You never know where curiosity may take you. Just today I was asked why I have taken on this terrible topic of human trafficking and slavery. I guess I’m interested in peoples’ freedom of expression, especially in Kazakhstan. I’m glad I have Kazakh friends back in Kazakhstan who have the same passion to eradicate this crime against humanity. The following piece is written by a Kazakh woman who has seen with her own eyes a shelter for victims caught in slavery. Thankfully they escaped but there are thousands of others still trapped. I think Nadia articulates the problem very well:
“I hope that those responsible for human rights protection will hear about situation in Kazakhstan. The world media cries about human rights in different countries, even neighboring Uzbekistan is under the pressure of world organizations. Only Kazakhstan is quiet as a steppe around Astana. I don`t blame world NGOs or the government, the society is guilty for severe human rights abuse in Kazakhstan. I`m a part of this culture and I know where the roots lie.
As you wrote in an earlier blog, there is a girl who was sold for slavery by her mother. This case shows the vicious circle of ignorance and indifference in which Kazakh society will be drawn.
Natasha used to live with her mother, alcohol addicted, who constantly brought strange men to their home. Those men hit the poor girl and then slept with her. Natasha did not attend school as she is mentally slow. The girl has some psychological disease. One day her mother sold her to some men for some bottles of vodka. These men kept Natasha for eight months and forced her into prostitution, then let her go or just threw her away. Natasha was caught by other businessmen, but this time she was rescued. By chance there was another girl kept in the same flat, she refused to work for masters and started to cry from a window when bosses went away.
As the psychologist explained, Natasha due to her illness and constant abuse at home, she lost her protective instinct. People like this keep obeying and get used to being forced.
Now there is a question who is to blame for the ruined life of a young woman? Her mother? Poor life conditions? In my opinion, people who witnessed mother`s attitude toward her daughter and did nothing: neighbors, teachers at school and local authorities are responsible for Natasha`s life. There`s no law to charge them, but there is a social rule of humanity which is now forgotten.”