Trafficking in human beings, challenges in the identification process: the Stavanger case
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Migration is a very diversified topic, where both positive and negative sides merge together providing aspects of complexity and a state of uncertainty that have repercussions on related arguments such as the case concerning Trafficking in Human Beings (THB). The huge amount of actors involved within the trafficking networks, the complex cases it generates and the particular characteristics of this crime, including its transnational nature, provide a sense of confusion to those people who decide to improve their knowledge for professional reasons or for a sense of moral duty. In order to facilitate this approach, I decided to research on the mechanism that lies behind the entire process of THB, starting from the protection to the rehabilitation of the victims. This is the identification process. The reason why I chose this particular phase of the process is related to the THB characteristics that define, in accordance to the International Labour Organization (ILO), trafficking in human beings as one of the most difficult and “hidden” phenomena to measure. Indeed, in despite of the huge efforts put in place by the States, the daily work NGOs perform at the local level, and finally, the high cohesion in terms of international cooperation, this crime is still able to survive and bloom, thanks to some lacks in the legal system and the deep complicity of uninterested people, who try to avoid any risk embracing everything the market can offer them. This case is particularly highlighted by the sexual exploitation of victims (HTSP), which includes the most flourished typology of THB market within the European area. Indeed, “approximately 120.000 women and children are trafficked into the European Union every year, whereas a range from 700.000 to an astounding 4.000.000 women and children seems to be trafficked annually”. Furthermore, this situation is worsened by the slavery as a product of such ill market, in which the degraded role of the person remembers very well the marxist inversion of the “rei-fication”, as referred by the official ONU Supplementary Convention on Slavery Abolition in 1956: “Slavery means [....] the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised, and "slave" means a person in such condition or status”. At this point, it can be understood how the relevance of the issue is both related to its quantity (the dimension of the phenomenon) as well as its quality, since the impact on people have explosive effects on the economical situation, health sector and democratic institutions of the country in which the exploitation is performed. In addition, this phenomenon should be contextualized in the greater market of Globalization that, paraphrasing Bauman’s words, is polarizing instead of distributing5 resources and goods in those places where the economy is able to support and attract the demand. The city of Stavanger, with its international dynamics, demonstrated to have all the qualities for being taken as a “model” city in order to research on trafficking for sexual purpose (HTSP) and moreover, a place with a unique sensibility in terms of vulnerable people.
Master's thesis in Migration and intercultural relations