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Sex Trafficking in Eastern Europe

Zurich International School Katerina Filler Grade 8 English J8 Summit 2012

Katerina Filler C-Block, Ballinger May 2012

Have you ever been through that part of town where all those provocatively dressed women walking the streets are, and wondered why? For many of them especially the really young ones, it is completely against their own will. Most of the girls are likely to be kidnapped and taken away from their families and for others its the easiest way to get out of poverty and make easy money. Every year 600-800,000 women in the world are trafficked across borders to work in the sex industry, making as little as $1500 a year (Schreinemacher). Sex trafficking causes physical and mental damage to the girls, due to the way they are treated, the living standards they are exposed to and the emotional rollercoaster they experience. On a daily basis these young girls are forced into having sexual intercourse as many as 30-40 times a day (Cameron), for most of them its against their will. Young girls are being used all over the world in this disastrous trade, enduring the tough and scarring journey they encounter. The physical damages these girls endure have a lifelong effect and cannot be reversed. According to the research done by Ben Stirton, in Ukraine, the HIV epidemic is rising and every 1 in 5 women in Ukraine have HIV, spread through IV drugs, but more likely now through sexual intercourse (Stirton). This leaves the women sick for the duration of their lives because proper treatment for the disease is not affordable. It makes their immune system worsen and it slowly becomes fatal. Throughout the trafficking transaction the drugs are used on the women in order to create a dependency and make them more passive (Hart, 10-11). These drugs are very strong and the girls become addicted to them; these conditions are unhealthy for the bodies of these women and they are more susceptible to different infections thereby becoming even more vulnerable. Drugged and vulnerable, they are kept in unsanitary brothels where they are raped several times and beaten senseless (Walker-Rodriguez). This not only affects the health of the innocent minors, but their bodies adapt to it after a while. They become more and more physically scarred and are too frightened and weak to protect themselves. As said by Philip Cameron, Once a girl is beaten, they will never fight back (Cameron). These physical damages stay with the girls for their entire lives, mentally and also physically, you can see the permanent scars on their bodies. Trafficking has severe mental effects on the young girls and these are also irreversible; they will always remain in the girls mind, either completely consciously or sub consciously. Emotional sabotage is another way of making these girls more

Katerina Filler C-Block, Ballinger May 2012

vulnerable instead of using drugs. The traffickers use these tactics on the slightly more gullible victims to keep them from running away (Hill). The traffickers claim that they love and need the victims, they create a false loving dependency and convince them that performing sexual acts with strangers is just a start to their future together and helping them financially. By creating an emotional bind, helps the traffickers ensure that the girls wont run away or want to escape, and instead feel as if they will betray their new family if they do. Furthermore, these girls are often transported to a foreign country, fear starts to develop, and they have no proper identity. After being discriminated against, put down, raped or judged by the locals, these girls suffer from low self-esteem. Some cannot be among crowds due to anxiety, some get phobias of noisy places they become overly aggressive, too fragile or just very pessimistic (Archavanitkul). Another way that these girls are emotionally traumatized is through Child Sex Tourism. Men travel from places where underage sexual exploitation is illegal to a place where it is less strict, easily available and they profit from low prices and easily available sexual slavery with minors. This industry generates a lot of money; traffickers use whatever means such as kidnapping, continuous rape and whatever it takes. As a result, these girls encounter severe psychological trauma, preventing them from carrying on with their normal lives (Archavanitkul). The effects of sex trafficking cause an incredibly emotional rollercoaster experience on a daily basis for the girls involved. In some way, mental trauma is much more difficult to recover from than physical trauma. The girls become mentally scarred for the rest of their lives, not being able to get a proper education, finding a way out of the trade are often impossible options as the girls have no self-respect or suffer from very low self-esteem. It becomes a vicious circle and coupled with physical trauma, does anyone deserve to live like this? The abuse doesnt stop even after the girls are kidnapped and installed into their new lives. The trafficking industry is aimed at making as much profit and money as they can for whilst the girls remain alive and useful. So what happens to some of these girls once they become less attractive and or sick is what is called Happy Trafficking, the traffickers dress the victim up nicely, make them lie about how glamorous their lives are and sends them back home to find a new recruit. This is a duty each girl is forced to fulfill otherwise she will face consequences; immense emotional pressure is placed on these girls. How is this supposed to make the girl feel?

Katerina Filler C-Block, Ballinger May 2012

Knowing that they are not attractive enough anymore to even do the job that you need no qualifications for? This completely destroys the girls self-esteem and leaves them helpless for the rest of their lives. No one has been kind to them and they in turn give no kindness to others. According to Philip Cameron, the founder of an organization that helps orphans and victims of sex trafficking in Moldova, the girls that he deals with had never experienced a feeling of love in their lives, they had never received a hug, and they had never had a real family (Cameron). According to research, this leaves the girls feeling neglected and as if they made no difference to the world, no one cares for them and this leaves them alone and deeply damaged for their entire lives. They have no family to care for them and they know that their family may have forgotten about them. Often coming from very poor and dysfunctional families, these girls will have to continue to fend for themselves. Many of them know nothing else but prostitution and will therefore stay in this industry, making money whichever way they can. Others with drug habits will turn to the streets, to a life of crime or whatever they can find to support their drug habits. Some will have become pregnant and have children to support and this creates a desperation and therefore doing whatever it takes to survive and make money (Tengalia-Webster) These girls are often excluded from society, for various reasons including their psychological damage which causes different anxieties; they have no friends or family to support them. These girls go through an incredible emotional rollercoaster in the trade, they have no support, no one that loves them and no self-confidence left to make them stronger. Sex trafficking of young girls is a severe problem in our world that affects young girls in many physical and psychological ways. Overall, their experience in the trade is an emotional rollercoaster that is wretchedly unforgettable for them. It is clear that due to the lifelong trauma that these girls go through, that sex trafficking is a serious global issue throughout our world, taking its toll on the girls and the places of low economy and limited education, such as Eastern Europe, leaving the girls who are involved completely helpless and self-conscious. No girl deserves to be treated this way, which is why there should be a solution found or awareness spread for sex trafficking.

Katerina Filler C-Block, Ballinger May 2012

Works Cited Archavanitkul, Kritaya. Impact of Child Trafficking on the Children and their Communities. 7 June 2000 SEAMEO. May 15, 2012 <http://www.seameo.org/vl/combat/7chap.htm>. Cameron, Philip. Stella's Voice. 2011 Philip Cameron Ministries. May 5, 2012 < http://www.stellasvoice.org/>.

Children trafficked for 'Sex Work and Drug Production'. 18 October, 2011 May 21, 2012 < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15352651>. Farrell, Courtney. Human Trafficking. Edina, Minnesota: ABDO, 2011.

Hart, Joyce. Human Trafficking. New York: Rosen Publishing, 2009. Human Rights Based Approach to Trafficking. 29 November 2011 OHCHR. May 3, 2012 <http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/HumanRightsbasedapproachto trafficking.aspx>.

Schreinemacher, Elisabeth. "RIGHTS GLOBAL." THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR. 2005. Elibrary. 14 May, 2012 Stirton, Brent. Ukraine- Aids and Addiction. October 2011. May 20, 2011 <http://www.brentstirton.com/words-aids-ukraine.php>.

Walker-Rodriguez, Amanda. "Human Sex Trafficking." 2011. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. 14 May,2012 Tengalia-Webster, Maria. Human Trafficking and Exploitation Today. Global Viewpoints: Slavery. Ed. Christine Nasso. Detroit, USA. Greenhaven Press, 2009. 67-76. "Sex Trafficking Girl Don Knabe." Online Image. Not Enough Good. No date. May 21, 2012 <http://notenoughgood.com/2012/01/super-bowl-and-sextrafficking/sex-trafficking-girl-don-knabe/#>.