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TRAFFICKING

Charges filed over ‘sex slave’ teen girl

A mother, a father and their 25-year-old son were charged with trafficking on Tuesday after having "purchased" a 14-year-old girl in Serbia and bringing her to Sweden to serve as the mentally handicapped son's girlfriend or wife.

”I don’t know of any other case like this that has gone to trial. The special circumstances are the issues with the fiancé, that makes it original,” said deputy chief prosecutor Thomas Ahlstrand at the International Prosecution Chamber in Gothenburg to news agency TT.

The mother and the son are also charged with rape, child rape, and sexual coercion.

The family of the mentally handicapped man believed he would get better if he had a wife, so they bought the girl for him from her father in the Serbian capital, paying €1,000 ($1,360), according to the charges.

The girl arrived in Sweden during the early autumn last year and was allegedly kept under close watch in the flat where she was forced to have sexual intercourse with the son.

“The girl was forced to get engaged in line with Roma customs with the 25-year-old, and was taken to the family’s apartment … where she was locked up,” daily Expressen reported at the time.

According to the prosecutor the father of the girl had not been told of the man’s mental handicap.

He was persuaded into letting the girl come and live with the family.

Apart from the initial money that changed hands, the father in Serbia was given a few smaller sums by the family in Sweden over the course of the year.

However, all three charged denied the allegations.

”The girl has lived there and they don’t think she has been subjected to any crime,” said Ahlstrand.

According to the charge sheet the girl had not turned 15, the age of consent in Sweden, when she came to the country. She fell pregnant on more than one occasion and suffered at least one miscarriage.

Although the girl hasn’t claimed to be locked up by the family. Ahlstrand argued it wasn’t possible for her to leave on her own accord.

”She hasn’t said that she was locked up. But she was under 15 and living with a family her father has left her with. You don’t have to be locked up in that situation. She didn’t want to stay where she was,” said Ahlstrand to TT.

According to daily Expressen, the girl was very happy to have been freed from her ordeal and has allegedly made police promise that she never has to return there again.

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ROMA

Sweden fails to cut number of ‘vulnerable EU migrants’

The number of homeless beggars from Romania and Bulgaria living in Sweden is as high as it was three years ago, according to the new government figures.

Sweden fails to cut number of 'vulnerable EU migrants'
A man begs with a sign asking for work. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT
“There are around 4,500 to 5,000 vulnerable EU citizens currently in Sweden,” Claes Ling-Vannerus, Sweden's national coordinator on the issue, told Swedish state broadcaster SVT.
 
This is the same number estimated in a report  three years ago from Martin Valfridsson, who was appointed by the Swedish government to investigate the issue and what to do about it. 
 
Sweden appointed the national coordinator to work with the governments of Romania and Bulgaria on providing aid to ethnic Roma communities to reduce the attraction of travelling to other European countries to beg. 
 
Municipalities across Sweden and volunteer organisation have offered shelter and food to those in need. 
 
Others have taken a tougher approach, with police this year starting to enforce a begging ban in Vellinge, near Malmö, the first municipality in Sweden to bring in such a ban.
 
 
Ling-Vannerus said that Sweden had recently been seeing growing numbers of poor people from Romania and Bulgaria being put to work “in substandard conditions” as cleaners or builders, or in car garages. 
 
“My conclusion is that it is very attractive to come to Sweden with the life we live here and with free movement of people, it's hard to stop that.” 
 
Sweden appointed the national coordinator to work with the governments of Romania and Bulgaria on providing aid to poor ethnic Roma communities in their countries to reduce the attraction of travelling to other European countries to beg. 
 
Municipalities across Sweden and volunteer organisation have offered shelter and food to the help those who travel to Sweden. 
 
This year police began enforcing a begging ban in Vellinge, near Malmö, the first municipality in Sweden to bring in such a measure. 
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