At the beginning of the twenty first century Europe encounters big problems - traffic in people and slavery, which are as topical today as they were in the middle ages, reads the UN report, published in Geneva.
The Yugoslavian mass media, quoting the UNICEF latest report, stress that it makes a special focus on the Balkans, "which are a center of European trafficking in humans, first of all women.
According to the report, based on the situation research in Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, the total of 120 thousand women are trafficked from the Balkans to Western Europe every year.
The authors state that for a Kosovo girl the criminal world pays 2,500 euro which is almost 12 times as much as for example for a Romanian one, which is in less demand in brothels. This estimation has been made by non-governmental organisations, while the real state of things is still worse.
The UN Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson believes it unacceptable, that women shipped abroad and forced to prostitution are threatened with imprisonment and deportation when discovered by the police of some West-European country. "Up to 90% of women forced to prostitution in the Balkans are induced to do so and considered victims of this trafficking. Only 7% of them stand a chance of being included in the Reintegration Program and return to normal life," Robinson pointed.
The EU member-countries must not look upon the victims of trafficking in human beings as illegal immigrants, the Program calls.
The director of the OSCE office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Gerard Stoudmann urged the European Union to pass a special agreement on equal punishment for trafficking in human beings. However, he admits, that this is not only a matter of sanctions. "Here the situation is similar to that with narcotics: if there is no market there will be no trafficking in human beings, and the market depends on money. Young girls from Romania and other countries become victims of the criminal world because of poverty, as they know that in Europe they can make money on prostitution. This problem ought to be solved." The situation is getting still worse when it comes to trafficking in children. Thus, 18% of Albanian victims are under 18. Teenagers are rather dealing in begging than prostitution or forced to work. This has given a rise to a new type of slavery.
"Today there is more slavery in Europe than there was in the eighteenth century, when it was quite conventional," Stoudmann concluded.