September 17, 2023

NEW ACTION: Anti-trafficking means safe migration!

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From Freedom United

Governments are restricting immigration rules around the world and claiming they’re doing it to end human trafficking. We say: not in our name!
Sign the petition!
This is urgent. Governments are using anti-trafficking rhetoric to justify these harmful policies. Right now, immigration legislation is being passed, such as the Nationality and Borders Bill in the U.K., that will harm trafficking survivors. 

These restrictive laws make it both harder for trafficking victims to access support they are entitled to under international standards and risk increasing trafficking as options to move safely reduce. 

As a result of unethical immigration policies, it’s now easier than ever for traffickers to exploit people made vulnerable through the systematic denial of their rights.

Governments around the world must stop using anti-trafficking rhetoric to promote support for harmful immigration policies that instead increase trafficking risks and undermine trafficking victims’ rights.

Enough is enough. Add your voice to the campaign calling for safe migration as an anti-trafficking strategy!

We know you in the Freedom United community feel passionately about safe migration as an effective anti-trafficking strategy. Many of you responded to our request for your input on why safe migration matters and we’re grateful for your thoughts explaining just why this campaign is so important. Read the Freedom United community’s perspectives here and leave your own in the comments!

Together we can build pressure on governments and let them know we won’t stand for anti-trafficking narratives to be misused to justify policies that will harm trafficking survivors. 

In solidarity,

Miriam and the team supporting the Freedom United community.

Want to know more? Visit the campaign page or scroll below.

You might be wondering: why is immigration an anti-trafficking issue? Hostile immigration policies perpetuate modern slavery and exploitation in various ways. For some, arriving in a new country through irregular routes is the only option available to build a better life or escape situations of persecution, violence, trafficking and exploitation in their country of origin.

This creates a point of vulnerability that traffickers can then exploit,knowing that people migrating through dangerous routes without the required legal documentation are unlikely to report exploitation to the authorities given their insecure immigration status.

It also means that victims and potential victims of trafficking don’t feel safe approaching authorities for support because of the fear of being sent to immigration detention indefinitely – essentially prison – and risk being deported right back to face conditions they were escaping in the first instance.

We’re seeing a disturbing pattern globally: states’ anti-trafficking strategies are tied to immigration priorities, harming trafficking victims in the process. Sign the petition TODAY and show states that safe migration is a necessary component to any sustainable anti-trafficking strategy. 

The fact is that people will always move – it’s human nature. So, it’s no wonder that freedom of movement is a human right enshrined in international law. 

The reasons why people move are endless, but the hostile nature of borders and immigration policies fails to acknowledge the humanity of migrants and undermines the rights afforded to all of us through virtue of being human. In the vacuum of these rights, modern slavery and human trafficking are allowed to flourish. 

Not only are states ignoring international recommendations, they are co-opting anti-trafficking arguments to justify restrictive immigration policies that are harming migrants and trafficking survivors. This is unacceptable. 

Take action today and share this campaign with your networks.

 Miriam Karmali
Advocacy, Freedom United
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