Developing Effective Measures to Support the Victims of Trafficking for the Purpose of Labor Exploitation

Project partners

KOK – Bundesweiter Koordinierungskreis gegen Frauenhandel und Gewalt an Frauen im Migrationsprozess e.V.

Institut für Polizei- und Sicherheitsforschung, Hochschule für Öffentliche Verwaltung, Bremen

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg / Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg – Chair for Criminal Law and Philosophy and Theory of Law

Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut / Hamburg Institute of International Economics

Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte / German Institute for Human Rights (Berlin) in cooperation with the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" and its Berlin project, "Forced Labor Today"

(Last modified December 2011)

The Hamburg Institute for Social Research was engaged from October 2010 to October 2011 in a project funded by the German Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs. The project was an interdisciplinary collaboration of research institutes in social sciences, legal studies, economics and criminology, as well as researchers and practitioners in relevant fields.

The objective of the project was to survey different patterns of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation, to assess their quantitative scale, and to develop models for stable support systems for those affected.

Research at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research took stock of various work situations which could be seen as constituting the crime of human trafficking for labor exploitation. It was observed that the current definition of the statutory offense of trafficking is applied only in a few cases to situations of extreme labor exploitation.

The concepts of the "pyramid of labor exploitation" and the "puzzling logic of the human trafficking concept" were developed as a means of imparting a deeper understanding of labor exploitation as a dynamic relationship, and at the same time taking up employees’ own capacities to act as a starting point for support programs. Furthermore, a plan for stable support programs was developed based on a survey of existing support systems and established network structures.

A "model of decentralized networking" was recommended to the German Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs that takes into account the criteria of decentralization, use of existing potentials, low threshold services, and comprehensive functions. The model is based on the three pillars of vertical networking, horizontal support, and centralized information management.

The project was successfully completed with the publication of the complete study:
KOK, ed. 2011. "Studie zur Entwicklung tragfähiger Strukturen für Betroffene von Menschenhandel zur Arbeitsausbeutung" [A Study on the Development of Stable Structures for Victims of Human Trafficking for Labor Exploitation]. Berlin: German Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs.
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