Topic: Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Human Trafficking, though seldom addressed and talked about, is a widespread problem throughout the world, and has been for a long time. There are many forms of Human trafficking like, children being forced into military services, forced marriages, and organ trafficking. The main purpose of Human Trafficking is exploitation. Armed conflict increases the risk of Human Trafficking for vulnerable people, by increasing economic, and financial problems, decreasing social services, and forcing people to flee in whatever way possible.
Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children all around the world, subjected to the most common forms of human trafficking in Russia which are forced labor and forced begging. In Moscow suburbs workers forced into labor were beaten, poorly fed, and refused medical care. Human rights watch reported that Russian authorities gather all migrants who are vulnerable to human trafficking, and detained or deported them they also provide protection to traffickers, and bribe Russian officials to avoid enforcement of penalties for hiring illegal workers.
Russia has been criticized for not making enough effort to convict traffickers, and was therefore downgraded from the Tier-2 “watch list” to the lowest stage which is the Tier-3, meaning its not meeting anti-trafficking standards. It has also been criticized for not setting up shelters or acceptable psychological counseling services for returnees from trafficking situations, and for not having a comprehensive strategy in place or formal national procedures, overall earning Russia a bad reputation among its member states.
The Russian federation issued article127.2 which prohibits forced labor. Normally the punishment for breaking this law is imprisonment up to five years, but under aggravated circumstances, penalties can be up to fifteen years, and traffickers can sometimes be given suspended sentences. But these things only happen when traffickers are caught, and convicted which in Russia is relatively low, given the large scale of the problem.
Overall, Russia believes that victims of human trafficking should be protected, and violence against them should end, and with help and support from member states, there are several ways in which this can be achieved:
· Raise awareness to human trafficking and its dangers with public campaigns.
· Cooperate with government agencies, UN agencies, and other member states.
· Teach border police how to identify traffickers, and victims.
· Provide basic needs and other services for trafficking victims.
· Place severe consequences in the case of breaking the criminal code(Article 127.2)
· Provide human trafficking training to law enforcement staff, employees, judges, and officers.