She is pregnant to a man who abused her in a brothel. The baby is due in a matter of weeks.
She was forced to have sex with men every day or be beaten up. When you meet children whose bodies have experienced more pain than you can imagine it is hard to comprehend how they are still standing, still breathing, still, on occasion, even smiling. But they are, because they have been rescued from that life for now.
from Iana Matei is a woman who runs the only shelter for trafficked minors in Romania. She has been looking escort girls like this for more than two decades. They train them until they romania 18 in Romania and then they sell them to Western countries like the UK. There is no other life they know. Historically, the government estimated there were between 10, to 13, victims of trafficking in Britain, however, according to the charity Justice and Care and think tank the Centre for Social Justice the true figure is much higher.
Romania has 19 million citizens, yet six million of them live outside the country, and 8. In September, ITV News uncovered a series of brothels in the Mayfair area of Londonin which the majority of women working there, against their will, were Romanians. It prompted a series of questions, why do so many victims come from this country?
From the moment we arrived in Bucharest we got the sense of a country struggling to function effectively. The airport is but 30 minutes from the city centre but unless you drive it can take two to three hours on public transport.
Lucy Watson explains what she experienced in Romania. Bucharest itself is an interesting city with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene yet as soon as our film crew ventured into the Old Town in the evening they were approached and pursued by bar owners and taxi escorts offering them women, drugs, and trips to the best brothels. Close to our hotel, by the National Romania House, we watched as prostitutes touted their wares night after night. We saw their pimps yelling at them, instructing them how to drum up more business and these were from in their 40s, girls in their early 20s.
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It comes to you. One night, I spoke to Iona Sandescu from the anti-trafficking organisation Eliberare who grew up in the countryside here. She explained to me why the UK is such an appealing destination. Romanians are the main European population that are being exploited in the UK. They are recruited by people they know or they trust.
People they have a relationship with. Their children often lack sufficient education. One day, we filmed in a place called Craiova, in the south west, where one mother told me she has nine romania and they all live together in just one room. There was also a noticeable absence of adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s living in these towns. The streets were deserted apart from a few children playing and the elderly who either sat and watched the escort go by, or swept up from their homes.
I wondered why they did it, as the dust was never ending, but I realised that it is an escort romania can do endlessly, and still feel a sense of purpose.
Prostitution in romania
In among the poverty, we did see large, empty houses and questioned who lived there. Where does this wealth come from?
We were told that few people actually live in them. They are there "in case" they ever decide to come home again. I was starting to understand why the appeal of moving somewhere else was attractive. After a few hours in Craiova, we were chased out by a well-known trafficker. We had driven passed his house and filmed his cars, from a tip off, but had been seen romania it by local people who informed him.
He followed us, drew up next to our car at a junction and tried to pull in front of us to stop us from moving away. The lights changed quickly and we moved off sharply. Everybody knows who the traffickers are in this town.
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They recognise their British registered cars, their homes, and see the money they make. Romania are afraid of them. This is escort the power lies within these communities, and where the young can see glimpses of wealth and a more appealing lifestyle.
It is easy to understand how those who have so little are preyed upon by those who can promise them so much more, and those who have the ability to intimidate. We visited one small village in the North of the country near Braila. We got out of the car to film the deprivation that escort were living from, but within five minutes a group of men arrived carrying an axe, to ensure we moved on. It was also in Braila that we romania Daniela.
Her daughter was trafficked by a man she believed was in love from her. Her mother thought he was her boyfriend then she disappeared.
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I gave birth to her. Daniela had thought her daughter was in England but now knows she works in Germany as a prostitute, addicted to drugs. She vanished from her home town six years ago. She was a good kid, intelligent, a graduate.
The woman's family will not give up searching for her.
My husband works in Spain but he escort home every romania months and we go looking for her. She was my best friend. Human trafficking thrives in places where people lack opportunity and the rule of law is weak, and from the balance tips in favour of the trafficker, the vulnerable become more vulnerable. Last year, lawmakers here jailed less than half the traffickers they prosecuted. The administration has been accused of corruption and a lack of political will.
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We fight. The punishments in Romania for trafficking vary from a simple fine to seven years in jail. We have to be aware of that. People who are intent on doing it, will do it anyway. But we are not alone in this world. I p these ladies have clients in the UK - talk to them, punish them.
Nevertheless, stronger punishments for those who abuse - or pay to abuse - is one possible solution. But ultimately, to stem the flow of trafficking victims abroad, an alternative, aspirational life must be visible at home. Why Covid has increased trafficking of children in parts of rural India.