Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bad women: Trafficking

This is the first post with the label "Bad Women". This is not about demonizing women, but to counter the common stereotypte that women are good, while men are bad. This stereotype is often the reason that when you read news articles about female genital mutilation it is often not mentioned that this is a crime done to women by women and of course men that get "circumcised" under the same conditions than women achieve no attention, but I am extravagating now. When we talk about trafficking the exact same things happen.

I recently posted an article on AM I am dublicating right now:

A new report by the UNO about human trafficking. And well surprise, surprise among the criminals we find a huge amount of women:

UNODC Report on Human Trafficking Exposes Modern Form of Slavery

A Global Report on Trafficking in Persons launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides new information on a crime that shames us all.

Based on data gathered from 155 countries, it offers the first global assessment of the scope of human trafficking and what is being done to fight it. It includes: an overview of trafficking patterns; legal steps taken in response; and country-specific information on reported cases of trafficking in persons, victims, and prosecutions.

At the launch of the Report in New York, the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa said that "many governments are still in denial. There is even neglect when it comes to either reporting on, or prosecuting cases of human trafficking". He pointed to the fact that while the number of convictions for human trafficking is increasing, two out of every five countries covered by the UNODC Report had not recorded a single conviction.

According to the Report, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. Surprisingly, in 30% of the countries which provided 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.

The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

The Report is here



Now we see a huge chunk of the perpetrators seem to be women (leading criminals in 30% of the countries). People could come to the conclusion that 70% of the criminals are indeed men. I suspected sth differen, quoting me again:

For example, do you believe there is more human trafficking in Germany (21% women) or in Georgia (86% women)?

I suspect if you count the numbers of all people Trafficking and do a gendered statistic there will be more than 30% women.
Very smart Feck....Now there is proof for that:

Most traffickers are women - UN 25/02/2009 14:20 - (SA)

Pretoria - Up to 75% of all perpetrators of human trafficking are women, according to a study released in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Apart from being offenders themselves, over 70% of women were victims of trafficking, noted the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The study was conducted in 155 countries, between 2007 and 2008.

"Between 65% and 75% of offenders are women," said UNODC regional representative Jonathan Lucas.

More women convicted for trafficking

In countries that participated in the study, 30% more women than men were convicted for trafficking.

"Women play an important role, more than men and boys," said Lucas.

[...]

Main form of exploitation

Sexual exploitation was found to be the main form of exploitation in southern Africa and the rest of the world. This was closely followed by forced labour, said Kruger. - from here

Isn´t this incredible? Women trafficking women. There is more on this topic and let me recite the bits I already posted:

The second most common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%), although this may be a misrepresentation because forced labour is less frequently detected and reported than trafficking for sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation was found to be the main form of exploitation in southern Africa and the rest of the world. This was closely followed by forced labour
This is another point that often is forgotten when we talk about trafficking. Male victims are often overseen although a lot of men are forced to work as slaves or to be child soldiers.

The fight against human trafficking has for more than a decade tried to protect women and children, often forgetting that men, too, are victims of "new slavery".

Thailand remains one of the region's busiest human-trafficking centres.

The National Human Rights Commission has looked into the stories of some of these forgotten victims - male migrant workers not recognised as casualties of the trade.

The commission reports that between July 17 and July 19 of 2003, six fishing trawlers with about 100 crew sailed from Tha Chalom in Samut Sakhon province to fish Indonesian territorial waters. Most of the crew were migrant workers and four were younger than 16. None were allowed home leave for three years. The trawlers returned to Thailand in July last year.

Thirty-eight never returned, dying on the job. Two were buried on one of Indonesia's myriad islands and the rest unceremoniously dumped at sea. One more crewmember died shortly upon his return.

Others returned home seriously ill - emaciated, emotionally disturbed and unable to see, hear or walk properly.

A Samut Sakhon Hospital medical report diagnosed the men with serious vitamin deficiencies. They had suffered months without proper food or water, eating only fish.

None have been paid. Yet, they are not considered by law to be victims of human trafficking.

When they demanded compensation their "employers" claimed the men were unknown and said crew employment was the responsibility of trawler skippers. The boat owners refuse to pay until the men can prove they were aboard.

Complicating the issue is the registration of the men under Thai names. They are all Burmese, Mon and Karen migrant workers.

They discovered the labour law in this country does not cover fishermen working outside Thai territory for more than a year.

But, a new memorandum of understanding on Common Guidelines for Concerned Agencies Engaged in Human Trafficking and the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Bill are rays of hope. Men are covered by both documents.

The memorandum was signed last week and broadens the scope of a similar 2003 document. That included "children and women" only in its target groups.

Concerned agencies in 17 northern provinces signed it and it has now expanded to cover men.

The memorandum will bring Thailand and its Social Development and Human Security Ministry up to world standards of protection.

Thailand is regarded as a "country of origin, transit and destination" for trafficking victims.

The government announced in 2004 that combating the trade was a priority. It provided national mechanisms, Bt500 million in funding and operational centres to fight trafficking.

But, as its name suggests, the 1997 Prevention and Suppression of Women and Children Trafficking Act does not help men.

Trafficking goes beyond the sex industry and child labour and many cases involve men, Sub-Committee on Coordination for Combating Trafficking in Children and Women chairperson Saisuree Chutikul said.


[...]


Raman was forced to work as a brick-maker to pay off a debt incurred years before by his grandfather. For years, he was paid three rupees (two cents) for a bag of bricks. If he didn't work hard enough and long enough, he was beaten with a stick.

Michael, 15, was kidnapped to serve as a combatant in the Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army. During that that time, he was forced to kill another boy, and on another occasion was forced to watch as a boy was hacked to death.

Over the last 10 years, globalization has triggered an unprecedented demand for unskilled and low-skilled laborers. Employers from countries with booming economies in Europe, Asia, and the Near East scour the globe in search of willing bodies to work in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and domestic work.

Because working conditions are often grim, employers often tap the most vulnerable segments of the population. In some cases, women and girls are caught up in prostitution rings.

In its worst form, a desperate parent sells a child into modern-day slavery. Like young Nayla of Azerbeijan, ransomed by her mother to traffickers, who was then shipped to Dubai to work as a club prostitute. No one knows the extent to which human trafficking exists around the world, but many believe able-bodied males represent the most vulnerable group. A recent United Nations report, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns, noted, "it is men especially who might be expected to be trafficked for forced labor purposes."

A report issued last month by the U.S. State Department notes that in several parts of the world, boys are forced into pick-pocketing gangs. In West African countries, men posing as Moslem scholars lure young boys away from their parents with the promise of teaching them the Koran. Once removed from the custody of their parents, the boys are turned into common street beggers. In the Middle East, 2,000 young boys from Bangladesh have been taken away from their families to become camel jockeys in the Persian Gulf states. These boys are highly sought-after because they are the lightest possible riders for races. And when civil conflicts flare up in Africa and Latin America, boys as young as 12 years old find themselves pressed into military combat.

There are those who would have us believe that the misfortunes of women are somehow more compelling, and therefore they are more deserving of human rights protections.
That became apparent in 2000 when the United Nations passed its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. What about men?

That bias is also found in the legislation of many countries. According to the Trafficking in Persons report, "In many countries, the laws relevant to human trafficking are restricted in their application solely to women. . . In addition, many service providers limit their support and protection only to female and child victims. Thus, exploitation through forced labor is often quite unlikely to come to the attention of those dealing with victims."
Once human trafficking is defined as a crime that only affects women, statistics become meaningless. U.S. authorities have stated that up to two million women and children are trafficked each year across international borders.

But a 2002 report from the Washington, DC-based Migration Policy Institute exposed the flaw behind that claim: These "numbers are widely regarded as very conservative because they do not including trafficking within countries, nor do they take into account the trafficking of men." Gender bias persists to this day.

Recently Janice Shaw Crouse wrote an article for National Review titled "No Tolerance for Human Trafficking." Despite its high-minded invocation of the human rights issue, Crouse's article does not devote a single word to the male victims of human trafficking.

Crouse's crusade is to curb prostitution, a human vice that is demeaning to women and men alike. But in the process, she tries to smear the entire military establishment: "It's a given that prostitution coexists with military bases and installations. Where there are military forces, you'll find brothels."

Mrs. Crouse makes no mention of the laborers with calloused hands and broken hearts whose passports are removed by their employers and told to work ever harder. No comment about the men who are ordered to never report the abuses being perpetrated against them. Nothing of the millions of Ramans and Michaels around the world who are forced into lives of destitution and involuntary servitude.

It is high irony that some segments of a movement that purports to advance human rights would deem half the world's population as less worthy of attention and concern. That stance, morally repugnant and intellectually indefensible, undermines the very notion of human rights for all. - from here
Other sources show us that there is indeed a lot of forced work:
A new report, from organisation for migration research IOM, exposing that within trafficking
75 % is about slavery work in other areas than the sex industry.

[...]

EASTERN EUROPE – Research Shows Significant Figures on Human Trafficking


16.02.2007
An IOM research carried out partly to devise estimates on the numbers of trafficked people in five Eastern European countries claims that an estimated 225,000 people have fallen victims to the crime.


The IOM research, carried out in Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine through surveys among the general public in cooperation with the GfK, a leading research group for Eastern Europe, is an attempt to tackle one of the most difficult issues around human trafficking – how to gauge the extent of the crime. Figures on human trafficking within Europe are widely cited as an estimated 200,000 out of a global estimate of at least one million people.

However, the mean estimate of just over 225,000 people in these five countries alone was reached after asking respondents questions that included whether they knew anyone in their immediate family who had ever been trafficked for various forms of exploitation using a methodology validated by the University of Nebraska in the USA.

Ukraine, the country with the largest population out of the five, had the largest number of estimated victims – about 117,000 people. It, along with Moldova and Belarus also had the highest rates of trafficking prevalence. Estimated trafficking figures for the remaining countries are: Moldova (57,000), Romania (28,000), Belarus (14,000) and Bulgaria (9,500).

[...]

The report highlighted the need for stronger protection of labour migration as research showed high levels of trafficking for labour exploitation in sectors such as agriculture, construction and domestic servitude, rather than for sexual exploitation. This would be especially needed in Bulgaria and Belarus where the growth potential for labour migration were the highest of any of the five countries. - from here
This is a pattern that is common. Male victims as well as female perpetrator are overseen and violence or crimes against women are apparently more important than crimes against men. So much for equality...



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