BBC News – Canadian Omar Khadr goes on trial at Guantanamo Bay

via BBC News – Canadian Omar Khadr goes on trial at Guantanamo Bay.

Canadian citizen Omar Khadr is the only Westerner still being held at Guantanamo Bay military prison; he was detained in Afghanistan at the age of 15. He’s now 23.

International law says children captured on the battlefield must be treated as victims, and not as perpetrators. Child-soldiers are supposed to be rehabilitated and given the chance to re-enter society.

Please write to President Obama at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and ask him to halt this trial, which is in violation of international law, and instead arrange for the repatriation and rehabilitation of Mr. Khadr.

ABC News Reveals Sex Tourism in Hunting and Fishing Tourism

Federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News that ICE and the FBI are investigating the fishing and hunting tour operating business for arranging sex for American men overseas. (ABC News)

ABC News has done an undercover piece showing what happens when people feel they can take advantage of children in poor countries. Last night they ran an excellent piece on World News. Everyone should see this. http://abcnews.go.com/WN/sex-tourism/story?id=10288468&nwltr=WN_topstory_hed

Everyone should patronize companies that have signed the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children From Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, developed by ECPAT: www.thecode.org

For more information about child sex tourism, see ECPAT-USA’s website, on “What We Do.”
www.ecpatusa.org

Sexual Violence and HIV/AIDS

Sexual violence can take many forms. It violates the most basic of human rights, and its effects resonate long after the act. It also perpetuates the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection.

In the developing world 2 out of 3 young people living with HIV are female.

In some countries in Africa young women are five times more likely to be infected than young men.

Help Eric Proffitt “Break These Chains”

Every 30 seconds, a little child is inducted into slavery. A drug can only be sold once, but a person can be sold over and over again in the same night, that is why trafficking has become the 2nd most profitable illegal activity in the world.

Multiply that number by the estimated 27 million victims of human trafficking that live in every major city across the world, and we see a picture of suffering on a magnitude too staggering to comprehend.

  • Human trafficking is a $10 billion+ growth industry with conservative estimates ranging from 700,000 to 2 million people – primarily women and children – trafficked into prostitution and slavery annually.
  • Human trafficking is the third largest criminal business worldwide, after trafficking in drugs and weapons.
  • For traffickers it has been a high profit, low risk enterprise. Laws against trafficking in persons do not exist or are not enforced in many countries.
  • The most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls.
  • In 30% of the countries which provide information on the gender of traffickers, women make up the largest proportion of traffickers. In some parts of the world, women trafficking women is the norm.
  • 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).

Can you see why many ask,- “has humanity has lost it’s humanity?”

Our response is a resounding NO!

Please support Eric Proffitt as he runs 500 miles in chains  from London, to Bristol, to Liverpool, to this year’s FREEDOM FESTIVAL in Kingston-Upon-Hull is to help rescue victims of trafficking, prevent future exploitation, and to stop the demand for modern slavery. During this 27 day journey Eric will be joined by Theresa Flores, a trafficking survivor, as a guest speaker, and together they will use music and personal experiences to motivate the world to END SLAVERY! Beginning at the graveside of abolitionist hero William Wilberforce, Eric will run across the country until he reaches the birth city of William, where he is scheduled to be a key presenter at the Freedom Festival.

This extreme marathon event is about awareness, consumer responsibility, and of course funding!

it is about triggering a tipping point whereby people all over the world become involved in the abolition of modern slavery.

Visit http://www.ericproffitt.com to see how you fit into the solution!

How Can We End Human Trafficking?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Labour Inspection in Italy by an elit…“, posted with vodpod

Yesterday, United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in remarks to a special General Assembly Thematic Debate on Human Trafficking related the story of Grace Akallo.

“Grace Akallo was a young high school student in Uganda who dreamed of being the first person from her village to go to university. Then came the Lord’s Resistance Army. Rebels took her and 138 other girls from their dormitory and marched them into the forest.

Grace told her story at the Security Council last week. I listened with the heaviest of hearts. “My spirit died,” she said, recounting how she was forced to kill and was repeatedly raped.

She was followed into the forest by the headmistress, Sister Rachele, who confronted the rebels. They threatened to kill her in front of the girls. She was asked to leave, but instead she faced them down, risking her own safety so that others could be freed. In the end, she was able to rescue more than 100 girls.”

The Secretary-General then challenged those present. “If this seemingly powerless educator from Uganda could face down armed rebels, surely we in this room can stand up to this threat with bold and decisive action.

Trafficking in weapons, drugs and blood diamonds has long been on the UN agenda. Now we must add people to that list.

I spoke just now about Uganda, but examples could be drawn from any of a number of countries from Asia, across the Americas, to Europe. Millions are bought and sold like chattel, most of them women and children.”

He called on member states to:

  • Criminalize human trafficking. All countries must ratify the UN anti-trafficking Protocol.
  • Prevent victimization by teaching people about their rights and protecting them.
  • Reduce demand.
  • End to impunity.
  • Protect the victims.

The Secretary-General’s call for a coordinated effort to combat forced labor and human trafficking comes at a time when, because of the world financial crisis and increasing restrictions on legal migration more people are likely to fall victim to traffickers. The most vulnerable, people already living in poverty, especially women and children will suffer the most.

According to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) entitled “The Cost of Coercion”, the value of the work done by people who are trapped in forced labor is over 20 billion US dollars per year.

Trafficking and forced labor are a scourge that reaches across the globe. The ILO report highlights facts and figures from each region.

Europe and Central Asia

Trafficking in Europe reflects shifts in patterns of economic development and the gradual enlargement of the European Union. While most of the victims identified by authorities are women trafficked for sexual exploitation, the number of cases of men trafficked for labor exploitation is on the rise. A recent case in Italy illustrates the international nature of the business of trafficking.  Police discovered a group of Chinese workers trapped in forced labor in a hidden factory. A lengthy investigation revealed that the leader of the trafficking ring that brought these workers to Italy lived in a suburb of Paris.

Asia
The biggest share of the world’s forced laborers are from Asia. Many are migrants, either from elsewhere in Asia or from their home country. Three issues are of particular concern.

  • The persistence of bonded labor systems, particularly in South Asia, despite legislation to ban it.
  • Widespread trafficking of children and adults, for both sexual and labor exploitation.
  • Continued use of forced labor by the State and official institutions, notably in Myanmar.

Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the third highest incidence of forced labor in relation to population after Asia and Latin America. It reflects long-standing patterns of discrimination against vulnerable groups, sometimes linked to the historical legacy of slavery. People in areas of conflict are at risk, an extreme example being child soldiers. There is trafficking of people for labor and sexual exploitation both within and across African countries and to Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Women are especially affected.

Americas
Latin America accounts for the second largest number of forced laborers in the world after Asia. Those most at risk are migrant workers in sweatshops, agriculture and domestic service. The main form of forced labor is through debt bondage.

Forced labor in Latin America is closely linked to patterns of inequality and discrimination especially against indigenous peoples.

In the United States and Canada the increased focus on human trafficking have brought to light more and more cases of forced labor among foreign workers, particularly in debt bondage in agriculture and domestic service.

Middle East
Forced labor and human trafficking are closely intertwined with migration in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf States where there is a high proportion of migrant workers mainly from Asia. Labor recruitment companies operating in source countries alter contract terms and charge high recruitment fees, which the worker must ultimately repay. Employers retain control of work visas and illegally buy, sell and trade them. These costs are also passed on to the workers creating a situation of debt bondage.

The United Nations General Assembly is considering the request of some member states for a Global Plan of Action on trafficking and forced labor. The Secretary-General urged all States, whether they support this proposal or not, to move beyond fine rhetoric and moral outrage to deeds particularly by mainstreaming the fight against human trafficking into broader programs, from poverty reduction to reducing gender discrimination.

Links
Has your country ratified the UN anti-trafficking protocol? Find out here: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CTOC/countrylist-traffickingprotocol.html

Resources on human trafficking from the International Organization for Migration

  • English: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/counter-trafficking/lang/en
  • Español : http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/activities/by-theme/regulating-migration/counter-trafficking/lang/es
  • UN.Gift – Global Initiative to Fight Human Traffickinghttp://www.ungift.org/

    Can the United States do more to fight world hunger?

    President Obama said recently he will work with Congress to double US support for global food security to over $ 1 billion. What does this mean for the 963 million people in the world who do not have enough to eat? (963 million is more than the populations of the USA, Canada and the EU combined.)

    At present, there are between 350 and 400 million children in the world who are suffering from hunger.

    It’s not enough. The World Food Programme, which is the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against global, provides food assistance to about 100 million people in 80 countries every year. It’s the world’s largest humanitarian organization.

    WFP needs about $6 billion in 2009 to meet the needs of those 100 million and it depends on the United States as its largest donor to meet about 40% of those needs.

    The US made an extraordinary effort in 2008, providing WFP over $2 billion in contributions. But current US food aid budget appropriations for fiscal year 2009 can only sustain a US contribution of about $1.3 billion this year.

    Let’s take a closer look. In our world:

    • 25,000 people (adults and children) die every day from hunger and related causes.
    • More than 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women.
    • Every six seconds a child dies because of hunger and related causes.

    The number of undernourished people in the world increased by 75 million in 2007 and 40 million in 2008, largely due to higher food prices.

    Hunger is not caused by a shortage of food. In fact there has never existed such an abundance of food, yet 963 million people in the world go hungry. Read about what causes hunger here: http://www.wfp.org/hunger/causes

    The economic stimulus passed by the US Congress earlier this year included $20 billion in additional funding for food and nutrition programs for the economically vulnerable in the United States. This is good and right. No one should go hungry in the richest country in the world. The question is, can we Americans and citizens of other rich countries dig deeper during this time of economic challenge? If the US provided a little under a billion more in new food assistance we could continue to sustain our commitment at a $2 billion level during this fiscal year. Are you willing to write to your Congressman, or Senator, or Member of Parliament to make sure your country continues a high level of financial support to global food assistance programs?

    You can also help fight world hunger this Mother’s Day by feeding a hungry child in your mother’s name.

    FRONTLINE: Where women are flogged… | PBS

    Everyone has probably seen this video on the internet by now.

    Earlier this evening PBS aired, Children of the Taliban, on FRONTLINE here in New York. It was filmed in the part of Pakistan where the beating shown in the video above took place.

    In the Swat Valley, where the Taliban now has a fearsome lockhold on one million people (thanks to a recent deal with the government allowing the militants to impose strict Sharia law) correspondent Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy meets two little girls. And they are unafraid to talk to her about what is happening.

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Two interviews shown later in the program made my blood run cold. In the first, PBS correspondent Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy spoke with a young madrasa student about the place of women. The boy told her that according to the Quran, women are only for taking care of the home and should stay in the home. “Why are women wandering around on the streets”, he asked. Then he likened women to plastic bags, which have been banned in Pakistan. “You don’t see them anymore, do you? They should do the same with women.”

    The other interview was with a Taliban official responsible for recruiting and training children. This man, who had the deadest eyes I have ever seen and was was almost zombie like, trains boys as young as four years old to handle weapons and explained that he would willingly sacrifice their lives to further the aims of the Taliban.

    This 30 minute investigative report is memorable and should make any freedom loving people think hard about compromising with the Taliban in any way.