NEWS:Poland, Ukraine to fight sex slave industry

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Jyothi Kanics---Global Survival Network (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 10:20:45 -0700 (PDT)


Subject: 07/16: Poland, Ukraine to fight sex slave industry

Poland, Ukraine to fight sex slave industry

By Piotr Bazylko
WARSAW, July 16 (Reuters) - Poland and Ukraine agreed on Thursday to
cooperate in fighting prostitution and sex slave trafficking to the
West.

``The business of trafficking women is growing. The Mafia has got
engaged
in it. We must together take preventive measures,'' General Vladymir
Osmushnykov, representative of Ukraine's Interior Minister in Warsaw,
told
a meeting of officials from the two countries.

Maria Halczyj-Siwecka of the Warsaw Interpol bureau said the cooperation

should begin with exchanging information and creating joint data bases.
``Trafficking in women is becoming an increasingly international
procedure,'' she added.

Osmushnykov said it was difficult to estimate the scope of the sex slave

business in which women are smuggled to brothels in Poland and then to
the
sex industry in Western countries.

Many woman from Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, as well as
Poland, go voluntarily to the West to work as prostitutes, but some are
lured with promises of a better life and then are forced to serve as sex

slaves.

According to a recent report by the International Organisation for
Migration, more than 100,000 Ukrainian women, many of them minors, have
been trapped and enslaved as prostitutes in the West.

While for Bulgarian prostitutes Poland tends to be the destination
country,
it is a transit country for prostitutes and would-be prostitutes from
Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus, Polish officials said.

``After a longer or shorter stay in brothels in Poland, they move to
Western Europe,'' said Jerzy Iwanicki of the prosecutor's organised
crime
department.

Polish deputy interior minister Bogdan Borusewicz said that at least
3,500
Bulgarian prostitutes were working in Poland and more than 1,000 from
Ukraine and Belarus.

Last year, police registered 200 cases of attempts to smuggle women to
Western brothels.

``Most likely this is just a small part of the total number. In reality
there might have been several thousand such cases,'' Borusewicz said.

The Warsaw meeting on sex-trafficking prevention was attended by members
of
La Strada a foundation financed by the European Union and set up to
fight
trafficking in women.

Keteryna Levchenko, head of the La Strada bureau which opened last year
in
Ukraine, said Poland's three-year-old office would lend it expertise.

``Ukraine is going through what Poland went through several years ago.
Your
expertise will be helpful to us,'' Levchenko said.

La Strada organises counselling, information campaigns and helps women
freed from sexual captivity.

11:41 07-16-98


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