The government has launched a national campaign against human trafficking. The campaign, entitled Human, like you, aims to increase the awareness of the general public on the international challenge of human trafficking.
Newsbook reports that the campaign, which was launched by Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia, explains how human trafficking reduces humans as products, subjects them to abuse and take off any form of dignity.
Addressing the launch event, Parl.Sec. Farrugia said the campaign is the first step to strengthen the government policies against human trafficking. Farrugia said that the Maltese government sees human trafficking as a breach of human rights, and needs to be addressed at a global level.
The educational campaign will be targetting different audiences, and is aimed at generating awareness on how to identify human trafficking and what actions one can take.
Globally around 800,000 people are victims of human trafficking, yet only 45,000 cases are identified every year. At least 71% of the victims are women. A representative from the International Organization for Migration said that the latter statistic should be taken with a pinch of salt, due to the large misconception that human trafficking involves only sex work purposes.
Julia Farrugia Portelli also said that today’s smugglers had more resources and tools to work with, making the government’s efforts to combat the abuse a more pressing concern.
A consultation process on human trafficking will be undertaken by the government, putting at the forefront the people’s views and opinions on the issues. “When the consultation process is complete, we will go back to people with viable solutions,” the parliamentary secretary said.
Farrugia Portelli said the government, through internal structuring, wants to consolidate its efforts on the problem. While some victims of human trafficking would prefer to leave the country when their abusers are apprehended, others would wish to stay here. Farrugia Portelli said that through the reform, when a victim is identified as being one, work permit application fees are waved off, making the integration back into society a much easier process. “The government has allocated more resources towards the issue, making sure the safe-guarding and protection of victims is a priority,” Farrugia Portelli said.