Five European Countries on Human Trafficking Watchlist

Posted June 27th, 2011 at 4:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The United States on Monday included five European countries on a human trafficking watchlist, saying they failed to step up efforts to fight prostitution and forced labor.

Belarus, Estonia, Russia, Cyprus and Malta are on this year's watchlist, which is included in the State Department's 2011 annual report on trafficking in persons.

The report says that in Russia, which made the watchlist for the eighth consecutive year, an estimated one million people are exposed to “exploitative working conditions.” Those include withholding of documents, nonpayment for services, physical abuse, or extremely poor living conditions.

It says that men and women from North Korea have reportedly been subjected to forced labor conditions in Russia's Far East, and that the State Department continues to receive reports of Russian women being forced into prostitution abroad.

The report describes Belarus as “a source, destination and transit country for women, men and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.” It says that women from low-income families in Belarus are subjected to forced prostitution in the capital, Minsk, and that Belarusian men, women and children are found in forced begging, as well as forced labor in the construction industry.

The report cites Estonia as both a source of, and destination for, women subjected to forced prostitution, with women from rural areas forced into prostitution in the capital, Talinn.

The State Department says Cyprus is a destination country for men and women who are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Malta, it says, is both a source and destination country for European women and children subjected to sex trafficking.