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Women of Nigerian origin in Finland who have been subjected to trafficking for sexual exploatation: Practice in applying the aliens act

Under the Act on the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman (laki yhdenvertaisuusvaltuutetusta 1326/2014), the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman acts as the national Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings. As an independent and unaffiliated authority, the Rapporteur’s
role is to monitor and promote action against trafficking in human beings. In this role, the Ombudsman follows developments in trafficking, monitors compliance with Finland’s international human rights obligations concerning trafficking and the effectiveness of national
legislation, carries out investigations and initiates action.

Through this memorandum, the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings has sought to examine how victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation who have Nigerian origins have been treated in the
asylum and residence permit process. The purpose of the investigation has been to establish how the Aliens Act (301/2004), and the grounds for residence permits provided therein, have been applied in the cases involving victims of human trafficking. Specifically, the Rapporteur has sought to illustrate the case of applicants who have applied for international protection and a Finnish residence permit after the authorities have identified them as victims of human trafficking, or accepted as a fact the victim’s report of having being subjected to trafficking.