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2020, vol. 72, iss. 1, pp. 41-55
Human trafficing in armed conflicts
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Security Studies + Ministarstvo prosvete, nauke i tehnološkog razvoja Republike Srbije
Armed conflicts disrupt political, legal and social peace and create an environment conducive to human trafficking, as another dimension of violence and brutality. The direct connection between these two phenomena arises from the hostility of the parties in the conflict and encompasses the areas affected by the conflict, and the indirect connection is manifested in the area outside the conflict, in refugee camps or on migration routes. The most significant influencing factors on human trafficking, in addition to those operating in peace (push and pull factors), are the weakening of state institutions and the collapse of the rule of law, population displacement, poverty, population fragmentation and family collapse. The increased scope of migration (internal and cross-border) has a significant impact on human trafficking. Unsafe living conditions and various forms of violence complicate push and pull factors, which initiate mass migrations.People on migrant routes are very vulnerable and exposed to organized criminal groups and terrorist groups, with the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking or other forms of violence. The characteristic types of exploitation in armed conflict are sexual exploitation, sexual slavery, forced labor, organ removal, and recruitment to engage in conflict, often involving children. The main actors in human trafficking are armed and criminal groups. By trafficking, armed groups carry out a profit for their own financing, strengthen military capabilities and create fear among the population to control the territory. Sexual and other violence is also used as part of broader strategies to expel undesirable groups and exploit disputed land and other resources. Trafficking in children is mainly a consequence of the economic difficulties experienced by their families. Children are usually exploited in areas of work that do not require special expertise, such as agricultural work, street sales, etc., but are also used in armed conflicts as suicide bombers or human shields. The use of children as armed fighters is widely documented in sub-Saharan and central Africa, the Middle East, and other regions of Asia. In addition to various types of violence and general suffering of the population, human trafficking in armed conflicts has a particularly negative impact on human rights violations, when the exploitation of victims can be transformed into more serious crimes. Suitable conditions for human trafficking persist after the conclusion of a formal truce or peace. The lack of the legal system's and institution's functioning results in impunity for perpetrators of criminal acts and the growth of organized crime, and thus human trafficking. The persistently high degree of disintegration, which has affected human trafficking in armed conflicts, as well as the new difficult economic circumstances, further increase the risk of human trafficking. Particularly tempting targets for traffickers are displaced persons and refugees returning from camps or war camps. Human trafficking in the post-conflict period, although mostly indirectly, is also affected by the presence of various peace and other missions, especially on trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Review Paper
DOI: 10.5937/vojdelo2001041D
received: 26/05/2020
accepted: 21/09/2020
published in SCIndeks: 09/10/2020

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