The costs of Human Trafficking – health, enforcement and lost years of employment

Costs of Human Trafficking and the impacts on national exchequers alongside Individual's lives
Costs of Human Trafficking and the impacts on national exchequers alongside Individual’s lives

Freshly pressed from the Home Office utilising the  methodology used in ‘The Economic and Social Costs of Crime’ (Heeks et al., 2018) adapting  where necessary to reflect some of the particular characteristics of this offence type. The report6 utilises the QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year) methodology which estimates the costs of the physical and emotional harms, and also is used in the estimates of lost time and output, as well as costs experienced across the deployment of health services, responding to all aspects of health challenges which are experienced by those who are trafficked, across the spectrum of mental, physical, gynaecological and reproductive health.

Getting a working handle on the economics of Trafficking, the costs incurred both by affected individuals, the loss of revenue in their country or region of source, the costs borne by intervention in countries of exploitation where there is a social protection framework which picks up the tab in physical and psychological health recovery, is vitally important as policies for intervention and attempted eradication are brought to the policy table.  Unfortunately it was not possible in this report to analyse the costs directly borne across the criminal justice system in the UK, a matter which some improved data collection and co-ordinated reporting may address in time for the next report.

This is a significant step forward in helping to understand the ‘economics’ of trafficking from the perspective of  countries of ‘deployment’ with the impacts on the UK’s ability to respond according to the provisions of the Council of Europe’s action against trafficking in Human Beings  and the updated EU Framework on trafficking,  being spelt out in the wider economic impacts of appropriate responses on the State budget.   The economic health of Nation States being used as the market for trafficked lives,  as well as the immediate and very direct impacts on the individuals trafficked is important to see measured, in order to focus efforts for transformation.

There are further economic losses to be adjusted for (the loss of taxes due to this crime type normally streaming its revenue through money laundering processes, and the loss of cohorts of labour from developing a more mature, regulated and vital business / trade dimension in centres of source as well as deployment).  But this report  is an excellent start for those who need to cut into their Local Government, Business and National Governments to convince around the economic costs of leaving Human Trafficking to fester and grow in the fields, pop up brothels, processing industries, construction sites, nail bars, domestic service and car washes all around them.

Home office reportRead the report here

The Central Mediterranean Route and the ‘LARS’ proposal

Since 2011, Italy has been the locus of a massive rise in onward migration from North Africa, sourced from across the sub-Sahel, as well as from South and Central Asia, and the horn of Africa. In 2016 there were 181,436  arrivals in Italy by sea. Of these there was an estimated 30,000 minors present in the mixed migration of those seeking refuge, work, futures, hope in Europe.

Requests for Asylum took some time to respond to the increase in numbers with 2017 presenting the paradox of more asylum applications than arrivals, owing to the backlog in Asylum processing which has blighted the Italian effort to appropriately respond to the sustained surge in forced migration numbers it has been absorbing into its  social and administrative economy  since 2014.

italian stats

 

In 2016 a study undertaken for the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) annual report, noted that it was taking an average of 403 days from first registration of asylum, to reach the first decision. After that, if the decision was appealed the Tribunale Civile took a further 349 to hear the case, and from the second appeals court, the Corte d’Appello, a further 373 days. Where final appeals came into play the Supreme Court of Appeal – the Corted di Cassazione – took a further 688 days to receive the case and conclude its judgement.  From registration to final appeal a staggering 1,813 days – just a few days short of 5 years.

Italy has been scrambling to catch up. In 2017 it eliminated the Corte d’Appello to remove the second tier of the process of appeal.  At the same time it inaugurated special asylum chambers into 26 appeal courts the first tier Tribunale Civile.  However warnings were soon sounding from across Italy that the backlogs were so significant that in the case of the Florence chamber, carrying a backlog of 5,440 cases in 2017, 2018 would see none of the appeals lodged in 2017 or 2018 AND just under a thousand cases originally lodged in 2016 would not be addressed either.  And when all is said and done hardly any of those submitting their Asylum claims receive refugee status and subsidiary protection.

Why those who arrive in Italy stay

In 2017 only just over 13,000 of the 81,527 decisions which were made by the Italian asylum commissions, were for full refugee status or for subsidiary protection to those not qualifying as refugees but were recognised as being at risk of serious harm if they returned to their home country.

A further 25% of cases, 20,166 of the 81,527 cases before the asylum commissions, recommendations resulted in the generation of residence permits on humanitarian grounds – (health problems or preserving family unity). Humanitarian beneficiaries receive a 2 year renewable residence permit without family reunification being a deliverable.  This means that the   ‘humanitarian’  protection decisions which are generated for those seeking asylum in Italy, represents over half of the positive decisions passed through the commissions in Italy, a significantly different percentage than that of other European countries as the table below shows.

humanitarian Italy

 

The difference in the percentage of Humanitarian decisions in Italy over against full asylum or subsidiary protection, being deployed in other countries in this table, is massive, and worthy of further explication by the Italian authorities and the UNHCR.

At the same time the inability of all countries to exact removals of those who have failed their asylum claim after all processes of tribunal ratification have failed, is exemplified in the following data drawn from Italy in 2017.

italy removals

 

The countries which see most of the returns exacted are North African – Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria.  For third country Nationals coming from sub-Sahel there is currently a huge challenge facing Italy in achieving any voluntary or forced returns to West Africa and Sub-Sahel countries as the following data shows.

countries of source

 

countries of return

 

 

 

 

 

What is to be done? Europeanisation of approach

Italy’s asylum system is creaking.  Not only do decisions take an unconscionable time to realise, but once realised (just under 5 years if every route for asylum is exhausted) very few of those who are present either surfaced through their asylum appeals, or simply bedding down into Italy’s grey/black economy return home.  The same is true with differences in the asylum and subordinate protection recognition rate, across Europe.

Emmanuel Macron took the opportunity at a speech in the Sorbonne at the end of 2017 to highlight a fresh European wide approach.  He said:

“So long as we leave some of our partners submerged under massive arrivals, without helping them manage their borders; so long as our asylum procedures remain slow and disparate; so long as we are incapable of collectively organising the return of migrants not eligible for asylum, we will lack both effectiveness and humanity … we need to do that without leaving the burden to the few, be they countries of first entry or final host countries, by building the terms for genuine, chosen, organised and concerted solidarity.”

 

Carrot and Stick – Safer routes to European Work and Study

The European Stability Initiative in a working paper just published last month, suggests the following strategy to break the grid lock:

An Italian-EU pilot project supported across the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) to provide resources to bring the asylum process including appeals into a more efficient time frame without loss of quality. The Dutch asylum system is cited as a good example of how this can be done, in the ESI’s recent paper ‘Amsterdam in the Mediterranean’, the process from start to finish of asylum petitions takes just two months, with state funded lawyers expediting the cases through two comprehensive interviews.

Certainly a more efficient system, with full state sponsored support for the Asylum seeker would be welcomed by everybody. There are currently hundreds of thousands of migrants ‘capsized’  across Italy, caught in limbo, unable to work and prey to those who offer solutions to homelessness, hunger, loss of purpose, and lack of prospects,  open season for a range of exploitative and criminal processes to be unleashed on their lives. The hope of ‘integration’ is sadly underfunded and is currently not to the general public’s political taste.

The carrot offered, to encourage co-operation from source countries in accepting back their migrating population into their polities is to increase legal access to some EU countries to give the incentive to politicians at countries of source for future and sustained co-operation.  Member states of the EU can offer places for work, or for study, but either way the current stringency around legal means to access European opportunity for third countries will be ameliorated.

Will this be enough to staunch the flow of aspiration and desperation which fills the boats daily bound to Italy from the shores of the Libyan coast-line?  Until some clear economic and hard consequence signals are given to those who secure the smuggling routes North through to the nightmare vortex of Libya, where there are such inhumane, instrumental and cyclical forms of financial and venal extraction played out on young African’s lives, the flow is not going to be staunched any time soon.

Meanwhile the numbers are backing up in Italy, and some of Europe’s  barricades are toughening with resistance to hospitality, integration and honesty around how the global economy actually works, through the movement of goods and people, weakening.

In these circumstances, of desperation, lack of political and civic will, public disinterest in the outcomes foisted on those who have been swept up on their shores, the opportunities for incorporation into criminal and trafficked enterprises increases.

What are your thoughts on LARS – the Legal Access and Return Statement now being postulated to the UNHCR and the European Commission for consideration?  Our joint sponsored symposium in Palermo in a month’s time will be exploring some of the implications of taking this forward in Italy, and how the proposals are currently being received.  Readers reflections would be welcomed to inform our panel discussion on this during the week.

 

 

 

The ‘rights’ and trafficked exploitations of sexual labour – new call for papers.

A fresh perspective is being called for by the Anti Trafficking Review, convened by Dr Annalee Lepp – the chair of the Women’s Studies department at the University of Victoria and  co-founder and current director of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women Canada. Dr Lepp deploys a human rights centric, “do no harm” approach to research and advocacy.  This is an opportunity for members of the CCARHT academic community to add their voice to this current debate which should include in our view engagement with Julie Bindel’s comprehensive tour of many of the hot spots of Global commercialised sex in ‘the Pimping of Prostitution’, alongside cognisance of the recent articles and moves cited in the call of the Lancet publication in 2014 positing the relationship between ‘decriminalisation of prostitution’ and a fall in the prevalence in communities working with this policy of HIV, and the 2015 – 2016 call by Amnesty International to ‘decriminalise sex work’.
Be good to hear from some of our community as to who is bringing some fresh perspectives in this most contested of arenas which represents part of the long shadow of Human Trafficking abuse and financial ‘opportunities’ for organised and various degrees of dis ‘organised’ crime today.
 Blog-style pieces of 1000-1200 words, which are relevant to the issue theme are being encouraged.
Anti-Trafficking Review
 
CALL FOR PAPERS
 
Sex Work
 
Guest Editor: Annalee Lepp
————————————————————————————————-
 
Deadline for Submissions: 8 July 2018
The Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a themed issue entitled ‘Sex Work’.
The relationship between sex work and human trafficking remains one of the most contentious issues in both the sex worker rights and anti-trafficking worlds, and there is much community-based and academic literature written on this topic. While the arguments often appear at an impasse, there have been several important developments in recent years. In 2014, an issue of The Lancet showed that decriminalisation of sex work could drastically reduce the prevalence of HIV; in 2015/2016, Amnesty International urged states to decriminalise sex work as the only way to ensure the rights and wellbeing of sex workers; and, in 2018, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women published a study that called for the recognition of sex worker organisations’ longstanding work in addressing working conditions, including violence and exploitation, in the sex industry. Yet, in the same period, several countries in the global North adopted the ‘Swedish model’ of criminalising clients of sex workers as an anti-trafficking measure, while the European Parliament adopted a resolution in support of the same. This disconnect between evidence and policy prompts us to revisit the issue of sex work through a new angle.
This thematic issue will seek to push the conversation about sex work and sex workers organising beyond the old debates of sex work being/not being trafficking or the best policy to ensure the rights and wellbeing of those involved in sex work. Starting from the standpoint of diverse sex worker communities (with full attention to Indigenous, racialised, transgender, male, and migrant sex workers working in a multiplicity of sectors) and sex worker organisations, the main focus will be to assess the current landscape with respect to the movement towards sex workers’ rights globally.
Contributors are invited to engage with, but need not limit themselves to, the following questions:
  • What is the role of sex worker organising in the advancement of sex workers’ rights? What factors facilitate organising among sex workers and what factors impede it?
  • Within current national and international contexts, have there been successes or successful alliances in the sex worker rights arena? What facilitates such alliances and what hinders them?
  • What is the role of sex worker organising in preventing and addressing exploitation in the sex industry, including human trafficking?
  • How is ‘exploitation’ being conceptualised by sex workers and sex worker organisations and is this conceptualisation consistent or incompatible with discussions of sexual exploitation in the anti-trafficking world? How is ‘exploitation’ being taken up by the labour rights movement and the decent work agenda?
  • What, if any, are the similarities between sex work and other informal labour sectors, such domestic work, in terms of individuals’ decisions to work in one or more of these sectors, working conditions, and other factors? What can one movement learn from the other in terms of strategies to claim rights and address violence and exploitation?
  • To what extent has the success of the ‘Swedish model’ relied on adopting or appropriating the language of rights as articulated by the global sex worker rights movement?
  • What effect, if any, is the rise of conservative and nationalistic politics and discourses having on sex workers rights and/or on anti-trafficking campaigns?
  • Where is the funding for sex workers rights? Who gives, how much and for what? How does it compare to funding for addressing trafficking in the sex sector?
  • What is the political appeal of the ‘Swedish model’? Why is it that more and more academics, human rights and health organisations are advocating for decriminalisation and more and more governments are adopting the ‘Swedish model’?
Deadline for submissions: 8 July 2018.
 
Word count for full article submissions: 4,000 – 6,000 words, including footnotes, author bio and abstract.
 
In addition to full-length conceptual, research-based, or case study focused thematic papers, we invite the submission of shorter, blog-style pieces of 1000-1200 words, which are relevant to the issue theme. We particularly welcome contributions from sex workers or organisations working with them, as well as from authors from or based in the global South. We also invite book reviews or book review essays (comparing 2-3 books).
 
Special Issue to be published in April 2019.
 
The Review promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking, exploring anti-trafficking in a broader context, including gender analyses and intersections with labour and migrant rights. Academics, practitioners, trafficked persons and advocates are invited to submit articles. Contributions from those living and working in developing countries are particularly welcome. The journal is a freely available, open access publication with a readership in over 100 countries. The Anti-Trafficking Review is abstracted/indexed/tracked in: ProQuest, Ebsco Host, Ulrich’s, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Directory of Open Access Journals, WorldCat, Google Scholar, CrossRef, CNKI and ScienceOpen. 
We advise those interested in submitting to follow the Review‘s style guide and submission procedures, available at www.antitraffickingreview.org. Manuscripts should be submitted in line with the issue’s theme. Email the editorial team at atr@gaatw.orgwith any queries.
Thematic Issue Guest Editor: Annalee Lepp
 
Editor: Borislav Gerasimov

Resources for Supply Chain evening #2020vision

This Tuesday 20th March 2018 around 120 business, charity sector, monitoring bodies and faith leaders will be attending our symposium on Supply Chains and the work which is well underway to address the multiple challenges of inequalities, trafficking, exploitation, forced and child labour embedded within them.

We are pulling together a number of key resources for the evening – and will be placing them here for our physical and on-line audience to be reading as the event goes live. Please follow the #2020SCvision and let us know your thoughts @ccarht.

here are some of the resources which we shall be referring to ENDING EXPLOITATION IN WOMEN 

Child Base Lines  ETI 

Children in Mining – Gendered  2007_gender_girl_mining_ilo_ipec_en

Children in Mining

Children in Agriculture 

Root causes of poverty within the Agricultural sector – breaking the cycle

From the Factory with Love – Migrant workers who leave their children behind 

Migrant Parent workers in China  CSR

Children in Migration

Protecting Children on the Move through ICT and Social Media

Professor Simon Stockley - speaking to Supply Chain management and Values underpinning contemporary business.
Professor Simon Stockley – speaking to Supply Chain management and Values underpinning contemporary business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baroness Young of Hornsey - why transparency in the Supply Chains REALLY matters
Baroness Young of Hornsey – why transparency in the Supply Chains REALLY matters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford - issues which arise from the perspective of Human Trafficking - and addressing first principles. CCARHT
Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford – issues which arise from the perspective of Human Trafficking – and addressing first principles. CCARHT

 

 

 

Supply Chains in focus – Just Share collaboration with CCARHT March 20th 2018

Supply Chains in focus –  Just Share collaboration with CCARHT March 20th 2018

Collaboration is what effective work in addressing Human Trafficking at every level is all about.  So here at CCARHT we are really delighted to be sharing with JUST SHARE, and the St Paul’s Institute to put on an evening of engagement with what is going on with Supply Chain transparency down in London later on in March.  Be wonderful to see some of our Blog readers who can access this evening event with us on this occasion.

Baroness Young of Hornsey, will bring her passion around fashion and responsibilities across the textile industry, along with her sustained political commitment to driving procurement accountability down through Public and Local authorities.

NGO heavy weights Aidan McQuade, (former CEO of Anti Slavery International) and Mike Dottridge (currently championing the Best Interests of the Child in the Global Compact for Child Refugees), will be speaking to the contribution of the Third Sector in driving through responsible and accountable Business practice in addressing Human Trafficking and modern slavery across their Supply Chains.

Professor Simon Stockley of the Judge Business School, will be looking at the power of ‘virtue signalling’ for  contemporary social media savvy organisations,  individual ‘public’ narratives and continuing the ‘North South divide’ of the Brandt report in new guise.  Natalie Evans head human trafficking and supply chainof ‘Transparency in Supply chains’ Procurement for the City of London will be addressing the challenges for developing effective compliance for Local Governance.

Chaired by CCARHT director Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford the evening offers the opportunity to dig into what has already been achieved by advisory Supply Chain reporting, the wicked challenges which lie in its wake for sustainable development programmes, the responsibility and opportunity for ethically minded consumers and shareholders to sharpen up UK and international business boardrooms’ responses, and the upcoming landscape of global accountability around the inequalities which drive Human Trafficking opportunities.

 

st mary le Bow supply chains

What changes people’s minds in the discourse on Refugees?

 

This important week-end (13th – 14th January 2018) draws our attention to the plight of Refugees and those in Migration across the globe)

Oxfam Humanitarian Policy Adviser Ed Cairns reflects on using evidence to influence the treatment of refugees *

 

Ed Cairns  Oxfam consultant reflects on what changes minds on Refugees in the UK
Ed Cairns Oxfam consultant reflects on what changes minds on Refugees in the UK

Who thinks that governments decide what to do on refugees after carefully considering the evidence? Not many, I suspect. So it was an interesting to be asked to talk about that at the ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference Duncan wrote about last week.

When I think what influences refugee policy, I’m reminded of a meeting I had in Whitehall on Friday 4 September, two days after the three-year-old Syrian boy, , had drowned. Oxfam and other NGOs had been invited in to talk about refugees. The UK officials found out what their policy was by watching Prime Minister David Cameron on their phones, as he overturned the UK’s refusal to resettle thousands of Syrians in a press conference in Lisbon. Even then, he and his officials refused to promise how many Syrians would be allowed. By Monday, that line had crumbled as well, and a promise of 20,000 by 2020 was announced.

The evidence of course had shown that children and other refugees had been tragically drowning in the Mediterranean for months. But it was the sheer human emotion, the public interest, and no doubt Cameron’s own compassion that made the change. Evidence and the evidence-informed discussion between officials and NGOs had nothing to do with it. More important was that a single image of a drowned boy spread to 20 million screens within 12 hours as #refugeeswelcome began trending worldwide. As research by the Visual Social Media Lab at the University of Sheffield set out, “a single image transformed the debate”.

Two years later, a new Observatory of Public Attitudes to Migration has just been launched by the Florence-based Migration Policy Centre and its partners, including IPSOS Mori in the UK. It aims to be the ‘go-to centre for researchers and practitioners’, and has sobering news for anyone who thinks that evidence has a huge influence on this issue. Anti-migrant views, it shows, are far more driven by the values of tradition, conformity and security, and within the UK in particular, according to an IPSOS Mori study, by a distrust of experts, alongside suspicion of diversity, human rights and “political correctness”.

Like a lot of Oxfam old-timers I have seen for decades how the poorest countries in the world host more refugees than most European countries could even dream of. But when I talk to colleagues working on Oxfam’s European migration response, I hear something very like what the Observatory is saying. “Facts confirm bias, or get challenged or ignored,” was the pithy comment of Claire Seaward, who runs Oxfam’s European migration campaign. And when NGOs from across Europe gathered this year at a conference on Communicating on Refugee and Migrant Issues, they heard of the power of emotion more than evidence, including from the research group Counterpoint, which pointed out that the vast majority of human thought is emotional, automatic and associative, and that we all accept falsehoods if they fit our existing views.

This isn’t just about attitudes to refugees and migrants, though perhaps they are a particularly emotive issue. Nor is it just about the woman or man ‘in the street’, while politicians consider evidence carefully. As an article in the British Journal of Political Science this August, ‘The Role of Evidence in Politics’, suggested, “politicians are biased by prior attitudes when interpreting information,” and new evidence may reinforce, not influence, those attitudes. Actually this was based on a study in Denmark, not the UK, but British readers can probably imagine what it meant.

So where does this leave NGOs trying to influence policy or public attitudes on refugees? To paraphrase Bill Clinton, “it’s the emotion, stupid”, that matters; or at least that’s the tone of quite a lot of NGO thinking as we try to communicate more effectively in difficult times. But Oxfam’s experience shows that it’s wrong to think that emotion and evidence are opposing choices.

Last year, as we began our “Stand As One” campaign on refugees, we published two pretty straightforward examples of “killer facts” – compelling figures to grab public attention. The first showed that the world’s 6 wealthiest nations, which made up more half of the global economy, hosted less than 9 per cent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers. In contrast, half the world’s refugees and asylum seekers were hosted by countries such as Jordan and Pakistan, that collectively accounted for less than 2 per cent of the global economy.

The second showed that, for all the attention on Alan Kurdi’s death, the number of global refugee and migrant deaths went up by more than a fifth in the following year. Both these slim briefings had the same objective, to put Oxfam’s message in the minds of people we would be talking to soon, because the life of a “killer fact” is not long. (Alright, 8 men own the same wealth as half of humanity is an exception.) In July 2016, that was the hundreds of thousands of people going to the UK’s summer festivals, one of the main ways we were trying to promote a petition. In September, it was the diplomats meeting at summits on refugees and migrants in New York.

Both examples were new calculations using existing data, from UNHCR, the World Bank, and the International Organization for Migration, choosing data that would stir emotions, particularly in the case of deaths that rekindled memories of Alan Kurdi.

Both were inexpensive in staff time and had no other costs – not an irrelevant point as we try to work out what research has the most influence. Apart from Oxfam’s media output using celebrities, they had more media coverage in the UK than any of our other output in 2016 about refugees. Anecdotally at least, they did indeed help create a fertile climate to speak with festival-goers and high-flying diplomats alike.

That type of research is useful, of course, but also limited. Does it transform attitudes in the long-term? Does it influence people who don’t already agree with our views? I don’t think so. It feels like an approach that is talking to the 24% of people in the UK who are “open to immigration”, but perhaps not much to the 48% that are in “mid-groups” according to IPSOS Mori, and who are potentially open to the kind of genuine argument, rather than rallying the converted, that NGOs are not so good at.

The second approach is to use evidence in the “Stand As One” campaign was also useful but limited. That’s when we combined personal case stories with policy options or recommendations. A perfect example is a paper we published with the British Red Cross, Refugee Council and Amnesty International this February. Together Again presented seven cases to illustrate why particular policy suggestions would make sense.

Tesfa, a teenage refugee in the UK, for instance, was separated from his mother and younger siblings because the UK does not allow refugees under 18 to apply for their families to join them from abroad. ‘I Ask the World to Empathise’ took a similar approach, and was widely welcomed by already-interested diplomats in New York where it was mainly used. But does that kind of research speak to anyone who does not empathise with refugees already? I somehow doubt it.

The third approach is a more innovative and ambitious attempt, which my colleague, Franziska Mager, presented to the ‘Evidence for Influencing’ conference. She has used , a narrative-base method for collecting quantitative and qualitative data, initially in the Central African Republic. It involves asking displaced people to tell a story about a specific experience related to their decision making whilst in limbo, and then, through an intricate follow up questionnaire, to interpret through the respondents’ eyes what they find most significant. We’ll be publishing the results in the next few months, when we hope we will see how, when cleverly combined, the power of stories and of stats can work together to make a convincing argument.

But perhaps all these approaches have a common limit, when it comes to using them for influencing. Do they all speak to readers who, like their writers and researchers, believe in the value of universal human rights? The IPSOS Mori and other studies have shown that they – we – are no more than 20% or 25% of the population. Without influencing others, NGOs may hope for the odd success, such as seizing the moment to influence a Prime Minister to change one policy. But if NGOs are really going to help transform attitudes and eventually policy on refugees and migrants, it’s going to take not only a generation, but evidence that speaks to at least some of the “mid-groups” that are not convinced by NGOs’ traditional messages.

This takes us to one final research approach that we’re exploring now. We will find out if it works when we publish in 2018. With the Refugee Council, we’re exploring the experiences of a number of refugees in the UK, and in particular whether their experiences of the UK’s system of family reunification has had an effect on their ability to fit into British society. That in itself is a vital issue, but it’s also an issue which speaks not only to readers driven by universal human rights, but also to readers driven more by concerns for social cohesion in the UK.

That research is not quite finished, but what’s exciting about it, I hope, is that it’s providing evidence, and powerful human stories, not only for a traditional NGO narrative to uphold human rights – though it absolutely is. But it also fits a narrative that a far wider number of people already believe in – building social cohesion in a disunited Britain. And it brings those two things together in an inclusive narrative – that the UK should allow refugee families to live together in the UK, because that would be right and humane, and because it would help make the UK a more cohesive place as well.

Will that influence anyone? We’ll see. If it helps persuade a handful of MPs to change the UK’s family reunion policies, that will be worthwhile. But perhaps, just perhaps, it could be an example to follow in the future – generating evidence for inclusive narratives that could appeal beyond NGOs’ traditional supporters.

Link: this blog was first published on the from Poverty to Power pages on Oxfam International’s pages – thanks to Ed Cairns for the sharing of his thoughts originally published –
What kind of evidence might persuade people to change their minds on refugees?

The Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking as an Action Research Centre is currently taking forward inclusive narrative research amongst a section of the Refugee, and failed Asylum seeking population in Sicily in conjunction with colleagues in the University of Palermo and the Centro Astalli – we look forward to some vlogs and publishing the resultant research when the project is completed later in the year. 

Brexit: What’s in Pandora’s Box for asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking?

Guest Blog by Markella Papadouli from the Aire Centre: Advice on Legal Rights in Europe – one of our wonderful Symposium Lecturers addressing our #Focusonchildren theme posed on day one of the symposium held at St Catharine’s College,  Cambridge   and some of the challenges to legal protection for minors in particular which are currently posed by Brexit.

Markella Papadouli
Markella Papadouli

In a Greek myth so very well known, it has become a cliché, Pandora, was a very beautiful woman that Zeus, the father of all Gods, sent to earth, as a gift to humans, with a locked box.

The contents of the box were unknown to Pandora. Zeus had given her clear instructions not to open it unless expressly told to.

But Pandora could not resist the temptation and opened the box, only to release numerous worries and sorrows, which fell upon mankind.

When the UK public voted for Brexit, they did so with a significant measure of uncertainty, and curiosity, amongst many other factors. Pandora’s box was opened, letting out a complex combination of worries and concerns.

From my perspective as an EU lawyer, some of the worries concern asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking.

First, asylum

Since the very inception of the A common European Asylum system (CEAS), the UK has been given the opportunity to “pick and choose” the level of its engagement with the laws and policies it wanted to embrace.

The UK opted into the first phase of the CEAS. It took a different view of the second phase, choosing to remain out, with the exception of the Dublin III Regulation, which the UK is a part of.

The Dublin Regulation, sometimes referred to as the “revolving door of Europe”, generally requires that asylum applications be processed in the first EU country where the asylum applicant enters.

There are several family reunion criteria in the Regulation but the way the Dublin system has worked in practice so far is to keep the sheer numbers of asylum seekers at the periphery of the EU, by enabling countries in the north to return asylum seekers to the country they first entered. For obvious reasons, this rule disproportionately affects Member States located at the external borders of the EU such as Italy and Greece.

The Dublin system is based on the assumption that EU Member States are applying the CEAS standards in a uniform way, an assumption that is of course false due to the fact that different countries such as the UK picking different levels of legislative engagement with the system, and other countries (such as Greece and Italy) offering, in reality, poor reception conditions and procedural standards.

This resembles a cacophony rather than a harmonious union.

If one fast forwards now to a future when the UK has already left the EU, this also means that the UK is no longer a part of the Dublin system

The UK and the EU could, in theory, sign a ‘Dublin-style’ agreement (as the EU does with countries such as with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland etc). But that seems unlikely, because the Dublin style agreements are premised on free movement rules and being part of the Schengen area, which the UK is likely to avoid.

Could the UK sign side deals with individual EU countries? For instance, could it send asylum-seekers to France or Greece on the basis of bilateral agreements?

This seems even less likely. Existing case law of the Court of Justice—C-114/12: European Commission v Council of the European Union, makes clear that the EU as a whole has exclusive competence over the allocation of asylum-seekers as between EU Member States and third countries.

Therefore with ‘Brexit’, the UK may find itself wholly outside of a system for regional management of asylum seekers.

The UK is already an attractive destination for asylum seekers.  It may become even more so.

Firstly, as a more attractive direct destination for asylum seekers who are wishing to avoid the EU entirely.

Secondly, for asylum seekers who have landed in countries such as Greece and Italy where reception conditions are poor. Asylum seekers may have more motive to travel onwards to the UK, and the UK will face obvious difficulty returning them to the county of first arrival.

More asylum seekers is exactly the opposite argument from the one that was raised during the Brexit referendum debates.

I have not seen the UK even beginning to consider the implications of this.

Furthermore, the Dublin system offers the possibility to unaccompanied children seeking asylum in one Member States to join their parents or other family members legally resident in the UK.

Would this principle be fully adopted in the UK following ‘Brexit’?

The UK would then need to put in place its own legal structures to ensure that fundamental human rights are respected and minimize the impact of this Pandora’s box worry.

Trafficking

A concern about children asylum seekers and immigrants leads to the second set of worries, around victims of human trafficking (VoT).

Currently, with the UK being an EU member, a VoT in principle, is able to rely on EU law directly before a UK Court.

In UK domestic law, the rights of victims of trafficking are at present relatively underdeveloped. Lawyers argue that there is very little in domestic law which provides for victims rights; since the vast majority of protection for victims so far has been achieved by using European law.

In a UK universe where EU does not exist, victims would have to depend on the Modern Slavery Act, which with few notable exceptions, provides for a “top-down” solution to trafficking.

This relies on state action and is ungenerous when it comes to victims’ individual rights.

A good example of how the loss of EU would impact trafficking victims can be given with employment law. Victims of trafficking until now were able to depend on EU law to recover compensation from their traffickers, because EU employment law is more flexible in respect of illegal work and women’s rights.

Leaving the EU may also mean losing the EU Anti Trafficking Directive. Parts of the Directive have been transposed into domestic law, but some other parts have not.

The EU Anti Trafficking Directive provides important safeguards for victims of trafficking such as the principles of non-punishment and non-prosecution of victims as well as the notion of early identification.

In my opinion one of the most striking divergences is the explicit reference by the EU Trafficking directive to unaccompanied minors. Indeed, the EU trafficking directive makes specific reference to unaccompanied children in preamble 23 (particular assistance, support, guardianship, durable solutions) and Article 16 (MS should take necessary measures to ensure specific, durable, actions to assist and support child VoT taking into account special circumstances of the child victim).

Unless mirroring provisions are incorporated into UK law soon, dealing with the host of issues above and further issues such as guardian appointment, unaccompanied children victims of human trafficking may suffer a great loss due to Brexit.

A loss both on paper, in terms of the legal protections, and on the ground, in terms of the more mature EU funded institutions and groups which tackle human trafficking: such as Europol, Eurojust and other pan European criminal justice tools such as the European Arrest Warrant.

Last but not least I want to make a reference to those victims of human trafficking whose immigration status may be affected after Brexit: European Union citizens whose right to reside in the UK is at best uncertain and potentially removed.

Victims of human trafficking are already vulnerable. A very interesting research done by Anti Slavery showed that people with irregular migration status in the UK are four times less likely to be identified as VoTs and end up missing out on protection and support. This enables trafficking to remain a hidden crime, its perpetrators to escape justice and victims to be pushed to re-victimisation.

Let us not forget that the risk goes both ways – UK citizens can find themselves trafficked into other European countries – as other EU countries may choose to reciprocate any UK measures that are less favorable to their nationals.

 These are just some of the worries when it comes to victims of human trafficking. The allegory of Pandora’s Box is that we do not fully understand what has been unleashed.

 Conclusion

The key notion that should inform all discussions on Brexit and these two particular categories of individuals is that they are vulnerable and this is undisputable.

Asylum seekers are vulnerable. The ECtHR beautifully summarized the vulnerability of asylum seekers in the case of MSS v Belgium and Greece by recognizing that Mr MSS “was particularly vulnerable because of everything he had been through during his migration and the traumatic experiences he was likely to have endured previously.”

Victims of human trafficking similarly have been severely traumatized. They have lost their freedom, they have been deceived and importantly, they have lost control over their own lives.

With hundreds of people reaching the European shores everyday, fleeing their war torn countries, where will the UK stand after Brexit? And where will we stand, while the UK decides?

Pandora’s myth may suggest an answer. Cliché as it may sound, in the myth, Zeus hid in the box something else. Hope.  And hope remained in the box, because life without hope would be unbearable in the face of all troubles unleashed.

In the face of the Brexit challenge we, as human rights advocates, must not lose hope.

And we must translate that hope into determination.

Determination to do our jobs, each one of us contributing their own way, to make sure that the standards adopted post Brexit are set high, and to counter the troubles unleashed.

Blog republished on CCARHT pages originally published on the Aire Centre’s website http://www.airecentre.org with kind permission of the author.

New South African Human Trafficking Resource Line

New South African Human Trafficking Resource Line

An important milestone to combat human trafficking in South Africa has been reached.

On 30 August 2016, the new South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line (NHTRL) was launched. It is tipped by local organisations to not be just another helpline to report human trafficking? In addition to it being an emergency helpline for human trafficking it is also a referral line for other services like training, awareness and information.

The South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line is: 0800 222 777

This line takes calls 24/7 and can assist callers from all 9 of South Africa’s provinces. Tip-off’s and requests for information, training and so forth can also be submitted online via the website, making the Resource Line multimodal to increase accessibility. The Call Specialists who answer calls are professionals, trained trained for purpose who follow international procedures, ensuring the fastest response to each case.

The Resource Line works in close partnership with many stakeholders in each province to ensure rapid response and effectiveness to each call or request. The line is a single number to call on all Human Trafficking related matters. It is also  a national collaboration between civil society and government. In other words, this resource line is a national collaborative initiative to report, respond to and ultimately eradicate Human Trafficking in South Africa.

WHEN SHOULD YOU PHONE?

To report suspected trafficking of persons and submit a tip.

  • This can be done by speaking to one of our call specialists or by completing an online tip form.
  • All reports are confidential and you may remain anonymous.

When you or someone you know, requires Victim Assistance.

  • If you think you are a victim of trafficking and need help, our call specialists are available to guide and support you while connecting you to the necessary partners and emergency services.

When you need information or services related to human trafficking

  • This is a new exciting tool to help move South Africa towards the eradication of modern day slavery, by following the Social Media Pages and staying up to date with the latest news. Visit the website to learn more about how you and your loved ones can protect yourself whilst traveling, applying for work or educational opportunities and about online safety measures.

www.0800222777.org.za.

 

Official Hashtag: #NHTRL #SeeSomethingSaySomething

www.facebook.com/FreedomGenerationSA
https://www.instagram.com/freedomgenerationsa_/

https://twitter.com/FreeGenSA?s=09

 

This news was shared with CCARHT by Professor Beatri Kruger (Criminal Law) from the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Culture, Context and International Cooperation: Day 2 of the Summer Symposium

Culture, Context and International Cooperation:

Day 2 of the Summer Symposium

Less than halfway through the CCARHT Summer School Symposium, a theme that strongly emerged was how broad and far reaching human trafficking is, whilst simultaneously being so distinctive in comparison to other crimes.

It is broad and far reaching in the sense that it is prevalent globally – at the national, regional and international levels. Additionally it covers many different types of crime, from slavery and labour exploitation, to fraud and similar financial criminal activity, and to forced sex work and organ harvesting.

It is distinct from other crimes in the sense of its structure, with levels of coordination differing at each stage of the trafficking process, and also in the sense that how its nature is dependent on the distinct cultural context in which it is operating. Yet in whatever form it manifests, one thing the symposium impressed on all present is how urgent the issue still is.

Glynn Rankin, Former co-Director of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, kicked off day two of the symposium, speaking about trafficking from a prosecutor’s perspective. While recognising that international co-operation is vital in tackling trafficking, Glynn emphasised the difficulties in this. Procuring, requesting and corroborating evidence from other countries makes the legal process very bureaucratic, even before the case goes to court, which presents new challenges regarding victim protection. While the reported cases of human trafficking have risen, the sad but unsurprising result of the complicated and lengthy prosecution process, is that the number of prosecutions have in fact fallen.

As if to bolster Glynn’s point on international cooperation, Professor P M Nair, (former senior Indian Police officer, UNODC, NHRC amongst others) then focused on India, drawing attention to the fact that India is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. The Indian government is not unaware of the issue; in fact, Professor Nair acknowledged that the government has set aside a substantial budget to start addressing trafficking. However, this is mainly spent on reacting to cases, whereas Professor Nair believes that the financial resources would be better spent on prevention and rehabilitation, particularly on capacity building – giving women the opportunity to study and work in order for them to support themselves, thus reducing the supply of potential trafficking victims.

This brought us onto one of the major discussion points of the symposium – how cultural and developmental contexts make people more vulnerable to being trafficked. In India specifically, the caste system means poverty is pervasive, creating vulnerability in an entire segment of the population – 82% trafficking victims are from the poorest castes. Added to this is the communitarian tradition, which sees families and communities playing a significant role in children’s decisions. In our more individualist society, it can often be difficult to comprehend why parents might willingly send their children away into sex work, but we must bear in mind that in impoverished rural areas, the opportunity for a child to go to the city to work may seem like an appealing one on the surface. Once in the city, the children are trafficked into sex work, with escape extremely difficult, unable to inform their communities at home of their predicament and the fraud. Hence Professor Nair stressed that sensitive intervention and good information are vital if we are to tackle the source issues.

Naturally, international differences do not only encompass economic disparity; Beatri Kruger, Professor of Criminal Law at the University of the Free State in South Africa, highlighted the abuse of African traditional religion by traffickers, demonstrating the role of cultural contexts to human trafficking. ‘Juju’ ritual practices have been used by the Yoruba people in South West Nigeria for centuries, with some criminalised, but others serving as binding legal oaths. Already, as Beatri pointed out, the law has a contradictory approach to the role of Juju. Amidst this confusion, traffickers now use Juju as an invisible control mechanism. Having subjected victims to an oath through Juju, involving inserting the evil spirit into the victim’s body, traffickers create a profound fear and belief that breaking the oath will result in misfortune. They gain an extremely powerful position over the victim, without having to place physical restraints on them, or even to be geographically proximate to the victim, because the ritual has made it spiritually impossible for their victim to escape.

These cultural and developmental issues create two related problems. Firstly, they are not immediately apparent – invisible control mechanisms are so powerful because they are difficult to detect, adding to the already huge challenge of identifying victims. Similarly, developmental issues are perpetual and permanent background issues that are not a direct cause of trafficking. Secondly, if we do not share the same cultural and economic backgrounds, it can be difficult for us to immediately understand the source issues. This makes it difficult to identifying the issues themselves and more difficult to tackle on a political and legal level. A huge question we face is how we can reclaim traditional practices from the abuse of traffickers, and to develop source areas’ economies and create more alternatives to taking up work opportunities that involve trafficking. However, these solutions must be navigated extremely carefully in order to avoid attacking and suppressing different cultural traditions. Identifying traffickers’ precise intervention with these traditions is a challenge in itself.

As well as the international component, trafficking is a distinct type of crime in its structure, as recognised by Dr Paolo Campana, University of Cambridge Lecturer in Criminology and Complex Networks, and Sine Plambech, a Post Doctural researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. Dr Campana explained how there is relatively little coordination between actors in the recruitment and exploitation stages of trafficking, since they tend to operate individually, unlike other types of crime, where participants often contribute to a centralised criminal project. This adds to identification difficulties – tracking down one trafficker does not help to identify others in the same chain of trafficking. This is exacerbated by the fact that sometimes recruiters and madams may be victims themselves, as Sine pointed out. As it becomes more expensive to travel to the destination country, victims may try to recruit others to reduce the overall cost, blurring the line between victim and trafficker.

Not only are the traffickers difficult to identify, but also victims can often be hidden amongst crowds in day-to-day life. The current global focus appears to be on trying to catch trafficking at the transportation stage – we see this ourselves with increasingly stringent border controls. However, Dr Campana posed the question: ‘How are victims meant to be picked out from a crowd of ordinary travellers?’ Instead, he suggested that resources should be channelled to tackling trafficking at the source and exploitation stages, bringing us back to the contextual issues explored by Professors Nair and Kruger.

It is clear that human trafficking is an extremely urgent issue that cannot be ignored. Trying to understand the motivations of victims, consumers, and the traffickers themselves is essential. As Leo Sakomoto said at the end of the film ‘Not My Life’, which ended the day, ‘I can’t see a good life while there are people living like animals. Not because I’m a good person, not because it’s my duty, but because they are human—like me.’ Although there are cultural differences between regions, we all share a common humanity, and it is this with which we must engage in order to empathise with all actors involved in trafficking so that we can find an effective long-term solution. After all, as another quote from the film recognised, ‘trafficking is not an inevitable outcome of the human condition’.

This summer school has made me determined to contribute to the work against human trafficking to bring us closer to the day when trafficking is no longer an outcome of the human condition at all.

Version 2Thanks to our guest blogger Tiffany HuiTiffany has just finished her first year studying Law Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. She attended the CCARHT Summer Symposium 2016 as an intern, and is the secretary of Cambridge University Amnesty International. She is hoping to use this experience to pursue human rights law in the future. 

If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact – contact@ccarht.org.

What’s in a Name? Trafficking in a world of Modern Slavery – CCARHT Summer Symposium

CCARHT Summer Symposium

What’s in a Name? Trafficking in a world of Modern Slavery 

“The discussion around Human Trafficking has been led by the law…but only a multi-disciplinary, culturally contextual approach will truly enable use to understand the causes and find effective solutions.

Dr. Carrie Pemberton Ford

On Monday the 1st of August, the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking (CCARHT)’s inaugural Summer Symposium commenced. Situated in the 500 year old Upper Hall of Jesus College, Cambridge, the Symposium was led by CCARHT director, Dr. Carrie Pemberton-Ford and attended by members of NATO, MEP’s, lawyers, academics, businesswomen, psychologists and delegates from the USA to Switzerland, India to the UAE. The aim, to shift the perspective of anti-human trafficking advocacy from a purely legal lens to, as Dr. Pemberton-Ford enthusiastically repeated ‘twenty-twenty-vision’.

“What do we mean when we say someone has been trafficked?” – In the wake of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s declaration of a £33m war-chest to combat ‘Modern Slavery’, terminology and history were the focal point for the first day of the Symposium. ‘When we consider trafficking, we have to be aware that at certain historically and culturally specific moments in time, different disciplines have come into play in order to define ‘trafficking’ as we have known it and as we understand it today’.  

As we began deciphering the language around trafficking, this already hydra-headed issue became far more complex. In it’s entirety, trafficking, as defined by the UN*, is equally distributed with a third occurring internationally, a third regionally and a third domestically. However, the nature of the 19th century Nation State, with its inherent sovereignty and defined borders, gave a historical context to the current over emphasis of trafficking as an international trade. The concept, which rests on the colonial enterprises of European nations in the wake of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade – which in and of itself did not free those already enslaved, a task accomplished after an American civil war and further legislation – began a deeper discussion on, if any, the differences between trafficking and ‘Modern Day Slavery’. MEP Mary Honeyball, who has done extensive work with the European Parliament concerning trafficking, discussed this further, highlighting the focus on law enforcement within the Modern Day Slavery act rather than the gendered aspect of trafficking itself.

The highly asymmetrical and gendered nature of the issue was critically analysed through the psychological practice of neuroception. Considering we think our best when we feel safe, in situations of danger our flight or fight instinct is supposedly triggered. Yet, regarding the gendered aspect of trafficking, we discovered that the experiments that supported ‘flight or fight’ were only done on male lab rats. When the same tests were done on females, they tried to ‘absorb’ the situation. Unlike their male counterparts, when faced with an imminent, life threatening danger, female rats, and by extrapolation females, ‘play dead’, passing out or collapsing. With those caught in the high-risk activity of trafficking often stuck in zones of imminent danger, and thus often vulnerable if not dissociative, those who create policy are operating within a safe zone. As the day wore on, it became clear that, with European and North American nation states at the fore-front of the legal narrative surrounding and shaping human trafficking, not only do they often lack a historical perspective to their work, but they also lack the survivor narratives which are essential for designing effective policy.

In all, the opening day was an intense whirlwind that took us from the Palermo protocol through to anthropological readings of culture and language. It forced us to engage intimately with trafficking, to claw away at the legal jargon surrounding the issue, and begin to see its multi-faceted nature. Leaving with some of our core beliefs shattered if not severely questioned only hinted at what was to come as the week, and the Symposium, progressed.

*Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs (UNODC).

JK OfficialThanks to our guest blogger Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan. Justina is a Social Anthropology and English Literature graduate of the University of Cambridge. With a keen interest in BME women’s rights and welfare and human trafficking, she uses both academia and the creative arts as a means social advocacy. 


If you are a Student working in the field of migration, the history of Slavery or on aspects of Human Trafficking and would like to be part of our Associate Internship programme or post material to be considered for our blog – do be in contact – contact@ccarht.org.