Safe Houses

Support and Assistance before the Exploitation in HOsting coUntries of third country national victims of trafficking for Sexual purposeS

Geographic area: Italy, Cyprus, France, Spain
Donor: European Commission – DG Migration and Home Affairs
Starting date: 1 December 2018
Duration: 24 months
Sector: Human Rights, Trafficking in Human Beings, Migration, Training, Adult education
Beneficiaries: victims and potential victims of trafficking in human beings, social workers active in the migration and anti-trafficking sector.
Partners: MPDL – Movimiento por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad, CyRC – Cyprus Refugee Council ALC – Accompagnement Lieu d’Accueil.

Context of the action
According to UNHCR in 2016 361.678 people arrived in Europe, 181.405 of them in Italy. Within the migrants arrived, several vulnerable categories have been identified as non-accompanied minors (UAM), refugees, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in human beings. A survey conducted by IOM on a sample of 16,524 migrants of 58 different nationalities predicts a high level of vulnerability of migrants especially in the Central Mediterranean Route, with a large share (73%) of positive responses to the human trafficking and exploitation indicators (source: IOM DTM Flow Monitoring Surveys, December 2015–November 2016). In this scenario, the project proposal intervenes to provide assistance and support for the third-country national victims (TCNs) of trafficking in human beings arrived in Europe crossing the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Routes.

General and specific objectives
The General objective of the action is to support the integration of women and girls who are third-country nationals and are victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in transit migration areas in Italy, Cyprus, France and Spain.
Specific objective 1: To enhance the capacities of CSOs and public authorities in transit migration areas in providing appropriate assistance and support to women and girls who are TCNs as soon as there are reasonable grounds to believe that they are victims of trafficking.
Specific objective 2: To strength the capacities of social workers and professionals working in shelters and reception centres for refugees, asylum seekers, UAM and TH victims in adopting victim-centred approaches which guarantee gender-specific and child sensitive assistance and support measures and take into account specific needs of the victims.
Specific objective 3: To foster the exchange of experiences and good practices related to the ground work for integrating women and girls who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation taking into account the perspective of the victims, their empowerment and self-determination.

Cyprus. “Safe Houses” works for the needs of trafficking victims, refugees and asylum seekers

Cyprus, a divided country, an “island-country”, a landing place for thousands of women, men and minors from the Middle East, the Asian continent and sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to the Cyprus Refugee Council
(CyRC) we had the opportunity to get to know this reality, in some ways extreme, at the gates of Europe.
The number of migrants and refugees arriving on the island increased dramatically years ago as a result of the Syrian crisis. Many Syrian families who left from the Lebanese, Egyptian and Turkish coasts reached Cyprus, imagining that they could continue their journey to reunite with their families in other European countries. Unfortunately, there are not many possibilities to leave the island.
Federico, an Italian volunteer of Caritas Cyprus, tells us that at present it is mainly Cameroonians who take refuge in the country, fleeing from a conflict that no one talks about in the English-speaking region of Amazonia. In the meantime, Nigerian trafficking networks have taken root here as well, in the northern part of the island controlled by Turkey, a “non-state” where it is possible to enter the airport without an entry visa. As part of the European project promoted by CISS, “Safe Houses”, psychologists, cultural mediators, social workers and other industry professionals from 4 European countries have worked together to share methodologies and
working tools best suited to meet the needs of victims of trafficking, refugees and asylum seekers. We learned a lot from the experience gained by the Cyprus Refugee Council practitioners who have provided
over the years psychological and social support to hundreds of vulnerable people. Many of these have passed through the Kokkinotrimithia Camp, the Cyprus Hotspot that we had the opportunity to visit and where at this moment about 50 sub-Saharan people are housed.
We also went to the KOfinou reception center, which allowed us to see with our own eyes the condition of isolation experienced by the guests of the structure, women, men and families. Just like the Detention Centre of Mennogia (in Italy we would call it CIE), the center is located away from urban areas, in a rural area without services and means of transportation.
Together with us the practitioners of Il Pellegrino della Terra, Centro Diaconale La Noce, Cooperativa Nuova Generazione (Italy), Movimiento Por la Paz (Spain), ALC – Accompagnement Lieu d’Accueil (France).

THB: two reports about methodologies to support migrant women who are potential victims

As a part of the AMIF project “SAFE HOUSES – Support and Assistance Before the Exploitation in Hosting Countries of Third Country National Victims of Trafficking for Sexual Purposes” promoted by the CISS, the organizations MPDL – Movimiento por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad and CyRC – Cyprus have produced two reports about positive intervention practices, methodologies, and approaches to work with women in situations of social vulnerability or gender-based violence. The reports are designed for professionals working on the frontline of human trafficking. These reports are available for consultation and can be downloaded.
The information contained in the reports is largely the result of years of professional activity and experience in using a victim-centered approach, and it attempts to transfer knowledge and assistance on effective means of supporting victims of trafficking.
The project aims to support the integration of women and girls who are third-country nationals as there are reasonable grounds to believe that they are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in the areas of transit migration flows in Italy, Cyprus, France, and Spain. The project focuses on building the capabilities of civil society and public authorities in the areas of transit migration.

The initiatives also aim at strengthening the capacities of social workers and professionals working in shelters for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, and victims of human trafficking by adopting victim-centered approaches that ensure gender-sensitive and child-sensitive care and that offer support measures and take into account the
specific needs of victims.

Finally, the project promotes the exchange of experiences and best practices related to fieldwork supporting the integration of women and girls who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation by considering the perspective of the victims and enhancing the empowerment and self-determination processes.

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