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Detecting New Forms of Human Trafficking: how are we backgrounding victims?

Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) is a grievous crime generating economic huge profits. In recent years more attention has been given to its specification and analyses, mostly on the identification of this crime in order to afford victims a way out of open-ended exploitation. Nevertheless, when we look to investigation, we realize the number of convictions is far from commensurate with the estimates of victims exploited. Cecilia Malmström, Home Affairs Commissioner came to public just some weeks ago presenting a study which gathered information on Human Trafficking in Europe and her declarations are of preoccupation, stating the number of victims has raised, while the number of convictions have decreased. Once the attention of the academic community and civil society is alerted on old and new forms of THB exploitation, as stated in UE directive 2011/UE/36, more action will be taken to better protect victims as well as compensate them for the severe effects of this crime.
At the same time, bringing this topic to attention will help people to be more aware of forms of THB exploitation, furnishing information on how to act by helping justice services to be more effective on the fight against this new slavery. This topic is transversal, current, and affects all social classes and groups and geographical areas. This communication focuses on identifying vulnerable victims of new forms of Trafficking in Human Beings and will focus on the elements that help us identify factors that make people vulnerable to THB victimization. We will try to present ideas on how to implement systems for identifying victims in order to allow policy makers and civil society services to offer better support to victims and to prevent others from becoming victims.
We will also debate the existing new forms of human trafficking, referred in the European directive 2011/UE/36, such as the exploitation of begging, procurement of persons to commit, inter alia, pick-pocketing, shoplifting, drug trafficking and other similar offences directed at financial gain, illegal adoption or forced marriage. We will try to give ideas on these new forms of exploitation, drawing attention to data at each national level. The objective of this discussion is to be aware of new forms of exploitation, reflecting on how the text of crime could incorporate them, to be enforced in the future. It is also intended to draw attention to factors in society that are not adequately discussed.

Keywords: human trafficking; new forms of exploitation; support to victims