Human Trafficking


 

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CINCINNATI — She said she was ashamed that she traded her 11-year-old daughter for sex to get heroin, but the judge pointed out that April Corcoran never offered an apology to the child.

“You showed no kind of mercy,” Judge Leslie Ghiz said.

In turn, Ghiz said she’d have no mercy on Corcoran and sentenced her to 51 years to life during her sentencing Tuesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Corcoran, 32, of Warren County, pleaded guilty in June to multiple counts of complicity to rape, of human trafficking and child endangering involving the child. Corcoran also admitted giving the girl heroin sometimes as a reward. The child vomited each time.

Ghiz allowed Corcoran to read a statement in court.

“I made selfish, horrible choices that will affect (the girl) for the rest of her life,” Corcoran said. “I am consumed by guilt and shame every day.”

That didn’t move the judge.

The girl was sodomized, raped, forced to perform oral sex and frequently videotaped by Corcoran’s drug dealer in his Camp Washington home, prosecutors say. The encounters happened between February and June 2014.

Shandell Willingham, 42, who faces the same charges as Corcoran, has been convicted in Indiana on unrelated drug charges as well as on child pornography charges. He was returned to Hamilton County last month. A hearing in his case is set for Aug. 10.

The girl’s grandparents told the judge they hoped for justice for their granddaughter and that others would be protected from Corcoran. The girl’s grandmother spoke quietly in court.

“I saw my granddaughter. I heard her small voice,” Sylvia Corcoran said. “It was horrific. How could she (Corcoran) do this? I don’t know if my granddaughter is going to be able to have a normal life.”

The girl, now, 13, is living out of state with her father and stepmother.

Ghiz said she had to take breaks while reading everything that was admitted into the court case.

“I can honestly say that, in three-and-a-half years on the bench, this is by far the worst thing that has come before this court,” Ghiz said. And she’s seen everything from thefts to physical harm done by people addicted to heroin, she said.

“I don’t know that you grasp the damage that has been done to this poor child,” Ghiz said, noting that the girl is undergoing medical care, has had suicidal thoughts and is taking medications.

Corcoran’s lawyer, James Bogen, said his client has been “sickened and disgusted” by what she’s done since she’s been jailed.

Dr. Daniel Bebo of UC Health told the court that when someone’s in withdrawal from opioids or heroin,  “There’s a lot of leeway to what they’ll say or do.”

But he confirmed Bogen’s statement in court about addicts: “They still know right from wrong.”

Staff writer Kevin Grasha contributed.

 

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This case sickens me and makes me feel that we can never save every child. But we can and we will. The sentence this woman received was just and fair. What she allowed her daughter to live through is beyond description.

What a sad way to begin your life. That little girl needs a lot of counseling and people who care about her to surround her with positiveness, love, support and patience.

 

So in the middle of wars, insurrections, domestic terrorism, Domestic Violence, rape; we must not forget the human trafficking that continues to go on. You can help. If you see or hear something suspicious report it. Better to be wrong than to let something terrible happen to someone.

 

Human trafficking is increasing in infrequency and young people of all colors are being taken and sold. This is just slavery, pure and simple. Every human being has a God given right to live free, to make their own decisions and to never be owned by another human being. I believe that sentences for human trafficking should always be life without parole. The cost of the crime should be worse than people want to pay.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

Human trafficking in Romania

Human trafficking in Romania

 

We Have Not Forgotten Our Missing Girls


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The link above will take you to a video that will discuss the girls still missing. If you are not aware, approximately two years ago, a terrorist group called Boko Haram, took girls from their schools. Why girls? Because this terrorist group does not want females to be educated. They want them as wives for their soldiers and they want to sell them into slavery or human trafficking. Some girls were able to escape but the majority are under the watchful eye of Boko Haram.

Two Years Later, Women in Congress Fight to #BringBackOurGirls

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On Congresswoman Fredericka Wilson’s website a clock counted down the days, hours, seconds and minutes since terrorists tore through the village of Chibok, Nigeria and ripped 200 schoolgirls from their community in a violent rampage that shocked the world.

Thursday marked two years to the day.
And, just as the social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, galvanized a global community — including First Lady Michelle Obama — to raise their voices in a collective outcry against such brutality, Wilson, a Florida Democrat is hoping to harness the power of social media to address “the security and humanitarian crisis in the region.” She is hosting a ‘Twitterstorm” on Thursday to refocus attention on the horrors the terrorist group has continued to inflict on West Africa and the plight of the missing schoolgirls.

“Social media is a powerful tool. It has the ability to reach millions of people,” Wilson told NBC News. “After we began the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, the world started to take notice.”

Wilson, a former teacher and school principal, plans to Tweet until every girl is found.
And she urges everyone to “Tweet prayers, pictures of remembrance, blessings for the families and words of consolation” to commemorate the anniversary for the girls’ abduction.

Women in Congress have been especially vocal on behalf of the missing girls.

Just before Mother’s Day in 2014, every female lawmaker in Congress signed letters to President Barack Obama urging his administration to push the U.N. Security Council to add Boko Haram to an al Qaeda Sanctions List. The list was aimed at requiring members to freeze the assets of anyone affiliated with Boko Haram and prevent them from crossing their borders.

The U.N. Security Council added Boko Haram to the list later that month.
This week the State Department reiterated its support for the safe return of all those taken by Boko Haram, a terrorist organization with ties to ISIS, which has kidnapped and killed thousands of people in Nigerian territories and neighboring countries for more than seven years. The Obama administration has offered support through intelligence gathering, financial assistance and psychological aid to Nigeria in its efforts to push back against the terrorist group and help victims recover.

“Unfortunately there have been thousands of people kidnapped in Nigeria,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday adding that the Nigerian government is ultimately responsible for the effort to find the girls.
Organizations, such as Amnesty International, say more could be done.

“We have tried to push the Obama administration to press for genuine, transparent reform within the Nigerian military when it considers providing security assistance and we have also worked with other NGOs and members of congress to make sure that the situation is not brushed (aside) and forgotten,” Adotei Akwei, managing director of government relations at Amnesty International USA told NBC News.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees recently announced that over the last few months more than 135,000 people from Cameroon, Chad and Niger have fled to escape Boko Haram.

More than 2.5 million have been forced from their homes.

One million children have been forced from school causing 2,000 schools to close.

As many as 20,000 people have been killed, 2,000 of which were killed in January’s massacre in the city of Baga.

This week relatives of some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls gathered in Abuja to watch a recently released proof-of-life video that appeared to show 15 of the students. The bittersweet moment was made all the more so, parents told members of the media, because they have not been reunited with their children.

In the U.S., a chorus of congressional women have continued to raise their voices against Boko Haram’s atrocities.

Over the past two years, female lawmakers and their male counterparts have taken to the floor to speak about the kidnapping and remind those listening of the perils of the rise of terrorist group. Wilson is hoping that lawmakers will make one-minute speeches each week and help support appropriations to help the female victims of Boko Haram.

Many of the women in Congress have also worn red on Wednesdays to remind the world that the girls are still missing.

And several of the lawmakers, including Wilson, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida and were joined by Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas in meeting with some of the Chibok schoolgirls who escaped.

About 50 girls managed to escape soon after they were abducted. More than 200 remain missing.

Related: Boko Haram’s Use of Child ‘Suicide’ Bombers Skyrocketed Last Year: U.N.

The tales of the survivors of Boko Haram attacks are chilling.

“Boko Haram captured a village in Northern Nigera and killed the mother and father of a young boy and girl. Later, the insurgents debated on whether or not to kill the boy. After speculating that the young boy would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Christian pastor, the insurgents decided to kill the boy,” Wilson said. “

The little girl was tied on top of the bodies of her family and left for dead. She was rescued three days later.

Wilson says she will continue to press the United States and Nigerian governments to work together to help end these atrocities.

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Kenyan activists shout slogans during a demonstration to protest against kidnapping of Nigerian school girls by Nigeria’s Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 15. DAI KUROKAWA / EPA file
Though the Nigerian government claims it has nearly defeated Boko Haram attacks continue — especially on vulnerable communities.

“It represents the world’s failure to stand up to terrorism and stand for our civilization,” said Emmanuel Ogebe, an international human rights lawyer that works with the escaped schoolgirls.
Combat operations and intelligence efforts must continue to pressure these groups, said Malcolm Nance, executive director of Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideologies, a think tank in Hudson, New York.

Once captured, the women are exploited sexually and face mental abuse. There have also been reports that some of the kidnapped women and girls have been used in suicide attacks.

“These women are victims of gang rape and humiliation, then told that they can only redeem themselves in god’s eyes through “martyrdom” via suicide bombing,” Nance said.

Nance said the mass abductions in Chibok and other places in the region are a critical recruiting strategy to attract young men.
“(Boko Haram) promises women and children to their fighters in exchange for their willingness to attack and mass murder their own people,” Nance said.

In his work at the Education Must Continue Initiative, a organization that works to help victimized children in northeastern Nigeria, Ogebe has witnessed depression and Stockholm Syndrome among the young victims.

“Some women abused by terrorists in the faux marriages have shown sympathy towards them after their rescue by the (Nigerian) army,” he said.

At one relief camp, the rescued women were unfriendly to relief teams that brought them supplies. The military found out they were still in contact with their captors and were moved to an undisclosed location, Ogebe said.

Still, there are glimmers of progress.

Ogebe said his organization helped a teen named Dela, one of the recovered Chibok schoolgirls, begin college. After a series of delays from funding to the snow blizzard this past winter, she will continue the education she was stolen from after 660 days in captivity, he said.

Stories like that reinforce for Wilson why it’s important to remember what happened.

“We must never forget what happened to the girls along with Boko Haram’s other victims,” she said.

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© 2016 NBCNEWS.COM

 

2 Years After #BringBackOurGirls, Boko Haram Is Still Attacking Schools

Since 2009, Boko Haram has destroyed over 900 schools and forced at least 1,500 to close.

In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, children displaced by Boko Haram during an attack on their villages receive lectures in a camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Attacks by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring countries have forced more than 1 million children out of school, heightening the risk they will be abused, abducted or recruited by armed groups, the United Nations children's agency said Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, children displaced by Boko Haram during an attack on their villages receive lectures in a camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Attacks by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring countries have forced more than 1 million children out of school, heightening the risk they will be abused, abducted or recruited by armed groups, the United Nations children’s agency said Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba)

Today marks two years since Boko Haram abducted more than 270 girls from a school in northeast Nigeria. Since then, millions more children have been affected by the conflict — most notably by being kept out of school.

Boko Haram’s violence has caused nearly one million children in Northeast Nigeria alone to have little or no access to education, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. Since 2009, the militant group has been attacking schools, teachers and students, terrorizing the local education system.

“We didn’t know what was going on, we just felt the blast,” said Hassan, a 14-year-old boy who was injured in a suicide attack on his school, in a video from HRW. “I tried to stand up and fell because my leg was no more.”

Hassan’s legs were injured when a Boko Haram suicide bomber blew himself up during his school assembly, according to the video. The young boy was unable to attend school for more than a year, because he didn’t have a wheelchair.

Boko Haram’s attacks have destroyed more than 900 schools and forced at least 1,500 more to close since 2009, according to the HRW report. The attacks are aimed at what the militants call “Western” education, or non-Quranic schools.

More than 600 teachers have been killed and another 19,000 forced to flee. The group has abducted more than 2,000 people, including many students.

“In its brutal crusade against western-style education, Boko Haram is robbing an entire generation of children in northeast Nigeria of their education,” said Mausi Segun, a Nigeria researcher in an HRW article. “The government should urgently provide appropriate schooling for all children affected by the conflict.”

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI VIA GETTY IMAGES
A child sits along the road at night to sell his wares in Nigeria. Many children in the north have little choice, with schools closed or destroyed by six years of fighting between Boko Haram and the military. Experts warn that Nigeria needs to take urgent action to prevent an entire generation of children missing out on education.

The militants aren’t the only ones placing schools at risk: Nigerian government security forces who are fighting them have also used schools for military purposes, according to HRW, placing the institutions at heightened risk of attack.

“It is up to both sides to immediately stop the attacks on education,” Segun said in the HRW article, “and end the cycle of poverty and underachievement to which far too many children in the region are being sentenced.”

The conflict has reached beyond Nigeria’s borders to also dramatically affect the education systems in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, which were already fragile, according to a Unicef report.

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Children press for the release of 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, on April 14, 2015. Nigeria’s president cautioned he could not make promises on the return of the schoolgirls, as the country marked the first anniversary of their abduction.

Most people remember the abduction of over 270 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria on April 14, 2014, after which people worldwide took to Twitter demanding their return with #BringBackOurGirls.

What many don’t know is that since then, at least 1.3 million children, have been displaced by Boko Haram’s violence across four countries, according to Unicef. It is one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa.

Since the notorious abductions in 2014, the group’s violence has only increased. Thousands more children have disappeared, with little international attention paid to it. In 2015 alone, the number of suicide attacks rose from 32 to 151, the report said, including an alarming rise in suicide attacks by children.

In order to address the humanitarian crisis, Unicef has scaled up its operations in the region, but due to insufficient funding and difficult access from insecurity,thousands of children have still not been able to receive the assistance they need.

“The challenge we face is to keep children safe without interrupting their schooling,” said Manuel Fontaine, a Unicef director, in a statement in December. “Schools have been targets of attack, so children are scared to go back to the classroom; yet the longer they stay out of school, the greater the risks of being abused, abducted and recruited by armed groups.”

 

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A young man demonstrates for the return of the girls. We must all our voices. These young women and girls are voiceless!

A young man demonstrates for the return of the girls. We must all use our voices. These young women and girls are voiceless!

 

 

 

Girls kidnapped from their school are now suffering from forced marriages, rape and unwanted pregnancy.

Girls kidnapped from their school are now suffering from forced marriages, rape and unwanted pregnancy. And let us not forget some of them are being human trafficked.

 

 

Pictures of the original girls who were stolen from their school.

Pictures of the original girls who were stolen from their school. Please notice how young many of them are.

 

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Nigerian families continue to grieve and demand that  their daughters be returned. The problem is that the ones that are impregnated when they return are ostracised.  

Child Soldiers


Somalian boy soldier

Somalian boy soldier

Enacted in 2008, the Child Soldier Protection Act refers to any one who takes part in a war under 18 years of age. It is illegal to recruit or use a child for active duty, or in a support role such as porter, cook. medic, guard or sex slave. Compulsory recruitment of children into an army happens in almost every country experiencing social unrest or out and out war.

It is hard enough for men and women who choose to participate in a war to go and fight. Fighting and killing other human beings is horrible, but for children ten years old or sixteen years old it can completely ruin them for a meaningful civilian life. Since most child soldiers are sold to armies, they may end up fighting wars for the rest of their lives. They will have no choice in the matter since they are slaves.

Child Soldiers are forced to fight--to kill or to die.

Child Soldiers are forced to fight–to kill or to die.

To really understand what this means, look at your children and try to imagine someone taking them away from you and forcing them into an army to fight and kill, or to be a sex slave  and to know that their humanity is never again taken into account. They are battlefield fodder.

The Coalition to protect children from being sold to armies and/or governments.

The Coalition to protect children from being sold to armies and/or governments.

I would like to refer readers to two books on the subject of human trafficking. One is Globalization, Prostitution and Sex Trafficking  by Elina Penttinen and the other is To Live and Tell by Francis Duworko.

Traffickers use fronts or legitimate business such as salons, massage parlors, nail salons. They often use promises of jobs and a better life here in the USA. They arrive here and are coerced into servitude/slavery. If you meet someone who seems to be at risk, please call 1-888-3737-888. This is an important way to fight modern slavery for men, women or children.

Save the childhood of a precious little one. Call 7-888-3737-888 if you suspect a human adult or child has been sold and held in slavery.

Save the childhood of a precious little one. Call 1-888-3737-888 if you think a man, woman or child has been sold and held in slavery.

It is sad that these are things we have to discuss. They aren’t pleasant. They aren’t easily changed. They can be upsetting and depressing. But think about the twenty seven million slaves worldwide and what they are going through and what they feel. To never see family or friends again. To never draw a free breath again. To see a fellow slave murdered because they tried to get out. To be repeatedly raped because you are owned by a sick twisted human being. Please don’t just turn away. Know that we can change slavery in this world. We need to remember we all live here on this one planet, we share one life on this plane of existence, and we are loved by The One.

This little one is a child soldier. Young, yes. Willing, no.

This little one is a child soldier. Young, yes. Willing, no.

The Need for Women’s Voices in the World


Galveston Island, TX ; Photo by Barbara Mattio

” This is how love is: So what if your head must roll,

What is there to cry about?”    —-Kabir

“In proportion as one simplifies one’s life,

the laws of the Universe will appear less

complex, and solitude will not be solitude,

nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.       —Thoreau

If we were to remove all mention of women from the history of the world’s major religions, the history of these religions would not undergo the slightest change. Removing all male’s names would destroy religion. The presence of feminine mystics and holy women has never altered the course of religious history or changed its direction at all.

Most people assume that our religions were equally representative of the feminine psyche is an assumption that finds no footing in our religious histories. To change religions and spiritual paths to be inclusive of the female energy and spirit. Women need to continue to take the forefront of spiritual experience in our modern world. We need to take the lead in making spiritual paths more accepting of women and protective of women and children.

Gulf of Mexico,  Photo by Barbara Mattio

Women at the head of spiritual paths and walking along their own spiritual journey can begin to change some of the horrors women and children find themselves living in. I am speaking of Human Traffeting in children, genital mutilation, marrying 10 year old children. We as women need to teach more about love and acceptance and less about hatred and violence. Women have the ability to look at the big picture of what is happening in our world and to make the needed changes.

Things like micro loans, education, feeding a village buy buying the villagers a goat or seeds to plant to grow their own food. Women need to take the lead in the global climate control. It is our time to step forward and speak up. It is our time to make the haters, the greedy, the ones’s who take advantage of the poor, elderly and homeless pay for their crimes.  We need to step forward to show that our priorities are more than monetary. They are people, peace and the end of wars.

The Beauty of Mother Earth

 

Rights for Women Won’t End on November sixth


November 6, 2012 does decide who will be our President for the next four years.What won’t be decided is what will happen to women and our rights and issues.

In 2013, we face another important battle in Congress. We need to have passed the legislation to make women legally equal. Think it is not necessary? That is what they said about women voting. Essentially, they said we weren’t smart enough to vote. Not only are we smart enough but we are smarter than some men. Nothing personal.

Women are still going to require access to contraception. The whole “be fruitful and multiply” thing is well past the point of no return. We have seven billion plus human beings on this planet and I believe we have fulfilled the directive.

Children around the world are dying from hunger, lack of clean water, violent revolutions, greed, bigotry, racism and in some countries if a girl is born she will be left to die. Baby girls die alone, unwanted and unloved. Even if their mothers want them, the husband will throw both of them out, if necessary.

Here in America, the most prosperous country in the world, our children aren’t golden. They often lack proper education, health care, food, love, encouragement. Why you ask? Because they weren’t born into rich families, but into poor and disadvantaged families. Most of society turns away from the reality of what these children lack and what they suffer.

Domestic Violence is gaining victims. The laws we worked so hard to get on the books, are often not being enforced. Young girls are not being told no one has the right to pinch, punch, slap, rape, hit, demean, kick, or call them names. We must tell these girls there is help and they should not be forced to live in violence. There are help lines and shelters where then will be helped and legally protected in every state and in almost every town.

Human trafficking is where many boys and girls end up. Sold into sexual slavery and facing decades of being objectified and beaten by any man who has the money to pay for their services. These kids live in hell on earth. Their innocent souls corrupted and ravaged by men who only care about themselves and what their money can buy them.

All people have the right to live authentically. No one should have to pretend to fit in. Everyone needs to be accepted for who they are. Parents, society and governments need to make this possible…

I have barely scratched the surface, but I will continue to address these issues as time goes on.