Operational Guidance to Overcome Trafficking among Urban Migrants during Humanitarian Crises

April 2017

As a result of conflict, poverty, and other complex social, cultural, and political factors, the world today is facing greater rates of urban displacement and larger numbers of urban migrants than ever before. This increase of dislocation driven by humanitarian crises, unfortunately, also presents growing opportunities for human trafficking to occur in urban areas. In spite of the scope of this problem, there is little dependable data on human trafficking in humanitarian crises settings. Furthermore, there is a severe lack of resources offering operational guidance for humanitarian workers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and United Nations (UN) agencies on how to detect, respond, and prevent human trafficking. Humanitarian workers, including all practitioners and providers working directly with displaced urban populations, are well-positioned to identify and intervene in cases of human trafficking. NGOs and UN agencies are instrumental in managing service delivery and coordinating overall humanitarian responses in crisis settings. Thus, better preparing these key individual and organizational entities to respond to human trafficking, specifically, presents a valuable opportunity to confront this issue in urban displacement settings. The seminar convenes an interdisciplinary team, including junior and senior faculty, policy makers, and service providers, capable of exploring multifaceted approaches and solutions to create a plan to bridge gaps in the current research. It also drives opportunities to develop and apply operational guidance to enhance the humanitarian response to trafficking in crises settings at both the individual and organizational level.