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prostitution in Russia and former Soviet Union. They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to Human trafficking is a complex phenomenon fueled by the tremendous growth in the global sex market. Yet bilateral discussions about it with other states do take place, conferences have been convened, and the advocacy of moving more towards Eurasian regional economic union may in the long run push human trafficking higher up agendas. The worst cases were given narcotics and alcohol to help them cope with their burden, the cost of which was added to their debt. UNODC projects also support the re-entry of victims, like Irina, into society. Yet bilateral discussions about it with other states do take place, conferences have been convened, and the advocacy of moving more towards Eurasian regional economic union may in the long run push human trafficking higher up agendas. Slavic women were especially prized by clients for their high cheek bones and blond hair. In 2012, available data shows 29 convictions for human trafficking and five for using slave labor. The 2013 TIP Report talks of Russia’s “minimal progress in efforts to protect and assist trafficking victims”, its “limited efforts to prevent trafficking,” and its lack of effort to “reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.”. Thirty-seven percent of both genders acknowledged that the women were looking for work due to a lack of jobs, but 35 percent of males and 31 percent of females considered the trafficked “in the main to be prostitutes, hoping to earn more in other countries.” A high majority of respondents had low hopes of political institutions being able to solve the problem; a pessimistic 23 percent overall felt that “no-one” could be effective in tackling human trafficking and 22 percent just did not know who could. What has the Russian political leadership done to tackle the problem of human trafficking? This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com Abstract Since the collapse of In the 1990s, the spotlight fell on thousands of women and minors trafficked out of Russia into prostitution, particularly to  Europe, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia, China and North America. Become a Fair Observer and help us make sense of the world. She stole her documents and some cash and hailed a taxi. Russia has since withdrawn giving federal statistics involving human trafficking to the US State Department, however various NGO's and other organizations are still cooperating with foreign agencies. Thirty-seven percent of both genders acknowledged that the women were looking for work due to a lack of jobs, but 35 percent of males and 31 percent of females considered the trafficked “in the main to be prostitutes, hoping to earn more in other countries.” A high majority of respondents had low hopes of political institutions being able to solve the problem; a pessimistic 23 percent overall felt that “no-one” could be effective in tackling human trafficking and 22 percent just did not know who could. Women’s groups and non-governmental organizations were also active. At the same time, almost 31 percent of men and 35 percent of women recognized that the trafficked my have been duped by criminal gangs. These cookies track our website’s performance and also help us to continuously improve the experience we provide to you. Of course, these criminals are sometimes caught, arrested, tried and convicted. The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy. Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. The offer of US$ 500 for her help in bringing back merchandise to sell in the Russian Federation seemed lucrative. Economic systems were transformed, resulting in increased unemployment and poverty, especially for women. According to law enforcement statistics, all identified victims were Russian; four victims were females subjected to sex trafficking, six were men subjected to forced labor, and 10 were children, although many … Unwilling behavior from the women often resulted in threats of harm to their relatives back home, including their children, if they had any. The reasons in the Russian case are several and historical context is key. Women are also trafficked into the sex industry inside Russia. But Irina did not give up trying to escape. Image: Copyright © Shutterstock. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. The Russian Code here defined human trafficking as: “The buying-selling of a person or other actions committed for the purpose of such person’s exploitation in the form of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of such a person.” Article 127.2 against slavery was later added. Young women in their teens and 20s were much sought after. Russian women and children are reportedly victims of sex trafficking in Russia and abroad, including in Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the United States, and the Middle East. Newspaper advertisements and Russian job agencies in the 1990s invited women to become waitresses, dancers, nannies, nurses, office workers or escorts abroad for attractive salaries. Renat also warned Irina's mother that the travel arrangements had cost him a lot of money, and if her daughter cancelled the trip, she would owe him US$ 1,000. The tight restrictions on mobility that had prevented many Soviet citizens from traveling abroad were now eased. Meanwhile, all the other countries previously part of the Soviet Union have passed over 100 laws against human trafficking. Criminal groups have developed a brisk trade selling tens of thousands of women into prostitution. Register for $9.99 per month and become a member today. There are deep-seated historical reasons why Russian leaders wish to be respected and do not like being told how to run their domestic system by outsiders. In 2013, the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report downgraded Russia from its Tier-2 “Watch List” to its lowest classification of Tier-3. A special law did not result, but the Criminal Code was amended and Article 127.1 thereafter declared that human trafficking was punishable by prison terms. With the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Russian Embassy, Irina was safely repatriated. As soon as Irina entered the airport, she was stopped by the police. Another factor made this possible: the corruption amongst border guards, police and state officials. Economic systems were transformed, resulting in increased unemployment and poverty, especially for women. In a survey conducted in June 2007, in which 1,600 citizens across 45 regions were polled, just over 43 percent of male respondents and 38 percent of females blamed the women and girls themselves for ending up in the sex trade. In the 1990s Russian social scientists such as Elena Tiuriukanova and Natalia Khodyreva attempted to expose the problem, educate the public and put pressure on the parliament, the State Duma, to pass anti-trafficking legislation. In 2013, 28 people were convicted under Article 127.1, where 23 given sentences ranging from between 2 and 11 years' imprisonment. Human Trafficking in Russia and Other Post-Soviet States Yuliya V. Tverdova Published online: 11 December 2010 # The Author(s) 2010. These statistics are collected and processed using the Google Analytics service. The most harrowing story of human trafficking I've ever heard World Human Trafficking Monday September 11, 2017, 5:31 PM Julie Etchingham Presenter, ITV News at … Other estimates, however, are lower. Russia has one of the worst worldwide records in fighting forced labor and sex trafficking, according to an annual report from a U.S. government anti-trafficking agency. The Duma did have a working group on human trafficking, which supported a new law and worked hard to promote it. The recent disruption of a Washington, D.C.-area trafficking ring shows the FBI's commitment to stopping human traffickers—during National Slavery and Human Trafficking … The Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow reacted strongly to the recent TIP Report. Join our network of more than 2,000 contributors to publish your perspective, share your story and shape the global conversation. In this context, serious non-governmental organizations and women’s groups have been energetically working hard to combat all forms of human trafficking and, where possible, they collaborate with local city governments and the police. Their initial recruiter would have sold them to the brothel owner for $5,000 or more. Employment and investment patterns changed and along came new opportunities for the exploitation of those in need. The "madam" was with them and claimed that Irina had stolen her money. Exploitation is driven Exploitation is driven by poverty, uneven development, official corruption, gender discrimination, harmful traditional and cultural practices, civil project coordinator, International Organization for Migration. Irina was a 16-year-old high school student from the southern Russian Federation when she accepted a family friend's proposal to take a quick trip to the Middle East. Carlos also received assistance from an immigration attorney through The Dragonfly Home. The Fair Observer website uses digital cookies so it can collect statistics on how many visitors come to the site, what content is viewed and for how long, and the general location of the computer network of the visitor. Russia and China react angrily after the US downgrades them to its lowest category in a report on efforts to fight human trafficking. Furthermore, the international political economy of sex and male demand for prostitutes gave criminal gangs and small operators huge possibilities for their own enrichment. Women’s groups and non-governmental organizations were also active. Homeless children are exploited in sex trafficking. The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, stretching from Europe to the Pacific, and is a massive landmass for the origin, transit and destination of women, men and children who are trafficked into forced labor. Fair Observer does not use personal data collected from its website for advertising purposes or to market to you. US Immigration Reform: A Mirage on the Horizon? It is hard to say exactly how many Russian women to date have endured this. Russia has criminalised human trafficking in article 127.1 of the criminal code. Since then Russia has not adopted any other laws on human trafficking, whereas, all 14 other countries in the post-Soviet region have passed multiple laws related to human trafficking… Fair Observer uses these aggregate statistics from website visits to help improve the content of the website and to provide regular reports to our current and future donors and funding organizations. They may have been accompanied en route and then handed over upon arrival to someone else. Her case was investigated by the police and is being heard in court. There have been cases of officials in children’s homes selling Russian children. In a survey conducted in June 2007, in which 1,600 citizens across 45 regions were polled, just over 43 percent of male respondents and 38 percent of females blamed the women and girls themselves for ending up in the sex trade. Employment and investment patterns changed and along came new opportunities for the exploitation of those in need. Pressure also came from the United States and Germany. Given the scale of human trafficking in and out of Russia, and not only into prostitution but into a range of jobs, the US State Department has criticized Moscow for not making enough convictions of traffickers. In this international context, mechanisms of deception, recruitment, exploitation, control and abuse could thrive. Cox Virginia brings you a surprising documentary taking you inside this horrific epidemic that we found is a lot closer to us than we realize. In the 2000s, awareness has grown of the men who are trafficked or who simply migrate out of Central Asia, particularly from the states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan into Russia, and who find themselves in slave labor in construction work, fisheries, fieldwork or shops. Labor trafficking stories like Ergashev’s, unfortunately, are all too common in Central Asia — Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The collapse of state planning and the start of what became known as “wild capitalism”(. ) The type of digital cookie information collected during your visit and any derived data cannot be used or combined with other information to personally identify you. The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, stretching from Europe to the Pacific, and is a massive landmass for the origin, transit and destination of women, men and children who are trafficked into forced labor. Psychological counseling is badly needed and not always available. There, she found out that her name had remained in the Interpol "missing persons" files for months. 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