambodia’s illegal sex trade generates $500 million a year. No less than 55,000 women and children are sex slaves in Cambodia, 35 percent of which are younger than 18 years of age.

Over 5,000 women and children have been trafficked from the Philippines, Russia and Eastern Europe and are forced into prostitution in bars servicing the U.S. Military in South Korea.

6. Children – lost innocence

  • Children from Pakistan and Bangladesh are kidnapped or sold by their parents to traffickers who take them to Persian Gulf States including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to work as camel jockeys. These children are 3 to 7 years of age and kept malnourished to keep their weight below 35 pounds. They suffer physical abuse from the traffickers and work all day training camels. Many of these children do also suffer extreme injuries or death from falling off camels during the races.
  • Child victims of trafficking are very vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Misconceptions that having sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS have fueled an increased demand for child prostitutes.
  • Girls from 15 to 17 years of age are trafficked from Thailand and Taiwan to South Africa. Traffickers recruited these girls to work as waitresses or domestic workers and once they arrive to South Africa they are forced into prostitution.
  • Filipino children are trafficked to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and Southeast Asia, where they are sexually exploited. Traffickers loan parents a sum of money, which the girl must repay to the trafficker through forced prostitution. In one case, a Filipino woman rented her 9-year-old niece to foreign men for sex, and eventually sold her to a German pedophile.
  • 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States from no less than 49 countries every year. As many as 750,000 women and children have been trafficked into the United States over the last decade.
  • Women and children as young as 14 have been trafficked from Mexico to Florida and forced to have sex with as many as 130 clients per week in a trailer park. These women were kept hostage through threats and physical abuse, and were beaten and forced to have abortions. One woman was locked in a closet for 15 days after trying to escape.
  • In Fresno, California Hmong gang members have kidnapped girls between the ages of 11 and 14 and forced into prostitution. The gang members would beat and rape them into submission. These girls were trafficked within the United States and traded between other Hmong communities.
  • The Cadena smuggling ring brings women and some are as young as 14, from Mexico to Florida. The victims were forced to prostitute themselves with as many as 130 men per week in a trailer park. Of the $25 charged, the women received only $3. The Cadena members keep the women hostage through threats and physical abuse and the women must work until they paid off their debts of $2,000 to $3,000.
  • Domestic servants in some countries of the Middle East are forced to work 12 to 16 hours a day with little or no pay, and subject to sexual abuse such as rape, forced abortions, and physical abuse that has resulted in death.
  • Traffickers in many countries in West Africa take girls through voodoo rituals in which girls take oaths of silence and are often raped and beaten, prior to their leaving the country. They are also forced to sign agreements stating that, once they arrive in another country, they owe the traffickers a set amount of money. They are sworn to secrecy and given detailed accounts of how they will be tortured if they break their promise. Traffickers have taken women and young girls to shrines and places of cultural or religious significance; they remove pubic and other hair and then perform a ceremony of intimidation.

7. Human trafficking and the facts

  • An estimated number of 700.000 to 4 million people are forced in forced labor (including the sex industry) as a result of trafficking. Of these are:
  • 1.4 million – 56% are in Asia and the Pacific
  • 250.000 – 10% are in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 230.000 – 9.2% are in the Middle East and Northern Africa
  • 130.000 – 5.2% are in sub-Saharan countries
  • 270.000 – 10.8% are in industrialized countries
  • 200.000 – 8% are in countries in transitions
  • 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being a source, transit or destination count. People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy.
  • The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age and 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.
  • 95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence.
  • 43% of victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation of which 98% are women and girls.
  • 32% of victims are used for forced economical exploitation of which 56% are women and girls.
  • 52% of those recruiting females are men, 42% are women and 6% are both men and women.
  • In 54% of the cases, the recruiter was a stranger to the victim, 46% of the cases, the recruiter knew the victim.
  • Estimated global annual profits made from the exploitation of all trafficked forced labor are US$ 31.6 billion. Of this:
  • US$ 15.5 billion – 49% – is generated in industrialized economies
  • US$ 9.7 billion – 30.6% is generated in Asia and the Pacific
  • US$ 1.3 billion – 4.1% is generated in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • US$ 1.6 billion – 5% is generated in sub-Saharan Africa
  • US$ 1.5 billion – 4.7% is generated in the Middle east and North Africa

 Click at the picture for a larger image (statistics from 2008-2009)

8. Slavery and sex-trade in the Arab world

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a destination for men and women, mostly from South and Southeast Asia, trafficked for the purposes of labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrant workers, who stand for more than 90% of the UAE’s private sector workforce, are recruited from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, and the Philippines. Women from some of these countries travel willingly to work as domestic servants or administrative staff, but some are victims of forced labor, including unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, or physical or sexual abuse. Men from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are drawn to the UAE for work in the construction sector, but are often subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude and debt bondage.

For the foreign female domestic workers, it is a life of isolation both physically, psychologically, socially and culturally. Some of these women live in abusive environments but others are able to live a little bit more socially. Under the law, once a foreign female worker enters a employers house, she is under his/her control since the employer is the visa sponsor. The employer bears total responsibility for his/her domestic workers and has total control over them. But during the first 3 months of the contract, both the employer and the employee have the right to contact the recruiting agency in order to report problems or to seek change in the status or employment of the foreign female domestic worker. Most recruiting agencies, however, do not encourage this practice, and often hide information from the foreign female domestic worker about their rights. The immigration regulations governing the status of domestic workers and the social practices towards foreign female domestic worker in the United Arab Emirates enslave them to their employers until the duration of their contract ends. Whether one is placed with a desirable or an undesirable employer is a matter of luck.

Saudi Arabia is a place for men and women from South East Asia and East Africa trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation and forced begging for children from Yemen and Africa. Hundreds of thousands low skilled workers from India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya migrate voluntarily to Saudi Arabia to work. Many of these workers meet conditions of physical and sexual abuse, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, withholding of travel documents and restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Unfortunately, the government of Saudi Arabia has done little or almost nothing to eliminate trafficking and has lack of efforts to protect victims and prosecute those who are guilty of abuse. Some victims of abuse, chooses to leave the country rather than to confront their abusers in court and according to the law, they are required to file a complaint first before they can be allowed in any shelter. If a victim chooses to file a complaint, he/she is not allowed to work and the Saudi Government does in fat provide food and shelter for female workers who file report.

9. Iran – High profitable sex-trade

Iran has for 25 years, has enforced humiliating and punishments on women and girls, enslaved them in a system of segregation, forced veiling, second-class status, lashing, and stoning to death. Joining a global trend, in Tehran there has been a 635% increase in the number of teenage girls in prostitution. In Tehran, there are an estimated 84,000 women and girls in prostitution, many of them are on the streets, others are in the 250 brothels that exist in the city. The trade is also international as thousands of Iranian women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery abroad. The head of Iran’s Interpol bureau believes that the sex slave trade is one of the most profitable activities in Iran today and government officials themselves are involved in buying, selling, and sexually abusing women and girls.

Many of the girls come from poor families living in rural areas. Drug addiction has become epidemic throughout Iran, and some addicted parents sell their children to support their habits. There is also a problem with high unemployment, 28% for youth between 15-29 years of age and 43% for women between 15-20 years of age.

Popular destinations for victims of the slave trade are the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf because of the booming tourism and the good economy. According to the head of the Tehran province judiciary, traffickers target girls between 13 and 17 years old, although there are reports of some girls as young as 8. The victims are often physically punished and imprisoned besides being examined if they have engaged in “immoral activity.” Based on the findings, officials can ban them from leaving the country again.

Police have uncovered a number of prostitution and slavery rings operating from Tehran that have sold girls to France, Britain, Turkey, as well. One network based in Turkey bought smuggled Iranian women and girls, made fake passports, and transported them to European and Persian Gulf countries. In one case, a 16-year-old girl was smuggled to Turkey, and then sold to a 58-year-old European national for $20,000.

One factor contributing to the increase in prostitution and the sex slave trade is the number of teen girls who are running away from home for different reasons and 90% of girls who run away from home will end up in prostitution.As a result of runaways, in Tehran alone there are an estimated 25,000 street children, most of them girls. The perpetrators look after street children, runaways, and vulnerable high school girls in city parks and manage to convince them. In large cities, shelters have been set up to provide assistance for runaways but these places are often corrupt and run prostitution rings from the shelters. In one case, a woman was discovered selling Iranian girls to men in Persian Gulf countries; for four years, she had hunted down runaway girls and sold them. She even sold her own daughter for US$11,000.

For further information about the slave and sex trade and the work that is done to prevent, you can click into these links.

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