June 2019

Highlights of the Month

US TIP Report 2019

Hong Kong has been upgraded to ‘Tier 2’ in the latest US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2019 (‘TIP Report’), released on 20 June.

The Government’s introduction of the Action Plan to Tackle Trafficking in Persons and Enhance Protection of Foreign Domestic Helpers in 2018 and subsequent efforts to implement it were important factors leading to the upgrade.

However, the report noted that the government did not make sufficient efforts to investigate trafficking crimes, refer victims to services nor enact legislation to criminalise all forms of trafficking.

Access the US TIP Report 2019 here. 
Access the Hong Kong government’s response here. 
Access STOP’s response here.

Lunch & Learn with Cathay Pacific

Recently, STOP had the privilege of presenting about our work and the issue of human trafficking to staff at Cathay Pacific. Airlines play a critical role in identifying and preventing human trafficking so we really valued this opportunity to connect with Hong Kong’s biggest airline.

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Asia

Many of the victims were sold on as brides. Image credits: AFP, via SCMP

Chinese police free more than 1,100 human trafficking victims after targeting Southeast Asian networks

Date: 21 June 2019 
Source: South China Morning Post

China said on Friday that it had rescued 1,147 foreign victims of human trafficking, including 1,130 women and 17 children, in a joint operation with five neighbouring countries.

Click here to access the article.

Thai police say cybersex traffickers targeting boys from wealthy families

Date: 17 June 2019 
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thai cybersex traffickers are targeting teenage boys from wealthy backgrounds, often luring them by posing as young girls, the Thai police said. Victims were persuaded to film or photograph themselves masturbating, then told the images would be leaked to their friends and families unless they continued to provide them.

Access the article here.

China is harvesting organs from Falun Gong members, finds expert panel

Date: 17 June 2019 
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

China is murdering members of the Falun Gong spiritual group and harvesting their organs for transplant, a panel of lawyers and experts said. Beijing said it stoppedusing organs from executed prisoners in 2015, but the panel said the practice is still taking place. Organ trafficking is considered a form of human trafficking as defined by the Palermo Protocol.

Access the article here.

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Global

Britain’s HSBC to help modern slaves ‘rebuild lives’ with bank access

Date: 23 June 2019 
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Banks usually require proof of address and identity documents to open accounts, which can exclude victims of slavery and trafficking who may have had these documents confiscated.

Access the article here.

Human Trafficking is increasingly a hot topic in the aviation industry. Here’s our pick of resources for the industry to combat human trafficking:

Human Trafficking – IATA

Date: 2019 
Source: International Air Transport Association (IATA)

This page on IATA’s website includes links to resources for airline staff training and campaign materials such as infographics and videos.

Access the webpage here.

Combatting Human Trafficking Handbook

Date: February 2019 
Source: Airports Council International

To assist airports in the fight against human trafficking, the Airports Council International (ACI) has launched its first Combatting Human Trafficking Handbook.

Access the Handbook here.

Report: Combatting Human Trafficking in Airlines: Motivations, Obstacles and Solutions in Developing Front-Line Staff’s Anti-Trafficking Role

Date: June 2019 
Source: The Mekong Club

This report suggests that front-line anti-trafficking profiling could become a viable new front to tackle human trafficking, as well as potentially create business value.

Access the report here.