Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for Labour Exploitation

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Combating trafficking in human beings (THB) for labour exploitation requires additional skills, knowledge and awareness for effective investigation and prosecution, and for the identification and assistance of victims of this form of THB. Actors other than the police and the prosecution services (such as labour inspectorates, social investigation services and municipalities) have also become involved in these activities. It is unclear which role these actors can have in identifying victims and in investigating and prosecuting (cross-border) THB for labour exploitation and which improvements are needed. They are often unfamiliar with, for instance, the specific needs of victims, how trafficking networks operate, and how to cooperate with colleagues abroad. These problems obviously hamper the combating of THB for labour exploitation. In addition, difficulties in defining THB for labour exploitation still exist. Labour exploitation, as such, is not a term used in the Palermo Protocol or the EU Directive on Preventing and Combating THB and Protecting Victims. One can say that labour exploitation includes at least, forced and compulsory labour and services, slavery and slavery-like practices, although this does not solve the problems encountered in defining the crime. In this book, these and other problems, as well as the challenges of dealing with these problems, are identified. It includes research in five countries (Austria, The Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and Spain), research on the EU legal framework, an analysis of the country studies as well as four articles reflecting on these problems. Conny Rijken is Associate Professor at Tilburg University and Senior Research Fellow at INTERVICT. Dr. Rijken has done extensive research on Trafficking in Human Beings especially from an EU point of view. Furthermore she is specialised in the field of European Criminal Law. Rijken was project coordinator of the EU funded project Combating THB for Labour Exploitation. Some of her other notable recent assignments include the establishment of Joint Investigation Teams, raising awareness in the Judiciary on Trafficking in Human Beings, and the certification of the prostitution sector in the Netherlands.

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