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Scandinavian Countries Fight Human Trafficking

The annual 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, conducted by the US Department of states, concludes that Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland are transit and destination countries for human trafficking, but at the same time the countries are trying to do something about it.

Trafficked people in the Scandinavian countries are mostly working within the sex industry, in the building trades, cleaning businesses or in restaurants. Often the trafficked people are forced to work to pay off debts or under the threats of violence or even voodoo, the report says.

The trafficked people are mainly younger people originating from Asia or Africa.

Although there are victims of trafficking in all the Scandinavian countries, the report categorizes all countries as ’Tier 1’ countries, the highest ranking based on the official response to the problem.

The rating means that Scandinavia acknowledges trafficking exists and works to combat it, while meeting minimum standards recommended under the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Despite the Tier 1 rating, the report still gives out advice for the Scandinavian countries. For Finland some of the advice is:

“The report recommends Finland to make special efforts to pro-actively identify victims of trafficking and refer them to appropriate services, increase co-operation between different agencies, re-evaluate residence permits valid for only one employer, and investigate recruitment agencies’ for involvement in trafficking.”

The advice for the other Scandinavian countries is in many ways similar.

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