In the context of current asylum and migration processes within the EU human trafficking takes on a whole new dimension. Among the 100,000s of uprooted people crossing the EU external borders – in particular since 2014 – it has increasingly difficult to identify trafficked persons at an early stage.
To address this issue, the SAFE! Project (Safe and Adequate Return, Fair Treatment and Early Identification of Victims of Trafficking) was initiated and implemented from January 2017 until December 2018. This two year project was coordinated by the Dutch shelter organisation HVO Querido and was implemented with an international consortium comprising NGO’s, GO’s and IGO’s from the Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria and Macedonia. This project was funded by the European Commission (AMIF fund).
The project consists of a consortium of 13 project partners in four countries:
• HVO Querido (Netherlands, project coordinator)
• Humanitas Rotterdam (Netherlands)
• FairWork NL (Netherlands)
• La Strada International
• CoMensha (Netherlands)
• Animus Association/ La Strada Bulgaria
• National Police Netherlands
• National Police Hungary
• National Commission for Combating Traffic in Human Beings in Bulgaria
• IOM Netherlands
• IOM Hungary
• IOM Bulgaria
• Open Gate|La Strada Macedonia
The overarching goal of the Safe! Project was “To ensure the safe return and sustainable re-integration of victims of trafficking and to enable their early and adequate identification and protection in the context of the current asylum and migration processes within the European Union”. At the core of the project lied the multi-stakeholders cooperation allowing each partner to contribute its own specialism to reach the project objectives:
1. To develop and implement strategies and a tailor-made international training programme for Safe Return and Sustainable Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking based on the Safe Future Methodology
2. To develop and implement strategies and a tailor-made international training programme for Early Identification and Protection of Victims of Trafficking based on the Euro TrafGuID Guidelines Info sheet February 2017 2 Safe and Adequate Return, Fair Treatment and Early Identification of Victims of Trafficking
3. To link (I)GO and NGO stakeholders in the anti-trafficking field with organizations involved in the current asylum and migration processes within the EU and to stimulate mutual cooperation and exchange of expertise, dilemmas and best practices
In 2017 a survey questionnaire was launched by LSI and Comensha/La Strada Netherlands to collect input about trends, bottlenecks, needs and best practices related to the issue. The findings will be included in the final report. The findings of the SAFE project were discussed at a final conference in Bulgaria, in October 2018. See the final SAFE project report with all information about the project, its activities and results.
LSI and Comensha further developed a social map of organisation online. This map contains contacts of relevant European and non European support organisations and provides information about the services they offer.