Thursday, August 11, 2022

Putin Regime Ignoring Problem of Human Trafficking in Russia, Gracheva Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 8 – Moscow over the past 20 years has ignored the problem of human trafficking and modern-day slavery within the borders of the Russian Federation, saying that there are few complaints about it and preferring instead to treat it as something only other countries suffer from, according to Vera Gracheva.

            But the president of Partnership in Action, an NGO devoted to struggling against human trafficking and other forms of violence, says there is no reason to think that Russia is somehow immune to this crime or that the numbers of cases there is as small as the authorities are inclined to suggest (

            As of last year, Gracheva says, the Global Organized Crime Index reported, human trafficking had surpassed narcotics and all other forms of trans-border crime, something that most countries including many of Russia’s neighbors have recognized and acted upon. But not the Russian Federation.

            According to the activist, victims of this crime, including women, children, and the mentally handicapped, are often afraid to complain to the authorities about their status either because they fear the powers that be will do nothing or even return them to those who are victimizing them who will then punish them severely.

            Fighting this crime also requires the kind of international cooperation that Moscow increasingly avoids being part of. Those who orchestrate the seizure of people and their being sold into conditions of slavery often use the Internet and operate in one country while their victims and their “customers’ live in others.

            But unless Russia finally shows some political will in this case and stops ignoring reality, Gracheva concludes, there is every likelihood that it will become a center of this kind of crime.

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