Presentation of the Study "Trafficked by Someone I Know"
For the first time, the study highlighted previously unknown facts about the trafficking tactics used by other family members in cases of children
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"Trafficked by Someone I know" is the study presented in the framework of the multilateral program on anti-trafficking, directed by the UNICEF office in Albania and funded by the Modern Slavery Fund of the United Kingdom government.
The report provides an overview of the difficult relationship between victims of human trafficking and human traffickers and analyzes the effects of these relationships concerning the recruitment, control, exploitation, escape, and re-trafficking of victims.
The uniqueness of the report lies in the fact that evidence is generated from direct interviews with survivors of human trafficking that shed light on trafficker profiling, motivational and control tactics they exercise over their victims, as well as on the tactics of their recruitment. Such knowledge is extremely valuable for preventive measures, particularly increasing awareness of the phenomenon of trafficking and beyond;
For the first time, the study highlighted previously unknown facts about the trafficking tactics used by other family members in cases of children, such as:
• Promises of employment, study opportunities, or overseas adventures (already discussed in the literature): friends, intimate partners.
• Increased use of social media as a tool for recruitment, especially to identify women and girls for sex trafficking: intimate partners.
• Pretending to be in love and promises of life and family together: intimate partners.
• Pretending to be altruistic people: friends, neighbors, employers, landlords.
• Traffickers carefully assess their potential victims' vulnerabilities and desires, to identify the best ways to establish a relationship with the victim and, consequently, to recruit and entice the victim.
• Traffickers insert themselves into the victim's life and gain the trust of the family: friends, neighbors, and intimate partners.
The study also provides an overview of the profile of human traffickers. 23 (out of 30) survivors interviewed (77%) identified their trafficker as male; (16.5%) identified their trafficker as female, while the general profiling of the traffickers describes them as young males, 20-30 years old, with low education, most of them unemployed. (47%) reported that their traffickers were involved in other criminal activities.
The Albanian government is committed to ending every form of child trafficking and abuse in Albania. Much has been done so far, but the country still needs to invest more in:
• Increasing awareness of human trafficking through extensive awareness campaigns for both the general public and specific groups of society;
• Designing educational programs, especially for the 12-14 age-groups, to promote their healthy and informed growth before they embark on their first job or romantic relationship;
• Designing parenting programs to facilitate discussion about sexual health, sexual abuse, and domestic violence;
• Establishing and improving support services and efficient methods for reporting cases of suspected human trafficking;
• Increasing the efforts of anti-trafficking institutions to identify and support individuals and families in crisis;
• Increasing the provision of immediate and long-term specialized care for all victims, especially children and youth who have been trafficked or have experienced violence.
The study findings are significant and groundbreaking in terms of improving our understanding of this topic as a society. They are of interest to policymakers and practitioners working in the field of human trafficking.
Thanks to the support of the United Kingdom, UNICEF will continue to support every effort of the Albanian government to end human trafficking in Albania.
Download the study here.
This study is in the framework of the “Transforming National Response to Human Trafficking in and from Albania” program, a UK Government-funded programme that is being implemented by UNICEF Albania.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/albania.