Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex Tourism Turning Northern Marianas into Human Trafficking Hotspot

From Radio New Zealand International:

Sex tourism and US troops in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas may be fueling a demand for human trafficking there.

An organisation helping victims of human trafficking says it has seen a rise in the numbers of victims seeking help from 36 last year to 54 this year.

The Karidat Social Services says most women come from China and the Phillippines with many forced into prostitution or work as exotic dancers.

The manager of the Guma Esperansa Shelter for Battered Women, Laurie Okomoro, says the Marianas is a hotspot for human trafficking because of its proximity to many Asian countries as well as the ongoing demand for sex workers. “There’s a sex tourism industry here that no-one really wants to admit, there’s also businesses gear up for the US military ships to arrive and so they have lots of karioke and dance shows involving nude dancers and that feeds the trafficking industry.”

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