By Linda Stasi. Van Sant and crew traveled to Romania, among other places, to investigate the billion-dollar slave trade, which is flourishing all over the world, and was able to buy a young woman within one day of arrival. Yes, buy. To keep. Of course, they bought her to rescue her and ensconse her safely in a shelter for women victims of the slave trade. While that claim seems exaggerated at best, or at least impossible to prove after all, before our modern age, either a person fell onto the side of conqueror or the conquered, and those who fell into the latter, generally became slaves , the show does stand behind it. At some point, many of them fall victim to the flourishing slave trade. Oftentimes lured with promises of jobs, food and shelter, they become trapped as sex slaves, where they are beaten, bought and sold.
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Circassian beauties is a stereotype and a belief used to refer to an idealized image of the women of the Circassian people of the Northwestern Caucasus. A fairly extensive literary history suggests that Circassian women were thought to be unusually beautiful, spirited, and elegant, and as such were desirable as concubines. This reputation dates back to the Late Middle Ages, when the Circassian coast was frequented by traders from Genoa, and the founder of the Medici dynasty, Cosimo de' Medici , had an illegitimate son from a Circassian slave. During the Ottoman Empire and Persian Safavid and Qajar dynasties, Circassian women living as slaves in the Sultan's Imperial Harem and Shah's harems started to build their reputation as extremely beautiful and genteel, which then became a common trope in Western Orientalism. As a result of this reputation, in Europe and America Circassians were often characterised as ideals of feminine beauty in poetry and art. Cosmetic products were advertised, from the 18th century on, using the word "Circassian" in the title, or claiming that the product was based on substances used by the women of Circassia. In consequence, most wives of several Ottoman Sultans were ethnic Circassians converted to Islam , e. The "golden age" of the Circassian beauty may be considered to be between the s, when the Russian Empire seized the Crimean Khanate and cut off their slave trade in Eastern European women, which increased the demand for Circassian women in Near Eastern harems; and the s, when the Russians destroyed Circassia itself. In the s the showman P.
The term serf loose translation from Russian 'krepostnoy' stands for an unfree person who, unlike a slave, can only be sold with the land they are "attached" to. In , the Global Slavery Index reported on unsatisfactory living conditions of migrant workers who, for a number of reasons, cannot obtain work permits in Russia but continue to work in the country illegally and for minimum wage. In Kievan Rus' and Muscovy , legal systems usually referred to slaves as kholopy. A kholop's master had unlimited power over his life: he could kill him, sell him, or use him as payment upon a debt. The master, however, had responsibility before the law for his kholop's actions. Individuals could become kholop as a result of capture, selling themselves, being sold for debts, committing crimes , or marriage to a kholop. Until the late 10th century, the kholopy represented a majority among the servants who worked lords' lands. The Russian lands continued in their historic function as a source of slaves for outsiders. Russian slavery did not have racial restrictions. Russian girls were legally allowed to be sold in Novgorod to Tatars from Kazan in the s by Russian law.
Moscow's illegal flesh markets are flourishing, with up to 30 women at each pickup point, or tochka, standing in order of price for the night. Aid workers for groups fighting for women's rights say Moscow is witnessing a surge in prostitution, including forced prostitution, as a result of Russia's booming economy. They say thousands of young women are made to work as sex slaves on the city's streets, unable to escape from the ruthless and violent criminal gangs who traffic them.