Thursday, November 17, 2005


Slave trade in Slavic women
Traffickers' New Cargo:Naive Slavic women
A special report
The New York TimesSunday, January 11, 1998
RAMLE, Israel — Irina always assumed that her beauty would somehow rescue her from the poverty and hopelessness of village life. A few months ago, after answering a vague ad in a small Ukrainian newspaper, she slipped off a tour boat when it put in at Haifa, hoping to make a bundle dancing naked on the tops of tables.
She was 21, self-assured and glad to be out of Ukraine. Israel offered a new world, and for a week or two everything seemed possible. Then, one morning, she was driven to a brothel, where her boss burned her passport before her eyes.
"I own you," she recalled his saying. "You are my property, and you will work until you earn your way out. Don't try to leave. You have no papers and you don't speak Hebrew. You will be arrested and deported. Then we will get you and bring you back."
It happens every single day. Not just in Israel, which has deported nearly 1,500 Russian and Ukrainian women like Irina in the past three years. But throughout the world, where selling naive and desperate young women into sexual bondage has become one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the robust global economy.
The international bazaar for women is hardly new, of course. Asians have been its basic commodity for decades. But economic hopelessness in the Slavic world has opened what experts call the most lucrative market of all to criminal gangs that have flourished since the fall of Communism: Eastern European women with little to sustain them but their dreams. Pimps, law-enforcement officials and relief groups all agree that Ukrainian and Russian women are now the most valuable in the trade.
Because their immigration is often illegal — and because some percentage
of the women choose to work as prostitutes — statistics are difficult to assess. But the United Nations estimates that 4 million people throughout the world are trafficked each year — forced through lies and coercion to work against their will in many types of servitude. The International Organization for Migration has said that as many as 500,000 women are annually trafficked into Western Europe alone.
Many end up like Irina. Stunned and outraged by the sudden order to prostitute herself, she simply refused. She was beaten and raped before she succumbed. Finally she got a break. The brothel was raided, and she was brought here to Neve Tirtsa in Ramle, the only women's prison in Israel. Now, like hundreds of Ukrainian and Russian women with no documents or obvious forgeries, she is waiting to be sent home.
"I don't think the man who ruined my life will even be fined," she said softly, slow tears filling her enormous green eyes. "You can call me a fool for coming here. That's my crime. I am stupid. A stupid girl from a little village. But can people really buy and sell women and get away with it? Sometimes I sit here and ask myself if that really happened to me, if it can really happen at all."
Then, waving her arm toward the muddy prison yard, where Russian is spoken more commonly than Hebrew, she whispered one last thought: "I'm not the only one, you know. They have ruined us all."

(By BEEBEE: I remember seeing a special on television last year about this, so it is still an ongoing disgusting violation of human rights. Where are the so-called feminist movements and other so-called caring movements to call attention to this. Why is this ignored and allowed to go on? Is it because a white slavic woman with green or blue eyes is not worth saving? Is it because those who control the media want to cover up the crimes to protect their own people? Sure these are tough accusations, but this has me angry very, very angry!)

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