Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Smith also requests the creation of an international hotline for reporting.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Special Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly, has called for improvements in the way human trafficking is fought. During remarks he delivered in Kiev, Ukraine, Smith called for improved training especially for flight attendants, and an international hotline for reporting trafficking activity.

Human trafficking is one of the world's largest and most profitable industries.

Human trafficking is one of the world's largest and most profitable industries.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Rep. Chris Smith, human trafficking, flight attendants, hotline, international, slavery


KIEV, UKRAINE (Catholic Online) - United States Rep. Chris Smith, told the Organization for Security and Corporation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly that it was time to make improvements to how we fight human trafficking.

Specifically Smith called for the special training of flight attendants who are in a front-line position to recognize human traffickers and their victims, as well as for the creation of an international hotline where such crimes can be reported and immediately acted upon.

Human trafficking is a global problem of epic proportions. There are now more slaves in the world today than there has ever been at any time in world history. The most typical victims are women and children, people who are least able to help themselves.

Child victims of human trafficking can either be sold into slavery by their parents or are kidnapped. Older women are either kidnapped or lured into slavery, and adult males can also be lured or extorted.

In some parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia and Europe, human trafficking is extraordinarily common. Victims are transported by a variety of means, including on board international flights. Flight attendants are in a unique position to recognize pimps and their victims, and to report their presence to the authorities. An alert flight attendant can notify a pilot who can in turn notify authorities who may be able to save a victim from being trafficked.

Rep. Smith explained in his comments, detailed below, that although much has already been done, we can do more. The establishment of an international hotline combined with special training, is the next step toward putting an end to this horrific practice.

The comments of Rep. Smith are posted below.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, (R-N.J.)
Special Representative of the OSCE PA on Human Trafficking Issues
Co-Chairman of the United States Helsinki Commission
June 10, 2013
Kiev, Ukraine
 
In January of 2000, I received actionable information that eight Ukrainian women were being exploited by sex traffickers in two bars in Montenegro.  The women had been lured there with promises of legitimate work, then forced into prostitution.  One desperate victim, however, called her mother for help using the phone of one of the men exploiting her.
          
When informed, I immediately called the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, who personally ordered an immediate raid on the bar.  As a result, seven of the eight women were rescued and returned to their families in Ukraine.  Tragically, the eighth woman was trafficked to Albania prior to the raid.

Combating modern-day slavery is everybody's business.  We are all in this together.  Cooperation and coordination are key to mitigating-and someday ending-the cruelty of human trafficking. Best practices need to be shared and implemented to the widest extent possible.
 
 
I would like to especially thank Chair-in-Office Leonid Kozhara for convening this conference and for personally advocating highly effective, low cost strategies including training flight attendants and others to better recognize and report a potential trafficking situation as it is happening-on an airliner or bus or train or in a hotel.
 
Earlier today, Ukraine hosted its first flight crew anti-trafficking training.  Flight attendants, customs officials, airport police, airline representatives, and many others received training on how to spot both victim and perpetrator and what next steps need to be taken.
 
Situation awareness and the training to confidently know what to do and when will save thousands of victims' lives.  Flight attendants are in the unique position-especially on long flights-to observe a potential trafficking in progress and then call a trafficking hotline or inform the pilot to radio ahead so that the proper authorities intervene as they deplane.
 
Over time-and as the pimps and exploiters get caught and jailed-the added  positive consequence of trained flight attendants and others will  have a profound chilling effect on the traffickers' ability to move victims from one place to another.  The current-day risk to a trafficker of getting caught transporting a victim or victims is pathetically small.  And they know it.  You and I have the ability to change that.
 
In July of 2010, I chaired a conference in Washington, D.C., to bring together the relevant U.S. agencies, such as Customs and Border Patrol, various US airlines, and non-governmental organizations to focus on interdicting traffickers by training others to know the signs.  Speakers including Deborah Sigmund, founder of an NGO called Innocents at Risk, explained how flight attendants were the "first line of defense" in the fight against human trafficking.
 
Flight attendant Nancy Rivard, President of Airline Ambassadors International-a humanitarian NGO that provides humanitarian aid to children and families in need as well as relief and development to under-privileged communities worldwide-told us how she and other flight attendants compared notes one day and were shocked-and dismayed-how often they had noticed what they suspected was a trafficked woman or child on their flight but had no training or protocol to do something about it. Nancy has been doing a great deal about it ever since and has personally helped rescue trafficked women-and train others to do the same.
 
One of the earliest successes of the program was a call Nancy placed to the U.S.  Department of Homeland Security regarding a child she had seen on her flight from the Dominican Republic to Boston.  That tip led to the break-up of a trafficking ring that had transported 82 children to the United States.
 
 
Ms. Rivard will give a keynote address during the first session. Please listen to her.  And act.
 
Just this year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began coordinating with the airlines and is in the process of releasing the Blue Lightening program to domestic U.S. airlines.  DHS has developed a hotline, and training will soon be occurring across the United States.   I intend to host one this fall in an airport in my home state of New Jersey.
 
And with minimal modifications, the training is also easily adaptable to bus drivers and station operators, train conductors, trucking associations, and other transportation industry professionals. It also fits well with the emerging anti-trafficking commitment and training in the hospitality industry. Hotel chains including Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Accor, Carlson, Hotelplan Suisse, Wyndham, Sabre Holdings Corporation, Kuoni Travel, and many others have committed to training their employees.
 
The OSCE annex to the Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings will soon be updated.   I hope you'll agree that this "best practice" training initiative must be included, be prominent, and thoroughly implemented.  Indeed, this effort requires almost no cost, just the will to do it.  For the sake of the victims-and their grieving families left behind-the OSCE, and all of our governments, at all levels, can and must make this a priority.
 
I mentioned earlier how I received actionable information because a victim in Montenegro was able to call her mom for help in Ukraine. I propose a new OSCE initiative-a single, unified hotline.  Many of the countries represented here today have taken the much needed step of creating national hotlines. Let's build on that success and cooperate more robustly across borders. With a single trafficking hotline, travelers and transportation professionals can report suspected trafficking anytime, anywhere.  A single hotline will assist victims anywhere, anytime.
 
And let me just add here, the importance of ensuring that the hotline connects good citizens and victims not only with law enforcement able to launch a rescue, but with the non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations that will help victims rebuild their lives.  I have been in faith-based shelters all over the world.  I have seen how faith-based shelters are able to minister to the utter brokenness of the victims. When it comes to sheltering, governments need to partner with the faith-based community so that victims will be most effectively served.
                      
My work in the struggle to end human trafficking began in the mid-1990s and led to my authorship of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TPVA) of 2000-America's landmark law to combat human trafficking.    When I first introduced the TVPA in 1998 however, the legislation was met with a wall of skepticism and opposition. People both inside of government and out, thought the legislation's bold new strategy-including sheltering, asylum and other protections for the victims, long jail sentences and asset confiscation for the traffickers, and tough sanctions for governments that failed to meet minimum standards prescribed in the law-was merely a solution in search of a problem.
 
For most people at that time, the term trafficking applied almost exclusively to illicit drugs or weapons. Reports of vulnerable persons-especially women and children-being reduced to commodities for sale were often met with surprise, incredulity or indifference. It took two years to overcome opponents and muster the votes for passage and even overcoming opposition by the Clinton Administration.
 
Today, much progress has been made. Most countries in Europe-and many around the world-have enacted comprehensive laws to combat this preventable exploitation.  Faithfully implementing those laws however-including in the United States-remains a serious challenge.  Passage of legislation is only a step, albeit an important one.
 
All of us can and must do more. Training flight attendants-and others-and a unified hotline will save victims, boost convictions of the traffickers and deter these monstrous crimes.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Europe

Archaeologists find a very different type of 'treasure' - a 2,000-year-old toilet seat Watch

Image of Discovered at Vindolanda fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accustomed to finding priceless coins, artwork and historical artifacts, archaeologists in Great Britain have found an altogether different type of treasure - one that was desperately needed in ancient times - a wooden toilet seat, believed to be 2,000 years ... continue reading


Over 1,400 girls raped and abused by Muslims in English town Watch

Image of For more than 12 years a large community of Pakistanis living in England have enjoyed sexually abusing girls while officials turned a blind eye a new report reveals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over a 12 year period, hundreds of children were systematically raped, beaten and sex trafficked in a northern English town, and the government commissioned report on the incident reveals that it is still going on today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Guilty? Corruption case moves forward against the head of International Monetary Fund Watch

Image of Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund, who is facing charges currently in France.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christine Legarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and one of the most powerful women in the world, has been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as a French finance minister. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scandalous details come to light over defrocked nuncio's abuse of young boys Watch

Image of Shoeshine boys int he Dominican Republic say that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual acts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Loathsome details have come to light over defrocked Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican's ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Shoeshine boys say that Wesolowski would cruise the oceanfront promenade and offer them large sums of money for sexual ... continue reading


Archbishop appeals his defrocking for sexual abuse allegedly committed in Dominican Republic Watch

Image of If found guilty in a criminal trial, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, from Poland, is accused of child sex abuse while he served in the Dominican Republic. He has since appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, according to the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


SHOCKING: Are there more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for British military? Watch

Image of Many young men facing poor job prospects in the U.K. find the IS narrative of defending Islam hard to resist.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a shocking figure that has many questioning immigration laws. Britain's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that there are approximately 600 British Muslim service members in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. In a momentous slap to the West - and ... continue reading


British Archbishop demands Muslim leaders enforce discipline on youth or face the consequences Watch

Image of George Carey, a former Archbishop recently spoke on the dangers of the Islamic State, as well as the British Muslims who go overseas to fight for it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A former Archbishop of Canterbury has called for Britons that are fighting for the Islamic State to be banished from Britain. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lord George Carey of Clifton said that Muslims must  discipline their young people, or see them ... continue reading


Pontifical Council Statement on the Violence in Iraq Watch

Image of Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis:

By Vatican Radio

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio) - The Pontifical Council for Interreligious ... continue reading


British rapper makes 14-year-old girl post sex video online Watch

Image of The girl, who can't be named for legal reasons, accepted a friend request from rapper Logik, whose real name is Kyle Burns.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a sick incident that highlights what's going on around the eyes and ears of semi-attentive parents. A British rapper who goes under the stage name of "Logik" asked a 14-year-old girl to pose an indecent 60-second video of herself to which he promised ... continue reading


A new tomb may be the burial place of Alexander the Great Watch

Image of This road leads up to a newly discovered tomb which could hold the remains of one of Alexander the Great's generals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered an immense tomb that they believe may be connected with Alexander the Great, whose conquests stretched from Greece to India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This tomb, which dates to around 300 BC, may have held the body ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter