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⁣"A horrific video is circulating online. It features a man speaking in Turkish with an Arabic accent, talking about the arrival of 10 girls from Ukraine. He promises two of them, "the most beautiful" ones, to a man named Abu Jaffar
The video shows the passports of Ukrainian women who appear to have been sold as sex slaves to foreign countries, and a girl kneeling in the human trafficker's room.
Users have noted that the accent of the speaker seems similar to that of residents of Aleppo Province. It is likely that he is a mercenary with the "Syrian National Army", an auxiliary force of the Turkish Armed Forces." 😳🤷‍♂️
Human rights activists working in Ukraine and Russia share with Farida Kurbangaleeva their concerns about the new risks of human trafficking. Ukrainian women and children who flee the war zone are targets for sex trafficking.
Manicure, wax, hair done and definitely makeup - this was the “workplace” dress code at the erotic massage parlor. Anastasia didn’t mind as she was in major need of money.
The establishment in Novosibirsk didn’t provide sex services, but as it quickly became clear –
only officially it didn’t. Penetration during a session was forbidden, for which the girls could be fired. But clients could resort to violence or be really persistent, so “it was easier to agree than to refuse and then get in trouble because of a fuss.” “That is, it’s a regular brothel, only with a different sign,” Anastasia concludes.
Up to ten girls worked at the parlor at one time. They were of different ages and had different education and different goals in life. But they all had a common problem – they were broke. The ones who came from other cities lived right “at work,” in a changing room.
“One girl had a baby, and she worked at night and left the baby with her grandmother,” recalls Anastasia. “Another had an adult daughter, and she would come in from another city periodically to earn money for the daughter’s education. A girl from Kazakhstan needed money to legalize herself in Russia. Another girl was earning money for her own education because her parents couldn’t pay for it.”
The work schedule was irregular. After a shift Anastasia was free to go home, but she was often asked “urgently to stay on,” and she might stay at the parlor for up to four days in a row.
Easier to recruit than to kidnap
Experts warn against calling sex trafficking “slavery.” According to Gelya Bessmertnaya, coordinator of the Eurydice feminist initiative, the term breeds the widespread stereotype that exploitation occurs only when a person is kept somewhere by force:
“According to statistics, in most cases women are exploited during recruitment and not through abduction. The same thing happens with refugees – they’re cheaper and easier to recruit than to kidnap. How they’re later harbored is another question. But the main factor of coercion is psychological.”
At the parlor Anastasia often heard: “Where else would you make so much? Look at what a good team we have, we are for you heart and soul!” Some girls fell into debt bondage. The parlor could give them an advance or money to rent an apartment, which then had to be “worked off.”
Unlike individual cases of sexual violence, trafficking is a long-term crime, and the perpetrator has an interest in exploiting the victim for as long and as much as possible. According to Veronika Antimonik, coordinator of the Safe House Foundation, the situation could last for decades:
“We’re aware of cases where a person was exploited both in forced labor and sexually. For example, during the day a woman was forced to work in a market or at a business, and in the evening she was sold as a prostitute.[…] At the same time, the perpetrators know that the longer it lasts, the less the victim tries to leave.”
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