THE INVISIBLE HUMAN STRUGGLE -Nurefsan Ariçam

Human Rights

‘’Human beings are created to be loved and the goods are to be used. The reason of the chaos in the globe is that the goods are getting the love whilst human beings are being used.’’- Cemil Meric
In the last couple of years we have witnessed some of the harshest conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, South Sudan ,Yemen and etc. Feeding from poorness, power imbalanceness and cheap labor demand human trade which has long past has transformed to a phenomenon’s of systematic human rights abuse which has gradually permeates at a global level.
Migration generally happens as a result of social, political, economical and environmental causes. Some people choose to migrate for a better life, some people migrate due to war or for political persecutions. Generally asylum seekers carry nothing withemselves and do not have a clear thought of where they may at the end arrive. In the course of perilious journey migrants sometimes fail into the hands of traffickers or being subjected to xenophobia in the destination countries.

It is identified in the Palermo Protocol that the term “Trafficking in persons’’ means the recruitment, transportation, transfer by means of threat or use of force, of the abuse of the power, having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation without person’s consent. There are various types of exploitations of human beings such as domestic, sexual, forced labour, forced marriage, forced criminal and removal of organs. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs data highlighted that the estimated number of international migrants across the globe is 258 million persons in 2017. In terms of this significant number of people fleeing their lands the analysis reveals that the current global crises have effected the civil society indeed.

By means of changes in injustice labor supply the lack of the availability of legal work create vulnerable people to work under harsh conditions which may refer to the modern day slavery. Trafficker can re-sell the workers to another employers and make more money. US Department of State(2003) estimates indicate that trafficking in persons generate between 7$-10 billion $ annually for traffickers. In addition to its profitability the human cargo can often be moved to out of the borders and past the immigration officials easier than narcotics or weapons. The UN study reported that human trafficking is the third common crime after arms and the drug trafficking. The ILO(2005) found that there are at least 12.3 million people in forced labour in the globe out of these, – roughly about 2.5 million of which are victims of trafficking. As we discussed above besides having high profit with law risk it is an international organized crime which uses its victims for economic exploitation besides social, sexual, physical abuses.

It is also worth emphasizing that the innocent babies and children are kidnapped, stolen or being benefitted by traffickers. The exploitation in children differs according to their ages. When they are minor they are forced to begging on streets. When they grow up they are used for sexual abuse and when they get older the organs of the victim are sold illegally. As we mentioned above these figures are significant and much research is needed to establish a precise and a prompt solution for such kind of human violation.
Traficking has become a way of obtaining illegal profits, depriving people of their human rights and ruining the future of children. The above phrases demonstrate that the problem under focus is tremendous. However there has been lack of attention paid to this topic by international agenda. This phenomena in conflict zones has global impacts. These global challenges can only be overcome by a global respond. In order to manage the humanitarian challenges, well organized and effective response is required.
Historically since the immigration to Anatolia, Turkish people had everytime an open door policy towards migrants. We can say that turkish people have a thousand of years experience of hosting the migrants. As of April 2018 hosting more than 3.5 million refegees from Syria Turkey has a unique geographical location bridging continents and also it is the transit country in the Middle Eastern Migration Route. In this manner ‘’The Raising Awareness Workshop on Prevention of Human Trafficking’’ to be held with the cooperation of Turkish Red Crescent and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was compulsory and necessary. And we had a chance to join the program and disscuss the topics related to the dignity of human being. Within the scope of the program, ‘’The Definition of human trafficking and human smuggling’’, ‘’The importance of human trafficking and the causes of persons’ migration to overseas and lands.’’, ‘how to detect the trafficked persons’’, ‘The communication with potential human trafficking victims?’’ and ‘’where should we direct human trafficking cases’’ issues were covered.

The program was of a great importance guiding approaches towards the unseen human crime and giving the message that humanity is under threat and modern day slavery needs for urgent and concrete action. Global struggle against trafficking needs data to conduct operations. Having the data on legal and administrative systems; statistics; the information of trafficked persons are the main sources of combating human trafficking. In this regard, ‘’Raising Awareness Workshop on Prevention of Human Trafficking’’ enabled us to reach the reliable and relevant information and background of the cases.
However, Human Trafficking seriously impacts on trafficked victims’ integrity and wellbeing. According to the statistics reported by IOM-UN Migration the total number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea reached to 1,422 persons. This means 1,422 of innocent victims’ stories sank to the deepness of the sea. Moreover Global Humanitarian Assistance Report stressed that there had been an increasing number of people who had been forced to flee war zones because of violation of human rights.
‘’The trafficked people that we work with are extremely vulnerable. Their needs are complex, and they often fear for their safety, or have limited access resources and support. The trauma of being trafficked also has long-lasting physical and psychological consequences,’’ says Nieves Vudric, Head of Unit for Prevention of Human Trafficking and Psychosocial Support at the Croatian Red Cross. Becoming aware of this crucial problem during its 150-year presence Turkish Red Crescent has carried out a number of projects, activities and services such as community centers. Our primary concern is to enhance the capacity and the quality of developing responses that focus the needs of the victims.

The Government attaches utmost importance to combat human trafficking and assumed a victim-centered approach. Ministry of Interior reported that Turkey has signed bilateral cooperations with 92 countries which is based on Human Trafficking to promote rapid resolutions. In addition, Turkey is one of the few countries in Europe that offers ‘’humanitarian visa’’ to the victims. The ministry of Interior has authorized governships to issue humanitarian visas and temporary residence permit to victims in order to allow them to stay in Turkey for rehabilition and treatment. The duration of permit is up to 6 months and it may be extended for more period.
Due to being a cross-border crime and having close relations with organized crimes; working with national, international as well as NGO’s is necessary. Turkish Red Crescent has taken part in state level collaborations such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior General Directorate of Imm?gration Management. Within the collaboration of Turkish Red Crescent and Ministry of Interior General Directorate of Imm?gration Management 19 Safe Return Centers are put into the service. Special needs, livelihood services are provided for the survivors of the human trafficking in these centers. Since the beginning of 2004, safe and voluntary returns of 575 victims identified in Turkey have been ensured in collaboration with IOM. The mission of the Turkish Red Crescent is also held by Community Centers. In order to respond the needs the protection Programmes offers restoring Family Links, Special Needs Fund and Individual Protection Assistance, Conditional Cash Transfer for Education. Since April 2018, 90.485 people benefitted from these programmes. The numbers show that the efforts towards refegees are held by the strong willingness and spirit of the civil society, volunteers and officials.

Apart from other organizations TIKA also works with enthusiasm in combating human trafficking and supports for the humanitarian assistance. The comments of the president of TIKA are so much valuable for us. ‘’Turkey has been working without any expectations of visibility or reward to deliver development and humanitarian assistance to those in need throughout the world, while at the same time struggling to liberate global development assistance from being dominated by pragmatist realpolitik mentalities. It thus advocates a high-spirited perspective based on global justice,’’ he says in a statement. Actually these kind words also derives from the common sensitiveness of Anatolian People. The civilians of Turkey assume the same humanitarian policy with the state and they are every time pleased with hosting and helping the other people.

As a matter of fact what all the cases have in common is that people are being transported or exploited within borders or out of the borders because of unequal social relations, economical conditions and political issues. To promote the development of societies to fight against human trafficking with a large number of volunteers, community centers, societies, in all countries. Our primary concern is to fight the unseen evil which is scattered all over the world and to protect the victims of human trafficking especially women and minors. For the women and minors are the most vulnerable persons in disasters. Our strength lies on our desire to assist people in need without any kind of discrimination with understanding humanity, protect lifes and improve the standarts of people in need.
Most importantly, we believe that by applying the seven fundamental principles of which are humanity, impartiality, neutrality,voluntary service, independence, unity and universality we will continue to involve in worldwide efforts and pursue at global and local levels to combat human trafficking.

The writer is postgraduate researcher, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey