Migri reports record high numbers of trafficked people seeking help

Victim Support System helped 70 trafficking victims last year - that's up from just 42 people in a few years.

File picture of Migri logo on glass door / Credit: Migri Twitter

The Finnish Immigration Service Migri says there was a big rise in the number of victims of human trafficking that they helped during 2019.

Migri’s Victim Support System assisted 70 trafficking victims last year – that’s up from 52 in 2018; while in 2016 there were just 42 people.

Officials estimate that most people who fall into the trafficked category are forced to work in restaurants, on construction sites, or as cleaners. Migri notes that signs of forced labour have also been detected in the conditions of person hired as home help by private families as well as in work done on farms.

Around 20 people became subject to human trafficking related to forced marriage, either where the marriage happened or was demanded in Finland, or when the marriage took place overseas and continued in Finland. Many cases are revealed when authorities intervene in cases of intimate partner violence.

Migri says that forced begging, forced criminal activity and human trafficking related to sexual exploitation were also detected in Finland last year.

File picture to illustrate human trafficking / Credit: iStock

How can trafficking victims get help?

When people contact Migri for help with their situation – if they suspect they’ve become victims of human trafficking or other exploitation – they get access to a range of services.

Sometimes people contacting the assistance system only want to discuss their situation, but others want to talk about aid, advice and guidance. They can also be referred to other services.

“Different ways of dealing with the situation are discussed with the caller, as well as whether the matter could be reported to the authorities, such as the police or the occupational safety and health department of the regional state administrative agency” says Senior Adviser Katri Lyijynen.

“A solution is often found through discussion” she adds.

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