Sexual exploitation across the globe
Trafficking in human beings ranks third among illegal businesses in terms of generated income, following arms and drugs trafficking with an annual income of approximately $ 32 billion. It is the world’s fastest growing crime and present in the majority of the world’s countries. According to the UN, citizens of 152 different states were identified as victims in 124 countries across the world. Each year around 2 million people fall victim to this malpractice, of whom one-third are children.
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The Czech Republic
After 1989, the Czech Republic became known for widespread prostitution on borders with Germany and Austria. Due to political changes and the Czech Republic’s membership in the EU in 2004, street prostitution seemed to decrease rapidly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that the Czech Republic is free from sexual exploitation. According to the Global Slavery Index 2018, about 31,000 people in the Czech Republic are considered oppressed or exploited. The number of people which are sexually exploited varies from 13,000 to 20,000. Nowadays, prostitution mainly takes place in night clubs or private apartments, and there is still a remarkably high number of women and children that offer sex along secondary roads in the border area with Germany. The Czech law is very flexible when it comes to sexual exploitation and does not provide any organized protection for prostituted women. Attempts to regulate prostitution have failed over the past years, giving this industry the ideal opportunity to thrive, right in the heart of Europe!
Prostitution was legalized in 2000 in order to improve the position of prostituted women. The following decade revealed that this regulation did not have its desired effect. The Dutch media still publishes alarming news items about human trafficking and prostitution on a regular basis. A bill to improve the anti-trafficking strategy was battered by the Dutch Senate. Jozias van Aartsen, former deputy mayor of Amsterdam, emphasized the impact of organized crime in his farewell speech in the summer of 2018, stating that ‘the undermining of Amsterdam by criminals has reached a critical point’. Vita Nova Foundation is currently exploring cooperation with Dutch organisations who offer help to women from former Eastern European countries who have been working as prostitutes in the Netherlands. Together we can provide these women a chance to reintegrate into Eastern European society again.