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The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime — PEOPLE AND FORESTS AT RISK Organized crime, trafficking in persons and deforestation in Chihuahua, Mexico

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime —  PEOPLE AND FORESTS AT RISK Organized crime, trafficking in persons and deforestation in Chihuahua, Mexico
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The Glob­al Ini­tia­tive Against Transna­tion­al Orga­nized Crime (GI-TOC), with gen­er­ous fund­ing from the Unit­ed States (US) Depart­ment of State’s Office to Mon­i­tor and Com­bat Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons (J/TIP), con­duct­ed research on the Mex­i­can forestry sec­tor in 2018 and 2019 to iden­ti­fy links between orga­nized crime, traf­fick­ing in per­sons and deforestation.

The link­ages between envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion and human traf­fick­ing have pre- vious­ly been explored. How­ev­er, there is a lack of pre­vi­ous detailed research that exam­ines the nature and mech­a­nisms con­nect­ing orga­nized crime, envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion and human traf­fick­ing for labour exploita­tion, or that iden­ti­fies clear inter­ven­tion points for spe­cif­ic sectors.

Labour issues in the log­ging indus­try have received lit­tle atten­tion. In fron­tier log­ging zones, there are human-traf­fick­ing risk fac­tors, such as dis­place­ment, cor- rup­tion and orga­nized crim­i­nal activ­i­ty. There is also traf­fick­ing in illic­it goods, such as ille­gal­ly mined min­er­als and wildlife prod­ucts. Work­ers in illic­it indus­tries, such as ille­gal log­ging, are inher­ent­ly at greater risk of human traf­fick­ing for labour exploita­tion as they can­not turn to the author­i­ties for help, and their employ­ers oper­ate out of sight of law enforcement.

To address this gap, the GI-TOC exam­ined the links between orga­nized crime, human traf­fick­ing and envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion in the con­text of active deforestation.

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