Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation violates the victim’s human rights and is usually associated with the use of physical and mental violence. The actual extent of the problem is estimated to go far beyond the data for reported cases, since the great majority of victims cannot be identified and are not reached by aid services. After initiating several bills, in 2010 the UN implemented a global action plan to combat trafficking in persons (Global Report on Trafficking in Persons of the United Nations (2012)). The EU supported this action plan with a series of decisions and directives and transported it into the individual Member States. The question therefore arises as to why the success of the help provided to date can be described as so unsatisfactory, given the clear position of the legal system and the willingness to establish national and international programmes.
Austria’s “National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons” has therefore set itself explicit goals specifically for victims of human trafficking. That organised human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation frequently remains undiscovered is attributed not only to the clandestine nature of the crime structures, but also to the fact that existing support give too little consideration not only to the financial dependence of the victims on their procurers, but also to their complicated and usually also violence-related emotional enmeshments with and attachments to persons from the milieu. In order to develop and implement sustainable work with victims and prevention strategies, it is important to take into account the formal and informal structures of the organisation of human trafficking and forced prostitution, erpetrator-victim dynamics and technical and legal implications that extend beyond the respective national borders.
In connection with these considerations the competent public agencies in both Germany and Austria are articulating the need for manageable mobile measurement and support systems in order to improve the effectiveness of the prevention, detection and combating of illegal trafficking in minors and of training for the broad range of occupational groups involved in the interventions. Safety academies such as SIAK in Austria report the existence of a substantial demand gap here, despite the measures that have already been instituted. A multidisciplinary programme for prevention and intervention is to be developed, in which both new information on the structures of the perpetrators, perpetrator-victim dynamics and the accessibility of the victims and also information on the degree of victimisation and the local feeling of safety are taken into account, This canremedy this situation and create a basis for concrete training schemes. Legal considerations regarding the legal basis in the field of human trafficking will also be included in this development. Together with comprehensive and age-independent preventive measures and interventions that are established on the basis of the social sciences and the framework of the law, a technical tool will be developed. This tool should help to effectively prevent human trafficking with under-age victims without having to resort too hastily to x-rays, which are expensive and hazardous to health.
In an Austro-German co-operation project the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technology develops a technical tool which promotes the detection of human trafficking by means of age measurements. The Austrian enterprise AKAtech develops a test version of the tool. Possible risks associated with the use of toolare to be detected from the start and as far as possible prevented. The overall goal of the project is to investigate well-founded possibilities for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of human trafficking and forced prostitution in a bilateral study design that is multidimensional and multi-centre (including several institutes).
The possibilities found must do justice to technical, sociological, legal, psychological and educational perspectives, take the social environment into account and be usable for concrete training purposes for the occupations involved in the field.
AT –Project leader:
Donau-Universität Krems, Department für Psychotherapie und Biopsychosoziale Gesundheit
Other Cooperation partner (AT):
Research Institute AG & Co KG – Zentrum für digitale Menschenrechte
AKAtech Produktions- und Handels GmbH
Bundesministerium für Inneres (BMI) vertreten durch das Bundeskriminalamt (.BK) und die Sicherheitsakademie (SIAK)
DE –Project leader:
Universität Vechta, Institut für Soziale Arbeit, Bildungs- und Sportwissenschaften
Other Cooperation partner (D):
Fraunhofer Institut für Biomedizinische Technik, St. Ingbert,
Kriminologisches Institut Niedersachsen e.V., Hannover
Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken
Universität Tübingen, Juristische Fakultät
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Silke Birgitta Gahleitner
Department für Psychotherapie und Biopsychosoziale Gesundheit, Dr. Karl Dorrek Straße 30, A-3500 Krems
Tel: +43 (0)2732 893-2677