Anya, a twenty-two-year-old from Ukraine, was recruited by a person from her hometown, a friend of a friend. Anya was seven months pregnant when she was offered a job in Turkey for two months as a babysitter. Anya thought the money would come in handy for the baby, since both she and her husband were unemployed.

Ukraine is the second main source country for victims of trafficking identified in Turkey. Like Anya, most victims assisted by the IOM were recruited by a direct contact. The proportion of female recruiters has increased; traffickers feel that women are more likely to establish trust faster.

Anya had two traffickers – a couple. She was sold into prostitution the day she arrived in Turkey. She was beaten when she tried to escape. Like Anya, 98 percent of the victims of trafficking assisted by the IOM were sexually exploited, with the remaining 2 percent exploited for forced labor. 80 percent had no freedom of movement, while 20 percent were allowed movement with supervision. For those that had already been recruited by traffickers in the source country, debt bondage is common. There is no freedom of choice, no choice of clients, and little chance for negotiation regarding safe sex.

Anya was earning her trafficker USD 2000 per day, but the work was too hard. She was also pregnant, and seven months into the pregnancy she hemorrhaged, and the baby was born prematurely in an elevator. The traffickers kept her baby and made Anya go back to work the next day. For fun they stuffed chewing gum down the baby’s mouth to watch it turn blue. When the little girl died, she was placed in a box on the balcony. Anya herself was finally rescued in a police raid and was taken to the shelter for victims of trafficking in Istanbul to receive medical assistance and counseling.

Marielle Sander Lindstrom Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration Ankara, Turkey Article “Turkey’s Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking in the Black Sea Region: A regional approach”