The sale of women and girls is a very profitable business. Women fro Eastern Europe – from Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Serbia – are highly “demanded” among human traffickers… It is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Ana is 25 years old today. Several years ago she lived in a small Romanian village. Her friend invited her to come to the town, promising her better life with little work and plenty of money.
“She took me to the house where I saw other girls. I couldn’t sleep for two days, they were waking me up every half an hour. Than two men arrived, they asked me to take off my clothes and to drink alcohol. When I refused, one of them told me hat they could do whatever they want with me, because they paid for me, warning me not to risk my life”.
Ana was forced to work as a prostitute in different European countries. She can’t remember every place where she had been. She managed to run away. She couldn’t return to her village. She shared with the public what had happened to her, wishing for her experience to warn others.
With the American actor Angelina Jolie, she filmed a vide against human trafficking and forced prostitution in the Balkans. In this way, she earned money for the new start.
Poverty and Corruption Push Human Trafficking
Ana is one of many girls who was forced into prostitution and one of the rare ones who managed to get out of the clutches of prostitution. Women from Russia, Romania, Moldova and Serbia are known for being tame, generous and good looking. They mostly don’t speak German and are not aware of their rights.
Organizations that help women and the European Police Europol report that young women are trafficked in the same way as drugs. Depending on their age and looks, traffickers are paying for them between EUR 1000 and EUR 3000. Pimps and traffickers earn millions of Euros from their work every year. Poverty, corruption and the absence of law enforcement push trafficking in human beings.
There are between 10 and 30 thousands women and girls forced into prostitution only in Germany. Eastern enlargement of the European Union enabled them to come to the European Union without visa.
Together Against Human Trafficking
However, the awareness of these problems and a commitment to combat this kind of trade are increasing too. Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić says “This is not only about sexual exploitation, but also forced labor, begging and sales of human organs. In terms of numbers, there are not many criminal reports, but every such act represents serious violation of human rights and degradation of human beings, especially of women, and in particular of trafficking victims.
Local organizations, the police and the judiciary in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina joined forces for the first time in the fight against human trafficking. Their joint objective is for women not to be treated as goods, as was the case with Ana and her sisters.
Authors: Karla Engelhard / Željka Bašić-Savić
Editor: Ivan Đerković