Skip to comments.Sex Tourism: Addressing the Demand for Trafficking
Posted on 08/28/2005 10:07:12 PM PDT by Calpernia
>>>I wonder if it is anywhere near possible to track down individuals in the sex-slave trade?
Do you mean victims? Or the ones that run the trade?
>>>>In the 1970s, a series of corruption scandals such as Abscam, involving payoffs for the sponsorship of private immigration laws, culminated in the expulsion of one Member of the House of Representatives and led to a decline in private immigration laws, which were perceived as tainted in general bythe scandals. In the past decade, the trend reached a low point with only 2 private immigration laws enacted in the 104th Congress. The late 1990s, after the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), saw a brief increase in the number of private laws, with a decline in the wake of 9/11. Four private immigration laws were enacted in the 108th Congress; none have yet been enacted in the 109th Congress, although 72 private immigration bills have been introduced as of the date of this report.<<<<
::Charles Kuschner sponsored Golan Cipel::
You bring up a very good point.
Child sex slaves
Sunday, September 22, 2002
Kevin Doyle in Phnom Penh
Monsoon rains pour down on the two children dressed in brightly coloured pyjamas as they rush through the warren of muddy Cambodian village paths.
Gaining speed, they leave behind an escort of child protection workers. They are on their way to the wooden shack homes on the outskirts of Svay Pak, Phnom Penh's notorious prostitution village, to meet parents they haven't seen for over three months.
The girls are aged between 11 and 14, though no one knows for sure. Earlier this year they were freed from sexual slavery after international child abuse investigators found them at work in the brothels behind their home.
But with no laws compelling them to stay under the protection of the organisations that assist the victims of Cambodia's booming child sex trade, they are returned to their parents and a less-than-reassuring promise that they will be kept out of prostitution.
A stone's throw away, dozens of western and Asian male tourists slug cans of imported beer and ensure that business at the brothels that have made Cambodia a world capital for child prostitution is brisk.
Drawn by the country's abysmal record on child protection and the grinding poverty that leads parents to sell their children into the sex trade, Cambodia has become a magnet for foreign paedophiles and child sex tourists.
A search on the internet turns up a sex tourism website with information on Svay Pak's brothels, detailing everything from the age of prostitutes to how much they should be paid for their services. Some provide details on how to deal with the police if arrested.
Incompetence and institutionalised corruption in the police force and judicial system have earned Cambodia an international reputation for child prostitution. The market for human traffickers who buy, cheat or kidnap women and children to work in the booming flesh trade is thriving.
Despite dozens of arrests in the past few years, only three foreigners -- two British and one Italian citizen -- have been successfully convicted for the sexual abuse of children in Cambodia.
Two Australian teachers in their mid-30s and a 69-year-old British man were arrested last month by Cambodian police, leading some children's rights workers to believe that the authorities may be trying to clean up the country's image as a haven for sex tourism.
With tourist arrivals growing at 30 per cent per year -- and expected to top one million people next year -- Cambodia's interior ministry recently announced the deployment of 500 tourist department police officers to hotels, beach resorts and ancient Buddhist temples to crackdown on the trade in children.
But without the real will of the government will to end the culture of child prostitution, judicial reform to stop offenders escaping prosecution and co-operation from foreign embassies -- some of whom have been accused of trying to protect their nationals from imprisonment -- children in Cambodia remain in danger, say child protection workers.
"Our women and children are not products for the sexual desires of foreign and local men," said the Cambodian Minister of Women's Affairs, Mu Sochua, a longtime campaigner against child sexual exploitation.
Key to rooting out the trade is punishing those who traffic children, and the pimps who profit from the business.
But there is also a pressing need to sensitise society to child sex crimes and force the police and Cambodian courts to get tough with offenders, says Sochua.
Police raid brothels to `rescue' children, but only rarely do they arrest the people who run them. When children are brought to court to testify against offenders, judges frequently cite a lack of evidence to pursue prosecutions.
"It is really, really clear that these cases are not important and women and children are stigmatised and discriminated against," says Sochua.
During a three-day official visit to Cambodia last month, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson spoke out against the Cambodian government's record on human trafficking, and said that Cambodian culture must no longer tolerate sex with children.
Speaking to the Cambodian parliament, Robinson acknowledged the country's Five Year Plan of Action against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children. But she said the government needed now to implement existing protection laws.
Robinson highlighted the controversial prosecution of ten Vietnamese prostitutes recently rescued from a brothel in Svay Pak village.
The youngest of these was just 13 years old, but they were later treated as criminals by a Cambodian court, which ordered them to spend up to three months in prison before being deported back to Vietnam.
"I can only say I regret the Cambodian court verdict," Robinson told the parliament.
"Those who have the misfortune to be trafficked are not criminals, but simple victims," she said.
Westerners only account for a small percentage of the adults who seek out sex with children each year. The majority of abusers are Cambodians and citizens of other Asian countries.
Many of these believe that having sex with children is therapeutic in old age, says Christian Guth, a former French police officer who leads a newly-established Cambodian police task force to fight child abuse.
Men searching for young partners, who they believe are less likely to be infected with Aids, have driven the growth of child sex in Cambodia. The country has the highest Aids rate in the region, with almost 3 per cent of adults infected out of a population of 12 million people.
"It's a huge business," says Guth.
Though technically illegal, prostitution booms in the country's brothels, massage and karaoke parlours, hotels, nightclubs and even restaurants where pretty `beer girls' -- promotional waitresses working for local and international beer companies -- earn extra money by having sex with customers whose appetites go beyond food.
Cambodia has an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 sex workers, and around a quarter of them work in the capital Phnom Penh. 30 per cent are under 18 years of age.
You don't have to look far to find the reason.
Three decades of civil war ended in 1998, and the country has made some progress in moving beyond the bloody legacy of the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge `killing fields' regime when an estimated 1.7 million people died as a result of Pol Pot's radical Maoist policies to create an agrarian utopia.
But Cambodians are still grindingly poor. Almost 40 per cent live below the poverty line -- which is set at a livelihood of less that US$1 a day.
Amid such poverty, the sex trade has flourished. Cambodian and Vietnamese children are frequently sold as virgins to men who pay anywhere from $700 to $1,000 to spend several days with them.
But their value soon depreciates to between $30-$40. Eventually, as the children mature, the price plummets to as low as $2.5 to $5 per customer.
Koey, who is 15 and from northwestern Cambodia, and her friend Lan, also 15 and from Vietnam, made headlines when they were rescued with eight other young girls from a underground sex ring set up exclusively for foreigners in the centre of Phnom Penh in 2000.
Both girls were sold as virgins to their first western and Japanese customers two months before being rescued. Despite their short time in the child sex business, both tested positive for HIV just days after being taken into care.
The girls were delivered in taxis to hotels and residential houses in the capital, where customers paid $30 to have sex with them. Child rights investigators who staked out the child sex ring reported that one of the customers was a western woman.
Police said they arrested two pimps when they raided the house where the girls were being held, but no foreign customers were apprehended and authorities would not release the names of the hotels to which they had been delivered.
Kim Sophon, the investigating judge in the case, said at the time that there was no need to charge the child sex customers. "We do not need to find the foreigners, because the prostitutes are used to having sex with customers and were not virgins," he said.
Child protection workers scoffed at the police investigation and said they were reluctant to provide police with evidence on child sex suspects because police would use the information to blackmail the suspect in return for burying an investigation.
Minister Sochua has protested publicly against several controversial court decisions that freed offenders. Combined with her efforts to keep the spotlight on the issue, including programmes to educate both law enforcement agencies and court officials, the message that sex with children is a serious crime may be sinking in.
"I still have a strong hope we can turn this situation around," she says. Recent imprisonments and arrests of foreign sex offenders are "a warning bell to foreigners who consider Cambodia a safe haven".
Before he moved to Cambodia John Keeler had lived in Ireland, travelling the country in an ambulance he had converted into a mini theatre which put on puppet shows for children.
The British national was arrested in 2000 in Cambodia, charged with videotaping four girls aged between 10 and 11 in sexually explicit poses. Only the second foreigner ever convicted of child abuse in the country, he got a three-year jail term. He will be out before he turns 60.
Keeler had lived in Cambodia, where he was the director of an English language school for young children, for around a year. He travelled regularly to meet his four victims, plying them with sweets near their tarpaulin-covered home on the banks of a river near Phnom Penh.
Court investigators also discovered indecent photographs of children on Keeler's home computer, literature from a paedophile website and e-mails which police investigators thought may have linked him to other sex offenders outside Cambodia.
Keeler later admitted to the Phnom Penh Post newspaper that he had been convicted in Britain for child abuse. He was known to police in this country as the `puppetmaster', and is understood to have been under close police watch while here.
The second foreign national convicted was Alain Filippe Berutti, 30, an electrician from Milan, who was arrested in June 2001 when police spotted him naked on a riverbank in Phnom Penh with four homeless boys aged 10 to 13.
Berutti, who admitted to soliciting the boys for sex, was imprisoned for 10 years in July. "I just make erotic experience, but not child abuse," Berutti told reporters after his trial.
Another British national, Derek Baston, who is 69, was arrested last month on charges of debauchery after he was allegedly discovered in a Svay Pak brothel engaging in sexual acts with an 11-year old girl.
Police who arrested Baston said that the owner of the brothel escaped before he could be arrested. If convicted of the crime, Baston could spend between 10 and 20 years in prison.
Shortly after this, two Australian men, employed as school teachers, were arrested separately in Siem Reap -- Cambodia's main tourist centre and gateway to the renowned 9th-13th century Angkor Wat temple complex.
Both men are charged with debauchery for allegedly having sexual relations with three girls aged between 12 and 14.
Long says she is 18 years old but looks far younger in her flip-flops, shorts and tight strappy tee shirt. A Vietnamese prostitute in Svay Pak, Long giggles when she says that `boom-boom' and `yum-yum' costs $5.
"But if you like young girls, it will cost $30," says Long, as she disappears then returns with a gaggle of Vietnamese children aged between 10 and 13, who are ushered in by a middle-aged `mamasan' -- a woman with cruel eyes and a head of tightly-set curls.
In accented English, the words `very clean', `very good for you', are the mamasan's pitch to the mostly foreign men who frequent Svay Pak and these young girls.
Like the majority of teenagers and children in Svay Pak, they have been brought by parents or human traffickers from Vietnam to work as prostitutes, feeding the faithful army of sex tourists who daily make the 11 kilometre trip from Phnom Penh.
In the past five years there has been an increase in the number of foreigners arrested for sexually abusing children in Asia.
The children abused were as young as six years old, says Christine Beddoe, program manger of Child Wise Tourism -- an initiative of the ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) organisation.
Offenders will only go to places where they think they will not get caught, and Beddoe says that it was imperative to build a regional approach to the problem.
"We should remember the balloon theory. Squeeze a balloon on one side and it will bubble up somewhere else," she says. "Put pressure on the balloon from all sides and it will burst."
Ask Women's Affair's Minister Mu Sochua if pressure is being exerted in the right places to protect children in Cambodia and she replies with a question: "Have you seen Gary Glitter come back?"
Cambodia was thrown into a storm earlier this year when British tabloid press tracked down the disgraced 1970s glam rock icon Gary Glitter at an apartment in Phnom Penh where he had lived secretly for several months.
Glitter was sentenced to four months in a British jail in 1999 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
Though he had committed no crimes in Cambodia, Sochua led a campaign for his deportation, saying Cambodia was not a dumping ground for undesirables.
Glitter quietly slipped out of Cambodia as police discussed his deportation. There are no reports of his return.
Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery
The United Kingdom (UK) [ Country-by-Country Reports ]
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [map] is a constitutional monarchy located on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country comprises England; Wales; Scotland and Northern Ireland. The capital and largest city is London.
The United Kingdom is primarily a country of destination for trafficked women, children, and men from Eastern Europe, East Asia, and West Africa. Women are trafficked primarily for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude, while men are trafficked for the purpose of forced labor in agriculture and sweatshop industries. The United Kingdom may also play a role as a transit country for foreign victims trafficked to other Western European countries.
The Government of the United Kingdom fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The United Kingdom handed down significant anti-trafficking prosecutions and sentences during 2004. The first prosecution under recent legislation that specifically criminalized trafficking for sexual exploitation resulted in a sentence of 18 years for the main offender. The parliament enacted new legislation to criminalize labor trafficking. The government continued to fund assistance to adult victims; however, its inability to accommodate the number of victim referrals was problematic. The government should prioritize establishment of a more stable mechanism to regularize victims status to ensure consistent delivery of services and protection. Moreover, differentiation of trafficking and smuggling statistics is recommended to better gauge year-to-year improvements. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2005 [full country report]
CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the UK. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false. No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.
Bur of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor - Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
Far More Lithuanians Sold Into Prostitution In Britain Since EU Membership
The number of young Lithuanian women sold for sex in Britain has increased from "single cases to dozens every month" since the Baltic state joined the European Union last year, the head of Lithuania's Interpol bureau said.
"Nightclub Girls Helped Me Escape Captivity"
The youngster, from Lithuania, says she was sold to a string of Albanian men who kept her prisoner in their homes, repeatedly raped her and forced her to work in brothels. The girl, who was allegedly tricked into traveling to the UK after being told she would work in a restaurant.
Tackle Child Exploitation, Ministers Urged
Based on reports from social services, police and immigration, it is known at least 250 children were trafficked into the United Kingdom between 1999 and 2003. UNICEF believes the true figure is much higher and that in the vast majority of cases children are brought in for labor.
Migrants Subject To Forced Labor In The UK
This report reveals that migrants who can legally work in this country are also shockingly badly exploited because they are unable to enforce their legal rights because of the power their employer has over them. The report, 'Forced Labor and Migration to the UK' reveals abuse, including very long hours, pay below the minimum wage and dangerous working conditions in a range of sectors including construction, hospitality, agriculture, food processing, horticulture, contract cleaning, nursing and care homes. Employers and agencies who break the law are rarely prosecuted or even inspected by the authorities.
Migrant women forced into cheap sex trade
London is witnessing a rising influx of eastern European prostitutes, many of them forced to sell unprotected sex for as little as £30 a time. Many of the women are trafficked here, under the illusion they will get jobs as waitresses or au pairs, or perhaps as lap dancers and nightclub hostesses - but will not have to sleep with customers.
Sex Slaves Vice Baron Sentenced
women kept by Ismailej, an illegal immigrant, were forced to work seven days a week, for up to 13 hours a day, and give up their passports to satisfy his "love of money". Brian O'Neill, prosecuting, told the court that Ismailej was the ringleader and that he did not regard the women as anything other than chattels.
The Third Way's Dirtiest Secret
A year ago this Saturday, 23 Chinese cockle pickers died at Morecambe Bay. A major new report uncovers the scale of forced labor in Britain and makes recommendations on curbing this new form of slavery.
Damning Report On Migrants Delayed
The report catalogues coercive techniques used by private employers to force migrants to work for low wages and in poor conditions, from physical and sexual violence to debt bondage and blackmail.
2005 Illegal immigrant who made a fortune from trafficking sex slaves was jailed for 11 years
2005 Criminal gangs blighting the UK with the problem, with women pressed into prostitution
2005 Trafficker jailed for 18 years lured Lithuanian women with false promises of employment
2004 Three illegal immigrants jailed for a total of 40 years for selling teenage girl as a sex slave
2004 Grooming & trafficking vulnerable children as young as 12 from Welsh care homes
2004 Groundbreaking sentence increase for human trafficker
2004 Intl child trafficking ring sending Cameroonian children to UK to work in the sex industry
2004 Research shows - Trafficked women forced to work as prostitutes in every London borough
2004 Malawian women targeted by trafficking groups because they do not require a visa to enter
2004 They end up in bonded employment, paid minimal wages, unable to discharge their debt
2004 More than 250,000 sex tourists visit Asia each year, with 13 percent from Australia & UK
2003 At Nottingham's bus station, a young West African girl was found wandering alone
2003 She responded to a job advertisement in a local paper and accepted an au pair post
2003 Face of child trafficking to the UK is changing. Children transported from more countries
2003 4.25 Human trafficking 4.26 Trafficking for Prostitution 4.33 Trafficking in minors into UK?
2003 Africans Reportedly Trafficked To U.K. - child trafficking prostitution ring uncovered
US State Dept Trafficking (Human Trafficking) in Persons Reports
CWA Teams with Pro-Family Mexican Groups in Anti-Trafficking Effort
By Ed Thomas
October 24, 2005
(AgapePress) - Concerned Women for America has received a $200,000 grant from the State Department to help implement the next phase of a campaign against sex trafficking in Mexico.
The funding is for phase two of the "Bridge Project," which brought five Mexican pro-family organizations to the United States in April for training. Project director Dr. Janice Crouse says those group "all went back [from the training] just fired up, ready to dream up projects that would accomplish the goals that they wanted to accomplish."
The organizations are part of the pro-family network "Red Familia" -- Spanish for "Family Network." According to Crouse, the projects within the network's approximately 200 pro-family, pro-life, pro-marriage groups include establishing a safe shelter in Mexico's red-light district; creating a training program for citizen involvement; producing a white paper and a victim database to assist in lobbying efforts for laws against sex trafficking; and law enforcement training workshops.
"[E]ach separate group is working on different projects," Crouse explains, "and all of them just really are very wonderful efforts that I think are going to make a tremendous difference in Mexico."
The broad-based effort is believed to be the most comprehensive campaign to date combating sex trafficking in Mexico. Crouse, who expects to make several visits to Mexico over the next year to help keep the projects on track, says all the groups involved feel the campaign will have a broad impact. Several organizations, such as World Vision, she adds, have been trying to concentrate on child rescue for many years.
When I was fourteen, a man came to my parents' house in Veracruz, Mexico and asked me if I was interested in making money in the United States. He said I could make many times as much money doing the same things that I was doing in Mexico. At the time, I was working in a hotel cleaning rooms and I also helped around my house by watching my brothers and sisters. He said I would be in good hands, and would meet many other Mexican girls who had taken advantage of this great opportunity. My parents didn't want me to go, but I persuaded them.
A week later, I was smuggled into the United States through Texas to Orlando, Florida. It was then the men told me that my employment would consist of having sex with men for money. I had never had sex before, and I had never imagined selling my body.
And so my nightmare began. Because I was a virgin, the men decided to initiate me by raping me again and again, to teach me how to have sex. Over the next three months, I was taken to a different trailer every 15 days. Every night I had to sleep in the same bed in which I had been forced to service customers all day.
I couldn't do anything to stop it. I wasn't allowed to go outside without a guard. Many of the bosses had guns. I was constantly afraid. One of the bosses carried me off to a hotel one night, where he raped me. I could do nothing to stop him.
Because I was so young, I was always in demand with the customers. It was awful. Although the men were supposed to wear condoms, some didn't, so eventually I became pregnant and was forced to have an abortion. They sent me back to the brothel almost immediately.
I cannot forget what has happened. I can't put it behind me. I find it nearly impossible to trust people. I still feel shame. I was a decent girl in Mexico. I used to go to church with my family. I only wish none of this had ever happened.
This is an old tactic. See "Gangs of Chicago," written nearly a century ago.
Sheik now owns NYC trophy buildings.
Dubai Royals Snatch Up Manhattan Real Estate
Dubai Royals Snatch Up Manhattan Real Estate
Every year we add to our knowledge of the trafficking phenomenon. In last years Report, we used U.S. Government data that disaggregated transnational trafficking in persons by age and gender for the first time. These data showed that, of the estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 80 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors. The data also illustrate that the majority of transnational victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. With a focus on transnational trafficking in persons, however, these data fail to include millions of victims around the world who are trafficked within their own national borders.
The alarming enslavement of people for purposes of labor exploitation, often in their own countries, is a form of human trafficking that can be hard to track from afar. It may not involve the same criminal organizations profiting from transnational trafficking for sexual exploitation; more often individuals are guilty of, for example, enslaving one domestic servant or hundreds of unpaid, forced workers at a factory.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Lusa is a 17 year-old orphan kidnapped in 2004 from her native Uzbekistan. Lusas aunt engineered her abduction to Dubai using a cousin's passport, because the aunt wanted to take Lusas apartment. In Dubai, Lusa was sold to a slavery and prostitution ring. When she was no longer useable in prostitution, the traffickers sent her to a psychiatric center. An Uzbek NGO located her in Dubai. The NGO arranged to move her to a shelter, and they began working on her repatriation. Because she entered the U.A.E. illegally, on a false passport, the U.A.E. immigration service said she should serve a two-year prison sentence. Government officials and the enterprising NGO are negotiating Lusas case.
A wide range of estimates exists on the scope and magnitude of modern-day slavery. The International Labor Organization (ILO) the United Nations (UN) agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues estimates that there are 12.3 million people enslaved in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time. The nationalities of these people are as diverse as the worlds cultures. Some leave developing countries, seeking to improve their lives through low-skilled jobs in more prosperous countries. Others fall victim to forced or bonded labor in their own countries. Some families give children to related or unrelated adults who promise education and opportunity but deliver the children into slavery for money.
Kyrgyz Sex Trade Flourishes
The sex trade in Kyrgyzstan has become a big business that the authorities are powerless to stop
By Alexander Zelichenko in Bishkek (RCA, 24-Mar-00)
It is often said that prostitution did not exist under Communism. It did. The sex trade was simply tightly controlled and organised with the tacit approval of the authorities.
Then known as Frunze, the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek boasted a training school for fighter pilots from Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Certain women were allowed to "entertain" the visiting cadets in a handful of local hard currency bars and restaurants.
In an era of general shortage and shabbiness, these women were distinguished by their Western fashions and expensive perfumes. From time to time, the police would organise show raids when the prostitutes were rounded up then released back at the station.
After independence, these women used their experience and overseas contacts to ply a lucrative trade as international pimps. The oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) became their main market. Here Kyrgyz "businesswomen" met patrons, searched out loopholes in the law and studied the mores of potential clients. Returning home to Bishkek, they began to seek out their quarry.
They dazzled Kyrgyz girls with promises of well-paid work in Dubai as waitresses and dancers. Special companies took care of all the travel arrangements. But, as soon as they arrived in Dubai, the girls were relieved of their passports and forced into prostitution by the racketeers.
However, a string of suicides and high-profile scandals forced the cartels to change their tactics.
The sex industry turned its attention to call-girls who were already working in Bishkek's flourishing saunas and hotels. These new courtesans knew exactly what they were getting into and courses were even established to teach manners, dancing and English.
From small beginnings, the sex trade to Dubai has ballooned to such an extent that, according to official figures, a total of 794 Kyrgyz "tourists" visited the Gulf state over a nine-month period last year. Of these, 556 were women - 450 aged between 18 and 35.
Typically, poverty on the one hand and promises of fairytale luxury on the other have pushed a vast number of girls into the international sex trade. Many of these girls first migrated to Bishkek from the countryside in the hope of finding work. Lacking the necessary educational qualifications, many soon took to the streets.
Without the resources to set up a full-blown "vice squad", the Kyrgyz authorities have just one police officer fighting the international trafficking in women. It is part of Lieutenant Tursun Rakhmanov's job to document the plight of the girls he comes across. Veronika's story is typical.
"I came to Bishkek from my village and rented an apartment," says the 22-year-old. "Before that I used to come on holidays and days off, to work as a prostitute, so I knew the market. But soon the rent for the apartment went up and the competition - 13- and 14-year-old girls prepared to do anything for $3 -- forced me out on to the street. But even walking the streets I never let myself go. I took care of myself, tried not to drink or do drugs.
"Perhaps that's why I caught the eye of one madam who turned up at our usual spot. A woman of about 35, Larissa, stepped out of a flashy car, called me over and took a passport and visa out of her handbag - it only needed a photo to be stuck in it. We agreed to meet the following day by the city clock.
"At exactly five, me and another four girls were standing underneath the clock. We thought we'd be able to get an advance, go to the hairdressers and buy some nice clothes. But Larissa explained what was going to happen to us in detail: 'We're going right now,' she said. 'Each of you pays me back $4,000 and another $500 for the visa. If you don't like it, get out of the car!'
"We flew out of Chimkent. In Dubai, the first thing they did at the airport exit was to take our passports away. Then they took us to a hotel. The rooms weren't bad, but we were forbidden from going any further than the hall because of the police. There wasn't any time anyway. Up to 30 clients a day! For the first three days they would take us out to the beach and photograph us in swimsuits they'd hired for the occasion. We found out later that Larissa was using the pictures as adverts to drum up business.
"The hotel was average - not expensive, but not the cheapest either. The slang expression for it was 'a one-off'. That meant that one sexual act there cost 50 diram ($15), while an hour of "loving" costs 100 diram ($27). We didn't see any money anyway. Everything, even what the clients gave us as tips, was taken off us by the minders. They kept telling us that we were lucky. Thais, Indonesians and Filipinos work in the cheap 'workers'' hotels, and the rich Arabs don't make use of their services. They end up catering for the seasonal workers - Indians, Vietnamese, Chinese.
"They paid our keep, fed us quite well, and bought the odd bottle of perfume. But we had to work for that money! You'd just got out of the bath and the next sheik was on the doorstep, and you had to keep everyone happy. And they fined us for every little fault. Once a girlfriend and I went to a shop close by. The minders saw us and made us work off another 300 diram! ($80).
"Four months went by. Then, one day, the minders turned up in a cheerful mood and told us that from now on we would be working for ourselves, but that we would have to pay for food and the hotel. Usually the bell-boy or the receptionist would tell us if the police were coming. But one night nobody gave us any warning. I spent 10 days behind bars before being deported .
"I went home with nothing. But I think I'll go back, only this time I won't be such an idiot. There were girls there from Russia, Kazakstan, the Ukraine as well as Kyrgyzstan. There were at least 500 of us."
For many women going to work abroad, the sex tours had far worse consequences. One returned home in a coffin; others have simply gone missing. A group of 12 mothers recently visited Rakhmanov asking for his help in finding their missing daughters. However, with neither the resources nor the mandate to do so, the lieutenant was unable to help.
The problem of juvenile girls being exported abroad to work as prostitutes is of particular concern. One cartel targets attractive girls from poor families. Sometimes they approach the parents offering money and openly discussing what their daughter will be doing abroad. Sometimes the parents agree to the deal.
If they don't, the recruiters often try to tempt the girls directly by showing them photographs of stunning hotels, swimming pools and fabulous beaches. Using forged passports, the traffickers take them abroad pretending they are relatives.
In the town of Chuy-Tokmok, Fatima A. will be brought to trial for having turned an under-age girl to prostitution. Having forged a Kyrgyzstan national passport, the enterprising "mother" had sold the girl to a brothel-in the UAE.
And today Kyrgyzstan is not only exporting its daughters, but is in danger of becoming a centre for prostitution in its own right. Rakhmanov recently found three Chinese nationals working the streets of Bishkek, whilst in Osh he came across 10 "working girls" from Uzbekistan. Almost every day, new additions are made to the police files-girls from Russia, refugees from Tajikistan and Kazak nationals.
Illegal Immigration, Human Trafficking, and Organized Crime
CIS - Canada: The Organized Crime Marketplace in Canada
Pornography's link to rape
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