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EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Does Hollywood Have A Problem?

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Does Hollywood Have  A Problem? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
Only the inclusion of “The Revenant’s” Iñárritu adds a note of diversity as the absence of black nominees fuels criticism of Hollywood’s hiring record.
PeerSpring's insight:

#OscarsSoWhite, that damning hashtag that made the rounds last year, can again, unhappily, be revived for this year’s Oscar nominations. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which doles out the Oscars and has long been a bastion of older white men, has been trying to diversify its ranks as Hollywood faces increasing criticism about its hiring practices, which in turn affects the stories it tells. In November, accepting an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards, Spike Lee excoriated the industry, saying, in his acceptance speech, that it was “easier to be president of the United States as a black man than be the head of a studio.” Based on this article, do you think Hollywood has a problem with racial divide and equal opportunity? What steps would you take to diffuse this issue?

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EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Can money buy you happiness?

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Can money buy you happiness? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
New research provides a fuller understanding of the relationship between what we earn and how we feel.
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This article identifies multiple measures of 'happiness.' Describe each measure and how it relates to net financial wealth. Do you agree or disagree with the author's bottom line? 

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation, But Advocates Say There's Still More Work To Do

WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation, But Advocates Say There's Still More Work To Do | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

Before stepping down, Nigeria’s former president made sure his legacy boasted fighting for women’s rights and protections.

PeerSpring's insight:

Though the United Nations banned Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) worldwide in 2012, 125-million women and girls have undergone this risky practice across 29 countries throughout parts of Africa and the Middle East.  According to UNICEF, Nigeria has accounted for about a quarter of circumcised females worldwideDo you think this historic change in Nigeria's law is enough to prevent this kind of violence against women or will it take something more to change traditional cultural views? Use examples from other known world issues to back up your reasoning. 

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Are Slaves Catching The Fish You Buy?

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Are Slaves Catching The Fish You Buy? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
BENJINA, Indonesia (AP) — The Burmese slaves sat on the floor and stared through the rusty bars of their locked cage, hidden on a tiny tropical island thousands of miles from home.

Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with s...
PeerSpring's insight:

After a year long investigation, the Associated Press has exposed horrific stories of human trafficking and how slave-caught fish enters the U.S. market. The United States currently buys roughly 20% of Thailand's $7-billion annual fish exports. However, last year the State Department blacklisted Thailand for failing to meet minimum standards in fighting human trafficking. Now the Indonesian government has called a temporary ban on most fishing in an effort to clear out foreign poachers who are taking billions of dollars of seafood from the country's waters. On April 3rd, 2015, more than 300 enslaved Burmese fishermen were rescued.  Although slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, American companies continue to profit from slavery on fishing vessels. What responsibility do some of America's largest grocery stores, such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway need to do? 

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Can Survivors Move From "Modern Slavery" To "American Dream"?

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For survivors of modern slavery, the American dream is far less grand, because it’s a struggle simply to survive. As the USA works to dismantle trafficking networks, how do we ensure, as President Barack Obama once said, "a global sense of justice that says no child should ever be exploited, and empower our sons and daughters with the same chances to pursue their dreams?"  

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LABOR RIGHTS: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables

LABOR RIGHTS: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

Half the tomatoes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico. In 2014, more than 80 million pounds of tomatoes came from just one company, Agricola San Emilio, which has now been exposed as a labor camp.

PeerSpring's insight:

The U.S. companies linked to Agricola San Emilio through distributors have plenty of rules, but they serve mainly to protect American consumers, not Mexican field hands. At the mega-farms that supply major American retailers, child labor has been largely eradicated. But about 100,000 children younger than 14 pick crops for pay at smaller farms, according to the Mexican government's most recent estimate. Do you think it should be the responsibility of major U.S. companies to enforce social responsibility guidelines that call for basic worker protections such as clean housing and fair pay practices? Why / Why not?

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Can the IUD Prevent Poverty, Save Taxpayers Billions?

WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Can the IUD Prevent Poverty, Save Taxpayers Billions? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

There are as many as 1,848,485 pregnancies to unmarried women under the age of 30 each year. 72.6% are unintended.

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If society were to think of childbearing as 'by design' and not 'by default,' it is estimated that taxpayers could save at least $107 billion annually today, and some $123 billion by 2030. Do you agree or disagree with the author's idea that the IUD could prevent poverty and save the taxpayers billions of dollars?

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Boko Haram's kidnapped girls to go free

WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Boko Haram's kidnapped girls to go free | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
Nigerian officials on Friday say they've reached a deal with Boko Haram militants on a ceasefire and the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls.
PeerSpring's insight:

The terrorist group , Boko Haram, abducted an estimated 276 girls from a boarding school in northeastern Nigeria in April 2014. The name "Boko Haram" translates to "Western education is sin" in the local Hausa language. The militant group is trying to impose strict Sharia law across Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. While dozens escaped, more than 200 are still missing. According to this report, the Nigerian government officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross had discussions with Boko Haram about swapping imprisoned members of the group for the more than 200 schoolgirls. The militant group has bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders alike. Do you think it would be the right move to swap prisoners for the school girls? Why / Why not?

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ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: Yakama Nation Fights for Nuclear Waste Cleanup

ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: Yakama Nation Fights for Nuclear Waste Cleanup | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

& RAChinook salmon have returned in large numbers to the Columbia River, but tribal members worry about radioactive contamination. The Hanford Nuclear Site in central Washington State was a centerpiece of the United States’ early nuclear weapons program, the first plutonium production reactor in the world. Between 1944 and 1972, radioactive materials from the reactor were routinely flushed directly into the Columbia River or dumped onto the ground — as much as 1.7 trillion gallons of liquid waste, radionuclides and hazardous chemicals.

PeerSpring's insight:

At 78, Russell Jim is at the age when most people are slowing down. But this elder of the Yakama Nation in Washington State remains full of righteous anger about the way his people have been treated over the last 150 years. “When the US government put our people on reservations, they put us on the worst lands where there are few resources," he said. Especially galling to Jim, who is the project director for Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program for the Yakama Nation, is the government’s mishandling of the nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Site, which lies just 20 miles from the Yakama Reservation. Jim also worries about birth defects in the tribe, as three counties around the reservation have been seeing high rates of anencephaly, a rare and fatal birth defect. Though unconfirmed by doctors, Jim suspects that radionuclides damage human's and animal's DNA. Do you think the US government has an obligation to test young salmon, to see if there is any affect from the nuclear waste? Why / Why not?

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ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: Is There A Human Rights Crisis In The United States?

After a week that saw a militarized police crackdown and the imposition of a nighttime curfew, Amnesty International USA has taken an "unprecedented" step by sending a 13-person delegation to monitor the developments in Ferguson, Missouri. It is the first time Amnesty organization has deployed observers inside the United States. We speak to Steven Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA.

PeerSpring's insight:

On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year old, was shot dead by a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force. The next day, the community organized protests condemning the actions of the police and demanding to know the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael. To control the protestors, police used using smoke bombs, tear gas and Molotov cocktails. According to the executive director of Amnesty International, the organization saw a human rights crisis in Ferguson, Missouri and stepped in. As they've done in other countries, they've issued reports on, for example, how tear gas is supposed to be administered—never in an indiscriminate way where children and the elderly could be subject to very harmful effects, even death, from tear gas. Do you think this small community needs the protection of Amnesty International? Why / Why not?

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LGBT RIGHTS: The 'Proud Whopper' And How Burger King Is Promoting "We Are All The Same Inside"

LGBT RIGHTS: The 'Proud Whopper' And How Burger King Is Promoting "We Are All The Same Inside" | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
In what could be a first for a global fast food outlet, Burger King is making a bold proclamation in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with the launch of a specially packaged burger.
PeerSpring's insight:
As part of Burger King’s push to connect with customers -- particularly younger generations -- the fast food giant is engaging on a local level and taking part of regionally relevant events. During San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade, one outlet introduced The Proud Whopper, with proceeds from the sales of the sandwich donated to the Burger King McLamore Foundation for scholarships benefiting LGBT college-bound high school students. In your opinion, does this particular initiative feel like a marketing campaign or a dedicated commitment to raise awareness for LGBT rights?
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PeerSpring's comment, July 5, 2014 9:25 AM
NOTE: Targeting the LGBT community has proven to be a highly successful tactic for many brands. What companies are learning is once they have garnered the affinity of the LGBT consumer, they have captured that consumer for life!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/07/03/what-burger-kings-proud-whopper-tells-us-about-marketing-to-lgbt-consumers/
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LGBT RIGHTS: "Should Society Accept Homosexuality?"

LGBT RIGHTS: "Should Society Accept Homosexuality?" | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

Interactive World Map

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Country by country, the range of "acceptance" around homosexuality is quite vast.  In looking at the world map, are you surprised by the most and least tolerant? Why / Why not?

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Globalized slavery in our supply chains of the fishing industry

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Globalized slavery in our supply chains of the fishing industry | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
The Thai fishing industry is built on slavery, with men often beaten, tortured and sometimes killed - all to catch 'trash fish' to feed the cheap farmed prawns sold in the west
PeerSpring's insight:

While there are no official records of how many men are enslaved on Thai fishing boats, the Thai government estimates that up to 300,000 people work within its fishing industry, 90% of whom are migrants vulnerable to being duped, trafficked and sold to the sea. This investigation identified several of the top global retailers involved. What steps do you think the supermarket sector needs to take to protect migrant workers from becoming slaves? 

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ETHNIC + RACIAL RIGHTS: Is Burundi on the verge of ethnic conflict?

ETHNIC + RACIAL RIGHTS: Is Burundi on the verge of ethnic conflict? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
The UN says it has evidence Burundi's security forces gang-raped women, as the country's Supreme Court sentences four coup plotters to life in prison.
PeerSpring's insight:

Burundi has been plagued by tension between Tutsis and Hutus since independence in 1962. The abuses documented by the UN took place immediately after rebel attacks in December against three military camps in the country's capital, Bujumbura. Based on this article and video, do you agree or disagree with the analysts who say ethnicity is NOT at the heart of conflict. Why?

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS: How girl activists helped to ban child marriage in Malawi

WOMEN'S RIGHTS: How girl activists helped to ban child marriage in Malawi | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
Malawi has raised the legal marrying age from 15 to 18. A girls’ rights campaigner explains how advocates secured this victory
PeerSpring's insight:

Malawi banned child marriage in February, 2015 through new legislation that increases the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18. Though this is a major victory for girls in a country that has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, the deep tradition of these people suggest that the practice of marrying girls off as children, sometimes as early as the age of nine will be hard to stop. How would you propose to overcome these deeply held cultural beliefs, especially in outlaying rural districts that are impenetrable by communications from the capital? 

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Can We Find Balance Between Gay Rights and Religious Freedom?

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Can We Find Balance Between Gay Rights and Religious Freedom? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

Two Oregon bakers face a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding -- is that too severe a price to pay for following their Christian faith?

PeerSpring's insight:

Today, same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states, but 13 states ban the practice by constitutional amendment or law. Oregon law had long prohibited same-sex marriage, and voters added the gay-marriage ban to the state's constitution in 2004. A decade later, a federal judge stuck it ban on gay marriage, saying it was unconstitutional. While 19 states have religious freedom laws, Oregon does not. After declining to make a cake for two brides, Melissa and Aaron Klein were charged with discrimination and fined $135,000 dollars. The Klein's family business has since closed down and the couple faces bankruptcy. Even their GoFundMe campaign was shut-down 9-hours after it's launch. Regardless of the couple's right to religious freedom, nearly 6-in-10 Americans agree that businesses which provide wedding-related services should be required to equally serve same-sex couples. Do religious freedom laws give license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community or do they protect religious freedom from government intrusion? Have the Klein's been treated fairly or have they been objectified? Explain.

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PeerSpring's comment, May 4, 2015 2:06 PM
POLL: Americans side with same sex couples in religious freedom debates: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poll-americans-side-with-same-sex-couples-in-religious-freedom-debates/article/2562770
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WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Would Partisan Gridlocks End If More Women Were Elected?

WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Would Partisan Gridlocks End If More Women Were Elected? | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
Quorum is an online legislative strategy platform that provides unique quantitative insights into the U.S. Congress, changing the way people see, explain, and influence the legislative process.
PeerSpring's insight:

For the first time in history, the number of women in Congress has surpassed 100! This new study reveals that female senators demonstrated more bipartisanship with other women than their male counterparts and are also more active legislatively in building support for their bills. Meanwhile, the latest "Women in Politics" map issued by the United Nations reveals the "snail's pace of progress" on gender equality and women's participation in public and political life. Identify a country with low female participation in politics and design a campaign that could recruit more girls to consider taking office.

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ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: The Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project

ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: The Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
The Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project wants to document every racially motivated killing in the American South between 1930 and 1970. The project's director says it's a race against the clock.
PeerSpring's insight:

There is broad consensus in American political culture that the law enforcement system, particularly in the Deep South, failed to protect participants in the 1960s-era Civil Rights Movement from anti-civil rights violence. Communities across the country are grappling with how to make amends decades after these events. Some have turned to the criminal justice system. State and local prosecutors have brought fresh cases against the perpetrators of old hate crimes. Federal legislation has been proposed to enhance state investigations. Given that every generation has its own unfinished work to do, describe the import of documenting every racially motivated killing in the United States in this moment.

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PeerSpring's comment, January 4, 2015 12:34 PM
Learn more about the Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project here: http://www.northeastern.edu/civilrights/
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EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Hong Kong's Summer of Love and the Umbrella Generation

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Hong Kong's Summer of Love and the Umbrella Generation | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

The Umbrella Movement has become Hong Kong's Summer of Love, but with politics instead of drugs. 

PeerSpring's insight:

Hong Kong youth have not achieved their political goals, but they have proven themselves to be a generation apart from their parents and mainland peers. Do you agree or disagree that the "Umbrella Movement" is strikingly similar to what America experienced in the 1960s? Explain.

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DISABILITY RIGHTS: The (in)human dimension of Ghana’s prayer camps

DISABILITY RIGHTS: The (in)human dimension of Ghana’s prayer camps | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

Although little is known about their history, numbers, or operations Ghana has several hundred prayer camps, which not state-regulated. According to the Human Rights Watch's research, prayer camps in Ghana deserve a closer look, as people with mental health conditions are treated inhumanely in these camps and this must end.

PeerSpring's insight:

In Ghana and other countries around the world, it is widely believed that mental disabilities stem from being cursed or possessed by demons, not from a psychiatric condition. With such a view comes the notion that people with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia or depression are sub-human, worthless and violent. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental health or neurological conditions at some point in their lives. Ghana’s 2012 Mental Health Act creates a system through which people with disabilities can challenge their detention in psychiatric hospitals. However, the law does not apply to prayer camps, leaving people with mental disabilities without legal remedies to seek release. In most prayer camps, people with real or perceived mental disabilities may only leave when the prophet deems them healed. Who are the stakeholders you might need to engage if you were tasked with solving this challenge? Detail a campaign you might use to seek help for the disabled interred in a prayer camp.


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ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: teens sound off on race in America | PBS NewsHour

ETHNIC & RACIAL RIGHTS: teens sound off on race in America | PBS NewsHour | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

High schoolers from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab sites around the country weigh in on the events in Ferguson and how the killing of Michael Brown has affected their view of race in America.

PeerSpring's insight:

Though police shootings appear not a major issue in the United States, the death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri has raised a lot of questions about race relations.   According to 2012 FBI statistics, there were 12 million total arrests in the United States of which only 420 involved police shootings. The highest percent of those shot, 42 percent, were white. Blacks were 32 percent and Hispanics 20 percent — about in line with crimes committed. But shootings only happened in .000035 percent of arrests. In balancing these statistics against the shooting in Ferguson, how would you describe race relations in America? 

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: The Role of Faith In Society

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Faith permeates our world, providing a moral and ethical compass for the vast majority of people. Evidence shows that –beyond individual religious practice – faith is increasingly moving into the public sphere and may affect various aspects of economic and social life. In 19th-century America, for example, religious leaders were prominent in promoting the rights of black people and women. Attention has recently been given to the relationship between religion and corruption. By comparing Government Restrictions on Religion (Index from 2011) with Corruption Perceptions Indexes (multi-year), one figure stands out: eight of the 10 most corrupt countries have high government restrictions on freedom of religions. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?: While religion is often perceived as being at the core of conflicts around the globe, evidence shows that religion and faith can be invaluable in promoting tolerance, respect, understanding and reconciliation. Explain.

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FETAL & MATERNAL RIGHTS: Australian Couple Leaves Twin with Down Syndrome with Surrogate Mother

FETAL & MATERNAL RIGHTS: Australian Couple Leaves Twin with Down Syndrome with Surrogate Mother | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
His name is Gammy. He's just seven months old and is attracting attention to the murky world of surrogacy in Thailand, as the military-led country cracks down on the industry.
PeerSpring's insight:

An impoverished 21-year old Thai woman agreed to become a surrogate for an Australian couple, but 7 months into the pregnancy she learned that one of the twins she was carrying had a heart condition that may require surgery as well as Down Syndrome -- a genetic disorder that impairs growth and intellectual ability. According to the surrogate, the Australian couple told her to abort the unhealthy twin, but too many months into the pregnancy, there were no options (moral or medical) available. Thus, the Australian couple only took the healthy twin home.  In response to this alleged abandonment, the public has come to the rescue of the surrogate mom through aonline crowd-funding campaign which raised more than $215,000 in just 12 days! Which party should be assuming health risks like this? What are the moral obligations of each party? Should it fall on the surrogate or on the "parents?" Do you think we need international regulation of commercial surrogacy? Why / Why not?

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PeerSpring's comment, August 10, 2014 11:31 AM
Follow-up article: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28732511
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DISABILITY RIGHTS: The story of the disabled boy tied to Mumbai bus stop

DISABILITY RIGHTS: The story of the disabled boy tied to Mumbai bus stop | > Human Rights | Scoop.it
When I first heard that a nine-year-old boy had been found tied to a bus stop in Mumbai, I was surprised. He can't have been, I thought. In Mumbai?
PeerSpring's insight:

According to the last census conducted in 2011, around 26.8 million people are in living with disabilities in India. That's 2.2% of the population of more than 1.2 billion. Other bodies, including the World Bank, say the figure is much higher, across India, 40 to 60 million  activists say.  Poverty and disability are dangerous combinations. The World Bank estimates that about 20% of the world's poorest people are disabled. Poverty causes disability through inadequate access to medical treatment and vaccinations, and exposure to unsanitary and unsafe living and working conditions. Children with disabilities in India rarely progress beyond primary education, with school enrolment less than 10% in many areas. This then reinforces social alienation and leads to very limited employment opportunities, causing more poverty. In February 2014, India introduced the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, however people with disabilities in India still face extraordinary bias and lack support from their own government.  

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: A Journey Into the Center of the Sex Slave Trade

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: A Journey Into the Center of the Sex Slave Trade | > Human Rights | Scoop.it

TENANCINGO - THE CAPITAL OF SEX TRAFFICKING IN THE AMERICAS 

There are between 3,000 and 5,000 traffickers from Tenancingo alone, according to researcher Oscar Montiel Torres, who has studied the town for many years. 


PeerSpring's insight:
The number of people trafficked into the U.S. each year from around the world is in debate.  The U.S. Department of State says somewhere between 14,500 and 17,500 people, whereas another study from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México claims that 10,000 women are trafficked to the U.S.A from Mexico alone, each year. It's possible that the numbers are even higher.  Another study, from the National Center for Missing Exploited Children, estimates that 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking.  Despite its prevalence, only about 200 victims of sex trafficking a year (less than 1%) are rescued by authorities in the U.S.  But it's not just law enforcement that saves victims, 1-in-3 of those helped were discovered by citizens, not police!  Even when intercepted, the USA's system of prosecuting the offenders is not ideal.  Local sheriffs and police departments spend 22 times more fighting drugs than fighting human trafficking.  Further, of the 165 sex traffickers charged in the USA (2007-2008), 73 were convicted and only 46 went to prison. 
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