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“We wrote in the police wrote, but that did nothing”

Основатель движения «Альтернатива» — о современном рабстве

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Oleg Melnikov, the leader of the "Alternative"
Oleg Melnikov, the leader of the “Alternatives”

In Russia 7 thousand people annually fall into labour or sexual slavery. The movement “Alternative” is, perhaps, the only Russian organization that deals with rescuing people from the hands of fake employers. Its founder, Oleg Melnikov, admits that he once believed slavery an anachronism.

Free plan

The movement “Alternative” emerged in 2012 and exists on donations. Oleg Melnikov has never aimed to free people from slavery — began as a political activist, organized “Antiseliger” All agreed the case: a friend asked Oleg to help a relative in Dagestan. Then it seemed that it would only be one trip. Now “Alternative” — only what Oleg.

“we then Released five people, brought to Moscow a bunch of footage, sent to all journalists, but nobody was interested. Fame we got after galyanovskoe case (the infamous shop “Products” in Sochi, where for several years held in slavery employees), then the media started to take us seriously”.

Simple schema

Usually salvation is on such algorithm: came-saw-was taken. The staff of “Alternatives” trying to keep it quiet. Volunteers are always ready to clashes to go on the safe path sometimes does not work.

“The Police are trying to attract, but according to the existing article of the criminal code “human trafficking” is extremely excited few things, and brought to the prison unit. The article is raw and has not been modified since 2003. It is unclear who should be considered slaves. Police asked: “are You chained?”. Where did they get this idea? Slaves were never chained, they would not be able to work.”

According to Oleg, the police of the CIS looks bad people, with the exception of Belarus. Every loss is an emergency. Once the higher ranks of the Belarusian police have contacted “Alternative”, not relying on their Russian colleagues.

Statistics on missing persons in the territory of the Russian Federation
Statistics on missing persons in the territory of the Russian Federation.


With the rescued men employees of “Alternatives to” contact rare: for a small state too many of them. Usually the victims are willing to accept the help, but there are exceptions.

“it was an amazing case of a girl from Ghana. Came to pick her up, and she doesn’t want to go. Somehow found out that she is afraid of voodoo. She took a tuft of hair, and she decided that she would kill her and family if she leaves. As a result, one of our volunteers bought at the baby store tambourine, knocked at it and said, “voodoo Magic shot”. Funny to us, but for her the real problem.”

“Urgently need a job”

Fall into slavery through recruiters, fake ads on the Internet. Many are looking for ways to make money in a crisis. Take a ticket to Moscow all the money in the hope that they will find jobs and begin to look directly at the station. They are suitable, offer job, for example, in the suburbs, after the name to note. Wake up people then anywhere: in Kaluga, Russia, in Dagestan. Into sexual slavery through lure casting Agency. Mostly girls find in Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Greece.

Signs of fake listings

    • Ad type “known to the Agency invites…”.
    • Questionable email address without a website company.
    • Great salary for the type of activity that does not require special skills.

The Concealment of data on place of work, the activity, the amount of salary.


Strangers among friends

“Usually, other people don’t. For example, the story of the shop in Sochi. Communicate with local, they say, “so what, big deal, but there bread is delicious.” There beaten and raped — all confirm that for help addressed too. “We in the police wrote, and that did nothing” — meet the witnesses”.

The authorities do not cooperate with volunteers. Most embassies do not want to intervene, trying to protect themselves, are actually condemning the man to wander. “Alternative” has now filed a criminal case. In their the shelter there lived four freed man from the CIS. The police accused the volunteers in aiding the illegal migrants. Attempts to explain in what have not resulted.

a helping Hand

The most difficult to find volunteers in not the most attractive job. Sometimes the task for those wishing to help are six months later, when many burn out. In a constant state of “Alternatives” from seven to fifteen people. 90% of the cases — a routine that is not paid for, and many victims cannot help. Per day lost more people than is for the year, even with the help of the Foundation “Charity” and the organization “Lisa Alert”.

“After all this time are no longer perceived as tragedy. Messages do not cause emotions. This is not cynicism, it’s just that when I see tears every day, it is not imbued”.

How to help

Very often beggars in the streets — people who are held in slavery.
  1. do Not give money.
  2. Offer food or water.
  3. Ask whether you need help.
  4. having Received the standard answer, ask unusual questions: where they came from, where he worked, what he studied.
  5. Offer to call relatives.
  6. When people start to talk about yourself, offer assistance. Tell me that help will come now.
  7. Call the hotline “Alternatives” on the phone +7 965 345 51 61.

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