© 2001 William Lowenkamp
Trafficking of Human Flesh
It was a rainy day when I walked down the wet steps of the aircraft and picked up my luggage. Odd enough as it was, it only took 10 minutes to pass through immigration and customs and into the terminal exit with people waiting for friends and family to appear. The man I met in the terminal back in Istanbul was an interesting sort. He was going to Moldova to pick out some women for jobs as maids and dancers. I have always known these activities existed, but I always thought they were in Thailand, China, Philippines and India, not in the little Republic of Moldova.
After learning a bit about the activities of some of the agencies supplying young women and children out of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey and other countries, it was an interesting fact to learn how Mexico was used as a transport into America, supplying the West Coast and the East coast and big cities in-between.
Perhaps the Moldova’s new government under the leadership of President Voronin can begin to solve the problems like drug abuse, kidnapping, prostitution, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis and others caused by trafficking. It is sad to see so many young women in the brothels of Italy, Turkey and elsewhere who have no one to turn to or no way to return home without fear of dying.
It is equally sad to understand that the major part of the problem roots to the immoral behavior of the male population. Women that serve as intermediaries, who are responsible for the recruitment of women to be transported to other parts of the world under the false promise of a good job are just as corrupt.
Moldovan women are promised an opportunity to work and make good money. They think the ability to send money home will help their families, but when they arrive at their new job they are often stripped of their passport and any identification and sold into brothels, prostitution and special groups that trade women between countries. It is like ordering a special car with a certain colour; only the product is in human flesh.
Many films made on the subject but they are largely ignored because no one wants to believe or acknowledge that trafficking is a problem. However, many people involved in the film industry are no better than the people actually doing the trafficking, they are immoral in the sense that they need to have sex with every female involved with the production, they drink alcohol abusively, they allow drug use and they are well protected by the circles they roam in. However, this can be encountered in every country, not just Moldova. Very few individuals in the film industry are bad, but there are enough to make the industry appear bad, all the same. These are people who mainly involved in the independent film industry producing so called documentaries and erotica or porno graphic movies. I like Moldova, it has a rich history and culture, but the country as a whole is alone in its attempt to be a country accepted by the rest of the world. I hope that Moldova can overcome the past problems, including nepotism. Only through educated politicians and government will it achieve acceptance as a country that has the freedom to travel without restrictions, and where those who do travel can once again return home to Moldova. Those of us who know Moldova in the 90’s and the present time, know that it will be a very difficult task to bring this tiny country back to a self sufficient state with its people having access to jobs and a good living standard.
Löwenkamp Report on HIV and AIDS Ó2001
©2001 William Lowenkamp