The Jakarta Post
Vancouver | Fri, January 6, 2017 | 1:47pm
Not all groups are equally vulnerable to human trafficking, says the Slovakian delegate in addressing the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). Throughout this weekend’s conference, delegates at the CCPCJ are taking into question what role modern information technology plays in guarding against human trafficking.
Citing traveling Roma communities, the delegate raises concern for groups who are largely underrepresented in discussions on human trafficking. Those persons who move around frequently risk not being fully incorporated into a society. This makes them particularly vulnerable to social invisibility – their lack of citizenship leaves them with fewer support systems from a state government. As such, their distress may not be obvious to mainstream society.
The delegate from Slovakia further highlighted that while sex trafficking largely victimizes women and girls, a demand in the hard labor sectors throughout Europe targets Roma boys and men for their physical labor abilities. Her recommendations involve training border police to be able to profile victims of human trafficking, and extracting them once their situation is verified.
By taking advantage of evolving technology, including resource-sharing systems, the Slovakian delegate is calling for support for capacity building, training, and cooperation between member states.
The delegate from Germany is actively promoting a system of taking biometric data, including thumb, iris, and face scans of persons applying for visas and moving from state to state. The primary concern of the delegate is for those persons who are stripped of their documents upon arriving in a new state, usually by employers. Without proof of identity, she says, these individuals feel trapped. Should biometric data exist globally, individuals would be able to prove exactly who they are.
Furthermore, the German delegate advocates that this type of data can now be acquired through an iPhone, making it universally accessible – particularly for states who would not otherwise be able to afford this type of technology. The data could be stored nationally or internationally, depending on the state’s resources, and shared between border control offices as required.
In terms of the current global migration context, the delegate believes migrant registration should be taken at the first point of contact. This, however, proves to be a divisive stance: many countries receiving waves of refugees and migrants are not able or willing to process such a high volume of registrations – particularly not at a level including biometric scanning. However, the lack of a streamlined, universal registration process allows for people to slip through the gaps and cross borders without a confirmed identity. This poses risks both to the security of states, and to the individuals themselves who are left legally anonymous.
The German delegate also recognizes the challenges in acquiring biometric data for those persons smuggled across borders without any sort of paperwork. This, however, will be a challenge for future considerations.