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OSCE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE; COORDINATOR FOR COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

October 15, 2007 -

Honourable Chairman,

Distinguished members of the Commission,



I am pleased and privileged to be able to testify before you here today on U.S. and OSCE efforts in combating trafficking for labour purposes and further measures I believe the United States and the OSCE should take in order to better protect our children, women and men from trafficking and exploitation.



International Legal Instruments



Perhaps even more than trafficking into the sex industry, trafficking for forced labor is addressed within a broad framework of protections in international instruments addressing trafficking, forced labor, slavery, rights of the child and human rights.



The United Nations Palermo Protocol supplementing the UN Transnational Organized Crime Convention has provided the catalyst and guiding framework for the development of anti-trafficking legislation and supporting mechanisms by many OSCE participating States. It remains recognized by the OSCE and around the world as the central international instrument in the fight against human trafficking. The OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and OSCE Field Missions in Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia have worked with a number of OSCE participating States to conform their legislation to comply with the Palermo Protocol.



The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which will enter into force very soon, goes even further than the Palermo Protocol by formalizing ground-breaking victim protection measures, e.g. by emphasizing a human rights and victim-centered approach and imposing a minimum period for reflection and recovery periods as well as specific services for victims of trafficking.



These instruments are supplemented further by the 2003 OSCE Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and the 2005 EU Action Plan.



I am convinced that, the combination of these instruments provides countries with a sufficient framework to address labor trafficking. Together, these instruments reflect a set of minimum international standards that countries should enact covering criminalization, prevention and assistance that apply to trafficking for forced labor as well as sex trafficking.



Given the existence of this collection of multi-lateral instruments, there should be no confusion among OSCE participating States that trafficking for forced labor has to be addressed as an issue of priority. It is evident, for example, that countries that fail to criminalize labor trafficking in their laws, something which not all countries have achieved, have failed to meet the standard set in these instruments.



While it is possible to debate whether international laws could be stronger, for example whether the reflection and recovery periods in the Council of Europe Convention are sufficient given evidence about long term mental and physical health issues suffered by the majority of trafficking victims, it should be remembered that these instruments set forth frameworks and minimum standards for countries. Each country should incorporate and adapt these minimum standards into their responses to labor trafficking and supplement these minimum standards with whatever more is needed to be effective given the country’s experience and advances in our common understanding of what is required based upon rigorous research and analysis.



Our challenge is to get countries to enact at least these minimum standards reflected in these international instruments. The fact that they have not reflects the continuing challenge of the need to increase political will, not the absence of sufficient international legal instruments.



However, unfortunately, it is possible to anticipate a sizable challenge in attempting to gain political will in many countries in support of addressing trafficking for labor exploitation because of the strong link to economical issues such as regular migration, irregular migration and addressing the protection of undocumented women and children, as well as men, to diminish the factors that make people vulnerable of becoming trafficking victims. But this also is true of course regarding combating sex trafficking and issues of prevention, root causes and demand. Effective measures would require change of practices, some regulations and clearly of behavior, on behalf of new citizens in our societies and elsewhere, that is children and women and men who do not make political constituencies or political waves. Political change is always difficult to achieve, and even more so when there is no big political constituencies putting the pressure for change. Key is political will on high level, as have been the case also in the US history of anti-trafficking legislation.



Implementation by OSCE Participating States



Most, but not all, OSCE participating States have ratified the UN Palermo Protocol, and even less have implemented all its provisions. At the same time, the work continues and good progress is being made on ratification of the Council of Europe Convention.



Many OSCE Participating States have responded by enacting national legislation, national action plans, coordinating mechanisms, and national governmental coordinators. And I want to stress, that significant progress has taken place. Nevertheless, serious gaps still exist. Not all OSCE participating States have criminalized trafficking for labor exploitation. In contrast to the U.S. law’s approach, a significant number of countries define trafficking only for purpose of sexual exploitation and do not yet recognize trafficking for labor exploitation or do not prioritize actions to tackle it.



Also, some countries’ legislation would not seem to readily apply to cases of internal labor trafficking.



The result is that in countries that do not criminalize labor trafficking, potential front-line responders will not identify these cases properly and traffickers are unpunished. There also will not be a legal right to the possibility of assistance and protection for victims of labor trafficking. Moreover, if not defined in a country’s law, there is no possibility that data will be collected regarding the phenomenon by the government and law enforcement. Without such data there is no possibility of policies being informed by analysis.



All of these considerations mean that we collectively are operating from a position that is relatively very weak in responding to trafficking for labor exploitation.



Among OSCE participating States, even where such legislation against labor trafficking has been adopted, generally these laws have not been implemented against traffickers and in support of trafficking victims. One of the challenges seems to be clarifying conceptual understanding for developing workable legal definitions in national legislations. It is necessary to ensure that national criminal legislation has definitional clarity, including the concepts of forced labour, coercion, abuse of power and abuse of position of vulnerability.



There is still a lingering confusion about distinguishing between trafficking and illegal immigration and smuggling generally among many officials. This confusion seems to increase when discussing labor trafficking as many officials appear to have trouble identifying differences between labor trafficking and migration for economic purposes that results in sub-standard working conditions.



This confusion undermines the possibility of building political will to address labor trafficking. Unless conceptual murkiness is dispelled, labor trafficking will continue to be unnecessarily caught up in countries’ concerns about illegal immigration, concerns that works against achieving sound anti-trafficking policy.



To respond to this need to increase awareness about labor trafficking among the OSCE participating States, the OSCE has taken steps to begin to bring additional attention to the issues involved in responding to trafficking for forced labor. In 2005 the OSCE hosted a conference titled “Human Trafficking for Labour Exploitation/Forced and Bonded Labour: Identification – Prevention – Prosecution”; and in 2006 a second conference titled “Human Trafficking for Labour Exploitation/Forced and Bonded Labour: Prosecution of Offenders, Justice for Victims”. The second conference included participation from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labour. These conferences connected hundreds of experts form capitals with NGOs and international organizations and produced a substantive number of recommendations for further commitments for governments to consider. I will add the draft report from these conferences to my statement.



I will argue that it is now important for countries to understand that they have the means to begin to tackle labor trafficking. Even in the absence of a specific law directly addressing labor trafficking, nearly all countries can begin to address trafficking to some degree through the use of other laws. These other laws typically do not provide all of the necessary tools that a good anti-trafficking law would provide, but no country can convincingly claim that it must wait to prosecute criminals engaged in trafficking in their country until specific anti-trafficking criminal provisions are enacted.



Another challenge is the need to examine how certain provisions operate in practice when viewed through a victim-centered lens in the U.S. and OSCE participating States. One example is the issue of the length of reflection and recovery periods that has been mentioned above. The appropriate length is not an arbitrary number of months as shown in research by Cathy Zimmerman from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Another example is the common legal requirement and practice of conditioning a victim’s receiving assistance on testifying at trial against the traffickers or at least assisting in the investigation. The issue is that such procedures are a form of coercion no matter how well intended. This might be problematic under any circumstance, but for government and law enforcement officials to require this of recently trafficked victims removed from a highly coercive and abusive environment should be questioned as inherently objectionable.



The challenge is to develop more sophisticated approaches that reconcile law enforcement needs with not prolonging a victim’s experience with any form of coercion even if it seems necessary to support prosecutions and may seem relatively benign. In essence, this is what a victim-centered approach means and some commonly-accepted practices should be revisited for their compliance with this principle.



Efforts in the U.S and OSCE Participating States to Combat Trafficking For Labour Purposes



When looking at how political will to fight trafficking has been generated in the OSCE region over the past decade, U.S. efforts of course have been exemplary.



From an international perspective, U.S. efforts to combat trafficking reflect a broad interagency approach, involving several departments. International policy and funding are coordinated by an inter-departmental chaired by the Director of the State Departments Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. For the oversight of domestic anti-trafficking efforts such a system, with one governmental representative serving as responsible coordinator, has not been established, even if such a model is promoted by the U.S. at the international level, for example within the OSCE framework by recommending countries to appoint national governmental coordinators and develop national action plans. It is of course possible that these increasingly common components of countries’ anti-trafficking responses, are not well suited for the U.S. Nevertheless, it would over time be important to evaluate what lessons can be learned from the U.S. approach and to what extent having multiple coordinating task forces involving a range of anti-trafficking actors at federal, State and local levels of government can promote anti-trafficking objectives effectively.



The centerpiece of U.S. anti-trafficking legislation, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, provides broad tools to address the range of different forms of trafficking both internationally and domestically. Its criminal provisions, prevention measures and assistance eligibility apply equally to labour trafficking and sex trafficking. The law provides for significant prison sentences for traffickers and the law’s assistance provisions have been used to provide hundreds of victims of labour trafficking with a generous range of benefits equivalent to those available to victims of sex trafficking. Temporary residency is, however, tied to a willingness to co-operate with investigators or prosecutors. In short, the U.S. law provides officials with all basic necessary tools to address labour trafficking.



Regarding the yearly U.S. Trafficking in Persons report, including its rating of countries and threat of financial sanctions, and its effectiveness in advocating for anti-trafficking measures needed to be taken in OSCE countries, I believe it has been of importance. However, we must not underestimate that the driving force for anti-trafficking activity among OSCE participating States, such as passing legislation, has probably been a result of obligations voluntarily embraced by countries, e.g. in connection with the UN Palermo Protocol and more recently the Council of Europe Convention. For some countries, the goal of joining the EU has provided additional impetus. Nevertheless, the Report’s public identification of shortcomings and challenges has certainly pushed governments toward action and nourished political awareness and debate on the national level.



While U.S. anti-trafficking actors have focused on both sex trafficking and trafficking for labour exploitation, the governments actions, when looking at the implementation of awareness programs, assistance opportunities (e.g. shelters), trainings, public statements and conferences, seems to have emphasized primarily sex trafficking.



Training projects supported by USAID and the State Department generally have focused on trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. As one law enforcement training manual, supported by USAID funding, states, “Whilst human trafficking is a crime committed for a range of exploitative purposes, this core training material mainly focuses upon the trafficking of women and girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation. . .”



However, in recent years, U.S. efforts have started to pay more international attention to trafficking for labor exploitation. Illustrating this is the most recent TIP Report which highlights and addresses this issue in its assessments in more detail than it has in the past.



The emphasis on sex trafficking seems to have been mirrored in anti-trafficking activities of many OSCE participating States. Few projects in OSCE participating States have addressed trafficking for labor trafficking directly, especially by adult men and women. Research confirms that most assistance efforts are linked to aiding victims of sex trafficking. This research, conducted by the Nexus Institute in South Eastern Europe, indicate that available assistance is geared toward a prototypical trafficking victim – a young, poor, uneducated woman trafficked for sexual exploitation for long periods of time and exposed to extensive and myriad forms of abuse. At the same time, other forms of trafficking are being noted and other profiles of victims are being identified. But the assistance frameworks have not been set up to respond to these other victims. A very specific example is shelters. Most victims of a form of trafficking other than sex trafficking are not eligible and not suitable for accommodation at most shelters for trafficking victims and typically there are not housing alternatives available for these victims.



Thus, it is possible to observe large gaps in the availability of effective assistance for victims of labor trafficking. Looking specifically at responses directed at labor trafficking, given the lack of systematic anti-labor trafficking activities and data collection to document the phenomenon, it is therefore impossible to comment on the issue of overall effectiveness of efforts to reduce labor trafficking.



Further, on the project level, a meaningful analysis of effectiveness is hindered because programs, regardless of the nature of the trafficking project, almost never include independent components by independent expert evaluators. Consequently, it is impossible to evaluate and comment upon the issue of effectiveness in an informed and meaningful way. This points to the need for donor governments and others to integrate into their programs independent evaluations to review the impact of major anti-trafficking projects. It is very difficult to determine best practices or next steps without knowing whether what is already being done has been effective.



Internal evaluations by the project contractor itself or review by the agency sponsoring the projects are not enough. They are by definition biased and cannot provide a long term or global evaluation of best practices or lessons learned for reshaping strategies or policies. An objective independent evaluation is needed for every larger project and such evaluations need to be a fully resourced element of these projects.



Another challenge is sustainability. How can the good works of projects be continued beyond the funding cycle of a project? This is a concern regardless of whether a project is addressing sex trafficking or labor trafficking or both. Failure to adequately address the challenge of sustainability hinders the prospects for long-term success of our efforts against human trafficking. The challenge of sustainability is demonstrated, for example, where a training program was funded to develop a curriculum for police drafted by police and NGOs together that was intended to be integrated into existing curricula of the countries’ police academies throughout the region. But upon completion of the curriculum, no funds were provided to permit conducting and institutionalizing the training within the police academies.



Identification of Labour Trafficking Cases



Compared to the U.S., many individual OSCE participating States have had relatively few prosecutions for trafficking for forced labor. On the other hand, neither U.S. nor other OSCE participating States have so far elevated the risk of being prosecuted for trafficking for labor exploitation to a level that is sufficiently high to serve prevention objectives as deterrence.



A concerted effort to identify labor trafficking cases will be needed but will not alone ensure success. As we know, a primary criticism that has been raised regarding U.S. efforts is that it has not led to the level of identification of cases and victims of trafficking within the United States as might have been anticipated, especially given the official figures that the government promulgates of 14,500- 17,500 new victims annually in the United States. The reasons for this discrepancy have not been clearly ascertained, however, it is probably a combination of underestimating the difficulties of identifying victims and at least some identification methods utilized that are not properly targeted and implemented.



Pro-active investigations involving countries of origin, transit and destination are needed for effective prosecutions. Trafficking for labor exploitation has not received as much attention in the context of organizing multi-country cooperative law enforcement operations among OSCE participating States. Most of the examples of successful multi-country law enforcement operations have addressed sex trafficking.



We also need to understand why so few victims are identified by our authorities and why so few come forward. But the problem is not only that law enforcement, labour inspectors and other officials have to be trained and get more resources for identification work. With victims for labour exploitation we also face the issue of lack of self-identification. It seems that desperate situations and the sense of hopelessness give few alternatives but to accept so called contracts more or less with knowledge of their exploitative character.



Related to successful law enforcement is the issue of victim safety. Research has shown that safety concerns are one of the paramount issues with victims. Multi-jurisdictional cooperation for victim protection needs to be strengthened. Victims need to be safe and feel safe to cooperate with prosecutions. It is unsatisfactory to respond as though the threat to victims and their families exists only in the country of destination. We must find ways to encourage countries to cooperate on this.



OSCE-supported research shows that OSCE participating States face challenges not only in terms of increasing effectiveness in law enforcement against labor trafficking but also in terms of conducting law enforcement utilizing a victim-centered approach. This OSCE background research found that:



o Victims are requested to become involved in criminal proceedings very early and not allowed time to reflect on the consequences of their involvement (e.g. threat to safety, possibility of re-trauma etc.).



o Victims tend to be treated as violators of immigration law rather than as victims of trafficking. They are not identified as victims by the State agency with whom they first come into contact so they are not referred for assistance or are referred to immigration services who take steps only in relation to immigration status e.g. deportation without consideration given to their exploitative situation.



o Temporary residence permits are not available or are only conditional on co-operation in legal proceedings and not on the victim’s needs for protection or assistance.



o Protective measures are not available or are insufficient for victims of trafficking for labor exploitation or they are perceived not to have suffered a sufficient level of abuse and endangerment to qualify for assistance.



Further Measures That Should Be Taken in the OSCE Region



By today, most countries in our region have identified cases of labour exploitation in different sectors of their economies, not only in classical low wage work such as agriculture, domestic work and construction, but exploitation exist even in the public sector. The increased use of subcontractors is bringing more anonymous employers and employees, and less transparency to de facto working conditions. Elements that may be missing in national legislation include provisions addressing corporate accountability and contractor accountability for the complicity of subcontractors. In my opinion, it can be only rational to include the new organizing of work into normal labour regulation and legislate responsibility for labour conditions in the whole supply chain, including subcontractors.



We have to create environments which do not foster or make it easy to abuse powers against people in vulnerable situations. It means not giving up on the idea that our region is a region for respecting human rights and human dignity. It means not giving up on our social conscience and it means an openness to search for solutions on migration and border control that are not abusive to these principals. It is clear to me that irregular migration cannot be stemmed by not protecting people from traffickers or by not providing victims assistance and rehabilitation. It is also clear that by not addressing the issues that pose migrants, legal or illegal, refugees or even foreign students at risk for trafficking labour exploitation, we open the field for criminal activities of cruelty against humans beyond our imagination.



However, I want to point out that it always also is a moral issue to cut the demand for exploitation. But this ethical code of non exploitation is created only in an environment where political decision makers pave the way, and show that everything possible is being done to prevent this crime.



What specific measures could then be taken in the OSCE region to prevent labour exploitation? Where can we identify a need for new commitments?



First, we need to recognize that labour exploitation is linked to employment issues in general. The new dynamics of international production, subcontractors and more mobile labour requires adjusting of labour protection regulations to these circumstances. Special attention has to be given to improve the general working conditions in sectors where we know exploitation occurs.



Many studies show that certain policy practices, such as linking visas or work permits to a single employer, including the employer having the sole responsibility for extension and renewal and the worker not having a possibility to change employer, easily leads to a situation where the worker either stays with an abusive employer or is likely to face deportation. From the point of addressing trafficking, it cannot be unreasonable to look for new practises concerning visa, labour permits and residency regulations so as not to create situations where a migrant is so at risk and so alone with abuse.



Other labour practices which could reduce vulnerability include an obligation to provide written contracts when requested by the worker, legislation on working time protection and a right to basic health and education services regardless of immigration status.



When it comes to victim protection we have to provide him or her tools for empowerment, to get back in charge of his or her life, his or her freedom. Victims should be eligible for work permits during their rehabilitation. When exploitation has been grave, consideration should be given to issuing permanent residence and work permits to victims enabling long term integration.



For prosecutions to be successful it is necessary that law enforcement officials are trained to identify victims, and that prosecutors and also judges are trained to understand the practices of exploitation of different forms and changing patterns of trafficking in human beings and that trafficking investigations are prioritized.



For the criminal the kind of exploitation is secondary, the victim is a commodity sold for whatever purpose there is a market. Multiple exploitations are common. It is the economics of this crime that keeps traffickers going. Therefore, participating States have to put emphasis into getting the profits of trafficking and related crime support services confiscated.



From the international perspective it is evident that the level of international police and legal co-operation, and the capabilities to use mutual legal assistance tools, affect the effectiveness of law enforcement and prosecutorial responses.



And finally, addressing official corruption must go hand-in-hand with addressing trafficking.



Adequacy of Resources Dedicated to Identify and Support Victims of Trafficking for Forced Labor



In 2006, the U.S. Government obligated approximately $74 million to 154 international anti-trafficking projects in 70 countries and $28.5 million to 70 domestic anti-trafficking projects worldwide. Five percent of projects are identified by the State Department as directly labour trafficking projects. According to the State Department, the majority of projects worldwide (86%) are categorized as having components that deal both with trafficking for the purpose of forced labor and sexual exploitation.



In OSCE participating States, U.S. federal agencies have supported many projects, especially in South East Europe countries and increasingly in Eurasia. Twenty-two percent of total projects are identified by the U.S. as spent in countries of “Europe and Eurasia” in 2006. Russia and Bulgaria are among the top five countries with the most projects supported by U.S. funds.



The question of adequacy of resources spent generally has at one point been answered by the U.S. State Department in the following way: “The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons noted that there were over 1700 more TIP-related convictions around the world in 2005 than in 2004, and in 2005 41 countries enacted new or amended legislation outlawing TIP. Thousands of survivors have received services from NGOs, both in the United States and abroad.”



However, this answer is of limited value in aiding our understanding of the adequacy and effectiveness of resources utilized against labor trafficking, since it is not disaggregated by form of trafficking. Also, the ultimate yardstick should be the impact in reducing labor trafficking. Since there is no evidence or signs yet of diminished labor trafficking, it is not possible to make a finding about the adequacy or effectiveness of current funding.



A second key point is that no reasonable assessment is possible of whether or not adequate funding has been dedicated to any particular anti-trafficking effort because there is so little independent evaluation about what has been done and the connection between activities funded and results. For example, the statement that “thousands of survivors have received services . . .” does not measure the quality or adequacy or appropriateness of those services received. In addition, the point made about projects that end funding streams that should be long-term commitments (e.g. not funding implementation in police academies of finalized and agreed-upon curricula) would seem to suggest that funding is either not adequate or could be better applied.



The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO), in a recently released report, has pointed out some of these challenges and it inter alia found deficiencies in U.S. development of information needed to inform its anti-trafficking decisions, as well as identifying monitoring and evaluation of U.S. projects as critical. It has requested U.S. government agencies to strengthen its evaluation of projects and impact.



Since observation appears to lead to the conclusion that most funding is dedicated to sex trafficking, primarily for general awareness and identification (through training and awareness programs), and assistance (mostly connected with centralized shelters dedicated to sex trafficking victims and return of those individuals), then the resources dedicated to identify and support victims of trafficking for labor exploitation is inadequate.



As noted above, research has determined that trafficking identification and assistance eligibility and treatment has been designed for a prototypical trafficking victim – a young, poor, uneducated woman trafficked for sexual exploitation for long periods of time and exposed to extensive and myriad forms of abuse. Because many victims of trafficking in OSCE participating States do not fit this description, it follows that the resources being spent are not addressing a large segment of victims – men, women and children trafficked for forced labor.



A challenge will be to train and enable those who are in the best position to assist in identifying trafficking for labor exploitation to be able to do that. This includes a range of inspectors, licensing officials, immigration personnel, social service workers, child welfare workers, trade union members, and employees in fields such as construction.



The importance of these actors to understand and recognize labor trafficking is clear. For example, the inability of an adult to provide immigration or identity documents can be caused by a number of things. Have all relevant officials in a country who may ask for the individual to produce immigration or identity documents been trained to know that trafficking in persons may be one of those explanations that must also be examined? Without engaging these professionals, victims of labor trafficking will continue to be misidentified and will not receive the help they need and, depending upon a country’s laws, are entitled to receive.



Most funding has gone to projects in countries that are considered origin or transit countries. So far there has not been a comprehensive strategy of investment to “link” the work of destination countries for example in the EU with origin and transit countries efforts in a more systematic way.



The U.S. has funded a number of projects to reduce vulnerability and risks of “potential victims.” A recent USAID-sponsored study on the intersection between domestic violence and human trafficking found that very little useful data is collected and few concrete facts are known to inform policy-makers about the relationship of root causes and contributing factors to human trafficking. This will directly impact the effectiveness of prevention projects.



We will not be able to effective against labor trafficking unless we fully back action-based research and analysis that helps transform policy into practice regarding the specific issues presented by labor trafficking.



Finally, there is one segment of labor trafficking that deserves mention as requiring special attention in OSCE participating States. There is much work that still needs to be done regarding child trafficking, both for labor and sex trafficking. Approximately half of all human beings exploited for labour purposes are children. The awful truth is that there is a high demand for exploitation of children both for sex, labour and illegal activities also in the OSCE region, primarily of course because children are cheap and obedient.



Reports tell about a substantial amount of missing children in our region. These children having many times arrived as unaccompanied asylum seekers, are often perceived as smuggled and therefore not provided adequate protection against what we believe are their traffickers. Research shows that these children are likely to be on the way to be exploited in destination countries in domestic servitude or in the sex-trade. Experience shows that unaccompanied children usually disappear within two days after having been brought into so called protection. Recent experiences in countries, where compulsory child protection measures have been taken in order to protect unaccompanied children, have shown positive results.



We need to take a look at how to invest in responses to child trafficking in more effective ways. Children need specialized care. Children are not properly co-mingled in shelters with adult victims of sex trafficking but there are often no assistance alternatives. The risk of re-trafficking remains a dire problem. There is a need to acquire data with greater detail and disaggregated that is child-specific (i.e. not just their age) so that there is the factual basis to better understand and respond to child trafficking.



Conclusion



In conclusion, current efforts against trafficking for labor exploitation still seem to be in their infancy. It is apparent that all of the challenges that exist in responding effectively to sex trafficking also exist with developing responses to labor trafficking. Prevention, training, awareness, assistance, and criminal justice responses tailored to the differing requirements of labor trafficking are all needed. Unfortunately, it can be anticipated that the challenges that have been faced in creating these responses for sex trafficking may be increased in the context of labor trafficking as it may not garner committed political will without more effort and may become embroiled in confusion with issues involving economic migration in the minds of public officials. For overcoming this, political leadership and political will, to find new solutions to address vulnerabilities and decrease demand is very much needed.



Concerning the important question about the adequacy of resources dedicated to identify victims of labor trafficking compared to those of sex trafficking, I want to stress, that even if it is clear that too few resources are allocated fighting trafficking for labour purposes, I cannot advocate to solve this by any shift of resources between different forms of trafficking in persons. Better identification of victims still is the main challenge. This is true for labor trafficking but also for sex trafficking and trafficking in children. Experience shows that the more resources there are to investigate, the more you find. The correlation tells about the possibilities to do so much more.



Finally, I would like to thank you for your attention and thank the Commission for holding this important hearing.


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Trafficking in Human Beings


   
 

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