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Briefing paper on non-legislative measures that can discourage and reduce the demand that fosters sexual exploitation related to trafficking in human beings

Executive summary

 

After an introductory section outlining the general objectives of the project and of this briefing paper, the paper begins by mapping the alternatives to legislation for the prevention of human trafficking, as identified by project partners (section 2). 

The third section of the paper presents an adult human trafficking screening toolkit developed by the US national Human Trafficking training and technical assistance center. The toolkit enables healthcare professionals to identify potential signs of trafficking in a way that is minimally invasive thanks to a limited set of closed ended questions. This kit is developed for healthcare professionals but could potentially be adapted to other professions potentially in contact with victims of trafficking, and, as such, stands as a best practice in the capacity building of professionals in spotting the signs of trafficking. 

The fourth section outlines sensitization workshops for the law enforcement on the rights of sex workers and human trafficking awareness, which have been identified as a very pressing need in the fieldwork of some countries of the DESIrE project. In this regard, workshops to sensitize the law enforcement to the rights of persons selling sex have been developed, as the first step for the persons selling sex to report crime and to collaborate with the law enforcement authorities is that they trust them, which is not always the case. This section provides a few examples of countries where these workshops have been developed and implemented, while outlining their short comings identified by IOM. 

The fifth section of the paper mirrors the fourth one by focusing on prevention measures for sex workers. Based on the findings of the fieldwork of the DESIrE project, it emphasizes the importance for persons selling sex to know their rights.1 The empirical findings in the Dutch context particularly showed the vulnerability of foreigners in terms of access to their rights because of the language barrier. This lack of access to proper information makes them particularly exposed to trafficking, which is why this kind of information campaign targeting sex workers is of particular importance. In this regard, this section provides examples of booklets that have been circulated in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom in order to increase awareness among sex workers. 

The deliverable concludes by stressing the need to carefully select the tools according to the goal to be achieved, bearing the legislative framework in mind, while simultaneously taking the recipients of the tool and their different needs into account for an optimal result. Similarly, the multiplication of tools can also be potentially considered to enhance the sought impact. However, these instruments can only be accompanying measures, and cannot, alone, provide a solution to a very complex problem that require a holistic approach. 

 

Author:

 

VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL

 

Contributing partners:

 

FLIGHT

TILBURG UNIVERSITY

UPPSALA UNIVERSITY

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