Thursday, April 28, 2011

State fair vendor abused workers from Mexico

By Marnie Eisenstadt / The Post-Standard

In three booths at last year's New York State Fair, 19 men worked in conditions close to slavery. They made and sold chicken gyros and french fries for 16 to 18 hours a day with a 15-minute break and one meal. They were paid $1 an hour.

They slept nine or 10 men to one bug-infested trailer, sometimes two to a bed. Some became ill.
They worked like this for 11 days at the fair. On the 12th day — Labor Day — they worked 24 hours in a row, according to a federal criminal complaint against their boss.

The boss held a legal hammer over their heads: The workers, here legally from Mexico, would violate their visas if they quit their jobs. They’d be deported. They would never get back into the country legally.
They spoke no English and sometimes begged for food from other Spanish-speaking workers.

At day’s end, near midnight, they would scrape together pocket change and walk for an hour or more to buy milk and bread. Sometimes, they felt so trapped they could do nothing but cry, said Samuel Rosales Rios, one of the workers.

This was not some hidden sweatshop or a remote farm. After buying a gyro from one of these workers at the Peter's Fine Greek Foods tent, you could head to the Center of Progress, where state agencies like the attorney general’s and comptroller’s urge people to report scams and injustices.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ask Fox 35 to Report on Human Trafficking

From Polaris Project:

On April 19, Fox 35 Orlando reported that a Sheriff from Polk County arrested “60 alleged prostitutes, pimps and johns” following a week-long undercover bust targeting “escort services”. However, this crackdown was not simply involving alleged escort services, but young girls who - under the control of pimps - performed sex acts for johns.

Polk County prostitution bust targets online escorts:

To read more and take action click here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ashley Judd Joins Human Trafficking Fight

From CBN News:

Actress Ashley Judd has traveled across the globe to raise awareness on human trafficking and the damage "modern-day slavery" can have on victims.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Anti-Trafficking Specialist Position with ABA ROLI

From the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative:

Anti-Trafficking Specialist, Mongolia

Location: Mongolia
Organization: American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
Reference Number: None given
Job Level: Volunteer
Contact: Email

In support of ABA ROLI’s program to strengthen strategic litigation with respect to human trafficking, the anti-trafficking specialist will share strategic litigation expertise with ABA ROLI partner NGOs representing trafficking victims. The specialist will participate in case-based meetings with Mongolian advocates; assist with developing resources on international and domestic anti-trafficking laws; and will assist in developing guidelines and methodologies for researching trafficking crimes in border areas. He or she will also participate in strategic litigation trainings for advocates in border areas and in the capital of Ulan Bator, and will help to develop and conduct a training on assessing and seeking civil damages in trafficking cases (with a focus on damages related to psychological trauma).

Law degree from an accredited university, minimum of 5 years of professional experience including work as a practicing attorney working on human trafficking cases in both criminal and civil contexts or similar type of legal assistance work. Candidate should have experience with all stages of a trafficking case, from reporting of a crime through trial, as well as assessing and seeking civil damages. Previous training experience, including development of training materials such as handbooks and manuals, is required. Work experience in international settings and familiarity with civil law (German) system strongly preferred, in addition to excellent communication skills.

Please click here to apply.

You can also sign up via LinkedIn and their website to receive monthly updates on jobs openings at ROLI.

Monday, April 18, 2011

CNN Freedom Project

It is not often that news stations highlight the horrors of human trafficking, even though there are an estimated 12 million persons enslaved throughout the world. In fact, this is a crime so hidden that many people are unaware of its existence.

However, for the next year, the
CNN Freedom Project has pledged to take a stand against human trafficking by affording it the national coverage that it deserves.

The mission of the Freedom Project is to raise public awareness, speak out against the perpetrators of this crime, give victims a voice, and to share success stories. As we continue on the difficult road of combating modern day slavery, I can only hope that others join in with CNN to become a part of the solution.

To find out more about the
Freedom Project and to get involved in the fight to combat modern day slavery, please click here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Artists urge Guggenheim boycott

From Al Jazeera:

Artists say construction workers at Abu Dhabi landmark art museum are being exploited.

While there is no explicit mention of human trafficking, the precarious conditions (i.e. substandard housing, confiscated passports) some of these workers are facing should merit an investigation. In a press release last month, the Guggenheim stated that there will be some independent monitoring mechanisms in place, although did not say how they would be conducted and by whom. Given that in this statement, they have committed to ensuring these abuses don't take place and then it was discovered through this investigation that 1,400 workers are still living under separate conditions, it might be time to start putting more action behind their words.

This is also not a new issue. The protests were sparked by a report by Human Rights Watch from May 2009. The museum is set to open in 2013.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Support HTP: Like us on Facebook!

To the HTP Community,

We are excited to announce that we have recently added the Facebook "Like" button! 

Our Call to Action to You and All Readers of HTP:
Please help us spread the word by clicking the Facebook "Like" button on any article you found helpful, engaging or moving.  

As a reader we greatly appreciate and count on your word of mouth to help fulfill our mission of raising awareness of modern day slavery across the world!

We currently receive about 700 impressions per day from around the world, are visited by  a variety of stakeholders including students, NGOs, journalists, experts, authors and with your help can increase this number even more!

Be part of the movement!  Let's raise awareness of human trafficking together through this simple action.

Much more to come! 

Yours in solidarity.

- Justin
 Co-Founder & President, HTP

Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations e-Guide

From the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center: "Developed in partnership by the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), this e-Guide is a resource for both established and new Task Forces. Established Task Forces can use it to enhance existing operations or as a tool to assist in the revitalization of Task Force efforts and operations. This Guide does not provide OVC or BJA programmatic or grant-specific information as it is intended to be a tool for all anti-trafficking Task Forces, regardless of funding source."

The Guide includes many resources for existing task forces looking to enhance their effectiveness, to locate additional resources, or to see other models. The Guide also has foundational information for fledgling task forces. Sections include Forming a Task Force, with resources on assessing human trafficking in a local area, descriptions of existing task forces and best practices, and suggestions for building political will around the issue.

The section on Victim-Centered Response provides guidance for needs assessments, law enforcement and service provider interactions with victims, and common challenges for surviving victims. The guide also has information operating task forces, on laws and legislation, and on prosecution strategies.

Each section of the Guide includes recommended tools and training resources, and the final section of the Guide is a compilation of all of these resources for easy access.

See the Guide here.

Friday, April 01, 2011

HTP has a new website address!

Dear HTP Community,

Please note we have a new website address:

A simple but important change- we are growing up step by step.

As always please get in touch if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the site to cater to your needs, we are all ears and want to hear from you!

Have a great weekend, 

- The HTP Team

Demand Change: Everyone Can Work To End Modern Slavery

From the U.S. Dept. of State Official Blog
By Ambassador Luis CdeBaca

Last week, a court in New York sentenced a client of a prostituted child. So often, such a crime goes uncharged, or if an arrest is made, the case is unnoticed, unreported. But because the defendant was NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, not an anonymous "john," the case was heavily covered. The pimp who allegedly provided the sixteen year-old girl to Taylor is under indictment as well, on federal sex trafficking charges. A successful outcome? To some degree, but it was certainly tarnished after the sentencing, when the child victim told her side of the story and media outlets used that as excuse to print her name.

This episode made me reflect about how easy it can be to regard the protection of survivors as the responsibility of the court system or victim advocates, while at the same time the media exploits and sensationalizes a crime and the public watches passively or even revels in the scandal. But just as this is not a victimless crime, this is also a crime in which the solution lies with all of us.

Read the full post here

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca serves as Director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State.