Human Trafficking in Europe

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The Sex Trade of Eastern Europe

“VELESTA, Macedonia - Olga winced as she drew back the bandage on her right breast, revealing an infected puncture wound that hadn’t healed since a man bit her in a fit of sexual rage. But the wound, for which the 19-year-old Moldovan lacked even basic medicine, is only a small part of Olga’s daily agony. For more than a year she has been held as a sex slave in this town in western Macedonia, where human trafficking flourishes and young girls are forced to endure the sexual whims of thousands of men.” This story, unfortunately, is reality to roughly 200,000 women and children from Eastern Europe. Sex trafficking simultaneously exploits both the best and the worst aspects of globalization- the champions of globalization flaunt the growing ease of conducting business across national borders. It is due to sophisticated communication tools and relaxed banking laws that it is now possible to exchange assets internationally with ease. Virtual enterprises can operate everywhere and nowhere, making themselves known only when and where they choose. “Generating around 32 billion dollars annually, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity of today.” While the governments of the troubled countries as well as the European Union make laws and regulations, the perpetrators become smarter; little progress gets made in solving this problem. At the center of human trafficking is the sex trade. The growing sex trade, which is more than visible in most of Europe, plays on the notion of growth in the “world sex-market”. This market is made possible by the globalization of consumer capitalism in which commercial sex plays a big role. There are three sides to the issue: the victims, the perpetrators, and the governments, law makers, and groups who are trying to stop the epidemic. Together, over time, these people have built a crime market that is becoming harder to break. Women are being smuggled under the false pretense of a...
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