Delegations from Cuba and the United States hold exchange on trafficking in persons

On February 13, 2018, the Fifth Exchange on the Trafficking in Persons was held in Washington D.C. between multi-sectoral delegations from Cuba and the United States. Both parties gave updates on the advances made, experiences gained and the challenges they face in the prevention of and combat against the trafficking in persons and in their work to protect victims. 

The Cuban delegation was led by Johana Tablada, Deputy General Director for US Affairs of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was composed of officials from the Peoples’ Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministries of Justice, the Interior, Education, Labor and Social Security, Public Health, Tourism and the Federation of Cuban Women. The U.S. delegation was led by Joel F. Maybury, Acting Director of the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and was composed of representatives from the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Labor.

The Cuban party ratified the zero-tolerance national policy against human trafficking and shared new and important actions that were undertaken in the years 2016 and 2017, which contribute to strengthening further the response of the State and the society in the face of this scourge of global incidence.

Underlined as part of these new steps were the adoption of a National Plan of Action for the 2017-2020 period to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons and to Protect the Victims thereof, the setup of a Commission to implement the multidisciplinary actions contained in said Plan, and the results of the visit to Cuba by Ms. María Grazia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children. 

During the exchange with the U.S. counterpart, the Cuban officials talked about concrete actions and results that, as part of their work, contributed to enhance the prevention, detection and perception of risks in the face of a crime that has become increasingly complex worldwide. 

Standing out in this regard are the establishment of a Family Protection Division and the operation of a Unique Telephone Line of the Attorney General’s Office. In addition, the specialized training seminars for prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers, the workshops and training courses for educators, and the celebration of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons were also highlighted, among other measures that will continue to be implemented.

Underlined in this exchange were the preventive nature of the National Health System and the important role played by the Cuban medical doctors in the early detection and attention of potential victims of human trafficking, both in Cuba and in other countries where our nation provides medical cooperation. 

In 2016, 21 cases were prosecuted in Cuba for crimes with typical features of trafficking in persons, through the typified crimes of “Corruption of Minors” and “Procurement and Trafficking in Persons”. In this same period, Cuba maintained international collaboration for the investigation and solution of cases transcending the national territory.

The Cuban representatives proved that the low incidence of trafficking in persons in Cuba is associated with the social and public safety achievements, the equal opportunities and the policies and programs aimed at empowering women, providing free access to health services, education, culture and sports, which reduces the country’s vulnerability and strengthens its capacity to increase international cooperation in this field, as a State Party to the legal instruments signed on this and other related matters.

Both parties ratified the usefulness of the exchange, which took place in a professional and respectful ambiance, and agreed to continue holding these exchanges in the future.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Ratifies Zero Tolerance of Human Trafficking at UN

Cuba has maintained a zero tolerance policy for human trafficking, a crime that violates the human rights of the victims, the Havana embassy at the United Nations Office in Geneva stated today.

The diplomatic mission informed today the delivery of the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Fighting of Human Trafficking (2017-2020) to the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of the victims of that crime, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro. The UN representative will shortly travel to Cuba and 'the early delivery of the National Plan will facilitate the achievement of the objectives set forth with the visit,' the note said.

According to the text, this program confirms the commitment by the Cuban government to comply with the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish human trafficking, especially women and children, complementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

'Aware that human trafficking violates the human rights of the victims, the Cuban government has maintained a zero tolerance policy for this crime,' the statement said.

The actions in this regard are based on three axes: prevention, fighting human trafficking and protecting the victims, it added.

  • Published in Now

Human Trafficking Hits Record High in US

It comes as crackdowns in California and the Super Bowl help shed light on the widespread undercover practice.

Cases of human trafficking have been skyrocketing in the United States according to numbers from the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The year 2016 saw an increase of more than 5,000 cases from the previous year, with California experiencing the biggest surge.

RELATED: Mexican Vets Stuck Shoveling Shit Sue US Farm for Trafficking

The hotline said that 7,500 cases of human trafficking were reported last year, a 35 percent increase from 2015. California had more than 1,300 reports, more than double of any other state. Texas came in second with 670, followed by Florida with 550 cases reported to the hotline.

And, of course, untold numbers of cases go unreported “due to its covert nature, misconceptions about its definition and a lack of awareness about its indicators,” the hotline said via its website.

Human trafficking was heavily tied to sex and labor work within agriculture and domestic jobs, which commonly helped to fuel and harbor the practice. Women were more likely to be victims of human trafficking and 76 percent of cases involved some sort of sex trade.

The nonprofit organization said that cases of human trafficking have been identified in brothels, gangs and organized crime, employers of domestic servants and factory workers, but also in small business and through partners and family members and even the Super Bowl.

“Large sporting events such as the Super Bowl are a prime venue for human trafficking. Traffickers, pimps, handlers - whatever you want to call them - cash in in a big way during these sporting events," Ashley Anderson from anti-sex trafficking group Well House, told

RELATED: UN Demands Brazil Distribute Land to Fight Modern Slavery

“Ultimately, traffickers exist because human trafficking remains highly lucrative. There are two primary factors that drive human traffickers: high profits and low risk,” the hotline explained.

In late January, a police crackdown across California arrested 474 people in relation to human trafficking and helped to rescue dozens of victims including 28 children. Globally, almost 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, according to the UN International Labour Organization.

  • Published in World

Women and Children Represent 71 Percent of Human Trafficking Victims

United Nations, Dec 22 (Prensa Latina) Women and children represent 71 percent of the people subjected to human trafficking, said a UN report.

According to the report issued by the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (UNODC), women and girls are often forced to marry and subjected to sexual slavery.

Meanwhile, men and boys mainly end up in exploited labor, as mining and recruitment to fight, said the report. UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov deplored the situation of millions of people while asking for urgent actions from the international community.

Fedotov pointed out the link between human trafficking and armed groups, a phenomenon worsened in recent years by the advance of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups.

  • Published in World

Islamic State sex slave price list authentic, $165 for a child - UN

After circulating for almost a year, the UN has finally confirmed the authenticity of the Islamic State Sex Price list being offered to their fighters and other men trying to purchase sex slaves as young as one for $165.

Originally published online in November, the UN got hold of the actual hard copy in April, but was reluctant to confirm its authenticity. Now Zainab Bangura, the UN's Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict, said the sex menu choices are real.


“The girls get peddled like barrels of petrol,” Bangura told Bloomberg. “One girl can be sold and bought by five or six different men. Sometimes these fighters sell the girls back to their families for thousands of dollars of ransom.”

The price tariff is simple – the older they are the cheaper they are. All prices are quoted in Iraqi Dinars but US dollar equivalent shows that radical fighters can get children aged 1 to 9 for about $165, prices for adolescent girls are $124 and it’s less for women over 20. Women over 40 cost as little as $41.

Purchasing and bidding is based on hierarchy and how much you can afford. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militia commanders are offered the first choice of their victims. Then wealthy foreign civilian perverts from the region are permitted to offer their bids that could fetch thousands of dollars, Bangura said. The remainder is offered to the fighters at prices prescribed by the Sex Slave list.

Breaking the sex trade in IS-controlled territory is almost impossible, Bangura believes.

“They have a machinery, they have a program,” she said. “They have a manual on how you treat these women. They have a marriage bureau which organizes all of these ‘marriages’ and the sale of women. They have a price list.”

“It’s not an ordinary rebel group,” she said. “When you dismiss them as such, then you are using the tools you are used to. This is different. They have the combination of a conventional military and a well-run organized state.”

Thousands of Iraqi women have already been forced into sex slavery, with as many as 3,000 women and girls having been taken captive from the Yazidi tribe in Iraq over the course of the militants’ offensive across the region. IS also managed to capture and enslave other minorities in the territory they control. At the end of last year, Islamic State released a pamphlet on rules about how female slaves, women and children should be treated by its fighters.

The jihadists argue that capturing women because they are unbelievers in Islam is justified. According to the pamphlet, IS members are permitted to have sex with the women, and is permitted as soon as a woman is captured if she is a virgin. If she is not, the manual reads, “her uterus must be purified" before intercourse.

The pamphlet also says that a female slave can have a “disciplinary beating,” with only her face left untouched. However IS forbids its fighters to beat the slaves for the purpose of achieving gratification or for torture.

  • Published in World
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