Online Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Chapter 7 - Immigration Status of Victims and their Return and Reintegration


Tool 7.1 Reflection period

Tool 7.2 Temporary or permanent residence permit


Tool 7.3 Understanding the challenges for returnee victims of trafficking

Tool 7.4 Obligations of States

Tool 7.5 Human rights considerations with respect to the return and reintegration of victims

Tool 7.6 Victims facing deportation

Tool 7.7 Mechanisms for the safe return and reintegration of victims

Tool 7.8 The return and reintegration process

Tool 7.9 Protecting refugee victims of trafficking

Tool 7.10 Return and reintegration of children

Trafficked persons very often do not have a regular residence status in the State of destination, either because they arrived in the country of destination illegally or because their residence permit has expired. As a result of this they may fear being expelled from the State if they report their victimization to the authorities or if their illegal presence in the State comes to the attention of the police in the course of an investigation. This fear-which is a justified fear in States which are unwilling to help trafficked persons regularize their residence status-denies victims access to protection and also means that they are not available to assist in the prosecution of traffickers. Tool 7.1 discusses the value of granting victims a "reflection period" during which they can begin to recover from their experience and make informed decisions about their future. Tool 7.2 discusses the residency status of trafficking victims according to the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and explores options for affording trafficking victims temporary or, less commonly, permanent residence permits.

When it is decided that it is appropriate to return victims to their country of origin, due consideration for their well-being and safety must extend to their successful reintegration.

To that end, Tool 7.3 offers some insight into the challenges which trafficked victims face on returning to their country of origin. In the light of these challenges, Tool 7.4 discusses the obligations of States with respect to the return and reintegration of victims, as articulated by article 8 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, and Tool 7.5 provides recommended human rights guidelines with respect to fulfilling those obligations. Tool 7.6 addresses situations where victims of trafficking are facing deportation. Tool 7.7 discusses some mechanisms which should ideally be in place to ensure the successful return and reintegration of victims of trafficking and Tool 7.8 provides an overview of the complicated process of returning and reintegrating victims of trafficking back into their home community. Lastly, Tool 7.9 and Tool 7.10 respectively focus on the special circumstances of victims of trafficking who are refugees and of victims of trafficking who are children.

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