May 2019

Highlight of the Month

Malika testifies in court

A few years ago, Malika* came to Hong Kong to work as a foreign domestic helper. She soon found herself working in extremely exploitative conditions, without sufficient food or rest and unable to seek help.

Since her referral to STOP, we have provided her with medical assistance and walked with her on her road to recovery.

This month, Malika testified against her former employer in court. At the time of writing, the court case is still ongoing.

Click here for our video of Malika’s story.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of survivors.


Hong Kong

Philippines is home to illicit funding for human trafficking, kidnapping

Date: 23 May 2019 
Source: ABS-CBN News

A report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council says that the Philippines has become a destination of illicit funding from various crimes, including human trafficking and kidnapping. The report also says that large amounts of illegally obtained funds were sent to Hong Kong.

Access the article here.

71 people from mainland China detained in Hong Kong raids

Date: 15 May 2019 
Source: South China Morning Post

71 people from mainland China were arrested by Hong Kong authorities in raids against prostitution and illegal employment. This article does not mention whether the detainees were screened for victims of human trafficking according to the Hong Kong Government’s 2018 Action Plan to Tackle Trafficking in Persons.

Access the article here.



A Rohingya refugee family are interviewed by a UNHCR registration officer at Kutupalong refugee settlement, Bangladesh. Photo Credits: UNHCR/Will Swanson

Some 250,000 Rohingya refugees receive first ID cards: UN

Date: 17 May 2019 
Source: France 24

The UN has registered more than 250,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, providing many with their first ever ID cards. The UN said registration could serve as a tool for law enforcement to counter human trafficking.

Access the article here.

Eight Chinese nationals arrested as Pakistan busts prostitution ring that sent young women to China via fake marriages

Date: 7 May 2019 
Source: SCMP

Pakistani authorities have arrested 12 suspected members of a prostitution ring taking young Pakistani women to China. Official says gangs targeted members of Pakistan’s Christian minority.

Access the article here.

Indian slavery survivor wins top payout after two-year court battle

Date: 30 April 2019 
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News

An Indian woman becomes the first slavery survivor to receive full compensation under a scheme introduced in India in 2016. No one had received the full amount until this month because the payments are linked to a conviction, which can take years.

Access the article here.



Hundreds of children uncovered in UK crackdown on drug gangs

Date: 21 May 2019 
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thousands of children in Britain, some as young as 12, are thought to be used by so-called “county lines” gangs to carry drugs from cities to be sold in rural areas.

Access the article here.

‘I am with you’ – the transgender women helping trafficking victims in Brazil

Date: 15 May 2019 
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News

In Brazil, survivors help police rescue transgender women trafficked into prostitution. Transgender women are often marginalized by society, making them easy prey for abusers.

Access the article here.

‘Prostitution is seen as a leisure activity here’ – tackling Spain’s sex traffickers

Date: 11 May 2019 
Source: The Guardian

This special report on the sex trade in Spain highlights how security forces, prosecutors, and NGOs have created formal alliances to combat sex trafficking.

Access the article here.



The trade of North Korean women in China is said to be worth $100m a year for criminal organisations. Photo Credits: BBC

Report: Sex Slaves: The Prostitution, Cybersex & Forced Marriage of North Korean Women & Girls in China

Date: 20 May 2019 
Source: Korea Future Initiative

This new report finds that thousands of North Korean women and girls are forced into sexual slavery in China. They are commonly aged 12-29 but some are as young as 9.

Access the report here.