Human Trafficking Report 2014

The U.S. Department of State released a vital report every year on the activities of over a hundred and fifty countries fighting human trafficking. The Trafficking in Persons Report is aimed at raising global awareness and assisting countries in understanding the weaknesses and strengths of their anti-trafficking efforts.

The country narratives provide information on the trafficking problem in nations around the world and give recommendations on strengthening their current methods of fighting this modern day form of slavery. The report examines the different forms of trafficking such as forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude among migrant workers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, sex trafficking, the exploitation of children for immoral purposes.

The report also addresses the importance of protecting victims in an adequate and effective manner, placing a spotlight on the problem internationally to prevent a future generation of victims, and the importance of research and advocacy.

The goal of the report is to raise global awareness on the severity of the problem and spur the international community to take greater and more effective actions to counter trafficking in persons.

For more information on the report and to learn more about the international problem of human trafficking please visit


It Only Takes a Girl

Thousands of girls are taken out of school in developing countries. *This happens more than 25,000 times every day.* Their future becomes uncertain and this creates a rippling effect for generations to come. 

Some of these girls become victims of trafficking and are sold into slavery. Others are married off to older men. Thousands become pregnant in a year. They have no real education or job prospects.  Millions become trapped in a cycle of poverty that impacts their children and grandchildren to come. 

Without an education, a daughter, in some developing nations, is a burden for her family. She can be exposed to physical and psychological abuse. The cycle continues generation after generation.  Girls in third-world countries are too often overlooked, under-educated and neglected.  This leads to serious and tragic human rights problems every single day.

The video below shows why investing in girls should become our number one priority. When we care about and save girls, we change the world.  One daughter at a time.  



Human Trafficking Awareness Month

The United States with the assistance of the international community observe Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January of every year to raise awareness, advocacy, and enforcement of human trafficking laws.
The U.N. Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking reports that modern day slavery impacts "every continent and every type of economy."  From the shoes and clothes that consumers purchase to the food that people consume, human trafficking impacts millions of lives.  Each dollar spent buying these products promotes human trafficking and keeps women, children, and men enslaved in forced labor around the world.
The U.N. Global Initiative reports that more than 50% of slavery victims are found in Asia.   The State Department contends that in Asia the victims of human trafficking are triple than in other continents.  This increase in human trafficking and the products that are developed and shipped from Asia has alarmed advocates around the world.  The rate of human trafficking has increased each year, and the economic recession has not decreased the number of slaves worldwide.  On the contrary, human trafficking has been continuously inclining as the need for cheap labor has skyrocketed.

Human Trafficking is estimated to generate $32 billion U.S. Dollars each year. 
A Coalition of Anti-Human Trafficking Organizations have urged President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to make fighting human trafficking a top priority for the government. 
The purpose of Human Trafficking Awareness Month internationally has been to highlight the struggles to fight modern day slavery and the need for greater enforcement of laws in the United States and around the world.


Child Marriage and Human Rights

The most important video you will watch today.....

Child marriage robs 10 million girls *every year* of their childhood. A harmful cultural practices in some areas that forces young girls into marriage and denies their rights to health, education and security. Please follow the link to learn more...

Brought to you by The Elders.

"The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity."

To learn more go to


UNICEF Reports That Despite Efforts Child Trafficking Increases

UNICEF reports that despite regional and national efforts, trafficking continues to take a heavy toll on children. A study finds efforts to prevent trafficking have fallen short and therefore strongly recommends new methods to decrease trafficking of children.

"The same factors that make children vulnerable to trafficking [and therefore slavery] include poverty, family breakdown, lack of educational opportunities, gender inequality, demand for cheap labor or brides, and widening disparities between and within countries, are the same factors that make children vulnerable to other forms of abuse, violence and exploitation.

A recent assessment of child trafficking programs in seven countries in East and Southeast Asia has found that the tides of trafficking have yet to be stemmed despite the best efforts by governments, donors and international and local aid organizations, and that a new approach is needed to confront not only child trafficking, but also other related forms of abuse and exploitation experienced by children.

The study, Child Trafficking in East and Southeast Asia: Reversing the Trend, found that a great deal had been accomplished in this region in generating bilateral, multilateral and transnational cooperation. There have also been unprecedented developments in legislative and policy reform.

However, the study also found that, although most countries have developed or amended laws and policies with gusto, enforcement has generally been weak, due in some part to insufficient resources, limited capacities, poor coordination, or a lack of leadership.

The study is being released on the eve of the Pacific Trafficking in Persons Forum in Wellington, New Zealand on September 2nd - 4th. One of the critical findings of the study was the breaking up of categories of child vulnerabilities and creating different programs and approaches for each.

“We have a situation now where there are dozens of child trafficking programmes in the region, but there are also dozens of child labor, sexual exploitation, child violence and neglect, and juvenile justice programs as well,” said UNICEF Regional Director, Anupama Rao Singh. “Yet the core vulnerabilities that put children at risk in these situations should really be addressed together rather than separately.”

“As a result, the same justice and social welfare structures and personnel in these countries are generally responsible for working on all of these child protection violations. This splits financial resources, burdens human resources, and stretches already limited capacity to keep apace with new laws, regulations, and similar but different training, procedures, and guidelines,” she added.

With donors, funds are often distributed based on ever-shifting and competing priorities, which has led to a worrying trend of support flowing toward one area of child rights violations and away from others. For example, to prioritize victims of child trafficking over victims of sexual abuse or child labour is neither practical nor equitable, and misses the fact that most child protection issues are related.

The study concludes that what is required to address this situation is the development of national child protection systems within countries similar to the creation of effective health systems decades ago. By taking a comprehensive, system-based approach to addressing the vulnerabilities of children in this region, trafficking, as well as other violations, can be more effectively prevented before they happen.

Given the complexity of factors which frame child vulnerability, adopting a systems-building approach to protecting children would provide the most logical, sustainable, effective and resource-efficient means for achieving long term impact on issues pertaining to the trafficking of children,” said Rao Singh. “It is time to stop confronting trafficking as a separate issue and address it more systematically along with other child protection issues.”

Reported by UNICEF.


Call and Response Movie Inspires People to Help Stop the Global Slave Trade

A new movie coming out the weekend of October 10th is helping to educate and inspire people to get involved in stopping the global slave trade.

There are more slaves today than ever before in human history. Twenty-seven people live in slave like conditions today. Thousands of these are children forced into prostitution in the U.S.A. In 2007, traffickers of the global slave trade made more money than Starbucks, Google, and Nike put together.

Through open, active participation of people around the world, modern day slavery can be stopped in our lifetime. Every person can make a difference in the fight to end slavery - even if it is as simple as sharing the CALL+RESPONSE website (

A 100% of the profits for the CALL+RESPONSE film will fund global field projects taking on slavery world-wide. The movie will be shown in the following cities:




Don't see your city? Go to and request that the movie come to your city.


Child Trafficking and Natural Disasters

Inside the world of child trafficking over a million girls and boys are bought, sold, or kidnapped for cheap labor or sexual exploitation. According to UNICEF, trafficking of children is a global problem with as many as 1.2 million children trafficked each year.

Children and their families are often unaware of the dangers of trafficking and its prevalence. They are often tricked into believing that the child will have the possibility of a better life abroad. Yet, since the devastation in Burma a new form of trafficking has found its way in a devastated region. Two suspects have already been arrested for attempting to take children who survived the catastrophic cyclone. "A broker came to a shelter and tried to recruit children," said UNICEF's chief child protection officer in Burma, Anne-Claire Dufay. “There was an intervention. The police intervened and made arrests."

Ms. Dufay has explained that children who had been separated from their parents, and possibly orphaned are now facing the threat of violence on top of daily struggles for life’s essential necessities like food and water.

"There are concerns for children in camps," she said, adding that sleeping spaces and toilets should be well lit and safe for women and youngsters, to reduce the risk of harm in camps that can become crowded and tense.

Katy Barnett, Save the Children's child protection adviser in Rangoon, said the organization was aware of the report of the arrests and expected more trafficking problems as the crisis develops in natural disasters. "It's something which agencies have been expecting. It's an absolute standard thing in the fallout of an emergency like this," she said.

"Traffickers can easily get hold of unaccompanied or separated children and tell them they'll lead a better life or be safe."

Barnett said another unconfirmed report of people looking in camps to recruit girls to work as domestic workers - a typical ruse for traffickers - was being investigated by a church organisation today.

"They are asking families if they would give their girls up and they haven't been stopped yet apparently," she said.

Burma made human trafficking illegal in 2005. Yet, the U.S. State Department has listed the isolated nation as one of the world's worst offenders for human trafficking along with North Korea and Laos.

For more information visit


Trafficking of Women and Children

Every year millions of women and children are trafficked across international borders and within their own countries. Trafficking of persons is defined as the recruitment, transport, or sale of human beings for the purpose of exploiting their labor. Women and children (mostly little girls) are trafficked into bonded sweatshop labor, forced marriages, forced prostitution, domestic servitude, and other kinds of work.

This is a global phenomena occurring in every country around the world, including the U.S. The U.S. State Department estimates that every year over 14,500 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. for illegal purposes that violate their basic human rights.

Around the world human trafficking has taken on global proportions. According to Human Rights Watch “women are typically recruited with promises of good jobs in other countries or provinces, and, lacking better options at home, agree to migrate.”

After reaching their new country or area, they learn of the deception and the “work” they will actually be forced to do. Most have been lied to regarding the conditions of their employment and the actual financial arrangements. They find themselves in abusive situations where they are forced into an underground world of illegal activity where escape is difficult and death is too often the only way out.

The State Department has even warned that children as young as six have been trafficked for illegal purposes and forced into prostitution in Thailand and other Asian countries. These children come from extreme poverty and their parents are deceived into believing that their children will have a better life abroad with the opportunity for a higher education. The hope for a better life turns into the greatest tragedy.

Yet, one of the factors that has perpetuated this modern day form of slavery is its underground nature. Traffickers have been able to deceive millions and circumvent national and international laws through their underground activity. Campaigns have been started around the world to increase awareness of this global issue and help release victims of trafficking back into society.

If you would like to learn more or help go to


Invisible Children

UNICEF estimates that hundreds of millions of children worldwide suffer from severe exploitation and discrimination. Millions of children disappear when trafficked within their own country and across international boundaries to work under inhumane conditions. Not only do these children endure daily abuse but they are excluded from healthcare, school, and other essential services needed for growth and survival. They become a generation of Invisible Children.

The world's most vulnerable and invisible children grow up beyond the reach of a formal identity, parental care, and fundamental services and protection. They are invisible in areas from public debate, legislation, statistics, and news stories.

Every year over 50 million children in the developing world go unregistered. These children do not have a formal identity. Without proper registration and identity, these children are not guaranteed basic services such as a formal education, and healthcare, and are not even recognized as citizens in their own countries.

Other children around the world, such as street children, are in plain site but also do not have access to fundamental services and protections. Children who are denied fundamental services are more prone to exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.

As UNICEF explains:

"Governments, families and communities must do more to prevent abuse and exploitation from happening in the first place and to protect children who fall victim to abuse. Laws that hold perpetrators of crimes against children accountable must be implemented and vigorously enforced; attitudes, traditions and practices that are harmful to children must be challenged; and children themselves must get the help, information, and life skills they need..."

The more governments and people work to make these invisible children visible in both the national and international community, the greater the chance that a new generation of invisible children will escape the harsh destines of their predecessors. It's time to open our eyes to a generation of children that have been lost and forgotten.

For more information go to

The Billion Dollar Industry of Human Trafficking

Every year the United Nations predicts that up to four million women and children are victims of human trafficking worldwide. This modern day form of slavery not only exists but is flourishing in most parts of the world today. It’s estimated that more slaves exist now then ever in the history of mankind.

The global revenue for this underground activity is approximately 32 billion U.S. dollars yearly.  At this rate of growth, human trafficking is predicted to surpass drug trafficking in global revenue as the most lucrative underground activity.

Most victims of trafficking are exploited for purposes of prostitution and/or forced labor in sweat shop factories. Some of these sweat shops cater to American Retail giants (see link below). Trafficking also increasingly takes place in labor exploitation, such as work in domestic servitude, or migrant agricultural work. Traffickers use force, fraud, coercion to compel women, children, and sometimes men to engage in these inhumane practices. The average victim is re-sold several times to different traffickers.

Yet, human trafficking is not only a international issue but a legal, development, and social issue as well. Poverty and systematic oppression are root causes of this globally rising human rights violation. Patterns of instability, armed conflict worldwide, and systematic discrimination against women and children have all perpetuated this international problem along with a lack of public awareness both globally and domestically.

The lack of documented birth registration in certain third world countries has also made children increasingly vulnerable to the exploitation of traffickers. In some cases, parents are systematically deceived into believing that their children will have better lives in developed countries with the opportunity for an education. All of these children come from extreme poverty and have little opportunity for an education. Their background makes them even more susceptible to the deception of traffickers.

The majority of these children never return home and die within five to seven years from daily physical abuse, sexual abuse, malnutrition, and torture. By the time family members realize the deception of the traffickers, their loved ones have disappeared and the families are helpless in their search to find them. The illusion of a better life turns into the greatest tragedy

Legal Mechanisms to Combat Human Trafficking in the United States

In 2000, the United States government passed a ground breaking piece of legislation to combat human trafficking both domestically and internationally. The United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was the first comprehensive piece of national legislation aimed to increase public awareness nationally and globally, provide funds to help combat the problem around the world while also increasing the punishment and law enforcement capabilities in the United States to deal with this issue.

Under this law, victims became eligible for a broad range of benefits and services regardless of immigration status. While in custody, victims would have access to shelter, medical assistance, legal aid, and translation services to inform them of their rights.

Victims also became eligible for the Witness Protection Program in the U.S. while grants were created to fund non-governmental organizations helping victims of trafficking around the world. An increase in sentencing traffickers up to twenty years was also passed as well as mandatory restitution and asset forfeiture to pay back individuals that traffickers have victimized. This anti-trafficking law also authorized almost $300 million dollars over a two year period for international and national programs to combat human trafficking in 2000 and 2001 alone.

Sadly, this piece of legislation is rare in the international community. The lack of awareness and legal protection has allowed traffickers to proliferate in many areas of the world that have the greatest poverty and political unrest.

For more information and how you can become involved in the fight against human trafficking visit and

Research Guide

Center for Global Development, Women and War Event, June 22, 2004, Washington, D.C.; Kevin Bales, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, University of California Press, 2004.

United Nations Children’s Fund, Trafficking in Human Beings Report, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2003.

Gilbert King, Woman, Child for Sale: The New Slave Trade of the 21st Century, Chamberland Bros. Publishing, 2004.
United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

The State of the World's Children

Each year, the United Nations Childrens' Fund (UNICEF) has a flagship publication titled "The State of the World's Children." This publication closely examines key issues impacting women and children globally. The State of the World's Children 2007 shows that in the long run, empowering women will improve the lives of millions of children around the world and enhance the goal to reach all of the other Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

"Empowering women saves children's lives – and the impact is too important to ignore." states, Rachel Bonham-Carter of UNICEF. As one example, she cites to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute, which concludes there would be 13.4 million fewer undernourished children in South Asia if men and women there had equal influence in decision-making.

Every year over half a million women die in childbirth or because of pregnancy related causes. This is roughly one woman every minute. Decreasing maternal mortality is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. When these women die, their existing childrens' lives are forever changed. Many of these deaths are preventable yet the data concerning the exact number of deaths and the lack of access to health care put millions more women at risk for the same fate.

Research shows that a woman with a primary education is less likely to die during childbirth. The mortality rate for children under five years of age falls about 50% for mothers with a primary school education. Yet, one out of every five girls who begins a primary school education in the developing world does not complete it. An average of less than 50% of young girls in the developing world attend secondary school. This not only impacts the age for when they give birth but also decreases their bargaining power within their household.

This decrease of bargaining power can result in child marriages and premature parenthood. Girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die during childbirth then women in their twenties, according to UNICEF. And the levels of domestic violence rise dramatically for child brides.

The "State of the Worlds Children" suggests seven key interventions for gender equality:

1. Abolish school fees and invest in girls' education
2. Invest government funding in gender equality
3. Enact legislation to create a level playing field for women, and to prevent and respond to
domestic violence as well as gender-based violence in conflict
4. Ensure women's participation in politics
5. Involve women's grassroots organizations early on in policy development
6. Engage men and boys so the importance of gender equality can be understood by all
7. Improve research and data on gender issues, which are critical if progress is to be made

Millennium Development Goal 3 focuses on promoting gender equality around the world. If this goal is achieved, UNICEF believes its benefits will expand in many other areas from hunger reduction, reducing maternal and child mortality to global health and environmental sustainability.

For more information visit

UNICEF - For Every Child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection
Advance Humanity.