Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a serious crime and major violation of individual fundamental rights and dignity. It is prohibited by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and addressed through a legal and policy framework which places focus on the need for human rights-based and gender-specific approaches, given that its most commonly reported form within the EU is for sexual exploitation (67%), with the majority of victims being women and girls (95%).
The illegal and highly isolating condition of women victims of trafficking often means that they are not able to exit the exploitative market, with two major repercussions on their well-being: on the one hand, being involved in an illicit activity makes them unable to access the labour market through legal means, especially in the case of third-country nationals; on the other hand, being under the strict control of their traffickers, or simply detached from the broader social system of their host societies, women victims of trafficking are also particularly vulnerable to a lack of either knowledge of or access to the rights they are entitled to and the services of support at their disposal. Although the specific nature of trafficking in human beings differs between EU countries, the above-mentioned repercussions on third-country national women victims of trafficking are apparent everywhere. Perhaps due to the geographic vicinity with countries of origin in the trafficking business, countries of southern Europe report high levels of THB, while often lacking the instruments necessary to fully counteract the phenomenon.
The general objective of HEAL was to facilitate the integration of third country national women victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation through promoting a comprehensive healing process based on competence-building, psychological support to women and enhanced cooperation between key actors.
- Promote the inclusion of female trafficking victims from underdeveloped countries by creating a recovery program based on teaching the victims skills, improving their psychological health, and promoting better collaboration between involved parties.
- Encourage the creation of collaboration networks between groups that work with female trafficking from underdeveloped countries with the goal of establishing a common framework for their needs and rights, as well as connect organizations that offer services and assistance.
- Help female trafficking victims acquire professional skills and support their psychological recovery by designing an innovative program that encourages social inclusion.
- Inform female trafficking victims of their rights to services they can access and raise public awareness about the importance of creating processes of inclusion and combatting human trafficking.
- International conversation about the needs of female trafficking victims from underdeveloped countries between organisations that offer assistance as well as employers.
- List of good practices and future recommendations to implement throughout Europe.
- Recovery program and paths to reentering society.
- Tools for improving mental health, such as pamphlets detailing coping strategies.
- Interdisciplinary teaching materials that advertise the employability of female trafficking victims.
- HEAL Database.
- Materials to share creatively share the experiences of female trafficking victims.
- Better knowledge of individual needs of victims and better cooperation between the victims, services that offer support, and employers.
- Better pathway for socio economic reintegration for female trafficking victims due to better psychological and social well being and the acquisition of new professional skills.
- Improving the ability of local social services to offer assistance to female trafficking victims though HEAL’s network and database.
- Better knowledge among female trafficking victims, local services, employers and the public opinion of the rights and services promoted by HEAL.
Raise awareness about female trafficking to service providers, employers, and the public in regards to their rights informed by the methods and tools promoted by HEAL.