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The Trafficking of NIS Women Abroad
An International Conference in Moscow 3-5 November 1997 Conference Report
Prepared by the Global Survival Network in collaboration with The International League for Human Rights

This report is based on an international conference sponsored by: Global Survival Network (Washington, D.C.), The International League for Human Rights (New York) and Syostri Centre (Moscow). Technical support was provided by the Andrei Sakharov Foundation (Moscow).




Funding & Support for the Development of the Conference Report Provided by:

Network Women's Program, Open Society Institute

Forced Migration Project, Open Society Institute


Translation by:

The American Bar Association/Central and East European Law Initiative

The International League for Human Rights

Yuri Dzhibladze

Arthur Gelmis

Jyothi Kanics

John Sturino

Saule Vidrinskaite

For further information contact:

Global Survival Network

P.O.Box 73214

Washington, D.C. 20009

202.387.0028 (tel)

202.387.2590 (fax)


International League for Human Rights

432 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10016

212.684.1221 (tel)

212.684.1696 (fax)

"The Trafficking of NIS Women Abroad" An International Conference in Moscow

3-5 November 1997 Conference Report


Conference Schedule................................................................................................................................................ 2-5

Steven R. Galster, Executive Director, Global Survival Network (Washington, D.C.)................................................6

Gillian Caldwell, Co-Director, Global Survival Network, Conference Project Director (Washington, D.C.)...............7-8

Karina Moskalenko, International Defense (Moscow)................................................................................................9-10

Michael Platzer, United Nations Crime Prevention Branch (Vienna).........................................................................11-12

Marjorie Lightman, International League for Human Rights (New York)..................................................................13-14

Lyudmila Zavadskaya, Deputy Minister of Justice, Russian Federation......................................................................15

Olga Samarina, Deputy Director of the Department of the Matters of the Family, Women and Children

Ministry of Labor of Russia.......................................................................................................................................16-19

Olga Shved, La Strada (Kiev)....................................................................................................................................20

Natalia Khodyreva, Director, St. Petersburg Psychological Crisis Center for Women ................................................21-22

Theresa Loar, Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State.................................23-26

Marjan Wijers, Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (Netherlands).................................................................27-35

Marco Antonio Gramegna, International Organization for Migration........................................................................36

Siriporn Skrobanek, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (Thailand)..............................................................37-39

Overview of European Commission Activities to Address Trafficking in Women .....................................................40-43

Press Conference: Prepared Remarks & Summaries .................................................................................................44-49

1. Yuri Dzhibladze, Conference Coordinator

2. Michael Platzer, United Nations Crime Prevention Branch

3. Gillian Caldwell, Global Survival Network

4. Olga Shved, La Strada

5. Marjan Wijers, Foundation Against Trafficking in Women

6. Siriporn Skrobanek, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Conference Resolutions............................................................................................................................................50-53

Global Survival Network Follow-Up Plans:

Regional Initiative in Partnership with Network Women's Program of the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundations....54

Contact Information for Conference Participants.......................................................................................................55-67

Order forms for Crime & Servitude: An Exposé of the Traffic in Women for Prostitution from the Newly Independent States and BOUGHT & SOLD: An Investigative Documentary About the International Trade in Women...........................68-69

Conference Schedule November 3-5, 1997

Monday, November 3, 1997

Venue: The Sakharov Centre

Zemlyanoi Val, 57/6


Distribution of Final Conference Agenda, Crime & Servitude report & Working Group Packets

7:00 PM-9:30PM

Planning Meeting: Conference Organizers, Speakers & Facilitators Only

Tuesday, November 4


Venue: The Sakharov Centre

Zemlyanoi Val, 57/6




Yuri Dzhibladze, Conference Coordinator

Overview of the Conference Goals, Agenda, & Format.


Gillian Caldwell & Steve Galster

Global Survival Network (Washington , D.C.)

The Increase in Trafficking of NIS Women since 1989


"Bought & Sold"

A documentary film by the Global Survival Network

Premiere Screening


COFFEE BREAK, Networking


Discussion of "Bought & Sold" & "Crime & Servitude," a report by the Global Survival Network in collaboration with the International League for Human Rights


Karina Moskalenko

International Defense (Russia)

-Russian & International Law on Trafficking


Michael Platzer

United Nations Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice Branch

-Trafficking as a Form of Organized Crime

1:00-1:30 Q & A, Discussion

1:30-2:30 BUFFET LUNCH


Marjorie Lightman

International League for Human Rights (NY)

-Governments & NGO Cooperation to Promote Human Rights



Lyudmila Zavadskaya

Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation

-Ministry of Justice Responses to Trafficking

Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation

-International Organized Crime & Trafficking

Olga Samarina

Department Head

Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation

-Economic Status of Women in the Post-Communist Transition

Olga Shved

La Strada (Ukraine)

-Awareness Campaigns in Sending Countries

Natalia Khodyreva


Psychological Crisis Center for Women (St. Petersburg)

-Educational Campaigns & Supporting Survivors

4:30-4:50 COFFEE & TEA BREAK






Theresa Loar

Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues

U.S. Department of State

-U.S. Government Initiatives to Address Trafficking

Marjan Wijers


Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (Netherlands)

-Dutch Responses to Trafficking

Marco Antonio Gramegna

Chief, Division of Planning

International Organization for Migration (Geneva)

-New Migration Challenges after the Cold War

Siriporn Skrobanek


Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (Thailand)

-Government-NGO Interaction

Tung-Lai Margue

Head of Unit on Anti-Trafficking Initiatives

European Commission

-European Commission Initiatives


Wednesday, November 5


Venue: The Sakharov Center

Zemlyanoi Val, 57/6

9:00-10:00 COFFEE & TEA

WORKING GROUPS (parallel groups) 10:00-2:00

a) Legal Dilemmas & Remedies: Enforcing & Reforming National & International law

Leaders: Diederik Lohman (Human Rights Watch), Marjan Wijers (Foundation Against Trafficking in Women), & Isabel Marcus (Network of East-West Women Legal Committee)

b) Fighting the Roots: The Role of Education & Outreach in Sending Countries

Leaders: Gillian Caldwell (Global Survival Network), Olga Shved (La Strada/Ukraine), Frank Laczco (International Organization for Migration) & Larisa Korneva (Psychological Crisis Center for Women).

c) Supporting the Survivors: Formulating Effective NGO & Government Assistance for Trafficked Women

Leaders: Siriporn Skrobanek (Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women), Martina Vandenberg (Israeli Women's Network) & Irene Chiernienkaya (Syostri).

2:00-3:00 BUFFET LUNCH


Reports from the Working Groups (20 Minutes Each)


Discussion of the reports from the working groups

Future plans


Post-Conference Networking


Closing Reception

Screening of "Bought & Sold"

Oval Hall, Old Building, Foreign Literature Library

Nikolo-Yamskaya Ulitsa (Street), Dom 6 (Building # 6)

Thursday, November 6


Venue: The Sakharov Centre

Zemlyanoi Val, 57/6


Facilitators: Agency for Social Information (Moscow)

Tel: 249-3989/Fax: 249-8515


Prepared Opening Remarks, Moscow Conference 11/97

Steven Galster

Executive Director, Global Survival Network

The Global Survival Network (GSN) is a human rights and environmental non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. GSN works as an international organization with consultants in many different countries. GSN stumbled upon this project while investigating the illegal trade in wildlife in the Russian Far East. A Russian mafia group that was trading tiger bones to China and tiger skins to Japan, was also trading Russian women to Japan. GSN was looking for a way to pass on this information. However, the authorities were not responsive. Members of local NGOs were sometimes aware of the expanding trade in women and girls for forced prostitution but were unable to do much about it. Government apathy---and possible complicity---combined with Russian mafia involvement in trafficking operations prevented authorities from investigating. GSN thus came in as an outside, investigative NGO. Investigations focused on the import and export sides of the trade.

GSN conducted a study from August 1995 through the autumn of 1997 to uncover the rapidly growing trade in Russian women for the purposes of forced prostitution. GSN conducted open interviews with numerous non-governmental organizations, more than fifty women who had been trafficked overseas, and police and government officials in Russia, Western Europe, Asia and the United States.

GSN also conducted some less conventional research. We established a dummy company that purportedly specialized in importing foreign women. The company was based in the United States and claimed to specialize in "Foreign Models, Escorts and Entertainers". There were business cards, brochures, a telephone and a fax line to give the operation a look of authenticity. Under the guise of this company, GSN successfully gained entry to the shadowy operations of international trafficking networks in Russia and beyond.

During the investigation, GSN met Russian pimps and traffickers who revealed their modus operandi and the identities of their financial investors and overseas partners. Together with information collected through interviews with NGOs, law enforcement agencies, trafficked women and relevant news reports, this information provided enough detail to target several countries where Russian women and girls work as prostitutes in substantial numbers, including Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Macau and the United States. Wherever legal, interviews were recorded by hidden camera directly inside the establishments where trafficked women were working. Wherever possible, the investigators revealed the nature of their work.

In cases where the safety and privacy of interviewees, or security conditions for investigator and interviewee needed to be preserved, pseudonyms have been used in the report "Crime and Servitude". The videotaped material has been transcribed and forms the basis for GSN's video "Bought and Sold".

Prepared Opening Remarks, Moscow Conference 11/97

Gillian Caldwell

Co-Director, Global Survival Network

My name is Gillian Caldwell, and I am the Co-Director of the Global Survival Network, a Washington DC-based non-profit organization. The Global Survival Network is a non-profit organization which exposes and addresses human rights and environmental violations.

In 1995, we discovered a criminal group which was trading Siberian tiger pelts in the Russian Far East. They were also selling Russian women to Japan. This discovery led us on a two-year investigation into the trafficking of women for forced prostitution from Russia and the Newly Independent States. In a few moments we will show you the documentary film we produced based on our investigation that is called BOUGHT & SOLD, and gives you an insiders perspective on how the international trade in women actually works.

You may be aware that there is considerable controversy surrounding the definition of the term "trafficking." For purposes of our investigation, we adopted the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women definition, which defines trafficking as "All acts involved in the recruitment or transportation of a woman, within or across national borders, for work or services, by means of violence or threat of violence, debt bondage, deception or other coercion." It is important to emphasize that women may be trafficked for a number of reasons in addition to forced prostitution, including exploitative domestic service in private homes, and indentured servitude in sweatshops.

The United Nations estimates that criminal groups rake in more than seven billion dollars annually from trafficking human beings, rivaling the lucrative trade in guns and drugs. Originally, Latin America and Asia were the main sources of women for the trafficking business. Now, since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the transition to a market economy began, the former Eastern Bloc is an increasingly important source of women for trafficking networks. In several Western European countries, women from the former Eastern Bloc constitute up to three quarters of the trafficked women seeking help from non-governmental organizations. This reality is a direct result of the fact that the economic status of women has declined dramatically in the transition to a market economy. In the Russian Federation, for example, women represent between 70 and 95 percent of the unemployed, and they face rampant sexual harassment and discrimination.

Trafficking must be seen as part of the worldwide feminization of poverty and of labor migration. Women are structurally denied access to the formal and regulated labor markets, and pushed into unprotected or criminalized labor markets, such as sexual and exploitative domestic work. Just to give you an example of how dramatic the increases have been in women from Russia and the NIS trafficked to locations throughout the world, we learned that in 1989, 378 women from the entire Soviet Union entered Japan as entertainers visas; in 1995, 4,763 women entered Japan from Russia alone on entertainers' permits. Although not all women entering the country on entertainers permits are entering through trafficking networks and forced to work as prostitutes, entertainers' visas are frequently used by traffickers, and few Russian women have the disposable income to travel to Japan to work without assistance from one of the many organizations offering to front the money for travel and expenses, which creates the debt bondage relationships they will have difficulty escaping.

In our investigation, we interviewed women trafficked overseas, non-governmental groups working with them, and law enforcement in countries of origin and destination. We also posed as foreign buyers of women and filmed meetings with hidden cameras of Russian mafiya groups trafficking women abroad. We produced a documentary film based on our investigation, which demonstrates that trafficking is a criminal business, protected by Russian organized crime and other organized criminal syndicates, which provides a "krisha", or roof for the business. Our investigations also revealed serious allegations of government complicity in the business, including allegations that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was falsifying passports to get under-age girls out of the country.

But there are other forms of complicity as well. For example, consider the complicity of sending countries, such as the Phillippines, whose national economy relies on labor export and the hard currency sent home by migrant women, without assuming any responsibility for the conditions under which they work. And receiving countries in the West which too often respond to trafficking in terms of the primary state interests in limiting migration, and cracking down on organized crime. We found that stricter immigration regulations simply increase a migrant woman's reliance on organized criminal groups, which offer to handle her visa and travel arrangements. And government pressure is too often placed on women to testify against criminal groups without appropriate protections, including stays of deportation, witness protection and relocation programs. Trafficked women must be recognized as victims of human rights abuses, rather than as illegal migrants, and as criminals.


A Brief Analysis of International and Russian Legislation in the Area of

Trafficking in Women

Karina Moskalenko

Director, Center for International Defense, Moscow

(Prepared Remarks)

International standards qualify trafficking in persons, in particular in women, and accompanying it exploitation of prostitution, as a modern form of slavery, implying a broad definition of slavery. However, international legal documents do not provide this definition clearly enough. The Slavery Convention of 1926 defines the concept of slavery in the following way:

Article 1. "Slavery is understood as the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to right of ownership are exercised. Slave trade is understood as all activities, connected with seizure, acquisition of a person or command of him... with the purpose of converting him into slavery... and in general any activities in trade and transportation of slaves." In 1956 the concept of slavery was expanded to include institutions similar to slavery such as:

    • debt bondage,
    • forced forms of marriage,
    • exploitation of children and youths,
    • traffic in persons and human organs,
    • exploitation of prostitution and other human rights violations.

(Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child entrusts to states the duty of defending children from sexual, economic and other forms of slavery, including their sale, illegal transportation, etc. The Convention, therefore, recognizes sexual exploitation as a form of slavery when it is exercised against minors, in particular, young women (Art. 32, 34 of the Convention).

The 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, which came into force on July 25, 1951, is the most important document (international treaty) in the field we are examining today.

The Convention stipulates responsibilities of the participating countries, which, if fulfilled in an exact way, can contribute to the eradication of all forms of traffic in women. (However, it is important to note that the current situation demands the creation of wider international legal guarantees in this area. Taking into consideration the scale of the problem, the creation of the newest legal mechanisms is necessary.)

Article 1 of the Convention stipulates that parties agree to punish any person who, to gratify the passions of another person procures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution, another person , even with the consent of that person; exploitation another person for prostitution even with the consent of that person; according to Article 2 - to punish any person who keeps, manages, or finances a brothel, leases or rents a building or part of it for the use of it by a third party for the goals of prostitution. Articles 3 and 4 make attempts to commit these crimes and complicity in these crime punishable as well. Article 5 stipulates a very important rule about the right of victims of these crimes to act as plaintiffs in court proceedings involving such cases; foreigners enjoy this right along with nationals.

Countries participating in the Convention should provide for voluntary repatriation of victims of international trafficking; and in the case of a lack of necessary funds to provide funds for such repatriation; until the repatriation of the victim countries should take appropriate measures in rendering them timely help and support.

The Convention also stipulates an entire complex of concrete recommendations for the exposure and fight against international traffic in people (Article 17 of the Convention). The Convention qualifies crimes of this category as international crimes, leading to the extradition of criminals. The principal international mechanisms of human rights protection in this sphere are the following:

    • The Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery;
    • United Nations Commission on the Status of Women;
    • United Nations Special Rapporteurs;

United Nations Committee on Human Rights (considers individual appeals according to the First Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

The new Russian criminal legislation stipulates several types of crime, related to the field of trade in humans and sex-exploitation. Article 240 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (CCRF) stipulates criminal responsibility for the involvement in prostitution. Prostitution is understood as the apportion of one's own body for remuneration for the use of it by other people with the goal of satisfying their sexual needs.

One should keep in mind that prostitution itself is not a crime in Russia. But it is not a legal activity either. It is regulated not by the Criminal Code but by the Code of Administrative Violations. Article 164-2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation stipulates administrative responsibility for prostitution, qualifying it as the administrative violation and the antisocial behavior, and punishes it with a fine. Involvement in prostitution with the use of violence, threats, blackmail and deceit is criminally punishable - up to four years in prison. If such actions are committed by an organized group - from 3-6 years in prison. Other activities committed along with involvement in prostitution (covered by Article 240 of the CCRF) require additional qualification, such as beating (Article 116), torment (Article 117), compulsion to activities of sexual nature (Article 133), if involvement is connected with kidnapping of a person (Article 126), his/her murder (Article 105), or producing harm to his/her health (Articles 111, 112, 115). According to Article 241 of CCRF organization and maintenance of a brothel is punishable by a large fine or a term of imprisonment up to 5 years. If involvement in a brothel for prostitution is committed with the consent of this person, Article 241 of the Criminal Code is applied, if a person was coerced - Articles 240, 241 of the Criminal code.

The possibility for serious punishment of the guilty in traffic in underage women is much higher. Trade in minors, according to Article 152 of CCRF, is punishable with a maximum of up to 5 years of imprisonment. If it is committed repeatedly, by an organized group, in relation to two or more minors, was connected with illegal trafficking across borders, with the goal of involvement in criminal or antisocietal activities and prostitution, it is punishable exclusively with imprisonment from 3 to 10 years. If these actions lead to grave consequences, such activities are punished with imprisonment from 5 to 15 years.

Trafficking as a Form of Organized Crime

Dr. Michael Platzer

Officer in Charge, Operational and Advisory Services

UN Center Against Transnational Crime

(Summary of Remarks)

Dr. Platzer provided an overview of United Nations efforts to address the threat of transnational crime through the development of guidelines, strategies and practical measures. Among these efforts are the adoption of the Declaration of Basic Principles for Victims of Crime and the production of a resource handbook. The UN has become increasingly concerned with the violence against and trafficking of migrant workers and women by criminal organizations, resulting in a special mandate from the Secretary General to address this issue through the UN Center Against Transnational Crime.

Synopsis of Comments:

Transnational organized crime can take many forms. However, our focus is on the "multi-product" criminal organization which may be involved in smuggling drugs, stolen vehicles, transport of illegal aliens, organized prostitution, gambling and even legitimate enterprises. There are great obstacles to successfully prosecuting these activities due to the difficulties in proving a criminal activity, as well as the different legal systems of countries that may allow prostitution and movement of women between countries.

Prostitution is a highly profitable undertaking for organized crime. The multi-organization transactions of trafficking women involve agencies for recruitment, transportation and distribution. Frequently the women being trafficked are also used to distribute illegal drugs and engage in other crimes such as committing theft, fraud and carrying stolen goods, as well as becoming accessories to major crimes.

Combating organized crime takes great effort, including electronic surveillance, undercover operations, search and seizure operations, witness protection schemes, confiscation, and examination of mafia money laundering schemes and bank accounts. To effectively combat these activities, greater transnational judicial and police cooperation and mutual technical assistance is needed. A current UN draft convention against organized crime advocates this type of cooperation. In addition, it encourages legislation in signatory states enabling the confiscation of profits from organized crime, making participation in a group engaged in such offences a crime, and making criminally liable any persons who derive profits from organized crime, thus holding liable owners of fraudulent recruitment agencies. The UN strongly encourages countries to enact domestic legislation for this purpose, as well as widespread mutual legal assistance in legislation, prosecution, judicial proceedings and law enforcement.

From its experience working on an international convention against trafficking in children, the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Division has learnt that the issues in trafficking women and children are similar. In most cases the consent of the family is given based on false promises of the agency which offers employment opportunities in exchange for a fee. It is at this point of exchanging falsified documents and illegally smuggling persons that law enforcement should focus its efforts if it is to successfully curb illegal trade in persons, since it is easier to control the illegal trade in persons at borders, than the ultimate purpose of trafficking women. After all, it is the traffickers we are after, not the women.

The larger issue underlying the situation is not only the degradation of the women who are the victims of the process, but the creation and promulgation of mafia type organizations, corruption and violence. There are an estimated 8000 criminal organizations in Russia which have deeply infiltrated businesses, including banking, insurance and raw material exports. Their influence is as wide ranging as the US and China, and the Russian police are no longer able to cope with the sophistication of the mafia. It will take stronger laws and anti-corruption policies, new investigative techniques, outside political pressure, collaboration with outside criminal justice and immigration agencies, and public pressure to stem the "mafiazation of society". Most importantly, attitudes and the acceptance of a "Wild West form of capitalism"need to change radically before the trafficking in women can be stopped. The UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division can propose laws, share experiences from other countries, and help establish task forces. However the main responsibility in accomplishing the above will lie with organizations and individuals within Russia.

League Conference on Trafficking

Marjorie Lightman, PhD

International League for Human Rights (New York)

(Prepared Remarks)

I am simultaneously humble and enraged as I stand before you today. I look around with amazement. It is extraordinary that we are here. Scarcely twenty-five years ago a small group of Moscow dissidents made contact with the League in New York. From that fragile beginning, the League offered what modest support it could to an ever expanding circle of Russian men and women around Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner who were at the center of a true revolution. The photographs on the walls in the adjoining gallery speak to the lives of those who died exercising fundamental human rights against an oppressive government. They did not die in vain. Today, Russia is a democracy. Elena Bonner is a members of the Governing Council of the League and president of this, the Andrei Sakharov Centre, established to honor her husband and to promote human rights.

The increase of Russian trafficking in women across national borders for sexual exploitation since 1990 desecrates the memory of each and every one of those who died for the ideal of freedom and justice, and it is a standing affront to every Russian who justly and proudly celebrates them. There is no greater violation of human rights that the denial of human dignity. Women pressed into sex trades are bought and sold like commodities to be delivered to the highest bidder. They exist in gray world in which their soulful human cries are silenced by omnipresent threats of violence to their bodies. They inhabit new kinds of labor camps.

I am Marjorie Lightman and I represent the International League for Human Rights, co-host of this conference. On behalf of the League, I welcome you and thank my colleagues at the Global Survival Network, Syostri and the Andrei Sakharov Centre who with support from the Soros Foundation have made possible this gathering.

All of us are aware that woman have been physically vulnerable and suffered sexual exploitation since the beginning of written history. Rape and violence against women whether on public streets or within the home are still common throughout the world. At the same time, women's strength has carried society's burdens of war and devastation time and again. Amidst the devastation of World War II Russian women stood solidly and often alone on the line between chaos and social order. We at this meeting are those women's daughters and granddaughters. We come from the tradition of strength to describe, understand and begin to eradicate a particularly pernicious form of sexual exploitation.

The political freedom of the past years has had as its sidekick the free market system. Russian society is reeling from the one-two punch. Among the most dislocated populations are young women, especially those from the provinces and with limited sophistication and education. For them, it appears as if at one and the same time everything is possible and nothing is possible. The old world of rigid order has crumbled from the rottenness within and the new order appears ruleless. They are swinging in the wind ready to listen to the songs of modern sirens.

Today, trafficking in women takes on the coloration of world capitalism and a market economy. The ease of international travel, the fluidity of national borders and the convertibility of currencies open paths for marketing to young women's fantasies and men's basest behavior. Opportunities are promised; contracts offered. The future painted in glowing colors--- Paris, New York, Berlin, and Tokyo. All that is required is good looks, willingness and the desire to please clients. Above all, no cash necessary. Sign on the dotted line.

Is it any wonder women willingly sign-up to satisfy a desire to travel in search of adventure or economic opportunity? And what if there's some sex involved? Men hit on women and take payment in sex everywhere in Russia -- from the office worker, the waitress, the hairdresser and the student. At home, domestic violence is rampant. It is indeed a rare young Russian woman who doesn't every day ward off some man's leer, verbal or physical advance.

And so she signs a contract -- that magic document of the new economic system. She has a job. She's employed and going to travel. The contract becomes her chains. For she believes it binds her. She has obligations and she cannot be free until she can pay off her obligations according to the contract. The contract dresses crude violence with free market sanctity.

The first step in exposing the criminality of trafficking is to strip it of respectable business language. What gangs that prey on young women offer are not contracts. In simple terms a contract is an agreement binding the signers to a set of actions. For a document to be a valid contract the actions must accord with law. An illegal contract is an oxymoron.

The so- called contracts offered women require that the women repay travel and other costs advanced them. In and of itself such a requirement is not illegal. The so-called contracts, however, go another step and forbid the woman to seek other forms of employment or to end her tenure of employment until she has satisfied the conditions of repayment. This is contract labor. Contract labor has been considered virtual slavery in the United States since the 19th century. It is illegal under domestic law throughout Europe and has been outlawed under international conventions of the ILO and the United Nations.

Vulnerable women entrapped by gangs of traffickers are held in check by threats of violence against themselves and are blackmailed with threats against their families and kin. There are no contracts. There has been no consent on the part of the women to their servitude. There can be no consent. Under modern law no person can consent to her own enslavement nor can her person be seized or used in payment of debt.

It is imperative that we not mask trafficking with the language of business. Nor that we confuse a free society with a society that allows the entrapment of women. Trafficking in women across national boundaries for sexual use has neither a moral nor an economic claim. It is criminal and only supported by brute force and violence exercised outside the boundaries of law. Trafficking in women is a violation of fundamental human rights that threaten the very basis of Russia's hard won democracy and makes a mockery the promise and the ideals for which those in the photographs around us died.


Ministry of Justice Responses to Trafficking

Lyudmila Zavadskaya

Deputy Minister of Justice, Russian Federation

(Summary of Remarks)

Written notes of Deputy Minister Zavadskaya's presentation were not available at the time of the compilation of this report. A summary of her presentation is provided below by the report's editors.

In her presentation the Deputy Minister expressed her great concern for the growing problem of trafficking. She commented that the Justice Ministry views it as a very important goal to put an end to this criminal activity which is such a terrible violation of human rights. She also stated that Russia lacks effective tools in its criminal code that would enable its justice system to prosecute traffickers because there is no definition of trafficking as a crime in the Russian legal codes.

Another major impediment to combating trafficking is that only a portion of the crime occurs on Russian territory, and even then it is not easy or even possible to detect all related criminal activities. The majority of the criminal activity occurs once a woman crosses the border and arrives in the transit or receiving country. Therefore, Deputy Minister Zavadskaya emphasized the need for international cooperation between law enforcement agencies as a key prerequisite in fighting trafficking. At this point, Russia has signed a number of bilateral intergovernmental agreements on mutual assistance in the legal sphere. More agreements are planned in the future. The partner countries in these treaties include some countries where Russian women end up as victims of trafficking. Zavadskaya commented that in the light of what we have heard at the conference (i.e. that on the local level there is often indifference to the plight of women in such situations and outright complicity for traffickers), it is important to include in these treaties provisions on cooperation with local law enforcement organs and with Russian consulate offices. These are often the only places Russian women can approach for help, and consular staff have not been educated or trained to deal with the problem.

The Ministry of Justice prepares such intergovernmental treaties and supervises their implementation. However, consular services are under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry, and they are not involved in the efforts to secure legal cooperation. Unfortunately, said Zavadskaya, interagency cooperation and even information exchange in the Russian government leave much to be desired. Without effective interagency interaction and cooperation the government will be not able to tackle the problem of trafficking. Zavadskaya urged conference organizers to stress interagency cooperation in the conference recommendations.

In closing, Zavadskaya pointed out that another key condition of success in this struggle is cooperation of the state with Russian women's NGOs which currently are the only ones that are trying to address the problem. The Deputy Minister said that she has closely followed NGO work for several years now and that without their active work many important issues would be ignored in Russia. Women's NGOs not only deserve more support from the government and the public, but should especially be consulted in regards to how to address the issue of trafficking because NGOs are often in a better position than the government to understand the complexity of the problem, and understand the needs and concerns of its victims. Zavadskaya wished the conference great success and encouraged the participants to continue their work to raise public awareness.

Socioeconomic Conditions Contributing to the Development of the Sex Trade:

Labor Issues of the Women of Russia

Olga Samarina

Deputy Director of the Department of the Matters of the Family, Women and Children

Ministry of Labor of Russia

(Prepared Remarks)

First of all, I want to express sincere gratitude to the organizers of the Conference offering for our discussion such an important and serious problem, related to the sexual exploitation of women abroad. In my brief presentation I would like to focus on the socioeconomic conditions pushing women toward a search for employment abroad, which often ends with sexual exploitation and being drawn into prostitution.

The socioeconomic situation of women in Russia today arouses serious concern. The negative tendencies of the previous years are being maintained; new problems are emerging. In the course of the formation of the labor market discriminatory tendencies with respect to women are growing and their competitive ability is falling. The risk of losing a job is rising; security in the labor arena is weakening; opportunities for employment, a professional career, an increase in qualification, and retraining are diminishing.

The concentration of women in the traditional economic sectors, in relatively low-paying jobs, leads to the preservation, and in a number of cases to an increase, of the gap in the salaries of men and women. On the average in public sector the pay rate for women is almost one-third less than that for men. The number of unemployed women is growing. At the beginning of 1997 their number was more than one and a half million-- 63% of the total number of the unemployed. Among the unemployed youth, under 18 years of age, girls constitute 58%; among young people 29 and under--almost 70%. Women constitute almost 80% of parents left without a job raising underage children and children handicapped since childhood.

Meanwhile, in half of incomplete families with underage children, mothers, before the loss of a job, were essentially the sole providers: their income constituted 70-100% of the family budget, while a third supported the family single-handedly. Also, it is significantly harder for unemployed women to find a job. Female labor, requiring additional expenditures for social aims, often becomes unprofitable for employers. As a result, women turn out to be less able to compete in the labor market.

The high rate of female unemployment is related to many causes both objective and subjective in nature. The significantly reduced opportunities of budgetary financing have placed many components of the non-industrial sector (in which for the most part women specialists are concentrated) in need of reducing the volume of their activity and laying off some employees. In this situation, women wound up being essentially the first candidates for termination: first, because it is they precisely who constitute the overwhelming majority of those working in the non-industrial sector; second, because many of them, despite having higher-education diplomas, had typically female occupations: secretary, editor, administrative assistant, etc. The first wave of layoffs touched precisely these occupational groups: practically all establishments and organizations started actively reducing the administrative and service workforce at the expense of the women in these occupations.

One other factor acting in this direction was the process of the conversion of the military- industrial complex. The first to be laid off this time were women engineers, having as a rule the highest technical training and considerable experience working in their specialization. In the industrial sector women also turned out to be in a vulnerable position: most establishments found the most effective method of reducing excessive losses to be maximal reduction in the number of managers, most immediately at the expense of women occupying the positions of engineer, planner, etc. Even worse off were the female graduates of high schools, professional schools, and universities. For them, finding employment is practically impossible. All this has resulted in women having become economically more dependent. A feminization of poverty is taking place.

Mitigation of the negative effects of the transitional period on the whole population and, in particular, on women to a considerable extent depends on the effectiveness of measures summoned to contain the process of impoverishment, to aid adaptation to new socioeconomic conditions. That is how socially oriented the economic policy of the state is. In the fact that women look for work abroad there is nothing prejudicial or criminal; international labor migration has always existed, exists, and will always exist. It is characteristic of all countries, regardless of the level of economic development. However, the fact that women leaving CIS countries, and in particular Russia, for work abroad are subjected to sexual exploitation is considered by us to be one of the forms of organized crime, and as such demands concrete steps toward resolution.

Labor migration of women abroad, in our view, has at least three aspects for examination in light of the theme offered today for discussion. The first relates to women going to other countries actually to work in agreement with conditions included in the employment contract. Naturally, in this case sexual exploitation is not mentioned at all. Women are confronted with this reality upon arrival in the other country. The second aspect relates to young women who have no profession or professional work experience and are seduced by easy, quick and large incomes abroad. In this case, inadequate appraisal of one's professional opportunities, as a rule, leads to their being drawn into prostitution. The third aspect--those who know why they are going to other countries, but the reality is so frightening that they cannot deal with the resulting situation. And we must remember that we are talking about able adults who are making their own decisions and must weigh their consequences.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the dimensions of the transporting of women out of the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation and drawing them into prostitution currently have no quantitative measurement. We all theoretically know that the facts of sexual exploitation and recruitment into prostitution have their place. However, an objective informational and statistical basis is lacking. And there is no government agency controlling and regulating the processes of the labor migration of women abroad. In addition, it is extremely difficult to determine the true reason for the departure of women from the country. As a rule, the documents of those leaving are completely in order; border agents have no bases for preventing them from leaving the country. Actually, we find out about the problem already from those who turn to consular services of the respective countries with a request to return to the home country. Or bells are rung by the governments of the countries where there is flourishing prostitution and sexual exploitation of women from CIS countries and Russia.

Today, Russian government agencies, without corresponding agreements with other countries, have no right to monitor the whereabouts of our women abroad, types of their employment, the degree of exploitation. On the other hand, the simplification of the procedures for leaving the country allows a number of unscrupulous agencies for foreign employment to conduct recruitment of women for sending them abroad, in advance misinforming them about the nature of the work and also about the country of future residence.

We are cognizant of the fact that as long as there is reason for women to look for employment abroad, there will always remain the likelihood of their sexual abuse. In connection with this, measures for resolving the problem being examined today must be divided into two broad, equally significant groups. The first is the creation of conditions for the elimination of the reason for the search for employment abroad. Most important, in our view, is actualization of the following directions:

  1. Coordination of programs aimed at improving the situation of women with other areas of social policy and, first of all, with measures for regulating wages, for material aid to families with children, to poor segments of the population.
  2. Organizational and legislative support for the development of alternative schedules (part-time, temporary, contractual, working at home), strengthening of the social security of such groups of workers, reduction of taxes on profit for establishments and organizations for each percent of newly created "home" and other favorable positions for women.
  3. Development of a package of measures for widening employment of women in the sphere of small business and private enterprise within the framework of the federal program of state assistance to small enterprises in the Russian Federation, training in enterprise activities, special measures for assistance to small businesses in rural areas.
  4. Basic development of programs and financing of professional training, including accelerated professional training, of women with highest and mid-level specialized training, taking into account current requirements and changing demand for professions.
  5. Revision of labor legislation, keeping in mind gradual rejection of special norms regulating women's labor.
  6. Revision of the [structure of the system] for payment of insurance and state subsidies to mothers with children and... payments to those with low incomes.
  7. Formation of a temporary-job bank for women facing the threat of being laid off or having already been laid off.
  8. The second group of measures is actually aimed at preventing illegal transportation of women out of the country for the purpose of forcing them into prostitution and sexual exploitation. In this group of issues, it is necessary first of all to work through the problem of having Russia join international treaties regulating measures for countering illegal transportation of labor out of a country. With this, increased attention should be paid to the development of bilateral treaties with countries in which, according to experts, the problem is most acute.

    A network of agencies dealing with the signing of labor treaties and contracts with private entities for employment abroad should be created. This network must become a structural component in bilateral treaties. This will allow the evaluation of the integrity of job offers to women and monitoring of the fate of the citizens of Russia who leave for work abroad. The system of filing visa documents for going abroad for work also should be rethought. Upon the filing of visa applications at the respective consular services of countries accepting labor, copies of labor contracts must be kept.

    Once again, I want to underscore the positive character of the discussion of the issue of sexual exploitation of women abroad. The fact that we are discussing this problem allows hope for its resolution, for the search for the ways of exiting from a difficult situation, and finally for ensuring national security.

    Awareness Campaigns in Sending Countries

    Olga Shved

    La Strada/Ukraine

    (Summary of Remarks)

    Trafficking is a very serious problem because the number of girls and women who are involved in forced prostitution throughout the world is very high. At La Strada, we have a lot of cases. We need to inform our people and our society about this problem. Promoting awareness is easier if we have governmental support. We've gone to many people in different ministries and spoken to them. Frequently, the first or second person whom we approach is not interested in this issue, but perhaps the fifth or sixth is interested to help. We publish a lot of articles with different case studies, we organize lectures for young women and girls, and we distribute our public information leaflets. We divide all women in different target groups, including single mothers, high school girls, university girls, orphans, and Ukrainian or Russian speaking.

    We are involved in the process of developing cooperation with different ministries, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Family and Youth, the Ministry of Education and some deputies of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada. We do a lot of prevention work, but we have difficulty providing adequate victim support. Many trafficked women call us and ask about some shelter for short period of time. They are afraid to come back home and need to stay somewhere safe for several days. We don't have any possibility to keep them in a safe place in Ukraine. The situation with Ukrainian and Russian women is the same. They work involuntarily in the same brothels or sex clubs. Russian society needs to solve this problem, too. I encourage you to be persistent in encouraging government support of your efforts, even if your first contacts with your government's representatives are discouraging.


    Education and Public Awareness Campaigns in Target Groups and Regions.

    Support of Trafficking Survivors

    Natalia Khodyreva

    Director, Saint Petersburg Psychological Crisis Center for Women

    (Prepared Remarks)

    Since 1994 we have been gathering information in the field of trafficking of Russian women for prostitution (see Khodyreva N., Sexism and Sexual Abuse in Russia, in Ch. Corrin, ed., Women in a Violent World: Feminist Analyses and Resistance Across Europe, Edinburgh University Press, 1996). As a result, we have collected a lot of information and written a project on the problem of trafficking women from Russia; in this project we perceive building links and networks among independent women's organizations of sending and receiving countries as a first necessary step.

    In 1996 organizations from Germany appealed to us with a request to render help to a woman traffic survivor. In November 1996, in Brighton the caucus "East-West" took place in which many NGOs from Europe and the NIS expressed their desire to create a network to exchange information and provide assistance to survivors. In the summer in Utrecht, a preliminary plan for training in Russia was discussed with the director of La Strada. In our project on trafficking prevention we would like to prepare educational materials for two groups:

    1. for counselors at crisis centers and specialists from employment centers, migration services, tourist bureaus, marriage agencies that could come across this problem in their work.

  9. for young women. Information and education programs for the first and second group should include information about legislation in the spheres of migration, labor and family law in those countries to which women plan to go when they get married with a foreigner or migrate for work.

Among departing women it is important to differentiate between a group of so-called "naive" women and women who purposefully leave to work in the sphere of prostitution. Data are contradictory as to what percentage of those leaving are "naive." Here we have varying data and sources. The most complicated part of the program will be addressing expectations of young women concerning life and work abroad. No system of frightening or persuasion will work. It will be also difficult to work with prostitutes, who consciously leave to work as prostitutes and face such violations of their rights as superexploitation, violence, deceit, etc. In general it is very difficult to discover these women and they are left practically uninformed and with no support.

Public education work here has to deal with cultural stereotypes about prostitution, which are wide spread in Russia both among the general public and power structures. Programs of assistance to survivors of trafficking appear most feasible and familiar for the crisis centers, since many of them have experience working with posttraumatic stress syndrome and support groups for women. The only exception for the time being is provision of financial and housing assistance due to the lack of shelters and special funds. The risk for the crisis centers depends on how much we will prevent certain structures to receive large profits from the sale of women. If this proves to be the case it would necessary to work out a system of protection for the centers.

Preliminary discussions with government and law enforcement agencies have demonstrated that they do not have the desire to intervene in this problem, since it is "connected with big money." Apart from that, if the government does not support the independent crisis centers in general, despite the existence of national and regional plans to improve the status of women, it will sure not do anything about providing financial support to the solution of a particular problem of Russian women, especially when women happen to be abroad.

For that reason in the given conditions a stronger accent must be made on raising awareness of women when they plan to migrate abroad. Therefore, the association of crisis centers could train at least one representative from each of their member organizations in work in this field and conduct educational programs and distribute materials in their cities for women and high school students.

Trafficking in Women: The Need for International Cooperation and a Multidisciplinary Response

Theresa Loar

Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues

U.S. Department of State

(Prepared Remarks)

Thank you for your kind welcome and invitation to speak at this conference. It is a pleasure to be here. I would like to thank the Global Survival Network, the International League for Human Rights and Syostri Centre for planning this conference and the Sakharov Centre for hosting us so that we have the opportunity to come together to discuss the important issue of trafficking in women. I appreciate all of your hard work and your hospitality.

My position was created by Congress at the behest of women in the human rights community with a mandate to promote women's human rights in U.S. foreign policy.

The globalization of criminal issues poses many challenges to the international community. Among the most serious has been an increase in transnational trafficking in women and children. Traffickers in women and children, much like narcotic traffickers, operate boldly across international borders, using state-of-the-art means of communications and trade. As Russian Deputy Minister of Justice Zavadskaya has said today, "Open borders pose new challenges."

This issue has received greater attention by governments and non-governmental organizations following the September 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing where it was widely discussed. In her speech at that conference, America's First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton characterized the selling of girls into the slavery of prostitution as a human rights violation.

On May 27, 1997 at the E.U.- U.S. Summit in The Hague, President Clinton said"Under our Transatlantic Agenda, the newest offspring of the Marshall spirit ... we are cooperating on a broad range of common challenges --- Today, we agreed to intensify our cooperation against a new problem that we face, the increasing practice of trafficking in women, which recreates in an entirely different context almost a new kind of modern day slavery. And we intend to do what we can to stop it."

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has also addressed trafficking in women. In March 1997, Secretary Albright said "if those who traffic in drugs should be punished severely, and they should --so should those who traffic in human beings."

Clear statements such as these from America's leaders draw attention to this issue and indicate the need to formulate a concrete and comprehensive plan to address the problem.

To that end, I have established an interagency working group comprised of senior officials from various federal agencies. The goal of the working group is to coordinate and increase efforts by the U.S. Government to prevent and combat trafficking in women and girls.

Our interagency working group intends to attack trafficking in women with a variety of measures with an interdisciplinary, coordinated approach involving participants from law enforcement, judges, migration authorities, medical and social workers and members of grassroots organizations.

Our efforts will focus on three areas: prevention, protection, and enforcement.


  • The United States has begun by encouraging the international community to review and modify their domestic laws on migrant trafficking. For example, while in Russia, I will follow-up with the members of the Russian delegation to the experts meeting of the Eight Leading Economies of the World held in Washington, D.C. on September 30 and October 1. We will also continue to work with the European Union and the UN Crime Commission. I should also mention that The Eight Ministerial on Organized Crime convened last week in Boston, Massachusetts. The Eight agreed to work together to combat trafficking in women and children. They noted the importance of increasing public awareness and efforts to stop traffickers.

  • We are creating a clearinghouse for information on international migrant trafficking. The United States has begun this effort to combat all forms of migrant trafficking, including trafficking in women.

  • We have also developed public diplomacy programs to better publicize the dangers associated with trafficking in human beings, including issues surrounding criminal smuggling organizations and the actual act of smuggling human beings.
  • The Department of Labor maintains an ongoing interest in combating trafficking and promoting adherence to internationally recognized standards and worker rights. The International Labor Organization recognizes that the forced trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is violation of International Labor Organization Convention. The Labor Department, through the International Labor Organization, funds programs for girls at risk of commercial exploitation. I had an opportunity to visit one of these programs when I accompanied America's First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to Thailand in November 1996.

  • The United States Government in conjunction with the European Union, has begun to develop a pilot information campaign designed to combat the trafficking of women in Eastern Europe and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

  • Under the able leadership of European Union Commissioner Anita Gradin, the European Union will focus its information campaign in Poland, while the U.S. will concurrently sponsor our campaign in Ukraine. Although both Poland and Ukraine are considered source and transit venues for trafficking in women, these countries were not chosen for this project to single them out, rather they were selected as likely candidates for a successful and productive effort.


  • This week the State Department, in cooperation with the International Migration Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will host a meeting on Trafficking in Women: Defining the Problem and Providing Protection. Participants will bring together representatives of non-governmental organizations, including the Global Survival Network, officials from the Departments of State, Justice, Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and congressional officials. The purpose of the meeting is to exchange information on the scope and definition of the problem and explore avenues for protection of victims of trafficking.


  • We will work with our legal divisions to review extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties to allow for the extradition of individuals engaged in the trafficking of women and children.

  • We have already provided model legislation to countries that do not have adequate laws against trafficking in the Caribbean, Eastern and Central European regions. I would be pleased to provide a copy of this model legislation to all of you.

  • Our consular officers overseas revoke or deny visas to individuals, including government officials, who are involved in trafficking in human beings.

  • Our Immigration and Naturalization Service assigned additional law enforcement personnel to major source and transit countries.

  • We have sponsored additional law enforcement training programs in Central Europe and Central America.

  • The first program, International Immigration Training Course, provides an overview of U.S. immigration functions and operations as well as technical, legal and managerial training to enhance the participant's ability to effectively implement border security. Beginning in 1998, this program will include a section on trafficking in women and children.

  • The second program, Immigration Training Development Course, focuses on providing technical information on the process for designing, developing, managing delivery and evaluating a basic immigration officer training program.
  • The United States sponsors research programs that assist U.S. efforts to combat trafficking in women and children, for example, the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement funded a project at the University of Minnesota, entitled Creating an International Framework for Legislation to Protect Women and Children from Commercial Exploitation. The project's goal is to develop a comprehensive data base on national and international legislation protecting women and children from commercial sexual exploitation. The two-year project will study the strengths and weaknesses of laws dealing with prostitution, pornography, trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual abuse. In addition to documenting the laws, the project will examine penalties, sentencing patterns, reporting requirements, law enforcement capabilities, extradition practices, as well as victim assistance programs.

  • In April 1997, the Department of State and the Department of Justice hosted a one-week seminar attended by judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and leaders of non-government organizations from Russia and the U.S. to examine the legal and law enforcement implications of the relatively new phenomena of international criminal trafficking of Russian women.
  • As a result of the April conference, several U.S. and Russian participants have joined forces to establish Russian inter-disciplinary teams consisting of Russian police, lawyers, doctors, psychologists, social workers, politicians and women's crisis center staff to assist victims of violence. The pilot program is underway in three Russian cities: Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod and Arzamas.

  • The Department of Justice, through the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, is committed to working on both domestic and international cases of trafficking in human beings. The Justice Department investigates and prosecutes procurers and traffickers of women and children. Additionally, the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section works with the trafficked women and children as victims and as witnesses to the crimes of sexual exploitation.

  • The information campaign will focus on providing information to potential victims, so that they may protect themselves from exploitation. We will also train host-country officials and foreign consular officers to identify and prevent potential problems. The pilot information campaign, will include public service announcements, lectures, plays and television programs focusing on victims.

  • The United States Department of State is developing a brochure outlining the tactics traffickers use to lure and intimidate women. This brochure will also include information on the risks, and basic worker rights and responsibilities, such as the freedom of movement, maintenance of one's own passport, and resources for trafficking victims. Once completed, the brochure will be placed in waiting rooms of consular sections in American embassies and consulates.

  • State will also, in consultation with our consular offices, define a profile of potential victims and develop a training module to sensitize consular officers to this activity.

  • The project will conclude with a United States Government funded workshop in May 1998. The workshop will include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the campaign and a determination as to whether the program should be replicated in other venues. The workshop will also provide an opportunity to reinforce the importance of our anti-trafficking message with local authorities, consular officials, indigenous organizations, and community leaders.

The U.S. has a strong commitment to Russia. For example, next week our First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will be traveling again to Russia, this time to regions outside of Moscow. As Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright has said, "Advancing the status of women is the right thing to do...and frankly it is the smart thing to do." Our overseas aid programs will continue to emphasize projects that expand the ability of women to participate economically and politically, to gain access to education and health care, and to protect themselves against violence. And, we will lead a global effort to crack down on trafficking in women and girls with a focus on prevention, protection and enforcement.

I have heard it said that democracy is a delivery system for human rights. As we perfect our democracy in the U.S. and you perfect yours in Russia, we will both make strides toward delivering those human rights to all our citizens.

Between Repression and Empowerment

Marjan Wijers

Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (Netherlands)

The Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (STV)

The Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (STV) in the Netherlands is an independent non-governmental organization. It was officially set up in 1987 with subsidies of the Emancipation Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs. At the moment we are subsidized by the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Sports. Apart from that, our work is financially supported by private and other funds on a project-basis.

In general, the strategy of STV combines elements of anti-violence programmes and pro rights campaigns. Work is done in four areas:

    • Organizing social support and practical assistance for women who became a victim of trafficking (safe shelter, legal aid, money for basic needs, medical services, counseling). Over the last 10 years STV has given assistance to more than 1500 women from Asia, the Caribbean, South America and, increasingly, Central and Eastern European countries. Through direct contact and in the process of assistance work first hand insight is gained into the motivations, needs and dilemma's's of the women we are concerned with. These form the basis of our advocacy work and political campaigning.
    • Advocacy work and campaigning in the field s of legislation and litigation, social policies, migrant women's rights, prostitutes' rights, assistance programmes and to strengthen political commitment to combating traffic in women. Work in this area takes place at national, European and international levels.
    • Public relations, documentation and information services, training and educational programmes.
    • European and international networking, aimed at developing long-term strategies to combat trafficking. STV is a member of the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women. We are also a member of the European Network of Western and Eastern European NGOs, which was founded last April during the second European NGO conference on trafficking, held in the Netherlands.

Dutch Policies on Trafficking in Women

When STV started, in most cases victims of trafficking were just deported as illegal aliens without any further investigation. As a consequence there were hardly any women who pressed charges and hardly any court cases or convictions of traffickers. Given their illegal status, women could not seek assistance from the police, because any contact with the authorities would expose them to arrest and expulsion. Expulsion means returning home with empty hands, with no money and very often with debts she will never be able to pay off. If it gets known she has worked as a prostitute she may risk rejection by her family or by society for having worked as a prostitute. At the same time, there is no guarantee that return will avoid reprisals from the criminal network. Moreover, most women have little or no confidence in the police or in the legal system, being aware that the law and law-officials worldwide do not respect the person or the human rights of prostitutes. In addition, all women share the fear of being blamed for the abuse committed against her, which acts as a powerful mechanism to silence them.

Therefore the first campaigns undertaken by STV were aimed at refining the instruments for addressing trafficking in women at the level of legislation and litigation.

The first aim was to obtain a ruling under the Alien Law to protect victims of trafficking from immediate deportation. This served two interests: first the interest of the women to recover and to take back control over her life. Secondly the interest of the state to prosecute the offenders, by enabling and encouraging women to press charges and act as a witness.

Since August 1988. A special ruling was inserted in the Dutch Alien Code (paragraph B17). This paragraph states that at the least suspicion of trafficking, a woman will be allowed three months' time to consider pressing charges. When she decides to do so, she is allowed to stay in The Netherlands until the whole juridical process has been completed. This is meant to encourage women to indeed press charges, which in turn will build up jurisprudence in prosecuting cases of trafficking. It also allows women to recover and to consider their options for the future. In 1993 this provision was extended to witnesses, e.g. illegal colleague prostitutes, who were willing to testify for the prosecution in cases of trafficking.

The second aim was to sharpen the legal definition of "trafficking", to facilitate the prosecution of traffickers. At that time trafficking in women and minors was simply defined as unlawful in the Dutch Penal Code (art. 250ter) without any further definition of the crime.

In 1994, the relevant article in the Dutch Criminal Code (section 250ter) was amended and the maximum sentence for trafficking was raised from 5 to 6 years' imprisonment. In cases involving minors under 16, severe physical violence and/organized forms of trafficking (trafficking by 2 or more persons) the maximum sentence goes up to 10 years.

Under the new law a person is guilty of traffic in women "who induces another person to prostitution by means of violence, a theat. with violence, abuse of authority or deceit, or who undertakes any action which he or she knows or could reasonably suspect, might bring the other into prostitution". Abuse of authority is assumed if the woman finds herself in a position which is not equivalent to the conditions under which an emancipated independent prostitute in the Netherlands normally works (exploitative situation). The mere fact of finding a prostitute in an exploitative situation leads to a reasonable presumption of guilt of breach of section 250ter of the Criminal Code. It is not relevant for the law whether she wants to continue doing so under free circumstances. The crucial element is "force", i.e. the fact that the woman is brought in a situation of dependency, in which she is not free to decide herself if she wants to work as a prostitute and under which conditions she wants to do so. Additional to the new law there are special directives form the Prosecutors-General, which contain detailed instructions for the police how to act in case of (suspicion) of trafficking and how to treat (possible) victims.

The third aim was to set up a system of victim support. Due to the fact that women are entitled to temporary residence permit during the juridical proceedings, thy have access to the Dutch social support system, including a safe shelter social benefits, insurances, medical care, legal assistance, etc. However, many organizations have no experience in supporting the victims of trafficking. This means that our work includes the development of information and training programmes for the various groups of professionals who are involved in providing support services to victims of trafficking.

Although the measures described are a real and important improvement, there still are many bottlenecks. It's one thing to have a law, but to have it correctly and consistently implemented is another thing. Still many women are deported without any investigation. Also, many women still don't dare to press charges for fear of reprisals. As long as they are in the Netherlands they can be offered help and protection, but when the criminal proceedings are completed, they again face deportation. Back home they are unprotected against reprisals by their traffickers or the authorities, and risk rejection consequences for the women involved, both materials and immaterial, which are not accommodated by prosecution of the offenders. At this moment, effective mechanisms for compensation of the victims for the damage done to them are still lacking.

Policies on Prostitution

Any policy on trafficking in women is closely connected to policies on prostitution in general, in the same way as the prevention of violence against women is closely connected to the general legal, social and economic position of women: anti-violence and pro-rights strategies basically are two sides of the same coin. In the Netherlands groups of prostitutes and feminists have been lobbying since long for the recognition of prostitution as legitimate work for which adult women can opt, and for the decriminalization not only of prostitutes but of the prostitution law. This means that the prostitute herself is not criminalized but managing a prostitution business ("keeping a brothel") is forbidden. In reality, as time, it is generally recognized that laws to repress prostitution rather work to the advantage of law-enforcers and pimps than to the advantage of women concerned. Decriminalization of the prostitution business would allow prostitutes the same legal protection form violence and abuse under civil and labor laws as other workers and citizens enjoy. It would enable prostitutes to organize their own business, to improve working conditions and to introduce labor laws and business standards. At this moment a bill to abolish the ban on brothels is submitted to the Dutch parliament. The bill is expected to pass next year.

New Trends: Traffic in Women in and form Central and Eastern Europe

Starting from 1989 STV and other women's organizations in Western Europe have started registering women form Central and Eastern Europe among their clients. In 1992, ,for example, STV registered 31 women of the former Eastern loc (total of clients: 60), while in 1995 we got in contact with 125 women from the Central and Eastern European countries and the NIS (total amount to clients: 166), among which Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia and the Czech and Slovak Republics. The same reports come from NGOs from other West European countries, such as Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. Dutch data show that the traffic in women from the former socialist countries seems to be mainly controlled by Eastern European criminal groups, operating in the recruiting as well as in the destination countries. They are highly organized, extremely violent, and often involved in other criminal activities as well, such as arms trade, drug smuggling and bribery of authorities.

Most women accept an offer for work because they are actively looking for a better living for themselves and their families and want to escape the confinements of the situation at home. Some women are offered jobs in restaurants or bars. Others are offered work as prostitutes. Once trapped, they loose control over their own life and find themselves in a situation where there are virtually or literally "owned" by others and are denied fundamental human rights and freedoms, such as the right to decide over her own body, the right to decide of herself whether she wants to work as a prostitute or not and under which conditions, the right to stop if and when she wants, the right to freedom of movement, the right to dispose over her personal belongings, her identity papers and the money she earns, etc. From the perspective of women the violence of trafficking can operate on two levels: first the process of recruitment under coercive or deceptive conditions, and second the violence and abuse they are subjected to in the course of their work, which may amount to slavery-like practices. Coercion can take many forms, from the more subtle forms such as deceit with regard to the conditions of work or the nature of the work to be done, abuse of authority or psychological abuse, to the withholding of passports and wages, extortion, blackmail, isolation, debt bondage, deprivation of freedom of movement, physical violence or threats with reprisals against family-members for non-compliance.

In response to these developments, STV started in 1995, together with organizations in Poland and the Czech Republic, the La Strada Prevention Program, specifically directed at combating trafficking in women from Central and Eastern Europe and funded under the PHARE/TACIS Democracy Program of the European Union. In 1997 the program was broadened to include Ukraine and Bulgaria. The choice for these countries was made since many of our clients came and come from these countries and while in these countries already NGOs existed which were willing and able to take up the issue of trafficking. The program has three main aims:

    • Raising political and public awareness in the Central and Eastern European countries
    • Setting up of information campaigns for women at risk
    • Organizing support services for women who return to their home country.

Crucial element of the program is the mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise. The final, long term goal of the La Strada Program is to build up strong, independent, specialist NGOs in the former socialist countries. One of the results of the program is that it became clear that there is not only trafficking from Eastern European countries to Western European countries, but also within the region itself. Many of the Central and Eastern European countries of origin, but also countries of destination or transit. For example, Ukrainian women are trafficked to Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and the former Yugoslavia.


For an adequate understanding of the present increase in trafficking it is necessary to put trafficking in a broader world-wide perspective and to try to understand the background factors constitutive of them.

Looking at trafficking from the perspective of the majority of the women affected, it is clear that most of them come to Western Europe because they are looking for a better living. They should be seen as labor migrants. Migration is a survival strategy as old as the world, for men as well as for women. Contrary to the popular belief, women who have become victims of trafficking certainly can not be qualified as passive or stupid victims. Not only for men, but also for women, it implies courage and initiative to try to change one's own or the family's situation.

The growing gap between the rich and poor countries affects especially the situation of women and children. The breakdown of national economic and political systems, as in the former Warsaw Pact countries, brings hardship to the general population, but women are particularly vulnerable in such situations. They are often in the paradoxical situation of being responsible for the family income, while not having equal access to the better paid jobs nor the same opportunities for legal labor migration as men. As a consequence the number of women migrating is increasing dramatically. Nearly half of the migrants world-wide are women nowadays.

However, looking at the labor market, it is clear that women have few opportunities of getting work in the formal labor sector either in their home countries for in the rich countries. They are to a great extent dependent of work in the informal and unregulated labor sectors. In the sector, sexual and domestic work are the income-generating activities most open to women who seek opportunities to support their families, to escape form traditional gender and family constraints or to find means for independence. At the same time, these types of work are unprotected by labor and civil laws and, in the case of prostitution, even not recognized as work, no matter the fact that thousands (and probably millions) of women make a living for themselves and their families through this work.

This labor division is also reflected in migration patterns. There are few legal and independent ways for women to migrate within this informal labor sector. Owing to the nature of the work and for the forms of migration open to them, they are forced to make use of the services of dubious organizations and middlemen. This places migrating women in an extremely vulnerable situation, liable for misuse by procurers, employment agencies, artist agencies, marriage agencies and all other kinds of middlemen, whether in the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the process.

While on the one hand the number of women seeking employment opportunities abroad has grown, on the other hand many destination countries, and especially the EU, have put in pace more restrictive immigration policies, thereby further decreasing the opportunities for legal migration even when there is a demand for labor in the informal sector. The result is a growing gap between official policies in destination countries and day-to day practices. This is where organized crime comes in, filling the gap that official policies leave.

In addition, the clandestine and illegal nature of prostitution as such and the resulting marginalization, stigmatization ad criminalization of the women involved, puts them even more in the power of abusive recruiter, abusive brothel keepers and corrupt officials, without the legal instruments to defend themselves and without recourse to law or society for protection or redress.

In practically all legal systems, women working in prostitution are more or less outlawed and deprived of all protective mechanisms other citizens are entitled to, no matter how they entered prostitution.

As a matter of fact, if human rights would apply to prostitutes as to any citizen, abuses against them could already be fought against by existing laws. The criminal codes of all countries have legislation against illegal confinement, extortion, coercion, debt-bondage, deception and slavery-like practices. However, because of their outcast status, such legislation is never applied in situations of trafficking and forced labor practices in the sphere of prostitution. Also international guidelines, such as the 1926 League of Nations Slavery-Convention and its 1956 Supplementary Convention and the ILO Forced Labor Convention no 29, prohibit the crimes mentioned and could very well be applied in the case of the abuses attached to trafficking.

On the whole, existing legislation offers few if any possibilities for women to take legal actions against their violators, due to their illegal or socially marginalized status. Migrant prostitutes not only risk arrest as prostitutes, but also arrest and deportation as illegal aliens. Common policies of expulsion act as a factual barrier to women to seek justice and make prosecution of the offenders virtually impossible since the main witnesses are deported. Even when the law enables women to press charges, many women will choose not to do so for fear of retaliation and lack of legal protection against reprisals. Moreover, in a considerable number of countries law enforcement officials, the judiciary and local politicians themselves are involved in and profit from trafficking and forced labor and slavery-like practices.

In fact it could be concluded that policies to repress prostitution and/or (female) migration under the denominator of anti-trafficking measures, actually preclude an effective, adequate policy against those abuses that anti-trafficking policies should address.

Strategies on Trafficking in Women

As shown above, trafficking in women is a complex problem, related to different fields and interests: migration, organized crime, prostitution, human rights, violence against women, the feminization of poverty, unequal international economic relationships, etc. All those aspects are reflected in the various strategies employed by both non-governmental and governmental agencies.

Depending on how the problem is defined, different solutions - that is measures to prevent or combat trafficking - will be drafted. For example, if trafficking is viewed as a problem of poverty or as a human rights problem, other solutions will be drafted than if trafficking is predominantly viewed a problem of organized crime or illegal migration. Any analysis and its matching solutions carries its own value. More than one strategy is appropriate and any one approach is not per definition good or bad. Given the complexity of the issue, strategies are necessarily multi-faceted. Significantly, the situation of the women concerned is determined by many factors: their position as women, as migrants, as women working in prostitution, as victims of (organized) crime. However, exactly because trafficking in women is related to so many other areas and (state) interests, any proposed measure must be carefully questioned as to what problem and, above all, whose problem it aims to solve, whose interests it serves and what the impact on the women concerned will be. Does a given strategy address the problem of the women concerned or rather the problems of the state? Will it help to prevent and combat abuse and violence or does it in fact target another problem? Will it improve conditions for the women involved or will it make their situation worse?

Trafficking in Women as a Moral Problem

The oldest approach to trafficking in women is what could be called the moral approach, based on the moral rejection of prostitution. Within this approach trafficking in women is seen as an evil which inevitably accompanies prostitution. Combating trafficking in women then means combating prostitution. Measures to combat trafficking aim at suppressing prostitution, either by criminalizing all parties in prostitution, including the prostitute herself (as an a prohibitionist system) or by criminalizing any their party (as in an abolitionist system).

This view is strongly reflected in the 1949 Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. Although this convention is ratified by very few states, policies of most governments are based on such moral condemnation of prostitution. The impact on women, as made clear above, is invariably a combination of isolation, stigmatization and marginalization, putting them at greater risks of abuse and violence due to the illegal and stigmatized status of their work.

Although this approach is still very dominant in the international debate, e.g. on the UN level, over the last years non-governmental organizations have begun to challenge this position. New approaches are being developed, starting from the point of view of the women involved and moving the focus of the debate from moral positions to working conditions.

Trafficking in Women as a Labor Problem

From the perspective of women, the need and right to work with just compensation under proper conditions is primary, whether in one's own country of origin or in a country with a demand for one's labor. When trafficking in women, forced labor & slavery-like practices are defined as labor problems, these practices can be seen as the result of the poor legal and social position of women: as women, as workers and as migrants. Within this view trafficking in women must be put in the perspective of traditional female roles, a gender labor-market and the world-wide feminization of labor migration. "Trafficking in women" is then expanded to include other forms of exploitation of women's work in the informal female designated labor sectors, such as domestic work and, related to this, the commercial marriage marker.

Corresponding strategies aim at the recognition of women's work, including prostitution, at improving working conditions and at combating violence and abuse through the same mechanisms applied to other labor sectors, such as labor laws and civil laws. Obligations, such as in the 1949 Convention, to take measures to rehabilitate victims of prostitution and to achieve their social adaptation clearly don't fit into this view. Rather the enforcement is advocated of existing gender-neutral instruments, such as the ILO conventions on forced labor, the convention on slavery and slavery-like practices, the migrant workers conventions, provisions against debt-bondage, labor laws and regulation, etc.

Government policies rarely, if ever, share this perspective and certainly not in relation to prostitutes or migrant workers. Still, aspects of the above mentioned approach can be found on both the United Nations and European level. For instance, the UN General Assembly resolution of 1994, which goes beyond the narrow view of trafficking in women for prostitution to incorporate other aspects of forced labor and deceptive practices. Another example is the most recent resolution of the European Parliament (January 1996), which calls for a new UN convention to "supersede the obsolete and ineffective 1949 convention", stating that any new convention "should focus on coercion and deception". At the same time the resolution "welcomes the ILO (Internationale Labor Organization and WHO (World Health Organization) initiative to draw up standards for the informal economy and believes that it is advisable to draw up legislation on unregulated work within the Union in order to reduce the vulnerability and lack of rights of persons working in this sector, and to ensure access to health care, social services and insurance".

Trafficking in Women as a Human Rights Problem

Also mainly employed by NGOs is the approach of trafficking in women and slavery-like practices as a violation of human rights for which states are accountable. An important milestone in this approach was the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 in Vienna, where for the first time violence against women was recognized as a violation of human rights. However, also within this approach two different currents of analysis exist. Some define prostitution itself as a violation of women's human rights equal to slavery. Such judgement brings us back to the moral approach, in which prostitutes are stigmatized as either victims or deviants and are denied a legitimate place in the public debate, but now via the detour of human rights. For others, it is not the work as such that violates women's human rights, but the conditions of deceit, abuse, violence, debt-bondage, blackmail, deprivation of freedom of movement, etc, be it in prostitution, in domestic labor or in the commercial marriage market.

However, if we are looking at the European situation, two other approaches become more and more dominant: trafficking in women as a problem of organized crime and trafficking in women as a problem of (illegal) migration.

Trafficking in Women as a Problem of Organized Crime

When trafficking in women is defined as a problem of the criminal law and the criminal justice system, strategies aim at introducing heavier punishments, improving (international) police cooperation and other measures which enable a more effective prosecution of the offenders. Combating trafficking in women thus becomes equated with (and often restricted to) "combating organized crime". However valuable such a strategy can be, the choice for a criminal approach is not without risks. A criminal approach necessarily focuses on individual victims and perpetrators, leaving aside structural causes. Many women have negative experiences with the police, such as harassment, detention and, for migrant expulsion. Moreover, the criminal approach carries substantial risks for the women involved, such as the use of women as witnesses in the interest of combating organized crime without proper protection or proper support. Prosecution of the offenders clearly does not include rights for the victims. On the contrary, in general the interests of the women are made completely subordinate to the interests of the prosecution.

Trafficking in Women as a Problem of Migration

Along with the criminal approach, trafficking in women tends to become more and more identified with illegal migration, especially within the (wealthy) Western European states. Within this approach, prevention of trafficking means "to prevent the entry of possible victims". Combating trafficking in women thus becomes combating (illegal) migration. Under the denominator of combating trafficking, repressive immigration measures are taken such as tightening visa policies, stricter border control, closer supervision of mixed marriages, and criminalization of third parties who facilitate illegal entry or stay, and sometimes of the illegal migrant her or himself. In fact, such measures rather aim at protecting the state against (illegal) migrants, than at protecting women against violence and abuse, thus serving the interests of the state rather than those of the women. The perspective of women opposes that of the state: for women it is exactly their illegal status, the lack of legal migration possibilities (in combination with the demand or work in the informal sector) and the unavailability of work in their own country that makes trafficking such a profitable business and that forces them into an illegal circuit without protection against violence and exploitation.

The two latter approaches are quite strongly reflected in recent European political instruments such as the Communication of the European Commission, and the Joint Action on trade in human beings and the exploitation of children of the European union (November 1996). These documents focus primarily on repressive immigration measures on the one hand and more instruments for the police to combat organized crime on the other hand. This is reflected in the definition of trafficking in women that is used: the main element being "facilitating (illegal) entry or residence," not violence or abuse.

A relative exception forms the "The Hague Ministerial Declaration on European Guidelines for effective measures to prevent and combat trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation". These guidelines are the result of the EU Ministerial Conference on trafficking last April 1997. Compared to the other EU documents, The Hague Declaration has a more "victim-oriented" character. Several measures are recommended to improve the position of the women affected and encouraging them to press charges, such as a temporary residence permit ad proper witness protection, access to social, legal and financial support, fair treatment by the criminal justice system, access to civil action and compensation mechanisms, the need for cooperation with NGOs. Although the document just gives "guidelines" and has no binding legal status, the EU member states did commit themselves to it. In this sense it provides a useful instrument to both non-governmental and governmental agencies to implement a more victim-oriented policy.

Conclusion: Repressive Versus Empowering Strategies

The title of my presentation is "between repression and empowerment". I choose this title because strategies to address trafficking move between these two poles: at the one hand repressive strategies, which aim at suppressing organized crime, (illegal) migration or prostitution. At the other hand strategies which aim at supporting the women concerned and strengthening their rights. Both repressive and empowering strategies can be of value. At the same time, especially repressive strategies beg for caution. The trend to mix up other state-agendas, such as counter-acting migration, with the issue of trafficking in women as a form of violence against women and a serious violation of human rights. Moreover, they easily give rise to unintended, undesirable side effects for the women concerned. At worst they can cause the women likely to be affected, e.g. by restricting women's freedom of movement or by using women as witnesses for combating organized crime without allowing them the corresponding protection.

Strategies which rest upon strengthening women's rights are mainly put forward by NGOs, next to a call for clearer criminal codes and stricter and non-discriminatory enforcement of existing laws, in combination with providing practical social, legal and medical support. Participation of the women concerned is seen as essential to the development of effective change strategies. Support and lobby strategies are directed towards empowering women, enabling them to take back control over their lives, and towards facilitating their ability to speak up for their own rights. Repressive strategies are rejected, if the rights of the woman concerned are not at the same time clearly defined and protected. The final goal is to ensure the rights of those involved, as women, as female migrants, as female migrant workers, as domestics workers, as sex workers and as wives. As long as those rights are not recognized and guaranteed, traffic in women, forced labor and slavery-like practices will continue to exit.

New Migration Challenges after The Cold War

Marco Antonio Gramegna

Chief, Division of Planning

International Organization for Migration

(Summary of Remarks)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) was founded in 1951 at the onset of the Cold War, and currently has more than 100 States as members and observers. IOM's mandate is to provide technical and humanitarian services on migration issues to governments and individuals in need of international assistance. These services can be advisory services and capacity building for governments in the field of migration administration, legislation, information and policy. IOM also provides individuals with counseling, information, transportation services, reintegration and protection.

IOM considers well-planned migration to be a contribution to the social and economic development of a society. Trafficking in women is part of the phenomenon of trafficking in migrants in general, which is a form of irregular migration, and therefore, a concern to IOM.

IOM acts against the trafficking in women through studies and research to identify the problem in each country and region, through the establishment of information campaigns to inform potential trafficked women about the dangers of trafficking and the mechanisms of traffickers, and through the organization of meetings, such as the European Conference on trafficking in women in Vienna in June 1996 and other regional meetings in Asia and Latin America. IOM seeks to promote and enhance the capacity of governments to be able to face the problem of trafficking with the appropriate technical knowledge. Also, IOM offers return and reintegration services for women who have been trafficked and have decided to return home in safety and dignity .

It is necessary to continue developing studies and research on this issue. Governments must adopt legislation to tackle trafficking and to assist the victims, and must inform the public about the dangers of it. Closing borders is not a solution to the problem of trafficking. The solution is in the countries of origin of trafficked women: to offer women the opportunities to stay in their countries with appropriate education and employment possibilities. NGOs and the civil society as a whole have a crucial role to play in attacking trafficking in women and in assisting its victims.


Trafficking of Women:

GOs and NGOs Interaction on the Local and Global Scale

Siriporn Skrobanek

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

(Summary of Remarks)

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women was founded in October 1994 to enable coordination of national and global efforts against the traffic in women. GAATW works to increase political action at the national, regional and international level, and organizes grassroots efforts with women activists. Activities include research and the development of manuals and training workshops. Women activists learn the use of international instruments to document the situation and promote the rights of women victimized by trafficking. In addition GAATW aims to provide guidance on offering care and counseling for women. Currently GAATW is working on a handbook for women migrant workers, including information on their rights, potential difficulties, and the redress to which they are entitled.


While traffic in women has become a global industry, governments have done little by way of prevention and prosecution. There is as yet no international agreement on a definition of trafficking. The 1949 Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others conflates a moral rejection of prostitution as such with trafficking and thus works against the interests and rights of women in prostitution. Hence there is a need to review the Convention and to formulate international standards that address the current situation more effectively and within a human rights framework.

In some geographic areas a lack of awareness and understanding of the prevailing issues results in inadequate responses to the needs of affected women. Governments frequently deny the problem, and NGOs need to provide data on the national situation in order to raise public awareness, convince the authorities and tackle the issues. NGOs who are working on this issue need to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to provide services to affected women victims, to hold governments accountable for the problem and to provide redress to women.

The issues are illustrated by the case of Thailand which has become a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficked women. A study of the Foundation for Women reveals that there is collaboration in international trafficking of women among syndicates, evident at local, national, regional and international level.

Trafficking patterns in Thailand have changed dramatically from the early 20th century. The two-step pattern in which women migrated from their home town to work in big cities in either the sex industry or the formal or informal sector, has given way to the one-step pattern. This involves direct recruitment of so-called innocent young women to work abroad with false promise, and then to force them into prostitution or other forms of forced labor. Victims of the one-step pattern include young women from ethnic groups who very often do not have their own nationality. Many of these women become stateless persons and are kept in detention centers in their destination countries.

Thailand has become a popular destination for women from Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States. Disguised as tourists, they earn money as prostitutes. Several Thai-Russian syndicates manage more than 200 Russian prostitutes in Thailand, often bringing them into the country via India. According to one procurer, Russian women, mostly from Moscow suburbs, sign contracts with Russian syndicates with full knowledge of the work they will do in Thailand. A breach of contract could mean harm to their families. After the contract expires, the women usually work on their own. A number of women also fall into the slavery-like situation, being resigned to their destiny for fear of arrest as a result of their illegal status.

The magnitude of the problem and increased public awareness has prompted the recent formation of a task force by the sub-committee of the National Commission on Women's Affairs. The task force's role is to assist foreign women and children victims of trafficking. It recommends a procedure to distinguish trafficking victims from illegal immigrants and outlines services that should be provided, such as temporary permits to stay and offering to press charges against the abusers. However the implementation of such recommendations depends on the development of. clear government policies without which the agencies cannot be pro-active for fear of violating immigration law.

In many countries, existing laws against the trafficking of women and children are seldom enforced. Usually authorities detain and deport women under immigration laws, a process which offers the victims no support from the criminal justice system. Therefore, international standards need to be developed and enforced that ensure that trafficked and undocumented migrant women workers are able to exercise their legal rights before deportation. Existing treaties and covenants addressing trafficking in women are ineffective because there is no comprehensive definition of trafficking, the covenants fail to address basic rights of women as the basis of action, there are no enforcement mechanisms, and they are limited in scope to addressing trafficking for prostitution, and not for other purposes.

As a result of these shortcoming, NGOs have cooperated to draft the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Victims of Trafficking and Forced Labour and Slavery-like Practices (SMR). The first draft of the SMR was put in the human rights framework by the International Human Rights Law Group (Women in Law Project), and some terminology have received mention at the UN General Assembly and UN Commission on Human Rights sessions.

The SMR aims to guarantee basic legal protection and possibilities for redress to victims of this form of violence and outlines the minimum standards as including the following:

  • freedom from persecution and harassment by those in the position of authority;
  • access to adequate, confidential and affordable health, social and psychological care;
  • access to competent translators during legal proceedings;
  • access to free legal assistance and representation during criminal or other proceedings;
  • access to legal possibilities of compensation redress
  • provision enabling women to press criminal charges and/or take civil action against their violators, through issuing temporary staying permits during criminal/civil proceedings, and adequate witness protection.
  • assistance to return to her home/country if she wishes to do so
  • legal permission to stay in another place if return to her home/country is unsafe
  • protection against reprisals from the perpetrators or authorities
  • encouragement and adequate financial resources for self-help organizations of the women affected, as well as for NGOs who work in solidarity with them.

These minimum standards are the responsibility of all countries involved. This effort is gaining momentum and is on the agenda of various agencies.

Another couple of points to keep in mind are:

  • In working with GO s and calling for state accountability, organizations have to be cautious not to empower the state to formulate repressive measures in order to stop or control the free movement of individual women.
  • Any work done while campaigning and working against international trafficking in women must not aggravate the vulnerable situation of women in sex work, or reinforce the social stigma. The focus is to fight exploitation, violence and abuses, but not prostitution itself. The totality of women's human rights must include the rights of women in all sectors, including those in the sex services sector.

European Commision Initiatives


Tung-Lai Margue, Head of Unit on Anti-Trafficking Initiatives, spoke regarding the anti-trafficking initiatives of the European Commission (Belgium). What follows is text provided by the European Union on its initiative.

The Task Force on Justice and Home Affairs (SG)

The European Union devoted since last year a lot of efforts to the promotion of the human rights of women in the context of the serious abuses which are involved in trafficking women for sexual purposes.

These women are often suffering intimidation and/or violence through the trafficking.

Furthermore, with the support of the European Parliament, the Commission has also promoted specific measures in order to prevent and combat violence, in general, against women. This is a few area of interest of increasing cooperation at European level.

1. Community Acts (Commission, Council, European Parliament)

Released in 1996:

Commission's communication to the Council and the European Parliament "on trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation". (COM/96/567/final of 20/11/1996)

The purpose of the communication, based on the results of the Vienna Conference, is to stimulate a broad policy debate and to promote a coherent European approach to this issue.

Trafficking cannot be tackled effectively without a multi disciplinary and coordinated approach which involves all concerned players- NGO's, various public departments, regional and international organizations - which involves both national and international cooperation. The transfrontier nature of the issue requires also action at European Union level : firstly by initiating European action or by complementing national action; secondly through Community cooperation with third country partner. All the instruments available to the EU under the Treaty need to be mobilized, both in the Community context, and in the third pillar in justice and home affairs.

The Communication, whilst considering the actions already brought forward in the Justice and Home affairs framework, also seeks to identify concrete and rapidly achievable proposals.

Among the interdisciplinary proposals the following needs have been identified: a need for improved data and research, for further cooperation and coordination, for information campaigns and for training.

The Communication also makes proposals for actions in specific fields: migration, police and judicial cooperation, socials and employment area, cooperation with third countries.

The Council adopted three sets of measures:

  • a joint action (finalized in February 1997 but already adopted, in principle, in November 1996) on the criminalisation with effective penal sanctions or offences relating to trafficking o human beings. The Member States must also draw up a list of their relevant national law of the measures to be taken in order to facilitate concerted action and to eliminate the obstacles that stand in the way of effective legal cooperation in this area. Each Member State shall also ensure that the activities of the Authorities responsible of this fight are adequately coordinated to enable a multi disciplinary approach.
  • a joint action setting up a programme (STOP Programme adopted on 29 November 1996) for the exchange of information and training of people responsible for the fight against trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of children. This programme, addressed mainly to persons working in public departments, has been set up for the following period: 1996-2000 and with a financial envelop of 6.5 Mecus.
  • a joint action extending the mandate of the European Drugs Unit (EDU) to trafficking in human beings (16/12/1996) and a joint action setting up a specialized repertoire of competence (contact points of experts in the 15 Member States) to be operated by EDU, including the field of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Work has also started here.
  • The European Parliament has promoted actively the fight against violence relating to women and the fight against trafficking in women (e.g. the Resolution of 18 January 1996) and has decided in December 1996 to create a new budget line for 1997 of 3 Mecus devoted to promote measures of European dimension in the fight against violence relating to children, adolescents and women. The lined is devoted mainly to NGO and private associations involved in the field. The European Parliament will adopt in December 1997 a report (Mrs WADDINGTON's's report) on the Commission's communication on trafficking in women of November 1996 as well as a resolution asking for further cooperation in particular with third countries by making full use of Community financial cooperation instruments.

Actions in 1997

  • The JHA Task Force had used the new STOP programme (1997) was the first real year of implementation) to promote the Commission's approach described in its communication on trafficking in women and the Justice and Home Affairs Council convergent approach to strengthen cooperation contained in its joint action on the fight against trafficking in human beings (formally adopted I January 1997). More than 30 projects have been adopted so far by the STOP Committee and are presently being carried out.
  • The Commission has set up in May 1997 the DAPHNE Initiative with the support of the E.P. This initiative gives financial assistance for measures combating violence against children, young persons and women, including trafficking for sexual exploitation and sexual violence. It supports non-governmental (NGO's) and voluntary organizations and will assist in the financing of 46 projects, a lot of them dealing with violence against women., The Commission intends to make in 1998 a proposal for a legal basis so as to ensure the proper continuation of this Initiative that has caught the interest of a lot of NGO's (428 projects were received).
  • In 1997 the Task-Force, through the Brinkhorst budget lines, financed projects in accordance with article 28 of the Council resolution of 20 June 1995 about minimum guarantees for asylum procedures (female interpreters for refugees).
  • The Task Force has also addressed the more general issue of violence inter alia against women through its new DAPHNE Initiative and was able therefore to mobilize cooperation and encourage networking between NGO's and private associations.
  • The Task Force will also continue to play its coordinating role within the Commission on the "trafficking in women" file.

Planned Actions in 1998

After the adoption by the E.P of the Waddington report on the Commission's communication on trafficking in women, the Commission will prepare during the second semester of 1998 a follow-up or a communication on this issue.

The Odysseus programme for training, exchanges and co-operation in the fields of asylum, immigration and the crossing of external borders could promote projects which aim to assist female asylum seekers.

2. Conferences, seminars, information and awareness-raising campaigns

Conference on Trafficking in Women (Vienna, 10-11 June 1996), organized by the Commission with the support of IOM and the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.

The Conference brought together, for the first time, representatives of EU Member States and of applicant countries, Canada and the US, international organizations and NGO's of different tendencies.

Discussions took place both in plenary and in four working groups (migration, judicial cooperation, police cooperation and social policy).

The Conference adopted a set of recommendations to serve as a basis for future initiatives from the EU. Mrs. Gradin, Commissioner in charge of JHA matter, announces in her closing address the Commission's intention to present a Communication including a multidisciplinary action plan.

Realisted in 1997

  • The Commission gave its financial support to the Ministerial European Conference on Trafficking in Women (The Hague, 24-26 April 1997), organized by the Dutch Presidency. The Conference was intended to be a follow-up to the Commission's Communication.

The adopted Ministerial Declaration (a non binding text) identified a number of actions points, both for encouraging cooperation at European and international level and national initiatives by the Member States.

The recommendations of the Ministerial Declaration, building on the decisions already agreed by the JHA Council, covered the fields of prevention, investigation, prosecution, compensation and support to victims.

  • The Commission has also supported the Conference organized in June 1997 in Noordwikerhout (Netherlands) on the role of police with regard to violence against women. The Conference adopted a set of conclusions aiming at and improving cooperation and coordination among police services. The conclusions also called for more training and partnership programmes including CEEC polices as well as for the creation of an international network of specialized responsible law enforcement officer.
  • The Commission has in addition, cofinanced a Conference organized in Rome in November 1997 by an European association of women magistrates on trafficking in women.
  • Finally the Commission supported, in November 1997, a kick-off seminar on a joint information campaign (EU - United States) on prevention in trafficking in women to take place in Poland and in Ukraine during the first semester of 2998 (involving PHARE-Democracy funds).

3.Other issues

(See the Decisions taken in 1996 by the Council and the European Parliament, as mentioned under point 1 and actions in 1997)

The purpose of the STOP programme in trafficking is precisely to establish an incentive and exchange programme for persons responsible of combating trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children. The programme shall thus provide the framework for measures, e.g. related to trafficking in women in the following fields:

    • training
    • exchange programmes
    • organization of multi disciplinary meetings and seminars
    • studies and research
    • dissemination of information

The Commission is responsible for implementing these measures and, with the assistance of the STOP Committee (consisting of one representative form each Member State), has established the annual programme as regards specific priorities for 1997 (0,5 Mecus for 1996 and 1,5 Mecu for 1997.

Dissemination of information between Member States NGO's on their work in the fight against trafficking and against violence towards women as well as training seminars for Member States NGO's, are also being promoted through the DAPHNE.

Press Conference: Prepared Remarks & Summaries

Andrei Sakharov Center November 6, 1997

1. Yuri Dzhibladze, Conference Coordinator

2. Michael Platzer, United Nations Crime Prevention Branch

3. Gillian Caldwell, Global Survival Network

4. Olga Shved, La Strada

5. Marjan Wijers, Foundation Against Trafficking in Women

6. Siriporn Skrobanek, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

1. Yuri Dzhibladze, Conference Coordinator (Columbia University, New York, USA):

The conference was the first such large-scale forum in Russia on the problem of sex trafficking, and the participants consider it to have been very successful. More than 100 representatives of NGOs from Russia and other European countries as well as Asia and the United States attended, along with representatives from the Russian and American governments, the United Nations, the European Union, human rights funders, and the press. The conference was organized as a result of a partnership between four non-government organizations: Global Survival Network (Washington, D.C.), the International League for Human Rights (New York), Center for the Support to Victims of Sexual Violence "Syostri" (Moscow) and the Sakharov Foundation (Moscow).

The problem of trafficking of women from Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe emerged in 1989-1991 with the transition to a market economy in those countries. In recent years, the number of women illegally trafficked from these countries has begun to exceed the number of women trafficked from Latin America and Asia, which were traditionally the main sources of women for the international sex trade. Russia, along with many other countries of the former Eastern bloc, does not possess the resources to effectively combat this evil. Russia has a weak, corrupt government; a well-developed organized criminal network; a lack of relevant laws; and an absence of a tradition of the rule of law. Russian government and the society at large have an indifferent or even cynical attitude towards the problems of women and to human rights in general. The non-governmental sector, which plays a leading role in addressing the problem of trafficking in other countries, is only starting to emerge as a potentially serious force in the Russian society.

This problem must be resolved through international efforts, since trafficking is a crime without borders. Until now, discussion of the problem in Russia has only been sporadic and informal. At this conference a serious discussion has begun and important contacts have been made. We hope that the recommendations developed here will be a first step in Russia toward addressing the problem of trafficking systematically on a governmental level with collaborative assistance from non-governmental organizations.

The conference participants have proposed the following recommendations which cover three main areas: preventative measures, support programs, and legal responses. The full text of recommendations has been distributed to the media representatives here and will be later included in the conference report that will be widely distributed.

1. Educational campaigns and programs should be developed and implemented by governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to change the society's attitude toward trafficking in human beings, to educate potential victims about the dangers, and to provide government officials, law enforcement officers, social workers and NGO members with the knowledge and skills necessary to combat trafficking and assist victims. The programs should be well focused, and target groups should include young women at risk for recruitment, the general public, professional groups, non-governmental organizations, a whole range of governmental bodies and agencies on the federal, regional, and local level, foreign embassies, and the mass media. The recommendations include a detailed list of specific components and particular means to be used in educational campaigns.

2. Broad-based support programs for victims of trafficking returning home as a result of deportation or flight must be developed and implemented collaboratively by governmental and non-governmental bodies. Such programs should include: individual and peer counseling, hotlines for crisis intervention, legal advice and assistance, and shelter for victims who may be endangered by criminal groups. The NIS conference participants representing NGOs agreed to form an alliance of crisis centers throughout the NIS to network and promote awareness of the problem, and to join the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, based in Thailand. International networking will help NIS organizations to better provide psychological counseling and legal aid to victims of trafficking. As we all know, women returning home are in a very difficult and often tragic situation.

3. Legal responses. NIS governments should implement existing international human rights conventions, declarations, and recommendations related to the abuses of trafficking of women, including debt bondage, virtual slavery, deprivation of freedom and personal safety, and abuse of authority. Intergovernmental agreements should be established to ensure and facilitate the prosecution of the offenders, and to facilitate the confiscation of criminal revenue of trafficking networks. Embassies and consulates of NIS countries should be instructed to appoint a special person to be trained to handle the issues and needs of trafficked women. Intergovernmental agreements should be established among the countries of origin and destination, to guarantee the voluntary and safe return of trafficked women. Existing and drafted bilateral intergovernmental agreements on mutual legal assistance should be amended to incorporate obligations to facilitate cooperation between local immigration services and foreign consulates to assist trafficked women. Such agreements should be made public and available to NGOs working with trafficked women.

Legal and other responses to the problem of trafficking and aimed at protecting women from the abuse of their rights must not restrict another fundamental human right, the freedom of movement. Experience has shown that the most common response of governments to illegal trafficking is the imposition of international and domestic barriers to immigration, a practice which not only restricts the freedom of travel and labor migration, but may also result in increasing the control of criminal groups over the process of migration. Migration and anti-trafficking legislation should not be used to limit or prohibit the free movement of people, including the free movement of Russian and NIS women. All obstacles to the free movement for employment purposes within the legislation, procedures and enforcement procedures regarding internal migration should be removed as well.

As of now none of the NIS countries has laws specifically prohibiting trafficking and providing for the criminal punishment of traffickers. The criminal codes of NIS countries should be amended to include a special provision which makes trafficking a crime. Anti-trafficking laws and regulations should not be used to punish women, stigmatize or marginalize women who have become victims of trafficking instead of punishing the offenders, be it in receiving, sending or transit countries. Measures should be taken to control, regulate and supervise employment, marriage, modeling, escort and tourist agencies to ensure that they comply with labor, tax, business and other relevant regulations, are not involved in trafficking practices, and that their licenses are removed in case of involvement with trafficking practices.

All existing labor, civil, administrative and criminal laws and codes should be evaluated to determine whether they contain adequate remedies for trafficked women and adequate penalties for the offenders. The interests, safety and privacy of the women concerned should not be made subordinate to the interests of the prosecution. Remedies should reflect the seriousness of the crime.

2. Michael Paltzer, United Nations Crime Prevention Branch

I was very pleased to participate in this seminar and can personally endorse the recommendations, first of all, because they are very good and secondly because they are in line with UN recommendations.

As most of you know, the International Community, has condemned this heinous crime through a Convention, which Russia has ratified, for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of Prostitution of Others.

However, concerned by the increasing number of women and girls from developing and countries with economies in transition who are being victimized by traffickers, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution last year calling upon all Governments to criminalize trafficking in women and girls in all its forms and penalize all those offenders involved, while ensuring that the victims of these practices are not penalized.

This resolution urged Governments to accord minimum humanitarian treatment to trafficked persons, [consistent with human rights standards] and to support comprehensive practical approaches to assist women and children victims to return home and to be reintegrated in their home societies.

It also encourages Governments and non-governmental organizations to take preventive and assistance measures, including help-lines to assist victims or potential victims of trafficking, and to provide targeted training to those groups dealing with this problem, including law enforcement and judicial personnel, using as far as possible female police officers to assist victims.

The same resolution encourages countries to conduct campaigns designed to increase public awareness of the problem and to collect national information, including statistical data, on trafficking in women and girls in countries with special vulnerability and submit this data to the various UN bodies concerned with the issue.

Countries are called upon to take appropriate measures to address the root factors that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution, including by strengthening existing legislation to provide better protection of the rights of women and girls and by punishing the traffickers through both criminal and court measures.

Finally there should be closer international cooperation but also nationally including inter-agency collaboration.

Two other resolutions are relevant: one on "Violence Against Women Migrant Workers"and "Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Measures to Eliminate Violence Against Women".

The General Assembly has also adopted the Model Strategies on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in which States are urged to collaborate closely in investigations and prosecution.

Equally, the United Nations Global Action Plan Against Organized Transnational Crime is relevant - for as we discussed in this Conference trafficking is a major source of income for organized criminal organizations. If we wish to stop this trade we must have a multi-pronged approach - education ,support for women but also aggressive prosecution of the traffickers, stiffer penalties, investigation of the finances of suspicious employment, marriage modelling, escort, transit agencies, bars, casinos, etc., confiscation of the illegal revenue of trafficking networks, imposing criminal liability on corporate persons who derive profits from such criminal activities. Although we advocate the conclusion of a Convention Against Organized Crime, which would include the offence trafficking in women, national authorities can implement many of these measures on their own.

Finally let me again stress the need for international cooperation and strengthening the capacities of the police and judiciary to deal with the new sophisticated forms of mafia type organizations with their considerable resources, ability to move funds around and their vast inter-connections with banks, travel agencies, hotels and, of course, other criminal organizations.

I believe the conference was an important step in starting a process of changing attitudes from acceptance of this horrible practice to affirmative action in the strengthening of the laws, educational programmes and support for these women.

3. Gillian Caldwell, Global Survival Network

My name is Gillian Caldwell and I am the Co-Director of the Global Survival Network (GSN). GSN is a non-governmental organization which exposes and addresses human rights and environmental violations. In 1995, we discovered a criminal group which was trading Siberian tiger pelts in the Russian Far East. They were also selling Russian women to Japan. We began a two-year undercover investigation into the trafficking of women for prostitution from Russia and the NIS, and we produced a documentary film based on our investigation. We found that this criminal business is protected by Russian organized crime, and our investigations also revealed serious allegations of government complicity in the business. We call on the Russian government to investigate these allegations and to demonstrate its commitment to addressing this fundamental human rights abuse. I have selected a few sections from the film to show you today, so I will keep my remarks brief and save time for questions and answers.

The United Nations estimates that criminal groups rake in more than seven billion dollars annually from trafficking human beings, rivaling the lucrative trade in guns and drugs. Originally, Latin America and Asia were the main sources of women for the trafficking business. Now, since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the transition to a market economy began, the former Eastern Bloc is an increasingly important source of women for trafficking networks. The economic status of women is declining in the transition to a market economy. In the Russian Federation, for example, women represent between 70 and 95% of the unemployed, and they face rampant sexual harassment and discrimination. Just to give you an example of how dramatic the increases have been in women from Russia and the NIS trafficked to locations throughout the world, we learned that in 1989, 378 women from the USSR entered Japan as entertainers visas; in 1995, 4,763 Russian women entered Japan on entertainers' permits. Although not all women entering the country on entertainers permits are entering through trafficking networks to work as prostitutes, entertainers' visas are frequently used by traffickers bringing women into the country to work as prostitutes, and few Russian women have the disposable income to travel to Japan to work without assistance from one of the many organizations offering to front the money for travel and expenses, which creates the debt bondage relationships they will have difficulty escaping.


4. Olga Shved, La Strada (synopsis)

Olga Shved cited as an example the poignant story of an 18-year-old Ukrainian girl, a trade school graduate, who obtained a visa to travel to Cyprus to earn money picking oranges. The girl ended up in a brothel in a Turkish town, where she spent nine months, forced to engage in endless prostitution, after signing a pledge to pay a $1,000 fee. She was beaten, gang-raped, starved, and force-fed drugs. By a miracle, she was able to get away and returned home psychologically and physically incapacitated, having also lost her ability to have children. The organization La Strada began to work in Ukraine in May 1997, but has already encountered numerous tragedies of women who, although they have an education, are unable to find work in their homeland. They sign up for visas to work as nannies, waitresses, and sales clerks, and wind up in the hands of pimps. Statistics show that there are many women in this situation from other countries of the Newly Independent States. Only intervention by the government can put a stop to this activity, along with the coordinated actions of the ministries of foreign affairs, justice, and education, as well as wide-scale publicizing of the issue, which is a strong means of pressure on the government and on inert public opinion.

5. Marjan Wijers, Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (synopsis)

Marjan Wijers who works at the Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (STV) in Holland described one of the components of the foundation's work: assistance to women who had become victims of sexual trafficking, who were provided shelter at the foundation, as well as medical and legal assistance, along with financial aid and moral support. Her organization conducts lobbying campaigns, pressuring the government to pass laws to support the victims of trafficking and punish the criminals. They gather statistical information and submit it to the authorities; organize training programs for employees of law-enforcement agencies and other professionals who have encountered this problem. Since 1989 there has been a sharp increase in trafficking: the number of women brought out of the former countries of the Communist bloc has increased: Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania make up 80 percent of the clients at STV in Holland. The majority of them accept offers to work abroad because they actively seek ways to improve their lives and the lives of their families, or else they want to break away from a difficult situation at home, or just see the world. They are offered jobs in bars, restaurants, or households or offered to work as prostitutes outright. But when they wind up in the hands of traffickers, they completely lose control over their lives and fall under the power of these people. They are denied the most important of human rights -- the right to control your own body, the right to decide what conditions under which you will work, and the right to cease such work, as well as the right to freedom of movement and the right to dispose of their own documents and money as they wish.

Women are subject to various forms of coercion. Some of them are more subtle -- deception as to the nature and conditions of work -- and others are more harsh, such as confiscation of passports, extortion, blackmail, isolation, bonded labor, deprivation of freedom, threats to women's life, threats to their family, physical violence. Wijers pointed out that many people take the view that the women themselves are asking to be violated, since they willingly travel abroad. She emphasized that the notion of a "willing victim" is a fiction. For example, is a passenger who willingly buys a ticket for an airplane which is then hijacked by criminals, who is taken hostage, a "willing victim"? Human rights mean the right of each person, regardless of whether he is a journalist or a prostitute, a man or a woman, from Holland or from Russia. Violations such as isolation, bonded labor, fraud, and forced labor are prohibited by international conventions and they relate to every person. And such remarks as "that's her own fault," or "how do you know she's telling the truth" make it possible for criminal gangs to operate with impunity.

6. Siriporn Skrobanek, Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (synopsis)

Ms. Siriporn Skrobanek (Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, Bangkok, Thailand) described in her presentation the story of the head of one of the major gangs which traffics Russian women into Thailand. The gang leader is a former Russian military officer, who previously served on the Iranian border. He called himself a diamond trader, but when his apartment was searched, police found a collection of photographs of Russian women and false passports, including one in his own name, which he had forged himself. He had close ties with mafia gangs in Russia itself, and there his own business flourished. He received $10,000 for his services trafficking women in to Thailand. In recent years there have been many publications about the freeing of young women from the bordellos of Europe and Thai houses of prostitution, but the process of freeing women is slow, and it is hard to gain access to the women because of the language barrier and the high degree of mobility of the trafficking. Skrobank hopes that collaboration between NGOs in the CIS, Asia and Europe will help to promote the human rights of victims of sex trafficking.

Conference Resolutions

The first international conference in Russia on the "Trafficking of NIS Women Abroad" was attended by over 100 participants from around the world, including representatives of the Russian government, non-governmental organizations throughout the NIS, Europe and Asia, the United Nations, the European Commission, the U.S. Department of State, international foundations, and national and international media.

Conference participants reached a broad-based consensus that the current status of NIS countries as sending, transit and receiving countries for trafficking in women demands an immediate response.

Participants further agreed that measures to address trafficking should not further marginalize, stigmatize or isolate the women concerned, thus making them more vulnerable for violence and abuse.

Participants agreed to form an alliance of crisis centers throughout the NIS to network and promote awareness of the problem, and to join the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, based in Thailand.

Participants agreed that non-governmental organizations are the central agents for change and support for women throughout the NIS, and that all programs should be developed in cooperation with NGOs, which must be adequately supported and funded.

Participants further call upon NIS governments and non-governmental organizations to implement the following recommendations:

Concluding Recommendations


Educational campaigns should be developed and implemented by governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to:

  • promote awareness of trafficking and forced labor
  • inform potential migrants of their human rights and the basics of labor and contract law
  • identify crisis centers and governmental resources for assistance, both in receiving countries and in sending countries

Target groups for the educational campaign should include:

  • young women at risk for recruitment, such as women living in border regions and regions with especially high unemployment
  • the general public
  • professional groups including social workers, psychologists, medical professionals, lawyers, and judges
  • non-governmental organizations, including women's groups & human rights groups
  • NIS governmental authorities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including staff of NIS consulates abroad, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Service, General Procurators Office, and all other law enforcement authorities, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, regional employment bureaus, the Federal Migration Service, Federal Border Service, AIDS Centers
  • the State Duma (or parliaments of other NIS countries)
  • local and regional administrations
  • political parties
  • Foreign Embassies
  • mass media

The components of the educational campaign should include:

  • public information leaflets & posters about trafficking and forced labor based on the materials developed by La Strada/Ukraine & modified on the basis of research about the particularities in each region
  • television broadcast and informal screenings of "Bought & Sold," the Global Survival Network video documentary on trafficking
  • distribution of "Crime & Servitude," the Global Survival Network report developed in collaboration with the International League of Human Rights on the trafficking of NIS abroad for prostitution

The educational campaigns should use all possible means to spread information, including:

  • television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet
  • focus groups and informal networking
  • community centers, foreign embassies, health centers, crisis centers
  • schools, universities, technicums, and graduate institutions
  • Federal AIDS Centers, Employment Bureaus and other governmental organs

Broad-based support programs for victims of trafficking returning to the region must be developed and implemented collaboratively by governmental and non-governmental bodies.

Such support programs should include:

  • individual and peer counseling
  • hotlines for crisis intervention
  • legal advice and assistance
  • shelter for victims who may be endangered by criminal groups

Legal Responses

NIS governments should implement existing human rights conventions, declarations, and recommendations related to the abuses of trafficking of women, including debt bondage, virtual slavery, deprivation of freedom and personal safety, and abuse of authority.

International cooperation should be strengthened to combat trafficking and support trafficked women. Intergovernmental agreements should be established to:

  • ensure and facilitate the prosecution of the offenders, regardless of their location
  • facilitate the confiscation of criminal revenue of trafficking networks

Any barriers for trafficked women, with or without papers, to return to their home country should be eliminated. Russian embassies and consulates should be instructed to:

  • appoint a special person trained to handle the issues and needs of trafficked women
  • provide immediate assistance to trafficked women who seek their help in a way sensitive to their needs and concerns for their personal safety and privacy
  • provide trafficked women protection from their traffickers
  • facilitate replacement of documents
  • cooperate with local NGOs involved in victim support
  • provide support for trafficked women seeking asylum
  • provide support to women seeking compensation for damage done to them.

Intergovernmental agreements should be established among the countries of origin and destination, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, to:

  • guarantee the voluntary and safe return of trafficked women
  • ensure that protection and support is provided to trafficked women awaiting repatriation proceedings
  • ensure that during such proceedings the women concerned are not imprisoned

Bilateral agreements on legal assistance on family, labour and criminal situations should be amended to incorporate obligations to facilitate cooperation between local immigration services and consulates to assist trafficked women. Such agreements should be made public and available to NGOs working with trafficked women.

Migration and anti-trafficking legislation should not be used:

  • to limit or prohibit the free movement of people, including the free movement of Russian and NIS women
  • to punish women, stigmatize or marginalize women who have become victims of trafficking instead of punishing the offenders, be it in receiving, sending or transit countries

The criminal codes of NIS countries should be amended to include a special provision which makes trafficking a crime. Any legal provisions on trafficking in women should:

  • focus on coercion in its diverse forms, including but not limited to debt-bondage, violence or threat with violence, deprivation of freedom of movement, physical and mental abuse, fraud and deceit regarding nature of conditions of work, blackmail, abuse of authority, confiscation of passports, and should cover both trafficking across as within national borders
  • cover all criminal parties involved in and profiting from the process of trafficking.
  • contain punishments proportional to the seriousness of the crime
  • enable the confiscation of criminal revenue. To this aim systems of financial transparency should be developed.

Measures should be taken to control, regulate and supervise employment, marriage, modeling, escort and tourist agencies to ensure that:

  • they comply with labor, tax, business and other relevant regulations
  • they are not involved in trafficking practices
  • licenses are removed for failure to comply with the applicable regulations or in case of involvement with trafficking practices

All existing labor, civil, administrative and criminal laws and codes should be evaluated to

determine whether they contain adequate remedies for trafficked women and adequate penalties for the offenders. Such review should be guided by:

  • due regard for the wishes, safety and privacy of trafficked women
  • the interests, safety and privacy of the women concerned should not be made subordinate to the interests of the prosecution
  • adequate possibilities for compensation and redress for the victims of trafficking. Remedies should reflect the seriousness of the crime

Because sex discrimination in employment, the prevalence of sexual harassment at the workplace and the barriers for internal labor migration force women to seek employment abroad:

  • all obstacles to the free movement for employment purposes within the legislation, procedures and enforcement procedures regarding internal migration should be removed. Special attention should be given to Art. 181 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (and similar provisions in other NIS countries), the enforcement and implementation of which act as a factual barrier for internal migration for employment
  • measures should be taken to end sex discrimination and sexual harassment at the workplace

Global Survival Network Follow-Up Plans:

Regional Initiative in Partnership with Network Women's Program of Open Society Institute

GSN is working in partnership with the Network Women's Program of the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation to develop a regional initiative that will address the problem of trafficking from Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States. This initiative will have several key components including:

  • Transnational Training Seminar on Trafficking (Budapest, June 20-24, 1998). The seminar will provide technical expertise and training to NGOs and National Foundations in how to launch and support an anti-trafficking information campaign, how to support survivors of trafficking forcibly repatriated, and how to pressure relevant governmental authorities to provide support, enforce existing obligations, and revise or adopt relevant legislation to address the problem. NGO representatives from other regions are also eligible to apply to participate in the workshop and it is hoped that the training will be a step towards greater national, regional and international collaboration.
  • Small Grants Program in the Region. The Network Women's Program in cooperation with the National Foundations of the Soros Program will also be sponsoring a small grants program in the region. Small grants will be given to support NGOs with projects that address issues related to trafficking, to sponsor on-site training with a La Strada group, and to translate public education materials on trafficking into regional languages. Deadline for grant applications is August 1, 1998 and recipients will be notified of decisions in September of 1998. Preference will be given to NGOs who have attended the Budapest seminar.
  • Development of a high school curriculum component and Karl Popper Debate Program materials to promote awareness about trafficking. These materials will be translated into regional languages and will serve as an outreach and educational tool.

For more information about any of these activities in the region or to receive an application form for the Budapest training workshop or the small grants program, please e-mail <>.

In the United States, GSN is serving as a coordinator for an NGO Task Force on Trafficking that is providing input to Congress and the Administration regarding their efforts to address the problem of trafficking. On March 11, 1998, President Clinton issued an Executive Order regarding trafficking which directed the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Agency for International Development to take a series of specific steps address the problem. The NGO Task Force helped to draft a Congressional Resolution regarding trafficking that was introduced in Congress on March 10 by Senators Wellstone (MN) and Feinstein (CA) in the Senate, and Representative Louise Slaughter (NY) in the House of Representatives. The Resolution will be voted on in spring of 1998 and may lead to progressive legislation in the United States to ensure the human rights of victims of trafficking and forced labor situations. GSN is distributing model legislation and information about our campaign through STOP TRAFFIC, an electronic mailing list that facilitates exchange between groups and individuals interested in trafficking around the world. To subscribe to STOP TRAFFIC, please send your contact information to <>.

Contact Information for Conference Participants

Note: This list is not complete. Some participants attended the conference

and did not register, while others registered but did not attend.

Abramkin, Valery

Center for the Reform of Criminal Justice, Director

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 206-84-97, 206-86-58

Abrosimova, Elena

Moscow State University Law School, Lecturer;

Russian Foundation for Legal Reform, Lawyer

Russia, 117574 Moscow, ul. Golubinskaya 7-2-24

t. (095) 421-01-72 (h), f. 298-56-94,

Abububikirova, Natalya

Center "Falta," Director

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 438-6115(h)

Alenicheva, Lyubov

Independent Consultant

Russia, 115409 Moscow, Kashirskoe shosse, d. 38, kv. 35

t/f. (095) 324-41-80,

Alexeeva, Ludmila

Moscow Helsinki Group, Chair

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 207-60-69, 207-17-97

Aristova, Alla

Association of Women Lawyers; City Morals Police

Russia, Saratov

t/f. (8452) 99-1578,

Aronova, Irina

Yaroslavna" NGO

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 282-84-50

Baranova, Larisa

Federal Border Service of Russia, head of a group

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 224-23-78, 224-36-49

Belavina, Yulia

Assistant to the State Duma deputy

Russia, Moscow

Belaya, Elizaveta

Regional AIDS Center, Physician-Psychologist

Russia, Vladivostok

t/f. (4232) 22-47-68 (h), f. 23-67-24 (w), t. 23-63-11

Blinushov, Andrey

Ryazan "Memorial" Society;

Human Rights, Socio-Political and Historical Journal "Karta"

Russia, Ryazan

t. (0912) 98-48-58,

Blonsky, Jil

International Women's Club

t/f. (095) 956-10-30,

Russia, Moscow

Borodina, Alexandra

"Anna" Center, Psychologist

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 124-61-85

Borshchev, Valery

Deputy of the State Duma; Deputy Chair of the Duma Committee

on Public Associations and Religious Organizations; Chair of the

Public Chamber on Human Rights with the President of Russia

Russia, 103265, Moscow, Okhotnyi ryad, 1, State Duma of RF,

Committee on Public Associations and Religious Organizations

t. (095) 292-32-18, f. 292-54-58

Caldwell, Gillian

Global Survival Network, Co-Director

P.O. Box 73214, Washington, DC 20009 USA

t. (202) 387-0028, f. (202) 387-2590,,,

Chernenkaya, Irina

Center for the Support to Survivals of Sexual Violence "Syostri", Director

Russia 113035, Moscow, P.O. Box 38

t/f. (095) 141-72-26,


Denber, Rachel

Human Rights Watch, New York headquarters

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118-3299

t. (212) 290-4700, f. (212) 736-1300,

Dzhibladze, Yuri

Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs

500 West 122 Street, #3H, New York, NY 10027 USA

t./.f. (212) 663-49-03,

after July 1, 1998: Russia 121601 Moscow, Filevsky Bulvar, d. 1, kv. 48

(095) 142-92-83,

Ershova, Elena

US-NIS Women's NGO Consortium, Moscow office, Coordinator

Russia 129090, Moscow, Olimpiisky prospekt, 16, k. 2383

t./f. (095) 288-96-33,

Fedorova, Larisa

Information Center of the Independent Women's Forum,

Regional Programs Coordinator

Russia, 121019 Moscow, P.O. Box 230

t. (095) 366-92-74,

Figurina, N.S.

"Gera" Center

Russia, Moscow, Khlebny per., 1, room 52 B

t. (095) 916-39-66

Fitchett, Gabriela

International Institute of Women, Law, and Development,

Project Director

Russia 113209, Moscow, Novye Cheremushki, kvartal 32, korp.8, kv.186

t./f. (095) 112-37-51, t. 331-82-90,

Galbraith, Cara

US-NIS Women's NGO Consortium, Kiev office

Ukraine 252001, Kiev, ul. Zankovetskoi 5/2, kv. 49

t. (380-44) 229-65-43, t/f. 228-06-85,

Galster, Steven

Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214, Washington, DC 20009 USA

t. (202) 265-5426, t. (202) 387-2590,


Garibashvili, Tatyana

Karelian Center for Gender Studies

Russia 185035, Republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk, P.O. Box 199, KCGS

t./f. (8142) 55-70-89(w), t/f. 52-53-40(h),

Glickman, Rose

The Ford Foundation, Moscow office, consultant

t. (095) 935-70-51, f. 935-70-52,

Russia 103009, Moscow, ul. Tverskaya, 16/2

Gramegna, Marco Antonio

International Organization for Migration, Geneva

15 route des Morillon, P.O. Box 71, CH-1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland

t. (4122) 717-9361, f. (4122) 798-6150,

Green, Karen

US Agency for International Development, Moscow office

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 956-42-81

Grin, Natalya

Center for Gender Studies

Belarus, Minsk, pr. Skaryny, d. 155, k. 2, kv. 22

t./f. (0172) 76-81-59

Hansen, Kristen

American Bar Association, Moscow office, ABA/CEELI, Program Coordinator

Russia 121069, Moscow, ul. Povarskaya, d.20, kv. 32

For internat'l mail: ABA/CELLI (Moscow), Box 219 c/o Post International,

666 5th Avenue, Suite 572, New York, NY 10103, USA

t. (095) 956-63-03, f. 956-63-04,,

Hudson-Dean, Sharon

Embassy of the United States, Moscow

Second Secretary

Russia 121099, Moscow, Novinsky Boulevard 19/23

t. (095) 252-2451, 956-4490, f. 255-9766,

Isaev, Dmitry

Rehabilitation and Crisis Clinic

Russia 443077, Samara, ul. Pugachevskaya 27

t./f. (8462) 58-32-90, t. 58-65-07

Israelyan, Evguenia

Center for Women, Family, and Gender

Studies, US and Canada Institute, senior researcher

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 374-6721, 954-88-86(h)

Karim, Lola

"Gera" Center, President

Russia, Moscow, Khlebny per., 1, room 52 B

t. (095) 916-39-66 (w), 286-49-06 (h)

Khodyreva, Natalya

Psychological Crisis Center for Women, Director

Russia 191002, Saint Petersburg, P.O. Box 604

t./f. (812) 315-91-00,

Khotkina, Zoya

Moscow Center for Gender Studies, Senior Researcher

Russia 117218, Moscow, Nakhimovsky prospekt, 32,

c/o ISEPP RAN, Moscow Center for Gender Studies

t/f. (095) 125-64-19,,

Kiselev, Andrey

Ministry of the Interior of Russia

Russia 117049, Moscow, Zhitnaya ul., 16, Ministry of the Interior

t. (095) 923-28-22

Kiseleva, Ludmila

Ministry of Labor and Social Development of Russia,

Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Status of Women

Russia 103706, Moscow, Birzhevaya ul., 1

t. (095) 924-63-82, 220-97-33, 220-92-44

Kiuru, Esko

International Organization for Migration Bureau in Russia,

Chief of Mission

Russsia 117049, Moscow, Koroviy Val, 7, Second Floor, Office 10

t. (095) 237-12-50, f. 230-22-02

Kocan, Natalka

International Organiation for Migration, Kiev office

Ukraine 252005, Kyev , ul. Gorkogo, 20, kv. 17-18

t. (38-044) 244-17-37, f. 244-2001,

Konstantinova, Valentina

Moscow Center for Gender Studies,

Senior Researcher

c/o ISEPP RAN, Moscow Center for Gender Studies

Russia, 117218, Moscow, Nakhimovsky prospekt, 32,

t./f. (095) 421-24-05,

Korneva, Larisa

Psychological Crisis Center for Women

Russia 191002, Saint-Petersburg, P.O. Box 604

t./f. (812) 315-91-00,

Korunova, Marina

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia,

Russia, Moscow, ul. Vozdvizhenka, d. 9, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

t. (095) 290-06-52, 290-09-45, f. 290-08-65

Kotchkina, Elena

Moscow Center for Gender Studies,

Project Director, Gender Expert Analysis Project

Russia, 121019, Moscow, P.O.Box 21, Moscow Center for Gender Studies

t./f. (095) 241-69-22,

Kupriashkina, Svetlana

Independent Consultant

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 952-77-16

Kurbatova, Larisa

Center for Medical and Psychological Service "Krug"

Russia, Tomsk

t. (3824) 26-33-18

Kuznetsova, Nadezhda

Association of Women Lawyers

Russia 410056, Saratov, Rabochaya ul., 28/30-20

t./f. (8452) 99-15-78,

Lazco, Frank

International Organization for Migration, Budapest office

Bajcsy-Zsilinsky ut. 62, 1054 Budapest, Hungary

t. (361) 153-1047, f. (361) 153-1165,

Lightman, Marjorie

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, Excutive Director

International League for Human Rights

432 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 USA

t. (212) 684-1221, f. (212) 684-1696,

Lipovskaya, Olga

Saint Petersburg Center for Gender Issues,


Russia 195196, Saint Petersburg, ul. Stakhanovtsev, d.13, km. 415

t. (812) 528-92-93, f. 528-18-30,

Lipovskaya, Tatyana

Center for the Support to Survivals of Sexual Violence "Syostri"

Russia, Moscow

t./f. (095) 112-31-29

Loar, Theresa A.

Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues, U.S. Department of


U.S. Department of State, Room 7526, Washington, DC 20520

t. (202) 647-9358, f. (202) 647-5337

Lohman, Diederik

Human Rights Watch, Moscow office, Director

Russia, 103064 Moscow, P.O. Box 409

t. (095) 265-44-48, 267-83-27,

Lusla, Sibila

United States Embassy in Moscow, Assistant to the Ambassador

Russia 121099, Moscow, Novinsky Bulvar, 19/23

t. (095) 956-41-06

Makhaeva, Irina

Center "Anna"

t. (095) 124-61-85

Russia, Moscow

Malikova, Victoriya

Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation, Moscow office, Director of

the Civil Society Program

Russia 107078, Moscow, Bolshoi Kozlovsky per., 13/17

t. (095) 921-20-65, 928-46-32, f. 288-95-12,,

Malysheva, Marina

Moscow Center for Gender Studies

t,/f. (095) 129-10-01,

Russia 117218, Moscow, Nakhimovsky prospekt, 32,

c/o ISEPP RAN, Moscow Center for Gender Studies


Marcus, Isabel

Network of East-West Women;

SUNY in Buffalo, Professor of Law

527 O'Brian Hall, SUNY in Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260 USA

t. (716) 645-2108, f. (716) 645-2064,

Margue, Tung-Lai

European Comission, Anti-Trafficking Unit, Head of Unit

CE Secretariat General, Task Force JHA, 200 Rue de la Loi,

B 1049 Brussels, Belgium

t. (322) 295-44-37, f. (322) 295-01-74,

Martin, Paul

United States Embassy in Moscow, First Secretary

Russia 121099, Moscow, Novinsky Bulvar, 19/23

t. (095) 956-41-06

Mashkova, Elena

"Femina-TV" Television Company

Russia, Tatarstan 423815, Naberezhnye Chelny 53/22 - 182

t. (8552) 59-68-38, t/ 56-13-03,

Mikhnova, Nadezhda

US Agency for International Development, Moscow office

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 956-42-81

Mokhova, Mariya

Center for the Support to Survivals of Sexual Violence "Syostri," Deputy


Russia 113035, Moscow, P.O. Box 38

t./f. (095) 141-72-26,

Moskalenko, Karina

Center for International Defense

Russia 109147, Moscow, Marxistski per., 1/32

t. (095) 912-54-41, 912-36-66,

Mukhambetova, Svetlana

Public Association "Sutiazhnik"

Russia, Yekaterinburg, ul. Turgeneva, d. 11, kv. 16

t. (3432) 55-60-22, f. 56-36-51

Ovchinsky, V.S.

General-Major, Chief of the Russian National Bureau of Interpol

Russia, Moscow

Pickup, Francine

Amnesty International, headquarters in London

161 Grering Road, Stone Newington, London N16 7BL, Great Britain

t. (44-181) 806-9792 (h), (44-171) 413-5500 (w),

Platzer, Michael

United Nations Center for Prevention of International Crime

P.O. Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria

t. (43-1) 213-455-763, f. 213-455-823,

Ponarina, Larisa

International Institute of Women, Law, and Development

Deputy Director

Russia 113209, Moscow, Novye Cheremushki, kvartal 32, korp.8, kv.186

t./f. (095) 112-37-51, t. 331-82-90,

Posadskaya-Vanderbeck, Anastasia

Director, Women's Network Program, Open Society Institute/ Soros

Foundation, New York City

Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019 USA

t. (212) 548-0162, f. (212) 548-4679,,

Potapova, Elena

Center "Anna," Deputy Director

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 124-61-85

Prokhorova, Tamara

Administration of the President of Russia, consultant

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 206-98-83

Propper, Mariya

Agency for Social Information

Russia 121151, Moscow, Kutuzovskiy prospekt, 22, pod. 14a

t. (095) 249-39-89, f. 249-85-15,

Protas, Vladimir

Ministry of the Interior of Russia, Main Department of Criminal


Russia 117049, Moscow, Zhitnaya ul., 16, Ministry of the Interior of Russia,

Main Department of Criminal Investigations, room 6014 B

t. (095) 239-09-03

Rasstrigin, Sergey

Ministry of the Interior of Russia, Main Department for

the Protection of Public Order

Russia 117049, Moscow, Zhitnaya ul., 16, Ministry of the Interior of


Main Department for the Protection of Public Order

t. (095) 204-87-60, f. 975-58-95

Regentova, Marina

Center "Falta," Director

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 399-73-42(h)

Rimashevskaya, Natalya

Institute of Socio-Economic Problems of Population,

Director, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Russia 117218, Moscow, Nakhimovsky prospekt, 32, ISEPP RAN

t. (095) 129-04-00

Royala, Stiina

Embassy of Finland, Moscow

Russia 119034, Moscow, Kropotkinsky per., 15/17

t. (095) 246-40-27, f. 230-27-38

Samarina, Olga

Ministry of Labor and Social Development,

Deputy Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Status of Women

Russia 103706, Moscow, Birzhevaya ul., 1

t. (095) 924-63-82, 220-05-62

Samodurov, Yuri

Andrey Sakharov Museum and Public Center,


Russia 107120 Moscow, Zemlyanoi Val, d. 57, str. 6

t./f. (095) 917-26-53, 923-74-80

Shornikova, Tatyana

Center for the Support to Survivals of Sexual Violence

"Syostri," Coordinator

Russia 113035, Moscow, P.O. Box 38

t./f. (095) 141-72-26,

Shved, Olga

La Strada-Ukraine (Program on Prevention of Trafficking

in Women in Central and Eastern Europe)

Ukraine 252040, Kyev-40, P.O. Box 45

t./f. (38-044) 229-89-69 (w),,

Silfverberg, Katri

Embassy of Finland in Moscow, First Secretary

Russia 119034, Moscow, Kropotkinsky per., 15/17

t. (095) 246-40-27, f. 230-27-38,

Silyaeva, Elena

Moscow State Regional Pedagogical Institute, Professor

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 246-40-27, f. 230-27-38,

Skrobanek, Siriporn

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

191 Sivalai Condominium, Issaraphap Road Ste. 33, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

t. (662) 864-1427/8, f. 864-1637,

Stalmakova, Tatyana

Center for Socio-Psychological Assistance to Family and Child" Garmoniya",

Deputy Director for Research

Russia, Perm, ul. Kabelschikov, d. 95, kv. 33

t. (3422) 72-08-60,

Stevenson, Irine

Free Trade Union Institute, AFL-CIO

Russia 103055, Mocow, Vadkovsky per., 18, str. 4

t. (095) 978-31-24, 978-40-46, t/f. 978-31-28, acilsmos@glasnet. ru

Surkova, N.V.

"Gera" Center

Russia, Moscow, Khlebny per., 1, room 52 B

t. (095) 916-42-81

Taubina, Natalya

Human Rights Foundation "For Civil Society"

Deputy Director

Russia 103982, Moscow, Luchnikov per., d.4

t./f. (095) 206-09 24,

Topolev, Andrey

Agency for Social Information

Russia 121151, Moscow, Kutuzovskiy prospekt, 22, pod. 14a

t. (095) 249-39-89, f. 249-85-15,

Troinova, Tatyana

Women's Information Network, Director

Russia 121019, Moscow, P.O. Box 65

t. (095) 291-22-74,

Tyuryukanova, Elena

Institute of Socio-Economic Problems of Population,

Senior Researcher

Russia 117218, Moscow, Nakhimovsky prospekt, 32, ISEPP RAN, . 904

t. (095) 332-45-34, 128-24-68 ,129-08-01(f),

Vandenberg, Martina

Israeli Women's Network /Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch, 1522 K Street NW, Washington DC 20005-1202

t. (202) 387-6592, f. (202) 371-6592

Velikoredchanin, Stanislav

"Christians Against Torture and Child Slavery," Chair;

member of the Human Rights Comission with the governer

Russia 344006, Rostov-on-Don, Grechesky Per., d. 3, kv. 15

t. (8632) 65-14-55,

Voitsekhovskaya, Liliya

Center of Social Adaptation and Psychological Support "Concordia," Manager

Belarus, Minsk

t. (0172) 34-45-71, 60-26-86

Wijers, Marjan

Foundation Against Trafficking in Women,

Program Director

Postbox 1455, 3500 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands

t. (31-30) 271-6044, f. (31-30) 271-6084,

Yakimenko, Nelly

Comission on Human Rights with the President of Russia, Consultant

Russia, Moscow, ul. Varvarka, d. 7

t. (095) 206-35-68, 206-42-90, 206-71-45, 206-49-14, f. 206-24-01

Yartseva, Elena

The Eurasia Foundation, Moscow office

Deputy Director

Russia 119842, Moscow, ul. Volkhonka, 14, 4th floor

t. (095) 956-12-35, f. 956-12-39,


Yastrebova, Ludmila

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Attache

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 290-06-94, 290-08-65

Zabelina, Tatyana

Center for Women, Family, and Gender Studies,

Senior Researcher

Russia 111538, Moscow, ul. Moldagulovoi, 3-1-46

t. (095) 374-60-20, 374-82-95, f. 177-73-31,

Zakirova, Galiya

Baikal Regional Women's Union "Angara"

Russia 664000, Irkutsk, ul. Lenina, dom 1, . 301

t. (3952) 24-12-71, f. 34-20-20

Zavadskaya, Lyudmila

Ministry of Justice of Russia, Deputy Minister

Russia 109830, Moscow, ul. Vorontsovo pole, 4

t. (095) 209-60-57, f. 209-60-91

Zhdanova, Tatyana

MacArthur Foundation, Moscow office, Director

Russia, Moscow

t. (095) 290-50-88,











Crime & Servitude:

An Expose' of the Traffic in Women for Prostitution Newly Independent States

In October of 1997, the Global Survival Network (GSN) completed production of a new documentary film entitled "BOUGHT & SOLD". BOUGHT & SOLD is an investigative documentary about the international trade in women, and includes new material from GSN's two-year undercover investigation into the traffic in women for prostitution out of Russia, including:

*undercover footage of meetings with the Russian mafiya

*interviews with women who were trafficked overseas

*perspectives from experts from around the world about how to address the problem

GSN's investigation into trafficking has received international attention and praise, from media including: CNN International, BBC Worldwide Television, ABC Primtetime Live, The New York Times, and the Washington Post.

Produced & Directed by Gillian Caldwell

Field Research Coordinated by Steve Galster

Edited by Annie Ballard

Funded by the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation

Running time: 42 minutes

Crime & Servitude is a 55 page report based on GSN's investigation and published in

collaboration with the International League for Human Rights.

Please complete the following order form.

Please send me:

_____ copy/copies of the new Global Survival Network documentary Bought & Sold ($30 each)

_____ copy/copies of the new written report Crime & Servitude ($15 each)











Language (Crime & Servitude and Bought & Sold are available in English & Russian):

English: _____ Russian: _____

Videocassette Format:

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Note: If you are uncertain of the correct format, we will send you the format appropriate for the country you are having the video sent to.

_______Enclosed you will find my check payable to "Global Survival Network" for $____ which includes U.S. shipping & handling via the U.S postal service (Add $10 for shipping outside the U.S.)

______I am unable to afford the cost of BOUGHT & SOLD or CRIME & SERVITUDE but have attached a brief summary of the organization which I work for and the purposes for which we would use the materials.

Note: Please include a federal express number if you want immediate delivery.

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© Copyright 2001, International League of Human Rights