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Labour Trafficking: Fighting New Trends, Understanding New Elements, Developing New Responses and Partnerships

Funding: ISEC 2011 (HOME/2011/ISEC/AG/THB), grant agreement: HOME/2011/ISEC/AG/THB/4000002208

Time frame: September 2012 – August 2015 

Coordinator: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Equality Department

Confederation (ITUC), with Anti-Slavery International and CCME as international partners, as well as national partners in: Austria (Lefö), Czech Republic (La Strada), Finland (Service Union United PAM), Ireland (Migrants Rights Centre Ireland), Lithuania (Caritas), Romania (Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania – AIDRom) and Spain (Unión General de Trabajadores UGT)

FINETUNE project aims at enhancing cooperation between trade unions, NGOs, faith-based organisations and other national partners to curb trafficking for forced labour in a number of key EU countries. It pays special attention to the new trends in trafficking – such as gender dimension of labour trafficking, more and more severe exploitation of increasingly large groups of exploited migrant workers in mainstream economic activities and new labour trafficking recruitment methods with the use of Internet and ICTs. The project seeks to broaden national partnerships in each of the participating countries; to share knowledge through EU-level labour trafficking form and thematic working papers (gender, group cases, recruitment) and to develop partnerships with existing European and international networks. The project feeds into the  practitioners´ knowledge, into wider debate addressing non-specialised actors, as well as into policy debate (e.g. in the process of transposition and implementation of the new EU Anti-Trafficking Directive 2011/36 and other EU instruments).

Thematic areas: Group cases of labour exploitation, New trends in recruitment, Gender, and labour trafficking.

Objectives: Cooperation/Partnerships,  Building&Sharing Knowledge/Capacity and Contribution of EU Policy.

REPORT: The role of the internet in trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation 

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The report examines what role the internet plays in trafficking human beings for labour exploitation. It considers particular methods of online job recruitment and looks at case studies from several EU Member States – Czech Republic, UK, Ireland, and Romania.  It discusses to what extent the internet plays a role, and if so, how significant the role of the internet is in facilitating human trafficking. The report provides examples of potential solutions.

Download the full report here.

FAQs: Labour trafficking in human beings and group cases

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The message of Vicar Bishop Pr. Dr. Daniel ZIKELI, Evangelical Church of Romania in the European conference “Internet Recruiting” in the project “Labour Trafficking – FINE TUNE Responses” March 20, 2014, Bucharest

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Before starting this presentation, I would like to thank both the Chamber of Deputies, which has made a sustained effort in organizing today’s conference and to the National Agency against Human Trafficking, as well as all our partners in prevention activities against this global scourge – Trafficking of human beings.

Preventing and combating human trafficking remains a priority on the global level and more specifically, the European Union and its diverse manifestation required to find new ways of approaching this issue from the perspective of prevention and to combat it as effectively as possible.

Christian churches in Europe and around the world have reacted against human trafficking since 2000, with the launch of the campaign “Churches say no to human trafficking”, initiated by the European Conference of Churches – CEC.

In the face of modern slavery, such as human trafficking, churches will not move aside.  For example,  Christian Churches in Romania and our sister churches abroad have active involved by running prevention and counseling programs.  Church plays an important role in civil society by drawing awareness of the dangers of trafficking and imparticular, labor exploitation.

In 2002, the Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania – AIDRom started to develop a program of training and counseling for prevention of human trafficking, a program called SENS. Programme activities have been conducted in collaboration with the Churches of Romania, and governmental institutions: Institute for Crime Research and Prevention, National Agency against HumanTrafficking and NGOs specializing in this field. The programme was also joined by our partners from abroad with expertise in the field of prevention of trafficking: CCME – Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, Belgium, Diakonisches Werk Stuttgart, Bremen and Württemberg.

What is labour trafficking?

Labour trafficking often includes the recruitment of persons, by the use of deception,  threat or use of coercion or the abuse of vulnerability – for the purpose of labour exploitation, including forced labour. Forced labour is “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.” 

However, a person cannot be considered a trafficked victim if they voluntarily consented to exploitation where consent was obtained unless if through improper means (deception, threat, use of force, abuse of a position of vulnerability).

The internationally recognized definition of trafficking persons is contained in Article 5 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It is also repeated in Article 4 of the European Anti-Trafficking Convention (adopted by the Council of Europe) as well as by Article 2 of the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive 2011/36.

The internationally recognized definition of forced labour is contained in Article 2 of the ILO Forced Labour Convention No. 29 (1930) and its Protocol (2014).

What are group cases in the context of trafficking in human beings ?

These are cases in which a bigger group of persons is exploited, as a result of human trafficking , and suffered in similar conditions at the hands of the same perpetrator(s) – simultaneously (eg. a group of workers at the same time) or consecutively (eg.  individual workers exploited by the same perpetrator(s) over a period of time).

To assist them, looking for a solution for the whole group, in particular in relation to any compensation claim, may be a better option rather than looking for a solution for each of the affected person’s individually.

Groups can vary in sizes – from smaller groups of 3, 4 persons to groups of – in extreme cases – several hundred persons.

How do people get trafficked?

Often recruitment is undertaken in another country and people are deceived about the conditions of work, in other cases, initial employment conditions seem OK and deteriorate over time. There are cases where workers sign contracts without understanding the language they are written and find out that their job is not a real job but is for example, an apprenticeship and not remunerated.

Also, a common tactic includes putting workers on various recruitment and subsistence costs (such as charges for the job offer, travel, food, housing, administrative fees etc.) such that the wages actually paid approach to zero or keep workers in a growing debt bondage.

Download here the the complete document FAQs: Labour trafficking in human beings and group cases

Report of the National Forum: Labor Trafficking- Fine Tune responses

Elena Timofticiuc, national coordinator AIDRom Romania

Elena TimofticiucThe meeting took place on the 21st of March 2013 and gathered 20 participants, representatives of state authorities, physiologists specialized in the work with victims of trafficking as well as the regional staff of ANITP, NGOs, representatives of trade unions from Bucharest and representatives of the Minister of Labor.

The event has been organized by AIDRom in cooperation with the National Agency against Trafficking in Persons.

The forum has been opened by the national coordinator, Ms. Elena Timofticiuc who invited the participants to present themselves and the projects related to the subject.

After a short presentation of the Agency, the director of the National Agency against Trafficking in persons, gave relevant information regarding the situation of victims of trafficking for forced labor registered in 2012.

From the total of 1100 registered victims, 410 were trafficked for the purpose of force labor. The origin of the counties of the victims were: Moldova region and the south of Romania.

The destination countries: Germany (85 – construction, agriculture, domestic work, bars and restaurants), Italy (67 persons – agriculture, construction, hotels and domestic work), Spain 60, Cyprus 21, Greece 26, Iraq 13, etc…

Labour exploitation occurs most often in economic sectors where undocumented jobs are at particularly high levels, making difficult to investigate such illegal and forced labour: agriculture, construction, hotel services, “domestic” labour or sales.

In the past few months, 26 victims were repatriated from various European countries.  The appropriate steps were being taken by the foreign judicial authorities, social services in destination countries of; Romanian embassies or consulates, foreign NGOs or Romanian NGOs acting on information received from foreign partners. “

At the end of the presentation, Mr. Maximilian insisted on the importance of the joined actions in cooperation with NGOs and church NGOs due to the impact of the message on the civil society. 

The specialists from ADPARE could provide best practice methods in the identification of victims of trafficking for forced labor and other types of trafficking.

The participants were informed on the identification of the potential victims living in the destination countries, but also on the new diagram for assistance service. The priests, as well as the social workers, were informed on 4 direct case management files of trafficked persons in Germany.

The work with the victims of trafficking for forced labor is more complicated due to the complexity of exploitation.

Download here the full report of the national forum.

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