Greetings from The Slave Detective,
OK…so what is this all about?
Today I want to consider how Government’s wish to perceive themselves and the problems they encounter. This is in light of several Countries being identified as having a Human Trafficking Problem!
The truth is we all have the problem!
No one really knows the scope of the problem but we know it is there. It is very difficult to quantify but some love to get hooked up on the numbers.
Is a governing body brave enough to admit they have a problem and meet it head on?
In a way I might be coming at the problem from a similar stance to a couple of my recent critics.
Lets consider a ‘Source’ country. Any Source Country. Lets call it ‘S’.
‘S’ has a problem with poverty. It had a large population which are poor and not able to afford to educate themselves as well as they might.
As the head of ‘S‘ do I want other countries to look down on my poor population and my lack of ability to raise their standards within my country?
I want richer countries to fund me but if I allow my population to flourish I loose my funding.
Do I have a Human Trafficking problem?
If the victims/citizens of ‘S’ are moved from my borders it is unlikely I will ever be called upon to assist them home. I can not afford it can I?
I don’t want to be known as a Country that has a high population of ‘Victims’ but then I am poor… so…. you, as a richer country, could help me.
I do not want my ‘S’ Consulates abroad recognising victims of Human Trafficking. We would then have to work out what to do with the victims and pay for them!
I can not afford for them to come home and be seen to be supporting them as ‘Victims’ in my country.
Country ‘T’ is a transit Country. Victims do come through my country (‘T‘) but if I intercept them they are My problem!
This problem is a costly one unless I can get someone to ship them back to ‘S’!
So it maybe a good idea to turn a blind eye and let the Trafficked Victims…if they are that…travel onwards.
It is, of course, very conceivable that The Trafficked victim is entirely unaware of their fate as they travel to Country ‘D’.
So how can ‘T’ really identify them?
Country ‘D’ is the Destination Country.
This is where the trafficker is looking to exploit the victim. The Trafficker has planned how to get the Victim into Country ‘D’ and the last thing the Trafficker wants is for Country ‘D’ to identify his victim at the border.
Of course you don’t need to cross an International Border to be trafficked but to get from Country ‘S’ to Country ‘D‘ you will of course need to travel.
So! Is it in Country ‘D‘s interest to discover trafficked victims?
Discovery of Victims in Country ‘D’ is going to cost lots of money. The investigation into the victim from ‘S’ is a complex one. The issues around the victim from ‘S’ could be many.
They will need specially trained persons to tackle the issues. This is expensive to maintain.
Will the victim stay in ‘D’ to assist a prosecution if they were ‘Rescued’?
Who supports persons from ‘S‘? And, of course, ‘S‘ is a poor country with many Citizens!
They may not want to designate resources to assist investigate and treat the victim.
Do the Citizens of ‘D‘ want their Government to spend their money on persons from another country?
‘D’ may already have infrastructure funding issues as many countries do?
So What is my point?
For a country seek to identify trafficked victims, whether they are a Source, Transit or Destination Country, they have to be brave and stand up.
This could also mean that they might be identified as ‘Having a Problem’.
I am often asked which Country do most Trafficking Victims come from in The UK?
If you read the press reports you may assume that a country repeatedly mentioned as having victims rescued… ie Country ‘S’ …. is The problem country.
This is not necessarily the case.
Many countries like ‘S’ take great steps to ensure that persons presenting themselves at their Consulates or Embassies are encouraged to report their plight to the authorities.
They also take huge steps to reduce Trafficked Victims being ‘picked up’ to be exploited in the first place.
They positively seek solutions and training for their Country
Many Countries like ‘D’ tackle the problem ‘head on’ despite the cost, as they know the problem is morally repugnant.
Many other countries pay lip service to the problem and the fact that their reported victims seem to be dropping means that (to them) they no longer have a problem.
So treat ‘earmarking’ victims from certain countries, like my Country ‘S’, with a little caution. It probably means that they are brave enough to identify the problem and work with another brave country, like Country ‘D’, who will fight trafficking because they believe it is right.
I have come across many countries who maybe perceived as having a trafficking problem when the truth is they have, by their own actions, highlighted that they are dealing with trafficking and not an ‘Ostrich State’.