BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Absolutely Unbelievable

I didn't have time to post again before leaving for work. Sigh. I'm having such a hard time getting up in the mornings.

I'm making progress on my revisions, but I'm still having a hard time focusing on them the way I should. Why are writers so easily distracted? Last night, I tuned into PBS. I saw part three of "Guns, Germs and Steel" and realized I'd missed part two. I'm not sure it mattered. I wasn't nearly as fascinated with this third part as I was with the first. After giving it some thought, I decided it was because in part one, the theory he was putting forth--that geography decided who developed technology faster--was new. Part three seemed to be saying the same thing as part one and I didn't see any new ground broken.

I should have flipped away immediately after that show was over, but I didn't and I found myself hooked on what followed. It was a documentary--some of it taped with a hidden camera--about the trafficking of women from Moldova and other former Soviet areas for prostitution.

It was absolutely appalling. They said that a lot of these girls have no idea that the ad they're answering isn't legitimate and many times, it's someone who knows the girl who sells them to a pimp!

Women who'd escaped were interviewed and they told horrifying stories. One of the women mentioned another woman who escaped, went to the Turkish authorities and was returned to her pimp. Apparently, Turkey is a big, big port in human trafficking because they're so lax about paperwork for people crossing their borders. The police are also complicit with these pimps. One man had his wife sold into the sex trade by a friend of the family for $1,000! This friend had offered to take her to Turkey so she could buy goods for her mother's stall more cheaply, and instead, he betrayed her. The woman's husband was trying to get her back. He made the mistake of going to the Turkish police and someone tipped off the pimp. Eventually, at the end of the hour long show, she'd made it out, but it was only because the husband refused to give up. It made me wonder about the girls who didn't have someone willing to go to the lengths this man went to in order to free his wife.

This show was scary. They said that some of these girls are in the US as well, probably in the tens of thousands, but that most of them are in Europe--Germany, Amsterdam and Spain were mentioned. They said that when these girls are arrested, instead of going after the pimps and traffickers, the women are deported as illegal immigrants! Excuse me? We're talking about first world, western European countries and they can't do better than this?

The man who sold the man's wife? He received five years of probation! The man, and the woman who'd been sold were livid. They'd been told the bastard would be sent to prison for 8-15 years.

The police in, I believe, Moldova were told about a woman who is extremely active in trafficking other women, and they've ignored her.

I can't even say how appalled I am by what I saw last night. I don't know what we can do to stop it, but something has to be done. This is the twenty-first century and by God, no human being should ever be enslaved to another for any reason!

To find out more: PBS has a Wide Angle article up on their website. You can also check out the Frontline page about last night's show.