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Countering the Sex Slave Industry

by Ashley Grashaw
May 13, 2008

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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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