Census: 1 in 7 Americans Lives in Poverty – Has America Become a Country of Slave Labor??

I am glad to see that someone wrote about this issue. I can tell you that working in an Anti Trafficking organization has allowed me to see how the trends in trafficking have changed. Since the economy tanked, we have seen a large increase in labor trafficking cases. As heinous as sex trafficking is, we need to stop ignoring labor trafficking. Most people feel as though labor trafficking victims do not suffer, labor trafficking victims aren’t really “victims”, labor trafficking isn’t sexy, and the list of excuses that Americans give as to not give a hoot about labor trafficking goes on and on. We as Americans need to start giving a hoot about labor trafficking because in reality it affects each and every one of us. First thing is first, we need to recognize that we, as consumers, are part of the demand for forced labor. We can be considered the “johns” of labor trafficking. As I have mentioned before, many of the products we purchase, such as our coffee, chocolate, our clothing,and our jewelery, was made or grown by slaves in the U.S and all over the world. We as consumers do not take the time to find out how and where this product came to be. If we as consumers researched this type of information, we would be shocked and more than likely would not even bother purchasing this product.
Now one major problem we are seeing here in Florida and the U.S is that most of the victims that are brought into the U.S and exploited in forced labor, were not smuggled into the Country through our borders. We have seen a dramatic increase in workers being brought into the U.S on a work visa. I am sure many of you are aware of the guest workers program that was implemented by the Bush Administration. What we have seen is that a very large portion of the guest workers end up becoming enslaved and exploited. The guest workers are working in restaurants, hotels, country clubs, assisted living facilities, hospitals, in construction and in our schools. The workers pay large amounts of money to come here and receive little to no pay. In the long run, the companies who brought the workers in are making large amounts of money by exploiting the workers. So how does this affect us, the Americans? What is happening is that many of these jobs are being filled by guest workers. The companies make a bigger profit because it is cheaper for them to hire help from outside the US than it is to hire an American. So if there are so many Americans unemployed and our poverty levels are at an all time high, than how can our government continue to allow guest workers to come into the US? Why is there so much outsourcing going on? If you took all of the thousands upon thousands of workers that are exploited every single year you would see that if those jobs had actually been given to an American, our unemployment rate would be low or quite possibly not exist. It is sad to see that so many Americans are jobless due to the fact that it is cheaper to bring in someone from a different country and exploit them. And believe me, the guest workers loses just as much or more as anyone here in the U.S.
 America, it is time to Wake up and realize that labor trafficking affects us more than sex trafficking does. We need to fight labor trafficking with the same passion as we do sex trafficking. We need to stand up to the corporations who would rather use the Guest worker program than hire an American who truly needs this job and say Enough is Enough. We cannot afford to continue focusing on one side of the issue of human trafficking. We can no longer allow labor trafficking to worsen because we have put all of our eggs in one basket and have only concentrated on sex trafficking. We need to attack the demand on both issues equally. Even though sex trafficking may pull at your heart-strings more, we cannot ignore this issue any longer. It is affecting too many of us on the home front.

Census: 1 in 7 Americans Lives in Poverty – Has America Become a Country of Slave Labor??
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer – 30 mins ago
WASHINGTON – The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.

The overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, the Census Bureau said Thursday in its annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. The report covers 2009, President Barack Obama’s first year in office.

The poverty rate increased from 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million people, in 2008.

The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent — or 50.7 million people — mostly because of the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession. Congress passed a health overhaul this year to address the rising numbers of uninsured people, but its main provisions will not take effect until 2014.

In a statement, President Barack Obama called 2009 a tough year for working families but said it could have been worse.

“Because of the Recovery Act and many other programs providing tax relief and income support to a majority of working families — and especially those most in need — millions of Americans were kept out of poverty last year,” Obama said.

The new figures come at a politically sensitive time, just weeks before the Nov. 2 congressional elections, when voters restive about high unemployment and the slow pace of economic improvement will decide whether to keep Democrats in power in the House and Senate or turn to Republicans.

The 14.3 percent poverty rate, which covers all ages, was the highest since 1994. It was lower than predicted by many demographers who were bracing for a record gain based on last year’s skyrocketing unemployment. Many had expected a range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 23.1 percent, according to rough calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas and Georgia. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 7.8 percent.

Analysts said the full blow of lost incomes was cushioned somewhat by increases in Social Security payments in 2009 as well as federal expansions of unemployment insurance, which rose substantially under the economic stimulus program. With the additional unemployment benefits, workers were eligible for extensions that gave them up to 99 weeks of payments after a layoff.

David Johnson, the chief of the Census Bureau’s household economics division, estimated that expanded unemployment benefits helped keep 3.3 million people out of poverty last year.

He said demographic changes, too, were a factor as many families “doubled up” in single homes and young adults ages 25 to 34 moved back in with their parents to save money in the economic downturn.

The 2009 poverty level was set at $21,954 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income, before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth, such as home ownership, as well as noncash aid such as food stamps.

An additional 7.8 million people would have been counted above the poverty line if food stamps and tax credits were included as income, Johnson said.

Last year saw the biggest single-year increase in Americans without health insurance, lifting the total number to the highest since the government began tracking the figures in 1987. The number of people covered by employment-based health plans declined from 176.3 million to 169.7 million, although those losses were partially offset by gains in government health insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said additional increases in the uninsured are probable in the short run.

In 2014, under the new health law, Medicaid will be expanded to pick up millions more low-income people, and the government will offer tax credits for many middle-income households to use to buy coverage through new online insurance markets in each state.

By 2019, the government has estimated that nearly 93 percent of the U.S. population will have health insurance, roughly a 10 percentage point increase from today’s level.

Other census findings:

_Among the working-age population, ages 18 to 64, poverty rose from 11.7 percent to 12.9 percent. That puts it at the highest since the 1960s, when the government launched a war on poverty that expanded the federal role in social welfare programs from education to health care.

_Poverty rose among all race and ethnic groups, but stood at higher levels for blacks and Hispanics. The number of Hispanics in poverty increased from 23.2 percent to 25.3 percent; for blacks it increased from 24.7 percent to 25.8 percent. The number of whites in poverty rose from 8.6 percent to 9.4 percent.

_Child poverty rose from 19 percent to 20.7 percent.

Online sex ads complicate crackdowns on teen trafficking

(CNN) — Behind every adult service ad on the internet is a story.

Sometimes it’s a story of a grown woman who has chosen prostitution as a path to a better life. More often, it’s a story of a woman being forced to sell her body by a pimp.

And then there are the children, and the mothers that miss them.

“They told me to look on Craigslist and it almost blew my mind,” the mother of one missing 12-year-old told CNN. “She was there with a wig on. She was there in a purple negligee.

“She’s a normal 12-year-old — Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, they’re her favorite,” the mother said. “She’s always screaming and hollering and singing. She’s a great young lady.”

The same day the woman spoke to CNN, her daughter was rescued by police at a seedy hotel near Washington where she was being sold for sex. And she’s not alone.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website contains thousands of posters of missing children. Many are girls, classified as “endangered runaways,” and the center says more than fifty of them have been pushed into the sex trade. But that’s just a snapshot, a tiny indicator of the true scale of the problem.

“Nobody knows what the real numbers are,” said Ernie Allen, the NCMEC’s chief executive. “I’m also confident that the internet has changed the dynamic of this whole problem. We’re finding an astounding number of kids being sold for sex on the internet.”

Allen said the best source of information on the number of underage girls being trafficked online are websites themselves. While online classified giant Craigslist shut down its “adult services” pages in early September, other sites like Backpage.com are filling the vacuum left behind, he said. And while there are clues in the way the ads are written, only a small fraction of them get referred to law enforcement or organizations like the NCMEC.

Backpage.com told CNN that it promptly responds to law enforcement inquiries, and says the site includes links to help users notify the NCMEC if they identify potential abuses.

Craigslist argues it has had a vigorous approach to vetting adult services ads. It says that in the 15 months before closing the adult services section altogether, it rejected 700,000 ads because they violated the website’s rules, including advertising prostitution and ads “indicative of an underage person.” Craigslist says ads are reported to NCMEC “when our manual reviewers see anything falling within NCMEC Cybertipline reporting guidelines.”

Video: Craigslist censors adult services But Allen said his organization, which is the nation’s primary reporting agency for missing kids, received just 132 referrals from Craigslist over that same 15-month period.

“The small number of reports makes it difficult to get a sense of the true scope of the problem,” Allen said. “We’ve seen lots of ads where there is obviously a young person in the ad. Now is she 18 or 17? Is she 22 or 12?”

Craigslist has done more than any other website with an adult services section to try to combat the problem of underage sex trafficking. It has cooperated with the FBI by providing evidence against pimps and required phone and credit card verification, so ads left a paper trail for the police to follow.

“Our frustration is that we’ve said to them if the person in the photo looks young, report it. If there’s language in the ad that suggests that there may be the use of young people for prostitution, report it,” Allen said. “It’s eliminated the graphic pornography in the ads, it’s eliminated blatant nudity. What it has not done is put a significant dent in the problem with child prostitution and child trafficking and that was the goal.”

The other problem facing NCMEC and police departments across America is that the internet has changed the business of prostitution. Craigslist’s decision to shut down adult services — which followed pressure from the attorneys general in nearly 20 states — will do little to alter that fundamental fact.

In Atlanta, Georgia, one of the country’s busiest prostitution markets due to its position as a highway and air travel hub, police and prosecutors witnessed the effect of the internet on the business of prostitution firsthand.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told CNN that eight years ago, law enforcement began a serious crackdown on the pimps that control most underage victims, until the pimps vanished.

“At that time, we saw a number of underage girls standing on street corners, and they were usually standing there because a pimp had placed them there,” Howard said. “After we started our crackdown, we began to notice that the numbers became fewer and fewer, and we were wondering, ‘What’s going on?’

“What we found is that there was a wholesale transformation from young girls standing on the streets to those same young girls being sold through Craigslist and other internet vendors,” Howard said. “That has put us in a terrible position, because much of the illegal sex activity now goes on almost undetected by the police. The numbers we believe remain the same, but what has happened is that they are now out of sight.”

A Georgia advocacy group called “A Future Not A Past” commissioned a research firm to survey men who admit to buying sex over the internet, and the results were staggering. Based on interviews with more than 200 men, the research study projected that 7,200 men a month were buying sex from adolescent girls in Georgia alone.

“It just took my breath away,” said Kaffie McCullough, the group’s director. “The buyers are able to go on computers in the privacy of their own house or home or apartment or hotel room, and just dial up and have the girl come to them. So you don’t have to have the more unsafe part of driving in neighborhoods that aren’t maybe your best neighborhoods.”

Allen, McCullough and others believe the best way to combat the problem of online underage sex trafficking isn’t through better screening tools, but through fear. As long as pimps and the men who buy girls for sex feel protected by the anonymity of the web, the trade will continue.

“Our goal in this from the beginning has been to dramatically increase the risk and eliminate the profitability because this is the treatment of children as commodities for sex sale, this is 21st-century slavery,” Allen said. “It would be progress if pressure on this end had the effect of moving this problem back onto the streets.”

That is a measure of how dangerous and widespread online trafficking of underage sex has become — that the group leading the campaign to protect children would prefer to see the problem back on the streets.

“It’s an outrageous thing to say, but one of our goals is to move these operators into some other illicit enterprise — to get them out of the trafficking of human beings and into some other illegal business,” Allen said.

House GOPers Say Return Child Sex Trafficking Cash

House GOPers Say Return Child Sex Trafficking Cash
by Emily Miller


House Republicans said that congressmen should return campaign donations from Craig Newmark, whose Craigslist derived money from prostitution and child sex trafficking.

“Witting or unwitting, if you are complicit with a gross evil—and this is a gross evil—and it enables modern day slavery in a very huge way,” Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) told HUMAN EVENTS. “You ought to just send it back and sever any ties whatever.”

Newmark has earned a lot of money off these ads, and has given over $84,000 to prominent Democrats. He had never donated to a Republican.

“I think it’s unwise to keep that money,” said Ted Poe (R-Tex.)

In the wake of Craigslist’s making $44 million this year from illegal sexual commerce, HUMAN EVENTS launched an investigation to determine which Democratic politicians and political organizations would return Newmark’s tainted donations. So far, only Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy’s has said she will be giving Newmark’s donation to a human trafficking focused charity.

When asked what President Obama and Speaker Pelosi should do with Newmark’s cash, Smith said that “they should send it back immediately.”

Poe praised Kilroy’s idea to give the Craigslist money to a charity fighting child trafficking.

“If we can take money from those who have inadvertently helped the people who trafficked,” Poe said. “We can take their money and use it for children, their resources and care. That’s a good use for that money.”

Smith, Poe and Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.) and Jackie Speier (D.-Calif.) testified before a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on domestic minor sex trafficking and the role of Craigslist in the illegal business.

HUMAN EVENTS asked the members of Congress who testified against child trafficking what they think politicians should do with the money from Newmark.

While the Republicans felt strongly that the Craigslist political donations should be returned, Speier refused to take a position on the political donations.
“That’s a decision every individual member will have to make,” Speier told HUMAN EVENTS when asked about what Democratic members of Congress should do with political donations from Craig Newmark.

Although Speier has called the company an “enabler for underage sex transactions,” she praises Craigslist’s benefit to online commerce. The company is based in her district in San Francisco. Speyer’s representative said he did not know if Newmark is a constituent.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate and current state Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal welcomed President Obama, a recipient of Newmark’s donation, to Connecticut for political fundraisers.

Blumenthal has been the national leader of law-enforcement pressure on Craigslist. On August 24, Blumenthal sent a letter on behalf of 17 other state attorneys general to Newmark, which said: “The increasingly sharp public criticism of craigslist’s Adult Services section reflects a growing recognition that ads for prostitution—including ads trafficking children—are rampant on it.”

Craigslist’s projected revenue of $122 million in 2010 grew an astounding 22% this year after doubling the Adult Services ad rates from $5 to $10 in May. The company will generate at least $44 million from its “thinly disguised advertising for prostitutes,” according to a report by the independent AIM Group consultants

Blumenthal—well aware that Craigslist earns 30% of its company revenue from these adult ads—wrote to Newmark that: “We recognize that craigslist may lose the considerable revenue generated by the Adult Services ads. No amount of money can justify the scourge of illegal prostitution, and the suffering of women and children who will continue to be victimized, in the market and trafficking provided by craigslist.”

So, although Blumenthal claimed last week a victory for Craigslist shutting its sex ads, he seemed to disregard the fact that Obama is keeping political donations from Newmark.

Obama spoke at a fundraiser for Blumenthal Thursday evening. The event cost $1,000 per person to attend at a Marriott in Stamford, Conn. Meanwhile, Obama has $9,600 of Newmark’s tainted money in his campaign coffers (five donations to his presidential campaign totaling $4,600 and $5,000 to his Hope Fund PAC). Obama has refused to return the dirty money. Blumenthal’s campaign did not return calls for comment.

Afterwards, Obama attended a $30,000 per-ticket dinner at a private estate in Stamford which raised money for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Again, Blumenthal blatantly disregarded that the Democratic Party is the largest recipient of Newmark’s cash. The DNC has accepted four donations totaling $30,500 from the Craigslist founder. The DNC has refused to return the money or give it to charity.

In addition to giving money to Obama and the DNC, the Craigslist founder gave to:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) – $500
Democratic National Campaign Committee (DCCC) – $11,500
Sen. Al Franken (D- Minn.) – $3,000
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D- Calif.) – $2,000
Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) – $1,000
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) – $500
Rep. George Miller (D- Calif.) – $1,000
Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) – $500
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D- Calif.) – $1,000
Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) – $500
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D- Pa.) – $500
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) – $500

Child trafficking advocates and members of Congress at the hearing called on Craigslist to permanently take down its profitable Adult Services section. A Craigslist official, William “Clint” Powell, finally announced that the site was being removed permanently from the U.S. site, but the ads for sex with young girls are still up on Craigslist international sites.

Muse highlight human trafficking

Muse highlight human trafficking
(UKPA) – 3 hours ago

Muse have used the video of their latest single, MK Ultra, to raise awareness of human trafficking.

The British rockers – frontman Matthew Bellamy, drummer Dominic Howard and bassist Christopher Wolstenholme – have joined forces with MTV Exit (End Exploitation and Trafficking) to tackle the harrowing subject, following in the footsteps of Radiohead and The Killers.

“We feel honoured to be a part of this important movement to end modern day slavery – it is unacceptable that people are deprived of the most fundamental right to be free,” the band said.