Monday, October 02, 2006

Economist article on human trafficking in Odessa

The Economist recently published another chilling look at the realities of the human slave trade from the perspective of the trafficked:

A hub of the modern slave trade

THE ex-slaves are easy to spot among the passengers disembarking from the Istanbul ferry at Odessa. As other women wobble merrily away up the Potemkin steps, the victims of human trafficking look hungry, carry little luggage and, in winter, shiver in their summer clothes.

Odessa grew rich in the 19th century by exporting Russian grain. These days one of its main trades is in flesh. The city is a collecting hub for women from across the former Soviet Union who, unbeknown to them, have been snared by traffickers. From Odessa and elsewhere in Ukraine they are conveyed west to Europe and east to Russia, or south to Turkey and the Middle East. Twice a week ferries from Istanbul bring back those, often ill and pregnant, who have been deported by the Turks.

Entire article here.

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