(sullo stesso argomento: )


Subject: Forced prostitution, Pristina; request from Ukraine, DANA
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2000 21:00:16 +0200
From: "Elena Kabashnaya" <elena@...> (by way of Herman de
Tollenaere <hermantl@...>)
To: office@...


This appeal is to those, who we not indifferent to
of hundreds of women got into trouble and desperately
seeking for our assistance and defense.

All of them refer to lawyer's services to protect their
raged honour and damaged health. In most cases these
have no money to pay off a lawyer's fee, which is $100
for the beginning of a process.

There is a striking case of Larisa K. who was hired by
recruiters to work in Greece and Pristina {Kosovo] of a
promised job, she was made to be a prostitute.
with risk to her life, she managed to escape to
Right now Larisa K. is trying to sue the recruiters, who
had damaged her morally and physically, but she has no
money to protect her rights in the court.

Every little contribution will help Larisa and many
women in her position to get out of predicament,
their rights and start life anew. We would be very
to people, who will join "DANA" - NGO from Nikolaev,
and give a helping hand to these women.

Thank you for your help !

Sincerely yours
Elena Kabashnaya
President "DANA"
P.O.Box 104, Nikolaev 54015 Ukraine
35, Admiralskaya St,. Nikolaev 54001
Tel/Fax (38-0512) 335-108

IN FAVOR acc. 26206791707001/858
Kabashnaya Elena

ACCOUNT: 3901 9 004017 003


ADDRESS: Eastern Europe Division
One Wall St., 9-th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10286,USA


"DANA" is a Women's organization, non-government,
non-commercial organization, founded in 1995. It
is registered by Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.
Certificate namber is 98.

We run the following projects :
- "Against Trafficking in Women",
- "Women and poverty",
- "Army of saving" - posts of disribution of
clothes and hot food,
- "Homelessness"

Albanian Daily News
June 3, 2000

East European Girls Face Rape, Violence in Albania

VLORA - Women from Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria face
beatings, rape and prostitution when they arrive in
Albania, which has become a centre for international
trafficking in young females.

Many of the women dreamed of a European Eldorado and
did not know they were to be sold into prostitution,
but their final destination is often the mental
hospital in the port town of Vlora in southern

For the hundreds of young women, some of them still
adolescent, the Albanian port of Vlora is an
obligatory transit point on the way to western Europe.
Some of them have refused to be broken by their
ill-treatment while others have given up and can go no

Alina, 18, is one of the latter. Huddled in a corner
of a police station in Vlora, her face bruised and
swollen, she jumps at the slightest noise. Repeating
that she is Romanian, she says that her passport was
confiscated long ago by the pimp who abused her.

Police found her naked in a nearby forest, where she
had been beaten and raped.

"At least she is alive. Last night, we found the body
of a 14-year-old girl in a back street," one of the
policemen said.

Alina will be kept for a few days in a cell here
before being handed over to the port city's
psychiatric hospital. There she is likely to face
worse treatment. Reliable sources said she would
probably be drugged and raped by other inmates.

Three other Romanian women and a Moldovan share a cell
next to Alina's - two women from Bucharest, Loredana,
18, and her sister Mihaela, 16, and 15-year-old Bianca
from Mirsa in central Romania, along with Angela, a
16-year-old Moldovan.

The four were arrested as they prepared to leave for
Italy, where they had been promised well-paid jobs, a
rich wedding and a life of ease. The women also
believed they would be able to send money to help
their poverty-stricken families.

The promises bear no relation to reality and the
women's planned final destination was the brothels of
Europe's major capital cities.

"Trafficking in women is booming in the Balkans and
the former Communist countries," said Fitore Palushi,
an Albanian woman police officer. "Whether they admit
it or not, they are all for sale and they all have
their regular pimps, even though some of them do not
know it."

>From Vlora, at least a dozen women are smuggled into
Italy every night, headed for prostitution, and the
traffic is constantly increasing.

The traffic is also lucrative for the smugglers. For
just one woman handed over personally to pimps in
Italy, the smuggler will be paid 3,000 dollars, three
times the normal tariff for an ordinary illegal

A recent report released in France said that transit
camps exist in Albania, where women are trained to
submit to their future punters by repeated rapes and
beatings, before being sent to western Europe.


Frankfurter Rundschau
June 5, 2000

Sexual slave trade a problem in Kosovo
By Stephan Israel

Pristina - The dubious clubs that spring up overnight with names like
Miami Beach, Manhattan or International Club often do not remain in
business very long. A raid by Italian carabinieri first brought the
miserable situation to light in January, when the UN peacekeepers burst
into one club to find a dozen desperate women staring back at them.
"The women were treated like slaves," said one of the investigators on
the case. Since then about 60 women have been freed from similiar
conditions. Trafficking in sexual slaves and forced prostitution have
become serious problems in Kosovo.
The women come from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria: the poorest
regions of eastern Europe. A monthly salary of 50 to 100 dollars is
normal in all of those countries. Some of the women fell prey to
seemingly innocuous newspaper adverts promising lucrative jobs in the
West as waitresses or dancers. Some of them wound up part of a sex trade
ring after being kidnapped. Still others knew about the nightclub and
the job as a prostitute that awaited them, but not about the horrifying
None of the 60 women were still in possession of their identification
documents when they were discovered, according to investigators in
Pristina. Passports are usually collected by the "carers" while the
women are still in their native countries; sometimes, their "escorts"
issue them false documents. It usually takes a while before the trip
gets underway, with long waiting periods par for the course.
The sex traders command a well-organised network of contacts across the
entire region. Inconspicuous motels are the scenes of out-and-out
auctions, where the women are sold for the highest bid to pimps and bar
On the way to Kosovo, the actual trafficking occurs in Struga on the
Macedonian-Albanian border and several villages around the capital,
Skopje, that are well-known for their role in illegal prostitution.
Until now Macedonian officials have shown little interest in
co-operating with the UN, says one UN investigator, who suspects that
Macedonian police are involved in the trade in women.
Kosovar club owners and pimps pay around 1,500 dollars for each woman.
The women are confined to the bars day and night and made to endure
cramped and unhygenic conditions. They are usually told that they have
to "work off" the cost of transporting them.
However, none of the women found in forced prostitution in Kosovo had
ever seen any money. Anyway, in most cases the women are auctioned off
to another club in some other region after a few weeks or months.
Contributing to the problem is the massive international presence
brought by the arrival of Nato peacekeeping forces, and the large
amounts of money now in circulation. At present more than 40,000
soldiers from all over the world are stationed in Kosovo, plus another
7,000 UN administrators and aid workers from public and private
international relief organisations.
Many of the prospective customers perusing the bars and nightclubs are
members of the international mission in Kosovo, reports one aid worker
with an international organisation. "This business is determined by
supply and demand," says the woman, who gets her information from
talking to victims. It is, she says, a cheap investment for the
traffickers, who are attracted by the low risk and the potential for
making enormous profits.
But, she adds, for the women and girls - sometimes as young as 15 - the
sex trade is an extreme form of sexual and economic exploitation. Once
they come under the slave traders' control and end up in one of the
clubs, the women have no freedom whatsoever to decide their fate,
according to the aid worker.
A campaign is now being planned for the coming weeks that is aimed above
all at the nightclubs' international "clientele." The campaign is
supposed to make it clear to these men that the women in the clubs are
not "normal" prostitutes. "You pay once, she pays her whole life long,"
one of the slogans goes.
The situation in Kosovo is not without precedent. Nightclubs and bars
sprouted up like mushrooms near the former frontline after the war in
Bosnia. Kosovo is simply the latest market in a network that is part of
a booming business. Most local women stay away from the clubs.
Kosovo, like neighbouring Albania, is both a recruiting ground and a
transit area for traffic in women. Experts estimate that around 30,000
Albanian women are currently working as prostitutes, most of them in
Italy. For eastern European women, the road also stops in Serbia or
Belgrade en route to final destinations in Bosnia, Montenegro or western
Recently seven Ukranian women were rescued from a club in the
Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, thanks to leads provided by a
development organisation based in their home country. Aid organisations
allege that, once the women are freed from forced prostitution,
officials treat them no better than criminals, arresting them and then
deporting them. Pimps and "nightclub" owners, however, generally get off
In April a Serbian court in the northern section of the divided city of
Mitrovica sentenced two Moldovan women to 30 days in jail for
prostitution, and issued a three-year ban on their re-entering the
country. The UN administration, which is formally responsible for
Kosovo, did not see fit to intervene. The women usually have no
identifying papers to show police when they arrived. In what human
rights observers see as a clear case of criminalising the victim, the
women are generally taken into custody like illegal immigrants to await
their deportation. The carabinieri working for the UN in Kosovo who made
the initial nightclub raid did not know what to do at first with the 12
women they discovered.
In the meantime, local and international aid organisations in Pristina
have quietly opened a temporary refuge for women at a secret location.
The "safe house" with room for 20 women has already been full on
Workers from the non-profit International Organisation for Migration
(IOM) assist women who want to return to their countries of origin. The
organisation locates people they can turn to and also procures new
identity documents for the women. IOM is active in some of the women's
home countries as well, working, for example, in Ukraine and Moldova in
conjunction with local charities, counselling centres and women's
shelters so that the women have somewhere to turn once they arrive home.
No one, however, is forced to return. Once back in their hometowns, the
women often fear acts of revenge by the traffickers, who feel cheated
out of their profits.
UN investigators and aid workers believe the trend in illegal
prostitution is likely to continue. "If we close a nightclub one day, a
new one is certain to open up somewhere else the next day," says one
official resignedly. The attention international organisations are now
giving to the problem could result in the unintended consequence that
the lucrative business will increasingly be driven underground, where
the women will be forced to work in anonymous, private apartments.


Sex-slave trade flourishes in Kosovo

The seedy side
of peacekeeping
in a war-torn region
NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports there is a new battle in
Kosovo; an illegal sex slave trade.

By Kevin Tibbles
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia — A year after NATO’s bombing
campaign and occupation saved Kosovo’s Albanians from
persecution and death,a new kind of human abuse has
emerged: forced prostitution, organized by the
Albanian mob. More than 1,000 women have been smuggled
into the war-ravaged region to serve as sex slaves.
THE WOMEN in Kosovo’s sex business —
estimated by police to number more than 1,000 — come
from all over Eastern Europe, funneled into the region
by well-organized crime gangs using regular trade
The former Soviet states have become prime
suppliers of women for the multimillion-dollar sex
trade. Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, as well as
Bulgaria and Romania, are the hunting grounds for men
who deal in the seedy business of so-called white
slavery. Many young women, seeking to escape the
shackles of collapsed economies and high rates of
unemployment, are easy targets for the sophisticated
In Bulgaria, for example, women are offered
better lives in Western countries working as nannies
or waitresses. They respond to newspaper ads that
carry a cellular telephone number as a contact. Once
the women accept a job and put their future and
passport in the hands of an “employer,” things go
horribly different than they planned.
“We try to act professionally when we come
here, but it is hard not to be emotional,” said Jack
Simmons, a lanky Texas detective on loan to the U.N.
police force in Kosovo. “This is slavery, and these
are slaves. They are bought and sold at auctions.
They’re treated like property.”

Melissa Colten, an American working for the
International Office for Migration, a non-governmental
organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, said
traffickers instill a deep fear in the women.
“Usually they are locked in a room for between three
and five days. Maybe they will receive water.
Everything is taken away from them. Usually they are
beaten and usually they are raped repeatedly. In some
instances they are kept awake so they lose all sense
of reality and time, and it becomes very, very
disconcerting for them.”
The purpose of the brutal treatment is to break
the women down emotionally so traffickers can control
them. Once this “training” session is over, the women
are ready for sale. Prices start at around $500 in
their country of origin. Each time they’re smuggled
across an international border, the price will
increase. By the time a woman is trafficked into
Kosovo, she could sell for as much as $2,500.

There are bolder ways of obtaining women for
forced prostitution. Many have simply been kidnapped
at gunpoint, outside nightclubs, off trains or on
street corners. Once in the hands of the slave
traders, they become “the disappeared.”
“They’re paraded. The girls tell us they’re
made to walk around in their underwear while the
buyers from Kosovo examine them, and then they make
their choices. So, it’s pretty much like a cattle
auction,” Simmons said.
Officials from Kosovo’s international police
force told NBC News that Valeshta, a town in Macedonia
near the border with Albania, is controlled by the
Albanian mob and where many of the young women say
they were sold. Recently, two Macedonian police were
beaten into critical condition simply for setting foot
in the place.
In Valeshta, reporters were immediately
accosted by three armed men who jumped from a car.
They demanded to know the purpose of the visit and
threatened the lives of any journalist venturing
further into the town.

Psychologists say that women forced into
prostitution must fight for their survival.
“If you put a person on the border between life
and death, then every human being would chose life,”
said Nadia Kojouharova, a psychiatrist working in the
Bulgarian capital, Sofia. “They are ready to do
everything just to stay alive. This is the situation
the girls are in. They build in their imagination that
their life doesn’t mean anything beyond survival, and
to survive each day you must obey what the pimp wants
from you.”
What the pimp wants is for the women to have
sex, often unprotected, with as many men as possible.
Records U.N. police have seized from some brothel
owners show hundreds of thousands of dollars being
made in just a few months’ time. The numbers are
shocking in the context of Kosovo, one of the poorest
areas of Europe.
Women, however, see none of the riches. They
are forced to “pay back” their purchase price to the
pimp and reimburse him for clothing, and room and
board. In the rare cases when women do pay back pimps,
they find themselves “fined” for minor infractions —
like not smiling at a client or complaining about
treatment — and falling back into debt.
“Not one girl we’ve rescued has had any money
on her,” Simmons said. “They don’t have money, they
don’t have travel documents ... they’re helpless.”

Many women become so confused they don’t even
know where they are. In some cases, police say,
rescued women actually thought they were in Italy,
when in fact they were being held in a Kosovo bar.
Just across the Kosovo border is the Macedonian
town of Tetovo. It is here that an off-duty Macedonian
police officer takes us on a midnight tour down a
series of broken-down roads. We pass a dozen or so
dingy-looking houses, all with red lights out front.

‘We don’t have any money. I work, but I don’t have
any money, because he doesn’t pay me.’
Kosovo prostitute Inside one house, Ana, 19,
is from Romania. Natasha, 21, is from Moldavia. They
are slinging beer out front, but they live in a
bare-walled room behind the bar — furnished with two
unmade beds and a dirty hand-held shower in the
corner. The girls are prostitutes, although they claim
they came here to work as waitresses.
“Do you make good money here?” I ask. “No,” Ana
answers. “We don’t have any money. I work, but I don’t
have any money, because he doesn’t pay me.”
Sitting out front, smoking Marlboros and
drinking brandy, Carlo, the girls’ “owner,” swears he
splits their earnings 50-50.
“I buy them on the border with Bulgaria,” he
said. “They come from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia,
Romania, Greece, and also Albania. I own 30.”
Carlo said he often moves the women he buys on
to Kosovo, and that “they can go back home if they
like.” Still, he holds Ana and Natasha’s passports,
making it impossible for them to travel. Both girls
say they want to go home.
Back in Kosovo, the police have helped 50 such
women return home this year alone. Working in tandem
with the International Organization for Migration, the
police spirit sex slaves out of the clubs, hide them
from pimps and traders in a safehouse and then take
them over the border. The IOM also tries to help them

Irina, one freed woman who asked that her real
name not be used, was found working in a Pristina
brothel and asked police to get her out. Her story of
liberation, however, doesn’t have a happy ending.
She was repatriated to Bulgaria and provided a
bed in a local women’s shelter in Sofia. She even
managed to get a job and make a few friends, usually
difficult for women who have been taken captive and
lived in fear.

“People don’t make the difference between a
voluntary prostitute and someone who is forced into
prostitution,” said the Bulgarian psychiatrist
Kojouharova. “If you have been in this business, it
stays with you forever and you cannot do anything to
delete it from your life.” Suicide is a common
occurrence, Kojouharova said.
When Irina got home, however, she disappeared,
likely a victim of the long tentacles of organized
crime. One night, after going out with a friend, she
said her good-byes and climbed onto a streetcar. She
has not been seen since.
IOM’s Melissa Colten met and helped Irina when
she was pulled from prostitution’s grasp. Her face
darkens when asked of Irina’s fate.
“My fear is that she is being trafficked again,
and that this is the completion of the vicious cycle
that is going around again for her.” Colten said she
believes Irina’s former pimps tracked her down.
In Giulani, in the heart of the American sector
in Kosovo, an American cop walks the beat. North
Carolinian Steve Dunbar patrols a place where law and
order has been put on hold. The day he found a
pregnant 15-year-old girl working “behind the scenes”
in a local coffee bar, he made freeing sex slaves his
personal mission.
“No kid should be in a business like this,” he
said, pointing to the window where the girl used to
ply her trade. Yet with so many Westerners — including
NATO peacekeepers — the gangs are working overtime to
tempt them with women. U.S. military personnel in the
area have been warned to steer clear of the sex
traders. When off duty, they are confined to a nearby
“I’m not going to say that everyone is immune
to temptation,” said Maj. Debbie Allen. “What I am
going to say is that they know it is illegal ... and
that they are aware of the consequences.”

Dunbar and his fellow officers wind their way
down a dusty alley, along a stagnant canal filled with
debris and stench. They’re making their way to the Bar
Tirana, already the target of one police raid. On this
visit, they find a young woman from Moldova. “Yes, I
was bought and sold,” she said. “Of course I was.”

The police shut Bar Tirana down, forcing the
bartender to padlock the doors. They warn him that he
faces arrest if they find the bar open again.
Dunbar may be light years away from the streets
he usually patrols in Charlotte, N.C., but he said it
won’t stop him from laying down the law.
“They can go anywhere they want in Europe to do
this kind of business, but it is not going to happen
in the American Sector in Kosovo, and it’s not going
to happen in the town of Giulani as long as I am

NBC’s Kevin Tibbles is on assignment in Kosovo.

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