The Seamy Side of Russia’s Sex Industry | Price of Vice. Episode 3. Slaves to love: trafficking and the global sex industry

While each year up to 50,000 women are smuggled from Russia and exploited as sex slaves, Russia is also a major hub where women from different countries are held captive, suffering abuse and humiliation. And although prostitution doesn’t always equal enslavement, one way or another, it still is. Though it may seem that becoming prostitutes is a conscious choice for many women, most of them are forced into this degrading business either by unscrupulous people or by life circumstances, like poverty and desperation.

NGO’s around the world are working with Interpol in attempts to free women from sex slavery. But according to Vera Grachyova, OSCE adviser on combating human trafficking, only 0.5 percent of all human trafficking incidences are uncovered worldwide, which means traffickers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in what they are doing, outsmarting the police at every step. Ending sex trafficking would take a significant social change and increased awareness of this clandestine evil unfolding before our own eyes.