Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dad, Stepmom Charged Over Missing Boy Found in Georgia

November 30, 2014


A father and stepmother, charged with false imprisonment and cruelty to children when a missing 13-year-old boy was found behind a false wall in their suburban Atlanta home, will remain in jail after a judge refused to set bond during their first court hearing Sunday. The boy — who had been reported missing four years ago — was found in the early hours of Saturday morning behind a wall camouflaged with towels and later reunited with his mother. Officers arrested the boy's father and stepmother, 37-year-old Gregory Jean and 42-year-old Samantha Joy Davis, along with three other juvenile suspects, Clayton County police Capt. Angelo Daniel told NBC News. Jean and Davis were officially informed of their charges Sunday, but neither was assigned bond, said Clayton County Jail Administrator Major R. Sowell.
Neighbors told WXIA they often saw the boy doing yard work and that they were surprised to learn he was allegedly held against his will. "It was a shock to all of us. They were really nice people, very open they said come over anytime you want," said Julie Pizarro, who lives across the street. "The young man didn't seem under any distress. I guess you never know what's behind closed doors."
Akono Ekundayo, who lives across the street from the house where the boy was found, told WXIA he and his wife saw the boy nearly everyday. "Gosh, it was right under our nose," he said. "We could have done something."

Boy Missing for Four Years Found in 'False Wall' in Georgia Home: Police

First published November 29th 2014, 10:34 am


A 13-year-old boy reported missing four years ago was found behind a "false wall" in the suburban Atlanta home of his father and stepmother on Friday, according to police. The boy had used a smartphone to contact his sister online, and she relayed the message to their mother, Clayton County police Capt. Angelo Daniel told NBC News. The boy's biological mother called police and tipped them off to where the boy might be, Daniel said.
Investigators then conducted a welfare check at a Jonesboro home where the child was living, but the five people inside the home denied having any connection with the boy, police said. The investigators left, but received a second call that made them go back inside and perform a more thorough search.
During the second search, the young boy was able to call his mother, who passed along critical information to the officers on scene. That led them to find the child hiding behind a wall. Five people — two adults and three juveniles — in the home were charged with obstruction, false imprisonment and cruelty to children, according to the Clayton County Police Department, which said additional charges are pending. The two adults are the teen's father and stepmother, Daniel said.
Local media reported that the boy's father refused to return him to his mother during a visit in 2010. The mother, who lives out of state, reunited with her son in Georgia on Saturday.
A boy who had been missing for four years is reunited with his mother in Georgia on Nov. 29. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Harrowing Police Investigation Reveals Unspeakable Acts of Abuse Endured By 5 Philly Children

DrugFacts: Spice ("Synthetic Marijuana")

National Institute of Drug Abuse

Revised December 2012

 "Spice" refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as "safe," legal alternatives to that drug. Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others — and labeled "not for human consumption" — these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects.

False Advertising

Labels on Spice products often claim that they contain "natural" psycho-active material taken from a variety of plants. Spice products do contain dried plant material, but chemical analyses show that their active ingredients are synthetic (or designer) cannabinoid compounds.

For several years, Spice mixtures have been easy to purchase in head shops and gas stations and via the Internet. Because the chemicals used in Spice have a high potential for abuse and no medical benefit, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated the five active chemicals most frequently found in Spice as Schedule I controlled substances, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess them. Manufacturers of Spice products attempt to evade these legal restrictions by substituting different chemicals in their mixtures, while the DEA continues to monitor the situation and evaluate the need for updating the list of banned cannabinoids.
Spice products are popular among young people; of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, they are second only to marijuana. (They are more popular among boys than girls — in 2012, nearly twice as many male 12th graders reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana as females in the same age group.) Easy access and the misperception that Spice products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used in Spice are not easily detected in standard drug tests.
Past year use of illicit drugs by high school seniors 2012, Marijuana/Hashish 36.4%, Synthetic Marijuana 11.3%, Hallucinogens 4.8%, Salvia 4.4%, MDMA 3.8%, Cocaine 2.7%

How Is Spice Abused?

Some Spice products are sold as “incense,” but they more closely resemble potpourri. Like marijuana, Spice is abused mainly by smoking. Sometimes Spice is mixed with marijuana or is prepared as an herbal infusion for drinking.
Image of K2, a popular brand of “Spice” mixture.K2, a popular brand of “Spice” mixture. Image courtesy of Coolidge Youth Coalition

How Does Spice Affect the Brain?

Spice users report experiences similar to those produced by marijuana—elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception—and in some cases the effects are even stronger than those of marijuana. Some users report psychotic effects like extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.
So far, there have been no scientific studies of Spice’s effects on the human brain, but we do know that the cannabinoid compounds found in Spice products act on the same cell receptors as THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. Some of the compounds found in Spice, however, bind more strongly to those receptors, which could lead to a much more powerful and unpredictable effect. Because the chemical composition of many products sold as Spice is unknown, it is likely that some varieties also contain substances that could cause dramatically different effects than the user might expect.

What Are the Other Health Effects of Spice?

Spice abusers who have been taken to Poison Control Centers report symptoms that include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. Spice can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart (myocardial ischemia), and in a few cases it has been associated with heart attacks. Regular users may experience withdrawal and addiction symptoms.
We still do not know all the ways Spice may affect human health or how toxic it may be, but one public health concern is that there may be harmful heavy metal residues in Spice mixtures. Without further analyses, it is difficult to determine whether this concern is justified.


Ukraine: Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                          
Ukraine's dependence on Russia for energy supplies and the lack of significant structural reform have made the Ukrainian economy vulnerable to external shocks. Ukraine depends on imports to meet about three-fourths of its annual oil and natural gas requirements. Ukraine concluded a deal with Russia in January 2006 that almost doubled the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas. Disputes with Russia over pricing have led to periodic gas cut-offs.
Real GDP growth reached roughly 7% in 2006-07, fueled by high global prices for steel - Ukraine's top export - and by strong domestic consumption, spurred by rising pensions and wages.
Description: Description: Description: Description: Ukraine
However, political turmoil in Ukraine as well as deteriorating external conditions are likely to hamper efforts for economic recovery.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]
Ukraine is a source, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Forty-eight percent of the trafficking victims assisted by IOM and its local NGO partners in Ukraine in 2008 suffered sexual exploitation; three percent had been forced to beg; and 49 percent suffered other forms of forced labor.
Women were forced into the sex industry, or forced to work as housekeepers, in service industries, or in textile or light manufacturing. The majority of Ukrainian male labor trafficking victims were exploited in Russia but also in other countries, primarily as construction laborers, factory and agriculture workers, or sailors. T   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  [full country report]

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Ukraine.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.
Ukraine leads in number of human trafficking victims in Eastern Europe, group says
Associated Press AP, Kiev, February 19, 2007
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 12 September 2011]
More Ukrainian men, women and children have been trafficked abroad and forced into indentured labor or prostitution than in any other Eastern European country since the Soviet collapse, an international migration group said in a report Monday.
The organization said the full scale of trafficking through, from and within Eastern Europe is difficult to determine since most victims are unwilling, scared or unable to contact authorities.
Sex Traffickers Prey On Eastern Europeans
Ron Synovitz & RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 23, 2005
[accessed 5 January 2011]
Maria is a 30-year-old mother from Ukraine who left behind her husband and two young children to take what she was told would be a job in Italy as a cleaner.  The recruiters who originally promised her a high-paying salary were men who posed as representatives of a legitimate employment agency. Maria says they gained her trust because they looked professional and persuasive.
Maria says her nightmare began after she and the other women arrived in Italy and were met by several suspicious men. They were human traffickers in the illegal global sex industry.   "We went there and arrived in one city. They took us to a building on the outskirts of the city and they told us to clean off, to relax from the travel. Later, they confronted us with the fact that we would be providing sex services. It is a shock for a human being. Escape from there was impossible. The windows were barred and there was the constant presence of a guard," Maria said.
*** ARCHIVES ***
Mobile phones in the fight against human trafficking - Trafficking hotline, Dial 527
Martiena van der Meer (article) and Louise Dunne (audio), Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 25-07-2007
[Last accessed 5 January 2011]
TRAFFICKING HOTLINE - In the Ukraine, now even the simplest of handsets could potentially save lives thanks to three of the country's leading service providers who have collaborated with the International Organization for Migration to set up a toll-free information hotline. Customers of Ukrainian mobile phone service providers KyivStar, UMC and life:) can dial '527' from their handsets in order to receive information and advice from the IOM on migration and trafficking issues, and potential migrants will also get information on legal methods of migration.
Hotline Combats Human Trafficking, Helps Victims - Trafficking hotline, Dial 527
International Organization for Migration, 4 Sept 2007
[accessed 24 August 2014]
The hotline is one of a number of IOM activities aimed at countering human trafficking and promoting legal migration from Ukraine. Others include European Union–funded migrant advice centres established in partnership with local NGOs.
Since 2001, IOM Kiev has provided assistance to more than 4,000 victims of trafficking, including medical care, psychosocial counselling, reintegration grants, vocational training and legal assistance.
Caring for the children who 'don't exist'
Organization protects Ukrainian youth from falling prey to human traffickers
Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen, January 30, 2009
[accessed 4 September 2012]
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, nearly 120,000 Ukrainian men, women and children have been trafficked abroad - more than any other Eastern European country.   Some are effectively kidnapped. Others are enticed by promises of money and a better life. Some parents even sell their own daughters, Mr. Svystun said.   Sadly, that no longer surprises him. Since 2001, he has worked with Odessa's street children, estimated at 5,000, but in reality far more numerous. Some are as young as four.
About 80 per cent are "social orphans" who live on the street because their parents drink, use drugs or abuse them sexually or physically.   Officially, many don't even exist. Their parents never registered their births, so the state has no record of them.   "That's why it's very easy for human trafficking," said Mr. Svystun. "You can take somebody who doesn't exist, so nobody cares."
Ukraine takes steps to curb trafficking
Alexandra Stadnyk, Kyiv Post, Jul 16, 2008
[accessed 5 January 2011]
NATALIA’S STORY - Despite a steadily improving economy that is reducing financial desperation, Natalia’s story is still all too common in Ukraine. Millions of people still remain mired in poverty or low-wage jobs in tiny villages scattered throughout the nation.
Like many deceived victims, Natalia said she was destitute when a young woman approached her as she was working in a local market in her hometown. The woman asked if she was interested in working abroad.
“She promised good money,” says Natalia in a shaky voice, her mascara watering as tears begin to trickle down her face.
“This woman knew I had no money, no husband, a sick mother and two children and she knew I was desperate,” she says. Natalia was told she would work in the home of a family in a Western European nation.
IT TURNED OUT TO BE A LIE - “When I arrived, I asked where the family was, where the washing machine was and all the other things I would need to help around the house. Suddenly a large man dressed in black threw cheap lingerie at me and said I had to work to pay off the cost of my travel, and that’s when I knew I had been trafficked. I knew I had been trafficked on the first day.”
Natalia worked with five other women from Ukraine and Moldova in a small apartment, where she was forced to service up to four men a day, she says. She worked in slavelike conditions for six months until she got pregnant and begged to be sent back to Ukraine by one of her customers, who refused to pay for an abortion. The abortion had to wait until she returned to Ukraine
Ukraine: Human Trafficking
Daniel S. - 5 May 2008
[accessed 12 September 2011]
[scroll down to Comments]
Ukraine woman forced to dance at strip club testifies in D.C.
Todd Spangler, Free Press Washington Staff, Washington, 03 November 2007
[accessed 18 June 2013]
Lured from the Ukraine with the promise of a student visa, the young woman believed she was headed to the U.S. to study and to Virginia Beach to work as a waitress -- not to Detroit, where she was forced to dance at a strip club.  Using the alias "Katya" to protect herself, the 22-year-old woman spoke publicly for the first time today, describing to a congressional panel how she was forced to work at the Detroit club for months until she and another young woman escaped with the help of one of the patrons of the club.  "They forced me to work six days a week for 12 hours a day," she said of the men who made her work at Cheetah's in Detroit. "I could not refuse to go to work or I would be beaten." While she was forced to dance at the strip club, she said she was not made to be a prostitute.
Harbor Springs man helps fight abuse and human trafficking in Ukraine
Louise Nelle, News-Review staff writer, Petoskey News, Harbor Springs, September 07, 2007
[accessed 5 January 2011]
In terms of human trafficking, Wiser said the committee supports groups directly involved with victims. They are also working to prevent traffickers from receiving information about orphans.  “Traffickers are getting this information on when these kids get released and then they target them. We want to seal this information so it’s not available,” Wiser said.
Eight Israelis charged with trafficking human organs
Russia Today RT, 24 July, 2007
[accessed 5 January 2011]
Israeli police have broken up an organ transplanting ring that persuaded dozens of Israelis to have their kidneys removed in Ukraine. But, because Israeli law does not explicitly forbid the trafficking of organs, police may have to release the suspects.
It’s not difficult to become an organ donor. Ads have appeared in both the Russian and Arabic press. Dozens of people are believed to have been duped into donating their body organs.  We are co-operating with the Ukrainian justice system. In Ukraine and Israel, there is no law that a person cannot sell body organs. But what police are charging is that they were trafficking organs, which is illegal,” said Lizzy Troend, defence lawyer.  Israel allows transplants from relatives or anonymous donors, but the law forbids anyone to buy organs. - IsUkr
Ukraine leads in number of human trafficking victims in Eastern Europe, group says
Associated Press AP, Kiev, February 19, 2007
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 12 September 2011]
More Ukrainian men, women and children have been trafficked abroad and forced into indentured labor or prostitution than in any other Eastern European country since the Soviet collapse, an international migration group said in a report Monday.
The organization said the full scale of trafficking through, from and within Eastern Europe is difficult to determine since most victims are unwilling, scared or unable to contact authorities.
Queen Sylvia of Sweden awards Ukrainians for anti-trafficking efforts
Posted: October 01, 2006
[accessed 5 January 2011]
A recently created department within the Interior ministry has liquidated 60 criminal groups that were involved in human trafficking. More than 700 victims of the modern-day slave trade have been returned to the country.
Smuggler's Prey – [PDF]
[accessed 19 December 2010]
Every day, scores of young women throughout the former East Bloc are lured by job offers that lead to a hellish journey of sexual slavery and violence. Despite the barrage of warnings on radio and TV, in newspapers and on billboards, desperate women continue to line up with their naiveté and applications in hand, hoping that, this time, they might just be in luck.
Revealed: kept in a dungeon ready to be sold as slaves
David Harrison in Skopje, The Telegraph,  27 Nov 2005
[accessed 19 December 2010]
The women, aged 18 to 24, are from across eastern Europe, lured from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria, with promises of good jobs as waitresses, au pairs and dancers.  Instead, they have been forced into modern-day slavery in western Macedonia, locked in the dirty cellar and only summoned upstairs by their masters to perform sexual services for customers who are usually drunk and often violent.  When they were found, the victims, some of whom had been "broken in" as prostitutes in other countries on the way to Macedonia, barely knew where they were. They had no idea what the future held but knew that it was beyond their control.
Sex Traffickers Prey On Eastern Europeans
Ron Synovitz & RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 23, 2005
[accessed 5 January 2011]
Maria is a 30-year-old mother from Ukraine who left behind her husband and two young children to take what she was told would be a job in Italy as a cleaner.  The recruiters who originally promised her a high-paying salary were men who posed as representatives of a legitimate employment agency. Maria says they gained her trust because they looked professional and persuasive.
Maria says her nightmare began after she and the other women arrived in Italy and were met by several suspicious men. They were human traffickers in the illegal global sex industry.   "We went there and arrived in one city. They took us to a building on the outskirts of the city and they told us to clean off, to relax from the travel. Later, they confronted us with the fact that we would be providing sex services. It is a shock for a human being. Escape from there was impossible. The windows were barred and there was the constant presence of a guard," Maria said.
Ukrainian women freed from sexual slavery in Turkey thanks to phone tip-off
United Press International UPI International Edition, Geneva, August 5, 2005
[accessed 20 June 2013]
The women - one of whom was held for six years - were set to return to Ukraine after being rescued by Turkish police following a call to the "157" hotline, which is run by the IOM, the Geneva-based organization said.  Impoverished women from Eastern Europe are lured to Turkey by criminal gangs with promises of well-paid jobs, but many are later forced into prostitution or other jobs in the underground labor market.
Ukrainians Vulnerable to the Sex Trade
The Associated Press AP, 04 August 2005
[partially accessed 5 January 2011 - access restricted]
Yulia said she left her hometown of Donestk four years ago for a job in one of Moscow's luxurious nightclubs that she heard about through acquaintances, planning to earn money to pay her way through college. But once in Moscow, Yulia's new employer seized her passport and beat her for several days before sending her out to work the Russian capital's streets as a prostitute.
Forced Labor –A Global Menace
Dan Margolis, People's Weekly World Newspaper, 09/15/05
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 12 September 2011]
With her family life destroyed, Anna became desperate. She struggled on until someone she had met offered her a job working at a hotel in another country. Anna accepted the position in hopes of finding a better life.  Her dreams were dashed, however. After being taken abroad, and after a trip across a desert on a pickup truck, she was locked inside an apartment. There was no hotel job waiting for her, nor was there a hotel. Instead, she was raped up to nine times a day by different men who paid her captors for the sex. Anna had unwittingly become trapped in sex slavery.
Russian Girls Eager To Work Abroad, Despite The Danger Of Sex Trafficking
Pravda, 31.03.2005
[accessed 24 November 2010]
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry and the Israeli police conducted a special operation, as a result of which an Israeli national recruiting girls from the CIS was detained in Kiev. The recruiter promised various types of employment in Israel, but each time girls were sent to brothels.  Girls usually come across tempting ads in newspapers promising up to two thousand of dollars a month.
ICE arrests men who forced women to work as strippers
News release, February 17, 2005 -- Source:
[accessed 12 September 2011]
According to the criminal complaint, xxxxxxxxxxxx, 32, who is a citizen of Lithuania, and xxxxxxxxxxx, 25, a U.S. citizen, are suspected of recruiting women from the Ukraine to travel to the United States under the guise of working as waitresses here. Once the women arrived in the U.S., they were forced to work at “Cheetah’s” strip club.  The women were driven to their work from their apartment and back again. There was no telephone in their apartment. The complaint also states the women were intimidated, hit and threatened with death if they tried to leave.
Trafficking in Women from Ukraine [PDF]
Donna M. Hughes, University of Rhode Island & Tatyana Denisova, Zaporizhia State University, Final Report, 2002
[accessed 5 January 2011]
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY -  Eighty percent of the traffickers are Ukrainian citizens, and about 60 percent are women.  The traffickers use women who were formerly in prostitution as recruiters. The pimps in the destination countries places orders with the traffickers for the number of women they need. Once the women arrive at the destination, the criminal group controls them. Women must repay inflated debts before they are released and their identity and/or travel documents returned. If the women do not comply they are threatened, beaten, and raped. A former trafficker/pimp presented the researchers with photographs of a victim being humiliated. These photographs were used to control her.
Victims and family members of victims are afraid to talk to the police. Often victims do not tell their friends and families what has happened to them while they were abroad. Only 12 percent reported their victimization. The risk of retaliation from the traffickers and organized crime groups is too high.
The “Natasha” Trade: The Transnational Shadow Market of Trafficking in Women [PDF]
Donna M. Hughes, University of Rhode Island, Special Issue of Journal of International Affairs, “In the Shadows: Promoting Prosperity or Undermining Stability?”, Vol. 53, No. 2, Spring 2000, pp. 625-651
[accessed 5 January 2011]
Irina, aged 18, responded to an advertisement in a Kyiv, Ukraine newspaper for a training course in Berlin in 1996. With a fake passport, she traveled to Berlin, Germany where she was told that the school had closed. She was sent on to Brussels, Belgium for a job. When she arrived she was told she needed to repay a debt of US$10,000 and would have to earn the money in prostitution. Her passport was confiscated, and she was threatened, beaten and raped. When she didn’t earn enough money she was sold to a Belgium pimp who operated in Rue d’Aarschot in the Brussel’s red light district. When she managed to escape through the assistance of police, she was arrested because she had no legal documentation. A medical exam verified the abuse she had suffered, such as cigarette burns all over her body.
Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 3   Civil Liberties: 2   Status: Free
2009 Edition
[accessed 28 June 2012]
Human Rights Overview
Human Rights Watch
[accessed 5 January 2011]
Stop Violence Against Women – Country Page
The Advocates for Human Rights, 17 July 2009
[accessed 5 January 2011]
Ukranian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
ECPAT International, Kiev, 4 March 2004
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 12 September 2011]
BORDER REGULATIONS FACILITATE TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN - Ukraine is also a major supplier and transit country of children trafficked for sexual purposes. According to International Organization for Migration reports, 10% of all trafficking victims who are known to return to Ukraine are aged 12 to 18. Trafficking of Ukrainian children is a relatively easy operation because of inappropriate agreements reached between Ukraine and border countries Russia, Moldova and Belarus. According to the current Visa-Free Travel Regime applicable to children under 16, only a child’s birth certificate needs to be presented before a child is allowed to cross these borders legally. However, these certificates do not carry photos, and it is easy for traffickers to take children across borders using another child’s certificate. This also hampers preventive action to stop trafficking of children from Ukraine through these countries to the neighbouring Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The Situation Of Children In Ukraine And Their Vulnerability To Commercial Sexual Exploitation [PDF]
Julia. Galustyan, Head of Centre for Gender Studies, PhD. in Sociology & Valentina. Novitskaya, Research Fellow, Centre for Gender Studies, ECPAT International, Ukrainian Institute Of Social Research, 2003
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 12 September 2011]
According IOM data, of 1355 Ukrainian victims of trafficking who asked for help, 10% were adolescents (mostly aged from 12 to18).  In September 2003, in the Poltava region, a girl born in 1986 was captured. She was forced into prostitution and transferred to Novorossiysk (Russian Federation). She gave birth to an infant girl  in 1988. She gave this infant to Russian souteneurs (pimp) for further sexual exploitation.  While  this case was subject to criminal investigation, another group of under-age victims (5 persons) was revealed. Regarding the girl,  a  criminal lawsuit was brought in accordance with Article 149, Chapter 3, of the Ukrainian Criminal Code.
There are rare cases when parents themselves sell their children: In Yevpatoria, Crimea, a mother offered her 10-year-old son for homosexual contact.  In Kyiv, a mother sold her 9-year-old daughter for dollars. The mother was happy that she got a good price and used the money to spend time with her friends. She said other parents received for their children only 10 hrivnas (2 US dollars). (Documentary film: ‘Meeting with Chimeras’.)  In the Zhitomir region, alcoholic parents sent their under-age daughter ‘to go for a drive’ in a car (to give sex-services). As reward, these parents received vodka.
A modern slave's brutal odyssey
BBC News, 3 November, 2004
[accessed 5 January 2011]
EX-TRAFFICKER'S STORY - One former trafficker, now working with the authorities and living at a secret address, told Slavery Today how his former gang would operate.  "Most of the time we would use professional recruiters, but at times we would kidnap women and children ourselves," he said.  "The children were taken to be sold in Italy, and the better-looking women were kept as prisoners and made to work as prostitutes.  "The men were transported wherever they wanted to go."  He also said that the youngest child who had been abducted was around 18 months old.
"I have heard that sick children are sold and made into beggars.  "The healthy ones are kept and trained to work for the Mafia, to deal drugs, to murder - whatever they are capable of.  "I've also heard that some children were sold for organs. This also happened with men and women, depending on the demand."
Child trafficking in Moldova
International Labour Organisation ILO, Chisinau Moldova, March 15, 2004
[accessed 4 September 2012]
Last year, life for 15 year-old Ioana had become unbearable. Though she was one of the best pupils in her class, she had abandoned school and decided to leave her home and her alcoholic parents, moving in with her grandparents. One day, while at the market here in the Moldavian capital, she met a woman from a neighbouring village who listened attentively to her woes and proposed that she accompany her to Ukraine where she could find a job.  Customs was no problem. Despite her young age, Ioana was able to cross the border in the company of a stranger, identified only by a birth certificate of a trafficker's (neighbor lady's) daughter.
From September to April 2003, Ioana was forced to sell goods on a market in Ukraine. As compensation, she received a pair of winter clothes and food. Eventually, Ukrainian police who had been searching for her at the request of her mother, found the girl and returned her to her home. Paradoxically, Ioana reportedly told the police she preferred life with the trafficker to her own home, believing life was better on the run than among her alcoholic parents.
Czech Police detained criminal group responsible for trafficking Ukrainian women
[access date unavailable]
The criminals had promised their victims respectable jobs with high salaries.  It was only at the Czech border that the girls realized they would have to “work off” the value of their tickets, visas, and work permits at the night club.
In Rostov region, Russia, a trafficker was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment
[access date unavailable]
Having trusted the promises of Zaur Mamedov, a minor girl went to the UAE, to the town Abu-Dabi. When arrived to the country, she noticed at once that there wasn’t any decent job for her promised in Ukraine, instead of it she would work in one of the Emirates’ brothel.
A woman of 20, Lviv resident, forced minors to prostitution
[access date unavailable]
According to the Public Relations Centre’s information, the pimp offered girls a job of waitresses at the camping site. For her own money she bought them clothes and lodged in rooms. Then she was saying that there was no vacant place for a waitress, and it is necessary to pay off the money already spent and offered them to work them off by prositution.
II. Vital Voices Anti-Trafficking Activities
[access date unavailable]
FOR SALE OR RENT— THE CAPTIVE DAUGHTERS OF UKRAINE - Ms. Verveer talked about her encounters with Ukrainian women pleading for help with their missing daughters during her trip she made in 1997 as the Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton. “They were crying and asking for our help because their daughters and neighbors were missing and they didn’t know what to do. It was not until then did we realize how serious the trafficking problem was.” After that trip, the Clinton Administration began working with NGOs, legal experts, and government agencies to pass legislation that eventually became the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000.
Joint East West Research on Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe: The Sending Countries [PDF]
Edited by: Muireann O’Briain, Anke van den Borne & Theo Noten, ECPAT Europe Law Enforcement Group, Programme against Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe, Amsterdam, 2004
[accessed 5 January 2011]
[page 35]  The experts consulted in the course of the research believe that girls are sold for between US$2,000 and US$10,000 each. The destination countries are Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, Italy, the United States, Germany, the Arab Emirates and Japan.
Experts Criticize EU Over Human Trafficking
Bernd Riegert, Deutsche Welle DW-World, 23.12.2004
[accessed 5 January 2011]
KIDNAPPED AND HELPLESS - The victims are often utterly dependent on their employers as they are unable to legally apply for residence permits, Wijers said. Entire industries rely on the illegal workers who are kept as slaves, she said. The authorities should develop witness protection programs for victims willing to testify against traffickers and national referral mechanisms to identify victims.
He cited intelligence and police information as identifying a growing demand for underage girls. Women from Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria continue to make up the largest number of victims,
Lilya 4-Ever  -  Critically acclaimed feature-length film about trafficking
Brama News and Community Press, New York, June 12, 2005
[accessed 5 January 2011]
While exact numbers are difficult to pinpoint, roughly 75% of the apprehended cases of trafficking victims in the New York area in the past year have been from Eastern Europe - about 50% comprise young women and children from Ukraine.
Ukraine's Top Dissident Raises a Rare Female Voice
Mariya Rasner, WeNews correspondent, Womensenews, Moscow, December 9, 2004
[accessed 5 January 2011]
LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE ABROAD - Because of the lack of equal opportunities in Ukraine, many gifted and educated women feel compelled to look for better life abroad, says parliamentarian Bilozir. She adds that about 70 percent of Ukrainian labor migrants are women.
"I had graduated from one of the top universities in the country, and still there were no prospects for a good job or a good life," says Natalia Cherkaska, an information-technology specialist who grew up in Lviv, a major city in Western Ukraine and now lives in San Francisco. "The pay there is meager. And on tope of that, most men drink, demanding that a woman takes care of them and the kids."
Women's limited work opportunities "may leave them vulnerable to being trafficked into the commercial sex industry or other forms of forced labor," according to the Human Rights Watch report.  The World Bank said in its 2000 report that the trafficking of women from Ukraine into forced labor "has reached an unprecedented level even when compared to other Former Soviet Union countries."
Tatiana's Story
Stop Human Traffic, Anti-Slavery International
[accessed 24 August 2014]
Like most victims of trafficking, Tatiana's reason for travelling abroad was to support her family. Through an agent in Belarus, she arranged to move to Holland to work as a waitress. A number of the agent's contacts assisted her in her journey from Belarus, through Germany to Holland, and everything went sméoothly, until she arrived.
Once in Holland, Tatiana was taken to a night club where she was forced to work as a prostitute. For the next four months she was a prisoner, living and working in the club. All her earnings were taken by the club owner, for rent, food and other living costs, and he also demanded payment for her initial travel expenses from Belarus. Her dream of earning money as a waitress had turned into a nightmare. She was unable to send money home, and could not find a way to escape her desperate situation. On top of all this, she was subjected to regular beatings.
Trafficking in Women:  Moldova and Ukraine [PDF]
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, December 2000, ISBN: 0-929293-49-5
[accessed 5 January 2011]
A. INTRODUCTION - In 1999, La Strada, an NGO working on trafficking of women in Ukraine, reported that 420,000 Ukrainian women had been taken out of country.  A police officer in Ukraine reported that in the summer, about 20 women a week leave Luhansk.  One senior member of the police force in Donetsk, Ukraine, who is active in fighting trafficking, estimated, “500-1000 girls leave Donetsk for Turkey and other places monthly. In some towns, 95% of the girls have gone to Greece or Turkey to work as prostitutes. Three to five years ago, girls were tricked and cheated into going. But now they often go voluntarily in order to make money.”  He said he knows of some women who have been deported five or six times, “they change their passport and try to go again.”
Information Campaign Against Trafficking in Women from Ukraine [PDF]
International Organization for Migration IOM, Research Report, July 1998, ISBN-92-9068-073-3
At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]
[accessed 12 September 2011]
[page 14]  CHAPTER 3  FROM MIGRATION INTENTIONS TO TRAFFICKING - The nation-wide survey has revealed a direct correlation between the adverse domestic economic condition and surveyed women’s desire to migrate. From intending to migrate to resorting to traffickers, however, is a large step.
However, there is a growing consensus that “trafficking must be seen as part of the world-wide feminization of poverty and of labour migration”. When women are structurally denied access to the formal and regulated labour market, they are increasingly being pushed into unprotected or criminalized labour markets, such as sexual and exploitative domestic work.
La Strada Ukraine
[accessed 5 January 2011]
MARINA - I’d sat there for a long time and didn’t know what to do. Then a nice women came to me and brought me some food. She asked about my parents and my birthplace. The woman was Polish and I understood her quite well. She asked me weather I knew I had to work as prostitute. I began to cry.
TANYA - She got the passport and visa and flew to Abu-Dabu. After the arrival her passport was taken out and she was informed she had been sold for $ 7000 and from that moment she had to work in a bar attracting clients
RAISA - It was going on about half of the year. But one day Azim said to my daughter that she had to move to another man. She began to protest but he showed to her money which he had received from that man and explained that she became the slave of that man
OLEXANDRA - After some time women were resent to Germany across the river. They were resold from one place to other by Turkish men several times. In brothels they were pushed to serve clients together with Polish, Bulgarian and Czech women
Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006
[accessed 5 January 2011]
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Ukraine was also a destination country for individuals trafficked from former Soviet republics and South Asia. For example, the IOM reported one case of trafficking from Moldova to Ukraine. A much larger problem involved trafficking of individuals within the country. As of September 30, the IOM reported three cases of internal trafficking. However, the IOM believed the actual number was 100 times greater. There were a few reports that mothers trafficked their underage children and forced them to beg.
There were also reports that both women and men were forced to work in agriculture, especially in the southern regions, in summer and autumn. Children were exploited in industrial cities in the east. For example, 2 adults in the eastern town of Snizhne, Donetsk Region, were arrested and given 4-year suspended sentences for creating a foster home and then forcing 11 foster children to work in their illegal coal mine.
Men were mainly trafficked as construction workers and miners. Children who were trafficked across the border or within the country were forced to provide sexual services, engage in unpaid work, or beg. The overwhelming majority of trafficking victims were women, who were used as sex‑workers, housekeepers, seamstresses, and dishwashers. Trafficked women were also used to bear children for infertile couples. There was a lack of information regarding male victims of trafficking, because men generally did not recognize themselves as victims of trafficking. As a result, men rarely addressed complaints to law enforcement agencies.
Estimates regarding the number of trafficked citizens varied, but the IOM stated that one 1 of every 10 persons knew someone in their community who has been trafficked. According to Human Rights Ombudsman Karpachova, approximately five to seven million citizens lived and worked abroad, many without legal protection, and were therefore potentially vulnerable to traffickers.
Traffickers used a variety of methods to recruit victims, including advertisements in newspapers and on television and radio that offered jobs abroad with high salaries and promises of modeling contracts, marriage proposals, and trips through travel agencies. Traffickers often presented themselves as friends of other friends and deceived the relatives of potential victims. Most of the traffickers were members of organized crime groups. The traffickers often paid for the processing of passports and travel documents for the victims, thus placing them into debt bondage. In some cases the traffickers simply kidnapped their victims.
Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 17 November 1995
[accessed 5 January 2011]
[11] The Committee is worried by the high rate of abandonment of children, especially new-born babies, and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to assist vulnerable families. This situation can lead to illegal inter-country adoption or other forms of trafficking and sale of children. In this context the Committee is also concerned about the absence of any law prohibiting the sale and trafficking of children, and the fact that the right of the child to have his/her identity preserved is not guaranteed by the law.
All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Ukraine",, (11/17/14)