Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation - the Unprovable Criminal Offense?!

Monday, 16 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Bettina ZIETLOW, Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony, Hanover, Germany
During the years 2010-2012, the EU member states have indexed 30 146 victims of human trafficking. Likewise, during that timespan there were 8551 proceedings against human traffickers held within the EU, which led to 3786 condemnatory sentences. Behind every one of those numbers, there are human fates and therefore the question arises, which strategies can be used to effectively combat human trafficking. The question does not only seek for political solutions but also for a way on how to aid the oftentimes very complex police investigation regarding human trafficking cases. The work of the judiciary is also of interest: Many proceedings are suspended by the prosecutor's office. Or in other proceedings there is no conviction.

Knowledge about victims of human trafficking can be retrieved from previous studies. Yet, no independent study has so far solely focused on research about the perpetrators. Information about the modus operandi in Germany, is rare. Also, there is little knowledge about the course of criminal proceedings.Hence, the German- Austrian joint research project “Prevention and Intervention in Human Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation” (PRIMSA) will within its framework mainly concentrate on investigating the perpetrators however, nonetheless it will also consider other questions.

Hereunto, interviews with experts will be conducted, 500 files will be analysed and perpetrators as well as sex customers will be questioned. The results of this research are presented.

These findings illustrate that there is no dominant perpetrator group. In criminal proceedings the role of witnesses appears to be difficult. Psychological knowledge plays an important role here. In addition, the lecture will discuss the circumstances in which customers are willing to help the victims of trafficking in human beings.

In addition, the findings show the influence of different emphases for example in form of subject focused commissariats or specialised prosecution offices.