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ECPAT-USA Lawyers Group!

"Please forward this e-mail to lawyers, law students, and anyone familiar with legal research (or anyone you think would be willing/interested in doing research or writing and volunteering on this committee) and ask them to join the new Lawyer's Committee of ECPAT-USA and offer their legal research and writing services on a strictly pro bono/volunteer basis.Here is the group's new page to join:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ecpatusalawyers/

ECPAT is an international organization that is fighting to end Child Prostitution, Child Trafficking and Child Pornography. As an attorney who is passionate about human rights and international law, children's rights (especially) are dear to my heart and I am taking a stand as an attorney to help end the victimization of children. I will be chairing this brand new Lawyer's Committee for ECPAT-USA and also wish to create a Lawyer's Committee for Amnesty International as well and get lawyers involved in other AI initiatives. For those unfamiliar with the issue at hand, children are being illegally trafficked in to the United States from all over the world and being victimized and exploited sexually. Some of these children are as young as 4 or 5 years of age. Some are older, 12-17 and are being arrested and jailed as ' prostitutes' without being cared for as victims or as children. The crimes against these children are much more horrific and terrible than you can imagine and it is continuing to happen on a daily basis. If you care about human rights, children's rights, and saving the lives of children who are being victimized here in the U.S., then please join this new committee. Please spread the word and help us to do the legal work necessary to put laws in place that will help prevent child sexploitation from taking place and help the victims of this horrible practice now. The Lawyer's Committee of ECPAT-USA will be hosting meetings in New York, but this will be a national group and I am asking for volunteers all over the U.S. to join and support our efforts. We will need members from every state to research their states' laws and how their state handles child prostitution. --" Please contact Nishi at nishirajan@hotmail.com or Max Mayer at corcorax@yahoo.com if you have any questions regarding this group.

Comments

Maria Jett's picture

What an Exciting Group!

I'm thrilled to see rights and law being represented here on PulseWire. I myself have so many questions about international law and human trafficking... and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I invite you to share your call for volunteers on our resource exchange board. Here's the link to the form for posting your needs: http://beta.pulsewire.net/exchange/submit

In the interest of kick-starting PulseWire's groups feature, I also invite you to start a PulseWire group on law. The form for creating a PulseWire group is located here: http://beta.pulsewire.net/groups/create

Thanks for your passion and participation. We couldn't do this without you!

In partnership,

Maria Jett, Online Community Director

Ramya Ramanathan's picture

Hello!

Dear Elizabeth,

It's lovely to see you on PulseWire. Welcome! It would be great if you could keep our PulseWire community updated about your work -- perhaps also post on the human trafficking group.

If you think there are any folks in ECPAT USA do let me know and I can connect with them and send them an invite as well.

I would also suggest that you could post your need for volunteers under our Resource Exchange section.

Great to connect!
Best,
Ramya

Elizabeth's picture

Thank you!

I realize that the request for volunteers looks like my personal request. Hopefully the edit will fix that. I do attempt legal research with regard to human trafficking quite frequently and would be happy to post according to your suggestions. I will do that soon. The volunteer request was made by Nishi and Max. They are the group directors. You can simply click on the link and join the group if you would like. They also provide contact information so that you can get in touch with them directly. I will Definitely relay the information about this group and all suggestions made herein. I am excited to communicate with everyone. Thank you for kind word.

Jensine's picture

Welcome Elizabeth

A great honor to have you here. I hope that your fire to make a difference to end human trafficking burns all the brighter as connections grow on PulseWire.

Don't hesitate to share your ideas for making the site more useful to you in advancing your vital work.

In partnership-

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

Elizabeth's picture

An Honor

Jensine! It's an honor for me to take part in this group. This network idea is amazing. Thanks for having me.

Elizabeth's picture

ECPAT Group Update

Here is the latest to be done in the ECPAT Yahoo Group. Well written! A group member named Laura Lee desigend this presentation for her office:

Thank you everyone who gave me input on this. After doing some more
research on my company's travel policy and information on how other
companies may be trying to combat trafficking, I decided
that the goals I wanted to achieve in my meeting with the General
Counsel for the company I work for was to:

1) Raise awareness by advocating that the company post
information on human trafficking on its intranet site for travel
guidelines.

2) Promote a policy that in the future, the company only use travel
vendors (travel agent, hotels, and airlines, etc) that have
implemented policies against human trafficking.

3) Learn more about the company's code of conduct regarding
illicit/undesirable behavior.

The meeting went well, the GC was very receptive to my ideas. We are
hoping to get someone in the Corporate Social Responsibility group
of the company involved and follow up on these ideas. However, he
did warn me it could take a long time before we achieved results (as
it is a large company and there are many people that need to be
involved in the process). I will keep you posted if I make any
progress on this, but I wanted to share with you some resources that
I provided to my GC.

Possible language for awareness brochure to be posted on travel
intranet, from:

http://www.endhumantraffickingnow.com/public/structure/2.html

THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking is a complex phenomenon and may be seen from
different perspectives, such as human rights, migration, security
and law-enforcement, social and labour, as well as economic. From
the economic perspective, human trafficking is governed by the laws
of supply and demand. Due to the low costs and huge profits it has
become one of the most profitable illicit industries worldwide
generating tremendous profits, of over an estimated US$ 31 billion
per year.

Human trafficking deeply affects economic relations. As an
illegitimate form of business, it negatively impacts the functioning
of the legitimate business sector and puts the development of sound
economic systems into danger. It is a ground where corruptive
practices and money laundering proliferate.

The business community is a critical partner in helping eliminate
human trafficking. In fact, there is a lot at stake for legitimate
business if human trafficking continues to flourish. Most anti-
trafficking initiatives have been undertaken by governments and non-
governmental organisations, but very few programmes have engaged the
business sector and harnessed their global reach and connections so
far. Examples of programmes aimed at more responsible business
conduct upholding human rights include the Global Compact launched
by the United Nations Secretary General in 1999 and the public-
private partnership initiated by the Organization for the Security
and Co-operation in Europe.

The End Human Trafficking Now! Campaign is the first worldwide
initiative that places the business community in the forefront of
anti-trafficking efforts.

Every company has the potential to contribute to elimination of
human trafficking. There are many options of implementation of anti-
trafficking policies within a company. Companies can elaborate
specific self-regulatory measures, such as codes of conduct and pro-
active policies which are adapted to their activities. Some specific
initiatives may be undertaken by companies according to their sphere
of operation. For example, the hospitality industry could have the
capacity for developing high-profile campaigns against human
trafficking. Companies within this sector may provide information to
travellers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films,
ticket-slips etc. Travel operators may help to prevent human
trafficking by checking the identity of passengers and alerting
border officials of suspicious cases. The same would apply to job
placement agencies. Hotels and entertainment facilities should
exercise constant vigilance as the hidden exploitation of trafficked
persons may take place in such facilities. The banking sector can be
helpful in tracing the financial transactions of the traffickers.
And the media could be an important channel of awareness-raising.
Such examples are but a few illustrations of the potential of the
business sector in implementing anti-trafficking initiatives.

Cashing in on the multiplier effect will increase the effectiveness
of anti-trafficking measures. In today's global economy, the
combined effort of committed members of the business community can
serve to combat the problem internationally. Businesses can leverage
available resources and existing alliances and build on efforts that
promote awareness-raising among employees, partners, supporters and
other shareholders of the company. This in turn, can promote further
cooperation for the anti-trafficking efforts with partner
organizations and their staff and serve to have a multiplier effect.
Further, businesses can take a tough stance against trafficking by
signing on to the Athens Ethical Principles, thus making all they
come in contact with, aware of their zero tolerance approach to any
sort of human trafficking.

There are significant gains for the companies in joining the anti-
trafficking campaign. The experience of many corporations in the
past years suggest that the commitment to ethical business brings
significant gains to companies. Similarly, the commitment to an anti-
trafficking policy could ensure the safe operation of the company
and the irreproachable conduct of its personnel at all levels, thus
guaranteeing the highest distinction of its corporate image.
Moreover, it would build trust and develop good working relations,
especially contacts between multinationals and local communities. It
also creates within its staff a feeling of pride in being a part of
a company that adheres to principles and values that protect the
dignity of the human being. Importantly, a company's responsible
behaviour could also ultimately contribute to the maintenance of a
sound economic environment.

The Athens Ethical Principles contain seven main values. Their
implementation by business companies will contribute to the
eradication of human trafficking worldwide.

I PERSONALLY LIKE THIS BROCHURE BELOW:

http://www.businesstravellers.org/

How could trafficking effect business travellers like me?
Business travel and tourism are not responsible for trafficking for
sexual exploitation, but the presence of foreigners in large numbers
does create the opportunity for organised criminals to try to
capitalise on the influx of money that business travellers bring.
One way they do this is to traffic women and children for travellers
to use as prostitutes.

Men who travel abroad may consider buying sexual services from a
woman, man or child when they would never have considered it in
their own country. The fear of HIV/AIDS has lead to a search for
virgins for men to have sex with. This has caused a great increase
in the numbers of children being trafficked.

Business travellers are one of the targets that traffickers are
aiming at when they deceive or force young women and children in to
becoming sex slaves. Perhaps some men from the west may come from
countries where prostitution is legal and they might assume that
commercial sex workers they encounter are accorded the same
protection and rights that sex workers have in their home country.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

When you travel as a business person you may encounter women and
children who have been trafficked. There may be links between your
hotel and this criminal activity. It may be part of the culture of
doing business in the country you are visiting that men are offered
sexual services as part of business entertainment. It may be that
others you meet who are based longer term in the country you are
visiting are involved in trafficking, buy women or regularly visit
brothels known to hold trafficked women. Not only should you avoid
getting involved, but you should report any activity either to the
local authorities or, if that is difficult, to us via our web site
so we can take up the matter with the appropriate authorities.

What penalties are there for those who are involved with the victims
of trafficking?

The penalties for being involved with trafficking vary from country
to country, but they are becoming increasingly severe. Whether you
are liable to prosecution under your host country's laws or under
the laws of the country you live in, it is better not to get
involved with trafficking. Many countries now make it a crime to
seek sex with a minor abroad.

What can I do to be an influence for good in this situation?

When a person travels abroad on business they can fuel the problem
of trafficking, or they can become part of the force to end it. If
business travellers make it plain that they do not want to purchase
sexual services from people who might have been trafficked or do
business with those who promote it then they send a strong message
to the local economy.

Whether you are only visiting a country briefly for a conference or
are connected through a long-term contract, you can make a
difference.

If you join the campaign "Business Travellers against Human
Trafficking" you will be able to help in the following ways;

• Report what you see.
• You can report anything you see which may be related to
human trafficking by going to our "Contact" page. If you are in the
US and wish to report suspected incidents of child sex tourism
involving American citizens call the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement tipline at: 1-866-DHS-2ICE (press 1). If overseas, to
report suspected incidents of child sex tourism involving American
citizens, contact the regional security officer at the local
American embassy or consulate.
• Complain to hotels who allow their premises and their immediate
area to be used for child prostitution and trafficking.
• Members of Business Travellers Against Human Trafficking
agree, that if they see what they suspect is under age prostitution,
or young women or boys who may have been trafficked, either in the
hotel where they are staying or in the immediate vicinity of the
hotel with hotel guests, then they will inform the campaign via a
web site or by email.
• The campaign will then contact the appropriate authorities.
We will also contact that hotel and express the concerns of our
members.
The campaign would also ask an local Non Government Organisation
(NGO) to make further investigations into the situation in that
area.
• Asking hotels, and airlines to adopt the code of conduct endorsed
by the UN.
• The travel and tourism community has agreed a code of
conduct for hotels and airlines regarding the sex trafficking
problem.
• Members of this scheme would ask if the hotel where they are
staying is complying with this code - which includes supplying
information to their guests warning them against becoming involved
with minors or with women who might be trafficked.
• Members could also ask airlines that they often use to
display information against child sex tourism.
• The code of conduct can be found by going to www.thecode.org
• Support local projects which benefit children.
• There would be an opportunity for members to express the
desire to donate money towards projects which might be working for
the benefit of children local to the area of hotels where they have
stayed. The campaign would then supply details of such projects,
facilitate the donation and arrange for a possible visit if that was
desired.
• The project, on behalf of its members could approach hotels
and enquire whether their corporate citizenship department would
consider sponsoring a project which protected those vulnerable to
trafficking.

There are more slaves today than ever before, but do you know how to
spot them? Business Travellers against Human Trafficking are
offering free training sessions to inform you on how to identify and
report suspected incidences of slavery here and around the world.

Other resources:
http://www.thecode.org/index.php?page=4_4

Information on the ASTA website:
http://www.astanet.com/about/protectchildren. asp

THE FACTS ABOUT CHILD SEX TOURISM
For more information, please log on to the Web site of the State
Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in
Persons at www.state.gov/g/tip.

Thanks again, and if you guys have any other suggestions please let
me know.

Author: Laura Lee

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