man on the airport looking at the airplane

Considering an Offer to Work Abroad?

We do not want to discourage you – your trip can be successful and interesting. Unfortunately, there are many cases when people do not bring any fortune or good impressions from a foreign country, but rather find themselves in a situation of slavery abroad.

Situation of women who are brought to sexual slavery in foreign countries is especially painful. More and more women from the Baltic States become victims of trafficking in human beings and are sold to foreign brothels.

Growing number of girls end up in a humiliating and threatening situation .

In many cases those who got into trouble abroad made similar mistakes. They grounded their decision to take a job in a foreign country on myths and nice stories about easy money abroad, which appeared to be far away from reality. 

Other times women are lured by the promise of a rich foreign husband, but when they arrive it turns out to be a scam. You can save yourself some trouble by reading up on laws and practices for International dating – if you learn how the system works then you can see if what you are being offered is too far outside the norm.

Here are the most common misleading ways of thinking, or myths, when considering a possibility of work in a foreign country. Read the explanations, maybe it will help you not to repeat others’ mistakes.

Lies and reality about job abroad:

  • an offer to work abroad that you get from your acquaintance, friend or relative is absolutely reliable

This is not true. Often women fall into traffickers hands by answering a tempting advertisement, which offers a job as a waitress, dancer, hostess, au pair, housekeeper, model or some unqualified worker. Sometimes a stranger offers her job, perhaps in a disco. On the other hand, great part of the girls fall into traffickers trap through their acquaintances, friends or even relatives. Most victims say they trusted an offer to work abroad just because it came from a person whom they knew well.

ad on the newspaper
  • company advertising its services of employment abroad in a newspaper should be a legal one

It is not so. Public advertising does not guarantee legacy. Newspapers do not check if companies advertising on their pages are legal. Therefore, both – advertisements of legal and illegal companies may be placed in media, you should learn to distinguish them (read the paragraph “What you should do before departure” to find out how to do this).

  • traffickers always look like real criminals, you can recognize them from appearance

This is not true. You can meet various traffickers. Some of them will not resemble criminals at all. On the contrary, they may look very decent and reliable. They may have nice family, children, even a daughter – like you.

  • you will easily earn a lot of money by accepting an offer to work abroad

Don’t believe this. Most often trafficked women do not even see the money they earn. The biggest part or all the money goes to their traffickers, pimps, brothel-owners. Everything is in the hands of those who “bought” a woman. Even when clients pay directly to a girl, traffickers take that money by force or by deceit (for example, telling that they will transfer money for a girl to her bank account, which stays empty, of course).

  • employers buy you clothes, underwear, food, tickets, etc. out of share kindness

It is a lie. Traffickers buy various things for girls for two reasons. First, this is a kind of “investment into the product” – girl has to look good so that it would be easier to sell her. Second, traffickers want to make women indebted and thus to get more control over them. Trafficked women later have to pay back for all such “presents”. Girls are put in debts for the trip, for their living place, clothes, food, etc. and they work to repay all that. Women even have to give back their pimp the money that he paid buying her!

  • you do not have to obtain an official work permit for a short job abroad or you will get it when already in a foreign country

It is not true. Generally you always have to get a work permit or work visa before leaving your home-country and starting your job abroad. There are very few exceptions to this rule, and you should check them at the embassy or consulate of your destination country. If you go to a foreign country as a tourist and start working there you immediately become an illegal person there. Illegal immigrants are socially unprotected and they have no rights. They are exploited and they have nobody to complain to and nobody defends their elementary human rights.

contract signing
  • you will be able to sign a contract with the employer when already abroad

Do not agree with this. Claim that the contract was signed before going to the foreign country. In most cases signed contract is required by foreign country’s officials to issue a work permit. The contract can be in a foreign language and you may be unable to understand everything – in this case ask for assistance. There were cases when working in sex industry was included in the so-called “contract”.

  • they will need your passport to employ you (to get a work permit, etc.)

It is a lie. Regardless of your legal status, your employer does not need your passport and has no right to hold it. Even for an illegal work your employer does not need your passport. Without a passport person in a foreign country has no rights, and it is much more difficult to get some help for him/her.

  • you will be able to quit the “work” if you do not like it, and go home whenever you want

It is a lie. Being indebted to their pimps, having given their passports away girls loose their rights and become totally controlled by traffickers and pimps. Girls become like things that can be sold, re-sold and their pimps do whatever they like with them. “The owner” will not let the girl go unless she earns him the money he payed for her, nor will he allow a woman to escape if she brings good profit for him. When and under what conditions to let a girl free – the decision is to be taken by “the owner” alone.

  • They will harm your family or other close people if you do not obey.

Violence is often used to force women into prostitution and fulfill all the customers’ wishes. Any woman’s attempt to resist is overcome by threats and violence. Because the “employers” have the women’s home address, it is easy to convince her that unless she does what she is told they will harm her family and relatives. However, traffickers are not always as powerful as they tell. They can control a powerless girl imprisoned at their place, but traffickers have no power over the rest of the world, including the police, humanitarian and non-governmental organizations, state powers – you can address them for help.

  • it is senseless to seek assistance from outside

It is not so. Calling the police, embassy or non-governmental organisation will not make your situation worse. At least, your health and life will not be at threat any more, and you will be assisted. Currently the attitude towards women sold to brothels abroad is changing in many countries. If earlier they were simply concidered illegal migrants, now they are treated more like victims of crime.

  • if you appeal for help everyone in your home-country will find out what has happened to you

Without approval of the woman no information about her will be send to her home-country – not for official institutions, not for her relatives nor friends.

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