The Icelandic government recently began to prepare a plan of action on how to respond human trafficking. There have been laws about the victims of human trafficking in Icelandic laws since 2003, but those laws provide no protection or support for the victims.
The plan is based on a similar idea from Norway. Experiences from Norway show that victims of human trafficking are hard to uncover and it wasn’t until the plan came into use that the Norwegian authorities could act on human trafficking.
The Icelandic police have records of around 15 to 20 possible victims of human trafficking, but getting information about those who are responsible, as well as protecting the victims, has proved difficult for the police. Morgunbladid reports.
According to experts in the field, the main reason that these cases have not been brought before the courts is that the victims do not want to testify. The victim protection plan has to be solid and the victims have to feel secure enough that they can come for forward and identify those who are behind this human trafficking. This can be done by providing housing, residence permits, access to the welfare system, as well as legal counsel and interpretation services.