May 5, 2022
By Felisher Ongera (USCSAHT Student Intern)
Tensions have been brewing for months on end without a resolution in sight. For two months, it has become clear that there is little to no peace progress being made in the Russian-Ukraine crisis. Families are being torn apart and economic desperation is on the rise for the Ukrainian people and those around them. This crisis, however, is not the only conflict in sight. From civil wars and political unrest to terrorist insurgencies, there is a large number of countries currently experiencing armed conflict. As people lose their jobs and homes while fleeing these countries to seek refuge, human traffickers are on the prowl, searching for ways to exploit victims.
It is no secret that traffickers prey on victims in search of employment opportunities. Oftentimes, victims are lured in by the promises of a higher-paying job. With a decrease in the availability of social services at this time, many victims can fall prey to traffickers. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates an average of 40.3 million individuals are trapped in forced labor. Armed conflict only worsens this prevalence, increasing refugees’ vulnerability to human trafficking. These people are trapped and exposed to indentured servitude or debt bondage and forced to work with little to no payment all while facing psychological and physical abuse.
Labor trafficking is not the only form of human trafficking that is rampant as a result of armed conflict. Child labor is just as heinous and its risk is heightened during periods of armed conflict. To begin, the ILO defines child labor as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and that is harmful to [their] physical and mental development.” Parents often are unable to provide for all of their young ones and with economic desperation on the rise, children join the workforce in order to lessen their families’ burden and provide additional support. Traffickers take advantage of this and exploit these children, promising to help and provide. Once taken, they are often overworked, underpaid, isolated, deprived of education, and physically and sexually abused. Not to mention that at times of conflict, there is a rise in the unlawful recruitment and use of children through force, fraud, or coercion—to be used as combatants or constrained to work as porters, cooks, guards, servants, messengers, or spies. In addition to these child soldiers, the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report indicates that young girls can be forced to marry or have sex with commanders and male combatants. Therefore, it is essential we keep ourselves educated on the topic and keep in mind this increase in human trafficking in order to best learn how to assist in combatting both trafficking cases as well as providing humanitarian aid.
To learn more about the connection between armed conflict, labor, and child trafficking, read our Human Trafficking: Labor Trafficking education module and visit these websites:
Human Trafficking in Conflict Zones
Countries Currently At War 2022
2020 Trafficking in Persons Report
November 17, 2020
NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 12 – A new report has identified additional smuggling routes, once again revealing Kenya’s intricate web of extensive criminal activity with well established local and international networks.
The report comes barely three months after the US Trafficking in Persons Report 2020, placed Kenya in the list of countries with the worst human trafficking trends in the world.
The ‘Kenya’s – Human Trafficking Routes 2020 report released in September, confirms that human trafficking is prevalent in Kenya and the unrelenting traffickers are casting their nets wider to identify new routes to prey on more victims.
According to the report, Finland and Somaliland are additional countries of origin of victims while Ethiopia, Namibia, Thailand, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Rwanda are additional destinations with Kenya still used as a transit point for the new entrants.
The joint report between Stop the Traffik Kenya and Freedom Collaborative further shows that the syndicates collude with different law enforcement and immigration departments to transport victims through, from and to Kenya – the main reason the country is marked as a source, destination and transit hotspot for human trafficking.
“As noted in the data submissions, corruption at border points is common with officers complicit in preparing and providing fake documents for victims, which allow them to cross,” the report reads.
The study identified 17 transit routes used to smuggle victims through Kenya from other countries. They include Busia, Nambale, Rongo and Malaba (western Kenya bordering Uganda), Garissa, Moyale, Mandera, Kismayo, Liboi and Marsabit (North Eastern Kenya bordering Somalia and Ethiopia), Mwingi and Isiolo in the eastern part connected to the northern frontier. Others routes identified are Isebania, Namanga, Kwale, Taveta and Mombasa (connecting Kenya to Tanzania).
As a country of origin, Kenyans are still trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Germany, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and India. The victims are largely from Busia, Dadaab Camp (refugees), Eldoret, Kitale, Kitui, Kwale, Lunga Lunga, Malaba, Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi, Namanga, and Taita-Taveta.
To read the full story by Judie Kaberia on Capitol News: Click Here
February 17, 2020
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 Here