Human Trafficking, Refugees, Protracted Refugee Situations, Border Enforcement, Conflict Situations, Gender, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Separated Children, Refugee Resettlement


This article examines a number of risk factors in the life situation of refugees that place them in danger of falling prey to human traffickers. Among the factors discussed are protracted refugee situations, conflict situations and security, precarious economic conditions, the circumstances of women and children, the prevalence of sexual and gender-based discrimination and violence, physical and psychological trauma, and the absence of legal protection. The article examines the unintended consequences of enforcement and border controls in increasing trafficking risks for refugees. Stronger refugee protection is the fundamental building block for reducing trafficking risk. Additionally, mapping, assessment and targeted programs for populations at greatest risk should be implemented, and third country resettlement should be made more widely available to people at high risk for trafficking.