Q: Why we fight against modern slavery?
A: Most of the victims do not have options of any external support because according to current Russian legislation slave holders are not held criminally responsible (as our practice shows, since 2011 only one criminal case has been instituted on the fact of exploitation). We fight against victim-blaming and modern slavery as global threat. Without addressing modern slavery issue right now, the solution of the problem will demand greater resources and effort in prospect, as well as pose major threat to public security.
Q:Why we can not release all of the victims at one time?
A: The only way to rescue victim following the Russian legislation is to receive an application for help and then conduct rescue mission upon his/her request. Even if we know that the rest of the people are exploited at plant, we are not empowered to take all of them.
Q: Do we pay ransoms for victims?
Q: What happens to slave holders?
A: Regularly, nothing because:
1. The victims do not apply to police because they just want to forget bad experience and keep on going
2. Even if the victim fills in the statement, it is very hard to prove guiltiness of slave holders
Q: How many times did former victims apply for help for the second time?
A: Rarely, our practice identified only 5 such cases.
Q: What is the price of one rescue mission?
A: It depends on the location of captives. For instance, typical cost of a rescue mission in Dagestan – 10,000 rubles. It includes: 500 rubles per day – nutrition; 500 rubles per day – hostel; 4000 rubles for bus ticket to Moscow + traveling to hometown.
Q: What happens to former victims after their release?
A: First of all, we provide victims with safe shelter, food, medical (if necessary) and legal assistance. Despite the option of applying to law enforcement agencies, the overwhelming majority seeks to return back home as soon as possible, so we also provide such assistance, including escorting and transferring the victim to either the family or to appropriate organizations that can help with rehabilitation and employment.
Q: Is it true that most of the victims are alcoholics and underdeveloped?
A: People who drink alcohol are much more likely to become victims of modern slavery. However, this is not the only vulnerable group: these can be people in difficult life situations, unemployed, people with physical or mental disabilities, refugees, migrants, graduates of orphanages and boarding schools, lonely elderly people, etc. As a result of deception, fraud and abduction, these groups fall into exploitation: recruiters offer them a good job and they accept. The criminals withhold documents from a victim, do not pay salary and also beat and threaten the victims. Absolutely anyone can be in this situation. As our practice shows, there were cases when people from wealthy families fell into slavery.
Q: Will we search for a missing person?
A: Since the Alternativa movement is not a search party, we do not. If we receive a search application, we adresss it to appropriate organizations.
What we do ourselves:
1) post finest message
2) show them to rescued people. Some of the people become identified.
You must fill the application form and give consent to process personal data.
Q: How many people have we already rescued?
A: More than a thousand. The exact amount is unknown, because during these years we did not take record.
Q: Which forms of modern slavery do we fight with?
A: Labor slavery, sexual exploitation, forced begging, children exploitation.
Q: What are the stages of rescue missions conducted by the Alternativa movement?
A: It depends on the type of slavery:
1) Labor slavery
a) The victim and / or relatives contact the “Alternativa” hotline.
b) Activists of “Alternativa” determine the approximate location of the applicant and establish the fact of retention during the on-site inspection
c) Activists take the victim from the place of detention accompanied by representatives of law enforcement agencies or organize an irreproachable escape.
d) The activists interrogate the victim and then send him home or to Moscow to be placed in a safe shelter.
In recent years, the Alternativa has established close cooperation with the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Dagestan, as a result of which police officers often turn to activists for help in sending the victim who escaped from the place of detention back home.
2) Sexual slavery.
Most of the victims of sexual exploitation released by the activists of the “Alternativa” are victims of forced prostitution who had been brought to the Russian Federation from African countries.
Stages of rescue mission:
a) The victims apply for help / activists independently interview potential applicants because victims are often afraid to seek help because of fear of violence and social stigma
b) In case of confirmation of the fact of detention, activists locate the brothel and organize a raid together with law enforcement agencies in order to release the victims and detain the criminals
c) “Alternativa” provides former victims with safe shelter and livelihoods, as well as medical, legal, and other types of support.
3) Forced begging.
Activists of the “Alternativa” regularly interview people begging in the tube and on the streets. If the beggar has confirmed the fact of exploitation, the activists will take the victim to the office for questioning and determine further actions, and also go to the police.