While numbers of estimated victims of trafficking worldwide vary, they are reported as being in the millions and most importantly, they are constantly on the rise. Moreover, estimates often do not include individuals who are victims within the borders of their own countries.

Organized criminal groups are earning billions of dollars in profits from trafficking and exploiting people.

Trafficking in human beings is driven by a demand for cheap labour, products and services. Poverty, lack of opportunities, discrimination and other difficulties in life make people vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking.

Trafficking in human beings can be understood as a chain of events leading to exploitation of its victims. These include:

  • Recruitment of a victim often by offering work or better opportunities elsewhere;
  • Transportation or transfer of a victim to the place of exploitation;
  • Receiving and harboring a victim in transit and in the destination;
  • Exploitation of a victim (sexual, labor, servitude) for money to benefit traffickers.

Traffickers use different methods to lure victims and to keep them working for them, including deception, debt-bondage, psychological manipulation and even threats and violence.

Read more about counter-trafficking on our IOM's global page.


Counter-Trafficking Work by IOM Finland

IOM Finland has been engaged with counter-trafficking since the beginning of the century (2001) through coordinating sub-regional and national activities in awareness raising, training, research and in supporting victims of trafficking by offering assisted voluntary return and reintegration.

Past Activities

Caring for Trafficked Persons in Finland (HOIKU project) (2017-2019), funded by STEA
  • Open the Door for Help. Study materials designed for social and health care professionals and trainers to promote the health and well-being of victims of trafficking. Available in Finnish and Swedish.
  • A video in which counter-trafficking professionals share advice for social and health care professionals. Available in Finnish.
  • A leaflet for social and health workers on recognizing victims of trafficking. Available in Finnish and Swedish.
  • Video interviews about caring for victims of trafficking available in English: part 1, part 2 and part 3. Hanni Stoklosa, an American doctor specialized in caring victims of trafficking, tells in a three-part video series about the identification of a victim of trafficking, trauma-informed care, and how human trafficking affects the victim's health. Stoklosa works at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She has worked with IOM for many years.
  • Several trainings were organized for social and health care professionals around Finland on the impact of trafficking on the health and well-being of victims.
  • A summer school focusing on counter-trafficking for social and health education institutions and organizations was organized.
Addressing Trafficking for Labor Exploitation

Quick guide for employers and enterprises on how to recognize and prevent exploitation and trafficking of seasonal workers. Available in Finnish and Swedish.

Addressing Trafficking in Persons on the Baltic Sea
  • A research report Addressing Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea co-funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and conducted by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI). Available in English.
  • A guide for passenger ferry personnel, available in English.
  • A video on addressing trafficking in persons on the Baltic Sea training, available in Finnish.
Enhancing Counter-Trafficking Awareness among Nordic Health Professionals (2015)
  • A report on the results of a survey conducted among health professionals in Finland. Available in Finnish.

Public Awareness Raising Campaigns in Finland
  • What Is the Price of a Human Being? (2016) – Video available in English and Finnish.
  • Human Trafficking is not a fairy tale (Satumaa - Jori Sjöroos & Paula Vesala) (2012) – Music video available in Finnish.
  • Work that Nobody Wants to Do (2011) – Campaign poster available in Finnish and Swedish.