Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Human Trafficking Month: Part I: What is Human Trafficking?

Many of my readers have probably already observed that one of the issues that I have included in several of my books (such as OBSESSION) is human trafficking, i.e., modern day slavery. In these books, as always, I am searching for truth, justice and redemption for my characters. But what does human trafficking mean for us as readers, authors, and citizens? Since January is Human Trafficking Month, this is a topic I will be visiting several times this month on my blog addressing the who, what, where, when, and whys--and how you can help--of human trafficking.


Definition of Human Trafficking
“Recruitment, transportation, harboring,  or receipt of persons  by means of threats, force, coercion, abduction,  fraud or deception, or abuse of power or position of vulnerability  or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits  to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation….”
“Exploitation shall include at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation,  forced labour or services,  slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
Article 3a of the Convention of Transnational Organized Crime in Shelly, L. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge  University Press, 2010, pp. 10-11.

Why Should Romance Writers Care?
Estimates range from 2.5 to 30 million people victims of trafficking.
People are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced marriage, labor exploitation, for begging, for services as child soldiers, adoptions and for their organs.
Two-thirds are women and children (under age 18 boys and girls) trafficked into sexual exploitation.
Men and boys are trafficked primarily for forced labour, child soldiers and beggars.
Human trafficking is a women’s issue.
--International Labor Organization. (2004). Report of the Director General Crime, Global Alliance Against Forced Labor. in Shelly, L. Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge  University Press, 2010, p. 5.

A Transnational Crime
Eurasia and Eastern Europe
United States
Latin America and Africa
--Shelly, L. (2010). Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, Cambridge  University Press.

Culture Predicts Business Model
 Trade and Development Model—Humans used to build national economy
Eurasia and Eastern Europe: See EYE OF THE EAGLE
Natural Resource Model, Furs, Oil, Lumber, Humans sold as commodities
Violent Entrepreneur Modal—Balkan Crime Groups, Humans as disposable goods (victims often tattooed to show which gang owns them)
American Pimp, High Consumption, Low Savings; Run aways, street children lured, girls told they’ll live the high life, usually minority women in poverty-stricken homes.
Latin America: See OBSESSION
Super Market: Low Cost, High Volume; Illegal immigration, People Smuggling goes hand in hand with trafficking.
Traditional Slavery plus High Technology; Nigeria most corrupt nation in the world, Edo is center of trafficking following old slave routes

Part II of this series will address some of the reasons for this plague. Meantime, why do you think human trafficking exists? Post your responses below to be entered in a drawing for an ebook copy of OBSESSION.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

NEW AUDIOBOOK: Some Other Child

One of my first novels, SOME OTHER CHILD, is now available in audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Jeffery Lynn Hutchins.

In this romantic suspense, one of the main characters is an unwed mother of twelve during World War II.  She goes into labor, is told her baby died in birth and that the child was buried in the hospital rose garden. In reality, the nurse in the delivery room saw the baby move and stole her. Crazy scenario? Unlikely event? Nope. Truth is stranger than fiction. 

Baby trafficking is not a new phenomenon. Some of the more horrific ones in recent history include the Cole babies between 1927 and 1963 and the butter box babies from the late 1920's to the 1940's. Katherine Cole of Miami, Florida, claimed to be a physician. Unwed mothers came to her and either aborted or delivered their babies, whom she then sold to adoptive parents. Children delivered and sold in this manner have no clue about their medical histories; many are still seeking their real parents.
The owners of the Ideal Maternity Home in Nova Scotia, Canada, a midwife and an unordained minister and missionary, offered discreet deliveries to couples and to unwed mothers. With no laws to constrain them, they conducted a brisk business of selling babies to families in the United States. Those deemed unmarketable, became butter boxbabies, so called because babies they could not sell were placed in boxes that milk and butter was delivered in, given minimal food and left to die. The infants were buried in butter boxes.

Babies continue to be a valuable commodity and many countries have an abundance of girl babies. More developed nations will pay big bucks for babies, and until recently, the notion that these infants were actually trafficked humans was not a topic for polite conversation. Colombia has been one of the biggest offending countries, with mothers being told to have their babies, then being informed they child died at birth--then sold to adoptive parents. Laws regarding out of country adoptions are changing and adoptive couples are more likely (one hopes) to ask if the baby's mother actually voluntarily gave her child up for adoption. The problem of documentation still remains an issue. Otherwise, that baby could be SOME OTHER CHILD.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Kindle Book Review Meet & Greet Giveaway: January 7-31, 2019

Happy New Year!!

Here's a chance to win  a 7" Kindle Fire, Reader mug, and $25 Amazon eGift Card ($100 value) from The No. 1 Site for #Reader Giveaways~~The Kindle Book Review. Just click the link and enter (everyday if you want). It's easy & fun. If you love #reading, enter now; giveaway ends Jan. 31, 2019. Click here for details ~>  https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/january-meet-greet-giveaway/

My fun novella, An Inn Decent Proposal, is part of the give away--and you can take a peek at it here!