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Multidisciplinary initiatives to prevent human beings

Project, within the framework of which extensive informative activities on reduction of human trafficking were carried out throughout Latvia, has come to an end

30.11.2015. Project, within the framework of which extensive informative activities on reduction of human trafficking were carried out throughout Latvia, has come to an end.

The aim of the activities carried out within the framework of the project over 15 months was to use innovative services to expand the support system for the victims of human trafficking, raise awareness of social workers and employees of the organizations of the national NGO coalition, as well as to create interactive preventive measures for education of children and young people. The target group of the project are the victims of human trafficking, young people – as one of the major risk groups, people with disabilities, relatives, friends and acquaintances of the victims and potential victims, NGOs representing the rights and interests of the aforementioned groups, the members, staff and volunteers.

To provide the victims of human trafficking with support, a support group was ensured within the framework of the project, providing various forms of assistance, including psychosocial support to the victims of human trafficking who have suffered from sexual violence a long time ago. In total, 20 meetings of the support group took place.

A two-day training seminar was organised in Riga to develop the professional skills of the employees, members and volunteers of the organisations of the NGO coalition platform for prevention of human trafficking established on 17 December 2013, as well as to inform about the current events related to human trafficking in Latvia, Europe and elsewhere. Two exchange visits were organised for 12 member organisations of the platform, visiting the project cooperation partners “Living for Tomorrow” in Estonia and “La Strada Foundation against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery” in Poland.

Within the framework of the project, the experts of the society and volunteer coordinators trained the volunteers of the society, the organisations of the NGO coalition platform and other youth organisations to prepare them as peer educators. To popularise volunteering and raise awareness on human trafficking, the peer educators organised five daylong simulation games for the young people of risk groups in Riga and the regions. In Olaine, Tukums, Salaspils, Dobele and Valmiera, 98 young people took part in the simulation game and acquired new knowledge.

To inform and educate the public, including young people, the informative trailer of the society visited 39 schools, children and youth centres in Riga and regions of Latvia, informing almost 2000 students about human trafficking.

In order to facilitate the development of professional social work, five regional seminars were organized in Dobele, Talsi, Madona, Cesis and Preili municipalities within the framework of the project and a practical methodological material for social workers on the work with the victims of human trafficking was developed. In total, 141 specialists of the particular field were trained in the seminars.

The social rehabilitation service of the society “Shelter “Safe House”” was improved and an ISO 9001 quality management system was developed within the framework of “Multidisciplinary Initiatives for Prevention of Human Trafficking”.

This activity is carried out in the framework of the project „Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Implementation of the project will be commenced on 01.09.2014, and it will be completed on 30 November of this year. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv. official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org. Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.


The society “Shelter “Safe House”” awarded the ISO 9001 certificate

25.11.2015. On 19 October, in a ceremonious atmosphere, the society “Shelter “Safe House”” was awarded the ISO 9001 quality management system certificate in the field of social rehabilitation. As stated by “Bureau Veritas Latvia” board member Iveta Lazdina (Iveta Lazdiņa), “Shelter “Safe House”” is the first non-governmental organisation in Latvia to be awarded the quality management system ISO 9001 certificate by her company.

“It is customary that quality management systems are certified in manufacturing companies and in the service provision area. The society “Shelter “Safe House”” has made an important step forward demonstrating that a non-governmental organisation can also certify its operational performance by allowing itself to be audited and evaluated in aspects such as process planning, analysis and development, as required by the ISO 9001 quality management system standard. Upon receipt of this certificate, the society confirms that it is ready for and already working in compliance with the standard`s systemic requirements: social rehabilitation activities have been evaluated and are under control, employees have been prepared and trained, communication guidelines have been established on how to handle different situations, including how to deal with very stressful, sensitive and, at times, unpleasant situations in order to resolve them professionally and as soon as possible,” said the representative of “Bureau Veritas Latvia” during her speech.

She emphasised that the receipt of the certificate also indicates that the society is ready to train and recruit new employees if necessary. “The certification area of the society is social rehabilitation. In this area, the most important aspect is employees being prepared for various situations, their ability to act in an organised and very coordinated manner, quickly find the best possible solution in order to eliminate uncertainties, confusion and waste of time and resources. Of course, readiness to improve or change something in already established processes is also essential. Congratulations and good luck to your whole team! Remember – the ISO 9001 quality management certificate is based on teamwork and commitment,” I. Lazdina summarised.

“Bureau Veritas” was founded in 1828. It is a global leader in testing, inspection and certification services, offering high quality services and helping its clients meet the increasing requirements in terms of quality, safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. As a reliable partner, “Bureau Veritas” offers innovative solutions – by far more than simply establishing compliance with various rules and standards. The services offered help reduce risks, improve company performance and promote sustainable development.  “Bureau Veritas” core values include balanced, ethical practice, objective assessment and approval, a customer-oriented perspective and safety at work. “Bureau Veritas” is recognised and accredited by major national and international organisations. Facts about the company: 64,000 employees, 1,330 offices and laboratories located in 140 countries, 400,000 clients, 8 business lines in world-leading positions, 900 accreditations and their delegation; “Bureau Veritas” is listed in the “Euronext Paris” stock exchange.

The quality management system was developed within the framework of the project  „Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Implementation of the project will be commenced on 01.09.2014, and it will be completed on 30 November of this year. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv. official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org. Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.

Holding an informative event - a master class on the issue of human trafficking

06.11.2015. On October 19, this year, an informative educational event was organized for the society cooperation partners and media in order to inform the participants on the achievements of "Shelter "Safe House"" in preventing the human trafficking, and to give participants a chance to take an interactive class – a master class on the issue of human trafficking. Among the active participants more than 30 various public institutions (including schools), non-governmental organizations, embassies and media representatives were involved.

"During the event, we tried to show the approaches we use when working with youth to develop resilience of this vulnerable demographic group in cases that involve taking different opportunities in foreign countries. I must admit, every participant of the class had their own view on human trafficking. Therefore, like we work with young people, we discussed the details of the topic and their personal experience, forming collective knowledge," Reinis Gravitis (Reinis Grāvītis) said, one of the educators on human trafficking of "Shelter "Safe House"". In Mr. Grāvītis opinion, it is essential that the matter is understood by various parties involved in preventing human trafficking. "Some may take personal interest, while others may find this training and education helpful in improving cooperation professionally, regardless of whether one is a social worker, classmasster, project manager or accountant – because we work as a team."

As Mr. R.Gravitis told, the daily work of the youth educators involves conducting simulation games, organizing and conducting activities at schools, youth centres, orphanages and elsewhere. Their mission is to explain to youth the process of human trafficking, starting with recruitment. "During the training we discuss helpful issues like on-line safety, parts of labour contract, safety matter, when going or residing abroad, solving crisis situations etc. We discuss trust and safe ways to get information a lot." According to him, the educational work has been made at over than 100 educational institutions throughout Latvia.

The event also involved Krista Lubina (Krista Lubiņa), a student of form 11, Riga Hanza Secondary School, who is working on a scientific research paper appraising the efficiency of "Shelter "Safe House"" classes on human trafficking and has shared her findings.  She told that she had drawn her first conclusions based on youth surveys before and after these activities. In particular, training of such kind contributes to the education of young people immensely. "While initially a student may have had poor or no knowledge about human trafficking, after having taken the classes he/she becomes well informed on the issue, including recruitment and help opportunities," Ms. Lubiņa explained. She added that her research work is still in progress, and she expressed her gratitude to "Shelter "Safe House"" for the significant educational work in schools and the given collaboration chance.

Within the event, words of appreciation for work of the society were also said by Iveta Lazdina (Iveta Lazdiņa), Member of Board, "Bureau Veritas Latvia", who awarded the ISO 9001 quality management system certificate to society "Shelter "Safe House"". "Society "Shelter "Safe House"" has made a huge step forwards, showing that a non-governmental organization can also be recognised for its work performance, by auditing and appraising its process planning, analysis and development, in accordance with the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems. By receiving the certificate, the society shows preparedness to continue operating according to systemic requirements: social rehabilitation services are evaluated and controlled, workers are prepared and trained, communication is regulated for how to act in different situations, including very tense, personally sensitive and sometimes very unpleasant situations so that they can be solved promptly and professionally", the "Bureau Veritas Latvia" representative told in her speech. "Congratulations and good luck to the entire team! The ISO 9001 quality management certificate was earned thanks to collective teamwork and contribution," Ms. Lazdiņa concluded.

This activity is carried out in the framework of the project „Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Implementation of the project will be commenced on 01.09.2014, and it will be completed on 30 November of this year. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv. official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org. Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.


The society invites to an event – a master class on human trafficking on 19 October!

14.10.2015. On 19 October of this year, at 14:00, in the Latvian Railway History Museum, address: Uzvaras Blvd 2a, Riga, the society "Shelter "Safe House"" organises an informative event on human trafficking for cooperation partners and media. It is planned that, during the event, the participants will have a chance to learn about achievements of the society in preventing this problem issue, and a unique opportunity will be given to participate in an interactive class – master class on human trafficking.

Program: 

Time

Activity

14:00 – 14:05

 

S.Zalcmane. 18 October – EU Anti-Trafficking Day. Topicality of the issue and achievements within the project. Significance of prevention.

14:05 – 14:10

I.Lazdiņa, „Bureau Veritas Latvia”. Awarding of ISO 9001 certificate to ”Shelter ”Safe House””

14:10 – 14:15

R.Grāvītis. Achievements of peer educators within the project – simulation games and classes at schools, and their significance in preventing of human trafficking.

14:15 – 14:20

Conclusions of the research work on the efficiency of ”Shelter ”Safe House”” classes at schools.

14:20 – 15:50

 

R.Grāvītis, L.Bauermeistere. Interactive class – master class on human trafficking (students training model).

Limited number of participants.

We kindly ask participants and representatives of mass media to register with the public relations consultant Rasa Saliņa by calling 29145314, or sending an e-mail message to: rasa.salina@gmail.com.

This activity is carried out in the framework of the project „Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Implementation of the project will be commenced on 01.09.2014, and it will be completed on 30 November of this year. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication. 

Starting From July the Support Group for Victims of Human Trafficking Will Take Place Twice As Frequently

30.07.2015. In order to ensure support for those victims of human trafficking who were involved in the programme for state social rehabilitation of human trafficking victims implemented by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” from 2007 to 30 June 2015, starting from July of this year the support group will take place twice per month.

“Based on the desire of participants of the support group to meet more frequently in order to solve various problem situations more operatively we have taken this suggestion into consideration and found an opportunity to organize such meetings once in two weeks,“ indicates Anita Ūdre, the manager of the support group for victims of human trafficking. She also indicates that participation in such classes promotes improvement of social and functional skills of victims of human trafficking, increasing their future employment opportunities and integration in the society.

Until now – since September of the last year – the meeting of the support group was organized once per month participated by 4–6 people including persons with disability because a part of victims of human trafficking have mild or moderate mental retardation. The classes are lead by two practitioners of the society – a social worker and psychologist.

The goal of the support group is to give new knowledge and understanding to its participants on how to avoid human trafficking, develop critical thinking and reasoning, during assessment of job offers in Latvia and abroad, and to be aware of the potential risk.

Since 2007, NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” has provided social rehabilitation in total for 113 persons. Out of them: marriage of convenience 59, prostitution 26, forced labour 25, sexual abuse 2, model agency – 1 instance. In 2014, the help was provided to 38 persons – 8 men and 30 women. The portrait: a woman up to 28 years of age, primary/secondary education, without children/ with 1 or 2 children born in an unregistered marriage, raised by herself. Target countries: Great Britain, Brazil, Cyprus, Columbia, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Germany.

Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication. 


More than 130 students in Baldone attended a class on human trafficking

28.05.2015. To raise awareness of human trafficking and its risks, young people from “Shelter “Safe House”” visited Baldone elementary music school in the White Castle on April 28. During the visit, students of grades 1 to 9 – participants of the class on human trafficking – were informed of the urgency of the problem, rendered different situations, and were introduced to the informative trailer on anti-human trafficking that arose genuine feelings in the students. In total, 131 student took part in this activity.

One of the people conducting the class commented: “Most often, young people, first of all, know about prostitution and after a little while they remember such forms of human abuse as marriages of convenience and forced labour, but they fail to completely understand the process from recruitment to exploitation. Thus, often they do not have the basic knowledge for analysis of their conduct and facilitation of safety, let alone seeking help in crisis situations.  It was our first visit to Baldone elementary music school, but we were pleasantly surprised by the preparedness of the students – knowledge on the subject.”

According to this person, at least one of the teachers had already spoken to the students on the particular topic, so the conversation was initiated at a much higher level. “The group of students was aware of many of the forms of victim exploitation, recruitment, transportation, as well as the vulnerability status. So we were able to sort these things out at the beginning, exposing the human trafficking process and working on the means of protecting ourselves.”

Young people conducting the class do not hide their satisfaction about the class. In their view, such cooperation would be the ideal model for the future – students have already been introduced to the topic and are aware of the risks which they may face in different situations of life in the context of human trafficking. “We as peer educators working with such well-prepared students only have to remind and strengthen the students’ existing knowledge by adding information on the latest trends.”

Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programm“NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication. 

Practical seminar on trafficking in human beings has taken place in Cesis Municipality Local Authority

20.03.2015. Trainings of “Shelter “Safe House”” on human trafficking took place in Cesis Municipality Local Authority on March 10 and 11. The purpose of these trainings was to promote the development of social and professional competences of their participants, when they work with a client, who is a victim of human trafficking, incl. human vision, emotional intelligence and personal and professional management elements, to recognise stereotypes and prejudices in the work with a victim of human trafficking, incl. to reduce the “burnout syndrome”, as well as to improve the qualification of social work specialists in their professional work – in their methodical work and work with their clients.  The trainings were conducted by practitioners in this area – Inese Stankus-Visa (Inese Stankus-Viša) and Karlis Visa (Kārlis Viša).

The topics, the content and the methods of the seminar were based on principles of non-formal education. Any participant was encouraged to analyse and share their thoughts about the process and its results. Active participation of participants of the group, their involvement in the creation of the training process was an integral component. 

Representatives of Cesis Municipality Local Authority indicate that the training process was especially important for specialists, who are well-prepared “theoretically”, but lack practical reflection from real life situations to implement their theoretical knowledge into practice. The training process was formed based on basic adult education principles. Each situation – part of professional competence was looked at from the point of view of a practical situation (problem analysis), solutions were searched, tested by aspects of professional competence and systematised in the context of organisation management (public management). Situation plays and sets of critical thinking tasks were used in many situations.

The regional seminar provided the possibility to analyse professional competences and possibilities to improve them when working with a client, who is a victim of human trafficking, such as personal and professional interaction and process management, individual competences, incl. emotional intelligence and value management, communication and conflict resolution competences, professional and institutional competences, their interaction and balancing, the interaction and management of social, public and professional competence, the implementation of the institutional function (competence) delegated by profession in practice.

In general, 25 professionals attended the seminar and were trained. 12 social work specialists and workers participated in the regional practical training seminar on trafficking in human beings from the “Social Service” Agency of Cesis Municipality Local Authority.

Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.

Information was prepared by: Anita Zimele, project manager – development specialist of the “Social Service” Agency of Cesis Municipality Local Authority, and Rasa Saliņa, public relations specialist of “Shelter “Safe House””.

On January 28-29, practical part of the series of seminars about trafficking in human beings takes place in Dobele Local Authority

27.01.2015. One of the five practical seminars for the staff of the local authority, including multi-skilled social work specialists, will take place on January 28-29 in Dobele, in the premises of the Social Service at 11 Brivibas (Brīvības) Street. The professionals will get acquainted with psychological state of the victims of trafficking in human beings; they will be able to recognize their stereotypes and prejudices regarding such persons trying to “walk in their shoes”; they will receive support from professionals to prevent burnout due their work with customers. The seminars are conducted by practitioners in this area – Inese Stankus-Visa (Inese Stankus-Viša) and Karlis Visa (Kārlis Viša).

From 6 November 2014 to 23 January 2015, 136 employees of Dobele, Talsi, Cesis (Cēsis), Preili (Preiļi) and Madona Local Authorities participated in the seminars organized by the association and acquired the following topics: topical issues of trafficking in human beings in Latvia and in the world; the first twenty-four hours helpline for preventing trafficking in human beings; the types of trafficking in human beings and their occurrence in Latvia, intuitive collaboration model, recognition of the victims of trafficking in human beings and skills necessary for such purpose; rehabilitation services.

The next practical seminar on trafficking in human beings will take place in Talsi Local Authority on February 20-21.

The aim of the project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” started in September 2014 is to use innovative services to expand the support system for the victims of human trafficking, raise awareness of social workers and employees of the organizations of the national NGO coalition, as well as to create interactive preventive measures for the education of children and young people. The target group of the project are the victims of human trafficking, young people – as one of the major risk groups, people with disabilities, relatives, friends and acquaintances of the victims and potential victims, NGOs representing the rights and interests of the aforementioned groups, the members, staff and volunteers.

Within the Project, a methodological guide for social workers is developed and its approbation is going on within the municipalities and the trainings of the organizations of the NGO coalition platform; a support group has been created from persons who have suffered from human trafficking; innovative preventive measures for solving social issues are offered. The Project is promoting volunteer work by developing a network of peer educators. The Project is implemented in cooperation with societies “Living for Tomorrow” (Estonia), “On Vidzeme Free of Human Trafficking” (Latvia), and “La Strada Foundation against Human Trafficking and Slavery” (Poland). 

*“SOS Children’s Villages Latvia”, “Social Service Agency” branch, family crisis center “Mīlgrāvis”, “Samaritan Association of Latvia”, Crisis center for women and children “Māras centrs”,“Talsi District Crisis Centre”, “Baltic Regional Fund”, “For Vidzeme free of human trafficking”, "Īrijas latviešu nacionālā padome", “Shelter “Safe House””.

Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. 

You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.


 

The first of five regional workshops on human trafficking takes place in Dobele on November 6 – 7

06.11.2014. The workshop hosted by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” and aiming to enhance professional competencies of municipalities’ staff in order to decrease human trafficking, to identify victims and promote preventive measures is taking place on November 6th and 7th at Dobele Municipality. The professionals of the field – the manager of the society/social worker S. Zalcmane, lawyer G. Miruškina and the board member of the society “On Vidzeme Free of Human Trafficking” A. Vaišļa are lecturing at the workshop. 

Photo gallery

The methods of formal and informal education are used in the theoretical and practical sessions of the workshop to develop the staff skills of handing over the information to their colleagues and other peers in their region, and becoming the multiplicators.   

On the whole, there will be 5 regional workshops for municipality staff within the Project “Multidisciplinary Initiatives for Prevention of Human Trafficking” including diversified professionals of social work to develop inter-institutional and inter-professional cooperation aiming to address the cases of human trafficking in each region. 

The professionals of the society are pointing out that methodological guide for social workers on human trafficking will be approbated within the regional workshops since they are the ones who most frequently are facing vulnerable groups of clients the human trafficking cases are identified from, and there is also an immediate possibility to organize any help if a person can be identified as a potential victim of human trafficking. 

25 professionals are expected to be educated in each region by organizing the workshop in 2 units (theoretical and practical training) that makes 125 professionals in total.

The next workshop is planned at Talsi Municipality on November 20 – 21.

The aim of the project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” started in September is to use innovative services to expand the support system for the victims of human trafficking, raise awareness of social workers and employees of the organizations of the national NGO coalition, as well as to create interactive preventive measures for the education of children and young people. The target group of the project are the victims of human trafficking, young people – as one of the major risk groups, people with disabilities, relatives, friends and acquaintances of the victims and potential victims, NGOs representing the rights and interests of the aforementioned groups, the members, staff and volunteers.

Within the Project, a methodological guide for social workers is developed and its approbation is going on within the municipalities and the trainings of the organizations of the NGO coalition platform; a support group has been created from persons who have suffered from human trafficking; innovative preventive measures for solving social issues are offered. The Project is promoting volunteer work by developing a network of peer educators. The Project is implemented in cooperation with societies “Living for Tomorrow” (Estonia), “On Vidzeme Free of Human Trafficking” (Latvia), and “La Strada Foundation against Human Trafficking and Slavery” (Poland). 

NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” is the only organization that has provided state-funded rehabilitation services for victims of human trafficking and conducts regular prevention since 2007. In 2014, it provided social rehabilitation services to 30 people (3 men and 27 women), 12 of them were included in the national programme in 2013, and 18 – in 2014. 20 people have been victims of marriage of convenience, nine – victims of forced labour, one person – a victim of sexual exploitation. 

*“SOS Children’s Villages Latvia”, “Social Service Agency” branch, family crisis center “Mīlgrāvis”, “Samaritan Association of Latvia”, Crisis center for women and children “Māras centrs”,“Talsi District Crisis Centre”, “Baltic Regional Fund”, “For Vidzeme free of human trafficking”, "Īrijas latviešu nacionālā padome", “Shelter “Safe House””.

Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. 

You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.

Information was prepared by:

Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa)

Consultant and PR practitioner 

Phone: (+371) 29145314, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


 

The first presentation of the human trafficking simulation game has taken place

20.10.2014. On October 18 – on the Anti-Trafficking Day recognized in the European Union and Latvia – society “Shelter “Safe House”” together with its cooperation partners, supporters and volunteers went to Olaine to participate in the first publicly available simulation game on human trafficking, offered to Latvian pupils of grades 9 through 12 as of October 19 within the framework of the project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking”*. 

Within the framework of this event, youth training on human trafficking was organized, during which partners of the society “Shelter “Safe House”” from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Welfare, the State Employment Agency, the Office of the Ombudsman and Olaine municipality, as well as media representatives had the opportunity to be the first ones to try out the game prepared by volunteers.  Each participant of the game had the opportunity to experience various stages of human trafficking and forms of exploitation. 

To draw attention to the problem of human trafficking and educate different groups of society, the society “Shelter “Safe House”” traditionally organizes preventive measures against human trafficking that continue from September 18 to October 18. This year, with the support of its partners, the society carried out a variety of informative activities during this month.

Expert training on prevention of human trafficking was organized in cooperation with the Department of Welfare of Riga City Council and Riga Public Policing fund. 

With the help of the socially responsible company “Philip Morris International”, the project “Sold Freedom 3” has been initiated, which is a sequential continuation of the information campaigns of the previous years. Within the framework of this project, the Informative trailer for prevention of human trafficking is continuing its operation with an updated exposition (author: Kaspars Ozoliņš).

Support by the Ministry of Education, the children and youth centres throughout the Latvia were informed of the problems of human trafficking and invited to place posters with the free Helpline** in the centres (+371) 28612120. The first free Helpline in Latvia was set up last year, offering everyone to receive information on the necessary actions in a particular situation and use it as one of the resources, if assistance is required in cases of human trafficking in Latvia or abroad. 

During the Anti-Trafficking month, the NGO coalition platform for prevention of human trafficking was joined by a new partner – society “Īrijas latviešu nacionālā padome” (National Council of Irish Latvians). This is the eighth non-governmental organization that has joined the coalition founded last year within the framework of the project “Shelter “Safe House”” Action Support Programme to Reduce Human Trafficking in Latvia" to develop inter-institutional cooperation in reducing human trafficking, ensuring preventive measures to the groups most often subject to risk of human trafficking.

NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” is the only organization that has provided state-funded rehabilitation services for victims of human trafficking and conducts regular prevention since 2007. In 2014, it provided social rehabilitation services to 30 people (3 men and 27 women), 12 of them were included in the national programme in 2013, and 18 – in 2014. 20 people have been victims of marriage of convenience, nine – victims of forced labour, one person – a victim of sexual exploitation. 

*The aim of the project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” started in September is to use innovative services to expand the support system for the victims of human trafficking, raise awareness of social workers and employees of the organizations of the national NGO coalition, as well as to create interactive preventive measures for the education of children and young people. The target group of the project are the victims of human trafficking, young people – as one of the major risk groups, people with disabilities, relatives, friends and acquaintances of the victims and potential victims, NGOs representing the rights and interests of the aforementioned groups, the members, staff and volunteers.

Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, co-financed by “Philip Morris International”.

**Project “Society’s “Shelter “Safe House”” Action Support Programme to Reduce Human Trafficking in Latvia” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.

You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.

Information was prepared by:

Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa)

Consultant and PR practitioner 

Phone: (+371) 29145314, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com


Human trafficking prevention month has begun for the second year in Latvia

18.09.2014. Non-governmental organization “Shelter “Safe House”” informs that today, on 18th of September – a month before the Anti-Trafficking Day* marked in the European Union and Latvia – various preventive activities are initiated in the country, including implementation of large-scale projects related to prevention of human trafficking.

This month the society starts the implementation of the activities of the project “Multidisciplinary initiatives to prevent human beings”**. The aim of this project is to use innovative services to expand the support system for the victims of human trafficking, raise awareness of social workers and employees of the organizations of the national NGO coalition***, as well as to create interactive preventive measures for education of children and young people. The target group of the project are the victims of human trafficking, young people – as one of the major risk groups, people with disabilities, relatives, friends and acquaintances of the victims and potential victims, NGOs representing the rights and interests of the aforementioned groups, the members, staff and volunteers.

As a result of the project, the training manual for social workers will be developed and approbated in the local municipalities and trainings for the representatives of the NGO coalition. In addition, support group for the victims of human trafficking will be set up within the project.  Innovative preventive activities will be developed for solving various social problems. The project will promote the voluntary work by creating a network of peer trainers.

Experts inform that the implementation of the project will last 15 months (01.09.2014.-30.11.2015.) and it will include adoption of methods for the experts of the society from their partners in Estonia and Poland.

With the help of the socially responsible company “Philip Morris International” the project “Sold Freedom 3” is initiated, which is a sequential continuation of the information campaigns of the previous years. This month, the Informative trailer for prevention of human trafficking will continue its operation within the framework of this project. In order to raise the awareness about human trafficking and the role of the institutions involved, the division of areas of responsibility, a two-day training seminars will be organized for NGOs working with young people and/or women.

“Shelter “Safe House”” reports that expert training on prevention of human trafficking will be organized in collaboration with the Welfare Department of Riga City Council and Riga Public Policing Fund during the Human trafficking prevention month.

Other authorities have also planned various preventive activities for this period.

A public information campaign organized by the Ombudsman`s Office is scheduled for October with the aim to prevent human trafficking.

Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Latvia, in cooperation with the United States Embassy in Riga, the Judicial Training Center, Court Administration, General Prosecutor`s Office and the Ministry of Justice will organize a training seminar on criminal prosecution and judicial proceedings in human trafficking cases. Training will be offered for a total of 65 people – police officers, prosecutors, judges and representatives of the non-governmental sector, who provide assistance to the victims of human trafficking, including experts of the society “Shelter “Safe House””. Judge of the US Federal Court Virginia M. Kendall and federal prosecutor Daniel H. Weiss will take part in this training as guest lecturers.

According to the statistics compiled by the society, from January to August the society`s experts have registered 140 cases, where people have turned for advice in relation to human trafficking. Of these, 41 times the information was provided on marriages of convenience, 11 on forced labour, 3 on cases of sexual exploitation. Explanatory information was provided 85 times. Mostly the cases were reported by the victim – 86 times, other person/organization – 48 times, while 6 cases were reported by embassies.

Most often – 137 times – people had chosen to provide/request information by calling the Helpline for prevention of human trafficking (+371) 28612120. In 3 cases information was provided electronically.

In total, social rehabilitation services in the eight months of this year were provided to 29 people (3 men and 26 women), 12 of them were included in the national programme in 2013, and 17 – in 2014. 20 people have been victims of marriage of convenience, eight – victims of forced labour, one person – a victim of sexual exploitation. The average age of victims is 26 years.

*Anti-Trafficking Day is marked in the European Union and Latvia on 18th of October.

**Project “Multidisciplinary initiatives for prevention of human trafficking” is financed by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway The project budget is 111 110,54 Eur. You can find more information on the EEA Grants programme “NVO fonds” here on the Latvian website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.lv official website of the EEA Grants: http://www.eeagrants.org Society “Shelter “Safe House”” is responsible for the content of this publication.

***“SOS Children’s Villages Latvia”, “Social Service Agency” branch, family crisis center “Mīlgrāvis”, “Samaritan Association of Latvia”, Crisis center for women and children “Māras centrs”,“Talsi District Crisis Centre”, “Baltic Regional Fund”, “For Vidzeme free of human trafficking”, “Shelter “Safe House””.

Information was prepared by:

Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa)

Consultant and PR practitioner

Phone: (+371) 29145314, e-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

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