Geographies of human trafficking

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS A GLOBAL INDUSTRY THAT RESULTS IN  EXPLOITATION WITHIN AND ACROSS COUNTRIES

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that over 75 % of approximately 21 million people are trafficked for forced labour and 22 % for sex work. Sexual exploitation generates more than double the profits for traffickers as forced labour. As a result of the complex and fluid nature of the trafficking industry, there are no reliable statistics on the number of vulnerable MEN, WOMEN, and children victims of human trafficking. Read more from the ILO here.

As a result of the power dynamics between the victims and the perpetrators, trafficked individuals are often exploited in several different ways over time. The types of exploitation in Denmark include sexual exploitation (the most prevalent), forced marriage, forced labour, domestic servitude and forced crime. We have occasional encounters in organ harvesting and no direct hands-on experience with benefit fraud or child soldiers.

Not all victims of trafficking are taken across national borders, but in the vast majority of European countries, people are trafficked from abroad.

The Danish Police Force has declared that the trafficking of women in Denmark has been on the rise since 2002. They estimate that approximately 2,500 foreign women work in the Danish sex industry. All of the vulnerable and marginalised people that HopeNow encounters are of non-Danish origin, and the majority are of West African origin. 

Three categories of countries are defined:

  1. SENDING COUNTRIES are the countries of origin of the trafficked person (e.g. Thailand, Nigeria, Columbia)
  2. TRANSIT COUNTRIES are the countries that trafficked persons travel through or stay in for an interim period before moving on to a ‘final’ destination (e.g. Spain, Italy, Greece).
  3. RECEIVING COUNTRIES are the countries where the traffickers plan to be the ‘final’ destination for their victims (e.g. Denmark, the UK, Netherlands). Transit countries can also play the role of being receiving countries as well.

Read more here. 

As an NGO situated in an affluent receiving country, HopeNow considers the transnational dimensions of human trafficking significantly in our everyday work. We seek to educate ourselves when speaking to possible and identified victims about their lives by collaborating with NGOs, GOs and other relevant actors in sending and transit countries. We believe that to understand an individual’s present; we must get a good grasp of their past and view their situation from a holistic perspective, instead of considering our clients as solely victims from a foreign country. In other words, we use our agency and take a multi-agency and multi-agent approach in our work.

THE CYCLE OF ‘FICTITIOUS’ DEBT

The main goal of a trafficker is to make money by exploiting the person they are trafficking in various ways. Many from our target group believe that they have no choice but submit to the coercion of their traffickers. This submission stems from the fear of retaliation for the massive, primarily fictitious debt they have accrued since leaving their home country.

For some, a decisive push factor for leaving home in the first place is the debt that the individual or their family have in the sending country. Individuals accumulate excessive debt to their traffickers that take years to pay off. As soon as they leave their homes, the debts increase exponentially during transit and in the destination country. Fictitious amounts are added to the debt for each service or transaction made on behalf of the trafficked person. Often, the family of the trafficked person is at risk of being harmed by the gangs in the trafficking networks if the debt is not paid.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save