Trafficking victims are treated as criminals under the current law, said Kehinde, the Nigerian activist. Anti-slavery nongovernmental organizations in Russia claim that human trafficking has increased since the start of the temporary visa-free regime for ticket holders, which began on June 4 in advance of the World Cup. They’re psychologically and physically abused, and the only time they get out is when the madam receives an order and calls a taxi to bring the girl to the client,” Siluyanova explained. The DPRK sends approximately 20,000 North Korean citizens to Russia annually for work in a variety of sectors, notably including logging in Russia's Far East and construction of the 2018 World Cup Stadiums – with 30,000 to 40,000 North Korean citizens believed to be present in Russia; reportedly many of these North Korean citizens are subjected to conditions of forced labor. They’re often psychologically abused into staying silent.”. Women and children from Europe (predominantly Ukraine and Moldova), Southeast Asia (primarily China and the Philippines), Africa (particularly Nigeria), and Central Asia are victims of sex trafficking in Russia. Before the recent World Cup tournaments in Brazil, South Africa, and Germany, there were significant outreach campaigns to prevent human trafficking. The crowds at large sporting events are usually predominantly composed of men and this year’s FIFA World Cup was no different. More than 3.16 million spectators attended the FIFA World Cup games in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014. Since then, Russia has not introduced any further anti-trafficking laws, whereas all 14 other former Soviet Republics have passed a total of more than 100 human trafficking laws. After observing the rise in human trafficking during last year’s Confederations Cup held in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, and Sochi, activists put together a robust action plan for the World Cup. In 2003, President Vladimir Putin introduced laws making human trafficking a crime. Three days later, Alternative rescued Amina and six other Nigerian women from a brothel on the outskirts of Moscow. However, many enslaved people’s focus is … Major sporting events including the World Cup, the Olympics, and the Super Bowl always spark warnings over an influx of trafficked workers, many of whom are the victims of forced prostitution. The suspects were […] The World Cup would have been a good place to start. France 24 - International breaking news, top stories and headlines. Picture taken February 21, 2019. The content you requested does not exist or is not available anymore. Traffickers exploited this system to bring foreign sex trafficking victims into the country, especially from Nigeria; NGOs report many victims remain in Russia. Many Russians blame the victims for falling into prostitution, which is why fighting human trafficking remains a. While human trafficking and slavery have always been an issue in most areas of the globe, human trafficking in Russia became exacerbated with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Families in Nigeria sometimes also play a significant role in facilitating trafficking. In the Soviet era, there were no laws against the practice, and public discussion about sexuality and prostitution was taboo until the late 1980s. France 24 is not responsible for the content of external websites. During the 2018 World Cup, Russia relaxed its visa requirements, allowing all Fan ID holders to enter and exit Russia without a visa through December 31, 2018. Whether or not the numbers have increased dramatically during the 2018 World Cup, Russia is no stranger to human sex trafficking. According to a 2017 IOM report, 80 percent of female migrants arriving in Italy from Nigeria — whose numbers have jumped from 1,454 in 2014 to 11,009 in 2016 — are potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. (The remaining 20 percent are economic migrants who come to Italy willingly.) Alternative’s requests to put up billboards displaying their free hotline number next to airports were rejected. In response to various demands for FIFA to take action against human trafficking and forced prostitution at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, the following statement has been issued. The vast majority of trafficked women come from Nigeria, where so-called recruitment agencies lure people in with promises of a good job in Russia. In 2003, President Vladimir Putin introduced laws making human trafficking a crime. Two Nigerians were later arrested and charged with human trafficking after striking a deal to sell Obuson for 2 million roubles (around $30,000) to a police officer posing as a client. Blessing Obuson thought Russia's soccer World Cup would be an opportunity to find a job and flew into Moscow from Nigeria last Sex trafficking from Nigeria is a growing problem throughout Europe. Now the hard work begins. This work is essential to developing their database of suspects involved in the business. The IOM’s Kim said many women are forced into prostitution across Europe after being promised careers as hairdressers. As the 2018 World Cup final match came to a close in Russia, the world’s focus moved to 2022 and Qatar, where the next World Cup will be held. But beneath the buzzing, celebratory atmosphere lies a black market of human misery. 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Ireland shortages as EU customers face empty shelves, Irish Catholic Church apologises to victims of church-run homes, Italy targets 'Ndrangheta crime group in biggest mafia trial in decades, New US tariffs on French wine and cognac come into force, Inquiry opened in France after Senegalese student Diary Sow goes missing. Victims are immediately deported back to their country, where they’re almost guaranteed to be in danger and face rejection by their community.”. As trafficking soared in Russia in the 1990s, foreign and domestic NGOs and some Western governments put pressure on the Duma — the Russian parliament — to pass anti-trafficking legislation. “We don’t know who you are, and it’s not our business,” was the government’s response, according to Siluyanova. Yet, in 2013, just 28 people were convicted of sex trafficking and forced labor. Putin Doesn’t Care about Sex Trafficking... By signing up, I agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and to occasionally receive special offers from Foreign Policy. Human trafficking in Russia Last updated September 23, 2019. Human rights supporters around the world are working to fight human trafficking in Russia, and in turn, reduce the number of slaves illegally moved around the globe. There were reports that sexual exploitation had risen by 30 percent in connection with the World Cup in Germany in 2006, and 40 percent at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Click on the video player above to watch FRANCE 24's exclusive report. Women are also trafficked from other African countries such as Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Mali, and ex-Soviet countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Moldova. Seeing one phone number can be the key to freedom. On arrival, a madam typically confiscates the women’s documents, advertises them on Russian sex websites, and imprisons them in apartments. Audience ratings certified by ACPM/OJD. Julia Siluyanova, a coordinator for Alternative, explained that traffickers mostly force non-Russian-speaking women into prostitution because they are easier to silence. The ties between human trafficking and the Russian economy go beyond just the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Concrete figures are notoriously elusive. During the 2018 World Cup, Russia relaxed its visa requirements, allowing all Fan ID holders to enter and exit Russia without a visa through December 31, 2018. ABUJA/LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Human traffickers are planning to exploit relaxed Russian visa controls for next month's World Cup … This article has multiple issues. After learning about the increasing problem of sex trafficking from African countries to Russia, he decided to fight the practice. According to Siluyanova, people spend an average of two to three years in such conditions before they manage to find help. Despite repeated warnings from NGOs, Russian authorities declined to support the anti-trafficking measures. Sex trafficking from Nigeria is a growing problem throughout Europe. With the 2022 World Cup set to take place in Qatar, terrible human rights abuses have come to light, especially the use of slaves to build stadiums. Multiple news sources have reported ten Nigerian children were rescued from a human trafficking ring outlined around the World Cup, which runs across 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15. Nigerian officials have already expressed concern that traffickers will take advantage of the World Cup and are taking measures to prevent potential victims from leaving Nigeria’s borders. FIFA’s “FAN IDs” provided millions of football fans with visa-free travel to Russia for the World Cup – but also proved a boon to criminal people-trafficking networks. Anti-trafficking NGOs saw this coming. But it is merely a small section of the Russian law enforcement apparatus, mostly operating in Moscow and St. Petersburg. According to the Global Slavery Index, there were more than a million victims of human trafficking in Russia in 2016. Human trafficking thrives at large sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup for many reasons. While the use of slave labour is criminalised under article 127.2 and article 127.1 mentions slave labour as a type of exploitation as part of the crime of human trafficking, the act of slavery itself is not distinctly criminalised.58 Articles 240 and 241 address recruitment into sex work and pimping.59 In relation to the alleged exploitation of migrant workers from North Korea on the construction site for the St Petersburg stadium for the 2018 S… Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, economic instability, looser travel restrictions, and the absence of a functional legal system facilitated a rise in human trafficking. FRANCE 24's Elena Volochine and Gulliver Cragg report. The 2018 FIFA World Cup has brought an estimated 1 million football fans from around the world to 11 host cities in Russia. © 2021 Copyright France 24 - All rights reserved. Kehinde moved to Moscow in 1989 as a student and has been there ever since. Thousands of people have been trafficked to Russia since June, according to the Nigerian anti-trafficking activist Oluremi Banwo Kehinde, who leads Help Services for Nigerians in Russia, an organization that supports African victims of human trafficking based in Moscow. Putin Doesn’t Care about Sex Trafficking Columbia University Press As the 2018 World Cup final match came to a close in Russia, the world’s focus moved to 2022 and Qatar, where the next World Cup will be held. REUTERS/Maxim Exploitable Workforces: Many victims of human trafficking become members of exploitable workforces. The state has cooperated with NGOs in busting trafficking rings, most notably during the World Cup held in Russia in 2018, the report said. The case of Amina, who spent just three months in sexual slavery before being rescued, was exceptional. The conflict in the eastern part of the neighbouring Ukraine has increased the risk of cross-border trafficking and forced labour due to war, displacement, and economic crisis. FIFA’s “FAN IDs” provided millions of football fans with visa-free travel to Russia for the World Cup – but also proved a boon to criminal people-trafficking networks. The majority of police officers are still unaware or simply ignorant about the extent and gravity of human trafficking. Efforts to end modern slavery have bipartisan support — but the State Department is still missing an ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat trafficking in persons. The madams — many of whom were trafficked to Russia themselves — fear deportation, and angering the Nigerian diaspora. A History Of Human Trafficking. Can they avoid a repeat of their last attempt? Siluyanova recently reported an incident of sex trafficking to a chief investigator, who scoffed: “Voodoo-shmoodoo. Activists say the absence of legislation makes it almost impossible to incriminate a trafficker. To date, he says, he has helped over 400 African women escape sexual slavery in Russia. Rose confiscated her documents and told her she owed a $50,000 debt. This study was published by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and was conducted between June and September 2006. The first daughter joined the secretary of state for the report's launch as the Trump administration tries to find its footing on human rights. Until the Russian authorities step up their commitment to stop human trafficking, women will continue to be vulnerable. The World Cup, the Olympics, and other sporting events require immense infrastructure, which may facilitate forced labor. Hidden in Plain Sight. Human trafficking thrives at large sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup for many reasons. When she arrived at the airport in Moscow, she was met by Rose, who turned out to be her madam. In recent years, the issue has become politicized due to Western pressure to adopt anti-trafficking policies. Whether or not the numbers have increased dramatically during the 2018 World Cup, Russia is no stranger to human sex trafficking. According to a question in a 2007 survey, only one-third of the participants agreed human trafficking in Russia was a substantial problem. She said her sister, Amina, had been sold into prostitution in Moscow by a Nigerian woman named Rose. The trafficking of women and girls for sexual abuse purposes is likely to increase in order to meet the expected rise in demand for sex. However, many enslaved people’s focus is already on Qatar—because they are there, building the new infrastructure in forced labor camps. However, these FIFA-issued documents also provided a means to human trafficking gangs to bring people into Russia before enslaving them. Germany’s powerful Christian Democratic Union party selects a new leader and likely successor to Angela Merkel. “The women are forced to hand over all their money to their madams, and in order to go free they’re told they have to pay a debt of between $40,000 to $50,000. Her father threatened to throw her mother out of their home in Nigeria if Ella did not continue working. The department collects information about diasporas and criminal groups, and it carries out extensive investigations. The Human Rights organization Amnesty International staged the action to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The next year, Russia was downgraded to Tier 3 — the lowest ranking — in the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report for failing to comply with minimum standards. 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