Category Archives: In the News

International Women’s Day 2014

For International Women’s Day 2014, The Guardian has put together a lovely collection of Mothers and Daughters around the world-in pictures. To view the original post, click here.

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Charlotte Stafarce, 49, and her daughter Scarlett, 9, pose in the living room of their home in Zebbug, outside Valletta, Malta. Charlotte is an actress and freelance drama teacher who finished her education at 17. Charlotte hopes her daughter will be a scientist when she grows up. Scarlett says she would like to be a vet. Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi//Reuters

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Alicia Chiquin, 43, and her daughter Fidelina Ja, 18, stand together at their home in Pambach, Guatemala. Alicia has no education and has always worked the land. Her daughter Fidelina also has no education and when she grows up she says she will continue to work at home and on the land. Photograph: Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters

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Lucia Mayta, 43, and her daughter Luz Cecilia, 12, pose for a photograph inside their bodega in La Paz, Bolivia. Lucia studied until the fourth grade of primary school, and knows how to read and write and do basic maths. She runs a bodega, and the family live in a back room. She hopes to build a house in the future. Luz Cecilia is in seventh grade and wants to be a singer. Photograph: David Mercado/Reuters

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Saciido Sheik Yacquub, 34, poses for a picture with her daughter Faadumo Subeer Mohamed, 13, at their home in Hodan district IDP camp in Mogadishu. Saciido, who runs a small business, wanted to be a businesswoman when she was a child. She studied until she was 20. She hopes that Faadumo will become a doctor. Faadumo will finish school in 2017 and hopes to be a doctor when she grows up. Photograph: Feisal Omar/ReutersOumou Ndiaye, 30, and her daughter Aissata Golfa, 9, pose for a picture in their house in Bamako, Mali.

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Oumou, who is a housewife, did not go to school. As a child she hoped to marry a local businessman. She hopes her daughter will marry someone from their ethnic group when she grows up, and that she will stay in education until she is 20 years old. Aissata says that she will finish school when she is 18, and hopes to be a schoolteacher when she grows up. Photograph: Joe Penney/Reuters

All photographs and commentary are taken from The Guardian, click here to view the post.

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FBI: Kids 13 to 17 rescued from Super Bowl prostitution

High school students, teens as young as 13 and other children reported missing by their families were among 16 juveniles rescued from forced prostitution during Super Bowl festivities in and around New Jersey, the FBI said Tuesday.

Authorities arrested more than 45 pimps and their helpers, some of whom said they traveled to the New York region to traffic the women and juveniles at the NFL championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The teens, ages 13 to 17, were found in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. More than 50 women coerced into sex for money were also saved, the agency said. Some of the victims had been involved in international sex trafficking.

Six children were rescued in both New Jersey and New York, and four others in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, the FBI said.

Social services, which included food, clothing and referrals to health care facilities, shelters,were provided to 70 women and juveniles.

The FBI and more than 50 other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies spent six months preparing for the two-week operation that recovered the victims. Hospitality workers, airport employees and others were trained to look for signs of sex trafficking, and New Jersey authorities put up billboards near the stadium as part of an anti-trafficking campaign, the Asbury Park Press noted.

“The FBI and our partners remain committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and putting those who try to profit from this type of criminal activity behind bars,” saidRon Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

The number of prostitution-related arrests jumped in the week leading to Sunday’s match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.

New York police arrested a Florida mother Wednesday for allegedly traveling to Manhattan to prostitute her 15-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors are pursuing felony charges against 39-year-old Yolanda Ostoloza, of Hollywood, Fla., after her daughter agreed to have sex with an undercover officer for $200 in a midtown hotel. Her case was presented to a grand jury Tuesday, and an indictment could be returned Friday, the New York Daily News reported.

Her lawyer said that “at no time did she ever encourage or do anything … that would promote that activity with her 15-year-old daughter.”

She reportedly told police she thought her child “was just going to do the fetish stuff.”

It wasn’t clear whether her daughter was among the juveniles recovered in the FBI operation.

This article can be found at USA TODAY and was written by Michael Winter. To view the article, click here.

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Nashville Declares Today As IJM Day

The City of Nashville has declared Today, Tuesday October 1, 2013, International Justice Mission Day!
Join IJM on the steps of Nashville’s City Hall and show your support for the fight to end slavery.
To learn more about IJM and their fight to end slavery, click here.

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US Corporate Sponsored Pimps

corporate-sponsored-pimping-plays-role-in-us-human-traffickingCorporate Sponsored Pimping Plays Role In US Human Trafficking

Written by Rachel Lloyd for The Grio.

…”[W]hen we think about trafficking, we think about it happening to children from Asia, women from the Ukraine, domestic servants brought in from Africa and Central America. All of these examples are real.

But rarely we do associate trafficking and slavery with the girls and young women that we see on HBO specials like ‘Hookers on the Point’, girls sold for sex on the streets, on Craigslist ads, girls on the pole in strip-clubs. The primary face of trafficking in this country looks like an adolescent girl of color trafficked for sex, sold by adult men to adult men.

Language matters. Calling that girl a ‘child prostitute’, or ‘teen hooker’ places all the culpability and blame on her. In fact, in most states, even if she’s not old enough to consent to sex, she will frequently be charged with an act of prostitution and sent to juvenile detention or jail.

While firm statistics on this issue are hard to find, Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section estimates that the median age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the US is between 12 and 14 years old. How is it that our American girls are bought and sold every day, right under our noses, yet we don’t see it, acknowledge it? Perhaps it’s because the girls who are bought and sold don’t fit into our neat, little box of who’s a ‘real’ victim; perhaps, because those girls are frequently low income girls, girls of color, girls who’ve been in the child welfare system, girls in the juvenile justice system – girls who aren’t high on anyone’s priority list anyway.

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3-Day Raid Saves Children From Prostitution

FBI

Three-day FBI Raid Rescues 105 Children From Prostitution As 150 Arrested

FBI agents have rescued more than 100 children forced into prostitution by sex traffickers, during a three-day sweep across the US.

As part of Operation Cross Country, 150 people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the sexual exploitation of children.

The raids took place in 76 cities, representing the largest such enforcement action to date, according to an FBI release.

Announcing the arrests, Ron Hosko, assistant director of the bureau’s Criminal Investigative Division, said: “Child prostitution remains a persistent threat to children across America.

“This operation serves as a reminder that these abhorrent crimes can happen anywhere and that the FBI remains committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and holding the criminals who profit from this exploitation accountable.”

The sweep, the seventh such nationwide operation, was conducted as part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, which seeks to bring together state and federal level bodies to crackdown on child prostitution. Agents recovered 105 sexually exploited children in the course of the operation.

Since its creation in 2003, the programme has identified and rescued 2,700 children who have been forced into prostitution. Arrests made during the raids have resulted in prison sentences of up to 50 years for child sex traffickers.

This article is taken from The Guardian and written by Matt Williams.

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World Malaria Day

Malaria_posterWorld Malaria Day: Highlighting Awareness of a Preventable Disease That Still Kills Thousands

Article by: Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma

Reposted from The Independent.

“Almost half the world’s population – an estimated three billion people – live in areas where malaria is transmitted. Endemic to 107 countries in the tropics and subtropics, it is responsible for around one million deaths globally every year, with sub-Saharan Africa the hardest hit. Most shockingly, despite the fact that malaria is both a preventable and curable disease, around 800,000 of those deaths occur among African children under five-years-old, according to UNICEF.

However, what many people may not be aware of is exactly how malaria interacts with other infectious diseases, particularly HIV. Although anyone can get malaria, in parts of the world where both malaria and HIV are widespread, people can easily become co-infected with both diseases. This is potentially a very dangerous situation since HIV positive people are far more vulnerable to developing infections or more severe forms of malaria because their weak immune system simply cannot respond to the disease effectively. Symptoms last much longer than in people who do not carry HIV, and can also have harmful effects on the accelerated progression of HIV.

It is common knowledge that malaria in pregnant women results in higher rates of miscarriage and low birth weight, as well as causing severe anaemia in new-born children which leads to low birth weight, growth retardation and potentially long term cognitive and developmental impairment. Imagine if you are also HIV positive. Pregnant women who are living with HIV are at even further risk, not only because of the mother can pass malaria on to her baby, but because the impact of malaria on the placenta actually increases the risk of transmitting HIV to the foetus. This is why my work now focuses on integrated approaches to community health instead of working on preventing and treating one disease or virus in isolation.

It is horrifying to me that all this can be stopped – or at least vastly reduced – through the consistent use of simple, cheap insecticide treated nets and free prevention information! Sadly of course, poor people – who are more likely to live in areas of high malaria incidence and are often malnourished – usually have little or no access to both, much like those who suffer from HIV have limited access to ARVs or HIV prevention education. The mishmash of both diseases combined with malnourishment is surely something not many can – or should have to – fight.

Encouragingly, behind the grim statistics however, there is a glimmer of hope. There has been a definite spike in targeted investment for developing malaria vaccines over the last decade, coupled with a marked increase in prevention interventions such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets and awareness-raising among those most at risk. These efforts have resulted in a rapid reduction in malaria deaths, with global mortality rates falling by 25% since 2000, and by 33% in sub-Saharan Africa (WHO).

One research vaccine known as RTS,S/AS01, currently being evaluated in a large clinical trial in seven countries in Africa, is most advanced. Recommendation for use is expected in late 2014, and a recommendation as to whether or not this vaccine should be added to existing global malaria control tools is expected in 2015. This time next year, let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can report some good news on that.”

 

 

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So This is What a Real Hero Looks Like

Meet Susana Trimarco. Ten years ago Susana was just an ordinary house wife without a care in the world. Today, Susana is a “Women of Courage” recipient (awarded by the U.S. State Department) and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Why? Because 10 years ago Susana’s daughter left for a doctor’s appointment and never came back. Ultimately, it was determined that Susana’s daughter never came back because she was sold into the sex trade. In the process of searching for her daughter, Susana has liberated hundreds of sex slaves and been a part of putting a number of their abusers behind bars. Although it has been 10 years and Susana has yet to find any trace of her daughter, she is determined not to stop until she finds her. To learn more about Susana’s story, click here.

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So what’s going on in Egypt?

A few weeks ago, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt (the first president of Egypt to be elected in free election) amended the Egyptian Constitution and in the process, granting himself “sweeping new powers.” As is to be expected, this action was met with fierce resistance. There have many been mass protests and petitions for Morsi to re-amended the constitution and gradually reduce his powers, but he has so far done nothing but state that “door for dialogue” remains open. Although the protests have already resulted in a few deaths, hopefully with enough domestic and foreign pressure, a resolution will be reached without any further violence.

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