Obtaining Legal Residence in Norway as a Victim of Human Trafficking - Understanding 'vulnerability' within immigration law and regulation in the context of Norwegian anti-human trafficking policy and practice
Victims of human trafficking are internationally recognised as particularly vulnerable and in need of a special system of assistance and protection. This thesis explores the operationalization of Norwegian immigration law and legislation, and analyses in what way a victim of trafficking’s need for protection through obtaining a legal residence permit is being considered within the Norwegian authorities anti-human trafficking efforts. The following discussion focuses on the responsibility and obligation of the State authority as a main actor in terms of providing a system of special measures of protection, specifically in regards to the granting of residence permits, for victims of human trafficking residing in their territory, and in what way the existing mechanisms of protection addresses a lack of legal residence status as a form of vulnerability. Within the framework of vulnerability theory this thesis argues that although the Norwegian immigration system acknowledges that victims of trafficking are particularly vulnerable, there is a gap between victims actual needs in terms of vulnerabilities related to immigration status and the protection mechanisms that are accessible to ensure this in practice. In other words, the Norwegian authorities are not providing the vulnerable subject with enough resilience to protect him/herself from the risk of future harm.