Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bosnia's Flourishing Sex Trade

Although old, this article touches on the involvement of law enforcement in perpetuating human trafficking.


June 2001, SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Seven years after civil war tore apart Bosnia-Herzegovina, international authorities in Sarajevo estimate there are 5,000 trafficked women in the country at any given time, and that many are used by NATO peace keepers and foreign police officers helping maintain law and order in the republic.

Many of the women are held near the bases of the 21,000 NATO peacekeepers. But others are used by some of the 2,100 international police officers and even by civilians working for the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, according to officials.Sarajevo alone has 40 “nightclubs” featuring sex slaves as “dancers.”

Since August, the international police force created to help maintain order in Bosnia has formed a squad that has raided nearly 100 bars and clubs suspected of holding sex slaves. But the police force also has been accused of ignoring the sex trade, and even taking advantage of it.

Kathryn Bolkovac, a policewoman from Lincoln, Neb., who was posted to Bosnia, was fired last spring by the British-American firm DynCorp, with which the United Nations contracts for the international police force. Bolkovac charged that British and American members of the force used and bought sex slaves, and accepted bribes from bar owners who ran quasi-brothels. She is suing DynCorp.

In February, two Romanian officers assigned to the force were implicated in trafficking and sent home. Also last year, a bar owner in Prijedor told a reporter that NATO officers raped his clients.

Nidia Casati of the International Organization for Migration, which helps sex slaves return home, said the women are “bought and sold constantly. At the ‘Arizona Market’ near Brcko, they sell women like animals. They have to pay off the cost of their own sale. They earn from $50 an hour to $500 for a night, but are paid between $100 and as little as $13 a month.”

Read the full article

No comments:

Post a Comment