Exacerbating Pre‑Existing Vulnerabilities: an Analysis of the Effects of the COVID‑19 Pandemic on Human Trafficking in Sudan

Published by Springer


Abstract: COVID-19 has caused far-reaching humanitarian challenges. Amongst the emerging impacts of the pandemic is on the dynamics of human trafficking. This paper presents findings from a multi-methods study interrogating the impacts of COVID-19 on human trafficking in Sudan—a critical source, destination, and transit country. The analysis combines a systematic evidence review, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group with survivors, conducted between January and May of 2021. We find key risks have been exacerbated, and simultaneously, critical infrastructure for identifying victims, providing support, and ensuring accountability of perpetrators has been impeded. Centrally, the co-occurrence of the pandemic and the democratic transition undercut the institutional and governance capacity, limiting the antitrafficking response and exposing already vulnerable groups to increased risks of human trafficking. Findings point to increased vulnerabilities for individuals with one or more of the following identities: migrants, refugees, females, and informal labourers.

Journal: Human Rights Review

Authors: Audrey Lumley‑Sapansk, Katarina Schwarz, Ana Valverde Cano, Mohammed Abdelsalam Babiker, Maddy Crowther, Emily Death, Keith Ditcham, Abdal Rahman Eltayeb, Michael Emile Knyaston Jones, Maria Peiro Mir