Modern-day slavery

Human trafficking is a global problem. Every country in the world is affected by it, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination and it is for a range of exploitative purposes, not just sexual exploitation. (United Nations 2020)

Trafficking has 3 key elements.

  1. The act. (What is done) Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons
  2. The means. (How is it done) Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim
  3. The purpose (Why is it done) For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs. (United Nations 2020)

Poverty is the most common cause of human trafficking. It can make people become traffickers and it can make parents sell their children or other family members into slavery. People living in poverty are targeted by traffickers and offered money and a way to make a living, when in fact they won’t be paid anything and will be treated as slaves. (Emmaline Soken-Huberty 2020)

Lack of education can lead to decreased opportunities to work at a living wage and decrease one’s knowledge of their human rights. Education plays a big role in the prevention of human trafficking because it can empower children to make changes in their own personal lives and also to make a positive effect on their community and this way reduces the risks of human trafficking. (Emmaline Soken-Huberty 2020)

Demand for cheap labor/demand for commercialized sex can lead to opportunities for traffickers to exploit people. Traffickers can make a big profit trough cheap or free labor and selling the products or services at a higher price. Commercialized sex is a lucrative market that allows traffickers and pimps to become the only profiter from their victims through an endless cycle of buyers and high prices. (Emmaline Soken-Huberty 2020)

Lack of institutionalized human rights for marginalized people can increase their risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. Lack of protection from law enforcement, their families, and even the society they live in also plays a huge part makes them a target for human traffickers. (Emmaline Soken-Huberty 2020)

In the past Finland was considered to be destinations and transit country for human trafficking. Finland also has human trafficking happening within the Finnish borders and both the offender and the victim are Finnish. ( 2020)

Human trafficking in Finland is related to the exploitation of labor. Usually the victim is a foreign national who has been forced to work on poor/degrading conditions and terms. Typical areas for this are restaurants, cleaning, domestic work (home help, nannies), farming and greenhouse work, berry picking, and construction. A few cases of human trafficking related to sexual exploitation, for example, forced prostitution, are identified in Finland. ( 2020)

NGOs that offer help and support:

  1. Pro-tukipiste
  2. MONIKA – Multicultural Women’s Association in Finland
  3. Finnish Refugee Advice Centre
  4. International Organization for Migration (IOM), Finland country office
  5. Global Clinic
  6. Samaria

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2 thoughts on “Modern-day slavery”

  1. Very clear and informative post. Short paragraphs and lists makes it easy to read and gives all the important information fast.

    I’ve heard of the human trafficking related to exploitation of labor in Finland before, but I was a little surprised about the trafficking related to sexual exploitation. It’s a silent problem which is rarely in the news.

    It would have been interesting to hear in which parts of Finland this is the most common. Probably in the metropolitan area, but maybe some cases in other parts of Finland too?

  2. Angeliina, thank you for your blog post.

    The topic is very sad yet interesting. I realized I haven’t given much thought to the fact that human trafficking happens in Finland, too. It is sad that people live in such bad conditions that they can be forced into or exploited like their lives have no value. We really need to focus on ending poverty and promoting human rights.

    Thank you for providing such a comprehensive list of NGOs that are working to resolve this issue.

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