The most massive “export” of Russian women is carried out to China: Russian Seaside Region has a transparent border with China and practically free tourist exchange. The “exported women” are transported by buses. They go alone or in tourist groups. Being alone, they risk in some degree, while the groups are accompanied by a mediator, who gets its share of the sum of the bargain between the seller and the buyer, though sometimes he is a hostage, at the same time. Having crossed the border, the mediator hands over the women to the Chinese master, then he takes care of the women being transported to the proper point and later returned to Russia, after the time of their stay in the country is over.
From the interview with Alexandr, mediator:
“Now, I cannot go to China. They have closed my visa. Last time, I accompanied a group of women, though I was deceived. The Chinese buyer and the Russian seller came to an agreement without my mediation. Moreover, the buyer kept the women and paid practically nothing both to me and to them. I had to go to China and to save the girls as a hostage. While their visas were already overdue. So, I asked our guys and our Chinese “friends” for help."
Recently, a client of Woman Crisis Centre addressed to the police. The woman, went abroad by the reference of her friend to work as a housemaid “in the family of Russian emigrants.” Though, she was deprived of all the documents and left in a cellar. Within five days, she was forced to become a prostitute: she was starved and raped. To survive, the woman agreed to it and soon got to the police and was deported from the country. In Russia, she learned either her friend, or the mediator firm were afraid of nothing and recruit new girls. The victim told her story to the police, though their answer was shocking: “If the 6th day you agreed to becoming a prostitute, it was your own choice.”
Within last 10 years, no action was brought on the case of trafficking of human beings, for no penalty is foreseen in Russian legislation for this crime. In Criminal Code, there is an article about trafficking of under-age persons, though most of this trafficking victims are already over 18, so nobody bans to sell them. The Code foresees a penalty for kidnapping and for forcing people to sexual activities. Though, in the case-in-question, the fact of kidnapping is doubtful. Moreover, it is simply hard to bring an action, if the crime was committed out of Russian jurisdiction. While the victim cannot address to the Interpol Russian section, for the organization works if only there is a criminal case.
Russia is a member of the 1949 international convention on fight against trafficking of human beings and exploitation of prostitutes by a third person. Though, most of law-enforcers hardly know about this fact, for they often see no difference between the notions “prostitute” and “governess.”
Evil tongues say, the corrupted policemen are themselves implicated in the trafficking of human beings, so 100 percent of so-called sex-tour agencies are protected by the police. This monopolization could be explained with the fact that several years ago, criminals left this business on their free will.
Translated by Vera Solovieva