Men VIA: shelter for male victims of THB (Austria)

Until 2014, there were no specific services and shelter available to male victims of trafficking in human beings (THB) in Austria. Now, Men VIA offers specific support for trafficked men, including an emergency shelter.

Men VIA was established by the organisation MEN’s Health Centre, supported by the NGO LEFÖ-IBF and financed by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Partners involved in the cooperation

  • MEN was the responsible association
  • LEFÖ-IBF provided coaching and support
  • ‘Counselling for MEN’ cooperated with psychosocial and legal assistance
  • charity health care centres provided a doctor
  • the police accepted the project as point for referral
  • the Ministry of Social Affairs offered financial support.

What made this practice successful?

Identification of men as victims of THB was problematic when the police did not yet have a facility they could refer identified male victims to. This problem has now been solved, with police referring male victims to Men VIA. Men VIA offers safe accommodation, health care, and psychosocial assistance during witness questioning and court proceedings.