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60,000 rapes carried out by UN staff

A WHISTLE blower has claimed UN staff could have carried out 60,000 rapes in the last decade as aid workers indulge in sex abuse unchec...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Human Trafficking in Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, India

Resti umani rinvenuti nella fossa comune nella provincia thailandese di Songkhla (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)

I cadaveri di più di 30 persone sono stati trovati il primo maggio nella giungla nella provincia thailandese di Songkhla, vicino al confine tra Thailandia e Malesia.

Qualche cadavere era sepolto in fosse poco profonde, mentre altri erano stati semplicemente nascosti sotto a coperte e vestiti e lasciati a cielo aperto.

La polizia thailandese ha fatto sapere che si tratta dei corpi di immigrati di etnia rohingya provenienti dalla Birmania, ma che per il momento non è chiaro se siano stati uccisi o se invece siano morti di fame o di qualche malattia.
La polizia ipotizza che i decessi siano avvenuti mentre i rohingya erano nelle mani di trafficanti di essere umani che li avrebbero chiusi in alcune gabbie nella foresta mentre aspettavano il pagamento della tariffa richiesta per trasportarli in Malesia.
Uno dei sopravvissuti ha riferito al quotidiano thailandese The Nation che i migranti sarebbero stati uccisi con colpi di arma da fuoco e a bastonate da trafficanti di esseri umani.
L’uomo ha aggiunto di aver sentito dire che i migranti uccisi in vari campi lungo il confine thai-malese sarebbero più di 500.
Per anni, le organizzazioni per i diritti umani ed i giornalisti investigativi hanno riferito di fiorenti reti di traffico di esseri umani che operano con il sostegno e la protezione di funzionari corrotti nel sud della Thailandia.
L’anno scorso, il Dipartimento di Stato americano nel suo Trafficking in Persons Report (Rapporto sul traffico di esseri umani) ha declassato Thailandia al livello 3, il peggior rating possibile, per non aver fatto abbastanza per combattere il traffico di esseri umani e perché una parte delle forze predisposte a combattere i trafficanti risulta invece direttamente o indirettamente coinvolta in questi crimini.
I rohingya sono un gruppo etnico di religione musulmana presente soprattutto nell’Arakan, una regione della Birmania occidentale, dove vivono una realtà di abusi e persecuzioni.
Per i rohingya che decidono di scappare dalla Birmania, la Thailandia è spesso una inevitabile stazione di passaggio. Qui ai rohingya non viene riconosciuto lo status di profughi e di conseguenza vengono trattati come “immigranti illegali” e rischiano l’espulsione immediata.
A volte vengono rinchiusi in sovraffollati centri di detenzione dove si ritiene che, in base ad accordi illegali, alcuni vengano trasferiti direttamente nelle mani di bande di trafficanti di esseri umani dove, oltre a ricevere un trattamento crudele, i migranti perdono ogni prospettiva di assistenza da parte delle autorità.
Per via della connivenza tra autorità thailandesi e trafficanti di esseri umani, Human Rights Watch (Hrw) ha chiesto l’apertura di un’indagine indipendente con il coinvolgimento delle Nazioni Unite: “La tratta di persone in questa area della Thailandia è fuori controllo da molto tempo, gli alti funzionari thailandesi lo hanno ammesso”, ha detto Brad Adams, direttore di Hrw per l’Asia.
“La scoperta di una fossa comune in un campo di smistamento gestito da trafficanti di esseri umani purtroppo non è una grande sorpresa. Il lungo coinvolgimento di funzionari thailandesi nel traffico di esseri umani significa che per scoprire la verità e punire i responsabili è necessaria un’indagine indipendente con il coinvolgimento delle Nazioni Unite”.
Come i precedenti governi thailandesi, la giunta militare guidata del golpista Prayuth Chan-ocha non consente all’ufficio dell’Alto Commissario delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati (Unhcr) di condurre le pratiche di accertamento dello status di rifugiati dei migranti di etnia rohingya.
“Ogni anno decine di migliaia di Rohingya fuggono dalla Birmania a causa della terribile situazione dei diritti umani e finiscono per essere ulteriormente abusati e sfruttati nelle mani dei trafficanti in Thailandia”, ha detto Brad Adams.
A Nepalese woman and her child line up with others to receive a daily stipend of food from the Nepalese army at a camp in Kathmandu Photograph: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of young women from regions devastated by the earthquake in Nepal are being targeted by human traffickers supplying a network of brothels across south Asia, campaigners in Kathmandu and affected areas say.
The 7.8-magnitude quake, which killed more than 7,000 people, has devastated poor rural communities, with hundreds of thousands losing their homes and possessions. Girls and young women in these communities have long been targeted by traffickers, who abduct them and force them into sex work.
The UN and local NGOs estimate 12,000 to 15,000 girls a year are trafficked from Nepal. Some are taken overseas, to South Korea and as far as South Africa. But the majority end up in Indian brothels where tens of thousands are working in appalling conditions.
“This is the time when the brokers go in the name of relief to kidnap or lure women. We are distributing assistance to make people aware that someone might come to lure them,” said Sunita Danuwar, director of Shakti Samuha, an NGO in Kathmandu. “We are getting reports of [individuals] pretending to go for rescuing and looking at people.”
Senior western aid officials in the Nepalese capital are also concerned. “There is nothing like an emergency when there is chaos for opportunities to … traffic more women. There is a great chance that everything that is bad happening in Nepal could scale up,” said one.
Sita, 20, told the Guardian how she had been taken from her village in Sindhupalchok, the hill area north of Kathmandu, to the Indian border town of Siliguri where she was sold to a brothel owner, repeatedly beaten, systematically raped by hundreds of men and infected with HIV. “I do not have nightmares about my time there. I have erased it from my memory,” she said.
Last month’s quake killed more than 3,000 people in Sindhupalchok, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
The earthquake will definitely increase the risk of abuse,” said Rashmita Shashtra, a local healthworker. “People here are now desperate and will take any chance. There are spotters in the villages who convince family members and local brokers who do the deal. We know who they are.”
Sita, who was rescued last year, was taken by an uncle “for a job” in India. Her parents, who are subsistence farmers and illiterate, believed assurances she would have a good job and be able to send back her wages.
In the brothel in Siliguri, Sita was forced to have unprotected sex with up to 20 or 30 men a day, seven days a week for a year. When the premises was raided by police, she told officials she wanted to return home and was handed over to an NGO.
“I am worried now for the other girls who might be taken away. They will need the money and be tempted if someone talks to them about a job. Then the same thing will happen to them as happened to me,” Sita said.
Nepal, one of the poorest countries in Asia, is the focal point of well organised smuggling networks dealing in everything from tiger skins to precious woods, from narcotics to people.
Danuwar said most of these criminal networks were based in India, which made identification of traffickers difficult. The gangs have representatives and agents looking for suitable women across Nepal, but particularly in deprived rural areas such as Sindhupalchowk.
Many local agents do not know the eventual destination of the women, with some genuinely believing they will find well-paid work in Kathmandu or India. Others are well aware of the real nature of their “jobs”. One ruse is to promise marriage to wealthy foreigners.
Kathmandu also has hundreds of bars and massage parlours where women work in poor conditions, with many compelled to have sex with clients. These women are recruited locally, again often in zones hit hard by the quake. “Now [after the earthquake] it is going to be easy for brokers,” said Danuwar.
The US State Department has said the Nepalese government does not comply “with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” but “ is making significant efforts to do so”.
The uncle who abducted Sita was murdered by a contract killer. Her parents remain unaware of exactly what happened to her, though her brothers have found out. They have now disowned her. Victims of sexual violence are frequently ostracised in south Asia, where they are seen as having brought shame on their community.
Sita lives in a secret shelter run by Shakti Samuha. She does not know what has happened to her parents in the earthquake. For many days, communications to her remote village were cut. When she managed to get a line through to a brother, he refused to acknowledge her. “He said he had no sister and I had called a wrong number,” Sita said.


"The Storm Makers: ceux qui amè­nent la tem­pête", fir­mato da Guil­laume Saun, è un rac­conto di «ordi­na­ria schia­vitù» nella Cam­bo­gia di oggi, che potrebbe essere qual­siasi altra parte del mondo. 

Con Saun sco­priamo che il traf­fico di esseri umani, segno del nostro con­tem­po­raneo, pro­spera con la com­pli­cità delle auto­rità locali.

I geni­tori nei vil­laggi pove­ris­simi e anal­fa­beti spe­di­scono le figlie gio­vani, ragaz­zine mino­renni in Male­sia o in Thai­lan­dia con l’illusione — della cui trap­pola sono tutti con­sa­pe­voli — di gua­da­gni in patria impos­si­bili. 

«I por­ta­tori di tem­pe­sta» del titolo sono gli emis­sari delle agen­zie (inte­res­sante varia­zione del modello inte­ri­nale) che met­tono in mano alle madri un migliaio di dol­lari con cui man­giare, sanare i debiti tirare avanti fino al pros­simo figlio da ven­dere. 

Lì invece per chi arriva è l’inferno: botte, stu­pri, vio­lenze, una con­di­zione di schia­vitù. 

Le ragazze sono pri­gio­niere dei padroni che ne dispon­gono a loro pia­ci­mento, i rac­conti della gio­vane pro­ta­go­ni­sta sono da incubo. 

Lei che almeno è tor­nata indie­tro viva, ha un figlio nato dallo stu­pro e viene addi­tata dal vil­lag­gio, e dalla stessa madre che comun­que si sente respon­sa­bile. 

«Sono sem­pre i traf­fi­canti e i ric­chi che vin­cono» com­menta la ragazza amara.

Il traf­fi­cante, boss dell’agenzia di reclu­ta­mento, non si nasconde: si mostra alla mac­china da presa al lavoro, spiega le tat­ti­che per con­vin­cere i geni­tori, sem­pre i soldi, meglio se subito per loro è una somma bassa, che nei gua­da­gni viene decupli­cata. 

Quello che è inte­res­sante è que­sta oppo­si­zione senza rivolta: la trama di cor­ru­zione e com­pli­cità da una parte, la ras­se­gna­zione quasi assue­fatta dall’altra. 

Saun man­tiene una distanza nell’avvicinarsi con deli­ca­tezza ai suoi per­so­naggi. 

Non è facile tro­vare l’equilibrio, e soprat­tutto uscire dalla logica della vit­tima, che serve solo a tran­quil­liz­zare. 

Il film al con­tra­rio ci rende testi­moni. Il resto tocca a noi.


La schiavitù per un pugno di dollari Cristina Piccino, 6.5.2015

She is back home now, within the safe confines of her house, in the arms of her loved ones. But the memories of the last few months continue to haunt her.

Often, she abruptly wakes up in the night, screaming as her family rushes to her side, comforting, reassuring her that there is nothing to be terrified about now.

At a tender age of 13, Reena (name changed) has gone through a series of atrocities – being kidnapped, trafficked, forcefully married, raped and tortured.

According to the social organisation that rescued her from the clutches of traffickers earlier this year, Reena, a resident of a Varanasi village, was sold for Rs 52,000 by a friend of her brother-in-law.

Curiously, her case not only defines the rampant sale and purchase of girls but also brings to light an alarming trend.

“Through our cases, we have noticed an emerging trend. Due to the declining sex ratio in western parts of Uttar Pradesh, girls are trafficked from various parts of the country, especially from other parts of UP, to this region,” said Shruti Nagvanshi, convenor of Voice of People (VOP) and managing trustee for People’s Vigilance Committee On Human Rights.

In response to Hindustan Times’ series on trafficking, Shruti writes, “We have even noticed cases where one girl is shared among all the boys of a family, only because there is scarcity of girls.” Reena’s case is also a similar one.

Her kin’s friend came to stay at her place and took her along on the pretext that her brother-in-law was waiting to meet her at some spot in the city.

“We were in an auto and when I realised that I was being taken towards the railway station and not to the place where he had promised me, I resisted. But he threatened to kill me and asked me to stay quiet,” said Reena in her statement.

She was taken to a room where she was locked for a week and raped each day by the man and his friends.

Thereafter, she was sold to another man who forcefully married her at a temple in Bulandshahr.

“He would rape me each day and I would yell in pain. When I cried and pleaded for mercy, he threatened to kill me. He used to say that since he had spent money to buy me, he had the right to do whatever he wanted with me,” she added in her statement.

What is shocking was that the atrocities were being carried out at her tormentor’s family home, with the consent of his kin.


Rescued, Reena now wants strict action against her perpetrators so that no other girl undergoes the nightmare she experienced at such a young age.

Trafficked, raped and tortured; all at the age of 13 Richa Srivastava May 07, 2015










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