World day against trafficking in persons
30 July this year marks the first World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which was declared by the General Assembly of the UN. This first World Day against Trafficking in Persons is a call to action to end this crime and give hope to the victims, who often live unrecognised among us.
Human trafficking is also present in Slovenia. At the City of Ljubljana we are aware of this and for this purpose we co-finance programmes in this field.
One of the major non-government organisations dealing with human trafficking is the Society Ključ – Centre for Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings which was founded in 2001. The City of Ljubljana supports it from the start. The support by the City was of utmost importance for the Society and its programme especially in the times, when they did not have support of the government and when they introduced novelties into their programme. Thus the City of Ljubljana was the first to support the reintegration project, the decision of Society Ključ that it is discriminatory to condition the inclusion into the programme of care by the participation of the law enforcement agencies and that the victims of human trafficking of both genders are housed together. The novelty in this year's programme supported by the City is a new housing unit, aimed at persons being reintegrated, but who are not in need of a safe house accommodation any more. It is also important to note that MOL supported the first preventive project Vijolica – raising awareness and informing about the pitfalls in human trafficking (2002) which was and still is a preventive programme aimed at youngsters aged 14 and older.
The “Care for Victims” project is intended to help the victims of human trafficking. The project can be divided in three stages: crisis accommodation, safe house accommodation and reintegration. The crisis accommodation is required when a person urgently leaves an exploitative environment. The crisis accommodation lasts five days and during this period the victims usually return by their own will to the countries of their origin or elsewhere where they feel safe. The next form of help is represented by a safe house accommodation where male or female users are, besides the essential care, also provided with psychosocial counselling, psychotherapy, residency status arrangements, legal counselling, etc. (Re)integration where users prepare for independent lives is of utmost importance. Thus it is important for foreigners to learn the Slovenian language. Moreover, users are also given a chance to finish schooling, they are assisted in job seeking and in widening their social network, etc.
This year the Society Ključ intensively searches for additional housing for persons in need of the reintegration programme who, however, do not require safe house accommodation. Moreover, they are founding the so-called “time bank” where the programme users and the general public will be able to deposit and use their time (service exchange).
For more information on Society Ključ and their activity see website.