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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                              

Russian Federation (Russia)

Russia ended 2008 with GDP growth of 6.0%, following 10 straight years of growth averaging 7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. Over the last six years, fixed capital investment growth and personal income growth have averaged above 10%, but both grew at slower rates in 2008. Growth in 2008 was driven largely by non-tradable services and domestic manufacturing, rather than exports. During the past decade, poverty and unemployment declined steadily and the middle class continued to expand.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Russia

In mid-November, mini-devaluations of the currency by the Central Bank caused increased capital flight and froze domestic credit markets, resulting in growing unemployment, wage arrears, and a severe drop in production.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from the Russian Far East are trafficked to South Korea, China, Bahrain, Oman, Japan, and South Korea for purposes of sexual exploitation, debt bondage, and forced labor, including in the agricultural and fishing sectors. Some Russian women are trafficked to Turkey, Greece, South Africa, Germany, Poland, Italy, Israel, Spain, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from Central Asia and Ukraine are trafficked to the Russian Far East for the purpose of forced labor, including victims trafficked for forced labor in the fishing industry. The ILO reports that labor trafficking is the most predominant form of trafficking in Russia. Men and women are trafficked within Russia and from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Moldova to Russia for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, including work in the construction industry. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Russia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

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Country code: 7-



Merchants of Misery: Human Trafficking in Moldova

Don Hinrichsen, from The State of World Population 2005 report, The United Nations Population Fund UNFPA

[accessed 12 February 2015]

Silvia’s descent into the dark world of trafficking began when a neighbor told the 19-year-old that she could get a good job as a sales girl in Moscow.

Her ‘home’ in Moscow was a grimy hotel in a seedy section of the city. Actually, the entire hotel was a brothel, filled with girls from Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and other former Soviet republics. “At first we were forced to walk the streets in search of clients,” recalls Silvia. “If I didn’t return with clients, I was beaten. We had to work in thin dresses even in the middle of the Russian winter.”

Trafficking in Russia

Anti-Slavery International

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

CASE STUDY: SERGEY'S STORY - Sergey is 27 years old and from Perm in Russia. In 2001 he saw an advert in a local newspaper for a job agency recruiting construction workers to work in Spain. The salary offered was US$1,200 per month. This was much more than his monthly salary of just $200 and more than he could ever hope to earn in Perm. He applied to the agency who booked his plane ticket to Madrid on the condition that he would pay back the money when he started work.

On arrival in Spain, Sergey was picked up by a person from the "agency" who took his passport. He was taken to Portugal and forced to work on a construction site without pay for several months. The site was surrounded by barbed wire. Without his passport he was afraid that the Portugese authorities would arrest him. One day Sergey managed to escape and begged his way to Germany. Because he did not have a passport the German authorities arrested him. He stated the police beat him and took away what little money he had before deporting him to Russia.

Tackling Human Trafficking In Russia

Zachary Sherry, The Borgen Project, 29 January 2021

[accessed 3 March 2021]

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and 2018 FIFA World Cup enriched Russia’s economy but under the backs of tens of thousands of unpaid workers. According to the Harvard International Review, about 70,000 foreign laborers worked on these two projects. Reportedly, they suffered under terrible conditions and those who did receive pay did not have any way to get back home. Considering the situation of trafficking in Russia, some NGOs are making sure victims obtain justice.


*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Russia

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 22 June 2021]


There were reports of forced labor in the production of bricks, raising livestock, and at sawmills, primarily in Dagestan. While both men and women were exploited for forced labor in these industries in the Northern Caucasus region, victims were primarily male job seekers recruited in Moscow.


Child labor was uncommon but could occur in the informal service and retail sectors. Some children, both Russian and foreign, were subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, forced participation in the production of pornography, and forced begging (see section 6, Children).

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 5 May 2020]


Legal protections against labor exploitation are poorly enforced. Migrant workers are often exposed to unsafe or exploitative working conditions. At least 21 workers reportedly died in accidents at World Cup construction sites ahead of the 2018 tournament. Both Russians facing economic hardship and migrants to Russia from other countries are vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking.

Police in Russia are tracking a gang - apparently including a doctor - who drugged a TV soap actor and removed his testicles

Will Stewart, Moscow, MailOnline (The Daily Mail), 26 February 2015

[accessed 27 February 2015]

Dmitry Nikolaev, 30, had a drink with a 'young blonde woman' who approached him at a bar after he finished a performance at a small Moscow theatre.   Flirting with him, she invited him to a sauna, and though he was married, he agreed to go with her.

He woke up next day at a bus stop, feeling acute pain, and with blood on his trousers.  Rushed to hospital, he was told that his testicles had been removed and that 'it was done like proper surgery by someone with a medical education'.

They fear a gang seeking to sell human organs on the black market.

Russia: Alarming rise in human trafficking raises concern

[access date unavailable]

Sky News reported that girls and sex slaves were being sold by trafficking mafias at several street markets on the outskirts of Moscow.  "A person with the lack of education, a person with the lack of opportunities in the serious need to change the life will follow traffickers and then they end up in Moscow or in another city, in the hands of these groups," Alberto Andreani, Immigration Organisation spokesperson said in the Sky report.  Based on the latest report by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on 15 May 2008, Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for various purposes; it remains a significant source of women trafficked to over 50 countries for commercial sexual exploitation.

RUSSIA: Where Migration Means Trafficking

Kester Kenn Klomegah, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Moscow, Apr 26, 2008

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[accessed 27 September 2016]

According to qualitative research in CIS countries, trafficking for forced labour (other than forced prostitution) is the main form of trafficking in the region, in particular central Asia.   Migrant workers are most exploited in construction, agriculture, trade and informal economic activities. Law enforcement responses, however, tend to focus on sex trafficking which often involves young women trafficked to western Europe, the Middle East and Russia.

Uzbeks Prey to Modern Slave Trade

Times of Central Asia, Tashkent, May 23, 2008

[accessed 16 January 2011]

[accessed 13 February 2018]

When Abror, an unemployed engineer at the locomotive depot in Urgench, in northwest Uzbekistan, lost all hope of getting a job at home, he left for the Volgograd region of Russia in search of a better life.  But he found no job that matched his skills. Unwilling to go back to Uzbekistan, where his family and aged mother depended on him returning with money, he took a job with a local farmer. In return for weeding vegetable patches, feeding the poultry and cleaning the hen house, the farmer promised him a small wage.  Abror’s new life as a servant rapidly turned into a form of slavery. Far from giving him any wages, the farmer seized Abror’s identity papers and told him he was not going to pay him any money as he would have “nowhere to spend it”.

In spite of his grim experience in Volgograd, Abror plans to hire himself out again this spring to repay this debt.  “Once it gets warm, I’ll sell myself into slavery again,” he said. “What else can I do? Otherwise, my family of four will be left to live off my sick mother’s pension.”

NGOs warn against plan to increase Russian visas

Ruth Eglash, The Jerusalem Post, Oct 23, 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

However, Russia is considered a transit destination for trafficking operations, with many men, women and children from neighboring countries arriving there before being transported elsewhere.  Egypt has no visa requirements for Russian visitors, and its border with Israel is considered to be a main entry point for human traffickers.

A spokesman for Aharonovitch told the Post zthat the minister was aware of the problems of human trafficking in Israel and that the issue needed to be tackled; however, he added that there was little connection between the trafficking and the cancellation of visa requirements for Russian visitors.  He also said that the number of women arriving from Russia was much lower than those from other countries and that countries with border policies stricter than Israel's still had to contend with women and men being smuggled in for illegal work purposes.

Stopping sexual abuse of Russian kids

Cesar Chelala M.D., The Japan Times, New York, Sept. 11, 2007

[accessed 25 August 2014]

Sexual abuse of children can take several forms — from their use in pornographic materials for sale, to their use in other countries and Russia itself as prostitutes. Lured by fake promises in fashion magazines, some schoolgirls rate prostitution high on the list of modern "professions" to pursue. They believe that prostitution and contact with rich businessmen will provide them with the kind of lifestyle that they could never expect otherwise.

St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region.  Frequent recruiting targets are street children or children from dysfunctional families. Once they're entrapped, they may end up in brothels and red-light districts as they get older. Recruiters prey on these children's situations, deceiving them into a life of dependency. - htsccp

Four Russians Arrested in Sweden Over Human Trafficking

Russian Spy

[accessed 25 August 2014]

Swedish prosecutors have charged a group of 24 Russians and Swedes with human trafficking, pimping and buying sex from nine Russian women, the AFP news agency reports.

The prosecutor said he was only able to prove human trafficking in one of the cases and said the other eight women had come from Russia to Sweden of their own will.

Spanish police arrest 7 for human-trafficking

Associated Press AP, Madrid, Spain, 7 April 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

The arrests took place in the northeastern Mediterranean coastal region of Costa Brava, where the gang allegedly smuggled in women, mostly from Russia, forcing them to work streetwalking or in roadside brothels, police said.  Police said the group employed two people based in St. Petersburg, Russia, who targeted women by offering jobs in Spain in exchange for Ð2,000 (US$2,675).

EU Presses Russia on Human Trafficking

Vladimir Kovalev, Transitions Online—Intelligent Eastern Europe, February 23, 2007

[accessed 2 September 2012]

Like many struggling young people in the former Soviet republics, 17-year-old Maryam dreamed of a better life. She thought she was on her way to one when she decided to leave her native Kazakhstan to work as a shop assistant in Russia.  Instead, she walked into a nightmare.

When she arrived at her destination, the shop she had expected to see turned out to be a locked cell with barred windows and a metal door. Armed guards told she would be working as a prostitute.

Smuggler's Prey – [PDF]

[accessed 19 December 2010]

Chapter 1, Smugglers' Prey -- The Natashas: The Horrific Inside Story of Slavery, Rape, and Murder in the Global Sex Trade, [Book by Victor Malarek, Skyhorse, Sep 1, 2011]

[Found listed, 23 February 2019]

Every day, scores of young women throughout the former East Bloc are lured by job offers that lead to a hellish journey of sexual slavery and violence. Despite the barrage of warnings on radio and TV, in newspapers and on billboards, desperate women continue to line up with their naiveté and applications in hand, hoping that, this time, they might just be in luck.

Human trafficking on the rise in Russia

The Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti, Moscow, June 29, 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

The official said her predecessors had focused mainly on the sex trade, whereas she was determined to extend her position's scope to other related issues, such as the trafficking of people into forced labor. She also stressed the importance of addressing the problems of forced marriage and trafficking in human organs

Russian Officials Surprised At Reports Of Human Trafficking

Helsingin Sanomat, 16 March 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

Fresh arrests at Vaalimaa border crossing - "The problem for the officials is that the illegal border crossings take place legally."  He says that there are always people who will help in the acquisition of genuine travel documents. It is only after the borders are crossed that the activities become illegal.

Authorities Turn Blind Eye On Far East Russia Women Trafficking

Agence France-Presse AFP, VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, 12 February 2005

[accessed 8 February 2016]

 “Young women sought for very well paid job in Japan, Macao,” dozens of ads published weekly in Russia’s Far East proclaim.  But the seemingly alluring offers are really a trap, and those who take them up end up as sex slaves. While there are no figures on the number of victims, the Vladivostok-based weekly Dalpress alone publishes between 10 and 20 such ads in each issue.

Russian Girls Eager To Work Abroad, Despite The Danger Of Sex Trafficking

Pravda, 31 March 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

It is really difficult for such girls to escape when they reach Israel; many of them appeal to the Russian Embassy for help. However, as correspondents of the Novye Izvestia newspaper learnt in Tel-Aviv, people connected with recruiters of sex slaves stand close to the Embassy in wait for fugitives and do not let them escape.

Human Trafficking In US Gets Tackled - US toll-free number 1-888-222-5673, 15 February 2005 -- Source:

[accessed 20 December 2010]

Russian-speaking women trapped into sexual servitude in the US will soon be able to reach out for help through a toll-free international hotline.

"I just saw a babushka (grandma) wearing a billboard, marching up and down the streets of Moscow saying 'Great jobs for sexy girls in Chicago'," Engel told a forum at the Johns Hopkins Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to discuss the problem.  International trade Engel described Russian websites with one advert in English reading "cheap women, you can fit three in a room, they'll serve 10 men a night" and another in Russian saying "great jobs overseas, have your own apartment, don't pay for anything".

Cards are being printed with the US toll-free number 1-888-222-5673 and other information in Russian on them.

Few Human Trafficking Cases Registered in 2004

Carl Schreck, The Moscow Times, 03 March 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

Only 25 cases of human trafficking and slave labor were registered last year, but an Interior Ministry official said this was only the tip of the iceberg and understaffed police forces and hesitant victims were hindering prevention efforts.

Anti-trafficking organizations said last year that some 50,000 women and children from Russia and other former Soviet republics are sold into slavery in the United States every year. Other destinations include Turkey, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and China.   Dyomin said the police force did not have enough officers to deal with the problem, and that victims were often scared to turn to the police for help. "These factors make the job significantly more difficult," Dyomin said.

Seduction, Sale & Slavery: Trafficking In Women & Children For Sexual Exploitation In Southern Africa [PDF]

Jonathan Martens, Maciej ‘Mac’ Pieczkowski & Bernadette van Vuuren-Smyth, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Pretoria, South Africa, May 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - The major findings may be summarized as follows:

Russian and Bulgarian mafias traffic Russian and other Eastern European women on South African visas fraudulently obtained in Moscow to upscale South African brothels. These Eastern European women are promised jobs as waitresses, dancers, strippers, and hostesses in South Africa, but are not told that they must pay a debt of US$2000 per month for six months or more as sex workers until they arrive in South Africa. If they refuse to cooperate, they and their families back at home are threatened with violence.

ILO: 4 Million Enslaved in Russia

Anatoly Medetsky, The Moscow Times, 05 March 2004

[partially accessed 20 December 2010 - access restricted]

A report published Thursday by the International Labor Organization said that 80 percent of an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants in Russia are involved in forced labor.  The report, titled "Forced Labor in Contemporary Russia," is the first in a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the problem.

New Forced Labour in Russia

International Labour Organisation (ILO) News, 4 March 2004

[accessed 11 September 2011]

[accessed 13 February 2018]

The Russian chaotic market and corruption among officials result in serious marginalisation of labour migrants and the emergence of new forms of forced labour and slavery-like conditions.  The study examined a wide range of data and identified different elements of violence – from deception and blackmail to abduction - that are already present in the migration and employment in Russia. In the process of work the wide-spread forms of exploitation of migrants are: compulsion to work extra-time without pay (62%), highly intensified work (44%), lengthy wage delays (39%), compulsion to perform work for which consent has not been given (38%), compulsion to work without pay (24%), compulsion to provide sex services (22% of polled women), psychological violence, threats, blackmail (21%), restricted freedom of movement - being kept locked up all the time or for some time (20%). Such cases are now so wide-spread in the country that they are not perceived as marginal or unlawful practices, but as a normal state of affairs.

Aid Group Alleges Massive Child-Trafficking in Russia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL, October 21, 2004

[accessed 26 June 2013]

An aid group says more than 30,000 children and teenagers go missing every year in Russia, and that at least 500,000 children are living on the country's streets.

Leonid Chekalin, who heads the organization Children are Russia's Future, gave the estimates at a news conference in Moscow late yesterday. He said 190 child-trafficking networks have been uncovered in the past five years.  htsc

Monitoring the Stockholm Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, Moscow, Russian Federation, 1-2 March 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS - RUSSIAN NATIONAL CONSULTATION ON THE COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - Russia is now one of the main producers of child pornography in the world, as new research on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Moscow, St Petersburg and Irkustk reveals. The research also indicates that Russia is seriously affected by all forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), registering alarming incidences of child prostitution and trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

U.S. Diplomat Leads Charge Against Human Trafficking

Don Hill, AsianSexGazette, August 6, 2004

[accessed 25 August 2014]

"We are not happy with what is going on in Russia. They took some steps, they passed a new law with some criminal provisions. They cooperated a little more with NGOs. But overall the effort was weak …”

Israeli Minister Blames Russian Mafia for Human Trafficking Crisis

MosNews, 18.08.2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

He said that the mafia had transported women to Egypt from their homes in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Then they were smuggled across the border into Israel where they were sold to so-called “health clinics” where they work long hours for minimal pay in slave-like conditions, the website quoted the minister as saying.

Russian president seeks stronger penalties for human trafficking

Anti-Slavery International, Trafficking news monthly, January 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

On 27 October, President Vladimir Putin submitted to Parliament a number of amendments to the Russian Criminal Code which seek to introduce a maximum prison sentence of 15 years for those convicted of trafficking. The maximum penatly will be reserved for cases where the trafficking offence has caused severe damage to the health of the victim, or any other grave consequences; posed a threat to the lives and health of many people; or been committed by an organised group.

Russia moves to curb human trafficking

Vladimir Radyuhin, The Hindu, Moscow, May 30, 2004

[accessed 20 December 2010]

After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia emerged a major channel of human smuggling from Asia to the West. International criminal networks made full use of Russia's porous borders, legal loopholes and rampant corruption to haul illegal migrants, mostly from China and Vietnam, but also from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to Europe. Russian consulates in Asian countries would rubberstamp hundreds of tourist visas on the basis of fraudulent invitations sent in by non-existent Russian firms, while Russian borderguards would look the other way when crowds of "tourists" crossed the border.

Russia’s Willing Sex Workers Find Enslavement Abroad

Anastasia Lebedev, News and photos from the Moscow News, 22/04/2004

[accessed 20 December 2010]

Through the Inostranets weekly, a paper geared toward Russians looking to find employment abroad, the institute polled women who already had job offers and were preparing to leave Russia. The poll ran twice, revealing the same result — 25% of young women (5% of all women) leaving Russia were prepared to become sex workers if it earned more money. Unfortunately, since prostitution is illegal for migrants even in countries where it’s legalized, that means involvement with the underworld. Once they are absorbed into the shady illegal sex trade network, there’s a good chance they’ll find themselves in conditions they hadn’t bargained for. They are threatened, held responsible for travel costs, and in general are kept ignorant about their legal options.

Supplying Women for the Sex Industry: Trafficking from the Russian Federation [PDF]

Prof. Donna M. Hughes, University of Rhode Island, 7/12/2004

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[accessed 13 February 2018]

INTRODUCTION - The Russian Federation is a major sending country for women trafficked into sex industries around the world.1 Russian women are known to be in sex industries in over 50 different countries (Global Survival Network, 1997). The number of women who have become victims of this criminal trade is unknown, but are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands (International Organization for Migration [IOM], 2001).  Women are recruited from sending countries, such as Russia, by various means, but upon reaching the destination country, they find that the promised job or circumstances is really prostitution under brutal and exploitative circumstances. The traffickers and pimps control women by confiscating their travel documents, battering, rape, threats to harm them or family members, and debt bondage (Hughes, 2000). Trafficking is an activity of Russian organized crime groups and their partners that operate prostitution and trafficking rings throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America (Global Organized Crime Project, 2000, p. 42). Corruption of officials through bribes and even collaboration of officials in criminal networks enables traffickers to operate locally and transnationally.

Nyet to Trafficking

Prof. Donna M. Hughes, National Review, June 18, 2003

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[accessed 24 February 2019]

For the last two years, Russia has received a failing grade from the U.S. State Department for its efforts to combat human trafficking. That's the grade it deserved, because each year, thousands of women and girls are trafficked for prostitution in Russia. The total number over the past decade is estimated to be over half a million. Organized-crime groups run the trafficking networks that have sold Russian women and girls into prostitution in over 50 countries around the world, including the U.S.

Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation: The Case of the Russian Federation [PDF]

Prepared for the International Organization for Migration IOM by Prof. Donna M. Hughes, June 2002

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[accessed 24 February 2019]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - There are a multitude of reasons why the trafficking business thrives in Russia, including great profits which can be made by the traffickers, corruption of officials and police at many levels, and reluctance of lawmakers to intervene due in part to fear of reprisals by violent criminal syndicates.

Many women have few choices because they have become impoverished and find themselves devoid of options for jobs or means of survival. This is the plight of many women in poor rural and remote areas in Russia or those attempting to survive urban poverty.

For others, such as the new groups of street children and orphans which did not exist in Russia ten years ago, they are recruited at an early age, virtually sold into slavery, and may never know another way of life. This is true for countless young Russian girls and boys, some as young as 12 years of age, who may later become a part of criminal syndicates themselves and perpetuate this phenomenon. In this way, more and more people without options are lured into sub-human and degrading conditions, often for the rest of their lives.  - htsccp

Russia: With No Jobs At Home, Women Fall Victim To Trafficking (Part 2)

Galina Stolyarova, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL, May 23, 2001

[accessed 20 December 2010]

According to a recent survey conducted in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, as many as 70 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 30 would like to leave the country to find work abroad. Visa restrictions, however, make it almost impossible for young women to gain legal working status abroad, leaving them only one option -- buying visas from so-called "employment" services who force them into prostitution and slavery once they cross the border. In this second of a two-part series, Galina Stolyarova reports for RFE/RL that economic and social conditions in Russia have allowed the women-trafficking trade to flourish.

Forced Labour In The Russian Federation Today: Irregular Migration And Trafficking In Human Beings [PDF]

Elena Tyuryukanova, International Labour Organization ILO, Geneva, September 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[accessed 13 February 2018]

[accessed 13 February 2018]


[page 116]  CASE 6 - A 17-year old man from Novosibirsk in Russia was kidnapped and coerced into construction work. The interview took place in Omsk

I am from Novosibirsk. At present I live in Omsk because I do not want to be traced. I am seventeen. Half a year ago they kidnapped me. It happened as follows: I was going home, a foreign car approached me, and they put a sack on my head, drew me into the car and then injected me with something.  I remember nothing. I do not even remember how they took me away. It seemed as if we were flying or if it was a car, it was shaking. It was dark, like a bunker - they covered me up with something. I only came to when we were somewhere in the East.

They watched. There were no hand-cuffs, but guards with guns were present, and a supervisor with a stick was there. If somebody fell, he beat then until they stood up and collected the things that they had dropped. There were ten of us. We were not allowed to speak. They kept us in pairs, even at night we weren’t allowed to speak. The supervisors walked around to check that nobody was speaking.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children are trafficked globally for sexual exploitation from Russia, and are trafficked internally generally from rural to urban areas.  There were reports of kidnapped or purchased children being trafficked for sexual exploitation, child pornography, or harvesting of body parts.  There are confirmed cases of sex trafficking of children and child sex tourism in Russia, a major producer and distributor of child pornography over the internet.

There are reports that rebel forces in Chechnya recruit and use child soldiers. These forces also are using children to plant landmines and other explosives

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 September 2005

[accessed 20 December 2010]

[80] While welcoming the recent introduction in the Criminal Code of norms prohibiting the trafficking of human beings, the Committee is concerned that not enough is being done to implement these provisions effectively. The Committee also expresses its concern that protection measures for victims of trafficking of human beings are not fully in place and that reported acts of complicity between traffickers and State officials are not being fully investigated and sanctioned.


Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 5 May 2020]


Migrant workers are often exposed to exploitative labor conditions. Both Russians facing economic hardship and migrants to Russia from other countries risk becoming subject to sex and labor trafficking.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – According to the IOM, women have been trafficked to almost 50 countries, including every West European country, the United States, Canada, former Soviet republics, and Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Women who were trafficked abroad and returned to Russia seldom reported their experiences to the police, because they feared retaliation by traffickers. Traffickers usually targeted unemployed females between the ages of 14 and 45, with females between the ages of 15 and 25 being the primary targets. Traffickers often lured women with promises of economic opportunities. Some trafficking victims knowingly agreed to work in sex industries. However, all the victims interviewed in the IOM study stated that they never suspected the severity of the conditions and abuse to which they would be subjected.

Reports indicated that internal trafficking, fueled by poverty and unemployment, remained a problem. Women were recruited and transported from rural areas to urban centers typically to work in sex industries.

There were continued reports of child trafficking, primarily for sexual exploitation. The victims were usually homeless children or children in orphanages. There are no reliable estimates of how many children were trafficked. The country has become a major producer and distributor of Internet child pornography, leading to confirmed cases of child sex trafficking and child sex tourism.

Information from foreign prosecutions, academic researchers, and law enforcement sources suggested that criminal groups carried out most trafficking with the assistance of front companies and more established organized crime groups. Typically, the traffickers used a front company‑‑frequently an employment agency, travel agency or modeling company‑‑to recruit victims with promises of well-paying work overseas. Many placed advertisements in newspapers or public places for overseas employment, some employed women to pose as returned workers to recruit victims, some placed Internet or other advertisements for mail order brides, and some victims were recruited by partners or friends. Once the victims reached the destination country, the traffickers typically confiscated their travel documents, kept them in a remote location, and forced them to work.

Reports indicated that employers or traffickers withheld workers' passports or other documentation. They threatened workers with deportation or prosecution if they demanded compensation. One trafficking researcher indicated that some local police cooperated with employers to "shake down" such workers to deprive them of their wages. Traffickers often used their ties to organized crime to threaten victims with harm to their families should they try to escape. They also relied on ties to organized crime in the destination countries to prevent the victims from leaving and to find employment for the victims in the local sex industry. Trafficking organizations typically paid domestic organized crime entities a percentage of their profits in return for "protection" and for assistance in identifying victims, procuring false documents, and corrupting law enforcement.

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