Experts fear human trafficking more widespread

Official figures show 54 foreign women were trafficked into prostitution last year, but true figures could be higher

April 14 2010

New figures from the Danish Centre against Human Trafficking show that 54 foreign prostitutes were identified as victims of human trafficking last year, but experts fear the true figures are much higher.

Systematic registration of human trafficking first began in 2008 and the centre contacted 1,067 foreign prostitutes last year to see if they had been victims.

Almost half of the 54 victims identified last year stem from Nigeria, with others coming from countries such as Thailand, Lithuania and Russia.

But anthropologist Trine Mygind Korsby from the Centre against Human Trafficking told Berlingske Tidende newspaper that the figures could be much higher as it’s difficult to get in touch with the women and get them to admit that they have been trafficked.

‘They’re afraid of the pimps, of being sent home and they’re not always interested in cooperating with authorities because of negative experiences with them in their homeland,’ Korsby said.

Organisations such as HopeNow and Reden International offer assistance to foreign prostitutes in Denmark and they also believe that the human trafficking figures are much higher.

‘It’s incredibly hard to identify them because they are physically and emotionally threatened by their pimps. Most of the women suffer from a form of Stockholm syndrome and feel a kind of loyalty to their pimps,’ said founder of HopeNow Michelle Mildwater to Berlingske Tidende. Source

Related

Slavery and Human Trafficking Crimes/Numerous other stories of slavery/Sex slavery  from around the world. That wonderful job offer may be  sex slavery/prostitution.Thousands have been kidnapped or conned and forced into prostitution/Sex Slavery.

Victim escapes from human trafficking ring Amira Agarib

April 15 2010,

DUBAI — The Dubai Police recently nabbed five Arabs, including a couple, for allegedly bringing a woman to the country with a job offer and forcing her into prostitution.

All five have been referred to the prosecution mainly on the charge of running an international human trafficking ring, Dr Sultan Abdul Hameed Al Jamal, Director of the Human Trafficking Monitoring Centre of the police, said on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Arab woman, who arrived in the country recently, called the police and said she was forced into prostitution but had managed to escape from the gang holding her up.

The police met the woman who said that she had meetings with some people who promised to find her a job in a hotel in the UAE. She gave them a cheque for Dh50,000 as demanded by them and they sent her a visa taken by a hotel. When she arrived in the country, a man and a woman met her at the airport and took her to their residence and took away her passport. A few days later, the woman explained to her that her job was to have sex with men but she refused. Enraged, the woman beat her up for days and threatened her that she would lodge a complaint against her for issuing a dud cheque.

The victim told the police that she agreed to work as a sex worker after this blackmail. But she managed to escape on the way to meet a member of the prostitution ring and called the police.

Officers of the CID asked the woman to contact the gang and return to their flat to round them all up at one go.

The police raided the flat as soon as the woman entered it and arrested the couple who are also from the complainant’s country and three others.

Al Jamal said the police have found a house for the woman to live and they would find her a job if she wished to stay in the country till the court procedures are completed.

He said they would issue a certificate showing that the complainant was forced to issue a dud cheque due to blackmail so that other members of the gang do not trap her by submitting the cheque in her country. They would also coordinate with police authorities of her country to nab the others involved.  Source

Nine arrested in city human trafficking raids

April 14, 2010

NINE people have been arrested in Nottingham on suspicion of human trafficking, tax credit fraud and money laundering.

The six men and three women, from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were arrested in a series of raids carried out at addresses in the city last night and earlier today.

The investigation carried out by Notts Police, HM Revenue & Customs, the UK Border Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The men and women are alleged to have illegally claimed over £1 million in tax credits.

Six addresses were searched and the men and women were arrested on suspicion of tax credit fraud and money laundering offences. One of the men was also arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

Detective Chief Superintendant Ian Waterfield, head of the Force Crime and Intelligence Directorate, said: “The inquiry has taken many months and the investigation will continue, starting with the search of a number of addresses and interviews with those detained.”

Anyone with information relating to Tax Credit fraud is encouraged to call the Benefits Anti Fraud Helpline on 0800 854 440.

NINE people have been arrested in Nottingham on suspicion of human trafficking, tax credit fraud and money laundering.

The six men and three women, from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were arrested in a series of raids carried out at addresses in the city last night and earlier today.

The investigation carried out by Notts Police, HM Revenue & Customs, the UK Border Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions.

The men and women are alleged to have illegally claimed over £1 million in tax credits.

Six addresses were searched and the men and women were arrested on suspicion of tax credit fraud and money laundering offences. One of the men was also arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

Detective Chief Superintendant Ian Waterfield, head of the Force Crime and Intelligence Directorate, said: “The inquiry has taken many months and the investigation will continue, starting with the search of a number of addresses and interviews with those detained.”

Anyone with information relating to Tax Credit fraud is encouraged to call the Benefits Anti Fraud Helpline on 0800 854 440.  Source

Rethink human-trafficking reports Sound alarm … take action In a recent sentencing by the Criminal court, “an unidentified Asian man” was given “10 years imprisonment for trafficking in human beings.” The court also sentenced “two other men to five years, another to seven years and an Asian woman to three years.” The suspects were charged “with kidnapping an Asian maid, forcing her into prostitution and premeditatedly murdering her.” During the interrogation with the accused, the Asian suspect “admitted….forcing [the Asian maid] into prostitution and that she died in an attempt to escape.” Previously he sold her to a brothel in Jleeb Al-Shuyukh for KD 100.(Arab Times April 11, 2010).
I suggested in earlier articles published in the Arab Times that the Interior Ministry should do more raids on prostitution and criminal dens in Al-Jleeb. Our security forces already know the whereabouts and perhaps identities of would-be criminals.

What we need today is the use of more media exposure coverage of human trafficking committed by foreigners on our Kuwaiti soil.
Such media coverage of human trafficking crimes accompanied by reports on the efforts of the Interior Ministry to fight such phenomena will improve our standing in future international human rights reports.
At least we can clarify and throw light on some of the exaggerated accusations against our country.

Moreover, currently there seems to be a half-hearted media effort by some local agencies to shed more light on human trafficking committed by some expats against their own compatriots or those from other Asian nationalities.  It is, of course, ironic that such cases of expat-expat human trafficking and sexual exploitations do not seem to stand clear in international human rights reports. What we need to do is to sound the alarm louder than before and perhaps accompany such calls with security action against perpetrators.

A tiny number of foreigners in Kuwait do actually engage in the “flesh trade” and their crimes seem to have far greater consequences on our society. The Kuwaiti government has already established fully-equipped shelters for runaway maids who do not necessarily runaway from their Kuwaiti sponsors. In other words, we do not have to accept some human right reports on their face value, but point out the reality of the situations.
Strangely enough, such international reports seem to ignore the particulars of incidents and crimes committed by some expats against other expats victims. We will be silent no more! Source

Govt must tackle trafficking – HSRC

March 24 2010Johannesburg – Government and civil society need to take serious action against human trafficking in South Africa, according to a Human Sciences Research Council report released on Wednesday.

“Human trafficking in South Africa is a serious problem and warrants intervention on all fronts”, said the study released at a National Prosecuting Authority conference on the subject.

Victims are mostly women, girls and boys, and they are trafficked for a variety of purposes, including prostitution, pornography, domestic servitude, forced labour, begging, criminal activity, and trafficking for the removal of body parts, or muthi.

Young boys are trafficked to smuggle drugs and for other criminal activities.

Destination country

South Africa is a destination country for long-distance flows of mainly women from Thailand, Philippines, India, China, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine, who enter the country at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

From within Africa, people are trafficked across the extensive land borders of South Africa, mostly from Mozambique and Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho.

Longer-distance trafficking involves victims trafficked from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Somalia.

“All documented cases in this last category are women trafficked for both sexual and labour exploitation,” according to a summary of the report.

The albino community was also identified as vulnerable to human traffickers for the harvesting of body parts, due the belief that a white skin had potent powers, the report claimed.

Trafficking out of SA

Trafficking of South Africans out of the country was less of a problem, but eight cases were identified between January 2004 and January 2008.

Destination countries included Ireland, Zimbabwe, Israel, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Macau.

In all cases, the victims were women trafficked for either sexual exploitation, labour exploitation or forced marriage.

Perpetrators and intermediaries included large, organised crime networks and South African men with ex-military backgrounds working together with these syndicates.

The researchers said they experienced serious difficulties in conducting the study.

“South Africa is not collecting even basic national-level data which will allow sound estimates about the scale of the problem. They also had difficulty accessing key informants in government departments, because government databases of contacts were not made available.” Source

Victims of Human Trafficking need protection in the event they manage to escape and contact authorities. This does not always happen for the victims.

They many times are treated like illegal immigrants and jailed or just deported. They need a safe heaven.  They are also threatened by those who have bought them or sold into the sex slave trade. Victims should always be protected. They also need a lot of time to heal and will need therapy.

Recent

ElBaradei: Gaza, world’s largest jail

US violates UN law by threatening Iran

Thailand: Over 800 injured and 21 deaths during protests

IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank

Poland mourns dead president

Thailand protests claim first lives

Russian urges adoption freeze after boy age 7 returned alone

Kyrgyzstan: The nepotism that sparked a revolution

Haaretz Threatened for Exposing Israeli Assassination Cover-Up

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, rules sheriff

Thailand protesters defy government decree

Australia: Locals do their block as big gas moves into Queensland

Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured

Iran: International Nuclear disarmament summit widely welcomed

Rachel Corrie Civil Lawsuit: Bulldozer operator told not to cooperate with investigation

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid

Fake Al Qaeda, Fake Passports, Fake planes

Japan Tokunoshima islanders reject US Marines base

Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Depravity

Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalised, Study Finds

Israel bombards Gaza – and threatens worse

Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm  Comments Off on Experts fear human trafficking more widespread  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Slavery and Human Trafficking Crimes

Thousands of Haitian children work as slaves

As many as 225,000 children in Haiti live and work as unpaid domestic servants, the first study to closely examine the issue concluded.

The existence of these arrangements are not new, but the scope is larger than previously thought, a new study by the Pan American Development Foundation found. The foundation conducted the largest field survey of human rights violations in Haiti.

For entire story

Forced labour and rape, the new face of slavery in America

Figures from the State Department reveal that 17,500 people are trafficked into the US every year against their will or under false pretences, mainly to be used for sex or forced labour. Experts believe that, when cases of internal trafficking are added, the total number of victims could be up to five times larger. And increasing numbers of trafficked individuals are being transported thousands of miles from America’s coasts and into heartland states such as Ohio and Michigan.

For entire story

107 slave laborers freed in Mexico City

Mexican authorities have freed 107 indigenous people who officials say were being held as slave laborers in a Mexico City factory disguised as a drug rehabilitation center.

For entire story

Dozens arrested in China baby trafficking ring

Police in Shanghai said today they had cracked a major child trafficking ring following the arrest of 47

For entire story

‘Human fat traffickers’ arrested

Police in Peru have arrested four suspected members of a gang that allegedly killed people to steal their body tissue and fat.

The authorities are searching for several more suspects. The group allegedly sold the body fat to be used in cosmetics in Europe.

For News  Video

Israel’s sex trade booming

Human trafficking in Israel rakes in more than USD billion a year, findings in annual parliamentary survey show

By Miri Hasson

Published: 03.23.05, 12:44 /Israel News

Thousands of women are being smuggled into Israel, creating a booming sex trade industry that rakes more than USD one billion a year, a parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.

The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, headed by Knesset member Zehava Galon of the left-wing Yahad party, commissioned the report in an effort to combat the sex trade in Israel. Findings showed that some 3,000 and 5,000 women are smuggled to Israel annually and sold into the prostitution industry, where they are constantly subjected to violence and abuse.

The report, issued annually, said some 10,000 such women currently reside in about 300 to 400 brothels throughout the country. They are traded for about USD 8,000 – USD 10,000, the committee said.

The U.S. State Department ranks Israel in the second tier of human trafficking around the world, saying the Jewish State does not maintain minimal conditions regarding the issue but is working to improve them.

Israel passed a law in 2003 that would allow the state to confiscate the profits of traffickers, but watchdog groups say it is rarely enforced.

Most foreign prostitutes in Israel come from Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Russia and many are smuggled in across the Egyptian border.

The committee found that the women work seven days a week for up to 18 hours every day and that out of the NIS 120 paid by customers, they are left with just NIS 20, while the rest of the money is passed on to their traders.

The prostitutes face constant threats of abuse and murder, the report said, and Israeli law does little to help them. Delays in trial dates and prolonged hearings force the women to remain exposed to violence for more than a year until they are called in to provide testimony, and courts rarely collect early testimonies, as permitted by law.

To help combat the problem, the committee recommended that the state prosecutor’s office refrain from making plea bargains with sex traders. It also advised to raise the threshold of punitive measures and pushed for financial compensation for sex trade victims. Source

A living hell

Thousands of sex slaves bought and sold each year face danger, threats, violence; run-aways dealt with quickly: one home in Moldavia firebombed; Tel Aviv exhibit explores ‘women as chattel’

By Miri Chason
Published: 03.18.05, / Israel News

TEL AVIV – Several dozen women have successfully escaped the grip of pimps that have turned their lives into a living hell. These women live in a secret shelter in Tel Aviv until they testify against their former pimps, then they are deported to their countries of origin.

Thursday, some of them went public as part of a new exhibition in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, sharing the harsh details of their experiences.

The exhibit, called “Over the Road”, focuses on the public’s approach to women as chattel. It is intended to be a harsh protest against the underground brothels that continue to flourish despite legislation banning them.

Thousands sold each year

The women say the exhibit is primarily intended to reach the customers of their former bosses – the individuals who keep the business rolling along.

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women, men and children are sold each year. In Israel, 1,000-3,000 women are sold annually, all for the sex industry.

Volunteers from the Center to Help Foreign Workers and the Clinic for the Fight Against Women Trafficking at Hebrew University have collected many testimonies of victims of women trafficking and documented the way in which they were brought to Israel.

Testimonies

K., from Russia, worked on Erlinger Street in Tel Aviv. She says her boss would “fine” his workers “for everything—if I asked to have
a shower between customers, if I went out without permission. At first we had enough food, but after a while it they said it was too expensive. We barely had enough soap—and during the dirtiest time of my life.”

N. says her pimp used the women for bartering. “If he wanted vegetables from the supermarket, he would ‘give’ one of the girls to a worker in exchange for the vegetables. He bartered us for food, jewelry and other things.”

Y., from Moldava, says she was forced into sado-masochism. “Customers would beat us. They had special instruments. They would drip hot wax all over my body and force me to do painful, degrading things. Of course they enjoyed it—they paid extra for it.”

One woman, also from Moldava, said she received no wages for her services. “(My boss) told me he bought me for 50,000 shekels, and that I had to ‘return’ the money (by working for free) before I could start to earn wages. They also made me pay 50 shekels a day for food and condoms”

Locked Door

N., from Ukraine, worked on Peretz Street in Tel Aviv, explains why women don’t run away. “We all dreamt of escaping, but they even managed to steal the dream from us after someone did leave. A week after she disappeared, her family’s home in Moldava was firebombed.”

She says they were given one rest day per month: the first day of their period. “The first day we could take off. The rest of the time I was having my period, I had to use a diaphragm to prevent bleeding. But I had to continue taking customers.”

Nowhere to run

“We had nowhere to run,” says H. from Ukraine. “The door was always locked, bars on the windows, and there was a closed-circuit TV in each room.

“And even if you managed to get out—where would you go? What would you do? Several customers were police officers, and other cops would check our visas and leave. So who would we have turned to for help? Source


Israels Sex slaves

Canadian Jewish Tribune reports on massive sex slave trade in Zionist entity

June 29 2007

Trafficking in women a worldwide epidemic, Malarek says

Up to – 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone

MONTREAL – Calling human trafficking one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time, Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek addressed the Jewish community at a Montreal synagogue last Thursday.

Promoting a book he has written on the subject, Malarek said destitute Third World and Eastern European females as young as 12 are tricked into leaving their homelands with promises of wealth and prosperity in the West, as well as Israel. Instead, they are sold into the sex trade by organized crime, gangs, pimps and brothel owners.

“Newspaper ads from modelling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped,” Malarek told the Jewish Tribune. “They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it.”

The United Nations has cited human trafficking as an international crime generating more than US $12 billion worldwide. More than 800,000 people are trafficked annually, forced into prostitution and threatened with death should they attempt to escape the clutches of their captors. Canada is both a means of access to the United States, as well as a final destination for approximately 2,000 women each year.

“Governments should be held accountable,” said Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who also addressed the crowd. “It is a very serious problem in Israel, and Canada has been inadequate in the protection of victims of trafficking. It is a global slave trade.”

As the previous federal justice minister, Cotler aided in the implementation of several bills addressing the protection of vulnerable individuals, yet he openly admitted there have never been any prosecutions made for human trafficking. He focused on raising the public’s awareness of trafficking as a method to prevent what he called the fastest rising criminal industry in the world today. Responding to an audience member’s question, he said the problem of mistakenly granting Canadian visas to people who should not obtain them is “an issue for the immigration department.”

As customers’ demands for slave trade workers who do not have HIV or AIDS increases, the age of victims proportionally decreases. UNICEF has determined that approximately 1.7 billion children are victimized annually. Ironically, Malarek didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until he personally witnessed how many young girls were trafficked into Kosovo to service troops sent by the United Nations.

“There is both national and international indifference,” said Malarek. “The public looks at the victims with apathy or scorn and foreign women are not the priority of most governments. Governments are complacent because the sex industry brings in money.”

Cotler noted that governments must work together in prosecuting oppressors while protecting their victims. He said the RCMP is part of an international trafficking unit that reflects cooperation among a number of governments. Human trafficking should be a priority on international policy-making agendas, he added, and complimented the United States on taking the lead in exercising what he called moral leadership.

“Most people don’t know how big this problem is,” said Larry Sakow, who attended the public event. “As a Jew, I am upset about the trafficking in Israel. It is surprising that Jews have gotten into it and are making money.”

Victor Malarek’s book, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade, is currently available.

Source: Canadian Jewish Tribune


Sex slavery and Israel’s failure to fight the growing trade

Last year, the United Nations named Israel as one of the main destinations in the world for trafficked women, according to the BBC.

November 29 2007

Israel has also been named as an offender in the annual U.S. State Department‘s Trafficking in Persons (Tip) report, which condemned the Jewish state for not fully complying with the “minimum standards” to eliminate sex trafficking.

According to Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek, “newspaper ads from modeling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped… They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it.”

With the promise of a job and better economic and social conditions, women are driven to slavery and sold in auctions that take place in nightclubs and bars. Afterwards they are pimped, beaten and isolated. Several trafficked women are subjected to degrading human auctions, where they are stripped, examined and sold for $8,000-$10,000.

  • “They sold me- just sold me!”

The BBC interviewed one of the trafficked women in Israel, who gave her name as Marina. She is now hiding in a small house in northern Israel because she is wanted by the Israeli authorities for being an illegal immigrant and by the criminal gangs who lured her to Israel to sell her into prostitution.

“When I was in the Ukraine, I had a difficult life,” said Marina, who came to Israel in 1999 at the age of 33 after answering a newspaper advertisement offering the opportunity to study abroad.

“I was taken to an apartment in Ashkelon, and other women there told me I was now in prostitution. I became hysterical, but a guy started hitting me and then others there raped me.

“I was then taken to a place where they sold me – just sold me!” she said, recalling how she was locked in a windowless basement for a month, drank water from a toilet and was deprived of food.

Although Marina managed to escape, she is still suffering from the physical and mental scars that she endured during her captivity.

Like Marina, several other women — most from the former Soviet republics — are trafficked into Israel legally on the false promise of jobs and better economic conditions. Recent figures show that from the beginning of the 1990s to the early years of 2000, an estimated 3,000 women a year were trafficked to Israel.

  • “Israel did absolutely nothing”

Although prostitution in Israel is legal, pimping and running a brothel are not. However, the law isn’t enforced, and several brothels masquerading as massage parlours, saunas and internet cafes could be seen on the streets.

In Tel Aviv’s Neve Shaanan district for instance, a brothel is located outside the local police station!

The absence of anti-trafficking laws in Israel means that such inhumane activity is unchecked.

“During the first 10 years of trafficking, Israel did absolutely nothing,” said Nomi Levenkron, of the Migrant Workers’ Hotline, an NGO which helps trafficked women and puts pressure on the state to act.

“Women were trafficked into Israel – the first case we uncovered was in 1992 – and not much really happened,” she said. “Occasionally traffickers were brought to trial, but the victims were arrested as well, they were forced to testify, and then they were deported.”

Rachel Benziman, the legal advisor to the non-profit Israeli Women’s network, agrees, explaining how difficult it is to find witnesses. “It’s not a problem of finding the right section in the criminal code. It is more a problem of finding the women who will testify”, Benziman said, according to Reuters.

What’s more shocking is that, since 1994, no single woman has testified against any trafficker. Many say this could be attributed to the fact that although women are the victims, trafficked women are the ones usually arrested as illegal immigrants, while the men who brought them to Israel, who are usually Israeli, are not.

  • “The supply of victims has not gone down”

According to NGOs, trafficking was made a crime in Israel in 2000, but the punishments were lenient and law enforcement was poor. Authorities only began to act after fierce criticism from the U.S. and the threat of sanctions. In an effort to fight sex slavery, Israel tightened its borders, launched investigations into suspected traffickers, and handed down stiff jail sentence to traffickers.

The opening of a shelter for trafficked women in north Tel Aviv in 2004 also marked a change in the way the state perceived the victims. There are some 30 women at the Maggan shelter – most from former Soviet states, but also five from China.

“When they come here they are in a bad condition,” said Rinat Davidovich, the shelter’s director. “Most have sexual diseases and some have hepatitis and even tuberculosis. They also have problems going to sleep because they remember what used to happen to them at night… It’s very hard and it’s a long procedure to start to help and treat them.”

Police say their actions have led to a significant drop in the number of women now being trafficked into Israel for sex – hundreds, rather than thousands, a year.

But campaigners say increased police activity had an adverse effect as traffickers have been forced to become more discreet, making the practice more difficult to detect.

“We’ve been keeping tabs on trends, in terms of, for instance, prices of exploitative services,” said Yedida Wolfe, of the Task Force on Human Trafficking.

“Those prices have not gone up, which leads us to believe that the supply of victims has not gone down.

“While government officials are saying that their efforts have drastically cut the number of victims in the country, the NGOs on the scene really don’t feel that’s true.” Source

Related

Examiner~y2010m3d25-Global-human-trafficking-news-roundup—March-25-2010

Zim children rescued from traffickers

A nightmare in the globalized world Vietnamese slavery

Added January 2010

How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake

Added April 4 2010

Experts fear human trafficking more widespread

Homeless Nepalese in Baghdad are victims of Human trafficking

Homeless Nepalese in Baghdad are victims of trafficking

A group of Nepalese men living rough near Baghdad airport in the hope of finding work at a US military base are victims of human trafficking, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said yesterday.
The Geneva-based body is also looking into the case of another 1,000 workers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Nepal who were kept in three, drab warehouses in the airport zone for up to three months by a subcontractor to Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a service provider to US forces.
“I am very much worried because we have been highlighting this problem for some time,” Rafiq Tschannen, the IOM’s Chief of Mission to Iraq, told The Times.
Nepalese_squatters_in_baghdad6
These eight people live in the small shack behind them

The 58 Nepalese men and a handful of Indians were brought in by agents in their home country who took about 5,000 dollars off each person in exchange for flights to Baghdad and the promise of work, which never materialized.
Instead the agents disappeared and the men have been forced to live for weeks in makeshift shelters of wooden planks, cardboard and blankets. They survive on food and water donated by passing Iraqis and fellow migrants who have jobs.
“These are trafficking cases,” Mr Tschannen said. “It looks like they have been smuggled into the country in the hope that KBR would pick them up.”
Nepalese_squatters_in_baghdad8
Two men cook rice donated by sympathetic passers-by

The IOM provided eight of the destitute Nepalese men with plane tickets home and is ready to help more, although some have found work in the secured airport zone, which is home to a large US military base and a number of other entities.
A lack of funds, however, means the IOM is unable to assist larger groups of migrant workers such as the 1,000 men in the warehouses who were brought to Iraq, also by agents, to work for Najlaa International Catering Services, a Kuwait-based subcontractor to KBR.
These men were left in an overcrowded warehouse compound with poor food, broken toilets and no salary after contracts, anticipated by Najlaa, to provide catering services at US military dining halls fell through.
Mr Tschannen said cases of human trafficking by agents are common place throughout the world, with many migrant workers choosing to travel to European shores on the promise of employment only to end up jobless and penniless.
Nepalese_and_indian_squatters
About 20 people are living rough under this shelter

European governments have mechanisms in place to help, he said, an option that is not so readily available in a conflict zone like Iraq. Also, “in the case of Iraq, it is not like they can go to town and look for a job themselves”, he added.
The prospect of a salary of up to 800 dollars a month, a good wage in their home country, entices thousand of Asian workers to risk the perils of war and come to Iraq. They provide a range of services at US bases, such as catering and laundry, freeing up soldiers to concentrate on other tasks.
Nepalese_squatter
One Nepalese man sits in his makeshift home

Mr Tschannen said the migrant workforce is just “like any other commodity”. Agents bring in excess numbers, he explained, to be able to provide firms with labour instantaneously rather then having to wait to fly them in from overseas.
“These people should only be brought in when they have the final contract from the people who will be using them,” he said.
He plans to report the case of the in the warehouses to IOM headquarters in the hope of being able to encourage donor countries to offer funds to help such people, while noting that it was ultimately the responsibility of the contractor.
The best option would be to give each person trafficked to Iraq, but unable to find work, a ticket home and extra money to erase any debts incurred paying an agent to travel to Baghdad in the first place. This money would also help a person to reintegrate into his community, Mr Tschannen added.

Nepalese_squatters_in_baghdad3
A Nepalese man uses water to wash clothes.

Source

U.S. Contractor in Iraq, KBR, Accused of Slavery From August 29 2008 Video and Story

Published in: on December 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm  Comments Off on Homeless Nepalese in Baghdad are victims of Human trafficking  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,