The United States has been ranked for the first time among the 10 nations deemed to be the most dangerous for women by experts in the field. A survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation of about 550 experts in women’s issues around the globe labeled the U.S. the 10th most dangerous nation in terms of the risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex.

The foundation said the U.S. placement on the dubious list was down largely to the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns increasing awareness of sexual violence and intimidation of women in the U.S. in the wake of the criminal allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

“People want to think income means you’re protected from misogyny, and sadly that’s not the case,” Cindy Southworth, of the Washington-based National Network to End Domestic Violence, told the foundation. “We are going to look back and see this as a very powerful tipping point… We’re blowing the lid off and saying ‘#Metoo and Time’s Up’.”

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape charges

According to the survey, which was last carried out in 2011 and did not then rank the U.S. among the top 10 most dangerous nations, India is the most perilous country for women right now.

The survey noted that Indian government data shows reported crimes against women were up 83 percent between 2007 and 2016. During that year, there were an average of four rapes reported every hour in India.

India has seen a series of horrific attacks on women in recent years, the most recent example being five female activists working to raise awareness of human trafficking who were gang-raped at gunpoint in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand just last week.

India’s women revolt against a culture of rape

Other Indian women and even young girls have brutally assaulted, a couple even set on fire, in recent attacks, which have drawn huge protests onto the streets in defense of women’s right to safety.

Most of the other countries in the top-10 determined by the foundation’s survey are countries with ongoing military conflicts or insurgencies, or where long-held religious and political views have kept women on an unequal footing in terms of law enforcement and treatment in society generally.

A child from Honduras watched a movie at a United States Border Patrol detention center in McAllen, Tex., in 2014.John Moore/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services placed more than a dozen immigrant children in the custody of human traffickers after it failed to conduct background checks of caregivers, according to a Senate report released on Thursday.

Examining how the federal agency processes minors who arrive at the border without a guardian, lawmakers said they found that it had not followed basic practices of child welfare agencies, like making home visits.

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year. At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms. The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.

“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”

In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking.

The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.

“Whatever your views on immigration policy, everyone can agree that the administration has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the migrant kids that have entered government custody until their immigration court date,” Mr. Portman said.

In the fall of 2013, thousands of unaccompanied children began showing up at the southern border. Most risked abuse by traffickers and detention by law enforcement to escape dire problems like gang violence and poverty in Central America.

As detention centers struggled to keep up with the influx, the Department of Health and Human Services began placing children in the custody of sponsors who could help them while their immigration cases were reviewed. Many children who did not have relatives in the United States were placed in a system resembling foster care.

But officials at times did not examine whether an adult who claimed to be a relative actually was, relying on the word of parents, who, in some cases, went along with the traffickers to pay off smuggling debts.

Responding to the report, the Department of Health and Human Services said it had taken measures to strengthen its system, collecting information to subject potential sponsors and additional caregivers in a household to criminal background checks.

Mark Greenberg, the agency’s acting assistant secretary of the Administration for Children and Families, said it had bolstered other screening procedures and increased resources for minors.

“We are mindful of our responsibilities to these children and are continually looking for ways to strengthen our safeguards,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal

The legitimate platforms say they already prevent prostitution through a variety of measures. But online sexual advances are hard to police, because those peddling sex often use code words or images.

Read the full story

This Summer An Underage Girl Went Missing in San Mateo County.

We Found Her.

She was in high school when a man lured her away.

He told her she was pretty, he loved her, he would buy her nice things…..

Girls who go missing are, more often than not, kidnapped for commercial sexual exploitation.

Special Operations works closely with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, who immediately began looking for her online. Working with investigators and criminal intelligence providers, they used facial recognition software to compare a photo of her with photos of girls being sold for sex on Backpage.com.

The team was able to determine with 93% certainty that the original photo was the same girl being sold for sex on Backpage.The phone number associated with the Backpage ads led to 4 individuals who may have been associated with her sexual exploitation. At least one of the men is considered violent with a criminal history of homicide. By tracking the geographical location of these ads, the team discovered that within one month, she had been sold for sex in the North Bay, San Francisco, Palm Springs and Orange County.

Based on the information from this investigation, law enforcement authorities in Orange County set up a sting operation. The sting operation resulted in the human trafficking arrest of 2 men from the East Bay on August 9, 2017. They are being held without bail in Orange County Jail on human trafficking charges.

This operation involved 14 people and cost approximately $22,000.

Sex trafficking of children in the Bay Area is a problem money can solve.

He Made Money Selling Young Women For Sex.

We Hope He Comes Up With A Better Business Plan In Jail.

Special Operations works very closely with The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office on sex trafficking. So, when a tip came in that a man was selling young women for sex out of a house in San Bruno, the Sheriff’s Office took immediate action.

Investigations and surveillance tactics, including traffic stops, led law enforcement to the conclusion that females were being advertised on Backpage.com and sold for sex inside the house. The team gathered enough evidence to obtain a search warrant of the home.

They then sent in an undercover officer who was solicited for sex. The man was arrested and 4 young women were saved. Further investigation revealed that this criminal also sold young women for sex out of other houses in the area – one of which was directly across the street from Serra High School.

Proactively targeting and arresting him may have prevented young high school girls from being kidnapped, raped and sexually exploited.

President Trump signed a bill Wednesday that gives federal and state prosecutors greater power to pursue websites that host sex-trafficking ads and enables victims and state attorneys general to file civil lawsuits against those sites.

Addressing the victims and family members in attendance, the president said, “I’m signing this bill in your honor. … You have endured what no person on Earth should ever have to endure.” Trump added, “This is a great piece of legislation, and it’s really going to make a difference.”

Standing next to Trump as he signed the legislation was Yvonne Ambrose of Chicago, whose 16-year-old daughter, Desiree Robinson, was slain after being prostituted on Backpage in 2016. “It means so much to our family,” Ambrose said of the bill. “Hopefully, there won’t be many more people who have to endure that pain.”

Read More

 

 

 

 

Classifieds website Backpage.com has been seized and shut down by the FBI.

The FBI confirmed Friday that agents also raided the Sedona home of Michael Lacey, the founder of Backpage.com.

Backpage.com has been under investigation for years for claims that the site facilitates sex trafficking on their adult ads page.

Read more