Missing fingers, toes highlight Asia’s human trafficking woes

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2006 (AFP) – The shattered dream of an Indonesian domestic maid, who lost her fingers and toes, following torture by her employer in the Middle East is being used by the US State Department to illustrate the seriousness of the human trafficking problem.

Nour Miyatis dream was simple: To provide a brighter future for her nine-year old daughter back home.

But after working as a domestic for four years in the Middle East, her luck ran out as her new employer last year confined her in his house, denied her pay and tortured her.

Injuries she suffered to her hands and feet resulted in gangrene that required the amputation of her fingers and toes and prevented her from working anymore, the State Department said in its annual “Trafficking in Persons Report.”

Human trafficking — which refers to the transportation of persons for sexual exploitation, forced labour or other illicit activities — threatens to stifle the livelihood of many Asian workers, the report warns.

“I met with Nour Miyati in Riyadh — a victim of abuse, servitude and torture,” John Miller, a senior advisor on trafficking issues at the State Department, told reporters.

The 290-page report was dedicated to the young Indonesian woman and many other foreign migran