La Strada Documentation Center

Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Document number
Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup in Germany
Jana Hennig, Sarah Craggs, Frank Laczko, Fred Larsson, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
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Document type(s)
IOM Migration Research Series No 29, Prostitution; Sex work; Clients, Abolitionism; New Abolitionism; Prohibitionism; Regulationism, Football, Sport, Demand, Media, Prevention campaigns, Women's rights; Women; Control and regulation of prostitution, Protection, Punishable forms of prostitution,
An IOM study on human trafficking and the football world cup in Germany which found inconclusive evidence of an increase in trafficking for sexual exploitation paid credit to the activities put in place by the German authorities and NGOs to counter trafficking during the event. It was, however, concluded that focusing on only one type of human trafficking led to a narrow perception of the issue as a whole by many commentators and observers and missed a vital opportunity to address other forms of forced exploitation. The study recommended that future event organizers and host cities should widen the scope of counter-trafficking activities to include forced labour, particularly within the construction industry, criminal activities and begging, and advocate more strongly for adequate reporting by the media on the true nature and scope of human trafficking. Furthermore, in focusing solely on the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation, event commentators often confused prostitution and trafficking as being synonymous. Previously anticipated estimates of 40,000 prostitutes being brought to Germany possibly against their will to meet the demand for sexual services during the World Cup were quickly found to be unrealistic and unfounded hype. With human trafficking requiring significant logistics and investment by traffickers, the study suggests that the short duration of the event was unlikely to yield enough profits. Increased police focus and prevention campaigns may also have contributed to the outcome. The study also stressed that while information campaigns and increased law enforcement efforts were important, they are not the only solution to countering human trafficking. Practical and direct assistance to victims of trafficking, effective trans-national investigation and prosecution, as well as dealing with root causes of human trafficking in countries of origin and demand issues in countries of destination, represent other key pillars to an overall counter-trafficking response.
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