Human Trafficking: From Dubai to Brazil to Germany

By Avni Patel

Jun 7, 2006 11:10am

It’s a scenario that is played out thousands of time each day around the world.  A young woman is lured to a country halfway across the world with the promise of a good job and good pay.  When she arrives, her employed confiscates her passport, confines her, makes her work in miserable conditions without pay or forces her into the sex trade. According to a State Department report released this week, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, a majority for commercial sexual exploitation.  The report assesses the efforts to combat human trafficking by government around the world, placing the countries into tiered lists based on the compliance to standards set forth by Congress. Although it does not appear on the lists of offenders, Germany was issued a warning by the State Department as the country prepared for the World Cup: "Germany is a source, transit, and destination for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.  Victims come primarily from Central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa (mainly Nigeria), Asia (mainly Thailand), and to a lesser extent from North and South America." The report concludes that with the country’s policy of legalized prostitution, combined with the size of tournament crowds, "the potential for human trafficking surrounding the games remains a concern." This years worst offenders, according to the report, include Belize, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.  Another 32 countries were placed on a watch list where the State Department found severe forms of trafficking were significant or increasing, and governments were not fully complying with the minimum standards.

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