Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Looking at Anti-Slavery

Trafficking affects thousands of women and men in Russia. Women are trafficked from all over the country and forced to work as prostitutes or domestic workers and men are trafficked into agricultural or construction work. They are taken to countries throughout the world including Germany, Greece and Portugal as well as the United States and Israel. In the Russian Far-East women may be trafficked to China, Japan or Thailand.
Traffickers exploit people's desperation to escape from the deteriorating economy which has affected much of Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Organised criminal gangs take advantage of the lack of possibilities for legal migration. They operate through false employment agencies offering "good jobs" abroad as waitresses, dancers, nurses, au pairs or labourers. The salaries promised are well above what they can hope to earn in Russia and in many cases the agency arranges their transport and visas.However, the reality is often very different and the dream of a bright future soon turns into a nightmare. On arrival their papers are taken away. Women are forced to work in brothels as prostitutes and are controlled through mental abuse and physical violence including beatings and rape. Men are forced to work long hours for little or no pay on construction sites or in agriculture.

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