Bridge to Freedom Foundaton

Bridge to Freedom Foundaton

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Posted: 07 Aug 2012 08:35 AM PDT

Canadians fight global sex trafficking on their soil
Human rights advocates are enraged after an announcement made by the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC) declared they will be recruiting high school and college students to fill the demand for sex workers after the government banned visas allowing foreign workers to work in the industry.  The AEAC insists the industry is safe to work in, yet Joy Smith, a member of Parliament, argues "many Canadians do no realize that prostitution, strip clubs...are were the majority of victims of human trafficking are found." Canada is a gateway for many Asian and Eastern European victims.

Appeals court reinstates Vermont prison forced labor case
After an appeal made Friday, a three-judge panel decided that Finbar McGarry, a man who claims he was forced to do manual labor while pending trial, has the right to argue that he was under threat to work in a prison laundry.  He was waiting trial for domestic disturbance when he says he was forced to work up to 14 hours three days a week washing laundry for 25 cents/hour.  He will be arguing for $11 million in damages.

Torture and denial of rights for drug addicts locked in Asian camps
Hundreds of thousands of drug users in China and across Southeast Asia are held in camps where they are subject to physical and sexual violence in order to be "cured".  These centers have received financial support from donor countries and UN agencies yet they deny people their rights.  The lack of liberty can last up to 5 years and involve the homeless, mentally ill and street children.  Joe Amon, a director at Human Rights Watch, insists that "beatings, forced labor and humiliation" are not part of the prescribed therapy.

The Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) reported that Tanzania has a higher rate of internal trafficking than transnational trafficking. Internal trafficking often occurs among the family and friends of victims who, as with other forms of trafficking, are given empty promises of employment, education, and otherwise. Many victims are subjected to being domestic workers, barmaids or prostitutes. The case study was done on the city of Dar es Salaam; the top five cities where human trafficking is found are Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro, Singida, and Dodoma, respectively.

Non-profit organization doma is helping human trafficking victims in Franklin County Ohio by allowing women to run their food cart, Freedom a la Cart. Stationed Downtown, the women, who learn skills such as kitchen prep and business management, also provide catering services and every "meal served comes with a pamphlet on human trafficking. All proceeds go to helping victims."

Watchdog group Judicial Watch claimed that the Department of Justice suspiciously dismissed a case in which three defendants "who worked for the Los Angeles-based labor recruiting company in question -- Global Horizons Manpower, Inc. -- pled guilty to [human trafficking-related] charges…" Bruce Schwartz pled guilty to conspiring to commit forced labor, while Sam Wongsesanit and Shane Germann pled guilty to conspiring to commit document servitude. However, other watchdogs argue that the prosecutors were unable to prove the admitted guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Compiled By: Elyse Elder and Whitney Joseph