Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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IOM Chief in Egypt divulges wide scope of modern-day slavery

Saturday 25/June/2022 - 10:44 PM
The Reference

Chief of the mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Egypt, Laurent de Boeck, has revealed that most men who fall victim to trafficking are forced into labor.

Women, he said, are usually trafficked for sexual exploitation.

He told Al-Bawaba News in an exclusive interview that traffickers also exploit trafficked men and women in the smuggling of arms and narcotics.

He revealed that more men are trafficked than women around the world.

De Boeck explained that some of those trafficked are forced into domestic labor, while most of them undergo the experience of torture.

This, he said, can be called modern-day slavery.

"Unfortunately, this type of slavery is widespread in all countries around the world," de Boeck said.

He added that no country is immune from this type of slavery, including most European countries.

He referred to cases of domestic workers being detained and handcuffed in basements.

"They undergo torture and enforced labor," the IOM official said.

He added that girls are trafficked in Albania, for example, to work in brothels and for sexual exploitation in countries like Belgium, France and others.

He threw light on the different ways to confront smugglers, referring to the special protocol of the United Nations, which calls for the prevention of, protection against and accountability of smugglers.

"We always educate citizens because most of these smugglers are trusted by people," he said.

He said it is not easy to convince people that they can fall victim to smugglers who trade them for material gain.

He added that the IOM launches awareness programs, including by making videos and campaigns to spread knowledge of the dangers of irregular migration.

"We also use all available means to reach people and coordinate with all institutions," de Boeck said.

He added that his organization also works to spread awareness and culture among people and deals with their needs to confront these risks.

The IOM chief of mission in Egypt referred, meanwhile, to Egypt's human trafficking law for the years 2016 and 2010.

These laws, he said, help people who fall victim to trafficking.

He added that the Ministry of Social Solidarity currently has special places to accommodate such cases and provide all means of assistance to them.