Thursday, January 28, 2016

Human Trafficking – Things to Know!

Human Trafficking – Things to Know!

The United Nations defines human trafficking as,  “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.” In other cases, a person consents to being smuggling. This is considers human smuggling – which is related to human trafficking but a different crime.  “Human trafficking involves the consent of the person(s) being smuggled. These people often pay large sums of money to be smuggled across international borders. Once in the country of their final destination, they are generally left to their own devices. Smuggling becomes trafficking when the element of force or coercion is introduced.”

As stated in the Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2004, slave traders prey on vulnerable woman and children, who are often forced into prostitution. Traffickers gain their trust through coercion and trickery. "Very often these ruses involve promises of marriage, employment, educational opportunities, or a better life."


Most of the information available on human trafficking is not complete and/or accurate as number of victims is unknown and most goes unreported. From the information reported:

·      62% of victims originated from Latin America (El Salvador 28% and Mexico 20% )
·      97 % of these victims were female
·      97% of human trafficking is sexual exploitation; 18% forced labor
·      Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children.
·      Between 2001 - 2005, the United States investigated 555 human trafficking suspects, and by 2005, 78 cases had been terminated with 75 convictions

Global baseline data on trafficking patterns
According to the Global ReportFemale offenders have a more prominent role in trafficking in persons than in other crimes. The capacity to detect trafficking victims increased during the reporting period – the number of victims detected increased by 27% between 2003 and 2006 (in 71 selected countries). Female victims represented, on average, between 65 and 75% of all victims detected between 2003 and 2006; child victims between 15 and 25%; and male victims around 15%.

Global baseline data on legislation
According to the Global Report, before 2003, 35% of the countries had legislation and 65% did not. As of November 2008, 80% of the countries had legislation and 20% did not. By November 2008, 17% of countries had a specific offense criminalizing only some forms of trafficking. At least 20% of the countries with a specific offense on trafficking in persons also use other offense to prosecute trafficking cases.

Related Links/References

Family Reunification

Family Reunification

One of the topics that came up during my week in Rome for USF’s Academic Global Immersion program was, unaccompanied child. There was a lot of discussion around unaccompanied children and the large number coming into Europe – this is also the case in the United States, especially around the US/Mexican border. 

As stated in, “According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)…between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, CBP encountered 67,339 unaccompanied children.  “Unaccompanied alien child” (UAC) is a technical term defined by law as a child who “(A) has no lawful immigration stat¬us in the United States; (B) has not attained 18 years of age; and (C) with respect to whom—(i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; or (ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.” With the large number of minors coming into the EU and the US – this got me thinking about family reunification. There was some discussion about family reunification during the week, and the subject was even touched during Anthony’s talk about his life experience. Below you will find numbers  on reunification in the US.


After doing some research on refugees and family reunification in the US – I found that there was indeed a program for those whose cases were approved. Only once the case is approved and the family is officially resettled in the US, will they be assigned to a sponsor that will help them with the reunification process. There are various resettlement agencies throughout the US that provide these sponsor – the UNHCR is not involved in this process. Below is a map of the various agencies in the US. You can find more information on these resettlement agencies and sponsor HERE.

The I-730 Process

As noted in the website, “I-730 is a refugee/asylee relative petition in what is often called a “follow-to-join” process. If you have been admitted to the U.S. as a refugee or if you were granted status in the U.S. as an asylee, you may be eligible to petition for your spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21.” You have two years from the date of approval to petition through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - this is for family member in the US or overseas as well.

Under U.S. law, only immediate family members are eligible to petition under the family reunification program.  An “immediate family member” is the child, spouse, or parent of the person requesting reunification. A “child” is considered as a person unmarried and under 21 years of age.