Toddlers freed from brick kiln bondage
U.S. officials have acknowledged that human trafficking is a problem of “crisis proportions,” both outside and inside America’s borders. Yet despite professed intent to end this scourge, including with the help of a “zero-tolerance, one strike approach,” human trafficking remains a pervasive and ongoing problem in this nation. As part of ongoing efforts to combat the phenomenon, the ACLU and a coalition of anti-trafficking organizations submitted a written statement last week to the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, urging the U.S. government to translate its words into actions.
The statement was submitted on the heels of a hearing entitled “Measures on Human Trafficking in the United States” before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In his testimony, the ACLU’s Steven Watt commended recent efforts by the U.S. government to close loopholes that enable human trafficking on federal government contracts, such as an executive order on human trafficking and a provision in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which codifies many of these essential protections. Still, Watt cautioned:
Lincoln is a hero because he moved Congress to act on slavery. There are more slaves today than at any other time in history. Will history repeat itself? http://ImWithLincoln.com
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KOLKATA, INDIA – Like many Bangladeshi girls, Shohela* loves dance, especially the traditional kinds of dance her culture is known for. So she was thrilled when she found out she could dance and earn much-needed money in India.
But as soon as Shohela arrived in Kolkata, she learned she would be required to do much more than dance. She had been trafficked to a brothel in a major red-light district. That same night, she was sold to the first man who would pay to rape her.
In late November, the Kolkata police called IJM for assistance with a rescue operation. They believed two brothels in a major red-light district were selling underage girls for sex. One of the two targeted brothels was the one to which Shohela had been trafficked – less than a week earlier.
When the rescue team arrived, the first brothel was empty. But at the second, they found one girl who looked to be in her late teens – it was Shohela.