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Human Trafficking Crime

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Human trafficking is a crime that is seen all over the world, on every single continent. It occurs in places of high information exchange such as in large cities, but not necessarily tourist spots. Many countries have to deal with the problem of human sex trafficking because of problems in the government or societal makeup. Sex trafficking usually occurs near highway crosses and places with a lot of traffic. For example, I live in northern Ohio and in Toledo, Ohio there is a serious problem with sex trafficking of minors. There was a special program on MTV that focused on human trafficking in the Toledo area, which occurs mostly due to the large amounts of state highways that pass through the city. Two girls, under the age of 18, were kidnapped and held hostage for several months. They were forced to partake in sexual acts with other men and their captors. Everything that took place was against their will and beyond their control. In this term paper, I will discuss specifically human sex trafficking that has taken and takes place in the post Soviet Union areas. Ever since the Soviet Union broke up, this has been a very large issue in the new states. The focus will be mostly on the following new states: Moldova, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. A question you may ask yourselves is: How did the breakup of the Soviet Union lead to an increase in human trafficking in these areas? Also: How can human trafficking be controlled and prevented in these new states and what can the government do to step in? Hopefully, in the length of this term paper you will get a clear understanding of human trafficking and how to prevent it in the future.

First, I will discuss human trafficking specifically in the new states in the past and currently. In my History of European Women class, we are about to read the novel Selling Olga- Stories of Human Trafficking and Resistance by Louisa Waugh. Even the following picture of the cover of the novel shows the affect of human sex trafficking on the women involved. The cover art shows a women being held in the hands of her captor, which makes sense because when a woman takes place in trafficking her whole identity and self is taken away from her.

The topic is very similar since a lot of the novel takes place in the new states of former Soviet Union. Most of the areas discussed are Belarus, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova. Two women, Mara and Olga experience human trafficking first hand. Waugh thoroughly describes how the identity is removed from the particular person using modern technology and quick wit skills. Basically, they use their skills to totally remove any evidence that the person existed. Then, they use them for labor or sex and sell them off to different customers all over the country, or even the world. It is fast and sickening. Waugh says, "The traffickers also take other photographs of the women that they use to make false identity cards. These cards often contain a woman's real name, but details like her date and place of birth are always changed. I have seen these documents. They are good fakes, especially those for women from Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine, so there is no problem with these women crossing the border. The women are given those documents, and they are taught to recite new information on them. They learn these new details about themselves" (Waugh, 53). It amazes me how easy it is for someone's identity to be manipulated so easily, but these criminals use little effort and a lot of street smarts. Escaping is not an option for the women, at least according to the men holding them captive. Each woman is given a certain value; some are valued more than others based on looks, willingness to participate, and worldly possessions. All in all, the woman has to survive love in a "brothel."



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