NGOs and cooperation

Traffickin in human beings (THB) for labour exploitation is a complex issue. A multidisciplinary, integrated approach is needed for an effective fight against THB for labour exploitation.  Because of the cross-border nature of THB for labour exploitation, cooperation between source and destination countries of THB for labour exploitation is essential.

Multidisciplinary cooperation

As part of multidisciplinary cooperation against THB for labour exploitation, NGOs could:

Monitor the impact of anti-trafficking measures

Often, organisations monitor their work focusing on their annual or multi-annual organisational plans. The definitions of success in these plans differ per organisation, and may not necessarily include the view of the victim. NGOs or NGO networks could monitor and assess the implementation of anti-trafficking and related policies and measures, and their impact on the human rights of the victims. NGOs in the Netherlands, for example, hold regular meetings to develop a shared strategy and vision on the prevention, identification and protection of victims.

Organise meetings with trade unions, lawyers, prosecutors, and/or judges

These meetings could improve mutual understanding between NGOs, trade unions, and legal practitioners. During these meetings, participants could exchange views on several issues and discuss differences in aims and approach.

Topics could include:

  • balance between criminal justice and victim’s rights
  • prejudice and stereotypes
  • cultural differences, for example those linked to consent
  • means of coercion
  • length of procedures
  • the victim’s perspective, for example regarding court behaviour
  • interpretations of legislation, for example decisions of the public prosecutors to prequalify a case to a lesser crime and
  • overlap and gaps between their work, referral procedures and contacts.

Cross-border cooperation

To improve cross-border cooperation, NGOs could:

Strengthen cross-border NGO networks

Cross-border cooperation among NGOs involved in the prevention of THB and giving assistance and support to victims takes place at EU-wide and at regional level.

Examples:

The EU Civil Society e-Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings is a space for discussion, sharing of information, exchanging good practices and linking organisations providing services and assistance to victims. It aims to ensure a regular dialogue amongst civil society organisations working on THB. There is also an EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings that meets twice a year.

La Strada International (LSI) is a network of NGOs from eight countries that work on THB. It aims to promote human rights-based policies on prevention and protection in those countries. It ensures that the rights of trafficked persons and at-risk groups are protected in practice. LSI also works for capacity building of member organisations and other stakeholders. This enables them to give better services to trafficked persons and at-risk groups. It also helps to empower these persons and groups to improve the quality of their lives.