Project News

Lack of “viable alternatives” leads to exploitation of Syrians

09 December 2015

Syrian Arab Republic

New ICMPD study on the impact of the Syrian war and refugee situation on trafficking in persons in the region makes recommendations on how to address vulnerability.

ICMPD experts have presented the study 'Targeting Vulnerabilities: The Impact of the Syrian War and Refugee Situation on Trafficking in Persons, a study of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq' at an international conference in Istanbul on 9 December. 

According to the research, four countries have received the vast majority of Syrians fleeing the war: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Internal displacement in Syria has also caused vulnerability to human trafficking. A number of different forms of trafficking were identified by the research in these five countries, including forced marriage, exploitation in armed conflict, labour exploitation and sexual exploitation, affecting both children and adults.

Experts from national governments, international organisations, NGOs, academia and the media met with ICMPD’s research team to discuss the research findings and recommendations. The conference was held in Turkey, currently the country with the largest number of refugees in the world as a result of the Syrian crisis. Participants heard that in desperate conditions, an exploitative situation becomes the "least bad option" for many people to sustain themselves and their families.

The research therefore calls for responses to the war and displacement that target trafficking itself, protecting trafficked people and prosecuting perpetrators, as well as responses and durable solutions that increase resilience to trafficking among those affected by the war and displacement, enabling them to provide for their survival and safety without becoming involved in exploitation.


Follow our Anti-Trafficking Programme on Twitter: @ICMPD_THB

Photo: Greg Clarke on Flickr