Sex trafficking is defined as transportation of persons by means of coercion, deception and/or force into exploitative and slavery-like conditionsand is commonly associated with organized crime.
Germany has become a "center for the sexual exploitation of young women from Eastern Europe, as well as a sphere of activity for organized crime groups from around the world,"
The selling of young women into sexual slavery has become one growing criminal enterprises in the European Union. While Human trafficking has existed for centuries all over the world, it has become an increasing concern for countries in the Balkan part of southern Europe since the fall of Communism. In 1997 alone as many as 175,000 young women from Russia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe were sold as commodities in the sex markets of the developed countries in Europe and the Americas.Economic hardship and promises of prosperity have left many individuals vulnerable to trafficking within their countries and to destinations in other parts of Europe and the world. The United Nations reports that 4 million people a year are traded against their will to work in one or another form of servitude.
The measures against trafficking of women focus on harsher criminal legislation and punishments, and improving international police cooperation. There are vast media campaigns which are designed to be informative to the public, as well as policy makers and potential victims. In various countries where legislative measures against trafficking are still in their infancy, these media campaigns are important in preventing trafficking.
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Since antiquity, conquered people were forced into slavery and were taken to the victor nation. These people were given new lives of servitude, as servants or sex slaves. Prior to 4000 BC, there is no evidence of sexual servitude and slavery in human culture. Greece and Rome were notorious for capturing people and making slaves out of them. In the height of the Roman Empire, one in every three persons was thought to have been a slave. Men were used as laborers, while women and girls were used for enjoyment purposes. Brothels and mistresses became common. During the 13th century, when the African slave trade was in full swing, women slaves garnered a higher price than men both because of their reproductive value, but also because they were sex objects as well as servants.
Not much changed in the next few centuries in the plight of the slaves. In the 19th century in the United States, rape was common on southern plantations by masters. By the start of the 20th century, a white slave trade had begun in Europe and North America, involving thousands of young women who were transported[ citation needed ] as sex slaves. In Europe at the time, governments had been part of sex slavery schemes for over a century. International treaties were adopted in 1904, 1910, and 1925 outlawing the trading of women.
In the 1990s, the problem of sex trade and sex tourism was increasing and caught international attention when nonprofit groups started making noise about the problem.A company called Big Apple Oriental Tours, out of New York, specialized in sex tours for men who wished to go to places Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, among other destinations, to engage in sex with prostitutes and later would share their experiences with other customers. In Japan, corporations began offering all expenses paid sex tourism excursions to Taiwan as a perk to their executive personnel. After the Soviet Union fell, the demand for sex slaves boomed. It was fueled by economic austerity. This was the first time since the white slave trade of the 19th century that huge numbers of Caucasian women were bought and sold for the purpose of sex. Israel took advantage of the demand for European women that brothels were big money makers. The New York Times and Dateline NBC both did stories on Israel's sex trafficking business.
In response to all the press that sex trafficking was receiving, the United States and the Netherlands jointly funded a media campaign to warn women about scams of employment offers and other debt bondage schemes that were being employed by traffickers to lure these women into what is essentially slavery. In 2000, the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, also known as the Palermo Protocols, was adopted. About 80 nations signed and ratified the new treaty.Since the Palermo Protocols, prostitution scandals involving United Nations peacekeeping troops and defense contractors have been plentiful. In one case, in Liberia, U.N. administrators were implicated in a scam where food aid was used to force girls and women into servicing peacekeeping troops and local businessmen. Another issue arose in 2002, when a DynCorp employee testified to Congress that fellow workers stationed in Bosnia had bought girls to keep in their homes as sex slaves. Today, sex trafficking is still prevalent and booming.
The majority of trafficking victims in Europe are young adult women and the most common reason for human trafficking is sexual exploitation.However, trafficking for forced labor makes up one third of all trafficking occurrences; victims go to the agriculture, construction, fishery, manufacturing, and textile industries. There are also women and men being trafficked for the purposes of domestic servitude. Children in this region are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced marriage and forced begging.
The fall of the Soviet Union has been identified as one of the main contributing factors in explaining the recent increase in human trafficking. It provided both human capital and new regional opportunities to fuel the expansion.After this period, trafficking victims, primarily women, expanded to include more diverse forms, aided by the rise of organized crime, corruption, and the decline of borders. Porous borders and close proximity to Western Europe have made it easier and cheaper to transport victims within the region and abroad.
Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to trafficking in poverty status. Because people in poverty have few means of supporting themselves, they often have to go to extremes to keep their families afloat. Children are also vulnerable to trafficking when their families' socio-economic situation is dire. Girls are more likely to be sold into bondage because in many societies, parents often choose to invest in their sons because sons are seen as more valuable. Girls are not educated and are sent away to work. Human trafficking helps perpetuate the forced labor participation and global poverty. Lower income countries are often the sources for the girls and higher incomes countries is where they are bought. There are many origin countries and many destination countries for sex trafficking. The largest number comes from Russia and Ukraine. The main destinations outside Europe for these victims include the Middle East, Japan, Thailand, and North America.
Another factor contributing to the rise in trafficking of women has been militarization and war in the Balkans. The presence of a large number of foreign men in the Balkans after the war in Yugoslavia led to the trafficking of thousands of women and girls for commercial sex exploitation.The connection between military bases and sex work is a well-known phenomenon and soldiers have helped drive the demand for brothels in this region.
The selling of economically and socially vulnerable young women has become one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the global economy.
Young women must often leave their homes to find work in the cities because of poor economic conditions. Enterprising girls that travel alone make easy targets for traffickers. Often, young women who are attempting to find legitimate work are tricked by agents with promises of a job. Once they have reached their destination, the girls' papers and documentations are taken and they are forced to work as sex slaves and prostitutes. Another way women become vulnerable is by entering a country illegally, or overstaying their visas. They turn to criminals to help them stay. One of the common methods used by traffickers is debt-bondage in which the traffickers tell their victims that they owe money relating to their travel and living expenses and that they will not be released until the debt has been repaid.
Crime groups in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union have achieved success by being flexible and alternating their routes and methods to suit the rapidly changing global market.Previous work experience and high education levels have enabled traffickers to "produce fraudulent documents, utilize advanced communications technology, and operate successfully across borders." Their personal connections and ability to utilize advanced technology has been a challenge for many governments and law enforcement agencies seeking to investigate and prosecute traffickers. Also unique is the advanced education of many of the trafficked victims. Although well qualified for employment in their home countries, victims often seek better opportunities or pay abroad. Many ploys have been used to recruit more educated victims including marriage and employment agencies, fake modeling agencies, film production studios, and work and study abroad opportunities. Because legitimate opportunities exist in these areas, it is often difficult to separate the fraudulent advertisements from the credible opportunities. These printed advertisements are rarely vetted.
Child trafficking in Europe is mostly likely to occur in children younger than twelve (for begging, theft, and other street crimes) and older than 15 (for commercial sexual exploitation).Cultural taboos generally prevent the trafficking of young boys for sexual exploitation, however, some cases have been noted among Romanian children trafficked abroad. Susceptible to trafficking are children with disabilities and children belonging to specific ethnic minorities, such as the Jevgjit in Albania and the Romani people in other parts of the region. A UNICEF report conducted in 2006 by Dr. Gilly McKenzie, (UN Trafficking expert), noted that children meeting these criteria were not generally the victims of outside traffickers, but members of their own community, who sought to generate an income from their sale abroad. This report also highlighted five common characteristics of children at risk for trafficking. These included:
Dr. Gilly McKenzie, a leading expert in the U.N. on Trafficking and Organized Crime, stated in 2010 study: "Once a girl is forced into the life of sexual bondage, she has little means of getting out. Fear is the most effective motivator the traffickers use. The girls are imprisoned and kept under guard. They are given little food and water. Often they are raped by their captors, and then given over to clients. Physical abuse, beatings, and verbal abuse are used to keep the girls in line and under control. To prevent escape attempts, the traffickers take all forms of documentation. They also threaten the girls with threats of violence and murder of their families back home. Because many girls are transported into new countries, they do not speak the language nor do they have any network to assist them. Because they are illegal aliens, they fear law enforcement and public services."
There are many costs thrust upon the victims of sex trafficking. Health risks are the most easily observed and can be the most expensive. Young sex workers, both female and male, are at high risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.They have little or no negotiating power to insist on condom use for prevention. They receive the diseases from clients and pass them along to new clients. There have been reports of sex workers having respiratory problems included allergies, sinus infections, colds, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. Drug use is very common among sex workers, which has its own batch of health problems including over-doses, strokes, and death. Other health conditions identified were dental problems, lip burns caused by hot crack pipes, facial rashes and sores, herpes, frostbite, swollen legs, bleeding ulcers, and abscesses on legs. There is also the beating these women endure, which result in fractured bones, burns, cuts, concussions, bruises, dislocations, and possible death. Forced abortions with unsterilized instruments can also have health problems.
Psychological problems are also identified when talking to victims of trafficking. Addiction to drugs or alcohol was very prevalent, though some rescued victims do not wish to enter a rehabilitation program. Depression, thoughts of suicide, and grief can be attributed to almost all trafficked victims.The human and economic costs calculated by the World Bank reach over $20 billion. This included underpayment of wages and recruiting fees. Though, the cost of human capital is nearly impossible to calculate.
The actual number of those who are being trafficked is nearly impossible to calculate. One reason is the covert nature of the dealings; it is illegal, so gaining hard evidence is not an easy feat. Internationally there are about 2.45 million people trafficked between 1995 and 2004, according to the ILO.
Some of the data collection problems identified in this region are:
To address these issues, efforts are under way to make consistent global data available. According to the International Labor Organization, several initiatives have been suggested and are currently underway by the ILO, IOM, and the EU. Also The International Centre for Migration Policy Development, in cooperation with national governments and NGOs, has begun the process of forming a standardized approach to data collection and reporting.
Although the numbers vary, there are commonalities that begin to show a picture. Women make up the majority of trafficked victims, who are mostly forced into sexual exploitation. Children are also being trafficked in high numbers. [ citation needed ], trafficking in men and boys might have been largely under-reported because it is not properly recorded.Though because some countries only have legislation criminalizing trafficking for sexual exploitation or trafficking in women
Although all forms of trafficking exist in Europe, sex trafficking has received the most attention and exploitation of women in this area has been widely publicized in the media.Between 2003 and 2004, 85% of the victims that were assisted were victims of sexual exploitation.
The distinctiveness of post-Soviet and Eastern European trafficking is the speed with which it grew and globalized. There was no long-existing trade in human beings or established networks to facilitate this business. Instead, the conditions of the transitional societies created the ideal conditions conducive to trade in human beings. Now, years after initial transition, all forms of human trafficking are endemic in the region, a result of poverty, ineffective counter-measures, the frequent collusion of government officials in this trade, and the rise of criminal entrepreneurship.
Although anti-trafficking campaigns over the past few years have led to improvements in some forms of trafficking, data collection and management has continued to be a problem for countries in Eastern Europe.Data collection is an important tool for monitoring country and regional trends and its analysis is often used to shape anti-trafficking policies. Data on both the victims and their traffickers is important, and information on investigation and prosecution rates are often utilized when assessing a country's performance.
The following table details trafficking typologies unique to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.These three typologies, developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Professor Louise Shelley are useful in developing law enforcement strategies to combat trafficking. Because Europe encompasses many countries with diverse political histories, three typologies apply to this region. Similarities exist between these three categories and when compared with typologies of other regions and countries, it is evident that trafficking in Eastern Europe is more likely to involve women, violence, and be connected with other forms of organized crime.
|Europe in general||Post-Soviet||Balkans|
See Further Reading: 'Human Trafficking: A Brief Overview' for more information
Human trafficking is the second most profitable illegal activity in the world, after drug trafficking. There is ample supply and demand for the goods, which are young women. There is little risk because in countries with laws criminalizing trafficking, criminals often escape prosecution and convictions. Economic revenues are the largest motivator behind human trafficking. The ILO's Global Report, A Global Alliance Against Forced Labor (2005), estimated the global annual profits generated by human trafficking to be around $31.6 billion. This figure represents an average of about $13,000 per year or $1,100 per month per trafficking victim. Half of this profit is made in industrialized countries.
There are many people who want to see an end to trafficking. Some of the most prominent are:
See Further Reading: 'Second Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South-Eastern Europe' for a list of NGOs working to combat human trafficking
While there are a multitude of factors that limit the ability of NGOs to respond to trafficking, such as lack of funding, extensive mandates, and lack of government support, NGOs play a critical supporting role for victims.Most NGOs, which emerged during the 1990s, initially struggled to hold their ground against increasingly predatory traffickers. While their success varies from country to country, NGOs are often credited with stepping in and taking initiative where governments have failed. Victims are often more likely to trust NGOs because "many trafficked persons fear and distrust state-based organizations as they frequently enter destination countries illegally, or have had their documentation removed on arrival." Fear of deportation, being forced to testify, or retaliation by their traffickers also contribute to their reluctance to approach statutory agencies for support. NGOs have risen to fill this gap and provide services to victims. Services they offer include:
Since the late 1990s, media campaigns have been warning about the dangers of human trafficking across most of Europe.The anti-trafficking campaigns aim at raising awareness about trafficking in women by addressing both the general population and then those who are most likely to be targeted, policy makers, law enforcement officers and relevant public officials. The formats used varied greatly, including indoor and outdoor posters, leaflets, flyers, postcards, stickers, shopping bags and pocket-calendars. There were also advertisements on buses, billboards radio, and television. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is one of the main European organizations that are interested in developing counter-trafficking programs, consulting governments on anti- trafficking policies and conducting research on trafficking for the sex industry. The IOM is one of the groups heading up this media campaign to end trafficking. It is collaborating with European governments, the European Commission (EC), the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations.
|Albania||source, transit, destination||2|
|Bosnia-Herzegovina||source, transit, destination||2 WL|
|Bulgaria||source, transit, destination||2|
|Croatia||source, transit, destination||2|
|Macedonia||source, transit, destination||2|
|Montenegro||source, transit, destination||2 WL|
|Romania||source, transit, destination||2|
|Serbia||source, transit, destination||2|
TIER 1 Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's (TVPA) minimum standards
TIER 2 Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA's minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards
TIER 2 WATCH LIST Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA's minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, AND: a) the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; b) there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or, c) the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year
TIER 3 Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so
Sex trafficking is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including sexual slavery, which is considered a form of modern slavery. A victim is forced, in one of a variety of ways, into a situation of dependency on their trafficker(s) and then used by the trafficker(s) to perform sexual services to customers. Sex trafficking crimes can involve acquisition, transportation and exploitation; this includes child sex tourism (CST), domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) or other kinds of commercial sexual exploitation of children, and prostitution.
Human trafficking in South Africa occurs as a practice of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation among imported and exported trafficked men, women, and children. Generally, South African girls are trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, while boys are used for street vending, food service, and agriculture. Anecdotal evidence suggests that South African children can also be forced to provide unpaid labor for landowners in return for land occupancy, living accommodation, or for maintaining labor tenancy rights. In any case, this form of unpaid labor has caused human trafficking to be described as a modern form of slavery. Human trafficking is the result of a combination of several factors, including gender inequality, economic instability, and political conflict. Since Africa experiences all of these, it is an active hub for human trafficking. Many urge for the need of a cultural shift to reduce instances of human trafficking by lessening the demand for sex and unpaid labor.
Vietnam is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and children are trafficked to the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C), Cambodia, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Macau for sexual exploitation. Vietnamese women are trafficked to the P.R.C., Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea via fraudulent or misrepresented marriages for commercial exploitation or forced labor. Vietnam is also a source country for men and women who migrate willingly and legally for work in the construction, fishing, or manufacturing sectors in Malaysia, Taiwan, P.R.C., Thailand, and the Middle East but subsequently face conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Vietnam is a destination country for Cambodian children trafficked to urban centers for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Vietnam has an internal trafficking problem with women and children from rural areas trafficked to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Vietnam is increasingly a destination for child sex tourism, with perpetrators from Japan, the Republic of Korea, the P.R.C., Taiwan, the UK, Australia, Europe, and the U.S. In 2007, an Australian non-governmental organization (NGO) uncovered 80 cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children by foreign tourists in the Sa Pa tourist area of Vietnam alone.
Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim's rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, especially women and children, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.
Human trafficking in India, although illegal under Indian law, remains a significant problem. People are frequently illegally trafficked through India for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced/bonded labour. Although no reliable study of forced and bonded labour has been completed, NGOs estimate this problem affects 20 to 65 million Indians. Men, women and children are trafficked in India for diverse reasons. Women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage, especially in those areas where the sex ratio is highly skewed in favour of men. Men and boys are trafficked for the purposes of labour, and may be sexually exploited by traffickers to serve as gigolos, massage experts, escorts, etc. A significant portion of children are subjected to forced labour as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, and agriculture workers, and have been used as armed combatants by some terrorist and insurgent groups.
Austria is a destination and transit country for women, men, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor.
Bangladesh is a source and transit city for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. A significant share of Bangladesh's trafficking victims are men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers who are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Children – both boys and girls – are trafficked within Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced labor. Some children are sold into bondage by their parents, while others are induced into labor or commercial sexual exploitation through fraud and physical coercion. Women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India for commercial sexual exploitation.
Belgium is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Victims originate in Eastern Europe, Africa, East Asia, as well as Brazil and India. Some victims are smuggled through Belgium to other European countries, where they are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Male victims are subjected to forced labor and exploitation in restaurants, bars, sweatshops, horticulture sites, fruit farms, construction sites, and retail shops. There were reportedly seven Belgian women subjected to forced prostitution in Luxembourg in 2009. According to a 2009 ECPAT Report, the majority of girls and children subjected to forced prostitution in Belgium originate from Balkan and CIS countries, Eastern Europe, Asia and West Africa ; some young foreign boys are exploited in prostitution in major cities in the country. Local observers also report that a large portion of children trafficked in Belgium are unaccompanied, vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. Criminal organizations from Thailand use Thai massage parlors in Belgium, which are run by Belgian managers, to sexually exploit young Thai women. These networks are involved in human smuggling and trafficking to exploit victims economically and sexually. Belgium is not only a destination country, but also a transit country for children to be transported to other European country destinations.
Human trafficking in Nepal is a growing criminal industry affecting multiple other countries beyond Nepal, primarily across Asia and the Middle East. Nepal is mainly a source country for men, women and children subjected to the forced labor and sex trafficking. U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 2" in 2017.
Greece is a transit, source and destination country for women and children who are subjected to human trafficking, specifically forced prostitution and conditions of forced labor for men, women, and children. Female sex trafficking victims originate primarily in Eastern Europe and former Soviet bloc countries. Traffickers use physical, emotional, and sexual abuse for coercion. Greece's European Union membership, coupled with a shared border with Turkey, means the country sees massive flows of illegal immigrants looking to enter the EU. Traffickers also use Greece not only as a destination but also as transit stop and also as a source country where even Greek women are prostituted on the way to Western Europe.
Human trafficking in Europe is a regional phenomenon of the wider practice of trade in humans for the purposes of various forms of coercive exploitation. Human trafficking has existed for centuries all over the world, and follows from the earlier practice of slavery, which differed from human trafficking in that it was legally recognized and accepted. It has become an increasing concern for countries in Europe since the Revolutions of 1989. The transition to a market economy in some countries has led to both opportunity and a loss of security for citizens of these countries. Economic hardship and promises of prosperity have left many people vulnerable to trafficking within their countries and to destinations in other parts of Europe and the world. Unique to the Balkans are some of the situations that support trafficking, such as organized crime, and the recruitment strategies that perpetuate it. While some generalizations can be made, the countries within this region face different challenges and are at varying stages of compliance with the rules that govern trafficking in persons.
Human trafficking in Brazil is an ongoing problem. Brazil is a source country for men, women, girls, and boys subjected to human trafficking, specifically forced prostitution within the country and abroad, as well as a source country for men and boys in forced labor within the country. In 2012 there was a soap opera made about Human trafficking named Salve Jorge.
Sex trafficking in China is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the People's Republic of China. China, the world's most populous country, has the second highest number of human trafficking victims in the world. It is a country of origin, destination, and transit for sexually trafficked persons.
Sex trafficking in Myanmar is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Myanmar is primarily a source and transit country for sexually trafficked persons.
Sex trafficking in the Philippines is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the Republic of the Philippines. The Philippines is a country of origin and, to a lesser extent, a destination and transit for sexually trafficked persons.
Sex trafficking in Japan is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the country. Japan is a country of origin, destination, and transit for sexually trafficked persons.
Sex trafficking in Mongolia is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the country. Mongolia is a source, transit and destination country for sexually trafficked persons.
Cybersex trafficking, or live streaming sexual abuse is a cybercrime involving sex trafficking and the live streaming of coerced sexual acts and/or rape on webcam.
Sex trafficking in El Salvador is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the Republic of El Salvador. It is a country of origin, transit, and destination for sexually trafficked persons.