From Today's Zaman: Turkish authorities intercepted some 246 victims of human trafficking in 2006, an overwhelming majority of whom came from former Soviet Union countries, official data announced yesterday revealed.
One hundred ninety-one of the victims have been safely sent back to their home countries. The data, announced in a 55-page report prepared jointly by officials from the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the police department and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), show that the number of people falling victim to human trafficking has remained steady in past years: In 2004, authorities identified 239 victims and in 2005, the number stood at 256.
According to the report, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine top the countries of origin for victims of human trafficking in Turkey. Turkey has in the past been more of an origin country itself, but in the recent past has grown as a destination country as its economy gets stronger. Of course the most frequent place these victims were found was in Antalya, a very popular Turkish Mediterranean resort destination for Eastern Europeans. I can't tell you how many advertisements I see around Ukraine for tourism to Turkey, with the most popular site being Antalya. Not that those are necessarily connected, but to some extent, they are.
The last two paragraphs of the article really shocked me:
A significant instrument in the rescue of human trafficking victims is a hotline launched in 2005. According to the report, some 56 people were rescued by security forces after victims themselves or others dialed 157 for help. As in previous years, the clients of women forced to prostitution themselves proved to be the most helpful: Clients of friends/relatives of the women made 81 percent of the calls to 157, while only 19 percent of the calls were made by the victims themselves.
All of the victims repatriated to their countries by IOM were women, the report also revealed, and 40 percent of them had one or more children. The report also showed an increase in the number of people detained for human trafficking in 2006 compared to earlier years. Some 422 people were detained in 2006, 379 in 2005 and 277 in 2004. A total of 156 people were arrested after being brought to court, while 127 were released pending trial in 2006.
A couple things did not necessarily strike me as out of the ordinary:
1) The success of the hotline. It also has been a very useful counter-trafficking instrument here in Ukraine as well, although the national hotline also gets an excessive amount of phone calls with questions regarding migration.
2)Women victims often have children. So do male victims of labor trafficking.
However what did surprise me was the amount of victims who called in themselves for help as well as the fact that clients were willing to step out and report what was happening. Its good to hear more people are being detained under the law. I'm hoping and assuming they're detaining more traffickers and pimps as opposed to victims. I'll have to go through the whole report.