A record number of applications for the system to help victims of human trafficking – such people become victims in Finland

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Immigration Office: Citizens of Iraq, Finland, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Russia or Morocco were the most frequently exploited.

Pre-emptive applications of the system for helping victims of human trafficking – such people are victimized in Finland victims

Illustration from 2014. A Turkish man who was lured to Finland had to live in the basement of a pizzeria, where, according to the prosecutor, the conditions were degrading. The man had to work 13-hour days without pay. Border Guard [email protected] at 10:36 a.m.

  • Of the new customers, 63 adults and three minors were thought to have been subjected to abuse in Finland that refers to human trafficking.
  • In forced labor, the majority of abusers are foreigners, who often represent the same nationality or language group as the victim of exploitation.
  • Especially those referring to human trafficking conditions were observed in the restaurant and cleaning industry.

More and more victims of exploitation are directed to the system for helping victims of human trafficking, says the Finnish Immigration Service. In Finland, the most common form of human trafficking is forced labor.

The system for helping victims of human trafficking received a total of 185 applications to become a client in the first half of the year. That's more than ever before in a similar period. In the first half of last year, there were 147 applications.

In the beginning of 2022, 139 people and their 26 minor children were accepted as clients of the assistance system.

Of the new customers, 63 adults and three minors were thought to have been subjected to exploitation in Finland that refers to human trafficking.

In Finland, the victims were particularly subjected to forced labor (38 persons), sexual abuse (16 persons) and forced marriages (11 person).

Citizens of Iraq, Finland, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Russia or Morocco were the most frequently abused.

The Finnish Immigration Service does not collect statistics on the perpetrators, because the agency does not investigate crimes, but Chief Inspector Terhi Tafari from the Finnish Immigration Service tells Iltalehti on a general level that the perpetrators are both foreign nationals and Finnish citizens.

– It has a lot to do with what form of exploitation it is.

Which is more, people with a foreign background or Finnish citizens?

– It is difficult for me to give any exact statistics for the six-month period, but if you think about victims in Finland and, for example, forced labor, then in the majority of cases the abuser can also be a foreigner and often represents the same nationality or language group as the victim of abuse, Tafari says.

– But Finns also appear there from time to time, Tafari adds.

If a client of the assistance system wants to return to his home country, he gets support for voluntary return home.

How many such cases were there in the first half of the year?

– It has not been recorded, but they occur regularly and especially when the person is from Europe or Eastern Europe. They regularly want to return to their home country.

– But if a person has, for example, an asylum seeker's background, then basically he has wanted to live somewhere other than where he experiences persecution and his life may be in danger, so they really don't want to return to their home country.

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, victims of human trafficking in Finland are especially identified by non-governmental organizations.

Finnish Immigration Office: A victim of forced labor can be afraid of Finnish working life

Immigrants who have experienced work-related exploitation in Finland may have fears about Finnish working life. It is hard for many immigrants to believe that they are subject to the same labor legislation and rights as those born in Finland.

In the first half of 2022, several persons who are estimated to have been victims of human trafficking related to forced labor or other forms of labor exploitation in Finland were referred to the aid system. .

– In particular, conditions suggestive of human trafficking were observed in the restaurant and cleaning industries. Working in greenhouses, in the beauty industry and in car washes also involved risks for workers with a foreign background, the Finnish Immigration Service's press release states.

Ukrainians do not appear in the statistics of the assistance system

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, Ukrainians do not yet appears in the statistics of the aid system.

– At the beginning of 2022, no fugitives from Ukraine who had been subjected to abuse suggestive of human trafficking either on their way to Finland or in Finland were referred to the aid system.

This According to the Finnish Immigration Service, it can indicate that the actions to prevent exploitation carried out in cooperation by different authorities have been effective, but on the other hand it can also indicate that exploitation has not yet been detected.

– It is important that Ukrainians get information about their rights in Finland. Everyone can help by directing them to reliable official information, which is also available in Ukrainian, says Tafari.

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