The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that 71% of migrants on Mediterranean routes to Europe experience practices and exploitation that "may amount to human trafficking".
According to results of a survey conducted over the past ten months, 79% of migrants who spent at least one year in a country different from their country of origin experiencing at least one of the surveyed exploitative practices.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include several Goals and targets that directly and indirectly relate to migration issues, particularly SDGs 8, 10, and 16.
18 October 2016: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released data showing that 71% of migrants on Mediterranean routes to Europe experience “exploitation and practices which may amount to human trafficking.” IOM’s data analyze the scale of abuse, exploitation and trafficking experienced by migrants on the Central and Eastern Mediterranean routes, identifying the Central Mediterranean route as more dangerous for migrants.
IOM is an intergovernmental organization that works with migrants, governments and other partners to provide humane responses to migration challenges. In September 2016, IOM became a related organization of the United Nations. IOM conducted nearly 9,000 anonymous surveys between December 2015 and September 2016 in the Eastern Mediterranean, and between June and September 2016 on the Central Mediterranean route.
The survey includes six questions to identify potential human trafficking or exploitative practices, such as performing work or other activities without receiving expected payment, and being kept at locations against their will by entities other than governmental authorities. According to the IMO, the surveys represent the first attempt to quantify exploitative practices, beyond qualitative studies and interviews.
The results highlight that the longer a migrant spends in transit, the more vulnerable he or she is to exploitation and/or human trafficking, with 79% of migrants who spent at least one year in a country different from their country of origin experiencing at least one of the surveyed exploitative practices. Migrants are seven to ten times more likely to experience some form of abuse on the Central Mediterranean route than migrants on the Eastern Mediterranean route, with the highest number of abuse cases report in Libya. Journey duration was also longer on the Central Mediterranean route, with 35% of respondents spending more than six months on their way to Europe compared to 11% of respondents who spent more than six months on the Eastern Mediterranean route.
IOM released the data on Anti-Slavery Day 2016, which aims to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and reflect on responses. Dipti Pardesh, IOM, stressed that people deserve protection “regardless of reasons [they] move, or their background,” and called for increased efforts to support people currently on migratory trails as well as those who have reached Europe. The UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, said the IOM findings provide “further evidence” that the migration crisis is “being used by human trafficking networks to target and brutally exploit the most vulnerable.” He noted the need for urgent action to protect them, and called for prioritizing efforts to safeguard migrants from the risks of modern slavery, alongside efforts to scale up front-line anti-trafficking safeguarding and law enforcement.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include several Goals and targets that directly and indirectly relate to migration issues. SDG target 8.7 aims to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.” Target 8.8 aims to “protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment. Target 10.7 aims to “Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies,” and Target 10.c is to “By 2030, reduce to less than three percent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than five percent.” SDG Target 16.2 aims to “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.” [IOM Press Release] [UNRIC Press Release] [IOM Migration Flows Data]