Human Trafficking as a Quintessence of 21st Century Slavery

The Vulnerability of Nigerians in Austria

by Chigozie Nnebedum (Author)
©2017 Thesis 252 Pages


This book is a contribution towards a better understanding of the nature of the international crime of human trafficking. It is an impulse towards finding a new way at the international levels, and encouraging cooperation among nations in the fight against human trafficking and its root causes. The author analyzes human trafficking, which can be termed as «modern-day slavery» and in its complexity and dynamism ends up in the exploitation of the victims for the personal gains of a person or group of persons. A majority of the victims, especially women, end up in the sex industries. In most cases people are transported from the so-called underdeveloped to supposedly developed regions. As a result, women and girls are smuggled yearly from underdeveloped countries, for example Nigeria, to Europe and America.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Abstract (Deutsch)
  • Abstract (English)
  • Part I
  • 1 General Introduction and Concept of the Work
  • 1.1 Statement of Problem
  • 1.1.1 Nigeria is affected by the Problem of Human Trafficking
  • 1.1.2 Nigeria as ‘Origin’ and ‘Transit’ Land of Human Trafficking
  • 1.2 Aims and Objectives
  • 1.3 Research Questions
  • 1.4 Methodological Plan
  • 1.4.1 Literature and Document Analysis.
  • 1.4.2 Narrative Interviews
  • 1.5 Theoretical Concept
  • 1.5.1 Human Rights Model Theory
  • Historical Emergence of Human Rights
  • Discourse on Human Rights Protection (Annette Huland)
  • 1.6 Forced Migration Theory
  • 1.7 Globalisation Theory von Gustavo Esteva
  • 1.7.1 Effect of Post Development
  • 1.8 Structure of the Work
  • 2 Understanding Human Trafficking and Its Obscurity
  • 2.1 Human Trafficking: A New Slavery in the Contemporary Century – Short Historical Perspective
  • 2.2 Human Trafficking: Definition and Concept
  • 2.3 Distinctive Marks of Human Trafficking
  • 2.4 New Trends in the Trafficking Enterprise
  • 2.4.1 Trafficking for the Removal of Organs
  • 2.4.2 Trafficking in Pregnant Women and Children for Adoption
  • 2.5 Exposition of the Obscurity of Human Trafficking
  • 2.5.1 Structural Organization and Network of Operation
  • 2.6 Means of Keeping and Controlling the Victims
  • 2.7 Nigerian Structure of Human Trafficking
  • 2.7.1 Edo State Human Trafficking Ring: A Short Inquiry
  • 2.8 Who are the Traffickers?
  • 2.8.1 Women as Traffickers (The ‘Madams’)
  • 2.8.2 The Madams’ Modus Operandi
  • 2.9 Who are the Beneficiaries of the Crime?
  • 2.10 Models of Exploitation – An overview
  • 2.10.1 Sexual Exploitation and Engaging in Prostitution
  • 2.10.2 Economic Exploitation of the Victims
  • 2.11 Health Implications of Exploitation
  • 2.12 Methods of Recruitment
  • 2.12.1 Recruitment through Agents.
  • 2.12.2 Simple Transient Recruiters
  • 2.12.3 Habitual organized recruiters.
  • 3 Causes of Human Trafficking
  • 3.1 ‘Push and Pull’ Factors in Migration as Causes of Human Trafficking: A Synopsis
  • 3.2 Forced Migration Theoretical Perspective (Stephen Castles)
  • 3.3 Push Factors
  • 3.3.1 Socio-economic Problems
  • Illiteracy
  • Unemployment
  • Abject Poverty
  • Political Instability and Corruption
  • 3.4 From Globalization Perspective
  • 3.4.1 Easy Movement and Transportation
  • 3.4.2 Easy Communication
  • 3.5 Demand and Supply Syndrome
  • 3.6 Miscellaneous
  • 3.6.1 Greed
  • 3.6.2 Cultural Influence and Gender Perspective
  • 3.7 Pull Factors
  • 3.8 Weak Legislation against Human Trafficking
  • 3.9 Conclusion of Part One
  • Part II (Empirical Part)
  • 4 Estimation of Human Trafficking in Résumé
  • 4.1 Estimation of Human Trafficking: A General Short Appraisal
  • 4.2 The Scale of Human Trafficking in Austria
  • 4.3 Austria as a Choice Land of Destination for Nigerians and Reasons for Expostulations by Austria
  • 4.4 Challenges of Obtaining Accurate Data of Nigerian Victims of Human Trafficking
  • 4.5 Other Data on Nigerian Victims of Human Trafficking and Illegal Migrants in Austria
  • 5 Situation of the Victims of Human Trafficking in Austria
  • 5.1 Wrong Treatment of the Victims by the Traffickers and Clients
  • 5.2 Wrong Treatment of the Victims by the Traffickers
  • 5.2.1 Clusters of Accommodation and Constant Relocation
  • 5.2.2 Forgery and Confiscation of Documents
  • 5.2.3 Torture (Physical): Rape, Starvation and Drugging of the Victims
  • 5.2.4 Torture (Psychological): Threats to the Victims and their Acquaintances
  • 5.2.5 Administration of Oaths
  • 5.3 Wrong Treatment of the Victims by the State
  • 5.3.1 Denial of Residence / Working Permit
  • 5.3.2 Strict / Restrictive Immigration Laws
  • 5.3.3 Weak Employment Laws and Regulations
  • 5.3.4 Arrest, Imprisonment and Deportation
  • 5.4 Further Adversities of the Victims of Human Trafficking and Migrants in Austria
  • 5.4.1 The Burdens of the Victims and their Effects
  • 6 Case Study (Narrative Interview)
  • 6.1 Purpose of the Interview
  • 6.2 The Five Interviews and their Grouping
  • 6.2.1 Interview 1
  • 6.2.2 Interview 2
  • 6.2.3 Interview 3
  • 6.2.4 Interview 4
  • 6.2.5 Interview 5
  • 6.3 Grouping of the Presented Case Studies
  • 6.3.1 Typical Case of Human Trafficking
  • 6.3.2 A Limited Case of Human Trafficking
  • 6.3.3 A Special Case of Human Trafficking
  • 6.3.4 Explorative Findings from the Cases
  • 6.4 Conclusion of Part II
  • Part III
  • 7 Measures to Combat Human Trafficking
  • 7.1 United Nations Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking
  • 7.1.1 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • 7.1.2 Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT)
  • The Vienna Forum
  • 7.1.3 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • 7.2 Implementation of the Trafficking Protocol
  • 7.2.1 Prevention of the crime of human trafficking
  • Women Empowerment (Closing the gender gap)
  • Awareness and Media Campaigns
  • 7.2.2 Protection of the victims of human trafficking
  • Protection of the Victims of Human Trafficking: A New Paradigm
  • Human Rights and Protection of Victims
  • 7.2.3 Prosecution
  • Legislative Measures
  • 7.3 Efforts in Europe
  • 7.3.1 Federal Republic of Austria
  • Limitation of Austrian Anti-Trafficking Measures and Solutions
  • 7.3.2 Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • 7.3.3 Brussels Declaration (European Commission) – A Step Forward in the Anti-Trafficking Campaign
  • 7.4 Enforcement of the Trafficking Protocol in Nigeria – The Journey so far
  • 7.4.1 National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)
  • 7.4.2 Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF)
  • 7.4.3 National Institute For International Affairs (NIIA)
  • 7.5 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Human Trafficking
  • 7.5.1 The ECOWAS Plan of Action
  • 7.6 Cooperation among Nations and Non – governmental Organizations (NGOs) on Issues of Human Trafficking (Bi- and Multilateral Arrangements)
  • 7.7 Other Measures
  • 7.7.1 Decriminalization of the Victims of Human Trafficking
  • 7.7.2 Global Networking
  • Advantages of Global Networking
  • Factors militating against Global Networking (Disadvantages)
  • 7.7.3 Closing the Economic gap between Nations
  • 7.8 Migration Management
  • 7.9 The Role of Religion
  • 8 Conclusion
  • Appendix 1
  • Appendix 2
  • Appendix 3
  • Appendix 4
  • Bibliography

| 17 →

List of abbreviations

ATC Anti-Human Trafficking Cyprus

CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

COE Council of Europe

CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child

BBGM Berliner Bündnis Gegen Menschenhandel (Deutsch)

BMEIA (BMeiA) Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten (Deutsch) Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs

BNRM Dutch National Rapporteur

ECHR European Convention on Human Rights

ECCAS Economic Community of Central African States

ECOWAS Economic Council of West African States

EEA European Economic Area

EMN European Migration Network

EU European Union

EUROPOL European Law Enforcement Organisation

GDP Gross Domestic Product

GFN Global Freedom Network

GNP Gross National Product

GPAT Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings

GRETA Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

HDR Human Development Report

HTOR Human Trafficking for Organ Removal

IBF Interventionsstelle für Betroffene des Frauenhandels (Deutsch)

IDP Internally Displaced Persons

ILO International Labour Organisation

IMF International Monetary Fund

INTERPOL International Criminal Police Organisation

IOM International Organisation for Migration

LEFÖ Lateinamerikanische Exilierte Frauen in Österreich (Deutsch)

MOMR Monthly Oil Market Report

NAG Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (Deutsch) (Settlement and Resident Act) ← 17 | 18 →

NAPTIP National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons

NGO Non-governmental organisation

NIIA Nigerian Institute of International Affairs

OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

OIC Organisation of the Islamic Conference

OPEC Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries

OSCE Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

StGB Strafgesetzbuch (Deutsch) Criminal Code

TF-MH Task Force Menschenhandel (Deutsch) Task Force on Human Trafficking

TIP Trafficking in Person

UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UN United Nations

UNDP United Nations Development Programme

UNHCHR United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNICRI United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

UNO United Nations Organisation

UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

UNPC United Nations Population Commission

UN.GIFT United Nations Global Fight against Trafficking

USAID United States Aid Agency

WASC West African School Certificate Examination

WHO World Health Organisation

WOTCLEF Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation

| 19 →

Abstract (Deutsch)

Menschen- und Frauenhandel (MFH) kann als „moderne Sklaverei“ bezeichnet werden, die in ihrer Komplexität und Dynamik in der Ausbeutung der Opfer endet und Gewinne für einen einzelnen oder eine Gruppe abwirft. Als eines des am schnellsten wachsenden internationalen Kriminalgeschäftes hinter dem illegalen Drogen- und Waffenhandel (Human Right Watch 2001) konzentriert sich Menschenhandel auf Frauen und Kinder, deren Verletzlichkeit in der Gesellschaft sie zur leichten Beute für Ausnützung macht. Die mehrheitlich gehandelten Personen sind Frauen, die dann in der Sexindustrie landen.

Die Konvention (United Nations- Palermo Protocol 2000) gegen transnationales organisiertes Verbrechen enthält in ihrer Definition von Menschenhandel grundlegende Aussagen, die das Verbrechen folgendermaßen beschreiben: “Der Akt der Rekrutierung kann Verstecken und Transport des Opfers einschließen; die verwendeten Mittel müssen verbunden sein mit Gewalt oder Drohung gegen das Opfer. Der Zweck ist immer Ausbeutung.” (UN Trafficking Protocol 2000, art. 3a) Diese Ausbeutung zeigt sich in zwei Formen – in Zwangsarbeit und in Form von Prostitution. Das einzige Ziel ist, aus diesem Verbrechen Kapital zu schlagen bei vergleichsweise geringem Risiko. Es gibt viele, die selbst Nutznießer des MFH sind – die AnwerberInnen, die SchleuserInnen, die ZuhälterInnen und die Freier.

MFH kann sich in einem bestimmten Land und auch darüber hinaus ereignen. In den meisten Fällen werden Menschen von weniger entwickelten in besser entwickelte Regionen geschickt. So werden Frauen und Mädchen alljährlich von Ländern z.B. Nigeria nach Europa und Amerika gehandelt. Nigeria ist eines der vielgestaltigen Länder der Welt und liegt in Westafrika. Trotz seiner reichen Ölreserven hat es sich zu wenig in die Weltwirtschaft integriert und zählt zu den ärmsten Ländern der Welt, was die sozialen Indikatoren anbelangt (UNDP Poverty Index 2013).

Es gibt Unklarheiten in den Grundursachen für Menschenhandel. Aber diese Grundursachen können zurückgeführt werden auf soziale/ wirtschaftliche Ungleichheit, Globalisierung, politische Instabilität und Gier der Menschenhändler.

Dieses Verbrechen ist eine umfassende Bedrohung und sollte als Herausforderung für VerantwortungsträgerInnen auf den unterschiedlichen Ebenen gesehen werden. Lösungen sollten in Richtung einer konsequenten Anwendung internationalen Rechts, dessen nationaler Verankerung, aber vor allem in Richtung des „Empowerments“ der betroffenen Gruppen und der nationalen und internationalen Zivilgesellschaft ‚konzipiert‘ werden. ← 19 | 20 →

Die Leitthese ist, dass der Weg zur Lösung dieses Problems aufmerksam machen sollte auf die internationalen Menschenrechte und die nationale Adaption dieser Gesetze. MFH ist ein wichtiges Thema innerhalb der Menschenrechtsdiskussion, deren institutionelle und juristische Verankerung im internationalen und nationalen Recht sehr unvollkommen ist.

Das Menschenrechtsmodell sieht gehandelte Personen nicht nur als Opfer eines Verbrechens an, sondern auch als Opfer eines Verbrechens in einem fremden Staat, was ihre Verletzbarkeit erhöht. Der Menschenrechtsansatz sieht die Opfer nicht als kriminell an, und daher verdienen sie eher Hilfe und Schutz als Verfolgung und Strafe. Sie sollten durch die Tatsache, dass sie Opfer sind, entkriminalisiert und die Händler verfolgt werden (Smith & Mattar 2004; Ivan Yuko 2009).

Es bleibt unberücksichtigt, dass durch die Fortdauer der strengen Grenzkontrollen der Pool weiterer möglicher illegaler MigrantInnen ansteigen wird (Pak-Hung 2011) und viele werden Opfer von MenschenhändlerInnen werden. Wenn man den Ursachen illegaler Migration in den Herkunftsländern nicht beikommt, dann kann man daraus folgern, dass auch repressive Maßnahmen Menschen nicht daran hindern können, ihre Lebenssituation durch Migration zu verbessern (Pak-Hung 2011). Diese Arbeit soll dazu beitragen, das Wesen der Aktivitäten im Bereich des internationalen Menschenhandels besser zu erkennen und zu verstehen, und einen neuen Weg auf der Ebene internationaler Zusammenarbeit zu suchen und zu fördern, der die Ursachen von internationalem Menschenhandel bekämpft.

| 21 →

Abstract (English)

Human trafficking can be termed ‘a modern day slavery’ which in its complexity and dynamism ends up in the exploitation of the victims for the personal gains of a person or group of persons. Being one of the fastest growing international criminal business activities, and ranking behind illicit drug (substance abuse) and arms deals (Human Right Watch 2001), human trafficking focuses more on women and children. This is often because their vulnerability in society renders them easy prey to exploitation. A majority of the victims, especially women, end up in the sex industries.

The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (United Nations – Palermo Protocol 2000) gives what stands as a working definition of human trafficking, presenting the basic elements that should characterize the crime. These elements include the fact that the act of recruitment can include harbouring and transportation of the victim; the means must involve force or threat of force; the purpose will be exploitation (The Trafficking Protocol 2000, art. 3a). The exploitation in question takes two forms: it can be through forced labour or forced prostitution. In either case, the sole aim is to make money through the crime. The chain of beneficiaries of the crime of human trafficking includes the recruiters, the smugglers, the traffickers and the customers.

Human trafficking can happen within a country or across the borders. In most cases people are transported from the so-called underdeveloped to supposedly developed regions. As a result, women and girls are smuggled yearly from underdeveloped countries, for example Nigeria, to Europe and America. Nigeria is one of the multiform countries in the world and is situated in the western part of Africa. Despite Nigeria’s rich oil reserves and production, the country has little to show for it in terms of economic advancement and, therefore, is, as far as development index is concerned, one of the poorest countries in the world (UNDP Poverty Index 2013).


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2017 (August)
Migration Menschenhandel Human rights Forced labour Sexual exploitation Forced migration Push and pull
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2017. 252 pp., 5 b/w ill., 4 b/w tables

Biographical notes

Chigozie Nnebedum (Author)

Chigozie Nnebedum holds a Licentiate and PhD in Social Ethics from the Catholic University Linz, and a PhD in Sociology from the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria. He is in the WieGe team of the Catholic University Linz, and lectures at the Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, Nigeria.


Title: Human Trafficking as a Quintessence of 21st Century Slavery
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