Police in Italy are investigating "trafficking in humans" by organised crime to supply circuses with cheap labour. Three men have been arrested and charged with holding the Bulgarian women in slavery and breaching international human rights conventions. Police say that a Bulgarian couple and their two daughters, aged 19 and 16, had lived in the back of a cockroach-infested lorry used for animal transport. The girls were forced to swim with piranha fish and handle dangerous snakes.
Reports said 19-year old Giusi had a tumour on her ear for which she had twice been operated in Bulgaria. Doctors had told her never to get water in her ears, especially cold water. However the water tank in which she was forced to swim with eight piranhas was kept at a temperature just above zero in order to make the piranhas lethargic.
The Bulgarian family has now been taken to "safe premises". Police said that the raid on the circus followed an undercover operation in which plain clothes officers took their families with them as cover and filmed the show as evidence. [LiNk]
A startling new study, which finds that children are being bought and sold for sex in the U.S. on a regular basis. The non-profit group "Shared Hope International" studied minors involved in sex trafficking in ten locations nationwide. [LiNk]
Human Trafficking in NY
(Another day in) Human Trafficking
Tags: slavery 2008, Human Trafficking