Russian Women and Human Trafficking

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Young Girls, all over Russia, get up in the mornings and expect something new from their day. Many try to find some kind of work, some way to make money to support their families. Many of those girls have alcoholic fathers and out of work mothers. Many people in Russia are suffering from a very hard life, it’s very difficult to find a job. According to geographic.org, “144 million people live in Russia, 11.5% of the population are unemployed. 28.6% of the population live below poverty line”. As maintained by the U.S. Department of State, “Millions of Russian workers are underemployed. Unemployment is highest among women and young people”. Through Human Rights Watch, I learned that “Until recently, women made up approximately half of Russia's work force”. However, due to “the overall dislocation of the Russian economy”…numerous people found themselves unemployed and in need of work in “market that no longer values their skills”. “In many regions of Russia, women's unemployment exceeds 80 percent… Scholars monitoring the rates and causes of unemployment maintain that actual unemployment is much higher. According to the federal Department of Employment, only 25 percent of the unemployed even try to register as unemployed” (1). What does this mean for Russian women? This means that she is at her most vulnerable state, open for predators just waiting to jump at the chance to steal her, manipulate her, lure her into a world that will eat her whole and spit her out looking old, worn out, and many times dead.

These predators, usually mafia, tend to look for young, attractive girls to lure or kidnap into the trade of human flesh. What many people don’t realize is that these young, poor, and naïve girls typically don’t know that such a devastating thing could ever happen to them. The trafficking of women for sexual slavery is an organized business, these girls are taken from all over Russia. The girls are sent everywhere around the world. As stated by Victor Malarek, in his book, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade, “They are the latest It Girls in the burgeoning business of sex… They (are sent to) Austria, Italy, Belgium… Holland… South Korea, Bosnia… Japan… Canada and England. They are locked up as sex slaves in apartments in the United Arab Emirates, Germany Israel and Greece… (And also sent to) the United States” (3). The techniques used to trick the girls to come abroad with these men are many. Kidnapping occurs most frequently in rural parts of Russia. There is also the use of deception, which is the best and most frequently used lure in Russia. Many girls are tricked by ads in papers that look very legitimate, as Malarek states “Some ads even appear to be officially sanctioned, bearing logos of the American Stars and Stripes or the Canadian Maple Leaf.” (10). In other parts of the Former USSR, there are ads in newspapers for jobs such “as waitresses, models, nannies, dishwashers and maids” (Malarek 10). As Sietske Altink writes in her book, Stolen Lives: Trading Women Into Sex And Slavery, “Another…trick is to give woman false job offers from existing companies“ (125-126). So the girl not only knows that the company exists, she truly believes that the company is legit, she believes that it will be her salvation, only to find out that the job was never really there for her, that documents were forged, that people were corrupt and that all of the promises that were made were not only false but were done to lure her into a sex slave trade. There are also “recruiters” who seem to be offering good jobs overseas to help these women and their families. Unfortunately, these so called good jobs are all fake; some recruiters go as “far as to set up “career day” booths at universities in Russia” (Malarek 10). A girl might feel a lot safer in a university to believe a woman who speaks of being able to make $2,500 a month in Canada or America as a house cleaner or a waitress. So no wonder...
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