How not to become victim of human trafficking

The IOM has created a website and an app offering tips on how not to become a modern-day slave.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

People travelling abroad for a job in the summer should beware of becoming victims of human trafficking. In 2018, the most victims were reported in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden, according to Interior Ministry statistics.

“Dozens of Slovaks become modern-day slaves every year,” said Zuzana Vatráľová, head of the Slovak office of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), as quoted in a press release. “This includes men and women, people of various ages including children, those with minimal salaries and from standard social environments.”

How to avoid becoming a modern slave

These people are often abused, forced to beg, commit crimes, or they are sexually exploited or forced into marriage.

To avoid this, the IOM Slovakia has created several tools to increase the personal safety of people travelling for holidays or to jobs abroad. This includes the Bezpecnecestovanie.iom.sk website and a mobile app, Safe Travel & Work Abroad, that can be downloaded from Google Play, App Store, and from the Safe.iom.sk website.

They contain recommendations for safe travel abroad, such as how to prepare for a journey, what to think about during a stay abroad and what to do in a critical situation. The app also contains tips to recognise human trafficking, important information about the proper mediation of jobs abroad and job agreements, as well as useful contacts for people in need.

“If you have a suspicion that you might become or you have already become a victim of human trafficking, contact the Slovak embassy, the local police or other public and non-governmental institutions in the country of your stay and ask them for help,” Vatráľová added, as quoted in the press release.

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