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lundi 30 mai 2011

Some unintended consequences?

The Arabist had a link to a well done, if very difficult to watch, set of interviews with women who have been trafficked. With such an uncomfortable issue, there are so many challenges to be addressed.

The women interviewed on the site are from Eastern Europe and were trafficked to Turkey, the UAE and Israel. But it's what put them at risk that makes the issue particularly relevant. After the fall of communism, these women and their families were struggling without employment or a way to support themselves and sought jobs abroad. Hoping for jobs in restaurants or as nannies, they were tricked into prostitution and many were seriously injured (both physically and psychologically).

Recently, President Obama urged Poland as a model for the Arab Spring, and many people have compared 2011 to 1991. To be fair, he was not overly sanguine about the prospects of democracy movements, saying , “What you have is a process that’s not always smooth...There are going to be twists and turns, there are going to be occasions where you take one step forward and two steps back.”

However, he is talking about election cycles and establishing independent institutions, not about the possibility that vulnerable girls from Egypt and Tunisia may find themselves the prey of traffickers.

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