Monday, June 9, 2008

New Report Released on Human Trafficking

The U.S. Department of State just released the 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report, which is submitted to Congress annually to highlight recent accomplishments and the efforts made by foreign governments to eliminate the severest forms of human trafficking.

While the report reiterates the complexity of the problem, as well as its devastating consequences, some findings of the report may surprise you.

  • While you may know that approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls, did you know that boys and men can also be victims of sexual trafficking, and women can be exploiters as well?
  • While traditional forms of trafficking still dominate, the use of technology such as cell phones, text messaging, chat rooms and the internet as well as social media and networking (used to land victims, as well as recruit clients) are becoming more prevalent.
  • Sometimes formerly trafficked victims turn into recruiters, luring others into the horrors that they themselves have experienced.
  • Some people who engage in child sex tourism hold positions of trust and respect in their own countries. (There have been cases involving a pediatrician, retired army sergeant, dentist, and university professor in the U.S. alone.) Some of them even think that they’re doing their victims a favor by providing them with a livelihood.
  • In Shenzen, China, a man can earn $30-40,000 per year by forcing children to beg.

If you’re passionate about bringing an end to the horrific practice of trafficking in humans, then you may want to check out Charity Navigator’s recently updated Hot Topic: Charities Building Roadblocks to Human Trafficking. Here we highlight some of the worst forms of human trafficking, as well as charities working to raise awareness, prevent abuses and care for victims.

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