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Read the latest News in the fight against human trafficking

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Worker scandal widens

Posted in October 18th, 2006

The Courier-Mail
Lachlan Heywood, Jason Gregory and Michael Corkill
October 18, 2006

ROGUE Queensland bosses may be exploiting hundreds of foreign workers brought in to plug the state’s skills shortage.

Alleged maltreatment of 40 Philippines workers by a Brisbane welding company comes amid growing evidence the controversial 457 visa scheme is being abused.

The Immigration Department last night confirmed that 28 separate investigations were under way into alleged breaches by Queensland employers. read more..

Client took pity on sex slave, court told

Posted in July 20th, 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald
Leonie Lamont
June 20, 2006

AS SOON as she got off the plane from Thailand, the 19-year-old woman was put to work in a Sydney brothel. But she was so “deeply unhappy” that she asked clients to phone the Immigration Department, so she could be arrested and released from her alleged sexual servitude.

One of those clients did ring immigration, said the Commonwealth prosecutor, Paul Roberts, SC, and on May 20, 2004, immigration officers and the Australian Federal Police raided a brothel at Strathfield. However, the woman had been moved to another brothel, at Penrith, where she was ultimately found. read more..

Lifting the veil on the slave trade

Posted in July 9th, 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald
July 9, 2006

Abused and powerless, the victims of sex slavery in Australia have had nowhere to turn for help. Now, writes Erin O’Dwyer, a dedicated network of nuns are defying the lucrative trafficking industry and reaching out. read more..

Sex slave raid on cell under brothel

Posted in July 9th, 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald
Les Kennedy
June 9, 2006

FOUR Thai women were forced into prostitution and held against their will in a secret room underneath a Sydney brothel, a court has heard.

The women, all Thai nationals aged between 27 and 44, were found cowering in the bare room by Australian Federal Police and NSW Police during a raid with Department of Immigration officers on a Canley Heights premises yesterday.

Brief details of the forced incarceration were revealed when Trevor McIvor, 58, and a Thai woman, Kanokporn Tanuchit, 40, faced Central Local Court charged with 32 counts of allegedly holding the women against their will to work as sex slaves. read more..

The Sydney Morning Herald
Jacqueline Maley in London
June 6, 2006

WOMEN are being sold off in “slave auctions” in the arrivals lounges of British airports, say authorities desperate to crack down on the burgeoning trade in trafficking humans.

The Crown Prosecution Service said foreign women were being sold as sex workers as soon as they arrived, and police are appealing to men who frequent brothels to contact them in confidence if they believe the prostitutes may be there against their will.

In one instance a slave auction took place outside a coffee shop in the arrivals hall of London-Gatwick airport, and it is believed similar auctions have taken place at airports across the country. read more..

Teen Girls’ Stories of Sex Trafficking in U.S.

Posted in February 9th, 2006

International Sex Trafficking Is a Well-Known Problem, But It Happens Here as Well

Fifteen-year-old “Debbie” is the middle child in a close-knit Air Force family from suburban Phoenix, and a straight-A student — the last person most of us would expect to be forced into the seamy world of sex trafficking.

But Debbie, which is not her real name, is one of thousands of young American girls who authorities say have been abducted or lured from their normal lives and made into sex slaves. While many Americans have heard of human trafficking in other parts of the world — Thailand, Cambodia, Latin America and eastern Europe, for example — few people know it happens here in the United States.

The FBI estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age being 11.

And many victims are no longer just runaways, or kids who’ve been abandoned. Many of them are from what would be considered “good” families, who are lured or coerced by clever predators, say experts.  read more..

The Guardian
Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent
October 12, 2005

  • ‘Tens of thousands’ of Turkish Kurds smuggled
  • Two-year inquiry ends with 19 arrests in raids

The suspected ringleaders of what could be Europe’s biggest trafficking ring were being questioned by detectives last night about an operation which is thought to have brought tens of thousands of illegal immigrants into the UK.

Officers arrested 19 people – three of whom are the alleged linchpins of the network, and others key lieutenants – when they stormed 12 houses in north, east and west London and one in Boston, Lincolnshire. Scotland Yard chiefs believe the ring is the biggest criminal enterprise of its type they have encountered. Police sources described the multimillion-pound racket, which involved hundreds of handlers smuggling tens of thousands of people – the vast majority Turkish Kurds – across Europe into Britain, as “absolutely massive” and “frightening” in scale. read more..

The Sydney Morning Herald
Malcolm Brown
July 1, 2005

Young women brought from Asia by the operators of a sex slavery racket thought they would get jobs as waitresses, the Downing Centre District Court heard yesterday.

Instead, they were virtually imprisoned and told to provide sexual services to pay off debts of between $35,000 and $45,000.

The court was told the operators had exploited the temporary protection visa system to get the women, brought in from Thailand and Indonesia during three years to June 2003, to pay off “debts” to the operators. read more..

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