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The Natashas: the New Global Sex Trade.

Victor Malarek Published by Viking Canada (Toronto) Penguin Group (Canada), 2003 pp. 254, ISBN: 0-670-04312-5 $36.00 CAN

Victor Malarek's book, The Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade is a must-read for pro-lifers. Malarek is an award-winning Canadian investigative journalist of Ukrainian descent. His expose of a massive kidnapping and sex-slavery enterprise will irritate organized crime, collaborating police, and army personnel including North American international peacekeepers together with implicated government officials from embassy staff, border guards, bureaucrats, and elected legislators. But his call to the international community, especially to those who support life and family issues, cannot be ignored.

Malarek's descriptions are based on travels to places where young women from Eastern and Central Europe are pressed into service, and on direct conversations with them and with those who try to help them. He has also had some close brushes with the criminals who capture, sell, and buy these women.

Under-staffed and under-funded orphanages can do little to help the overwhelming numbers entrusted to their care to prepare for life on their own after the age of majority. In any event, societal collapses after the fall of the Iron Curtain, bringing about tragically high unemployment and crushing poverty, mean that no work is available anyway. Vulnerable youth are deceived by various ruses, or even forcibly abducted. Especially when trying to support themselves or their families, many answer ads for nannies, maids, waitresses, models, etc., in other countries, only to find themselves, on arrival, the property of ruthless masters and pimps. Their spirits are broken with extreme physical violence, humiliations, rape, worse-than-animal captivity conditions, malnourishment, fear of reprisals to themselves or their families if they try to escape. A few defy, and are maimed or killed; others commit suicide. The majority enter into a living hell.

The ease with which they are transported across borders is astounding. Even more so are the clients in or from the Western world, supposedly serving human rights causes and the struggle for freedom. If some soldiers have been used as cannon-fodder in war, these women are, in the eyes of some, an 'acceptable' price in maintaining a lust-satiated peace.

One realizes that the painfully-enforced one-child policy and sex-selection abortions in China are but ways of manipulating the ratio of the sexes to the disadvantage of marriage and family; abortion-inducing vaccines which attack motherhood are another. Spiriting large numbers of young women (probably over 1 million annually) away from their natural domestic and cultural environment and virtually destroying them in this way is a third. The personal cost for those already harmed, and for those yet to come, is beyond estimation. The damage to body, soul and spirit is so penetrating and thorough that one cannot imagine even coming close to a substantial rehabilitation for the vast majority of them.

Especially noteworthy is an Italian priest whose fortified grounds, named Regina Pacis, is a sanctuary for some who escape and get to his shelter. He has a price on his head for stealing the criminals' "property," and cannot go about without armed guards. Another, an OPP officer on UN duty overseas, investigated the situation in his assigned area, and finally got UN backing and personnel to start kicking down doors. This father of three, who had seen his share of crime in Ontario, found "the stuff of nightmares."

A principal focal point of Malarek's book is the money. The UN estimates that, worldwide, third behind illegal weapons and drugs, "the trade nets organized crime more than US$12 billion a year." Women are bought for up to $10,000, and then told they have to work off double the debt. Forced to earn several hundred dollars a night, regardless of illness or menses, the purchase price is soon recovered, but fines for poor service to clients or bad behaviour to owners have a way of escalating. Of course, the women are kept anyway since they can bring in $75,000-$250,000 annually, until impeded from functioning by disease, insanity, or total collapse. They are then discarded.

This book informs: it exposes what is actually happening on the ground and in people's lives, and makes inescapably clear that this, too, is part of the substantial unravelling of the domestic and transnational social fabric, as well as the spread of disease. It is an excellent introduction to yet another of hell's attacks on life and love, and a cry to all to help stop the trafficking!
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Author:Taylor, Brian
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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