Supporting the reintegration of trafficked persons. A guidebook for the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (2017) (available in Khmer; forthcoming in Burmese, Chinese, Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai)
This guidebook is based on findings from the ground-breaking study: After trafficking: Experiences and challenges in the (re)integration of trafficked persons in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, which is based on interviews with 252 trafficking victims in the GMS about their experiences of reintegration. The guidebook highlights positive examples and successes in the reintegration of trafficked persons in different settings and countries throughout the region. It also presents challenges faced by trafficked persons as they sought to move on from their exploitation, including what they suggested could be done in the future to better support the recovery and reintegration of trafficked persons. As critically, the guidebook offers a set of checklists which point to ways forward to improve work in the field of reintegration programming and policy. The guidebook is a practical resource for service providers in the GMS region (and further afield), to assist in improving reintegration programs and policies for trafficking victims. It may also be useful for donors and policymakers in terms of identifying and funding good practice in the field of reintegration of trafficking victims.
A commonly overlooked group of victims of human trafficking are children who are born from and into trafficking situations. Some children are born to mothers trafficked for sexual exploitation (fathered by a trafficker or client); others are born to trafficked mothers who were bought by a “husband.” These children are exposed, from birth, to the violence and violations that constitute human trafficking and are deprived of basic needs for their physical and mental development. Moreover, they witness the on-going abuse and exploitation of their mothers. They are also exposed to a range of challenges and complications when they leave trafficking and make their way “home” with their mothers. To date, little attention has been paid to these children in research or in programmatic or policy responses. Yet these children face serious challenges, not only while living in exploitative situations, but also after trafficking, when they return “home” and integrate into their mothers’ families, communities and countries. Equally, service providers face a range of constraints in effectively supporting the safety, well-being and long term integration of these children. This paper focuses on the tensions, complications, and challenges that children born of trafficking and their mothers face in the integration process and how these inhibit their successful and sustainable (re)integration. Drawing on interviews with trafficked persons and anti-trafficking professionals from Southeastern Europe (SEE), this article discusses four levels at which integration takes place: 1) in the child’s relations with the trafficked mother; 2) in family relationships; 3) in community interactions; and 4) in the formal society into which they integrate. The article explores challenges as well as possible opportunities for integration of children born of trafficking. An enhanced understanding is needed about the particular challenges that these children and their mothers face after trafficking to effectively and appropriately support the inclusion of these children into their families, communities, and countries and to ensure their access to the rights and opportunities that they are entitled to and which are vital for their healthy development. Greater focus is also needed on children born of trafficking in their own right, in terms of their own specific needs and victim status, rather than being treated as attached or appendices of their trafficked mothers.
Available in Bahasa Indonesian
Overall, there exists a range of laws, policies and programs currently in place in Indonesia aimed at supporting the reintegration of trafficked persons. These include efforts and initiatives by various government ministries and departments (at the national, provincial and district levels), NGOs and IOs. These initiatives and interventions afford often-critical support and services to many trafficked persons toward their recovery and reintegration after trafficking exploitation. Nonetheless, within Indonesia, many trafficking victims do not receive the assistance and support that they need to recover from their trafficking experiences and reintegrate into their families and communities. And those that do receive assistance do not always receive assistance that is suited to their needs or adequately supports their efforts to reintegrate. This is because there are some critical challenges in the current response in Indonesia, including that many trafficked persons are unidentified; reintegration is not clearly defined or understood; most assistance is “one-off” support; assistance programs are only short-term; victims face barriers in accessing available services; lack of information about reintegration assistance; lack of reintegration assistance to trafficked men; lack of case management and tailored reintegration support; and an uneven provision of assistance due to decentralization and the geographic distribution of services. This paper is intended as a starting point in better understanding how reintegration of trafficked persons currently takes place in Indonesia, including what is working well and what constitute constraints and obstacles for trafficked persons to the reintegration process.
Available in Bahasa Indonesian
This Directory provides concrete information to trafficked persons and exploited migrant workers about the services available to them, which can support their recovery and reintegration. It is intended as a tool to improve trafficking victims’ access to information about services and how to receive these services. The Directory covers government and NGO services in Jakarta and seven districts in West Java. The information is provided in simple, comprehensible language and a visually accessible format to ensure comprehension of information across age, language capacity and level of education.
This report presents the results and impact of the Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme (TVRP) in the lives of trafficked persons, as well as in the field of reintegration in the Balkans. It provides a detailed analysis of the outcomes and impact of the TVRP, which ran from 2007-2014, based on interviews with trafficking victims, partner NGOs, experts and government officials and other sources of data.
This report summarizes the main findings of the final TVRP evaluation conducted by NEXUS Institute in 2015. It presents the results and impact of the TVRP in the lives of trafficked persons in the Balkans as well as the results and impact of the TVRP in the field of reintegration.
Children and youth account for a significant proportion of persons trafficked from and within the Balkan region. Both boys and girls are trafficked. Some are exploited sexually; others are exploited for different forms of labor, including begging and street selling. Still others suffer multiple forms of exploitation while trafficked. Reintegrating trafficked children presents particularly complex issues and challenges. This paper discusses each of the different services and types of support needed to meet the reintegration needs of trafficked children and youth in the Balkan region and in line with international standards. It also looks into challenges facing service providers in offering this support to trafficked children and youth, including: the identification of trafficked children, options for providing foster care, and prosecution of perpetrators due to gaps in the criminal code. This paper offers recommendations about how each service area might be enhanced to better meet the reintegration needs of trafficked children and youth.
While reintegration services are critically important to the recovery of trafficking victims, these services tend to be under-funded and under-prioritized. This article identifies and explores the significant gap in funding for long term recovery and reintegration of victims of trafficking throughout the Balkans and the deleterious impact that this has in the lives of trafficked persons and their families.
This paper articulates ethical principles that should guide and underpin reintegration programs and polices in the Balkans. It also explores some of the challenges organizations and institutions face in supporting the reintegration of trafficking victims and different strategies to manage and address such ethical issues. A blog post on ethical principles for reintegration work is available here.
Reintegration is a process that involves many steps after the individual’s exit from trafficking. Trafficked persons should be afforded the full range of rights and protections they are entitled to and which are guaranteed under law. While many trafficked persons interviewed for this study were assisted and supported in these ways; many others went unidentified and unassisted as trafficking victims, which meant not receiving support to aid in their recovery and sustainable reintegration. Still others received some forms of assistance but not the full range of services that they required (and were entitled to) to move on from trafficking experience and successfully reintegrate. Some trafficked persons chose to decline some or all of the support offered to them. This research aims to understand the individual and diverse reintegration experiences of trafficked persons – what was positive, what was less successful and what might be done in the future to either replicate good practices or avoid problematic ones.
A central feature of successful reintegration is access to a reasonable and sustainable standard of living, along with opportunities for economic empowerment. For many victims the desire to improve their economic situation and that of their families was a key factor in their decision to migrate. This desire does not subside after an individual is exploited in trafficking. For escaped or rescued victims of trafficking and their families, economic issues remain primary concerns after return and over the course of the individual’s reintegration. This paper discusses economic empowerment efforts for trafficking victims in the Balkans, drawing on the first hand experiences of both service providers and trafficked persons. The paper outlines the main economic empowerment models used in working with trafficked persons – namely job placement, micro business and social enterprises – and then discusses the challenges faced in using these models, as well as strategies used to address obstacles.
Given the importance of assistance and protection in the lives of trafficked persons, it is critical that interventions are designed to meet their actual needs at various stages of their post-trafficking recovery. Understanding what these needs are, however, is not straightforward. A comprehensive picture necessitates engaging directly with trafficked persons in the design, implementation and evaluation of assistance interventions. That is, what do trafficking victims themselves see as important and useful assistance in order to be able to recover and move on from their often harrowing experiences? To what extent are these needs being met within the existing assistance system? How could interventions better respond to their different needs, at different stages of the recovery process? These questions are the main focus of this paper. A second area of examination for our report is the broader social and economic context of victims’ needs. This paper is one of three research papers which address a range of issues and challenges in the assistance framework in the Balkan and Former Soviet Union (FSU) region. It is based on fieldwork research conducted in Albania, Serbia and Moldova between 2006 and 2008.
This abridged report summarizes the main findings and conclusions of the 2007 report Leaving the past behind? When victims of trafficking decline assistance. It explores why some trafficking victims decline assistance and under which circumstances. While many victims are never offered assistance, some trafficked persons who are offered assistance choose to forego the help available to them. Based on this, the main questions for our research were the following: (1) What are the reasons behind these decisions to decline assistance? (2) What happens for victims as a result of declining assistance? (3) Are there reasons for declining that can be addressed so that more victims will also benefit from assistance? The aim of the report is to describe the challenges both service providers and trafficked victims face in their post-trafficking lives, including the interplay between them. It is intended to contribute to a discussion of how assistance for trafficking victims is organized and provide some ideas for what could be done to better meet the needs of the diverse population who fall within the category of trafficking victim.
When trafficking exploitation ends, victims face a new set of challenges as they return and integrate into their home environment. A critical aspect is the victim’s relationship and interaction with the family. Family provides not only emotional and social support, but also (often vital) economic backstopping. Considering and accommodating family dynamics and relationships in reintegration responses has the potential to contribute substantially to more efficient and appropriate assistance and protection. The focus of this report is on family reintegration, but with particular attention to the different relationships within families. Identifying common points of tension can be useful in providing more targeted assistance to victims of trafficking, thereby decreasing the risk of social vulnerability or even re-trafficking. Awareness of potential conflict points in family relationships may provide options for early intervention and also be built into reintegration processes and responses. Further, understanding that post-trafficking relationships may be tense and complicated (at least at some stage and in response to certain triggers) can reduce the stress and disappointment felt by many former trafficking victims after reuniting with their families, when support is not offered in the form they expected or hoped for. This report examines these points of tension and external factors that add extra strain to family relationships, and discusses the implications for assistance to individual victims as well as their family members. The report concludes with concrete and specific recommendations for future program and policy design, which can serve as a basis for further discussion on how to best support the reintegration of trafficked persons. This paper is based on fieldwork research conducted in Albania, Serbia and Moldova between 2006 and 2008.
This article presents findings regarding challenges in family reintegration for returning Moldovan trafficking victims based on qualitative interviews with 19 victims of trafficking and 31 service providers, looking specifically at points of tension in reuniting with children and spouses. One main source of conflict is when migration expectations are unrealized; another is stressed behaviors of victims when they return. To avoid being stigmatized and blamed for association with prostitution and failed migration, most victims prefer to keep their trafficking a secret. However, this means that families may not understand or appreciate what they are going through in the post-trafficking stage and misinterpret stress, anxiety and trauma symptoms as aggression and hostility. Further, two additional factors – financial problems and stigma – add extra strain on family relationships. In terms of assistance needs, it is crucial to include a perspective on the family situation when working with trafficking victims.
Throughout 2010, victim service practitioners and other anti-trafficking responders providing support to victims of human trafficking gathered in a series of National Practitioner Forums in each of the GMS countries (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) to discuss existing reintegration assistance systems, lessons learned, successes and challenges. This document summarizes the key findings of these national practitioner forums, drawing out key themes, lessons learned, and common challenges facing victim service agencies in the process of reintegrating trafficked persons. The perspectives contained within this publication are the voices, ideas, feedback, lessons and concerns of the victim service agencies and other anti-trafficking practitioners across the GMS.
When the TVRP was designed (in 2006) there were very few reintegration programs available to trafficking victims in the Balkan region. Assistance was short term; most victims did not receive longer term support to restore their mental and physical well-being and develop the skills to be economically independent and live in a healthy social environment. In 2010, NEXUS undertook an assessment of the TVRP (Taking stock). This paper summarizes some of the key lessons and results of the assessment including what is reintegration; how long reintegration takes; why reintegration is challenging; and the impact of the TVRP in the lives of trafficked persons.
It is important to systematically monitor assistance programs, to assess if and how reintegration has been achieved as well as how to more effectively reintegrate trafficking victims. This manual outlines two aspects of monitoring – 1) how to monitor individual reintegration plans and 2) how to monitor reintegration services – and provides a matrix, composed of indicators and the associated means of verification, to measure the outcomes and impact of individual services and, cumulatively, the various stages of reintegration. Monitoring is undertaken from the perspective of reintegration service providers (NGOs, IOs and GOs) as well as program beneficiaries.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) should enhance the conceptual and practical knowledge of reintegration organizations in ways that improve programs and service delivery. This paper discusses, on the one hand, how monitoring should take place within reintegration programs, including the identification of indicators and development of systems to collect, analyze and mobilize information in on-going work. On the other hand, the paper explores various aspects of evaluation work, including different types of evaluations and different approaches in undertaking evaluations of reintegration programs. Overall the paper makes clear that more attention needs to be given to M&E in reintegration efforts and makes recommendations for strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of anti-trafficking reintegration programs.
Many victims of human trafficking are reluctant to self-identify. This research discusses how this can be especially true for men who have been victims of trafficking. And the failure to self-identify exacerbates the shortcomings in current institutionalized responses that are more likely to discover and identify trafficking cases involving females than males. Trafficking in human beings is most commonly associated with trafficking of women or children, especially, for sexual exploitation. Most studies and projects, following this bias, also focus primarily, if not exclusively, on trafficking in women and children. Far less common is a consideration of trafficking in males, particularly adult men. Studies on trafficking of men and targeted anti-trafficking interventions are few and far between. Nevertheless, there are signals in many countries and regions that male migrants are also exploited and violated in ways that constitute human trafficking. This reality raises serious questions about the reason for a focus on women (and children) as well as the implications for practitioners, policymakers and, most importantly, trafficked men.
While many victims of trafficking are never offered assistance, many of those who are offered assistance choose to forgo the help available to them. Why? The starting point for this study was that if women and girls declined assistance because they did not need it, then this was fine. However, if they declined assistance for other reasons but would benefit from some form of help, then the issue needs to be urgently addressed. The research for this report, conducted in three South-Eastern European countries from April to November 2006, aims to contribute to a discussion of how victim protection is organized and what could potentially be done to better meet the needs of the diverse population who fall within the category of ‘trafficking victim’.
While trafficking has become a high profile issue over the past years, there is still relatively little attention being paid to assistance systems for the victims, more particularly to how assistance is conceptualized and implemented. In this article, the authors argue that there are attitudes and values inherent in many of these systems that are not necessarily conducive to the recovery of trafficking victims. Through an analysis of interviews with institutional representatives in South Eastern Europe and victims of trafficking, the authors argue that there is a tendency to pathologize women’s choices to migrate and to enter prostitution as a means of explaining this ‘deviant’ behavior. This, in turn, opens up the use of restrictions for victims of trafficking, in the form of limitations in and supervision of communication with people outside the assistance system and also closed shelter facilities. Restrictions may infantalize program beneficiaries and impact their agency and ability to dissent and negotiate within the program framework. Further, they reflect a focus on how these women and their behaviors seemingly need to be corrected to conform to a preconceived idea of a victim of trafficking and a ‘rehabilitated victim’. To some extent, these beliefs are also adopted by trafficked women and girls who receive assistance.
This is the power point presentation relating to NEXUS’ study considering service models for victims of trafficking in persons (TIP) and domestic violence (DV), with an emphasis on models in the Europe and Eurasia (E&E) region. The central research question presented is how best to provide assistance and support to both victims of trafficking and domestic violence which meets their individual and specific needs while taking into account the limited, and sometimes diminishing, resources available for these services. The study examines the various types of victim-centered services available in the region, those dedicated either to victims of DV or TIP and those where services for the two groups are mixed. Also considered is the extent to which these services are available and accessible to the two target groups. Of particular interest is how and where services may be mixed appropriately and where services should be distinct, as well as where additional services are required to meet the needs of victims of DV or TIP.
Reintegration of trafficked persons is a complex process, involving a range of services and interventions over the short and longer term. The standard package of reintegration services does not always or entirely meet the needs of all trafficked persons. Specialized reintegration services are needed for beneficiaries with more complex and “difficult” assistance needs. In some cases, more complex needs are a direct consequence of the trafficking experience – for example, becoming pregnant while trafficked, suffering injuries that require medical care and being severely traumatized as a result of trafficking. In other cases, these factors and characteristics preceded trafficking and may have contributed to the person’s vulnerability to trafficking – for example, persons with dependent family members, persons with disabilities, persons with past experiences of violence and social marginalization and persons with no family/social network. This paper explores “difficult” cases among trafficking victims in South-East Europe (SEE), including the ways in which these more complex needs are (and are not) being met within the existing reintegration framework in SEE and strategies for handling “difficult” cases.
Reintegration refers to the process of recovery and economic and social inclusion following a trafficking experience. This process is not only time consuming and expensive but also intensely complex, impacted by a range of personal factors as well as the broader social, cultural and economic framework. This paper explores issues and obstacles to reintegration identified by both service providers and trafficked persons in South-East Europe. These issues have significant implications for designing effective reintegration approaches in other countries in other regions.
Shelters are the most common form of assistance available to victims of trafficking in many parts of the world. Shelter programs offer a residentially based model, along with a wide range of services offered to clients during their tenure. For many trafficked persons, this form of assistance is vital in their initial stabilization and recovery as well as in their longer term assistance and reintegration. At the same time, the shelter model is not the right solution for many victims of trafficking. There are a number of reasons for this. Some issues are centered around limitations associated with the shelter model itself; the way in which shelter programs are currently designed; and the personal circumstances of some trafficked persons. Based on the experiences of both clients and staff, this paper explores situations in which the shelter model may not always be the best assistance option and considers how some of these issues may be addressed within the framework of residential programs and where non-residential models may better suit the needs of some trafficked persons.
Men are often overlooked in discussions of human trafficking and those who are targeted by trafficking enterprises. Reflecting this bias, trafficking in males has been under-considered in research. This despite noteworthy signals that many males, adult and minors, are subjected to trafficking exploitation. Often these severely exploited male victims, especially in the context of migration, are overlooked, with women and girls identified more commonly as victims of trafficking. This deficiency in identifying and assisting males who have been victims of trafficking exploitation needs to be addressed. “Trafficking in persons” must be understood and addressed as affecting all victims: women and men, adults and minors. In Belarus and Ukraine, male victims accounted for 28.3 per cent and 17.6 per cent of the IOM-assisted caseload respectively between 2004 and 2006. Through the lens of trafficking in males (primarily adult men) from Belarus and Ukraine, this study considers male victims’ pre-trafficking life (namely their personal, family and socio-economic background), trafficking experience (from recruitment, through transportation and during exploitation) and post trafficking experience and needs. The report examines, on the one hand, what is known about this less-considered profile of trafficked persons and, on the other hand, what can be done to meet their needs, both as a means of assistance and protection. The study draws on primary data collected about 685 trafficked males assisted by IOM and its partners, through IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Module Database in Geneva as well as qualitative information from interviews with and case files of assisted men. The research findings should not be read as representative of the full scope of trafficking in either country; they are instead representative of trafficked males who have been identified and received assistance and not male trafficking victims generally.
This paper discusses labor trafficking in South Eastern Europe (SEE). It presents cases of women, men and children exploited for labor purposes and considers their specific recruitment and trafficking experiences. It is intended as a first step in understanding who has been trafficked for labor from and within this region and what are the various risk factors. The paper also considers how counter-trafficking programs can be more responsive and effective
A number victims of trafficking are offered assistance and they decline. With no systematized knowledge on the subject, it has been difficult to understand the reasons behind these decisions to decline assistance, what happened to these women after and as a result of declining assistance, and what paths their lives took after dropping out of contact with the assistance system. Understanding the reasons, experiences and perceptions of person who do not participate in assistance program can play an important role in developing and tailoring anti-trafficking services to meet the needs and desires of as many trafficking victims as possible. This original research determined that reasons for declining assistance center around three main categories: 1) an individual’s personal circumstances at the time of decision-making, 2) factors associated with the specifics of the assistance system itself and 3) the social context.
This study reviews the state of knowledge about the relationship between domestic violence (DV) and trafficking in persons (TIP). Sponsored by USAID, this desk review of the literature covering the countries of the Europe and Eurasia (E&E) region involved: (1) Examining the prevalence of trafficking victims with prior experience of domestic violence; (2) Describing services and supports that are available for victims of trafficking in persons in each country of the E&E region, highlighting those service providers and shelters that serve both populations or only one; and (3) Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of victim protection programs that assist survivors of both trafficking in persons and domestic violence, exploring types of appropriate victim-centered responses needed to help survivors rebuild their lives, and best practices and lessons learned from domestic violence and trafficking in persons service providers/shelters that do or do not serve both populations.
The voices of victims of trafficking and their stories are powerful. While a number of studies and documents have examined the identification, return and assistance process for trafficked persons, the focus has been primarily on the legal and administrative frameworks in which identification, return and assistance take place. The structure of these standard reports include principles and guidelines in the identification and assistance process, the legislative framework and studies of the assistance framework, including good practices. Far less common have been studies of how victims themselves have perceived and experienced their post-trafficking life and how they value and evaluate this intervention and assistance. This report maps — from the victim’s perspective — the full trajectory of intervention by anti-trafficking actors — from identification, through return and referral and during various phases of assistance and protection. While anti-trafficking interventions are clearly vital in the recovery of trafficked persons, victims reported both positive and negative experiences in these various stages of anti-trafficking interventions. This information from the individuals who are the intended beneficiaries of these interventions is vital for on-going efforts in transnational referral and assistance systems for trafficked persons. The study is based on interviews with 80 trafficked women and men, children and adults from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Romania and Serbia.
Trafficking involving children is not the same as trafficking involving adults. While many aspects are similar, children very often have heightened vulnerabilities to being trafficked and special needs during their reintegration and recovery. And the differentiated needs of children of different ages also must be considered throughout. This article considers all manifestations of trafficking in minors from and within South Eastern Europe, with particular attention to trafficking for labor, begging, delinquency, and adoption. Through a discussion of these forms of trafficking and an exploration of profiles of affected victims, this article identifies trafficking risks and draws a carefully derived picture of factors contributing to trafficking, individual and social sites of vulnerability, and victims’ recruitment and trafficking experiences. In so doing, the article challenges the hegemonic representations of trafficking in the region, which have primarily focused on trafficking of young adult women for sexual exploitation. In addition, this article considers the existing assistance framework in the South East Europe region and how this does (or does not) meet the needs of minors trafficked for these less-considered forms of exploitation. Answers to such queries provide potential windows of policy and programmatic opportunity. The overall objective of this article is to move toward a more accurate understanding of the issue and, perhaps most importantly, more effective policy and programs.
This assessment outlines the current state of trafficking in the country as well as the various legal, policy and programmatic efforts underway in Sierra Leone that can be mobilized against child trafficking. The assessment finds that child trafficking is an issue of concern in Sierra Leone – as a source country both for internal trafficking as well as trafficking abroad. Child trafficking victims were both male and female of varying ages. Trafficking occurs for a range of different purposes including sexual exploitation (prostitution, marriage), labor (domestic work, mining, fishing, trading and vending, agriculture), begging and petty crime, adoption and into the fighting forces. While the assessment primarily considered child trafficking, it was noted that adults were also trafficked from and within the country. This report finds that 1) there have not been programs to prevent child trafficking and 2) the current child protection structure is not sufficient to accommodate the specific and special needs of trafficked minors. Also discussed are the gaps and issues to be considered in on-going counter-trafficking efforts.