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Detecting the largest human trafficking case in the history of Kuwait

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Detecting the largest human trafficking case in the history of Kuwait

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11:53 - 01/11/2018

Mawazine News: 
A surprise search of Kuwait's housing inquiries revealed the biggest human trafficking in the country's history, local newspaper Al Anba reported on Thursday.   
The newspaper quoted security sources as saying that the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry issued orders to arrest about 2,900 expatriates of different nationalities. 
The ministry recently managed to arrest some 90 others who confessed during the investigation to pay money to three fictitious companies that had contracts with various government agencies but did not join their work. 
The sources confirmed that the prosecutor of the crimes of trafficking in persons investigated with the owners of the three companies, and released them with financial guarantees, and ordered the continued imprisonment Syrian expatriate turned out to be the mastermind of the completion of transactions with government agencies.
Cases of the case began to unfold with a surprise search for housing inquiries a few days ago in the Jilib Shaykhuk area, when a number of expatriates whose residency was found on companies with government contracts were seized. 
When asked why they did not join their workplaces, they admitted that they had come to the country with free entry visas and that they had paid between 1500 and 3000 Kuwaiti dinars for their entry into the country. 
The sources explained that the General Directorate of Residence Investigation discovered when reviewing the files of the three companies that brought workers, the headquarters, which are in the capital, Farwaniya and Ahmadi, closed. 
The number of workers who attended the three companies was 3,000, mostly from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt, who attended government contracts.
Investigations revealed that the Syrian expatriate, the mastermind of the recruitment process, had good relations with a number of government officials, enabling him to complete these contracts and obtain visas in such a large number. 
The General Directorate of Residency Affairs, after notifying the leaders of the Ministry of the Interior, forwarded the case file to the Human Trafficking Prosecution

https://www.mawazin.net/Details.aspx?jimare=17965

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Belgium accused of financing militias involved in human trafficking

AFRICA / 31 OCTOBER 2018, 1:17PM / MEL FRYKBERG

 
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Picture: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Johannesburg – The Belgian government has been accused of financing Libyan militias involved in human trafficking through frozen Libyan assets, a report by Belgian RTBF radio said on Tuesday.

An anonymous source “close to the secret services”, said that Belgium had not been neutral in Libya’s 2011 migration crisis, the radio reported.

 

On Tuesday the Libya Herald reported that the secret service source claimed Libyan militias for seven years had access "to all the weapons they needed".

It said that rival militias in the country had battled each other for control of resources and territory since the overthrow and death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, following the Arab Spring in 2011. It also said that the ongoing violence involved human trafficking involving thousands of Africans.

The situation was also exacerbated by the existence of two opposing governments, one internationally recognised and based in the capital Tripoli, and the other based in Tobruk in the east of the country.

A number of countries have openly armed the militias, who have also been able to obtain weapons elsewhere. 

Two scandals have been linked to airplanes loaded with weapons that were stopped at Belgium’s Ostend Airport, the Libya Herald reported. 

During Libya’s 2011 revolution the UN Security Council froze Libya’s sovereign assets abroad including in four Belgian banks - BNP Paribas Fortis (€43 million – over R714 million), ING (€376 million), KBC (€869 million) and Euroclear Bank (€12.8 billion).

Although the UN froze Libya's major assets, the interest and dividends accruing from them were not frozen the report said, with between 3 and 5 billion euros leaving the accounts since 2012.

The Libya Herald also reported that nobody could account for what had happened to the money and that despite pressure from Belgian parliamentarians, their government had not given them a satisfactory response.

However, the report said that the Belgian finance minister justified the government’s decision to release the interest earned on Libyan frozen funds in terms of an opinion issued by the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union in October 2011.

The UN Panel of Experts on Libya said in a final report in September this year that the payment of interest and other income contradicted the decision to freeze Libyan assets in general and violated sanctions on Tripoli.

African News Agency (ANA)

https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/belgium-accused-of-financing-militias-involved-in-human-trafficking-17718014

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Yes this is really sad. But one know one really knows that Houston Texas is one of the worst places in the world. Join houstonsvoiceforthemissing@gmail.com and you can be part of the solution ! I am proud to at least have a part in this , no matter how small. My wife is one of the founders. Please join Facebook and open your eyes. 

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Survivor Accuses Facebook of Enabling Human Trafficking

 

Survivor Accuses Facebook of Enabling Human Trafficking

 

"Facebook not only provides an unrestricted platform for these sex traffickers to target children, but it also cloaks the traffickers with credibility," the lawsuit alleges

By Juan A. Lozano

Published Oct 3, 2018 at 5:43 AM | Updated at 5:52 AM CDT on Oct 3, 2018

 

This June 12, 2018, file photo shows the Facebook logo on display at the 2018 CeBIT technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany.

A human trafficking survivor from Texas sued Facebook this week, alleging the social media platform provides human traffickers an unrestricted way to "stalk, exploit, recruit, groom ... and extort children into the sex trade."

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Houston against Facebook, the shuttered classifieds site Backpage.com and the owners of two Houston hotels.

The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages on behalf of a woman identified as "Jane Doe," who was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted in 2012 after being allegedly targeted and recruited by a sex trafficker on Facebook.

Facebook did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Tuesday. An attorney for Dallas-based Backpage.com didn't immediately return a phone call.

Top News Photos: Google Employees Walk Out Over Sexual Misconduct Expose

Stefan Rousseau/AP

According to the lawsuit, Facebook should be held liable for the conduct of sex traffickers because the social media site has become the "first point of contact between sex traffickers and these children. Facebook not only provides an unrestricted platform for these sex traffickers to target children, but it also cloaks the traffickers with credibility."

Annie McAdams, an attorney for the woman who filed the suit, said her client was befriended by another Facebook user who gained her trust and promised her a job as a model.

But, McAdams said, the other person forced her into sex trafficking within hours of meeting her. She was raped and beaten by people who had paid the trafficker, the attorney said.

 

McAdams alleged Facebook has not done enough to ensure that users aren't able to hide their identities from unsuspecting minors who may be targets of traffickers or to warn minors of the dangers posed by traffickers and how they can operate online.

"It was not just because a pimp did something that Jane Doe was trafficked. That pimp is not able to traffic Jane Doe unless Facebook allowed him access to her," McAdams said.

The lawsuit comes after President Donald Trump in April signed a new law aimed at curbing sex trafficking. The law weakens a legal shield for online services that host abusive content, including sex trafficking.

 

The legislation was focused more on classified-ad sites like Backpage.com, which had claimed they aren't the publisher of questionable content but are merely transmitting posts by others.

Backpage.com was shut down by federal authorities earlier this year after the company's co-founders and other employees were arrested in what authorities say was a scheme to publish ads for sexual services, some of which involved children.

"Facebook has the technology to be able to potentially develop algorithms to look for the indicators and the red flags of potential (trafficking) exploitation and abuse," said Tony Talbott, director of Abolition Ohio, a University of Dayton group that works to combat human trafficking.

Google Employees to Protest How Company Handled Sexual Misconduct

Maya Simek, co-director of the Human Trafficking Law Clinic and a lecturer at Case Western Reserve University's School of Law in Cleveland, points to a lack of ID verification and a lack of advertisements or other outreach efforts to offer help for victims as some of the problems social media sites face in combating human trafficking.

"I don't think they're doing as much as could be done," Simek said.

Talbott said he thinks the Houston lawsuit will have a difficult time proving that Facebook knowingly facilitated sex trafficking, as the company could show that traffickers are simply exploiting the site.

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/Lawsuit-Accuses-Facebook-of-Enabling-Human-Traffickers-494983191.html

Edited by Butifldrm

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3,423 viewsOct 11, 2018, 09:00am

The New Sheriff In Human Trafficking Is Wielding Big Data

 
Devin Thorpe
Devin ThorpeContributor
EntrepreneursChampion of Social Good | Bestselling Author | Educator | Speaker

 

 

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.

Heather (not her real name) was working consensually at an escort service as a sex worker when she realized that a human trafficking ring was trying to trap her. “She was completely panicked,” says Sherrie Caltagirone, to whom Heather reached out.

Caltagirone leads the Global Emancipation Network, a young, nonprofit organization that utilizes data to identify both traffickers and victims. Their weapon is Minerva, named for the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare, which puts the big data to work.

 

Studies about the number of people being trafficked today yield different results, ranging from 20 to 45 million, giving the estimates a margin of error greater than 100%. The trafficking problem is huge but so is the lack of good data. The Global Emancipation Network is out to fix that.

“Human traffickers are reliant on current technology to increase their revenue. But the same technology can be used against them,” Caltagirone says, explaining the fundamental premise of her work. (Be sure to watch my full interview with Caltagirone in the video player at the top of this article.)

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Using Minerva, Caltagirone was able to identify the individuals involved in the attempt to trap Heather in this trafficking ring. Leveraging the organization’s relationships, “we were able to rescue her from that situation and she was not trafficked.”

Headshot of Sherrie Caltagirone

Sherrie CaltagironeCREDIT: GLOBAL EMANCIPATION NETWORK

The Global Emancipation Network has received help from Microsoft Philanthropies, which provides technological support that accelerates the effort. GEN has recruited Microsoft volunteers and utilized Microsoft Philanthropies’ grants and discounts over the past two years since GEN was founded. This is part of the Tech for Social Impact Team at Microsoft.

“The upstream impact GEN has had in the human trafficking sector is remarkable given their size,” says Justin Spelhaug, general manager for the Microsoft program. “It is inspiring to see how a relatively small organization saw an opportunity to put their talents to work and went all in, leaning on partners like Microsoft Philanthropies to provide the tools to fulfill their vision. GEN is just scratching the surface on the immense impact they can make in ending the human trafficking industry.”

Caltagirone says the long-running efforts to thwart trafficking needed an upgrade. “The strategies that we have been employing are completely ineffective,” she says.

She points to the recent FBI takeover and shuttering of Backpage as an example. The site was used for selling sex, including trafficking victims. Shutting it down was hailed as a victory. Caltagirone says we’re just playing “whack-a-mole.” The perpetrators, who were not arrested, will simply move their ilicit wares to other websites.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, NCMEC, was created in 1984 by John and Revé Walsh. It is designated by Congress to serve as the national clearinghouse for information about missing and exploited children.

Staca Shehan, the executive director of the case analysis division of the NCMEC, notes that Microsoft introduced Caltagirone and GEN to the NCMEC in 2016. “Sherrie has traveled to NCMEC to provide training to our staff in-person and collect feedback based on our use of the tool,” Shehan says.

Shehan explains how the NCMEC uses Minerva. “Minerva helps NCMEC find information in large, hard to search data sets. Specifically, Minerva has helped NCMEC locate additional phone numbers in online advertisements and further analyze who that phone might be registered to, which can lead to possible current location for the child.  Time is critical in missing child cases and Minerva is one of the tools that support NCMEC’s efforts to generate leads quickly to support the child’s recovery.

Fighting human trafficking is different than address many other social problems. In other situations, even bad actors may have no malice, no intent to cause a problem. Rather, problems either arise through no human action, as in the spread of malaria or polio, or as byproducts of other activities, as in our near-universal use of fossil fuels with its impact on the climate. In contrast, with human trafficking, there are bad guys acting with malice.

This contrast leads to difficult results for those at risk of trafficking. In Heather’s case, trafficking was averted, but her life was devastated. The would-be traffickers told her full-time employer about her nontraditional side hustle and she lost her job. They told her landlord and she lost her apartment. Ending human trafficking and its related suffering will not be easy.

Minerva has now identified 989 induvial victims and perpetrators and is tracking 22,000 more. The work of the Global Emancipation Network provides everyone in the anti-trafficking effort with a new tool that both protects those at risk and blocks, hinders and punishes the traffickers. There’s a new sheriff in town and she’s slinging big data.

Deeply optimistic, I’m an author, educator and speaker; I call myself a champion of social good. Through my work, I hope to help solve some of the world's biggest problems--poverty, disease and climate change. My books—read over 1 million times—on using money for good, perso...

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Be a hero! Join the elite group of supporters who ensure that stories like this can continue to be shared! Become a hero now.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2018/10/11/the-new-sheriff-in-human-trafficking-is-wielding-big-data/#24cb387f7520

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