The Daily Update: Friday, April 15

April 15, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Why are people in Japan receiving compensations? What damages were caused by the storm last night? And see how SMU is celebrating its 100 anniversary! All this and more on your Daily Update!

Global News Blog: Human Trafficking: When will it stop?

November 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Erin Ruelas

People from all over the world risk their lives to travel to America in order to achieve the American Dream. However, with the immigration laws being so strict, immigrants are forced to take drastic actions as their only way out.

Thursday, Brazilian police arrested 12 people involved in smuggling people into the United States. The ring of men helped smuggle the immigrants across the border in exchange for money. The immigrants were charged $15,000 for each false document and then held hostage to extract more money from their families back in Brazil. Obviously, these people were in desperate need of a way out and fell into the trap of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a serious crime and happens often. Many immigrants travel in the worst conditions, are treated badly, stripped of their dignity, and brutally abused.

“What are we supposed to do?” is the question that runs through my mind and “How can we help?” The abuse and torture of humans must stop.

 It’s sickening to know that we are raising our children in a world where people hurt and use each other for their own benefits.

AUDIO: Students for a Better Society Bring Human Trafficking Awareness to SMU

November 12, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

By Mai Lyn Ngo and Andy Garcia
mngo@smu.edu and agarcia@smu.edu

Human trafficking has become an increasingly serious crime and is known as modern day slavery. Students for a Better Society brought panelists to the Hughes-Trigg Student Center to talk about human trafficking and how far its influences reach.

Around 30 guests trickled into the Hughes-Trigg Commons Wednesday night to listen to the discussion given by Lt. Christina Smith of the Dallas Police Department, Kathleen Murray of the DFW Human Trafficking Police Department and Sofije Kusari from Mosaic Human Services. All three panelists work together to find victims and help them.

Smith gave the audience a synopsis of what human trafficking is and addressed its prevalence in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

“Human trafficking is one the largest industries in the world,” Smith said. “It happens right here in Dallas. It’s not something that just happens in the Asian countries. It hits home.”

All three panelists continued to describe the victims that they had seen and share some of their stories about how they became a victim of sex trafficking.

One story Smith relayed was about a 19 year old Korean girl who lived in Texas. She met a man in a club who eventually lured her away. She was later forced to work as a prostitute for many years before she escaped.

“People are brought to the United States specifically to be exploited,” Murray said. “Human trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal exploitation under drug trafficking. There is no end to how times you can resell the same person.”

Murray emphasized that the number she provided is only a handful of victims that have been rescued. The numbers do not account for the victims that are still silent and unable to break away from their servitude.

“Many people don’t know anything about human trafficking and how serious it is. I didn’t know much about human trafficking before SBS decided to host this event,” said Nastia Kartseva, a member of SBS.

The panelists addressed the misconceptions about human trafficking and described the envivonment some of these victims live in. Victims of human trafficking are not always hidden away in sweatshops or massage parlors. They can also be put to work in a very public environment. The discussion became more interactive as many members from the audience asked questions.

Osagie Omorowa, a 28 year old man from Africa heard about the event from a friend and attended as a member from Dallas community. He expressed his happiness for the 30 or so attendees that made it out to the event.

“Hopefully many of the students here walked away with the understanding that the world does not revolve around ‘me’ and there are people that need my help,” Omorowa said. “I can play my part in letting people know that, hey, we can make a change.”

Kusari emphasized the importance of awareness. Even within many police departments, mandates are currently in place to include training for identifying and handling potential trafficked victims. Smith described the difficulty of shifting society’s view on prostitutes. She said that it is hard for law enforcement to see prostitutes as victims.

As the discussion came to a close, Savannah Engel, SBS’s Human Rights Chair expressed her excitement over the success of the panel.

“I think it went very well and I am excited at how many people showed up.”

Check out an interview with a guest who has witnessed the effects of Human Trafficking. Interviewer Andy Garcia asks Osagie Omorowa from Africa about his opinions.