Friday, October 10, 2008
Altered Euro banknotes embellished with images of prostitutes are being used to discourage Ukrainian women from getting caught up in the sex trade.
The images, which are otherwise almost indistinguishable from the genuine notes, have been produced as part of a campaign to prevent women from the former Soviet state from seeking to work illegally in the EU.
They show under-dressed women obviously prostitutes leaning against the grand examples of European architecture that have been printed on the currency's bills since its launch in 2002.
Messages warning about the real price of seeking blackmarket employment abroad are printed across the top of the fake notes.
Sex trafficking is a serious problem in the Ukraine. Last year, the International Organization for Migration estimated that 1,17,000 Ukrainians had been forced into prostitution or indentured labour abroad since 1991, more than any other Eastern European country.
Women who are trafficked abroad illegally are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, with the criminal gangs who arrange their transport often refusing to return their passports.
Prostitution is widespread in the Ukraine, which is home to more than 12,000 sex workers. The rise of sex tourism, fuelled by wealthy visitors from the US and the EU, sparked demonstrations from students in the capital Kiev this summer.