The Washington Post reports:
But while other countries are improving, Russia is moving backward. By Russian police estimates, there were 50,000 sex-trafficking victims — the majority of them age 16 or younger — in Moscow in 2007, according to the organization MiraMed. Hundreds of girls have disappeared from orphanages into prostitution, some lured with promises of jobs and others abducted. Many of them are trafficked abroad: The Protection Project, a Washington-based human rights institute, ranks Russia among the top 10 countries of origin for trafficked human beings.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities are methodically dismantling the country’s once-robust civil society. Human rights groups are required to register as foreign agents if they receive foreign assistance, and their leaders are increasingly harassed, hounded and jailed. The U.S. government has financially supported Russian anti-trafficking organizations in the past but can no longer do so because of restrictions enacted in November.
Will President Barack Obama have the courage to stand up to human trafficking in Russia?