Another area of social work intervention by Aġenzija Appoġġ is within the area of human trafficking in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Malta Police Force and the then Ministry for Social Policy for the provision of social support services in cases of potential victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, considered as one of the largest criminal industries in the world, and is the fastest growing. Victims of human trafficking include young children, teenagers, men and women. They are subject to deceit, force, and or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, trafficking for organs, among other forms.
Many victims of human trafficking are forced to work in prostitution, drug dealing or the sex entertainment area. But trafficking also occurs in forms of labour exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, factory work and migrant agricultural work.
Traffickers use various techniques to instil fear in victims and to keep them enslaved. Some traffickers keep their victims under lock and key. Victims might have no contact with outsiders and making sure that any contact is monitored or superficial in nature; be isolated from family members and members of their ethnic and religious community; have their passports, visas and/or identification documents confiscated; be subject to threat or violence; threatened to be imprisoned or deported for immigration violations if they contact authorities and might also have their money controlled.
In line with the MOU, the Malta Police Force will inform the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity about each case of human trafficking which potentially will require social assistance. In such cases the Ministry will provide social support through the professional social work intervention of professionals at Aġenzija Appoġġ, in which social workers will interview, assess, counsel and provide support to the potential victims.