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Bring in the Euro-Marshals

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UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to have declared war against people-traffickers. Probably shocked by the dimensions and the cruelty of the sex-slave trade run by gangs of ethnic-Albanian criminals in the Balkans and in his own country, Blair has vowed to press for new laws next year.

The revelations were made by Telegraph reporter David Harrison, who went to Macedonia and witnessed the desperate young women brought there to be turned into sex objects. Harrison is not the first journalist to see and write about the horrible scenes of bewildered young women. The misery of those kept captive and tortured in underground hideouts is well known to the international law-enforcement community and to the general public.

It would be superfluous to describe the beastly treatment of these helpless girls. It suffices to say that every cruel thing a normal person could imagine – and worse – is inflicted on these young women. In the Nov. 27 Weekend Telegraph, Harrison says that the clueless young women would see the light of the day only when taken to a customer, usually in a motel room above the hideout. Desperately poor, they would be lured into these traps with promises of employment. Once away from their homes, the naive or hopeless would be tortured mercilessly until brought into a state of total submission to their captors. Afterward, they would be sold as slaves for as little as $2,000.

Without forgetting these victims for a single moment, I believe we need to prod Harrison to concentrate his future articles on the most effective methods that can put an end to this evil, rehabilitate the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice. Harrison is in a position to inform and mobilize a large segment of the British and international public to support needed administrative and political action.

Both of these lines of resolute response to medieval savagery are easy to follow and ample measures can be implemented if there is a will for it. The political will may be expressed by passing appropriate resolutions in the parliaments of as many countries or states as possible. The best way is to initiate the passing of resolutions as it is done in the US at state or federal level.

Executive action by a head of government does not need any legislature: A leader can include a war on the slave trade within the universally declared War on Terrorism and target it thusly, as the trade’s profits are likely a primary source of terrorists’ income.

Knowing this, why does each day present new and ever more disturbing reports about this plague? I believe it is because of European attitudes. Let me elaborate.

Macedonian authorities can not tackle the seemingly simple problem. First of all, a computerized, lightning-fast, thorough checkup on the official entrypoints into the land must be established. Then the borders (especially with Kosovo and Serbia) must be heavily patrolled to prevent or minimize illegal crossing. Both measures may be costly for Macedonia, for the European Union, the expense would be minor. Brussels, the EU’s capital city, must get involved.

The European Commission can allocate funds for those measures. Then Europol, the EU law-enforcement arm, can begin a mop-and-broom operation to eradicate sex-slavery nests and bring the culprits to justice. Even if the Macedonian police can and would like to do it (which may be questionable), the nation should not lead the operation.

Some sort of EU-mandated, armed-police effort in the tradition of Amber Fox or Proxima needs to be established and mobilized. Such an arrangement can prevent tensions from arising between Macedonian and Albanian ethnic communities. Europol can request a sort of training mission for a special unit (with a lot of British agents) for anti-terrorist urban action).

Eventually, such a “once-only” unit may with time become a body of “federal marshals” situated in the Hague under Europol control. Since the Hague is the seat of the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, it is only logical to add this sort of “euro-marshals” as a law-enforcing hand of the European Commission, the presidency, the courts or whatever.

In my view, the government will be glad to have a big stick in the form of “EU-marshals” to use against the branches of internationally organized crime active in various European countries. This week, Tony Blair, presiding over the EU until the end of December, said that police and security services’ powers were “not sufficient.”

The Telegraph and David Harrison can press for the reporter’s initiative to explore the feasibility of such an experimental European special police unit. After establishing the Euro, the army, why not some sort of a symbolic pan-European police flying squad? Most of the 25 member-states will benefit from that. And Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia, the nations wanting to join the Union, will have to accept and fulfill another requirement before earning full EU membership.

Strangely enough, half of these EU-aspiring nations are infected with this human trafficking. That is one of the burning questions of Europe now. The slave trade is a grave disease – its devastating effect on humanity makes the bird-flu look like chicken pox in comparison. It must be stopped.

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  • http://www.volkskrant.com/weblog/pub/blogs/blog.php?uid=1507 Grozdan Popov

    Instead of a Post Scriptum:
    Just came across a title by Vladimir Danailov, a lawyer and brother of the former minister of Interior (and Foreign Affairs) of Macedonia, who three years ago produced it in both English and Macedonian. The book “Human Trafficking – the Crime Business with slavery Image : Case Macedonia” is in the meantime translated in Albanian, of what I know. Since Danailov is my old friend I will invite him to add a comment or two if he feels like it. All this may be useless since there is not much interest (surprisingly) in this topic. Feel like beeing put in a freezer, must have erred somewhere ;-((

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    There is one guy who is very interested in your post (I only just read it now). Though my interest is not of the nature you would expect.

    Given that there are 100,000 Yanks sitting only a few hours away from here, the idea that the Europeans could develop a federal force to deal with Macedonian boder problems with the Albanian mob has me nervous. The same guys who would police the Macedonian boder with Albania could just as easily be used to prop up the pathetic semi-dictatorship here.

    I feel bad that Macedonia is being used as a transit point for women sex slaves. Israel is in much the same position, unfortunately. It is not something that one writes about in big red letters.

  • http://www.volkskrant.com/weblog/pub/blogs/blog.php?uid=1507 Grozdan Popov

    Hey, why so pessimistic? We can bring change. All it takes is exert a little voting pressure with a lot of resolution and a touch of temper.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Grozdan,

    This is not a matter of pessimism. This is a matter of realistic thought. Tangling wih a criminal mob, for example, requires more than a few votes in a legislative chamber and angry demonstrations. Mobs play by different rules.

    But more to the point, is the product involved. The idea that a guy can go and buy some sex the same way he buys some beer is not likely to inspire confidence in a married woman – especially if she is not the best sex partner in ther world.

    And one of the reasons that prostitution persists is the desire for casual sex and the inability of guys to talk young women into “volunteering” to hop into bed with them for a night of what Napoleon once described as “an exchange of perspiration”.

  • http://www.volkskrant.com/weblog/pub/blogs/blog.php?uid=1507 Grozdan Popov

    Ruvy, I know that there will always be an ample supply of paid sex. Fine with me once it is offered by those (whether female or male of gender) who have concluded that whoring is how they can exist best. Here we talk of those poor souls who are tortured till they have learned not to scratch the faces of the customers they are brought to satisfy in beastly conditions. We are talking about a continuous state of rape an bestiality till the memory of some different form of existence is wiped away or crushed beyond recognition. We are talking about spreading of the worst form of slavery. Why mix Napoleon in that?

    I will risk to be the laughing stock of the BC but I expect that even the most corrupted of all the Romanian cops would prefer to go to The Hague on an Euro-marshall’s badge than get $50 for turning a blind-eye to slave-trade activity. Romania cannot accede to the EU if its Constitution says that “the factories belong to the working class and cannot be privatized”, right? It may be difficult to make Brussels declare “No country can enter EU without complying to EU directive on sex-slave trade”

    A senator or congressman can ride a campaign on strictest sex-slave-trade ban. From there to a Bill the road may be steep and curvy but also very attention-grabbing and vote-proliferating indeed. Will you help run a fiery campaign?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Grozdan, I live in Jerualem, not the States. Cops here are not paid enough to NOT take bribes from local mobsters to overlook certain irregularities. NIS 5,500 monthly is not a lot of money. Check the euro against the shekel and you’ll see that is about 1,000 euros. And the whole system of government is rotten to the core.

    If change is to come here, it will not come with resolutions or bills in a legislative chamber. It will come with fire and blood. I only pray that the rats who ru(i)in Israel will not be as vicious as the Securitate when its final days came.

  • http://www.volkskrant.com/weblog/pub/blogs/blog.php?uid=1507 Grozdan Popov

    Ruvy dear friend,
    I must appear pretty daft when you think that I have not read where do you contribute from and have forgotten the bloggs and comments you publish. I know where you are, but (this is meant as joke) let us forget for a moment (there was this stupid journalist interviewing a head of an African state) your hungry and dying millions and concentrate to MY question. The point was that we can prioritize a number of burning issues with the widest common denominator number and press the first as a potential battle-cry for a legislator seeking office. He or she may embrace the suggested position and transform it into a Bill.

    Now, of course, that is if want to remain on the stage of legality. That, I think, is what we (the bloggers around 😉 the concept of BC) could do as such. Otherwise we would be either moonlighting as producers of Molotov cocktails for vigilantes of chastity or would be down the path of forming terrorist cells ourselves against the rat you refer to… My point is simple: first try to strengthen your position as a blogger of relevance and then affirm your blogging community as the best seismograph for stronger tremors brewing under the core. Then the might will listen and eventually take you seriously.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    This story has been chose as a Blogcritics Editor’s Pick for the week, congrats!

    You’ve honored yourself up the right to select your favorite story over the next week for the new column, which will be published on Wednesdays or thereabouts. In any event, please feel free to nominate your fave piece under this week’s column. The time frame will always run between Wednesday (today in this week’s case) and next Tuesday night.

    Thanks and congrats again ~ EB

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