May 1 2017
In the U.S., child abuse is a crime. In Russia, it is routine. Up to 60 percent of children in orphanages suffer abuse from their caregivers, and it is a rare occasion when someone serves prison time for crimes against children. __ Moscow Times.
Victims of child sexual abuse are often lured by the fake promise of being published in mainstream fashion magazines. Some victims believe that prostitution and contact with rich businessmen will allow them the kind of lifestyle that they could not have otherwise.
Russia is now one of the main producers of child pornography in the world, and it registers significant incidences of child prostitution and child trafficking for sexual purposes, according to the Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
St. Petersburg and northwestern Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and is aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Child prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in that region.
Special schools train young girls to become mistresses to wealthy Russian men. In many Russian towns this is considered the best way for a young girl to get ahead.
Nadya is promised $8000 dollars worth of modeling work (the minimum requirement for a Japanese work visa). Her apprehensive family spend their meagre savings to send their daughter abroad, because upon her return, the money she makes modeling will pay for them to build a much-needed addition to their cramped home. Their pretty, wide-eyed daughter's dreams are their dreams, too, for she represents their only escape from living the way they do.
Upon her arrival at Narita Airport, the young girl—who can speak no Japanese, let alone any English—panics when there is no one there to meet her. Thing go downhill rapidly for Nadya from there….
In Girl Model the audience watches helplessly as a child's dreams are smashed against the cold reality of the fashion industry, in a heart-breaking head-on collision. Although Nadya does attend many "go sees" and even does one photo shoot in Tokyo that she sees printed in a glossy fashion magazine, she returns to her family in Siberia with a crushing $2000 debt.
The documentary "Girl Model" is about a nasty bit of business: rural Russian girls as young as 12 being recruited to be models for Japanese fashion magazines, but instead of being paid for their work, they are charged for expenses – so instead of making money to send to their families, they end up accruing a debt.
There are agencies set up throughout Russia, tracking the development of girls from as young as 10. One such self-proclaimed hero running a smaller agency is Tigram. He runs Noah Models; "Noah" he names the agency, because he views himself as a savior of models, helping girls escape from poverty and training them to have dignity not to veer off into drugs or prostitution. Arbaugh respects Tigram but has fears regarding young women that are paid to use their bodies taking the next step for payment. I'm not sure if she feels guilt, nor is she asked to repent for her work.
Many would-be young models of Russia are lied to, and sent directly to brothels in the Persian Gulf countries, South Asia, Eastern Europe, or the new world.
Sex tourists may believe that child prostitutes will be free from HIV. That is not a safe assumption in Russia.
Those who recruit children for sexual exploitation frequently target street children or children from dysfunctional families. They initiate a vicious circle of entrapment and, as they become older, children end up in brothels. The recruiters prey on these children's needs and deceive them into a life of dependency.
In Russia, many of the young prostitutes are from the provinces or from the former Soviet republics. They come to Moscow or to St. Petersburg hoping to hide in the anonymity of huge cities. Sometimes pregnant or with children, and with scant education or skills, children turn to prostitution as an essential tool for survival.
… Many adults who sexually abuse children believe that by engaging with children, they are protected against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Children are less prone to practice safe sex, however, either because they don't think they need it or because they are unable to oppose the pressure or intimidation from adults.
There are hundreds of thousands of unfortunates in Russian orphanages, and millions of Russian street children. All of this only worsens Russia's looming demographic disaster.
This is a population that is undernourished, understimulated, underbonded, undereducated (both academically and in life skills), and abused in nearly every physical, sexual, and psychological way imaginable. There are exceptions of course, but the average government orphanage is a grim place indeed, understaffed with underpaid and overworked employees.
The result of this hopeless situation for these forgotten children who are anathema in their own country is a nearly 25% suicide rate and, without intervention, a life span that averages 25 years. The children, unprepared in any way for the challenging Russian life, are dumped out of the orphanages at age 16 years. They are offered few options in life—cannon fodder for the army, various criminal occupations such as drug trafficking and prostitution, or work in paint or shoe factories (which are highly toxic). They are lost to disease, drug and alcohol addiction, white slavery, and the military along with suicide and violent death. __ Dr Jan Adams, MD, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 160 No. 5, May 2006
Russia is literally dying from the inside out. Dying of despair, dying of neglect, dying of corrupt mafia-style exploitation of the population by the criminal ruling class.
In Moscow, the prostitution of children is highly organised and mainly controlled by criminal gangs, facilitated by corruption on the part of law enforcers. Agents who recruit girls work in educational establishments, employment services, cafés, railway stations and marketplaces, and entice minors with promises of good jobs and "the high life'. Most of the child victims in the city live on the street either all or most of the time. In St. Petersburg… some pimps do operate, and sometimes even children are used as pimps. In the northern region, a substantial number of children become victims of commercial sexual exploitation through their parents, who are often involved in prostitution themselves and involve their children directly or sell them to pimps or traffickers; children as young as eight are sexually exploited, and advertisements explicitly seek girls to engage in work of a sexual nature.
Fertility rates in Russian cities are very low, although very high fertility rates exist in predominately Muslim regions such as the Caucasus. As in many western European cities, "Muhammed" is becoming one of the most popular names in Russian birthing wards and schools.
Putin has offered bonuses to young women for bearing children, but how many of these "bonus babies" end up in orphanages, on the streets, or trafficked abroad?
The perfect demographic storm of comparatively high mortality, low fertility and emigration of well-educated professionals is increasingly burdening Russian society and its deteriorating economy. In addition to a shrinking labor force, mounting costs for its aging population and troubling premature deaths, especially among men, Russia is facing difficulties in filling critical jobs with largely unskilled non-Russian migrants, many working illegally in the country.
As Russia disintegrates from the inside out, its "top-down" elitist ruling class is showing signs of cracking. If — as many observers believe — Russia is on the verge of a violent internal cataclysm, the fate of Russia's children will only grow more dire.
GIRL MODEL is available on Nexflix.com
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