About trafficking

Trafficking in human beings is a serious crime and a fundamental violation of human rights that should have no place in our societies. Yet criminals continue to exploit people of all genders, ages and backgrounds in every region of the world. Traffickers target the most vulnerable, mainly women and children, primarily for sexual exploitation.

According to the EU’s latest available data, between 2017 and 2018, there were more than 14,000 registered trafficked persons within the European Union – and the actual number is likely to be significantly higher as many cases remain undetected. Sexually exploited women and girls make up the majority of trafficked persons in the EU, according to the European Commission (EC, Communication on the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings, 2021-2025). In addition, according to the 2021 Trafficking in Person Report published by the US Department of State, COVID-19 generated conditions that increased the number of people who experienced vulnerabilities to human trafficking and interrupted existing and planned anti-trafficking interventions.

The violence that trafficked persons experience has severe consequences on victims’ physical and psychological health, therefore also affecting the health system. Despite the impact of the forms of exploitation, to date, there has been limited engagement by the global health community in the dialogue or responses to trafficking, with the health needs of victims receiving insufficient attention.

Our Initiative

AMELIE is an AMIF (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) programme that aims to increase the capacity of health care and frontline service providers to identify, safely refer and provide gender- and trauma-sensitive services to trafficked persons - with a focus on adult women - in Belgium, Greece, Germany and Italy.

More specifically, the programme aims at:

- empowering trafficking survivors and improving access to their rights and to healthcare services,

- enhancing the capacity of professionals working with trafficked persons, especially medical personnel, through trainings and e-learning tools, and

- improving detection and identification mechanisms by establishing better cooperation among anti-trafficking actors and health care systems.

AMELIE in Action

Will enhance the capacity of more than 200 health-care/medical professionals through dedicated learning tools and capacity-building activities.

Will support the empowerment of 180 survivors and their access to psycho-social and specialized medical assistance, including counselling, referrals, prevention and self-care services and practices, based on victims’ needs and preferences.

Will facilitate early identification through training, awareness raising, and disseminating tools for enhanced detection and referral, targeting approx. 5,000 professionals and multipliers.

Will improve multi-stakeholder cooperation among key anti-trafficking actors to reinforce national and transnational referral mechanisms.

Will address the challenges of identification and support in emergency settings, such as the Covid-19 crisis, highlighting solutions and best practices to shift from in-person to online provision and vice versa.

Will raise awareness within the broader public about human trafficking.

Who will be involved?

  • Survivors of trafficking
  • Professionals working in the health care/medical sector
  • Stakeholders from anti-trafficking networks and mechanisms
  • National and local administration, policy makers and migration authorities
  • Civil society organizations