Local governments and protection of victims

When it comes to protection of and assistance to victims, local and regional governments could:

Provide specialised shelters

In countries where local governments are responsible for providing victims of THB with shelter, local governments could consider creating specialised shelters for victims of THB. In these shelters the focus lies on strengthening the mental and social health of a victim, and on improving their social and legal position. Local governments are also often responsible for youth care, which includes the care for underage victims of THB.

Arrange sufficient shelter before an action day

Where local governments are responsible for sheltering victims of THB, law enforcement agencies could consider informing them in advance of any raids taking place. This would enable the local government to make sure that sufficient shelter is available for the victims expected to be found.

Read more about shelters for large groups of victims.

Issue residence permits to victims

In some countries, the local aliens’ authorities are the organisations responsible for issuing residence permits, also to trafficked persons. The place of residence determines which aliens’ authority is in charge.

See also the section on Protection and assistance by immigration services.

Help victims to reintegrate into society

Many local governments have instruments available that could be used to help victims of THB for labour exploitation reintegrate into society. They could for example provide victims with housing, education, assistance to find a job, and so on.

Examples of reintegration

In Malta, the Agency for Social Welfare Services (Appogg) offers a ‘one-stop-shop’ for community services. The staff in the Appogg’s centres have been trained on THB for labour exploitation.

 In a small sized settlement in Hungary, there is a high risk for young men and women to be exploited in Western Europe. Traffickers regularly approach individuals and their families with sophisticated offers.

As an adequate answer, the mayor and city council members are permanently monitoring the situation, trying to identify the persons at risk. After identification, with the help of the Family Care Service of the local government, they set up a personalised action plan for the possible victim. The plan includes different kinds of measures, including the offer of temporary employment at local governmental institutions.

Cooperate with local governments in source and/or destination countries

Cooperation between local governments in other member states could be valuable, especially when many victims from one municipality in a source country end up in another municipality in a destination country. Cooperation could help to provide a stable return of victims to their home country. It could also improve the knowledge and understanding of why people become a victim, and help to provide the advice, assistance and care that is most effective.

Read more

Read more general information on the protection of victims.