Two Czech citizens have been charged with human trafficking in the UK, the Czech national centre for fighting organized crime reported on Monday. The two men were active in Cardiff, Wales since 2012 where they offered young Czechs lucrative work but later confiscated their papers and forced them into manual labour for food and accommodation. They were beaten and forced to work long hours in several jobs. If convicted they would face a prison sentence of five to twelve years.
Three Eritreans, believed to be illegal immigrants, were found in a Czech truck by British police at Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. The lorry driver called police after hearing suspicious noises in the back of the truck, according to The Mail Online. Police have not given further details. Eritreans form one of the biggest group of asylum seekers in Britain.
A march to commemorate the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers took place on Saturday in Prague. Around two dozen women took part, walking from Karlovo náměstí, through Wenceclas Square, and on to Vrchlického sady near Prague’s main train station. They held symbolic red umbrellas, calling for greater action to be taken to ensure the safety of sex workers. Hana Malinová runs the NGO Rozkoš bez rizika, or Bliss without Risk, which has for two decades provided medical and consultancy services to women involved in prostitution. I began
Czech and Romanian police officers have busted a gang of Romanian women traffickers who operated in Prague, Czech Radio reported on Wednesday. The gang allegedly made more than 87,000 euros, several thousand US dollars and around one and a half million crowns since 2015 by forcing Romanian women into prostitution. The seven men are suspected of being involved in large-scale human trafficking across the whole of Europe.
The news website iDnes has reported that a percentage of Czech students have chosen work in the sex trade to make more money, fast. That at least is the initial attraction, says NGO Rozkoš bez rizika (Bliss without Risk) which counsels sex workers. The underlying message for any young woman considering this line of work? It is anything but easy and there is always a cost.
Nearly 500 Amnesty International representatives from around the world passed a resolution at the group’s International Council Meeting in Dublin on Tuesday night, advocating the decriminalisation of sex work and prostitution as well as decriminalisation of the purchase of sex. I spoke to the head of the Czech branch of Amnesty International, Mark Martin over the line from Dublin and I first asked him about the reasons that led the human rights watchdog to make the decision:
The Czech-British Conference on Human Trafficking in Prague is a three-day event organised by the Czech Ministry of the Interior and British Embassy in Prague. The conference, which had its final day on Wednesday, is designed to spotlight issues relating to human trafficking. Klára Skřivánková is a Czech-born Advocacy Coordinator at the UK-based Anti-Slavery International. I asked her to describe the aims of the conference:
Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher is a compelling documentary centred on the remarkable Brenda Myers-Powell. A former prostitute and drug addict, she now runs a foundation helping other women to get off the streets of Chicago. The film, which picked up a prize at Sundance, is also a shattering account of the abuse experienced by many girls and young women in the city’s ghettos.
The High Court in Olomouc on Thursday upheld sentences of five and six years respectively for trafficking in women. The suspects – a man and a woman -were found guilty of bringing over two young women from Honduras to work as waitresses in restaurants and then forcing them into prostitution. Three others who assisted them received suspended sentences. Both women are now back home.
A court in Brno has sentenced the ring-leaders of a gang which forced Ukrainian women into prostitution to seven years in prison. The gang brought over a dozen girls to the Czech Republic, arranging their visas and promising them work as waitresses, before taking away their passports and forcing them into prostitution at a nightclub outside the city. The owner of the nightclub received a five year sentence.