The Nordic Council of Ministers together with the CBSS Expert Group on Children at Risk and the CBSS Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings held a workshop at the upcoming 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.
The workshop addressed the myths posed by trafficking. How do adults, young people and children end up in situations of exploitation? Why is the rate of convictions so low and only extreme cases are considered trafficking? How can we protect the most vulnerable groups?
There is as lack in capacity and knowledge to identify potential victims of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers in the Baltic Sea region. This situation leads to speculations and stereotypes, making it difficult to address this cross-border crime in its totality and assess the facts about trafficking. The workshop helped connect the region by demystifying common misconceptions about trafficking in human beings and recommend ways to identify and protect vulnerable persons.
The learnings from EUSBSR Flagships were featured. The project “STROM – Strengthening the Role of Municipalities in the Work against Trafficking in Human beings in the Baltic Sea Region” provides local actors with knowledge and right tools to strengthen their work against human trafficking and increase effectiveness of the anti – trafficking actions, especially in the context of migration crisis. Additionally, under the Flagship Comprehensive and sustainable child protection, the PROTECT Children on the Move project takes on the unique risks for children in transnational situations. Using existing international standards, the project provides step-by-step guidance for the assessment and decision making processes in transnational situations for the protection of the child’s human rights.
The workshop busted these myths:
- Persons claiming to be victims in reality often are criminals (e.g., in cases of trafficking for forced criminality, trafficking for terrorism etc.).
- Violence is always used in human trafficking cases to control a victim.
- It is always in the best interest of the victim to accept assistance.
- Society accepts and understands a person in trafficking.
- Definition of trafficking is becoming too broad. Everything is labeled as human trafficking.
- Migrants who agree to poor terms of employment and end up exploited are not real victims and are not entitled to assistance.
Moderator: Anthony Jay, CBSS, Head of Media and Communications.
- Patrik Cederlöf – National coordinator against prostitution and trafficking, County Administrative Board of Stockholm, Sweden
- Jan Austad, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Justice and Police, Norway
- Dr. Maia Rusakova – CEO, the NGO “Stellit”, the Russian Federation
- Dr. Venla Roth, Senior Officer and anti-human trafficking expert, the Office of the Ombudsman for Minorities/National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, Finland
- Dr. Zbigniew Lasocik, Professor, Human Trafficking Studies Centre, the University of Warsaw, Poland
Click below to view the photo gallery