REASONS FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
What are the reasons for the appearance of trafficking in persons?
There are many reasons for the emergence of trafficking in persons. Most often, they are predetermined by numerous political, economic, social and cultural factors. Trafficking in persons operates according to the principle of supply and demand.
On one hand, there are certain incitement factors in the countries of origin (unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, situations of armed or war conflicts and repression, lack of political, social and economic stability, domestic violence, gender discrimination, lack of proper access to education and information etc.), which have an effect on people who decide to migrate to other cities or countries in search of a better life or simply as part of the fight for survival.
On the other hand, in developed and wealthy countries, i.e. destination countries, there is a vast demand for inexpensive products, cheap labor and low-priced services (temptation factors). Organized crime groups have found their own interest and an opportunity for making huge profits by connecting the supply and demand. All these reasons contribute towards increased (desire for) migration, but in conditions of restricted possibilities for legal migration due to numerous repressive policies, people use various smuggling channels and go-betweens, exposing themselves to deceit, violence, abuse and exploitation. In addition, there are also the so-called “universal factors” that also have their share in the development of trafficking in persons. The absence of information on trafficking in persons, as well as the absence of an authentic information regarding the possibilities abroad, corruption of government officials in the counties of origin, transit and destination, responsible for the
fight against trafficking in persons, nonexistent incrimination of trafficking in persons in certain countries or the inappropriate penal policies in regard to the offenders, strict visa and immigration regimes, as well as the inadequate capacities of the individuals who are in charge of enforcing the laws and controlling the borders, are also factors that facilitate the actions of trafficking in persons and increase the vulnerability among the general population.
What are the consequences? Is there re-victimization of the victims instead of protection?
The victims in the process of trafficking in persons are abused and exploited in specific conditions, which may result in short-term and long-term minor and severe psychological and physical injuries, diseases and infections, especially sexually transmitted diseases or HIV viruses and sometimes this can go to the extreme and result even with permanent disability and death. Any symptoms like: anxiety, depression, alienation, disorientation, aggression and difficulties in concentration are direct consequences of the long-term and repeated traumatic experiences that victims suffered during the process of trafficking in persons. Various studies have shown that injuries and traumas acquired during the process of trafficking in persons can last for a long period after the person has left the situation of exploitation, especially if there is no appropriate support and counseling provided. The rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking in persons is a long-term and complex process that cannot guarantee success with any certainty. Even, when it is possible to resolve any physical problems and to overcome the stigma, the trauma and the psychological damage hinder the overall process of healing, which is already additionally obstructed by the problems related to the accessibility of services. Some of the victims can no longer adapt to the ways of living that they previously considered as “normal”. The rights of victims often continue to be violated, even after they have
left the situation of exploitation and trafficking, i.e. in many cases they are faced with re-victimization. Namely, in many of the countries, the protection provided to trafficked persons is still directly conditioned by their willingness to cooperate with the competent authorities. However, such a conditional protection is contrary to the full access and protection of human rights, since every exploited victim is guaranteed unconditional support and respect for his or her rights and the use of trafficked persons merely as an instrument in the criminal proceedings are not allowed.
ToR national consultant for action plan and training on the Unified SOPs Macedonia
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