Feeling good about feeling bad… A Global Review of Evaluation in Anti-Trafficking Initiatives

This research explores and assesses the evaluation of anti-trafficking policies and programmes worldwide, including three international, two regional and nine national anti-trafficking initiatives. It highlights common themes and emerging patterns between a range of approaches to evaluation in this sector and finds overwhelmingly that anti-trafficking initiatives are not being sufficiently evaluated, impeding the effectiveness of anti-trafficking responses and limiting progress in combating trafficking. Urgent action in the form of adequate evaluation systems is imperative to ensure anti-trafficking programmes are effectively targeted and delivered.

Download PDF: http://www.gaatw.org/publications/GAATW_Global_Review.FeelingGood.AboutFeelingBad.pdf

Foreword:

To a large extent, anti-trafficking efforts operate without a sufficient evidence-base. Ten years after the unveiling of the United Nation Human Trafficking Protocol there is still a dearth of reliable information on the scope and nature of this highly globalized crime and horrendous violation of human rights. Information on its dynamics, on its interrelations with other Continue reading

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Cambodia: Sex Workers Face Unlawful Arrests and Detention

Officials Should Investigate and Close Government Centers Where Abuses Occur
July 20, 2010

(Phnom Penh) – The Cambodian government should act quickly to end violence against sex workers and permanently close the government centers where these workers have been unlawfully detained and abused, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch also urged the Cambodian government to suspend provisions in the 2008 Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation that facilitate police harassment and abuses.

Human Rights Watch’s 76-page report, “Off the Streets: Arbitrary Detention and Other Abuses against Sex Workers in Cambodia,” is based on more than 90 interviews and group discussions with female and transgender sex workers in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Siem Reap. It describes how sex workers face a wide range of abuses, Continue reading

The numbers of sex trafficking victims are exaggerated

Figures relating to sex work and trafficking have been fudged by mainstream media, conservative feminists and career politicians. The numbers of people who are victims of sex slavery and trafficking are far lower than what is generally reported, writes Elena Jeffreys.

A startling report by investigative journalist Nick Davies for The Guardian last October, Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution, has shocked English policy makers and created a new war of words over migration, sex work and exploitation. Numerous opinion pieces, first hand accounts and rampant moralising followed The Guardian’s coverage of the issue between October and November last year, but Davies’ articles remains an important contribution to understanding the figure-fudging in relation to sex work and trafficking.

Davies writes that politicians and the media have been exaggerating the numbers of sex workers who are victims of sex slavery and trafficking. He goes on to compare the exaggerated numbers of trafficked sex workers with other government lies including weapons of mass destruction, and the sexed up policy dossiers that rationalised UK’s hawkish actions in relation to Iraq. Continue reading

Older Stories: Beyond Immigrant Brothels

by Juhu Thukral on October 2, 2006

At the age of 17, Cathy* came to the United States from Thailand, expecting to work off a debt. As soon as she arrived, though, her traffickers demanded the money. If they weren’t paid, they said, she would have to go into prostitution.

Cathy was able to escape on her own and eventually found a job in a restaurant, but she was stressed about the money that she owed. Threatened by her traffickers, her family in Thailand had gone into hiding.

When I met with Cathy, I told her she might be eligible for assistance as a victim of trafficking given that she had been held against her will, had experienced threats against her family, and had been threatened with forced prostitution. Continue reading

The Crusade Against Sex Trafficking

By Noy Thrupkaew

This article appeared in the October 5, 2009 edition of The Nation.
September 16, 2009

This article is the first part of a two-part series. The next installment will explore alternative approaches to addressing the problem of trafficking for the purposes of forced prostitution.
–The Editors

Gary Haugen is cradling the padlocks in his thick hands. A former high school football player–bristly crew cut, broad shoulders squeezed into a dress shirt–Haugen has more the mien of a military man than a lawyer, although his image is in keeping with the muscular work of the organization he founded and heads. The president of the International Justice Mission, an evangelical Christian organization devoted to combating human rights abuses in the developing world, Haugen is musing over the mementos of IJM’s work in India and Cambodia. The padlocks look ordinary enough: heavy brass, a squat square one, a round one with a key. But they had once hung on the doors of brothels, until local law enforcement busted the establishments in raids initiated by IJM. Continue reading

Emancipation is not yet truly realized

Slavery still thrives in the US: thousands of young women are bound in servitude. Said the State Department “It is a debasement of our common humanity.” This comes upon the commemoration of the emancipation of America’s slaves known as Juneteenth.

Saturday, June 20, 2009by Chinwuba Iyizoba

Thousands of young women have been enslaved in Europe and the US because of permissive Western attitudes.

Nothing illustrates the moral schizophrenia of our age than two events in the United States this week. Today marks the anniversary of the effective emancipation of African-American slaves in 1865. The US Senate has passed a resolution formally apologising for the “fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery”. Continue reading

Cambodia: The traffic police

Jun 11th 2009 | PHNOM PENH From The Economist print edition

’Tis a pity, but she won’t go away

IN EERIE, deserted silence on the outskirts of Phnom Penh sits the Prey Speu detention centre. Barely legible on its grimy walls a few weeks ago were cries for help and whispers of despair from the tormented souls once crammed into its grimy cells. “This is to mark that I lived in terror under oppression,” read one message.

It recalls a Khmer Rouge torture centre from the genocidal 1970s. But in fact the building was used just last year as a “rehabilitation” centre, where detained sex-workers, along with beggars and the homeless, learnt sewing and cooking. They were rounded up in a crackdown on trafficking for the sex industry. At first an attempt to clean up Phnom Penh, it soon escalated into a violent campaign by the police against prostitutes and those living on the street. According to Licadho, a local human-rights group, guards at the centre beat three people to death, and at least five detainees killed themselves. Sreymoa, a trafficked sex-worker, detained in May 2008 with her four-year-old daughter, recalls daily beatings, rapes and one death. Continue reading