DoD

January 16, 2014

DOD raises awareness of human trafficking

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Department officials have a zero-tolerance level for human trafficking and have stepped up awareness and education efforts to curb the crime overseas.

In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Brian Chin — a program manager for the department’s effort to combat human trafficking, said DOD is broadening its training for those who work in contracting, acquisition and law enforcement, and that a yearly general course on how to recognize human trafficking has been mandatory for DOD civilians since 2005.

Chin works out of Qatar and oversees the program in Southwest Asia and the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

DOD defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport or obtain a person for commercial sex or labor services, Chin explained.

Combating human trafficking is not a war waged alone within the DOD, he noted.

“The response to human trafficking requires a collaborative approach within all of DOD’s components and services,” Chin said, as well as working with agencies, such as the departments of State and Homeland Security to put a stop to the crimes of slavery and prostitution.

“A lot of our training is designed to sensitize our folks to realize that (a victim) is not just someone who’s serving our food, cleaning the barracks or picking up refuse around the bases that could be someone who’s there against their will and is being held in circumstances that fit (DOD’s) criteria for human slavery,” he said.

Victims of human trafficking can be difficult to identify, Chin said, because usually no physical indicators of coercion exist, and human traffickers are adept at influencing their victims to hide their victimization.

Commanders, other military leaders and all DOD components at all levels are “striving very hard to implement changes to federal laws and DOD-wide policies to push requirements for awareness programs, training for targeted audiences and reporting (cases) to the DOD (inspector general),” he said.

Chin called overseas human trafficking “widespread,” but acknowledged that the number of victims is difficult to quantify. Victims usually are lured from rural areas with promises of working in good-paying jobs, he said.

“A classic sign of human trafficking is indentured servitude, where the victims pay large fees in a very competitive arena to secure jobs,” he said, adding that the high pay they’re promised is just a lure.

The fees to secure jobs become loans, and victims find themselves working as indentured servants to work off what they owe, and they can’t return home because their passports are taken away, Chin said. Victims’ homes often are held as collateral for their employment, he added.

In many instances, victims are misled about where they’re going, he noted.

“One of the classic cases you see is beauticians and barbers (who are) told they’re going to a Gulf nation to work in a salon for a very good salary, and (when) they get off a plane, they’re actually in Afghanistan, working on a forward-operating base under completely different circumstances,” Chin said.

DOD’s efforts to train its personnel to recognize and report human trafficking are paying off, he said.

“Our awareness programs are having a tremendous effect on sensitizing all of our (personnel), and everybody understands what human trafficking is,” he said. “They’re starting to understand it’s not just a sex crime off our bases, especially in Afghanistan. … It’s also a labor crime.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD extends Armed Services YMCA contract

WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense announced a one-year extension to the Armed Services Young Men’s Christian Association Military Outreach Initiative, according to DoD officials. Originally set to expire in March 2015, the contract with the YMCA will now continue uninterrupted until March 2016. “We are very pleased that we are able to extend this...
 
 
DoD

Afghan transition trends ‘positive,’ Campbell says

WASHINGTON – The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan delivered an upbeat assessment of progress in the nation, while also acknowledging there is much that needs to be done. Army Gen. John F. Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning that there is a new atmosphere in the Afghan capital of Kabul, and...
 
 
DoD
SecDef_pict

Carter takes office as 25th Defense secretary

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Ash Carter became the 25th secretary of Defense Feb. 17, after having served previously as deputy defense secretary, defense acquisition chief and assistant secretary for global strategic affairs. Pres...
 

 
DoD
taxes

Free tax preparation, advice available to military families

WASHINGTON, (AFNS) — With the new year comes the annual dread of tax-filing season and the confusion and stress that can go along with it, especially for military families whose tax returns can be further complicated by f...
 
 
DoD

Nearly 100 items to be added to Value Brand Program

FORT LEE, Va. – With nearly 100 more items set to be added to the Commissary Value Brand program, military patrons will have even more opportunities to save, according to the Defense Commissary Agency’s senior enlisted advisor to the director. “The reenergizing of this program is still in its infancy, but we are making improvements each...
 
 
DoD

Pentagon salutes Dr. King’s life, legacy

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Department members gathered Jan. 15 at the Pentagon’s annual observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, ahead of the federal holiday. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work called King a “true, remarkable American patriot and hero” and said he was honored to help pay tribute to the late civil rights leader....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin