Monday, November 12, 2007

This Week in Trafficking

Source: USA Today

Interpol unmasks man in photos with little boys
The image on the left was taken from a series of 200 photos that show a man with 12 young boys in Southeast Asia, according to Interpol. The human trafficking unit says the image on the right was reverse-engineered by experts who found a way to remove the digital manipulations that hid the man's face. They re-created the photograph for the global law-enforcement agency to distribute to its members and, when that didn't produce any viable leads, among the news media. Interpol won't say how it unmasked the man's face. "Techniques are always developing. What is impossible today is possible tomorrow," Anders Persson, a Swedish police officer who oversees Interpol's database of images of child abuse, tells the Associated Press.

Child prostitutes available at $100 a night: the human cost of junta's repression
This is a side of life the Burmese military junta might prefer you did not see: girls who appear to be 13 and 14 years old paraded in front of customers at a nightclub where a beauty contest thinly veils child prostitution. Tottering in stiletto heels and miniskirts, young teenage girls criss-crossed the dance-floor as part of a nightly "modeling" show at the Asia Entertainment City nightclub on a recent evening in Rangoon.

Dubai's promised land of luxury lures women into sexual slavery

Fei Fei, a 22-year-old from China's Guangdong province, has a souvenir of her eight months in Dubai: burns on her back and arms from cigarette butts crushed against her skin when she refused to work as a prostitute. She eventually submitted when a criminal gang threatened to send nude photos of her to family members. That indignity, she said, would have been worse than selling her body.

U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose's crackdown on trafficking starts with Minneapolis man
A 36-year-old Minneapolis man on Monday became the first in what the U.S. attorney in Minnesota promises will be a long line of human traffickers to be sentenced to lengthy prison terms.Daniel McNeal, who has a history of sex trafficking and violent crimes, was charged in December 2006 with recruiting a 16-year-old Rogers girl into a life of prostitution and stripping jobs. On Monday, U.S. District Judge David Doty ordered McNeal to spend more than 24 years in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime on supervised release.

India needs to bolster its anti-trafficking efforts
Even as India continues to be the most favored origin and destination for human trafficking in South Asia, most states in the country are still not combating the crime as a priority. Despite claims of consolidated steps being taken by the union government to combat the menace, only three states in the country, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and West Bengal, have set up Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) till date. Conviction rate in human trafficking cases remain low with states not prioritizing the issue of trafficking, despite India being a signatory of the UN Protocol on Human Trafficking.

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