Romania and Bulgaria Plagued by Sexual Slavery
Thursday, January 4, 2007 12:25 PM

Despite public efforts to educate and inform Romanian and Bulgarian women and girls about the risks of trafficking, sex tourism around the Black Sea continues demand for young women in girls in forced prostitution.  The United Nations lists Romania and Bulgaria as two of the top eleven countries as sources for victims. 

Many countries in the region are also areas with high levels of organized crime and illegal trade because of depressed economic situations that have characterized the region since the decline of communism.  In these societies with high levels of poverty and decline, girls become easy targets since they lack strong roots and have low self-esteem.  Bulgaria and Romania also face geographical difficulties since they are located on the drug trade known as the "Balkan route."   

Though many worry that the entrance into the European Union will cause spillover of the problems in the Balkans.  In response, officials in Bulgaria and Romania are working diligently to decrease trafficking and persecute perpetrators involved in illegal trade.  Aid workers also emphasize that there must be increases in education for  judges and prosecutors as well as police to fight corruption and address commonly held mentality in the region of victim blaming.

Compiled from: Justanya Puawlak "Sex Slavery Plagues Romania and Bulgaria,"  Reuters AlertNet. 27 December 2006.