Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest: Nancy Hartwell
Guest Bio: Nancy Hartwell has studied the topic of human trafficking for more than 40 years. She is especially knowledgeable about the sex trade on the Persian Gulf. Nancy has written three best-selling books about victims of human trafficking. She has logged in more than 350 radio interviews, nationally and internationally, dealing with the subject of human trafficking.
Segment overview: Nancy Hartwell describes how victims are targeted and what happens once someone is caught in the clutches of a trafficker.he 21st century.
Health Professional Radio
Neal: Hello and welcome to Health professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. Very glad, that you could join us here today. We’ve been talking with Nancy Hartwell in other segments about the subject of human trafficking and Nancy is here in studio today retuning with us to talk some more about human trafficking and how basically 21st century slavery is persisting, thriving and becoming more and more prominent as time goes on. How are you doing today Nancy?
Nancy Hartwell: Just fine. Thank you so much Neal.
N: Thanks for returning. You’re the author of series, the topic of which being human trafficking. There are three books in your series, the first being “Harem Slave.” Now in these books, you’ve taken true stories and turn them into books filled with information about how the human trafficking industry operates and how we can safeguard our loved ones from becoming ensnared in this evil trade. Could you talk a little bit about what happens when someone is, say, from being targeted to sold to rescue and hopefully recovery?
H: Okay. The life of the victim of trafficking, even here domestically, is not very pleasant. Once a girl has been trafficked, her life expectancy is about 6 years. And so that probably means that she would be dead before the age of 20, either through drug over-dosage because the pimp will try to get prostitute hooked on expensive drugs, or brutal pimps, or brutal customers that’s are even here domestically.
N: Now when you say six years as a life expectancy, are you being a little bit generous?
H: That’s statistically pretty accurate but still if a girl is trafficked at 14 that means she’s dead at the age of 20. That’s a pretty scary statistic in my book.
N: It’s horrifying.
N: And we’re not talking about just girls, we’re talking about young boys too. And not just sex trade, we’re talking about being forced into labor.
H: Labor trade.
N: as a worker…
H: The labor slavery, yes. But once again, most of those victims are from Central Asia or South Asia, India, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indonesia. Again, but there are a lot of them out there and the problem is that these wealthy mega-millionaires feel entitled to owning slaves.
N: Now we’re not talking about millionaires just in the Persian Gulf. We’re talking about people in Europe, the United States and all over, aren’t we?
H: Yes. But the problem is particularly acute on the Persian Gulf just because there’s so much money. And as these states continues to accumulate oil wealth, the problem continues to become worse. This is a multibillion dollar international business. Do you remember the story of Natalee Holloway, the girl from Alabama who disappeared in Aruba a few years ago?
N: Absolutely, yes.
H: Okay. Well she’s fit the profile to a … and the Dutch guy, Joran van der Sloot who was originally questioned regarding her supposed murder, when things calmed down a little bit he began bragging to his friends that he had sold her to an Arab who works in the oil Industry and … right next door. I’ve even heard that this Arab paid $18M for her because she was so famous, that she had acquired a little cache and so be able to brag that he owned her, he paid $18M for her. Usually a good looking young blonde girl goes to about $100,000.
N: People that go on vacation to, well, some pretty common vacation spots and just come up missing and that it was covered up with a supposed murder and the body was never found, yeah?
H: Never recovered, right.
H: Well Aruba is the center for the international slave trade in the Western hemisphere.
N: Aruba is the center…
H: Yes. There are three major industries in Aruba. Number one “drugs,” number two “trafficking” and number three “tourism” – the big money makers. So be careful if you go to Aruba, keep a good eye on your daughters. Those are often shipped there and then dispersed internationally so there, that’s kinds of a staging area.
N: What about people that aren’t young girls? They happen to be a nice looking blonde or nice looking young guy from Europe or from Kansas and they’re a doctor or they’re an ambulance driver. They’re on vacation, what about trafficking in people that are adults that have a clue that they’ve been on this earth more than 11 or 12 years. They disappear as well.
H: They certainly do. I’ve heard about people as old as 40 being stolen and then enslaved. PhD’s who you think aren’t really naive but these traffickers know, this is their job. They know what they’re doing, they know how to track people, where people or at sometimes simply take advantage of the given situation. Yes, there are homosexual brothels, some of which are extremely brussel by the way and I even heard about one guy, you mentioned doctor. He flunked out of medical school…
N: Uh huh.
H: But he decided he wanted to operate on people anyway so now he buys people. It doesn’t matter really what kind of person. It doesn’t have to be a 15 year old cute blonde, just to indulge his desire to perform surgery. And the possibility that somebody falls into the hands of a real pervert are also very high.
N: Uh huh.
H: I mean, most people don’t have to buy women okay…
N: Uh huh.
H: They can just charm them or pay a prostitute or something. You don’t have to buy. Well if you have to buy a woman, it might mean you’re pretty desperate. Some of these girls are tortured to death, some of them are simply put to death because the owner want to have a sex with a dead body.
H: Every perversion, every excess you can think of, this practice just encourages you, if you…
N: It caters to it.
H: Yes. There are no consequences so picture any kind of sexual fantasy and take it to the extreme and that’s what this practice encourages and indulges.
N: Now your books, they do involve true stories. These people have been rescued or escaped the human traffic and trade in order to relate their stories to you. What type of circumstances must exist for a person to escape or does our government routinely have a, say, task force that looks for these people or goes down a list and works cases trying to find people that they suspect have been kidnapped and traded in the human trafficking trade?
H: I hate to disappoint you but what our government does is put a country on a naughty, naughty list, like Thailand and the Philippines and Saudi Arabia are all listed as places where human trafficking is an extreme problem. End of action, by the United States Government.
N: And then we condemn the act and that’s about it.
H: We condemn the act and but we need oil and so unfortunately we mostly walk the other way. There are some international organizations. There’s one based in Oslo for instance, that very actively tries to tries to rescue the girls. Because you know the tall, blonde Nordic types often are the prime niche and so there are a lot of girls from Scandinavia in Harems. So there’s Norwegian organization try very hard to rescue them. But it’s hard, you’re talking walls 12 feet high, armed guards at the gate – it’s not easy. A lot of these stories I heard second hand, friends are some. I had a friend from India who recently came back from Saudi Arabia to visit a friend and his friend showed him his slave Harem. There were 36 girls in it, that’s a fairly typical size by the way, although some several hundred like Imelda Marcos and her shoes, you know…
H: Just fond of collecting. Yeah, but he said he was gonna have to upgrade his stock because his friends are making fun of him because his girls were ‘cheapos’ from Greece and Egypt and Turkey and so he needed the Scandinavian types to upgrade the models in his Harem. Talking like cars….
N: Yeah, or cattle like livestock.
N: So basically is slavery. It’s just slavery.
H: That’s it, that’s precisely it. In fact, the brokers who deal in slaves are called specialty livestock brokers.
N: Specialty livestock brokers. So if anyone ever hears, someone overhears a conversation and that term specialty livestock brokers is used, maybe a red flag should be raise yeah?
H: That’s euphemism for slave trade, yes.
H: Now they don’t talk openly about sex slaves on the Gulf but there’s a Koranic code that if those you’re right hand possesses – if you hear about something that your right hand possesses that means sex slave.
N: Okay, I will definitely and I’m hoping that our listener kind of tuck that away in the back of their minds as well, as something to maybe out on the lookout for in their practice, if they should come across those terms. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. We’ve been in studio today talking with returning guest Nancy Hartwell. She’s been studying the topic of human trafficking for over 40 years and she’s especially knowledgeable about the sex trade in the Persian Gulf. And we’ve been here talking about her book series in human trafficking, the first of which being “Harem Slave,” two more follow. And also talking about what happens when someone is caught in the clutches of a human trafficker and some of the ways that some nations are trying to free some of these sex slaves. These 21st century slaves from the clutches of their captors. It’s been great talking with you again here today Nancy.
H: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to get the word out. I really appreciate it.
N: Thank you so much. Transcripts of this program and audio can be found at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm. And don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.