Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sex Trafficking Gang Jailed in UK

From the Guardian:

By Rachel Williams
November 4, 2008

A gang of human traffickers, brothel keepers and pimps received substantial jail terms yesterday over the ordeal of a teenage virgin tricked into travelling to the UK for a life of sexual "slavery".

Their Slovakian victim had cried in the dock as she described spending nearly a year-and-a-half working as a prostitute after being lured to Britain at the age of 16 with the promise of a job in a pub. She told of being sold on from owner to owner, raped by one who was never identified, beaten and threatened.

Six men received sentences of up to 14 years for what the judge called a "terrible story of betrayal".

One, Turkish-born Ali Arslan, was also involved in the plight of a second victim. He was convicted of running a brothel in Hackney, east London, where the 22-year-old woman was forced to work after leaving her six-month-old baby daughter with relatives in Lithuania, having been convinced by one of her brother's school friends that she could earn good money in a warehouse in Britain to provide her child with a better future.

London's Southwark crown court heard she was instead sold for £4,000 to a man who raped and assaulted her before putting her to work as a prostitute. He was never caught.

Read the full article

1 comment:

  1. I applaud the heavy sentences on pimps and traffickers. In my view they could be significantly harsher. This is a lucrative business and the law needs to get tough.

    However I have a real concern about criminalizing clients who visit prostitutes in the UK as this may well push the industry further underground.

    My organization (that I cannot name as publicity would be detrimental to our work) helps to free young vulnerable women that have been trafficked. We take direct action to get women out of brothels, cabaret clubs, and flats in mainland Europe. We use what ever means are required. It is hard enough identifying trafficked women, particularly those under 18 that have been raped and forced into the industry, but if we push the industry further underground in the UK and other countries it will be harder to locate the most vulnerable women and young girls. This is because we rely on prostitutes to help us identify and contact those that have truly been trafficked. These women are true heroes who save lives every year at great personal risk, without them we could not save as many as we do.

    The Swedish model is being hailed a huge success, but I also know prostitution still goes on in Sweden. The environment has become more dangerous for those women still operating as the industry is pushed further underground and the traffickers and pimps become more desperate. We believe those women and young girls that are trafficked to Sweden are in even more danger as it has become far more difficult to locate them.

    We must think carefully about what our aims are. My organization is very clear what we want, which is an end to sex trafficking; full stop. We still believe it is the right of women (and men) to choose what they do with their bodies, as long it is really a free choice.

    The worst case scenario is that we push prostitution further under ground, making it impossible to track down and rescue very young and very vulnerable women and girls that have been trafficked and are raped every single day of their lives.