Trafficking of young girls booms in the Balkans

| Sunday, December 19, 2010 | |
by Alexandra Scherle

Even 12-year-old girls from good families can end up forced into prostitution in Bosnia. First the pimps spy on a girl and figure out who in her family she loves the most. Then they tell her they're going to kill that very person if she refuses to work as a prostitute for them. That's according to Mara Radovanovic of the women's organization LARA in Bosnia, which is now supported by the international organization CARE. Radovanovic has established a network to fight human trafficking and set up a women's shelter in a secret location where she cares for victims.

Other girls are drugged and then gang raped in motels. The perpetrators film everything and then threaten to put the video on the Internet. The fear of public humiliation silences the girls. Radovanovic told Deutsche Welle that even supposed "leaders" of Bosnian society are involved in these crimes.



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