Financing Organised Crime: Human Trafficking in Focus

The Centre for the Study of Democracy has released a paper looking at human trafficking within the EU and how it can be best understood by placing the financial proceeds of human trafficking at the centre of analysis. The paper recognises that there are substantial gaps in knowledge surrounding finances in trafficking in human beings in the EU, and this in part stems from local level law enforcement lacking specific experience in dealing with organised crime finances.

The report is broken into five main sections, including:

  1. A general overview of the state of criminal money management (CMM), and CMM within the specific context of human trafficking.
  2. Contemporary trends and market structures for human trafficking in the EU countries studied.
  3. The role money has to play in human trafficking.
  4. The role and implications ICT has for human trafficking.
  5. Survey of the role money laundering investigations can have in tackling trafficking in human beings.

The report concludes by summarising the main findings from each section and making policy recommendations for future research and practice.

Access to the full paper can be found here.

 

Behaviour change communications campaigns targeting the demand

The Freedom Fund have published a paper reviewing the use of Behaviour Change Campaigns, which have been used in healthcare and development sectors to try and influence and transform the behaviour of individuals. The paper reviews Behaviour Change Campaigns which have targeted issues such as child abuse, violence against women, and sexual violence in an effort to develop a future campaign that might tackle modern slavery and child sexual exploitation in Kathmandu.  This paper has drawn on 28 different studies.

The paper has reached several conclusions. The main findings are:

  1. The focus needs to be on injunctive not descriptive norms;
  2. Behaviour Change Campaigns are effective in a wide variety of mediums. However, this is not to say that they will be effective in every medium and context.
  3. Campaigns often succeed in bringing about positive change in the targeted individuals. However, there is some evidence that adverse effects can result.
  4. Evaluation must be embedded from the onset of the Behavioural Change Campaign. Since Behaviour Change Campaigns can have adverse effects the continual effectiveness of the campaign must be subject to constant evaluation.

 

The report was released in January 2019, and can be found here.

Combating Modern Slavery through Data, Technology and Partnerships

Technology, communications, and data are being increasingly used for the purposes of combating human trafficking and modern slavery. A new paper by Liberty Shared considers the strengths  and limitations of different data sources and methodologies of data collection, with a particular focus on ‘big data’ and ‘thick data’. It notes that the effective gathering and analysing of data has a vital role in understanding and tackling major societal issues such as modern slavery. The report also looks at partnerships that can combine with differing tools of data collection and communication to maximise the impact of different organisations  with varied strengths and capabilities.

The report also makes note of the need for public-private sector collaborations, and explores how both sectors will stand to benefit greatly in their anti-trafficking and anti-slavery efforts from these partnerships.

The full paper can be found here.

Ending Forced Labour by 2030: A Review of Policies and Programmes

In 2016 a report by the International Labour Organisation found that on any given day there were around 25 million people subjected to forced labour, of which just over 4 million people were below the age of 18. This report by the ILO looks back on the targets set by the international community to end forced labour by 2030 and ensure that child labour had been eradicated by 2025, and aims to guide policy and procedure in the lead up to these key dates. The report is split into three sections:

  1. Key numbers relating to global modern slavery and the ways in which it may manifest.
  2. Ending forced labour through the 2014 forced labour protocol: which is broken into 4 key parts; Prevention, Protection, Remedies, and Enforcement.
  3. and, Ending forced labour in children and adults: looking forward to 2030 and 2025.

These sections identify the background and key information surrounding modern slavery, the current international instruments, and makes suggestions for ensuring that the targets are met.

The report can be found here.

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Report on Understanding and Responding to Modern Slavery within the Homelessness Sector

In January 2017 a report titled ‘Understanding and Responding to Modern Slavery within the Homelessness Sector‘ was published. This was the result of an initial scoping exercise commissioned by the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner in 2016 to survey and better understand the links between modern slavery and homelessness. As part of this report, a leading charity in the homelessness sector, The Passage, was appointed to research the issue.

The report made use of 61 online surveys and 2 focus groups across England in conjunction with semi-structured interviews to research the links between these two issues. The key findings were that individuals living on the streets were vulnerable to exploitation, and that those who were already victims of modern slavery were at risk of becoming homeless if no effective long term support provisions are made available to them. As such, the report presents a set of recommendations designed to address the issues raised by the study and to improve collaborative, multi-agency responses.

The recommendations fall into three categories:

  1. Training and Raising Awareness
  2. Data Collection and Collation
  3. Partnerships

This report focuses on modern slavery and homelessness within England.

The Full report can be found here.

GRETA 2018: Report concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by the Netherlands

GRETA’s report on human trafficking response in the Netherlands marks progress and positive actions being taken to address the crime, including:

  • Increased funding for police and prosecution services dealing with trafficking cases
  • The creation of the Victim Identification Board, an independent multidisciplinary body tasked with the identification of victims of human trafficking
  • The awareness-raising campaigns concerning trafficking for different forms of exploitation and the steps taken to strengthen cooperation in the field of labour migration
  • Attention paid to victim compensation and many decisions by courts ordering perpetrators to pay compensation to victims of trafficking

However GRETA’s report marks the concern with the decreasing number of prosecutions and convictions for trafficking offences recently. Sexual exploitation is the most common driver of human trafficking within the Netherlands, however the number of prosecutions for sex trafficking halving over the last five years. It is suggested that Dutch authorities thoroughly investigate trafficking offences and ensure prosecution with ‘proportionate and dissuasive sanctions’, as well as ‘improve the identification of and assistance to child victims of trafficking’.

For the full October 2018 Report concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by the Netherlands, read here.

The Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group REPORT: Before the Harm is Done: Examining the UK’s Response to the Prevention of Trafficking 2018

Despite the UK’s Modern Slavery Act being groundbreaking and globally leading legislation, it is still a prominent issue within the UK that needs to be addressed at a preventative stage. This report updates the 2012 research relating to the prevention of human trafficking. Findings problematise the tendency to frame the anti-trafficking response through a criminal justice lens.

The report concludes that

  • The UK continues to lack an overall strategy to prevent trafficking in adults and children;

  • This leads to an inconsistent and fragmented approach to the prevention of trafficking;

  • The UK’s lack of a strategic response means that prevention is often seen through the prism and policies of immigration and crime, hindering effective preventative action;

  • The result of this approach and the wider policies of austerity, a hostile immigration environment and the threats posed by Brexit, is that the vulnerability of adults and children to exploitation is not reduced and the UK risks contravening its positive obligation to prevent trafficking.

For the full September 2018 report ‘Before the Harm is Done: Examining the UK’s response to the prevention of trafficking’, read here.  

EUROPOL REPORT: Criminal networks involved in the trafficking and exploitation of underage victims in the EU 2018

Europol’s latest report follows as human trafficking is a crime priority in the 2018 – 2021 EU Policy Cycle. Notably, Europol reports that approximately 28 percent of global trafficking victims are children, who are preyed on as they are one of the most vulnerable and weak social sectors. In the EU, traffickers target minors primarily for sexual exploitation, also labour exploitation and forced criminality. A prominent issue is the lack of reporting around male minors trafficked or exploited within the EU.

The aim is to disrupt organised crime groups (OCGs) involved in intra-EU human trafficking and human trafficking from the most prevalent external source countries for the purposes of labour exploitation and sexual exploitation, including those groups using legal business structures to facilitate or disguise their criminal activities.

For the full October 2018 report ‘Criminal networks involved in the trafficking and exploitation of underage victims in the EU’, read here.

UNODC ANNUAL REPORT: Covering activities during 2017

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) plays a critical role in global crime intervention. Their remit covers cooperation between member states, helping governments to achieve sustainable peace, security and development as outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 2017 annual report marks their 20th anniversary and outlines their significant activities during the year. Notable work is outlined within these five sectors:

  • DRUGS, HEALTH AND TRAFFICKING: Supporting Member States in implementing a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach to addressing and countering the world drug problem

  • TRANSNATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME: Strengthening States’ capacity to confront threats from transnational organised crime and trafficking

  • JUSTICE: Boosting respect for the rule of law and human rights by strengthening crime prevention and building effective criminal justice systems

  • CORRUPTION: Promoting good governance, integrity and transparency in the public and private sectors for sustainable development

  • TERRORISM: Supporting Member States to enhance their criminal justice responses to terrorism

For the full UNODC ANNUAL REPORT: Covering activities during 2017, read here. 

Still No Way Out: Foreign national women and trafficked women in the criminal justice system

Foreign national women face risk factors for human trafficking or sex trafficking, and in some cases of forced criminality yet have wound up in UK prison. The support for this demographic is varied between prisons. To address this, the report Still No Way Out Foreign National Women and Trafficked Women in the Criminal justice System addresses the experience of foreign national women and trafficked women in the criminal justice system within England and Wales between using data between 2013-2017.

Some of the key findings:

  • Foreign national women represent 8% of the general population in England and Wales, but over 12% of all women received into prison each year and nearly 19% of those remanded.
  • Most (59%) of the foreign national women in prison in England and Wales at time of reporting (2017) were from Europe, with the largest groups from Romania and Ireland.
  • The offences for which foreign national women are imprisoned are overwhelmingly nonviolent. The most common offences for which the women were in prison were fraud (18%), theft (18%) and false document offences (10%). These are all indicator offences for trafficking and coercion.
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced a defence for victims of modern slavery compelled to commit a criminal offence. Yet evidence confirms that victims of modern slavery continue to be prosecuted for crimes they were forced to commit.

 

For the full report Still No Way Out by The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) and Hibiscus Initiatives, read here.