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russia human trafficking

The government maintained negligible efforts to protect victims. Currently, Russia is facing a human trafficking crisis and yet, it is doing little to prevent this issue and protect those human trafficking already affects. With Russia’s political focus being anywhere but human trafficking, the fight will be a difficult one. While these raids took place with some regularity, the use of undocumented or forced labor remained widespread due to complacency and corruption. Russian government officials stated they were taking steps to fulfill its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolution to repatriate all of these workers by the end of 2019, and reported the number of DPRK workers in Russia declined steadily throughout 2018 from 30,023 to 11,490 by the end of 2018. Traffickers subject workers from Russia and other countries in Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia—including Vietnam and DPRK—to forced labor in Russia. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. An NGO assisted approximately 193 victims in 2018, but it estimated the number of victims to number in the thousands. In Russia, where an estimated one million people are living in what’s known as modern slavery, the politicized nature of human trafficking is also evident but deployed differently, as the Russian government has made the task of assisting trafficking victims a political one. Here are 10 facts about human trafficking in Russia. Although government representatives publicly stated authorities asked DPRK workers to leave voluntarily, it was not evident that authorities screened workers for trafficking indicators or offered them options to legally remain in the country. Meanwhile, all the other countries previously part of the Soviet Union have passed over 100 laws against human trafficking. Russia’s federal-level Investigative Committee publicly reported 14 investigations, 11 under article 127.1 and three under 127.2, a decrease from 19 reported in 2017. Traffickers lure minors from state and municipal orphanages to forced begging, forced criminality, child pornography, and sex trafficking, and use by armed groups in the Middle East. The Government of the Russ Authorities punished child victims of forced criminality. The lack of strong legislation makes it more difficult to arrest, incriminate and convict perpetrators of human trafficking in Russia. “The Borgen Project is an incredible nonprofit organization that is addressing poverty and hunger and working towards ending them.” Labor trafficking remains the predominant human trafficking problem within Russia, accelerating in the context of Russia’s significant increase in labor migration. Media reported the government continued to issue new work permits. Frequently, authorities criminally charged victims with prostitution or unlawful presence in country. 30 There are reports of Nigerian women and girls being trafficked to Russia on student visas and subsequently forced into sex work to repay their alleged “debts” for visa and travel costs. The “Yarovaya” package of anti-terror laws made it a crime for individuals or organizations to provide material assistance to people considered to be in Russia illegally; authorities could prosecute NGOs who assist unlawfully present victims of trafficking. The ILO Committee of Experts noted its deep concern in 2016 that some provisions of the Russian criminal code, which included compulsory labor as possible punishment, are worded broadly enough to lend themselves to application as a means of punishment for the expression of views opposed to the government. With continued external and internal pressure, we can work towards a world where slavery in Russia does not exist. Cover Photo Credit, celynek, Flickr Creative Commons According to press reports, 2.3 million Ukrainians resided in Russia, including more than 1 million who went east to escape Russian aggression in Ukraine. Authorities did not routinely screen potential victims seeking assistance at these shelters for trafficking indicators; in prior years, the shelter provided medical and psychiatric aid, and referred victims to international NGOs and other homeless shelters located in many of Russia’s regions. Homeless children are exploited in sex trafficking. There were two media reports of government-compelled labor of civil servants for snow removal; in one of them the government decided to investigate the issue. There were limited examples of government cooperation with civil society. Women and children from Europe (predominantly Ukraine and Moldova), Southeast Asia (primarily China and the Philippines), Africa (particularly Nigeria), and Central Asia are victims of sex trafficking in Russia. The government published sentencing information for 2018 that included for article 127.1, three paroles, 11 prison terms, one compulsory labor, and one fine; and for article 127.2, five prison terms and one parole. • Screen for trafficking indicators before deporting migrants, including from the DPRK. • Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict traffickers, including complicit officials, respecting due process. Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. While the letters offered no official status to the migrants, they allowed victims to remain in the Moscow region without risk of deportation or prosecution while police investigated their trafficking case. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a scathing report which features an incriminating list of people Donald Trump chose as his partners for potential projects in Russia. The government did not report screening specifically for indicators of trafficking, but media reports indicated the children received counseling. Sex trafficking is a “form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion” (“Sex Trafficking”). The government did not develop or employ a formal system to guide officials in proactive identification of victims or their referral to available services. ILO reports that labor trafficking is the most predominant form of trafficking in Russia. Although labor trafficking remains the predominant human trafficking problem within Russia, sex trafficking continued. Many of these migrant workers experience exploitative labor conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Driving the trade is the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. An estimated four million workers migrate to Russia annually. • Provide victims access to legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they face hardship or retribution. It involves the transport of persons, who are either entirely unwilling or misinformed about their destination, to a new place, usually to engage in forced labor or prostitution. Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. Some government officials noted an allowance for the extension of contracts for North Korean laborers who had valid contracts as of September 11, 2017 and were still in Russia, while a government spokesperson stated new workers were arriving if authorities had finalized their work authorizations prior to the adoption of UNSCR 2375. Sadly, the fight to end human trafficking, particularly sexual trafficking, is a long one and requires the cooperation of multiple entities. Coordinator for the Arctic Region, Bureaus and Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary, Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Office of the U.S. Trafficking is carried out mainly for the purpose of exploitation, which includes prostitution, forced labour, slavery, removal of organs and many others (human trafficking in and out of Russia). Human Trafficking in Russia Today Most human trafficking in Russia today takes the form of forced labor, and its victims largely are migrant workers from Central Asia, Ukraine, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, and North Korea. According to official government statistics, nearly 5,000 foreigners who entered on Fan IDs remained unlawfully in Russia at the beginning of 2019, including 1,863 Nigerians. Throughout 2018, the government maintained bilateral contracts with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) under which the DPRK operated work camps in Russia and subjected thousands of North Korean workers to forced labor. • Implement a formal policy to ensure identified trafficking victims are not punished or deported for unlawful acts their traffickers compelled them to commit. Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Employers sometimes bribe Russian officials to avoid enforcement of penalties for engaging illegal workers. The government maintained bilateral contracts with the DPRK government, which continued to operate work camps in Russia throughout 2018. Media reports about these investigations and prosecutions revealed several cases involving baby-selling, a crime that falls outside the international definition of trafficking. The government made no efforts to develop public awareness of forced labor or sex trafficking and provided no funds to NGOs to carry out prevention and awareness campaigns. The State Department ranks countries according to the efforts they make to fight human trafficking and Russia, China and Uzbekistan all fell to the lowest level, Tier 3, in the new report. It was not clear that the government screened laborers for trafficking indicators. The government did not provide funding or programs for protective services dedicated to trafficking victims. The government continued to operate regional migration centers where migrants could obtain work permits directly from the government; however, the permits contained large upfront fees and sometimes required multiple time-consuming trips to the center to obtain. Criminal groups have developed a brisk trade selling tens of thousands of women into prostitution. An official website of the United States government, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Office of the U.S. Without specific legislation differentiating trafficking victims from victims of other crimes, government agencies claimed they had neither the means nor authority to provide assistance programs specifically for trafficking victims. NGOs reported law enforcement worked with NGOs to remove victims from brothels and slave labor situation, obtain documents, and help repatriate victims from Nigeria, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. – … However, inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, these articles established the use of force, fraud, or coercion as aggravating factors, rather than essential elements of the crime. Plus, free two-day shipping for six months when you sign up for Amazon Prime for Students. Whether or not the numbers have increased dramatically during the 2018 World Cup, Russia is no stranger to human sex trafficking. As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Russia, and victims from Russia are exploited abroad. NGOs provided all protection services, including shelter, food, legal services, language interpretation, facilitating the return of documents or wages, and assisting in the resettlement or repatriation of victims. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor. It is a destination country for migrant labor from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, making it second in the world for migration. ISIS was known to use child soldiers and perpetrate other forms of trafficking. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and it’s one of the fastest-growing illicit industries in the world. Despite the current inaction of the Russian government in response to the human trafficking crisis, pressure from activists within the country and outside of it could help create substantial change. Russian criminal groups threaten family members in order to coerce women into prostitution in Russia and abroad. An estimated 200 children had returned to Russia since this program first became public in 2017; the government estimated 1,400 remained in Iraq and Syria. During the 2018 World Cup, Russia relaxed its visa requirements, allowing visa-free entry for all Fan ID holders to enter and exit Russia without a visa through December 31, 2018. Authorities lacked a process for the identification of victims and their referral to care. Subcontracting practices in Russia’s construction industry result in cases of non-payment or slow payment of wages, which leave workers at risk of labor trafficking. The Government of Russia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore Russia remained on Tier 3. Russia is ranked the sixteenth in prevalence of human trafficking among all countries, with more than a million people estimated to be living in slavery in Russia today. NGOs conducted limited trafficking training for local officials. In February 2018, government officials announced that in accordance with UNSCRs 2375 and 2397, Russia would cease issuing new work permits to North Korean laborers and repatriate those workers whose contracts had expired. Global AIDS Coordinator and Global Health Diplomacy, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Special Representative for Syria Engagement, U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Office of International Religious Freedom, Office of the Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Office of the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Office of the Science and Technology Adviser, Bureau of Information Resource Management, Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services, Office of Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Service, Office of Management Strategy and Solutions, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. – The Huffington Post, https://borgenproject.org/wp-content/uploads/The_Borgen_Project_Logo_small.jpg, 10 Facts About Human Trafficking in Russia, 10 Facts about Renewable Energy in Costa Rica, criminal cases against government officials. Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including by removing officials who may have been complicit in forced labor, facilitating the return of Russian children from Iraq and Syria, and identifying some victims, including foreign nationals. Russian criminal groups threaten family members in order to coerce women into prostitution in Russia and abroad. TRAFFICKING PROFILE As reported over the past five years, Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Authorities conducted scheduled and unannounced audits of firms employing foreign laborers to check for violations of immigration and labor laws—with penalties in the form of revoking foreign worker permits. Additionally, foreign women from Europe (mainly Ukraine and Moldova), Southeast Asia (primarily Vietnam), Africa (mainly Nigeria), and Central Asia fall victim to sex trafficking within Russia. However, the number of victims identified by the government remained negligible and authorities routinely deported potential forced labor victims without screening for signs of exploitation and prosecuted sex trafficking victims for prostitution offenses. Media reports indicated Russia had begun to repatriate the laborers whose permits had expired. While estimates vary, the Russian government reported the number of North Korean workers in Russia declined from 30,000 to approximately 11,500 in 2018. Corruption and official complicity remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action during the year. The government reported the identification of 19 trafficking victims in 2018. Efforts to crack down on human trafficking in Russia focus not only on the men, women, and children who are illegally shipped out of Russia to undergo forced labor and sexual exploitation in other countries, but also those who are illegally brought into Russia from abroad. Moreover, DPRK authorities reportedly arrested, imprisoned, subjected to forced labor, tortured, and sometimes executed repatriated trafficking victims. The last dedicated trafficking shelters closed in 2015 due to lack of funding; however, government-funded homeless shelters could accommodate Russian and foreign victims. In February 2019, the government agreed to allow the Kyrgyz Republic Ombudsman to appoint five special representatives in Russia to monitor for violations of human rights of Kyrgyz citizens, including trafficking. • Ensure victim identification and protection measures are not tied to the prosecution of a trafficker and allow all first responders to officially identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to care. Not only would this assist current victims, but it would make eradicating human trafficking in Russia a real possibility. An NGO reported some hospitals began to issue birth certificates to all children born in the country, regardless of the parents’ immigration status. Russian women and children are reportedly victims of sex trafficking in Russia and abroad, including in Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the United States, and the Middle East. An NGO reported repatriating 40 Nigerian victims. The government did not have a body to monitor its anti-trafficking activities or make periodic assessments measuring its performance. Despite the lack of formal procedures, observers reported some working-level officials referred potential victims for assistance on an ad hoc basis. A new report from the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence offers a damning portrait of the people Donald Trump chose as his partners for potential projects in Russia. However, observers also noted other authorities often did not recognize foreign victims when they were unlawfully present in Russia, which resulted in the penalization of foreign victims rather than their referral to care. Human Trafficking Law: Russia only has one law that criminalizes human trafficking. • Create a national anti-trafficking action plan and establish a central coordinator for government efforts. According to law enforcement statistics, of these 19 identified victims, 16 were Russian and three were from unspecified Central Asian countries; five were female sex trafficking victims, one female and three males were victims of forced labor, and 10 were children, although many of these were baby-selling cases. Human trafficking, the third largest international crime, following illegal drugs and arms trafficking, is believed to be worth billions of dollars each year. In the 1990s, the spotlight fell on thousands of women and minors trafficked out of Russia into prostitution, particularly … The government, after a temporary suspension of operations, resumed the repatriation of Russian minors, including potential trafficking victims, whose parents were alleged fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The government did not consistently provide comprehensive information on prosecution efforts, but the limited available data and media reports suggest prosecutions remained low compared with the scope of Russia’s trafficking problem. Russia has developed into a major hub for human trafficking. It did not report comprehensive data on trafficking criminal cases, making it difficult to assess the adequacy or effectiveness of law enforcement efforts. Law enforcement training centers provided instruction on trafficking identification. Efforts to crack down on human trafficking in Russia focus not only on the men, women, and children who are illegally shipped out of Russia to undergo forced labor and sexual exploitation in other countries, but also those who are illegally brought into Russia from abroad. The Center for Assistance to Victims of Violence and Human Trafficking has bases throughout Russia and focuses on rehabilitating the formerly trafficked. Human trafficking: Irina's story Irina was a 16-year-old high school student from the southern Russian Federation when she accepted a family friend's proposal to take a quick trip to the Middle East. Or father was killed in action the children received counseling which the maintained... With continued external and internal pressure, we can work towards a where. Provided instruction on trafficking identification a russia human trafficking basis Screen for trafficking indicators deporting... 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