Labour exploitation and forced marriages: record number of human trafficking victims in Finland
According to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), there were a record number of victims of human trafficking in 2019.
The immigration agency reported in a press release that last year 229 new customers entered the Finnish assistance system for victims of human trafficking. Of them, 70 were considered as victims of exploitation indicative of human trafficking in Finland. "The number is much higher than in the previous years," Migri emphasized.
Experts estimated that most of the victims (33) were subject to forced labour in the restaurant and cleaning industries and construction sites. Signs of forced labour were also detected in the conditions of person hired by private families to assist them at home as well as in work done in farms. Finns are occasionally encountered among employers.
It is estimated that other 20 persons exploited in Finland were forced to marriage. The figure includes cases where marriage was entered into or was demanded in Finland and cases where marriage began abroad and continued after the family arrived in the country.
Many of those forced marriage cases were revealed when the authorities intervened with intimate partner violence.
Forced begging and sexual exploitation
Forced begging, forced criminal activity and human trafficking related to sexual exploitation were also detected.
In 2019, the assistance system received an increasing number of contacts from persons suspecting that they had become subject to human trafficking or other exploitation in Finland. Contacts from worried citizens have also increased considerably.
How to ask for help
People who need to ask for assistance against human trafficking can do it through the website ihmiskauppa.fi. The platform provides a phone number and contact forms in order to report concrete cases.
The system offers help to anyone regardless of the nationality. No matter if they are in Finland illegally or even if they initially agreed to be exploited.
Victims of human trafficking in search for help learn how to report their cases by clicking HERE