Human trafficking has grown to become an extremely lucrative business in Eastern Europe. It has become one of the major criminal, organized businesses across the world, along with women trafficking and human trafficking. Women trafficking in southern and Eastern Europe have particularly grown in the past two decades. Day in, day out, thousands of girls and women cross the borders, mostly illegally, and end up in the sexual industry. Bulgaria and Romania have the highest records of flows of trafficked people in Europe. In Bulgaria, trafficking of human beings and organized prostitution remains one of the most profitable businesses.
The increase in the prostitution rate has been a result in economic turmoil facing Eastern Europe. Bulgaria remains a main source for country for victims of human trafficking and to a small extent, a transit and destination country for women and children brought in for sex slave industry. Currently, between 11,000 and 21,000 Bulgarian women are under sex exploitation in countries like Netherlands, Greece and Germany. According to Gueriaux, (2012), this organized crime generates among the largest amounts or revenues among the organized crimes, amounting to almost 800million dollars annually. Some populations remain vulnerable to trafficking due to their poverty, ethnic exploitation and high unemployment levels, homelessness and involvement of family members in trafficking their own family members. Examples of such communities are the Roma Community.
A new trend in sexual exploitation in Europe involves diversification of origin of victims, from new nationalities like Paraguay, China, Uzbek and Sierra Leone. The increase in human trafficking has been a result of labor mobility, economic globalization and technological advances. Technological advancements have made it easy for traffickers to entice the targets giving them seemingly attractive deals. An increase in demand for personal services in already developed worlds can also explain the increase in the sex trade in Eastern Europe. Moreover, the fall of the Soviet Union has attributed to the rapid increase in sex slave trade since there is no heavy security guarding the borders, as was the case before the collapse. This allows easy flow of women and children as they look for better employment opportunities, but fall in the hands of the traffickers. Since the collapse of the soviet unions, between 200,000 and 400,000 children and woman have become victims if human trafficking and sold into prostitution.
In Venesta, the number of girls and women involved in prostitution comprise of a significant proportion of the entire population. In this town, the prostitutes are rarely seen in daytime since they are under key and lock in the backrooms of cafe-bars and brothels. These girls get summons from the bar or cafe owners when a customer arrives. Then the girls are displayed in skimpy lingerie before the customer, who then pick as per their tastes.
Rural Moldovan women without education and desperate to escape from their miserable lives fall targets to sex traffickers quite easily. In some situations, the bondage of these girls is based on a debt they cannot be able to pay, and thus become victims of brutal captivity. These girls end up becoming victims of servicing customers in the false hope that they will pay off the debts and then the owners will get them real jobs in Europe. In most cases, this never happens, and the girls have to live with this shameful emp0loyment fir the rest of their lives (Mendenhall, 2012).
The girls’ tales of sex slavery are quite similar; most are them are kidnapped when in schools and drawn to the prospects of the new life in Europe. Most of them are eager to escape from their miserable and poor lives, and be easily lured with the slightest enticement. When they get to Europe, they are raped, humiliated and beaten to submission. As early as the first night, there are already clients lined up for them to service. Without passports, they cannot do much to escape making their situations worse. The unfortunate thing is that they make billions for these organized gangs or the owner, but get little pay.