SOM: strategic meetings of NGOs (the Netherlands)

The SOM group consists of NGOs that work with trafficked persons in the Netherlands. The group holds meetings three to four times a year.

The aims of the group are to develop a shared strategy and vision on:

  • identification of and assistance to victims of trafficking
  • prevention and
  • law enforcement.

The group also monitors the effects that anti-trafficking policies and practices have on victims. The SOM group aims to form new partnerships and to coordinate new activities in the assistance of victims of human trafficking.

Partners involved in the cooperation

Members of the SOM group are:

  • CoMensha
  • FairWork
  • Moviera
  • the specialised shelters for VoT PMW/Humanitas, ACM/HVO Querido and Jade Zorggroep
  • Defence of Children/ECPAT
  • Shop The Hague
  • Fier Fryslân/CKM
  • the Salvation Army
  • MJD Groningen

The Bureau of the National Rapporteur is present at the meetings as an observer.

What makes this practice successful?

In the past three years, the SOM group has monitored the effects that anti-trafficking policies and practices have on victims. It has given feedback to the responsible organisations, for example law enforcement agencies.

The SOM group has been able to bring the victim’s perspective into discussions about legislation, policy and practice. For instance, the SOM group has indicated how changes in practical adherence to the reflection period procedures were negatively affecting victims’ willingness to press charges. This decreased the number of case reports. The Dutch Parliament then discussed this matter with the government.