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Men Trafficked into Sex Trade in Iceland?

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Men Trafficked into Sex Trade in Iceland?

Police

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Two Romanian men, who sought the assistance of the Red Cross as soon as they entered Iceland at the weekend, are having their case investigated by police.

The investigation aims to answer not only whether the men are victims of human trafficking for labor purposes, but also if they are victims of trafficking for the sex trade.

Both claim to have been abused in the unnamed Schengen area country they came to Iceland from.

Both men are in their 20s and police say they are currently working with them to substantiate their story. They say they do not know who was supposed to be meeting them upon arrival in Iceland.

“In the case, there is a suspicion of trafficking, but whether that is forced labor or sex trafficking is not possible to confirm now,” says Snorri Birgisson, who works on the trafficking team at the capital region police.

According to anonymous Fréttablaðið sources, the person who was supposed to collect the men from the airport did actually arrive, but the men say they managed to disappear before the person noticed them.

In recent years Icelandic police have investigated many cases of forced labor trafficking, but there have been far fewer accusations of sex trafficking.

Media exposés in recent years include forced labor at a clothing factory in Vík and another case involving the national deaf association.

According to laws drawn up by the last government against human trafficking in Iceland, trafficking is said to be the exploitation of persons for sexual purposes, forced labor or criminal exploitation of a person's body, for example drug trafficking or sale of organs. In all cases, individuals or groups of individuals are used for commercial purposes in one way or another.

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