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The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  871 ratings  ·  94 reviews
On the black market, they're the third most profitable commodity, after illegal weapons and drugs-the only difference being that these goods are human, though to their handlers they are wholly expendable. They are women and girls, some as young as 12, from all over the Eastern bloc, where sinister networks of organized crime have become entrenched in the aftermath of the c ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 12th 2005 by Arcade Publishing
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: governance
There is an inclination with books like this to rate on the subject matter. Were I to follow that urge, I'd be five-starring this.

Human trafficking is a horrific reality that could benefit from far more attention than it is receiving. The latest surge in the peddling of flesh comes as a result of the break-up of the Soviet Union. Women from several of the former states (chiefly Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine) are flooding the market - most of them victims of cleverly-crafted advertisemen
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
As a hardcore libertarian, I used to support the notion of legalized prostitution. However, this book made me change my mind. If the only people who did this kind of work did so by choice or through a desire to provide a service, then why bother? After all, it's not up to me to tell anyone how they should earn a living. However, this book reveals the chilling reality: prostitution is largely run by organized crime and the women who participate in it are usually nothing more than slaves. Some of ...more
May 26, 2012 rated it liked it
I really disliked Malarek's writing, but the book is full of urgently important and highly damning information nonetheless. It will leave you depressed, furious, and in no doubt about three things: Men who buy women and girls for sex (including vast numbers of Western military, UN, and policemen) are a scourge upon human society, the U.S. government is shamefully cynical, and prostitution apologists (including women) are racist assholes. ...more
Krista Bunny
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I can't express it any deeper. It's not a "That book was so awesome!" kind of wow, even though it did knock my socks off. It's more like a "Wow, I think I just threw up in my mouth and then swallowed it back down because the truth this book just hit me with is so disgusting and terrifying".
I first heard Victor Malarek talk when he was promoting his newest book "The Johns" which I intend to read as well. Here was this man I'd never heard of before standing up in front of Catholic Social Ser
Brittany McCann
While this book is good to read once, it's definitely not one that you will be wanting to re-read anytime soon.

I have been following and studying human trafficking a lot over the years and there is a disproportionately high rate of it in my vicinity. I have already always been on the lookout for signs of this and have reported a couple of them that seemed like they didn't add up in a big way. This book will make you see even more signs around you.

I would say that this book was a good comprehen
Ginny Hanson
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
saddest part about this book is that in the 9 years since it was printed, human trafficking has now surpassed weapon & drugs as the single most profitable trafficked trade.
This was an amazing yet terrifying book: Victor Malarek offers an overview of the third biggest illegal world industry - human trafficking. He interviews the women - the "Natashas" (Natasha being what the johns call any slavic woman they buy) - who are raped every day after having been sold into sexual slavery.

The majority of the women interviewed are from the Eastern European countries after the fall of the Soviet bloc, and as we get insight into their lives, one cannot help but be shocked by t
Kryssy Claremont
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was so intense I had to take a break from reading it for a day. I felt so many emotions disgusted, hurt, anger, helpless.
I hope changes implemented have actually made a difference in sex trafficking since this book was written. I hope harsher punishments have been put in place.
The author gives great first hand experiences and is knowledgeable on the topic. A good read for people who think sex trafficking isn't a big problem or that it doesn't happen everywhere.
This book is 2nd book I've read about sex life-style after Jakarta Undercover ...
But it's so different...
In this book, the author tells us about women in world trade...
woman like a doll, that sold and bought freely.

initially, I was confused. Why the book titled NATASHA? It's similar to my name, Anastasya... LOL XD
But, after I've read this book, I know that...
Natasha is a name all women in world trade.

quotations of two initial chapters in Indonesian, I've write:

"Kehidupanku bukan milikku lagi" -
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Have to wonder why Malarek doesn't offer as much insight into Canada as he does the other countries, but still a powerful read. Should be read with Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, which offers hard detail. Malarek's is less econmically based but does present much infromation and detail. Malarek also focuses on one group as well as lesser known trafficking areas.

I also liked the section about Kosovo, espcially since I had recently seen the Whistleblower.
Elin Eriksson
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This should be required reading for all libertarian assholes.
Feb 21, 2022 rated it liked it
A little dated now, but worth your time; for nonfiction it’s a very easy read. I spent a lot of time thinking about how sex trafficking can flourish and who patronizes establishments with trafficked women and children as a result of reading. What I learned is that even brothels and clubs with willing employees likely deal in a certain amount of women forced into sexual slavery as well. I was and still am confused about how the men who pay for the services of these women square the morality of it ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an unsettling but necessary read to understand the horrors of sex trafficking. While published in 2004, it does not seem that this practice has ebbed. Furthermore, considering Trump is an asset of the Russian mob, this serves as a potent background for what Trump and many others in the GOP are enabling if not taking part in.
Amy Wathen
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it
The information is tragic and so upsetting. The facts were good but a little repetitive. Overall I finished the book feeling little hope for the situation. 😩
Jun 05, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was horrifying and fascinating. It was well written and engaging, totally making me rethink anything I thought I knew about prostitution, especially foreign prostitutes.

The end did get a little bogged down in politics (spoiler alert: no one cares, not even America), but other than that I devoured the book.

Highly recommend everyone read.
Erik Graff
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Johns
Recommended to Erik by: Elizabeth M.
This was my first book about prostitution, so I don't have much to compare it to. The author, however, doesn't expect much from the reader and the book is written like a long article from a magazine like The New Yorker.

Malarek is a Ukranian-Canadian and his focus here is on that chapter in the history of prostitution following the breakup of the Warsaw Pact, in other words, on Eastern European women and girls desperate for work. Reference is made to previous periods, such as the prior dominance
Josh Muhlenkamp
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: current-issues, crime
Malarek does an exceptional job of demonstrating that there is a massive problem of trafficking in Eastern European women for the sex trade. He also demonstrates how this problem is not just something that is seen in "backward" countries, but is all too common in advanced nations, as well.

While he excels as a diagnostician, he fails utterly in prescribing a cure. He spends multiple chapters complaining about the failure of many nations to adequately prosecute and punish traffickers; then says th
Jul 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Great book I started reading it after I had seen a presentation by a community group who works closely with Victor Malarek when it comes to the global sex trade. The book was so hard to get through and so depressing. I think though it is important to read these kinds of texts because it allow readers access the information and experiences that they may not have always known to have existed.
Jay Rain
Rating - 7.2

Opened up a whole new world on how the underside of society preys on the innocents; Have an entirely, new view on legalizing prostitution and the profession in general

Book becomes a bit redundant as it does not offer anything particularly new in the latter chapters; The reader still feels emotionally attached but that they could have stopped reading

Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Excellent in terms of describing the new global sex trade, but devolves into polemic and that undermines the authority of the reporting at times. At its best the stories are harrowing and heartbreaking stories. If you saw the movie "Taken" you have a glimpse of what this book details. ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not just one story, it made me feel that there is too much to think about and is a bit intimidating at how far reaching the sex trade is. Having said that though I would recommend it as a good overview of what human trafficking is all about and how it effects those around us.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sexology-anthro
This book will pretty much piss you off and disgust you as you wonder how many men you know have paid for sex. For a more thorough review, read the one I wrote of Malarek's "The Johns," which focused on the buyers of this awful "commodity." ...more
Jessica Podruchny
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eye opening. I just wish it was more current. Everything referenced for research was 2004 and earlier.
This was a really difficult book to get through. The harrowing reality of sex trafficking of girls and women in Eastern Europe and the collective effort of mobsters, pimps, sex tourists, UN peacekeepers, police officers, and government officials to keep it alive and thriving really disgusted me. This book was published back in 2005 but I can imagine due to technological advances trafficking methods have become more sophisticated especially with the rise of social media. The stories of these vict ...more
Royce Ratterman
Traffickers range from cruel to vicious, as the author states, and are increasing their efforts and horizons as the years pass by in silence about this 'problem' that is considered of far less important than funding violent protestors, falsified reports, and fabricated ad homonym attacks against opponents in order to gain corrupt political control. This work points out the 'fluff' involved with big words against human trafficking, sadly followed up with inaction - typical political rhetoric for ...more
Fred Dameron
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
An important read. Even though Natashas came out in 04 sex trafficking has gotten worse. The most disgusting thing is how law enforcement around the world is complacent and in some case's compliant with the sex trade and human trafficking. Also Compliant and complacent are governments from the U.S. under Bush, Obama, and now Trump to Israel, Russia, Germany, etc. One of the most disturbing and enlightening notices is how prevalent sex trafficking into Israel and the number of brothels in the Hol ...more
Shawn Ly’s Book Notes & Quotes
“Trafficking in human beings is now the third-largest moneymaking venture in the world, after illegal weapons and drugs.”

“the trade in human beings earns up to $12 billion euros worldwide every year.”

“The women are called “prostitutes,” “whores,” “hookers,” “sluts,” “harlots”—terms laced with opprobrium and distaste. The men who use them go by gentler names—“patrons,” “clients,” “johns”—making them sound refined by comparison. This wordsmithing is not without purpose—it makes it easier for men a
Jeff Rowbotham
Apr 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
On the black market, they're the third most profitable commodity, after illegal weapons and drugs-the only difference being that these goods are human, though to their handlers they are wholly expendable. They are women and girls, some as young as 12, from all over the Eastern bloc, where sinister networks of organized crime have become entrenched in the aftermath of the c ...from the intro

Horror on sex slavery in our world, just as horrible as it sounds. Suffering people in need of our thought,
Anneke Alnatour
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Though the book is slightly dated, and still very much focuses on pre-internet sex trafficking, I think it still is a very important read. I doubt that much has changed when it comes to compliance of authorities and huge amounts of money that is made through sex trafficking.

It is a very readable, and at times eye opening account of how these organisations really work, and how easy it is (relatively) to exploit women and girls....

Catherine Mitchell
A must-read, eye opening exploration of human trafficking around the world. This is reality, and not just in Europe and Asia and nations we can try to distance ourselves from. The United States is far from innocent in these horrors and there is no end in sight. This book wasn't always dynamic and page turning, but it was informative, heartbreaking, infuriating, and necessary. ...more
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Unbelievable 4 15 Feb 14, 2012 09:03PM  

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Victor Gregory Malarek is a Canadian journalist and author. Currently, he is a senior reporter for CTV Television's W-FIVE. ...more

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“From the moment they're recruited to the time they're 'rescued' and deported, trafficked women are terrorized. Every single day they face a world stacked heavily against them. Their only friends are the dedicated women and men who form the thin front line against trafficking--an often thankless job. Those working for nongovernmental aid agencies and organizations are the real heroes in this bleak morass. Still, their work is merely a Band-Aid solution. In the vast majority of cases, NGO workers report that their funding is ad hoc and wholly inadequate to meet even basic needs.

If we truly want a fair shot at saving these women, we need to open not only our minds but also our wallets. We need to focus on programs that care compassionately for the victims and we need to implement them immediately, worldwide. The most urgent priorities are safe shelters and clinics equipped and staffed to offer medical and psychological treatment. We need to understand that most of these women have been psychologically and physically ripped apart. And we need to be prepared for the fac thtat most have been infected with various sexually transmitted diseases.”
“The U.S. government decided it would become the world sheriff. No one forced it to take on the role. Yet ever since it strapped on its six-guns, the actions of its senior deputies have trivialized the process by rewarding recalcitrance. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act was an extraordinary opportunity to promote actions that could save the lives and health of many women and girls. That opportunity has been largely squandered.” 2 likes
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