NEXUS in Brussels for EU-Level Dialogue on Reintegration of Trafficking Victims (June 2015)

BRUSSELS, 30 June 2015 – Today the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF) hosted a closed-door EU-level workshop on the reintegration of trafficking victims in the Balkans. Between 2007 and 2014, more than 1700 trafficked persons and their families throughout the region benefitted from the KBF and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme  (TVRP), through which they received tailor-made programs aimed at empowering them to rebuild their lives. NEXUS was the Regional Technical Advisor for the TVRP from 2006 to 2015.

The EU dialogue focused on EU responses to trafficking and shared experiences and lessons learned from the TVRP. Experts, practitioners and decision-makers were invited to discuss policies and practices related to long-term socio-economic assistance to and reintegration of trafficked persons.

Keynote speakers included Myria Vassiliadou (EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator), Rebecca Surtees (Senior Researcher, NEXUS Institute), Fabrice de Kerchove (Project Manager, KBF), Mariana Meshi (Director, D&E Albania), Mariana Savic (Director, Atina Serbia) and Sahiba Srna (Zemlja Djece).

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The TVRP was implemented from 2006 to 2015 to enhance the scope and capacity of reintegration programs for trafficking victims in the Balkans. From 2011, the TVRP was co-funded by GIZ. Grants totaling 1.5M€ were awarded to 15 NGOs in this period.

The TVRP funded reintegration schemes in seven countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. The TVRP assisted 26% of trafficked persons in the Balkans: 1,711 people were assisted, including 296 male victims and 651 trafficked children. Almost 60% were successfully reintegrated. The TVRP also assisted 1,179 “secondary beneficiaries”, who were typically family members. TVRP partners also pushed for government financial and in-kind support, leveraging private sector contributions and establishing social enterprises.

This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.