News

Back

Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and HEUNI to investigate the effectiveness of the legislation that applies to assistance for victims of human trafficking

Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and HEUNI to investigate the effectiveness of the legislation that applies to assistance for victims of human trafficking

The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman acting as National Rapporteur for Trafficking of Human Beings and the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) are investigating the effectiveness of legislation that applies to assistance for victims of human trafficking. The objective of the investigation is to collect information on how the system of assistance now functions and how it could be developed. The improved status of human trafficking victims will facilitate the prosecution of offenders and help in the prevention of human trafficking. Funding for the project comes from the Finnish Government's analysis and research appropriations (VN TEAS).

An assessment of the Act that applies to the identification and assistance of human trafficking victims is especially timely. The large increase in immigration is also evident from the customers that seek help from the system of assistance for victims of human trafficking, of whom the majority are asylum seekers. The quantity of people without personal and travel documents is also growing, which in turn causes the risk of human trafficking to increase.The growth in the number of people seeking help from the system of assistance is also increasing pressure. This growth is partly due to the fact that human trafficking within Finland is now better recognised than previously.

At present, Finland does not have information that would describe the situation in its entirety or assess how effective the structure of assistance for victims of human trafficking is. The objective of the research is to produce information on the identification of human trafficking victims and on the effectiveness of legislation that applies to the assistance of victims. Do legislation and the practical application of the Act really support the identification and assistance of victims? Does the Act meet with all the obligations set out in international and European Union law that Finland has committed to? Are there gaps in activities or legislation that prevent the genuine implementation of victims’ rights? The study also aims to highlight the good practices, effective models and success stories related to the identification and assistance of victims of human trafficking.

The research is multidisciplinary in nature, and it applies both jurisprudence and sociological methods of research. Legal research methods are used to study document materials in order to ascertain how the legislation and practical application of the Act that applies to the assistance of human trafficking victims met with obligations provided in international legislation and EU legislation. This also examins how the objective and purpose of the Act are implemented in its application, and what possibilities/limitations other legislation (i.a. Criminal Code of Finland and the Aliens Act) causes. Sociological research methods are used to study which cases find their way into the scope of assistance and which do not, what assistance is provided to victims and how legislation meets with actuals needs.

The project has begun with the collection of materials and its results will be published in early 2018.

07.06.2017