Countries in Southeastern Europe Unite to Fend Off Sex Traffickers

Thirteen countries in Southeastern Europe have come together in recent months to combine efforts against sex trafficking. The latest sweep, by more than 1,000 police officers in June, identified 545 traffickers of which 328 were charged, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Cross-border cooperation, which has been a rarity in the past, has been brought about by the Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative in Bucharest, reports The New York Times. The Center opened in 2001 with assistance from the United States, and since then has conducted three regional sweeps against human trafficking, mostly of women for sexual exploitation.

The New York Times reports that the International Organization for Migration estimates that 200,000 women are brought into sex trafficking each year in Southeastern Europe.

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New York Times 8/15/04; Christian Science Monitor 8/19/04

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