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Friday, August 10, 2007

Russia: Stop Raping Your Children

Writing in the Moscow Times Dr. Cesar Chelala, an international public health consultant and a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award for an article on human rights and the author of "AIDS: A Modern Epidemic," describes yet another horrific peril faced by Russia's children:

One of the worst tragedies of post-Soviet Russia has been the increase in child abuse, particularly child prostitution. Besides the moral and ethical implications, the impact that sexual exploitation has on children's health and future development demands urgent attention. It is a problem that shows no signs of abating.

Sexual abuse of children takes several forms. They are used in pornographic publications and films and exploited as prostitutes. They are also traficked to other countries, particularly in the Middle East. Victims of child sexual abuse are often lured by the fake promise of being published in mainstream fashion magazines. Some victims believe that prostitution and contact with rich businessmen will allow them the kind of lifestyle that they could not have otherwise.

Russia is now one of the main producers of child pornography in the world, and it registers significant incidences of child prostitution and child trafficking for sexual purposes, according to the Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. St. Petersburg and northwestern Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and is aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Child prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in that region.

Those who recruit children for sexual exploitation frequently target street children or children from dysfunctional families. They initiate a vicious circle of entrapment and, as they become older, children end up in brothels. The recruiters prey on these children's needs and deceive them into a life of dependency. In Russia, many of the young prostitutes are from the provinces or from the former Soviet republics. They come to Moscow or to St. Petersburg hoping to hide in the anonymity of huge cities. Sometimes pregnant or with children, and with scant education or skills, children turn to prostitution as an essential tool for survival.

Children engaged in prostitution frequently belong to families at risk -- those in extreme poverty or with alcohol and drug addiction. In other cases, they are orphans who have made the street their homes. Many adults who sexually abuse children believe that by engaging with children, they are protected against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Children are less prone to practice safe sex, however, either because they don't think they need it or because they are unable to oppose the pressure or intimidation from adults.

Because of the transnational character of transactions involving children, it is imperative to strengthen international collaboration to counter the sexual abuse of children. Although Russia has signed and ratified important international conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it has not yet developed a national plan of action against commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The Angel Coalition, one of the few Russian nongovernmental organization working solely to combat human trafficking, has produced a video called "Inhuman Traffic," with the participation of actress Angelina Jolie. The documentary gives a shocking view of the tragedy of trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in Russia and all across Europe. Moreover, it gives an insight into the trafficking chain and how it can be broken. It should be required viewing for all government officials who are involved in combatting this scourge.

Child abuse in Russia is an issue that demands concerted and long-term actions to prevent it. The UN convention is clear in the need to respect the rights of children, and by following its directives, Russia will have taken an important step in the battle against the abuse of children.


Penny said...

What's Putin done to clean up the child pornography industry? Or the horrific rise in AIDS? Or any of the social rot that swirls around him?

He's too busy expropriating private businesses to feed the coffers of his cronies.

Hey, Russians, get off of your backsides and demand some accoutability.

Anonymous said...

'phobe, perhaps you might factor this narrative into your "bravely independent" analysis:

but of course, you won't.

La Russophobe said...


Why do you put the phrase "bravely independent" in quotation marks? Do you realize that implies we've characterized ourselves with those words? In fact, we've never done so.

Thanks for the link, which is only further evidence that Russia is unable to protect its children from child abuse either by foreigners or by Russians. Instead, "President" Putin spends all his time trying to build up the Russian military to institute yet more neo-Soviet imperialism and aggression, likewise ignoring the fact that Russians work for an average wage of $3/hour and men don't live to age 60.

It seems, however, that you're a Russian nationalist thug who believes that since some foreigners abuse Russian children it's OK for Russians to do so, and to ignore the problem. This kind of "thinking" obliterated the USSR, and will destroy Russia as well if it's not stopped. As such, you and people like you are far more dangerous to Russia than any foreign enemy Putin is afraid of.

Apparently you aren't a regular reader of the blog; if you were, you'd know that we've already addressed the issue you raise long ago, and shown that Russian parents are far more dangerous to Russian children than foreigners are.

Are you a member of Nashi? Your attempt at propaganda is just that lame.