Friday, July 17, 2009

Albania: On Speedboats, Sex Trade Could Flare

Matt Lutton for The New York Times

An abandoned fishing boat on a beach in Vlore, Albania, a city known for being a hub for human trafficking across Europe.

VLORE, ALBANIA— It was only after her trafficker sealed her mouth with electrical tape, drugged her and threatened to kill her family that the childlike woman, now 27, says she realized that the man she had planned to marry had seduced her with a terrible lie.

Her journey at age 18 from an Albanian village to a London brothel, where she said she spent five years working as a prostitute, began with a gold engagement ring, the promise of a better life abroad and — like many before her — a speedboat trip to Italy under the cover of night.

So many women, men and children had been trafficked abroad to work as prostitutes, forced laborers or beggars that the Albanian government three years ago barred all Albanian citizens from using speedboats, the favored transportation used by traffickers to get people out of the country.

This drastic measure, coupled with stricter border controls and revenge killings of traffickers by victims’ families, had a significant effect, reducing trafficking by more than half and all but ending Albania’s role as a major transit point for people trafficked to Western Europe from eastern and southern parts of the Continent, say experts who follow trafficking...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT NYTimes.com

No comments:

Post a Comment