[Stop-traffic] News/Montenegro: Montenegro to crack down on human trafficking

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Montenegro: Montenegro to crack down on human trafficking
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 10:46:36 EST


Montenegro to crack down on human trafficking
The Associated Press, December 10, 2000

PODGORICA, Yugoslavia -- Montenegro will step up efforts to block a major
human trafficking route from Asia and Estern Europe to Western Europe that
passes through the small Yugoslav republic, a government official said Sunday.

Montenegro's deputy interior minister, Vladimir Cejovic, said the
government had arrested and deported more than 700 illegal immigrants over
the past six years, mostly women from China, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine,
Belarus and Russia. Many had been working as prostitutes in Montenegro,
harboring hopes of being able to cross illegally into Italy or another
European Union country.

Wars, lawlessness and corruption that raged here during the 1990s triggered
a huge crime wave, including trafficking in humans, many of whom were
forced into prostitution.

At a two-day seminar on human trafficking, Cejovic said that the
international isolation of Yugoslavia during the regime of former President
Slobodan Milosevic had generated much human trafficking.

Ties with Interpol and similar international organizations were severed and
Yugoslavia had virtually no cooperation with police from other countries.

The problem was made more complicated when the former Milosevic government
began issuing visas to a large number of Chinese citizens who entered
Yugoslavia legally and then often sought ways to reach Western Europe.

Dozens of Yugoslav citizens have also been arrested for organizing the
smuggling of illegal aliens, which involved ferrying people across the
Adriatic to Italy in speedboats.

In efforts to curb the illegal movement of people, Cejovic said Montenegro
is increasing cooperating with Italian police and with neighboring Albania,
another key country in the human trafficking chain.

He said that last month 21 Yugoslavs were arrested for being involved in
murky deals under which dozens of young women from Moldova, Romania and
Ukraine were sold to owners of Albanian brothels, some for as little as
1,000 German marks (dlrs 450).

''We will step up efforts to stop that and we also hope to be able to
completely block the illegal trade across the Adriatic sea,'' Cejovic said.

A pro-democracy leader who played a major role in the October uprising
against Slobodan Milosevic was seriously injured in a car crash Sunday but
was not in a life-threatening condition, hospital sources said.

Velimir Ilic, who led rioters storming major government institutions in
Belgrade Oct 5, was driving with three other people in a car some 80
kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital when his BMW collided with a
Yugo subcompact car.

Ilic, the president of the New Serbia political party and mayor of Cacak,
sustained shoulder and chest injuries but remained conscious and was
treated in a hospital in the nearby town of Gornji Milanovac, chief surgeon
Tomislav Pejovic told The Associated Press.

Ilic recently announced he would run for president of Serbia next year
after his party, allied with 17 others in the pro-democracy alliance
founded as the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, ousted Milosevic in
Yugoslavia's federal elections on Sept. 24.

Reached very briefly by telephone in the hospital, Ilic said it was an
accident and ruled out foul play. The driver of the other car, Tomislav
Stankovic, was not injured, but his son Milenko, who was traveling with
him, suffered serious injuries.

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. between the towns of Gornji Milanovac and
Ljig, when Stankovic suddenly turned toward a parking lot but hit Ilic's
vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
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Stop-Traffic is an open, facilitated, international electronic list
funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative of the Program
for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) that addresses human
rights abuses associated with trafficking in persons, with a strong
emphasis on public health. The focus of Stop-Traffic is the
trafficking in persons into sweatshop labor, domestic servitude,
forced prostitution, forced agricultural labor and coercive
mail-order bride arrangements. Trafficking in people for forced
labor is an ever-growing worldwide phenomena that affects the health
and well-being of millions of women, men and children.
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