New blog posts by HTC Associates
Silvia Tamminen discussed the plight of exploited migrant workers in Finland’s berry industry. Some of the berry pickers earn less than their promised wages and may also acquire debt before arriving in Finland. During the 2013 berry season, 50 Thai pickers filed a complaint with the policy regarding their working conditions, triggering the first police investigation of human trafficking in Finland’s berry industry.
Sarah Davis analyzed the U.S. Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017. This is the first strategic policy document of its kind in the U.S. The aspects of the plan that align with the objectives of the Human Trafficking Center include its goals to promote a coordinated approach to addressing the needs of victims; focus on research, data and evaluation to support best practices in the provision of victim services; and increase in victim identification and the availability of services. While the plan has many merits, it lacks enforcement mechanisms, and it is unclear what actions will be taken at the state and local level to comply with the plan.
Links from around the world
The Sochi Olympics came to a close this week (if you haven’t already, read HTC Associate Peter Rocco’s blog on forced labor in the lead-up to the games). Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that in Qatar more than 500 Indian workers have died in the country since 2012 while undertaking major infrastructure projects in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.
In Jordan, the International Organization of Migration launched a campaign to increase awareness in Mafraq (near the Syrian border) about the dangers of human trafficking. The campaign, undertaken in collaboration with the Jordanian Government, is targeted at areas with high concentrations of Syrian refugees.
The UK plans to improve its anti-trafficking efforts by placing teams at Heathrow airport (and later Gatwick and Manchester airports) to identify potential victims of trafficking. This comes as the British Parliament is considering the Draft Modern Slavery Bill.
In the U.S., a human trafficking survivor helped raise public awareness by speaking before the Colorado State Capitol, where a state representative from Denver is sponsoring legislation on human trafficking that calls for better coordination among law enforcement, prosecutors, human services and service providers.