Sweden: Huge risks for victims of human trafficking

Swedish Gender Equality Agency investigator Sofie Kindahl

There are great risks of continued exploitation when society does not detect crime victims in prostitution and human trafficking.

At the same time, there are several shortcomings in the support and protection for vulnerable people, shows a new report from the Swedish Gender Equality Agency.

“Children and young people are at risk of being sexually exploited for payment in more and more arenas and in several parts of the country there is a cynical exploitation of foreign workers on the labor market. The knowledge gaps are still large and the possibility of receiving support as a crime victim largely depends on where you live,” says investigator Sofie Kindahl.

The agency has been tasked by the government to strengthen work against sexual exploitation of children, prostitution and human trafficking for all purposes.

In its analysis, the agency sees that the judiciary and other authorities need to switch up efforts in the area.

Kindahl notes, “The outreach work is central to finding crime victims and referring them on to support.

“More resources, good competence of the staff and structured cooperation between the police and social services are needed here.

“Vulnerable people also need to know their rights. Anonymous national helplines need to be more clearly directed also at people who have been exploited and who exploit others in prostitution.”