Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Convicted Sex Trafficker Leaves ‘Celebrity Big Brother’

  • Published on
    September 26, 2018
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Human Trafficking
Hero Banner

A convicted sex trafficker has left a Bulgarian reality TV show — a spinoff of “Celebrity Big Brother” — following an outcry from anti-trafficking and women’s rights campaigners.

Ivan Glavchev, or Vanko 1, exited the show after it came to light that he was a convicted sex trafficker that forced women and children into sex work across Europe. He says his reasons for leaving are personal.

“Over the last few days we have watched in shock as a proven international criminal…has been treated as a hero and a VIP on a prime-time national TV show,” said activist group Ne Si Sama (You Are Not Alone).

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:

The owners of Bulgaria’s Nova TV channel, which airs the show, said it was reviewing its selection criteria and would not allow anyone with a similar conviction to take part in future.

Glavchev was convicted in 2003 of running an organization that trafficked Bulgarian women and a minor to work in prostitution in western Europe, according to various media.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison but only served three after parliament approved a controversial law change which reduced sentences for some prostitution and pimping offences.

During his time in the VIP Brother house, Glavchev is reported to have said: “Gender equality is something artificially pressed on us. I see nothing wrong with women being subject to men. Everyone should know their rightful place.”

Anti-trafficking campaigners were also appalled that a convicted trafficker was offered such a job on reality TV.

“We think it’s very odd to give a public podium to a person who commits a crime as serious as human trafficking,” said Suzanne Hoff, international coordinator at European anti-trafficking group La Strada.

“It shows more or less that it seems to be OK to do that…it gives a very wrong message to the general public,” she added.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

The comment about women’s rightful place, being subject to men, is an affront to all women. How did this former convict come to this conclusion? Does he not have a mother who is to be respected?

This week

U.N. rights chief urges end to E.U.'s support for Libyan Coast Guard

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has called for an urgent review of the European Union's agreement with Libyan authorities to intercept and return migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Speaking at the Human Rights Council, Türk highlighted the alarming scale of “trafficking, torture, forced labor, extortion, and starvation” endured by returned migrants and asylum seekers. “It is unconscionable that people in

| Tuesday July 9, 2024

Read more