Women in Eastern Europe are being tricked into modern day slavery, sex trafficking. Most of society thinks slavery is a thing of the past but this is a major social problem in many areas of world. Women’s bodies are being sold to whoever can pay the most. This has to be stopped because most of the women have no choice and no one should be a slave. A woman named Olga, who has experienced this life first hand, was kidnapped from her small town in Moldova, loaded into a truck with ten other girls, brought to Velesta and sold into prostitution. They had clients on the first night, and Olga had no idea where she was and was repeatedly raped, humiliated and beaten until she submitted. Olga recounts,
“They made me clean the toilet with my tongue. It was horrible and dirty. I think they did it because I was the newest girl. And they made me lick another girl’s genitals, and take up to 10 or 15 clients a day. I was trapped and would be beaten if I tried to escape. They wanted to break my will, and they succeeded.”
This was just some of Olga’s experience while trapped in the brothel. This is just one story out of millions and it is not even the worst one. These women are smuggled into these foreign countries and forced to perform different sex acts for multiple men a day to make their owners money. Sex trafficking will continue as long as there is money to be made.
The United Nations estimates that between 800,000 and 4 million men, women and children are deceived, recruited, transported from their homes and sold into slavery around the world each year. Of these, more than 200,000 women and children from Russia and Eastern Europe are forced into prostitution each year.
There is a lot of money in human sex trafficking, which generates an estimated $32 billion dollars annually. It is the fastest-growing criminal activity in the world today. According to a 2005 International Labor Office (ILO) report, a single female held for sexual exploitation yields an average of $67,200 annually in Western Europe and North America. Women who are forced into sex and become prostitutes are distributed to many different countries around Europe, and as long as the demand is there, women will continue to be exported. Ukraine, where in 1997 women accounted for sixty-four percent of all unemployed persons, is the second largest exporter of women to Eastern Europe after Moldova. The sex trade in Eastern Europe is very lucrative and needs to be stopped because these women’s human rights are being violated daily. People need to recognize this social problem and help the organizations that specialize in rehabilitating these women and girls who have been sexually exploited and sold/tricked into prostitution.
There is not enough discussion about the root of the problem, the men. Human trafficking is basically international sexual terrorism perpetrated against women and children on a mass scale by men. It is their demand for illicit sex that generates huge profits for the slavers and leaves behind the tortured minds and broken bodies of those women and children they violate. The laws against sex trafficking and prostitution are unenforced most of the time because some of the policemen and officials are clients of these brothels and will alert the “pimps” when a raid is coming.
Sex trafficking will continue to be a social problem until people take notice and do something to either stop it or help raise awareness. There are steps everyone can take to hopefully stop sex trafficking in Eastern Europe. First, be an informed consumer (know where your products come from; do not support businesses that are known to exploit people). Second, keep your eyes and ears open to evidence of trafficking or enslavement and be willing to report it. Third, keep up to date on the issue and spread the message (tell your friends and community leaders). Finally support organizations by making a donation. If a person wants to become more involved, they can join an organization that specialize in helping women recover from the trauma that is sexual slavery by providing medical treatment and legal services. These programs aim to help the victims understand, manage the psychological and emotional symptoms and equip them with tools to overcome their individual trauma and challenges. One group that is working on this is called “Who are We” (http://tfgwebmaster.site.aplus.net/wwwthefuturegrouporg/id13.html.) These young women and girls need our help to get out of prostitution, and they need time to heal and rebuild their spirits. Sex trafficking is everyone’s problem.