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Thursday, 20 October 2011

THE HARSH REALITY OF TRAFFICKING


Oxford, the city of dreaming spires.
A place many wish to visit, study and perhaps even settle down in their lifetime.
However, every city has a darker side to it, and Oxford is not alone.
With in the last few years human trafficking has been gaining a lot of attention.
This attention being particullar to Oxford, upon the discovery of a sex trafficking ring in 2010.

 Local pimps Anastassios Papas of Iffley Road, East Oxford and Graham Cochrane of Bicester were the first men to be convicted of the crime of human trafficking in the county. The duo forced young and vulnurable Eastern European women into modern day slavery, as they became prostitutes within the city for the 'Fun Girls Escort Agency'.

Both the police and the judicial system have been praised for their efforts, as both men combined will faced a 12 year jail sentence from the Oxford Crown Court for their actions. The pair will also be placed upon the sex offenders register for life and are banned from any future involvement in the promotion of female personal services.
Anastassios Papas is currently on the run
Anastassios Papas (42)
Graham Cochrane
Graham Cochrane (49)
Local charity OXCAT (Oxford Community Against Trafficking) aims to end trafficking. Campaigning against domestic slavery, forced labour and sexual exploitation, the recent convictions have given the charity the ammunition needed to make a real stand to ensure the problem is known and stopped.

This was demonstrated recently as the community group participated in a shocking, but effective flash mob. Taking their demonstration to the streets of Oxford at 1pm on Tuesday the 18th the group coincided the event with National Anti-Slavery day as they adorned themselves with blindfolds. Holding a silent protest for five minutes before revealing their 'pretty girls for sale'. Five women stood sorrowfully in cages as the campaigners bellowed to the shocked public. 



OXCAT believe that the case may cause further pain by highlighting an industry for sex within Oxford and that opportunists may act upon their victims vulnerability much like Papas and Cochrane. The battle wages on, but the message is clear; adorned across Oxford posters and billboards alike state: The truth isn't sexy.
  





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