Forty-two Afghan children, allegedly victims of trafficking, returned last week to Kabul after being deported by Saudi Arabia. Afghan officials say the incident marks a disturbing trend in child smuggling where most victims are abducted and sold into slavery, prostitution, or used for organ harvesting in neighboring countries. Nadir Nadiri, spokesman for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said officials expect the repatriation of another 208 children in the coming days, according to Agence France Presse. Though trafficking statistics are difficult to pinpoint, the AIHRC estimates 332 children have been abducted in this year alone. Afghan Interior Minister Ali Jalali vowed to work closely with the AIHRC to better combat the problem. The Commission recently held a workshop focused on raising awareness about trafficking among border patrols and law enforcement officers.
Approximately 800,000-900,000 people are trafficked each year worldwide, according to the US State Department's 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report 2003.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .