A coalition of Russian women’s groups appealed to President Vladimir Putin to establish a task force to combat trafficking in humans. Citing the US State Department’s recently released Trafficking in Persons report which names Russia as one of 19 countries that failed to take adequate measures to combat the practice, the Angel Coalition said Putin should adopt a plan to “save tens of thousands of Russian women from being lured overseas by criminal traffickers.” Approximately 50,000 women from the former Soviet Union are trafficked abroad every year and forced into sexual slavery, according to human rights advocates.
The State Department released a report on human trafficking at the beginning of the month that claims that there have been 4 million victims of human trafficking over the past year – 50,000 in the United States. Traffickers typically confiscate passports and then beat, rape or drug the women in order to ensure compliance, according to victim advocates. The State Department report also said that traffickers “use fraudulent employment, travel, modeling and matchmaking agencies to lure young men and women.” Russia is classified as a third tier country – which is known as the blacklist, according to the State Department’s report. “The government of Russia does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. There is no law specifically against trafficking. Recruitment for prostitution is illegal but not a criminal offense,” reads the report. Countries that make a serious effort to address the problem could avoid sanctions imposed under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Washington Times. The Feminist Majority strongly supported the passage of this law in 2000, joining with several other women’s organizations to advocate for its passage in Congress. The law also authorized $94.5 million for victims of sex trafficking, created special visas for victims of trafficking and slavery, and doubled the maximum penalty for sex trafficking.
Media Resources: Yahoo! News 6/18/02; The Washington Times 6/6/02; www.state.gov
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .