This is a selection of resources that were compiled by students who participated in the Academic Global Immersion Program to Rome in January 2015. They are organized by the following themes: Migration, Refugees, Human Trafficking, and Policies and Solutions.

 

MIGRATION

JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE. (2014, OCTOBER). RESCUED – WHAT NEXT? PROTECTION SEEKERS STRANDED IN SICILY.

With the tragic capsizing accidents near the Italian Island of Lampedusa, the Italian government rolled out the Mare Nostrum operation designed to rescue asylum seekers and migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in overcrowded and unsafe boats. Since its launch, Mare Nostrum has saved more than 100,000 lives, however the large number of people brought in by the operation has developed a problem that Italians were not prepared for. In this report, JRS brings to light the current results of the operation and how Italy and the EU are not living up to their standards of providing freedom and human rights. Migrants have risked everything seeking safety and a better future but national and European policies have failed to provide job opportunities, humane living conditions, or help integrating people into their new communities. Migrants who successfully reach other countries in Europe are often detained and deported back to the first European country hey entered which for most of them is Italy. People are sleeping on the streets or living in crowded detention centers waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. Furthermore, the EU has been prioritizing border control over improving asylum services by allocating over twice as much money to border control while leaving Italian city Mayors scrambling for resources needed to provide assistance. The current asylum model is proving not to be a sustainable solution and at the current immigration rate and based on the existing polices, Italy will not be able to accommodate the large number of migrants entering the country. This report serves as a call to action for the EU government to take action and develop a new asylum and immigration strategy to alleviate the issues.

 

FORCED MIGRATION. (2010). ECUADOR: MIGRATION AND REMITTANCES

This video covers the lives of an Ecuadorian family and shows the impact migration has in the family both in Ecuador and abroad. Most migrants move to the United States or Spain where they usually take low wage jobs in effort to save some money to send back to their families in Ecuador. It is estimated that about 6% of Ecuador’s GDP is generated by the money migrants send to their families back home. This money is often used to support the family, provide better education to children, and to help build homes and acquire property in Ecuador. An interesting observation about Ecuadorian migration is the importance of the family unit and how networks of relatives come together to support the families of those who have migrated. Unfortunately, once migrants reach their destination they spend the first several years repaying the high cost of their smuggling services. They end up staying abroad longer than expected and often without seeing their families in several years. Furthermore, Ecuadorian migration has shifted the roles of women who must become independent and responsible for managing their households with or without the support of their spouses.

 

SMALE, A., & EDDY, M. (2015, JANUARY 6). ANTI-IMMIGRATION MOVEMENT IN GERMANY REIGNITES DEBATE OVER NATIONAL IDENTITY

The large influx of immigrants entering the European Union has provoked thousands of marches under a movement called “Pegida” where protesters claimed to be fighting for the protection of the German identity. Protesters are specifically concerned about the large number of Muslims entering the country and the change in culture and demographics of the Germany they’ve known. Opponents of this movement argue that Pegida reflects poorly on Germany and that the country is actually in need of workers, a problem that could be alleviated by immigration filling those jobs. Established political parties argue that not only would immigration help fill jobs, it would also bring expertise and contribute to diversity. Furthermore, a new policy now allows almost everyone born in Germany to foreign parents to hold dual citizenship.

 

CIRCULAR MIGRATION: A TRIPLE WIN OR A DEAD END

This paper reviews issues of circular migration, the claimed benefits of circular migration, and its wider implications for migrant rights and protection, in particular those relating to low skilled workers. The paper distinguishes between ‘Spontaneous circular migration’ and ‘managed’ or ‘regulated’ circular migration programs. Furthermore, this paper finds little evidence to support that circular migration represents the natural preferences of most migrants. This is due to migrant workers limited choice regarding jobs, change of employers, timing of return, and family unification, among others. The paper argues that the main focus of the debate on circular migration should be on its role as a mechanism for expanding legal avenues for workers from developing countries to destination countries rather than on diaspora engagement with home countries as interpreted by some researchers.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ITS PROSECUTION: CHALLENGES OF THE ICC

This article references the International Criminal Court (ICC), Article 7 of the Rome Statute, the applicability of the ICC in prosecuting trafficking cases, the challenges and limitations of the ICC in the prosecution of crimes against humanity, especially the trafficking cases. Furthermore, the article introduces the operation of the ICC with reference to the Rome Statute and prosecution of trafficking cases. It also discusses the importance about various protocols and conventions enforced by the UN for preventing trafficking, labor, slavery, which formed the basis of the Rome Statute and the establishment of the ICC. Furthermore, the article emphasizes and explains the challenges and limitations of the International Criminal Court in prosecuting cases pertaining to crimes against humanity and specifically those of human trafficking.

 

 

WHY 90,000 CHILDREN FLOODING OUR BORDER IS NOT AN IMMIGRATION STORY - BY BRIAN RESNICK
 

An incredibly powerful article from the National Journal published June 6, 2014 following a conversation of the astounding numbers of children migrants entering the United States.  The first projection of 60,000 unaccompanied minors projected to enter the U.S in 2014 was raised to 90,000 just a few weeks later.  Resnick asks pointed questions to what is happening in Southern American countries to dramatically shift patterns of migration. "This is not a migration story. This is a humanitarian crisis, and an example of consequences of weak governments. It's a humanitarian crisis and a foreign policy issue."  Resnick states that of the 404 minors they interviewed on why they left their homes 58% responded they were fleeing because they feared for their safety.  Resnick points to the rise of drug cartels, entrenched poverty and rising gang activity that is increasingly targeting younger and younger children as primary causes for the dramatic rise in minor migration into Mexico and the United States.  Resnick is clear however that while policies and procedures for taking care of these children are necessary, the ultimate root causes must be addressed "at the faucet" or the stream of migrants and traumatized youth and adults will simply continue. 

 

THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S REFUGEES: CURRENT DYNAMICS OF DISPLACEMENT, By: UNHCR (2006) 

In the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 2006 publication of The State of the World’s Refugees, the UN refugee agency extrapolates on the “Current Dynamics of Displacement” and addresses the issues of globalization and migration. The UNHCR argues that globalization and migration go hand in hand. As poorer parts of the world begin to forge links with the global economy, these countries also begin to experience social upheavals. These social disturbances oftentimes lead to migration, or the moving of people across international borders. Whereas governments are welcoming to economic movement and the globalization of goods and services across borders, they are much less hospitable toward the migration of people. This report shares that the “total of international migrants (defined as people living outside their country of birth for at least a year) grew from about 100 million in 1960 to 175 million in 2000” (UNHCR, 2006). UNHCR argues that this increase in migration is due to the period of rapid globalization that has taken place since 1980.

 

IMAGINING A WORLD WITHOUT BORDERS, TED Talk By: Bridget Anderson (2011)

Bridget Anderson, a Senior Research Fellow at COMPAS at the University of Oxford primarily focuses on migration and the labor market. In her 2011 TED Talk, she asks the audience to use their imaginations, and try to imagine a world without borders; a place where we can cross borders without passports. She asks that we begin to think about the world without the labels of citizen or refugee; a world that might exist if we lived in a world without borders. There is a stigma that is linked with the word “migrant” because we visualize a poor person. She explains that the urge to control the mobility of poor people is not a new phenomenon, and has existed for centuries. Anderson wants us to imagine a world that is dramatically different from the one that we live in today; a world with a different kind of economy, society, politics, and social relations. Anderson concedes that a world like this might be very hard to imagine, but we need to remember that borders are also a figment of our imagination. Instead of ignoring the issue of migration, and pouring money into deportation as a solution, we need to realize that borders are a fantasy and are only going to perpetuate global inequalities.

 

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) mission is to “serve and advocate for refugees, asylums, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking”. USCCB support administrative policies and legislation to help increase protection of refugees, asylums, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking through direct advocacy and grassroots level organization. Educating policy and providing support to those in need are the foundation of Scriptural roots and moral tradition of the Church. The Church collaborates with network of organizations on the local, state, and national level (parishes, diocesan structures, state conferences, religious orders, and universities) to increase humane and legislation supports to migrants. USCCB also work with non-Catholic organization that shares the similar moral vision and policy objectives. The Catholic Church provides compassion through health care institutions, schools, and universities. Collections, campaigns, bequest gifts, matching gifts are different ways to get involved with USCCB. "Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor."  - Pope Francis, Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 6/14/13

 

WHEN THE BEST OPTION IS A LEAKY BOAT: WHY MIGRANTS RISK THEIR LIVES CROSSING THE MEDITERRANEAN AND WHAT EUROPE IS DOING ABOUT IT

The article is about Mare Nostrum operation launched by Italy to combat migrant smugglers. Many migrants lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. In September of 2014, approximately over 1000 migrants were killed in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea. Migrant smugglers are also smuggling refugees. Spain, France, Finland, Portugal, Iceland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Malta are some of the countries that will provide asylum to migrants and refugees from smuggles. Migrants and refugees are fleeing their country because of economic distress and seeking asylum. The Letta government plans to intervene migrants at the early stage of their journey. The members of European Union would need to provide migrants or refugees with an opportunity to apply a visa or to secure a safe havens close to the conflict zone where the migrants or refugees are from. Some migrants and refugees want to stay undocumented because they want to move around “freely” or “under-the-radar”.

 

MOVING UP OR STANDING STILL? ACCESS TO MIDDLE-SKILLED WORK FOR NEWLY ARRIVED MIGRANTS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION 

The article is about case studies to help develop policies to support upward mobility for migrants who are moving to European Union countries. The growing diverse population demand innovative ways for the government to find ways to accommodate and support the needs of migrant workers. The major topics discuss in the article are services for new migrants, chances for migrants to acquire skills, employment for upward mobility, and programs for foreign-born workers. Services that need improvement are cost-effective training programs, such as language fluency and occupational skills. Education and training programs for nontraditional students would provide opportunities for migrants to gain skills and knowledge for upward mobility. Policy to help migrants gain citizenship that also needs improvement - distinction between refugees and other migrants can affect their eligibility for services. Mobile European Union citizens face fewer legal barriers in the labor market, but face the same training needs in order for upward mobility.

 

Howard, J (2011). Human Migration: Push and Pull Factors

The author of this short video discusses the different factors that affects human migration. These factors can be positive and negative and basically shows how racism, war, poverty and natural disasters forces people to leave all their belongings and look for places where they can find peace, freedom, jobs and stable climate

 

 

 

 

 

AMITIEP Project (2013). How to understand the power of migration?

AMITIEP is a project funded by the European Union involving different countries as Italy,      Spain, Romania, Brazil and Latvia to conduct research activities training professionals and focus group with migrants’ communities that will lead to a transnational communication campaign. AMITIEP is a project with the aim of educating to the international development, which goal is to create new spaces of communication, encounter and exchange about migration.

 


REFUGEES

This video highlights JRS’ Welcome Project in France which is designed to provide shelter to newly arrived refugees living in the streets of France. Through a network of families and religious communities JRS developed this program to help place refugees in French homes with families that gladly host them for up to one month until the refugees find permanent housing. It provides refugees a warm welcome to France and offers them the helping hand needed to get on their feet and start a new life. In addition, it is an educational experience for both refugees and their host families. Refugees attend JRS sponsored classes during the day and immerse themselves in the French culture of their host families, while host families learn about the refugees’ culture and experiences. The project started in 2009 with three people and now has over 150 members in 15 French cities.

 

REFUGEES AND IDPs

Amidst the challenges people face in the refugee camps, organizations like Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) also known as Doctors Without Borders, step in to provide medical services in places others aren’t willing to go. Their work is to provide medical care, nutrition services, and safe drinking water in refugee camps. They set up hospitals and provide much needed medical services like vaccinations, pediatrics, emergency, and maternal care, but they also advocate for the rights of refugees. MSF explains that refugees are protected by international laws that ensure their right to seek asylum and protection, however, people are leaving their countries in search for a better future away from wars and poverty only to find themselves living in unhuman conditions inside overcrowded and unsanitary refugee camps. According to MSF, over 41 million people are fleeing conflict or persecution in their home countries due to their race, religion, or nationality. Another 26 million are internally displaced people (IDP) that have not crossed an international border but left their homes in search for safer places to live within their country. Since IDPs are still living in their countries, they legally remain under the protection of their own government and while programs exist to provide surgical and other care to these victims, the vast majority will not receive the care they need because they live in regions where the healthcare system has collapsed and it is too dangerous for independent agencies to operate.

 

AMID FLOOD OF REFUGEES TO EUROPE, ITALY OPENS A BACK DOOR

This Washington Post article recounts the story of a Libyan immigrant who nearly died during his journey to Italy, a similar story to what thousands of immigrants go through each day. The United Nations refugee agency estimates that the number of people risking their lives to immigrate into other countries has exceeded 51 million which is the highest number since World War II. Italy is the largest gateway for migrants into Europe and the number of migrants entering the EU continues to significantly increase along with the number of fatalities. As a solution, a policy called Mare Nostrum was established to save the lives of migrants traveling in unsafe boats that are sinking in the Mediterranean Sea. This policy has helped save hundreds of thousands of migrants since its inception in 2013 and has been criticized by other European countries which claim that this policy along with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy encourage more migrants to come to Europe. These policies are costing the Italian government more than $12 million a month to the point that some Italian cities are in state of emergency.

 

JRS- ADVOCACY IN JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE

The Advocacy in Jesuit Refugee Service addresses how JRS officials educate forcibly displaced individuals on the international rights and benefits they are entitled when seeking asylum within a host countries. The article explains the different types for programming JRS utilizes to accomplish information dissemination and articulates which methodology is appropriate by region and government type. Furthermore, the article touches on the idea of accompaniment as it relates to educating displaced individuals and suggests that JRS’s work is rapidly evolving. The article also explains JRS’s worldwide accomplishments and attributes its success to faith based advocacy. Working in partnership with the Society of Jesus, JRS officials work at every layer of government to bring hope to the poor and neglected.

  

THE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT

The Documentary Project was began in 2001 as a side project of The Documentary Project Fund.  Over the course of three years a group of 12 resettled refugee youth in New York City used mixed media to share their experiences and personal stories in a post 9/11 landscape.  The project that was originally intended to begin a conversation amongst youth of diversity and dignity, ended up changing the biases of the 12 involved as well as the numerous others their stories touched.  "At first I considered myself, like, 'Oh I'm a black kid and they're white - I don't think that I'll be able to work with them' but I - it was crazy because now when I think about it I'm like, why did I ever think that?" - Loulou, Sierra Leone.  The media the youth produced included art pieces, collages, documentaries and writings on a variety of experiences including resettlement, war, migration, community and ultimately, the pieces of life we hold onto and can begin to heal through creative expression and community.  

 

CLIMATE REFUGEES

Climate refugees are people who must leave their homes and communities because of the effects of global warming and climate change. They are part of the larger group of immigrants known as “environmental refugees” (immigrants forced to flee because of natural disasters, such as volcanoes and tsunamis. Unlike traditional refugees, environmental refugees are not protected by international laws. They face greater political risks than refugees who flee their homes due to conflict or political oppression as they may be sent back to their devastated homeland or forced into a refugee camp.  The International Red Cross estimates that there are more environmental refugees than political refugees fleeing from wars and other conflicts, and it is estimated that the number of environmental refugees will rise to at least 50 million by 2050. Most climate refugees are internal migrants, and they face several challenges in resettlement. For example, many move to urban areas where their skills in farming or herding are irrelevant. Further, they must adjust to different laws, language and cultures. While not entirely different from traditional refugees, climate refugees do present unique problems that NGOs must be familiar with before implementing/ proposing solutions.


HUMAN TRAFFICKING

10 MYTHS ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

To effectively combat human trafficking, each of us needs to have a clear "lens" that helps us understand what human trafficking is. When this lens is clouded or biased by misconceptions about the definition of trafficking, our ability to respond to the crime is reduced. It is important to learn how to identify and break down commonly-held myths and misconceptions regarding human trafficking and the type of trafficking networks that exist in the United States.

FREE THE SLAVES VIDEO LIBRARY

Free the Slaves has created one of the world’s largest video libraries on modern slavery. Their films empower survivors and activists to tell their stories in their own words. 

THE FREEDOM COMMONS

An online resource that provides a wealth of tools to help you take action, organize and become a more effective advocate. In a time when nearly 36 million men, women and children around the world are living in slavery and the reality of everyday violence pervades the lives of the poorest people, this site exists as a gathering ground for those who want to take action in solidarity with the oppressed. In other words, this site exists for people like you: people of good will, who are not content simply to know the bad news, but who want to do what they can to bring about change. The Freedom Commons is a hub for those of us who want to do their part—a place to gather, to act and to further the fight for freedom and justice. Powered by the International Justice Mission, this site allows you to take action to combat slavery and protect the poor from everyday violence around the world.

THE DARK SIDE OF SILICON VALLEY: SEX, SLAVERY, FORCED LABOR ABOUND

Despite living in one of the most thriving areas in the world, Silicon Valley has downfalls such as an extreme unaffordability for low income residents which has been a contributing factor to the large number of human trafficking cases. Through a collaborative effort among the San Jose Police Department, local organizations, and private companies they were able to develop a human trafficking report that identifies the San Francisco Bay Area as one of the three “highest-intensity child trafficking areas in the nation”.  An estimated 43% of human trafficking cases in California took place in the Bay Area, most of them related to sexual exploitation, forced labor, and domestic servitude. Furthermore, it is noted that large-scale events such as the 2016 Super Bowl could potentially increase the number of local human trafficking victims. Areas of concern that limit the reduction in human trafficking cases are the high cost of housing and limited economic mobility primarily due to the lack of education of the victims. As a result, recommendations to help alieve the problem are for victims to get access to job training programs and dedicated affordable housing.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING 101 (By UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking)

A useful guide to understanding the complex issue of human trafficking, this video explains why not all exploitation is trafficking or slavery. It expounds on the 4 types of criminal categories associated with the trafficking chain: Recruiters, Transporters, Exploiters, and Enforcers. For example, the video clarifies the difference between smuggling (someone who is simply offering a service without the intent to exploit) and a recruiter (who influences a migrant’s choices with the intent to exploit). This informative video provides some insight into how and why a person can become a victim of human trafficking.

 

 

INSIGHT: ITALY'S CHINESE GARMENT WORKSHIPS BOOM AS WORKERS SUFFER

The number of Chinese immigrants has significantly increased in the city of Prato, Italy, the hub of the Italian textile industry. Chinese entrepreneurs have partnered up with Italians to lease spaces for the Chinese factories to set up shop in empty warehouses and former factories to manufacture clothing “made in Italy” instead of the common “made in China” label which has often received a negative connotation due to the poor working conditions textile workers are forced to work and live in along with the quality of some of the clothing. Unfortunately, a similar situation is happening in Italy. An estimated 2/3 of Chinese workers in Prato are illegal immigrants and over 90% of Chinese factories break the law in some way. Immigrants are forced to work long hours and sleep in their cardboard cubicles for low wages, however they do it because they still earn more money than they would in China. As the title of the article states, Chinese garment workshops are booming and even producing more that Italian shops but at the expense of exploited workers.

 

Friedman, M (Nov, 2012). Every 15 Seconds: Matt Friedman.

Matt Friedman is an international human trafficking expert with over 20 years of experience as an activist, program designer, evaluator, and manager. He is currently the Regional Project Manager of the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. This project represents an inter-agency coordinating body that links the United Nations system with governments and civil society groups in six countries: China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The most important points of this presentation are: Human Trafficking is slavery, a person lose control of his life, We have 21,000,000 slaves around the world, the profit generated by slavery is $32 billion.

 

 

David Pegg is the editor in Chief of List 25 and senior editor at WPBeginner. In this short video Pegg showed 25 facts about human trafficking in the world. The number are extremely shocking and sadly human trafficking is part of our reality.

 

 

 

 

Ted Talks. Hemani, F (Sep, 2012). Human Trafficking-21st century slavery.

Faridoun Hemani is a broadcast journalist, and founder of independent production company Linx Productions. He has been in the television news business for 35 years. Faridoun works with organizations such as the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the UN and other international organizations covering stories of a social nature in the developing world. In 2010, Faridoun co-produced a 6-part series on Human Trafficking (as part of Moonbeam-Linx), that aired on BBC World Television. The series was supported and funded by End Human Trafficking Now (EHTN), a Geneva based organization that encourages businesses to take an active role to stem this modern form of slavery. The most important point that we and the one that all of us should reflect is Why are allowing slavery to exist, we can make a difference.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING, A SHADOW OF MIGRATION EVIDENCE FROM GERMANY

See-Young Cho wrote this article, which was published by the German Institute for Economic Research to promote discussion regarding the human trafficking and migration dichotomy. Cho claims that a “casual linkage,” at the very least, exists between migrant networks and illicit or exploitive human trafficking. The reason for this, as Cho explains, is that migration introduces a high proportion of low-skilled workers, which increases opportunity for human trafficking in the host nation. The influx of low-skilled migrants not only provides a pool of susceptible trafficking victims, it also provides an economic opportunity for exploitive predators seeking to profit from the pool of vulnerable migrants. The article tests this theory through empirical analysis of Germany, a frequented destination for human trafficking who has been collecting data on the issue since 1999. Cho’s well support included a description of human trafficking in Germany, an estimation model utilizing the data acquired from Germany, his empirical findings, and a concise conclusion confirming the correlation between migration and illicit human trafficking.

 

 

PROTECTED INNOCENCE CHALLENGE

This comprehensive study analyses existing state laws and evaluates each state on 41 key legislative components. The state receives a detailed report card, an analysis of their current status, and recommendations to improve. The goal of the report is to hold states accountable for their laws that actually hinder trafficking protection. Produced by Shared Hope International, a non-profit working to prevent sex trafficking around the world, the report focuses on domestic minor sex trafficking. Following the passing of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, there is no requirement to prove that force or coercion were used in the case of minors, and therefore the victims age becomes extremely important. California received one of the lowest grades of all 50 states (F). You can read the California specific analysis here.

 

DEVELOPING BETTER INDICATORS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Even though this article was written in 2003, it contains several arguments that are still salient today. Despite the growing literature on human trafficking, much of the information on the actual number of persons trafficked is unclear and relatively few studies are based on extensive research. This is not for a lack of want; rather, it is the lack of a standardized measure that has resulted in the lack of reliable data. For example, even though many of the agencies that currently provide assistance to victims of trafficking around the world collect a great deal of information about trafficking, relatively few of these agencies analyze the information they collect in a systematic fashion. At the same time, few governments have begun to systematically collect data on trafficking. It is still common in many countries to mingle data relating to trafficking, smuggling, and irregular migration. Furthermore, data on the number of persons being trafficked are often only estimates and usually concern only the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, rather than other forms of exploitation. Finally, human trafficking is an underreported crime for which the majority of cases remain undiscovered. Inadequate legislation and the burden for trafficking convictions resting on witness and/or victim testimony is some of the reasons why human trafficking continues to be underreported.

 

UNDERSTANDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ITS VICTIMS: DEFINING CHILD TRAFFICKING AND CHILD PROSTITUITION - THE CASE OF THAILAND

Child trafficking is a poorly misunderstood and badly defined phenomenon. The term “child trafficking” is often used synonymously and interchangeably with child prostitution and sexual exploitation, even though the connection between these is sometimes tenuous. Consequently, attempts to tackle the problem of child prostitution through international trafficking legislation, while important and well-meaning, have not always been successful at a grassroots level and do not always reflect the children’s own priorities and stated needs. It is important to remember that different forms of trafficking require very different methods and ideologies of intervention, and there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. Further, trafficking is a more complex phenomenon that does not necessarily equate to prostitution. In fact, academics and activists who take this position argue that the UN Protocol ‘overlooks the connections between legal and illegal forms of migration, viewing the latter as criminal and the former as acceptable, even though a likely overlap exists between the two’.

 

THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM (The Code)

The Code is an industry-driven responsible tourism initiative with a mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism often takes place in hotels and uses other travel infrastructure. That’s why we believe that working with responsible tourism companies is a powerful way to keep children safe and prevent these crimes. When a tourism company joins The Code, they commit to taking 6 essential steps to protect children:

  1. To establish a policy and procedures
  2. Train employees
  3. Include a cause in contracts
  4. Provide information to travelers on children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and how to report suspected cases
  5. Support, collaborate and engage stakeholders
  6. Report annually on their implementation of The Code

The Code has been acknowledged by various United Nations organizations as a good practice example of tourism private sector and non-governmental organizations collaboration to combat exploitation of children. A number of governments including South Africa and Costa Rica have incorporated The Code into overarching policy. This is a best practice example that can be expanded to encompass human trafficking as a whole. It results in creating a highly-aware and well-trained tourism industry that can recognize and prevent potential abuse. Additionally, it creates a zero-tolerance environment that harnesses the power of travelers to function as the eyes and ears on the ground, making it even more difficult perpetrators to operate.

 

POLICIES & SOLUTIONS

IMMIGRATION POLICY CENTER

The Immigration and Policy Center is a research and policy branch of the American Immigration Council. Their goal is to provide accurate information about the impact of immigration in the United States to policymakers, media, and the general public. Their website is a good source of information on immigration issues across the United States and impacted foreign countries. Users can search for immigration data for each of the 50 states ranging from fact sheets to blog posts. It provides information on legislation issues, statistical data on the impact immigrants have on the U.S. economy, and a series of relevant articles on immigration issues created to increase awareness. It is a useful source for educating people in various topics of immigration and is there to provide accurate facts to be used for making informed decisions regarding immigration policy changes. In addition to their research work, they also host fundraising events and collaborate with partners to provide services to immigrants such as legal and educational assistance.

 

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL SUES GOVERNMENT

This news article is about an issue faced by thousands of children who have entered the United States illegally and are now facing deportation. Beth Werlin, the Deputy Director for the American Immigration Council comments on a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all undocumented children who are facing deportation. Many of these children have traveled to the U.S. alone as parents send them with the hope that they will have a chance at obtaining a better education and better future, something that wouldn’t be possible in their home country. The Council claims that these children should be provided with legal representation during deportation hearings. Currently, these children are forced into court hearings without legal representation and up against immigration lawyers arguing for their deportation from the U.S. So far, the Obama administration has allocated funds for immigration purposes but it is unclear if these funds will be used to address this specific issue.

 

CHANGING MIGRATION REALITIES: WHY MIGRATION BETWEEN THE EU, RUSSIA AND THE EASTERN NEIGHBOURHOOD WILL CHANGE

Economic imbalance, demographic trends, and the decline of working age population, especially in Russia, are the key factors that shaped and will continue to shape the migration between European Union (EU), Russian and Eastern Partnership (EaP). European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (ENP) were established in 2004 to strengthen prosperity, stability and security between EU and its neighbouring countries.  Concept of Migration Policy was created in 2012 mainly to attract highly skilled labour migrants to Russia, in-exchange these migrants will be offer permanent legal immigration to settle in Siberia, Far East, and strategically important areas around Russia. The potential consequences of migration to EU are possible increase of labour migrants and visa liberalization or abuse of freedom to enter a country. For Russia, the potential consequences of increase migration would increase the number of labor workers. Thus, ENP and Concept of Migration Policy will create competition between EU and Russia over labour force supply.  

 

ASYLUM POLICIES FOR UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN COMPARED WITH EXPEDITED REMOVAL POLICIES FOR UNAUTHORIZED ADULTS

The Congress considers revising the current policy on how unaccompanied children should be treated in terms of asylum and expedited removal. Should unaccompanied children should stay or sent back? Those who support the expedited removal, argues that children who meet the “credible fear threshold” should be able to request asylum. For those who support the current policy, wants to give the unaccompanied children the opportunity to recover from their potential traumatizing journey before making their asylum claim. The treatment of unaccompanied alien children was included in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) in 2008. The initial screening by TVPRA determine whether or not a child should be returned to their country or be transfer to Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) and placed in removal proceedings. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires asylum officer to conduct “child-appropriate interviews taking into account age, stage of language development, background, and level of sophistication”. USCIS would take the jurisdiction over the asylum application with pending claims in immigration court, if the child is unaccompanied alien child.

 

USDOJ: ARCHIVE – OFFICE OF LEGAL POLICY: HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Policy develops and maintains the DOJ’s anti-trafficking policies. The office is also responsible for submitting the Attorney General’s annual report to Congress to assess the U.S. Government’s efforts to counter human trafficking, although the DOJ website only lists two (2) of these reports, the most recent being conducted in 2008. The website serves as a resource point for U.S. policies and reports, as well as other government resources pertaining to human trafficking from agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. While this particular source is easily accessed by an internet search for “human trafficking” and provides a great deal of information related to human trafficking, the presentation of the site is far from intriguing, and is best utilized for those searching for specific statistics or policies rather than those seeking an informative read about the inner workings of human trafficking.

 

PROTECTING CLIMATE REFUGEES:  A CASE FOR GLOBAL PROTOCOL


This report prepared in 2008 addresses the needs for provisions and amendments to be made to incorporate the staggering numbers of estimated climate refugees over the next century.  "According to some estimates, more than 200 million people might have to give up their homes due to climate change by 2050" (Oppenheimer, p.3).  At the time this report was written, the UNHCR only covered refugees seeking asylum from political, racial or ethnic prosecution.  With delegations gathering from nations like the Maldives that face the loss of their entire state, the issue of climate refugees needed to be studied and integrated into predictions. This report calls for a separate entity to be set up under the UN (or another global organization) that specifically mitigates and handles climate refugees in the coming decades. Oppenheimer details five arguments for the creation of such a department and lays out a detailed blueprint for such a protocol.  This report is specifically geared towards addressing systemic problems in growing numbers of refugees displaced by climate before it happens.  An excellent example of looking to the future to predict and create protocol before such overwhelm occurs.  "This, however, calls for early action in terms of setting up effective and appropriate government mechanisms.  The planning for a climate refugee protocol and the related institutional settings cannot wait until 2050 when it might be too late for organized and orderly responses.  It must begin now" (Oppenheimer, p.15).

 

PROTECTING PEOPLE CROSSING BORDERS IN THE CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE NORMATIVE GAPS AND POSSIBLE APPROACHES


This paper written by Walter Kälin and Nina Schrepfer from the University of Bern, Switzerland and endorsed and published by the UNHCR explores possible solutions to planning for and implementing programs specifically for those displaced by climate change.  One such argument that was made by the island of Tuvalu and in 2012 was on the board to be taken to the Global Court of Justice was that industrial nations (like the United States, Canada and the EU) that produce the most greenhouse gas emissions should be held responsible for the damage they are causing to smaller nations that have no choice but to mitigate the consequences.  The authors of this paper conclude that state responsibility for the emissions of greenhouse gases that may be causing peril for smaller nations is not a rational legal argument, however the moral responsibility of such nations needs to be deepened.   While legally under the 2001 Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts of the International Law Commission, states cannot be held responsible, governments of high emissions should be morally asking themselves what they can do within their state to regulate and outside of their state to lend support and mitigate disasters before they occur.  The paper goes onto identify five main categories of climate-related displacement that should be prioritized and categorized including "sudden-onset disasters; slow-onset environmental degradation; the destruction of small island states by rising sea levels; areas designated as prohibited for human habitation because of mitigation and adaptation measures or because of a high risk of disasters occurring there; and unrest, violence and conflict over resources diminishing as a consequence of climate change" (Kalin et al, p.2).  The authors call for a strategy to put in place that incorporates the four pillars of prevention, migration management, temporary and permanent protection schemes and resettlement to distinguish between varying levels of need.  They conclude that in order to reach an effective strategic solution a multifaceted approach must be reached that involves governments, the UNFCCC, varying levels of law and the underlying moral responsibility we share to care for human beings and maintain a dignified life. 

 

MIGRANTS SMUGGLED BY SEA TO THE EU: FACTS, LAWS AND POLICY OPTIONS

This research report, produced in 2013 by the Migration Policy Centre, indicates that sea smuggling to the European Union is a structural phenomenon. The number of migrants arriving to Lampedusa in recent years is consistent with past trends. However, they show an increase in the probability of dying en route, marking the Maritime route to Italy one of the most dangerous in the world. This report indicates that the EU must address two objectives. The first, short-term, is to eliminate deaths at sea. The EU is actively engaged in this through programs such as Mare Nostrum and Eurosur, but it is an ongoing problem to be addressed. The second, long term, objective is to limit irregular migration across the Mediterranean. The report recommends a number of policy changes to be adopted by the EU. One, the EU should make legal asylum channels more accessible, through improved avenues for resettlement. They also suggest enhanced Protected Entry Programs (allowing migrants to apply for ‘asylum visas’) and Regional Protection Programmes (which would build capacity for third countries to enable them to welcome asylum seekers). The report advises that any policy implemented in the EU must address the issue of solidarity between member states. Lack of solidarity, according to the report, has consistently undermined the capacity of European countries to prevent tragedies such as the tragedy of Lampedusa. 

BEFREE TEXT SHORTCODE TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING


Another example of the great things that can happen when the public and private sector partners up. The idea for the BeFree program came from collaboration between the Polaris Project, which runs the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline and Thorn, an organization that aims to invest in, build and deploys technology as part of its fight to end child sexual exploitation. When this idea was conceived, it was understood from interviews with victims that those people exploited often had cell phones on them at all times, usually to communicate with the trafficker or their “John“. The Polaris Project felt that these devices, while used to cause harm, could also be used for good, offering the victims a discreet way to send help. The hotline currently supports 170 different languages so non-English speakers will also be able to get help, although texts will primarily be in English with some Spanish-language capability. This program is not a seasonal one, meaning right now it will continue indefinitely. Human trafficking victims will be made aware of this shortcode through community-based support organizations that are under the Polaris Project’s network. Furthermore, signage will go up at bus shelters, truck stops, and other places where there’s a high likelihood of trafficking taking place. It remains to be seen how effective the BeFree program will be in rendering assistance to victims. For one, will response time be swift enough to rescue a victim without causing further harm (such as when a Pimp discovers that she has sent out a text)? Obtaining assistance also hinges on how law enforcement responds – will the victim still be charged under prostitution and released on bail back into the hands of her abuser? While I am sure there are kinks that need to be worked out, this seems to be a novel way for victims to seek assistance discreetly and hopefully, safely.

 

FUNDING SOMETIMES LAGS FOR SEX-TRAFFICKING VICTIMS

For a long time, sex trafficking was considered a foreign problem — something relegated to Eastern Europe or Asia. But in recent years, advocacy groups have called attention to people who were similarly victimized in the United States, and legislators in every state have embraced the issue, taking the politically easy step of toughening laws. Yet, many of these laws remain unenforced because they suffer from a significant lack of funding. New bills are rarely accompanied by new funds, which can only serve to perpetuate the problem of a serious lack of trauma-informed services and specialized housing for survivors. One of the issues highlighted in the article is that of the lack of residential housing for victims that leaves them with “nowhere to go”. This concurs with a recent national survey of residential programs for victims of sex trafficking conducted by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority that found there are only 33 trafficking-specific residential programs that were operational nationally. While California had the most residential programs, it only offered 371 beds for victims.  Many of these programs are executed by nonprofits who depend partially on government funding (either through grants or contacts) to fulfil these services, and “without such services, advocates say, many victims are less useful as witnesses against their traffickers and more vulnerable to being forced or lured back to the sordid underworld that exploited them”. If policy makers want to create a dent in the problem of trafficking, they need to make a more conscientious effort to dedicate enough resources to their bills.