On 13 September 2023, IHREC held the launch of their second annual report on trafficking in human beings in Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. The conference, attended by RENATE members and fellow colleagues in the fight against Human Trafficking hosted a number of panellists and discussions on the findings, recommendations and future plans for the continued fight against human trafficking in Ireland.
Read full report
“Crises shift trafficking patterns and hinder victim identification”
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2022 report reviews patterns in the data about trafficking in persons, gathered between 2017 and 2021, from 141 countries.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human trafficking is under scrutiny in the report, which notes a fall in the number of detected victims for the first time in 20 years. However, it warns that these figures are likely to represent a decline in the ability of authorities to detect victims during the crisis, rather than a fall in the actual number of victims, although certain trafficking operations may have been disrupted.
The majority of identified victims were ‘self-rescued’; they escaped and sought help from authorities of their own volition. Law enforcement-initiated cases and rescues on the other hand are rarer. This finding is cause for alarm, since it has long been documented that many trafficking victims do not identify themselves as such, due to the psychological impact of their circumstances. If law enforcement are rescuing victims in smaller numbers than those who manage to independently reach safety, many more are likely going unidentified and their abuse is ongoing.
It was found that climate change and conflict are both factors increasing the risks to those vulnerable to traffickers.
A higher proportion of detected victims were male, attributable to growth in new forms of exploitation, however women and children suffered greater amounts of violence from their exploiters.
More insight and detailed breakdowns and visualisations of the data can be found in the global report, which can be accessed here in the RENATE website library, in addition to the UNODC website.
Read UN Office on Drugs and Crime Press Release
A much-awaited report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), published in July 2022, examines the progress in the fight against human trafficking made by the 57 signatory states of the OSCE since its previous survery conducted in 2015.
Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, speaking at the launch event, celebrated that thanks to the coverage of the report, the OSCE now had significant ‘longitudinal data’ to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of its recommendations over a seven year period.
The overarching finding was happily that progress has indeed been made in the fight against human trafficking by the OSCE states, with notable improvements to anti-trafficking legal measures targeting procurement and supply chains.
The general observation gleaned from the collective data was that most countries were taking the right kind of action recommended by the OSCE to varying degrees.
Meanwhile, the most widespread drawback was seen to be in resource constraints on the anti-trafficking measures, limiting their effectiveness.
Other causes for concern were voiced, such as the gross increase in reported cases of trafficking for forced criminality and forced begging. Another glaring problem was highlighted that only 34 of the 57 signatories criminalise the use of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
The findings have not left the OSCE confounded on the next steps to take, far from it. Many incisive recommendations are tabled in the report, to implore legislators and other acting organisations to further increase their effectiveness in combatting human trafficking in the coming years.
Watch the launch event
OSCE 2021 full report
Publication by the UN Office on Drugs & Crime (which leads the UN’s anti-trafficking efforts) on good practices for partnership between states and private actors to tackle Trafficking in Persons.
The UNODC includes a ‘compendium’ on promising practices on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to counter trafficking in persons, as they relate to supply chains, the financial sector and the technology sector.
The compendium presents examples of promising practices and lessons learned; it also recommends strategies & action points on how to create PPPs responding to trafficking in persons.
It is hoped that this will help private sector entities, policy makers, law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, labour inspectors, public bodies, civil society actors (such as FBOs) and academics to effectively work together to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.
In this digital age, when technology has become an integral part of daily life and is deployed for both positive and negative uses, the Council of Europe has issued a timely publication. It is intended that use of the Digital Citizenship Education Handbook, will empower and protect children and the most vulnerable in society.
Digital citizenship competences define how we act and interact online. They comprise the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge and critical understanding necessary to responsibly navigate the constantly evolving digital world, and to shape technology to meet our own needs rather than to be shaped by it. The Digital citizenship education handbook offers information, tools and good practice to support the development of these competences in keeping with the Council of Europe’s vocation to empower and protect children, enabling them to live together as equals in today’s culturally diverse democratic societies, both on- and offline.
The Digital citizenship education handbook is intended for teachers and parents, education decision makers and platform providers alike. It describes in depth the multiple dimensions that make up each of 10 digital citizenship domains, and includes a fact sheet on each domain providing ideas, good practice and further references to support educators in building the competences that will stand children in good stead when they are confronted with the challenges of tomorrow’s digital world. The Digital citizenship education handbook is consistent with the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture and compatible for use with the Internet literacy handbook.
You can access the handbook here: CoE DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION HANDBOOK.
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.