Are you ready to save the European Union? Then fix this problem this month by making HUMAN TRAFFICKING A 1st DEGREE FELONY AROUND THE WORLD PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!
See the attached video and read the article below. Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, clean up your acts before applying for admission to the European Union!
See the attached video and read the article below. Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, clean up your acts before applying for admission to the European Union!
Documentary on Human Trafficking
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Europe's Modern Slave Trade ________________
WHEN ANGER IS APPROPRIATE
Anger is perhaps not just forgivable but highly appropriate, after reading the following report on 21st century slavery. But emotion is always misplaced unless the facts are themselves objective, well sourced and sensibly interpreted. Thus our report refers to "Europe's Modern Slave Trade - Human Trafficking" - rather than the long existing Latin America-to-USA traffic; or the equally heinous intra-Asian variety, to which of course we make reference. This is partly because in Europe, this scandal is probably newer with the collapse of communism. Thus it is reasonably well documented.
We also make a distinction between regrettable male and female 'human smuggling,' where those often economic refugees being smuggled, are complicit with their smugglers. This we see as distinct from the unmitigated evil of old-fashioned slavery, where an unwilling victim, often a stolen child or helpless young woman, is under the control and at the disposal of the trafficker.
But also we refer to Europe because the remit of newnations.com is to report the affairs of currently forty-five 'nations in transition,' and we name here several of those nations as being involved. Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. All these are named in this report as being the greatest sources of trafficked victims.
A current exhibition of worldwide human trafficking in the Museum of World Culture in Sweden's Gothenburg, reports amongst other fearsome details: that parents in rural Albania were "refusing to send their children to school for fear that traffickers will kidnap them" - the majority of those trafficked being under eighteen - that "this accelerating business is mainly exploiting women and girls for sexual purposes".
Albania has ambitions to join the EU. Bulgaria ALREADY HAS BEEN ADMITTED! Yet it is at government level that the necessary action must be taken to eliminate this 21st century outrage. It must be up to international groups such as the EU, to which these nations belong or seek to belong, to apply the pressure and if necessary sanctions, to bring an end to a scandal that should frighten every parent that reads this - and which shames us all.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Europe's Modern Slave trade
Nature and Causes
Trafficking human beings, a particularly shameful form of exploitation, is not a new phenomenon, despite its recent notoriety in the world's media. From African villages to East European cities, people in search of a better life are lured by the prospect of a well-paid job as a waitress, domestic servant or factory worker, especially where there are poverty and a lack of employment opportunities at home. The victims may come from all levels of society but they are often from the most vulnerable groups such as refugees, runaways and other displaced persons. (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/trafficking_human_beings.html)
A distinction has to be drawn between human trafficking and 'people-smuggling'. In the latter case, people ask for the smuggler's service in return for payment. Upon arrival at the required destination, they are usually free. The trafficked victims, on the other hand, continue to be under the control of the trafficker. They may be physically confined, their travel and identity documents are taken away and they or their families may be threatened. The trafficker often exploits the victims' fear that, if they ask for help from the authorities in their country to which they have been trafficked, they will be prosecuted or deported.
Because of gender inequality, women and young girls are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. False promises in an advertisement or mail-order bride catalogue of well-paid legitimate work in the hotel and catering industry, or in au pair work, may appear to be an attractive financial opportunity. When they arrive at their country of destination, the agents or brokers, who arranged their travel and work, escort them to their employers. It is only then that they discover they have been deceived about the nature of the work they are expected to do. Some child victims of trafficking may be forced into slave labour in sweatshops, sexually exploited or, in some cases, coerced into being child soldiers. Men who are trafficked may also find themselves working in appalling working conditions in factories or on farms.
The causes of human trafficking are many and varied. People may wish to escape poverty in their own country and perceive better economic opportunities elsewhere. Lack of employment prospects, political instability or armed conflict at home all serve as incentives to seek better prospects abroad. Whatever the reasons, it has to be remembered that the labour and services provided by trafficked victims are driven by demand from the overseas countries that receive them.
The Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (the 'Palermo Convention') was adopted by the United Nations in 2000 and has been effective since 2003. The Convention was supplemented by two 'Palermo Protocols':
the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children and
the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air
'Trafficking in persons' is defined by the first protocol as meaning the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for purpose of exploitation. Exploitation includes prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
The sad reality is that human trafficking is big business and, after arms sales and drug dealing, the fastest growing criminal industry. Porous borders and advancing communication technologies make this transnational business highly lucrative. The huge profits to be gained far outweigh the small risk of being caught and prosecuted. Estimates vary but the UN and other experts put the total market value of illicit human trafficking at around $32 billion dollars, $10 billion of which is derived from the 'sale' of trafficked victims. The rest is profit from the goods and services produced by the victims. The US State Department estimates 600,000 - 820,000 people per annum are trafficked across national borders. 80% of victims are thought to be women and girls and 50% minors. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2005/46606.htm
The International Labour Organisation estimates that 12.3 million people around the world are in forced labour. www.ilo.org/global/Themes/Forced_Labour/lang--en/index.htm However, the nature of this clandestine and criminal trade is such that statistics are speculative and are therefore notoriously unreliable. To quote UNESCO:
"When it comes to statistics, trafficking of girls and women is one of several highly emotive issues which seem to overwhelm critical faculties. Numbers take on a life of their own, gaining acceptance through repetition, often with little enquiry into their derivations. Journalists, bowing to the pressures of editors, demand numbers, any number. Organisations feel compelled to supply them, lending false precisions and spurious authority to many reports." www.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=1022&type=98
OneWorld.net, an American-based NGO agrees: "Trafficking in human beings is a global issue, but a lack of systematic research means that reliable data on the trafficking of human beings that would allow comparative analyses and the design of countermeasures is scarce". http://us.oneworld.net
Whatever the statistics, there are, alas, innumerable documented accounts of human trafficking from Latin America to the USA and from poor Asian to rich Asian countries. In Europe, the collapse of communism, gave rise to trafficking from poorer eastern European countries to the richer west. A recent report called 'Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns' by UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) identifies Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy as the most common European destinations. Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine are among the countries that are the greatest source of trafficked victims. (http://www.unodc.org/pdf/Trafficking_toolkit_Oct06.pdf). A brief survey of these poorer countries in Europe serves to illustrate the nature of the problem.
Albania is a country of origin for the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation. According to the US State Department trafficking in Persons Report of June 2007 (www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/), victims are trafficked to Greece and Italy and many are trafficked onward to the U.K., France, Belgium, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands. Albania is no longer considered a major country of transit nor is it a country of destination for traffickers. (http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Albania.htm).
Bulgaria is described by the report as a country of transit and destination for men and women. They are trafficked from Moldova, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Armenia to Bulgaria. From there, they may be trafficked to Spain, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Macedonia for sexual exploitation purposes. Bulgarian women and men are trafficked to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey for sexual exploitation and forced labour. Roma children are also trafficked within Bulgaria and abroad to many west European countries for forced begging and petty theft purposes. Of the identified trafficking victims in Bulgaria, about 20% are children. (http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Bulgaria.htm).
Belarus is another major source and transit country in Europe for trafficking of women for forced labour and sexual exploitation. Men and women are trafficked from and through Bulgaria to countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe and beyond to such countries as the USA, Turkey and Turkmenistan. A small number of Moldovans are trafficked to Belarus to be used as forced labour.
Moldova, is a major source, and to a lesser extent a transit country for the trafficking of women and girls to the Middle East, the Balkans and Europe for sexual exploitation, according to the International Organisation for Migration, a leading intergovernmental organisation in the field of migration. (http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Moldova.htm). A report by the UN in December 2003 revealed that Moldovan children were being trafficked to Russia for begging and to Ukraine for working on farms.
Ukraine is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking men, women and children for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. Ukrainian women are trafficked to all parts of Europe and to the Middle East. Women from Central Asian countries, such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are trafficked through Ukraine to Europe. Ukraine is also a destination for people from the former Soviet republics for forced labour and prostitution. Ukrainian children are trafficked internally and transnationally for commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging and forced labour in the agriculture industry. (http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Ukraine.htm).
National and International Action
To combat human trafficking requires action by national governments, international agencies and NGOs. National legislation can be a useful weapon. If we take as an example the forced labour and trafficking of children, the Labour Law in Moldova sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years and prohibits children under 18 years from participating in hazardous work. Legal remedies, criminal and civil, exist to enforce the legislation. More specifically, the Moldovan constitution prohibits forced labour and the exploitation of minors. This is punishable by imprisonment under the Criminal Code.
The existence of laws is no guarantee of their enforcement. This requires the political will of governments to give law enforcement priority and to allocate the sufficient resources. Governments have to ensure co-operation and co-ordination between the country's law enforcement agencies. It is essential that they in turn work with appropriate non-government organisations (NGOs). Governments can also use the media, films, posters etc. to raise awareness among potential victims. However, a global problem requires global solutions. No country is immune, whether as a source, a transit point or a destination for the victims of human trafficking.
At the international level, a number of United Nations agencies are involved in the issues of human trafficking. UNICEF is especially interested in child trafficking.
www.unicef.org/protection/index_exploitation.html. The UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and UNICRI (the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute) http://www.unicri.it/wwd/trafficking/bibliography/index.php work with the UNODC (The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). www.unodc.org/trafficking_human_beings.html The UNESCO Trafficking Statistics Project http://www.unescobkk.org/index is reviewing the literature on trafficking by evaluating the validity of available statistics.
In 1999, the United Nations launched its Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings. It was designed by UNODC in collaboration with UNICRI to assist member states in their efforts to combat human trafficking. The programme's main objective is to highlight the involvement of criminal groups and to promote the development of effective responses by the criminal justice system in different countries. www.unodc.org/trafficking_human_beings.html
This year UNODC in conjunction with other UN agencies, governments and NGOs launched the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. Fittingly, 2007 is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. The ultimate goal of the Initiative is the end of human trafficking. Meanwhile, it aims to raise public awareness of the problem, to co-ordinate the disparate efforts by national and international groups, governments, NGOs and individuals to put an end to human trafficking. Greater enforcement of existing law by governments is necessary. The UN Protocol Against Trafficking in Persons (mentioned above) has been in effect for nearly four years, 120 states have signed it and 110 states have ratified it, but few countries have taken effective steps to enforce it.
In Europe, the Council of Europe adopted the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2005. www.coe.int/t/DG2/TRAFFICKING/campaign/default_en.asp It too aims to raise awareness of the extent of the problem and the preventative measures that can be taken. It also highlights the measures that can be taken to protect the human rights of victims and to prosecute the offenders. So far 36 nations have signed the convention but only seven have so far ratified it.
NGOs differ in their approaches to trafficking because it is such a multi-faceted problem (involving gender inequality, poverty, forced labour, crime networks etc.) They tend to campaign on the three Ps: prevention, prosecution and protection. Prevention programmes offer jobs and education. Prosecution means campaigning for enforcement of the law with strict penalties for the traffickers. Protection gives victims access to crisis services, shelters, legal advice and other such services. Most NGOs concentrate on education and victim protection services but they all campaign to help governments develop stronger anti-trafficking laws. Listed below are some of the most important of the NGOs involved in combating human trafficking:
Amnesty International www.amnesty.org publish reports on trafficking around the world www.amnesty.org/library
American campaign group 'Not For Sale' www.notforsalecampaign.org
Human Rights Watch, US-based, campaigns against and exposes human trafficking - particularly of women - around the world http://hrw.org/women/trafficking.html
The Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW) is a campaigning alliance of 80 NGOs from around the world http://www.gaatw.net/
Global Rights is a global human rights advocacy group which works with local activists to challenge injustice www.globalrights.org/
It may be appropriate to conclude this survey of human misery by quoting the U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2003:
"As unimaginable as it seems, slavery and bondage still persist in the early 21st century. Millions of people around the world still suffer in silence in slave-like situations of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation from which they cannot free themselves. Trafficking in persons is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time".
by Peter Crisell, BA
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Sex Traffickers Prey On Eastern Europeans
August 23, 2005
The recruiters who originally promised her a high-paying salary were men who posed as representatives of a legitimate employment agency. Maria says they gained her trust because they looked professional and persuasive.
"The process I went through to get there was normal. Everything looked fine. There were two other girls with me. They were from the same region, but I didn't know them. I was going [to Italy] to work as a housekeeper. In Ukraine, they told me already that I would work either as a housekeeper or work in a bar washing dishes," Maria said.
Maria says her nightmare began after she and the other women arrived in Italy and were met by several suspicious men. They were human traffickers in the illegal global sex industry.
"We went there and arrived in one city. They took us to a building on the outskirts of the city and they told us to clean off, to relax from the travel. Later, they confronted us with the fact that we would be providing sex services. It is a shock for a human being. Escape from there was impossible. The windows were barred and there was the constant presence of a guard," Maria said.
One man in the building told Maria he had "bought" her for several hundred dollars. He said she owed him money for the cost of the airplane ticket and would have to work for him until the debt was repaid.
For the next nine months, Maria was forced against her will to work as a prostitute. Sometimes she was forced to have sex with 10 different men within a single day. She was beaten brutally whenever she refused. And if a customer complained about her performance, the brothel owner added a fine to her debt -- prolonging her sentence as a sex slave.
It was only when the brothel was raided by Italian police that Maria was freed from captivity. Authorities in Italy charged her with prostitution and deported her back to Ukraine.
"In Ukraine, they told me already that I would work either as a housekeeper or work in a bar washing dishes."
Maria's story is a common one in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. Trafficking from the region for sexual exploitation has become so common since the early 1990s that it is considered by experts as a distinct wave in the global sex trade.
The U.S. State Department estimates that 800,000 people are trafficked against their will across international borders every year and that millions more are trafficked internally.
John Miller directs the U.S. State Department's Office for Monitoring and Combating Trafficking in Persons.
"Information on slavery is very inexact. But we believe that the majority of slave victims -- in the neighborhood of 80 percent -- are the female gender, and that around 50 percent are children. We believe that the largest category of slavery is sex slavery. This is not to minimize other large categories -- domestic servitude slavery, forced labor in farms and factory slavery, child soldier slavery," Miller said.
Organized criminal groups have created intricate transport routes to move women to different countries. Most of these routes -- whether over land, sea, or air -- originally were established by weapon and drug smuggling syndicates.
The so-called "Eastern Route" through Poland and into Germany is a key overland corridor for smuggling women into the European Union from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and the Baltics. The cities of Prague, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt also are common destinations. Large numbers of these women also reportedly end up in Italy, Greece, Belgium, Austria, and France.
The so-called "Balkan route" is another notorious path for sex-trade traffickers. It moves through Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
A third major trafficking route passes through southern Bulgaria into Greece. Eastern European women, especially Ukrainians, also end up in Turkey after traveling overland through Georgia and Bulgaria, or after crossing the Black Sea on boats from the Ukrainian port of Odessa.
Meanwhile, the former Soviet republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia have emerged in recent years as new recruitment zones -- with women being moved through Central Europe to the EU or to the Middle East and China.
Israel, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Thailand, China, and Japan also are considered key destinations for criminal groups that smuggle women for sexual exploitation.
Miller, who is responsible for the State Department's annual report on trafficking in persons, says Canada and the United States also are becoming significant destinations.
"Human trafficking is synonymous with slavery. Human trafficking relies on coercion and exploitation. It thrives on converting hope to fear. It's maintained through violence. The trade in people is a major source of revenue -- in the billions [of dollars per year] -- for organized crime, along with the drug trade and the arms trade. Let there be no misunderstanding. Modern slavery plagues every country in the world -- including the United States," Miller said.
Canadian-based journalist Viktor Malarek is the author of "Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade." His book documents how criminal groups have increasingly preyed upon the hopes of young women like Maria since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union.
Malarek says that in places like Israel and Turkey, the name Natasha has become synonymous with prostitutes or victims of the sex trade from all the former communist countries of Eastern Europe -- whether they are from Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine or Russia. And regardless of their nationalities, brothel owners and their customers usually refer to these women as "Russians."
Malarek says not all of those caught up in the international sex trade are innocent and naive women who have been led astray. He says police and government officials stress that some women willingly enter the sex trade. But he says the vast majority of Eastern European women lured into the trade are not aware of the nature of sex slavery or the conditions they will work in.
Malarek concludes that virtually every city, town and village in Eastern and Central Europe has seen some of its girls and women disappear -- becoming expendable pawns in the sex business.
It has been several years now since Maria returned to her home in Ukraine. She still has not told her family about her ordeal in Italy. She says she is unsure if she ever will be able to tell her husband the truth.
"It was not worth it. What is important in life is family -- my children and my husband -- in spite of everything. At the beginning, the desire for material wealth was at the front of my mind and family came in second place. But after what happened, my priorities have been reversed," Maria said.
Maria now offers advice to other young women who are being recruited for jobs abroad as a cleaners, nannies, bartenders, waitresses or models. She says before traveling, women should think long and hard about where they are going, why they have received the job offer, and what they expect to happen to them once they leave home.
(RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service contributed to this report.)