Women victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and transborder cooperation

Page 1



Written by Nicoletta Ratini project manager


With the support of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Home Affairs STOP Programme

Neither the European Commission nor any person acting in its name is responsible for the use that might be made of the following information

Printed in France On the presses of the Imprimerie PÉROLLE 75014 PARIS ISBN No.: 2-913181-22-8 English translation: John Tyler Tuttle

EUROPEAN FORUM FOR URBAN SECURITY 38, rue Liancourt - 75014 PARIS – France tel. 0033 (0) 1 40 64 49 00 – fax 0033 (0)1 40 64 49 10 Internet: http://www.urbansecurity.org E-mail: fesu@urbansecurity.org


Our warm thanks to Mrs Vesely, Mrs Gebhart, Mrs Bauer, Mrs Mayerhofer, Mr. A. Dearing, Mrs Appelt, Mrs Almer, Mr. Zach, Mrs Fertinger, Mrs Ille, Mr. Bisutti, Mrs Probst – City of Vienna ; Mrs Backwinkel, Mr. Kleinsteuber, Mr. Böcker, Mr. Thiel, Mrs Von Schmiedeberg, Mr. Meyer, Mr. Hanlein, Mrs. Niesner, Mrs. Eckhardt, Mrs. Schmidt, Mrs.Zabudkinsed, Mrs.Bandrowski, Mrs.Lipka, Mrs. Sergan, Mrs. Schneider, Mrs. Hoffmann – City of Frankfurt ; Mr.Tuur Van Wallendael, Mr. Wils, Mrs Nuyts, Mr. Martens, Mr. Hobstaken, Mrs Bauweraerts, Mrs Timmermans, Mr. Mertens, Mr. Moens, the volunteers of the NGO Relief Center – City of Antwerp ; Mr. De Wit, Mrs Coort, Mr. Van Zuphen, Mrs Van Iersel, Mr. Hissel, Mrs Karstenberg, Mr. Van de Winkel, Mr. Geuns, Mr. Hulst, Mr. Huizingh, Mr. Slenter, Mr .Kroon, Mr.Van Rooij, Mrs B. Holland, Mrs Dohmen, Mr. Tijsen, Mr. Münstermann, Mrs Verschuren, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Kerkhofs, Mrs Souren, Mrs Timmermans, Mrs E. Pijl, Mrs Feijen, Mr. Janssen, Mrs Erkens, Mrs Rozema-Morawska, Mr. Verdonschot, Mrs G. Doverman, Mr. H. Don – City of Heerlen ; Mr.Thielemans, Mrs Pellens, Mrs Vandevannet, Mr. Hougenaert, Mrs Le Cocq, Mr. Janssens, Mrs Minnen, Mr. Bontink, Mrs Dutrieux, Mrs Vauthier, Mrs Beeckman, Mrs Jekeler – City of Brussels ; Mr. Hauvuy ; Mr. Thelen, Mr. Dorcet, Mr. Muguet, Mr. Armangol, Mr. Lemaire, Mr Gonzales, Mr. Albert, Mr. Favot, Mrs Mavic, Mrs Roussel, Mr. Attal, Mr. Passeron, Mrs Pennet ; Mr. Pezzali – City of Nice ; Mr. Monduzzi, Mr. Persico, Mrs Melotti, Mrs Manni, Mrs Granzotto, Mrs Monti, Mr. Bracco, Mrs Fusiello, Mrs Dosi, Mrs Vitiello, Mrs Antonioni, Mr. Pivani, Mrs Bettini – City of Bologna



Summary: Introduction


Chapter 1 Putting the project into policy at the European level The evolution of Institutions’ awareness and committment Since 1996, the European Union has increased legislation On organised crime

7 8 8

Chapter 2 History of the EFUS ‘SecuCities Women’ projects First step - 1998-99 Second step - 1999-2000 Adopted methodology Project partners

13 14 15 15 16

Chapter 3 The approach to the 2002 SecuCities ‘Women victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation’ project Unfolding of the project

19 21

Chapter 4 The traffic in women Main causes

23 24

Chapter 5 Evolution of the situation The complexities and contradictions engendered by the phenomenon Cities and the problem of trafficking in women

27 30 31

Chapter 6 Visits to the project’s partner cities The destination cities The city of Nice - The city of Vilnius The city of Vienna - The city of Györ The city of Heerlen - The city of Lódz Policies in the fight against the slave trade in Belgium The city of Brussels- -The city of Sofia The city of Antwerp- -The city of Kiev The city of Frankfurt - The city of Brno The law for the protection of victims of the slave trade in Italy The city of Bologna- -The city of Kuçova

34 38 41 43 45 47 49 51 52

Chapter 7 Recommendations Considerations The fields to investigate

55 57 57

Appendices Bibliography

59 78




Since the collapse of the regimes of communist Europe, the West has spoken a great deal about the invasion by individuals hardly worthy of interest, coming to appropriate our cities and countryside, our property and our riches. Prostitution is one of those spheres that have witnessed the appearance of young women from various lands who have come to sell their sex and its attractions. A few stories that have been made known tend to indicate the existence of criminal networks organising the recruitment and transfer to cities of the West. The ‘pimp’ and the ‘hooker’ are figures inherent to this activity. For this couple to find each other through an organisation necessitated by crossing borders, knowledge of host cities is evident. Efforts to help women escape from the milieu of prostitution have always run up against the procurer. The origin of this procurer and his organisation as a network obliges us to re-evaluate our methods were it only just for the profoundly different cultures we discover. The Forum and other NGOs have long considered that work between the places of depart and the sites of prostitution is the best way to reconcile setting up a network of professionals and keeping open the possibilities of young women to go home under proper conditions. This work calls for multiculturalism, as well as work on the behalf of partners including the police as well as social workers. The work carried out over the past year by this network of cities has occurred in a series of exchanges organised by the Forum for three years now. We hope that European financing and especially its duration can help us avoid being obliged to abandon this work. This work finds a place in two topics for reflection. The streets of our cities in the West are not only populated by women from the East but are shared by young women from our own cities. And this obliges us to ask the question of why our rich societies oblige young women to prostitute themselves on a regular or occasional basis. The question of ‘trafficking in human beings’ should absolutely not relieve us of this question. The second topic for reflection is inspired by this economic observation: international prostitution and the migrations of prostitutes must be put back within the question of international migrations. How can we ignore the fact that hundreds of degree-holders from countries in the East are also coming to our cities to gradually occupy low-skilled jobs that are no longer wanted? Our public works sites abound with young men seeking money and improved living conditions for their families back home. And unfortunately, this reminds us that many of the young women leave after answering advertisements recruiting ‘bar hostesses’, i.e., accepting a sexual dimension for a job. A large part of their motivation is the survival of their families and attaining a way of life that the media have instituted as being standard for everyone. The remarkable field study on the city of Geneva made by Didier Froidevaux and Massimo Sardi 1 shows us a labour market whose access is

1 ‘Le monde de la nuit. Milieu de la prostitution, affaires et crime organisée’. A study of the Genevan prostitution milieu based on the analysis of Criminal Investigation Department and administrative data, 2003.


not controlled exclusively by a criminal organisation but, to the contrary, leaving room for salary discussions between the bosses of night clubs and bars and the hostesses. Before being a criminal phenomenon, prostitution is inherent to the migratory phenomenon and, as such, the prevention of prostitution must find a place in the ensemble of measures of economic and social development that the Union European plans on implementing so that European countries have an equal standard of living. Michel Marcus Executive Director European Forum for Urban Safety


Putting the project into policy at the European level

1 6

The evolution of institutions’ awareness and commitment: ‘The fight against the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation has great difficulty in being seen as a priority in our security policies. The problem interests only indirectly. Once it is established that prostitution can favour the spread of HIV, means are released for implementing a riskprevention policy. Once it has been established that a certain form of organised crime is prospering from this activity, and that clandestine immigration is encouraged, the police and judicial authorities wake up. Local elected officials follow the problem on a more regular basis, for it is expressed in terms of public order, neighbourhood disturbances and excessive visibility of the phenomenon…’

Thus did Ms. Leona Detiège, Burgomaster of Antwerp (Belgium) and President of the European Forum for Urban Safety, express herself in the preface to the book published at the end of the first ‘SécuCités Cities and sites of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation’ project. Much has happened since, but the problem of prostitution practised under the constraint of criminal organisations is still topical. A modern form of slavery constituting a violation of fundamental personal rights, the fight against the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a priority for the European authorities. It is a matter of an ‘instrumentalisation’ of the woman and human beings that goes beyond all imagination and contributes enormously to the revenues of criminal networks. That is why the European Council and the European Union have joined forces over the past few years in order to make public opinion and the players aware, and to elaborate and implement effective action strategies adapted to the European scale. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948; the 1949 Convention for the repression of the slave trade in human beings and the exploitation of the prostitution of others; the European Convention for safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms in 1950; and the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination as regards women in 1979 already guaranteed a certain number of fundamental rights that can be considered violated by the slave trade for sexual exploitation. Since 1996, the European Union has increased legislation on organised crime The interest of EU authorities in the fight against the traffic in human beings began to stand out in the early1990s. In November 1993, the Council of the EU adopted a series of recommendations for fighting against the trafficking in human beings. In June 1996, in Vienna, the first European conference on the slave trade in women was held, organised by the Commission and bringing together players from all horizons (universities, NGOs, police and immigration services, governments, parliaments). During the same period, one was beginning to advance figures on a phenomenon that went beyond the territory of the European Union 2 . The EU would regularly and continually stress a ‘disturbing development’ in this form of crime. 2

Communication from the Commission, 20 November 1996, to the European Council and Parliament concerning the slave trade in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation:’It is difficult to get information and, especially, precise figures for evaluating the phenomenon. The international organisation for migrations estimates the number of victims at 500,000, coming increasingly from Central and Eastern Europe as well as from newly independent States. Veritable networks have been set up and profit from political supports and considerable economic resources.’ 7

Still in the mid-1990s, the EU completed its work on the definition of the phenomenon that is never trivial when it comes to this subject. Indeed, the phenomenon of occasional prostitution, the importance of which the players in the field agree on underscoring, is excluded from it. This is how the EU defined its sphere of activity in 1997 3 : 

‘trafficking in human beings’: all behaviour that facilitates the entry on the territory of a member State, transit by this territory, the stay on this territory or leaving this territory, for a lucrative aim in view of their sexual exploitation or in view of inflicting sexual abuse on them;  ‘sexual exploitation’ concerning a child: inciting or forcing a child to give itself up to illegal sexual activity, exploiting a child for the purpose of prostitution or other illegal sexual practices, exploiting children for the production of pornographic spectacles or material, including the production, sale and distribution or other forms of trafficking of materials of this type, and detention of this type of material;  ‘sexual exploitation’ concerning an adult; at least the exploitation of an adult for the purpose of prostitution. It is also in the context of this work that the EU is beginning to demand of member States to reexamine their legislation. Faced with the trans-European impact of the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, in the final Declaration of the Second Summit of the European Council (Strasbourg, 10-11 October 1997), the chiefs of state and government heads affirmed their ‘determination to combat the violence against women and all forms of sexual exploitation of women considered as a threat to the security of citizens and democracy in Europe’ 4 . As such, the European Council has listed priority actions to institute in the framework of an overall action plan. This ‘proposes main lines for thinking and research that should lead to the formulation of recommendations to member States on the legislative and judicial aspects of these questions, the role of the police, the adoption of aid and re-adaptation measures for victims and the implementation of prevention and education.’ 5 . These principal recommendations addressed to the Governments were the following: ‘spare nothing in dealing with the principal causes of the slave trade, amongst which the economic situation of the countries of origin and the demand that exists in men […], undertake co-ordinated action thanks to a pluridisciplinary approach bringing together all the sectors concerned (social, legal, penal, administrative, customs, application of laws and media) and NGOs, make judicial authorities aware of the scope and diversity of the phenomenon so that they understand that violations of fundamental rights of women are at stake, and acknowledge the necessity of protecting witnesses, to make sure


The definitions are taken from the joint action 97/154/JAI, of 24 February 1997, adopted by the Council on the basis of article K.3 of the treaty on the European Union, relative to the fight against the slave trade in human beings and sexual exploitation of children [Journal officiel L 63 of 04.03.1997]. 4 The action of the Council of Europe as regards equality between women and men, EG (98) 2, Council of Europe, Directorate of Human Rights, Strasbourg, November 1998 5 idem. 8

that the sentencing of traffickers is indeed real […], provide sufficient financial resources to all organisations and NGOs participating in aid to victims […]’ 6 . Beyond the recommendations, the European Council intends to create a moral obligation for the member States and have an agreement adopted that would oblige the contracting parties to modify their legislation and set up solid mechanisms for combating violence. In a similar perspective of joint policies and actions at the European scale, and on the eve of launching a European campaign in 1999 against violence in regards to women, the European Commission insisted on the necessity of establishing an exhaustive diagnosis of the actions undertaken in the field of the fight against the slave trade in human beings, to give impetus to new initiatives and reinforce the actions already underway. The increase in the number of women subjected to trafficking intended for the European Union, from countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the European dimension of the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings (countries of origin, transit countries, destination countries) and the probable links between the networks organised around the slave trade and other forms of crime, constitute decisive factors in the orientation of political choices implemented by the European Union. Thus, the great principles adopted by the European Commission deal with the setting up of a ‘co-ordinated multidisciplinary approach that involves all players—NGOs and social and legal authorities, police and immigration—and which involves both national and international cooperation’, in the development and adaptation ‘of appropriate preventive steps and repressive measures, as well as measures aimed at supporting victims and re-establishing their dignity and human integrity’, to the cross-boundary nature that requires ‘action at the European level, both in the community context and in the framework of the third pillar concerning justice and internal affaires.’7 . At the level of the founding texts, the Amsterdam Treaty truly marked a step by raising the fight against the traffic in human beings to the rank of means necessary for guaranteeing citizens a high level of security and justice. The objective set forth in the texts remained for the Union to specify and, from there, to cast actions and instruments, which it would do without stopping. States of transit and origin, non-members of the EU, will not be forgotten even if, in the case in point, the competences of the EU are obviously more limited except for applicant States requested to adopt measures in this area and co-operate as soon as possible with the EU 8 . Here it is a matter of favouring a raising of these countries’ police and judicial structures to the standards of the Union.


Georgina Ashworth, international seminar on The fight against the slave trade in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation: the role of the NGOs, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 29-30 June 1998 7 For new actions in the area of the fight against the slave trade of women, COM (98) 726 final, European Commission, Brussels, December 1998 8 Communication from the Commission, of 9 December 1998, to the European Council and Parliament for new actions in the area of the fight against the slave trade of women mentions on this subject: ‘The Commission would like the prevention of trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation to remain a political priority of the EU and for the multidisciplinary approach to be reinforced. It also involves sending a clear message to applicant countries to ensure that they adopt measures in this field and co-operate with the EU without delay.’ 9

It was the European Council of Tampere in 1999 that was going to further specify the priority lines of action for fighting the traffic in human beings. On the one hand was the necessity of tackling the phenomenon by going beyond the borders of the Union. Indeed, in the framework of managing the migratory flows, close co-operation with the countries of origin is recommended (art. 22), aiming in particular at the launching of awareness campaigns. In addition, an increase in aid to the countries of transit and origin has been requested by the Council (art. 26). On the other hand, particular attention is paid to the criminal networks while however mentioning the necessity of guaranteeing victims’ rights (art. 23). This envisages only the involvement of States (members and the countries of origin and transit) and Europol whose mandate was extended in 1996 to the fight against the trafficking in human beings, run by its Drug Unit (UDE). These past few years, the attention of Europe, as well as of national governments, local elected officials and the media in face of the phenomenon of the slave trade in human beings has therefore increasingly evolved. Several institutions have pledged to expand the debate and develop awareness on the subject of the slave trade in women. After having financed for several years, through the STOP and DAPHNE programmes, actions in all the domains affected by the phenomenon of the slave trade, the European Commission, through its Justice and Home Affairs directorate, is currently reorganising the programmes to concentrate efforts in the fields of co-operation between the member countries of the Union and the applicant countries on the subjects of international crime, migration, cross-border co-operation, etc. The TACIS and PHARE programmes have been set up, with funding allocated to the fight against the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, so as to permit the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, amongst others, to face up to it. Two major documents deserve particular attention: - the Protocol resulting from the Palermo meeting (December 2000)—a supplementary protocol to the United Nations convention against transnational crime, - the Brussels Declaration, coming out of the European conference on the prevention of and the fight against the traffic in human beings organised by the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) in Brussels in September 2002. The protocol against transnational organised crime, which aims at preventing, repressing and punishing the practice of the trafficking in persons, in particular women and children, was adopted by the General Assembly in New York on 15 November 2000 and presented in Palermo on 12 December 2000. This protocol, called the ‘Palermo Convention’, supplements the United Nations convention against transnational organised crime, by dealing more specifically with certain activities engaged in by organised crime groups, in the present case, trafficking in persons. It is the first universal instrument focussing on all aspects of this trafficking. Above all, it is an instrument of criminal law, whilst also including measures for prevention and victim protection, in particular:  it obliges the States to provide victims with appropriate assistance to enable them to assert their views in the course of the criminal procedure, as well as the possibility of obtaining reparation for damages sustained;


it encourages the States to provide victims with acceptable housing, medical, psychological and material assistance, possibilities of employment, education and training, as well as the possibility of remaining on the territory. The protocol establishes, for the first time at the level of a universal treaty, the States’ commitment to take back their nationals and permanent residents who are victims of the slave trade, in order to favour the return, preferably voluntary, of victims to their country of origin. The European Conference on prevention and the fight against the traffic in human beings, which was held in Brussels in September 2002, brought together more than 1,000 persons, representatives of all the European States, local authorities and NGOs. It was organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in close co-operation with the European Parliament and the JAI Commission. On the occasion of this conference, it was stressed that only 22 States had signed the Palermo protocol, which signified that most of the States had not yet committed to respecting the measures proposed by that document. The Brussels conference produced a document called the ‘Brussels Declaration’ and contained recommendations on: - co-operation and co-ordination between all governments, international institutions and players concerned by the traffic in human beings; - the prevention of the traffic in human beings, starting with the knowledge of the causes, research and training of players, warning campaigns addressed to the target population, administrative checks and particular attention to children; - protection and assistance for victims. This declaration was debated upon and integrated the contributions of the participants throughout the two days of work and was adopted at the final session of the conference. On the same occasion, European Commissioner Vitorino announced the creation of a group of experts on trafficking in human beings. The duties of this group of qualified personalities will be to make contributions and proposals for implementing the priorities stated in the Brussels Declaration. If one considers the evolution over the past years, it seems there is a certain discrepancy between the proposals of legislative changes debated in certain countries, which concern the practice of prostitution itself, and the awareness that the fight against trafficking, as the Commission intends and supports it, calls for a multidisciplinary approach and particular attention to irregular prostitution. A contradiction appears on the European scene with, on the one hand, the harmonisation of laws on prohibitionist positions and the observation that the political debate is predominantly focussed on the repressive approach; and, on the other hand, NGOs and cities increasingly involved in proximity and prevention actions. Contrary to what might be expected, this absence of coherence risks offering more advantages to criminals and harming victims and the fight against le traffic. It is in this pluridisciplinary approach, urged by the European Council as well as by the European Union, that the three European Forum’s SécuCités ‘Women Victims of the slave trade’ projects lie.


History of the EFUS SecuCities Women projects

2 12

First step - 1998-99 In the framework of the Community’s STOP 98 Programme, the European Forum carried out, in seven European cities, a research-action entitled SécuCités Women. Cities and places of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Its primary objective was to observe what was happening in those cities, concerning illegal prostitution. It was a matter of: - succeeding in developing new synergies with the various partners who intervene with populations that are victims of the slave trade or subjected to prostitution activity; - determining methods of dealing with trafficking in human beings by ensuring greater coherence in the treatment of all problems of a public, health and social order by decompartmentalising the departments. Seven European cities were selected, according to their different legislative dispositions and local specificities relative to problems of the slave trade and prostitution: Antwerp and Brussels (B), Bologna and Modena (I), Lyon (F), Frankfurt (D), Vienna (A) and Liverpool (GB). The project was organised around two principal steps: - the observation and collection of data relative to the nationalities of the women victims, their itinerary, operating methods of the criminal networks and the responses of institutions and NGOs; - the restitution, sharing and evaluation of practices. The city visits and all the meetings allowed for drawing up an inventory, presented and discussed in the course of an international pooling and evaluation seminar, organised by EFUS in Lyon, on 11 and 12 February 1999. The stakes of this meeting were threefold: - the sharing of information and experiences collected during preparatory work in the cities in order to verify if it were possible to establish a diagnosis and know the obstacles; - the conception and setting up of a space for dialogue and open debate on concomitant preoccupations, the exposition of field practices and the joint search for solutions; - the elaboration of ‘recommendations’ for the future. This meeting brought out several fields to invest in: collaborative work within a network is determining in the sharing of information, the elaboration of common objectives and the construction of a common, concerted policy. At that time, it appeared that a certain number of working networks already existed: those of the cities, police and judicial authorities that organise the communication and co-operation between their respective departments on the European scale, NGOs that were inserted in certain networks. It nonetheless became imperative that all these networks work jointly and come together around topics touching on the problem of the traffic in human beings for sexual exploitation. Starting from the preparatory work for this meeting of sharing and evaluation, a network was initiated. The following step was to continue feeding the databank and pursue the work of ‘putting the networks in a network’.


There was question of defining and implementing a strategy on the European level by establishing a partnership involving the countries of destination, transit and origin of women victims of the traffic for sexual exploitation. Indeed, in the context of immigration as we know it, we could not accept that the lack of money, housing problems or unemployment leave no way out for women other than being used against their will by vast criminal organisations and letting the sexual exploitation of women and children develop indefinitely. That is why, in the countries of origin of the slave trade, important information and prevention actions relative to the risks incurred in the destination countries were set up, in priority for women who represent potential victims. Another field concerned the prevention actions that can only be carried out if there is co-ordination between the health, social, housing and employment services, as well as police and judicial services. This pluridisciplinary policy, although being conducted in several Western European cities, remained embryonic if not inexistent in Central and Eastern European cities. Consequently, it was urgent to develop these local prevention policies and, at the same time, promote their articulation and adhesion to national and international policies. EFUS considered it imperative to encourage the countries of origin and transit to participate actively in joint European platforms and to expand the joint network towards the East for an overall taking into consideration of the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings. Second step - 1999-2000 These recommendations from the Lyon seminar took shape in the SécuCités Women. Trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation and cross-border co-operation project (STOP 99). The project’s objectives were multiple: 

To give form and content to cross-border co-operation through the angle of a twinning between cities of origin of women victims of the traffic for sexual exploitation (cities of Central and Eastern Europe) and the destination cities for those same women (Western European cities).

To assist the cities of Central and Eastern Europe in setting up actions aimed at - information and the awareness of women (potential victims) to the risks incurred in the countries of destination - organising the accommodation and social reintegration of victims while ensuring their security, - the fight against recruiting practices and methods used by organised-crime networks, - the activation of an urban security coalition recording this type of topic.

To perpetuate joint East-West relations.

The methodology adopted First of all, the seven destination cities were the object of an audit, whose objectives were to determine the countries and cities of origin of the women victims of the slave trade and to shed light on the difficulties confronting the various players who intervene in this sphere.


Every city was audited by an EFUS team. The visits in the cities were the occasion to meet the various partners (police, justice, municipal services, associations...) in the course of roundtable discussions and/or individual conversations. An inquiry grid had been established beforehand in order to be able to conduct the audits on the basis of a common model. The meetings with the grassroots players and the analyses of results, carried out jointly with the NGOs working with women victims and with the police and judicial services of the sites concerned, allowed for, by crossing the collected data, picking out the ‘departure’ cities so as to propose to seven of them a partnership with the host cities. The project partners Seven European destination cities were selected: Brussels (B), Antwerp (B), Nice (F), Bologna (I), Vienna (A), Frankfurt (D) and Heerlen (NL). Seven cities of Central and Eastern Europe were identified and accepted the proposed partnership: Brno (CZ), Györ (H), Lódz (PL), Vilnius (LT), Kiev (UA), Sofia (BG), Kuçova (AL). The Forum established contacts with the ‘departure cities’ of Central and Eastern Europe that were identified. All the cities contacted immediately joined the project. A meeting between the destination cities and the cities of origin was then organised in Brussels, so as to compare and share respective experiences and problems, prepare the twinning between cities and to draw up a list of expectations of the two parties and define a joint strategy. This meeting was also the occasion for confirming the twinning between the cities: Brussels (B)-Sofia (BG); Heerlen (NL)-Lódz (PL); Antwerp (B)-Kiev (UA); Frankfurt (D)-Brno (CZ); Nice (F)-Vilnius (LT); Bologna (I)-Kuçova (AL) and Vienna (A)-Györ (H) To give form and content to the twinning and define the methods of co-operation, two correspondents from the destination city (a representative from an association and an institutional representative) spent a week in the city of origin, accompanied by the EFUS project leader. In each Central or Eastern European city, the setting up of a joint local coalition was encouraged in order to establish a local prevention plan integrating the elaboration of prevention messages. Out of concern for complementarity with the research work carried out in the destination cities, it turned out to be necessary, on the one hand, to organise the identification of groups at risk in the cities of origin, and, on the other hand, to study the recruiting methods used by the networks. An identical approach was followed, as far as possible, in each of the cities of origin: * a meeting of partners (local, sometimes central authorities, police, justice, associations and NGOs, sometimes even civil society) was organised. This meeting allowed for comparing and exchanging data on the problem of the slave trade as apprehended on both sides and for sharing already implemented practices. * the observation of the various arrangements/facilities and bilateral meetings with each of the partners allowed for shedding light on professional and association practices, actions already undertaken, the gaps, obstacles/difficulties to be overcome and expectations of the representatives


* a meeting bringing together the partners encountered in the course of the week closed the ‘procedure’. Thanks to this group work, the content to be given to the co-operation process inherent in the twinning arrangement was defined: how and in what way can the destination city help the city of origin, and how and in what way can the city of origin help the destination city? The method chosen for beginning this process was: - a diagnosis of the week prepared by the correspondents of the destination cities was presented at the end of the visit; - the partners of the cities of origin, after a dialogue in the form of workshops, formulated suggestions for future works to institute together, - the recommendations of the two parties were compared, - the collaboration methods were determined according to the interests of both parties: - decisions on the political, methodological and operational levels were validated, projects elaborated, the means for setting up these projects sketched out (financial resources, training, facilities). The approach developed by the Forum also recommended that, upon their return, the correspondents of the host city try to adapt the arrangements for taking care of victims of the slave trade in their respective cities, in keeping with their new knowledge.



The approach to the 2002 SecuCities Women Victims of Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation project



Several trails were brought out on the occasion of the visits to the cities of departure and during the Brussels meeting, trails suitable for going into greater depth in order to improve the implementation of the various actions at the local level. The necessity of perfecting the methods of police and judicial intervention had been emphasised, as well as the need for defining a joint strategy even though, from one country to the next, the laws differed amongst the project partners. Prostitution is illegal in certain countries, for example, whereas it is tolerated or even legal in others. The objectives of the police and justice can nonetheless have points in common, especially as concerns the fight against organised crime. For this reason, the occasions for discussion and exchange were wished for by all the participants in the project. Support for victims and the necessity of giving them rights and asserting them, as well as the mobilisation against the local networks of pimps require the constitution of a local partnership and methods of action organised and elaborated by the sharing of work and dialogue on the part of all local players, while taking care to leave to each his specific duties. A transparent debate on the definition of roles of the various players (municipalities, various institutions, NGOs) and putting them into synergy, as well as an improvement in taking care of and accommodating the women were wished for by numerous partners. The co-ordination of the players at the local, national and international levels was also one of the partners’ important preoccupations, amongst others, as concerns the preparation for the return of women victims to their country of origin so as to ensure them sustained protection and steps towards socio-professional reinsertion. Establishing a continuum between the actions conducted in the destination cities and these women’s cities of origin was always one of the main objectives of the ‘SécuCités Women Victims of Trafficking’ projects set up by EFUS. Exchanges on the subject of the specific programmes aimed at witness-victims during their stay in the destination cities also called for more time and opportunities for meetings. For our partners in Central and Eastern Europe, it should prove quite useful to be able to visit places devoted to taking in women and meeting with NGOs that set up those programmes. Making the countries of origin aware of the necessity of working jointly with the destination countries can also be induced through the angle of the awareness of local players becoming the spokespersons who will, in turn, commit to increasing the awareness of other authorities. This is what is called the reduction effect. At the end of the second ‘SécuCités Women Human Trafficking’ project, it appeared necessary to pursue the work already begun, just as it was primordial that the network we had set up remain active. It seems indispensable to again fuel the debate and continue the actions of exchange, discussion, apprenticeship and heightening awareness of all project partners. The NGOs in destination cities, which encounter the women in the destination cities and are familiar with the problems, had the opportunity to go to their cities of origin and enter into contact with local


elected officials, grassroots professionals, police chiefs and magistrates. The fact of having different points of view and enriching the sums of knowledge enabled them to increase their action potential. It was imperative to prolong the project to also permit the partners from the cities of origin to visit the destination cities, meet the players and thereby keep the network going. The partners contacted during the elaboration period of the new project all agreed in declaring the interest of pursuing the experience, and the third part of the STOP-Women Victims of the Slave Trade for Sexual Exploitation project was submitted to the European Commission. The progress of the project Starting with the experience acquired as the two previous projects evolved, visits to the destination cities by partners from the cities of origin were organised by EFUS. Two correspondents from the city of departure (a representative of an association and of an institution) spent a week in the twinned destination city to identify the right practices, share information on, amongst others, the cultural background of the women coming from the cities of origin and the various problems encountered by the NGOs of the destination cities during the taking into care and follow-up of these women. The principal objectives that were hoped to be reached on the occasion of these visits were:    

The organisation of a multidisciplinary partnership at the local level The exchange between professionals of social action, police, magistrates, local elected officials, NGO representatives, those in charge of immigration offices, volunteer workers involved in support for women victims, etc. The collecting and spreading of good practices The creation of larger-scale networks, involving cities, with the aim of setting up international work and action groups relative to aiding victims of the slave trade.

It was asked that each destination city organise a programme of meetings with the largest possible number of players involved in the fight against the traffic in human beings and in support (on several accounts) of women victims. EFUS also asked to meet with local elected officials to learn their point of view concerning the problems and possible conflicts raised by this phenomenon, as well as the actions set up by the cities. The partners from the cities of origin were also questioned prior to their departure, so as to know their specific expectations and be able to integrate them into the programme. The visits took place throughout the year 2002, and the project concluded with a meeting in Paris that December.



The traffic in women



The traffic in women Every era is confronted with the reality of the phenomenon of prostitution. If we consider the historic period closest to the present day, during the urbanisation phase that resulted from industrialisation, women often emigrated from the country to the city or from poor regions to richer places. They came to the city to work in factories or try to find a job as cleaning women in middleclass households. Those who did not find employment, freed from the supervision of their original family, often had no other choice but to give themselves over to prostitution. The flight from poverty and the attraction of the city and well-being were, in the past as today, the reasons that pushed people to leave home, but emigration remained within the country or, at farthest, came from colonies. These days, we no longer find native streetwalkers in the countries of Western Europe: they are organised and work through the Internet and cell phones, or in flats or specialised houses 9 . It is foreign, often clandestine, women who have repopulated the street and who, as in other spheres, are the last link in the chain, the lowest rung on the ladder, from the moment that those persons who previously occupied this place ‘bettered’ their condition. Main causes Everyone agrees in considering the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the economy of countries behind the Iron Curtain as the important causes for the traffic in women for sexual exploitation. With communication between the two parts of Europe made easier, the possibility of moving about more freely, the images of countries of well-being and the myth of consumption in countries of Western Europe compared to those where entire families suddenly found themselves without a salary, or where products no longer arrived and shops were empty, are some of the causes for the necessity of emigrating from those countries. However, other elements should be analysed to try to understand how this phenomenon was able to develop. One of them is the contradiction between what was known to be the status of women in communist countries and what reality shows today. Women in those countries had greater possibilities of access to all types of studies and jobs considered typically masculine. The level of education was much higher than in our countries and, apparently, the equality of opportunity and equal wages were much more advanced and developed than in Western countries. The economic crisis has nonetheless brought to light the fact that, in all probability, the equality of opportunity and the relationships between men and women was the result of an imposed ideology, probably considered necessary for controlling sprawling territories and different ethnic groups, cultures and religions, and not from a real evolution between genders.


In the countries where the law permits it. 23

The profound changes and crisis of a whole political and economic system have powerfully shaken all relationships and models, primarily penalising women and giving prominence to the profound differences between the cities and the countryside. In those far-flung regions, isolated—one might almost speak of reclusion—and the huge gap incontestably represented by women’s lack of education, have generated a state of weakness in the latter, putting them in a position where they were at the mercy of and became the easy prey for a certain type of individual or organised network, which, with a few fallacious arguments, manage to deceive them and convince them to follow them in order to attain a ‘better life’. The task of these ‘recruiters’ was even easier in that most of the women aspired to leaving these hostile environments at any price. Indeed, the successive inquiries conducted by the personnel of NGOs, the police or officers of justice, revealed that most of the women interviewed were describing family situations filled with violence. The males of the community—the fathers and/or brothers, for example—are often alcoholics and unemployed, with all the consequences that comprises. Hence a fierce desire on the part of these women to escape. Those who profit most from this dramatic transition period are the criminal organisations that have a surprising capacity for anticipation and adaptation in face of the evolution of markets as well as notorious skill in targeting the new ‘investment sectors’ from which enormous profits can be drawn in a very short lapse of time.



Evolution of the situation



Evolution of the situation Over the past few years, we have witnessed a notorious evolution in the area of the traffic in human beings. In 1998, at the beginning of our research-action, we had identified certain countries in Central and Eastern Europe as being the countries of origin of women victims of this traffic; today, those same countries have also become transit countries. Recruitment has expanded beyond the former borders, and criminal organisations rely on local recruiters, often organised in small family networks. The fight against the slave trade is thus becoming more difficult and complex, obliging the former countries of origin to seek new, more efficient means and a larger, more structured network of cooperation to investigate beyond their borders. At the time EFUS was setting up the first SécuCités Cities and places of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation project, the necessity and difficulty for citizens of Eastern European countries to obtaining a visa for entering the countries of the European Union made the circulation of persons more complicated. Currently, owing to the fact that these countries are tending increasingly to eliminate the procedures for obtaining these documents, the police forces in destination countries inform us that women, particularly, are arriving by waves of nationalities that correspond with countries that have adopted these methods of simplifying procedures. While one of the current priorities is to preserve and favour free circulation within a Europe aiming to be open and democratic, we must not lose sight of the fact that criminal organisations are often the first to profit amply, if not excessively, from this greater liberty. A tentative response to the problems engendered by this phenomenon is in the process of taking form: the police of different Western countries are co-operating more frequently and with more rapid procedures, which are more open and flexible than previously, but the impressive mobility and rapidity with which criminal organisations adapt to changes, as well as the multiple means at their disposal—financial amongst others—make the task more than difficult. Furthermore, another parameter must be taken into account: this is the fact that women are aware and have a certain lucidity concerning the work that awaits them in the West. They are almost never recruited any more on the basis of ‘untrue promises’. To the contrary, they know or think they know what awaits them and know the kind of ‘service’, but the idea, or rather the illusion, that the work will be quite lucrative, of short duration and not too burdensome wins out over the rest, attracting them and playing in favour of their decision. They can presently keep their identity documents, the risk of flight being reduced by adherence to a contract. Moreover, most of the time, one of them is ‘promoted’ to the rank of being in charge, responsible for supervising the others. In certain cities, we noted that, following these changes, police behaviour was no longer the same, indeed, it seems that the latter no longer becomes as involved in the cause of these women who, due to the fact and in spite of appearances due to these changes, are still victims. At present, the attitude of these policemen as regards this problem is rather to no longer consider these women as being in


need of help but, to the contrary, showing more mistrust of them, as if they were part of the network in the same way and on the same level as the pimps. We also observed that this reaction in the police milieus was often closely linked to the topicality of the political debate and proposals for tightening current laws on prostitution in their country. But it is undeniable that women are still victims. There is no possible comparison between the reality awaiting them and the image they were allowed to perceive at the moment of recruitment: in the majority of cases, the contracts are not respected, the women are constrained and subjected to much longer working hours than foreseen, in sordid conditions where violence and constraint are omnipresent. It is true that sometimes the complaints borne by the women turn out to be actions orchestrated within a network to do harm to an enemy pimp or rival and put him out of circulation. A complaint can also conceal conflicts of economic origin, but that should not in any case influence institutions to the point of constituting a valid reason for placing all the women on the same level as pimps. As concerns criminal organisations, the partners (police, magistrates, prosecutors, heads of NGOs) that we met tended to believe in the existence of some highly violent criminal network. For these networks, the labour would be recruited amongst the members of former crack corps from countries of the former Soviet Union, obliged to recycle themselves after the economic crisis in those same countries. The financial means at the disposal of organised crime enables it to always be one length ahead of the institutions in charge of fighting them. The technology with which these criminal networks are equipped, as well as their information channels, the fact that they have the means to recycle and launder money very quickly, the immediate placing of all these advantages at their disposal means that the police, who must go through the cumbersome administrative procedures to have access to the same equipment, find themselves in the position of someone who has the extremely arduous and illusory task, as a judge mentioned one day, of ‘being on a bicycle and chasing after a brigand who is escaping at the wheel of a Ferrari’. Alongside these networks, there is allegedly a myriad of highly mobile, quasi-familial conduction cells that manage small groups of women, as well as a whole economy centring on the women: guards, persons who accompany them to their workplace, run errands for them, etc. There are essential facts that especially must not be lost sight of: these women do not speak the language of the countries in which they arrive, they do not know the cities where they work, and even if they have a contract, they are absolutely not free to move about. Finally, a fairly disturbing element that emerged throughout our work is the exploitation expanding to other categories of persons. We are witnessing the presence of slaves in the domestic sphere, cooking, dressmaking and even football. Women are no longer the only victims: these now include men and children. The state of extreme poverty to which some people were reduced has totally wiped out their rights, and their person, their lives and their bodies have become merchandise for sale, the flesh on which are built the fortunes of individuals totally lacking in morals and scruples. The NGOs in certain cities, initially created to help women, have consequently chosen to also open up their shelters to men, as well as the legal support that allows for embarking upon the steps for denouncing the networks of this new kind of slavery.


The complexities and contradictions engendered by the phenomenon We all know that, from one country to the next, the laws concerning the traffic in human beings are quite different. By extension, one might even go so far as to say that there are nearly as many laws as there are countries. Certain countries consider women as victims to protect, as completely different beings, whereas others view them only as witnesses to ‘preserve’ as long as necessary to arrive at the trial, or else as persons having right to no protection, no attention or care, in sum, a negligible quantity and utilitarian at best. In Europe, the laws concerning the traffic in human beings and the protection of victims are quite different, the result of various political and cultural choices regarding the problem. Beyond moral considerations or the necessary solidarity towards women who are forced to live horrible and, most often, degrading experiences, there remain contradictions within countries. For example, in Austria, a strong movement of attention to women’s rights resulted in the creation and bringing into force of an excellent law for the protection of women victims of domestic violence. Furthermore, the law was accompanied by action plans, procedures, shelters, training of players supposed to apply this law, immediate police action and rapid responses (means of application) of the law. All this commitment might lead one to think that the will to deal with this problem is really strong and that, thanks to the effort set up, behavioural and cultural changes on the part of men and women are to be expected in time. This law will also allow for learning, in a more precise and scientific fashion, the origins of violent behaviours and thereby offer more concrete elements for envisaging better prevention, more targeted educational programmes, heightened capacity for recognising and preventing behaviours at risk with young people, etc. The absence of a ‘European law’ against the slave trade and for the protection of victims that is joint, accepted by all and the result of a debate between countries, does not allow for creating a ‘system’ of common responses and action plans in order to obtain, in time, the cultural changes that are fundamentally essential and necessary for wiping out this scourge. Proposals for setting up community norms of support for victims have already been envisaged on several occasions. While every country invests large sums of money and human resources in the fight against the traffic, there is a risk of spoiling a large part of this in contradictory actions. Throughout the city visits, we heard it said that repressive action in a country provoked a migration and therefore an influx of women into the surrounding countries or cities. A law common to the European countries, and eventually more extensive geographically, would allow for better co-ordination, proceeding to exchanges starting from common bases, and obtaining comparable data, and would offer the possibility of following the itinerary of women, and finally, lead to reducing various bureaucratic red tape. That would also translate into greater difficulty for the criminal networks to profit from the differences and divergences that currently exist. Arriving at the harmonisation of interventions and procedures would probably require time but that time would not, by any means, be wasted.


Another example of contradiction sometimes present within the same country: owing to the fact that prostitution is legal in a given country, it is the illegal alien status and actions of foreign women that are punishable by repression. The police corps in charge of checking documents and combating clandestine actions is not the same as the one in charge of the fight against trafficking. Their mandates are different: taking to prison for the former, and succeeding in obtaining co-operation for the latter. But the women are the same and are generally involved in both cases, given the diversity of attitudes within the various police corps, it becomes extremely difficult to gain their confidence. Or else: the cities solicited by citizens set up, through the local police, dissuasive actions against women working in the street or, at the same time, the police corps in charge of investigations against the trafficking in human beings ask these same women to co-operate. As long as these victims live in uncertainty as regards their future and without knowing towards whom to turn for help, understanding, a listening ear and assistance, they will be reduced to silence and paralysed by fear: on the one side, the fear of punishment on behalf of the criminal elements that exploit them, on the other side, fear of repression on the part of institutions. In both cases, it will be quite difficult to motivate them and bring them round to co-operating. The cities are also often obliged to deal with the contradictions and set up arrangements and services that might be considered ‘outside the law’; like screening and care dispensaries for native women as well as for clandestines. Also obliged to deal with contradictions, the police sometimes has the responsibility of assuming the costs of housing the women. How to set up an efficient network and establish real communication between the various organs of the State (government, justice, the police corps, local authorities‌)? Cities and the problem of the traffic in women The reason why the European Forum, beginning in 1998, has dealt with this subject, even though it falls within the competence of the States, police and justice, lies in the fact that it is the cities that are most often confronted with this phenomenon. Cities must deal with problems of public order by facing up to conflicts engendered by certain citizens. The inhabitants of these cities are shaken or disturbed by the image of these women working the streets in sight of all, as well as by episodes of violence between rival gangs or individuals that occur in public. This implies the necessity of setting up a new structure or modifying (or adapting) an existing structure to be capable of facing up to problems of public health and security, by taking charge of the aftercare of these women who have no point of reference in the cities where they find themselves and to look after their health and security as well as those of citizens. If the aim of a city is to contribute to the well-being of all its inhabitants, it is evident that the primary concern, starting from the moment that this phenomenon appeared, was to become more familiar with it, to find out where these women come from and under what conditions, to try to help them escape from the network and support them in the reinsertion process. The cities therefore set up systems for collecting and analysing data from the angle of agreements with universities, subsidised NGOs involved with helping women victims of the slave trade, and


also elaborated projects of possible actions aimed at fighting against the phenomenon of prostitution and the slave trade becoming commonplace, especially with young people, considering that public awareness plays a very important role in this type of action. Finally, they created partnerships and discussion areas with representatives of the various institutions involved. But the cities are not in a position to define the intervention framework or have the means to set it up in order to fight this problem. Furthermore, they have realised that, as concerns the figures on the national scale, the data at their disposal are subject to significant variations according to the sources. We must also take into consideration the fact that States often set up strong political actions that rely on uncertain data and that, increasingly, political debates concentrate on and are oriented towards the fight against traffic in human beings and less and less on prevention and aid to victims. Another problem concerns the NGOs: they sometimes have difficulties in being recognised as participants by the other institutions and often survive with difficulty, faced with the instability of their resources. Their fundamental contribution is thus weakened, and the risk of seeing them (at least the smallest) disappear is quite present, something that would have disastrous consequences. The creation of a European research institute would allow for collecting data from different sources, assembling and analysing them as well as setting up a ‘virtuous’ network formed by those who, on several accounts, seek to fight against the traffic in human beings, which could be the beginning of a co-ordinated, interdisciplinary and international response against this scourge which, from all evidence, is expanding rather than regressing.


Visits to partner cities in the project



In the course of visits to partner cities in the ‘SécuCités women victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation’ project, we noticed that many things had changed in relation to the first project, set up in 1998. Countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have legalised prostitution. Local authorities have become involved more in the running and implementation of actions and programs provided for in these new laws. Greater specialisation in certain professions has been developed, partnerships have been set up and a broader dialogue has been established between the various institutions. One of the most interesting aspects is nonetheless the discovery that the international network of NGOs has expanded enormously to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The demand for exchanges and training that professionals from that part of Europe send to experts of the Western NGOs, the effort of those persons in creating awareness actions for the policies and citizens in their countries and to convince their neighbours farther to the East to join the network is a source of hope for an improvement in the application of the rights of individuals and the protection of the weakest. The destination cities The city of Nice Nice is a city located near the border with Italy, which facilitates the transit of women arriving from countries that are now part of Schengen. The legal space of Schengen, which has existed for quite some time, was recently enlarged to include several countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the networks of public transportation coming from these countries have developed considerably. Nice has thus become a destination city as well as a place of transit towards the other regions of France, as well as England and Spain. One of the means for finding out the women’s countries of origin is to check the routes followed by the coaches coming from Eastern Europe. Nice has always been a holiday spot favoured by the Russians. Indeed, beginning in 1800, aristocrats went there for long stays and, after the October Revolution, many of them sought refuge there. The natural sympathy of the inhabitants for this population has nonetheless been severely tested by the behaviour of the new generations of Russians, most of them seriously implicated in criminal networks. Nice is, in fact, considered one of the hubs of the Russian mafia. Prostitution has always existed in Nice, owing to its being a very wealthy city where tourism is fairly well developed all year long, but over the past few years, the players present in the field have observed a strong increase in the number of foreign women prostitutes, all recently provided with tourist visas, allowing them to stay temporarily. Owing to this, women who previously remained in the city clandestinely for a year or two now stay between two to six months maximum and all have identity papers, even if these are often false. The change in their status and, consequently, in their behaviour, creates difficulties for the NGOs: the casualisation of their presence makes the contact and establishment of lasting relations of confidence with them more difficult. Nonetheless, the women have the same needs for aid as before insofar as they are still exploited and work in horrible conditions of coercion and violence. Moreover, they face increased violence on behalf of some clients who, aware of the lack of these women’s rights, allow themselves to aggress, 33

abduct and even rape them. Data concerning this new problem were communicated to us by the NGOs working in the field. The vulnerability of these women is due to the fact that they are unable to communicate, having no information about the places they find themselves and that they are suspicious of policemen and representatives of institutions, remembering that in their own country the latter often have a function of checking, denunciation and persuasion exercised in a rather forceful manner. It is undeniable that their needs for medical tests, care and often abortion still exist, as is shown by the analysis of their requests. The Nice police have chosen not to take a repressive attitude but rather to seek to obtain the women’s confidence. The major interest is gathering a maximum of information to help in learning about the networks as well as the women’s movements and nationalities through their identification. For these reasons, the policemen check the women’s papers and, on those occasions, ask them to be honest and provide information about their domicile, name and place of origin, for their security and to try to understand how the networks function and what their itineraries are. All the data concerning prostitution will then be sent to OCRETH (Central Office for the Repression of Human Trafficking) headquarters, which is in charge of centralising information, investigations and relations with other countries that are part of Interpol. The centralised data allow for the analysis of movements, flow and nationalities concerned. At the present time, as concerns the city of Nice as well as the French territory in general, the behaviour tends towards short stays, considerable mobility of the women and heightened violence between them (due to the ratio between the number of women and the reduced availability of places to fill), which also allows for foreseeing increased violence between pimps in the future. The latter have a tremendous and rapid ability to adapt to change: they often live in flats rented by the network or in hotels and move frequently; they change cell phone numbers every month, they almost never appear on the pavement and use former prostitutes to maintain contact with the women during work. It is also confirmed that criminal networks from Marseilles and Corsica are not bothering with prostitution currently, having left that source of income to the Eastern European networks and concentrating on running gambling parlours and dealing drugs. As concerns drugs, today they are not consumed by prostitutes; on the other hand, alcohol consumption is one of the problems that affect these women. A considerable presence of Bulgarian women was recorded in the Nice region as well as on the French territory (the same throughout Europe). It is a matter of small groups made up of three or four women accompanied by a pimp, who stay barely two or three months. They are quite young, coming from family backgrounds having difficulties, with a very low level of education, they are controlled by a somewhat small-scale network, even though the latest information shows that organised crime is beginning to take an interest in them. The method consists of buying the debts that these women or their families have contracted. In this way, the women become the ‘property’ of the criminals who thus set up blackmail that leaves them no choice. The border police has set up work groups in charge of specific topics: - the irregulars (foreign nationals without proper papers), the channels of the slave trade, false documents, persons still present on the territory notwithstanding their being prohibited from remaining there


- illegal workers - marriages with irregulars, in order to verify that they are not false. Detention centres that receive illegal workers awaiting expulsion also house the prostitutes (40 places are reserved for them). Women can receive aid in obtaining the necessary documents for being repatriated, if they wish, or intercession (through the ministry of foreign affairs) in the countries of origin in the event of threats to families. Help in obtaining a resident permit is also offered. The NGO in Nice that has been involved for the longest time in the subject of women victims of the slave trade is ALC SPRS. As the NGO entered into contact with the women, professionals clearly understood that it was indispensable to have protected places for receiving women who wished to escape from the network, and that possibility of communicating was primordial. The Association consequently hired women from the same countries as the victims and trained them for contact and relations with them. They also set up a network of long-term shelters through the co-ordination of several centres already existing and which were available for working with women who had been through the experience of forced prostitution. The ALC NGO works jointly with different arrangements of common rights (emergency shelter, overall intervention for the homeless) to help out women leaving the network who must be protected. A flat is reserved for women prostitutes victims of the slave trade. The ALC association has also set up a training model for the players who, at the départemental level, are confronted with this type of problem (police, educators, etc.). The goal was to create a stable network of professionals that might constitute a point of reference for all the professions likely to enter into contact with women prostitutes victims of organised crime. The DDASS (Départemental Office of Health and Social Affairs) has financed this training and also set up a départemental commission for combating violence towards women that meets once a year and in which participate, amongst others, the Prefect, the state prosecutor, representatives of the police, Gendarmerie, departmental council, regional council, the medical association, the Bar and qualified associations. The phenomenon of prostitution in Lithuania and the city of Vilnius The total population of Lithuania is estimated at 3.7 million inhabitants of whom some 400,000 live in Vilnius. On 11 March 1990, the Supreme Council of Lithuania proclaimed the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania after more than 50 years of ‘soviet occupation’. Lithuania is a young parliamentary democracy whose constitution was adopted on 25 October 1992. Non-official figures indicate that in 1997 there were about 50 ‘prostitution businesses’ in Vilnius with a total of 5,000,000 USD in revenues. In 1998, the penal code made provision for the punishment of crimes of trafficking in human beings. Starting in 1999, Lithuania began dealing with the prostitution problem. That same year, there were some 600 missing women in Lithuania; today number approximately 1,500.


In Lithuania, practicing prostitution is punishable by a fine (Article 182 of the code of administrative des infractions): On the other hand, the law punishes procuring or possession of a house of prostitution with a sentence of 5 years in prison or a fine. Street prostitution is exercised mostly by women coming from Russia and Byelorussia. As concerns Hungarian women who prostitute themselves in Lithuania, they are all of Gypsy origin. Women and pimps allegedly all come from Peçs. In Lithuania, a Yugoslav network is apparently also working and would be linked to organised crime. As for Lithuanian women, they work in flats, placing advertisements in newspapers, or emigrate to Scandinavia, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, Germany or the Arab Emirates. Lithuanian society stigmatises prostitutes, and women who return are subject to very strong social pressure. Women are thus shunted aside by society and no compassion or proposal of aid is forthcoming from neighbours or relatives. Episodes of women who have been subject to blackmail and aggressions by relatives or brothers have been reported. Life in their villages thus becomes impossible and socio-economic reinsertion quite difficult. For these reasons, the women who live in Western Europe have little desire to return home and attempt rather to emigrate elsewhere once it becomes dangerous to remain in a given country. The criminal organisations are backed up by travel agencies, which offer ‘all included’ tourist packages and which are only covers for facilitating the traffic in women. There are also recognised, official marriage agencies that organise marriages with citizens of the United States Preventive actions have been set up using brochures and television campaigns to make women more attentive. As concerns investigations and repression, the Vilnius police has adhered to the convention with Interpol and Europol and investigates networks in the urban setting, whereas the constabulary intervenes in rural areas. A national programme for combating the traffic in women has been implemented, but major difficulties are linked to the lack of data, the lack of personnel in charge of enforcing the law and investigating the traffic, and the lack of cohesion bewteen NGOs and public institutions. In Lithuania, there is a witness-protection law, but the fairly small size of the country makes it difficult to accomplish this task effectively and truly without risk for those concerned. It is necessary to consider that testimonies in the countries of Central Eastern Europe are more delicate and dangerous than in Western Europe. The size of these countries and the distance between cities makes the police’s task more difficult, and furthermore, the very low salaries of public employees, as well as those of the average citizen, can weaken their will to be irreprehensible. Consequently, anyone can give information either for money or because he or she is threatened in turn. It is for these reasons that the three Baltic countries signed an agreement for the protection of witnesses that enables them to change their address and the right not to be seen during hearings. At the same time as the actions for the repression of the trafficking, prevention actions were set up using brochures and television campaigns to make women more attentive.


The Praeties Pedos (‘Prints of the Past’) NGO, a partner in the STOP project, was founded in 1998, its goal being to create a centre of study and documentation on the problem of women in society and in the family. The NGO provides no services but has links with other associations and services of the public administration (service of prevention and social re-adaptation). The Praeties Pedos association cooperates with the other Lithuanian NGOs committed to this topic, as well as the prevention service of the national police department (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and governmental institutions. From the outset, the association’s priorities were violence towards women, prostitution and the traffic in human beings, and their objectives to find practical solutions to the problems that women victims must face up to. In the ‘Stop Trafficking’ project, the association’s goal was to analyse the attitude of Lithuanian society as regards trafficking and prostitution, compile a list of activities of NGOs and governmental organisations in this sphere, as well as elaborate and publish brochures aimed at streetwalkers and young women looking for work abroad. The city of Vienna The city is quite sensitive to the quality of life of women and equal opportunities. It is for that reason that the Bureau of Women was set up by the municipality in 1991. The Bureau’s activities cover several spheres: - co-ordination of actions against violence towards women, - the production of brochures for prevention and information on existing services, - the analysis of national laws in order to detect the limits from the point of view of parity and the elaboration of commentaries or recommendations, - the study of urban development and the city’s architecture all this while always paying great attention to the needs for women security and being ‘user friendly’. All disciplines are represented in this bureau, and various professionals contribute their specific competences to the elaboration of policies and actions for women. The bureau also finances the NGOs in charge of supporting women victims of violence and running the specific shelters. In Austria, the protection law for victims of domestic violence dates back to 1997 and allowed for setting up a very broad aid response network, multidisciplinary and interprofessional, which is highly experienced and very well co-ordinated. The municipality has also set up an integration centre for immigrants, which houses about 90 people awaiting a residence permit as refugees and which is organised round several actions whose goal is the integration of the adults and children received. Another highly important service is the dispensary specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, which cares for women prostitutes (and men, too, even though their number is distinctly lower), whether they are within the law or not, and persons having engaged in high-risk behaviour. The screening and care are free, and it is the municipality that bears the costs. The analysis of health data shows that sexually transmitted diseases have changed their clinical framework: - there are many women aged 20 to 45 suffering from syphilis and who are in the first or second year of illness, therefore contagious; - a fairly significant number of children are born with the disease;


- certain diseases have developed a resistance to specific antibiotics, even the most recent. The city’s commitment and attention regarding the protection of women are nonetheless limited, as concerns the protection of women victims of the slave trade, due to the fact that the national law does not take into account the traffic in human beings and, consequently, does not provide for specific actions in combating this traffic or victim support. Starting in 1998, the possibility of obtaining a residence permit for humanitarian reasons was also extended to persons ‘affected by’ (and not victims of) the traffic in human beings. Since the end of 2000, women victims of the slave trade can file an application for asylum to the Ministry. If the application is accepted, they can, as asylum applicants, work and, as of 2002, obtain a limited residence permit and social protection. Thanks to financing from the STOP programme in 1998, the NGO Lëfo, involved in support for women prostitutes, set up a training programme for policemen to teach them how to handle the relations with women prostitutes not having identity papers and by what procedures to send them to the association. It should be explained that when they call in for questioning a woman whose papers are not in order and who is working as a prostitute, the police can freely choose to consider her a victim of the slave trade and send her to the Lëfo association or simply consider her a illegal worker in Austria and send her back to her country of origin. It was nonetheless stressed by the association that contacts with the police were fairly complicated, probably because of the workload it represents. The absence of a law and specific arrangements on the traffic in human beings means it is difficult to define the procedures to follow and the tasks to carry out as well as producing protocols between the players concerned permitting co-ordination and co-operation between them. The Lëfo association also takes charge of ‘Court observation’ in the cases where traffickers are prosecuted. Representatives of the association ask to be present throughout the trial so as to observe the behaviour of the judges, lawyers and defendants facing the woman victim. In several cases, the witnesses do not appear, something that prevents the judges from handing down a verdict owing to the absence of debate. In 1996, the NGO Wave, which organised the meetings of our partners and accompanied us during our week’s visit, created a European network on violence towards women. Today, the NGO is a national federation that has set up a data bank with the addresses of some 2,000 European women’s associations and which is involved in the creation of a European centre against violence towards women. Wave is also a centre for monitoring and information on all types of violence (including towards victims of the slave trade) and publishes specialised revues on this subject. The Austrian NGOs, convinced that the lack of a specific law reduces their potential as well as the possibility of obtaining real co-operation with other players concerned, are increasingly setting up actions for bringing pressure to bear on the government so that it adhere to the Palermo protocol and define in the law, the trafficking in human beings on the one hand and, on the other, the arrangements to be implemented for fighting against this scourge and protecting the victims. The police confirmed to us that the lack of a victim-protection law weakens the NGOs’ actions and the possibility of creating a stable, formal co-ordination between the players concerned. It often


happens that the police themselves must take care of finding accommodations for the women victims. The witness-protection law that could be used is not sufficient, given that women often do not have information about the network that could be exploited by the investigators. In Austria, in the absence of a national law, it is the Provinces that decide how to deal with prostitution. In this way, if one Province sets up restrictive rules, the women move to another one. In fact, what is happening in Austria on a small scale is happening on a large scale between the countries of Western Europe. Police investigations are made more cumbersome in that the policemen must also take charge of all the bureaucratic and administrative tasks to resolve during their work. The national bureau of investigation is in the process of being formed; it is currently studying the methods to be adopted. An exchange of information between the police of candidate countries and members concerning criminal organisations (where are they found, how many are there, what are their structure and operating methods?...) appears essential. For the moment, the exchange of information is sporadic and concerns individual cases The Vienna police has observed through signals that foreign pimps have already taken over the zones of legal prostitution that were previously run by natives, who had behaviours and rules that were ‘local’ and known. The city of Györ Györ is a border city. Many women coming from Ukraine, Moldavia, Slovakia, Rumania, as well as Turkey and Albania and who wish to enter the European Union stop here. Györ is therefore both a destination and a transit city. A large number of Austrian men come to Györ, which is an hour and a half by train from Vienna, to take advantage of a more accessible ‘market’ (prostitution is legal in Hungary), and which is also more varied and less expensive. The fact of being a city on the border of several countries makes Györ a crossroads of crime. Several illegal markets operate there, and every kind of merchandise (drugs, arms and women to mention only a few) can be found. Criminals are very violent and most often come from former specialised government corps of former Soviet countries, obliged to turn to new forms of employment after the collapse of their countries’ economy. In 1999, the definition of trafficking in human beings was introduced into the law and, beginning 1st April 2002, the penal code integrated the definition of the United Nations protocol and the Palermo Convention. A new law in Hungary establishes that the Prosecutor can order and authorise investigations, leaving this duty to the judge only in certain specific cases. Thanks to this law, the role of the Prosecutor has gained much more importance.


The municipality finances the actions of the NGOs (street work involving meeting the homeless and women prostitutes, shelters) and the public services, but is not in a position to co-ordinate the actions of the various institutions. The establishment of bonds of confidence between institutions and citizens is one of the elements of difficulty in the country, even more so because the obligation of professional secrecy, which is a rule present in all public services of Western European cities, is apparently not guaranteed in Hungary and would thus be observed in aleatory fashion. The city of Heerlen Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands: it is up to the city mayors to produce the local regulations ; if they do not, a national committee establishes them. The prostitution of women drug addicts takes place in a defined area and under the surveillance of the police who look after the women’s security. In the same place, an association’s bus is parked full time to enable the women to count on a presence of professionals, who give them advice, as well as hot drinks, condoms and the occasion to rest or change clothes before going home. The prostitution of native women takes place in predisposed places: clubs, brothels, massage parlours, etc. The supervision of these sites is quite strict and it is by the documents of the women who prostitute themselves there that the police are able to tell whether their presence is legal or not. We must point out that, quite frequently, the documents these women show are false, and the police are largely able to recognise them. Once a clandestine woman is spotted, she is taken to jail and if she declares she is a victim of the slave trade, the police contact their colleagues from the cell specialised in the fight against trafficking. The law allows these women to obtain a three-month permit in order to give them the time to think about the possibility of co-operating with investigators. During this phase they are housed in protected residences. If, at the end of this period, they decide to denounce their pimp, the prosecutor interrogates them, and they obtain a one-year residence permit that does not entitle them to work or receive training. On the other hand, they are granted social protection. Investigations are carried out by the police under the direction of the Prosecutor; if contact with a judge from a country outside Schengen should prove necessary, the request must be made directly to the Ministry of Justice, which will give the green light after having obtained, in turn, the consent of the Ministry of the interested country. The law in the Netherlands only defines trafficking finalised for sexual exploitation and not other forms of slavery or trafficking in human beings. That limits investigations to forced prostitution alone. Following research that demonstrated that illegal prostitution was fairly widespread in the southern Netherlands, task forces made up of detectives specialised in trafficking were set up in each region. After the legalisation of prostitution (October 2000), the personnel in charge of the task force was reduced. As concerns the southern region of the Netherlands, four persons make up the force, and this in a zone of 240 kilometres of border (Maastricht, Heerlen).


Women prostitutes are registered in specific files; the police supervise the brothels and massage parlours, as well as newspaper advertisements, in order to track down irregular prostitutes. The absence of women on the pavement, and thus the impossibility of having informal contacts makes it more difficult to gather information, and discovering clandestine brothels is rather difficult, but no one doubts their existence. The law on prostitution is quite strict as concerns the operation of brothels. If the manager employs illegal prostitutes, he or she risks the closing of the house for five years and is subjected to a behaviour check during that time before being given permission to re-open. The legalisation of prostitution as well as the arrangements for registering the women and very strict checks are aimed at dissuading the use of the national territory as a market for illegal prostitution. In fact, the decision-makers deemed that, since it was impossible to reach the heads of the criminal organisations, they had to make it very difficult for women to work as illegal workers. The policemen on the task force have a respectful attitude towards women that is quite noteworthy and rarely seen elsewhere. Regular training and team meetings enable them to better handle the work, which is fairly delicate and not without risks. Furthermore, they have a very precise code of ethics to which they conform without fail. The police work in co-operation with the STV Foundation (Dutch Foundation against Trafficking in Women) whose headquarters are in Utrecht and which is in charge of locating shelters for the victims of trafficking through a national network of residences. This foundation acts in several fields connected with the fight against the traffic in women and participates in a programme that brings together NGOs from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine (La Strada Prevention Programme). Its objectives are to increase the attention of political authorities to the subject of the slave trade in women, create prevention campaigns and arrangements for support to victims of the trafficking in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and training professionals for helping victims in the largest number of countries in Europe. The possibility of creating protocols with Germany and Belgium for enlarging the possibilities of housing has run up against the fact that the Dutch residence permit is not recognised in those two countries. Other NGOs are involved in aid and support for women victims of the slave trade in Heerlen, and a free, anonymous screening service for sexually transmitted diseases is offered to women of every condition. The city of Lรณdz The city of Lรณdz has approximately 790,000 inhabitants. Of the 63,000 officially out of work, 77% have no social protection. The fight against unemployment (18.5%) and the aggravation of poverty constitute priorities for local authorities. The municipality works in co-operation with NGOs for the preparation and distribution of free meals and the search for food to distribute to families who live below the poverty level. That is why it is easy to understand for what reasons the fight against the trafficking in human beings does not, at this moment, represent a major priority of either the city or the State. Prostitution is not punished in Poland; on the other hand the law punishes procuring.


Polish NGOs specialised in the fight against the trafficking describe the city of Lódz as a city of both destination and of transit. Women arrive from Byelorussia, Ukraine, Russia and Bulgaria. The Russian mafia controls the women who work on the periphery, whereas the women working in the city are controlled by the Polish mafia. The phenomenon of occasional prostitution, as well as the prostitution of minors is also present in Lódz. Financing from the State is mainly used for reducing poverty, which means the city is not in a position to set up information, awareness-raising or prevention campaigns as regards the problem of prostitution and the fight against trafficking in women. The prosecutors’ and police investigations are quite slow because of, amongst other things, bureaucratic procedures. A dossier concerning an inquiry can wait three or even four years before being completed. The representatives of these institutions are fully aware of the existence of local criminal networks acting either on Polish soil or in connection with the international mafias and, notwithstanding the difficulties in investigating, they have succeeded in convincing a certain number of women to testify against their pimps. In Poland, the topic of prostitution is still taboo, and open discussions such as those our partners had with elected officials and professionals from the city of Heerlen are not possible today in their reality. Much work in decompartmentalisation remains to be done in Poland, and the Polish NGOs, which often do not work in co-ordination and have difficulties in being supported and recognised by the government, would need more exchanges and information and co-operation with countries that have already developed arrangements and responses to this subject. It is for this reason that, for the past few years, the ‘La Strada’ foundation has belonged to a programme of the same name and which is financed by the European Commission and the Dutch government. It is, in fact, the same programme mentioned previously, which today brings together a fairly large network of organisations from all over Europe and which is in the process of expanding. La Strada Poland appealed to the NGO from neighbouring Byelorussia (Young Women’s Christian Association) to set up a joint prevention project. Policies of fighting against the slave trade in Belgium Belgium approved a law entitled ‘law on the traffic in human beings’ in 1995, following the work of a parliamentary investigation commission created to examine the phenomenon on the national scale. Starting from there, a series of ministerial circulars, arrangements and co-ordinations were created throughout the country, as well as an update of competences and procedures that the public players concerned by the new law must respect. The Belgian policy of fighting against the slave trade is based on co-ordination, coherence and the synergy of all these players as well as a multidisciplinary approach.


The system of arrangements set up allows for acting in a very productive way on the level of investigations, checks of immigrant arrivals, and actions of repression along with actions of aid and protection for victims. Belgium recently approved a new law that broadens the offence of exploitation to other areas such as real-estate exploitation and which permits the requisition of flats that were rented at usurious prices. Shelters have been set up in order to house victims and accompany them throughout the process that will lead to their obtaining a permanent resident permit if they are so entitled or to accompany them to the border, if they wish or are obliged. Three organisations were chosen for these functions: the non-profit associations Pag-Asa in Brussels, Surya in Liège and Payoke in Antwerp. At the same time, the Centre for equal opportunity, an independent public service created in 1993 and based in Brussels, was placed in charge of the elaboration of an annual evaluation report of the results in the fight against the slave trade in Belgium. This report must be turned in to the Parliament every year and constitutes an important communication tool, providing the government with the elements on which to define measures to be taken or specific problems to consider. The report is also produced thanks to stable contacts that the Centre maintains with the field. The Centre was also put in charge of co-ordination between the three reception centres. The city of Brussels Every year, the public prosecutor’s office of the city of Brussels handles between 500 and 600 files concerning sexual exploitation and the slave trade in women. The cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Liège and Charleroi have the largest files. Today, women victims of the slave trade can request to testify by video, using a procedure that had been set up for minors, victims of sexual abuse. Bulgarian women and pimps have recently arrived in Brussels in great number. According to the police, some of them moved from France because of the toughening of repressive actions implemented in that country. Their arrival has produced a drop in prices, offers of unprotected services and, consequently, a fairly violent conflict between them and the prostitutes already on the street, as well as between pimps. The Bulgarian network works with branches in Bulgaria, in charge of, amongst other things, finding women to ‘export’ and carry out money transfers. One needs to know that the Bulgarian pimps buy nothing in Brussels: neither flat nor car, and they invest everything in Bulgaria. That means there is no tangible proof of their illegal activities, and therefore one must count only on the women’s testimony to investigate them. The women’s condition is getting increasingly worse because of the competition. They are often obliged to stay on the street until dawn, regardless of the weather conditions, because they are being watched and not in a position to be able to pay for a hotel room.


We are also witnessing a new form of ‘conditioning’ women: this is a case of a pimp figure who buys back one or several women from the violent torturers and who then makes them work in more ‘humane’ conditions (in a flat, for example). A bond of gratitude is thus created between the new pimp and the women, who will be totally devoted to him. It thus becomes nearly impossible to get them to testify against him. Once a month, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office convokes all the players concerned in order to exchange concrete information on specific files. The NGO Pag-Asa is the reference point for women victims of the slave trade in Brussels. The association oversees some 120 files on a permanent basis. The number of cases that Pag-Asa has followed since inception has allowed it to acquire very thorough knowledge of the problem. The association observes that, in general, these victims are not the poorest but simply people looking for better living conditions and who are trying to do something to obtain them, thus with a good spirit of initiative. Their weakness lies in the fact that, while knowing full well what conditions they are trying to escape, they make a poor evaluation of the situation that awaits them. They overestimate the opportunities that our Western system can offer them and do not take into account the possibility that those persons who offer them a glittering future have a completely different objective from theirs. Once arrived, they find themselves totally dependent on those who organised the trip, without means, without the possibility of communicating and alone to face violence and exploitation. The city of Sofia The economic situation in Bulgaria is still quite difficult. Average salaries are quite low and insufficient in relation to the cost of living. In Bulgaria, witnesses are not protected. Women who testify declare that they did not have to go through the processes necessary for going to Western Europe, to the extent that they, as well as related expenses, were taken care of by others. Before arriving in Western Europe, almost all of them had practiced prostitution in Bulgaria. The NGO ‘Animus Association’ runs a rehabilitation centre for women victims of violence, founded in 1994. The association is part of the international programme of prevention of trafficking in women of Central and Eastern Europe called ‘La Strada’. The association is involved on three main fronts which are complementary and linked: support work for those who have survived violence; the dissemination of their intervention model as well as promoting women’s rights and lobbying actions; prevention and supplying the network. The association’s activities rely on the exchange of good practices, multidisciplinary teamwork, professionalism and the inter-institutional approach. The Association’s crisis centre, for lack of means, can house a woman for a maximum duration of two weeks. During that time, the objective is to help her get re-settled psychologically and take stock of her situation in order to be able to build a project for her future. Il is often imperative to help women free themselves from their original families, which can be quite violent, and where it would be impossible to send them back.


Here, as in most countries of Eastern and Central Europe, the stigmatisation of women victims and discrimination against them are quite widespread. It is therefore often necessary to move the women to other parts of Bulgaria and conceal their past. The stable links with the 30 NGOs existing in Bulgaria allow for pursuing the action of support for women once the first-aid intervention is over. However, there is no shelter other than the one run by Animus. Co-operation with Doctors without Borders allows for giving women checkups during the reception phase at the crisis centre. The Animus association maintains relations with associations in Western Europe, Bulgarian embassies and the border police. The professionals of the association are alerted when Bulgarian women are expulsed and sent back to Bulgaria. The places for spotting women coming home are generally the bus stations, the airport or orphanages in the cases where the women are minors. On the institutional side, the Ministry of Employment and Social Policies has implemented a prevention programme consisting of several actions: - employment incentive aimed at women. In this connection, the city of Sofia was given the task of carrying out an investigation that was enlarged to encompass all the adjoining cities, concerning the job market for unskilled young people. The ministry also pledged to find jobs in state-owned companies with salaries being guaranteed by the State; - a development programme for the Rom community targeting obligatory education for children and help in finding jobs for women; - the creation of free cafeterias in schools in order to increase children’s attendance. The budget of the municipality of Sofia is not in a position to ensure the necessary aid for victims. The city counts on the actions of the NGOs to a large extent and does its best to make them known to the citizens. One of those occasions was the obligatory renewal of identity papers for all inhabitants: enclosed with the new documents were the information brochure and telephone number of the Animus association to make their activities known. The city of Antwerp In Antwerp, in recent years the local elected officials have had to face up to an increase in crime and violence in the red-light district, located in the city centre, in a heavily populated neighbourhood. Criminal gangs, especially of Albanian and Eastern European origin were in permanent conflict, day and night, for the control of prostitution locations, occupation of the best ‘showcases’ and appropriation of women prostitutes. The conflicts were quite violent, going as far as murders by firearms in broad daylight. Following these events and a series of petitions initiated by the local inhabitants, the municipality decided to reduce the zone of showcases from 17 streets to three and to ban the area to cars. At the same time, a police unit specialised in human trafficking was set up, in accordance with measures provided by the law. It works in co-ordination with the scientific section and justice. Its task is the contact with the prostitutes, the registering of the women in files and gathering information. They


are on duty from 10pm to 6am and, in case of necessity, all the police are supposed to intervene at a simple call. The municipality next decided to renovate the zone that had been closed and which is in very poor condition. The goal would be to make it a living and leisure area (dwellings, restaurants, cinemas..) even though success is not certain, given the amount of work to be done. The main preoccupation at the moment is to ensure that the abandoned part not become an area taken over by illegal workers, delinquents and other squatters. The last objective is to improve the quality of life of the women prostitutes. Towards this end, the city is on the point of imposing a reduction in the rental of the showcase windows that are currently too expensive, obliging proprietors to enlarge premises that are too small and make them salubrious. Checking on respect of the new rules has been set up, along with searching for women whose papers are not in order and who are victims of the trafficking. The municipality’s actions and measures have contributed to a reduction in violence in this zone, and the prostitutes themselves have the feeling of being better protected. The NGO Payoke, which is the association recognised as a partner by the municipality, runs a shelter for women victims, its objective being their socio-economic reinsertion either in Belgium or their native country should they wish it. Thanks to the competences acquired by Payoke over its years of work, the NGO is often consulted, like two other Belgian NGOs, Pag-Asa and Surÿa, by governmental agencies, national education institutions and socio-cultural organisations. The NGO recently sounded the alert concerning women coming from Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Afghanistan) who are beginning to appear in the city. Amongst the associations working in Antwerp, one of them represents a case apart: this is an association created by neighbourhood residents who are all volunteers, and its aim is to provide ‘impromptu’ aid to African women prostitutes. The association has set up a flat where the women can stay for a few days or simply for one night; they can also get a meal there and speak with someone from the association. The simple availability of ‘lending a hand’ to these women allows them to be in security, not to be obliged to go home to dangerous neighbourhoods late at night, and to find support in case of need. With time, a bond of confidence has formed between the women and the volunteer workers. That has allowed the association to better know the customs, habits and dynamics of this group, and it might be said that these volunteer workers have become the experts on the African network in Antwerp. The city supports the association with financial aid and takes care of the flat’s expenses. The city of Kiev The population of Kiev is approximately 2,500,000. Ukraine had some 52,000,000 inhabitants in 1997; currently the population has dropped to about 49,000,000. In September 2001, prostitution was declared illegal in Ukraine and is punishable by two years in prison and a fine. Nonetheless, prostitution exists as before and is exercised along motorways, in bars and by cell phones.


According to police data, some 8,000 prostitutes between the ages of 14 and 53 are working in Kiev. For the most part, they are of national origin but have neither social nor health protection, given that they do not pay taxes. For this reason they are not considered as having rights. The prostitution of women students coming from other Ukrainian regions is widespread in Kiev. Street prostitution is exercised under the constraint of pimps. The ‘La Strada-Ukraine’ association (the same name of the international programme to which it belongs) was recognised by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice in 1998. Since then, it has set up several activities. In 1999, the Ministry staff adopted the Global Programme for the prevention of trafficking in women and children in Ukraine, which has an agreement with public institutions and NGOs for setting up awareness and prevention campaigns as well as actions of social and psychological assistance for women victims of the slave trade. One of the most interesting activities that the La Strada-Ukraine NGO has developed is a telephone line operating 24 hours a day and which tries to provide the most information possible to women wishing to work abroad. The information concerns the possibilities, conditions and rules relative to working abroad for Ukrainian women, as well as the risks of violence and possible dangers. The calls are anonymous and free, and the association tries as far as possible to put women who have been victims of trafficking into direct contact with those who are going abroad to study or work. Since October 2001, when the line was opened, more than 8,156 consultations have been given. The NGO’s other activities are: campaigns for heightening public awareness and campaigns aimed at the press; training programmes; the activation of pressure groups; assessments of laws concerning the condition of women in Ukraine; activities for educating young people in women’s rights; seminars and colloquia on the topic of the slave trade; sounding the alert concerning changes in operating methods of criminal networks addressed to institutions; help in looking for missing Ukrainian women. The city of Frankfurt In December 2002, a new law on prostitution was approved by the government. According to this law, prostitution became legal, and prostitutes have the same rights and obligations as other workers. As concerns the fight against the traffic in human beings, the Ministry of Social Affairs for the Land of Hesse set up a ‘prostitution council’ bringing together all the players concerned (police, NGO, justice, elected officials, heads of municipal services…) with the aim of defining hypotheses of cooperation in the domain of prostitution. This council also set up thematic work groups and elaborated a code of ethics aimed at guaranteeing the duty to preserve the secrecy of participants.


The council elaborated a recommendation relative to the co-operation of repressive authorities, immigration services and NGOs as concerns the protection of witnesses who co-operate in the fight against the trafficking in human beings. This recommendation is henceforth in force. Today, for example, the police warn the shelters on the eve of a raid and prepare them for the possibility that women be brought in to be received. Nonetheless, the problem to be taken care of remains the co-operation between the various corps of police, which are not always co-ordinated, meaning that some women continue to end up in prison as illegal workers, even though they can be recognised as important sources of information and, as such, could be entitled to different treatment. Several NGOs are involved, in different ways, in helping women prostitutes: the Iskra association set up a specific programme targeting prostitution and bogus marriages; the Association of Protestant Women is working with women refugees, the JVA association is taking care of women without proper papers, especially from Eastern Europe and who are in prison. All the representatives of the NGOs we met declared that the social changes and new problems engendered require new professionalisation and new definitions of professions in the social sphere. One association amongst others, called FIM, is specifically involved in receiving women victims of the slave trade. FIM is attacking the traffic in human beings, sexual tourism and violence towards women in the process of migration as well as the discrimination and exploitation of which they can be the object. For three years, it has carried the model project against trafficking in human beings in Hesse and constitutes the co-ordination organism of the Land of Hesse and, with the Association of Women of Northern Hesse, FRANKA, the sole Hessian counselling services specialising in victims of the traffic in human beings. The NGO brings important support to the victims of the traffic in human beings, independent of the fact of whether they testify or not. With this work, the association also supports legal proceedings. The tasks of the specialised advisors include: . housing in security with police permission . ongoing psycho-sociological assistance . setting up aid for material existence . support during the resumption of salaried work . communication of training offers (initial or ongoing) . explanation of the roles and duties of the police and justice . establishing contacts with legal advisors and representatives of private parties associating in a court action . preparation, accompaniment and follow-through during the legal proceedings . support for the return to and reintegration in the country of origin In co-operation with housing institutions, the association has also established a housing network throughout the Hessian territory and co-ordinates annual meetings of exchanges between these establishments.


Furthermore, the association favours interdisciplinary work between foreign authorities, the welfare department, shelters for women and other organisms with work targeting training and information, so that the margins of existent actions in favour of victims be used most effectively. At present, much work has been devoted to the instruction of uninformed collaborators, for example in the welfare services. As concerns the data, according to the Lagebild Menschenhandel (representation of the situation of the traffic in human beings), the federal services of the criminal investigation department, a total of 273 investigative procedures were carried out in 2001 with 987 foreign victims. But in specialist circles, figures are considerably higher. According to the Lagebild, the majority of women are natives of Eastern Europe and under the age of 25. The number of minors has increased in relation to last year. Approximately 55% of the women concerned were duped as to the real reason for their recruitment whereas some 32% agreed to submit to prostitution but did not know in what conditions they would have to work. The sum of illegal earnings estimated in the framework of the judicial procedure amounted to a total of 5.5 million euros. Contrary to previous years, the number of victims expulsed dropped from 60.9% to 24.4%. This is clearly due to the specialised counselling services throughout the entire German territory. The city of Brno It was in 1999 that the city of Brno joined the ‘SécuCités Women victims of the traffic in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation’ project of the European Forum for Urban Security. Following the first step of the project, the city of Brno decided to create, at the community level, a structure able to provide an ensemble of services (social, juridical and health) aimed at victims of the slave trade and having its headquarters at a secret address. The funds supplied by the Ministry allowed for financing an NGO that provides the necessary personnel, whereas the city of Brno financed the opening of the protected structure. The structure also makes provision for housing for women victims of the slave trade and sexual abuse who intend to go home, finding themselves in transit in the city before returning to their country of origin or wishing to ask for asylum in the Czech Republic. Contrary to what exists in the Federal Republic of Germany, the legislation of the Czech Republic does not yet have a law on prostitution. In truth, prostitution is neither tolerated nor explicitly forbidden in the Czech Republic. It is not considered a crime but rather an infraction, in certain cases. However, the criminal nature of prostitution is affirmed in the following paragraphs of the Penal Code: § 204 – crime of trafficking in women, § 246 – crime of illegal passage of persons from a foreign country, by which is meant the fact of attracting, hiring and ensuring the transport of a woman over a border. This is a crime, even if it cannot be shown that violence was exerted against the woman, for she can often be lured by promises of easy earnings and a more comfortable life.


Other crimes are targeted (for example, offence against morals, offence against the education of young people, threats of transmission of a sexual disease, limitation of the person’s freedom, loss of freedom, rape, sexual abuse, acts of violence, theft, loss of the freedom of exercising one’s rights, falsification and changes of documents, abandonment of a minor, production and possession of narcotics and psychoactive substances and poisons). Thus, even though the legislation of the Czech Republic does not consider prostitution a crime, it nonetheless allows for taking legal measures against acts linked to prostitution and consequently against trafficking in women. However, in the Czech Republic, a special law relative to prostitution is still lacking. Likewise, the protection of witnesses is not taken in consideration by the legislation in appropriate fashion. The problem of the traffic in human beings for sexual exploitation remains a priority within the city of Brno’s crime-prevention programme in 2003 10 . It also comes under the priorities of the Department of Crime Prevention of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. The law for the protection of victims of the slave trade in Italy Italy, like Belgium, approved a law on immigration in 1998, whose article 18 guarantees to foreign victims of exploitation and whose life is endangered, a residence permit giving the right to social protection. According to this article, if a victim decides to escape from the exploitation network or co-operate with investigators and if, owing to these decisions, risks her life, a protection procedure must be set up and a residence permit delivered by the chief of police at the proposal of the Prosecutor or with his permission. The permit has an initial duration of six months and can become unlimited. The programme of social assistance and integration of the victim must be elaborated by the representatives of the public services and be reported to the Mayor of the city. The permit can be revoked in the case of a person interrupting the protection and social reinsertion programme or due to behaviour incompatible with the objectives of the insertion programme. Starting with this article, the most aware Regions set up arrangements aimed at co-ordinating actions set up at the local level. Cities have mobilised their social, health and immigration services and established co-operations with the NGOs specialised in this topic and all players able to constitute a resource in order to be able to meet the needs of these persons. The State finances 70% of the projects approved and co-ordinated by the Regions, the Regions financing 15% and the cities the remaining 15%. 10

In the framework of the European Eurocités network, the city of Brno is organising a colloquium on the topic of the traffic in human beings for sexual exploitation. On that occasion, the results of the municipality’s activity in this area will be presented, including the results of the SécuCités Women project. 50

The city of Bologna The police services indicate that Albanian women, who were fairly numerous a few years ago, no longer come to prostitute themselves in Bologna. Nonetheless, they are still present in southern Italy, and several investigations seem to indicate that the Albanian network is particularly active in Belgium. The Bologna police strictly supervise the airport where document checks and obligatory repatriation are simplest. Access to the city has thus become more difficult for the network. The police confirm the indications of other western cities: the waves of nationalities is linked to the end of obligatory visas in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. At the moment, Moldavia and Rumania are the countries from which the most women arrive in Italy. The operating method of the criminal organisations has also changed: a few years ago, the search for women, organisation of the trip and exploitation after arrival were more structured. Today, according to the police, the phenomenon is more fragmented: one witnesses the presence of microgroups of two or three persons, also run by ex-prostitutes; physical violence and captivity are less frequent, as are denunciations, and these are often due to unfair dividing up of earnings for the women prostitutes. The micro-group makes the police contrast action more difficult, and it is more difficult to apply the law of victim protection owing to the lack of real danger for the women, given that most of them adhere to the contract that the pimp proposes. Still according to the police, one is seeing an increase in ‘white weddings’ between foreign women prostitutes and Italian men or even between Albanian men and women (who are often drug addicts). There is allegedly a form of ‘eclecticism’ (a bit of prostitution, a few burglaries, some drug dealing...) on the part of the pimps, which would show that the ‘home organisation’ has not taken the place of the criminal organisations. Working conditions (if one might call them such) of women prostitutes have radically changed the panorama, and even the reinsertion process provided for by the victim-protection law is less accepted: in fact, the salary that the women can earn through the reinsertion programme does not come close to their revenues as prostitutes, regardless of how low those might have been. Apparently, the new rules give them considerable freedom, one evening a week when they can go out, the right to go home when they wish, and very understanding, almost friendly pimps. Even threats against members of the family who have remained in the home country are no longer current, given that the new recruitments are quite easy. Although the judges in charge of the investigations confirm most of the police information, at the same time, they emphasise the level of corruption of certain public employees in the countries of origin, or certain links between the travel agencies of Eastern and Central Europe and the criminal organisations, and they affirm that protection of the family members is fairly difficult to ensure by local police.


The city of Bologna is part of a project financed and co-ordinated by the Emilia-Romagna Region, called Oltre la strada (‘beyond the street’), whose aim is improving living conditions of prostitutes, whether they are forced or not, and helping them get out of exploitation conditions. The project has created a network of professionals from the public and private sectors in health, social work, training, unions and volunteer organisations of 12 cities in the region. The first phase is the reduction of risks, set up by social workers in the streets who are responsible for the initial contact, be it in the street at night (distribution of information brochures, materials for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, accompaniment to the territorial health and social services), or at the drop-in centre during the day. The moment a woman wishes to leave the street, an individual programme of protection and social insertion is elaborated (insertion in a protected shelter, medical and psychological support, education and professional training, learning the Italian language, professional orientation, motivational laboratories for job insertion, training programmes in companies, aid in setting up an individual business). Legal aid, assistance for family reunification and repatriation are organised in accordance with the woman’s wishes. A Freefone number against the slave trade was set up in July 2000 with the financial support of the Department for equal opportunities of the presidency of the Council of Ministers. According to the NGOs involved in the project, violence and exploitation still exist for women prostitutes. Moreover, the NGOs fear a drop in attention, especially on the part of the law forces, due to the proposals of changes in the protection law, which are very much a current topic in parliamentary debate at the moment. The city of Kuçova In Albania, prostitution is illegal and is not exercised in the street but is aimed at foreigners and occurs in luxury hotels and nightclubs. Up until now, Albania has had no protected shelters for women coming home. However, the NGO Caritas is quite active in Albania and works in liaison with Caritas Italy and especially the headquarters in Rimini. Prostitution is strongly condemned by Albanians, and women who return are quite isolated. 60% of the population lives in rural areas, and a woman who is not betrothed by the age of 17 is already considered an old maid. After the fall of the regime, many men emigrated. The departure of men weakened families, left without protection in a patriarchal society, and young women were exposed to kidnapping by criminals. Today, even though things have improved as regards the slave trade, one cannot say the same about the evolution of Albanian society, especially as concerns women’s rights. Thus, one of the forms of protection of women chosen by families is to marry off their daughters at a young age to men who are fairly old.


Up until 1999, the traffickers considered that they benefited from immunity because of the absence of a standard legal framework and ministerial circulars granting the means to the police. Thanks to a national structure that was set up quite recently, with local teams and which is in charge of fighting against the exploitation and trafficking in human beings, starting in late 2002, the police reached various criminal organisations. The law was changed and makes provision for severe sentences for exploiters. The city of Kuçova has 31,000 inhabitants, and the new task force has been able to apprehend 18 persons involved in trafficking in women. The number of missing women has also decreased, but the causes of their departure remain: poverty, the lack of schools and information in rural areas, the lack of aid services for broken families and the absence of a better outlook in life for young people. Even though women disappear less, the criminal networks are nonetheless still quite active and recruit women in Moldavia and elsewhere, where women accept to leave. In the city, there are 16 NGOs working in the field of social intervention, three of which are involved in the issue of prostitution. The obsolescence of industries has produced 7,000 unemployed in Kuçova, which thus holds the record for unemployment in Albania, and the municipality must face up to 1,200 families in a state of poverty. The cities in Albania do not have much autonomy as concerns the implementation of local policies. The local budget comes from three financial sources: the national government, local taxes and gifts from private individuals. The budget is limited and does not permit the municipality to meet the city’s own functions (social and health services, etc.). While the municipality is not in a position to finance actions of prevention, reception and reinsertion of women victims of the slave trade, it can nonetheless take on the task of co-ordinating on the local level everything that already exists and which was implemented by the NGOs, schools and police, while trying to carry out the role of link between the central authority and the local level. Thus, the mayor of Kuçova and his deputy in charge of culture thought about a project of structural reorganisation for putting the existing initiatives into a network. The creation of a co-ordinating committee within schools was also envisaged, the aim being to organise preventive actions, cultural activities for students (especially the girls) and maintain relations with the families. A second-level group made up of women, called ‘Group STOP’, could be set up with the functions of communication and contact with the co-ordinating committees of schools, census-taking and similar projects at the national level, contact with the police, justice and the municipality. The objectives would be to analyse the data gathered in all the services and NGOs having a connection with the traffic in human beings (cultural aspects, quantitative data, results of preventive actions…), publishing the results at the municipal level, envisaging actions in rural areas, supervising their setting up and looking for financing for specific projects.



7 54

The final seminar of the SĂŠcuCitĂŠs Women victims of the traffic for the purpose of sexual exploitation project was held in Paris in December 2002. All the project partners contributed their thoughts and told about actions for increasing awareness for institutional representatives that they had set up once returned home. Thus, the police of the city of LĂłdz made known its desire to create links with the police of Heerlen, while the person in charge of the shelter for women victims of domestic violence is in the process of reorganising the shelter in order to also be able to receive Polish women prostitutes who wish to return to Poland; the chief of the municipal police of Vilnius engaged in discussing ideas with representatives of the city in order to implement prevention actions for female students focussing on improved self-confidence and the signification of the dignity of women. The NGO Animus in Sofia hopes to set up training sessions with representatives of the NGO ALC of Nice. These initiatives attest to the desire and necessity of continuing to promote exchanges within a network that has now been in existence for three years. After two days of discussion and multidisciplinary as well as multicultural exchanges, the partners made the following recommendations: As concerns victim protection: The protection system must be increased, reinforced and brought more quickly to victim-witnesses. Given that, on the one hand, it is often personal testimony and proof that lead to the investigation, and that, on the other hand, the victims, traumatised and intimidated, do not trust the law forces, the elucidation of offences calls for greater co-ordination between all the players concerned. Victims must also be monitored on the psychological and social levels. It is necessary that the immigration services in the destination cities and cities of origin be in relation so as to organise and monitor the return of women to their country, As concerns the co-operation with the countries of origin, the partners underscored the following limits: - The limited knowledge of systems in member States; - language difficulties; - the diversity or even lack of agreement in juridical areas, - the difficulty in co-operating with the countries of origin on the level of repression because of bureaucratic limits between countries; - a certain slowness as regards co-operation and the exchanges of information between Europol and the countries of origin. All the partners stressed the importance of being kept informed of changes underway in each partner city and country of the project. That would enable informing the women in cities of origin who wish to leave what they will find once they are in Western Europe. It would also be important for the partners of the destination cities to know about changes underway in the countries of origin on the level of actions concerning juridical, police, reception and monitoring of women. To this end, the partners emphasised the necessity of having a very flexible place of exchange in which each partner might send updates of his own reality. The possibility of working through the Internet was brought up. A regular information letter should also be envisaged.


Finally, international training laboratories, either interdisciplinary or by professions, were wished by all the participants in the project along with the hope that the network set up three years ago might survive and be expanded to include other countries and cities. Considerations At the point we are at right now, the work we have accomplished does not yet allow us to make an analysis any more than previsions on the turn things will take concerning the awareness, involvement and responsibility of society as a whole. During the whole time we worked we nonetheless had the opportunity to bring substantial facts to the fore and to note that certain elements, which, even though they still appear uncertain, could generate a beginning dynamic that would engender cultural changes. Individual or collective resistance in face of the toughening or proposed toughening of the laws on prostitution in certain countries could lead to the appearance of new alliances between heterogeneous groups and the active participation of clandestine women prostitutes and native prostitutes in the discussions and debates aimed at reconsidering the application of these laws as well as their content. The evolution in social sensitivity and its interest in the face of this problem would perhaps lead to better defining the rights of individuals and better defending them. These two elements—resistance and evolution—would give impetus to what would potentially become an effective movement whose purpose would be to go more deeply into the content of the request made to institutions and to improve it. Even though we are not in a position to predict what the real elements that trigger this dynamic will be, it seems realistic to us to take these hypotheses into consideration. The fields to investigate The players to be involved in the question of clandestine prostitution are, as we have seen, numerous. It seems worthwhile to us to mention of few of them, which, in different ways, are involved from near or afar. - Concerning women prostitutes, they are often perceived as victims or an illegal presence. - Those who pull the strings and exploit these women have different statuses and consequently are perceived and treated differently in accordance with their importance or ‘rank’ in the world of crime, for all the countries concerned do not have the same economic conditions, the same power of action in this domain, the same laws or the same cultural past. - A few years ago, another player appeared on the scene; the NGO, which serves, amongst other things, as a channel of communication and mediator between clandestine prostitutes and institutions (networks of protection of women, public-health services …)


- Finally, it must not be forgotten that all these players are acting in the presence of a public that expresses judgements or that participates actively: it is a matter of public opinion. - The most notable absentee, and the one least involved in this debate is the client. Institutions do not seem to have much interest in his social and cultural characteristics any more than in his profession or any useful information that would help to understand why he frequents prostitutes. In the best of cases, he remains an abstract entity, object of a moral judgement but never that of a sociological study. Every project or action must take all these players into account and often foresee a role for each of them. It remains indispensable to continue to weave links between all the players, institutions and even the individuals concerned by the traffic in human beings in order to pursue the ongoing work of reflection, sharing of practices, debate on the ethical implications and on the rights and freedoms that are jeopardised. Eventually, it comes down to asking oneself what kind of society we wish to build, starting from challenges that we are obliged to face up to.





The cities of origin: composition of the delegations VILNIUS (Lithuania): Ms. Eginta Lisauskiene, NGO Praeties Pedos (resource centre on women and the slave trade, action of support for victims); Ms. Zivile Mikenaite, Commander of the Vilnius Urban Police, BRNO (Czech Republic): Mr Stanislav Jaburek, in charge of the Brno Centre for crime prevention; Ms. Jana Sancova, in charge of international co-operation, city of Brno KUÇOVA (Albania): Mr Artur Kurti, Mayor of the city of Kuçova; Mr Dimitri Druga, Deputy-mayor in charge of culture KIEV (Ukraine): Mr Olekxander Kulyk, Head of the family and youth department; Ms. Kateryna Levtchenko and Ms. Kateryna Cherepakha, NGO La Strada (reception of women victims of the slave trade) GYÖR (Hungary): Mr Mészaros Zsolt, Judge of the Children’s Court; Mr Csaba Süto, In charge of social services, city of Györ SOFIA (Bulgaria): Ms. Veneta Fakova, head of the city social services; Ms. Laura Belcheva, NGO Animus (reception of Bulgarian women victims of the slave trade) LÓDZ (Poland): Ms. Beata Adamczyk, Department of social services, city of Lódz; Mr Jacek Lelonkiewicz, NGO of aid to women victims of domestic violence.


The Pag-Asa NGO Actions taken in the fight against trade in human beings Since 1995 actions have been taken to counteract the exploitation and the trafficking in human beings more effectively. The Government tried to respond to the problem in a twofold way. The trade in human beings was made punishable by article 1, section 1, of the new law of 13th April 1995 under the following terms: "whoever contributes in any way whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly, to permit the entry or the stay of a foreigner in the Kingdom and, in so doing, 1. makes use of the foreigner, either directly or indirectly, in fraudulent operations, in violence, with threats or with any form of constraint, 2. or abuse of the particularly vulnerable situation in which the foreigner finds himself by reason of the illegal or precarious administrative situation, of a state of pregnancy, of sickness, of an infirmity or of a physical or mental deficiency; will be punished by imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of between 500 francs and 25.000 francs." The Belgian authorities decided to establish a special system for granting temporary residence permits to victims of trade in human beings. This system was set up in 1993 and was published in the form of a Ministerial Instruction on 7 July 1994. This arrangement was supplemented by a further instruction on 13 January 1997. In the short future, the Ministerial Instruction will be changed again. The origin of the system lies in the fact that the victim’s illegal or uncertain status is one of the means of exerting pressure and blackmail used by organised crime. The irregular status is also a major obstacle for the victims to defending their rights and allowing them access to help and support structures. Experience in Belgium has demonstrated the importance of establishing, under certain conditions, a special system for granting temporary residence permits to victims of trade in human beings. Before the system was set up, most of the victims discovered during crackdown operations, which mainly carried out by police departments, received an order to leave the country within five days. The issuing of residence papers and occupational authorisation (work permit) to foreigners, victims of the trade in human beings, proceeds in successive phases connected to the process of the judicial procedure. The first phase: delivery of an order to leave the country within 45 days. This period of 45 days must allow the victim to leave the environment of the trade in human beings and is helped by a specialised reception centre for victims of trade in human beings, to regain a peaceful state. During this period, the victims in question can decide whether or not they wish to register a statement concerning the persons or the networks of the trade in human beings that had exploited them or if they wish to prepare themselves to return to their country of origin. It is, therefore, important that the police or inspection service, as soon as it comes across a person suspected of being a victim of the trade in human beings, brings this person in contact with a specialised reception centre. The relevant police service should also make contact with the Office of 60

Foreign Affairs and, if the case arises, report that the (suspected) victim has been directed towards a specialised reception centre. If the victim has immediately made a complaint or a statement, the specialised shelter that ensures the escorting of the victim can immediately request the Office of Foreign Affairs to go to the second phase. The second phase: delivery of a declaration of arrival in 3 months. The victim who has filed a complaint or made a statement during the period of 45 days, will receive a provisional residence permit of three months worded in the form of a declaration of arrival. During this period, the assistance of the victim by a specialised reception centre is obligatory. During this phase, the victim can receive a provisional work permit. The Office of Foreign Affairs finds out immediately, and at the latest one month before the end of this period, from the king's public prosecutor the effects of the complaint or the statement of the victim by indicating the date by which a response is expected. The information from the public prosecutor should include two elements; first if it is a matter of a file dealing with the trade in human beings; second whether or not the file is still being processed. The king's public prosecutor sends, at the same time, similar information to the victim. In the event of no response from the public prosecutor, the request for information will be addressed to the general public prosecutor. The third phase: delivery of a certificate of inscription in the register of foreigners. If the response of the king's public prosecutor to the two questions is positive, the victim receives a residence permit of more than three months (usually six months) which can be renewed until the end of the judicial procedure. Throughout this period, the assistance of the victim by a specialised reception centre for victims of trade in human beings is obligatory. The victim can, from this phase onwards, obtain a work permit B. Finally, conforming to the report of the Parliamentary Commission of Investigation and with the intention of insuring the safety of the victims, a process can be begun to the Office of Foreign Affairs in view of obtaining a residence permit of unspecific duration. This request for a residence permit of unspecific duration can be introduced by the victim whose complaint or statement will have ended in a citation to appear before the court, and in as much as his complaint or his statement may be considered as significant for the procedure. The functioning of Pag-Asa 1. Orientation During a police operation, in the framework of control or social inspection, someone is discovered who does not have papers or who is in possession of false identity papers. On arrival at Zaventem airport or at the terminus of Eurostar, a passenger proves not to be able to present valid documents. When verbal proceedings are drawn up, a police agent or inspector has the reflex to think that this woman, man or child could be a victim of the trade in human beings. A magistrate of the Public Prosecutor's department peruses the facts and examines them in the framework of the larger problem.


A solicitor attached to the general Commissariat for Refugees and Stateless Persons or a civil servant from the Office of Foreign Affairs listens to what the refugee applicant has to say and tries to uncover any indications of the trade in human beings. In social service offices or in a CPAS, someone exposes the problem and an intermediary concludes from this that the applicant in question could well be a victim of the international trade in human beings. The next step is to contact Pag-Asa. 2. Admission The next step is to have an interview of admission. In principle, one of the two criminologists of Pag-Asa's team takes care of this. However, the most important criteria to decide whether or not Pag-Asa can offer admission is: 'Can the situation from which the victim has come be considered as human trade?' The interview of admission has two objectives. It allows the intermediary from Pag-Asa to collect enough information about the situation of the victim who has been reported to him. On the basis of this information, the team can take the decision as to whether or not to make an accompaniment available. As well as this, the interview also allows evaluation of the first steps to take: residential or consulting accompaniment, important points of emphasis, etc. The content of these interviews can vary greatly from one case to the next, but they always contain two elements; listening to the story of the victim and the presentation of the aid offered by Pag-Asa. If the case is reported by a member of the police service, it is usually clear that it is a victim who is being dealt with, and in that case, it may be less important to get the victim to reconstruct their history. Therefore, from the beginning the emphasis is placed on the services provided by Pag-Asa. We also insist on the fact that Pag-Asa works with the police, but adopts a totally different approach and has other aims. When the case is reported to us through other channels or when the victim presents himself directly, the process of anonymity takes on a larger role. Indeed, it is a matter of whoever is working with Pag-Asa to evaluate if this really is a case of trade in human beings and if aid should be given in accordance. 3. Assistance and support For the team of Pag-Asa, the assistance aims to support the victim in all aspects of the problem in which he or she is living, in all areas of life. When necessary, we work with specialised services for every section of the assistance. 3.1. Everyday life 3.1.1. Counselling service The conditions of everyday life are often the first worry of the victims. If where they live is not directly connected to their situation of exploitation and their safety is not threatened, they can stay there. If necessary the person from the escort provision team can help to find solutions to all kinds of practical problems in organising everyday life. In case victims decide, after a stay in the shelter house, to start an independent life again, a large number of initiatives are implemented in order to materialise this plan: to search for an apartment and to fit it out, to look after security and fire insurance, to get used to a new rhythm of life, to


organise their day... The social assistant, of the counselling service, and the victim have a lot of things to resolve together. 3.1.2. Shelter house In certain cases, victims can only be helped at the beginning by offering them steady accommodation. This is the role of the Pag-Asa's shelter house. The first mission of this shelter house is obvious: to welcome people in difficult situations and to temporarily accommodate them. Their safety is also assured because the shelter house is located at a secret address. During their stay, the residents can find their emotional peace again, and begin to work for their future. The shelter house is an open establishment, where they benefit from freedom of movement. This freedom is only limited by the internal arrangements and, rules that are aimed at the security and the practical organisation of the house. The residents of the shelter house take charge of most of the household chores themselves, even if they can count on the help and support of a co-worker present on site. In fact, a permanent service is organised 7 days a week and 24 hours a day thanks to the whole team of Pag-Asa, and also to an important team of volunteers. In this way, the residents always find someone to listen to them: their demand for recognition, for support and for understanding does not go without response. A feeling of safety if given to them, their practical worries are taken seriously. They can, as much as is possible, benefit from the security of a home. On their part, we expect a certain degree of independence and a sense of responsibility. This means that this structure is less suitable for receiving unaccompanied minors. In the same way, people who, as well as being victims of the trade of human beings, are confronted by other problems such as drug addiction or serious physical or psychological difficulties, cannot be received under normal conditions. The shelter house can lodge 13 people. Often, we are forced to go above this number, obviously to the detriment of the comfort and privacy of the residents. 3.2. Legal assistance A specific part of the assistance consists of supporting the victim with regard to the law. Initially, this assistance is largely limited to contact with the police service to which the person has made a statement or complaint, or wishes to do so. Very often, the victim has already testified or filed a complaint before Pag-Asa interviews them. In the first phase, legal surveillance consists of accompanying the person when they have to again be interviewed by the police as well as helping them at the time of new hearings or meetings. In other cases, the victim has not yet made a declaration or complaint at the beginning of the period of the assistance. So we examine with the relevant person if they wish to do so, and we evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of such a step on the administrative, financial, family and psychological level. The victims who file a complaint or make a statement often do not fully realise the procedure that awaits them. Belgian legislation and our judiciary system are totally unknown to them. It is for this reason that a statement is prepared with the victim who has decided to go ahead with the judicial process. Indeed, this statement often determines the choice of services that the police have to make regarding the subsequent course of the enquiry. In many cases, although the statement may already have been made before the intervention of PagAsa, we have had to note that the victims do not dare to tell the full truth during the first meetings


with the police. Some victims have even made erroneous, distorted or incomplete statement, which were going to subsequently guide the enquiry. It would have been desirable that Pag-Asa had intervened earlier in these situations and played a role in the preparation of the statement. In the second phase, we propose to the victim to call a lawyer for defence. In order to avoid that this action subsequently turns out to be useless, this proposition is only made after a period of observation and reflection. It is indeed possible that the victim does not wish to become involved in the programme of aid, or intends to leave it after a short time. Pag-Asa tries to entrust the defence of the victims to lawyers who are aware of the problem of the trade in human beings. A meeting is then set up fairly quickly between the lawyer and the victim. In the course of this first interview, the person in question is introduced to the lawyer and has the chance to receive more information regarding how the procedure will progress. Generally, we call a lawyer fairly early in the procedure, when the enquiry is still in progress. In this way the lawyer has plenty of time to get to know his client, as well as his past, and to become involved. The defence during the proceedings can take place with the greatest possible mutual understanding. Once the enquiry is finished, the Public Prosecutor's department must decide on whether or not to close the file. Sometimes this can last months, even years in some cases. If the file goes on to become a court case, we evaluate with the lawyer and the victim if it is suitable to constitute the victim as the party claiming damages in a criminal case and to what damages he may be entitled. If the file is closed, the lawyer can still obtain a copy of the file in order to check the reasons why the file was closed, and if the enquiry was carried out seriously. If it turns out, after consultation with the lawyer and after a more detailed enquiry, that the file had not been treated correctly, other means of action can be examined. All of this procedure is difficult to access for the victim and so complex that an assistance is totally necessary. It is only then that the victim finds his place and notices that his situation is being taken seriously. 3.3. Administrative matters The majority of people who are accompanied by Pag-Asa have been staying illegally in our country for some time. This illegality is often the means of pressure used by their exploiters. The Ministerial Instructions relative to the assistance of victims in the trade of human beings foresees a procedure as regards rights of residence. Pag-Asa can intervene within this framework, in consultation with the Office of Foreign Affairs, in order to take the necessary steps so that the victims can obtain their documents of residence. Besides the rules of the residence laws, it is necessary to put in order several other administrative obligations with the victims. Because they are foreigners, in this regard they find themselves in unknown territory. For example, it could be a matter of travel passes, rules connected to employment offices, the measures to grant a minimum income, affiliation to a mutual benefit society, insurance, etc. 3.4. Psychosocial matters During the assistance, a lot of attention is paid to the general well-being of the victim. Three aspects are principally tackled: supporting the victims to overcome the situation which they have


experienced in the past and the trauma that they have suffered, guide them to take charge of their present life in an optimal way, and develop a realistic plan for their future with them. It is little by little that these dimensions can be tackled in regular interviews throughout the period of counselling assistance. For certain victims, steps are taken to allow repatriation under optimal conditions. For others, we do our best in order to allow their integration into Belgian society. 3.5. Medical matters When the victims have been exploited, they have often taken considerable risks with their health. Independently of this, it is fairly frequent that there may be concern about their state of health. The period of assistance allows the possibility to take charge of this aspect and a detailed medical examination is provided during the first few days. For many victims, this examination at last brings an answer to the question that they did not dare to ask themselves: "Could I be HIV-positive?" Conclusion: The trade; international phenomenon Since 1999, we can see that it is no longer just a matter for our authorities, but for authorities on the European level. It is not fiction: the exploitation of the person goes well beyond our borders and it is this that makes this "commerce" so profitable to those who are involved. It is time that the European authorities became worried about the uncontrolled expansion of the networks, and their efficiency and easy mobility. Pag-Asa must continue to witness the power of these networks, of their manipulation of the weakness in our system and of the indispensable role of the victim within the legal procedure. The information related to our procedure and our experience in relation to looking after victims of the trade must be spread throughout Europe. Harmonisation of the legislation on a subject such as this which is defined by its international specificity is a priority if we hope to effectively put a stop to this scourge. The protection of the victim must be taken into account. The reports spread by means of the media at the international level and which have been attentively prepared with the actors involved in the fight could be an interesting tool for raising the consciousness of other countries confronted by this problem. Within this context, we are staying vigilant to what is being decided on the European and international level at colloquies, seminars or international meetings with a view to also establishing contacts with the ONG in the victims' countries of origin so that the victims can count on at least a minimum of support when they decide to return to their family.


The ALC - Nice Association The ‘Ac.Sé’ (Reassuring Welcome) Plan On 8 August 2001, the Alpes-Maritimes DDASS (Department of Social Services) launched an appeal for a project entitled ‘the fight against prostitution’, coming from the Department of Social Action. The ALC 11 association wished to grab this invitation to tender to set up an experimental plan for taking in victims of the trade in human beings for sexual exploitation, linking the specialised services (in receiving prostitutes) and Centres of Lodging and Social Reinsertion, located preferably outside traditional prostitution areas, thus relying on the report 12 of the parliamentary mission on the various forms of modern-day slavery. Initially concentrated in large cities, traditionally concerned by prostitution, the phenomenon of the slave trade has gradually extended to provincial cities that, for the first time, are discovering street prostitution supplied by mafia networks. The introduction into the social field of a public heretofore unknown resulted in confronting the social players of these towns with a new problem for which they were not prepared. Faced with these dramatic situations, the various participants, whether specialised or not, have only very limited means at their disposal as concerns: - lodging, - direct responses (communication, status of persons, psychological support, legal assistance, health…), - the protection and reassurance of those persons. In this context of the lack of specific arrangements for ensuring the protection of victims, the social services are not in a position to guarantee absolute security: places made secure by the police, round-the-clock presence. Accommodation in a distant place in a classic housing structure but one aware of the problem is a satisfying response. We have been able to verify this from experience. To set up this project, we relied on the mobilisation of the following partners: - the structures specialised in prostitutes, - the FNARS network, - organisations specialised in the rights of foreigners - the DDASS, as well as the various decentralised State services of each département concerned with receiving trafficking victims The public concerned Any person legally of age, French or foreign, whose papers are in order or not, without distinction to gender, victim of the traffic in human beings and/or procuring, in danger, necessitating geographical distance. 11 Accompagnement Lieux d’accueil Carrefour éducatif Service de Prevention et de Réadaptation Sociale – NICE 12 N° 3459 2001 in information documents of the National Assembly


The ‘Accueil Sécurisant’ network The network is set up in the following manner: ‘Prostitution’ partners, organisations specialised in taking in prostitutes (specialised social services, community health, specialised associations). ‘Reception’ partners: Housing and Social Reinsertion Centres (CHRS) agreeing to accept one or two persons. Co-ordination of the plan, in charge of: centralising and handling requests for orientation, ensuring the administrative and book-keeping management of the plan, developing and reinforcing the reception network. Currently, the arrangement has nearly 30 operational CHRS partners. Other establishments are expected to confirm their partnership. Operating method In January 2002 a starting-up seminary to which all partners were invited allowed for jointly elaborating the following operating methods: Centralisation and management of orientation requests attributed to the co-ordination of the plan (the SPRS of the ALC association); response on accommodation possibilities provided in the shortest delays—48 hours if possible. The reception methods, in particular the date of the latter, will be defined between the applicant and the housing centre. Requests are formulated systematically by an institution or association for security reasons. If possible, no emergency orientation, Beforehand, making an evaluation of the situation and defining the prospects envisaged by the person (remaining in France, returning home); Physically accompanying individuals to the shelters; Making solidarity funds available for the person’s needs. Accessibility to the plan Regardless of its geographical location in metropolitan France, the plan is accessible to any social, medical or association contributor in contact with the targeted public. For that it suffices to contact the ‘Ac.Sé’ co-ordination Receiving persons The precondition for any orientation goes through the most complete evaluation possible, carried out by the orienting service, with the following objectives: - Obtaining from the victim complete adherence to the proposal made to her (or him). That requires having sufficient time for giving prominence to: the necessity of breaking all links with the milieu from which the person is extricating her- or himself, not allowing any possibility for pressures to be exerted, in particular by cell phone (abandon of the latter, changing the number, etc.), maintaining her or his destination secret, from the feeling of affective, linguistic or cultural isolation that will result from the distance. - Gathering all information on the situation and, if need be, carrying out research, especially at the administrative level on possible steps underway in France or another country of the European Union, so as to avoid complications in the requests for regularisation of persons received.


The taking in of victims of trafficking does not occur without posing problems, in particular on three aspects of taking someone under care: - Communication in its linguistic and cultural dimensions; - The administrative situation of persons whose treatment of regularisation files is the object of considerable disparity from one département to another and the uncertainty weighing on the fate of the victims not in a position to file a complaint or testify against the pimps or mafia trafficking networks. - Psychological support for persons having undergone serious traumatisms following violence exercised on them in a methodical and barbarous way. Results of the plan’s activity as of 31 August 2003 From February 2002 through August 2003, the co-ordination was approached for the orientation of 86 persons in contact with: social services (specialised in receiving prostitutes, probation services), police services, associations (community, humanitarian, defence of human rights, support for women victims of violence) in the following cities: Paris, Marseilles, Orléans, Besançon, Beauvais, Brest, Lyon, Nice, Toulouse, Colmar, Bordeaux, Nancy, Grenoble, Montpellier and Annecy. The orientation requests formulated: 82 on the basis of trafficking in human beings; 4 on the basis of domestic slavery. These requests represent: 23 different nationalities (Albanian, Algerian, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Cameroonian, Central African Republic, Congolese, French, Ethiopian, Guinean, Liberian, Moroccan, Moldavian, Nigerian, Polish, Sierra Leonean, Slovakian, Somalian, Syrian, Rumanian, Russian, Ukrainian); 45 victims were received under the ‘Accueil Sécurisant’ plan including: - 35 in the framework of being kept on the national territory (taken in hand by the CHRS, administrative steps in view of obtaining a residence permit, learning French, medical, psychological or legal support and all integration actions); - 10 persons were helped in the framework of a voluntary return to their country of origin (lodging, support during the waiting period, steps with consular authorities in view of obtaining a temporary pass or transire, contact with the OIM 13 or local NGOs in the countries of origin, accompaniment to the airport); 3 persons are awaiting departure. 41 orientation requests failed for the following reasons: - loss of contact with the persons concerned (16), - no possibility of sufficiently rapid reception (7), - another solution found by the organism requesting reception (8), - refusal of orientation in the plan (3), - change of mind and return to the country of origin (1), - escorted back to the border (2), - persons in danger (conjugal violence, drug addiction) not corresponding to the targeted public (2), - situation necessitating neither protection nor distance (2).


International Organisation for Migrations 68

Reinforcement and extension of the plan We began this action to face up to an urgent situation without having a precise evaluation of the means necessary for its implementation. At the stage we are at now, it is indispensable to be able to meet the following demands: - Attaining a capacity of accommodating 50 persons simultaneously. Over a year this number can be higher, if one takes into account turnover, departures for various reasons, returning home, etc. - Adhesions of new CHRSs, particularly in northern, western and south-western France to allow for a homogeneous national cover. - Diversity in the specificity of shelters (adults, minors, urban, rural, diffuse, collective…). - Setting up a national telephone hot-line intended for various structures that might be in contact with the public concerned; - Creation of a steering committee made up of the different State services concerned with the question of the slave trade and prostitution; - Connection of ‘Accueil Sécurisant’ with other French and European reception programmes. The effectiveness of the plan as it stands now relies on the commitment of present and future partners. Its future depends on State involvement, not only with a financial engagement but also through the homogeneous application in all the départements of measures of assistance and protection of victims of the slave trade for which it has committed itself

‘Ac.Sé.’ co-ordination contact: Tel.: (00 33) 6 64 49 34 74 – E-mail: ac.se@association-alc.org


The On The Road Association MISSION AND ACTIVITIES’ OVERVIEW The On the Road Association has been operating since 1990 through intervention in prostitution and the trafficking of human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, with a particular focus on street prostitution of migrant women and minors, often victims of trafficking organised and managed by criminal organisations. ON THE ROAD intervenes in cases of discomfort and/or cases of risk stemming from prostitution, it develops structured activities and services directly addressed to the people affected by such forms of exclusion, with an approach based on the promotion and protection of individuals’ rights. Simultaneously, ON THE ROAD, from a local, national and trans-national perspective, contributes to the promotion of the policies in the field, to the elaboration of models of intervention, of professional profiles and of training curricula; it carries out research-intervention projects and issues a variety of publications. Transvestites and transsexuals (above all Italian and Latin-American) and some autochthonous prostitutes (“historical” sex workers or drug addicts), a number of immigrant prostitutes from Nigeria, Albania, and countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and other countries of Africa and Latin America, were and still are present on the areas to which ON THE ROAD intervenes. From direct intervention on the street and the first steps towards assistance and shelters, the action of the Association has developed into a real network of opportunities and aid structures. ON THE ROAD works directly with prostitutes to lower risks and to reduce the discomfort connected with prostitution and to increase prostitutes’ possibilities for self-protection, liberation from various forms of violence and exploitation, and to offer programs of social and job insertion, of autonomy and self-determination. Towards this end, stable and structured services managed by trained professionals have been established: outreach units; Drop-in Centres; various types of shelters; information sessions, orientation, counselling and training regarding sanitary, legal, educational, and psychological issues; vocational guidance and vocational training courses, “Practical Training in Enterprise” and job insertion programs are also offered. Great effort has been invested in the following activities: networking, awareness raising, territorial and institutional involvement, promotion of the policies in the sector, training, research, and publications. ON THE ROAD has, in fact, committed itself to promoting policies, strategies and interventions in the fields of prostitution and to fight against trafficking at the local, national and trans-national level. Furthermore, the work of elaboration is particularly relevant in the circular relationship practicetheory-practice regarding the various models of intervention in the field and the professionals involved: street workers, shelter operators, intercultural mediators, legal consultants, job insertion mediators, and so on. Innovative training activities developed at national level are underscored.


The approach to action-research is constant regarding phenomena both specific to as well as that related to prostitution and trafficking: immigration and illegal residence, drug abuse, new forms and places of prostitution and trafficking, and new areas of exclusion. This has made ON THE ROAD to be a point of reference at the national level, not only for its networking, research and training activities, but also for its activities of technical support and scientific counselling for different institutions and projects. Particularly meaningful in this regard, for instance, is the implementation of the transversal measures of accompaniment to the Oltre la strada Project of the Emilia-Romagna Region and the scientific supervision of Strada, the Equal project of the Province of Pisa. Thus, it is a comprehensive work with the progressive involvement of the institutions and the territorial networks, which testifies to the possibility of activating sensibility and synergies in a meaningful integration between public and private sectors, at the local, national and transnational level. Areas of Intervention ON THE ROAD’s interventions currently being organised combine the work of professionals with the support of volunteers, and are carried out in the Marche, Abruzzo and Molise regions, in both national and international contexts. Outreach units (outreach units of professional operators and volunteers with the support of intercultural mediators) observation and mapping out of the phenomenon contact, listening and needs analysis information and health prevention accompaniment to health services and educational training for access to local services information and assistance in legal, psychological, and housing matters list of services offer of aid or aid in response to a request to leave prostitution and violent and exploitative conditions awareness interventions and conflict management for local communities mapping, contacting and awareness of territorial services observation and monitoring of the dynamics of the phenomenon production of information materials, in Italian and in the main languages spoken by the target population

Drop in Centres (low demand centres of information, orientation and counselling, added filters between the street, the services of the Association, and of the territory) information, orientation and counselling on health as well as social and legal issues accompaniment to health services and educational training regarding access to local services counselling and list of services offer to or aid in response to a request to leave prostitution and violent and exploitative conditions


orientation on assistance and social integration programmes thematic seminars and territorial animation Toll free hotline for victims of trafficking (interregional call center for Marche, Abruzzo and Molise regions funtioning 24 hours; it is one of the 14 local call centers depending on the National Toll-Free Hotline promoted by the Equal Opportunities Department as a systemic action of Art. 18, Legislative Decree n. 286/98) information, orientation and counselling on health as well as social and legal issues addressing the interested persons to the services active in the areas covered by the call center networking activities local promotion of the toll-free hotline Shelter and fostering autonomy (in residential micro-structures: halfway houses and emergency care shelters, secondary care shelters, families) co-elaboration of individualised autonomy projects shelter and protection board and lodging support for possible crime reporting legal assistance regularization (permit of stay obtainment) health services psychological assistance relationship support socialisation educational and training activities Italian language literacy creative workshops vocational guidance starting-off of social and occupational insertion Vocational guidance, training, social and occupational integration (Diversified, individualised and flexible systems aimed at eventual employment insertion) individual and group vocational guidance basic training the program “Vocational Training in Enterprise� direct employment insertion and support search, identification and contact with training agencies and enterprises Networking with several organizations regarding the different territorial contexts Regions, Provinces, Municipalities, Ministries, Equal Opportunities Commissions, AUSL (Local Health Units), Prefectures, Police Headquarters, national police, Families, Volunteer Associations, Social Co-operatives, NGOs, Religious bodies, Enterprises, Trade Unions... Information, awareness interventions and community work within the local context


Work with the agencies of the territory and the citizens in order to negotiate the social conflicts and to implement shared responses to emerging problems. Supervision of the teams and evaluation of the activities In order to maintain a constant high quality of () work within and among the different areas of the Association, monthly supervision sessions are held by an external supervisor and systems of checks and evaluations for each sector of work are implemented and updated by this external evaluator. Institutional work and networking at the european, nationa and local level To contribute to the development and implementation of policies and strategies of intervention, in the field of prostitution and to fight against trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation, as described by national institutions, Local Authorities and private social agencies. To collaborate with projects of intervention in the same sector: transfer of women and minors within the programs of social protection, integration of the interventions… Relations with European organisations Through research projects, intervention activity and exchange between N.G.O.’s and organisations, Universities and institutions at the European level. Relationships with the countries of origins Thorough investigation into the possibilities for immigrant women to be repatriated, contacts with families, search for documents, and local development interventions in the countries of origin... Activities of research, documentation and publishing In consideration of the complexity and continuous evolution of the confronted phenomena, projects of research and research-intervention are carried out in order to identify, in a purposeful manner, characteristics, interrelations and transformations. From such a perspective, in terms of prostitution and trafficking, ON THE ROAD has widened its range of analysis to include the different and connected forms of social exclusion. Various publications on the phenomena, the policies and the interventions in such sectors have been produced. Furthermore, at the headquarters, a Documentation Center has been set up for the themes of Prostitution and Trafficking and all correlated phenomena. Training of operators To conceive and develop strategies and social projects on dynamic and complex new phenomena, which means paying specific attention to the elaboration of models of intervention, to the professional profiles and to the relative training curricula, in a sort of permanent laboratory. Besides the initial training of the operators - educators, social assistants, psychologists, sociologists, and pedagogues… - a specialised training and continuous refresher courses and seminars are necessary in order to work in the field of prostitution and trafficking. Since 1997, the Association has organised seminars and training courses for internal and external operators coming from all over Italy and Europe. The courses are developed according to a multi-disciplinary approach (i.e.: courses for street operators working in the field of drug abuse, prostitution, minors at risk, homeless…; courses for operators of the night world…)


The experience and the successes, underscored by operators of both public and private organisations at the local and national levels, have led On the Road, with the encouragement of the Abruzzo Region and other local authorities, to conceive a laboratory of permanent training: Opificium School for social advancement. The school plans to offer: basic courses and courses of qualification, master’s degrees, strategic-political laboratories, seminars and events, documentation and publications. Practices that need to be underlined Street Work, Intercultural Mediation, Drop in Centres Street work is a necessity in carrying out social interventions in this field, since the street (that is the place in which the women prostitute themselves) is often the only place in which they can be contacted and approached. It is an innovative model of intervention since it overtakes the traditional approach of social services, usually waiting in their headquarters for their clients. This kind of approach is of great importance for women which are in a difficult position as irregular immigrants in a foreign country and as victims of exploitation. Furthermore, the fact of reaching the women directly in the place of prostitution implies an approach of non-judgement. The street social workers also propose to take the women to the health services with the final aim to improve their autonomy in using the services through an empowerment approach. Starting from this point, from the health issue that also enables the street workers to gain women’s confidence, it is possible to rise different demands or to detect other needs and to offer different answers: legal advice, help to get out from prostitution and exploitation etc. Furthermore, in our specific field there is another innovative aspect, that is the participation in the street work team of intercultural mediators, that is social workers coming from the same geographical or linguistic area of the target group who are therefore able to facilitate the communication between the target group and the street workers and also between the target group and the social or health services. The intercultural mediation issue is anyway a general topic in a country where immigration is a recent phenomenon like Italy, and the specific intervention in prostitution and trafficking contributes to a general development of such approach. Another innovative action carried out by the street unit is to make aware the public social and health services about this special target group and their needs. In fact the street social workers do a great deal of work in contacting these services, informing them about the phenomenon of prostitution and trafficking, informing them even on what they are supposed to do (by law) for these people, activating the collaboration with the services. In some areas street prostitution is perceived as a social problem rising alarm in the local communities. In such cases the street unit tries to develop local communities making aware interventions and conflicts negotiation. The street unit produces information materials in the native languages of the women and involves them directly to offer feed back about the adequacy of the materials.


Since in the streets it is mostly difficult to have long-lasting relationships with the prostitutes, the Association On the Road has built up in different areas places called Drop in Centres, as further filters between the street, the services and the ways out of prostitution. The Drop in Centre is a meeting point where the prostitutes can meet the street social workers and the intercultural mediators to get more information, to be taken to the health services, to build up a confidence relationship, to participate in workshops about different issues. Furthermore other services are offered in the Drop in Centre: information and advice about social and legal problems; counselling and relationship help; vocational guidance; proposal of and/or answering the demand of coming out of prostitution and thus of violence and exploitation. The street unit also observes the phenomenon of prostitution and trafficking and plans to explore and to define innovative models of possible intervention in the hidden and unknown world of “submerged” forms of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation by developing in “concealed and invisible” prostitution places such as night clubs, bars, “privé” clubs, centres for massage, saunas, gyms, hotels, apartments. Shelter and Fostering Autonomy Programmes As a consequence of the individualized approach characterizing street work and Drop in Centre activities, once a woman has decided to quit prostitution, an individualized programme of empowerment and social insertion is agreed with her. The programme can be developed in different structures and through different activities. The Association has been carrying out such interventions since the early nineties, however new possibilities are now given by art. 18 of the Immigration Consolidation Act which states: “programmes of social assistance and insertion” are provided for the victims of trafficking. As stated before, each programme is defined and developed on an individual base with each woman in order to foster her empowerment and autonomy. When a woman decides to get out of prostitution, if she has her own home and does not need special protection, her programme can be followed from her home; otherwise she can be hosted in different structures:  Flight and emergency shelters (for a short first stay period in which the motivations are verified and a first draft of the personal programme is worked out)  First care shelters (for stays of 2 or 3 months in which the programme is carried out and all steps for the regularization are undertaken)  Second care shelters (for stays of 2 or 3 months in which the programme is developed in an advanced phase)  Autonomy houses (houses where the women are hosted while beginning a job and waiting to find their own home) In case the women are minors they are often inserted into families. In some cases the women can also be hosted in shelters run by other specialized organizations in other Italian regions (for instance because of security reasons, or for the lack of available space). Vocational Guidance, Training, Social and Occupational Insertion For the most part, immigrant women who have escaped forced prostitution or who have quit prostitution find it next to impossible to go back to their country of origin. Because of this, it is necessary to promote their social and occupational insertion into Italy. Therefore, vocational 75

guidance, educational activities, vocational training are important parts of the above mentioned individualized programmes. As economical autonomy is of fundamental importance, it is necessary that such activities lead to the obtainment of a job. One of the most effective methodologies conceived and experimented by the Association is Practical Training within Enterprises. Through this methodology an individualized training programme is defined and the person is inserted into an enterprise for a variable period depending on her abilities (from 2 to 6 months). During this period the trainee has the opportunity to work in a ‘real’ working environment and to participate in working processes. The trainee is supported by a psychologist and a tutor working for the Association and by a tutor working at the enterprise. A specific agreement is signed between the Association and the enterprise in order to regulate the training. On the one hand, all costs are covered by the project run by the Association (insurance and salary or wage for the trainee); on the other hand, the enterprise is obligated to confirm, at the end of the training period, the possibility to employ the trainee. If the trial period of work and the subsequent negotiation activity have been carefully carried out, according to our experience, there are excellent possibilities of success for the trainee to become employed at the end of the Practical Training in Enterprise.

Associazione On the Road Via delle Lancette 27/27A Tel 0039 0861 762327 796666 Fax 0039 0861 765112 e-mail: mail@ontheroadonlus


Bibliography AA.VV., Articolo 18 : tutela delle vittime del traffico di esseri umani e lotta alla criminalità (l’Italia e gli scenari europei) Rapporto di ricerca On the Road Edizioni, Martinsicuro, 2002 I.Hulsbosch, B. Moens, Traite des êtres humains phénomène – législation – assistance, CCEM, 2002 M. Wijers,L. Lap-Chew, Trafficking in women forced labour and slavery-like practices in marriage, domestic labour and prostitution, Foundation Against Trafficking in Women, Netherland, 1999 Jurisprudence La loi du 13 avril 1995 contenant des dispositions en vue de la répression de la traite des êtres humains et de la pornographie enfantine, Centre pour l’égalité des chances et la lutte contre le racisme, Bruxelles, 2002 Stop Tratta, Atti del Convegno internazionale 23 e 24 maggio 2002, On the Road edizioni, 2002 G. Mennetrier, Villes et lieux de traite des êtres humains à des fins d’exploitation sexuelle, Forum Européen pour la Sécurité Urbaine, 1999 G. Mennetrier, SécuCités Femmes. Traite des femmes à des fins d’exploitation sexuelle et coopération transfrontalière, Forum Européen pour la Sécurité Urbaine, 2000 M. Jankowski, A Siemaszko, Administration of justice in Poland, OficynaNaukowa, Warszawa, 1999 Revues et rapports Animus Association Foundation, Annual Report 2001, Sofia 2001 Payoke Annual Report 2001, Antwerp 2001 Centre pour l’égalité des chances et la lutte contre le racisme, Lutte contre la traite des êtres humains, Rapport Annuel – Images du phénomène de la traite des êtres humains et analyse de la jurisprudence, 2001 G. Vaz Cabral Les formes contemporaines d’esclavage dans six pays de l’Union Européenne, IHESI Etudes et Recherches, 2002


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.