In Moldova, orphans age out of the system at 16. With nowhere to turn, they often end up living on the streets. The perfect victim for a greedy trafficker. Offering a “solution” to their circumstance, traffickers recruit these young women (and men) to work in an entry level job, often in a different country. For many, this is the most exciting thing that has happened to them. As orphans, they have no one to ask for advice, no one to warn them of the dangers. They happily accept the position and begin their journey. Unfortunately, this journey is not the hopeful new beginning that they had imagined. Instead many are forced into prostitution, required to service as many as 40 men a day. Others are forced to work in construction or on farms with little to no compensation. They are beaten and enslaved.
According to the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report, issued by the U.S. Department of State, Moldova is primarily a “source” country for human trafficking.
Moldavian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, the UAE, Kosovo, Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Romania. Men, women, and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, UAE, Israel, and Greece in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors.
This report corroborates what we already know–that orphans are a population “highly vulnerable to human trafficking.” To protect them, prevention must be a top priority. In collaboration with Stella’s Voice, we are working to protect these young men and women by providing a safe place for them to go when they are required to leave the orphanage. We not only provide shelter, but education and a sense of community. For the abandoned and abused, it is a place to remind them that they have a hope and a future. Join us.