Ready to Fight: Women from Eastern Europe are getting involved in prostitution
Romanian sex workers challenge UK immigration policy
Women targeted claim “they are legitimately self-employed”
Their fight supported by the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP)
‘… but are these ladies trafficked and bound to pimps or are they in the UK ‘freely’ and knowingly? Depends on who’s speaking’
A policy aimed at deporting “high-harm” EU-national criminals and those not entitled to remain in Britain is to be challenged by Romanian sex workers who maintain they are self-employed.
Although freedom of movement is guaranteed within the European Union, the right to stay – after the first three months – is dependent on new arrivals “exercising their treaty rights”, for example, by working or studying.Operation Nexus, a combined police and immigration initiative involving sharing intelligence, has since 2012 been targeting foreign offenders and those suspected of breaking the law.
Immigration enforcement vans Although freedom of movement is guaranteed within the EU, the right to stay after three months is dependent on new arrivals working or studying.
Among those detained and served with deportation papers are an increasing number of women from eastern Europe who have been working on the streets and in premises across London and Manchester. Many do not have convictions.
Prostitution is legal in the UK, although activities associated with it such as kerb-crawling, pimping and owning a brothel are crimes. Some of the women have been arrested by officers during raids intended to break up trafficking rings.
The women, mainly Romanian, have received letters from Operation Nexus officers giving them around a month’s notice that they are liable to be detained and put on a flight back to Bucharest.
EU nationals’ administrative removal on the grounds of not observing their treaty rights can be challenged by arguing that they are studying, working, seeking employment, self-employed or economically self-sufficient in the UK. If removed, EU nationals are banned from re-entering the UK for 12 months.
Several women fighting deportation are now being supported by the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP). “There was a raid which was supposed to be saving victims from trafficking,” explained one young woman who wished to remain anonymous.
The Facilitator: Romanian pimp Meder with two of his girls.’England’s opened the gates and can’t do nothing… Buy these girls for £500 each, they will do 20 clients a day no problem’
The route from Romania to prostitution in UK
Meder living high on the proceeds of his work
With his arms draped around two pretty young women, an Eastern European Mr Big prepares to sell them off as sex slaves bound for Britain.
Adrian Meder is just one of a network of gang bosses aiming to supply girls and make millions over the EU scrapping of our border restrictions with Romania and Bulgaria.
They aim to flood the UK with thousands of young women sold into a sordid, nightmare life of vice. Shortly after this picture was taken in a Romanian club, gloating Meder, 31, boasted to undercover investigators, posing as London pimps, that we could buy both the girls he is posing with for £500 each.
And they would be in the UK by Wednesday, working for us as hookers.
“There is no problems with them going,” he said, grinning. “Because in England they have opened the gate. They can’t do nothing to you. Romania is in Europe now.
“The girls, they have 20 clients per day, no problem. Romanian girls are good for this because it is the job that they know. They stay in school and then they can’t find work and the only solution is to go to work in other countries.
“If you are OK with them and don’t beat them they will be good. They work and they know what they do.”
By the end of the night Meder would offer our men four girls, just out of their teens, for £2,000.
He said the girls would charge punters £120 an hour but they wouldn’t know their pimp would keep £70 of that.
The giggling, starry-eyed girls know a life of prostitution awaits but can have little idea of the brutal reality that may entail. Once in the UK, the girls disappear into a black market of sleazy backstreet saunas, brothels and relentless escort agency work . Many turn to drugs in despair.
Source: Sunday Mirror
“The police took paperwork and money. I asked for a receipt. They said I was being cheeky. They wanted to know if had been trafficked and asked the client if I was taking drugs. He said no.
“They didn’t arrest me but said I should be deported and asked me to go to the police station. I went along with a lawyer and showed a letter from a course proving that I was studying English.” The threat to remove her was eventually dropped.
Maria, not her real name, was stopped on the street and taken to a police station. “I was held for 24 hours,” the 25-year-old said. “A week later I received a letter [saying I would be removed].”
Victoria, was arrested at her flat and questioned about running a brothel. “I was never charged,” the 21-year-old said, “but I was sent a letter. They have taken my passport and said that if my appeal is not successful I will be deported.
“Here you can earn money more easily than in Romania; you can have a better future. I can’t find a normal job.”
Some of the women sent removal letters are now planning to challenge them on the grounds that they are exercising their treaty rights through being self-employed in the sex industry. Previous EU law cases have established that prostitution constitutes self-employment.
Niki Adams, a spokeswoman for the ECP, said: “This deliberate policy of deportation and destitution targets immigrant women, who because of the criminalisation and stigma associated with sex work, will find it harder to defend themselves.
“All the women are mothers who went into sex work because wages in other jobs were too low to feed and clothe their children or because they faced racism from employers.”