Development Touted as an Antidote to Prostitution in Eastern Europe

So Says Italian Forum of Family Associations

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ROME, JAN. 24, 2001 ( The Italian Forum of Family Associations is promoting development projects in the struggle against prostitution in former Soviet countries.

The organization made the announcement in order to encourage support for the Family for Family project. The project aims to combat the trafficking in human beings, especially women, by addressing the causes of the problem.

The forum revealed that «half of the 50,000 foreign prostitutes in Italy» come from the East, «35% of whom are less than 18 years old.»

The figures will increase over the next few years because, «unlike what happens in the rest of Europe, in the Eastern countries the problem of child abandonment is constantly increasing,» the forum explained in a statement.

«According to UNICEF, the number of institutionalized children rose in 1999 to 1,552,500, more than half of whom were girls,» the forum said.

The «causes of this increase must be sought exclusively in family disintegration and the lack of social services for families,» the statement continued.

Moreover, «in countries like Moldova, Ukraine, Romania and Albania, at 18 the girls who grow up in institutions are turned out on the street, becoming easy prey of the international prostitution mafias,» the Family Associations reported.

Therefore, «in order to give young people from the East a different future, it is necessary in these countries to open family homes, apartment clusters, social cooperatives, and centers of professional training, which restore their dignity,» forum president Luisa Santolini said.

The forum has already begun to open the first homes for young women who also have a chance at job training.

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