Migrants Are Vulnerable to Human Trafficking
Migrants are often among the most vulnerable groups when it comes to human trafficking. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 50 million people are victims of forced labor globally, and it is estimated that up to 50% of these victims are migrants.
Human trafficking can happen to anyone, anywhere. For migrants, many factors can make them vulnerable to human trafficking. Migrants often leave their homes in search of better jobs and a better life, but they don’t know where they’ll end up or how long it will take them to get there. This unfamiliarity increases their risk of being trafficked — especially if they cannot speak the language, have no money or identification papers, and cannot find work or housing successfully.
In addition, because migrants sometimes spend a lot of time in transit — often on foot or by bus — they may not know where help is available if something happens along the way. They might also be afraid to ask for assistance because doing so could put them at risk of deportation.
Human Trafficking Is Modern-Day Slavery
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery involving the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons using force or other forms of coercion for the purpose of exploitation.
Human trafficking is a hidden crime because it occurs inside homes, factories, and farms; on streets and brothels; on farms and fishing boats — anywhere criminals can make money off the backs and bodies of others. Because it is so difficult to detect, human trafficking victims often go unnoticed.
Many are forced into labor or prostitution through fear or violence. Others are tricked into believing they will have an opportunity to work abroad when they arrive at their destination, only to find themselves trapped in a cycle that has nothing to do with what they were promised.
The Risk of Human Trafficking Is High For Migrants
Migrants are vulnerable to human trafficking because they are often unaware of their rights in the new country and lack documentation confirming their identity. Human traffickers will use various methods to lure migrants into exploitative situations.
For example, traffickers may offer migrant workers jobs abroad with attractive salaries and lodging. However, once these workers arrive at their destination countries, they find that nothing was as promised by their recruiters. Their wages do not match up with those advertised by recruiters, and sometimes even worse things happen, like physical violence against migrants or taking away passports from them so that they cannot leave job locations freely.
Migrants Are Vulnerable to Human Trafficking for Many Reasons
Victims of Human Trafficking Often Cross International Borders
When people migrate, they leave their home country in search of better opportunities. However, migrants often face severe risks and are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers due to a lack of legal protections in the countries where they travel. The risk is heightened when migrants cross international borders into unfamiliar territory with little or no access to information about their rights and responsibilities once they arrive.
They are Unaware of Their Rights in a New Country
Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable because they may not have the information they need to make informed decisions about their work situation. In addition, migrants may be unaware of what services are available to them in a new country and how to access those services.
They Lack Documentation Confirming Their Identity
Many migrants are targeted because they lack documentation confirming their identity, making them more vulnerable to exploitation at higher rates than other populations.
Since migrants often live somewhere without legal permission to stay in that country, it’s easy for traffickers to exploit them by giving them fake papers so that employers don’t know how old or young workers actually are when hiring them for jobs like cleaning houses or working on farms where safety standards aren’t enforced properly on behalf of laborers’ well-being.
They May Not Speak the Language
Migrants who migrate without legal authorization may be vulnerable to human trafficking because they cannot communicate with authorities, employers, or other migrants. For example, if their home country’s language is not spoken in the destination country, it can be difficult to ask for help if they encounter a problem during their journey.
In addition, migrants may have difficulty communicating with potential traffickers about their situation and needs when they arrive at their destination, and afterward when seeking work opportunities. As a result, it may be easier for traffickers to trick them into working situations that are exploitative or even dangerous because migrants do not understand what they agree to or how they will be treated once they arrive at their new location.
They May Have Broken Laws in Their Home Countries
Some migrants, like refugees and asylum seekers, may be fleeing their home countries because they have broken laws in those countries. Others may have been previously imprisoned or persecuted for their beliefs, ethnicity, or gender orientation.
These characteristics make migrants especially vulnerable to human trafficking, as traffickers can take advantage of the fact that these people do not have access to legal protection or assistance in their host countries.
Help Us Provide Hope
No one person can stop human trafficking, but we can gain traction together. Contributions to organizations like The Orphan’s Hands help our committed staff and volunteers work 365 days a year to fight human trafficking and support survivors. Every donation can change the life of someone victimized by human trafficking. No matter the size, every effort can deliver help and hope to the most vulnerable.
The generosity of our supporters has helped us provide a safe life for people once trapped in a life of slavery and forced marriage, as well as shelter, food, and medical care for those in need. Together, we can change and save lives!