21 April 2010

New Low for Mafia or New High for Media

"The mob, as we see it today, has lost all respect, lost all the historical culture that it was intended to have since 1931, and that's because they're becoming their own best customers within the drug culture."-Joe Coffey, former commanding officer of the New York Police Department's organized crime unit.

This is old news and a statement to make about a small time two bit, street gang on the corner that is very unorganized. Not the Mafia. The cops and politicians are more tied to these guys than we will ever know, and thats not to exclude the FBI. Who cares if you finally caught a female in their crew?

The problem isn't the envolvment of a gangsterette. The problem is this has been going on for some time now and you treat it like its new; but its not.

I came across a book a few months ago about this very topic. Organized crime using young women to provide unique services to the elite in our community. The book, Thrilling Stories of White Slavery, by Carle C. Quale. As you can see its not a new topic and its not even original.

Tactics used to lure young women, using other women is as old as prostitution itself. But trafficking of women in this country, well thats atleast a century old by what the book tells us.

Drugs, guns and prostitution are all said to go hand in hand. What about prostitution and black mail? Just one example, but it sounds like a great way to get a politician or judge wrapped around your finger.

I got an idea! Lets stop treating the public, who by the way pays for all this adult investigative adventure stuff, and keep them in the loop. I bet if this was talked about generations ago, we would be more on the look out and less surprised and off topic.

Inform your kids about how characters in stories like this could impact their lives. The more we talk and the more we act against the kind of people this story talks about, the more prepared our families will be.



The "Who's Who" of Sex Trafficking

I was asked a question on Facebook a few weeks ago about an article from the Chicago Tribune's Mary Schmich. I posted on sex trafficking being a problem here in America and not just over seas. I contacted Mary on a number of occasions and she was not available to respond.

To bring you up to speed, we discussed an idea about tackling the demand side of sex trafficking. You shut down the demand for services provided by women and girls who are force into prostitution, and this would be the key to turning the whole industry around. Well today I want to start with who the traffickers are. The people who are responsible for connecting the prostitute with the john; the child actor or actress and the pedophile.

Traffickers consist of a lot of different roles, not just the pimps we hear about. The list includes:
Investors - who fund trafficking.

Recruiters – who find people to traffic; they are often members of the same community as the victims.

Transporters – who facilitate the departure and transnational movement of trafficked persons.

Corrupt public officials – who assist in obtaining unlawful travel document, or accept bribes to enable migrants to enter/exit illegally.

Informers – who investigate immigration and transit procedures, asylum systems, and border crossings.

Supporting Investors - who fund trafficking.

Personnel and Specialists – who provide other services such as accommodation.

Debt-collectors – who collects fees. Money movers – who launders the proceeds of trafficking

Surprised? Well this is just the tip of the ice berg. Who the johns are and who the victims are may surprise you too. And on a positive note, I'm also going to cover who is standing up and making a difference in the sex trade.

To be continued ...

Its My Life, LIVE WITH IT Presents: Ljiljana Raicevic, Women's Safe House, Montenegro

Ljiljana Raicevic, told Amnesty International in 2006 that human trafficking was a global problem. If you find yourself in Montenegro anytime soon be sure to check in with Ljiljana at the Women's Safe House.

Ljiljana is a rare breed. Before recieving the Ginetta Sagan Award by Amnesty International USA in 2006, she was one of the first human rights defenders in her country.

Since going nose to nose with a corrupt government to raise tough human trafficking issues and fight women's human rights wasn't enough, in 1999, she founded the first shelter for women in Montenegro. It serves as THE focal point of service delivery and advocacy work for women who are victims of family violence and human trafficking. The Women's Safe House has housed dozens of women who were tricked into prostitution since then.

She saw a need for better protection programs for female victims early on and along with the Women's Safe House, Ljiljana successfully lobbied for the adoption of the Witness Protection Law by the Montenegrin Parliament. Take her serious.

In a place where victims have no hope of escape from their traffickers but the shelter, she stands out in a crowd of 'Bottom-line' organization heads that always have a way out if things get too stressful. Ljiljana is truely a much needed hero to the women in her country.

When asked, "what can I do to help?". Ljiljana replied:

"Be active and join to some organization active in this field, maybe a (women) NGO which assist victims. Corragio!"

So, don't live through Ljiljana, like with her as she tackles sex trafficking on the front lines.

Find more stories involving Ljiljana Raicevic.