Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Uzbekistan: Ministers to Tackle Sex Trade

UZBEKISTAN - Sex trafficking has made a rare appearance on the agenda of a government meeting in Uzbekistan.

The trafficking of women for the sex trade is a widespread problem throughout Central Asia, but is seldom talked about openly by Uzbek officials. The meeting, held in the capital, Tashkent, highlights growing concern about the issue.

People-trafficking is a problem in many former Soviet republics, driven by poverty and a lack of jobs at home.

Uzbekistan publishes no figures about the scale of people-smuggling from the republic, but a police representative said a special unit of more than 100 agents was fighting the problem.

He said the number of cases was growing by up to 120 annually - but analysts say that officials habitually under-report negative statistics in Uzbekistan...


Russian: Girls Trapped in Sex-Slave Nightmare

RUSSIA - Thousands of Russian girls living abroad are being forced to work as sex slaves. The United States says Russia is one of the world's main sources of trafficked women. Tough new laws are in place to tackle the problem, but for many the living hell of sex slavery goes on.

Despite living in the 21st century, many young women from Russia discover, usually too late, that the slave trade has yet to be abolished.

Nineteen-year-old Christina knows too well what the world of modern slavery is all about. It's a world where women are just another commodity.

Two years ago, as an orphan from a poor Russian village, she was lured by the promise of big bucks in St Petersburg. She didn't realise she would end up in a brothel.

Eighteen months later the police raided the brothel. She was saved. Then in co-operation with the authorities, she helped uncover the trafficking ring. But this meant reliving her nightmare.


Czech Republic: Police Identify Trafficker

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - The police in Teplice, north Bohemia, know the identity of the men who appeared in a recent report by CNN television on the sale of female prostitutes in the Czech Republic, Nova commercial television channel said, adding they were recognised by the town's police chief.

According to CNN the women were sold in Dubi near Teplice.

A reporter of British ITN television channel that made the report pretended to a representative of a fictitious network of British brothels who is looking for prostitutes for his business.

The report claims that gangs exist in the Czech Republic that bring in young women from all over of Europe and then resell them.

The ITN reporter met in Dubi representatives of two gans from which he wanted to buy prostitutes. The first meeting took place in Love Story whose owner offered him a girl for six month for a "rent" of 5000 pounds.

At another meeting the alleged chief of another gang, Alex, offered him one girl for a test while further would possibly follow, according to the report.

The meetings were video recorded with a hidden camera...


UN: Hosting First Conference on Human Trafficking

A Thai policeman looks at an exhibition of photos during
the opening of a workshop on Human Trafficking

UNITED NATIONS, VIENNA - The first international conference on human trafficking, one of the fastest growing crimes, will be held in Vienna next month to raise awareness about what has become a billion-dollar industry, organisers said Tuesday.

"Human trafficking exists everywhere in the world, in all societies. There are no exceptions," said Doris Buddenberg, head of UN.GIFT (the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking), an initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"It's almost certainly one of the fastest growing crimes in our globalised world," Buddenberg told a news conference here.

"It is above all big business. The UN estimates that the global market value is in billions of dollars. And that is one of the most cautious estimates."

The aim of the three-day conference from February 13 to 15, with an anticipated 1,000 participants from some 100 countries, is to raise public awareness of the issue, foster better coordination in the international fight against human trafficking and come with new measures for combatting it, Buddenberg said...


Tajikistan: Is Prostitution a Profession or Way to Survive?

TAJIKISTAN - Economic hardships faced off by Tajikistan in the recent years have laid a fertile ground for most of the women entering the sex industry. Official estimates show that an average salary in Tajikistan reaches $36. One-night stand girls earn about $100 per night depending on the client' wellbeing and marketability of the girl. Thus, many poverty-stricken women enter the industry for pragmatic reasons and with a general sense of awareness of the choice they are making.

With no doubt a patriarchal society affected by economic crisis is a hotbed for prostitution and sexual slavery. However, prostitution has shown some vague signs of slowing down. 367 women involved in prostitution were recorded in 2007, the same index for 2006 made up 410," the head of the Department on Moral Crimes under the Interior Minister Gairatsho Izatov said.

"Besides economic and social forces driving women to the sex industry there are other forces such as illiteracy, irresponsibility and ill-breading. Moreover, the present sex industry engulfs women of diverse ethnics and age. Prostitutes tend to be procured from rural areas or small towns for the cities or, as young, first-time job seekers new to urban areas, are vulnerable to being drawn into the sex sector. As a rule, these women are uneducated and lured by higher and easier earnings in spite of the stigma and danger attached to the work," Gairatsho Izatov added.

Gairatsho Izatov claims that schools and universities as well as families shall pay more attention to the moral education of young ladies; lecture on sexual interrelations, moral values to eliminate sexual and legal illiteracy...


Monday, February 11, 2008

Israel: Gal-On Proposes to Close Down Online Sex Industry

ISRAEL - Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On, chairwoman of the Knesset Sub-Committee on Trafficking in Women, revealed plans Thursday for new legislation that would make operating and advertising prostitution services on-line a criminal act.
The legislation is being presented as an amendment to the existing criminal code and has yet to be approved by the Knesset. If it goes into effect, hundreds of virtual pimps, photographers, Web designers and others involved in running lucrative prostitution and "escort" services on the Internet could face criminal prosecution and possibly jail time. Twenty-one Knesset members have already said they would support such legislation.
"Hundreds of virtual brothels operate on the Internet, offering women for sale," commented Gal-On, who is also planning to submit similar legislation against newspapers and magazines advertising such services in the next few days...


Monday, February 4, 2008

Alaska: Jury Handed Sex Trafficking Case

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - For the man known as Jerry Starr, the sex trafficking case against him comes down largely to this: Did he force Anchorage women into prostitution or did they pick that life for themselves?

Prosecutors argued to jurors Friday that he controlled the women in every way. Don Arthur Webster Jr., alias Starr, recruited them into his escort businesses with the lure of cocaine, then kept them there with more drugs, beatings, threats and intimidation, assistant U.S. attorney Audrey Renschen told the jury.

Webster is a "predator of young girls and young women," Renschen said. He was like a spider, spinning his web in the dark corners where most of us don't look, she said. Women stepped into the web not knowing what they were getting into, then found it very hard to get out, she said.

But the defense shot back that the women chose to be prostitutes. They were always free to leave the homes that Webster provided, assistant federal defender Michael Dieni told jurors. He repeated what many of the witnesses told jurors during the two-week trial, that they had a better life with Webster than on the streets as hookers or strippers.

They sure weren't sex slaves, he said.

"This was an eyes-wide-open scenario when they got involved," Dieni said...