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A Licence to Torture

The police officer touched his index finger to his lips, signalling silence. With his other hand he shooed pedestrians away. The quiet gloom of a foggy November night had just been disrupted. At 1:00, 15 police cars with glaring lights had barricaded the residential street in the 2nd District, and dozens of troopers, including heavily […]

EXIT: Out of Prostitution

Let’s call her Elisa. Or, better, let’s just call her “She,” because her story is exemplary of the stories of many Nigerian women: “She” was young, still a teenager. She lived in Benin City and dreamt of a better future in Europe. She heard from a female relative that there was an opportunity to travel […]

Trafficking: No Good Numbers

It’s hard to get people’s attention on the issues of Human Trafficking, noted Evelyn Probst, Coordinator of the Austrian Anti-Trafficking Organization, LEFO-IBF. So it seemed particularly frustrating when the room set up for the press conference at Vienna’s Palais Epstein on the Dr. Karl Renner Ring, Oct. 21, was still nearly empty just minutes before […]

Shadows of a Dream

I lunged desperately but he skipped around me again, leaving me sprawled in the ochre-coloured sand. Padmore, the player I had been assigned to mark, was only 15 years old, but he already had that dangerous mix – the barrel-chested body of a sprinter and the agility of a cat. Our slightly deflated ball seemed […]

A Crime of Shame

A Crime of Shame

Despite all the good intentions, the Forum against Human Trafficking held in Vienna Feb. 13-15 was a frustrating event. After three days of papers, panels and discussion, the only thing that was clear was how little we know. With the legislative framework still in its infancy and an affected population that, by definition, goes unrecorded […]

Slavery Now

“The men rushed us out of the house, but I saw the girl floating in the pool.” Tears are running down Anja’s pale cheeks. She takes another cigarette. The scene she is describing occurred in a house where she and several other girls had to service men, Russians mainly, she says, and where one of […]

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