Charities Call This BS
The UN has resorted to blaming big tech for failing to crack down on human traffickers who use their platforms to lure migrants "to their deaths" with false promises of safe passage into Europe, according to the Independent.
Companies such as Facebook and WhatsApp are “enabling criminal activity” by traffickers who entrap victims who are unaware of the dangers they face, according to the UN’s migration agency.
The warning comes amid a surge in migrants attempting to reach the UK by crossing the Channel in small boats, with almost 100 people intercepted by both British and French authorities while attempting to reach the UK from France since Christmas Day. -Independent
UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has declared the migrant crossings a "major incident," cutting short his family holiday to meet with his French counterpart and officials from Britain's Border Force, as well as the National Crime Agency, in order to take "personal control" of the situation, according to immigration minister Caroline Nokes.
There have been over 17,700 deaths recorded in the Mediterranean Sea in just under five years. And that's apparently been enabled by Facebook and other tech firms which provide the ability to communicate.
Leonard Doyle, spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said migrants were being “lured to Calais” over the internet as smugglers operate via social networks “without any real oversight” from the companies controlling them.
He said that while tech firms had taken measures to curb other exploitative activities such as child pornography, efforts to prevent people-smuggling has been “microscopic” compared with the damage it causes. -Independent
Charities call BS
Charities operating on the ground in Northern France disagree with the notion that social media firms have enabled human trafficking, and instead blame "the persecution faced by migrants in their home countries." Also enabling criminal human traffickers, according to the Independent are European governments which have failed to inform refugees of their rights to asylum - and how to do so.
Clare Moseley, founder of charity Care4Calais, disputed the focus on social media, saying: “It’s deeply upsetting to see people taking the risk of crossing the Channel. We never expected to see them resort to something so desperate.
“But this isn’t happening because of social media; it’s happening because they are being persecuted and killed and tortured in the places that they’re coming from.”
Josh Hallam, field manager for Calais-based charity Help Refugees, said smugglers were able to take control of the information flow because government bodies were not providing it.
“The reason so many people are risking their lives is because of the lack of state-funded information – knowledge of their asylum rights and so on – so they cannot make informed decisions,” he said.
“People are not coming because they think it will be an ‘opportunity’. People are fleeing army conscription in Eritrea, war in Syria and Afghanistan, all of the political issue in Ethiopia. -Independent
According to Doyle, however - "People like to point fingers over the migration crisis, but a big part of it must be that the guy or the girl in the village with nothing but a cracked smartphone can actually meet a smuggler in a heartbeat. This person will often have no prior knowledge, no sense that this is a trap, no sense that this is going to end up in their prostitution, their slavery, their murder, their drowning. But the tech companies that have done so much to bring technology to its current place are not investing in civic communication to help counter-balance the nonsense people get from social media. If someone does a search right now anywhere in the world for child pornography, up immediately will come a flag saying this is illegal, don’t go any further, you’re committing an illegal act. But they won’t do that for migration. It’s our technology companies that are luring them to their deaths, and luring them to Calais. It’s not the companies that are doing it, but they’re enabling this criminal activity to happen, almost without any real oversight."
According to Europol's Migrant Smuggling Center, 90% of migrants arriving in the EU were brought there by human traffickers belonging to a criminal organization - while the IOM pegs human trafficking as the third largest business for international criminals.
While the IOM says they have been in discussions with social media providers about the smuggling of people, Doyle has his doubts.
"They claim they’re doing something, but they’re not. Why? Because they depend on shareholder value, so anything that interferes with that is affecting the stock price, which is already in trouble," said Doyle. "Facebook has people working on this but it’s nothing compared with the impact. The amount of attention this gets compared with the damage it does is microscopic."
Describing the process smugglers use to gain clients online, Mr Doyle said the first step were usually to “herd people like sheep” to a carefully protected WhatsApp group that tells them “when to move, what to do, what to say and how to deal with the authorities”.
Maybe it's a combination of both?
Comment (vf): It is not only both - the real picture is much more complex!
A) Totally corrupt governments in the least developed regions of the world in cohorts with international corporations have exploited and continue to exploit local resources for the benefit of wealthy cartels from rich states, while destroying the social fabric and resilience of local communities - an ongoing process since colonial times. This creates refugees, who have to flee from the oppression of their tyrannical governances and triggers migration o people, who realize that there is no way they can survive economically in these zones. An estimated 65% of the world’s land is under indigenous ownership, but yet many post-colonial state-governments recognize only a fraction of this land as formally or legally belonging to Indigenous Peoples. The United Nations Organization (UN) is still not willing to exclude corrupt and criminal state members from its exclusive club, where only states and not real (First) Nations are allowed in, because the membership would shrink its own body with many implications and repercussions for the UN in its present set-up. If the UN would truly be interested to expell corrupt member states and could replace them with Indigenous Nations - in Canada alone there are over 600 officially recognized First Nation governments - at least those countries on the bottom half of the global corruption index could easily be dropped and the UN would gain. 370 million indigenous people in the world, with over 5,000 different cultures, living across more than 90 UN member-states - would strengthen the world body in every respect.
B) The business model of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its parent - the UN conglomerate itself - is not geared towards the aim to improve the overall situation (the ‘Millennium Goals’ are simply PR) or willing to achieve a situation where their relief services and the respectiv UN ‘agencies’ would no longer be necessary. The opposite is the case: As more refugees - as more business for the UNHCR; as more migrants as more potential clients for IOM and as more hungry people as more business for WFP. And the numerous cases of corruption inside UNHCR, with which their internal policing body - the so-called 'Inspector General' - is overwhelmed, create a situation where also so-called implementing partners or partner organizations are quickly lined up in the corruption circus or, if they are straight, bound to close for lack of funding or co-operation.
C) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) - founded by the U.S. as a travel agency after WWII to facilitate the transport of emigrants from devastated Europe to the United States of America - later tuned into an NGO and now part of the UN-system - has likewise a business model, which is based on numbers of willing clients (returning refugees, asylants sent to their new countrie of asylum and migrants when IOM is engaged for transport facilitation in war-zones like Syria by the UN or in Europe by the EU or its member states for example.
D) The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN and especially the World Food Program (WFP) - an outlet also for the over-production created mostly by USAmerican farmers, whose industrialized agriculture is subsidized by the U.S. government for political reasons and by BigChem for profit, as well as to monetize staple foods of sub-standard quality, is another player in this purely economic circus of inhumanity - no matter what their glossy websites and brochures promise or proclaim otherwise. The role of the WFP as one of the infamous Lords of Poverty for destroying local farm prices in underdeveloped countries, where they then dump the relief-food, is well documented. Mafia organizations are regularly involved and only in rare cases (like in Somalia) busted. Until today WFP is not willing to guarantee that they only would deliver food not contaminated with GMOs.
E) With growing populations also the numbers of people forced to leave their oppressed homelands increases. For most people in receiving countries the difference between a genuine refugee and an economic migrant is intentionally blurred by the mainstream media and political parties.
F) Organized mass-migration which targets Europe and now also the USA has recently been triggered and is supported by wealthy organizations for political and even geo-strategic reasons - deliberately and intentionally.
G) Since the organizations described above do regularly not provide for a timely solution to the people forced to leave their homelands, organized private ventures become attractive to those suffering, who in solidarity form groups and seek help jointly. There the line between honestly operating Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and organizations of organized crime syndicates is often blurred. Many honest and independent humanitarian NGOs have closed down already or are on the brink to close down, because independent funding is very difficult to obtain and the organizations are tortured by bureaucracy, because donor-fatigue has dried up the resources. Experienced staff with real knowledge then often have no other option than to sign on to the known culprits of the international charity bandwagon with its governmental funding resources, but their voices then are shut up and their independence is gone. A vicious cycle which obviously almost nobody is willing to interrupt.
H) At present nowhere in the whole sector a trend away from corruption and other crime can be observed or proven. Short-lived adjustments to curb economic or sexual exploitation excesses abusing migrants and refugees alike only blindfold the governmental bureaucrats and mainstream media - with the aim to allow for 'business as usual'. Investigative journalists exposing the worldwide scams are silenced and even murdered.
I) Payments by states suffering from massively increased immigration to the top-governmental segments of states from or through which the stream flows (like now Turkey or Mexico) only provide for a temporary often brutally implemented lid, which will be blown off later with even more force, if nothing changes in the countries of origin. Wasting taxpayers’ money to stage camouflage projects presented in glossy media will only aggravate the situation decrease awareness, because in reality there is no time left to tackle the problem with real solutions.
J) The key is to assist the people in the impoverished post-colonial countries of origin, from where no-one wants to leave, if not forced by a situation where decent people are terrorized or deliberately impoverished. But for such solutions to become reality the whole system – especially at the helm and at the core of the cause and at its surrounding organizations - has to be completely revamped and changed.
WARNING: Beware of fraudulent offers of migration assistance in the internet or email marketing
Individuals considering migrating for whatever purpose or destination should take extreme caution in dealing with internet offers or email marketing in light of recent surge in fraudulent schemes. These schemes seek to extract money from migrants by claiming their programme is under the auspices of the destination country, lawyers’ associations, IOM, the United Nations or other humanitarian organizations.
IOM is issuing this warning in response to several email requests and queries from various sources asking for assistance in verifying the authenticity of these emails or websites. Potential migrants must be alert on the modus operandi of these unscrupulous operators such as the use of photos of people copy and pasted from the internet or the unauthorized use of name and logo of IOM and/or various UN agencies.
The fraudulent schemes falsely promise visa facilitation and transportation assistance, resettlement opportunities as well as job openings and recruitment abroad. Be extremely wary of any such offers, particularly where money is requested to be sent in advance.
Some of scams of which we are aware are using the following names or close variations thereof:
- Australian Immigrant Workers Recruitment / Resettlement Program (AIWR/RP)
- Canadian Alien Workers Recruitment Agency (CAWRA)
- Canadian Foreign Worker’s Recruitment Program Association (CFWRPA)
- Canadian International Recruitment Centre (CIRC)
- Canadian International Worker’s Recruitment Association (CIWRA)
- Canada Recruitment International Centre (CRIC)
- Canadian Resettlement Agency (CRA)
- Canadian Workers Recruitment Program (CWRP)
- Global Committee on Refugee and Humanitarian Agencies (GCRHA)
- Global Intercontinental Exchange Programme (GIEP)
- Global Refugee and Humanitarian Agency (GRHA)
- Global Recruitment and Resettlement Agency (GRRAOHA)
- International Foreign Workers Recruitment Program Association Canada (IFWRAC, IWRAC or IFWRPA)
- North America Foreign Worker's Recruitment Program Association (NAFWRPA)
- Social Welfare Employment and Recruitment Agency (SWERA)
- United States / Canada Recruitment and Resettlement Agency (USCRARA)
- United States Foreign Workers Recruitment Program (USFWRP)
- Universal Network for Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Foundations (UNHRF)
- Universal Programme for Humanitarian Employment and Resettlement Agencies (UPHERA)
- Universal Network for Humanitarian Employment Opportunities (UNHEO)
- US Workers Resettlement and Recruitment Program (USWRRP)
- US Workers Recruitment Program (USWRP)
- World Refugees Assemblies of Humanitarian Agencies (WRAHA)
If you see any offers using IOM’s name or referring to IOM, please inform your nearest IOM office.
It has been brought to the attention of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that letters bearing IOM’s logo have been sent to numerous recipients informing them that they won in an annual lotto draw. These letters are circulating in the form of e-mails and may direct to e-mail addresses from the following e-mail host:
These letters do not originate from IOM and they are not in any way associated with IOM activities.
Such use of IOM’s name and logo is unauthorized and illegal. IOM takes this matter seriously and takes appropriate actions against such fraudulent practices.
IOM strongly advises the public to be cautious of these and other similar fradulent e-mails that falsely claim association with IOM. Any transfer of personal information or money to those issuing such fradulent e-mails can result in identity theft, financial loss and other damages. IOM shall not be held liable for any claims, pertaining to fraudulent schemes including but not limited to claims resulting from theft, loss or damage.