European Platform Against Trafficking in Human Beings

About trafficking

News overview

Below you find the last 50 La Strada newsitems.

PICUM: rights-centred approach to tackle human trafficking

PICUM – Platform for international cooperation on undocumented migration – has a new report mapping out a better way to tackle and prevent human trafficking with a particular focus on undocumented migrants. Read more

EU proposes new law on minimum wages

The proposal for the Directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union was published last week by the European Commission with the aim to ensure ‘that workers within the European Union earn adequate wages to guarantee adequate working and living conditions, as well as to build fair and resilient economies and societies in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals’.  Read more

Statement on EU Anti-Trafficking Day

La Strada International:
New EU Migration Pact increases risks of human trafficking Read more

LSI joins calls for the UN to address human rights violations in Belarus

La Strada International has joined civil society from across Europe such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to call on the UN Human Rights Council to convene a Special Session to address the human rights violations committed in the lead up to the 2020 Presidential elections in Belarus.

 Read more

Brief on the Impact of Covid-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in the EU

ICMPD has published a new policy brief on the Impact of COVID-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in 4 European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Italy.

The policy brief scrutinises the main effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Ukrainian labour migrants. Labour migrants from Ukraine form the largest group of foreign workers in the European Union (EU) and large populations are working in Poland, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary.

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New EU Strategy on Victim's Rights

On June 24, the European Commission published its Strategy on Victims’ Rights (2020-2025) and promoting five key priorities.

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ECHR publishes judgement on Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery & Forced Labour


On June 25th, the Grand Chamber of the ECHR published its judgment in the case of S.M. v. Croatia finding unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 4 (Prohibition of Slavery/Prohibition of Forced Labour) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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IOM and UN resumes resettlements

In a joint statement, the UN and IOM announced plans to restart resettlement processes. Due to Covid-19, there had been a temporary hold placed on resettlement travel. This delayed the departures of 10,000 refugees to resettlement countries.

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UN Network on Migration launches Policy Brief on Covid-19

The UN Network on Migration has launched a Policy Brief in response to the impact of Covid-19 on migrants.

The policy brief calls for increased access to services for migrants. It provides practical guidance for States and other stakeholders on how to achieve safe and inclusive access to services for migrants. Read more

Improved labour conditions in the garment industry

This month, the Dutch government supported calls from STITCH, a group of organisations, calling for improved labour conditions in the garment industry.

This support manifests as a new collaborative multi-year project in the country, aimed at promoting workers’ rights for those in key garment manufacturing nations where wage concerns and accusations of harassment are rife.

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La Strada International deplores the killing of Trafficked Migrants in Libya

30 trafficked migrants have been killed in a shooting in Libya, a long-term country of transit for migrants wanting to reach Europe. The IOM currently estimates that there are more than 650,000 migrants from 40 countries in Libya. These migrants are often housed in terrible living conditions, subject to physical abuse and beatings, and risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean often in rickety boats.
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La Strada International provides input to the Commission

La Strada International has provided input for the European Commission’s Third Report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings.

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La Strada Poland receives award from the Polish Business Council

The President of La Strada Poland, Irena Dawid-Olczyk , has received an award from the Polish Business Council in recognition of her work combatting human trafficking.

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ECCHR Report: Garment supply chains in intensive care

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) recently released a report on the impact of COVID-19 in the garment industry.

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Commission communication on asylum and return in light of Covid19

The Commission has recently published a set of guidelines on the implementation of relevant EU provisions in the area of asylum, return procedures and resettlement and COVID-19.

PICUM has noted that this communication is very concerning as it calls on the Member States to continue with returns:

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Fundamental Rights Agency wants to highlight inspiring civil society activities

The FRA wants to shed light on the amazing work being done by civil society during these times. With people across Europe being affected by the wide-ranging impacts of coronavirus, civil society has stepped up and in to play a key role in providing concrete support to societies at risk.

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ODIHR and UN Women launch survey on the impact of Covid-19 on Human Trafficking

The purpose of this survey - available in 25 languages - is to provide insights on the impact of the coronavirus on human trafficking. There are two versions of the survey, one aimed at survivors of trafficking and the other aimed at NGO/IGO staff. The insights gained will be used to develop short-term and mid-term policy recommendations for governments, the UN, civil society and other stakeholders and will be based on a human rights-based, gender-sensitive and victim-centered approach to trafficking in persons during and post COVID-19.

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ODIHR and UN Women launch survey on the impact of Covid-19 on Human Trafficking

The purpose of this survey - available in 25 languages - is to provide insights on the impact of the coronavirus on human trafficking. There are two versions of the survey, one aimed at survivors of trafficking and the other aimed at NGO/IGO staff. The insights gained will be used to develop a short-term and mid-term policy -recommendations. 

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Resources and news on the impact of Covid-19

La Strada International will keep an updated list of all resources, news and statements on the impact of Covid-19 on human trafficking and labour migration.

This includes a statement from La Strada International which calls attention to the challenging situation of trafficked persons and those vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

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Joint statement on agri-food workers during Covid-19

28 organisations, including La Strada International, are calling for urgent measures and structural reforms to address the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic on EU agriculture and agri-food workers.

The joint statement, Without rights for agri-food workers, Europe’s food supplies rest on shaky ground, highlights that the labour shortages demonstrate how European agriculture depends to a large extent on migrant workers, many undocumented, who make up a significant proportion of those picking our fruits and vegetables as well as packing and processing our food. What the lack of workers in the fields should also demonstrate is that labour conditions in the agri-food sector have been ignored for too long.

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La Strada International Statement on Coronavirus

Impact of Coronavirus on trafficked persons and vulnerable groups

To raise awareness for the huge impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on various vulnerable groups, La Strada International issued a statement to call for attention to the challenging situation of trafficked persons and those vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse, as well as for targeted measures to ensure their protection and support and prevent their discrimination and unequal treatment. The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is affecting all our countries and societies with most European States taking restrictive measures to prevent and limit the wide-spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the health risks for the population. It is especially now, in times of crisis, that inequality and discrimination heighten not only the risks of abuse and severe exploitation for those who are most vulnerable but place them at further risk of being exposed to the infection thus potentially becoming even a scapegoat for public health risks.

 

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Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All 25 La Strada International member organisations follow the national safety restrictions related to the Coronavirus (Covid-19), while trying to ensure that services can continue and that trafficked persons receive adequate assistance and information. Shelters run by our members remain open but have become less accessible and assistance is reduced to a minimum. Much effort is taken to keep up protection standards to avoid virus infections, while consultations are now offered online. Helplines receive many questions from migrant workers who have lost their jobs and housing due to the restrictions and many have difficulties to access solidarity services (for food, daily shelter, etc...). Many are not insured for this lack of income and will have to find a way to survive.

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La Strada presents at the European Parliament

On 2 December 2019, La Strada International (LSI), the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) and Victim Support Europe (VSE) organised an event for MEPs on compensation and complaints mechanisms up actions; a report on this event as well as blog written by PICUM are now available. The 3 organisations have taken follow up actions, including letters to MEPs, to ensure adequate remedies are available for undocumented migrants. The advocacy focused on ensuring that new thematic EU funding (AMIF and EFS) will be made available for complaint mechanisms of undocumented workers.

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EU releases it Gender Equality Strategy

On March 5th 2020, the EC published its Gender Equality Strategy for the period 2020 – 2025, which presents policy objectives and actions towards a gender-equal Europe. Key objectives included ending gender-based violence; challenging gender stereotypes; closing gender gaps in the labour market; addressing the gender pay and pension gaps and achieving gender balance in decision-making and in politics. As one of the first deliverables of the Strategy, the Commission will propose binding pay transparency measures by the end of 2020.

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European Commission appoints acting Head for Anti-Trafficking Coordination

The mandate of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator (ATC) finished on 29 February 2020. La Strada International had sent letters to DG Migration and Home Affairs asking for more information from the European Commission about the follow up to this mandate calling for a transparent procedure. While there is no news yet about a possible appointment procedure, the European Commission informed on March 10, that Mr Olivier Onidi, Deputy Director-General of DG Migration and Home Affairs will be the acting EU ATC.

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6 Point Action Plan for governments

On the occasion of the European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings, 18 October, La Strada Internaitonal addressed European elected representatives, including the Members of the European Parliament, the Committee of the Parties of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly with a 6 point action plan to commit to improve access to justice for victims of crime, in particular trafficked and exploited persons.

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Surveys launched to check knowledge and practice of professional on compensation

As part of the campaign Know your Rights  - Claim Compensation, that La Strada International and the partners of the project Justice at Last - European Action for compensation for Victims of Crime have launched, surveys have been developed to identify existing knowledge and practice on compensation for victims of crime. 


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Statement on Amnesty International policy on sex workers rights

Amsterdam, 26 May 2016

Today Amnesty International published its Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers, developed in recognition of the high rates of human rights abuses experienced globally by individuals who engage in sex work.

La Strada International welcomes Amnesty International’s call for the protection of sex workers from human rights abuses and violations and fully supports its ‘unflinching determination to address and oppose serious human rights abuses experienced by sex workers – such as violence, extortion, harassment and denials of rights to health, housing and other essential services.’

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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.

Tackling human trafficking at the roots: preventing a life of crime and a life of exploitation.

When discussing the root causes that are linked to the business of human trafficking, the TRACE research conducted at the early stages took into account external factors - social, economic and political  - that are all part of the environment surrounding the individuals concerned. The findings conclude that factors such as political instability, armed conflict, border management, poverty and social exclusion, corruption, and the presence of co-ethnic communities in the destination country influence the business of human trafficking. A key aspect of the analysis has been the emphasis on the interconnectedness of the root causes of human trafficking and the conditions that increase the vulnerability of persons to human trafficking.

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LSI Statement on EU Anti-Trafficking Day

On the occasion of the EU anti-trafficking day, La Strada International calls for better human rights protection of trafficked persons in Europe. LSI believes that in order to really make progress in preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, the European Union and its Member States should ensure that the protection of and respect for the human rights of trafficked persons lie at the core of all anti-trafficking policies and that measures taken do not infringe or negatively impact on the enjoyment of the human rights of trafficked persons or other affected groups.

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Engaging the private sector to end human trafficking

Amsterdam, 16 October 2015 – On the occasion of the European day against trafficking in human beings - held every year on 18 October - La Strada International and SOMO publish a resource guide for NGOs, entitled Engaging the Private Sector to End Human Trafficking. The role of businesses in human trafficking can range from being directly responsible for labour exploitation through coercive recruitment practices to being an important partner in prevention. The guide aims to provide NGOs with knowledge and tools to engage the private sector in their work by providing a wide selection of background materials, ranging from facts and figures to strategic advice.

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Eighth La Strada International NGO Platform

In May La Strada International organised the 8th LSI NGO Platform in Skopje, Macedonia.

At the 8th LSI NGO Platform organised in Skopkje Macedonia, United against trafficking in human beings, La Strada International celebrated the 20th anniversary of the La Strada Network and the 15th anniversary of the host organisation Open Gate/La Strada Macedonia with all our members and partners.

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20 years of La Strada

On 15 September 2015, La Strada celebrates its 20th anniversary. La Strada was born in 1995, when three women's rights organisations in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Poland initiated a one-year La Strada programme. Over the years La Strada has grown, the network has extended and an international secretariat was established in 2004. 

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Data Protection Challenges in Anti-Trafficking Policies

The European NGO initiative datACT – data protection in anti-trafficking action published the practical guide "Data Protection Challenges in Anti-Trafficking Policies". The publication offers an overview of the relevant European data protection provisions, a methodology to conduct privacy impact assessments for anti-trafficking NGO service providers, an analysis for the privacy rights claims for trafficked persons, and data protection standards for NGO service providers. 

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Joint NGO statement for European Day for Victims of Crime

Ahead of European Day for Victims of Crime  La Strada International issued a joint statement, together with other civil society organisations and networks, working in support of victims of crime. 

The statement calls on EU Member States to implement the provisions of the EU Victims Directive and to live up to their obligations to protect the rights of victims of crime and to ensure the availability and accessibility of support services for them.

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Start of Project Balkans ACT Now-II

Since January, LSI is involved as a partner in the second phase of the project Balkans ACT Now, coordinated by ASTRA-Serbia

The project aims to contribute to the democratisation and EU integration processes in the Western Balkans through improving civil activism environment, capacity, commitment and influence of civil society networks in the debate on human rights and the rule of law related to the issue of organised crime, specifically human trafficking.

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LSI statement on EU Anti-Trafficking day

Today, ahead of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October, La Strada International and 30 partner organisations in Europe launch the campaign Used in Europe: human trafficking and labour exploitation on our continent. This campaign reaches out to consumers, the private sector and States to address human trafficking, including forced and exploitative labour in Europe.  
 
Today we call upon governments to take a clear stand against human trafficking and to end exploitative labour conditions for all workers, including migrant workers, in Europe.

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Side event at the Conference of the Parties to UNTOC

On 9 October 2014 LSI and partners are organising a side event at the 7th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The COP is due to “discuss draft resolutions on human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and firearms smuggling among others matters”. The side event will focus on the UN Trafficking Protocol as 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the international law against human trafficking.

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Human trafficking in The Netherlands

On 24 September the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children presented the findings of her research (in Dutch and a summary in English) on human trafficking in The Netherlands for the period 2009 – 2013 on the basis of  information from the Public Prosecutor’s Office and CoMensha.

The research shows an increase in the number of prosecutions for human trafficking – from 132 in 2009 to 203 in 2013. The convictions for human trafficking have also increased – from 60% of all human trafficking cases in 2009 to over 70% in 2012 and 2013.

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#RespectRights - LSI statement on World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Today, on World Day against Trafficking in Persons, La Strada International calls for the respect and promotion of the human rights of trafficked persons.

The General Assembly of the United Nations established this day to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.” Read more

LSI Newsletter Issue 32

The latest LSI newsletter, Issue 32, is now out.

LSI is pleased to present the latest issue of its newsletter.

In this issue we look at the situation in Ukraine and how it influenced the work of civil society and particularly La Strada Ukraine. We also present the ongoing work on our project for involving businesses in the prevention of human trafficking. The La Strada News section continues with a presentation of three new publications  - of La Strada Czech, Bulgaria and Moldova.

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Statement for Women's Day 2014

On 8 March, International Women's Day, LSI calls for full empowerment and integration of women in all levels of economic, social and cultural activities.

La Strada International calls upon governments and the international community to seize the opportunity to reform the traditional structures that have brought us the economic crisis and make fundamental changes in power balances between countries, between employers and employees and between men and women.

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Data protection conferece

KOK and LSI have published the presentations, reports and speeches from the Conference on data protection in Berlin 25-26 September 2013.

The conference focused on data protection as a new challenge in anti-trafficking policies in the digital age. Participants from 15 countries exchanged experiences on relevant topics, including data collection procedures and victim’s protection, European data protection developments and the rights of marginalised populations, counseling centres and National Rapporteur mechanisms, and the right to privacy for trafficked persons.

 Read more

Human Rights of Sex Workers

On 17 December, the LSI NGO Platform calls to end violence against sex workers and for the protection and promotion of their human rights.

Due to the often criminalised status of sex work, sex workers all over the world face different forms of violence, which often remains unpunished.

 Read more

Human Rights Day Campaign

On 10 December, Human Rights Day, the LSI NGO Platform, United against Human Trafficking in Europe, launched its anti-trafficking campaign "One Story, Two Outcomes".

In Europe, the human rights of people that fall prey to human trafficking are violated on a large scale. Not only by those who exploit and abuse them, but ironically, also by governments that are supposed to protect them. Read more

Addressing demand for THB

A new EU-funded project  investigates demand side measures and initiatives against human trafficking.

La Strada International and La Strada Czech Republic are partners in a new EU project which investigates demand side measures and initiatives against trafficking, funded by the European Commission.
 Read more

Data protection conference

KOK and La Strada International are organising a conference on data protection on 25-27 September in Berlin.

The conference will discuss topics regarding privacy rights and anti-trafficking responses, including national rapporteur mechanisms and the role of civil society,  EU data protection developments and the rights of marginalized groups, counselling centres and the right to privacy for trafficked persons.

 Read more

13th OSCE Alliance conference

The 13th OSCE Alliance against Trafficking in Persons conference entitled "Stolen Lives, Stolen Money: The Price of Modern-Day Slavery" will take place on 25-26 June in Vienna.

The conference will explore the nexus between trafficking in human beings and salient aspects of the current debate on globalisation, including the interconnection between human trafficking and inequalities, importantly those linked with migration, as well as the increasing use of unpaid work to foster the illicit accumulation of wealth, which is at the core of contemporary slavery.

 Read more

New publication of OSCE SR

The OSCE Special Representative on human trafficking has published recommendations for the implementation of non-punishment provisions for victims of trafficking.


The principle of non-punishment of victims is affirmed in a number of international standards, including legally and politically-binding instruments. In the OSCE region, participating States committed to endorse a human rights-based and victim-centred approach to anti-trafficking action, an approach that respects the dignity and human rights of trafficking victims at all times.

 Read more

Festival trafficked persons

FairWork and CoMensha/La Strada Netherlands are organising this year's festival for trafficked persons.

There are various  activities like yoga, world cuisine food, a DJ and dance. But the festival also has a certain educational character. There is always much interest in the workshop ‘My rights in the Netherlands’. A lawyer informs and tells about the  rights victims of trafficking have.

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Latest news

PICUM: rights-centred approach to tackle human trafficking

PICUM – Platform for international cooperation on undocumented migration – has a new report mapping out a better way to tackle and prevent human trafficking with a particular focus on undocumented migrants.

EU proposes new law on minimum wages

The proposal for the Directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union was published last week by the European Commission with the aim to ensure ‘that workers within the European Union earn adequate wages to guarantee adequate working and living conditions, as well as to build fair and resilient economies and societies in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals’.

Statement on EU Anti-Trafficking Day

La Strada International:
New EU Migration Pact increases risks of human trafficking

LSI joins calls for the UN to address human rights violations in Belarus

La Strada International has joined civil society from across Europe such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to call on the UN Human Rights Council to convene a Special Session to address the human rights violations committed in the lead up to the 2020 Presidential elections in Belarus.