Rights for victims of human trafficking by qav14389


									December 2009

                Rights for victims
                of human trafficking
BLinN as organisation                                                                                     Support
With a commitment to human rights, BLinN works to improve the social and legal position of victims of     In BLinN’s experience, she has seen that with the right support victims of human trafficking can
human trafficking.                                                                                        break through the negative spiral of isolation, trauma and lack of self-confidence on their own. That’s
                                                                                                          why BLinN has developed practical support activities for victims, aimed at empowering them to take
BLinN works to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking, helping to ensure victims are better    charge of their lives.
identified across economic sectors. She supports victims by creating a safe environment where they
can overcome their traumas. Helping them to break through social isolation, BLinN aims to raise their     Knowledge sharing
feeling of self-worth and empowers them to take control of their futures. She also aims to remain         BLinN shares this knowledge of supporting victims with local organisations, in an effort to ensure
flexible enough to react to trends and developments she sees in her work in order to improve the          people are supported throughout the entire country.
support activities. BLinN also is proactive in working with government organisations and media.
She tries to influence policies, policy makers and wants to raise public awareness.                       BLinN focus on the following activities:
                                                                                                          •	 Buddy	contacts	which	involves	volunteers	are	paired	up	with	victims	of	trafficking	to	help	them	
BLinN:                                                                                                       increase their social network and find their way in the Netherlands.
•	   Works on empowering victims of human trafficking.                                                    •	 Support	groups	that	enable	victims	to	work	on	overcoming	their	traumas	and	personal	development	
•	   Talks with victims (not just about them).                                                               with the help of a psychologist.
•	   Works towards the future.                                                                            •	 Training	courses	with	the	emphasis	on	social	
•	   Works with a national and international support network.                                                and communication skills.                                Mercy was thirteen when she was
•	   Works with experienced professional and volunteers.                                                  •	 Legal	support	from	a	volunteer	trained	in	               recruited in Nigeria to work as a prostitute
                                                                                                             legal matters and a lawyer to obtain, among              in the Netherlands. At home she had to look
Target group                                                                                                 others, a residence permit.                              after her brothers and sick mother on her
BLinN’s target group consists of all victims of human trafficking in the Netherlands, whether exploited   •	 Individual	support	in	finding	education	and	             own. A villager promised Mercy an education
in domestic service, for instance, or in hotels, the sex industry or in agriculture. They can be men,        work, and training in applying for jobs.                 and job as domestic servant in Europe.
women and children, with origins in the Netherlands or abroad, with or without residence papers.                                                                      Once she arrived in the Netherlands she
                                                                                                          Developing the methodology                                  was forced into prostitution and confronted
BLinN bases its work on the legal definition of human trafficking from Article 272f of the Criminal       BLinN is constantly learning and developing                 with abuse, violence and loneliness. After
Code, which describes human trafficking as a serious crime whereby people are gravely exploited           programs based on the direct experience with                several years she was arrested by the police
by means of threats, violence, fraude, deception, abuse of circumstances or their vulnerable position.    the target group. Therefore, she aims to remain             during a control. They did not believe her
Because the victim is dependent on the trafficker in different ways, they cannot escape in a social,      flexible enough to incorporate this feedback and            story at first, but a lawyer made sure that she
mental, moral and/or physical sense.                                                                      learning. One example is the recently developed             received help. Housed in a shelter, she filed
                                                                                                          mother-child activities and training of public              a case against her traffickers and obtained a
                                                                                                          health officials.                                           residence permit based on the B9 Regulation,
                                                                                                                                                                      created for aiding victims of trafficking. BLinN
                                                                                                          Emergency fund                                              supported Mercy in processing her trauma
                                                                                                          Together with the Dutch Foundation of the                   enabling her to slowly she regain the feeling
                                                                                                          Religious against Trafficking in Women (SRTV),              that she was in charge of her life again.
                                                                                                          BLinN manages an emergency fund. Victims in                 However, she is still out of touch with her
                                                                                                          need of temporary financial support can appeal              family in Nigeria and will always carry the fear
                                                                                                          for a loan or grant via their counsellor.                   of her experience with her.

Working to better identify victims                                                                              Detention of aliens
                                                                                                                When victims are not recognised as such by the
Because victims of human trafficking are often not fully aware of their rights, it’s important that BLinN       police and authorities, they can end up being
informs potential victims about all the options they have, so they can take informed decisions about            detained as illegal aliens. For several years
whether to file charges. With the help of cultural mediators and other organisations BLinN identifies           BLinN has been working in alien detention
victims and groups at risk, informs them about their rights and offers them practical support.                  centres, where she informs potential victims
                                                                                                                of trafficking about their rights, support them
BLinN works to increase public awareness of victims of human trafficking. Its basic principle is the            in filing charges and offers practical and              Six years ago Joanne was brought to
rights of the victims, and it is working to get other institutions to pay attention to the victim’s need for    psychosocial support.                                   the Netherlands and forced into prostitution.
protection and support, and not just to finding the perpetrators.                                                                                                       “I’ve worked for years, but I was unable to
                                                                                                                Victim centre stage                                     pay my debt to my madam. Finally I went
Exploitation in other sectors                                                                                   At BLinN, she knows that victims hold a great           underground; I couldn’t take the work any
BLinN is especially active in educating migrants who are being potentially exploited in sectors like            deal of power within them and she therefore             longer. Then the police arrested me because
domestic service, hospitality (hotels, bars and nightclubs) as well as in agriculture. Through churches         tries to enable them to express this inner              I had no residence papers. I told them what
and other charitable organisations, BLinN offers information and establishes contact with potential             strength. They are the experienced experts.             had happened to me and filed charges of
victims and groups of people that are at risk.                                                                                                                          human trafficking, but the police then took
                                                                                                                Clients’ council                                        me to a detention centre. Fortunately I met
                                                                                                                BLinN ‘clients’ council’, Samen Sterk, consists         BLinN there. BLinN saw to it that I yet got B9
                                                                                                                of people who have fallen victim to trafficing,         protection. Thanks to BLinN I now know my
                                                                                                                who join BLinN in thinking about her current            rights."
                                                                                                                work, bottlenecks and possible future activities.
Anna received asylum because of her past                      Long was recruited in China to work as a          The members of the clients’ council are driven
with human trafficking. “When I finally got                   cook in the Netherlands. A job agency said        by the desire to support other victims.
asylum, I wanted to bring my 7 and 10-year                    he would be able to work legally, earning a lot
old children to the Netherlands. I missed                     of money. He signed a contract of which he        Lobby and media
them terribly. They were living with my sister                did not get a copy, and he also had to hand       The bottlenecks BLinN runs into in practice             “We, Samen Sterk, are victims of
and were safe, but I wanted them with me.                     his passport over to his employer. Long had       are used in lobby and policy advocacy. By               human trafficking and know from experience
Refugee Action helped me to get them here.                    to work 13 to 16-hour days as a cook in the       influencing current policy on human rights,             that others need our help. That’s what we
It was really good to see them again. But                     Netherlands without any days off, and had         BLinN is committed to improving the position of         want to offer them. It’s important that they
it also added to my worries. I could hardly                   to slep in the restaurant’s storage room. He      victims of trafficking. For example, BLinN has          get the information about practical support
clothe them, and it was still early spring. I                 was treated badly and often verbally abused.      lobbied strongly for access to educational grant        and their rights. Many victims from abroad
also needed extra things for the house. I                     He worked a total of 15 months and only           and the Dutch labour market.                            have too little or the wrong information about
already had problems living on benefits, with                 received 2,000 euro in wages. When Long                                                                   their position in the Netherlands. They’re also
two children that became ever more difficult.                 wanted to leave, he was threatened. His           She also regularly seeks the attention of the           afraid and find it difficult to trust people: they
Via my social work counsellor I approached                    passport was not returned and they refused        media to express the voice of victims and               do not dare to talk to social counsellors or
the emergency fund. BLinN and SRTV gave                       to pay him his back-wages. As a result of         communicate their opinions. In this manner              the police. Because we’ve all been through
me 500 euro to pay for the first expenses.                    the high work pressure and long days, Long        BLinN wants to make Dutch men and women                 the same, we believe that we can offer them
I didn’t have to go into debt and can now                     developed heart pains. He was sent to a           aware of the existence of human trafficking             this trust. So we can improve the situation. It
work with my children on a future in the                      docter, where he found out about BLinN and        in their country, and point out the need for            is our wish to build, together with BLinN, the
Netherlands.”                                                 got in touch. BLinN is now supporting Long        protecting victims.                                     clients’ council. By developing ourselves, we
                                                              in filing charges of human trafficking and                                                                became an example to other victims. So they
                                                              claiming the back-wages owned to him.                                                                     too see that it’s possible to build a better life.”

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Expertise from the countries of origin                                                                     Notes

BLinN does not only work nation-wide. As human trafficking is an international problem and many
victims are from abroad, it is also important that BLinN builds a network of contacts in their countries
of origin, and also in other countries of destination. In this manner BLinN can exchange experiences,
develop joint strategies and the involved Dutch can learn from organisations in other countries.

BLinN has been a project of Humanitas and Oxfam Novib since 1999. These organisations are
committed to building a just society, in which people take responsibility. In the ideal society of
Humanitas and Oxfam Novib there is a place for everybody. BLinN shares these basic beliefs, and
actively expresses them.

For its activities BLinN receives funding from both parent organisations. In addition she gets project
funding from ministries, provincial and local authorities and from a large number of private funds. For
specific activities BLinN receives a considerable contribution from the National Postcode Lottery.

PO Box 71,
1000 AB Amsterdam
Telephone: 0031 (0)20 5231100
Fax: 0031 (0)20 5219099
Email: info@blinn.nl

For the current offer of activities and publications see the website: www.blinn.nl.
Or ask your questions by email or telephone.


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