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2008.12.01

* UNICEF: Tackling child trafficking in Kyrgyzstan
* 시간: 04 min 01 secs
* 촬영도시: BISHKEK
* 촬영국가: Kyrgyzstan
* 촬영일자: 19 Oct 2008


[NOTE: Name changed to "Rumilya."]
18 year old Rumilya sings with a broken heart. The life story of this teenager from Kyrgyzstan is one of tragedy and exploitation.


Rumilya comes from a family torn apart by poverty, alcohol and crime. Her childhood was lost to human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.


Rumilya's mother was convicted of petty theft. While in detention she met a woman nearing the end of her sentence who offered to look after Rumilya and her elder sister Julia. This was the first step towards an intricate web of deception leading to Rumilya and her sister being trafficked to the United Arab Emirates and forced into prostitution. At the time Julia was 16...


and Rumilya, just 12 years old. Rumilya says the traffickers tricked them saying they could work as waitresses in Dubai.


SOUNDBITE: "Rumilya" (Russian)
"She showed us nice photos of the country and said we could lead a good life. There are beautiful girls, nice clothes and we could help our mother. She didn't explain what we'd really be doing there. That's why I was really excited about going."


Undaunted by her age and obvious immaturity, the traffickers marketed Rumilya in photos to wealthy clients seeking virgins. She was eventually sold to an Iranian businessman: 12-thousand dollars for 10 days. He raped Rumilya on the second night.


Rumilya says life soon afterwards became a nightmare working in a brothel. Both she and her sister were forced to have sex with up to a dozen men a day. Refusal to work was punished with beatings.


SOUNDBITE: "Rumilya" (Russian):
"When clients came to the brothel, we tried to lock the doors or hide. Like a child I tried once to threaten one of the pimps saying: "You'd better let me go or you'll be in trouble!" But she stopped me and said if you don't obey us we'll give you to any man. You have no passport, no money and you can't go anywhere."


Rumilya's experience though is far from uncommon for children trafficked from Kyrgyzstan.
A recent UNICEF report points to a lack accurate and reliable data available on child trafficking in Kyrgyzstan.


The report also recommends supporting local communities to prevent commercial sexual exploitation of children.
SOUNDBITE: TIM SCHAFFTER, UNICEF COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE:
"It's important that families and communities are aware of the risk. Aware that there're people actively recruiting for commercial sexual exploitation. So awareness at a community level."


At the Center for Homeless Chi

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