No silver bullet to prevent human trafficking

Academics from the University of Bedfordshire led discussions on the vulnerabilities contributing to modern day slavery and the influence of market forces on human trafficking at a panel discussion marking Anti-Slavery Day 2018, hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The event included the launch of three reports on research events with local experts that took place in Albania, Vietnam and Nigeria as part of the project, ‘Vulnerability’ to human trafficking:  A study of Vietnam, Albania, Nigeria and the UK’. This is a joint initiative between IOM UK and the University of Bedfordshire who have interviewed 160 survivors and expert stakeholders across the three countries.

Dr Patricia Hynes, Reader in Forced Migration at Bedfordshire, who leads the research for the University said: “It is clear there is no silver bullet to prevent human trafficking as this can be an invisible crime. However what is also clear is that there is a drive to understand human trafficking to protect people who have experienced this violation of their rights and coordinate efforts.”

She continued: “We began this study by consciously incorporating local knowledge from the start by bringing together leading experts within Albania, Vietnam and Nigeria.

“They each demonstrate how there is there is a need to understand the nuances of human trafficking, based on different contexts within each country.”

The final report due out in early 2019 will analyse more than 160 in-depth interviews from people who have experienced trafficking and those who work alongside them from across these countries, whilst considering the support needs of people who are in the UK.

“One myth that we must debunk is that modern day slavery is an issue of the past,” says Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission.

Pardeshi explained that there are more people in slavery now than any time before.  It is not localized to specific regions, countries, states, cities or towns.  

“Unfortunately, human trafficking and modern day slavery are everywhere and the only way to eradicate it is through cooperative national and international responses,” Pardeshi continued.

“In order to prevent human trafficking, we must first better understand what makes people vulnerable to trafficking. The interim findings reveal that people’s families and the households they grew up in can be significant causes of vulnerability to human trafficking,” said Patrick Burland, Senior Project Officer.

In spring 2019, IOM UK, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire, expects to present its final conclusions and recommendations for governments and stakeholders in the three countries.

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