The Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT), launched a new policy brief, aiming to shed light on the concept of vulnerability and the different dimensions and factors that make a person vulnerable to trafficking in persons, while providing recommendations to relevant stakeholders in addressing those factors and mitigating the related risks.
The abuse of an individual’s position of vulnerability is one of the means used by traffickers to perpetrate their illicit acts, as stipulated in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000) to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. While anyone can become a victim of trafficking, regardless of whether the individual may experience any vulnerability, the report highlights that evidence shows that vulnerability factors characterize most trafficking cases.
As reflected in the report, vulnerability is commonly associated to individual characteristics and situations that – in specific contexts – will increase the risk or threat of a person to be trafficked. Risk is on the contrary often referring to the threats that a person or a particular group may be exposed to, with an explicit external focus on the presence of such threats in certain contexts or situations. The report highlights therefore the importance to recognise that it is the intersection of vulnerability factors that increases the risk of human trafficking.