Shelter for large groups of victims

Since victims of THB for labour exploitation are often found in large groups, they may be difficult to accommodate in existing shelters. In order to provide support and assistance to large groups of victims, member states could:

Develop plans to shelter large groups of victims

The organisation responsible could consider mandating an organisation to coordinate the process of protecting and assisting big groups. This could involve many stakeholders. An NGO could for example act as project leader. Such a project leader could draw up plans for housing and assisting large groups of victims. These plans may need to address:

  • housing
  • food
  • psychological and medical assistance, including screening victims for possible traumas
  • involvement of social services in case of children
  • security
  • interpretation
  • providing information on victims’ rights
  • providing victims with things to do, such as reading newspapers and watching DVDs
  • cooperation between partners such as law enforcement agencies, NGOs and local authorities
  • budget.

Agree on the following issues before conducting raids

  1. Who will be responsible for financing the assistance of the victims? For example: the municipality where the exploitation took place, the national government, or another party.
  2. How many days, weeks, months of shelter and assistance for victims will be financed? An evaluation could be planned after the initial period to decide if the assistance needs to be continued.
  3. What will the concrete goals and expectations of the raids be? What are the expectations of each organisation involved?
  4. Which organisations will generally be involved in the raids?
  5. What rules apply between the partners regarding confidentiality, trust and safety?

Discuss the following topics about the day of the raid

It must be clear beforehand for all the parties involved what their responsibilities and tasks are. Some topics to discuss to ensure smooth progress of the day are:

  1. What is the composition of the group of victims like? Information about the composition of the group is needed when arranging shelter and assistance. For example: how many victims; gender; minors; families; nationality; communication languages; sector of exploitation; safety issues; mental and physical state of the victims.
  2. Where will the victims be taken after the raid? A shelter, hotel or the police station?
  3. How many social workers will be needed to inform victims about their rights and to listen to their needs?
  4. How many interpreters will be needed?
  5. How will the transport from the location to the shelter be organised?

Evaluate the protection and assistance

When a group of victims has been provided with shelter and assistance after a raid, the organisations involved could consider carrying out an evaluation of the process. During this evaluation, the following topics could be discussed:

  • Did the services offered meet the needs of the victims?
  • What are the results for the victims? Are they in a better situation?
  • Which (safety) risks did we encounter during the process of protection and assistance?
  • How did we cooperate together, could we do things differently?
  • Did we budget too much or too little for housing?
  • What problems did the victims have to cope with and how did we provide a solution?