Romania, one of the European Union’s poorest member countries, has a crisis on its hands – the disappearance of its girls and young women. Al Jazeera America has recently published an in-depth article about Romanian girls falling prey to traffickers in an attempt to pursue a better life.
“Most teenage girls there — as young as 13 — have long quit school, with many disappearing into the realm of sex trafficking.”
Romanian girls, especially from rural, impoverished areas, are specifically targeted by traffickers. Some of them are trafficked to Western Europe, but others end up in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, which is developing a booming sex market of its own. Not only is Romania a source country for victims, but is also being advertised as a sex tourism destination.
Read the full story (with stunning photography) here.
- Romania’s entry into the EU in 2007 opened up the borders, allowing traffickers to transport victims easily to Western Europe.
- Whenever income disparity exists between regions, and as long as men with money are willing to pay for sex, traffickers will target the poor for profit.
- A critical piece of the anti-trafficking movement is to provide more opportunities for impoverished families, so that desperation can no longer dictate the fate the daughters, wives, and mothers.
- Want to support anti-trafficking efforts in Romania? Not for Sale is running some awesome programs and projects there, including an organic farm, a children’s home, and life skills training. Learn more and support them here!