International students are at risk of workplace exploitation, and even more alarmingly according to a series of reports, of student visa routes being targeted by human traffickers.
Reports by the US Department of State, Polaris and The Times of London paint a picture of human traffickers are using student visas on a global scale to take advantage of vulnerable people.
A US Department of State report – the 2019 Trafficking in Persons – released last June found that student visas are potentially used to traffic people in Australia, France, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Cyprus, the Philippines and Tunisia.
“Whatever way traffickers can find to organise transport into the country for which there is no legal way in – as in the case with Vietnamese students in the UK – they will use,” Jakub Sobik, communications manager at UK-based NGO, Anti-Slavery, told The PIE News.
Soubik was referring to The Times‘ investigation published in November which reported that gangs were using Tier 4 visas to traffic Vietnamese girls into the UK via independent schools.
“They [traffickers] will also make use of anything that allows them to control people,” commented Sobik.
“While education might not be the largest mechanism to recruit or entice people, it is certainly a method that is used,” he confirmed.
To read the full story by Will Nott on The PIE News: Click HereTags: Polaris, TIP Report