State of World Population 2006

A Passage to Hope - Women and International Migration

image of State of World Population 2006

This year’s report focuses on the lives of migrant women. Every year millions of women working overseas send hundreds of millions of dollars in remittances back to their homes and communities. These funds go to feed and educate children, provide health care, build homes, foster small businesses and generally improve living standards for loved ones left behind. For host countries, the labour of migrant women is so embedded in the fabric of society that it goes virtually unnoticed. Migrant women toil in the households of working families, soothe the sick and comfort the elderly. They contribute their technical and professional expertise, pay taxes and quietly support a quality of life that many take for granted.

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Selling hope and stealing dreams: Trafficking in women and the exploitation of domestic workers

Sylvia’s descent into the dark world of trafficking began when a neighbour told the then 19-year-old he could help her find a good job as a sales girl in Moscow. Unemployed, broke, with a baby daughter and no husband or employment prospects in her hometown of Ungheni, Sylvia (not her real name) decided to journey to the Moldovan capital of Chisinau where she was to meet two men who would arrange for her travel to Russia. What followed was a nightmare of beatings, rape, privation and sickness. Sylvia had fallen into the hands of traffickers and was eventually smuggled with 11 others to Moscow—and straight into the murky underworld of globalized sexual servitude.

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