Archive for the 'Human trafficking' Category
Denying the existence of human trafficking seems no longer the case in the United Arab Emirates. Gulfnews reports:
Sharjah: The UAE courts saw 36 suspects tried in 20 cases of human trafficking last year, according to the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT).
“In 2007, we had 10 cases tried for human trafficking based on Law 51. There were five convictions, with sentences of between 3 to 10 years’ imprisonment, for aiding and inciting human trafficking,” said Dr Saeed Mohammad Al Ghafli, Executive Director of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Secretary of NCCHT.
Al Ghafli announced the statistics at a symposium on human trafficking held at the Training and Judicial Studies Centre at Sharjah University City.
An 8-page report by Amnesty International documents widespread domestic violence and sexual abuse of women in Armenia. According to the findings, while one in four Armenian women are physically violated by family members, many more are psychologically abused.
Worst of all, violence against women is a taboo in Armenia, with all-male government agencies reluctant to investigate “private matters” and women afraid to report abuse in the first place. Moreover, the report says that many women in Armenia help perpetuate the widespread abuse by treating violence as normal. Amnesty quotes an infamous Armenian saying that translates, “A woman is like wool; the more you beat her, the softer she’ll be.”
The government of Armenia in essence denies that domestic abuse is an issue in the Republic, although there has been some talk by officials about change. There are still no laws that deal with the issue.
This conventional violence in Armenia, as the report carefully suggests, has translated into people not carrying about human trafficking.
The website of the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum has posted archival photographs of some of the women and children who were sexually enslaved during the Armenian Genocide of WWI. The captives were tattooed as seen in the few photographs below.
Islamized and tattooed Armenian woman, Orient im Bild, Potsdam, 1927.
Victoria, 19 years old, from Adiyaman, Nubarian library collection, Paris.
Mariam Chaparlian, 27 years old, from Marash, Nubarian library collection, Paris.
Marie Bisninyan, 20 years old, Nubarian library collection, Paris.
Melek, 17 years old, Nubarian library collection, Paris
The Armenian genocide resulted in the kidnapping of thousands of Armenian women from their families, usually during deportations or overnight stops. After the organized mass killings of the Armenian male population, during the first stage of state-orchestrated policy of extermination, the Ottoman governors implemented another pre-meditated phase of the genocidal policy: the destruction of the rest of Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire, this time targeting the elderly, women and children.
Some of those individuals who were kidnapped and integrated into Muslim family life, over time forgot about their Armenian ethnicity and even lost the ability to speak their native language. In order to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones many Armenian women forcibly to adopted Islam. They eventually were married off to Muslim men and in keeping with local tribal customs, were marked with specific tattoos. Tattoos were extensively used as amulets in the Middle East and Islamic countries, with the wearers believing that the mark imbued them with magical powers. These tattoos were often in the form of dots or a small “x” and provided protection, strength or fertility. These new markings represented new belonging and a marked change in their life.
What is ironic in this story is that Armenia’s society and especially the government do almost nothing to stop the ongoing and current human trafficking of women and children from Armenia.
I only noticed today that Azg Daily, a Yerevan-based publication, published my latest Armenian column on human trafficking and oppression of women in Armenia in its Nov 29, 2007, issue.
Այսօր, 2007 թվականին, աշխարհում կան ավելի շատ ստրուկներ, քան 200 տարի առաջ: Ի տարբերություն 1600-ականներին եւ հետագա տարիներին Աֆրիկայից բռնի փախցրած եւ Ամերիկայում ստրկության մատնված միլիոնավոր մարդկանց, մերօրյա ստրուկները հաճախ լքում են իրենց տները հոժար կամքով՝ բարեկեցիկ ապագա ստեղծելու երազներով:
[Today, in 2007, there are more slaves in the world than 200 years ago. In contrast to the millions of people kidnapped from Africa and forced into slavery in America in the 1600s, modern slaves often leave their homes with their own will with dreams for a better future.]
Անապահով ընտանիքներից լինելուց բացի թրաֆիկինգի զոհերին միացնում է նաեւ այլ փաստ՝ կին լինելը: Լինելով հանցանք ամբողջ մարդկության դեմ՝ թրաֆիկինգը նաեւ կանանց ճնշման միջոց է եւ ինչ-որ չափով այդ ճնշման հետեւանք: Հայաստանը նախկին սովետական երկրների հետ համեմատած ունի կանանց նվազագույն ներկայացուցչությունը օրենսդրական մարմնում. Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Ազգային Ժողովի անդամների հինգ տոկոսն է ընդամենը կին, երբ կանայք կազմում են նույն հանրապետության բնակչության կեսից ավելին:
[Aside from being from impoverished families, there is something else that unites victims of human (sex) trafficking – being women. Being a crime against all humanity, human trafficking is also a way of oppression against women and a result of the same oppression. In comparison to other former Soviet countries, Armenia has the lowest percentage of female lawmakers: only 5% of members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia are women while females constitute more than half of the population of the same republic.]
Բայց կանանց հանդեպ բռնությունը ժխտելու մեջ կա նաեւ ինչ-որ պատվի խնդիր, ու եթե ժխտում են, ուրեմն գիտեն, որ սխալ են: Անցած տարի, երբ որոշ հասարակական կազմակերպություններ պարզեցին, որ հայաստանցի կանանց մոտավորապես կեսը ֆիզիկական բռնության են ենթարկվել, Ազգային Ժողովի 95 տոկոս կազմող տղամարդ անդամներից մեկն ասաց, որ ճնշման հարցը բարձրացնող կազմակերպությունները պարզապես գրանտներ են ուզում եւ իջեցնում են Հայաստանի վարկը հանուն իրենց գրպանների: «Նրանք չպետք է ներկայացնեն Հայաստանն ինչ-որ աֆրիկյան ցեղ, որտեղ մարդիկ իրար ուտում են»:
[There is some “pride” in the denial of (the fact of) oppression against women. And if there is denial, then [men] know they are wrong. Last year, when several NGOs found out that about half of Armenia’s women had been subjected to physical brutality in the past year, a member of the 95% men-controlled parliament said that these non-profits simply seek grants and hurt Armenia’s image for the sake of their pockets. “They shouldn’t present Armenia as some African tribe where people eat each other.”
Interestingly, I had originally written this piece for the newsletter of one of Armenia’s university student governments. The student leaders, all exclusively male, refused to publish the opinion piece in a newsletter that is perhaps not read by more than a few dozen students.
Although in the same month that I wrote this short column I had been published in the world’s leading historic magazine -which recently contacted me asking if I were ready to submit another article – I thought that even reaching to one student in Armenia would have been important.
Anyhow, I never heard of any reaction to my piece on human trafficking but I am still glad that Azg published something that would be generally considered radical feminism in Armenia (and humanism in most of the world).
The satire news that I made up about Armenian parliament passing an act on human trafficking – with the hope to have the parliamentarians introduce similar act – was noticed by everyone but the Armenian parliament itself.
OSCE was not the only organization that posted the news. Apparently, the news item – picked up from Huliq.com – was included in Stop Violence Against Women, in the October 2007 e-Bulletin of Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, Gender Information Network of South Caucasus, and others.
I apologize to the above organizations for the false hope that Armenia is doing something to combat human trafficking. And apparently Armenian lawmakers don’t browse much Internet.
Because of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, most discussions and talks about the two nations is their differences and not similarities.
But one thing that these two people, unfortunately, have in common is the high rate of human trafficking. And since both countries are vehemently patriarchal and don’t care much about their own citizens, it seems that the problem is not going to become any better any time soon.
I just read a disturbing story in Gulnaz Guliyeva’s article about an Azeri teenager who was forced into prostitution (it seems the link doesn’t work any more, but you can read it through a Google capture as retrieved on Oct 18, 2007)
14-year-old Elina (the name is fictitious), who lives in Baku, was in love with a young man, and ran away from home and married him.
The young man turned out to be a drug addict and at one of the moments when he was under the influence, the brother of her husband and the son of her husband’s sister took advantage of the situation and had a sexual intercourse with her. She spent a long time having to satisfy the sexual demands of the men in her husband’s family.
After her husband was arrested for drugs, Elina was left high and dry with a child. Strange as it may seem, but a “Mama Roza” offered to help her, saying that she can work as a vendor in a shop in Turkey.
But when she arrived there, it turned out that she had been sold for prostitution. On her return home, Elina who was left high and dry could not find any other job but prostitution. The next trip was to Nakhichevan, where she had to service businessmen from Iran and Turkey. Luckily, one of her clients of Turkish nationality decided to help her and get her out of this fatal situation. He took in her and her child, solved all her problems and brought her to the centre for psychological rehabilitation.
Few victims of human trafficking get help from strangers like in the case of Elina. Guliyeva goes ahead to point to the interesting connection of a newly opened pipeline, that the United States refused to build because it isolates Armenia, and human trafficking:
Inside Azerbaijan, trafficking is blossoming in places of intensive economic activities. So-called Mama Rozas (pimps) hire 15-20 girls and take them to various places where intensive construction work or trade is going on. The centre has cases when girls were taken to cities where the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is being laid and to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic which is often visited by businessmen from Turkey and Iran. This is a well-organized criminal business which is well-aware of the situation in the country and in places where their services are in demand.
One of the scariest things about human trafficking is that people ignore it and don’t want to discuss it. Last week, for example, I wrote a two-page article in Armenian about human trafficking for the newsletter of the the Student Government of the Yerevan State University. I had talked to their president – a good friend – and he wanted me to write it. I wasn’t surprised that they decided not to publish the story. So I sent it to Azg, and I am sure they won’t publish it either.
Why is it that when I write a critical piece about Turkey or especially Azerbaijan, oh, I have the blessings of Armenians and a number of newspapers ready to publish my writings. But when it is a problem of human trafficking or Armenian poverty, for some reason the level of my writing doesn’t appeal as much to Armenian publications (I wonder if I should write an article about human trafficking for History Today).
Arminfo via Groong informs that Armenia’s Armavia Airlines has increased frequency of flights between the top destination of human trafficking victims from Armenia.
“Armavia”, the national air carrier of Armenia, increases the
frequency of Yerevan- Dubai-Yerevan flights up to 3 flights per week,
the company’s press-service told ArmInfo.
According to the source, in order to meet the increasing demand of its
passengers, “Armavia” will implement the 3rd frequency of flight
operations Yerevan-Dubai-Yerevan starting from the 18th of November
2007. This will provide a new opportunity to get unforgettable memories
from the sunny beaches of Dubai with unbeatable low fares solely
applied on the flights operated on days 7. The minimal “One ay” fare is
Euro 69 /without taxes/. The minimal “Round Trip” fare is Euro 138
It is usually thought that Armenian women and girls are trafficked to UAE (especially Dubai), Turkey and Israel. Apparently, these women and children are also exported to and exploited in Italy. As far as Armenia’s government continues not to give a fuck for the lives of its citizens, tragic news like this will continue arriving. Go talk genocide, unholy whores.
18 arrested in Italy in crackdown on trafficking foreign women for prostitution
(live-PR.com) – ROME (AP) – Police raided Italian night clubs to break up an operation which forced hundreds of newly arrived foreign women into prostitution, arresting 18 suspects, authorities said Saturday.
Investigators told a news conference in Florence that the ring’s operators did the paperwork to legally bring into Italy hundreds of young women, mainly from Ukraine, Armenia and Kazakhstan, for what were supposed to be jobs in the performing arts, arranged for their travel and housing, then forced them into prostitution into clubs and sometimes private apartments, including in Tuscany and elsewhere in northern and central Italy.
The suspects were arrested for suspected criminal association dealing in illegal immigration and exploiting and promoting prostitution.
Prostitution itself is not illegal in Italy, but exploiting prostitutes is a crime.
Eight night clubs were shut down, police said.
Today, in 2007, there are more slaves in the world than 200 years ago. Modern slavery is known as human trafficking and it is the fastest growing global crime.
Produced by two other University of Colorado students and myself in Spring 2007, “Rocky Mountain Slavery: The Story of Human Trafficking in Colorado” gives the picture of sex trade in the Centennial State.
An undercover investigator, an elected official and other community members share with us information about this heinous crime that most Coloradoans are not aware of.
An ordinary citizen in downtown Denver thinks human trafficking means “lots of people walking on the street.” We find out that there are, indeed, “lost of people” in trafficking, but they are not walking on the street at all. They are isolated, beaten, raped and dehumanized in the most unimaginable ways.
To watch the film at YouTube.com, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSpQxvtTbFU.
OK my title got some of you. I meant talk about SEX SLAVERY.
I was viewing the YouTube profile of Ara Manoogian, an investigative journalist at Hetq and a blogger who has traveled undercover to Dubai to report the human trafficking of Armenian women and children, and found out something that made me very sad – a 19-year-old female user from Armenia had posted a comment urging Ara to remove his videos about the trafficking of Armenian women and children:
| January 17, 2007
Es uzum asel vor duk ANPAYMAN petkek jenjel ajt videonere hay axchikneri masin vor ‘ashxatumen’ Dubai um. [I want to say that you WITHOUT CONDITIONS should delete those videos about Armenian girls who are “working” in Dubai]
Duk petka haskanak vor da mer hayeri hamar vate.
Gitem vor jishta ajt amene u tents baner linumen.
Bajts… [You should understand that it is bad for Armenians. I know all of that is true and things like that happen. But…]
Vor tex chen linum?? [Where don’t these things happen?]
Bolor jerkirnerum ka bajts irank internetum chen denum. [These things are in all countries that they don’t post on the Internet]
Ajt videonere mer hayastani hamar vat reclame. [These videos are bad advertisement for our Armenia]
Gentrumem jenjeq!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Please delete]
The young woman’s comment shows that human trafficking is a taboo in Armenia. “Don’t talk about it, it makes us look bad.”
Photo from Polaris
It doesn’t make us look bad because we are organizing it, but makes us look bad because there are prostitutes among Armenians.
After all that awareness people still don’t get what human trafficking means. Last week, when I interviewed a random lady in downtown Denver for an upcoming school-project documentary, she thought human trafficking meant “lot’s of people walking on the street.”
You say it is slavery, they answer slavery doesn’t exist. You say it is sexual slavery, “macho” men jump in and say, “wow, where?”
I guess women are the “best” audience to raise awareness about human trafficking in. So please, especially Eastern European and Armenian women, TALK ABOUT SEX SLAVERY, let your friends know that it exists, and watch videos about Armenian women and children trafficked to Dubai.
Trafficking is when people are tricked or forced into slavery and kept in it with threats and torture. It is not a woman’s or a child’s fault to be a human trafficking victim. TALK ABOUT SEX SLAVERY. TALK ABOUT IT.
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