Category: Rape


Man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girl, holding her for 10 years

Santa Ana police arrested a Bell Gardens man on suspicion of kidnapping and rape after he allegedly abducted a 15-year-old girl a decade ago and held her hostage, forcing her to marry him and have his child.

Isidro Garcia was arrested Tuesday after his alleged victim reached out to her sister on Facebook and revealed how she been held hostage in a relationship with the 41-year-old man and had given birth to his child during the decade she vanished.

Santa Ana police say the girl’s mother reported her missing in August 2004. The mother told police her daughter went missing, along with her live-in boyfriend, Garcia, after a domestic violence incident.

Detectives say the mother suspected Garcia was sexually abusing her daughter.

The victim, now 25, revealed to authorities Tuesday how she was abducted in June 2004, when she was living with her mother and sisters in Santa Ana.

 

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The  Vatican  – View from Castel Sant’Angelo

By  :  Jorge Valenzuela A

wikimedia.org

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Vatican tries to draw line under clerical sex abuse scandals at UN hearing

The Vatican has been given another hostile interrogation by a United Nations committee over its record on clerical sex abuse.

One member after another of the committee against torture brushed aside the Holy See’s argument that its obligation to enforce the UN convention against torture stopped at the boundaries of the world’s smallest country, the Vatican City state. They demanded the pope’s representative give answers to a long list of questions about the treatment of sex abuse claims against clergy throughout the world.

The Holy See, which long predates the city state, is a sovereign entity without territory. It is as the Holy See that the Catholic leadership maintains diplomatic relations and signs treaties such as the convention against torture.

But Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s UN ambassador in Geneva, told the committee: “The Holy See intends to focus exclusively on Vatican City state.”

The American expert on the committee, Felice Gaer, made plain her disagreement. She said the Holy See had to “show us that, as a party to the convention, you have a system in place to prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment when it is acquiesced to by anyone under the effective control of the officials of the Holy See and the institutions that operate in the Vatican City state”.

 

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Vatican faces tough questions at UN torture committee

Vatican to answer questions on past, present and future handling of clerical sex abuse

 Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, (R), Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See  to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Vincenzo Buonomo, (L), of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See   prior to the UN torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  in the Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph:  Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPAArchbishop Silvano Tomasi, (R), Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, and Vincenzo Buonomo, (L), of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See prior to the UN torture committee hearing on the Vatican, at the headquarters of the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

Tue, May 6, 2014, 01:00

As expected, a Holy See delegation faced tough questioning at the UN’s Committee Against Torture in Geneva yesterday. For the second time in three months, the Vatican was appearing before a UN body to answer questions about its ratification of a UN treaty, especially with regard to is past, present and future handling of clerical sex abuse.

In his opening address to the committee, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative at the UN in Geneva, argued that while the Holy See lent “its moral support and collaboration . . . to the elimination of torture”, it had signed the torture convention in 2002 “on behalf of the Vatican city state”.

No jurisdiction
Archbishop Tomasi said he intended to “focus exclusively on the Vatican city state”, the 100 -acre statelet that surrounds the Basilica of St Peter’s.

In that sense, he claimed, the Holy See had “no jurisdiction over every member of the Catholic Church”. Rather, he said, persons who “live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law [of that country]”.

Inevitably, that assertion prompted a critical reaction from the UN committee, with US human rights activist Felice Gaer accusing Archbishop Tomasi of making an “alleged distinction” between the Holy See and the Vatican city state.

She questioned the Holy See’s apparent assumption that the torture convention applied only to the “four corners of Vatican City”, saying that as far as she could see, Vatican City was simply a “sub-division” of the Holy See.

 

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German minister resigns in blow to new Merkel government

BERLIN Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:52pm GMT

Germany's Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich announces his resignation in Berlin February 14, 2014. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Germany’s Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich announces his resignation in Berlin February 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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(Reuters) – A senior German minister resigned on Friday amid accusations he leaked confidential information about a fellow lawmaker suspected of possessing child pornography, dealing a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel and her two-month old government.

The resignation of Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, the latest in a series of cabinet departures under Merkel, could aggravate tensions in Berlin’s new “grand coalition” at a time when it is trying to push through complex reforms of pensions and renewable energy.

“The pressure on me has grown so much in the last couple of hours that I no longer think I can do the job in the agriculture ministry with the required concentration, calm and political support,” Friedrich told a hastily-called news conference.

Merkel said she had accepted Friedrich’s resignation “with great respect and great regret”, adding that it was too early to discuss who would succeed him.

The resignation follows questions about whether Friedrich, a member of Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, inappropriately passed on confidential information about a looming investigation into a prominent Social Democrat (SPD) lawmaker to the leader of the

SPD.

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UPDATE 4-German minister resigns in blow to new Merkel government

Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:46pm EST

* Merkel cabinet minister gave SPD advance warning of probe

* SPD lawmaker Edathy has denied child porn allegations

* Departure could aggravate tensions in coalition (Adds comments from Gabriel)

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN, Feb 14 (Reuters) – A senior German minister resigned on Friday amid accusations he leaked confidential information about a fellow lawmaker suspected of possessing child pornography, dealing a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel and her two-month old government.

The resignation of Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, the latest in a series of cabinet departures under Merkel, could aggravate tensions in Berlin’s new “grand coalition” at a time when it is trying to push through complex reforms of pensions and renewable energy.

“The pressure on me has grown so much in the last couple of hours that I no longer think I can do the job in the agriculture ministry with the required concentration, calm and political support,” Friedrich told a hastily-called news conference.

Merkel said she had accepted Friedrich’s resignation “with great respect and great regret”, adding that it was too early to discuss who would succeed him.

The resignation follows questions about whether Friedrich, a member of Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, inappropriately passed on confidential information about a looming investigation into a prominent Social Democrat (SPD) lawmaker to the leader of the SPD.

Friedrich was interior minister in the previous centre-right government at the time.

It emerged this week that the SPD lawmaker, Sebastian Edathy, is being investigated by prosecutors, who suspect him of possessing child pornography, an accusation Edathy has vigorously denied.

The 44-year-old Edathy, well known in Germany for leading a 2012-13 inquiry into neo-Nazi killings, resigned from parliament last week, citing health reasons, and has threatened to sue the newspaper that first reported about the child porn suspicions earlier this week.

WHO TIPPED OFF EDATHY?

What started as a small domestic affair erupted into a major political scandal on Thursday when it emerged that Friedrich had informed SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel in October that Edathy could become the target of an investigation.

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Child-porn scandal unleashes tensions in Merkel coalition

Child-porn scandal unleashes tensions in Merkel coalition

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing mounting tensions in her two-month-old coalition, with members of the government trading accusations Sunday over their role in a scandal sparked by child-porn allegations involving a parliamentarian.

Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich resigned Friday following revelations that as interior minister in Merkel’s last government, he leaked confidential police information about a child-porn probe concerning a Social Democratic (SPD) member of parliament.

Friedrich’s party, the conservative Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU), stepped up pressure on the SPD Sunday, claiming the SPD’s public revelation of Friedrich’s actions represented a breach of the trust needed between coalition partners.

The CSU is the associate party of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Friedrich confidentially told SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel about the child-porn inquiry last October, just as Merkel was negotiating to form a coalition with the SPD.

The SPD leadership is now under pressure to prove in public that it maintained secrecy around the tip-off that the lawmaker, Sebastian Edathy, was under suspicion of purchasing child pornography.

In a newspaper interview, SPD parliamentary faction leader Thomas Oppermann defended his decision to contact the head of Germany’s BKA federal police to check out the information provided by Friedrich.

Oppermann told the weekly Bild am Sonntag that it was part of his job to look after a parliamentarian facing “difficulties.” He said his purpose in phoning BKA chief Joerg Ziercke at the time was to assess the significance of the claims against Edathy.

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MSN 

Kids forced into prostitution for Super Bowl: FBI

U.S. Army helicopters fly over Metlife Stadium ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos on February 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The FBI rescued sixteen juveniles ranging in age from 13 to 17 in a two-week operation leading up to the NFL’s Super Bowl championship.

NEW YORK — Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said on Tuesday.

The bureau said some of those arrested claimed they traveled to the site because of the high-profile football game, which drew an estimated 400,000 visitors to the region. The minors rescued ranged in age from 13 to 17 and included high school students and children reported missing by their families, the FBI said.

Arrests were made and victims recovered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff.

The FBI, backed by state and local law enforcement agencies, had mounted a major crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution ahead of the February 2 championship game, with some 3,000 law enforcement agents and civilians trained to help spot people who might be the victims of human trafficking.

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45 arrested, 16 juveniles rescued in Super Bowl prostitution bust

NYC police bust major sex ring near Super Bowl Boulevard.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said on Tuesday.

The bureau said some of those arrested claimed they traveled to the site because of the high-profile football game, which drew an estimated 400,000 visitors to the region. The minors rescued ranged in age from 13 to 17 and included high school students and children reported missing by their families, the FBI said.

Arrests were made and victims recovered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff.

The FBI, backed by state and local law enforcement agencies, had mounted a major crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution ahead of the February 2 championship game, with some 3,000 law enforcement agents and civilians trained to help spot people who might be the victims of human trafficking.

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yazakchattiest yazakchattiest

Published on Jan 28, 2014

Larry Brinkin, who worked at the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Francisco for 22 years and was a prominent homosexual rights activist for more than 40 years, pleaded guilty to felony child pornography possession last week.

Brinkin is expected to serve six months in jail, five years of probation, and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life when he is sentenced on Mar. 5. But he likely will get to keep his city pension because possessing and viewing child porn apparently is not considered a crime of “moral turpitude” under San Francisco’s retirement/pension rules.

According to police, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly, Brinkin had photographic images of children between the ages of 1 and 3 who were being sodomized and forced to perform oral sex on adult men.

Also, in e-mails attributed to Brinkin using the account “Zack3737@aol.com,” he praised interracial adult-child sex saying, in one message, “I loved especially the [N-word] 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White D— Rules!”

Brinkin, who is “married” to partner Wood Massi and has a son with two mothers, retired from the city’s Human Rights Commission in 2010, when he was 64 years old. At the time and with the support of city official Bevan Dufty, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in honor of Brinkin’s work over the years to combat discrimination, passed a resolution declaring the first seven days of February 2010 “Larry Brinkin Week.”

While on the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin had worked as a compliance officer, responsible for helping to ensure non-discrimination against employees. He had been instrumental, back in 1982, in implementing San Francisco’s Equal Benefits Ordinance, which required employers to provide equal coverage for “domestic partners.” Further, Brinkin has been a long-time advocate for gay “marriage.”

The archived pages of SF Pride say of Brinkin, “Larry Brinkin has been an activist in San Francisco for over 35 years, co-founding Bay Area Gay Liberation, the Lesbian/Gay Labor Alliance, and the Gay & Lesbian Alternative Dispute Resolution Service. He was a pioneer in the struggle for domestic partner benefits and currently is the manager of the LGBT&HIV Division of the SF Human Rights Commission. He played a major role in recent years in the struggle for transgender rights.”

Brinkin was first arrested in the child pornography investigation in June 2012. According to the news reports, in early 2012 America Online (AOL) had contacted authorities after discovering e-mails and child pornographic images in one of the company’s subscriber accounts.

The Los Angeles Police Department, then put in charge of the case, traced the IP address of the e-mail account Zack3737@aol.com to Larry Brinkin. Police then confirmed that Brinkin had paid for the e-mail service with his credit card.

Read more at:
CNS News: San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/micha…
San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. gay rights advocate arrested over child porn
http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/S…
SF Weekly: Larry Brinkin, S.F. Gay Rights Icon, Arrested on Child Porn Charges
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2…

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Larry Brinkin, San Francisco gay rights icon, arrested on child porn charges: police

Gay rights icon Larry Brinkin, 66, has been arrested on charges of child pornography, according to San Francisco police, for allegedly exchanging emails that contained images of children as young as a year old.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 1:11 PM
Larry Brinkin, 66, a San Francisco gay rights icon, was charged on possession of child pornography Friday night.

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Larry Brinkin, 66, a San Francisco gay rights icon, was charged on possession of child pornography Friday night.

Gay rights icon Larry Brinkin has been arrested on charges of child pornography, according to San Francisco police.

Brinkin, 66, best known for fighting for equal rights on behalf of the LGBT community, was booked into San Francisco County Jail on Friday night. He posted bail and was released Saturday, SF Weekly reports.

The San Francisco Police Department seized computers, videos, VHS tapes and a floppy disc from Brinkin and his husband’s home, according to a search warrant obtained by SF Weekly.

Police say Brinkin had exchanged emails that contained pornographic photographs involving children as young as 1-year-old being sodomized or performing oral sex on adult men, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The emails also contain graphic sexual and racist commentary, including, “I loved especially the n—er 2 year old getting nailed,” as well as a rant about white supremacy.

The disturbing messages were traced to Brinkin’s IP address, and his name and credit card information are registered with the AOL account, identified as zack3737@aol.com, according to police.

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Former SF city employee pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

larry brinkin
KTVU.com Staff
larry brinkin

KTVU and Wires

SAN FRANCISCO —

A former San Francisco Human Rights Commission employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony possession of child pornography.

Larry Brinkin, 67, agreed this morning to a plea deal with San Francisco prosecutors, who dropped a second charge of distributing child pornography.

Under the terms of the agreement, Brinkin will serve six months in county jail, six months of home detention and four years’ probation.

He remains out of custody after posting $240,000 bail and will return to court for sentencing on March 5.

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Maldives President Rejects Law Banning Husbands from Raping Divorced Wives to Infect them with AIDS as “UnIslamic”

marital rape

“Run, run for it now.”

I’m not sure if Islamic law is the worst thing ever… but it’s probably the worst thing ever for women.

I keep hearing that Mohammed was the original feminist and that Islamic law protects women. Also the State Department praised the moderate Muslim president of moderate Muslim Maldives for being elected through democratic values.

Nothing says democratic values like rape, Islamic law and being the brother of a tyrant.

The US has congratulated Abdulla Yameen on him being elected as the new President of the Maldives, and called the association between the two countries as “a long history of cordial relations”.

“The extraordinarily high turnout on November 16th was a tribute to the Maldivian people’s commitment to the democratic process and democratic values,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday.

Yameen is the half-brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

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Maldivian president rejects ‘un-Islamic’ ban on some forms of marital rape

By: News Desk

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, center, was sworn into the presidency on Nov. 17, 2013. Photo by Maldivian government (press release).

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen refused to sign a bill Thursday that criminalizes some forms of marital rape, Religion News Service reported. Though the bill passed parliament with 67-2 vote, Yameen rejected the legislation, which limits a husband’s right to demand sex from his wife, because it was “un-Islamic.

The bill did not criminalize all marital rape, but banned it under the following circumstances:

  • if a case for dissolution of a marriage is in court
  • while a divorce, filed by the husband or wife, is pending a court hearing
  • if the intent of intercourse is to transmit a sexually transmitted disease
  • if the couple agrees to a mutual separation

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Alfred Lambremont Webre

Published on Jan 15, 2014

Kevin Annett: Former Argentine official to testify against Pope Bergoglio’s child trafficking under Junta in Argentina

http://exopolitics.blogs.com/breaking…

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Houston Chronicle

Vatican facing UN showdown on sex abuse record

By NICOLE WINFIELD and JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press | January 15, 2014 | Updated: January 15, 2014 3:21pm
Photo By Gregorio Borgia/AP
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FILE – In this Feb. 8, 2012 file photo Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Holy See’s chief sex crimes prosecutor, meets journalists in Rome. The Holy See on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which among other things calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else. The Vatican will be represented by its most authoritative official on the issue, Scicluna.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims.

The Holy See on Thursday will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among other things, the treaty calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else.

The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly a decade, and only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.

Victims groups and human rights organizations teamed up to press the U.N. committee to challenge the Holy See on its abuse record, providing written testimony from victims and evidence outlining the global scale of the problem. Their reports cite case studies in Mexico and Britain, grand jury investigations in the U.S., and government fact-finding inquiries from Canada to Ireland to Australia that detail how the Vatican’s policies, its culture of secrecy and fear of scandal contributed to the problem.

Their submissions reference Vatican documents that show its officials knew about a notorious Mexican molester decades before taking action. They cite correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop’s decision to protect his abusive priest, and another Vatican directive to Irish bishops to strike any mandatory reporting of abusers to police from their policies. The submissions even quote the former Vatican No. 2 as saying bishops shouldn’t be expected to turn their priests in.

“For too many years, survivors were the only ones speaking out about this and bearing the brunt of a lot of criticism,” said Pam Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which provided a key report to the committee. “And so this is a very important moment for many, many people who are here in Geneva and around the world who will be watching as the Holy See is called for the first time ever to actually answer questions.”

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Steubenville case: Four more charged, including superintendent, volunteer coach

Steubenville case   Four more charged   including superintendent  volunteer coach photo SteubenvillecaseFourmorechargedincludingsuperintendentvolunteercoach_zpsae159d6e.jpg
NBC News Video  00:07

“How do you hold kids accountable, if you don’t hold the adults accountable,” asks Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine during a press conference to discusses new developments in the special grand jury investigation into the Steubenville teen rape case.

The charges were announced Monday by the state’s top prosecutor, who decried “blurred, stretched and distorted boundaries of right and wrong” by students and grown-ups alike.

“How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine asked.

Superintendent Michael McVey, 50, was charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice in the aftermath of the incident at the center of the case: the sexual assault of a drunken 16-year-old girl by two high school football players after a booze-fueled party in August 2012.

An assistant coach, Matthew Belardine, 26, was charged with allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business and making a false statement.

Two school employees, strength coach Seth Fluharty, 26, and elementary-school principal Lynnett Gorman, 40, were charged with failure to report child abuse.

The indictment did not contain details of what each person allegedly did.

“What you have is people who were not worried about a victim. They were worried about other things,” DeWine said.

“People made bad choices and the grand jury said there are repercussions.”

A small city of 19,000 about 40 miles from Pittsburgh, Steubenville and its high-school football team, Big Red, became the center of a firestorm last year after the rape allegations surfaced.

Though charges were brought against two players, activists questioned why more people weren’t charged — including other students who sent photos, videos of texts about the assault, or adults who may have known about it but didn’t report it.

After Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, were convicted of rape and sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison in March, a grand jury was convened to determine if anyone else broke any laws.

Jason Cohn / Reuters file

Harding Stadium, home of the Steubenville High Big Red football team.

It met 18 times and heard from 123 witnesses, ultimately issuing six indictments.

Last month, it charged William Rhinaman, 53, the Steubenville schools’ technology director, with tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. His 20-year-old daughter, Hannah, was charged with a theft unrelated to the rape case.

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freespeechtv freespeechtv·

Published on Oct 3, 2013

Ahead of next week’s 12th anniversary of what has become the longest war in U.S. history, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the United States is seeking to sign an accord to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the indefinite future. The United States plans to pull out the bulk of its 57,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but the Pentagon wants to retain a smaller force of around 10,000 forces after 2014.

 photo childsextrafficking_zpsefea036a.jpg

Desert Rose Creations / Family Survival Protocol   2013

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 Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are serious problems in the United States with long-term adverse consequences for children and society as a whole, and federal agencies should work with state and local partners to raise awareness of these issues and train professionals who work with youths to recognize and assist those who are victimized or at risk, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.Minors who are prostituted or sexually exploited in other ways should be treated as victims rather than arrested and prosecuted as criminals, as they currently are in most states, the report says.


“Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are often-overlooked forms of child abuse,” said Richard Krugman, co-chair of the committee that wrote the report, and vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.”Our national, state, and local laws and policies should recognize that and provide these children and adolescents with the support they need. Right now, they are often invisible to us, and when we do recognize them, we fail to see them as victims and survivors of abuse and violence.We hope our report will help open our nation’s eyes to a serious domestic problem in need of solutions.”

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors refer to a range of crimes, including recruiting or transporting minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploiting them through prostitution, or exploiting them through survival sex (exchanging sexual acts for something of value, such as shelter or food), among other offenses. Young victims and survivors of these crimes face both immediate and long-term social, legal, and health consequences. As directed by its charge, the committee focused its report on exploitation and trafficking of minors who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and its territories, but urged readers and policymakers to consider the broader implications of its recommendations as they apply to all children and adolescents.

Despite the gravity of the problem, there is no reliable estimate of the scope or prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, the report says; estimates of the number of prostituted children and adolescents in the U.S., for example, have ranged from 1,400 to 2.4 million. These crimes are overlooked and almost surely underreported because they frequently happen at the margins of society and behind closed doors, and the young people involved often do not recognize themselves as victims of abuse. Those especially vulnerable to exploitation include youths who have been neglected or abused; those in foster care or juvenile detention; lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual youth; racial and ethnic minorities; and homeless, runaways, and “thrown-away” children who have been asked or told to leave home.

Efforts to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the U.S. are largely absent, the report says, and though efforts to respond to these problems are emerging, they are generally insufficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated.Many professionals who interact with youth — such as teachers, health care providers, and child welfare and law enforcement professionals — are either unaware that trafficking and exploitation happen in their communities or lack the knowledge and tools to identify and respond to young people who are at risk.

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors should be understood as acts of abuse and violence, the report says.All states have statutory rape laws specifying that a child under a certain age cannot legally consent to having sex and must be treated as a victim of a crime.And federal law on sex trafficking recognizes children as victims.However, in most states, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors often are viewed through the lens of prostitution laws. As a result, laws allow prostituted minors to be arrested and charged with crimes instead of treating these sexually exploited minors as victims of crimes.These children and adolescents may be subject to arrest, detention, adjudication or conviction, and commitment or incarceration; they may have permanent records as offenders.

The report calls for all national, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to develop laws and policies that redirect young victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation under the age of 18 away from arrest and prosecution and toward systems, agencies, and services that are equipped to meet their needs.A small but growing number of states have enacted “safe harbor” laws designed to send young victims of exploitation to agencies that provide supportive services instead of sending them to the criminal or juvenile justice systems.

The U.S. departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education, working with other partners, should support national, regional, state, and local efforts to raise awareness of these crimes, the report says.These efforts should include training for professionals and others who routinely interact with minors. Health care and child welfare workers, the education sector, and the private sector have an important role to play in preventing, identifying, and responding to these problems.Efforts should also include campaigns to raise public awareness and specific strategies for raising awareness among children and adolescents. In addition, in the absence of an exhaustive list of resources for victim and support services, a digital information-sharing platform should be created to deliver reliable, real-time information on how to prevent, identify, and respond to the problem.

Despite the hard work of prosecutors and law enforcement in many jurisdictions, individuals who sexually exploit children and adolescents largely escape accountability, the report says. All jurisdictions should review and strengthen laws that hold exploiters, traffickers, and solicitors accountable for their role. These laws should include a particular emphasis on deterring demand, both through prevention efforts and penalties for those who solicit sex with minors.

In addition, the report recommends that the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education collaborate and partner with others to implement a national research agenda to advance understanding of this kind of exploitation and develop evidence-informed interventions to prevent youth from becoming victims and to assist those who have been exploited.

“It’s time to direct greater effort to preventing this kind of abuse, identifying young people who have become ensnared in it, and developing effective approaches that can enable them to reclaim their lives,” said committee co-chair Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law at Vanderbilt University.

The study was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice. Established under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council provide independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18358

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The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

 

This  Article Courtesy of  Science Daily

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