Practical Experience : NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
NGO course - Building Integrity, 2-4 April, 2012
Prepared by: Maria Theresa Maan-Bešić, Žene Ženama
I. Human Trafficking and prostitution overview and differentiation
Trafficking is a lucrative industry. It has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable illegal industry in the world. In 2004, the total annual revenue for trafficking in persons were estimated to be between USD$5 billion and $9 billion.
In 2005, Patrick Belser of ILO estimated a global annual profit of $31.6 billion. In 2008, the United Nations estimated nearly 2.5 million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked into 137 countries around the world.
Year 2011 : 12.3 million people worldwide
However, it is argued that many of these statistics are grossly inflated to aid advocacy of anti-trafficking NGOs and the anti-trafficking policies of governments. Due to the definition of trafficking being a process (not a singly defined act) and the fact that it is a dynamic phenomenon with constantly shifting patterns relating to economic circumstances, much of the statistical evaluation is flawed.
Human trafficking differs from people smuggling. In the latter, people voluntarily request or hire an individual, known as a smuggler, to covertly transport them from one location to another. This generally involves transportation from one country to another, where legal entry would be denied upon arrival at the international border. There may be no deception involved in the (illegal) agreement. After entry into the country and arrival at their ultimate destination, the smuggled person is usually free to find their own way.
While smuggling requires travel, trafficking does not. Much of the confusion rests with the term itself. The word "trafficking" includes the word "traffic," which means transportation or travel. However, while the words look and sound alike, they do not hold the same meaning.
Trafficking means engaged in the action of trading something illegally or being engaged in illegal commerce.
Trafficking in human beings is a complex problem and a horrific criminal act, often referred to as a modern form of slavery. It violates fundamental human rights and destroys the dignity of survivors long after the exploitation ends.Council of Europe
Human trafficking “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” United Nations
Prostitution - the act of offering one's self for hire to engage in sexual relations, profession of performing sexual acts for money.
Prostitution is a crime throughout the United States, except for a few counties in the State of Nevada, where it is allowed in licensed houses of prostitution. Soliciting acts of prostitution is also a crime, called pandering or simply, soliciting. Pandering on behalf of a prostitute is called pimping.
Sex trafficking victims are generally found in dire circumstances and easily targeted by traffickers. Individuals, circumstances, and situations vulnerable to traffickers include homeless individuals, runaway teens, displaced homemakers, refugees, job seekers, tourists, kidnap victims and drug addicts. While it may seem like trafficked people are the most vulnerable and powerless minorities in a region, victims are consistently exploited from any ethnic and social background.
Victims of human trafficking are not permitted to leave upon arrival at their destination. They are held against their will through acts of coercion and forced to work or provide services to the trafficker or others. The work or services may include anything from bonded or forced labor to commercialized sexual exploitation. The arrangement may be structured as a work contract, but with no or low payment or on terms which are highly exploitative. Sometimes the arrangement is structured as debt bondage, with the victim not being permitted or able to pay off the debt.
Bonded labor, or debt bondage, is probably the least known form of labor trafficking today, and yet it is the most widely used method of enslaving people. Victims become bonded laborers when their labor is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan or service in which its terms and conditions have not been defined or in which the value of the victims’ services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt. The value of their work is greater than the original sum of money "borrowed."
Forced labor is a situation in which victims are forced to work against their own will, under the threat of violence or some other form of punishment, their freedom is restricted and a degree of ownership is exerted. Men are at risk of being trafficked for unskilled work, which globally generates $31bn according to the International Labor Organization. Forms of forced labor can include domestic servitude; agricultural labor; sweatshop factory labor; janitorial, food service and other service industry labor; and begging.
2. Human trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina for forced prostitution (women and girls)
From 1992 through 1995, thousands of women and girls suffered rape and other forms of sexual violence during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including abuse in rape camps and detention centers scattered throughout the country. With the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in December 1995, violence against women and girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina did not cease. The grim sexual slavery of the war years has been followed by the trafficking of women and girls for forced prostitution.
According to experts of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), trafficking first began to appear in 1995. As of October 2002, UNMIBH suspected 227 of the nightclubs and bars that dot Bosnian cities and towns of involvement in trafficking in human beings. Experts from the U.N. mission’s Special Trafficking Operations Program (STOP) stated in a 2001 press conference that approximately 25 percent of the women and girls working in nightclubs and bars were trafficked. NGO experts working to stop trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina, cautioning that the statistics remain woefully unreliable, estimated that as many as 2,000 women and girls from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have found themselves trapped in Bosnian brothels.
Trafficked women and girls are held in debt bondage, forced to provide sexual services to clients, falsely imprisoned, and beaten when they do not comply with demands of brothel owners who have purchased them and deprived them of their passports. In dozens of interviews with Human Rights Watch and other NGOs, women and girls, mostly trafficked from Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, described brutality—including physical violence and rape to Bosnia and Herzegovina—at the hands of traffickers. Such victim testimony is confirmed by internal reports of the International Police Task Force (IPTF, UNMIBH’s police monitoring force) and local police reports. Many of the women and girls had expected that they would travel to Italy or other Western European countries to work legally. Their ages ranged from seventeen to thirty-three years. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which arranged for temporary shelter and voluntary repatriation of 498 trafficking victims from Bosnia and Herzegovina between August 1999 and October 2002, has reported victims as young as thirteen.
The interviews and transcripts revealed with few exceptions that traffickers, most of them local Bosnians, needed harbor little fear of criminal prosecution or punishment for their crimes: trafficking laws went largely unenforced, providing no protection for the victims of these serious human rights abuses. Corruption within the Bosnian police force allowed the trafficking of women and girls to flourish. Local police officers facilitated trafficking both directly and indirectly—as part owners of nightclubs and bars holding trafficked women, as guards and employees in those establishments, as clients of the brothels, and as informants to brothel owners. Trafficked women and girls reported that brothel owners forced them to provide free sexual services to police, particularly to officers employed in the foreigners’ department, the unit responsible for issuing work and residency permits. Brothel owners received tip-offs about raids and document checks from local police, allowing them to hide the trafficked women and girls before a police sweep. Some local police participated in the creation and validation of false documents for trafficking victims. Such participation by the police often made it impossible for trafficking victims to turn to the police for help.
Sale of Women and Girls
All of the women and girls Human Rights Watch and the NGO Lara interviewed, as well as those who gave testimony in the courts and to IPTF, had been sold. In a typical case, a woman trafficked from Moldova in the summer of 2000 told Human Rights Watch:
[One trafficker] took me to a bar in Belgrade, and I danced. Another guy asked me to work for him, and he bought me. I stayed there for a little while. I was sold two more times, and they took me to Bijeljina. I lived at home with the [owner’s] wife and kids for one week. One guy [name withheld] came with a friend and he bought me…. I was locked in. I told him that I wanted to go home and he said that I had to pay off a debt [her purchase price]
2.1. Measures, laws and relevant articles for combating trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the crime of human trafficking increased in the mid to late 1990s, when thousands of women are believed to have fallen subject to organized trafficking rings. The majority of the victims were from Eastern Europe.
In 2003, BiH introduced bold measures that enabled effective domestic prosecution of traffickers and strengthened the instruments for early detection of victims at state border crossings and elsewhere.
The Court of BiH was vested with jurisdiction over trafficking in human beings through amendments to the BiH Criminal Code in the same year.
Further, the State Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Immigration in BiH was established to monitor and co-ordinate the implementation of the State Action Plan and related anti-trafficking activities at the many government levels in BiH.
Other relevant articles:
Article 11(1): “States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad;”
Article 19(1): “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the case of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.”
Article 19(2). This article also calls for other forms of “prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment, and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.” The convention states: “For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent: (a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; (b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; (c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.”
Article 2(a). The U.N. General Assembly adopted the protocol on May 25, 2000; it went into effect on January 18, 2002 (A/Res/54/263). To date the protocol has 105 signatures and forty-one ratifications. Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified the Optional Protocol on September 4, 2002.
Article 8(1), Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, U.N. Doc. A/54/L.84 at 5 (2000).
Human Rights Watch relies on the definition of “trafficking” supplied in article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Trafficking Protocol). See Chapter V, International and Domestic Legal Protections Against Trafficking.
3. Practical actions and initiatives of Non-govermental organisations in BiH (RING NETWORK)
3.1. Žene Ženema’s role within RING network
Žene Ženama has been dealing with the problem of human beings trafficking since 1999. Together with other women’s NGOs, we participated in creation of activities and programs which will initiate BH public in the best way, to understand this problem and to realize that BiH is not faced with this problem as the country in transition, but the country of the last destination of the victims as well. By the beginning of the year 8th of March 2000, we initiated women’s network RING, network against human beings trafficking together with 12 women’s NGOs in B& H (Žene Ženama Sarajevo, Lara Bijeljina, Most Višegrad, Udružene žene Banja Luka, Unija ŽAR Sarajevo, Budućnost Modriča, Žene BiH Mostar, Žene sa Une Bihać, Anima Goražde;
The Network was supposed to gather all individual and organizational capacities regarding defining of activities in resolving and prevention of human beings on trafficking.
Žene Ženama made determination for 2 activity directions:
· Prevention through education of public on the problem of human being trafficking
· Activities of civic advocacy process for law regulations changes as well as rising awareness of citizens related to this problem
Žene Ženama participated very actively in empowering RING network as well as its promotion in B&H and in wider region. We had several projects supported by various donors aiming at strengthening capacities of organization, and to give our contribution to resolving this problem. The activities, we realized were:
1. Educational programs for leading women of Safe House where were women who were victims of trafficking (in the period of six months, women had been acquiring knowledge in Sarajevo, Zagreb, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Ljubljana, Zenica / May – 2000 – May 2001).
2. Actions that promoted problem, its cause, and consequences :
We published handbook «In what is the Difference? Trafficking in Women / prostitution» in Sarajevo, January 2004.
We organized public presentation of movie «Lily 4- ever» directed by Lukas Moodysson as well as panel discussion on situation regarding human beings trafficking in B&H in Sarajevo 20.04.2004. This film and panel discussion were within Anti – Trafficking informative campaign in Western Balkans for representatives of: federal and local authorities, institutions, legislative authority, directors and professors of primary and secondary schools, students, international and local NGOs.
3. Workshops for representatives of international and national NGOs; students; local authority representatives; educational institutions.... 14 workshops had been held in the B&H cities ( Sarajevo , Banja Luka, Doboj, Bihać, Goražde, Trebinje, Velika Kladuša, Livno, Višegrad, Brčko, Ljubuški, Zvornik) and in Belgrade.
These activities were realized by support of: OXFAM Great Britain, STAR World Learning BATCOM Project USA; Kvinnoforum Sweden.
More than 2000 participants were encompassed by our activities. In the framework of RING network which have been maintained in this informal shape for all these years, especially thanks to efforts of Žene Ženama-Sarajevo, Udružene žene- Banja Luka and Medica- Zenica which organized the meetings in period of 2003 – 2005 by undertaking of administrative activities, we have Agreement on Cooperation, that defines roles and responsibilities of each organization within RING network. Žene Ženama, within RING network, and in accordance with its capacities, undertook the responsibility for activities: promotion and education.
3.2. Prospects of Sustainability
Responding to the need of joint action towards prevention of gender based violence and trafficking in human beings, the network and other regions (BiH, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia) has developed broader strategic objectives for the period 2007 - 2010 by planning integrated action on GBV and AT. Within its strategy for Gender program, this envisioning to:
1. Contribute to sustainable support programs to victims and survivors of GBV and trafficking in human beings, particularly women and children
2.Promote peer education on GBV, AT and gender diversity as a particularly effective and inclusive method in the context of formal and non-formal education of children and youth
3.Enhance the effectiveness of advocacy efforts undertaken in the region regarding gender equality, GBV and AT, by promoting impact assessments of advocacy campaigns and initiatives.
4. Strengthen the sustainability of key regional, national and/or local civil society organizations promoting gender equality and fight against GBV and AT
However, other national networks have significantly lower fundraising capacities and are functioning in an environment that is not effectively supporting their activities. Therefore, regional cooperation among NGOs will probably continue beyond the project, in respect to cooperation on actual trafficking cases. When it comes to exchange of policy solutions or joint advocacy, the prospects for sustainability are assessed as weak, unless further funding is secured. Similarly, informal cooperation among individual representatives of institutions in the four countries is probable, again in dealing with individual cases, but institutional cooperation needs further support.
The community level task-forces all need further support, with the exception of the task force in Bijeljina that has been active for the past years and will continue regardless of further funding. All other task forces have a potential to act if a trafficking victim is found in their communities, but their awareness-raising of the problem in their individual communities, and further skill development are strongly dependant on further opportunities for exchange of experiences and external driving.
3.3. Lessons learned from RING network
a. Adjusting project management approach to capacities of local partners
Full confidence in and respect of partner organizations and networks should be based on previous experience and thorough assessments of management capacities of partnering organizations, leading to early differentiation of approaches to established and emerging NGOs and networks, in which the latter need to be monitored more intensely, with stronger mentoring and continuous soft technical assistance.
b. Recognizing the vital importance of local ownership of networking and its purpose.
Project planning, writing and fundraising is an effective instrument for sustainability, if the network is capable to recognize its benefits. Similarly, continuous presence and investments in the network’s technical capacities and soft-skills building have a positive impact on reviving dormant networks, as evidenced in Bosnia & Herzegovina, or supporting smaller cross-sectoral network members (example as evidenced in Serbia).
c. Appropriateness of simultaneous support to national and local-level advocacy and coordination of AT actors
Simultaneous support to national and local-level advocacy efforts has proved to be significant for the purpose of speedier and more effective implementation of national level policy, as is the case in Croatia where there is a relatively stable policy environment. It is also important for overcoming obstacles in policy implementation, as was the case in the other three countries. In B&H, the national/federal level policy can hardly be implemented, since the whole country actually functions at the entity and cantonal levels, Serbia’s fragile political situation prevents any planning at the national level, while lack of political will obstructs implementation in Montenegro. In such environments, local-level advocacy and awareness raising activities represent the only possible form of intervention and contribute to creating a conducive environment for the implementation of the national level policy, once the circumstances arise.
d. The imperative of multilateral, timely communication among all stakeholders, (international, institutions,government and local partners- NGOs)
Ensuring clear and timely transfer of information among all stakeholders, and multilateral communication with all local partners will contribute to more efficient project management and ensure consistency of communication with local partners.
4. International and Bilateral Organisations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking and prostitution
A world map showing the legislative framework (or lack thereof) in place in different countries to prevent female trafficking and prostitution. There is no universally accepted definition of trafficking for sexual exploitation. The term encompasses the organized movement of people, usually women, between countries and within countries for sex work with the use of physical coercion, deception and bondage through forced debt.
However, the issue becomes contentious when the element of coercion is removed from the definition to incorporate facilitating the willing involvement in prostitution. For example, in the United Kingdom, The Sexual Offenses Act, 2003 incorporated trafficking for sexual exploitation but did not require those committing the offence to use coercion, deception or force, so that it also includes any person who enters the UK to carry out sex work with consent as having been trafficked.
In addition, any minor involved in a commercial sex act in the United States while under the age of 18 qualifies as a trafficking victim, even if no movement is involved, under the definition of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons, in the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
A 2011 paper published in Human Rights Review, “Sex Trafficking: Trends, Challenges and Limitations of International Law,” notes that, since 2000, the number of sex-trafficking victims has risen while costs associated with trafficking have declined: “Coupled with the fact that trafficked sex slaves are the single most profitable type of slave, costing on average $1,895 each but generating $29,210 annually, leads to stark predictions about the likely growth in commercial sex slavery in the future.”
In 2008, 12.3 million individuals were classified as “forced laborers, bonded laborers or sex-trafficking victims,” the study states. Approximately 1.39 million of these individuals worked as commercial sex slaves, with women and girls comprising 98%, or 1.36 million, of this population.
The international Save the Children organization stated: "... The issue, however, gets mired in controversy and confusion when prostitution too is considered as a violation of the basic human rights of both adult women and minors, and equal to sexual exploitation per see... trafficking and prostitution become conflated with each other.
On account of the historical conflation of trafficking and prostitution both legally and in popular understanding, an overwhelming degree of effort and interventions of anti-trafficking groups are concentrated on trafficking into prostitution." The line between forced and voluntary prostitution is very thin, and prostitution in and of itself is seen by many as an abusive practice and a form of violence against women. In Sweden, Norway and Iceland it is illegal to pay for sex (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute).
Sexual trafficking includes coercing a migrant into a sexual act as a condition of allowing or arranging the migration. Sexual trafficking uses physical coercion, deception and bondage incurred through forced debt. Trafficked women and children, for instance, are often promised work in the domestic or service industry, but instead are usually taken to brothels where their passports and other identification papers are confiscated. They may be beaten or locked up and promised their freedom only after earning – through prostitution – their purchase price, as well as their travel and visa costs.
The main motive of a woman (in some cases, an underage girl) to accept an offer from a trafficker is better financial opportunities for herself or her family. In many cases, traffickers initially offer ‘legitimate’ work or the promise of an opportunity to study. The main types of work offered are in the catering and hotel industry, in bars and clubs, modeling contracts, or au pair work. Traffickers sometimes use offers of marriage, threats, intimidation and kidnapping as means of obtaining victims. In the majority of cases, the women end up in prostitution. Also some (migrating) prostitutes become victims of human trafficking. Some women know they will be working as prostitutes, but they have an inaccurate view of the circumstances and the conditions of the work in their country of destination.
Trafficking victims are also exposed to different psychological problems. They suffer social alienation in the host and home countries. Stigmatization, social exclusion, and intolerance make reintegration into local communities difficult. The governments offer little assistance and social services to trafficked victims upon their return. As the victims are also pushed into drug trafficking, many of them face criminal sanctions.
The Yogyakarta Principles, document on international human rights law on sexual orientation and gender identity also affirm that "States shall (c) establish legal, educational and social measures, service and programs to address factors that increase vulnerability to trafficking, sale and all forms of exploitation, including but not limited to sexual exploitation, on the grounds of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, including such factors as social exclusion, discrimination, rejection by families or cultural communities, lack of financial independence, homelessness, discriminatory social attitudes leading to low self-esteem, and lack of protection from discrimination in access to housing accommodation, employment and social services.
In 2000 the United Nations adopted the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, also called the Palermo Convention, and two Palermo protocols there to:
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; and
- Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has assisted many non-governmental organizations in their fight against human trafficking. The 2006 armed conflict in Lebanon, which saw 300,000 domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and the Philippines jobless and targets of traffickers, led to an emergency information campaign with NGO Caritas Migrant to raise human-trafficking awareness. Additionally, an April 2006 report, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns, helped to identify 127 countries of origin, 98 transit countries and 137 destination countries for human trafficking.
To date, it is the second most frequently downloaded UNODC report. Continuing into 2007, UNODC supported initiatives like the Community Vigilance project along the border between India and Nepal, as well as provided subsidy for NGO trafficking prevention campaigns in Bosnia, Croatia, and Herzegovina. Public service announcements have also proved useful for organizations combating human trafficking. In addition to many other endeavors, UNODC works to broadcast these announcements on local television and radio stations across the world. By providing regular access to information regarding human-trafficking, individuals are educated how to protect themselves and their families from being exploited.
The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) was conceived to promote the global fight on human trafficking, on the basis of international agreements reached at the UN. UN.GIFT was launched in March 2007 by UNODC with a grant made on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. It is managed in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF); the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The Legislation Pertaining to Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in BiH. Due to its focus on comprehensive security based on respect for human rights standards, in December 2003, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted Decision No. 2/03 on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings as an expression of the importance and priority the OSCE places on this issue. The decision establishes OSCE mechanisms to provide assistance to participating states to combat trafficking in human beings including a Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings based in Vienna and it endorses the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. The Action Plan is intended as a comprehensive toolkit to assist participating States to implement their commitments towards combating trafficking in human beings through the following measures:
• Prosecution of those who facilitate or commit the crime
• Prevention of trafficking in human beings
• Protection of victims
In its fight against human trafficking, the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina monitors all human trafficking cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina and works with local partners and institutions to ensure greater protection and support to trafficking victims. The Mission also monitors domestic criminal legislation and the justice system’s ability to effectively sanction trafficking offences.
5.1. Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
· Provide services for trafficking victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including legal services, medical care, shelter, psychological counseling, and financial assistance.
· With regard to girls under age eighteen, provide for their protection and development, including child-appropriate treatment at the time of removal from the nightclub or bar and ongoing physical and mental health care, shelter, nutrition, and education in accordance with the best interests of the child and her rights as articulated in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
· Implement witness protection programs to allow women and girls to testify against their traffickers. At a minimum, witness protection measures should include full information about protection mechanisms available to victims in a language that the victim can understand, physical protection from harm, safe shelter, and short-term residence visas to allow victims to remain in the country temporarily in accordance with the Temporary Instruction of Treatment of Trafficking Victims, adopted by the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees in September 2002.
In accordance with Article 7 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Trafficking Protocol), in cases where humanitarian or compassionate factors warrant, trafficking victims should be allowed to remain in the country permanently.
· Create and provide financing for sufficient regional safe shelters to house trafficked women and girls, with staff members trained in caring for trafficking victims as proposed in the National Plan of Action and the Memorandum of Understanding on Protection of Victims of Trafficking. Nongovernmental organizations should be included in the founding and administration of these centers and should have access to trafficked persons residing in the shelter.
· Separate centers for recovery and reintegration should be set up for girls, with staff specifically trained to care for and counsel children and adolescents. Staff should be equipped to work with NGOs and child welfare agencies in local communities to reunite children with their families when it is in the child’s best interest and to provide follow-up support, training, and counseling. Children not reunited with their families should be placed in a caring environment with provisions for health care, counseling, and age-appropriate education and vocational training.
· Amend criminal anti-trafficking laws in both entities and Brcko to make the definition of trafficking consistent with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
· Prosecute traffickers to the maximum extent of the law.
· Investigate, and when appropriate, discipline and prosecute police officers and other officials engaged in trafficking to the maximum extent of the law.
· Cease prosecution of trafficked women and girls for crimes related to their status as trafficking victims in accordance with the Temporary Instruction on Treatment of Trafficking Victims, adopted by the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees in September 2002.
· Provide appropriate support and protection for children involved in the process of testifying against traffickers, taking into consideration the particular psychological and developmental needs of the child and with due attention to protecting the child from further physical or emotional harm.
· Provide training for judges, prosecutors, and police on trafficking as well as women’s and children’s human rights issues. Bosnian nongovernmental organizations with relevant experience and expertise should be involved in designing and implementing the training programs as well as child development experts equipped with appropriate methodologies for interacting with and intervening on behalf of girls.
5.2. United Nations, U.N. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina
· Ensure that the appropriate international legal definition of trafficking, as articulated in the Trafficking Protocol, is used consistently in making determinations about trafficking status.
· Investigate thoroughly all allegations of trafficking or involvement by IPTF monitors in the purchasing of women and girls and patronage of brothels.
· Continue to include qualified policewomen in the Special Trafficking Operations Program (STOP) units.
· Publicly disclose the results of internal investigations into trafficking-related allegations with due regard to the safety and confidentiality of the victims.
· Provide adequate funding and support for NGO-managed, local shelters for trafficked women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5.3. International Police Task Force (IPTF)
· Monitor investigations of local police involvement in trafficking closely. De-authorize those police personnel found to be involved in trafficking-related corruption.
· Include information on trafficking in all training programs for IPTF monitors.Make all efforts to ensure that open trafficking cases are highlighted as a priority during the transfer to the European Union Police Mission (EUPM).
5.4. U.N. Secretariat
· Facilitate prosecution of international personnel by forwarding all relevantinvestigative reports to countries of origin of IPTF monitors implicated in trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
· Ensure that personnel implicated in trafficking do not serve in U.N. missions in the future.
· Lift immunity for IPTF officers in appropriate cases.
5.5. European Union
· In January 2003, the European Union will take over the international policing operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The E.U. has announced that the mission will consist of 470 police officers, replacing the 1,800 strong U.N.-led IPTF. The E.U. should consider trafficking one of its priority issues as it takes on this mission. In addition, Human Rights Watch recommends that the European Union:
- Undertake an objective evaluation of the work of the STOP anti-trafficking units.
- Enforce high professional and ethical standards among E.U. police monitors.
5.6. U.S. government
· Explore legislative changes to allow for the prosecution in the United States of U.S.citizens who commit criminal offenses while serving as international police monitors in U.N. missions. Such legislation should be tailored to end the jurisdictional gap that currently allows such persons to avoid domestic prosecution for trafficking-related crimes committed abroad.
5.7. All Governments providing staff to International Police Task Force (IPTF)
· Prosecute personnel implicated in criminal activities, including trafficking of persons, when they return to their home countries. In appropriate cases, extradite personnel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for prosecution and encourage the United Nations to waive immunity for nationals facing charges in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
· Provide funding to local nongovernmental organizations working to combat trafficking and to protect the human rights of trafficking victims.
Facts and information – Bosnia and Herzegovima
One woman from Moldova was kidnapped while visiting Bucharest, Romania. Two women stated that they had planned to visit relatives in Italy and had hoped to find employment there. In another case, a woman told Human Rights Watch researchers that she and a friend were sold by the friend’s brother to traffickers after the brother promised to give them a ride from their village to a Moldovan city where they hoped to find work. Human Rights Watch interview, E.E., Sarajevo, April 10, 2001.
A report published by the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) noted that international clients pay higher rates and spend more money in the bars than local men. The report estimated that the international clientele accounts for 70 percent of all profits from prostitution. UNICEF, UNOHCHR, OSCE/ODIHR, “Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe,” June 2002, p. 65.
The International Organization for Migration office in Sarajevo estimated that at any given time there are between 600 and 3,000 trafficked women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. See IOM, “Victims of Trafficking in the Balkans,” 2001, p. 43.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, ten nongovernmental organizations created an alliance of NGOs working on trafficking called the RING Network in 1999. The alliance includes Lara in Bijeljina, Udruzene Zene [United Women Association] in Banja Luka, Buducnost [Future] in Modrica, Zena BiH [Woman of Bosnia and Herzegovina] in Mostar, Medica in Zenica, Zene Zenama [Women to Women] in Sarajevo, Most [The Bridge] in Visegrad, La Bella Dona in Srpsko Sarajevo, Liga Zena Glasaca [League of Women Voters] in Sarajevo, and Zene sa Une [Women from Una] in Bihac. LaStrada (Mostar) later joined the network.
At that time, Human Rights Watch researchers met with U.S. soldiers based as Joint Commission Observers (JCO) with U.S. SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The four soldiers and one civilian interpreter told us about six brothels in the Bijeljina region filled with foreign women, most from Ukraine. One JCO soldier told Human Rights Watch that he had invited several of the women back to the JCO residence for a party, but that they could not attend as their passports had been taken and they were held by the brothel owner as “slaves.” Human Rights Watch interview, JCO soldier A. [name withheld], Bijeljina, February 4, 1998.
Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Amela Efendic, IOM program officer, Sarajevo, October 21, 2002. Of the total 601 women and girls, 498 were repatriated to their home countries. The remaining 103 declined assistance after spending one night in a safehouse. As of October 21, 2002, minors between the ages of 13 and 18 accounted for approximately 10 percent of the total (sixty).
Human Rights Watch interview, Amela Efendic, IOM program officer, Sarajevo, March 26, 2001. The women received U.S.$150 as a “reinstallation grant,” paid upon return to the country of origin. IOM officials reported that extremely small additional repatriation funds existed in Moldova and Ukraine.
According to a STOP report, a total of ninety-one bar owners and traffickers were convicted and sentenced as of October 12, 2002. The statistics hid the fact that all but a handful of these cases were for “mediation in prostitution,” not for trafficking, and that the perpetrators rarely faced any punishment. According to Alun Roberts, UNMIBH spokesman, of the fifty-six persons sentenced for trafficking-related offenses as of July 25, 2002, only eleven served jail time. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Alun Roberts, UNMIBH spokesman, Banja Luka, October 29, 2002. An internal U.N. memorandum on prosecution of trafficking cases noted that there were no prosecutions in 1999, three successful prosecutions in 2000, and six successful prosecutions in 2001 with four additional cases pending (as of December 14, 2001). U.N. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Prosecution of Trafficking Cases,” Sarajevo, December 14, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch. Prosecutions increased after December 2001, but most for minor crimes such as “mediation in prostitution.” Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Madeleine Rees, head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sarajevo, October 21, 2002.
According to Madeleine Rees, head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the number of these prosecutions has decreased markedly since September 2001. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Madeleine Rees, head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sarajevo, December 19, 2001.
In the fall of 2001, the authorized number of IPTF was 2,057, far higher than the number deployed. See Michael J. Dziedzic and Andrew Bair, “Bosnia and the International Police Task Force,” Institute for National Strategic Studies, at http://www.ndu.edu/ndu/inss/books/policing/chapter8.html (retrieved July 13, 2001).
Among the institutions implementing various aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement are the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the U.N. International Police Task Force (IPTF), and the Stabilization Force (SFOR). In 1996, Security Council Resolution 1088 authorized SFOR to implement the military aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
Member states often send officers from their national police forces to meet their obligation for staffing the IPTF. The United States has no national police force and has contracted with DynCorp Aerospace, Inc., a U.S. contractor providing technology and logistical services to the public and private sectors, to recruit monitors from state and local police departments. See http://www.dyncorp.com/about/index.htm (retrieved April 4, 2002).
On January 1, 2003, the European Union will take over the policing mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Union Police Mission (EUPM), established by a decision of the Council of the European Union on March 11, 2002, will be made up of approximately 470 police officers and seventy civilians. Press release, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, May 7, 2002, at http://ue.eu.int/pressData/en/misc/70427.pdf (retrieved October 21, 2002).
Amnesty The term “girls” used in this report means girls under the age of eighteen, who, under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are children.
Between July 25, 2001 and October 2002, STOP teams conducted 720 raids and interviewed 2,120 women and girls in the clubs. Of those, 230 trafficked women and girls requested assistance.
Bosnia and Herzegovina became a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on March 6, 1992 by succession. U.N. General Assembly resolution A/Res/44/25, December 5, 1989.International is giving evidence on human trafficking to the Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee today.
Facts and Information – Worldwide
Human trafficking is the illegal sale of human beings, as like commodities, in order to meet demand for forced labor and commercial sexual slavery. Unfortunately, trafficking in humans is one of the most profitable and lucrative illegal industries of the world. Human trafficking statistics are alarmingly high and have even gone higher in the past decade.
This industry is somehow in an indirect way connected to the illegal arms trade and also the illicit drug business. Sex slavery and commercial sexual exploitation constitutes the majority of the demand that drives human trafficking.
Women and children constitute a large proportion of the trafficking victims; this is again driven by the high demand of sexual exploitation and sex slavery. This sex tourism industry flourishes in most developing and third world nations.
Unrest in the Middle East has also promoted trafficking a great deal in that area, this is because women fleeing conflict areas find themselves turning to prostitution and a significant number of them are trafficked to other Middle Eastern countries as sex slaves or for sexual exploitation.
Gathering statistics of trafficking humans has been a problem. This is because the methodology of research and numbers given by independent organizations differ quite considerably from each other and also from international organizations with the mandate to conduct such statistical research. Some figures given are even fictitious. The method of conducting such research needs to be standardized so that correct and accurate figures are given and the scope of the problem can be clearly estimated. That being said however, the facts about trafficking of human beings are quite shocking.
For instance the ILO (International Labor Organization) estimates that in 2005 the global human trade industry made profits of over $31.6 billion. This is incentive enough to traffickers all over the world.
According to the OE CD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) the commercial sex exploitation industry and trafficking in general is one of the highest grossing illegal industries, along with arms trade and illicit drugs.
According to the International Labor Organization report, in 2002 children trafficked each year for forced labor and sexual exploitation had reached an estimated number of about 1.2 million. This number is alarmingly high considering it was almost a decade ago.
UNICEF has put down its estimated figure of trafficked children for sexual exploitation and forced labor to be approximately 6 million. A report on trafficking presented by the UN (United Nations) office on crime and drugs in 2009 gave the percentage break down of trafficked females, males and children as follows men =12%, children= 22%, women=66%.
The victims of trafficking in persons predominantly belong to Africa, Eastern Europe and Asian nationalities.
In Canada the Royal Canadian Mounted Police estimate that around 700 people are brought into Canada illegally each year mainly for the purpose of sexual slavery and commercial sex trade. They say that this estimate is based on actual historical statistics. Another alarming statistic brought forward by them is that over 2000 persons are brought into the US through Canada illegally.
There are as many as 50,000 persons consisting of women and children brought illegally into the United States from every corner of the world for forced labor and sexual exploitation each year.
In 2010, human trafficking statistics showed that over 700,000 women and children have been brought into the states illegally from the year 2000 up to the present.
Those trafficked into the Middle East are often put into forced labor and are forced to work for extended periods of time, sometimes up to sixteen hours without pay. They are also often subjected to beatings, forced sexual relations and forced abortions. Most of these victims end up dead before ever gaining their freedom.
Female victims of trafficking have often testified to the involvement of a law enforcement personnel or a high ranking officer in trafficking of humans, as many as 10% of the victims have testified to this.
Countries where trafficked victims are most likely to end up are Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, The Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Cambodia. There are also other countries involved either as transit points or points of origin for such victims.
Most victims are duped into believing that they are being employed by a prominent firm abroad. Sometimes women are courted by the trafficker who poses to be a spouse. Once the marriage takes place, they leave for a foreign country where the supposed spouse sells the girl for a high price.
Men and women can both be traffickers with women comprising 45% and men being the remaining 55%. This illegal trade is said to generate about 50% profits in the industrialized economies, 32% in the Asian countries and about 10% from the rest of the world.
Going by the statistics of the convictions and prosecutions globally that occurred in 2006 (5808 prosecutions and 3160 convictions) shows that for every 800 persons trafficked, only one is convicted. This is a discouraging ratio of 800:1.
The majority of trafficked victims knew their trafficker. They were either a family, a friend, a relative or a neighbor.
In the US, 244,000 children and youth are said to be at risk of sexual exploitation, in addition, 38,600 runaway/throwaway children are at risk of sexual exploitation, sexual slavery or forced labor. Their vulnerability cannot be overestimated. Over 1 million children are exploited by the commercial sex trade alone each year.
The average age of children going into prostitution is said to be around 12-14 years of age. This is according to statistics collected across the globe.
Trafficking of persons within the US has also surfaced occasionally. However, not much research has been conducted to determine the scope of the problem on the state level.
Statistics on trafficking of persons is often unavailable. This is due to the secretive nature of the crime and also the invisibility of the trafficked victims.. The major cause of this problem is the inconsistent definition of the crime and lack of a standard method of data collection. Funding for such data collection is often lacking as well and this leads to poorly collected information. That being said, it is clear that a lot more needs to be done to curb this menace. The current strategies are just not enough.
1. Good Practices for Targeting the Demand for Prostitution and Trafficking, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). (2006).; http://action.web.ca/home/catw/attach/DemandChartFeb2006.doc
2. Trafficking in human beings and responses of the domestic criminal justice system.A critical review and Emerging practice in BiH in the light of core international standards, june 2009. http://osce_bih_doc_2009070710460618eng
3. CARE International on Combating Traffi cking in Human Beings in North-West Balkans – What works, Apotential guide to some good practice example. June 2009
4. Žene Ženama, archieve 2006
5. Dr. Lynellyn Long, chief of mission, International Organization for Migration, public statement on trafficking into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Washington, D.C., December 10, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.
6. Lara, “Trafficking of Women as Organized Crime,” report prepared for the Lara trafficking conference held in Bijeljina, Republika Srpska, September 28-29, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.
7. United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Background Paper on Efforts Against Human Trafficking,” submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee, April 23, 2002.
8. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Mara Radovanovic, director, Lara, Bijeljina, December 13, 2001.
9. Human Rights Watch interview, Amela Efendic, IOM program officer, Sarajevo, March 26, 2001.
10. Human Rights Watch interview with Jasminka Dzumuhur, director, Zenica Center for Legal Assistance, Zenica, March 17, 1999.
11. U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report, released June 2002, at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10815.pdf (retrieved August 8, 2002). This annual report on trafficking worldwide is required by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, U.S. legislation passed in October 2000.
12. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Madeleine Rees, Sarajevo, December 19, 2001.
13. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, IOM program officer [name withheld], Sarajevo, December 4, 2001.
14. The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at http://www.ohr.int/gfa/gfa-home.htm (retrieved July 31, 2001).
15. For an analysis of the Dayton Framework Agreement, see Helsinki Watch (now Human Rights Watch), “Bosnia-Hercegovina: A Failure in the Making - Human Rights and the Dayton Agreement,” A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 8, No. 8 (D), June 1996.
16. History of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFOR Informer Online, at http://www.nato.int/sfor/docu/d981116a.htm (retrieved February 22, 2002).
17. General Framework for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 11. For an analysis of the IPTF’s mandate, see Human Rights Watch, “Beyond Restraint: Politics and the Policing Agenda of the U.N. International Police Task Force,” A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 10, No. 5 (D), June 1998.
18. On February 28, 2002, the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) Steering Board accepted the offer of the European Union to provide an E.U. police mission from January 1, 2003 to follow the end of UNMIBH’s mandate. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1396, S/Res/1396 (2002), March 5, 2002, paragraph 3.
19. As of October 10, 2002, at http://www.unmibh.org/unmibh/iptf/ (retrieved October 31, 2002). See U.N. Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on the U.N. Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” November 29, 2001, S/2001/1132, at http://www.unmibh.org/unmibh/iptf/.
20. S. C. Res. 1088, U.N. SCOR, 3723rd Meeting, U.N. Doc.S/RES/1088 (1996).
21. General Framework for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Agreement between the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and NATO concerning the Status of NATO and its Personnel,” Appendix B to Annex I-A, sec.7. Under Article VI, paragraph 11 of Annex I-A, all IFOR (now SFOR) personnel retain the privileges and immunities set forth in Appendix B.
22. External ex-post evaluation report of the project Strengthening anti-trafficking networks in the western balkans Final report, October 2008
23. Human Rights Watch interview, B.B., Orasje, March 22, 1999.
24. Human Rights Watch interview, E.E., Sarajevo, April 10, 2001.
25. Official IPTF interview transcript, Prijedor #9, November 23, 2000.
26. Testimony of X.X., Doboj Center for Public Safety, Case no. 12-02/1/451/98, June 6, 1998.
27. Human Rights Watch interview, A.A., Orasje, March 22, 1999.
28. Human Rights Watch interview, C.C., Orasje, March 22, 1999.
29. Human Rights Watch interview, B.B., Orasje, March 22, 1999.
30. Official IPTF interview transcript, Prijedor #3, November 22, 2000.
31. Human Rights Watch interview, E.E., Sarajevo, April 10, 2001.
32. Official IPTF interview transcript, Prijedor #1, November 23, 2001.
33. Human Rights Watch interview, Mara Radovanovic, director, Lara, Bijeljina, March 22, 2001.
34. Human Rights Watch interview, E.E., Sarajevo, April 10, 2001.
35. IPTF internal report, Tuzla, June 26, 2000.
36. Chapter XI, SFOR Contractor Involvement.