• Germany edition
 
Germany battles rising tide of sex trafficking
Photo: DPA

Germany battles rising tide of sex trafficking

Published: 25 Nov 2010 14:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Nov 2010 14:36 GMT+01:00

Experts gathered this week for a discussion, organized by the aid group Care, to mark the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Thursday.

“The trade in girls is a lucrative business in the Balkans” says Anton Markmiller from Care.

Young women are lured with advertisements promising the chance to earn a lot of money in a short time through work abroad, for a range of jobs from secretary to dancer. Traffickers go to great lengths to hide the true destination, normally brothels hidden behind closed doors or on the edges of cities.

Heike Rudat, who has been working in the Berlin state Office of Criminal Investigation for seven years to investigate red light district activity, said that the trade in women from Asia to Eastern Europe had boomed since German reunification and the fall of the Iron Curtain 20 years ago.

“You can track how the poverty line has shifted” she said. Many of the women and girls trafficked come from Bulgaria and Romania, often belonging to the persecuted Roma population.

Rudat, a key player in Germany’s largest counter-trafficking squad, said that “the damage to these young women appears to be enormous”, with the risk of AIDS and other illnesses extremely high.

She added that child-trafficking is also not uncommon in Germany, though it is often ignored. “It is here, and happening right under our noses” she said.

She explained that with violence being the tool most often used to control victims, “the brutality often repeats itself” as victims often inflicting the same cruelty on others later in life.

Of the pimps and traffickers, Rudat stated plainly that they have “no basic respect for human life.” Nor did she pull any punches regarding the clients, saying that a quick glance at any of the internet forums used to solicit trafficked women shows that for many clients, “a chunk of flesh with a hole in it” would do.

Corruption and lawlessness help trafficking, with many women and girls having worked in brothels in their homelands.

Sister Lea Ackermann has run international counter-trafficking programmes since 1985 and now runs the Germany-based SOLWODI organisation for victims of trafficking, forced prostitution, forced marriage and violence. She said that “it is a golden age for offenders, as they get away with these crimes so easily.”

In the past year, SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress) has helped 403 women from south-eastern Europe find refuges from violence.

However, Sister Ackermann said many victims of violence were afraid to go to court because they could be punished at home as a result.

No one knows just how many women and girls are traumatised by human trafficking, the experts said. German criminal statistics compiled by analysts such as Rudat are thought barely to touch on the true figure. In 2009, there were 710 known victims of trafficking, but as Rudat acknowledged, “we only see the tip of the iceberg.”

This year, the regional section of Care based in Germany and Luxembourg has been provided with EU funding to assist women’s organisations in the Balkan region, working in the fight against human trafficking in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

DAPD/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:26 November 25, 2010 by William Thirteen
some insight into the rescue industry may be gleaned from

http://www.lauraagustin.com/
16:32 November 25, 2010 by AusHessen
I would suggest seal the German border and don't let the garbage infest the rest of the country.
20:07 November 25, 2010 by tiranga
Agreed with Aushessen, however places like pacha in cologne makes this a lucrative business.
00:31 November 26, 2010 by ErickDDiaz
But remember Germany is now a Nicer gentler nation. Give your shystaa, your Auslanders and I will give you a social benefits and Tax my own extremely high.
09:32 November 26, 2010 by freechoice
would there be supplies if there is no demand?
10:39 November 26, 2010 by Slimtots
good point freechoice!
01:32 November 27, 2010 by Wise Up!
Start by closing doen your own prostitution centers!
11:14 November 28, 2010 by mixxim
Who would want to mix it with an east european when there are so many gorgeous germans?
12:01 September 6, 2011 by shkiM
Human trafficking is common to poor countries,and so far the government have a hard time fighting this one. I had read a book regarding human trafficking and lots of experiences of different women are in there,they really suffer a lot.I am reading news at the net lately and i found something interesting.It says that German prostitution has been lawful and taxable since 2002. While obtaining taxes from brothels and sex clubs is a straightforward enterprise, getting sex workers on the street to pay has proven harder. To help address the oversight, the city of Bonn has installed automated hooker street meters so that the nightly sex tax can be collected. Article resource: Germany installs prostitute street meters for sex tax. The government is just being fair because some women who work in establishments like sex centers or sauna clubs are taxed only because we can find them more easily.Their government is cool about this issue,well no one can stop them doing that job and legalizing it is the best way to do plus the government can earn but these sex workers must also have their health benefits since they're job is very prone to STI's.And spreading of this diseases will also affect the government and the sex workers.
Today's headlines
Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,418
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd