A victim of human trafficking can be any one of us
There are many kinds of human trafficking. What is common to its many forms is that the victim has been put in a position where he or she for some reason is not free to decide about their own actions. You can be put in this kind of a situation for example by exploiting your challenging life situation, through extortion or blackmailing, by threatening you or your close ones, exploiting your substance dependency or illness, or by scaring you that you will for example be deported or dishonored.
If you suspect human trafficking but are not sure whether your situation fills its criteria, always contact an organization that works with victims of human trafficking . NGOs like Victim Support Finland (RIKU) can help you also anonymously. Also the governmental Assistance System for victims of human trafficking can be consulted anonymously
What does human trafficking look like?
A victim of human trafficking can be a foreigner or Finnish. The situation is often difficult to detect from the outside.
Different forms of human trafficking occur also in Finland. The forms include for example:
- Labor exploitation: the victim has been put in a situation where they work under worse conditions than they would have the right to by law and according to the relevant collective agreement.
- Sexual exploitation: the victim can be pressured to sell sex or to submit to other kinds of sexual abuse.
- Forced criminality: the victim is forced to commit crimes: for example thefts or drug offenses. A person in this situation should not be punished for the crimes that he or she has been forced to commit.
- Forced marriage abd trafficking in a relationship context: the person was either originally forced into the relationship, that can include different kinds of violence, or they have originally consented but then been put in a situation that he or she can no longer get out of even if they wanted to.
- Other forms: human trafficking covers all situations where a person has been put in a situation that violates their human dignity. If you suspect this, please contact an expert organization so you can discuss together whether it might be human trafficking.
What should I do if I suspect that I or another person might be a victim of human trafficking?
Please contact for example the RIKU staff that specialize in assistance to victims of human trafficking or your closest service point. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that a victim of human trafficking has the right to get help even though the exploitation has already ended or if it has happened outside Finland. Also remember that a victim’s children often are at risk of exploitation and violence.
If the victim is an adult, always remember to ask for their permission before you contact anyone outside your own unit.
- RIKU Coordinator of Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking Pia Marttila, pia.marttila(at)riku.fi, 040 630 9669
- The ihmiskauppa.fi site administered by the National Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking
- RIKU brochures in 22 different languages
- The Iris Academy by Pro-tukipiste (in Finnish)
- The Finnish Civil Society Platform against Human Trafficking