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Wildlife trafficking is a US$ 8–10 billion illegal enterprise that threatens iconic species, including elephants and rhinos, as well as U.S. The slaughter of these animals threatens the diversity of life on Earth and depletes reservoirs of natural capital that sustain the well-being of people.
Wildlife poaching also threatens economies in Africa that depend heavily on wildlife-based tourism for jobs and livelihoods. TAGSAfrica, Biodiversity, elephants, extinction, global security, illegal wildlife trade, poaching, U.S.
A Human Trafficking Task Force has been formed in Nebraska to fight what Attorney General Doug Peterson sees as a growing threat. Peterson says human trafficking is a real problem in Nebraska and the state simply has not taken steps to stop it.
Nebraska has received a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Justice not just to fight human trafficking, but to serve its victims. Peterson says the state law creating the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force targets both sex and labor trafficking.
Most human trafficking in Nebraska, according to Peterson, revolves around the sex trade, often trapping teenage girls in prostitution. A recent FBI sting in the Omaha area took 21 people into custody and recovered two underage victims of human trafficking.
AUDIO:  Attorney General Doug Peterson holds news conference announcing formation of Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force. MEMBERS of the community and other stakeholders have been urged to do more to help the police combat human trafficking in the Free State province, where traffickers are said to be targeting young women including underage girls from poor families who they lure or abduct usually to work as prostitutes.
Speaking during a campaign last week in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality to raise public awareness about human trafficking, head of the provincial police, roads and transport department, Justice Ontong, said there was need to strengthen dissemination of information within communities about trafficking and what community groups and individuals could do to stop the crime. Maluti-a-Phofung member of the mayoral committee for safety and security, Moeketsi Lebesa, speaking during the awareness exercise held in Qwaqwa last Friday and Saturday, said human traffickers in the eastern Free State municipality often targeted young children who were sold to muti makers who kill them to harvest body parts for use to make muti potions. Trafficked children were also used as cheap labour and as prostitutes, said Lebesa, who also did not provide statistics of the number of trafficked children or women. However, Lebesa cited, as an example of increasing human trafficking in the municipality, the case of 14 women rescued in July from a prostitution ring in Harrismith town, located 341 km from Bloemfontein. Some of the women told the police they had been pressured into prostitution by members of the ring, while others said they had been given up to the syndicate by their own families in return for money.

They said their families were too poor and wanted the money from the syndicate for survival. Members of the syndicate were arrested by the police but were allowed to go scot-free because at the time of the incident South Africa did not have a law against human trafficking. Commenting on claims that families sometimes virtually sell their daughters to prostitution syndicates, Commission on Gender Equality spokesperson Lecholo Nkabanti said a survey carried by the commission in the eastern Free State last year showed that parents sometimes trafficked their own children because of poverty.
Nkabanti said young sex workers interviewed by the commission during the survey said they had not chosen to become prostitutes but that their parents had pressured them into taking up the sex trade.
The new law signed by President Jacob Zuma on July 29 imposes a fine of R100 million or life imprisonment on people convicted of human trafficking. Besides creating the main offence of trafficking in persons, the new legislation also creates offences such as debt bondage, the possession, destruction and tampering with travel documents and using the services of victims of trafficking, among others.
It also focuses on the plight of the victims of human trafficking, making it a legal requirement that they are provided with protection and assistance to overcome their traumatic and life-threatening experiences.
Trade and trafficking in human beings are among the main activities of organized crime, prerequisites for which are poverty, affecting a large part of the population, the weak control of law enforcement bodies and the expanding to the west sex market. Health care stereotype threats stems from common stereotypes about unhealthy lifestyle choices or inferior intelligence that may be perpetuated, often unintentionally, by health care professionals or even by public health campaigns. As an example, Abdou cited campaigns about reproductive health in African American women and other women of color, sexual health in the LGBTQ community, depression among women, and memory problems in older adults.
Abdou said the challenge now is to find ways to inform all people, including people at heightened risk, about how to live healthier, happier, and longer lives while also minimizing the experience and effects of health care stereotype threat. One recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that 100,000 African elephants were killed for ivory between 2010 and 2012.
There has been a massive increase in wildlife trafficking due in part to the growing global black market for wildlife products.
Those of us in the United States can play a role in helping this bill pass Congress and become law. The majority of the grant, $900,000, will go to the Salvation Army which for years has provided services for those caught up in human trafficking. Though women of all ages can become victims of human trafficking, the vast majority are young girls with the task force initially focusing on girls 17 years of age or younger. In the research of this phenomenon, the Center studies the big picture and trends in recruiting people for trafficking purposes in the context of the criminal specialization of organized crime groups and their relationships with international networks for trafficking in children and women.

The researchers found those people were more likely to have hypertension, to be depressed, and to rate their own health more poorly. Although health messages are intended to raise awareness of health issues or trends that may affect specific communities, one implication of this study is that these messages can backfire, said lead author Cleopatra Abdou, an assistant professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and Department of Psychology. Such messages can reinforce and magnify the negative lens through which these groups of people are commonly viewed in society, she said.
Wildlife trafficking is directly connected to criminal networks, and many experts have found a connection with terrorist organizations.
Park rangers, who are on the front lines trying to protect these animals, are among those most at risk. Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has authored and sponsored bipartisan legislation — H.R. Since 2008, CSD’s annual National Crime Survey also monitors the commercial sex market in the country. They were also more distrustful of their doctors, felt dissatisfied with their care, and were less likely to use highly accessible preventive care, including the flu vaccine.
More than 17 percent of the respondents said they felt vulnerable to prejudice with regard to racial or ethnic identity, gender, socio-economic status, weight or age in health care settings.
According to the International Ranger Federation, poachers killed 29 rangers during 2013-2014. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act — to support global anti-poaching efforts and to strengthen the capacity of partner countries to counter wildlife trafficking.
The Attorney General’s office and the Salvation Army will work together to help the task force do its work.
People who felt threatened based on several identities were worse off, healthwise, than people who felt threatened based on just one identity.

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