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Transnational Political Criminal Nexus of Trafficking in Women From Ukraine

NCJ Number
Trends in Organized Crime Volume: 6 Issue: 3/4 Dated: Spring/Summer 2001 Pages: 43-67
Donna M. Hughes; Tatyana A. Denisova
Date Published
25 pages
This study documented the features and causes of the trafficking in women from Ukraine for sexual exploitation.
Research for this paper was undertaken by researchers in Ukraine and the United States as part of the U.S.-Ukraine Research partnership. Data were collected through interviews and surveys in Ukraine, from media articles, governmental and nongovernmental reports on trafficking, and participant observation in conferences and meetings. An overview of the criminal components of the transnational political criminal nexus notes that since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting independence of Ukraine as a state, organized crime and corruption have thrived in the unregulated environment. Officials from the former Soviet Government have maintained power and created alliances with the new "oligarchs," resulting in a criminalization of the state and economy. Corruption in Ukraine is pervasive and systemic. One of the activities of the numerous organized crime groups in Ukraine is the trafficking of women to other countries for sexual exploitation. Sixty-five percent of cases of trafficking of women from Ukraine have been managed by organized crime networks. They are attracted to this criminal enterprise because it is a high-profit business with low investment. The networks are highly organized, have large-scale operations, and are connected to corrupt officials. The networks delegate specific tasks involved in the trafficking in women, namely the recruitment of women, the preparation of documents, the organization of travel, and the delivery of the women. This paper discusses traffickers' methods of recruiting victims, the connection between local prostitution and the transnational trafficking of women, destination countries for the trafficked women, and organized crime and corruption in destination countries. The concluding section of this paper discusses the political components of the transnational political criminal nexus. The paper concludes with the advice that the trafficking of women for prostitution will not be eliminated until both sending and destination countries counter their portion of the political criminal nexus. 10 notes and 59 references