We have to consider trafficking in human beings as slavery, says Line Barfod of the Nordic Council. She calls for the work of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) to put an end to human trafficking and forced labour.
"We must look at this from the point of view of human rights and realise that these people are entitled to our help and protection", says Line Barfod.
"We have to consider it as slavery. When we talk about human trafficking the focus is on trade across borders, but that is actually not the greatest problem. The major problem lies in the actual slavery and exploitation", says Line Barfod, who chairs the working group on trafficking in human beings in the BSPC.
Watch the video of Line Barfod talking about human trafficking.
At the beginning of September, the BSPC working group, consisting of MPs from the countries around the Baltic Sea, presented the first recommendations to their governments about the measures which should be implemented to combat slavery.
One of the proposals from the working group is that permanent funding must be guaranteed to fight this battle.
"We need permanent funding for the police, protection provision, the social authorities and the labour inspection authorities", says Line Barfod about one of the measures that the Baltic Sea governments should implement.
She emphasises that the working group's research shows that slavery is spreading into forced labour, and that it is therefore necessary to put a stop to forced labour. There is so far very little focus on this in the countries.
The working group also emphasizes that people subjected to slavery should no longer be treated as illegal immigrants.
"We must look at this from the point of view of human rights and realise that these people are entitled to our help and protection", says Barfod, who is a Danish MP and member of the Presidium of the Nordic Council.
The BSPC working group on trafficking in human beings presented its recommendations to the BSPC in Åland at the beginning of September.