Posts Tagged ‘sex trade’

In August 2001, soldiers with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Eritrea were purchasing ten-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

The Cadena smuggling ring trafficked women, some 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 “Johns” the women received only $3. The Cadena members kept the women hostage through threats and physical abuse. One woman was kept in a closet for 15 days for trying to escape. Some were beaten and forced to have abortions (the cost of which was added to their debt). The women worked 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.
http://www.teamwmi.org/educational-information/human-trafficking-facts-figures/-britain

“South Africa is commonly regarded as the main country of destination for trafficked persons in the region,” SACTAP said in its brochure. “In many cases, women and children are lured to South Africa with promises of jobs, education or marriage, only to be sold and sexually exploited in the country’s major urban centres, or small towns and more rural environments.”
A 2004 report by South Africa’s Independent Newspapers alleged that “every year nearly 900,000 people are smuggled across borders as sex slaves, child labourers and illegal organ donors, with 75 percent of them going through South Africa.”

“Using numbers provided by informants in the sex industry and migration figures provided by Statistics South Africa, the authors calculate that between 850 and 1,100 women and children are trafficked to South Africa for the purpose of sexual exploitation annually,”

“They similarly estimate that at least 1,000 Mozambican women are trafficked into some kind of sexual exploitation in South Africa each year, earning traffickers approximately R1 million [$125,000] annually.”
http://www.irinnews.org/Report/80229/SOUTH-AFRICA-How-heavy-is-human-trafficking

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When police turned up at the Shangri-La, it was quiet. Marinela Badea was catching up on sleep and was awoken by the commotion. Minutes later, on a grey Manchester morning, she and half a dozen other women were handcuffed and marched out of the red-brick massage parlour in Openshaw in the east of the city.

Marinela, 17, was terrified. Trafficked from Romania, she had been coerced into prostitution by a pimp who beat her with numbing regularity. Now there was something new to fear. “I didn’t even know where I was going,” she says now. “I couldn’t trust anyone, I had no idea of the law. I was so scared.”

The sex crimes unit of Greater Manchester police arrested her for prostitution-related offences, but at least Marinela was safe behind bars. Her first day in custody was the first since her arrival in England six months earlier that she had not been forced to have sex. She had been raped by different men 50 times a week on average, often violent, drunken strangers. And if she was released from prison, Marinela was convinced she would be murdered by the gang who trafficked her.

Eventually police would discover that Marinela was an innocent victim of Bogdan Nejloveanu, 51, and his son Marius, 23, a Romanian trafficking team who last month received the longest sentence for trafficking in UK history. Her extraordinary story, revealed here for the first time, offers a troubling insight into Britain’s vast “off-street” prostitution trade. It also raises questions about the apparent indifference of the authorities to tackling trafficking and protecting vulnerable women imported into Britain as sex slaves.

Victims are notoriously reluctant to describe their experience because of the shame, fear and stress. It is even rarer for such women to agree to be identified. Motivated by a courageous desire to expose this sordid, violent world, Marinela has revealed the full horror of her ordeal in an account that should reopen the debate about how Britain deals with its sex industry.

As far as her friends and family were concerned, Marinela vanished. One moment she was on the way home from school in the provincial town of Alexandria, two hours drive from Bucharest, then she was gone. Later they learnt that, just after 5pm one afternoon in mid-March 2008, as she was settling down to her homework in the flat she shared with a female friend, there was a knock on the door. Outside stood two men. One, Cornel, had a reputation for prostituting local girls. The other she had never met. He was called Marius Nejloveanu.

They invited her to a barbecue. “I said no because I had homework,” said Marinela. “When Cornel heard that he just banged my head on the wardrobe and said, ‘Put your coat on.’

“Marius saw my ID card on the table near the TV and took it and my phone. I asked him: ‘Why are you taking my passport?’ and he just stared at me.” From the barbecue, Marinela was taken to a relative of Nejloveanu’s, near Alexandria. There, hours after being abducted, she was raped. “I said, ‘I want to go home’ – so they beat me up. After half an hour they brought his friend in and they forced me to sleep with him. From that day they kept me prisoner. They wouldn’t even let me go outside in case somebody saw me.”

In the days that followed, friends and family tried to find her, but there were no clues. Her teachers were baffled. She was in the third year of a course on food hygiene and considered a rising star.

The search intensifed but a new identity was being forced on Marinela. She was given a fake passport that transformed her into a 21-year-old adult, then taken to Bucharest and forced on to the 4am coach to England. Nejloveanu promised a job cleaning hotels. Two days later – on 3 April 2008 – Marinela arrived at Birmingham’s central bus station.

A woman claiming to be a girlfriend of Nejloveanu took her to a large suburban house in Edgbaston where another two Romanian girls lived. “Then it dawned on me. I was asked: ‘Do you know how to put a condom on?’ ‘What are you talking about?’ I said.” Marinela refused to accompany the girls to a nearby brothel and as a consequence received her first death threat. Unless she co-operated Nejloveanu would kill her, she was told, when he returned from Romania.

Desperate and hardly eating, Marinela began to waste away. Diminuitive to begin with, her frame became skeletal. She recalls watching her ribcage protrude when exhaling.

Nejloveanu eventually arrived and she took her first ferocious beating for refusing to have sex with men. “He beat me up and forced me to sleep with him – anal sex. It really hurt. He was pulling my hair and hurting my back. Sometimes he would bang my head right on the corner of the door. That really hurt.”

Weeks into her ordeal, Marinela relented. Nejloveanu presented her with a lurid set of garish underwear and she was taken to a nearby brothel masquerading as a sauna. She could not speak a word of English. When the first “client” booked her she wanted to say “no” but could not. She wanted to explain her predicament, tell the man that she was trafficked. Instead she cried, hoping that the man would take pity on her. He did not. None of them did.

On her first day she made £300, enough to support her family in Romania for six weeks, but was forced to surrender every penny. “After that I was making £400, £500. After a month I was making £500 a day, but if I wanted a cigarette or bar of chocolate I had to ask.”

Daily shifts lasted 12 hours, 10pm to 10am, seven days a week. Sometimes she would be obliged to have sex 12 times with different men. She says it was normal for her trafficked peers to have sex with 10 men a day.

Punters paid £40 a session, of which half went to Nejloveanu and half to the sauna or massage parlour where she was imprisoned. Most of the men were white or Asian, a number were repeat clients, but most were strangers. Some were drunk, a few violent.

“There was one guy and I didn’t want to do what he asked me. So he beat me up because he was drunk, pulled my hair and slapped me like this.” She pretends to wallop the side of her face so hard her head jerks back and her tongue lolls out. “But they just take the violent men outside. Nothing ever happens to them even if I am really hurt.”

She said the trauma of having to undress for often stinking men she detested never went away. “Even if they stink, and have come straight from work, you have to sleep with them – it was so horrible. Can you imagine how I was feeling taking my clothes off, exposing the horrible underwear that Marius had bought? I was supposed to be in high school, not in England sleeping with men and making money for criminals.”

Those who ran the saunas were instructed not to let Marinela go outside, often for days at a time. She made one escape bid. That precipitated one of her most brutal beatings by Nejloveanu: “I got punched, a knife in my head, my hair was pulled until it came out.”

Marinela soon picked up enough English to decipher the ease with which Britain’s covert sex industry operates. Nejloveanu’s girlfriend would simply plough through the local papers’ classified section and ring up massage parlours and saunas asking if they required girls. “She was ringing to see if they had any ‘jobs’ there. Are there any jobs available? Jobs meant brothels.” Marinela, along with the two other Romanian girls, was transferred around the West Midlands, to places such as Lisa’s Sauna in east Birmingham, where “a lot of girls worked,” according to Marinela, and which remains open.

As the months passed, two more trafficked Romanian girls arrived in Edgbaston. Both had severe mental problems and one, aged 23, was later found to have a mental age of 10. The pair made little money for their pimps and one was quickly sold off.

Marinela’s family assumed their daughter was dead. Her parents imagined that at 17 she was too young to travel abroad. At their smallholding in Silistea, a farming hamlet 70km north of Alexandria, they despaired and discussed giving up their search.

In England, Marinela was being prepared for her next stage of exploitation. In October 2008 she was taken to Manchester, first to the Belle Air massage parlour and then to Shangri-La, where up to 15 girls a day worked. In the brothels she was forced to inhabit, Marinela estimates she met more than 100 Romanians working as prostitutes in Birmingham alone, many of whom she says had been coerced. Her accounts provide a rare glimpse of the scale of off-street prostitution in Britain, which is notoriously problematic to quantify.

Charities say Marinela’s experience supports their belief that sex trafficking into the UK is significantly greater than officially recognised. An investigation by senior police officers last year identified almost 5,890 brothels – saunas, massage parlours and venues used illegally for paid sex – in England and Wales.

The investigation, by the Association of Chief Police Officers, found 342 brothels in the West Midlands. Judging by their statistics, Marinela was among 1,535 east European women working in establishments that featured an average of 6.6 beds. In north-west England, 760 businesses were identified, employing 1,242 sex workers from eastern Europe. In the UK, police found evidence that at least 400 women from eastern Europe have been trafficked, suffering a similar ordeal to Marinela’s. But campaigners say the true number runs into the thousands.

Women’s groups also lament the lack of police action against venues known to be selling sex illegally. Despite identifying huge numbers of brothels and sex trafficked victims, there is little evidence of a concerted police crackdown to close premises.

When David Greenwood, 43, was jailed last year for running the Belle Air and Shangri-La as brothels, the court heard that both had been known to police for years. Shangri-La has since “closed” but closer inspection indictates it has merely reopened under the name Infinity, with an identical telephone number. Its website lists 36 girls, divided into categories from “busty” to “blonde”. The shift structure looks familiar: 12 hours per girl, 10pm to 10am. When asked if 30 minutes for £40 included sex, a female receptionist said: “I can’t say on the phone because it’s against the law, but it does include a massage and full personal service.”

Last week, the Observer took Marinela back to the frozen south of Romania, to be reunited with her family in Silistea. When he learned what had happened to his daughter, Marin, her father, had to be stopped from burning down the house nearby Marius Nejloveanu built with his trafficking proceeds. Her mother, Adriana, wept as she held her daughter.

In Alexandria, returning for the first time since she was snatched from its streets, she seemed uncharacteristically nervous. “I don’t like it here. Marius’s people might want me dead.”

She visited the town’s police station where three years earlier her mother had reported her missing. In the early hours of a May morning in 2009, its officers raced to the nearby town of Mavrodin to arrest Nejloveanu following a tip-off from Greater Manchester police. The chief commissioner, Florea Stefan, said: “Marinela is lucky to be alive: many girls are beaten very, very badly.” He said Nejloveanu exported five girls to the UK but another seven had vanished in Romania.

Trafficked girls are sometimes killed by their pimps. “Everyone knows that,” said Marinela. Police in Alexandria are sensitive about trafficking, but senior officer Voicu Sanbu says between 50 and 100 people disappear each year, male and female. Marinela says she knows at least one girl from Silistea forced to work as a prostitute in England.

Thousands of the region’s young women work in the pan-European sex trade, the vast majority in Spain. Stefan said: “Prostitution is legal in Spain. Some are forced, some want to work, but many, many go to Spain. It is a big problem.”

When Marinela arrived at the police station Stefan was interviewing a trafficking victim from Spain. Nejloveanu’s father, Bogdan, was extradited from Spain to face trial in Manchester. Both were convicted 10 days ago of 34 separate offences. Bogdan was jailed for six years and Marius sentenced to 21 years.

The sentences meant closure for Marinela. Now she is helping at the safe house in Sheffield for vulnerable women, where she was cared for after police released her. With remarkable generosity towards a country where she was so horribly abused, she has grown to love Yorkshire and the city she lives in, and plans to make it her home. She has begun training as a hairdresser while helping to raise awareness of trafficking. She calls herself a survivor, not a victim.

“I will be so happy if I can help other girls,” she said. Her outlook is positive, her company characterised by mischievious humour. In many ways Marinela’s story is about the human spirit’s capacity to regenerate. “And I haven’t even got a mental health problem, which is phenomenal,” she grinned. Her father laughed, raising a glass of home-brewed brandy. Her mother managed a faint smile before wiping away another tear.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/06/sex-traffick-romania-britain

Marelyn Garcia’s boyfriend promised he’d take care of her. He said he would take her off the streets, support her heroin addiction and show her what real love was. Then after a few months of financial hardship, he told her one more thing: she needed to sleep with his friend for money.
Garcia had been a victim of sexual abuse when she was 7 years old and again between the ages of 11 and 14. “So that opened the door to promiscuity,” she explained. “When I got into human trafficking it wasn’t hard for me to do because that was already robbed from me.”
Garcia had been a prostitute for 13 years before she went to the Dream Center, a collaboration of ministries fighting against injustice, poverty and oppression in Chicago.
“In 2006, I came to the Dream Center very broken, very confused, didn’t know what life was all about,” she said.
At the time of her entry into the program, Garcia had been a victim of both emotional and mental abuse. Cathy Zimmerman,a mental health researcher with the Gender Violence and Health Centre of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reported that it is very common for victims to suffer from high levels of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Her 2006 study showed that 75 percent of trafficked women had severe recurring thoughts and memories of terrifying events, 67 percent had trouble sleeping and 65 percent felt like they didn’t had a future.
“There is little doubt that these experiences affect women for the rest of their lives,” Zimmerman said. She references the way one victim explained her mental state: “‘it feels as if they have stolen my smile and I will never get it back.’”
It is estimated that 16,000 – 25,000 women and girls are involved in the commercial sex trade in Chicago, according to a Preliminary Prevalence Report at the Center of Impact Research. Many of these victims grew up in drug and alcohol prevalent environments, had been victims of domestic or sexual violence and had one or more parents incarcerated. These women are often recruited as a result of their vulnerability.
However, women such as Garcia show that there is hope for those who feel stuck in these environments. The Dream Center of Chicago offers a two-year program that gets women off the streets, offers classes in anger management and domestic violence prevention, helps them find jobs and apartments, and assists them with reconnecting with their families. It is one of the many organizations in Chicago that offer assistance to human trafficking victims.
“We walk with them literally from a street corner until they go into their first apartments,” said Associate Pastor Trishia Kholodenko. She also leads a group of members who go into bars, massage parlors and strip clubs in order to alert human trafficking victims of their options.
“I hear the statistics,” Garcia said, now as the transitional living coordinator at the Dream Center. “But I’m living witness that because of God’s grace, because of people reaching out, because of people coming to seminars, and people getting training on this issue and having passion about it, I’m living proof that it does matter.”\

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=214225

Sex trafficking is tragic because it is imprisonment and oppression that devastates its victims. Mostly young women and children, the victims are subject to gross human rights violations, including rape, torture, forced abortions, starvation, and threats of torture or murder. Many of these victims have been imported from poverty conditions in foreign countries, duped with promises of good jobs in the U.S. Others were purchased like possessions or kidnapped outright. And some are American runaways whose lives have hit bottom.
The numbers of victims involved are staggering. The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking estimates that it is a $16 billion business in the U.S. In addition, the U.S. State Department reports that 14,500 to 18,000 victims are trafficked into this country annually for prostitution, forced labor or other forms of exploitation. The population of victims in this hidden illegal subculture is huge, but unverifiable. Nevertheless, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center reports that it responded to more than 19,400 phone calls on its hotline in 2011.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-03/news/ct-oped-0203-trafficking-20120203_1_human-trafficking-trafficking-victims-super-bowl-xlvi

Extent of Human Trafficking in the U.S.
• The U.S.A. is the second highest destination in the world for trafficked women (NOW-NYC, 2007). • $250,000: The amount of profit that can be made from one trafficked woman in the U.S.A (Sweeney, 2005).
• 600,000-800,000: The number of people trafficked across international borders each year, according to the State Department (U.S. DOS, 2008). • 14,500-17,500: A very conservative number of people who are trafficked into the United States each year (U.S. DOS, 2008).
• Between January 2007 and September 2008, 1,229 incidents of human trafficking, with 1,442 victims, were reported to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, 83 percent of the reported incidents involved sex trafficking, and 12 percent involved labor trafficking (Kyckelhahn, Beck & Cohen, 2009).
• 32 percent of the 1,442 victims in the 1,229 trafficking incidents reported were children.
• More than 50 percent of all victims in the human trafficking incidents were U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens accounted for 63 percent of sex trafficking victims. • U.S. Citizens accounted for 66 percent of suspected traffickers in the trafficking cases reported.
• The Salvation Army estimates that up to 150,000 foreign victims of slavery are in the United States from 49 countries in the Arab world, Africa, Southeast Asia, and nations formerly part of the Soviet Union, and that about 325,000 children are commercially sexually exploited in the USA annually (Frederick, 2007).
• Of the foreign victims trafficked into the U.S., approximately 50 % are under the age of 18 years, and 80% are female (U.S.DOJ, 2003).
Extent of Human Trafficking in Illinois
• February 7, 2012, Cook County Sheriff announced the results of the second “National Day of John Arrests” that covered a 10 day period and involved 20 U.S. law enforcement agencies in 8 states. A total of 314 sex buyers also known as “Johns” were arrested and charged including 46 in Chicago and 6 in Aurora, Illinois (Cook County Sheriff, n.d.).
• January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, number of cases that referenced potential trafficking situations in Illinois to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC): 93, including 38 cases with a high level of critical information and key indicators relevant to identifying a human trafficking situation. The 38 confirmed cases include 30 cases of sex trafficking, 7 cases of labor trafficking, and one unspecified case. Twenty-five of the 38 cases were in Chicago. (Polaris Project, n.d.).
• January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010, number of calls to the NHTRC that referenced potential trafficking situations in Illinois: 411 (Polaris Project, n.d.). • On February 23, 2009, FBI agents and police arrested 44 Chicago- area adults as part of a nationwide crackdown on child prostitution (NBC Chicago).
• In a 2003 article, the New York Times labeled Chicago as a national hub for human trafficking (Frederick, 2007).
http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/college/research_public_service/files/TraffickingInPersonsInIllinois_FactSheet09202010.pdf
chicago

Worldwide 9.8 Million People are exploited by private agents for labor or commercial sex

2.5 million people are forced to work by the state or rebel military groups
For more info: https://undergroundhostages.wordpress.com/category/underground-africa/

Only 49 thousand people of the estimated 27 million people have been identified as victims of human trafficking across the world

Close to 4 thousand successful prosecutions of human trafficking in 2009

800,000 number of people are trafficked across international boarders yearly
For more info: https://undergroundhostages.wordpress.com/category/underground-north-america/underground-atlanta/

2 million children are exploited by commercial sex, globally

More info can be found here:
http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/centers/humanrights/events/jcr%3Acontent/content/download_0/file.res/Human%20Trafficking%20Statistics.pdf

There is over one million new people trafficked each year

Every minute two children become victims of human trafficking

The average life span of a child caught in sex slavery is two years

The average age of an exploited child is 11

By 48 hours, 1 in 3 people on the streets become victims of human trafficking, worldwide

For more info:
http://www.mannafreedom.com/get-informed-about-human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking/

world

kampala

According to the Department of Labor’s findings in 2004, there is proof of children being abducted and trafficked across the border to Sudan by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Most of the LRA rebels are between the ages of 11 to 16.

The government of Uganda admitted that internal trafficking and sexual exploitation occurs in border towns in Uganda, and in Kampala.
UNICEF estimates that the LRA has abducted close to 12 thousand children since 2002-2004.

They force these children to be laborers, soldiers, guards, and sex slaves.

The LRA beat, rape, drug, and force these children to march until exhausted. In addition, they addict the kids to alcohol and drugs as soon as they arrive at the camp.

To test the children’s mental strength, the officers of the camp, force the incoming children to kill men, women, or children, who tried to run away from the camp.

85% of the captives are made up of children.
There are other freelancers who exploit women and children for sex trafficking. These are usually, Taxi drivers or hotel operators.

Uganda has recently set up a human trafficking force in April of 2012.

To officially commission in the task force, Minister of State for Internal Affairs James Baba said this, “Traffickers have often taken advantage of this fragmentation of interventions and uncoordinated responses and have exploited the vulnerabilities of the very people we seek to protect,” he said in his speech to officially commission the task force.

A report by Uganda’s consul in Kuala Lumpur said that there are more than 600 Ugandan women trapped in Malaysia’s sex industry.

http://www.irinnews.org/report/95759/UGANDA-Human-trafficking-drive-needs-rescuing
http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Uganda.htm

-The Brazilian police estimate that there are between 250,000 and 400,00 CHILDREN exploited in domestic prostitution in Brazil.

-These children are most likely found in resorts and tourists areas.

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Brazil.htm

-Paraguay and Chile have both criminalized illegal entry into the country for the purpose of prostitution.

-10% of human trafficking is found in South America

-1.3 Billion US dollars are collected in South America each year

Sadly, with an increasing amount of human trafficking in South America, there is little awareness or statistics. With one or two minor laws being passed in South America, this leaves a gateway for prostitution, slave labor, and any other possible slavery in this country. I believe with so many scattered and forgotten tribes in places like Brazil, it is almost impossible to keep track of who is being taken and exploited.

human

According to the website http://www.thepunch.com

-Australian authorities have only identified 140 victims of sex trafficking.However, each week in Victoria Australia, 60,000 men buy women in prostitution.

-Since 2004 Australia has invested $50 million in anti human trafficking efforts.

According to the website http://www.humantrafficking.org

-A third of the prostitutes come from South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and India.

-The number of South Korean prostitutes has increased over the years

victor51
According to the website http://www.smh.com

According to the business research company IBIS World, the Australian sex industry has ballooned over the past decade. High growth has forced pimps to forge international supply routes to source their ”product”, which, in the case of the sex industry, is mostly women and children. Asian women in particular are a consumer favourite.

Consumer Affairs licenses brothel and escort agency businesses. Prostitution was legalised in Victoria in 1984 to tackle three problems: illegal prostitution and police corruption, harm to women and street prostitution. More than 15 years later, these problems have grown worse, not better.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/its-time-to-get-serious-about-sex-trafficking-in-australia-20111012-1lkzi.html#ixzz2IXElRnBW