Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Early Trafficked Victims-Bucharest 1997
by Pam Pyne
This is where I first witnessed the men who showed up and took the children away. These children and youth could be gone for weeks, months, or forever.
The disturbing sight of children and teens negotiating with men and then disappearing into cars right out in the open etched itself into my memory. Today, I struggle to know exactly what to do with these images. I witnessed the abduction of some of East Europe's modern day trafficked sex-slaves after communism fell and the borders opened, bringing in pedophiles from all nations and providing a way to take children out of the country. It did no good to protest or to cry out to these men. They were bigger than me and they didn't care what I thought or said or what anyone in our group had to say about their behavior.
The police, at the time, were all too happy to have someone take a child from the street. Fewer children living in the street meant fewer problems for police officers to deal with. It also meant fewer kids to round up and put into the basement of the city jail when foreign dignitaries came to town and the mayor instructed police to round up all the street kids and incarcerate them for a few days.
The following poem describes what I saw.