A raggedy child tap-dancing on the sidewalk in front of a box to collect coins. A man in a foreign country far from his home working long hours at backbreaking labor. A young girl apparently doing endless chores at a neighbor’s house in some rural neighborhood.
The face of trafficking in the Balkans has changed.
In the 1990s, victims were stereotyped as young Eastern Europe women in slutty outfits at loud bars. They had indeed mostly been dragged into the region by organized crime groups to perform at nightclubs and in brothels.
Now the victims are underage and mostly local. They are in private apartments and secluded locations. And the traffickers are local gangs or individual criminals, and in some cases, even families of the victims.