Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) generate billions of euros every year and are amongst the largest forms of illicit finance, much of which is laundered via the financial system. World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is an annual day held on the 30th July with the aim to raise awareness on this global problem amongst which Malta is no exception.
This year’s theme – “Use and abuse of technology” – focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. As stated by the United Nations, “[w]ith the global expansion in the use of technology – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of our everyday life to online platforms – the crime of human trafficking has conquered cyber space. The internet and digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit, and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.”
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Prevention and awareness-raising on the safe use of the internet and social media could help mitigate the risk of people falling victim of online trafficking. Members of the public can also help combat this crime. If one comes across a suspected case of MSHT and has concerns for the safety of any potential victim, one should reach out to the Malta Police Force by calling 119 or, in case of an emergency you can even call 112. In addition, Agenzija Appogg, which also supports MSHT victims, can also be contacted by calling 179.
The Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA), with the support of its members and several other entities, last year produced an animated video to raise awareness about MSHT. Accordingly, the Association is on the anniversary of MSHT, airing the video again on our website to generate further local awareness on this grave problem.
The video was produced by the MBA with the support of the FIAU, the Malta Police Force, All Equal – Supporting Victims of Human Trafficking, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) 2014-2020, Foundation for Social Welfare Services, the US Embassy in Malta, the British High Commission in Malta, ACAMS, BPC as well as the following supporting banks: HSBC Bank Malta plc, IIG Bank (Malta) Ltd, Sparkasse Bank Malta plc, Bank of Valletta plc and BNF Bank plc.