Proactive identification and support of victims of trafficking for labour exploitation in the European Union

 

The Pro-Active Identification and Support of Victims of Trafficking for Labour Exploitation in the EU Project (or ‘Pro-Act Project’) was a two year ISEC/EU funded project which explored national responses to human trafficking for labour exploitation in three EU countries: the UK, The Netherlands, and Romania. The project sought to improve responses to human trafficking for labour exploitation by developing effective EU-wide strategies for the proactive identification and support for trafficked persons. The six project partners, included:

Focus on Labour Exploitation (UK)
FairWork (Netherlands)
Latin American Women’s Rights Service (UK)
Migrant Help (UK)
ADPARE (Romania)
eLiberare (Romania)

At the centre of this project was in depth engagement with people who had been trafficked for labour exploitation and their support providers. The key driving principles were the need for effective, victim-centred, and accountable actions to identify and support people who had been trafficked for labour exploitation.  The research examined existing mechanisms for identification and support of persons trafficked in each of the project countries in order to identify good practice and gaps. The findings of the research indicated that victims of trafficking for labour exploitation face significant barriers to their identification, recovery and long-term support. In all three countries, victims of trafficking for labour exploitation showed limited understanding of their entitlements to support and some had not given genuine and ongoing consent to their engagement with the anti-trafficking system.

Critically, the research showed a dangerous trend in the conflation of labour inspection with immigration control, which caused confusion and fear among workers and prevented identification. A lack of awareness of trafficking indicators and the normalization of exploitation were also found to obstruct identification. Victims experienced additional obstacles when accessing housing, psychological support and counselling, or access to justice and legal advice

The research findings formed the basis of a set of proposed strategies for improved proactive identification and support of victims of trafficking for labour exploitation. The proposed strategies were further developed at an EU-wide workshop in the Netherlands, and subsequently piloted in the three project countries. The project ended with an EU level workshop in Brussels in September 2016 where the recommendations formed the basis of a policy paper aimed at EU lawmakers.

Read the EU policy paper here

Read the full partner report here

Read the UK Pilot report here

Read the UK compensation paper here

 

 

 

Co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union