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21.04.2022

STOP THE TRAFFIK Group Statement on UK Government Rwandan Proposal

The UK government has announced plans to force some asylum seekers to be relocated to Rwanda in order to counter the business model of the human smugglers or traffickers.

We are pleased that the Home Office is keen to break the ‘business model’ of the traffickers and exploiters.

STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) recognise that whether individuals are being trafficked or smuggled at different points of their journey, criminals see profit and opportunity. However, the details of the Home Office’s methodology are unclear and STT believes that this plan could in fact increase the potential profit to the traffickers and risk to those vulnerable to being exploited.

The traffickers’ business model is agile. The UK government has not evidenced how such plans will deter those asylum seekers taking risks to reach the UK. We know that the criminals will adapt and diversify to capitalise on business opportunity.

Over the past 18 years, STT has pioneered a systemic solution to one of the world’s fastest growing crimes to achieve the disruption and prevention of people trafficking. STT’s analysis of the traffickers’ business model identifies their reliance on the ability to recruit people, to move the proceeds of crime and to sustain and grow the demand for services to generate profit.

Disruption is possible by:

1. Tackling recruitment upstream and identifying and providing safe routes with protection and support in transit and at destination

2. Identifying the money flows, actively tracking payments and proceeds of crime with all who are enabling this to happen

3. Tackling the demand for exploited labour and the commercial structures that sustain sexual exploitation

In the last 6 months, Traffik Analysis Hub (TA Hub), the world’s richest repository of trafficking information, published an intelligence alert, supported in the last week by 2 research reports issued by GFEMS (Global Fund to End Modern Slavery), detailing the raised risk of trafficking in East Africa identifying routes to the Middle East. This information needs to be taken into account due to the impact on regional trafficking routes.

Transparency is our greatest weapon against criminality. By uncovering and understanding the system we can then drive good practice, create safe passage and trusted work offers and provide the ability to make choices. Global problems require global solutions.

Technology offers the greatest tools to drive this global transparency at every level: to collect information at scale and communicate insight targeted to every actor who can use it to inform their choices and take action.

STT’s intelligence led approach enables the power of survivor stories to lead this response. TAH is the engine that makes this possible.

International coordination and communication are our greatest levers to disrupt trafficking networks, undermining the ability for exploiters to deceive the vulnerable, to move money and sustain demand.

For example, over the past month, STT has been active in delivering an intelligence led response to those being forced to move out of Ukraine. Working with over 30 organisations across Europe, we have reached over 1 million people with digital messaging, targeting hotspots and routes, signposting to trusted support and improving our understanding of what is happening on the ground.

 

“I was talking to a group of Ukrainian women who had fled into Poland. I asked them who they would tell if they turned up to a job and it was exploitative. They said they would want to report but they didn’t know who they could tell or who would care. I shared with them about the STOP APP, our reporting tool, and explained that there were people who would care and people who would take action. They all downloaded the app there and then. I showed them our prevention program material and they commented that it was the information they needed as they travel and find safe places to stay and work. They were grateful that their phone could give them access to information they could trust and signposting to support where needed.” – Rebekah Lisgarten, STT Director of Operations

 

Now is the time to act together. The world’s population is moving, whether from desire to follow dreams or fleeing in fear and the traffickers business model remains largely unchallenged.

 

Notes:

STOP THE TRAFFIK: stopthetraffik.org

Traffik Analysis Hub: traffikanalysis.org

The STOP APP: stopthetraffik.org/stopapp/

Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS): gfems.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/GFEMS-OLR-Study-FINAL.pdf

 

Contact for further information:

info@stopthetraffik.org

 

Traffik Analysis Hub Assessment Alert

Read the Traffik Analysis Hub Assessment Alert here

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