Those who have suffered through human trafficking in childhood should have access to help and support in the emergency immediately after escaping the exploitation. But they also need support when they have healed a bit and identify as survivors.
Short-term help is available more often than long-term support. Once victims get out of an exploitative situation, the help they get depends on where they managed to escape. We see that survivors still face many challenges. The need for long-term help is not as widely recognized as the short-term emergency help.
Legislation, emergency assistance and programmes for survivors should consider the experiences and suggestions from survivors. The support systems should be tailored to the survivors.
How can the voice of survivors be better heard?
WHAT WE ARE DOING ABOUT IT
With ECPAT Norway as lead partner, the If you speak up, I will join! project is run with Centre MARTA (Latvia), the Swedish Platform Civil Society Against Trafficking (Sweden) and the Charity Fund Galaxy (Russia).
In a virtual festival on the 11 th of June 2020 we are gathering survivors and professionals to lift up their voices and to give them the space to express their concerns. The event will present a Survivors’ Manifest that can later be used to advocate for the rights of survivors. By bringing together the voices of a broad network of survivors and partners in the Baltic Sea region, we aim to shape future policy and programmes, so that the support available for and with survivors is strengthened.
The If You Speak Up, I Will Join! project also involves several activities organised by various organisations at a national level to bring survivors together. This has been impacted by COVID-19, but we will share more information about the national projects and how you can get involved in virtual adaptations or once it is safe to meet again in person.
This online platform will remain available also after the festival on the 11 th of June as an online regional forum for survivors and professionals in the Baltic Sea region.
HOW TO JOIN
The virtual festival on the 11th of June will celebrate resilience and empowerment, and we hope the presentations and input can give survivors opportunities and hope for the future. We are reaching out to survivors to promote the right to be heard, because survivors are stronger and louder when they stand together.
The virtual festival of the If You Speak Up, I Will Join! project will involve presentations from survivors and professionals, art, conversations, and shaping of the Survivors’ Manifest. We hope that even though this festival is now a virtual festival, it will be a safe space for survivors to bond.
For safety reasons, participants need to sign up for the event. A link will be available on this page soon.
Questions? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash