A British woman has spoken about the six years she spent as a teenage sex slave in Greece and Italy. Now 25, Megan Stevens — not her real name — says she was forced into sex work by her boyfriend aged only On one occasion, she said she was forced to have sex with customers in just 22 hours and became so sick afterwards that her pimp closed the brothel.
She said her troubles began while on holiday in Greece with her mother, when she met an Albanian man called Jak in a seaside bar. While her mother, who was struggling with alcoholism, began a relationship with the bar owner, year-old Megan quickly moved in with Jak.
He persuaded her to join him in Athens and get jobs in cafes. On arrival, she was forced into sex work, according to the Guardian. Before long she was handed over to other pimps and worked in brothels and on streets across Greece and Italy. Speaking about one of the brothels she worked in, she said: "They [the men] were queuing up outside. There were 10 to 15 rooms in the same place and it's just Throughout this period, she contracted syphilis six times while her captors forced her to write postcards to her mother detailing how happy she was.
It is really powerful. Robotic is the right word. Now living back in the UK, she said she was hoping to set up a charity to help other victims of sex-trafficking. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Long reads. Coronavirus Advice. Lockdown Guide. UK Politics. Lib Dems. Green Party.
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Shape Created with Sketch. Countries where sexual violence has become a way of life Show all I call on the Ministry of the Interior to accelerate efforts to integrate women into the Afghan National Police, thereby enhancing its outreach and its capacity to address sexual and gender-based violence.
I further encourage the authorities to make the rapid response unit to combat sexual violence operational and to establish a special criminal court. Recommendation: I commend the Government of Colombia for the progress made to date and its collaboration with the United Nations, including through the visit of my Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict in March I encourage the authorities to implement Law and continue to prosecute cases of sexual violence committed during the conflict to ensure that survivors receive justice and receive reparations.
Conflict-related sexual violence should continue to be addressed in the Havana peace talks, as well as in the resulting accords and transitional justice mechanisms. Particular attention should be paid to groups that face additional barriers to justice such as ethnic minorities, women in rural areas, children, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals and women abused within the ranks of armed groups.
I encourage the Government to scale up its protection measures and share its good practices with other conflict-affected countries. Recommendation: I urge the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure full implementation of the armed forces action plan against sexual violence, to systematically bring perpetrators to justice and to deliver reparations to victims, including payment of outstanding compensation awards.
I call on donors and the United Nations system to support the Government in its efforts and to pay increased attention to neglected areas, including unregulated mining regions. Programmes to support the social reintegration of women and girls released from captivity by ISIL are urgently needed, as is community-based medical and psychological care. Recommendation: I urge the national authorities in Libya to implement Decree No.
Recommendation: I urge the Government of Mali, with support from United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, to develop a comprehensive national strategy to combat sexual and gender-based violence and to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers so that services can reach remote areas.
I further call on all parties to ensure that conflict-related sexual violence is addressed in the inter-Malian dialogue and that perpetrators of sexual violence do not benefit from amnesty or early release. Recommendation: I urge the Government of Myanmar to continue with its reform agenda and, in the process, take practical and timely actions to protect and support survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and to ensure that security personnel accused of such crimes are prosecuted. Sexual violence should be an element in all ceasefire and peace negotiations, excluded from the scope of amnesty provisions and addressed in transitional justice processes.
It is critical that women be able to participate consistently in and influence these processes. I encourage the adoption of a sexual offences bill as a matter of priority. I also encourage the African Union to make public and act upon the report of its Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan.
Recommendation: I call upon the Government of the Sudan to grant the United Nations and its humanitarian partners unfettered access for monitoring and the provision of assistance to people in need in Darfur. Given that there has been grave concern over sexual violence in Darfur for more than a decade, I encourage the Government to engage with my Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict to develop a framework of cooperation to address the issue comprehensively.
I condemn the use of sexual violence by ISIL and all other parties listed in the annex to the present report and call on them to cease such violations immediately and allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Recommendation: I urge the authorities in Yemen to undertake legislative reform as a basis for addressing impunity for sexual violence, ensuring the provision of services for survivors and aligning the minimum legal age of marriage with international standards.
I further call on the authorities to engage with local community and faithbased leaders to address sexual and gender-based violence and discriminatory social norms. Recommendation: I urge the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to harmonize legislation and policies so that the rights of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to reparations are consistently recognized and to allocate a specific budget for this purpose.
I further call upon the authorities to protect and support survivors participating in judicial proceedings through, inter alia, referrals to free legal aid, psychosocial and health services, as well as economic empowerment programmes.
It is critical to accelerate disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and strengthen law enforcement to ensure that ex-combatants who have been reintegrated into the transport sector do not pose a risk to women and girls who are reliant on those services.