Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Human trafficking operation busted in Denver, Colorado.

Blogian reports that a prostitution ring specializing in trafficking women from South Korea has been busted in Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately, the authorities are far more concerned about the prostitution aspect of it rather than the trafficking of these women.

The sole purpose of trafficking people is to exploit them - the males are put to work in near slavery conditions in sweatshops or farms, and women are usually put to work as prostitutes. Usually, the victims are lured by promises of high paying jobs abroad working in bars as waiters/waitresses, nannies, baby sitters, etc. They may pay a small sum to the trafficker for the 'visa, passport and other document' expenses. That way they will be less inclined to back off the deal.

Once the victim is taken out of their country, his/her passport is taken away. Women are sold into prostitution, and men are sold to do hard labor. The flow of people is from the poorer countries to the richer ones. You can come across the victims in Europe, the oil rich Arab states, and the US (see the State Department report). There was a '60 Minutes' report a year or so ago that researched the issue. It was disturbing to see the market in a Northern Mexican town where women were traded.

There was a US policy to fight trafficking internationally when Colin Powell was the State Secretary. I don't know how effective it was at the time because all we seemed to do was to accuse other countries. Our own misdeeds were not brought to light. I don't know whether it's a standard approach by the US to accuse other nations while doing the same things ourselves. It certainly seems like that.

The only solution I see is to not rely on governments to do anything about it and raise the people's awareness about it. It may seem strange, but the majority of the trafficked women do not know about the end result of the promised employment abroad.

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