NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A human trafficking survivor joined U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) Saturday to advocate for a bill that would send the IRS after pimps and traffickers for tax evasion, and provide aid and protection to survivors.
In a news conference at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, at 40 Centre St. in downtown Manhattan, Maloney was joined by sex trafficking survivor Shandra Woworuntu in talking about the Human Trafficking Fraud Enforcement Act of 2014.
The bill would give the IRS more funding and resources to target pimps and traffickers for taxable income, and give financial aid and whistleblower protections to survivors of human trafficking.
Maloney noted that Al Capone was eventually busted using tax evasion charges, and the IRS can also be used to follow the money and catch sex traffickers too.
India may have set its sights on Mars and is aspiring to become a key global player, but its ambitions are in stark contrast to some of the realities it faces. One of the most shocking truths has come to light with the Global Survey Index mentioning the country as being home to half of the world’s modern slaves. This slavery ranges from severe forms of intergenerational bonded labour to forced and servile marriage, the worst forms of child labour and commercial and sexual exploitation.
In 2012, the Indian government banned all types of labour for children under the age of 14, making hiring a child a punishable offence. The ban followed the implementation in 2010 of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, popularly known as the RTE, which states that all children between the ages of 6 and 14 have the right to free schooling. Yet two years on from the child-labour ban, despite much talk, there has been little visible result on the ground. There are two main reasons behind the failure.
India has a problem with slavery, a very serious problem that rarely seems to merit discussion. The Global Slavery Index estimates that India is home to half of the world’s modern slaves. More than 100,000 young people are believed to be working in conditions of domestic slavery in Delhi alone. They are tricked into leaving their homes with promises of a better life in the capital, only to be sold to placement agencies who sell them on again to families. The stories they tell are of unimaginable abuse: rape, beatings, imprisonment and a life of penury.
Part of India’s problem is the rise of its middle class, who demand servants to ease their busy lives.
Read more: thenational.ae
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Christians and Muslims have joined to try to help free millions of men, women and children held in modern-day slavery, forced to work as maids, prostitutes, child soldiers and manual laborers.
The Global Freedom Network launched Monday at the Vatican aims to eradicate slavery by encouraging governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labor.
The initiative is the brainchild of billionaire Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 to mobilize a grass-roots movement to end slavery.
Forrest, ranked 270th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, used personal contacts to bring the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church, 85-million strong Anglican Communion and al-Azhar university in Cairo, the world’s foremost seat of Sunni learning, on board with the initiative.
Slavery’s Lasting Impacts Is Topic of Two-Day Symposium - NewsAdvance.com : News - Local Lynchburg, Va. Area
To raise discussion about slavery and its lasting impacts on the United States, Randolph College and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest are calling upon scholars, artists and the community at large for a two-day symposium.
The conference, “Facing the Past, Freeing the Future: Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise,” will be held April 3-5.
Scholars will include Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center in Richmond; and Spencer Crew, a former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
The symposium, open to the public, was developed to celebrate an official partnership between Randolph College and Poplar Forest to share resources and add internship opportunities for students.
“Black and white Americans have been sharing this continent since the early 17th century, yet they’ve never really been properly introduced. They still remain separated to a degree that is not healthy for the body politic and not healthy for any of us,” he said. “That’s the legacy of slavery and it does seem to me … we’ll never fully move past that in any healthy way unless we totally and fearlessly and completely face what slavery was and did to us.”
A detailed schedule is available at web.randolphcollege.edu.
Just a few years ago, the dark underworld of forced labor in Thailand’s fishing sector was little known. The dirty secrets of this $7.3 billion powerhouse industry have since been explored by the media and international watchdog groups.
But this international outcry has changed little on the lawless seas, where men still slave away on Thai-captained trawlers under savage conditions. Implications for the US are disturbing: Thailand is America’s second-largest seafood supplier behind China.
Human Rights Watch’s 124-page report, “From the Tiger to the Crocodile: Abuse of Migrant Workers in Thailand,” is based on 82 interviews with migrants from neighboring Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. It describes the widespread and severe human rights abuses faced by migrant workers in Thailand, including killings, torture in detention, extortion, and sexual abuse, and labor rights abuses such as trafficking, forced labor, and restrictions on organizing.
“Migrant workers make huge contributions to Thailand’s economy, but receive little protection from abuse and exploitation,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Those from Burma, Cambodia, and Laos suffer horribly at the hands of corrupt civil servants and police, unscrupulous employers, and violent thugs, who all realize they can abuse migrants with little fear of consequences.”
“Life is extremely uncertain and unsafe for migrants in Thailand as they flee one difficult or deadly situation into another,” said Adams. “They are a living example of the Thai proverb which describes how the vulnerable ‘escape from the tiger, but then meet the crocodile.’”
Need for partnerships and regulation
There is an urgent need for coordination between inspectors and law enforcement within States and across borders. The same goes for international agencies, government, workers’and employers’organizations, and civil society organizations.
An example of such partnerships is the TRIANGLE Project in the Greater Mekong sub-Region. This is a cooperation project between the ILO, its constituents and civil society in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, which aims to reduce the exploitation of labour migrants by improving recruitment and labour protection policies and practices.
The project is working with the Royal Thai Government and the National Fisheries Association among others, on a number of interventions to improve conditions for migrant workers, for example by setting up labour coordination centres for the fishing sector in seven provinces across the country. These centres aim to facilitate the recruitment of migrant workers and provide training and support. .
Improved regulation and the implementation of safety and labour standards can play an important role in preventing abusive practices in the industry.
Along nearby railroad tracks, children fetch booze, cigarettes and ice buckets for men with bloodshot eyes. Rouge-caked girls in neon skirts slink in and out of back rooms. Sex here sells for $8.50. A bottle of Blend 285 whiskey, the rotgut of choice, sells for $5. And laborers from Cambodia or Myanmar, whom the likes of Jord lord over, go for about $600 a head.
That is the price paid to smugglers, who guide droves of desperate men from Thailand’s neighboring countries to padlocked rooms by the shore. Far too often, the laborers themselves receive nothing.
Once purchased by a Thai fishing syndicate, captains can choose to pay them fairly, enslave them for years or, if they please, dispose of them later like worn-out chattel.
More reading: globalpost.com
Politicians have been hesitant to tackle the issue for fear of upsetting business. What will it take for business leaders themselves to play a more central role in addressing slavery?
I recently saw a talk given by Charmian Gooch of Global Witness in which she noted the difficulties campaigners faced in the 1990s working for transparency in the oil industry’s financial transactions. In 1997 a demand for such accountability was regarded as hopelessly naive. And yet by 2013 two-thirds of the oil industry is covered by such financial transparency.
Anti-Slavery International has often been accused of similar naivety, particularly in our demands that the world seek new ways of doing business, ways that regard the use of forced labour and child slavery as totally unacceptable rather than regrettably unavoidable.
Modern-day slavery isn’t distant to us, we are all implicated, whether we want to be or not. We all carry mobile phones which contain the element coltan. Coltan is only available from mines in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) rife with slavery and child labour. The clothes on our backs are similarly polluted. The cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, which feeds the production of many garment manufacturers is brought in each year by the forced labour of children. The mills that spin such cotton into thread in southern India are often run on the enslavement of girls and young women.
The situation is equally bad in the factories of Delhi in north India where children are routinely employed to do embroidery work. Police often raid such factories, not to resuce the children though, but rather to extract bribes from the owners.
The manslaughter, enslavement and torture of vulnerable workers in the global south, many of them children, to produce goods for the high streets of the global north is a result of business’ ceaseless search for cheap production, scarce commodities or both.
Companies do social auditing of supply chains, but this is often a dubious practice. It has not led to any noticeable improvements. At best the approach is a blunt tool with only a relatively small number of inspections signalled early enough to the factories, leaving time forabuses can be covered up or temporarily discontinued until the audit is passed. At worst the approach can be corrupted with auditors filing reports of clean bills of health on factories in which abuses are commonplace. In too frequent instances the woeful and tragic inadequacy of ethical auditing has been exposed by lethal fires in factories that had been given clean bills of ethical health.
This is depressing.
Three Malian men have won the right to bring their civil child slavery case against Nestlé, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to Californian courts.
[ConfectionaryNews requests only headline and link be included, no excerpts.]
Read more: confectionerynews.com
This is an utterly disturbing bit of history, that I didn’t know about. A lot of this isn’t that surprising through, when you consider who the perpetrators were.
On a farm deep in the countryside 100 miles (160km) west from Sao Paulo, a football team has lined up for a commemorative photograph. What makes the image extraordinary is the symbol on the team’s flag - a swastika.
The picture probably dates from some time in the 1930s, after the Nazi Party’s rise to power in Germany - but this was on the other side of the world.
“Nothing explained the presence of a swastika here,” says Jose Ricardo Rosa Maciel, former rancher at the remote Cruzeiro do Sul farm near Campina do Monte Alegre, who stumbled across the photograph one day.
But this was actually his second puzzling discovery. The first occurred in the pigsty.
“One day the pigs broke a wall and escaped into the field,” he says. “I noticed the bricks that had fallen. I thought I was hallucinating.”
North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Greg Brannon has an interesting argument for eliminating food stamps: “slavery.” In a videotaped interview with the North Carolina Tea Party in October, Brannon, a Rand Paul-endorsed doctor who is top contender for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, cited James Madison in making the case for abolishing the Department of Agriculture—and with it, the $76 billion-a-year Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. Brannon has a real chance of winning: A December poll from Public Policy Polling found the GOP primary field split but showed him leading Hagan, 45-43.
“We’re taking our plunder, that’s taken from us as individuals, [giving] it to the government, and the government is now keeping itself in power by giving these goodies away,” Brannon said in the interview. “The answer is the Department of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. And now 80 percent of the farm bill was food stamps. That enslaves people. What you want to do, it’s crazy but it’s true, teach people to fish instead of giving them fish. When you’re at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slavery to them [sic]. That kind of charity does not make people freer.”
It’s something of a mixed metaphor, because Brannon is suggesting that people on food stamps are lazy, while also conflating them with a system of labor exploitation in which people were literally worked to death. (Also: Madison liked slavery.)
A New Mexico county tea party leader has sparked controversy by tweeting a meme Wednesday that strongly suggests blacks use the dark legacy of slavery in America for “bitching and moaning about how the world owes them a living.”
The tweet seems to reference Irish enslavement in the 17th and 18th centuries, claiming they were “treated worse than any other race” and seemingly attempting to delegitimize the experience of African-Americans.
Unsurprisingly, others shot back with both outraged and tongue-in-cheek tweets:
@LCNMTP I'm sure the Irish bitch about it all the time. But, they're usually so loaded you can't understand what they're saying.
ProgressNow also slammed the tweet in a press release.
“In an apparent attempt to contribute to our modern understanding of American history, the tea party leader reminds followers that early American slavery included African and non-African people alike,” wrote the group. “But her quest for ‘facts’ includes her own assertion that all African-Americans are ‘bitching and moaning’ about how the world owes them a living.”
“Glynis is exactly the type of fear mongering leader Fox News and the conservative movement push to the front of their movement,” said Patrick Davis of Progress Now New Mexico. “They shouldn’t be surprised they are having a hard time recruiting blacks, Hispanics or reasonable people of any color to their side.”
Though she deleted the tweet, Racine defended herself, saying it was time to “move on” from slavery.