FBI BUSTS NATIONWIDE CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING RING, RESCUES 105 VICTIMS IN ‘OPERATION CROSS COUNTRY’
The FBI has rescued 105 child sex-trafficking victims, FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko announced Monday.
The youngest of the rescued children was 9 years old, according to Reuters.
One underage victim told officials she became involved with prostitution when she was 11, according to CNN.
“Many times the children that are taken in these types of criminal activities are children that are disaffected, they are from broken homes, they may be on the street themselves,” FBI Acting Executive Assistant Director Kevin Perkins said, according to the network. “They are really looking for a meal, they are looking for shelter, they are looking for someone to take care of them.”
One victim, identified as “Alex,” told interviewers she became a prostitute at the age of 16, when she felt she had no other options to feed and clothe
“Alex was 16 years old and desperate. She turned to prostitution and later fell under the influence of a pimp and her family. “At first it was terrifying, and then you just kind of become numb to it,” she said. “You put on a whole different attitude—like a different person. It wasn’t me. I know that.
Nothing about it was me.”
Two years later, Alex bravely contacted the FBI, and her cooperation helped us send two pimps to prison and facilitate the recovery of other underage victims. Today, with support from the Bureau’s Office for Victim Assistance, Alex is turning her life around. She earned her high school diploma, is living on her own, and has plans to attend college. She wants to become an advocate for young victims of sexual exploitation.
“What happened to me happened, and I can’t change it,” she said. “I can only change my future.”
Special Agent Kurt Ormberg, who helped recover Alex and put her pimp behind bars, explained that children who are most susceptible to sexual exploitation have a void in their lives. “That void might be related to family, food, or shelter, but it’s a void that needs to be filled, and pimps fill it.” And after they nurture their victims, he said, they sexually exploit them. “Too often,” Ormberg added, “these young victims don’t think they have anywhere else to turn.”
“I was very lucky to be able to walk away,” Alex said. “I never got hurt, so I’m really, really lucky. I’m one of the few that can say that.” Without the help of the FBI, she added, “I probably would have ended up dead.”
Forty-seven FBI divisions took part in Operation Cross Country VII, along with more than 3,900 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers and agents representing 230 separate agencies.
Many times the children that are taken in in these types of criminal activities are children that are disaffected, they are from broken homes, they may be on the street themselves,’ FBI Acting Executive Assistant Director Kevin Perkins said. ‘They are really looking for a meal, they are looking for shelter, they are looking for someone to take care of them.’
The raids also resulted in the arrests of 150 “pimps” and other individuals, according to an FBI press release.
Jake Tapper @ CNN interviews a human trafficking survivor “On heels of major FBI bust, human trafficking survivor says: Go after the johns” @TheLeadCNN > http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/29/human-trafficking-survivor-go-after-the-johns/ …
Something technology companies will need to get involved to fight human trafficking as these same criminals are using the web, Internet technologies devices and social media sites, and run their criminal activities and business and this is not a small issue these days, Technology and Internet although has made our lives easy and for many of us to communicate and unfortunately it also has a dark side in the context of “human trafficking” and these criminal are running their business by exploiting innocent children, teenagers and women today In the digital age and are witnessing the “human cost” .
Unprotected “digital networks” and innocent humanity at cross roads.
I hope many Internet technology companies and global leaders will have to make extra efforts to “protect many of their users and members over their networks and at the same time, protect innocent children, teenagers and women who are using their open social networking platforms and devices. More awareness needs to be created around these cyber dangers and technology companies will have to find solutions to protect their members and users from many of these cyber intruders at the same time.
Monetary cost vs human cost when it comes to technology
From a CSR point of view technology companies have an obligation to their users and they have an obligation to also protect innocent users from an end point of view by giving them digital solutions to protect users, especially those innocent children, teenagers and women developing countries and not put them at risk. Those who are using communication devices for education and at the same time many non-profits need to be supported in my opinion and not compromise them over the web.
Child Labor is another global issue in many parts of the world.
China Labor Watch has issued a new report on eight factories completely or partially owned by Samsung. In three of them underage workers were reported, and all have conditions that the watchdog considers abusive, including illegal overtime requirements, poor working conditions, and contracts that are difficult to understand. Huizhou Samsung Electronics, which manufacturers MP3 players and speakers, Shenzhen Samsung Kejian Mobile Telecommunication Technology, which concentrates on CDMA phones, and Tianjin Samsung Mobile Display are all accused of employing staff under the age of 18. source full story: Samsung accused of using child labor in its own factories .
As a digital activist and as I speak of cyber threats, dangers and intruders, I find over social media sites or via my email I am a target by some of these unethical cyber intruders.
According to – The Inquisitr website ” Authorities explain that the traffickers will be charged with numerous state and federal charges, including trafficking in humans and as reported by NBC News, the teens are sold on the streets, through classified ads, and online. It is estimated that nearly 250,000 teens and children are at risk of becoming involved in sex-trafficking.
The rescues were the product of Operation Cross Country, a three-day nationwide initiative to aid victims of underage prostitution.
Operation Cross Country is a part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, a joint program by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created to fight child sex trafficking in the United States.
Since 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative has netted the rescue of more than 2,700 children
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines human trafficking as the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving persons through use of force, coercion or deception for the purpose of exploiting them.
This definition is accepted internationally but, in our view, it tends to place too much emphasis on movement. We see human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery, where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.
Every country is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination. It is a lucrative criminal industry, second only to drug trafficking, generating billions of dollars annually. The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has estimated that 27 million people are currently enslaved worldwide – the highest rate in human history.
According to a post written on Policymic “Trafficking in child prostitutes is something many Americans associate with other countries, say, in Asia or Eastern Europe, and they would be surprised to learn that it is also a large and growing problem here. It is part of the worldwide scourge of human trafficking, which includes child and adult forced prostitution as well as forced labor. Countries differ in whether sex or forced-labor trafficking predominates, but there is no question that it is modern-day slavery, and it occurs in virtually every country in the world. Children account for 27% of the victims.
Because of its clandestine nature and the spotty or nonexistent data collection efforts of many governments, hard statistics on the victims are lacking, especially for non-Western countries. Informed estimates are what experts rely on. In the U.S., Ernie Allen of the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that about 100,000 10-17-year olds are in prostitution, with more than double that number at risk of sexual exploitation. Much of the child prostitution here is home-grown, drawing its victims from the thousands of runaway, homeless, and throwaway kids out on the streets, but there are a significant number of foreign victims here too. According to the State Department, most of the international victims here came from Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Central America”.