Dealing with cases of THB for labour exploitation requires awareness, and special knowledge and skills. Training is essential and can be directed to three different groups of professionals, as well as to multidisciplinary groups. Some organisations have specific information on training their staff.

On this page:

  • General remarks on training
  • Three groups of professionals
  • Multidisciplinary training
  • Training in specific organisations

General remarks on training

This page describes specific types of training for diverse groups of professionals and multidisciplinary training. First we give some general remarks on training and sharing knowledge:

  • Try to train officials who intend to stay in their job for a while. If staff members leave their job shortly after having received the training, the knowledge may be lost and another staff member will need to invest time in training.
  • Select a way of sharing knowledge and experience most suited to your organisation. The best way depends on the kind of organisation and official it is aimed at. Training can be provided through courses, webinars and online learning modules. Common curricula and training materials, including training manuals, could be developed. These materials can ensure that knowledge and experience built up over the years are shared, and a common understanding is developed. Seminars or conferences can also be used to share knowledge, best practices and the outcome of research.
  • Share information on new trends and modus operandi. This keeps the members of staff who have been trained up-to-date on the latest developments.

Three groups of professionals

There are three categories of officials that could benefit from training:

  1. frontline or first-level officials
  2. contact persons
  3. specialised staff

1. Training for frontline or first-level officials

Frontline staff such as labour inspectors and border guards are often the first and sometimes even the only persons to get in contact with a certain victim. To better identify a victim, they could benefit from a basic training about:

  • what THB for labour exploitation is
  • what the indicators of THB for labour exploitation are
  • where they can report signs of THB for labour exploitation
  • what frontline staff need to do when they think they have identified a possible victim (the internal referral procedures)
  • what the rights of victims are
  • what the victim’s perspective may be.

The use of case studies as part of training programmes is essential to give practical examples of the principles taught.

2. Establish and train contact persons

Depending on the size of the organisations involved, it may be necessary to establish contact persons. They can transfer reports of THB for labour exploitation from frontline staff to specialized staff, in their own as well as in other organisations. These contact persons can also forward feedback on the reports.

Training for these contact persons could consist of:

  • awareness of THB for labour exploitation
  • recognising signs  of THB for labour exploitation
  • knowledge of internal procedures
  • knowledge of the victim’s perspective
  • basic knowledge of relevant actors involved in the follow-up of a possible case
  • providing feedback to frontline staff.

3. Establish and train specialised staff

Key organisations such as prosecution services, police forces, border guards, labour inspectorates and local governments could introduce specialised members of staff who are trained to handle cases of THB for labour exploitation. Depending on how involved their organisation is, these staff members could focus on issues of THB either full or part time and develop specialised skills and knowledge. Organisations could even consider setting up specialised teams or units to focus on THB for labour exploitation.

Training for specialised staff could consist of:

  • knowledge of the national and international legal framework (including the non-punishment principle), policies, practices
  • knowledge of internal and multidisciplinary procedures, Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements involved
  • knowledge of the victim's perspective
  • knowledge of relevant organisations and their representatives involved in the follow-up of a possible case and
  • willingness and skills needed for successful cooperation.

Multidisciplinary and cross-border training

In order to strengthen multidisciplinary cooperation against THB for labour exploitation, organisations could:

Provide multidisciplinary training

Multidisciplinary trainings could provide organisations with insight into THB for labour exploitation from different perspectives. It could give the organisations insight into their respective contributions when cooperating against THB for labour exploitation. It can help them develop a common understanding of and common approach to the phenomenon. A common language and common standards, such as joint indicators of THB for labour exploitation, can make cooperation much easier. The training can also be used to distribute good practices more widely.

For example, in Germany the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) and some state police forces, together with counselling centres, provide multidisciplinary conferences on trafficking in human beings. Here, the police, migration services, counselling services, tax authorities, trade unions and labour inspectorates can participate in training and workshops. The conferences are used for training and networking.

In 2015, CEPOL organised a training for police officers and labour inspectors, in which representatives of nineteen member states participated.

Provide similar training to law enforcement, prosecution and judges

Ensuring training for law enforcement, prosecution and judges has the same content may help in the build-up, prosecution and conviction of THB cases. Each party is then better aware of what the other party needs in order to successfully proceed with the case. See also the section on training for police forces and training for judges.

Read the example on multidisciplinary training of judges, prosecutors and police officers in Bulgaria.

Involve NGOs in training

If an NGO provides (part of) a training, this could help ensure that the perspective of the victim and victim’s rights receive sufficient attention.

Provide training to Chamber of Commerce staff

Staff at Chambers of Commerce can play a role as gatekeeper for THB for labour exploitation. When someone comes in to register a new business, staff at the Chamber of Commerce could look for signs of THB for labour exploitation, including the use of bogus self-employment. They could then pass on those signs to the relevant authorities.

Signs of THB for labour exploitation that might be detected by Chamber of Commerce staff are: when many foreign men or women register the same address as their home for a short period; when they are always accompanied by the same man, when this man is holding their passport and / or when he / she is uncomfortable in his company.

The staff at the Chamber of Commerce could be trained to detect THB for labour exploitation and to know which information to pass on to the relevant authorities.

Provide training to staff in at-risk sectors

Staff like human resource managers, contract managers, site supervisors and auditors are just some of the people within a company who may engage with trafficked and exploited workers. It is important to give them clear and concise guidance about the indicators to look out for and the relevant authorities to report these signs to.

For example, in the UK the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has developed a training course together with the University of Derby. The course is aimed at businesses that are at risk for THB. Read more about this training course.

Training in specific organisations

The following organisations have extra information on training their staff: