Human trafficking: powerful business eluding statisticians

first_img Fact File Human trafficking is the dark side of migration. Rising global inequalities, visible in gaping wage differentials, together with easier transport and communication technologies, have turned people-smuggling for the purpose of labour exploitation into a thriving business.  Just how big a business it is eludes statisticians, law-enforcement officials and researchers. But the difficulty, as the introduction to “Human trafficking in Europe” makes clear, goes beyond the nature of trafficking as a clandestine activity. There is no generally accepted definition of the crime; no standardised collection of data, even within the EU; and vocal disagreements about who should be defined as a victim, primarily between civil-society groups providing assistance and national authorities. Gillian Wylie and Penelope McRedmond, the editors of this collection, are careful to acknowledge these difficulties upfront. They also explore the reasons behind the lack of hard data, and, in the conclusion to this volume, return to the importance of numbers as a driver of policy responses. Their openness about the prejudices that inform much scholarship on trafficking – including, to an extent, their own – is refreshing. Traditionally, researchers of trafficking have tended to see themselves as advocates of helpless victims, have been close to non-governmental groups and have therefore had an interest in playing up the numbers, although the quality of research has improved with maturity. The editors also concede that, in line with most research and public interest, the book’s empirical chapters are “skewed towards…trafficking in women for sexual exploitation”, when, actually, a significant share of trafficking, perhaps in the order of around one-third, takes place for the purpose of other forms of forced labour. Nevertheless, these empirical chapters – on Russia and Ukraine, Albania and Moldova, and, on the demand side, the UK, Greece, Cyprus, Germany and Ireland – add nuance to our understanding of trafficking, and remind us of the horrific crimes that often accompany trafficking. What makes this collection more valuable are the conceptual and policy discussions, above all in McRedmond’s chapter on trafficking and organised crime. She criticises the tendency – evident in a new EU directive on fighting human trafficking adopted in April, but also in a UN convention whose definitions have informed most other instruments – to describe all forms of trafficking as organised crime. This, she says, obscures the true nature of the crime. More seriously, such sweeping definitions would not appear to have made successful prosecutions easier; they are still far below even the lowest estimates of human trafficking in Europe. Human trafficking in Europe – character, causes and consequences Editors: Gillian Wylie and Penelope McRedmond (230 pages) Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. €70.00last_img read more

Man skips job interview, jumps off bus to rescue car crash victim

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Published: July 15, 2017 4:02 PM EDT (CBS) It had only been seven days since he got released from prison, but Aaron Tucker had already done the impossible — he landed a job interview.Last Thursday, the 32-year-old from Bridgeport, Connecticut, woke up at 5 a.m., grabbed a dress shirt he had been given at the halfway house he was living in, and hopped onto a city bus to meet the manager at a nearby Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. He was starting to drift off to sleep, then awoke and looked up to check the stop. He was startled to see a car hit a tree and flip over.The bus driver quickly hit the brakes and came to a stop.“Are you going to help?” he shouted to the bus driver.“No, but if you get out I’m going to leave,” the driver replied, explaining that he had to stick to his route.Tucker didn’t let that stop him. He jumped off the bus and sprinted toward the totaled car, which was upside down and spewing smoke. He kneeled down next to the passenger-side window and saw the driver covered in blood.“The guy had a lot of blood coming from his head,” Tucker told CBS News. He unbuckled the man’s seatbelt and dragged him away from the vehicle as it started to catch on fire. Several others also ran over to help, including three employees from a local auto body shop who brought over a fire extinguisher.“You’re going to be all right,” Tucker repeated to the man as they lay on the pavement. “Your family wants to see you. Keep your eyes open.”Tucker pulled off his shirt and used it to help stop the man’s head from bleeding. Within minutes, firefighters and EMTs arrived.“I had a grip on his arm to keep him calm as they put an oxygen mask on him,” Tucker said. “I just wanted to make sure he was all right, and that’s what I did.”A Westport car crash turns strangers into heroes — including a Bridgeport man who used his shirt as a tourniquet— WestportNow (@WestportNow) July 12, 2017Tucker skipped his interview in order to stay with the man until an ambulance arrived. The man was taken to Norwalk Hospital and was in stable condition as of Wednesday, the Westport News reported. Police are still investigating the crash.“I feel like a job can come and go, but a life is one time thing,” Tucker said. “The job just wasn’t in my mind at that time.”Community members who read a local news story about Tucker’s heroic rescue decided to help the man turn his life around. They set up a GoFundMe page, raising more than $16,000 in only a day.Kami Evans, a Westport community activist, used several Facebook pages she managed to help organize donation drives, collecting clothes and non-perishable goods for Tucker and his 21-month-old son.“I think everybody was just so moved. This guy did such a selfless act,” Evans told CBS News. “It wasn’t about anything but doing the right thing — and he did the right thing.”A business owner reached out to Evans Friday to offer Tucker a tailored suit so he will have confidence at his future job.The suit will come in handy, as job offers have started rolling in since Tucker’s story was shared.“I’ve been given a lot of job offers,” Tucker said. “Right now, I don’t have the money, so I want to get the best job I can to support my son.”Tucker said any money he makes will go toward taking care of his family.“I got locked up three weeks before my son was born,” Tucker explained. “When he was born, I got a phone call from the hospital. I heard my son crying in the background, and right then and there I was like, ‘I’m changing my life.’”Tucker got his GED and became a tutor in prison, hoping to be a role model for his son. “I came out here with nothing, literally nothing,” Tucker said. “But I knew if I worked hard things are going to come my way.” Man skips job interview, jumps off bus to rescue car crash victim SHARElast_img read more

Legal profession ‘ahead of rivals on social mobility’

first_imgThe legal sector does more to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds than businesses in IT and finance – or at least believes that it does. According to educational charity the Sutton Trust, the legal profession also offers young people the best chance to reach senior management or board level roles.Figures released today show that 59% of respondents working in the legal profession thought that the business they worked at supported disadvantaged young people well.In the finance and accounting sector 52% of respondents said they felt young people were supported, while the figure stood at 56% for the IT industry.The legal profession was beaten only by the construction industry, in which 61% of respondents said they felt social mobility issues were adequately addressed.The survey saw more than 1,000 business ‘decision-makers’ in various sectors, including legal, finance and IT, asked for their perceptions on how well their organisation supports disadvantaged people. The other business sectors were media, retail, manufacturing and hospitality.In terms of reaching senior roles, 57% of respondents from the legal profession said they thought disadvantaged young people had the opportunity to get to the top. This was the best score and compared with 48% in finance, 50% in IT and 47% in media/marketing.However, 34% of respondents from the legal sector still said they thought their business had not addressed concerns well enough.The YouGov survey was jointly published by the Sutton Trust and Deutsche Bank.According to the survey, 80% of senior figures in financial services said that the way candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds present themselves at interview is preventing them from getting a job.The survey also details the ‘brown shoes’ effect highlighted by the Social Mobility Commission. Last year, the commission found that young people from less-affluent homes are often ‘locked out’ of banking jobs because of clothes, accents, dress and behaviour.last_img read more