Students from different faculties attended the seminar, organized by YSU Alumni and Career Center and the Center for Leadership and Gender Studies. “UMCOR Armenia” NGO representatives, coordinator of the anti-trafficking and health care programs Victoria Avakova and lecturer at the same organization Hasmik Edilyan conducted it.
The participants learnt of the main causes of trafficking and forced labor, methods of preventing this phenomenon and regulations for safe labor recruitment. They also answered questions from the audience, as well as brought illustrative examples.
Hasmik Edilyan, speaking of the main causes of trafficking, said this is a global problem. More than 20 million people have been subjected to trafficking, and the consequences are heavy. Here we deal with vulnerability abuse, fraud, restriction of movement, isolation, physical and sexual violence, intimidation and threats, confiscation of identity documents, withholding of wages, poor working and living conditions, overtime work and so on.
“Generally people, who cannot overcome the obstacles, suffer from this. Various researches show that educational level is considered a major obstacle in this regard. People should be informed to be able to prevent. The most common is trickery. Many receive offers of high-paying jobs, low priced quality education, etc. In order to be able to understand what is realistic or not, we have to be ready to answer specific questions. Primitive, but at the same time comprehensive questions will help us to understand who or what kind of people we are dealing with,” - said Mrs. Edilyan.
Victoria Avakova said the existence of one indicator might sometimes be sufficient to register forced labor, while in other cases we need a few indicators: “Only vulnerability (e.g. lack of alternative means of livelihood) does not always lead to forced labor. Such a situation arises when, for example, the employer, using the vulnerable position of the employee, forces him to work extra hours or withholds wage.”
Speakers recommended keeping at home passport copies, and those who find themselves in similar situation, should cooperate with law enforcement bodies: “Unfortunately, our compatriots avoid contacting the police, even in other countries, and very often the psychological impact brings more serious problems.”