PERSIAN GULF

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Situation

Several countries in this region are experiencing a singular economic boom. This wealth excites the greed of traffickers of human beings who make these countries a favourite destination; moreover, they are a ‘game of smoke and mirrors’ for many of the candidates for migration.

Providing assistance to victims of human trafficking induces thousands of difficulties, but also two potential dangers:

  • To be directly confronted with the mafias who make exorbitant profits from this modern slavery. These people are ruthless killers.
  • To arouse vexation and wrath of the national authorities where exploitation is practiced, while they strive to present themselves to the world as irreproachable in this respect. Only one dignitary would need to be upset by the demonstration of the harsh realities we are dealing with, and in a few moments we would be worried, expelled, and a brutal end would be brought to the work on-site.

 

These elements explain the discretion that we must observe both towards the countries concerned and on the forms of on-site collaboration allowing us to free victims and repatriate them safely.

Objectives

  • Reduce the threats and torments suffered by trafficked victims in the country of exploitation by repatriating them to their country of origin
  • Provide victims with assistance tailored to their problems: medical, legal, social. Both in the country of operation and once returned to their country of origin.
  • Strengthen an effective synergy with friendly organizations in the countries of origin so that a follow-up service is ensured for each repatriated victim.

Local partners: our team constituted in ‘Crisis center’, regional delegations of the International Organization of Migration in the countries of origin.

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Achievements 2020

Since 2008, a small team of 5 people has been established on-site who works continuously to detect and help victims where they are hidden or in hiding.

In 2020, this action provided direct and decisive relief to 153 victims from 16 different countries who were repatriated within an average period of less than two months after the first identification. Sexual exploitation remains the majority of victims.

Place of first contact with victims: in contrast to previous periods, the majority of women were identified on the street (115/155 = 74%). This is mainly due to the pandemic crises which: a) prevented our team from visiting prisons, and b) reduced the number of arrests made by law enforcement.

During the pandemic, most consulates in the CIS countries concerned were very cooperative with us, even more so than usual, although communication was via teleworking. In contrast, most consulates of African countries were completely closed for more or less 2 months, which explains why the percentage of repatriated African victims is lower than in previous years (13%).