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The Red Cross warns against the violence of Croatian border guards against migrants

The Red Cross warns against the violence of Croatian border guards against migrants trying to enter the country from neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, AP reports.

The International Federation of ...

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Germans unimpressed with Merkel's rebellious anti-migrant minister Seehofer, poll shows

Angela Merkel’s rebellious interior minister has failed to impress Germans with his hardline stance on migration, according to new polling likely to reinforce the chancellor’s position.  

A ...

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‘New Balkan Route’ for Migrants, Refugees Causes Alarm

A growing number of migrants and refugees using the new Balkan route through Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia to reach the EU raising concerns of a humanitarian and security crisis. Security and human ...

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Cop accused of sex crimes against human trafficking victims

Officer was investigating an Eastern European gang that brought women to Israel for prostitution; is suspended from force

A police officer was arrested Wednesday after he was found to have had ...

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Italian parents under house arrest for forcing 9-year-old into prostitution

The parents of a nine-year-old girl have been placed under house arrest for forcing their daughter into prostitution, police in the southern Italian region of Sicily said on Monday.

Two men aged 63 ...

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Let Europe face up to human trafficking in 2018

Europe’s reception of children seeking refuge is particularly shameful

Last year came to an end with horrific images of slave labour markets in Libya, and a further UN Security Council resolution ...

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Big hit against sexual exploitation: criminal group dismantled in Spain and Romania

Spanish National Police and the Romanian Police have joined forces, supported by Europol and Eurojust, to dismantle an organised crime group involved in trafficking women for sexual exploitation in ...

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European Resource Center

42 Arrested in Memphis Human Trafficking Operation

MEMPHIS – A three-day operation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and partner agencies to combat human trafficking in Memphis has resulted in the arrest of 42 individuals on prostitution-related charges; 38 men and four women. Eight men responding to the ads tried to buy sex from a minor. The Memphis anti-trafficking operation, called “Operation Someone Like Me”, is the eighth of its kind in the state between the TBI and partner agencies to help identify, investigate and prosecute trafficking, and rescue victims.

Those arrested include a medical professional, engineers, a law student, a tow truck driver and construction workers.

During the three-day operation, undercover Agents posted four ads a day on Backpage.com, for about 7 hours a day. Approximately 475 different men responded to those ads posted. More than 8,779 contacts were made to those ads, through texts or phone calls. In some ads, undercover Agents posed as a juvenile girl. Eight men responded, and paid to have sex with an underage female. Two of those specifically paid money to have sex with 14-year-old girls.  Two juvenile female victims of trafficking were recovered and referred to the Department of Children’s Services.

Read more: 42 Arrested in Memphis Human Trafficking Operation

Power elite and human trafficking

It is the responsibility of human rights organisations, journalists and civil society organisations to muckrake the story of human trafficking to thwart this heinous activity

Domestic trafficking of young girls and children has not only became a major contributor to organised sexual abuse but also a very profitable business in Pakistan. Exploitation and sexual abuse of young girls and children is rampant. To make matters worse, the power elite is involved in this heinous activity, directly or indirectly.

An appalling story appeared few days back in Daily Times title, “Gang ‘supplying girls’ to big shots unearthed.” The report revealed that a gang has been supplying poor young girls from Gilgit-Baltistan to political figures and big businessmen in Islamabad. The supply gang is orchestrated by some members of Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly and senior bureaucrats.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report, criminal networks operating in Pakistan generated about $927 million through human trafficking and migrant smuggling in 2013.

Read more: Power elite and human trafficking

Seminar on "Human Trafficking in the purpose of labor exploitation"

International Forum of Solidarity-EMMAUS, in cooperation with the OSCE Mission to BiH and the Centre for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of FBiH, with the support of the Helsinki Committee of the Netherlands and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, on 5th of December, 2016, was realized  a seminar “Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Labour Exploitation“.

The seminar was held at the CEST FBiH premises within the Regional project „Promoting a Victim Centered Approach in Trafficking Cases in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina“ and was opened with speeches of Mr. Arben Murtezic, Director CEST FBiH; Ms. Jasna Dobricic on behalf of the OSCE Mission to BiH and Ms. Amela Efendic on behalf of IFS-EMMAUS.

Judge of the Supreme Court of the Federation, Mrs. Ljiljana Filipovic; Prosecutor of the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Sena Uzunovic; Judge of the Appeals Court in The Hague, Mr. Kees Klomp; presented the legal frameworks and the experiences of BiH and the Dutch judiciary in the fight against human trafficking to participants, judges and prosecutors from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prosecutor of the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Sadik Fatic and judge of the District Court of Banja Luka, Mr. Dragan Acic presented the case from practice to fellow judges and prosecutors.

The purpose of the workshop is to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary and prosecution in the areas of investigation, prosecution and trial of cases of human trafficking in accordance with the standards of the European Union, with particular emphasis on improving the status and treatment of victims and witnesses in court proceedings.

Transnational Training Seminar: National Referral Mechanism

On the 6th and 7th  December, 2016 the Transnational Training Seminar: National Referral Mechanism, was organized by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development – ICMPD, in Tirana, Albania.

During the two-day program, on the seminar was presented the current situation regarding the national referral mechanism (NRM) in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova - a comparative overview of the advantages and challenges, compare experiences in relation to NRM in these three countries, presentations and panel discussions. In addition, discussions were conducted on the subject of the identification of child victims with begging and living on the street, an overview of the current situation and practice of the countries. Also, the contribution of ICMPD in defining the EU's priorities and policies for combating human trafficking after 2016 were presented; Challenges in the identification of victims of trafficking in the current mixed migration flows, the experience of Serbia and Macedonia in the management of migration flows and the recent identification of vulnerable groups, particularly victims of trafficking, unaccompanied minors in mixed migration flows.

At the seminar, active participants were delegats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, consisting of: Mrs. Samira Hunček, Mrs. Svjetlana Biloš and Mr. Lazar Bjelica - representatives of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Irena Penc-Puzić - representative of the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Mrs. Elvira Stanojlović- representative of the Prosecutor's office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Hajrija Hadžiomerović-Muftić - representative of Federal Prosecutor's office of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Samira Drljević - representative of the State Investigation and Protection Agency - SIPA, Mr. Milan Ostić - representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Srpska, Mr. Boris Topić and Mr. Saša Bojanić - representative of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Sanela Sujoldžić - representative of the Centre for Social Work of Canton Sarajevo and representative of the International Forum of Solidarity - EMMAUS Ms. Nedimka Bećirović.

Modern Slavery – Risks and Challenges For The Aviation Industry

Modern slavery is a 21st century evil and a global phenomenon. Materialism, a craving for cheap consumer goods and access to anything desired, at any time and at the lowest possible price, fuel a tendency for the vulnerable to be exploited for others’ gain. That has lead to alarming levels of slavery, servitude, forced labour and trafficking in many regions of the world. There is an increasing awareness that business has a contribution to make, not just in preventing modern slavery within its own organisations but also in identifying it within supply chains. For airlines and airports, their staff are crucially placed to assist in the identification of modern slavery. The industry has a preventative role to play therefore, but also should be aware of the potential risks of becoming complicit in trafficking and of the legal and reputational consequences that can result.

Read more: Modern Slavery – Risks and Challenges For The Aviation Industry

Des Moines identified as top 100 human trafficking site

Des Moines has been identified by a national anti-human trafficking organization as one of the country's top 100 sites for suspected massage-related trafficking.

Washington, D.C.-based Polaris began a national initiative in January to crack down on illicit massage businesses, including six raided last month in Indianapolis.

Polaris identified Des Moines in the top 100 locales by scraping data from paid online sites, where customers review sex workers. It found eight locations in the city, according to Rochelle Keyhan, who is directing the national effort.

"We found 45 (locations) in Iowa and eight in Des Moines," she said. "Those are conservative estimates. Law enforcement typically identifies 150 to 200 percent more than our initial numbers."

Keyhan said many massage workers trafficked in the U.S. originally come from China or Korea, and are shipped across the country from entry points on the coasts, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Talking about being forced into sex work is considered culturally taboo for most of the workers, she said. Polaris is trying to help shift the focus of law enforcement probes from low-level stings to organized crime investigations.

"People think these women are choosing this work, but they're not," Keyhan said. "Many of the women have been forced into mandatory retirement in China, and have no income and no means of surviving."

Read more: Des Moines identified as top 100 human trafficking site

How international adoption creates a market for child trafficking

International adoption is often presented in the U.S. as a morally justified way of helping poor children around the world. But there’s a criminal side of this business that makes victims of everyone, from families in America who pay tens of thousands of dollars in adoption fees, to those in developing countries who are conned into giving up their children.

In Episode 1 of Fusion’s new investigative series The Traffickers, correspondent Nelufar Hedayat travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she finds herself at the intersection of international adoption and child trafficking. Here, seeming acts of kindness can be easily derailed by fraud and corruption.

1. Americans adopt more children from overseas than all other countries in the world combined.

Between 2000 and 2014, families in major adopting countries like the U.S., Spain, France, Italy, and Canada adopted roughly 480,000 children internationally, according to Newcastle University Professor Peter Selman, an expert in global adoption. More than half of those adoptions were by Americans.

2. One of the world’s most economically vulnerable nations is a leading country for international adoptions.

Between 2010 and 2013, U.S. adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo rose 645%, according to the U.S. Department of State, before the DRC government clamped down on exit visas. China, Ethiopia, and Ukraine are also leading countries for American adoption.

3. The DRC is home to more than 4 million orphans, according to UNICEF.

After the DRC civil war ended, Western adoption agencies helped establish the country as a key destination for international adoption. A decade later, the country banned overseas adoptions–fueling the smuggling of children and tensions in U.S.-Congolese relations.

4. American evangelical Christians make up one of the most vocal and influential lobbying groups when it comes to international adoption.

Beginning in the early 2000s, American evangelical Christians dominated the international adoption market. High-level delegations have pressured the Congolese government to allow children for adoptions since the ban started, including one led by Ed Royce (R-California), the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(Reference: www.fusion.net)

Human trafficking group busted

THE Spanish National Police force, in collaboration with Europol and Belgian, French, Polish and British authorities, has broken up a criminal group believed to have helped at least 6,000 Ukrainian immigrants enter the UK illegally.

More than 100 immigrants were arrested at Spanish airports including Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Girona, Murcia,  Santander, Tarragona, Tenerife, Bilbao, Malaga, and Alicante during the first stage of a joint police operation which began early in 2015.

The authorities had noted that somebody was helping Ukrainians enter the UK since stricter entry requirements were put into place and upped surveillance at airports all over Europe.

The group, whose leader has been arrested in Barcelona in possession of more than 100 fake Polish ID cards and passports, helped immigrants enter the Schengen Zone then housed them in Spain, France or Belgium for a while before sending them to Dublin.

Further arrests of suspected group members were made in Rumania and Poland and three European arrest orders have been issued for leaders who the police have identified but been unable to track down.

(Reference: www.euroweeklynews.com)

SIPA's great action this morning: Multiple persons detained

By order of the Prosecutor's Office, police officials of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) began with the arrests and raids in the operation codenamed "Twins" and "Pismo".

Activities are implemented in coordination, at the same time in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Germany and Austria.

Cases with investigation lead by prosecutor of the Special Department for Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption of the BiH Prosecutor's Office, are the result of several months of international investigation on the detection and prosecution of persons suspected of organized crime, international trafficking, international recruitment for prostitution and money laundering.

"We collected the evidence that the group of suspects from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia exploited the difficult situation of victims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Ukraine, mostly girls younger, which are exploited for sexual services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria and Germany.

The collected evidences also show that the suspects were committing crimes continuously for at least two years. So far we identified more victims, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Ukraine, among whom were victims younger than 22, "said a statement from the Prosecutor's Office.

According to the gathered evidence, suspected of committing these crimes realized illegal profits that are measured in hundreds of thousands of euros.

In action in Bosnia and Herzegovina,  in Sarajevo area more people were arrested or detained, and in in Serbia three suspects are detained.

Prosecution and SIPA, together with partners from the European Union (EU) demonstrated competence to combat the most complex forms of crime.

The suspects will, within the legal deadline, be handed over to the assigned prosecutor who will question the suspects and thereafter decide on further activities in accordance with the law.

1,300 Nigerian citizens in Europe are victims of human trafficking – EU

The Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria, Richard Young, said on Tuesday that 1,300 registered Nigerian citizens in the EU are victims of Human Trafficking.

Young said this at the EU Anti-Trafficking Day in collaboration with the NAPTIP and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

He said that every 18th of October was set aside to mark the day and that it is hard to find the actual number of those affected by the scourge.

Young said: “We have to remind ourselves always what is ‘trafficking’, this is the slavery of modern times and if not slavery itself; and is always hard to find numbers of those who are affected by the scourge.

Read more: 1,300 Nigerian citizens in Europe are victims of human trafficking – EU

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