By Loukas Mexis
Recently a video was shared in the internet from a Cypriot website, where a young woman dared to speak the truth and narrate her whole experience of being trafficked from Russia to Cyprus in order to work as an escort.
Although such a case of human trafficking is not unknown to anyone, still people tend to look the other way and disregard the fact that human trafficking, human slavery and migrant smuggling is an issue that needs immediate attention, today more than ever since more and more countries fall in economic recession making people desperate. But such desperation should never lead to what this woman experienced.
Helen is a 22 year old girl from Russia who spoke with Cypriot journalist Tonia Stavrinou. She came to Cyprus thinking she would work on a tourist cruise ship, but instead was thrown in a cabaret and announced her that she will have to put out in order to survive. She is not the only one. Yearly literally thousands of girls are trafficked this way from the eastern European countries around the world, same with Asian and South American. These girls have left everything behind searching for a better future, but end up locked up and forced to sleep with people for money – usually under the influence, and being blackmailed since they are illegally in the country and in most cases having all their personal identification documents stolen by their new owners.
Helen asked for help from her clients, until one decided to ‘help’ her. He took her to his basement and locked her there. In this day and age, to think that slavery still exists in the same terrible way it did hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, is concerning.
Helen managed to get help, and is now waiting for her ex – owners and blackmailers to go on trial. Unfortunately in this dangerous game of human trafficking and sex, the people responsible seem to always get away with it. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake, and less than 3000 people are prosecuted yearly but even less actually pay the price and serve time in prison.
It is up to us normal folk to make a stand and show that slavery, in any kind, has no room in a modern society. There are numerous groups and NGOs all over the world which take up this noble cause.
Knowing is half the battle, so learn more about human trafficking and migrant smuggling at the official United Nations Office here
You can also support the Not-For-Sale campaign here
The interview of the Russian victim of human trafficking by Elita.com.cy can be seen
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