Victim identification is a process: Trafficked persons may be identified either by government actors and law enforcement or by NGOs and local social-welfare organizations, particularly if they are trained and if a system of referral is in place. Identification of trafficking victims can take some time because of the complexity of the crime and the networks of individuals involved. The interaction between the trafficker and the victim is multifaceted, since the perpetrator is often “protecting” the victim in their illegal status from the authorities. The victim can feel dependent on, and bound to the traffickers. The complexity and variety of relationships in the crime of trafficking complicates the identification of the victim by external actors, including social workers and the police. (NRM Handbook, pp 59f) It is vitally important to provide assistance and protection to presumed trafficked persons in order to facilitate the identification process. Comprehensive victim identification and support is also in the interest of prosecution since a well-informed, protected and professionally supported victim is more likely to serve as a witness.
Forced Labour and Human Trafficking: Casebook of Court Decisions