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Disrupting the Human Trafficking Chain through a Follow-the-Money Approach

Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) shows no signs of diminishing and remains a heavily profit-driven crime that is profoundly difficult to operate without leaving a financial footprint. The UNCHAINED project is focused on the key topic of financial flows into and out of these types of high profit activities and adopts the follow-the-money approach.

By investigating the business models behind THB and through that, its relationship to other crimes (such as ML, migrant smuggling, and drug trafficking), the range of actors and decision makers involved (knowingly or otherwise) and their modi operandi can be exposed and prevented. The project will be promoting collaborative information sharing partnerships and enhanced reporting of suspicious financial activity.

UNCHAINED, however, understands that trafficking in human beings is not a single crime, but a multi-crime process, as reflected in the 2000 Palermo Protocol art. 3 definition trafficking in persons, outlining the necessary presence of an act, a means, and a purpose (AMP model), while also viewing the phenomenon in a broader context of international crime.

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CIRD e.V. will support IPoS in all relevant aspects of this project. IPoS is in charge of the WP2, which aims to elicit the predominant business models used to process criminal proceeds from THB. Together with the partners the IPoS will conduct the interdisciplinary Focus Group in Germany, in which representatives of a range of sectors contributing to financial enquiries and counter-THAB operations will be brought together. Based on the results of the Focus Groups and further case study analysis, UNCHAINED will map the network of actors involved in THB based on their financial footprint and the transactions that have linked them in order to develop a comprehensive, up-to-date roadmap showing the key trends in financial flows between those involved in the trafficking chain, through perpetration or enjoyment of the proceeds. During the training phase of the project, the roadmap will serve as a reference point on initiating THB investigations and progressions to these from reports of other financial crimes, guiding practitioners on which actors to involve and which legal and technical tools to employ. The IPoS will furthermore develop together with the consortium all necessary material and carry out all preparatory activities for the trainings. Designing a toolkit for LEAs as well as for private and business and relevant public bodies and subsequently the delivery of specialized VR-base trainings will be the key activity of the project and also supported by the IPoS. In addition, the delivery of specialized VR-base trainings will furthermore be part of the work performance as well as the contribution the the dissemination and awareness-raising activities.

  • The understanding of the phenomenon, so the interrelation of the so-called poly-crimes phenomenon;
  • Improving the financial analysis capacity of LEAs and Prosecutor Offices, in cooperation with private organizations managing key data to identify perpetrators and the modi operandi of different groups;
  • Enhancing the skills, the know-how and the competences of the first line practitioners within their own specific jurisdiction to identify and report suspicious financial activities;
  • Raise awareness on emerging trends in the field of countering THB
  • The final aim is designing a toolkit for LEAs, based on empirical results; the focus is on how financial investigations and big data analysis can be used, through which tools and with what methodologies. The first point of the activity will be how public and private bodies can work using tools which can scrape and get information and data from different sources.
  • LEAs
  • private businesses
  • labour inspectorates
  • finance providers
  • public authorities
  • EU & national policy makers
  • judges, courts, investigative judges, prosecutors and lawyers
  1. More effective and intensified law enforcement operations, including cross-border cooperation and investigations
  2. Improved capacity for setting up joint investigations
  3. Increased reach-out via multi-disciplinary training courses on THB, including common events for police and/or national competent authorities, civil society and private sector
  4. Improved cooperation on operational level through strengthened procedures, where Standards operating procedures and protocols are tested through simulations and exercises
  5. Developing public private partnerships and facilitate the involvement of civil society in the prevention of THB by untangling the trafficking chain.Better knowledge, legal harmonization
  • Prosecutor Office of Padova – Coordinator
  • Agenfor (Italy)
  • Fundea (Spain)
  • Esmir (Spain)
  • Hochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung – hfov (Germany)

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