Fighting Human Trafficking, One Community at a Time


August 3 , 2013

Source: news-republic.com

On Monday, July 29, 2013, the world watched in horror at 150 men in 76 cities across the United States were arrested and charged with holding teenaged girls against their will to work as prostitutes in one of the largest human trafficking cases in American history.

Im-Not-For-Sale-human-trafficking

The alleged perpetrators will be charged with sex crimes, but the systematic kidnapping and forced prostitution of young girls remains all too common in the world and across the U.S. In fact, according to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, there are more individuals living in slavery today than at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This terrifying epidemic is robbing thousands of young people of their childhood, and most often, the victims are young women.

Fighting human trafficking has become one of the great civil and human rights issues of our generation. That is why yesterday, August 1, I participated in a convening of the NGO community in Washington D.C., to discuss the issues of trafficking and forced prostitution at home and abroad, and how community groups can collectively organize to raise awareness about and combat human trafficking. The discussion was organized by the United Way World Wide, and included representatives from the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, among others.

At the Girl Scouts of the USA, we are committed to combatting trafficking in two ways: by building girls of confidence and strength who become leaders in their communities, and by helping girls organize and join other girls to raise awareness and develop Gold Award Projects to advocate against human trafficking and exploitation.

Throughout the Girl Scout Movement, there are girls doing amazing things on the issue of human trafficking: in Jupiter, Florida, a local Girl Scout helped enact state legislation that imposes tougher penalties on those convicted of human trafficking.

In Arizona, a Girl Scout developed a national effort to inform people about human trafficking, launching a program called “Girls Empowering and Mentoring with Support,” or GEMS for short, which helps girls raise awareness of the issue within communities. The group was so effective that a pilot program has been developed that teams GEMS members with Girl Guides in Honduras around the issue of sex trafficking.

Ron+Hosko

These are just some of the many things Girl Scouts throughout the country are doing to take action against human trafficking. But the story that will stay with me forever belongs a young woman from the Girl Scout Movement who was herself a victim of sex trafficking. She was born in South America, and sold by her own family for $1,000. She was one of the “lucky ones” who was able to escape that life, and eventually, found her way into our Movement.

When I think about what this remarkable young lady has had to overcome — the unbelievable hardship she has faced, and her iron will to rise above it — I am simply in awe. Through Girl Scouting, she found a family — a sisterhood that gave her comfort and strength, and propelled her to achieve. She found an outlet for expression, a platform to channel her passion into a project that built a library program that teaches Latino immigrants to read and write English.

This is what we do. This is what the Girl Scout Movement can help girls achieve. This is why it is so important that faith-based groups, government entities and community organizations like the Girl Scouts extend their reach to the farthest corners of our world. The scourge of human trafficking can be taken on, and it can be defeated, but only when we recognize that, at its core, it is a problem that must be fought one community, one girl, at a time.

At the Girl Scouts of the USA, we are proud to stand with those who are on the front lines of this battle. It’s a war we must win, for ourselves, and our daughters.

 

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Woman (24) reported rape in Dubai: Sentenced to 16 months in prison


July 18 , 2013

Source: VG

Four months after supposedly being raped, Marthe Deborah Dalelv (24) is stuck in Dubai. She is now warning other women on holiday in the Middle East.

Raped in Dubai

- Dubai is presented as a paradise, like everything is nice. But it’s not like that, says the 24 year old woman from Tønsberg, Norway to the newspaper VG.

The 6th of March this year she reported a colleague for rape.
But Tuesday this week, Dalelv was sentenced to 16 months in prison after being convicted for having extramarital sex and for drinking alcohol without permission.

The nightmare started when she attended a work trip to Dubai with her colleagues in the Qatar based interior company she worked for.

Woke up being raped

The last night in Dubai she went out on the town with female colleagues from Norway. A couple of their Qatari male colleagues also joined them.

- The morning after I woke up being raped, my clothes were taken off and I was lying on my stomach, Dalelv explains.
When she went to the police to report the assault, they didn’t believe her.

- Two hours after being raped the police asked me: “Did you come to us because you didn’t like it?”. I then realized that they did not believe me, she says.

Took her passport

For four days she was detained in a prison cell, charged for having extramarital sex.

- They took my money, my purse and my passport before locking me in the prison cell. It was freezing cold in there, without enough places to sleep for everyone.

Dalelv was lucky enough to borrow a phone to call her parents and tell them what happened.

- I told my father rapidly: “I have been raped. I am in prison. You have to call the embassy. I am at the Burj Dubai station”.

Her appeal hearing is scheduled for the 5th of September, and until then she is stuck in Dubai with the status “wanted”. This means she will be arrested if she gets in touch with the police again.

- Giving her support

Gisle Meling, the minister to seamen at the Norwegain seamen’s church in Dubai characterizes the Norwegian woman’s situation as terrible.

- The legal system here has obviously taken the information she has given them and concluded she is guilty of something else, Meling says.

- We live in a country with a legal system that has come to this conclusion through their Sharia legislation.

Last night VG was in touch with the police officer Bilal Gomaa at the police station in Dubai where the rape of Dalelv is being investigated.

- Until you have applied for access to the investigation, we cannot give you any information in this case, Gomaa said to VG.
The minister of foreign affairs in Norway, Espen Barth Eide said Thursday that the conviction of the 24 year old woman is against the Norwegian belief in justice:

- The conviction in Dubai against a Norwegian woman who reported a rape is against our belief in justice.

- We are giving her support in the process towards the appeal, he writes on his Twitter account.

The Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs does not want to comment further on the conviction, as it was appealed and therefore not yet legally binding.

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Stalking – how to make it stop


When most of us think “stalking,” it’s the well-publicized incidents involving celebrities that come to mind, but you don’t need to be famous to be a stalker’s fixation.

Stalking is a crime of obsession, and is often associated with different types of psychopathology, including psychosis and severe personality disorders. Depending on the stalker, behavior may range from overtly aggressive threats and actions, to repeated phone calls, letters or approaches. Stalking harassment may go on for years, causing the victim to exist in a constant state of stress and fear. The violent aspects of stalking behavior often escalate over time, and in extreme cases, can end in murder (Douglas 1998).

Stalking Behavior

There are anti-stalking laws in place, both federal and state, designed to protect victims of stalkers. Under these laws, perpetrators can be charged with stalking for repeatedly:

  • Following or appearing within the sight of another.
  • Approaching or confronting another individual in a public or private place.
  • Appearing at the work place or residence of another.
  • Entering or remaining on an individual’s property.
  • Contacting a person by telephone.
  • Sending postal mail or e-mail to another.

Stalking Danger

Too often victims do not fully appreciate the true danger of being stalked, and this can be a fatal mistake. If you feel uncomfortable with the repeated advances, gifts or communications of an “admirer,” trust your instincts, and always err or the side of caution. All stalking is a crime and all stalkers should be considered dangerous.

David Beatty, Executive Director of Justice Solutions, Inc. and former Director of Public Policy for the National Victim Center, observes that stalking, “is one of the rare opportunities where a potential murderer raises his hand and says ‘I’m gonna be killing somebody.’ Stalking provides an opportunity to intervene in what seems to be, in many cases, an inevitable escalation towards violence and murder.”

Evidence of Stalking

Every situation is different. There are different types of stalkers and no set guidelines, so each victim must use his or her own judgment as to what actions to take. But don’t go it alone. Seek support from your friends and family. Whether or not you plan to file formal charges, report the harassment to your local law enforcement agency. It is important to build your case against the stalker by providing the police with records of the stalker’s behavior towards you (Kamphus, 2000), including any or all of the following:

  1. Keep a diary or a log of the stalker’s attempted interactions with you, noting the time, place, verbal or written communication, gifts, and sightings.
  2. Save all voice mail and email messages left by the offender.
  3. If you can do so safely, obtain a photo or videotape of the stalker.
  4. Collect other identifying information, such as license plate number, model and make of car, and a description of the stalker’s appearance.

Protect Yourself from Stalkers

Unfortunately it is always the victim who is initially penalized in a case of stalking; and the penalty is persistent stress and fear, as well as the inconvenience of having to make significant changes to your daily routine for the purpose of increasing safety. The Stalking Resource Center suggests that the following precautions are important to take if you are being targeted:

  • Travel with friends and do not walk alone.
  • Change your telephone number to an unlisted number.
  • Vary the times and routes you take to work or to frequently visited places.
  • Notify your family and friends, and explain the situation to your employer so that they may protect you at work. Provide them with a photograph or description of your stalker.
Published by ABP World Group Ltd. Security Solutions
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