Kosovo/Kosova: UN/NATO fuels sex slave trade

Restoration of capitalism creates barbaric conditions

“The international community is responsible for the growth of a sex-industry based on the abuse of trafficked women”.

This is the damning verdict of a recent Amnesty International report.

Whilst the Kosovan economy stands in ruin, with unemployment at 70%, one industry is booming: The trade is human sex slaves.

Women and girls from the Balkans, and countries such as Moldova and the Ukraine, are promised jobs in the European Union by illegal traffickers, only to end up in prostitution and outright slavery in Kosovo/Kosova. Some victims of this trade are actually kidnapped and taken against their will to live in slavery. They often they face physical as well as sexual abuse.

This human trafficking in women and girls (some as young as 12) is directly fuelled by the presence of the UN and NATO-KFOR forces. In late 1999, it was reported that there were 18 ‘establishments’ where trafficked women and girls were known to be working. By January 2004, this figure was believed to have risen to around 200.

UN and NATO-KFOR personnel and soldiers involved in the trafficking or in abusing these women and girls have, apart from in a tiny number of cases, avoided prosecution. NATO-KFOR soldiers are actually immune from prosecution in Kosovo and there are no cases of charges being brought against the soldiers involved in their home countries.

Women and girls trafficked into Kosovo are also being sold on to the UK and other EU countries to work in sex slavery.

This modern day slave trade is a direct indictment of the whole capitalist system. The economic deprivation in Eastern Europe and the Balkans resulting from the restoration of capitalism over a decade ago has created the conditions that allow this industry to thrive.

See Amnesty International report

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May 2004