Victims Voices: Nadejda

Nadejda received assistance through the NGO ‘Institute for Democracy’ in the Republic of Moldova

After graduating from high school, 19-year-old Nadejda tried to find a permanent job, but she had no luck in her native Moldova, Europe’s poorest country. She felt lucky when she got short-term work helping with the harvest.

When her friend Veronica offered her a job working in a shop in Turkey, Nadejda agreed to go. In Istanbul, Veronica took Nadejda’s passport and began introducing her to men seeking wives. She assured Nadeja that marriage would lead to a better life. Nevertheless, Nadejda was frightened. “I realized that Veronica intended to sell me into sex slavery.”

Nadejda managed to call her brother in Moldova, who asked the Institute for Democracy for help. The Institute’s Centre for Legal Assistance advised him of Nadejda’s legal rights and put them in touch with Turkish anti-trafficking organizations. Nadejda learned that she could go to the police if Veronica refused to return her passport. “Veronica was very scared; she did not expect me to be prepared, informed and ready to contact the police if necessary.”

Nadejda returned safely to her family and today she wants to go to university. She is grateful for the Institute for Democracy’s assistance: “it was more than just help; I am sure it actually saved me.”

The Institute for Democracy’s Centre for Legal Assistance provides victims and survivors of human trafficking in Moldova with legal advice and counseling, and raises awareness among the authorities and the general public that human trafficking is a crime and advises how best to help those affected by it. The Centre also operates a legal hotline for trafficking victims.

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