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Human Trafficking in South Eastern Europe


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Title: Human Trafficking in South Eastern Europe

Human Trafficking in South Eastern Europe
  • Beyond Crime Control, an Agenda for Social
    Inclusion and Development
  • Workshop on the Development Implications
  • of Gender-based Violence, November 9th
  • By Carine Clert, Senior Social Development
    Specialist, ECSSD
  • Based on a World Bank internal scoping paper
    written with Elizabeth Gomart
  • Research assistance Ivana Aleksic and Natalia

  • Key figures.
  • A. Objectives framework
  • B. Extent and dynamics in SEE
  • C. Root-causes Demand and supply
  • D. Responses/ Policy challenges
  • E. Why should a development institution like the
    Bank be concerned?
  • F. What can we do?

Key figures to start with
  • Industrial countries experienced a rise in the
    stock of migrants of 28 over the 1990s
  • Migration is likely to accelerate
  • Income disparities
  • demographic profile in source countries i.e.
    relatively large supply of young workers
  • more women (proportion of women migrating in
    Europe51.2- World estimates 2003)
  • What we know less about
  • who becomes subject to coercion and
    exploitation in the migration process and why?
  • type of developmental implications?

Examples of Available estimates 1 to 2 million
people are trafficked each year worldwide (U.S.
State Department) In 1997, trafficking involved
175,000 women and girls from Central and Eastern
Europe and the Former Soviet Union (IOM,2000) At
least 1,200 Albanian minors identified as
trafficked to Italy and Greece for begging and
forced labor between 2000 and 2003 Only a few
victims are identified and assisted E.g. number
of victims who transited/were temporarily
trafficked in Serbia approx. 10 times higher
than for identified/assisted victims in
Serbia (Belgrade, SEE Regional Clearing

A. Objectives framework
  • The first WB paper on this complex issue
  • A scoping exercise, not a study
  • Takes stock of facts, causes, identifies gaps in
    responses and highlights implications for the
    Bank- with a focus on SEE
  • Main source Reliable data now available through
    Belgrades Regional Clearing Point (RCP)-1st
    report circulated Oct.2003
  • Key argument beyond crime control and human
    rights protection, need for a 3rd perspective
  • a social inclusion perspective

  • Framework
  • Human Trafficking is about adults and children
    being trafficked within their own countries and
    across international borders against their will
    for purposes of exploitation
  • Major Reference The Palermo Trafficking Protocol
    (signed in 2000 as part of the UN Convention on
    Trans-border Crime) which emphasizes coercion
  • Trafficking is not smuggling.

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B. Major Trends and Dynamics in SEE
  • Young women and minors (0-14) main categories
    of victims (but big data gaps for minors)
  • Major sending countries/entity Moldova, Albania,
    Romania, Bulgaria Kosovo
  • Non-SEE receiving countries Western European
    countries, US, Canada, Israel, Turkey and Middle
  • SEE countries that used to be mainly transit
    countries also becoming origin and destination
    (Albania, FYugoslavia, Kosovo Bosnia)
  • Trends no decrease but underground operations
  • Internal trafficking (within country) on the rise
    but under-reported

Human Trafficking Routes

Age Range of Victims of Trafficking IOM data
based on 826 assisted victims in SEE countries
between May 2001 and December 2002
  •  How does it happen?
  • Means of recruitment vary
  • false promises of employment abroad
  • recruitment for the sex industry under false
  • false promises of marriage, and kidnapping
  • HT is not only about organized criminal networks
    but is also a community issue
  • 60 of assisted victims in SEE in 2002/2003
    recruited by acquaintance or a friend (IOM)
  • After recruitment
  • owners withhold the documents of victims
  • slave-like terms of employment imposed
  • (victims of HT do not send remittances!)
  • Threats on victims and families back home.
  • Victims subjected to beatings, rape, and even

C. Root-causes Demand and Supply
  • SEE a fertile environment for traffickers poor
    governance, weakened rule of law, increase power
    of criminal elements
  • HT easy and low risk business (poor
    prosecution), with maximized profits
  • Enabling environment also in non-SEE receiving
  • Growth of the sex market, Loopholes in migration
    policies demand of Western entrepreneurs for
    semi-legal and illegal activities at cheap cost

and Supply Push and risk factors
  • Poverty and labor -based analyses (high youth
    unemployment/ Sending countries among the
    poorest) explain initial willingness to migrate
  • But are insufficient HT cant be equated with
    illegal migration HT involves the coercion and
    the exploitation of the vulnerable
  • Exposure to HT linked to multiple vulnerability
    and rooted in economic, social,and geographic
    exclusion processes, as well as to gender-based
  • ESW key source sample surveyed by RCP4825
    victims from, identified and assisted in SEE

  • Hopes and Multiple isolation Profile of
    identified and assisted victims (RCP,2003)
  • For young women and girls ( 15-30)
  • Individual risk factors
  • Age and gender come first
  • Being a member of a minority group (e.g Roma
    Romania, Bulgaria Albania)
  • Low level of education esp. for Albania Kosovar
    victims but many victims completed high school
    and most attended formal schooling
  • Victims not always unemployedgt need for
    preventive strategies to look at job quality

  • Household and non-economic risk factors
  • Poverty important yet not only factor
  • Alcoholism, violence, parental precarious
  • Emotional and social isolation of young
    girls/women (alienation/not belonging..etc)
  • Most victims resided with families prior to
    recruitment but graduates of orphanages at risk
  • Spatial variables also matter-
  • Victims geographically isolated (rural
    areas/small towns) and come from poor regions
    (combines with border position)

Moldova southern region of Cahul, along the
border with Romania Transdniestria
(post-conflict region) Romania Moldovan region
to the north (poorest) Bulgaria northeast
(Dobrich, Varna, Rousse), and southwest
(Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Kurdjali, Petrich-
border area Albania cities and South before
mid-90s/ today the north  gt suggests
potential benefits of better geographically
targeted poverty alleviation and Community-Driven
operations as preventive strategies

  • Connections between h.t.and gender inequality
  • flows from regions/countries where womens
    political and socio-economic position has
  • where patriarchal traditions remain entrenched
    (e.g. rural Albania)
  • lack of informal/formal support networks for
    mothers restricts womens choices (e.g. Moldova)
  • Working conditions in home countries
    sexualization, with endemic sexual harassment
  • Domestic violence is the 2d reason to migrate
  • Growing acceptability of sexual exploitation of
    women and commodification of women for the
    profit of the community.

  • Minors (0-14)
  • Share these risk factors, esp. regional, ethnic
    and at-risk households
  • BUT 2 specific risk factors apply consistently
  • Households they come from very poor
  • With low levels of education
  • gt Major implications for child welfare policies

D. Responses Steps forward
  • Before 2000 isolated and uncoordinated efforts
    of mainly local/international NGOs
  • Since 2000
  • Institutional legal framework Palermo
    Protocol, Special Task Force in the Stability
    Pact, Core Labor Standards, National action plans
    adopted by all SEE countries
  • More partners mobilizing and
  • The EU included HT in pre-accession strategy
  • The US links assistance to anti-trafficking
  • 3. Shift from criminalization to human rights

and emerging gaps /challenges
  • Despite progress, limited ownership of SEE
    governments, esp. victims assistance
  • Too much is demanded from civil society sector
  • Insufficient monitoring and evaluation of
    existing targeted projects
  • Review of specific gaps in services suggests
  • Persisting assumption that HT mainly a problem
    of illegal migration gtfocus of services on
    repatriation and skeletal support services
  • gtMany returned women re-trafficked

Examples of specific operational gaps
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Emerging policy recommendations for our clients
  • Extend beyond anti-trafficking approaches focused
    on crime control and legal protection of human
  • Consider a broader policy agenda focused on
    equitable development and social inclusion,
  • if preventive strategies are to address supply
    factors effectively (i.e. improve the social
    circumstances of potential victims)
  • and if repatriation responses are to foster
    adequate and durable reinsertion of victims into
    the country of origin.
  • HT emblematic of vulnerable situation of young
    women children at home, work and in communities
    in poorest SEE countries/regions.

E. Why WB should be concerned ?
What we cant do Be involved in the policing and
legal aspects of human trafficking (incl. rescue
of victims crime control), which escape our
mandate and where we have no comparative
advantage. But as development institution, we
should be concerned about human trafficking
because both its supply-related causes (poverty,
social inclusion, lack of gender equity) and its
consequences have strong implications for
development, esp. for major sending countries

Three specific reasons to be concerned
  • 1. HT creates negative externalities and serious
    costs for primary sending countries
  • Families e.g. breakdown, neglect of small
    children (half of trafficked Moldovan young women
  • Communities values, insecurity, crime.
  • Countries sustainable development depletion of
    human K, lack of remittances
  • Public health implications - STIs

  • 2. Potential for WB interventions to have a
    positive impact on reducing human trafficking /
    esp. interventions targeted at poverty reduction
    and social inclusion
  • At present, this impact ad-hoc small scale
  • 3. WB comparative advantage
  • Our privileged access to governments gt strong
    position to increase government ownership of long
    term prevention of HT and reinsertion strategies.
  • Clear focus for WB primary sending countries

  • Make our staff aware/Learning agenda
  • Need to extend beyond SEE, esp. Caucasus and
    Central Asia
  • Country team cross-sectoral regional events
  • 2. Mainstreaming HT in our advisory work
  • Poverty assessments/ support to PRSPs
  • Gender assessments analysis
  • Youth assessments
  • Labor market and migration (upcoming ECA
    Migration study on social dimensions)
  • More gender and age analysis of livelihoods in
    rural areas and small towns

  • 3. Operations. Focus on tools/actions that are
    coherent with corporate priorities and supportive
    of improving and mainstreaming anti-trafficking
  • Specific sectors deserve obvious attention
  • Education
  • Public health framework for medical assistance
    to victims
  • Social protection/ e.g. better targeted
    assistance to vulnerable households/ lessons from
    de-institutionalization work on child welfare

  • But also cross-sectoral rural and social
  • Rural small towns geographic focus target
    to areas identified as vulnerable to
    traffickersgt implications for our poverty
    targeted Community Driven projects better
    gender and demographic targets
  • Gender-sensitive investments for youth inclusion
  • Specific challenges on rural finance/