The Week in Trafficking

Our weekly links roundup of human trafficking in the news.

Sex trafficking and the Super Bowl

A new study (pdf) from Arizona State University finds that the Super Bowl does not cause an increase in sex trafficking, a topic we have previously discussed.

Labor trafficking

Al Jazeera America’s Fault Lines exposes rampant labor abuses on American military bases in Afghanistan. Private contractors hire migrant workers from South Asian countries, primarily India and Nepal, who are forced to go through agencies and pay high recruitment fees in order to gain employment. American contractors profit off these recruitment fees which leave many workers in situations of debt bondage.

There could be between 3,000 and 20,000 Burmese Rohingyas at risk of trafficking in Thailand, where they are not allowed to be processed as refugees. Rohingyas are also being trafficked to Malaysia in higher numbers after increased anti-trafficking efforts in Thailand.

This week, 220 suspected Turkish migrants, including 82 children,were found in a secret Thai camp and are believed to be victims of trafficking on route to a third destination country. Also in Thailand, human rights groups warn that the government’s delay of an amendment to remove restrictions on migrant workers will fuel trafficking and affects an estimated 100,000 Burmese workers. Lastly, the Thai fishing industry, the world’s 3rd largest seafood exporter, employs mostly migrants, many of whom are trafficked.

The ILO released an animated video showing conditions of forced labor and how people become trafficking victims.


Tajikistan has created an all-women police unit in Dushanbe who patrol on bicycles to help prevent human trafficking, domestic violence, and other issues affecting Tajik women. This effort comes after a  30% rise in number of people trafficked from 2012 to 2013.

Google and other Silicon Valley tech companies are beginning to use data gathered from the web to combat trafficking.

The U.S. and Colombia signed a joint statement to continue anti-trafficking collaboration between the two countries.

The FBI are working to break up a trafficking ring in Senegal after flights from Dakar to Washington D.C. have increasingly been used to transport suspected trafficking victims.

Western Union is accused of neglecting oversight responsibilities to ensure its services were not facilitating national and international illegal activities, including drug and human trafficking.

The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) in the Southern Africa region began a campaign to help Nepali migrants who have been trafficked in those countries.

INTERPOL is collaborating with IOM to prevent trafficking in the Caribbean region.

Organ trafficking

An organ trafficking ring has been dismantled in Spain. Illegal migrants were offered money to purchase their kidneys or parts of their livers for transplant.

Child trafficking

NPR reports on child trafficking victims who are prosecuted for prostitution and the movement to create safe harbor laws and special sex trafficking courts.

Girls are lured from tea estates in India that don’t pay minimum wage by traffickers’ promises of a better life and higher wages.

Forced marriage

A planned 24-hour hotline would help to identify and protect girls in forced marriages in Australia.


American Samoa passed the state’s first human trafficking law to prosecute traffickers.

There are calls in Hong Kong for a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, something the TIP reports have recommended.

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