Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

I had no idea that slavery was so prevalent today. Here are the statistics. As a mother of 4, I want to know the facts...please pray for the millions of victims enslaved today!

Roughly 2 to 4 million people are trafficked in and across borders each year.
Human trafficking is now a leading source of profits for organized crime, together with drugs and weapons, generating an estimated 9.5 billion dollars per year. [i]
The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children.
The average victim is forced to have sex up to 20 times a day.
The CIA calculates that profits from one trafficked woman alone averages around 250,000 American dollars per year. [ii]
Traffickers acquire their victims in a number of ways:
Sometimes women are kidnapped outright in one country and taken forcibly to another.
Traffickers also entice victims to migrate voluntarily with false promises of well-paying jobs in foreign countries as au pairs, models, dancers, domestic workers, etc.
When they arrive at their destination many are placed in physically confining conditions, their travel documents and passports are taken away and both they and their families are threatened if they do not cooperate. Women and girls are forced to work as prostitutes in heavily guarded brothels and strip clubs.
An estimated 1.8 million children are exploited by the commercial human trafficking industry[iii].
Children are abducted from rural areas and trafficked into a range of exploitive practices, which include bonded labor, sexual exploitation, marriage, illicit adoptions, and begging.
Young girls, some as young as 12 years old, are forced to work in brothels, massage parlors, prostitution rings, strip clubs, or used to produce pornographic materials.
Children are recruited and trafficked to earn money by begging or selling goods.
Child beggars are sometimes maimed by their captors to generate sympathy and generosity from potential buyers.[1]
Victims are forced to live in confining and unsanitary conditions and are subject to many abuses.
Malnutrition, sleep deprivation, emotional abuse, and beatings.
Lack of healthcare and forced abortions.
Many contract STD's and hepatitis A & B.
Children are deprived of basic education and any sort of parental upbringing, and are completely dependent on their captors for food and shelter.
Europe and the Sex Trafficking Industry:
The UN reports that Western Europe contains most of the highest-ranking destination countries in the Human Trafficking citation index. These include:
Greece, Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.[iv]
Austria, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Kosovo, Poland, Switzerland, and the UK.
The former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe have replaced Asia as the main source of women trafficked to Western Europe. Victims come from:
Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova.
Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Lithuania.
Victims typically originate from a country that was once part of the Soviet Bloc. From their home country, they are transported through a series of different countries before they are trafficked into either Italy or Greece.
As many as 20,000 women, including 1,000 girls between the ages of 13 and 15, have been sold so far into Greece's alarmingly booming sex trade industry for thousands of euros each. They are mainly from the Balkans and countries of the former Soviet Union. (
One million men - about 30% of the nation's sexually active population - call on these women regularly (about twice a month)! (
A Real Life Testimony From a Victim:
O.N. has been in Italy for 4 years. She says that she was kidnapped from her home city in Albania where her parents rented a house. At the time of the kidnapping she was returning from visiting her brother who lives there with her parents. One day, at approximately 6 pm. she was forced into a car at gunpoint. Once in the car she was tied up and gagged. She was then taken to the sea, forced into a rubber motorboat operated by two young men, who possessed a passport for her. She can remember that the photograph used for the passport was one taken of her during a birthday party for one of her friends.
After her arrival in Italy, she was taken from Milan to Rome and then from Rome to Mondragone (a seaside village) where she was placed in a small apartment with two other girls. During the first week she was not forced to work, but she was informed of the type of work she would be doing. For four years she worked the streets, day and night. She had to bring in 1 million Lira each day. She was regularly drugged and she developed serious health problems. Her protectors took all the money that she earned, although they claimed they had opened a Milan bank account for her. Eventually, she was arrested by the police for prostitution and returned to Albania by ferry. She wants to see her family, but is fearful of her father and that her trafficker might find her again.[v]

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Friday, January 9, 2009