Topics of Special Interest

Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Report

Challenges in Protecting Vulnerable Populations

Too often, individuals around the world suffer extreme hardship or violence, experience discrimination, or face social marginalization. Service providers, researchers, and other witnesses have documented that human traffickers take advantage of such circumstances. Indeed, exploitation appears even more likely when a confluence of such circumstances besets particular communities. The cumulative effects can make certain populations—such as refugees and migrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; religious minorities; people with disabilities; and those who are stateless—especially vulnerable to human trafficking.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In 2015, UNHCR reported that 76 countries criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct, with seven countries providing for the death penalty for certain offenses. These laws persecute and stigmatize LGBTI persons; even when not enforced, they validate discrimination and can lead to an increase in violence and harassment. This is particularly true when authorities do not act to protect all of their citizens and when they fail to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against members of particular groups. In several recent cases in countries that criminalize same-sex conduct, vigilante groups have carried out violent acts against LGBTI persons. In some communities, families who feel ashamed of an LGBTI relative have committed honor killings or sent them to clinics that practice “conversion therapy” to “rid them of homosexuality,” often by harmful methods.

In the United States, NGOs continue to report that LGBTI youth are over-represented among the runaway and homeless populations and have difficulties accessing tailored and non-discriminatory services. Those who are not self-sufficient are more susceptible to traffickers’ offers of shelter or food in exchange for performing commercial sex acts. Due to social biases, LGBTI victims are also more likely to be penalized for acts committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking. Because of this, victims are less likely to report their exploitation to local authorities or to access needed services.

More than a dozen countries have enacted anti-discrimination laws or conducted sensitivity training for law enforcement to protect LGBTI rights. Law enforcement agencies and service providers have benefitted from partnerships with organizations that have expertise on LGBTI issues to expand their service referral networks and learn how to develop inclusive environments for LGBTI victims. Governments can further strengthen their efforts by enhancing partnerships, especially with LGBTI survivors of trafficking, whose input is invaluable for trainings and discussions to strengthen understanding and improve support services.

Religious Affiliation

In many societies, members of religious minorities have a heightened vulnerability to trafficking. Traffickers have been known to target women and girls from religious minorities and force them into religious conversions and subsequent marriages, in which they may be subjected to domestic or sexual servitude. Religious minorities are also frequently discriminated against in job markets, especially in societies that formally restrict the exercise of rights by members of certain religions. This may make them more susceptible to traffickers’ fraudulent employment offers or other forms of abuse.

In certain countries where members of the religious majority control political power, government agencies, law enforcement entities, and judicial systems may be complicit in discriminating against religious minorities. In addition, certain countries still permit forced marriages, in purported adherence to local customs or religious beliefs. Victims from religious minorities forced into marriage or prostitution, or subjected to domestic servitude, may also face barriers or outright resistance when bringing forward allegations of human trafficking. Once in court, those who do not prevail may be returned to their traffickers.

Many states enforce anti-blasphemy statutes, which frequently restrict the activities of religious minority communities. This may serve as a direct disincentive to bring forward accusations against religious leaders or members of favored religious groups. In the most severe cases, in which governments have criminalized participation in minority religions, many individuals from minority religions are barred from receiving government services and protections if they do not convert or conceal their religious affiliation. Exclusion from public services, such as financial assistance and medical care, and barriers to building support infrastructures leave religious minorities more vulnerable to traffickers’ recruitment tactics.

Governments should denounce discrimination against and the persecution of religious minorities. Individuals from religious minorities should be afforded equal status and protection under the law and should have equal access to government services and protections. Without the rights granted to others in societies, individuals from religious minority communities, and particularly those who are the subject of governmental discrimination, will continue to be vulnerable to exploitation by human traffickers.

Migrants Fleeing Crisis

The unprecedented flow of migrants, including refugees, to Europe since the beginning of 2015 has shed light on the challenges of identifying human trafficking victims among migrant populations. Some trafficking victims have been identified among those fleeing civil war and unrest, and many migrants remain vulnerable to trafficking en route to or after arriving in Europe. The limited number of confirmed trafficking cases may not be indicative of the size of the problem, given the reluctance of victims to seek out authorities or self-identify. The greatly overburdened asylum systems across Europe have also created challenges to implementing effective identification and screening measures.

Migrants, including asylum-seekers, and refugees are susceptible to many crimes, including extortion, rape, and human trafficking. Many migrants fleeing conflict rely on smugglers at some point during their journeys and, in some instances, their smugglers are involved in schemes designed to deceive and trap them in sex or labor trafficking. Women, unaccompanied minors, and those denied asylum are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, including while in transit and upon arrival in destination countries.

Some migrants arrive in Europe with no identity documents, which can increase their vulnerability to trafficking. Reports indicate traffickers sometimes urge victims to request asylum upon arrival, which allows traffickers to exploit them as they await asylum decisions. Some international organizations report that the reliance by authorities on improvised shelters has led to an increase in human trafficking. Of equal concern, human traffickers have attempted to illegally recruit refugees at migrant reception centers for low-paid work and prostitution.

It is critical that governments and international organizations make every effort to identify and help trafficking victims among migrant populations. This can be accomplished by making efforts to ensure adequate staffing in centers and training immigration officials, including those charged with interviewing asylum applicants, to screen for indicators of trafficking. Another important opportunity for prevention is at ports of entry, where authorities can facilitate the distribution of information to migrants, including refugees, on the risks of human trafficking and available resources from governments, international organizations, and NGOs. Inspections at worksites employing foreign laborers, training for police on indicators of sex and labor trafficking, and providing refugees and asylum-seekers with opportunities to work are all worthy prevention efforts.

Disability

Owing to cultural and societal stigmas, people with disabilities, including individuals with physical, sensory, mental, cognitive, behavioral, or other visible and invisible disabilities, often lack access to social support networks. Prejudices contribute to biases in law enforcement or judicial systems and often to unequal treatment by employers and government service agencies. Social support networks serve as one means by which persons with disabilities can pursue social and economic inclusion. Without these networks, and without effective enforcement of robust non-discrimination laws, fewer safeguards exist to protect against a variety of human rights abuses, including trafficking in persons.

Children and young adults with disabilities are especially vulnerable to the risks of human trafficking. Children with disabilities have been targeted by traffickers, for example, by being forced to beg because their disabilities—especially if highly visible—draw sympathy and charity from the public. In societies where children with disabilities are not expected to attend school, communities may be less likely to question why a disabled child is begging. All too often, young people with disabilities are regarded as undesirable and may even be subjected to trafficking by their own families. Children with less visible disabilities, such as cognitive or behavioral disabilities, are similarly at risk, as they also may be stigmatized by their families and communities, and may not be in school due to bias or lack of understanding of how to provide reasonable accommodations. Children with disabilities who do not participate fully in social or academic settings are more likely to be isolated from their communities, which may make them more vulnerable to trafficking.

Persons with disabilities also face many barriers to justice. Lack of training for police, prosecutors, and judges on how to accommodate persons with disabilities—for example, on providing physical access or sign language interpreters—can leave victims with disabilities unable to report their abuse or effectively participate in the criminal justice process. Lack of accessible information about judicial procedures and rights may also preclude them from approaching law enforcement or courts to report abuse; those who do may encounter social biases against the credibility of their statements and evidence. Reflecting such social biases, some countries have codified laws that prohibit persons with disabilities from testifying in court. Diminished access to the justice system and limited avenues of recourse to address abuse can empower traffickers to target persons with disabilities with a sense of impunity.

Governments can minimize these risks by outlawing discrimination, enhancing safeguards, and offering a wide range of community-based support services. Even in instances where trafficking victims do not have disabilities, the experience of being subjected to trafficking substantially increases the risk of victims acquiring disabilities as a result of physical and psychological trauma. It is, therefore, essential that victim service programs include resources for those with a wide range of disabilities.

Statelessness

A stateless person is someone who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law. UNHCR estimates 10 million people, approximately one-third of whom are children, are stateless today. In many countries, stateless individuals lack identity documents, access to education, and economic opportunities. It is easier for unscrupulous employers to coerce undocumented workers into debt bondage or other exploitative conditions. Even if family members suspect or report a loved one has been subjected to human trafficking, it is difficult for authorities to trace an individual who lacks formal identity documents.

Some governments impose travel restrictions on stateless people, which—when coupled with their often dire economic situations and need to migrate for work—can push them to accept informal, sometimes fraudulent, job offers and to arrange transportation via middlemen and smugglers. Using unscrupulous middlemen, who often charge exorbitant interest rates, can lead to debt bondage. In Burma, for example, the government denies citizenship to an estimated 810,000 men, women, and children—most of whom are ethnic Rohingya living in Rakhine State. Their lack of legal status and access to identity documents significantly increases this population’s vulnerability to sex and labor trafficking. Rohingya have endured forced labor and dire social conditions within Burma. Many have fled, often with the help of smugglers, to neighboring countries, where some have been subjected to forced labor in agriculture, fishing, and domestic work.

Stateless populations encounter discrimination not only in their daily life, but also when interacting with law enforcement, which can significantly diminish their confidence in law enforcement and the justice system. As a result, stateless trafficking victims do not always report exploitative situations to the authorities, fearing either inaction or punishment. Some members of the Romani community, who became stateless following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, are penalized in Europe for committing crimes, such as petty theft, even when they do so as a result of being subjected to trafficking.

Until governments take measures to address and reduce statelessness, including registering and extending citizenship to stateless people, issuing identity documents, and developing programs to foster economic growth and trust between such groups and law enforcement, stateless people will continue to be vulnerable to trafficking in their own countries and abroad.

Conclusion

Although there is no exhaustive list of groups vulnerable to human trafficking, the experiences discussed above exemplify common challenges faced by populations at risk of modern slavery. Moreover, some individuals may be vulnerable for more than one reason, making their exploitation even more likely. Governments can take affirmative steps to consider those who may be uniquely vulnerable given their country’s culture, social structure, and history, and ensure those groups have access to the protections necessary to keep them from being targeted for human trafficking.

Protecting Victims from Wrongful Prosecution and Further Victimization

For years, the Trafficking in Persons Report has detailed the importance of protecting victims of human trafficking throughout the law enforcement process. A central tenet of the victim-centered approach is that victims of trafficking should not be held criminally responsible for their involvement in unlawful activities that are a direct consequence of their victimization.

At the heart of human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person. Traffickers use the control they exercise over victims to force them to carry out activities for the traffickers’ profit. Traffickers often compel victims to engage in criminal activities such as prostitution, pick-pocketing, or drug trafficking and cultivation.

Law enforcement authorities often fail to properly screen and identify victims of human trafficking when they detain or arrest criminal suspects. This can result in a second victimization when victims are punished for their engagement in the crimes their traffickers forced them to commit.

Compounding the injustice, a criminal record can have a profoundly negative effect on victims throughout their lives—for example, a survivor of sex trafficking who cannot rent an apartment because of prior arrests for prostitution; or an individual forced by a criminal gang to steal or sell drugs who cannot get a job due to the resulting criminal record. Even if a trafficking victim never faces charges, or if charges are dropped, arrest records and stigma remain, affecting where victims live, their employment opportunities, and how others perceive them.

While the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Protocol) does not specifically address the non-criminalization of trafficking victims, article 2(b) states that one of the Protocol’s purposes is “to protect and assist the victims of such trafficking, with full respect for their human rights.” In addition, the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, which advises the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, recommended the following in 2009:

“With regard to ensuring the non-punishment and non-prosecution of trafficked persons, States parties should: (a) Establish appropriate procedures for identifying victims of trafficking in persons and for giving such victims support; (b) Consider, in line with their domestic legislation, not punishing or prosecuting trafficked persons for unlawful acts committed by them as a direct consequence of their situation as trafficked persons or where they were compelled to commit such unlawful acts.…”

The Council of Europe and the EU have adopted instruments that recognize this non-punishment principle. Article 8 of the 2011 EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings provides:

“Member States shall, in accordance with the basic principles of their legal systems, take the necessary measures to ensure that the competent authorities are entitled not to prosecute or impose penalties on victims of trafficking in human beings for their involvement in criminal activities which they have been compelled to commit as a direct consequence of being subjected to any of the acts [i.e., offences concerning trafficking in human beings] referred to in Article 2.”

The non-binding 2013 Addendum to the Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE states in Section IV, paragraph 2.6, under Access to justice and appropriate remedies:

“2.6 Taking adequate measures to ensure that, where appropriate, identified victims of THB [trafficking in human beings] are not penalized for their involvement in unlawful activities to the extent that they have been compelled to do so.”

Effectively identifying trafficking victims, including among those who may have committed unlawful offenses, is key to a victim-centered approach. Victims of trafficking may be more likely to report their victimization if they were confident it would not lead to their arrest or prosecution. In turn, this would allow a government to better meet its obligations to provide protection and assistance to victims, as well as to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. Early identification of trafficking victims is essential to prevent further victimization and will help them start the recovery process as soon as possible.

Vacatur

In cases in which trafficking victims have records for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking, such records should be vacated or expunged. In the United States, several states have enacted provisions that provide survivors the ability to seek a court order vacating or expunging criminal convictions entered against them that resulted from their trafficking situation. In 2010, New York became the first state to pass a law allowing survivors of trafficking to vacate their convictions for prostitution offenses. In 2013, Florida’s law went even further providing for the expungement of “any conviction for an offense committed while . . . a victim of human trafficking.”

Vacatur is the formal recognition of “factual innocence.” Vacatur laws should apply to both adults and children, given that anyone who has been forced, tricked, or coerced into criminal activity should not be considered as having consented to that activity. States should also ensure these laws cover convictions that encompass the wide variety of nonviolent crimes that victims are forced to commit.

These laws not only allow victims to correct past injustices, but also thereby help trafficking victims reclaim and rebuild their lives. Vacatur increases a survivor’s ability to find work, reducing their economic vulnerabilities and the risk of being re-trafficked. In the absence of a vacatur law, trafficking victims are condemned to being perpetually viewed as former criminals, which in numerous ways compromises their efforts to rebuild their lives.


The Price of Advocacy

Activists often fight uphill battles—they champion causes and populations that lack attention and support from governments and the general public. In addition, they facilitate public discourse and advocate for positive change; however, this work does not come without a price. Around the world advocates face harassment, threats, and violence from criminals and government officials alike. Sometimes governments limit freedom of expression or censor media to hamper the ability of activists and journalists to report on such topics to broader audiences. Such harassment and impediments not only endanger advocates’ careers, lives, and families, but also deter others from speaking out.

Anti-trafficking and labor rights activists are no exception, especially in countries with governments that are not making significant efforts to combat trafficking, where freedom of expression, including for the press, is not protected, and where official complicity subverts efforts to bolster the rule of law. While anti-trafficking activists have faced discrimination and harassment in many countries, they have been targeted during the most recent reporting period in cases such as these:

Mauritania—In 2015, the government used tear gas to disperse a crowd peacefully protesting the forced labor of Mauritanian women in the Middle East and arrested nine participants.

Republic of the Congo—In 2015, a canister of tear gas exploded on the property of a leading anti-trafficking activist, resulting in the hospitalization of an infant and severe damage to the activist’s home and business. Witnesses reported the canister was launched from a police vehicle. The activist did not file an official report due to his distrust of the authorities and fear of retribution.

Thailand—In 2016, the government formalized stricter procedures for obtaining media visas, including requiring that foreign journalists be employed by a news agency registered with either the Thai or a foreign government, and prohibiting their engagement in work that may disrupt public order or harm the public. Activists fear these vague provisions could allow for government censorship of reporting that is critical of the government, including trafficking-related official complicity.

Uzbekistan—In 2015, authorities harassed and detained activists attempting to observe and document labor violations, including forced labor, during the cotton harvest, and at least two activists faced criminal charges.

To assist trafficking victims effectively, advocates, independent civil society groups, and the media need to be able to monitor human trafficking in sectors of concern.

Human Trafficking in Conflict Zones

Armed conflict amplifies the risks of human trafficking for vulnerable populations by increasing economic desperation, weakening rule of law, decreasing the availability of social services, and forcing people to flee for their safety. Armed conflict often results in broken governments, judicial systems, job markets, and community support structures that would normally offer citizens protection from disasters and crime, including human trafficking. Many contributing factors, such as high unemployment rates, homelessness, limited social services, and weak law enforcement oversight, are amplified in conflict zones and exploited by traffickers. Without formal options and services to maintain their livelihoods, people are more likely to resort to illicit activities or risky, informal means to survive—sectors in which traffickers thrive.

During armed conflicts, governments divert existing resources to respond to the imminent crisis with a resulting loss in facilities and personnel for peacetime governmental services. This exacerbates existing limitations and creates new gaps in a government’s structures to protect and provide for its citizens. Some militias use human trafficking to generate income and obtain new combatants. Young women and girls are often forced to marry or have sex with commanders and male combatants. The national and civil disorder caused by such conflict make traffickers’ recruitment tactics—including false offers of jobs, shelter, or education—more enticing to vulnerable populations.

Armed conflict can break down government institutions and create a climate of impunity that encourages traffickers to prey on vulnerable populations. Women and children, migrants, and internally displaced persons are among those most at risk of being subjected to trafficking in conflict zones. The terrorist organization Boko Haram, for example, has abducted and forced women and children into sexual slavery in Nigeria, and the Somali National Army continues to recruit children into combat.

Camps for refugees and internally displaced persons are prime targets for traffickers. The concentration of vulnerable, displaced people, combined with a lack of security, services, and oversight typically found in such camps, make them ideal locations for traffickers to operate. In long-standing camps, traffickers are able to build relationships with corrupt camp officials and establish trafficking rings.

Human trafficking is frequently overlooked in crises and omitted from formulations of humanitarian and emergency response policies. Trafficking operations can flourish amidst international reconstruction efforts where there are few government institutions or rule of law. The international community and individual countries must recognize labor and sex trafficking as a common occurrence during conflict and include anti-trafficking strategies in humanitarian responses.

Out of Sight: How Isolation Contributes to Human Trafficking

Working in isolation can mean having little to no governmental oversight, a lack of community support, and access to fewer protective services, legal advocates, and law enforcement personnel. Such isolation increases workers’ vulnerability to human trafficking and associated indicators, including confiscation of passports or other identity documents, non-payment of wages, substandard living and working conditions, restricted movement, threats of deportation, psychological coercion to remain employed, and physical force.

There are several industries in which these circumstances are evident. Malaysia and Indonesia, two of the largest producers of palm oil in the world, attract thousands of migrant workers to their year-round harvesting, production, and export operations. The plantations are often situated in difficult-to-reach parts of both countries, which enable unscrupulous owners and managers to operate with impunity and subject employees to various forms of abuse and exploitation. Some employers have confiscated passports and other identity documents and placed their workers in situations of debt bondage.

Fishers aboard vessels in vast international waters are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking due to often protracted periods of time at sea and an inability to report mistreatment or escape their ships. Luring fishers with promises of good wages, traffickers force some to work under extreme conditions and deny them compensation or the freedom to leave. Similar conditions enable forced child labor in the Lake Volta region in central Ghana.

West African countries, such as Mali and Senegal, have artisanal gold mines that draw transient communities to live and work. Mines are typically located within vast and remote areas and government officials face capacity constraints to make routine monitoring visits. The journey from population centers to these mines is lengthy and arduous. These conditions also increase the likelihood officials will seek to profit from or simply ignore exploitative conditions.

The isolation of extractive industries coupled with the influx of large numbers of male workers also drives the demand for commercial sex. For example, Bolivian and Peruvian girls are subjected to sex trafficking in mining and logging areas in Peru, and women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking near gold mines in Suriname and Guyana.

Even in urban areas conditions of isolation can be found in the workplace. For instance, domestic workers are often compelled to work in homes with severely restricted freedoms and often subjected to sexual abuse. Cultural isolation can also facilitate the exploitation of foreign migrant workers who may not speak the local language or understand their rights and the protections available to them under local law.

Traffickers take advantage of work settings that are culturally isolated or physically remote to compel adults and children to work in unsafe and often abusive settings and exploit others in sex trafficking. Anti-trafficking strategies should address the unique risks workers face in settings that are isolated from the public, from law enforcement, and from their traditional support networks.

Vicarious Trauma

Trauma associated with human trafficking can be devastating and lasting, as many victims suffer psychological and physical abuse at the hands of traffickers. Related trauma can also significantly affect the physical and emotional well-being of the professionals who assist and care for trafficking victims. This vicarious trauma, also referred to as compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress, refers to the negative reactions that can occur when professionals repeatedly witness or hear about victims’ difficult experiences of trauma, violence, and abuse. The signs of vicarious trauma resemble post-traumatic stress disorder, and can include emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, disturbed sleep, change in appetite, irritability, nightmares, loss of empathy, and numbness.

Direct service providers, social workers, shelter staff, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, interpreters, and others involved in various aspects of providing care to a victim or handling a trafficking case, are especially vulnerable to experiencing vicarious trauma.

To minimize the risk of vicarious trauma, it is important for anti-trafficking professionals to take steps to develop self-awareness and establish healthy coping mechanisms. Common questions to check for symptoms of vicarious trauma include:

  • How are you physically and emotionally affected by your work?
  • How well are you able to separate work from the rest of your life?
  • What is it like and how do you feel when hearing about a specific trafficking case?
  • Do you have signs of vicarious trauma or other forms of stress?
  • What kind of self-care are you practicing? Is it helping?

Healthy coping mechanisms for professionals in the anti-trafficking field should include organizational policies
and individual self-care strategies. A few strategies include:

  • Develop self-care and stress management strategies, e.g., exercise, build a strong social or community network, practice relaxation techniques, make time for extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Establish formal support structures at work.
  • Seek out support among peers in other organizations.
  • Talk with a mental health professional (individual and group counseling).
  • Establish professional boundaries.
  • Participate in capacity building and training.

The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking

On December 16, 2015, President Obama announced the historic appointment of 11 members to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Each member is a survivor of human trafficking, and together they represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. The Council, established by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, enacted on May 29, 2015, provides a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF).

The Advisory Council participated in the January 5, 2016, meeting of the PITF. Ms. Ima Matul Maisaroh spoke to the PITF on behalf of the Council, saying:

One key reason this Council is important is because it acknowledges the value that survivors add to any initiative on human trafficking. As a collective group of survivors, we have dedicated a huge part of ourselves to the anti-trafficking movement through our respective advocacy efforts. Together, we are changing perceptions, fighting for justice, and ultimately, over the years, contributing to one shared goal—to end modern slavery everywhere it exists.

We are a diverse group. Our individual experiences as survivors will add a richness of expertise to the Council, and we will act proudly as a unified group of leaders who will speak up for what is needed to address the many issues that contribute to the long-standing existence of human trafficking in the United States and around the world.

The first members of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, who are serving two-year terms, are: Evelyn Chumbow, Harold d’Souza, Minh Dang, Tina Frundt, Ima Matul Maisaroh, Ronny Marty, Flor Molina, Bukola Love Oriola, Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman, Sheila White, and Shandra Woworuntu.

The United Nations Security Council Addresses Human Trafficking

“The Islamic State didn’t come to kill the women and girls, but to use us as spoils of war, as objects to be sold . . . or to be gifted for free,” said Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yezidi survivor of human trafficking. Her powerful first-hand testimony on December 16, 2015, moved all those present at the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) first session to address human trafficking. Ms. Murad urged the Council to recognize the actions of Da’esh as genocide, to “find a way to open a case before the International Criminal Court,” to rescue the thousands of Yezidi women and children held in captivity, to provide a safe haven for Yezidis and other threatened minority groups, and to establish an international victims compensation fund.

The UNSC’s Presidential Statement condemned the actions of Da’esh, called for states to hold accountable those who engage in trafficking, and expressed solidarity with the victims, including in situations of conflict. The UNSC urged all relevant UN agencies operating in conflict and post-conflict situations to assess instances of human trafficking, proactively screen for potential trafficking victims, and facilitate their access to services.

Since her brave testimony before the UNSC, Nadia has become a clear voice in her community and on behalf of victims of human trafficking in conflict situations around the world.