Deception control

Many trafficking in person cases start with the victim being deceived. This may be complete deception, for example someone who was told they would work in a bar who is then torced to work in a brothel. It may be partial deception, for example a person who was told they would work as a domestic servant with reasonable conditions finds in fact they are not paid and are kept as virtual slaves.

Deception tends to take place in the early stages of the trafficking process. At some point the victim may either be told or realize they have been trafficked. When this happens the trafficker may have to rely on a different control mechanism such as violence or isolation.

In some origin locations, deception as a control tactic may be particularly common. These include locations where there is significant migration. In such situations potential victims may know or have heard of others who have successfully migrated, even if that migration was not lawful. They may be aware of remittances sent back to their families by migrants.

Even some trafficking victims are able to send small remittances, allowed to do so by the traffickers to make them more compliant and to avoid raising suspicion. In these circumstances various organizations can flourish that facilitate lawful or unlawful migration. It is difficult for an individual to judge whether they are dealing with people who intend to traffic them.

Expectations at an origin location may make it particularly easy for traffickers to use deception.

People in developing areas often have an unrealistic expectation of what life is like in more developed areas and are willing to believe stories of how good life elsewhere is.

Traffickers may tell stories at all stages of the trafficking process that suggest the authorities are always corrupt and not to be trusted. Victims may be told they will be arrested and either sent back or prosecuted if they are discovered or go to the authorities. This may be direct deception in some circumstances, but unfortunately may be correct (or at least partially correct) in others. Victims may have seen corruption by officials or be aware of other victims who have been prosecuted for illegal entry or for offences they may have been forced to commit as victims of trafficking.


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