News Brief: Study Shows that Homeless LGBT Youth are More Likely to be Sex Traffic Victims

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Study Homeless LGBT Youth Sex Traffic Victims

News Brief Study Homeless LGBT Youth Sex Traffic Victims

News Brief:  Study Shows that Homeless LGBT Youth are More Likely to be Sex Traffic Victims

Covenant House International, the largest privately funded youth homeless shelter in the Americas, commissioned a study from Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project (MSRP) on Labor and Sex Trafficking Among Homeless Youth.

The MSRP interviewed 641 young adults aged 17-25 from ten cities across the US and Canada.  Nearly one in five (124) were identified as victims of some form of human trafficking.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

Of the 124 trafficking victims, 74 percent reported being trafficked for sex, 41 percent for labor and 17 percent for both sex and labor.  Of the 92 young people trafficked for sex, over a third identified as LGBT.

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News Brief: Four More Prisons for Gay Men Have Been Found in Chechnya

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Four More Prisons for Gay Men Chechnya

News Brief Four More Prisons for Gay Men Chechnya

News Brief:  Four More Prisons for Gay Men Have Been Found in Chechnya

Journalists investigating the abuse of gay men in Chechnya have made a gruesome discovery. 

Respected newspaper Novaya Gazeta originally reported that gay men were being held in only two concentration camp style prisons in the villages of Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt.  Journalists from the area now say they have uncovered evidence of a further four prisons, meaning there are at least six prisons in the region holding people because of their sexual orientation. 

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News Brief: Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

News Brief Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

News Brief:  Chechen Gay Men Recall Horrific Abuse in Detention Centers

In the past few months, “over a hundred and possibly several hundred men” have been arrested, detained, and tortured by government security personnel in the Russian republic, The Guardian reports.  It is believed that at least three have, in fact, been killed.

One man, who will be identified by the pseudonym Adam, endured electric shocks by his captors at least once a day, he told the newspaper.  If this was not enough to make him scream, he was then beaten with sticks or rods.  While this was going on, his tormentors lobbed insults at him and demanded names of other gay men.

“Sometimes they were trying to get information from me; other times they were just amusing themselves,” Adam told the paper of the ordeal he went through a month ago.  After several days in a makeshift detention facility, where he and other captives had to sleep on concrete floors, he was released to his family.

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News Brief: Hungarian Town’s Gay and Muslim Ban Deemed Unconstitutional

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Hungarian Town’s Gay and Muslim Ban Deemed Unconstitutional

News Brief Hungarian Town’s Gay and Muslim Ban Deemed Unconstitutional

News Brief:  Hungarian Town’s Gay and Muslim Ban Deemed Unconstitutional

A Hungarian village, which had banned supporting same-sex marriage, as well as building mosques and wearing headscarves, has been told that it cannot do so. 

Laszlo Toroczkai, the mayor of southern Hungarian border village Asotthalom, posted on Facebook last year about the proposals which were adopted by his council.  He wrote: “Instead of looking for a scapegoat, I offer an immediate solution, a defense against the forced mass resettlement [of migrants] by Brussels.”

Other than two abstentions, all of the board voted in favor of the proposed new rules. 

The Constitutional Court in Budapest has, however, since ruled that the policy violates human rights.  The court ruled that the policy planned to “limit directly the freedom of conscience and religion, as well as freedom of speech.”

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News Brief: Scientists “One Step Closer” to HIV Vaccine

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Scientists One Step Closer to HIV Vaccine

News Brief Scientists One Step Closer to HIV Vaccine

News Brief:  Scientists “One Step Closer” to HIV Vaccine

Researchers have said humanity is “one step closer” to a vaccine for HIV after the latest breakthrough.  Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have engineered an on/off switch on to a weakened strain of HIV.  This would in turn allow them to spread the virus throughout someone’s body, before deactivating the strain after it has immunized the host.

Around 35 million people have died of AIDS worldwide since the epidemic began, while 36.7 million are still living with HIV, according to the World Health Organisation.

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