Monday, October 21, 2013

THE BLIGHT OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING


A pair of stories in the media over the weekend regarding the trafficking of children really bothered me.

Living in the relative safety and comfort of St. Johns, it is hard to believe the horrors faced by children throughout the world.   From being sexually assaulted, forced to beg, forced into prostitution, drugged and turned into child soldiers, to  being locked away in dungeons for decades.

In Greece, the media reported that a four year old blond-haired, blue-eyed girl was discovered in a Roma community at the home of a couple with 13 other offspring,  The couple have been charged with kidnapping and police say they have given at least five different accounts of how the child came to be with them. DNA tests show she is not related to the couple.

In China, a couple are standing trial for selling their baby and using the proceeds to pay for an online shopping spree. The couple began advertising the sale before the child was born. They were looking  for up to 50,000 yuan (about $8,400). They reported found a buyer and sold the infant after it was born.  Amongst the things purchased with the proceeds was an iPhone!

Closer to home. Investigations have shown that  First Nations women, girls, boys and babies have been  sold on ships plying the Great Lakes. 

According to University of Minnesota researcher Christine "The women and children — and I've even had women talk about a couple of babies brought onto the ships and sold to the men on ships — are being sold or are exchanging sex for alcohol, a place to stay, drugs, money and so forth." 

Kazia Pickard, the Director of Policy and Research with the Ontario Native Women’s Association says majority of women who are trafficked in Canada are indigenous women and girls.

154 countries have ratified the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol. Significant progress has been made in terms of legislation, as 83 per cent of countries now have a law that criminalizes trafficking in persons in accordance with the Protocol.

A Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) provides offers a 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.





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