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Learning about TIP: Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking


Veronika Gruber


Since my first working day at UN.GIFT, I read a lot about human trafficking and its different aspects. Naturally, many questions appeared during my research, which I tried to answer by reading even more publications and reports of victims. As I read the Survivor Blog "My name is Jana", I was shocked by her story and the way she became victim to sexual exploitation. The question, why people become victims of such awful crimes started bothering me.


Actually, there are several studies listing conditions which could lead to vulnerability, but I realized, that there is no general agreement.


First of all I tried to figure out, why especially children are often victims of human trafficking. A publication of UN.GIFT thought me, that children are vulnerable to the demands and expectations of those in authority, including parents, extended family and teachers. Physically, they are not able to protect themselves. This answer sounds quite reasonable to me.


Why are women often affected by human trafficking? In general, women are vulnerable because they are frequently excluded from mainstream economic and social systems, such as employment, higher education and legal as well as political parity.


Further conditions which make people vulnerable are poverty, social and cultural exclusion, a limited access to education, political instability as well as war and conflict. Additionally, social, cultural and legal frameworks can abet human trafficking.


As a matter of fact, the catalogue of possible indicators is very long, including a more detailed list, having the intention to make it easier to identify victims. Knowing reasons and typical situations of human trafficking can help us to notice criminal actions in our environment. Every one of us plays a role and could identify victims. We need to become sensitive for this topic, keeping our eyes open in our daily life as well as during our holidays.


Veronika Gruber started her UN.GIFT Internship in November 2010. She recently finished her Bachelor in communications und public relations at the University of Vienna. Veronika is currently writing her diploma thesis about the issue of human trafficking in political science.


The Intern's blog section is an open space for discussions on human trafficking offered by the UN.GIFT.HUB.

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