Added: Sanjay Pettigrew - Date: 12.02.2022 23:52 - Views: 19669 - Clicks: 3933
For the past four years, Victor Malarek has immersed himself in the world of pimps, traffickers, rapists and some of the most disenfranchised women and girls in the world. One of Canada's leading investigative journalists, he is the author of a new book about the global sex trade, The Natashas, a harsh introduction into a business that causes uncalculated misery to hundreds of thousands of young women.
The title refers to the generic name given by customers to the women and girls trafficked across international borders every year; the US state department currently puts this figure at around , most of them from eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Malarek's book takes us to auctions in Bosnia, where women are displayed naked on wooden crates to be poked and prodded like livestock.
He hears stories of rape, abuse and torture on a shocking scale. But he avoids repeating what counter-trafficking activists already know, and what has been said many times before - that these women deserve our pity and compassion. There have been countless international events set up to address the issue of trafficking, but in Malarek's view the focus has been too much on the women forced into it, and not enough on the traffickers themselves, the perpetrators of the crime; there has been too much hand-wringing, and not enough action and enforcement.
But unless we implement these laws, and give police more money to investigate and prosecute the pimps, we will get nowhere. The Natashas is an angry, impassioned book, for which Malarek makes no apologies.
He describes the people who buy and sell women as "low-life criminals", "gutter trash" and "heartless goons". He does not make a distinction between "forced" and "chosen" prostitution - as many campaigners in the field do - but outlines the human rights abuses evident in the sex industry per se. He also identifies customers as a large part of the problem. Some people justify prostitution by saying, 'It's the world's oldest profession.
Trafficking is an easy crime to solve. If I can find the brothels and traffickers, so can the police. Just look in the tabloid personal advertisements for a start. Those who use trafficked women want to pretend that they are not like their sisters, mothers or partners. Born in Lachine, Quebec, inMalarek was taken into care when he was nine, and grew up in ren's home. Before that, he regularly witnessed his father beat his mother in fits of drunken rage. As a teenager, he spent time in juvenile correction centres for petty crimes, but then decided to turn his life around and got a job as a copy boy on a Montreal magazine.
A front- story for the Montreal Star in about the suicide of three boys in a Canadian correction centre launched him as a serious investigative reporter. He has since become a passionate advocate for the abused and the marginalised, writing books about Canada's immigration policy and drugs trade, as well as hosting a television documentary series, The Fifth Estate.
When Malarek began research for The Natashas injournalists in Canada and elsewhere were by and large uninterested in the subject. I decided it was something I could not ignore," he says. Focusing mainly on trafficking from the former Soviet Republic, Malarek examines the role of the Russian mafia, as well as the Albanian, Israeli, Czech, Serbian, Hungarian and Ukrainian gangs involved in international pimping.
He reserves his fiercest criticism for those EU countries that have gone some way toward legalising prostitution in the belief that it will alleviate illegal elements within the sex trade. Governments should come down hard on criminals, he says, not improve their working conditions. Traffickers have been given a red carpet to walk on in those countries.
His no-tolerance stance is not shared by some in the UK. Liverpool city council will seek Home Office approval for a "managed zone" for street prostitutes this November, and last month shortlisted two industrial estates as possible sites. The council maintains that a common area for women to work will improve their safety, as well as give them access to health and support networks; it is also popular with residents who do not want prostitution on their doorsteps.
But similar zones have been established and subsequently closed down in the Netherlands because of an increase in trafficked women being brought to the area, along with high levels of violence and drug abuse. The Natashas also examines the complicity of some members of the international community based in the Balkans, where trafficking is a growing problem.
Inan employment tribunal heard how Kathryn Bolkovac, a UN police officer, had been sacked after revealing that colleagues were involved in the sexual abuse of women and young girls in Bosnia. The UN itself is powerless to prosecute, and it is up to member countries to take further action. In Bosnia, Malarek met a year-old girl who had been trafficked to Bosnia. Malarek describes the traffickers' recruitment methods. An orphanage in Romania might receive a visit from "social workers" offering "apprentice programmes" for adolescent girls. The girls are taken away and forced into prostitution.
Much of Malarek's anger focuses on the annual US state department Trafficking in Persons TIP report, which grades countries with a trafficking problem according to three tiers. Nations fully compliant with the minimum standards in combatting trafficking are graded tier one, while those unwilling and unable to counter the problem are graded tier three.
The UK is in tier one, but there are those who believe - Malarek among them - that the grading system is merely another strategy adopted by the US to reward its allies. It was supposed to be about leadership and ability. But despite all the hoopla and sabre rattling, the US has degraded the process to little more than a diplomatic game.
Earlier this week, protesters in Bangladesh graded a tier-three country argued that the report was a means of pressurising the government into deploying troops in Iraq, and only criminalised the poor. Despite its TIP status, the UK does not have a strong track record in prosecuting traffickers, with the few cases that are brought being investigated mainly by the Metropolitan police.
Even with the new legislation introduced through the Sex Offences Act, which has increased the penalty for human trafficking to a maximum of 14 years, traffickers are scarcely deterred by the force of the law. In December last year, Luan Plakici, an Albanian, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking up to 60 young women from south-eastern Europe into the UK; he was also convicted on counts of incitement to rape, living on prostitution and kidnap. When the sentence was passed, there were gasps of disbelief from police and anti-trafficking activists at the judge's leniency.
The court of appeal later increased the sentence to 24 years. What hurts is when you seize their assets - take everything they have and give it back to the women they've abused and the police so they can track more of them down.
Does he think the situation has got worse? It means we can ignore the fact that some countries provide a safe haven for pimps rather than think of a solution. I would say to the UK, 'Legalise prostitution at your peril'. It would be a red light for pimps to operate with impunity, knowing vice is out of the police's hands. The Natashas can seem like a hopeless story, the scale of the problem is so vast. But Malarek is not pessimistic. I have a daughter, and would do anything I could to prevent her going into the sex trade. I'm proud of this book, and hope to hell it makes a difference.
If it prevents just one life being ruined, then it will have been worth it. Tracking the traffickers. Victor Malarek, author of a new book about the global sex trade, says we should stop focusing on its victims and start prosecuting those who buy and sell them. By Julie Bindel. Julie Bindel. Topics Crime Prisons and probation Gender. Reuse this content.Victor sex women
email: [email protected] - phone:(356) 209-2094 x 1791
Tracking the traffickers