European Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings

About trafficking


Second year of SAFE! project to start
LSI further partners in the SAFE! Project (Safe and Adequate Return, Fair Treatment and Early Identification of Victims of Trafficking).

SAFE! is a two year project that started on January 1, 2017 and is coordinated by the Dutch shelter organisation HVO Querido and implemented with an international consortium comprising NGO’s, GO’s and IGO’s from the Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria and Macedonia. This project is also funded by the European Commission (AMIF fund). 

Similar to TRAM, the project focuses on the identification of victims in the context of the current asylum and migration processes’ and comprises a survey and national and international capacity building. In 2017 a survey questionnaire was launched by LSI and Comensha/La Strada Netherlands to collect input about trends, bottlenecks, needs and best practices related to the issue. The findings will be included in the final report. LSI and Comensha will further be developing a social map of organisation online. A final conference is planned in Bulgaria, early October 2018.


In the context of current asylum and migration processes within the EU human trafficking takes on a whole new dimension. Among the 100,000s of uprooted people crossing the EU external borders it is increasingly difficult to identify trafficked persons at an early stage. Alarming news spreads rapidly about unaccompanied children missing from refugee centres, young girls travelling with adult men pretending to be their family and vulnerable people being recruited for exploitative labour sectors while trying to reach safety.

At the other side of the spectrum, victims of trafficking in human beings who reach the limits of their legal stay within the EU are in dire need of sustainable support to reach a well-informed decision about their future, incl. the option of a safe journey home and support for a successful re-integration. Taking this into account experienced police officers, specialist NGOs and seasoned IOM staff have raised the alarm on what they witness in their daily work with victims of trafficking at the first reception centres for
asylum seekers and migrants, the European borders and within shelters. They call for new, innovative approaches building on valuable existing instruments such as the Euro TrafGuID Guidelines for the First Level Identification of Victims of Trafficking in Europe and the Safe Future Methodology for Safe Return and Reintegration. They contribute their vast field experience to the Safe! Project (Safe and Adequate Return, Fair
Treatment and Early Identification of Victims of Trafficking) in a unique consortium of the national police, specialist NGOs and IOM in the Netherlands, Hungary and Bulgaria, supplemented with ground expertise from Macedonia as a major entrance point into the EU. The Dutch project coordinator HVO Querido is a large shelter organization with a long-standing reputation regarding the protection of victims of trafficking. It is widely recognized, both nationally and internationally, as a leading specialist on the issue.

Project objectives

The overarching goal of the Safe! Project is “To ensure the safe return and sustainable re-integration of victims of trafficking and to enable their early and adequate identification and protection in the context of the current asylum and migration processes within the European Union”. At the core of the project lies the multi-stakeholders cooperation allowing each partner to contribute its own specialism to reach the project objectives:
1. To develop and implement strategies and a tailor-made international training programme for Safe Return and Sustainable Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking based on the Safe Future Methodology
2. To develop and implement strategies and a tailor-made international training programme for Early Identification and Protection of Victims of Trafficking based on the Euro TrafGuID Guidelines Info sheet February 2017 2 Safe and Adequate Return, Fair Treatment and Early Identification of Victims of Trafficking
3. To link (I)GO and NGO stakeholders in the anti-trafficking field with organizations involved in the current asylum and migration processes within the EU and to stimulate mutual cooperation and exchange of expertise, dilemmas and best practices

The strategies and training programmes resulting from the project will be developed in co-creation between project partners and (I)GO-NGO representatives from at least 15 other EU MS, thus ensuring high-quality, widely recognized and applicable final products. Training, exchange of expertise and strategies development will take place between (I)GO & NGO stakeholders at national platforms in the Netherlands, Hungary and Macedonia and at an international platform in Bulgaria, involving app. 160 participants in
total. Participants will share their new expertise with colleagues and at other meetings, thus creating a multiplier effect of at least 900 professionals reached. Also, the strategies and training programmes will be published on specialized webpages, thus allowing easy access by (I)GO and NGO throughout the EU. Ultimately the project will benefit all victims of THB identified timely and receiving sustainable help to rebuild their lives with help of the Safe! Project.

Start and duration of the project

1 January 2017 - 31 December 2018 (2 years)

Project partners

The project consists of a consortium of 13 project partners in four countries:
• HVO Querido (Netherlands, project coordinator)
• Humanitas Rotterdam (Netherlands)
• FairWork NL (Netherlands)
• La Strada International
• CoMensha (Netherlands)
• Animus Association/ La Strada Bulgaria
• National Police Netherlands
• National Police Hungary
• National Commission for Combating Traffic in Human Beings in Bulgaria
• IOM Netherlands
• IOM Hungary
• IOM Bulgaria
• Open Gate|La Strada Macedonia

More info?

For more info, please contact the project coordinator, Ms. Trijntje Kootstra:
Phone: + 31 6 436 37 420
Skype: trijntjekootstra

Latest news

Justice at Last - Access to Compensation for Trafficked Persons

Today, on EU Anti-Trafficking Day 2016, we call on European governments to implement ten action points to improve access to justice and compensation for trafficked persons. 

Statement on Amnesty International policy on sex workers rights

La Strada International welcomes Amnesty International’s policy on sex workers' rights and decriminalisation of sex work

Tackling human trafficking at the roots

This article by Amy Weatherburn from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel highlights some of the achievements of the TRACE project so far.

LSI Statement on EU Ant-Trafficking Day

On the ninth EU Anti-Trafficking Day, La Strada International calls for improved labour protection for all (migrant) workers and increased identification of trafficked persons in all sectors of the economy.