Women from Asia and Africa may be brought into Russia under the guise of soccer fans for the purpose of forced prostitution, anti-slavery NGO “Alternativa” believes.
The human rights activists warn that there is a danger that forced prostitution will increase in Russia while it is hosting the FIFA World Cup.
“This tournament inflates the demand for prostitutes and attracts clients,” the chairperson of Alternativa told the German Press Agency on Tuesday, June 26.
The NGO representative pointed out that the rules for entering Russia are relaxed during the World Cup. He believes that this may be abused by human traffickers to bring sex slaves from Asia and Africa into Russia.
According to the organization, a number of women forced to offer sex services were brought into Russia disguised as fans last year during the FIFA Confederations Cup, and have remained in the country illegally since then. In recent months, the Moscow authorities have shut down several brothels where dozens of women from Nigeria were being compelled to work.
The Russian self-help group Silver Rose estimates that 1-2 % of sex workers in Russia do so against their will. The total number of prostitutes in Russia is estimated at 3 million.
The FIFA World Cup is being held in Russia between June 14 and July 15, featuring teams from 32 countries. During the competition, foreigners carrying a so-called “fan-ID” can move about Russia without a visa.