Trends in Human Trafficking – Issue no. 5, December 2019 – EEPA News Highlights

Dear readers,
The EEPA team is pleased to present you with the December 2019 issue of the newsletter on Trends in Human Trafficking between the Horn of Africa and Europe. Please feel free to forward this information to others or invite them to subscribe via this link. If you have information to contribute, do not hesitate to contact us.

Research & Reports:

New report on detained migrants and refugees in Libyan detention centres
A new report by the Mixed Migration Centre unveil details on detention patterns as well as vulnerability of migrants and refugees in Libyan detention centres. According to the key findings, detained refugees and migrants are widely exposed to abuse, sexual assault, kidnapping and extortion. A key finding that may enable safer passage is that persons are four times more likely to be detained if they pay the smugglers when they start the journey, rather than paying when they have safely arrived. The report further notes that Libya has created a ‘lucrative industry’ for human traffickers and smugglers by “turning refugees and migrants into valuable commodities”.

OSCE’s Biennial report on combating human trafficking
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) produced a 2018-2019 report of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. This bi-annual report gives an overview of strategic activities implemented by OSCE in thematic areas such as human trafficking and technology, trafficking of minors and unaccompanied children, trafficking along migration routes and prevention of illicit activities.

Report calls for EU cross-border cooperation against trafficking of children on the move
Unaccompanied and separated children on to move to and within Europe are at high risk of falling into the hands of traffickers, states a report by Missing Children Europe and Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT UK). The document urges for closer cooperation between European Union Member States to address legislative and procedural gaps. It is important to strengthen multi-agency collaboration and “develop cross-border case management services and information sharing” in order to secure the safe movement of children between countries.

IOM report on its plans for 2020
The International Organisation for Migration published its Migration Initiatives 2020 reports, to highlight the planned interventions for 2020. On the topic of human trafficking in the East and Horn of Africa, IOM states that it will assist governments and other partners to build protection capacity, with increased coordination through regional bodies and stakeholders. Trafficking of people is a priority for IOM in most of its national programme, the report states, particularly in Ethiopia where IOM wants to assist the Ethiopian government to create the “first-ever national migration policy to respond to trafficking and smuggling”.

Media Articles:

Egypt hosts Regional Forum on Human Trafficking and Smuggling
Egypt in cooperation with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hosted first Regional Forum for National Coordinating Bodies on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in Africa in November 2019. The Forum allowed participants to share knowledge on current practices governing issues of human trafficking and smuggling as well as discuss
“prevention, protection, national coordination mechanisms and opportunities for enhanced regional and international cooperation”.

The EU Trust fund for Africa grants new packages to tackle human trafficking
Among new funding announced by the EU through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, €204.9 will be made available for 14 programmes to support stability, job creation and ‘migrant management’, which includes an addition to controversial funding in Eritrea, including €60 million for road building. It also includes national programmes in Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as funding for the evacuation programme from Libya to Rwanda. EU has furthermore pledged to support four migration-related actions with a financial assistance of €147.7 million in North Africa. The biggest part of the financial package is directed towards combating human smuggling and irregular migration in cooperation with Morocco. The EU has expressed strong interest in deepening the collaboration with Morocco to combat ‘irregular migration’. Furthermore, the funding also aims to support vulnerable communities in Libya as well as supporting safe alternatives and returns of migrants and refugees from Libya to their country of origin.

Migrants and refugees continue to be captured by traffickers in Libya while authorities are in denial
A Sudanese official confirmed that human traffickers captured 11 of its citizens and extort money for their release, reports Debanga. Victims are subjected to torture as traffickers demand an amount of $44,445. Meanwhile, Libyan Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmed Maiteeq, denies allegations that migrants in Libya are facing forced labour, slavery and are exposed to human trafficking. “This is false information. We have no slavery in Libya,” says Maiteeq to InfoMigrants.

Article calls for alternatives to ‘illegal migration’ so as to end modern slavery
A TIME article by Aryn Baker proposes to find alternatives to ‘illegal’ migration as many migrants and refugees move despite the severe risks that they face on their journeys. The article recalls that a majority of migrants from North Africa to Europe experience “exploitation of some kind or another, including kidnapping for ransom, forced labor, illegal detention and sexual violence en route”. In case of labour migration, it is clear that European market has demand for migrant workers from Africa, however, the current system in most cases forces them to travel illegally.