Law students' society calls for setting up of anti-human trafficking task force

GħSL, Malta’s law students’ society, has issued a policy paper aiming to raise awareness on human trafficking's prevalence

Malta's law students society, GħSL, has published a paper with proposals on strengthening the fight against human trafficking
Malta's law students society, GħSL, has published a paper with proposals on strengthening the fight against human trafficking

Malta’s law students’ society has proposed the setting up of a special task force to fight human trafficking as a way of mitigating the phenomenon.

The proposal was made by the Għaqda Studenti tal-Ligi (GħSL) in a policy paper on human trafficking, launched with a view towards raising awareness on the issue's prevalence in society.

In its paper - “Human Trafficking: the Root of the Problem and the Path Forward” - the society is also proposing a general recognition of the difficulties which arise when confronting the phenomenon, and that it be acknowledged that a perfect anti-human trafficking system is difficult to achieve.

Moreover, it suggested that a specific training regime and support system for people in high-risk areas be put into effect, and that tangible efforts are made to increase awareness about the subject in Malta.

In a statement, GħSL conceded that no anti-human trafficking system is infallible, and that Malta had already made substantial legislative efforts to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking.

Nevertheless, it said it had undertaken the task of examining in-depth the local and international legislative frameworks behind this issue, to further explore room for improvement and added effectiveness.

The policy paper examines different legislative frameworks, ranging from international treaties, to the European Union’s body of laws and Maltese domestic law, and proceeds to compare the domestic laws of other countries, namely the United States, Austria, China, and Russia, which are currently on the forefront in the fight against the phenomenon.

GħSL policy officer Celine Cuschieri Debono said the paper strived to avoid an excessively legalistic approach, instead examining specific human trafficking cases and the long-term effects these left on their victims.

“We did not simply want this paper to take a narrow legalistic approach. Rather, we wanted to delve into specific human trafficking cases, as well as the negative, life-long psychological and medical effects on the individual, and the economic impact on society, that arise directly from human trafficking,” Debono said, “We believe that this gives the paper a more humane approach which is essential when dealing with such a sensitive topic.“

“The multi-faceted approach taken in the process of writing this paper is crucial towards understanding the issue from all angles, and therefore exposing its complexity to the public, most especially the legal field,” she said.

An electronic version of the full policy paper can be accessed here

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