While human trafficking has become more and more of a public ie in recent years. However, there are no reliable estimates of how many men and women are victims in Germany. They vary in Germany between a few thousand and 30.000 people. In a study, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 270 currently in industrialized countries.000 people are in forced labor, into which they have fallen through human trafficking.

The so-called bright field of those affected, whose situation becomes known, is much smaller. The Federal Criminal Police Office investigated nearly 800 victims of human trafficking in 2007. A distinction is made between victims of sexual exploitation such as forced prostitution (689 people) and victims of labor exploitation, such as among domestic workers or construction workers (101 people).In Germany, human trafficking has been punishable since 1973. The legal situation has been adapted to UN requirements several times. Since 2005, it also includes trafficking for labor exploitation.Germany has become a transit and destination country for women, men and children from all over the world who are victims of human trafficking. Yet trafficking into prostitution is most prevalent. Trafficked persons enter the country illegally or legally – as tourists, asylum seekers, students, seasonal workers. What they have in common is that they are brought into a relationship of dependency and exploited through debt bondage, threats or by force. The victims of human trafficking are most likely to be women and girls, which is why the term "trafficking in women" is often used.Trafficked persons can receive compensation or wages through various channels – but only if the perpetrators are identified and convicted. However, due to lack of information, language barriers, lack of money, fear of deportation and psychological stress, few are likely to be able to fight their claims with authorities or in court on their own. There are about 50 specialized counseling centers in Germany, but so far only for female trafficked persons.Success rate for compensation is low. Experts from counseling centers estimate that no more than one-third of the women affected by sexual exploitation proceedings have been compensated. The sums involved were usually only between 1.000 and 4.000 euros. A new project by the German Institute for Human Rights is now working to strengthen the rights of victims of human trafficking so that they receive adequate financial compensation, at least more frequently.

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Christina Cherry
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