Trends in Human Trafficking – Issue no. 8, March 2020 – EEPA News Highlights

Dear readers,

The EEPA team is pleased to present the March 2020 issue of the newsletter on Trends in Human Trafficking between the Greater 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:

Victims of human trafficking lack vital support in Ethiopia
Survivors of human trafficking in Ethiopia face scarcities of medical care, mental health support, job opportunities, and legal advice, new research shows. Barriers to provide help for victims of trafficking can be individual as well as systematic which includes “broader societal issues such as poverty and high rates of migration”. The authors, Kristen R. Choi, Dana C. Beck, Munmun A. Khan, Sue Anne Bell, Lemlem Beza and Michelle L. Munro-Kramer, observed that barriers could be overcome by developing a comprehensive response model that builds on pre-existing structures. They further highlight the “need to develop innovative solutions to bring together a diverse group of professionals” to address the needs of human trafficking victims in Ethiopia.

 Analysis of OSCE’s simulation training to combat trafficking
A new publication analyses best practices and challenges of protection for victims of human trafficking in the context of migration and displacement. Authors Sarah Elliott and Megan Denise Smith looked into the approach of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which uses simulation-based training. This simulation aims to enhance the capacity of participants to effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking through a multi-agency approach. Although the authors see potential in the novel approach, they observed several “challenges to effective counter-trafficking action”.

 New research looks at development of counter-trafficking initiatives
New research by Katharine Bryant and Todd Landman examines practices and programmes that have been designed to combat human trafficking since the ratification of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children in 2000. The article looks into the methods which are used “to monitor and evaluate human-trafficking programmes” with a particular focus on lessons learned and suggestions to improve the practice. The authors highlight that within counter-trafficking initiatives “real positive change needs to be demonstrated through effective use of baseline data”.

Dynamics of human trafficking in Sudan
Narratives describing human trafficking, smuggling and migration are challenged by a new research brief which shows that there are “discrepancies between the self-image of the actors who facilitate irregular migration and the policy makers who try to stop it”. The author uses a case study of Sudan as a country which generates and host a large group of migrants. Sudan adopted anti trafficking law in 2014, but according to the author it fails to address several aspects of human trafficking including providing the victims of trafficking with assistance and support.

Research calls for including issues of human trafficking in school curricula
A new study shows the importance of including the topic of human trafficking into school curricula in order to raise awareness amongst students and to educate them about the potential harm that results. The authors observed positive outcomes such as active participation of students in the class, engaging in the subject matter, deeper understanding of the complexity of human trafficking, need for counter-trafficking initiatives and protection of victims. According to the research, “the teaching of anti–human trafficking curricula aims to help teachers and students to become agents of change”.


Media articles:

Human trafficker Kidane Zekarias Haftemariam arrested in Ethiopia
Notorious human trafficker Kidane Zekarias Haftemariam who has been leading human trafficking networks in the Horn of Africa and Europe was arrested with five other traffickers by Ethiopian police in March. The arrest came as a result of joint cooperation between federal police units as well as Ethiopia Security Service intelligence and Ethio-Telecom. The traffickers are alleged to have committed crimes including “abduction, rape, arbitrary arrest, corrosive handling and killing of migrants”.

Human trafficking and terrorist groups are closely linked in Libya
Due to the ongoing conflict and lack of governance in Libya, migrants residing in the country are likely to become victims of illicit activities. The organization American Security Project observes the close link between human trafficking and terrorism which “not only benefit from instability but also benefit from each other’s presence”. As traffickers extort money to release their victims, the money is often linked to the financing of the terrorist groups.

Migration and human trafficking issues enter agendas of African countries
Over the past few years, African countries brought issues of migration as well as human trafficking into their national agenda, reports the Migration Policy Institute. Authorities have become aware that comprehensive responses to human trafficking, protection of migrants and holistic governmental approach can be utilized “as a tool for development”. Even though governments have taken positive steps such as with the adoption of migration policies and establishing anti-trafficking agencies “more evidence is needed to assess their effectiveness”.

Kenya opens an anti-trafficking facility unit
The new Anti-Human Trafficking Child Protection Unit in Mombasa, Kenya, was launched in March with support from the United Kingdom. The Unit will be leading projects aiming to fight against child trafficking, exploitation and abuse in Kenya. This facility has been the result of broad cooperation between the UK’s National Crime Agency, supported by the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and the UK Home Office, and the National Police Service of Kenya.