Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics competitions are held every day, all around the world—including local, national and regional competitions, adding up to more than 53,000 events a year
These competitions include the Special Olympics World Games, which alternate between summer and winter games. Special Olympics World Games are held every two years. The Special Olympics World Games are often the largest sporting event to take place in the world during that year. The most recent World Games were the Special Olympics World Summer Games, held in Athens, Greece, from June 25, 2012 to July 4, 2011, where the entire country took part in participating.
Special Olympics programs are available for athletes free of charge. More than 4 million athletes are involved in Special Olympics sports training and competition in 170 countries. The organization offers year-round training and competition in 32 Olympic-style summer and winter sports.
People with intellectual disabilities are encouraged to join Special Olympics for the physical activity, which helps lower the rate of cardiovascular disease and obesity within the intellectually disabled. Also, they gain many emotional and psychological benefits, including self-confidence, social competence, building greater athletic skills and higher self esteem. The motivations for joining the Special Olympics vary from one individual to the next yet, there are common themes among individuals and their families that encourage them to either participate or abstain from the Special Olympics.
Families can also get involved with the Special Olympics experience. Family members support their athletes to the best of their ability, which may involve attending or volunteering at the events. By being involved they can boost their athlete’s self-esteem and will be looked at as a constant source of encouragement.
Volunteers and supporters are an integral part of Special Olympics—and millions of people around the world are committed to its programs. Some are sponsors or donors. Many others are coaches, event volunteers and fans.
Trafficking is a lucrative industry. It has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable illegal industry in the world. In 2004, the total annual revenue for trafficking in persons were estimated to be between USD$5 billion and $9 billion.
In 2005, Patrick Belser of ILO estimated a global annual profit of $31.6 billion. In 2008, the United Nations estimated nearly 2.5 million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked into 137 countries around the world.
However, it is argued that many of these statistics are grossly inflated to aid advocacy of anti-trafficking NGOs and the anti-trafficking policies of governments. Due to the definition of trafficking being a process (not a singly defined act) and the fact that it is a dynamic phenomenon with constantly shifting patterns relating to economic circumstances, much of the statistical evaluation is flawed.
Human trafficking differs from people smuggling. In the latter, people voluntarily request or hire an individual, known as a smuggler, to covertly transport them from one location to another. This generally involves transportation from one country to another, where legal entry would be denied upon arrival at the international border. There may be no deception involved in the (illegal) agreement. After entry into the country and arrival at their ultimate destination, the smuggled person is usually free to find their own way.
According to the International Centre for Migration Policy development (ICMPD): Human smuggling is a: “Crime against State – no victim by the crime of smuggling as such (violation of immigration laws/public order; the crime of smuggling by definition does not require violations of the rights of the smuggled migrants)”. Whereas human traffic is a: “Crime against person – victim; violation of the rights of the victim of trafficking by definition (violation of person’s human rights; victim of coercion and exploitation that give rise to duties by the State to treat the individual as a victim of a crime and human rights violation)”
While smuggling requires travel, trafficking does not. Much of the confusion rests with the term itself. The word “trafficking” includes the word “traffic,” which means transportation or travel. However, while the words look and sound alike, they do not hold the same meaning.
Victims of human trafficking are not permitted to leave upon arrival at their destination. They are held against their will through acts of coercion and forced to work or provide services to the trafficker or others. The work or services may include anything from bonded or forced labor to commercialized sexual exploitation.The arrangement may be structured as a work contract, but with no or low payment or on terms which are highly exploitative. Sometimes the arrangement is structured as debt bondage, with the victim not being permitted or able to pay off the debt.
Bonded labor, or debt bondage, is probably the least known form of labor trafficking today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving people. Victims become bonded laborers when their labor is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan or service in which its terms and conditions have not been defined or in which the value of the victims’ services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt. The value of their work is greater than the original sum of money “borrowed.”
Forced labor is a situation in which victims are forced to work against their own will, under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment, their freedom is restricted and a degree of ownership is exerted. Men are at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work, which globally generates $31bn according to the International Labor Organization. Forms of forced labor can include domestic servitude; agricultural labor; sweatshop factory labor; janitorial, food service and other service industry labor; and begging.
Sex trafficking victims are generally found in dire circumstances and easily targeted by traffickers. Individuals, circumstances, and situations vulnerable to traffickers include homeless individuals, runaway teens, displaced homemakers, refugees, job seekers, tourists, kidnap victims and drug addicts. While it may seem like trafficked people are the most vulnerable and powerless minorities in a region, victims are consistently exploited from any ethnic and social background.
Fake job offers are a common way to obtain women in Asia, the Former Soviet Block Nations and Latin America.
Traffickers, also known as pimps or madams, exploit vulnerabilities and lack of opportunities, while offering promises of marriage, employment, education, and/or an overall better life. However, in the end, traffickers force the victims to become prostitutes or work in the sex industry Various work in the sex industry includes prostitution, dancing in strip clubs, performing in pornographic films and pornography, and other forms of involuntary servitude.
Human trafficking does not require travel or transport from one location to another, but one form of sex trafficking involves international agents and brokers who arrange travel and job placements for women from one country. Women are lured to accompany traffickers based on promises of lucrative opportunities unachievable in their native country. However, once they reach their destination, the women discover that they have been deceived and learn the true nature of the work that they will be expected to do. Most have been told false information regarding the financial arrangements and conditions of their employment and find themselves in coercive or abusive situations from which escape is both difficult and dangerous. According to a 2009 U.S. Department of Justice report, there were 1,229 suspected human trafficking incidents in the United States from January 2007- September 2008. Of these, 83 percent were sex trafficking cases, though only 9% of all cases could be confirmed as examples of human trafficking.