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date: 25 June 2024

Adult Education for African Victims of Human Traffickingfree

Adult Education for African Victims of Human Traffickingfree

  • Antonio Alfaro FernándezAntonio Alfaro FernándezUniversidad de Castilla - La Mancha, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación y Humanidades
  •  and Beatriz Villora GalindoBeatriz Villora GalindoUniversidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación y Humanidades


For decades and due to the dire situations that exist in many African countries, the migratory phenomenon to Europe has witnessed an unprecedented increase. The desire to seek a better future, to flee from poverty, hunger, and war, among other reasons, has caused the victims to employ legal or illegal means to leave their country and reach Europe.

The receiving countries have increased the restrictions to welcome immigrants from African countries, which means the arrival of migrants by illegal means has grown spectacularly. Likewise, this situation has caused trafficking in persons, especially women, to become a common phenomenon in Europe. Spain, due to its geographical location, is one of the countries where the greatest number of people are exploited.

The eradication of this problem involves the identification of the exploited and liberation from their captors. But the problem does not end with their release; psychological and educational intervention is essential to achieve their integration. The importance of designing and developing educational programs are main objectives, including language learning, professional training, establishing good habits of nutrition and hygiene, and providing alternatives for leisure and free time.

These education programs, designed for adults, should be initiated in shelter houses where the victims are first placed. Multidisciplinary teams formed by professionals in education, psychology, nursing, and social work can cooperatively help the victims, offering the best method for successful integration. The final objective is to provide competences to the people included in the program, who can then leave the shelters, join the local community, and live autonomously and independently in the host society.


  • Alternative and Non-formal Education 
  • Education, Cultures, and Ethnicities
  • Education and Society

A version of this article in its original language

Human Trafficking

Gonza (2016) defines slavery thusly:

Historically, slavery has been one of the cruelest ways of violating human rights. In the colonial era, indigenous peoples were [forcibly] taken to other countries and sold for sexual purposes, servitude, or manual labor. (p. 20)

Slavery is a scourge on humanity that has not disappeared with the passage of time; instead, it has evolved new, equally horrible ways of harming people.

Human trafficking is a 21st-century form of slavery, classified by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and named by the United Nations plenipotentiary diplomatic conference on July 17, 1998, as a crime against humanity (Guardia Civil, 2015. p. 3).

According to EUROPOL, human trafficking is the second-highest source of “illicit” criminal income, after drug trafficking, bringing in 32,000 million euros annually (Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad, 2015, 51).

The historical tragedy of human trafficking originated toward the end of the 19th century. In that era, White, European women were sold, sent to European colonies or the Asian continent, and forced into positions as concubines or prostitutes. For a long time, this activity was known as the White Slave Trade. Then, in the 20th century, with the beginning of the Second World War, and with the migratory phenomenon unleashed, the concept evolved into human trafficking. The reason for this change was that “White slavery” was an inaccurate descriptor, as the trade was no longer limited to White women, but also applied to men, boys, girls, and teenagers of all cultures, races, and ages, who were exploited sexually or in other ways that began to reveal themselves, such as labor (Organización Internacional para las Migraciones, 2010, p. 37).

This phenomenon is one of the cruelest forms of illegal commerce and is a direct attack on the dignity and integrity of persons, which are higher values recognized by international courts.

The Guardia Civil (2015), say,

the need to distinguish between human trafficking and illegal migration, and makes reference to the Protocols against illegal smuggling of migrants by land, sea, and air, that complements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which defines “illegal trafficking” as “facilitating the illegal entry of a person into a territory of which said person is not a national or permanent resident, with the goal of obtaining, directly or indirectly, financial gain or other material benefit”. (p. 4)

Both the illegal smuggling of migrants and human trafficking involve the movement of human beings for material gain. However, in the case of human trafficking, additional conditions apply: unjust capture, through coercion, deception, or abuse or power; and the intent to exploit. As such, in the case of human trafficking, the main source of income for criminals, and the financial impetus driving the criminal activity, is the product obtained through the exploitation of victims through prostitution, forced labor, or other forms of abuse; whereas when it comes to smuggling, the price paid by the undocumented immigrant is the origin of the criminal income, and there is not usually a continuous relationship between the smuggler and the immigrant once the latter has arrived at their destination. The other major difference between human smuggling and human trafficking is that the former is always transnational in nature, while the later can be both domestic and transnational.

The United Nationals protocol against human trafficking, as the authoritative reference on this subject, contains a precise definition of this phenomenon in Article 3.a (Organización de las Naciones Unidas, 2000):

Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

In Spain, the Ley Orgánica 10/1995 of November 23, of the Penal Code, in Article 177 bis, defined human trafficking

as the capture, removal, transport, and exchange or reception of persons, including the exchange or transfer of control over a person, when violence, intimidation, or deceit is used, or, when someone in a situation of authority exploits the vulnerability or need of a victim, national or foreign, or the delivery or receipt of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of the person who has control over a victim, with any of the following purposes:


The imposition of labor or forced services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or begging.


Sexual exploitation, including pornography.


Exploitation to carry out criminal activities.


The removal of their bodily organs.


Carrying out forced marriages.

Montoya (2012, p. 13) conceptualizes human trafficking as “any behavior connected to the process of recruitment, mobility, or establishment of another person that uses or takes advantage of said person in such a way that negates or corrupts their capacity for self-determination, with the end goal of exploiting them sexually or for labor.”

For the International Organization for Migration (IOM), human trafficking is a phenomenon with global reach and a crime that violates human rights. Specifically, it is a crime against the liberty, integrity, and dignity of its victims, and the most well-known form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, mostly of women and minors, but there are other expressions of human trafficking, such as forced labor, child begging, servitude, or the extraction of organs and tissues (Perea, 2014).

The first obstacle that authorities, both governmental and the police, encounter in their efforts to help trafficking victims is the problem of identifying victims. The Criminological Study (Guardia Civil, 2015, p. 10) suggests taking the following considerations into account when working to identify victims:

They have been taught how to act in the presence of law enforcement.

They do not have control of their own documentation, it has been withheld by the criminal organization.

They cannot move about freely, they will be accompanied by personal from the organization when it is necessary for them to leave the place where they are being held.

They are not allowed to communicate with their family, friends, or acquaintances freely.

They are paying off a debt to the criminal organization, the amount of which they do not control, made up of travel and accommodation expenses, including accommodation and food, in Spain.

The Protocol of Palermo was the first international effort to create a criminal policy against human trafficking through transnational crime organizations. The goals of the protocol were as follows (Organización de las Naciones Unidas, 2000):

To fight and prevent human trafficking, especially that of women and children;

To protect and help the victims of human trafficking, with absolute respect for their human rights;

To promote cooperation between the State Parties.

The Organización de las Naciones Unidas (2010), designed the World Action Plan of the United Nations to fight human trafficking, and in this plan they proposed:

Preventative measures; protective measures, and assistance for victims;

Strategies for prosecuting crimes related to human trafficking;

Strengthening alliances against human trafficking.

In order to destroy these criminal networks, the political cooperation of the countries where victims are taken from and sent to will be necessary. Prevention and suppression must be the instruments of developed countries to effectively counter these mafias (Anguita, 2007).

The strategy of the European Union for the eradication of human trafficking (2012–2016) (Comisión Europea, 2012), established five priorities to focus on to address human trafficking. (a) Detect, protect, and help the victims of human trafficking. (b) Strengthen protections against human trafficking. (c) More actively pursue the traffickers. (d) Improve the coordination and cooperation between the primary stakeholders and the policies enacted. (e) Better understand and respond more effectively to emerging trends related to all forms of human trafficking.

This article approaches the fight against human trafficking from the perspective of promoting the rights of victims and improving both their identification and their access to resources for assistance and protection.

To protect human trafficking victims, Spanish legislators have made relevant modifications, specifically, the introduction of Article 59 bis, in the Ley Orgánica 4/2000 of January 11, concerning the rights and liberties of foreigners in Spain and their social integration, representing an important advance in the protection of undocumented victims.

This reform guarantees comprehensive assistance to human trafficking victims independent of their legal status and legally grants victims time to recover and reflect, which allows undocumented foreign victims to get out from under the influence of their traffickers, to begin the recovery process, and to decide whether to cooperate with the relevant authorities in criminal investigations, as required by Article 13 of the Warsaw Convention.

Thus, from the moment the process of identifying a potential trafficking victim begins, the victim is protected from legal sanctions for their undocumented status and is granted, if the period of recovery and reflection is accepted, temporary status in the country, which guarantees access to comprehensive state assistance, security, and protections.

This regulation has been further developed through the Regulation of Ley Orgánica 2000, of January 11, approved by Real Decreto 557/2011 on April 20, which, in Articles 140 to 146, establishes specific provisions expanding on Article 59 bis of Ley Orgánica 4/2000, of January 11, guaranteeing victims’ access to resources for their assistance and protection, specifying the authorities responsible for identifying possible victims, granting a period of recovery and reflection, exempting victims from liability, and providing them with residence and work permits for exceptional circumstances.

The ministries of health, social services, and equality, the interior, justice, employment and social security, the State Attorney General’s Office and the General Council of the Judiciary all signed a framework protocol for the protection of the victims of human trafficking, a tool of enormous value as a mechanism for cooperation between institutions, marking the first time that the formal systems of communication between relevant administrations have recognized the labor of nonprofit organizations that specialize in assisting victims of human trafficking (Consejo General del Poder Judicial, 2011).

Ley Orgánica 4 (2015), of the Statute for the Victims of Crimes and the Ley 1 (/2015), which modifies Ley Orgánica 10 (1995) of the Penal Code, has also made an important legal advance in the treatment of victims and criminals.

The Report on Trafficking 2016 (Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito, 2016) shows that Spain functions as a destination, origin, and country of transit for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sexual trafficking. Women from Eastern Europe, South America, China, and Africa are subjected to sexual trafficking in Spain. Men and women from Asia and Africa are subjected to forced labor in the textile, agricultural, and construction sectors as well as the service industry. The victims are coerced with false promise of work in the service and agricultural industries, and once they arrive in Spain, they are forced into prostitution or slavery for the debts they’ve incurred. Unaccompanied immigrant minors continue to be vulnerable to sexual trafficking and forced begging.

Victims of human trafficking from Africa are usually transported through the dessert to Morocco, whether on foot or by vehicle, a process that can take years. During this time they are exploited to defray the cost of their transport. Once in Spain, the victims accumulate a financial debt that can exceed 50,000 euros, a figure that increases with accommodation and living expenses (Calvo & García, 2016, p. 65).

The Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (2007, p. 13) argues that the consequences suffered by the victims of human trafficking can include

human rights violations

physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse

prolonged or permanent physical or psychological harm

risk of death

the objectification of persons

difficulty reintegrating into society


The impacts of sexual exploitation are the most pronounced within the environments connected with human trafficking, in which the victims are subjected to physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by the traffickers, pimps, and clients (Cordero & Fernández, 2016). In Western societies, the growing demand for young, vulnerable human merchandise for the purposes of sexual exploitation has generated an expansion of this international trade (Torrado, 2015). According to a report on human trafficking within Spain (Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito, 2016), the Spanish authorities have employed a protocol for identifying victims in collaboration with different non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This collaboration to identify and provide victims with assistance between security forces and organizations has yielded satisfactory results.

The 2017 Ombudsman Report (Defensor del Pueblo, 2017) makes recommendations to the different bodies with jurisdiction in the matter to adopt measures that improve efficiency in the detection of human trafficking victims.

The 2015–2018 comprehensive plan to fight the human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls recognizes that the work of these organizations is not limited to intervening on behalf of formally identified victims; they also participate in recovery processes in order to improve the detection of potential victims. They build trust and provide the necessary resources for the comprehensive care of victims, such as safe accommodations, healthcare, psychological and psychiatric help, as well as other social, educational, and training resources, resources for social and labor integration, judicial assistance, interpretation services, or help facilitating the victims voluntary return to their country of origin.

The principles of protection and comprehensive assistance are based on the Palermo Protocol (Art. 6) in the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking (Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, 2002).

The processes of protection and assistance have three main foci:

respect for the person, their dignity and rights

protection and personal security

comprehensive assistance, and the restoration of rights and social inclusion

Individual human rights are central to all of the work to prevent and fight this phenomenon and to protect and provide assistance and reparations to the victims (Organización de las Naciones Unidas, 2009).

True rescue must be understood as offering help, the opportunity to return to their country of origin, or, if they wish, to help them obtain work that will allow them to move forward and support their family (Gonza, 2016, p. 16).

Once the problem has been analyzed, the next step is to propose a plan of intervention with the goal of offering victims alternatives and resources for comprehensive recovery, at the physical, psychological, social, educational, and professional levels. In order to meet this objective, a multidisciplinary intervention and a coordinated team effort between professionals from different fields is necessary, an intervention the victim must be informed about and be able to decide upon freely. In designing our proposed methodology, we have considered and analyzed different programs and initiatives developed by both public and private institutions that work in this field, such as the “Comprehensive Plan to Combat Trafficking in Women and Girls for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation 2015–2018”; intersectoral protocol for the prevention and prosecution of crime, and the protection, care, and reintegration of victims of human trafficking; The CLARA program of the Institute for Women and Equal Opportunities; UNESCO; International Organization for Migration; the Junta de Andalucía Manual for intervention against trafficking and sexual exploitation; Project Hope from the Congregation of Religious Adorers; Spanish Catholic Commission for Migration Association; and the BEMBEA experience.


As previously noted, human trafficking within Spain victimizes men and women from all different backgrounds, but the reason we focus our work on victims of African origin is because of the difficulty of guaranteeing them optimal conditions for a safe return as a result of wars, poverty, and social problems present in their countries of origin. Another powerful reason is the difficulty these individuals encounter adapting to life in Spain because they do not understand the language, cultural differences, and ways of life.

Likewise, we focus on the adult population because the goal for children is to integrate them into the Spanish educational system. However, adults find themselves in a very difficult, complicated system that requires an integrated, multidisciplinary collaboration between professionals in the fields of health, psychology, education, sociology, and the law, among others.

It is, without a doubt, a challenge for institutions to re-establish and reintegrate the victims of human trafficking into society under the best conditions and with the best chance of success.

We should specify that we define the reintegration of victims as the actions carried out by a government, directly or in coordination with other governments, international organizations, NGOs, and civil society, to support the victims of human trafficking crimes; with the goal of granting them the minimum rights that will facilitate a comprehensive recovery, through a process of empowerment and support for their life plan by focusing on their social and familial reintegration, exercising their rights to the fullest. For this to happen, it is necessary to guarantee psychosocial support and the social protection of victims, encouraging and ensuring their reintegration and the recovery of their fundamental rights, under the best possible conditions (Sistema Peruano de Información Jurídica, 2015).

This voluntary process begins once the victim has been freed from their captors and has emerged from immediate crisis. In the case of adults, the individual should be informed of and consent to beginning the reintegration process. Treatment should be individualized because each victim has had a different experience.

Fighting human trafficking requires the participation, communication, and coordination of all of the different actors who intervene in these situations, including public and private institutions, specialized civic organizations, and therefore this effort necessitates an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to policymaking.

In short, and as stated in the “Comprehensive Plan to Combat Trafficking in Women and Girls for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation 2015–2018” (Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad, 2015):

Although the fight against human trafficking requires the active and effective prosecution of traffickers, as well as a challenge to the economic benefits generated by trafficking and the enactment of plans designed to protect recover human trafficking victims, the responsible parties should employ an approach that at the very least works to empower and support the victims of human trafficking as they rebuild their lives through physical, psychological, and social healing, and in full possession of their rights.

Generally, in the programs that have been developed, victims are housed in temporary shelters, which do not support a trajectory toward education or work, and the victims escape and return to the streets to continue in the life from which they had supposedly been rescued (Gonza, 2016, p. 106). Compounded with this situation is the lack of programs to monitor human trafficking victims, which increases the likelihood that survivors will be recaptured and become human trafficking victims once again.

This work proposes a methodological approach for multidisciplinary teams that address victims of human trafficking with integrated and individualized treatment plans. For this reason, it is necessary to offer professional support with the following:

psychological support

legal assistance

reception facilities

language learning

social orientation and intervention

leisure activities and free time

work orientation programs

We use Project Hope as a reference, a project managed by the Congregation of Religions Adorers that provides comprehensive support to individuals identified as human trafficking victims. These include the following:

Repatriation. They facilitate the safe and voluntary return of victims to their country of origins, offering support, economic resources, and the necessary documentation.

Social work. They assist in the process of social reintegration into society until the victim has achieved autonomy.

Education. They apply individualized programs to achieve full recovery and integration into the host society.

Legal assistance. They help establish the legal documentation of the victim.

Health. They encourage and support optimal levels of physical and psychological health.

Socio-laboral. They promote integration into the workforce and the society of the host country.

The challenges a program like this must confront can be classified within the following fields:

Social work. Generating tools, and coordinating protocols for appropriate and correct evaluation of the process.

Education. Reinforcing the development of autonomy by centering the needs of the victim during the recovery process.

Health. Strengthen the social dimension of health, which, together with psychological and the physical components, allows us to appreciate health more holistically.

Legal. Systematize the collaboration between departments to avoid re-victimizing people throughout the process.

Socio-laboral. Encourage working in teams to promote reintegration into the workforce through partnerships with companies and institutions.

First, the victim must re-establish themselves, feel safe, and recover physically and psychologically. Only when this first phase has been successfully completed, and with the appropriate assistance and counsel of a trained professional, can the victim begin the second phase of the process (Defensor del pueblo, 2012, p. 168).

Once the victim is prepared to begin the integration phase, it is necessary to design an individual action plan with the goal of adapting the general itinerary to their individual case. The general itinerary is made up of the following phases:


The motivation phase.


The language-learning phase.


The information and orientation phase to define a professional profile.


The development phase to improve employability.


The job search and integration phases.

Once the serious problem of human trafficking has been exposed, a proposal for a socially oriented educational intervention can be put forth that will facilitate the active integration of victims into society and guarantee success. For this reason, adult education is considered an alternative within the framework of a multidisciplinary program.

The definition of adult education proposed by UNESCO at their 1976 XIX General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, has been widely accepted:

Adult education refers to the totality of organized educational processes, no matter the content, level, method, formality or informality, no matter whether it is a continuation or replacement of an initial education provided in schools or universities, and including professional education, thanks to which, the people designated as adults by the society they belong to are able to develop abilities, enrich their knowledge, improve their technical and professional skills or apply them in a new way, and further develop their attitudes and behaviors as a result of participation in balanced and independent socioeconomic and cultural development and a new perspective on comprehensive human enrichment.

Other elements impact this development as well, such as professionals, methodologies, the needs of the participants (in our specific case, language learning, employment opportunities, and social participation).

Adult education combines the pedagogical and the social, and directly links educational practices with specific socioeconomic and political environments in order to foster human and social progress. This process must begin with a more inclusive vision that accounts for all different kinds of educational practices. In pedagogical terms, it should start with the needs of adults from each group, with their own specific characteristics (Schmelkes & Kalman, 1994).

The origins of adult education stems from literacy projects. While this original, but more limited iteration of adult education, has evolved and broadened throughout the 20th century, it has remained an important component of adult education. In the early 21st century, adult education is a subset of education, focusing on more than just literacy, encompassing learning for everyone, adolescents and adults, who want to learn throughout their life. For this reason it is necessary to recognize and value adult education as a path to personal, social, and economic development as a means of guaranteeing fair and equitable opportunities for everyone in their lifelong learning and as the key to an evolving world (Berthet, 2013, p. 111).

The educational model employed for victims of human trafficking should be based on the experiences and interests of the individuals and should work to resolve everyday challenges of daily life and the social environment they operate in. It should equip them with useful and meaningful knowledge to advance their professional development, and it should provide them with skill, approaches, and values that will allow them to improve and transform their personal and social lives within a legal, respectable, and responsible framework.

For this reason it is important to focus on the development of four specific skills: communication, problem-solving, reasoning, and participation. Promoting awareness regarding approaches and values connected to human rights, equality between persons, a vision for the future, and the meaning of identity and belonging, among others, are important as well (Ramírez & Víctor, 2010, p. 74).

Immigration, in addition to raising many economic, political, and social questions, also involves educational professionals (Sáez, 2006, p. 861). Immigrant rights to education were initially limited to residents in a regular situation, but this was later modified to include all school-age children (Aja, 2004). Aguado (1991) addressed intercultural education as a reformist trend within educational practice that adjusted its objectives to respond to the diversity generated when different ethnic and cultural groups coexist within a given society (p. 90).

Even in the 21st century, societies, such as Spain, who refer to themselves as developed, consider immigration to be one of their primary social problems. However, perhaps one of the biggest social problems within these societies, and therefore one of the needs that social education will have to address, is the way that the social majority conceptualizes and perceives immigration as a “problem” (Abdennour & Ruiz, 2005, p. 2).

One of the primary goals of education should be the affirmation of each person, their culture, their dignity, their value, as well as an appreciation for the considerable intersections between all of these factors. Education must work to change attitudes toward cultural diversity and to review and transform our dominant cultural narratives (Sáez, 2006, pp. 867–870).

It is necessary to highlight the importance of social education in our proposal because it supports the social development of the person throughout their life via systematic and informed action that accounts for their individual circumstances and contexts in order to foster their autonomy, integration, as well as their critical, constructive, and transformational integration into and participation in their host society (Amador et al., 2014, p. 56).

Throughout the process of recovery for victims of human trafficking, the role of the social education should not so much be that of a teacher, but rather that of a group facilitator that accompanies the individual. In this sense, social educations should approach the educational process like a path they must walk together with the student so that the student can learn to discover, critique, accept, tolerate, and interpret others, as well as to establish their own sense of self. Educating in this view becomes a process of providing the words, making the subject speak, letting them speak, and sharing a common language so that each individual will be able to pronounce their own word (Larrosa, 2001, p. 428).

During this process it is critical that the social educator accompany rather than intervene. This accompaniment is carried out in the space they share with the individual human trafficking victim. The goal is to support the individual as they resolve issues caused by exclusion, a process that builds on people’s ability to develop their own answers and solutions as they work toward the goals they have laid out for their life (Organización Internacional para las Migraciones, 2013, p. 24).

To accomplish the primary goal of helping human trafficking victims recover and reintegrate into their host society, language learning is a priority. It is very difficult to participate in a society if you lack one of the basic tools for communication: language. However, without opportunities and spaces to practice and communicate in the new language, it is difficult for victims to learn and progress (García Parejo, 2003).

For this reason, it is of critical importance to promote Spanish-language learning as a basic tool for integration into the host society. Cultural exchange should be approached as a positive and critical way to overcome prejudices and stereotypes that make it difficult to engage with the culture of the host society.

In order to reach this goal, we suggest the following activities to contextualize the host society:

The study of sociocultural subjects that might be of interest to the victims.

Visits to places of interest in the community to generate emotional ties to the environment.

The methodology employed based on the methodology used by the NGO Spanish Catholic Commission for Migration Association and the language-learning process is carried out in accordance with the following principles:

An individualize methodology, centered on the student and their individual learning process.

The teacher is a facilitator and intercultural mediator.

The use of Information and communication technologies as tool for motivation and contextualization.

The work begins from an intercultural perspective.

The affective and emotional dimensions of the teaching and learning process are prioritized through acceptance and integration into the group, keeping in mind the vulnerable situation of the victim.

Because the end goal is the integration of the victim into the host society, their entry into the workforce is key. For this reason, it is important that the language-learning process include activities that accomplish the following objectives:

Ability to maintain social relationships, both personal and professional

Initiate contact with institutions and organizations affiliated with the workforce

Understand offers of employment

Understand the most frequently used expressions in workplaces

Ability to read job ads and postings.

Successfully hold a telephone conversation

Complete a job interview

Write a resume

Understand the basic information involved in the hiring process (length, salary, duties and responsibilities, time off and vacations, types of contracts, payroll, social security, etc.)

Ideally, the person teaching Spanish to immigrants would have prior training (García Martínez, 2002). However, the volunteer educators from NGOs who work with immigrants on language skills, for example, do not always have appropriate training in language instruction and acquisition. And, generally, the teachers who work with groups of immigrants have little or no pedagogical training in teaching second languages. They are a diverse group of educators according to the institution where they work, for example, civil servants, volunteer teachers, and contractors (Villalba y Hernández, 2009, p. 28).

The next step would be to offer highly individualized professional guidance to the participants. To do so, we have to define the following components:

Professional goals and plans

Recovering and strengthening the victim’s professional identity and self-esteem

Empowering the victim to face future situations and relationships

Strategies for establishing appropriate boundaries between work and personal or family life

Developing skills to look for information, networking, training, and searching for specific jobs within the desired field

Active development of skills and knowledge necessary to meet professional development goals

Plans for following-up

Currently in Spain, the integration of immigrants into the workforce occurs mostly in specific sectors, mainly in agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, painting, food service, and domestic service. For this reason, training activities should target the skills necessary for these particular fields.


After analyzing the information presented in this article, we present the most important findings and recommendations to improve treatment for human trafficking victims.

It is necessary to improve the processes of collaboration and coordination between the institutions involved in the process to facilitate an integrated, comprehensive intervention.

This collaboration should not be limited to the necessary interventions after victimization occurs. Preventative work to fight against human trafficking in the countries in which it originates is essential, as well as the prosecution of their captors.

It is important to continue raising awareness about this issue to foster support for initiatives that disincentivize the demand for human trafficking and that advance prevention and early detection.

Future research must address the prevention of human trafficking and the treatment of trafficked persons so that the intervention is based on scientific evidence. It is necessary to improve the training of all the specialists involved to guarantee the rights of the victims and ensure interventions the greatest chance of success.

It is very important that comprehensive action be taken by an integrated team of professionals who specialize in law, health, education, leisure, and employment.

It has been shown that social education can play a fundamental role in treating human trafficking victims, by providing victims with the guidance necessary to achieve integration within the host society. The training professionals in the field of socio-educational intervention receive makes them an asset to the multidisciplinary teams that assist victims of human trafficking.

NGOs play a critical role in assisting victims of human trafficking, and it is necessary that public and private funds be allocated to finance their activities.

It is very important to track the victims of human trafficking to make sure they do not fall back into the hands of their captors to be exploited once again.


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