News/USA: YOUNG GIRLS SOLD AS SEX SLAVES IN US, CIA SAYS.

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Subject: News/USA: YOUNG GIRLS SOLD AS SEX SLAVES IN US, CIA SAYS.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 12:17:57 EDT


4-3-00 USA: YOUNG GIRLS SOLD AS SEX SLAVES IN US, CIA SAYS.
By Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles.
Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Around 50,000 women and children are being brought into the United States
every year to work as prostitutes or as virtual slaves, according to an
unpublished report by the CIA. Among those sold into forced labour are
girls as young as nine, it claims.
Women who answer advertisements for jobs as au pairs, secretaries or
waitresses find themselves forced to work as prostitutes or strippers and
some are sold outright to brothel owners, the report says.
The women and children are being brought from a variety of countries, with
Thailand, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Russia and the Czech Republic heading the
list. The report suggests that an increasing number are coming from the
Philippines, Korea, Malaysia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Brazil and Honduras.
There has been a huge rise in the sale of women into servitude because such
trafficking is booming in eastern Europe. According to the report,
traffickers in the former Soviet Union have been particularly aggressive in
taking advantage of young women who are desperate to enter western
countries and unaware of what type of work awaits them.
Girls as young as nine from Asian and African countries have been sold into
slavery in the US `for less than the price of a toaster', according to the
survey, the first of its kind. Girls from countries where female children
are not highly valued are among the most vulnerable and may be forced to
work in what the report describes as `an indentured sexual servitude
Aarrangement'.
lthough the justice department does not have accurate figures, it is
estimated that over the last two years prosecutions have been brought in
only 250 out of a possible 100,000 cases. In one case last year, involving
70 Thai workers forced to work 20-hour days, the punishments for their
seven employers ranged from four to seven years.
`These low penalties and the long, complicated and resource-intensive
nature of trafficking cases tends to make them unattractive to many United
States attorneys,' concludes the report by a CIA analyst, which was
published by the New York Times yesterday.
One problem in prosecuting offenders has been that the women often speak no
English and are more frightened of the police than their employers. In
addition, such cases often appear to fall between different departments,
such as the FBI, the immigration service and the labour department.
The women found working in brothels without proper documentation are
usually deported rather than allowed to stay and testify against brothel
owners or the traffickers, the report says.
Among the women and children cited in the report are a Latvian woman who
was forced to dance nude in Chicago, Mexican teenagers bullied into
servicing migrant workers at a brothel and Chinese-Korean women made to
work as indentured labour at such low wages that they could not extricate
themselves from the situation.
The report says immigration authorities have found evidence of 250 brothels
in 26 cities where victims of trafficking are working.
Some Nigerian traffickers have profited doubly from the trade, charging
parents as much as $10,000 to bring their children to New York for `better
educational opportunities' and then selling the children into forced
domestic labour.
Worldwide, the problem is increasing, the report concludes. It estimates
that between 700,000 and 2m women and children are victims of the growing
trade in human forced labour.
GUARDIAN 03/04/2000 P11


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