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1 Mar, 2009 10:34

European women orchestrating sex slavery

European women orchestrating sex slavery

In Europe, most slaves nowadays are bought and sold for one reason — sex, so it’s no surprise that most victims are women. What is surprising is that sex slavery is an industry dominated by women.

One divorced mother from Armenia reportedly testified that out of desperation she agreed to take a job in Dubai. She thought she was going to be working in a store, but when she got to Dubai she found out she would to be a prostitute.

“I visited several clients of different nationalities in the Al-Harmud Hotel and had sex with them. I was in an impossible situation…” she said. Her passport had been taken, she couldn’t speak the language, and she didn’t have any money.

Without further details, most people would likely assume that a man was responsible for trapping this woman in such a demeaning situation. However, she was recounting details in her testimony against another Armenian woman, Marine Poghosyan, who was convicted and sentenced for only 18 months.

Women exploiting women

This case from Armenia is not an isolated event. Several agencies and organizations have details of women’s involvement in sex trafficking. The problem is that there wasn’t a comprehensive method to share and analyze that information–that is until a report that was recently released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The reports show that worldwide 60% of those convicted for human trafficking are women. In some countries in Europe the figures are higher.

Human trafficking is the politically correct term for modern slavery and the most common form of human trafficking is sex exploitation, which appears to be the ladies crime of choice in parts of Europe.

In many European countries men outnumber women in the sex slave industry, but the UNODC report shows that women are convicted more for human trafficking than for all other crimes. For example, in France, women only represented 10% of the convictions for all other crimes, but women represented 32% of the convictions over human trafficking. Moving into East Europe, the differences become more drastic.

Sex Slavery nothing new

The UNODC report didn’t unveil the problem of sex slavery in Europe. Sex slavery is a problem that European authorities are well aware of in their societies.

“It’s very common practice to persuade a woman that she can work in Germany or the UK or France and she can earn 100 euros a day… and the reality is that she will earn that money and probably much more. However, she won’t see any of it,” said Hamish McCulloch, the former Assistant Director for Trafficking in Human Beings at Interpol.

Countries in Western, Southern and Northern Europe, such as the UK, are recognized as sex slave destinations. Central and East Europe are recognized as source countries and some have noted the visibly diminishing numbers of young women.

What the UNODC report did was to unveil a trend that put a new face on the perpetrators.

“Crime, organized crime in particular, is typically a male activity,” the report said. “It might be assumed that human trafficking, where violence and threats are keys to the business, would likewise be overwhelmingly male dominated.” Unfortunately, in regards to human trafficking, this is not the case.

Michelle Smith for RT