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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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Safeguarding victims of human trafficking and smuggling priority for international experts

DOHA, Qatar – International experts in human trafficking and migrant smuggling are calling for expanded cross-sector involvement in order to protect the world’s most vulnerable from the exploitation ...

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INTERPOL-led operation rescues 500 victims of human trafficking, leads to 40 arrests

COTONOU, Benin – Nearly 500 victims of human trafficking, including 236 minors, have been rescued following an INTERPOL operation carried out simultaneously across Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and ...

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MARKING THE EUROPEAN DAY OF FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The Association International Forum of Solidarity - EMMAUS (IFS-EMMAUS) in cooperation with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina/Department for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, is ...

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European Resource Center

Austrian police busts Serbian human trafficking gang

Authorities have arrested members of a "highly organized" group that transported some 1,800 refugees from eastern Europe to Austria. The Serbian gang has made half a million euros since February, officials have said.

 A total of 12 suspects were arrested, 11 in Austria and one in Greece, with police issuing international arrest warrants for another five people, authorities in Vienna said Thursday.

The police also seized six vans and 50,000 euros ($53,575) in a sting operation tied to the arrests.

"This is most certainly one of our biggest successes," Lower Austria police chief Franz Prucher told reporters.

All of the people arrested were Serbs, some of whom lived in Austria for years, according to the police chief.

"They were highly organized. They had rented flats in Vienna so they could get a rest between their trips," Prucher added. "They were traveling in convoys with an advance party making sure there were no checks ahead."

The gang would charge between 250 euros and 300 euros to smuggle a person from the Serbian capital, Belgrade, through Hungary and into Austria.

Read more: Austrian police busts Serbian human trafficking gang

EU police arrest 23 human traffickers

Europol, the European Union's police service, says that authorities have arrested 23 suspects believed to be part of a human trafficking gang. The gang has reportedly illegally smuggled thousands of asylum seekers into Europe in exchange for almost €10 million ($10.6 million US).

Associated Press reports that the arrests took place in Greece, Austria, Sweden, and the UK.

The arrested individuals are mostly Greeks and Syrians, though the head of the group was in Liverpool, in England.

(Reference: www.israelnationalnews.com)

Summit "WeProtect Children Online"

Sexual exploitation and online abuse of children affect the most vulnerable categories in our society, worldwide. Therefore, by coordinated activities it is possible to fight global against this phenomenon. In order to proceed with the successful coordination of activities achieved during the first WePROTECT Summit in London in December 2014, on 16th and 17th of November 2015, the United Arab Emirates in coordination with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, organize WePROTECT Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Active participation at this Summit are taken by leading ministers, executives of major technology companies and senior figures in the field of child protection.

The aim of the meeting is discussion transforming how this crime is dealt with internationally. WePROTECT was established with the vision of children protected and safeguarded, the perpetrators of this crime apprehended and Internet free of child sexual exploitation.

On behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Summit is actively participating the delegation, led by State Coordinator for combating Trafficking in Human Beings/Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and members of the delegation are also a representative of Save the Children and IFS-EMMAUS Hotline representative/INHOPE president.

Twenty rescued across Canada in human trafficking probe: police

TORONTO — A major investigation into human trafficking has led to the rescue earlier this month of 20 people — some as young as 14 — suspected of working in the sex trade as minors or against their will, police said Thursday.

The investigation — called Operation Northern Spotlight — led to the arrest of 47 people who are now facing 135 charges, including trafficking in persons, forcible confinement, child pornography, and sexual assault with a weapon.

Officers met with people suspected of taking part in the sex trade in early October at locations across the country.

Most of those rescued were under the age of 19, said Ontario Provincial Police Deputy Commissioner Scott Tod.

"Human trafficking victims rarely identify themselves to authorities, so we have to take a proactive approach," Tod said at a news conference.

Ontario Provincial Police led the latest phase of Operation Northern Spotlight, which involved officers from 40 police agencies across Canada and 350 officers and support staff.

The OPP said it worked extensively with the RCMP and the FBI during the investigation.

In September 2005, the RCMP established the Human Trafficking National Co-ordination Centre at its headquarters in Ottawa to combat the growing problem.

"The role is to provide a focal point for law enforcement in their efforts to combat and disrupt individuals and criminal organizations involved in human trafficking activities," said RCMP Chief Superintendent Warren Coons.

In the 10 years since, the centre has had a hand in laying human trafficking charges in 308 cases across the country, Coons said, adding that 93 per cent of those cases involve domestic trafficking.

"These statistics are just the tip of the iceberg," Coons said.

South of the border, U.S. law enforcement agencies conducted a similar operation — called Cross Country — which resulted in the rescue of 152 children and the arrest of 153 "pimps," according to Joseph Campbell, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigation division.

Over the past year, Canadian police forces have worked with the FBI in a co-ordinated effort to fight human traffickers.

The FBI's massive operation this past year involved more than 500 state and local law-enforcement partners in 135 American cities. This is the ninth year of the operation during which the FBI said it has rescued more than 750 children.

"It is important to send a message to the children of our countries that we are here to protect them," Campbell said.

(Reference: www.thespec.com)

Statement by GRETA on the occasion of the 9th EU Anti-Trafficking Day

Governments must act to prevent and combat child trafficking along migration routes

Strasbourg, 16 October 2015 – Ahead of the 9th EU Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October), the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has warned about the increased risk of human trafficking posed by the current refugee crisis and the urgent need to address the particular vulnerability of unaccompanied children.

GRETA’s President Nicolas Le Coz said: “Unaccompanied children remain among the most vulnerable of migrant and refugee groups arriving in Europe today. Protection gaps are growing as Europe hosts increasing numbers of people fleeing persecution and armed conflict. It is imperative that governments urgently act to fill those gaps and ensure that children do not become victims of the heinous crime of human trafficking.”

GRETA has now completed the first round of monitoring of 40 out of the 43 countries which have joined the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Summing up the main gaps in the implementation of the Convention, GRETA has expressed concern about the serious shortcomings in the identification of child victims of trafficking. Children at risk are frequently treated as offenders or irregular migrants by law enforcement officials who do not systematically look for indicators of human trafficking. In many countries, unaccompanied children disappear within a few days of being placed in reception centres. The inadequacy of child protection measures and the lack of co-ordination at national level as well as between countries increase the risk of unaccompanied children falling victim to trafficking. In most countries there is little or no information on the identification of victims of trafficking among unaccompanied children.

GRETA recalls that the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings requires special measures in respect of children who are victims of trafficking and calls upon Council of Europe member States to live up to their legal obligations to effectively protect and fulfil the rights of unaccompanied children. This includes improving the proactive identification of child victims of trafficking placed in reception centres for asylum seekers and strengthening multi-disciplinary co-operation to ensure that the best interests of the child are effectively protected. It is also imperative to promptly appoint legal guardians to all unaccompanied children and to ensure that they are properly trained. All other measures of assistance and protection under the Convention, including the right to a recovery and reflection period, the granting of a residence permit, access to education, appropriate health care and risk and security assessment before any repatriation, should be applied to child victims of trafficking.
______________________________________________________

A multidisciplinary college of 15 independent experts set up under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, GRETA is mandated under the Convention to monitor its implementation by the 43 states which have so far ratified it.

Link to GRETA’s reports:
http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/trafficking/docs/monitoring/country_reports_EN.asp?

Europol supports fight against Nigerian human trafficking networks

Law enforcement authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from 17 European countries, along with Europol, attended an international conference last week in Amsterdam, to discuss joint approaches in the field of trafficking in human beings (THB) with Nigerian victims, and to strengthen cooperation between European Union Member States and Nigeria.
 
A Nigerian delegation of representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Police, tax and migration authorities, as well as the representatives of an NGO active in Nigeria, also attended the conference.

The event took place in the context of a German-led European project initiated in 2012 within the framework of the ‘EMPACT’ THB priority. The project, benefiting from Europol’s active support, focuses on tackling the Nigerian trafficking networks across the EU with a Europe-wide approach, and on identifying victims who are forced to work as prostitutes in various countries.

Since the initiation of the project, the participating countries have organised several joint action days, which have resulted in the identification of numerous potential victims of trafficking and the launch of new investigations to take down Nigerian criminal networks. (See ‘Joint Action to tackle West African Human Trafficking Networks’ press release.)

(Reference: www.europol.europa.eu)

FIA launches major crackdown on human traffickers; 24 arrested

ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday launched a major crackdown against the elements involved in human trafficking and sending people abroad illegally.

The grand operation was launched in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Multan and Lahore as per directive of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, a spokesperson of the Interior Ministry said in a statement issued here.

During the operation, 24 travel agents have so far been arrested for their alleged involvement in sending people abroad illegally and cases have also been registered against them, the spokesperson added.

Hundreds of passports, identity cards and other travel documents have been recovered from the arrested persons.

“By promising to send the needy and innocent people abroad such elements exploit them and, therefore, deserve no leniency,” the spokesperson quoted the Interior Minister as saying.

Interior Minister said the elements involved in human smuggling bring bad name to the country, and directed the FIA to take effective action against them.

(Reference: www.thenews.com.pk)

Toronto police make second arrest in human trafficking case

Toronto police say they've arrested a second suspect in a human trafficking case involving two teenage victims that dates back to last October.

A 29-year-old man was arrested and charged last Friday with 28 offences, including living on the avails of prostitution, forcible confinement, weapons possession and drug trafficking.

Another suspect, a 20-year-old Toronto man, turned himself in days after the Sex Crimes - Human Trafficking Enforcement Team conducted the Oct. 9, 2014 investigation. He faces 24 charges, including pointing a firearm and forcible confinement.

Police allege the teens had been forced into the sex trade and made to turn over the money they earned. They say the men posted advertisements of the victims online "which depicted them in various states of undress."

Officers searched several apartments in the Keele Street and Denbigh Crescent area as well as a vehicle associated with the men. Police say they seized a number of loaded semi-automatic firearms as well as large quantities of drugs, money and counterfeit U.S. currency.

(Reference: www.cbc.ca)

Experts: Human trafficking is in our own back yard

Human trafficking isn’t something that only exists in other countries. It’s in our own back yard. That’s the message more than 250 people received Aug. 29 in a gathering at Belin Memorial United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet.

“I’m seeing a Christian response to a serious need,” said Diane Kimel of Surfside Beach, looking around at the crowd of men, women, children and adults gathered at the church’s Family Life Center.

For 11-year-old Shianna Freeman, the four-hour program was a reminder to look out for other people. “It makes me sad to hear about the people who can’t go home,” she said.

Read more: Experts: Human trafficking is in our own back yard

Old mark of slavery is being used on sex trafficking victims

(CNN)When Adriana walks into a room, people take notice. Her neon pink dress and pearls could not even come close to her electric persona.

"Before we begin. I want to know -- what do you want from me?" Adriana asked before our interview.

We explained we wanted to hear her story if she wanted to share it.

Minutes later, Adriana giggled so disarmingly that she seemed to turn into a different person. It turns out she may have been trying to do just that.

After an hour of talking, she explained that she often had to pretend to be someone else in order to live the life she'd been living.

A clear sign of that life is tattooed in big bold letters across her chest.

"This right here," she said pointing to her tattoo. "I call it my war wound. I got it when I was 14 years old, and he was one of my pimps," she said.

Adriana's trafficker had persuaded her to have his name tattooed across her chest.

"It lets other pimps know that this is their property," said Vice Sgt. Ron Fisher of the Los Angeles Police Department in Van Nuys. Fisher has seen untold numbers of them as his unit works the streets and the Internet, trying to find underage girls being trafficked.

Police and anti-trafficking advocates are seeing those brands on girls more and more in recent years.

"The first time I became aware of this was probably five years ago. It's just another way to control them [the girls], and let other pimps know that, 'Hey, this individual belongs to me,'" LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza

Read more: Old mark of slavery is being used on sex trafficking victims

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