Tráfico de seres humanos

Oba Ewuare II, traditional ruler of the kingdom of Benin, at his coronation in 2016. This month he issued one curse and revoked others in a bid to encourage victims to testify against human traffickers. Credit Pius Utomi Ekpei/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Human traffickers have officially been cursed. On March 9, Oba Ewuare II, the traditional ruler of the kingdom of Benin, in southern Nigeria, put a voodoo curse on anyone who abets illegal migration within his domain. At the same time, he revoked the curses that leave victims of trafficking afraid that their relatives will die if they go to the police or fail to pay off their debt.

Before being smuggled into Europe, women and girls in the area, which falls in present-day Edo State, are made to sign a contract with the traffickers who finance their journey, promising to pay them thousands of dollars.…  Seguir leyendo »

One day in April last year, 13-year-old Savitri was walking down a road with her mother in Dataganj district, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, carrying a flask of tea to her father, a laborer at a brick kiln, when five men pulled her into a moving jeep. One of them was from their village.

After Savitri’s father was told of her abduction, he hitchhiked to the police station; he couldn’t afford to take the bus. The officers set out to look for the man who had been recognized. They couldn’t find him, but they demolished his hut. Then they put the matter aside.…  Seguir leyendo »

The State Department has released its annual Trafficking in Persons report on human trafficking. The big headline was that China was downgraded to Tier 3, the lowest ranking, suggesting that the Trump administration had decided to rebuke China by grouping it with the likes of Syria, Iran and North Korea.

The report grades countries on how well or poorly they are doing in combating human trafficking. This approach — which I call “Scorecard Diplomacy” — has become increasingly important in international relations. Countries often really care about their scores. Here’s how it works.

What is a scorecard?

A scorecard is a way of rating or ranking how countries or other actors perform in a given policy area.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hoy es el Día Internacional contra la Explotación Sexual. En 2015, 474 mujeres y niñas fueron identificadas en España como víctimas de los esclavistas del siglo XXI. Muchas más son las que aún permanecen ocultas y ajenas al sistema de protección, que sobreviven en la resignación, bajo coacción y amenazas, sirviendo como objeto de consumo.

La mayoría procede de una situación de vulnerabilidad, son personas que no tienen muchas más alternativas que someterse a la situación de abuso. Las engañan brindando con ilusiones envenenadas, tergiversando sus perspectivas de futuro, haciéndoles creer que gracias a los tratantes -disfrazados de salvadores- su vida va a mejorar.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mañana, 23 de septiembre, es el día internacional contra la explotación sexual y el tráfico de mujeres, niñas y niños. El Col.legi de l’Advocacia de Barcelona se une a esta conmemoración y muestra la necesidad de continuar luchando por el respeto de los derechos más esenciales de las mujeres y los niños. La trata de personas es la captación, transporte, traslado, acogida o recepción de personas mediante el engaño, el uso de la fuerza u otras formas de coacción o abuso para obtener su consentimiento con fines de explotación sexual, trabajos o servicios forzados, esclavitud o extracción de órganos.

Entre las formas de explotación sexual cabe destacar la pornografía infantil, el turismo con fines sexuales con menores de edad o los matrimonios forzados.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace pocos días, los medios de comunicación informaban del desmantelamiento, por parte de la Guardia Civil, de una red de explotación sexual de niñas en nuestro país. La citada red explotaba a niñas españolas, y los tratantes y proxenetas compartían con ellas nacionalidad. En los medios suelen publicarse noticias sobre catástrofes en otros países señalando si hay algún español muerto, como si produjera un cierto alivio que no haya alguien de nuestra nacionalidad entre las decenas de víctimas de un terremoto, un tsunami o cualquier otra catástrofe.

Dándole la vuelta al argumento, la preocupación sobre este caso debiera ser enorme ya que todas las niñas explotadas son españolas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Strategic litigation broke the back of the British slave trade. In 1772, James Somerset, an escaped slave brought to England by his owner, Charles Stewart, sued for his freedom. In the case Somerset vs Stewart, the Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, ruled that no slave could be forcibly returned to a colony for sale.

Somerset was the first salvo in a series of anti-slavery civil cases brought in British courts. Those cases helped end the transatlantic trade in slaves. Nearly 250 years later, activists are again turning to strategic litigation to fight the modern day slave trade.

The dirty secret of today’s human trafficking is that almost no one is held accountable.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indonesian commercial female sex workersr at 'Dolly' red-light district on June 20, 2014 in Surabaya, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Amnesty International recently adopted a proposal that recommends decriminalizing the sex trade, a move that it says is for the human rights and equal protections of sex workers. This proposal instead gives amnesty to pimps, brothel owners and sex buyers by recognizing everyone in sex work as “consenting adults.” Men and women in the vulnerable position of selling their bodies for sex should be offered services and solutions to provide them with safe alternatives.

The proposal instead legalizes their exploitation. Amnesty International says that people who engage in sex work often do so because they have been marginalized and have limited choices.…  Seguir leyendo »

A prostitute waits for a client in her room ina brothel area known as Building in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (David Paul Morris/For The Washington Post)

“You can go Cambodia, Phnom Penh. The place is called Svay Pak. There are many there you can try. Age around 6 to 16. Depending on what u want to do. I find 12 to 14 year olds the best as they are freshest and is becoming a grown up girl soon. Innocent too. and very curious about sex.”

This is a milder excerpt from e-mails sent to an undercover police officer. They came from a Singaporean pedophile named Chan Chun Hong who was planning to visit Svay Pak, Cambodia, to have sex with children.

He had purchased airline tickets for April 2014.…  Seguir leyendo »

The image of a child sex-trafficking victim that most of us carry in our minds is probably something like the blurry, black-and-white shot taken in 2003 of a 5-year-old girl in a shanty settlement called Svay Pak, just outside Phnom Penh. The girl’s name is Taevy. My organization, International Justice Mission, obtained the undercover footage while investigating the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Cambodia and collaborated with “Dateline NBC” to tell the story.

According to a recent broadcast from CNN’s “Freedom Project,” Cambodia is still ground zero for the child sex trade. The report described Svay Pak’s “big business” of selling prepubescent girls to foreign pedophiles for thousands of dollars.…  Seguir leyendo »

La dernière tragédie, prévisible, est la énième preuve de l’absence de l’Europe en matière d’immigration. Une absence politique, une absence de vision, de décisions. Une absence de coopération, de dialogue et de coordination entre les pays de l’Europe. Une absence de politique étrangère commune. Et les résultats sont là. Il y a des cas, surtout en Libye ou bien dans le Sinaï, où les migrants sont détenus et où ils voyagent dans des conditions inhumaines en risquant la vie. Mais trop souvent on se trompe.

Ces trafiquants, ce sont avant tout des vendeurs de rêves, qui monnayent le droit d’asile. Ils offrent exactement ce que l’Europe n’arrive pas à proposer, c’est-à-dire la possibilité de demander l’asile politique.…  Seguir leyendo »

A BBC report this week exposed China’s child trafficking problem to a global audience through the touching tale of Xiao Chaohua, a father whose five-year-old son was kidnapped by traffickers in 2007. It’s a story I am intimately familiar with. Although I have never met Xiao, I met dozens of parents in the same situation, while making a film on the same subject.

Kidnapping and child trafficking have been a problem in modern China since at least the 1980s. This is often presented as an unintended consequence of the one-child policy, but although that policy has been a factor, the truth is more complicated.…  Seguir leyendo »

EL gobierno brasileño ha gastado enormes fondos de sus contribuyentes en préstamos, subsidios y asistencia humanitaria directa para proyectos de infraestructura, exportaciones de alimentos y otras iniciativas en o para Cuba. Brasil también ha brindado decidido apoyo internacional a la dictadura militar cubana. El Puerto de Mariel, renovado a bombo y platillo con más de mil millones de dólares en fondos públicos de Brasil, es el ejemplo más visible de dicho sostén financiero y político. Los préstamos masivos de Brasil son imprudentes desde la perspectiva de un análisis financiero tradicional. Cuba no es solvente; tiene un nutrido historial de incumplimientos, su deuda externa asciende a 75.000 millones de dólares y, según The Economist Intelligence Unit es uno de los cuatro países con más riesgo para invertir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Luces y sombras en los derechos, políticas sociales y protección respecto a la trata de seres humanos: Aplicación de obligaciones internacionales y europeas a la agenda española.

La trata de seres humanos o trata de personas comienza a ser un concepto conocido, ha entrado ya en las agendas internacionales, europeas y estatales, y está más o menos presente en los medios de comunicación. Sin embargo, sigue siendo una cuestión invisibilizada y existe confusión al asemejar la trata a otros sucesos. En este sentido, encontramos una escasa sensibilización respecto de esta violación de derechos humanos y forma flagrante de violencia de género.…  Seguir leyendo »

El secuestro de cientos de jóvenes nigerianas por el grupo radical islámico Boko Haram ha ocupado los titulares noticiosos durante semanas. La comunidad mundial siente indignación ante la violación de principios y sensibilidades fundamentales: la prohibición de la esclavitud, la protección de la integridad personal, la obligación de proteger a los menores y el derecho de las adolescentes a recibir educación y escoger con quién y cuándo casarse.

Sin embargo, la presencia de jóvenes prostitutas en las calles de las ciudades occidentales apenas genera reacciones. De hecho, la mayoría simplemente evita el contacto visual con ellas y los medios apenas mencionan el tema.…  Seguir leyendo »

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The presidential proclamation serves, in part, to remind us that 150 years after our nation abolished the practice of legally enslaving others, the cruel practice exists today in the form of forced labor and sex trafficking.

This modern-day form of slavery continues in our own back yard in South Florida. In an effort to combat this problem, in 2007, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Florida’s Southern District created a specialized section to handle these cases. Since then, our office has achieved remarkable success working with federal and state agencies to increase the number and impact of human-trafficking prosecutions: More than 50 cases and 89 offenders have faced federal charges since the unit was created.…  Seguir leyendo »

Feminists across Western Europe are sounding the alarm. Prostitution, they claim, has become today’s “white slavery,” with ever more women from Bulgaria and Romania, Africa and Asia being forced, tricked or seduced into selling their bodies.

But in doing so, these activists are creating a schism in the movement, between those who see prostitution as another form of male oppression and those who see it as a possible means of female empowerment.

Much of the debate is centered in Germany, where prostitution is legal. As a result, the German author Alice Schwarzer said, the country has become “an El Dorado for human traffickers, a paradise for johns from all over the Continent,” who come in busloads to frequent the new “mega-brothels” in Cologne, Munich or Berlin.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nepal may be known for natural beauty and Mount Everest, but there is a dark side to this small, picturesque country. Women and girls are being bought, sold and smuggled across the Nepal-India border. Although reliable data on the scope of the issue is difficult to gather, Unicef reports that as many as 7,000 women and girls are trafficked out of Nepal to India every year, and around 200,000 are now working in Indian brothels.

I traveled to Nepal last spring to document the growing problem of sex trafficking and unsafe migration, spending the majority of time in Katmandu and along the Nepal-India border.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for three Somalis convicted of murdering four Americans whose yacht was captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean off Oman in 2011. Although nearly two dozen Somali pirates have now been convicted in U.S. courts, these three men are the first to potentially face the death penalty.

Against the backdrop of the U.S. trial, a largely unknown and underreported humanitarian tragedy caused by the brutality of pirates is unfolding: Unlike the Americans killed by pirates after negotiations for their release failed, the crews of many smaller ships, known as dhows, operating in the Indian Ocean often end up as slaves, never to return to their homelands because their Indian, Pakistani or Iranian owners cannot afford to pay their ransom.…  Seguir leyendo »

Thirteen-year-old Anjali didn’t just pack her bags and run away to the circus, she signed a 10-year contract with a circus master after fleeing from long hours of domestic servitude in Nepal. Taken to India, she then endured years of appalling and dangerous working conditions for no pay. A British charity helped Anjali finally say goodbye to the circus.

Anjali’s story is not the same as other victims, but there are disturbing similarities: threats, sexual and labor exploitation, often cruelty, sometimes brutality. (To read Anjali’s story, please go to UNODC’s 2013 publication, Hear Their Story. Her name was changed to protect her identity.)

Despite her terrible experiences, Anjali is one of the fortunate ones.…  Seguir leyendo »