Amsterdam, 2nd- 3rd July, 2015
Carla Camilleri, our Assistant Director, participated in a two day European workshop on the Proactive Identification and Support for People Trafficked for Labour Exploitation in Amsterdam. The workshop was organised by FairWork Foundation, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) and ADPARE and was attended by around 65 expert participants from 24 countries working in NGOs, government departments, trade unions, shelters and research institutes.
The workshop concluded the research phase of the Pro-Act Project which aims to develop effective strategies for pro-active identification and support for people trafficked for labour exploitation. The core strategies that were developed cover 5 main areas:
- Access to information, improved detection and remedies;
Access to legal counselling and redress;
Empowering support tailored to the needs of trafficked persons;
Empowering psychological assistance; and
Access to benefits and appropriate employment.
Over the two days, we gave our feedback on the proposed core strategies based on the knowledge and experience gained from the work we did back home. Our assessment and input will then be used by the project partners to strengthen the strategies and pilot them over a six month period in the 3 partner countries: UK, the Netherlands and Romania. We look forward to seeing the results and the experiences gained after the pilot period.
The summary of the Pro-Act research findings and core strategies can be found in more detail here: Working Paper: Pilot Strategies for Pro-Active Identification and Support to Victims of Trafficking for Labour Exploitation.
On Friday afternoon, a supplementary workshop on the Multidisciplinary Cooperation Against Trafficking in Human Being for Labour Exploitation was organised in the light of Project Teamwork which is a joint initiative of the governments of Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Malta and Slovakia in the framework of their EU presidencies 2015 – 2017. During the two hour workshop, the participants were divided into parallel working groups that discussed the main issues relating to the various actors involved in the identification and support for trafficked individuals. The role of the police, prosecutors, trade unions, NGOs and migrant communities in the identification of victims and the problems that often arise were outlined by the various participants. Furthermore, best practices on dealing with trafficking through multidisciplinary cooperation from across Europe were identified and discussed.
On 8th February aditus Director Dr. Neil Falzon was in Rome to participate in a seminar organised by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) entitled ‘Cooperation to Prevent Trafficking in Human Beings in the Mediterranean Region’. The seminar attracted a range of participants from government entities, international organisations and NGOs, with the aim of exploring ways of enhancing regional cooperation in the struggle to combat human trafficking.
During the seminar, aditus forged new relationships with key partners and identified areas of possible activity. In particular, aditus is alarmed at the increasing number of reports it is receiving regarding exploitation of domestic workers, and will be exploring ways of liaising with national entities in order to assess whether human trafficking for labour purposes is in fact an alarming reality in Malta.
We would like to thank the OSCE for inviting us to this timely event.
aditus welcomes today’s publication by the Ministry for Justice & Home Affairs of the Malta Action Plan on Combating Trafficking in Persons. This is a significant step towards increasing national attention and action to what the United Nations describes as a ‘global threat’. Malta’s ratification of the so-called Palermo Protocol in 2003 indicated its willingness to engage in concerted efforts to deal with human trafficking. The Protocol highlights the criminal nature of trafficking activities whilst upholding and protecting the fundamental human rights of their victims, often in a state of extreme physical or psychological vulnerability.
The Action Plan’s focus on the prevention of trafficking, prosecution of perpetrators and protection of victims is in accordance with relevant international standards and best practices. aditus particularly welcomes those activities targeting public awareness and education as a core tool in the identification and empowerment of victims of trafficking. The inclusive approach adopted in the Action Plan is also strongly commended insofar as it ensures the active participation of agencies with expertise in the provision of social, physical and psychological support to the victims.
aditus Chairperson Dr. Neil Falzon comments: “There is the need at levels to understand the nexus between human smuggling and human trafficking, particularly in the context of the arrivals by boat. Our experience tells us that human traffickers often exploit the routes used by refugees to send their victims to their intended destination, where they will be exploited as sex labourers or other forms of undignified treatment.” In view of this nexus, aditus strongly recommends the active involvement in the Action Plan of all stakeholders, governmental and non-governmental, actively involved with migrants and asylum-seekers.
In welcoming the Action Plan, aditus is confident that its activities will also lead to the development of long-term measures that secure the legal and physical protection of identified victims.