CHANNEL4 CUTTING EDGE: CHILD SEX TRADE PART 3 OF 3
Thousands of eastern European children and teenagers are being reduced to commodities in a trade in human misery. They are bought and sold like chattels to satisfy perverted sexual appetites, to provide slave labour, or, worst of all, to be “harvested” for their organs and body parts so that the rich and their children can live at their expense.
UNICEF put the global value of human trafficking at over $12 billion a year, just $2 billion less than Albania’s gross domestic product.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and its Stalinist satellites throughout eastern Europe was hailed by the political elite in the West as heralding a new dawn of liberty, democracy and prosperity. The thousands of children trafficked from the former “Eastern Bloc” countries are testimony to the bitter reality of poverty and social brutalisation.
The global increase in poverty is most evident in eastern Europe, rising from 1 million to 24 million people between 1987 and 1998—defined as those forced to live on less than $2 a day. The percentage of the population below the poverty line is 30 percent in Albania and over 44 percent in Romania, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The introduction of the “free market” into the former state-controlled economies in eastern and central Europe has had its most devastating impact on family life. Millions of breadwinners have lost their jobs, Western imports have forced out domestic production leading to rising prices, and welfare provisions have been gutted.
According to Terre des Hommes, “Living conditions for the majority of the approximately 150 million children in the East European states and the Soviet Union have worsened since 1989.”