Trafficking of Women and Babies from Bulgaria to Greece
Monday, July 24, 2006 2:31 PM

Bulgarian police are focusing their attention on the organized crime of baby trafficking that involves the trafficking of pregnant Bulgarian women to Greece. The women are lured with the promise of a lucrative job in Greece, but instead are held in Greece until they give birth. Their babies are then sold at high prices, sometimes as much as 30,000 euros, to Greek couples. Most of the women are members of the Roma community, which accounts for approximately five percent of the Bulgarian population.

Greece has one of the lowest fertility rates in the European Union. The demand for these babies is created in part by couples who wait too long to have children. The adoption process in the country is long and complicated. Illegal trafficking of infants is an established process that involves not only traffickers, but also other professionals, such as lawyers and doctors.

Bulgaria criminalized baby trafficking in 2004 with a maximum punishment of two years in prison. Since then, police have launched up to eight major investigations nationwide. They are achieving some success, but are also dependent on victims for their knowledge and tips. The Greek police have also had successes in raids carried out in the country freeing pregnant women from their containment.

A video of the BBC program can be viewed at:

Compiled from: Bulgarian Babies for Sale, Richard Galpin, BBC News, 18 July 2006. 18 July 2006, accessed 24 July 2006.