Jointly addressing and investigating trafficking in persons and corruption with particular focus on at-risk sectors

Strategies that address trafficking in persons and corruption, or include corruption issues in anti-trafficking plans, and vice versa, are in place.

Organised trafficking requires systemic corruption. However, few laws or strategies in place jointly address trafficking in persons and corruption. Due to the strong link between corruption/perceived levels of corruption with trafficking in persons (UNODC, 2011), countries are therefore recommended to put in place strategies that jointly address corruption and trafficking in persons, or alternatively include corruption issues in antitrafficking plans, and vice versa. By streamlining approaches, countries can address the issue by modifying anti-corruption tools or by simply including corruption issues in existing anti-trafficking measures, in particular in trainings and strategies. The importance of ensuring sufficient levels of political will to combat trafficking-in-persons- related corruption at all levels of government should not be underestimated, and the implementation of the laws in place needs to be prioritised.

Sectors prone to trafficking-in-persons-related corruption are given priority in the implementation of relevant strategies.

When implementing the relevant strategies that address trafficking-in-persons-related corruption, countries are advised to identify and pay particular attention to vulnerable sectors and industries in their specific country context and steps that could be taken to prevent or combat the exploitation of people. This could, for example, entail regulation of labour-intensive sectors, in particular the construction, brothel, agriculture, fishing and textile industries or the foreign labour recruitment sector in a country. Countries are recommended to involve non-governmental actors as well as the private sector in the identification of at-risk sectors and the monitoring of these.

Information and resources are leveraged and shared among relevant actors.

Cases of trafficking and corruption are often dealt with separately. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), there is a lack of referral to the relevant authorities of 1) cases of trafficking in persons where there are indicators for corruption; and 2) referral of corruption cases where there are indicators of trafficking in persons. Co-operation is therefore essential among relevant actors to share information and resources. This can be done through the establishment of taskforces or joint operations. It is also crucial to establish protocols between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and law enforcement bodies to co-ordinate their activities so that both sides understand and acknowledge the efforts and responsibilities of the other.

Furthermore, anti-money laundering systems can be used to detect and prevent the financing of trafficking in persons, and assist in the confiscation of profits from trafficking in persons as well as the prevention of the reinvestment of illicit funds into the criminal trafficking networks. Financial intelligence systems that are already in place can be used to map the activities of trafficking networks and how these networks interact with corrupt officials.

Corruption is also investigated when investigating trafficking in persons.

According to the Council of Europe, investigations and prosecutions of trafficking in persons should be accompanied by investigations into corruption and finances of suspects (PACO, 2002). In order to effectively deal with trafficking-in-persons-related corruption, indicators need to be developed for actors working in the field of trafficking in persons to detect corruption when investigating trafficking cases.

Specialised multi-agency units are established and multi-agency trainings are organised.

At the national level, countries could enhance co-operation between anti-corruption and anti-trafficking practitioners, for example through multi-agency training and specialised multi-agency units staffed by prosecutors and selected police.

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