Analytical report of interview findings: Corruption and trafficking in women

Corruption is believed to be one of the key instruments adopted by organised criminal groups to avoid detection and obstruct counter-trafficking efforts. Although the use of corruption is often mentioned along with human trafficking, few studies have examined the empirical evidence of the factors and mechanisms behind this nexus. This report provides new insights in this little explored area, drawing on four studies carried out in Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy and Kosovo, as part of the project ANTICORRP, financed under the FP7 Programme of the European Commission. The study explores key aspects of the link between human trafficking and corruption, especially focusing on the role of corruption in avoiding prosecution, impeding investigations and court trials or – should these efforts fail – minimising punishments. The research findings shed light on the following key aspects of the link between corruption and trafficking: 1) the most prominent corruption channels and the actors involved in protecting organised criminals from persecution; 2) the corruption reach of organised crime groups; 3) main factors facilitating the emergence of corruption schemes (legislation, socio-economic factors, ties between criminals and influential managers of legal companies, heirs to criminal holdings, etc.). The impact that trafficking-related corruption has on victims is also addressed and recommendations for tackling the problem are provided. The methodology of the study included analysis of media reports, analysis of court cases and in-depth semi-structured interviews with NGO practitioners, law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

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