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Human trafficking in Europe?

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Mar 12th, 2009, 06:58 AM
  #1
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Human trafficking in Europe?

I saw the movie TAKEN which depicts the kidnapping of American young women in France and an elaborate network that sells them into sex slavery.

I know that human trafficking is a problem worldwide. But is this movie at all realistic? How many westerners are trafficked? My impression has been that human traffickers target women from eastern Europe and the third world and lure them into slavery with false job advertisements and help with illegal immigration.

Does anyone care to educate me further?
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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Ahh..the magic of Hollywood. What strikes me about your post is that you might actually believe this is true. I'm sure its happened to Westerners..but probably more to Eastern European women. I also think that we have to understand that other people in the world who see American TV and movies also think that what they see is what America is really like.....gangs, drugs, shootings, rape, violence.. you name it. It helps fuel a lot of ill will towards our way of life... or what they think is our way of life. Travel and education for us all is the only hope. Apparently only about 27% of American's hold a passport......so we too are quite vulnerable to what we might be told, rather than what we have experienced.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:15 AM
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I think you should not rent the movie "Hostel".
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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I did not see this film, which got pretty lukewarm reviews.


But I do know that there are many western women working in the sex trade in India, Japan and other Asian countries. And there are many western women from Latin America who are victims of trafficking and working in the trade here in the US and overseas.

Another recent film on the subject is HOLLY.

Is your question whether or not many "white" western women are kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery?
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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kleroux, yes, I thought it might be true. Hence my question. I'm asking to be told the truth. So are you saying the movie is inaccurate? How would I know without asking the more informed? I do have a friend who believes it's all true. Give me credit for asking.

ekscrunchy, I guess I'm asking if educated women from the U.S. and Canada who are vacationing in Europe have been targeted for human trafficking as the movie depicts. White, black, Hispanic...it really hadn't occurred to me.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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My guess is that the answer is "no." But I have no facts to back up this hunch; I do have a feeling that if this had happened there would be a lot of press coverage.

I think that it is mostly luring under false pretenses rather than actual kidnapping that sends most women into that life.

I was surprised to see the young prostitutes lining the roads south of Naples in the morning.
Our driver told us that these were mainly eastern Europeans.


If you have an interest in the subject,I highly recommend this film:

LILYA 4EVER

http://tinyurl.com/d4o8an
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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ek wrote, "I do have a feeling that if this had happened there would be a lot of press coverage."

That was my feeling, too. The movie is kind of annoying, because while I understand that fiction is fiction, it depicts this as a widespread problem. Seems silly to watch a story that has no basis in reality.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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According to the most recent statistics of the German equivalent of the FBI, there had been 689 cases of sexually-related trafficking in Germany in 2007. Which stands for a gradual decline from the late 1990s when the yearly figure was around 1,000.

95% of those 689 victims had been women.

Nationalities of victims:
European 614 (among those: German 184, Bulgarian 77, Romanian 66, Czech 57, Polish 56, Russian 38, Hungarian 31, Other 105)
Asian 18 (among those: Thai 10)
African 29 (among those: Nigerian 19)
Americas 11 (note: NOT only US)
Unclear/Unknown 17

Even if you calculate a number of x unreported cases on top of the 689 on record, I doubt that the overall distribution of nationalities will differ much.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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Seems silly to watch a story that has no basis in reality.

What?????? I'm certain you aren't limiting your viewing to National geographic documentaries these days.

On the face of it it would seem that a so-called 'educated' etc person of EITHER sex would find some way to get off the road south of Naples when they had the chance but then there is the addition of drug addiction, withheld documentation such as passports, etc., which would have additional power to enslave.

Sometimes I wonder about all those kids who are now working in US "amusement parks"....it seems as if half of them are from some country "that used to be behind the iron curtain" not to mention the folks now working the cruise ships.

Of course, it isn't human slavery but when you hear some of the stories which inevitably start out, "It isn't the way I thought it would be..." lots of movie fodder...
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Mar 12th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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"Taken" was a fun action film but that's what it was, an action film. Luc Besson also wrote "The Professional" and I'm pretty sure NYC hasn't had a spate of Italian (and juvenile female) assassins getting into shooting and explosive wars with doped-up members of the NYPD. I'm really disturbed by the number of people that take Hollywood fantasies (or nightmares) as history or documentaries.

If you're worried about crime while traveling then look at the country warnings and advisories put out by agencies like the US State Department. They are conscientious about protecting American citizens and therefore advising of crime trends.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Okay, I get that movies are just movies. Maybe there is something in my own wiring that made this movie feel like it was based on actual events--a fictionalized expose. Or maybe it was that I went into it having been told by my friend who saw it before me that it makes her wary about travel to Europe (the same friend who believes in a Masonic conspiracy.) Believe me, I know the difference between movies and real life. Again, the fact that I came here asking should make it clear I'm not some airhead who believes everything Hollywood dishes out. Thanks for the info...
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Mar 12th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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I think you are asking a number of questions
1) Is the film a work of fiction? Yep
2) Do people get stolen for sex industry? Yep
3) Do many Western Europeans or North American's? Nope
4) Do some? Yep
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Mar 12th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Well I am a well educated (have a masters degree and am a Chartered Accountant) Canadian and live in London and have lots of friends from N. America with the same background and have never heard of this being hte case. I have travelled almost yearly to Europe since 2001 and move here in 2007 and have never felt threatened. I agree that maybe it is more common with Eastern Europeans being trafficked in Western Europe and being put into prostitution, but thats just a hunch due to the advertising on the tube, not another scientific.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 08:30 AM
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Here's a pretty good link about it. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5343036.stm

I'm not saying it NEVER happens (a US citizen being kidnapped) but it doesn't fit in with any of the standard trafficking operations. Young women, with little money or influence, are conned into coming abroad to work as nannies/homehelps/waitresses etc. They are prisoners from the moment they leave. Their families can be threatened. Their families and communities have no economic or political 'clout'. It happens to thousands of them and a few are rescued but it continues with few prosecutions.

With this comparatively easy option, why would any traffickers risk kidnapping people who are going to be high-risk and high-profile. Of course, the odd one or two Americans go missing in the world, for all sorts of reasons, but if hundreds or thousands of young American women were, don't you think the media would be full of it?

It's sad to realise that lives from one country are valued more greatly than lives from another. But it's true.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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"but if hundreds or thousands of young American women were, don't you think the media would be full of it?
It's sad to realise that lives from one country are valued more greatly than lives from another. But it's true."

No, people take much more of an interest or value if the crimes affect someone of their nationality. In other words, the american media would be full of it if thousands of young american women were kidapped but the mexicans or nigerians wouldn't care. The british media would be full of it if thousands of young british women were kidnapped but the hondurans wouldn't care and the chinese media would be full of it if thousands of chinese were kidapped but not so if british or americans were kidapped and so on.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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I've also seen this movie. It's based on reality as there are women forced into prostitution or kidnapped but these are almost always women who are poor and with little or no family backing. It is highly unlikely they would target a well off woman with family backing from any country including the woman in this story. Hollywood's job is to entertain and they made the woman well off and upper class to add to the shock factor. A fictional account based on reality.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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With this comparatively easy option, why would any traffickers risk kidnapping people who are going to be high-risk and high-profile.

This is exactly right. There are much easier targets than tourists. Not all criminals are stupid. Like any other worker, you can expect them to take the easy way out. This means preying on immigrants, runaways, the poor, refugees, etc.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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As in the rest of the world - the US has many prostitutes too - generally it is the young/naive and poor - who run away from or are lured away from home by ridiculous promises and often end up as hookers - and not singers, movie stars, models (or in the case of young women from third world countries, nannies or maids).

Very little is done by force - it's done by guile - except in rare cases.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Several years ago we had friends of friends from England visiting us. When they went to Las Vegas they did not go out after dark because they had heard that it was too dangerous!
You should take your friend with you "as security" and you both may learn how wonderful Europe is.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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kleroux, you make way too many assumptions. I have been to Europe probably a dozen times, including extended stays while studying at Oxford and the University of London. I KNOW how wonderful Europe is. I have zero fear when I go there. In fact, your attempt to paint me as a nervous Nelly is quite ironic as I have been a recent participant on a thread in which I tried to calm the hysteria about the dangers of traveling in Mexico.

I asked a serious question, not out of fear (I'm a worldly, rather beefy, forty-something male), but in an effort to learn something about a subject I was recently exposed to. No need to be so condescending...
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