Saturday, October 28, 2006

U.N. official urges Ukraine to strengthen efforts to combat children trafficking

This article quotes a UN official taking Ukraine's government to task.

I remain concerned at the low rate of prosecution and sentencing of traffickers, authors of child pornography and other crimes against children," said Juan Miguel Petit, a U.N. official in charge of the world body's efforts to stop child prostitution, child pornography and other crimes against children.

Petit said that the government should strengthen its efforts to combat the problems.

And isn't that just a classic case of blaming the victim?

Ukraine remains a primary source for men, women and children trafficked to Europe, the Middle East and Russia for sexual exploitation and forced labor, according to international experts. Low salaries and high unemployment force thousands of Ukrainians to seek employment abroad, increasing their vulnerability to exploitation, they say.

Why doesn't the UN insist the EU let Ukraine join so the Ukrainian economy would be able to support its population? Then maybe its women and children wouldn't be so "vulnerable." But no. Instead he calls for an impoverished country to create:

... a separate juvenile justice system, naming a special ombudsman on children's rights and setting up a national commission to protect children rights ...

And the money to pay for that will come from where, exactly?

Why doesn't the UN suggest that "destination' countries foot the bill for developing countries to "strengthen their efforts" in combatting human trafficking? Countries like, say, Britain, Germany, Thailand, Turkey, Israel, Canada, the US, and every other country in the "developed" world where trafficked people end up being exploited. Some of those destination countries are, um, UN members.

Oh, wait. That probably wouldn't go over well. In those countries, pornography is highly profitable ... and the media is doing its best to transform sleaze into a glamour industry and lend it respectability. Can't be annoying the avid consumers creating the demand driving the odious "sex trade" now can we.

Much easier to just create good optics by asking the impossible of those who haven't sufficient resources to even object.


Kiki said...

This is a very good post.
It is up to those of us in the countries where the people are trafficked to, or the countries whos people are creating the demand for this atrocious market.
I know you are making a difference by addressing these issues and bringing them to people's attention.

Pawlina said...

Thanks, Kiki, and you are so right.

The problem is convincing those who drive the demand not to. It seems many men consider that getting their rocks off is a basic human right and refuse to even consider that a bit of self-denial won't kill them and could in fact save someone else a ton of misery.

You hit it on the head with your pimp post.

What make it particularly difficult is that many of these men are otherwise decent, caring and upstanding citizens who don't see the connection.