Two Centers in Moldova Combat Trafficking in Women

Initiative of Italian Regina Pacis Foundation

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LECCE, Italy, NOV. 11, 2001 ( The Archdiocese of Lecce has launched a program to combat the trafficking in women from Eastern Europe for prostitution.

The Regina Pacis Foundation, which manages a center for immigrants in Italy, has established two centers in Moldova which will be at the «service of victims of trafficking» 24 hours a day, in an effort to halt the problem, the archdiocese told ZENIT.

The two facilities are called «New Wings.» They include a reception center and development agency to support Western businesses, especially Italian, which hope to invest in Moldova, to create more jobs and attack the problem at its roots.

Moldova is a Maryland-size republic nestled between Romania and Ukraine. It is on the route of Eastern European mafias involved in illegal migration and human trafficking.

Referring to the two centers, Archbishop Cosmo Ruppi of Lecce said, «These are options of clearly social commitment, in poor lands from which the victims of trafficking come, who have been rescued by the Regina Pacis Foundation.»

It is an attempt «to protect and offer development to end poverty and confront forced trafficking,» added Archbishop Ruppi, who plans to visit Moldova this week.

Father Cesare Lodeserto, director of Regina Pacis, said the initiative has the support of young Moldovan women. Father Lodeserto has worked for years in the struggle against forced prostitution, and is hoping for support from Western businesspeople.

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