Monday, April 16, 2007

Moldova & Pridnestrovie: NGO's Urge Countries to Unity Against Sex Slavery

Pridnestrovie (green) is a de facto independent republic
within the borders of Modolva (dark gray)

CHISINAU, MOLDOVA - NGOs are working in both Chisinau and Tiraspol, respectively the capitals of Moldova and Pridnestrovie, to cut down on human trafficking and the sale of underage girls as sex slaves.

They receive limited help from the two governments, and since Tiraspol and Chisinau don't see eye to eye due to their long-running territorial dispute, there is a near-total lack of cooperation and partnerships at the official level.

Despite a lack of help from Moldova, in Pridnestrovie, or Transdniestria as it is also known, there are separate hotline and prevention activities as part of a program of collaboration with the United Nations, Danida, EU and NGOs to stop human trafficking. The new initiative involves a forum, educational activities and a hotline designed to prevent human trafficking.

The work is sponsored by the European Union (EU), the Italian anti-immigration exploitation program, IOM (International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency) and Danida, of the Danish foreign ministry.

The group also collaborates with a YMCA-led anti trafficking group originally from Belarus, La Strada. They have set up a hotline which victims and everyone else can call from both within Transdniestria and from without. The number is 0800 88888 and is a free call, locally. If calling from abroad, it is + 373 533 8 60 30.

A spokesperson consulted by Tiraspol Times says that the problem exists, but it is nowhere near the levels of neighboring Ukraine or Moldova, the #1 trafficking hub in Europe. Even so, the group wants to alert locals in Tiraspol and other parts of Pridnestrovie to the risks, and prevent traffickers - some of whom come from Chisinau - from recruiting new sex slave victims locally...


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