Monday, June 19, 2006

Splinters and Beams

I'm so tired of our country being criticized by the so-called "enlightened" continent of Europe on the matters of human rights. Matthew 7:1-5 still applies today. Hey Europe, take a look in your own backyard. While admittedly we have a lot of things we need to clean up here, this one of yours is a sad state of affairs indeed, and should serve as a reminder that we all have a lot of work to do, and as is often the case, we have to begin in our own backyard.

German police had two opportunities to identify Masha as a victim of trafficking and failed both times. Since the legalization of prostitution, police have fewer reasons to investigate brothels, and victims have fewer opportunities to receive assistance.

After being sold twice, Masha’s mental health deteriorated. She stopped eating and threatened to commit suicide by jumping from a fourth-floor window. The pimp, fearing that such an incident would draw attention to his operation, and probably realizing that her usefulness to him was over, sent her back to Russia.

Irina was trafficked to Germany after prostitution was legalized, and she was placed in a legal brothel in Breman. Irina said that women in the legal brothel were trafficked and did not have access to their documents — either the original ones or the fake ones the mafia charged them for. The pimps regularly reminded the women that they knew where their families lived and would kill their children if they tried to escape.

In the club where Irina was held, she observed women being sold to different pimps destined for Belgium and the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal. Eventually, she was sent to a club called “Diplomat” in the Netherlands. While there she observed the pimps working with the Russian mafia regularly to supply women to the brothels. During the move, 2,000 euros were added to her debt for a fake Lithuanian passport. She said, “I saw right away that no matter how many men there were, I could never repay the debts.”

Irina decided to escape. Another Russian woman, Tatiana, who was being held captive by threat of harm to her two-year-old son back in Russia, helped her by stealing her fake passport from the pimps. Irina fled. She later learned that Tatiana was murdered for helping her escape.


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