Trade in people and slavery – modern crimes.
23 August – the International Day of Remembrance of Victims to Trade in People and Elimination of this Phenomenon. The problem is deeply rooted in history, bondage and slavery did not get any more humane. This problem did not bypass Belarus. In search of good salaries, Belarusian girls and women are looking for employment abroad and often end up being sexual slaves.
The Radio Liberty correspondent says that the number of Belarusian women who have been sexually enslaved is difficult to count. Many do not want the truth to come out. But the count is now over thousands. Women come back maimed – first morally, with bad psychological traumas. Unfortunately, we already have victims – in the literal sense of the word.
The international coordinator for La Strada in Belarus Iryna Alkhouka says: "There are criminal cases: people gone missing, becoming crippled. As regards those who disappeared, up to 100 cases are registered annually. When there are serious reasons to believe that a person has gone missing, is being exploited or held against his will, we contact the Interpol. Also, we have partner organizations abroad. But, unfortunately, this is quite complicated – international search: you have to write special inquiries, and wait for diplomatic mail to arrive".
The deputy head of the Illegal Drug Trafficking and Vice Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Siarhei Statuieu gave the following statistics: "Over 7 months 478 vice cases have been brought. There are separate articles: "Trade in people", "Abduction of people", "Illegal Employment Abroad", "Prostitution". "Trade in people" is article 181, part 2. In 7 months 38 crimes have been solved".
The President of Belarus offered a very interesting method of protecting people, who signed in April the famous Decree "On certain measures of counteracting the trade in people": no possibility to leave the country – no problem. This document does not only fail to solve the problem but also creates obstacles to many lines of activity. Now potentially dangerous are employment and education of students abroad, model business, international adoption, the work of marriage agencies. For all of these lines of activity you need a license from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and permissions from the Ministry of Education.
In essence, international adoption has been also banned. University students and even school students now face problems as they want to leave abroad for studies. As regards employment abroad, the country now has only one firm with a license. That's why people contact illegal intermediaries – their services cost higher and the risk grows correspondingly. The Belarusians leave abroad to work through the neighboring countries – Ukraine and Russia. And the problem is still there…