Countering the Sex Slave Industry

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Stella Rotaru is a counter-trafficker. She has dedicated her life to rescuing women caught up in the global sex trade. Today, she joins us on the show to talk about how women unwittingly get trapped in the industry, and what they're forced to do to escape. But, first, these words from fellow producer, Susannah George:

When Sue, our executive producer, pitched today's show on sex slavery she added as an aside, "Do you think we could find a studio in Moldova?" Then she chuckled.

I ran a few Google searches and came across a UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) youth radio program that operates (or operated, I still have no idea) out of Moldova (oh, and btw, for those of you who haven't run your own Google searches yet, Moldova is located here). I figured that someone at UNICEF in Moldova would know which radio stations have the oh-so-very-desirable yet oh-so-elusive ISDN line connection.

And let me pause here. Because if you listen to the radio (at all) you have an appreciation for ISDN-line quality, just listen to an ender that I booked last week about loyalty oaths and then listen to our interview yesterday with David Breasheras. David sounds like he's sitting right next to Neal, and Marianne sounds like she's on the moon. Enough said.

Somehow, after talking to a night guard at UNICEF who passed the phone off to an aid worker, Judith, who happened to be walking by, I got the number of Radio Free Europe in Moldova. Then, late Sunday night (I watched an entire DVD-worth of Twin Peaks episodes while I waited for 7am Moldova time to roll around), I finally got in touch with a Radio Free Europe engineer: Sergio.

Me: "Hi I'm calling from NPR in the US, do you have an ISDN line?"

Sergio: "Can you speak slower?"

Me: "Do-you-have-an-I-S-D-N-line?"

Sergio: "Yes."

And that was that.

If you want to find out more about how the sex slave industry works, how women are abducted and held, and what happens when they get back home, leave your comments here.



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All this fighting to protect American freedoms and interests and yet we don't have the moral will to appropriately combat slavery. all these bombings of Mosques and Churches because someone does not worship as we do and yet we don't have fortitude to eliminate those who grossly break the law of He Who Cannot Be Named. Jihad against those who would sell our daughters into whoredom Crusade against those who would force our daughters be defiled by the issues of donkeys. "And they killed Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword and took Dinah from Shechem's house...because their sister had been defiled" Death to human traffickers

Sent by Michael | 3:28 PM | 5-13-2008

How much of this trafficking is reaching the U.S.?

Sent by Jon from Portland, OR | 3:33 PM | 5-13-2008

where can I see Stella Rotaru's website

Sent by Morgan Richards | 4:59 PM | 5-13-2008

I was in Europe on September 11 and for a month after. I went from Budapest, to Prague, through Slovakia, and into Romania. In Romania I met a couple of men that I believe were traffickers. How do I go about reporting my suspicions?

Sent by Chris | 7:28 PM | 5-13-2008

I was listening to your disscusion today. I am currently planing to create a company in Moldova processing data. I was wondering if you could send me the email address for Stella, i could not write it down fast enough, and it seems that i can not find it here on the website. I may not be able to help with money, but if I could provide some of them with a job, maybe that will help some.

Sent by Brad DeVries | 9:09 PM | 5-13-2008

This story sounded so old, it reminded me of the sex slave trade that rampaged through the Philippines during Viet Nam. It seems that I can recall seeing a report several years ago about the trade in Southeast Asia.

Is this an expansion of the same sex trade from 40 years ago?

Sent by Dave | 9:24 PM | 5-13-2008

I would like to contact Stella Rotaru directly. How can I reach her?

Sent by sg | 11:33 PM | 5-13-2008

I just want to comment on the person lumping all Christians together stating that they are mad at people for not worshiping the way they do... My church (Crossroads Community in Oakley, OH) is part of the International Justice Mission who is constantly getting people out of sex trade in Asia. We're not all like George Bush.

Sent by Josh | 8:27 AM | 5-14-2008

I think people need to consider legalizing prostitution here in the U.S. we have both legal and illegal prostitution and at the legal brothels like the Moonlight bunny ranch and the pornography industry the women get to keep their money, and no one forces them to do anything. In the illegal industry of street walkers the women must give all their money to pimps and gangsters, and they lose their freedom. Dubai obviously has a need for prostitutes I think they have something like two thirds single men as their population.

Sent by Mick | 12:44 PM | 5-14-2008

How do I help? Where are trainings offered?

Sent by Deanne | 1:53 PM | 5-14-2008

Dear Joshua, the "we" is all of us. I'm not just lumping all Christians together, but Christian with Muslim, Muslim with Hindu, Hindu with Sikh, Protestant with Catholic, Sunni with Shiite, and on and on and on. Lets stop killing each other and start with the real devils. Also I will tell you, as a Christian myself, that you can't absolve yourself of our (the Church's) collective sin of persecution, greed, genocide and hate by claiming membership with a somewhat progressive church. We have sinned and must confess and repent. Your brother, Michael

Sent by Michael | 10:18 PM | 5-14-2008

I cant find anywhere on this site how to contact Stella's branch or anything like that...... HELP???

Sent by Samantha Garrison | 6:35 PM | 5-15-2008

how can a person enlist in the industry to end sex slavery

Sent by David Pollock | 12:29 AM | 6-25-2008

sign me up what can i do to help

Sent by snowman | 9:50 PM | 6-26-2008

i want to talk with stella too , god that have to stop :|

Sent by we aren't better than animals :|:|:| | 2:32 PM | 7-13-2008

i live here, it is not true :P

Sent by sustanon omna | 3:58 AM | 7-17-2008