Thursday 22 October 2009

They Can Feel Power And Influence Slipping Through Their Fingers...

Helen Bamber isn’t letting the grass grow under her feet in an attempt to win back ground from the disaster of the lack of actual evidence of trafficking:
Knowledge about the wider picture of trafficking can be accumulated only over time and gleaned from a detailed and dedicated approach to the cases of individual victims. This requires improved systems for protection and assistance, which is the only way that frightened and vulnerable trafficked people are enabled to come forward. So the comparison made in today's report between the existence of trafficking victims and that of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was overblown and inappropriate.
I thought so too, Helen, but I suspect for far different reasons than you…
Through our work we find those who have been trafficked are often realistically afraid of being penalised as "immigration offenders"; they feel stigmatised by their history of exploitation, sexual or otherwise; do not realise that they have any legal rights to protection; or fear reprisals against themselves or their families by the traffickers.

They face difficulties in talking about their experiences due to a profound fear that they will not be believed. This is compounded by complex psychological trauma.
Not quite sure why the term immigration offender is in scare quotes there; that is exactly what they are.
With improved access to appropriately specialised legal advice and mainstream medical services, there is greater potential to identify and therefore assist victims of trafficking.
Ahh, the familiar old cry: ‘We need more resources!’.

Don’t know if you’ve notice, Helen, but there’s a recession on…
The trafficked people we work with may not have been identified for years, either while being exploited or after their escape from the control of traffickers; and we find that the long-term influence of traffickers over individual lives is often underestimated.
What ‘individual lives’?

Do you need to see those figures again, Helen? They were ‘zero’…
There is no room for complacency on this issue, or dismissal because the problem is not considered to be on a significant scale – it involves servitude, and therefore the devastation of human lives. Any debate about the wider picture of trafficking can be helpful, but only if it leads to a reasoned approach and further investigation of the problem, rather than shutting down vital public interest and resources.
Oh, that’s science, that is. We should only look closely at something if we know that the results will prove that we are right….

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