[Stop-traffic] FW: Bulgaria to curb smuggling of women for sex trade

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] FW: Bulgaria to curb smuggling of women for sex trade
From: Ann Jordan (Annj@HRLawgroup.org)
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 18:37:07 EDT

Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
## author : etowah10@BELLSOUTH.NET
## date : 15.03.00
[This article has been excerpted.]

SOFIA, March 15 (Reuters): Bulgarian officials and members
of rights groups met...Wednesday to work out a plan for
stopping the enslavement of Bulgarian women for work in the
sex industry abroad.

Activists estimated...some 10,000 Bulgarians, many under 18,
are trapped in such work throughout Europe.

"It is a growing problem with so many aspects -- human,
criminal, social, legislative -- and could be fought only by
decisive joint efforts by all organisations and government
institutions involved in combating traffic in women," said
Nadya Kozhuharova, who heads the local office of La Strada,
a European Union-funded project for fighting trafficking in

The two-day meeting groups government officials, border
control officers and representatives of La Strada and
intends to produce an action plan by the end of the year,
Kozhuharova told a news conference.

Kozhuharova said Bulgarians were lured into the
international sex trade through two channels -- one through
the Czech Republic and Poland to Germany, Italy and the
Netherlands and the other to Greece, Macedonia, Albania and

"It is difficult to estimate the number of Bulgarian women
who are currently trapped in sex slavery abroad, but it is
seen to be around 10,000, many under age of 18," she said.

Many of the women are lured into leaving home by newspaper
advertisements promising work as models, dancers, shop
assistants, baby-sitters, waitresses and maids. Others,
especially from smaller villages, are kidnapped and smuggled
over the border.

According to a survey carried out by the local office of the
International Organisation for Migration, 25 percent of
Bulgarian women aged between 12 and 35 years are likely to
take a risky job abroad through a newspaper add, Kozhuharova

"Poverty, desire to live abroad, social insecurity and lack
of life experience are main reasons why so many Bulgarian
women become victims of sex slavery abroad," she said.

The growing involvement of Bulgarian women in prostitution,
...at home or abroad, is one of the most brutal results of
the economic hardship that has accompanied Bulgaria's
transition to a free market economy after communist rule
ended 10 years ago.
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