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Human Trafficking and Organised Crime: Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation and Organised Procuring in Finland

NCJ Number
Minna Viuhko; Anniina Jokinen
Date Published
148 pages
This study provides a comprehensive view of the Finnish prostitution-related human trafficking situation in the context of organized crime. It approaches the topic from a sociological perspective and with qualitative methods, covering the first decade of the 21st century.
The women recruited to prostitution in Finland come mainly from Russia and Estonia, but also from other Baltic or Eastern European countries and Thailand. Women are often recruited by someone from their peer group, by friends or acquaintances. The procured women have often been involved in the sex business before and sometimes they are recruited in brothels. The common push factors leading to victimization are poverty, economic inequalities, lack of alternatives, and the (low) status of women in society. In addition, the glorification of the Western lifestyle is a pull factors for some. However, the core pull factor is the perceived chance to earn money. There are many indications of total "prison-like" conditions regarding the prostitutes operating under criminal networks in Finland, but there is evidence of serious human rights violations regarding the circumstances and conditions in which the women are exploited and are living. Traffickers and procurers apply many means of control. Research on human trafficking and organized crime is relatively rare in Finland. The background for this report is based on a three-country study on the links between organized crime and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. The objective was to map the role of organized crime in human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Finland in the 2000s. Tables, data, references, and appendix