A new handbook aimed at reducing human trafficking and protecting vulnerable groups such as foreign domestic helpers has just been released.
The book, which is available in both Chinese and English, was published by the Hong Kong Civil Society Task Force, a group of 27 organisations committed to ending human trafficking in the city.
The Handbook on Initial Victim Identification and Assistance for Trafficked Persons includes two sets of forms to determine if a person is a trafficking victim.
One of these forms is for self-assessment by potential victims, many of whom are not even aware of human trafficking. The other, a preliminary screening form, will help workers from non-governmental organisations, government officials and social workers offer proper help depending on the person’s circumstances. It also includes a directory of organisations which victims can contact for support.
The handbook has already proved to be useful in identifying people in need. A test of the preliminary screening form found that, out of 1,027 potential trafficking victims, 63 actually had been trafficked. However, the task force does not plan to help only trafficking victims.
“There is a very specific definition of human trafficking [victims]. We don’t want to exclude people who don’t meet those criteria,” said Annie Li, Research and Policy Officer for the Justice Centre Hong Kong, a member group of the task force. “Even if the person is not identified as a trafficking victim, we still try to identify what help they might need.”
The book also addresses issues such as exploitation, physical or sexual abuse, and violence that might be experienced by vulnerable people who do not fall into the criteria of “trafficked”.