A new survey conducted by the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) has revealed some disturbing figures related to the global refugee migrant crisis. Per the IOM survey, more than 70% of migrants travelling both overland through North Africa to Europe and to Europe via boat have faced some form of human trafficking or exploitation along the way. Most disturbingly is the fact that “nearly half of all those questioned (49%) reported being held in a location against their will, often for ransom.”
As the refugee crisis worsens in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, criminal networks and gangs are seeing the massive number of moving people as an opportunity to capitalize on the innocent families hoping to escape war, poverty, and hunger. Since many of the refugees traveling have never left their home countries, many of them are unaware of the risk of falling victim to human traffickers posing as legitimate services and employers. Many of these refugees are willing to do anything to escape their current situation, but don’t consider the fact that they may be deceived or coerced into even worse situations.
Although this survey only gathered data from 9,000 migrants over a period of 10 months, the high frequency of similar responses from migrants questioned indicate the problem is as widespread as the results of the survey indicate. “What these surveys show is that human trafficking networks are becoming brutal and efficient at exploiting and making profit from the vulnerability of migrants,” says Simona Moscarelli of the IOM. The United Kingdom’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, said the survey shows “There is a need for urgent action to protect these people. I believe that a key focus for the UK and other governments must include collaborating with partners to priorities safeguarding against the risks of modern slavery as part of the response to the migration and refugee crisis.”
SOURCE: The Guardian