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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Release of the 2013 TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Report

The U.S. State Dept. has just released the 2013 TIP, Trafficking in Persons Report. You can view it on their website. It is an easy read by country and in the US by state.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


By Katherine Jones
Special to ASSIST News Service

NEPAL (ANS) --  I would like to highlight the plight of children in the Himalayan Mountains. Children are in crisis in this part of the world. Many are living on the streets due to internal conflict, poverty, corruption, and illiteracy.
Homeless child on the street. There are over 3,000 street children in Kathmandu.
(Photo: http://carmensandiegotravel.blogspot.com)
Thousands of children are born into a tribal type of slavery, others are born into brothels in a country other than their own and many more live on the streets. Children are daily seeking food and a safe place to sleep, all the while being subjected to child sex tourism and human trafficking.
Nepal’s slave markets headlines are, “Buy one and get one free!

In 2010, many Kamiyas families began to experience freedom for the first time. Entire families enslaved are now free! It all began when a US based Indian businessman from New Hampshire began buying families their freedom; 52 to be exact! Now 200,000 Kamiyas are free and of that number the majority are adolescents and teenagers enslaved from birth! Now families are receiving some assistance in beginning new businesses such as farming, teaching, plumbing, and welding etc. Many times it only costs $160-$200 US to buy an entire family!
Homeless street children
Other children are born into a different kind of slavery that of the brothels of Bombay India, where their mothers work in the cages and caves of sex slavery establishments. One million children are trafficked globally. Many children in the Himalayan Mountains have no one to protect them and family members are too poor to feed them. Children are living in squalor with horror and tormented filled days and nights, some serving 20 or more customers per day in the sex trade.
In Nepal over 10,000 girls are trafficked each year. The population in one Himalayan Mountain country is now close to 30 million people. (www.ciafactbook.gov) and Resisting Trafficking in Women: Auditing Testimonies and Restoration Approaches Kathmandu Himalayan Rights Monitors 2003). Over 60% of prostituted women and girls working in Mumbai red light districts—where majority of Nepalese are trafficked, are suspected to be HIV positive. (Sex Slaves Virago Press London 2000) Over 20% of these females are under the age of 16yrs. (www.cwin-nepal.org/pressroomfactsheet/index.htm )
Boys 'enjoying' a meager meal
Many children in Nepal cities live on the capitol city streets; an estimate is close to 1500 boys and girls. It is suspected many more unaccounted for also live on the streets, over several hundred girls under the age of twelve. Street kids are subjected to child sex tourism unless someone cares enough to intervene.
In the Himalayan Mountains many families do not have enough food for everyone in the family to eat daily. A few years ago, a six year old fatherless boy living at home but walking the streets in the daylight hours, begging for food was murdered for a mere $2 US.

Street girls are usually not at high risk for murder but used by tourists and local truckers stopping for a tea break in local shops. Many girls are abandoned with their cousins and brothers on city streets, some only four or five years old. These young innocent ones are greatly at risk of being trafficked across borders far away from their homeland.

A significant number of boys are disabled. Some boys are sold between the ages of 10 and 18 years old to meet the growing demand for traveling bisexual tourists. The disabled boys are considered cursed by their families and friends and many put out of their homes to fend for themselves, They are especially vulnerable to those dealing in sex trade, some are made into eunuchs and sent across the borders into India. (www.ecpat.org/aboutcusec.) For survival many exchange sex for food.
One of many girls needing a safe place
Faces of Hidden Slavery is providing New Beginnings Homes for young children living on city streets, to be nurtured and cared for and receive an education. New Beginnings Homes for Girls will assist girls in two major Himalayan Mountain cities. The home for disabled boys will assist them in receiving an education and a skill to earn a living for themselves.

If you would like to be a part of saving children in the Himalayan Mountains and changing a life you may do so by going to: www.facesofhiddenslavery.org to learn how you can make a difference. Some things you can do:

* Pray for children and local pastors who volunteer to be foster care providers and adopted parents for children. 
* You may also sponsor one of the small foster homes for only three dollars a day! (The price of a Starbucks latte!) Or join with a friend and relative to sponsor a permanent home for 9-10 children with a family atmosphere.

To find out how you can help build and set up “New Beginnings Homes,” and leave a legacy now, go to: www.facesofhiddenslavery.org

Katherine Jones is freelance writer specializing in covering South Asia.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Since 1999, as a pioneer, Faces of Hidden Slavery has been involved in fighting for the rights of women and mostly girls and seeing  healing and restoration of those coming out of slavery. There are many groups now working on this issue however the funds and human resources are so very limited. In spite of that  progress is being made! Although the issue is vast covering many continents, everyone just needs to stay focused, whether they are in advocacy, rescuing, healing, restoration and rehabilitation.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stop the exploitation of women and children now!

Events and situations that previously happened only in third world countries are now happening in the United States of America. The trafficking of young women and children that is prevalent in Asian and European countries is now increasing in the US. Why? Global governments are just now beginning to take action in the last ten years to curb the tide of the exploitation of human beings for bonded labor and sex.

Sex trafficking is modern day slavery- to say the least. These slaves produce at least 5 to 7 billion dollars annually. ( New UN Trafficking Protocol, 2002) Trafficking in persons is ranked right up there next to arms and drug trafficking. Human beings have an additional advantage as they can be used over and over again and sold over and over again, increasing the profits of traffickers. For example, In Indian brothels one girl is basically sold to 20- 40 men a day! At any time those same girls can be brought to the United States and sold as a maid or nanny in an American home, or even sold to a US brothel for far more money than she could be sold for in Asia.

Today there are over 12 million women and children in bonded labor, ten million of them in involuntary sex servitude. Traffickers, both men and women, operate through trickery and kidnapping, by promising extremely poor parents and relatives of children an opportunity to work as a nanny or housemaid in a large city in Asia, giving them $200 US, or less, in advance. This is the only money they will receive although they are promised funds monthly. Sadly, this is the last time the parents will see their daughters as they are taken across country borders, never to return.

We've seen villages in the Himalayan mountains where almost every house has a new roof or a black and white television, because of money bought from selling the children or wives to traffickers. The parents and relatives are unaware that their children are taken directly to brothels and tortured until they submit to sex work. Many of these girls are as young as nine years old and some are even as young as three or four years of age! The traffickers sell them to brothel owners and they work ten or fifteen years to pay off a debt of an unknown amount. They are forced to work until they contract STDs, such as HIV/AIDS and die if the brothel owners don’t kill them first. This spring we read in a South Asian newspaper of a young woman in India who brothel owners had tied to a railroad track to be run over by a train because she had contracted AIDS. Fortunately she was rescued just in time.

The traffickers are criminals but they are not prosecuted to the full extent of the law in many countries because they are very evil and dangerous people and their own local governments protect them. Why shouldn’t they ? In some countries, even the police are some of the main customers of the brothels. Government leaders in South Asian countries rape their twelve and thirteen year old housemaids and when they become pregnant they are threatened with death and thrown out to have the baby alone without any medical care. Many of these babies are born blind and with multiple handicaps because of the lack of medical care during pregnancy or at the time of birth to one so young.. Relatives use their nieces and nephews for sex to make extra money. A young girl was being used again and again, forced to have sex with many men by her aunt and uncle. One day a customer complained about the girl and because of the complaint she was held down as they poured boiling water over her naked body. Thank God some Americans, now have this girl in their children’s home in Asia. I am amazed at the number of tiny girls we have seen who have such horrible scars on their faces and bodies as a result of torture.

We must no longer bury our heads in the sand but do something to intervene in this tragedy. We have traveled to and lived in Asian countries especially some of those in the Himalayan mountain areas ( India, Nepal, Pakistan and Tibet, China) etc. Many countries are a source for trafficked children and also a trafficking destination. These are also countries where Christians are severely persecuted. Christianity tells mankind to take care of each other and to care for the least of these, many other religions do not instruct in the same manner, so people do the opposite, use each other for personal gain.

Now, getting back to the United States, where the sex trade is feeding the demands of “child sex tourists” from the US and Europe who visit countries like Thailand, Cambodia, India and Nepal, for the purpose of having sex with children, especially those living in the streets who are desperate enough to do anything for food. Many of these tourists also frequent brothels where children are being held against their will and forced to have sex with many customers daily. We have also seen children used as beggars or as soldiers subjected to beatings and rape, living in inhumane conditions.