Research Project „Prävention und Intervention bei Menschenhandel zum Zweck der sexuellen Ausbeutung (PRIMSA)” (prevention and intervention of sex trafficking)
Development of an instrument from a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional perspective
Sex trafficking is a serious global crime that compromises the psychological and physical integrity of the victims (cf. Rabe & Tanis 2013: 15ff.; BMFSFJ 2007: 7). Due to the transnational character of the crime, sex trafficking saw an increase after the opening of borders in the aftermath of the Schengen agreement (cf. EUROSTATS 2013: 50). Germany and Austria are also affected as transit-, market- and (in Germany’s case) source countries.
The premeditated exploitation of financial hardship or of the vulnerability of foreign victims as well as threats or actual use of physical or mental violence often leaves the victims unable to access help. Additionally, the impenetrable structures of organised crime and structural difficulties, such as overly complex and differing national legal regulations, create a confusing and hostile situation that constrains the agency of victims. Even for professionals the access to the field often seems to be rather restricted, which limits their effectiveness in battling sex trafficking.
The joint research project PRIMSA (prevention and intervention of sex trafficking) thus takes an interdisciplinary approach to this phenomenon within a German-Austrian cooperation, aiming at the development of a multi-purpose instrument of prevention and intervention. In order for the research project to appropriately respond to the complexity of the issue and the peculiarities of interdisciplinary collaboration, it has been divided into seven subprojects, in which the project partners each use their manifold and varying expertise to add insights to the different aims of PRIMSA. Essential contents of the subprojects are the dynamics between perpetrator and victim (AP1), a better understanding of the actions of perpetrators (A2), the collection and analysis of data and help services in the area of interest in addition to the (further) development of prevention and intervention tools (A3), the comparison of the international and national legal situations (A4), as well as the development of a non-invasive technical instrument to determine the age of the victims (A5). The conclusions thus generated add to the development of an interdisciplinary technology for prevention and intervention.
PRIMSA is being financed through the “Forschung für die zivile Sicherheit II” (research for civil safety II) of the German ministry of education and research (BMBF) as well as the “Sicherheitsforschungs-Förderprogramm” (safety research support program) KIRAS of the Austrian ministry for transport, innovation and technology.
Duration: 1.10.2014 until 31.09.2017
"Exploitation- using means such as fraud, force, threat and deception- lies at the heart of trafficking; as such, human trafficking is often described as ‘modern day slavery’ "(Goodey 2008: 422)