Thursday, November 17, 2005

STOP NOW

From STOPNOW Trafficking of people against their will is slavery. In Greece today, there are approximately 20,000 women forced into the sex industry. For more visit the website from the link above.

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At 11/17/2005 06:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Scruffy American:

It's just the sign of the times. Remember this: In Ancient Greece, the "KSENOS" (Guest or Foreigner) was someone to be revered and protected, and now in Modern Greece, the "KSENOS" is someone to be taken advantage of, cheated, exploited, or otherwise insulted.
from: Scruffy American

 
At 11/17/2005 06:14:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Unfortunately, it isn't just Greece. These "slave traders" are exploiting women and children all over Europe. Greece is a popular stopping point because it is close to the poor, Eastern European countries where the majority of these women and children come from.

It is such an all encompassing problem, that I have even heard of American women who get caught up as sex slaves, simply by answering an ad for what they thought was a legitimate "job".

Bottom line: whatever creepos are utilizing these "services" need to stop, and the people who traffic these women and children need to be caught. Unfortunately, they are all quite often white, distinguished, businessmen. At any rate, the EU needs to take serious measures to stop this.

 
At 11/17/2005 06:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melusina,

Can you tell me more about these American women caught up in that sex slave thing. In Greece you mean, or in the USA. I just find it hard to believe that an American woman wouldn't just go straight to the first cop she found and get help. I understand that some of the foreigners from Africa, South America may be naive and think they will get in trouble for circulating in Greece without a legal status, but an American woman? Wow! That's shocking. Tell me more.
Scruffy American

 
At 11/17/2005 06:43:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

As Mel says, this isn't only a problem in Greece, it's Europe-wide. Which doesn't mean that it's any less of any issue in Greece. Regretably, it's often their fellow countrymen (and women) who trap women and children in to sexual slavery. If you get the chance, have a look at 'Gangs' by Tony Thomson - pretty readable account of how it works, and who works it. Unfortunately, I doubt it would help how Greeks perceive immigrants - even the victims.

 
At 11/17/2005 07:28:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

Scruffy, I was watching a show about this sex slavery/trafficking thing, and they interviewed an American woman who was in Japan teaching English who fell for an ad for work (extra work for herself, I guess she wasn't making enough as a teacher) and basically got kidnapped, and trapped into slavery. She claimed that she wasn't the only American.

Now, I like to think that this doesn't happen in America (but I am not so naive to think it might not) but these folks are working the European/Asian routes hard.

Thessaloniki is opening a hostel next year for victims of trafficking, so that is a good first step. The victims there will receive support services, free language courses, and professional training so they can integrate back into normal life.

 
At 11/17/2005 07:49:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Yes, I realise this is an international problem. I have several friends who work for STOPNOW and I wanted to publicise their campaign and activities here in Greece. It's the very least I can do. A greek friend of mine works as a lawyer for the women. I have the utmost respect for her and for the many, many people like her, who are not blogging about the issues, but are actually doing something active and positive to change things for the better. Here and everywhere. Thank you to all of them.
BTW Mel, There is a centre here in Athens too and I think some helplines in different languages to help the victims.

 
At 11/17/2005 08:40:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I think there was a call, possibly in the UK, for men who make use of sex-slaves (i.e. the 'punters') to be prosecuted for rape. Not sure how practical that would turn out to be, but that is what it amounts to.

I hope you'll keep us updated on how the campaign is going, dd.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:27:00 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

There's a DVD on your movie club's shelves now called "Promised Land". It's filmed like a documentary and it's storyline is disjointed but it's the first time I've seen a movie entirely devoted to the subject of the sex trafficking industry.

All the men in our stores who have rented it do so because the title in Greek is 'Πόρνες" (Whores)and they think they're getting softcore porn. When they find out it's about the ugly side of the sex industry 10 minutes into the film, they return it...usually within an hour...hoping they won't have to pay.

I think the reason they don't want to acknowledge or accept that human trafficking exists because reality would mar their trips to the strip clubs.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:29:00 PM, Blogger melusina said...

I guess my point about it being an "EU" problem is that I really wish the EU would take responsibility for issues like this - things that span all the countries of the EU. It is perhaps very difficult to catch the perpetrators when/if they are constantly crossing lines, especially to/from eastern European countries that aren't yet in the EU.

This is such a global problem that needs to be stopped NOW. What is the point of the EU if they don't take into considering some of these issues, like trafficking and immigration.

At any rate, I did not intend to draw attention away from the work that is being done in Greece, and the staggering numbers of slaves who are brought to Greece, especially since Greece happens to be an "ideal" location for this horrid business. I am just afraid that this monster can't be combatted in one country alone - all these countries need to work together to fight it.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:46:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi SeaWitch. welcome back. Floppy disk problems aside I hope! That is an interesting insight into the video porn market! It must be hard to sit back and see what these guys are renting? Are you ever tempted to say something?

Hi Mel. Sorry, the comment I posted wasn't directed at you. I meant it as a general point; that I am not so naive as to suggest this is a greek problem (I was also trying to answer the accusation that I am always posting negative stuff about Greece). I also really wanted to acknowledge friends and the very many others that do the real work out there to bring about change. I agree with you. It takes an international effort to combat this appalling situation and STOPNOW are working with many of those organisations, from within Greece, but on an international scale too. On the website there are some ways we can get involved too. Under the section CONTRIBUTE. One of the ways is to contact friends, colleagues and aquaintances and talking about this issue. "That is raising awareness and promoting a civil society". It is the very least we can do and I believe that is what we are all doing right here.

Thank you again, both of you for your support, feedback and involvement. It means so much having you on board.

 
At 11/17/2005 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I think the problem is often one of resources. I think, e.g., the UK is well aware of the situation but while the profits made from trafficking can be enormous, so are the resources needed to tackle it.

Additionally, the 'burden of proof' is quiet high in some countries and the thugs who run these rackets aren't afraid to maim or kill the victims or their families. So many won't talk and, as they are illegals, often don't speak the language, don't know where to go for help, etc, etc. Basically, a lot of them are non-people. Plus, the ring-leaders usually steer clear of the operational side, so even if some runs get busted, the police still have to prove who's behind it.

And there doesn't seem to be a shortage of people seeking a 'better life' in the west.

 
At 11/17/2005 11:26:00 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

hehe Thanks Diva! As for the temptation to say something to them, I would like to say I'm a paragon of discretion but I'm not. I often say something...much to the customer's and my husband's chagrin. LOL I will relate some of those experiences in my next blog so as not to derail yours. It'll take more than a malfunctioning disk drive to keep me from reading and commenting on your blog though! Mel's and your blog have been on my daily reading list ever since I discovered them. I may not always have time to comment, but rest assured, I do read them.

 
At 11/17/2005 11:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diva,

On another thread, you asked if we could sign in as our tag names or something. I have to admit I'm new to blogging and I don't know how to blog without being anonymous. If you can give me some tutorial help, I'll try and correct that. Sorry for posting here but I wanted to find a neutral ground for this comment. I enjoy you allowing me to rant. I know that sometimes my comments can be fueled by emotions but that's how I feel at that time. I generally don't unload on folks that much in Greece unless they really attack me, but I wanted to get it all out before I slept tonight. Thanks again,
Scruffy

 
At 11/18/2005 12:07:00 AM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Ok, that's cool. When the comment box comes up instead of clicking anonymous, check "other" and sign in as "Scruffy American". You don't have to give a webpage unless you have one. Goodnight. Sleep well. See you tomorrow.

 
At 11/19/2005 01:43:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

Original source link appears to be gone .

 
At 11/19/2005 01:49:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

seems ok now?

 
At 11/19/2005 01:52:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

That's from a forum, I'm just saying it was apparently an MSNBC link, but no longer exists there.

 
At 11/19/2005 02:03:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

Oh, many of the links in the stopnow page are essentially dead, unfortunately.

 
At 11/19/2005 04:45:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Eff, when you say the original link, do you mean this one? STOPNOW It works OK for me and I can’t see any links to MSNBC or a forum, and the links at the bottom work OK (although a few are still under construction). I’m not trying to nit-pick, I’m just curious why we’re getting different results.

 
At 11/19/2005 08:59:00 PM, Blogger Eff said...

I said in the page, not the page itself. Check the links section of STOPNOW.

 
At 11/19/2005 09:59:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Ok, the only links I can see, apart from this one - International Economic Relations and Development Co-oreration (YDAS-Hellenic Aid) - General Secreteriat of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs - are along the bottom of the page. In the Links section itself, I think only two didn't open - one I don't have rights for, another I got thru to the site home page rather than the actual site link.

Are you seeing more links? I've got two blank spots, one top right and one on the left - tho this could be my security settings, which are pretty tight.

 
At 11/20/2005 11:45:00 AM, Blogger Eff said...

There are 12 links, some of them are dead.

 
At 11/20/2005 01:46:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Diva,

I started a blog, but not sure how to work it. When I'm ready, I'll publish more info. But, a question. If someone posts nasty comments, how do you delete just their comments without deleting the whole discussion. I found out to delete a post, but it deletes the sub posts as well. This is my problem. Any help?

 
At 11/20/2005 02:19:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Ok, I got a photo now. Not really me,but just fits my scruffy image.

 
At 11/20/2005 03:29:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

Hi scruffy american. Good luck with your blog. In the comments box, under each post is a bin/trash icon. Hit that to delete an individual comment. Also I would advise you to turn on word verification in "settings" to prevent spam.

 
At 11/20/2005 04:07:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

Hi diva,

I got word verification on. But I don't see any trashcan icon near your post. Does "moderation" have something to do with it? Your post is there but no icon below it. ONly an icon above it, but it's not clickble. Any ideas?

 
At 11/20/2005 04:19:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

I posted over on your blog. You don’t see the icon here because I am the owner of this blog and you can only delete your own replies here. Check over on yours and you should see the icon.

 
At 11/20/2005 05:38:00 PM, Blogger adfjkaj said...

OK, I'm up and running now. Thanks for the post and I now see I can delete things. I am now ready...

 

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