On 19 February 2016 the TRACKS project has been launched in Lyon. A year after, what has been achieved? In 2016, the partnership has mostly worked at national level to harness the nexus between trafficking in human beings (THB) and international protection through a victim-centred and needs-based approach.
In particular, project partners in Cyprus, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK have deeply researched on and analysed the existing legal and policy framework in their respective country in order to see whether and how specific needs of victims of trafficking are identified and taken into consideration in the asylum process, both in relation to the procedures and to the reception conditions offered.
A national focus group has also been set up in each of the partners’ country to involve asylum and THB practitioners from both institutions and civil society organisations. In some countries, the police as well as health care professionals and lawyers are also being involved. On top of the 100 practitioners involved in those focus groups throughout the partnership, almost 50 additional bilateral meetings and discussions have been hold, mainly with national authorities and institutions in order to raise awareness on this issue and gather experiences, knowledge and ideas from those stakeholders. Last but not least, the partnership has engaged into a challenging but immensely fruitful and inspiring activity which consists in conducting interviews with persons having been victim of trafficking and having sought asylum in Europe. Around half of the interviews foreseen have been conducted in 2016 and it will be continued in 2017.
From then on, what is to be expected in 2017?! The partnership has entered 2017 with a very stimulating mid-term workshop hold in Brussels on 19 and 20 January 2017. On that occasion, it has been agreed that the findings of the research conducted at national level, after having been compiled, analysed and compared, will be released in a consolidated report in June 2017. Meanwhile, the partnership has already started to work on a tool-box for the identification of victims of trafficking special needs in the asylum process that will be dedicated to professionals providing legal and psycho-social support and services to asylum seekers. This tool-box has a common framework that will be tailored at national level including thanks to the involvement of national professionals. In that perspective, both focus group meetings and national discussions with practitioners will be continued in 2017.
More updates will be shared on the later in our information newssheet #3 to be released in June 2017!
Keep on supporting the project and following its implementation, KEEP TRACKS!