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November 2002, Volume 9, Number 11

Eastern Europe

Russia's Foreign Ministry in October 2002 stopped issuing invitations for multi -entry visas as it transfers part of its visa duties to the Interior Ministry. About seven million foreigners from countries other than the former republics of the Soviet Union visited Russia in 2001, including 1.5 million who visited Moscow.

Russia took its first census since 1989 in October 2002, expecting to find 143 million people, or four million less than there were in 1989.

The unemployment rate is 18 percent in Poland, and is climbing fastest among those with college degrees, only one-third of whom will find steady work this year.

Trafficking. With the aim of disrupting sex trafficking, 20,558 raids were conducted from September 7-16, 2002 across Central and Eastern Europe; 237 victims of trafficking were identified and 293 traffickers were arrested and charged as criminals. But little was done in Bosnia and Herzegovina, considered a center for international prostitution and sexual slavery as well as a major transit point for migrants moving west and north-- only 40 of Bosnia's 432 official border crossings are guarded.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that 700,000 women are transported, mostly involuntarily, over international borders each year for the sex trade, and that 200,000 are taken to or through the Balkans.

David Binder, "In Europe, Sex Slavery Is Thriving Despite Raids," New York Times, October 20, 2002.