Girls by the side of street, silhouette

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Secret Intelligence Service

Room No. 15

On Global People Trafficking and Prostitution

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(C-IV)

updated 08/2017

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Point of view

In this fight, it is not the sex workers rights that are being fought for; it is the pimps – fighting for the rights to access the woman’s body. Via de-criminalization, it would be made easier for the men who are trafficking, who are profiting from the advertising of women in urban centers. This is because these are the ones whose lives are going to be made better if prostitution is de-criminalized. For women, it becomes an open pit – dumped into it.

The way to end prostitution and the way to advance women’s liberation is to find ways to challenge the patriarchy. De-criminalizing prostitution does nothing to achieve this. It reinforces imperialism, it reinforces the male ownership of women – the male’s right to orgasm over the human rights of any woman or girl.

Should prostitution be a crime? This is not the right question. The right question is; should women be available for sale?

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The following accompanies No. VIII : ‘ On the Treatment and Maltreatment of Women’

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On Global Sex Trafficking and Prostitution

The reduction of a person to an object – the glorification of male power and violence, whether in war or in prostitution, is romanticized by popular culture. It is therefore difficult to challenge the ideas disseminated regarding ‘sex work’ (or arguably military virtues, for that matter).  Those who counter the dominant narrative, even if they speak from personal experience tend to be drowned out.  Speaking the truth regarding prostitution is lonely and often futile. The manufactured illusion of call girls (or of heroes) – celebrates the commodification of human beings. Those returning from  war are restrained in their recount of the nightmare that they know will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Prostitution is not war, it is being raped for a living.

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The prostitution industry lives off the despair, poverty and hopelessness that characterizes the time of myriad young. In a world of closed doors and little to no opportunity to exploit ambition, prostitution appears to offer a way out. All traffickers of human beings target the vulnerable and the poor. They make promises never kept – they promise an income to the desperate, once they have their prey trapped they force them into a life that bears little to no resemblance whatsoever to the complete fantasy they peddled. Prostituted girls and women are almost all from the developing world, or from the many impoverished pockets within western society and they constitute portraits of the quintessential expression of the uncaring, neo-liberal order. Prostituted women are stripped of their humanity, to become mere commodities …..

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Globally, it is the case that human trafficking is the fastest growing crime, generating an estimated 32 billion dollars (US) annually. The UN estimates that 79 per cent of trafficked women are for prostitution.

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Discussion

Via global trafficking, there are many who are making money off the backs of women (often, of color).  Very obviously this situation inflicts great harm to the women and to the wider society – it causes widespread damage to the psyche of society. The question therefore is; what is being done about it?

The sexual exploitation of girls and of women as a form of ‘’work’’.

Why is it not acceptable for a woman to be exploited and physically abused in a sweat shop, yet is acceptable to be physically abused as a prostitute? Why is not acceptable for a women to be exploited in slavery, yet the reality of sexual slavery – male violence against women is otherwise?

In what constitutes the struggle to make a better world? – This situation remains unaddressed.

Trafficking is clandestine in nature and is an industry generating an estimated 32 billion US dollars worldwide annually – a literally stunning estimation of its grandiosity.

It is thought that 30 million people are bought and sold across the world. 4.5 million of these being sexually exploited. UN estimates 53 percent of victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation, fewer men are forced into the sex trade, but it’s still prevalent. This is a modern day slave trade which serves to erase an individual’s identity and reduces the person to an international commodity, which can be bought, sold  and smuggled  worldwide.

When it comes to women and girls in the US, according to the Department of State – the average of entry into the sex trade is 12 to 14 years old.

For example, in Atlanta GA. it is found the city’s illegal sex trade generates 290 million dollars of revenue, with some traffickers making more than 32,000 dollars per week.

Who are the traffickers?

The UN notes, that unlike other global crimes, women make up their fair share – 28 per cent of convicted traffickers are women. Men represent 72 per cent.

It is extremely difficult to obtain convictions of trafficking in these cases.

What global resistance is there to the global trafficking of women into prostitution?

Nordic Law – Canada criminalizes the purchase, i.e. buying and pimping of prostituted girls and women (but not the sale of sexual services).

The Coalition of Women against Trafficking – NY City. U.S.

Decriminalizing sex work – what are the roots of this in terms of feminism becoming a slow walk? How did we get to this point where we are watching feminists who essentially seek to legitimize the oppression of women?  The majority of women prostituted are poor women of color, who are often trafficked into the industrialized world, into urban areas for abuse by the elite.

Language can be confusing – when talking about the decriminalization of the sex trade – Amnesty International** – women, girls and transgender.

** supporting a proposition to decriminalize sex work; ‘Decision on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfill the Human Rights of Sex Workers.’

This is a call on governments to decriminalize the sex trade which includes pimps, buyers of sex and brothel owners as a means to protect the prostituted individuals.

– People in prostitution, overwhelmingly women, and girls, as well as boys and transgender, are a part of this exploited population – should not be criminalized for their exploitation but it is not possible to decriminalize the higher sex trade including the ‘johns’  and the exploiters, in order to protect the prostituted. So when people hear the word de-criminalization they react to the pain and suffering. The prostitutes, it is assumed, would have access to the police, to justice. We know this is NOT the case, – In Germany, the Netherlands, Australia that this is not the case. In fact, if one de-criminalizes, then the whole sex trade itself is green lighted. As a consequence of so doing, trafficking increases – it is a simple economic equation, supply and demand, i.e. it’s OK to purchase women for sex.

Legalization and de-criminalization –are not the  same.

De-criminalized examples – All of the advances that women were supposed to make have in fact, not materialized.

In Germany over a million men per day are buying a prostituted woman. It is estimated even given legalization many won’t register

Germany

One million per day seek the services of sex workers  >> each day << 400,000 men, women and transgender people work as sex workers.

Sixty-five percent of sex workers are migrants from Eastern Europe, Nigeria, women of color, those escaping poverty, war and fewer than 50 in number have registered for the promise of social services – out of estimated 400,000.

Issue of consent:

Consent is used in a sense to justify using a prostituted woman, not rape they say – something consensual. One has to be careful about language again because ‘consent’ is a term that has been used throughout the struggle for equality for women, so with regard to domestic violence for example – she consented to remain in the home, was empowered to leave but she did not. It’s the same thing with sexual violence and rape – consented for him to come into the home, wear a short skirt, etc. therefore consent is an awkward term outside socio-cultural and gender analysis. People can self-identify as they wish, but if you want to self-identify as a ‘sex worker’ (not the best term because prostitution is neither sex nor work, but is violence against women, i.e. being raped for a living). In the free market economy money is seen as consent within the context of prostitution while prostitution itself is not an exception to violence against women, and is the cause and consequence of gender inequality.

The dichotomy is; on the one hand you have governments and civil society beginning to understand equality – that wants to work to eradicate domestic violence, sexual violence, promote equal opportunity, for equal pay – but then, we have gender segregation where the most marginalized and vulnerable people are told; ‘we have a job for you and money will be the answer to everything.’

Imperialism is being played out and ‘comfort women’ issues being  played out. During WWII, 200,

000 women were conscripted by the Japanese Army to be provided to the men in the Japanese camps and so now, this is a controversy. Now these comfort women are dying, they were kidnapped from Asia Pacific countries whereby Japan was an Imperialist power. Brothels were kept open for US troops – within 3 days of the US occupation of Japan, the Japanese established comfort stations for the Americans. They used their own women – 75,000 were provided to US troops. This kick started the sex trade industry in SE Asia, so that when American GIs were deployed to Vietnam, those agreements were in place already.

Once US forces departed, instead of serving the military forces the situation morphed into sexual tourism.

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SexTrafficking

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Imperialism and Colonialism

In Papua New Guinea it is known there are over 100 women who are bringing rape charges against a Canadian company who are gold mining in that country. This is only the women who are able to get a hearing. In Okinawa, Japan there is another case where a US marine murdered a woman – a man who is an ex-marine, a civilian employee at the AFB and who picked up a random woman  – admitted to raping her, strangling her and dumping her body. The Okinawans have been demonstrating for years – trying to push the US military out of Okinawa, an indigenous island. All of these concentrations are also true for periods during colonialism by design, so to create systems where women and girls are forced into prostitution.

Prostitution was never inevitable, but invented through a very lethal recipe of patriarchy, imperialism, colonialism and capitalism. Women as currency, but one must bring it back to the issue of male access to women. If one looks at other harmful forms and practices – prostitution is definitely a very harmful practice, whether in the form of child marriage, female genital mutilation, denial of justice and the list goes on. It is all about male sexual access, so again within our structures we have identified money as a means of consent, as a means of empowerment. What it means to live in a democracy, what it means to achieve equality, then, the sex for sale.

In this fight it is not the sex workers rights that are being fought for; it is the pimps – fighting for the rights to access the woman’s body. It would be made easier – the men who are trafficking, who are profiting for the advertising of women in urban centers because these are the ones whose lives are going to be made better if prostitution is de-criminalized. For women, it becomes an open pit – dumped into it. The way to end prostitution and the way to advance women’s liberation is to find ways to challenge the patriarchy. De-criminalizing prostitution does nothing to achieve this. It reinforces imperialism, it reinforces the male ownership of women – the male’s right to orgasm over the human rights of any woman or girl.

Should prostitution be a crime? This is not the right question. The right question is; should women be available for sale?

There has been a redefinition by large segments of society about what it means to be a feminist.

Feminism means – the movement to achieve equality between men and women, the recognition that women are full human beings. It is as simple as that. This is based upon human rights because everyone according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – everyone has a fundamental right among other things to live a life of dignity and a life free of violence.

The term ‘sex worker’ is a term invented by the mainstream to mask the harm of prostitution. The industry of prostitution is built around the bodies of the poor, largely women of color. The illegal profits from prostitution – the global sex trade, is in excess of 90 billion, the number could be doubled or tripled as the term ‘form of labor or work’ is considered.

Trauma

All of these women suffer from PTSD. We know that women and girls who are prostituted have much shorter life expectancy.

The psychological and to an extent the physical consequences – women who face the threat of rape, damages the individual as a consequence, it also does damage to the society – the collective psyche.

Talk about it as a form of work, but it is about psychological and physical destruction of the individual.

The threats serve the purpose of keeping women down through the course of their lives, preventing women from having full and equal, meaningful participation in society.

The medical community has not provided any data to date on what serial,  unwanted  monetized invasion does to the woman – what vaginal, anal invasion does physically and psychologically. There is the HIV AIDS sector which focuses more – not to demean them because their contribution is critical in the prevention of AIDS. When it comes to the sex trade women are far more complex than the prevention of AIDS.

Prostitution is the classic expression of male patriarchy and capitalism – these, played out on women’s bodies. Women, debased and degraded, rendered powerless to service the cruel and the wanton. When the masters tire, or while women are no longer of use, they are thrown away as human refuse. If we accept prostitution as legal, as permissible in civil society, then we will take one more collective step toward a particular global theatre, and with one performance for all.

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(C-IV)

note : partially complete

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(I) International Trafficking In Persons

(II) Victims of Modern Slavery

(III) An Evidence Assessment of the Routes of Human Trafficking into the U.K.

(IV) HM Govt. Human Trafficking. The Government’s Strategy

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The above accompanies No. VIII : ‘ On the Treatment and Maltreatment of Women’

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ADDENDUM (I)

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(C-I)

The treating of prostitution as a victim-less crime is a very bad road to go down. It only leads to death and destruction.

Just ask the Dutch.

The Dutch have legalized prostitution and drug use. Is their culture thriving with sex, drugs and death? It is about “regulation” and “safety,” are these just ideas and excuses so take a walk into a cultural train wreck? If so, what are they supposed to do?

Well over a decade on and one can now view the results of this experiment. Rather than afford better protection for the women, it has simply increased the market. Rather than confine the brothels to a isolated part of the city, the sex industry has spilled out all over Amsterdam, including onto the street. Rather than be given rights in the ‘workplace’, the prostitutes have found the pimps and johns are as ruthless as ever. The government-funded union set up to protect them has been shunned by the vast majority of prostitutes, who remain too scared of the recourse to complain.

Pimps and johns, under legalization, have been reclassified as ‘managers and businessmen,’ har, har. Abuse suffered by the women is now referred to as an ‘occupational hazard’, as a brick dropped on a builder’s foot. Sex tourism has morphed in Amsterdam way beyond the regular type of tourism, as the city has become the literal brothel of Europe. Women have been imported by traffickers from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia to satisfy the demand. In other words, the pimps have remained, as legitimate — violence is still widespread, but now part of the job, and trafficking has increased. Support for the women to leave prostitution has become almost non-existent. The innate gloom of the job has not been washed away by legal sanction.

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(C-I)

ADDENDUM (II)

An Ontario, Canada court has found prostitution laws unconstitutional and amended the pimping provisions of the Criminal Code so that only those exploiting hookers will be prosecuted.

By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance.

While technically prostitution has been legal in Ontario, just about every activity associated with it is not legal.

But what do these changes really mean?

While soliciting is found to be illegal, prostitutes will be able to hire employees for their operations, and if the government doesn’t address the bawdy house law in the next year, prostitutes will be allowed to legally operate bordellos.

At the same time, the court “amended the pimping provisions of the Criminal Code, so that only those exploiting hookers will be prosecuted.”

The de-criminalization of prostitution is an action moving in the wrong direction. We must prosecute those who exploit these women (wouldn’t that be the customers, too?) and those caught in the snare of prostitution should be treated like victims, not criminals. However, this move by the Canadian court only muddies the water. This reminds me of the prostitutes who were required to where reflective vests for “their own safety.”

Legalizing the sex trade only makes it harder to fight human sex trafficking. It blurs the lines between what is legal and illegal.

(C-I)

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ADDENDUM (III)

Definition : Prostitution is the act or practice of indulging in promiscuous sexual relationships in exchange for money

Basic Statistics

A Few General Facts

In 1949, the United Nations adopted a resolution in favor of the decriminalization of prostitution, which has been ratified by fifty countries.

The average age of someone entering into prostitution is 14 years .

At least 75% of prostitutes were sexually and physically abused children.

The National Task Force on Prostitution suggests that over one million people in the US have worked as prostitutes.

Estimates in some larger cities found that 20-30% of prostitutes are male.

Abuse :

70% of prostitutes have experienced multiple rapes by their customers, pimps and strangers.

One report cites 60% of the abuse against street prostitutes perpetrated by clients, 20% by police, and 20% in domestic relationships .

Some prostitutes are raped between 8 and 10 times a year or more.

Of those raped, only 7% seek help and only 4% report the rape to the police.

A recent study showed that, in cases of rape and abuse, 5% of the perpetrators identified themselves as police officers, often producing badges and police identification.

Mental Status :

Some researchers suggest that prostitutes, in general, suffer from ‘negative identities’ or lack of self-esteem.

According to a study, 76% of call girls considered suicide.

 
Clients :

In a study in London, 50% of clients were married or cohabiting.

70% of adult men have engaged in prostitution at least once.

 
Arrests :

Average prostitution arrests include 70% females, 20% males and 10% customers.

85-90% of those arrested work on the street.

 
Costs :

Average arrest, court and incarceration costs amount to nearly $2,000 US per arrest.

Cities spend an average of 7.5 million dollars US on prostitution control every year, ranging from 1 million dollars to 23 million dollars.

Prostitution in the US is a 14.5 billion dollar a year business.

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 >>Prostitution leads to post traumatic stress disorder, STDs, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, and much more. <<

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A Wider Definition :

Prostitution is the exchange of sexual acts for money, food, rent, drugs, or other material goods. Prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can include forcing someone to participate in any of the following :

street prostitution

massage parlors or brothels

escort services

strip clubs

phone sex

pornography

domestic and international trafficking.

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In What Ways is Prostitution Harmful to Women?

Even though prostitution itself is illegal, women who are prostituting can still be the victim of a crime; crimes such as rape and physical and sexual abuse are often committed against women in prostitution. Women in prostitution have the right to report crimes committed against them, though many are afraid to come forward for a variety of reasons: they fear no one will believe them, they fear being arrested, they are ashamed, they don’t want anyone to know that they are working as a prostitute, etc.

Prostituted women are often victims of intimate partner violence by pimps and customers, often called “johns.” The methods of control that pimps and johns use are similar to the methods used by abusers. Some examples include:

physical violence

sexual assault

economic abuse or manipulation

isolation

verbal abuse

threats and intimidation

minimization and denial of physical violence

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Women in prostitution have a death rate that is significantly higher than women who are not involved in prostitution.*  One small study of 130 prostitutes found that 68% of the prostituted women interviewed met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, which was in the same range as combat veterans and victims of torture.

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Definition of a pimp

Apart from being scum, a pimp is a person, usually male, who has control over the women who are prostitutes and the money that they earn.  Pimps often exert control much in the same way that an abuser may exert control over an intimate partner – through intimidation, fear, physical and sexual abuse, rape, torture, and other abusive methods.   Although some pimps might “protect” the prostitutes who work for them by making sure that the customers pay or don’t abuse , pimps are often more violent to the women than customers are and are motivated by their own desire for money, not . In fact, 85% of prostitutes are raped by pimps. Also, pimps often threaten the lives of the women who work for them, which may prevent a woman from leaving prostitution.

(C-I)

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ADDENDUM IV

Japan and South Korea. Responsibility for the systematic human trafficking of women and girls for sexual enslavement. 

During 12/2015, the Japanese and South Korean governments reached an agreement meant to resolve the dispute between the two countries over Comfort Women — the hundreds of thousands of women and girls (the majority Korean) trafficked and sexually enslaved by Japan, prior to and during World War II. The agreement includes a vague apology as well as the creation of an $8.3 million fund from the Japanese government to provide support to survivors. In return, Seoul promised, among other items, to stop criticisms of Tokyo over the issue. 

However, the accord fell short of meeting the demands articulated by survivors countless times over the years. Coming on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Japanese-South Korean relations, this agreement is meant to smooth diplomatic tensions and foster an economic partnership between the two countries. 

Survivors as well as activists in South Korea and around the world have denounced the accord. Our allies at the Korean American Forum of California issued a statement that clarifies our collective concern and points out key pieces missing from the agreement: 

Full recognition of Japan’s historical responsibility for the systematic human trafficking of women and girls for sexual enslavement. 

Acknowledgement of the coercion experienced by Comfort Women.

An official, unequivocal apology stemming from the National Diet and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his governmental capacity that cannot be retracted in the future. 

As 88-year-old survivor Halmoni Lee Yongsoo – “This agreement seems to have been made without having the victims in mind. I dismiss it in its entirety.”

Much more is needed until justice is served.

(C-I)

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ADDENDUM V

Slavery, as defined by ‘enforced servitude’ is an increasing problem in the UK, involving an estimated 12,000 people

The ‘Global Slavery Index’  highlights the struggle of thousands of immigrants forced to live as forced workers in the ‘shadow economy’.

Debt bondage is one form of enslavement, forcing immigrants to work in low or semi-skilled jobs, while others are often locked in apartments involved in drug industry and/or the sex industry.

In the capitol, Albanian women and girls have been found being exploited/enslaved via prostitution.

In Manchester, children from Vietnam have been found held captive, while cultivating cannabis.

100s of minors are trafficked to the UK for sex slavery.

The Global Slavery Index ranks the UK as 52nd in the world for its proportion of slaves to the general population, which stands at 0.018 per cent.

This percentage tallies with the Home Office estimate of between 10,000 and 13,000 ‘slaves’ living in the UK.

UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Description

The UK’s first appointed anti-slavery commissioner, Peter Hyland, – British authorities must “increase their efforts” in the fight against forced servitude.

In the UK, the ruthless exploitation of migrants by rogue firms is on the rise.

Police are encouraged to respond to the crime with the same urgency they employ in anti-narcotics and counter-terrorism measures – Peter Hyland.

If you look up and down the country, you find in every policing area a response available to cope with drugs crime, sexual exploitation, volume crime – and quite rightly so. But this crime is of such a high risk and so prevalent that forces really need to increase their efforts even more on this and begin responding the same way.”

Incidentally, India has the largest estimated number of slaves; 18.4 million are living in modern servitude.

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Slavery has been hidden in plain sight, and our policy is designed to encourage more victims to come forward and ask for help. We welcome increases in the number of referrals as a sign that our efforts to shine a light on modern slavery are working.” – Sarah Newtown, – Minister for Safeguarding, Vulnerability and Countering Extremism 

One slavery victim told the BBC that she came to England from southeast Asia to work as a servant in the home of a wealthy family.

She says she was forced to work 14 hours a day for less than £100 pounds (US$130) a week, and that she even had to work on building sites. *** Note below

“I felt like a chained dog. It was like I was digging my own grave.

“Even though I’m out now, I still feel like I’m in chains. I still have nightmares that my boss is chasing me.”

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, is now at a safe house in Manchester and is applying for asylum to stay in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May introduced the Modern Slavery Act last year while home secretary, calling slavery “the great human rights issue of our time.”

A review to mark the first anniversary of the act found 289 modern slavery offenses were prosecuted during 2015, along with a 40 percent rise in victims identified by the government.

*** Ironically and arguably in the context of enforced servitude and exploitation, the amount is not that much below the US minimum wage – $7.50 per hour – a contentious point.

 

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See additional notes, via the following links:

Document (I) Leeds. U.K. Example

Document (II) : IRAQ. The Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution of Women and Girls

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The above accompanies No. VIII : ‘ On the Treatment and Maltreatment of Women’

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ADDENDUM

01 12 2016 Kidnapping /  People Trafficking / Organ Trafficking :  Thai police discovered this scene in a container vehicle – dead bodies of children with their organs removed. They were all kidnapped and brought to Thailand from various countries.

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Human traffickers are in fact preying more on children, men, laborers

The face of human trafficking is changing with more children and men falling prey and more victims trapped in forced labor than a decade ago. International trafficking which exploits vulnerable refugees and migrants is reaching unbelievable dimensions The UNODC found trafficking in 106 countries and territories, with trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labor, and begging most common and children making up a third of all victims. “Human trafficking is pervasive,”– 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. While most trafficking victims are female, the proportion of men has risen to 21 percent from 13 percent a decade earlier while the number of victims trafficked for forced labor had also increased.

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