Trafficking in human beings is a global problem. Nevertheless, variations can be found with respect to (sub) regions and countries of origin, transit, destination and the degree of internal trafficking. The states of the Baltic Sea Region are all affected by trafficking in human beings. Every year women, men and children are trafficked to, through or from the CBSS Region for the purpose of exploitation. Furthermore, the region is subject to constant changes in the patterns of human trafficking and the forms of victimisation. This is particularly due to global economic changes and the inventiveness of organised crime structures.The overall objective of the Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) is to counteract trafficking in human beings in the Baltic Sea Region through preventive and protective activities.
Trafficking in human beings is a global problem. Nevertheless, variations can be found with respect to (sub) regions and countries of origin, transit, destination and the degree of internal trafficking. The states of the Baltic Sea Region are all affected by trafficking in human beings. Every year women, men and children are trafficked to, through or from the CBSS Region for the purpose of exploitation. Furthermore, the region is subject to constant changes in the patterns of human trafficking and the forms of victimisation. This is particularly due to global economic changes and the inventiveness of organised crime structures. The overall objective of the Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) is to counteract trafficking in human beings in the Baltic Sea Region through preventive and protective activities. The mandate of the TF-THB is to fight against trafficking in human beings and all of its forms of exploitation. Our actions aim at strengthening assistance to victims, promoting cooperation, abolishing gaps in existing approaches and improving legislation. Download the TF-THB Factsheet
The Task Force is composed of experts from relevant Government ministries in all the CBSS capitals. The work of the Task Force is realised by the Senior Advisor and her staff at the CBSS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden.
Handbook for Diplomatic and Consular Personnel on how to assist and protect victims of human trafficking
Consular staff are often the first contact point between the authorities of the home country and victims of human trafficking. If provided with knowledge and the right tools consular staff can play an important role in the work against human trafficking, both by acting as a first filter against human trafficking when it comes to visa applications but also to ensure proper victim identification, assistance and protection. Thus in 2008, the TF-THB, in conjunction with the IOM Mission to Moldova, launched a two year programme of training seminars for diplomatic and consular personnel. The programme provided participants with the knowledge and tools to identify and advise vulnerable persons before they travel and to assist victims in cooperation with the police, social services, specialist support organisations, immigration authorities and other relevant actors. In total, 12 training seminars were conducted in the capitals of CBSS Member States and beyond between 2008 and 2010. The seminars trained over 550 diplomatic and consular personnel representing more than 90 countries from five different continents that are origin, destination or transit countries for victims of trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region. Download the Handbook here.
DEFLECT is a trans-national project that will enhance local capacity to counter trafficking in human beings for forced labour and collect comparable data in the 11 CBSS Member States. The data will then be used to encourage innovative thinking and policy making regarding data collection mechanisms and will produce guidelines to facilitate the collection of these data. It will directly communicate the research findings to actors in the field and equip them with tools to identify and assist victims and collect data. The project will be implemented in two phases. The overall objective of DEFLECT is to prevent trafficking in human beings for forced labour, to identify, assist and protect victims and to provide a firm basis for policy development through improved data collection and training of key labour actors. On 7 – 8 June 2011, to launch the DEFLECT project the TF-THB, the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) and the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police held an Expert Conference on Forced Labour Exploitation and Counter Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region.
Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region: State and Civil Society Cooperation on Victims Assistance and Protection.
Fostering NGO-Law Enforcement Cooperation in Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking in, from and to the Baltic Sea Region We have the great pleasure to inform you about the successful completion of the joint project between Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Fostering NGO-Law Enforcement Cooperation in Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking in, from and to the Baltic Sea Region. The project culminated in the publication of a comprehensive regional assessment report entitled Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region: State and Civil Society Cooperation on Victims Assistance and Protection. We hope that you will find the report to be a useful tool in assessing existing cooperation, highlighting best practices and identifying where these can be applied. We invite you to circulate information about this report and its findings to relevant colleagues and to your partner organisations.
Global problems such as trafficking in human beings can only be successfully fought against through a broad collaboration between various relevant actors including members of civil society, state actors and international organisations. Hence, the TF-THB and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) implemented a joint preparatory regional project on fostering NGO and law enforcement cooperation in preventing and combating human trafficking in, from and to the Baltic Sea Region. The project focused on both formalised and non-formalised cooperation mechanisms and analysed existing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU’s) in the Baltic Sea Region. The development of a Model Memoranda of Understanding is one of the outcomes of this project. The project aimed at strengthening cooperation between different governmental institutions and nongovernmental actors within and between the CBSS Member States. By exploring our current national referral mechanisms and in what way they can be improved we hope that ultimately the number of trafficked victims can be reduced in the Baltic Sea Region.
Information campaigns can be one of the most effective tools to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking and to reach out to specific target groups, such as (potential) victims of human trafficking, to inform them of their rights and the specialist assistance services available. Safe Trip is an information campaign that is especially directed at women who are potential victims of human trafficking and who have been or are at risk of being trafficked to or within Sweden. It carries the messages in Swedish, English, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Thai. The campaign has been developed in partnership with the 24 hour national telephone support line for women subjected to threats and violence – 020 50 50 50 (from within Sweden). The campaign aims to open our eyes to the crime of human trafficking and inform (potential) victims of how to receive help to escape a seemingly hopeless situation. From the EU Anti-trafficking day – 18 October 2010 – Safe Trip will be displayed at local and international transport hubs – initially at Arlanda and Bromma airports and the metro – in the Stockholm area through which victims could be trafficked en route to exploitation. Swedish authorities, service providers and organisations will also carry the campaign. If this pilot is successful the TF-THB will look into the possibility to run this campaign throughout the whole CBSS Region under the project period 2009-2010. Campaign website – www.safetrip.se
On 1 July 2012 the CBSS TF-THB and European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) in Finland, the Ministry of the Interior in Lithuania and the University of Tartu in Estonia commenced a 2-year flagship project “ADSTRINGO – Addressing trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation through improved partnerships, enhanced diagnostics and intensified organisational approaches”. The main objective of ADSTRINGO is to prevent trafficking for labour exploitation through enhanced national and regional partnerships of stakeholders that are in a position to address situations of trafficking and labour exploitation and through improved understanding of the mechanisms that facilitate such exploitation. ADSTRINGO has been granted Flagship Status under the EUSBSR priority area 15.5 to prevent trafficking. The project will be implemented in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden with the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Commission Directorate General Home Affairs. The Swedish Institute Baltic Sea Cooperation Unit separately finances the CBSS TF-THB for the implementation of similar project activities in the Russian Federation and Poland. The two main activities foreseen in the project are a baseline research on recruitment practices in relation to trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation in both countries of origin and destination and national workshops in each of the participating countries that bring together all relevant stakeholders to discuss cooperation to address trafficking for labour exploitation and how to prevent it. As an outcome of both activities, the project also aims at developing concrete guidelines on how to prevent this form of human trafficking and exploitation. The findings of the research will be presented and discussed on 18 October 2013 at a high level conference in Vilnius during the Lithuanian Presidency of the European Union. The project ends in June 2014. The kick of meeting for ADSTRINGO was held in August in Helsinki and as a first activity of the project a coordination meeting of national coordinators and moderators of the national workshops was held in Stockholm on October 5th.
ADSTRINGO Fact Sheet
Guidelines to Prevent Abusive Recruitment, Exploitative Employment and Trafficking of MigrantWorkers – In Brief
The Guidelines – In Brief version has been designed to be easy to use, refer to and function as a quick overview and checklist on how to best prevent exploitation of migrant workers. It is targeting States, Businesses – especially Recruitment Agencies and Employers- trade unions and NGOs. The In Brief version includes short extracts from the original Guidelines. For in depth information, references and sources we refer to the main Guidelines publication.
Download the Guidelines – In Brief:
The Guidelines against Labour Exploitation in the Baltic Sea Region are here!
The Guidelines to Prevent Abusive Recruitment, Exploitative Employment and Trafficking of Migrant Workers in the Baltic Sea Region is the culmination of the project “ADSTRINGO − Addressing Trafficking in Human Beings for Labour Exploitation through Improved Partnerships, Enhanced Diagnostics and Intensified Organisational Approaches”. The aim of these guidelines is to address and tackle the different forms of exploitation and trafficking of migrant workers in the Baltic Sea Region that were identified as problematic in the joint ADSTRINGO research report “Exploitation of Migrant Workers in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania. Uncovering the Links between Recruitment, Irregular Employment Practices and Labour Trafficking”. In addition, many of these problematic practices and issues have been identified and discussed in the national experts meetings which have been organised under the ADSTRINGO umbrella in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, as well as in Poland and Russia. The guidelines have been produced in English and translated to the four other project languages Finnish, Swedish, Estonian and Lithuanian. Ultimately, it is our hope that the guidelines will be utilised in efforts to prevent trafficking for forced labour and to protect the rights of migrant workers in the different countries in the Baltic Sea region. In order to achieve best possible impact a shorter and easy to use version of these guidelines will shortly be available for practitioners in the five project languages. The ADSTRINGO partners would like to thank all the national and international actors who have been involved in the project activities, events as well as national and international expert meetings.
Download the full Guidelines here
Download the full Guidelines in Estonian here
Download the full Guidelines in Finnish here
Download the full Guidelines in Lithuanian here
Download the full Guidelines in Polish here
Download the full Guidelines in Russian here
Download the full Guidelines in Swedish here
ADSTRINGO Russian Report ADSTRINGO Russian Report- English
ADSTRINGO Polish Report ADSTRINGO Polish Report – English
ADSTRINGO Swedish Report
ADSTRINGO Finnish Report ADSTRINGO Lithuanian Report
ADSTRINGO Estonian Report ADSTRINGO Report, English Version: Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania
The CBSS, TF-THB meeting the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė during the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania
Anna Ekstedt from the CBSS TF-THB and Anniina Jokinen from HEUNI presenting the EUSBSR flagship project ADSTRINGO against human trafficking for labour exploitation to the Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaitė, and the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, during the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania.
HEUNI Report It is an honour and pleasure to present the publication Exploitation of migrant workers in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania: Uncovering the links between recruitment, irregular employment practices and labour trafficking. This publication is a compilation of four independent research reports commissioned under the umbrella concept of ADSTRINGO – Addressing trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation through improved partnerships, enhanced diagnostics and intensified organisational approaches. ADSTRINGO is a flagship project of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) under the Priority Area – Crime. The partners of the ADSTRINGO project are the Council of the Baltic Sea States Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (CBSS TF-THB), The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI), the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and the University of Tartu in Estonia. The publication will serve as one of the key ADSTRINGO project components alongside national workshops with relevant actors. In a parallel project implemented in Poland and Russia two additional independent research reports will be produced. This publication edited by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) is also part of their publication series. This research compendium on recruitment practices in both countries of origin and destination provide new information on the vulnerabilities, factors, methods and channels that facilitate exploitation. Ultimately guidelines for employers and recruitment agencies will be developed in group settings which it is hoped will further contribute to the prevention of THB by aiding the identification of exploitative situations and enabling the reduction of such situations occurring. These findings combined with the national workshops as well as the previous CBSS TF-THB project Data and Education on Forced Labour Exploitation and Counter Trafficking (DEFLECT), in partnership with HEUNI as well as the previous HEUNI project Trafficking for Forced Labour and Labour Exploitation (FLEX) amongst others, will jointly enhance the final results of ADSTRINGO. In summary jointly the research component of ADSTRINGO aim at improving the current level of knowledge in the Baltic Sea region regarding exploitative recruitment practices that may lead to trafficking as well as the roles and responsibilities of employers in preventing such exploitation. The partners would like to thank the researchers Anniina Jokinen and Natalia Ollus at HEUNI, Louisa Vogiazides and Charlotta Hedberg at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Kadri Soo and Anna Markina at the Faculty of Law at Tartu University and Diana Janusauskiene from the Centre for Social Studies at Vytautas Magnus University as well as our own respective partner teams. Download the full report here.
ADSTRINGO Conference: The 7TH EU Anti-Trafficking Day Side Event Last week 17 October the ADSTRINGO project conference was held in the Lithuanian Parliament in Vilnius as a side event to the 7th EU Anti Trafficking Day. At the conference Anniina Jokinen from HEUNI presented the interesting research findings from the ADSTRINGO research conducted in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Sweden. The full report “Exploitation of Migrant Workers in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania- Uncovering the Links between Recruitment, Irregular Employment Practices and Labour Trafficking” can be downloaded here. Furthermore, at the ADSTRINGO conference the research findings from the ADSTRINGO project in Poland and Russia was presented by Zbigniew Lasocik from the Human Trafficking Center at Warsaw University and Sergei Ryazantsev from the Institute for Socio-Political Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The two reports are currently being edited and will be issued in a few weeks’ time. The expert panel during the final session of our conference provided substantial information and input that will be useful for both our upcoming expert conference and the final guidelines for practitioners in this field to be produced under this project. See the agenda here.
TRACE (Trafficking As a Criminal Enterprise), is a EU funded project that started in May 2014 and will run for two years, until April 2016. TRACE consists of a multi-disciplinary team from across Europe who will develop state-of-the-art knowledge on the business of human trafficking in an effort to support stakeholders in their fight against this crime. Trafficking in human beings is a serious human rights violation and combating this crime remains a priority in Europe today. Although there is increasing attention for the fight against human trafficking, it remains difficult to accurately determine the scale and traits of the issue. It is however, evident that thousands of people are being trafficked within, to and from Europe every year. Figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2012 reveal that within the European Union 880.000 persons are in a position of forced labour. Paul De Hert, a human rights academic at Vrije University Brussel, observes that ‘in it’s configurations, trafficking means human misery and slavery. How to make sense out of that remains a very complicated issue.’
To understand the issue and ensure effective European measures to address the problem, more information on the scope of human trafficking in Europe is needed, including; which persons are vulnerable for exploitation and abuse, how are these persons recruited, who is behind this crime and how do they operate? To-date little is known about the profiles of traffickers, what influences their business and how trafficked persons become traffickers. The TRACE team will look at the modus operandi and profiles of perpetrators, seek to understand more about the victim and look among other factors at the role of technology used to recruit persons, as well as how technology can be used to help combat trafficking. Also current policies, legislation and measures taken by the European Commission, national European governments and other stakeholders will be examined to assess the methods and provide an understanding of how human trafficking is framed.
The project aims to:
The consortium consists of a range of different types of stakeholders with vast research experience, including: Trilateral Research & Consulting (UK) a Small and medium enterprise specialising in technology and security research, academics from Vrije University Brussel (Belgium) and Tilburg University (The Netherlands), a body of national governmental representatives against human trafficking: The Council of Baltic Sea States Secretariat, Cyprus Police and civil society organisations La Strada International (Netherlands) and The French Committee Against Modern Slavery (France).
The consortium will share its findings in a comprehensive manner whilst also actively participating in various international activities including conferences, workshops and attending meetings relevant to its aims and objectives. The team will also seek to further share their findings by publishing results in journals, the press and via briefing papers that will be targeted towards different stakeholders of whom may benefit from the projects findings.
Preliminary findings will be available in fall 2014. For further information and project updates, including workshop announcements, please visit the project’s website: http://trace-project.eu/ and follow us on Twitter @TRACE_EU.
The TRACE project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 607669. TRACE is coordinated by Trilateral Research & Consulting. For more information, please contact our Press officer Julia Muraszkiewicz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Model Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for law enforcement agencies and specialist service providers working with victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the Baltic Sea Region.
Model Memorandum of Understanding On 23 March 2011, the TF-THB held an Expert Seminar on a Model Memorandum of Understanding between law enforcement agencies and specialist service providers working with victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in the Baltic Sea Region. At the Expert Seminar a model MoU, translated into each of the 11 CBSS Member State’s languages was presented and discussed.
On 3 November 2014 the Council of the Baltic Sea States Task Force against Trafficking in Human beings in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Latvia commenced the STROM project. The STROM Project is a transnational project that aims to strengthen the capacity and role of municipalities in the chain of assistance to victims of human trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region. It will run till October 2015 and is funded by the CBSS Project Support Facility (PSF), the Swedish Institute and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Latvia.
Cities and regions have a special position when it comes to recognising the signs of human trafficking, however, local and regional authorities in most cases do not have a prominent place in the strategies against human trafficking, even though human trafficking is not just a city phenomenon but has spread also in smaller towns throughout the Baltic Sea Region.
In order to assess the current role and responsibilities of municipalities in the chain of assistance to victims of all forms of human trafficking and develop effective anti – trafficking policies at the local level, a baseline assessment will be carried out in the Baltic Sea Region.
Regional experts from the municipalities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation and Sweden will meet in a regional expert group meeting in Riga to share and analyse the local mechanisms in place to deal with cases of human trafficking.
The culmination of the project will be specific guidelines for municipalities outlining the main challenges and best practices in dealing with human trafficking cases at the local level.
The project is coordinated jointly by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Latvia and the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings in close cooperation with the NGO “Living for Tomorrow” in Estonia, Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania, Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Norway, Ministry of Interior in Poland, and County Administrative Board of Stockholm in Sweden.
See the project info sheet here
Recommendations from the Conference on How to Enhance Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region
ADSTRINGO- Guidelines to Prevent Abusive Recruitment, Exploitative Employment and Trafficking of Migrant Workers in the Baltic Sea Region
ADSTRINGO Report – Estonia
ADSTRINGO Report – Russia
ADSTRINGO Report – Russia – English Version
ADSTRINGO Report – Poland
ADSTRINGO Report – Poland – English Version
ADSTRINGO Report – Lithuania
ADSTRINGO Report – Sweden
ADSTRINGO, Info Sheet
CBSS-TF-THB-Human Trafficking 2013 – Baltic Sea Region Round-up Report
CBSS TF-THB Handbook for Diplomatic and Consular Personnel
Actors against Trafficking for Labour Exploitation, Final Report Hard Data-Data Collection Mechanisms in the Baltic Sea Region
CBSS TF-THB Handbook for Diplomatic and Consular Personnel, Russian version Strategic Plan for the TF-THB 2012-2014
UNODC TF-THB Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region State and Civil Society Cooperation on Victims’
Assistance and Protection Report of the DEFLECT Conference
Hard Data: Data Collection Mechanisms on Human Trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region
In order to develop policies and working methods that successfully counteract human trafficking it is essential to have the right tools to monitor the changing patterns of the crime. Reliable data and statistics on human trafficking are essential to constantly enhance and update the knowledge base in this field. Only if there is sufficient statistical information on the victims, the traffickers, the trafficking process and the criminal justice responses, can victims of human trafficking be properly identified and assisted.
This is the first time that the Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) has written and compiled a Baltic Sea Region Round-up on the current trafficking situation in the Baltic Sea Region. This compilation contains chapters on each Member State as well as an overview of recent actions taken by the European Commission specifically the work of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. Statistics presented in the tables and combined onto the illustrated Map of the Baltic Sea Region is taken from 2012. The round up report, with a special focus on each individual Member State, highlights practices and concentrates on: > new trends > ongoing projects > updates to the legal and institutional framework > coordination mechanisms. The aim of the Round-up is to create an easily accessible macro-regional snapshot which outlines the direction of counter trafficking work in our region. See the Human Trafficking 2013 expandable map on the left and read the full report here.
On 19 March the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the CBSS Expert Group on Cooperation on Children at Risk and the CBSS Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB) organised a joint conference focusing on How to Enhance Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking in The Baltic Sea Region. The one-day conference looked into existing cooperation models and how to best ensure adequate assistance to women and men, girls and boys in the Baltic Sea Region. The event, in addition to Cooperation Models, also specifically addressed Victim Assistance and Safe Housing Repatriation and Reintegration of victims. It attracted around 100 participants from the Baltic Sea Region, who work with these issues at operative as well as strategic level such as NGOs, National Coordinators and Rapporteurs, Law Enforcement, Social Services and International organisations. The conference was held at the Passitorni Venue in Helsinki and included panel discussions as well as brief sessions with group discussions. The conference was opened by Päivi Nerg, the Permanent Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Interior followed by Key Note Speeches from Eva Biaudet, Ombudsman for Minorities and National Rapporteur of Trafficking in Human Beings, Finland as well as the EU Coordinator against Human Trafficking Myria Vassiliadou. See the full agenda here. Conference presentations: Patrik Cederlöf Bragi Guðbrandsson Anu Leps Helga Gayer Nikola Dzina Inkeri Mellanen Urszula Kozlowska Maia Rusakova Anders Lisborg Stana Buchowska Nataliya Oliynyk Jaana Sipilä
The conference resulted in a set of recommendations on victim assistance emphasizing the need for closer cooperation between relevant actors as well as empowering victims and assessing their individual needs. The importance of ensuring re-integration of victims with emboldened future prospects was particularly stressed. Meanwhile the conference pressed the necessity of targeting and punishing the criminals and the traffickers, holding the users of services provided by trafficking victims accountable was also a point of departure and crucial for further action. The specific rights of children were also highlighted and elaborated. This report summarises the key recommendations of the conference based on the content and recommendations of the key note speeches, the expert input from panelists and from the participants. Download the recommendations here.
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