Member organizations of RENATE initiate and perform rescue operations for victims of human trafficking, alone or in collaboration with the Police. Since human trafficking has many faces, rescue operations are a great a challenge. Forced labor for example involves people in different parts of the world and it can be be eradicated by concerted campaigns involving both the public and private sectors worldwide. According to the International Labor Organization — the amount of money involved per year from the assets collected from human trafficking and modern slavery is said to be about $180 billion, half of which is generated through sex trafficking.
The level of people involved in the sex industry around the world, at the present time, is probably the highest ever, and it cannot be maintained without human trafficking. There must be a critical focus on the fact that many of those involved are among the most degraded and confined of any human beings, making them — in terms of loss of human dignity and freedom — amongst the poorest of the poor. Gus Lubin, on the 17 January, 2012, mentioned this in an article in Business Insider. “There Are 42 Million Prostitutes in the World, and here’s where they live”.
Once rescued, women are provided with medical care, legal services and the possibility to
to return to their country according to the conditions offered in the country in which the rescue took place.
One of the greatest risks occurs when the rescue takes place after a police raid to locate illegal immigrants. In this situation, the captive person can be held in a prison for immigrants until proven to be a victim of human trafficking. Since they are locked up with the traffickers, the victims may return to slave status
The shelters run by RENATE members provide professional care and safety measures for victims of human trafficking. These are at different levels of intervention: crisis shelter, rehabilitation and long term accommodation. The main objective of our work is to work for victim’s rights and to strengthen their desire for a new and independent life. The shelter is a key place to succeed in fighting against human trafficking. It is not about a safe house or a mere place to live. Generally speaking, the victims lose their dignity and self confidence, this is why the shelter offers them a new opportunity when talking about independence and self esteem. Thus, the structure of the shelter, the shared responsibilities and the counseling programs are organized to prevent different traps which the trafficked women may face, such as stereotypying which incurs a stigma against the victim.
Each person who reaches a RENATE member’s shelter benefits from counseling sessions, and all forms of rehabilitation programmes, both physical and mental, with the main support to finding a job. These would include renting a house and managing the problems with health care, school for children or a nursery. When necessary they are helped to provide new IDs or a restraining order, with support during the trials. At the end of their hosting time, the assisted people are able to have an independent life
In the initial stages of the assistance process for a victim of trafficking, the manager’s intervention
- Social reintegration of the victim by developing a social support network that would enable both the recovery of trust in the surrounding people and the development of functional and adaptive relationships;
- victim reintegration through a process of completion of studies, (re) qualification and
professional development in order to facilitate access to greater security, full potential reached with a greater possibility of job opportunities and according to each person’s professional level and at her level of aspiration.
Finding and maintaining an adequate job during the reintegration phase of a victim of human trafficking is a major challenge for the case manager and the team professionals.
The reasons for this are:
- lack of employment opportunities related to the level of training of the victim;
- lack of accessible work opportunities due to location / distance for the victim;
- lack of jobs for this category of beneficiaries.
Reintegration is the ultimate goal of a long and sustained process of implementing support activities
(residential or councelling) for a victim. It requires independent living skills and self-support. The plans for the future need to be in consensus with social norms and opportunities.
There are different nuances and levels of reintegration, and in order for them to be properly established, the perception of the professional must be made with a realistic, holistic approach, as the level of reintegration is pmade more possible.
In order to obtain the expected results, one should not lose sight of the potential of the person, the previous experiences and his/her life history. Before being a victim of a serious exploitative form, the person has an identity, a social and cultural affiliation and, implicitly, the resources need to adapt to the requirements of life. Training and reintegration, both in the country of origin and destination and because the victim is the main actor, and has already some skills, competences and previous experiences, must rely on these appropriate tools for completing this initiatives.
Reintegration is measured and adjusted through concrete and step-by-step activities in order to gain empowerment in the social and economic situation of the beneficiary. The assistance program does not cease after the beneficiary’s reinsertion.
Any individualized plan to reintegrate victims of trafficking in human beings is about achieving autonomy, personal self-sustainability and the management of their own resources. More than that, all of this can be materialized by obtaining a job, having a house (often in common or rented) and by the appropriate social insertion.