Forced Migrations and the Risk of Human Trafficking

Forced Migrations and the Risk of Human Trafficking

Milica Boskovic, Brankica Jankovic
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6334-5.ch002
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For the last two decades, forced migrations become so massive that no one could deny the fact that millions of people left their homes, maybe forever, running away from wars, civil wars, violence, and/or political victimization. War and violence are for sure two of the most serious traumatic events, as they are long-termed, cause different kinds of injuries, fear, unsafety, and hopelessness – and this is the first stress migrants are faced with. By being concerned for their own or the lives of their families, many migrants agree to be smuggled. But smugglers offer inhumane and often intolerable conditions, placing more migrants in their vehicle or boat than it can receive, and this leads to many migrants' lives being lost. In situations of fear, hopelessness, and uncertainty, which migrants running away from, they are vulnerable to many risks, and one of them is human trafficking, which can occur during their trip, illegal migration, or even when they get the final destination. It is important to understand the difference between smuggling and human trafficking.
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Migrations are indispensable activity in societies, inside and/or outside national borders and even continents. Even primal people left their territories looking for food sources, or better shelters. People migrate voluntarily, aiming to find a job, better living conditions, or because of other personal or professional motives. These activities are numbered and happen every day. We have to highlight the fact that many states were formed as a result of migrations across the continents and oceans. Today, many migrations are caused by climate changes and decreased level of environmental quality; they lose their arable land, drinking water, and clean air or weather become extremely unfavorable for quality living; these are so-called environmental refugees, and their movements and relocations cannot be neglected. But, in all these types of migrations, people plan and more or less, have clear goals and pathways. What becomes an extreme challenge and phenomenon, for the whole world, states, societies, decision-makers, and protectors of human rights, are forced migrations. While voluntary migration is likely to follow economic cost-benefit considerations of the migrants, involuntary migration is the result of forces outside the control of the migrants (Becker & Ferrara, 2019). For the last two decades, forced migrations become so massive, that no one could deny the fact that millions of people left their homes, maybe forever, running away from wars, civil wars, violence, and/or political victimization. These people were forced to run from terrifying violent conditions, mostly without a clear idea of where to go and what to do then. According to International Organization for Migration, in 2001. There were approximately 12 million refugees in the world, in comparison to 8.8 million in 1980 (Boskovic, Putnik, Dragisic, 2017:8). According to the estimates by the United Nations, 65.3 million people had fled or had been forced off their homelands by the end of 2015 (UNHCR, 2016), and deserts and seas are littered with the bodies of those who perished trying to reach safe havens in recent years (Purkayastha, 2018:168). One-third of displaced people are refugees; of whom more than two-thirds come from five conflict-ridden countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia. (Braithwaite et al., 2019:6). The period from 2010-2019 is declared by UNHCR as a decade of migrations; at that time almost 100 million people migrated, because of bad socio-economic conditions. But, the most tragic triggers for mass migrations in the last 10 years, were (civil) wars and political violence in some states of the north of Africa and the Middle East. All these migrations were forced by fear for life and the future, and people escaped, hoping to find peace, mostly in EU countries, USA and Canada.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Migrations: Human migrations are changes of residence by one person or a group; people voluntarily change place inside or outside the national borders; people migrate for many reasons, but the most frequent is looking for a better life.

Security: At one point of view, it is a state where risks are not present – absence of insecurity, or state where security measures are present. It is one of each state’s basic functions, to provide security and equality of right and justice for every citizen.

Trauma: Comprehensive reaction of person faced with risk situation or suddenly, unexpected, and negative occasion (attack, death of close person, illness, rape); this reaction is biological, psychological, and social at same time. Usually, trauma causes response such as anxiety, depression, sleeping disorder, introvert and asocial behavior.

Safety: Many use this term to describe personal sense of security, does individual feel safe at society, state, work.

Forced Migrations: Also called forced displacement; involuntary migration caused by fear for own life or the life of the family, mostly because of violence, armed conflicts, and wars at own country.

Human Trafficking: Also called Modern slavery; a serious crime whereby traffickers exploit and profit at the expense of adults or children by compelling them to perform labor or engage in commercial sex.

Organized Crime: A group of people (more than two), with strong structure and organization, involved in serious criminal activities for substantial profit and/or power.

Smuggling: Criminal activity which involves providing services of illegal transportation over the national borders and/or creating false documents, for financial price.

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