In Portugal, the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) created an Anti-THB Unit. This body was established to combat trafficking in human beings (THB) at a large scale and differs from other EU migration services. The unit can proactively detect possible victims in the criminal pre-investigation stage.

This means that victims are not yet confirmed as victims, but there are strong indications that they might be. The process of detecting victims always takes place in close cooperation with one of the four regional multidisciplinary teams. Interventions can be initiated by the Anti-THB Unit, which then liaises with a multidisciplinary team (EME) or the Judicial Police (PJ).

The main tasks of the Anti-THB Unit of the SEF are:

  • to proactively collect evidence, undertake analysis and detect victims, coordinating its activities closely with the prosecution service
  • to collect, centralise, compile, analyse and disseminate data and information on the phenomenon of TH
  • to assist from a technical point of view the activities of other units of the SEF in combating THB
  • to provide training on THB, both internally and externally
  • to follow up the partnerships and protocols established between the SEF and the various public and private entities working to combat THB.