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Newsletter April

La Strada International wishes to inform and update you on developments in the field of trafficking in human beings and activities of the Platform and member organisations. We welcome your feedback and input. Please e-mail us

La Strada News

New publications by LSI members  

Several publications were recently launched by La Strada International members. FLEX and Anti – Slavery International published with seven other UK based organisations a joint briefing  on access to work for survivors of slavery  and are calling on the UK Home Office to ensure that survivors of trafficking have access to work, which is vital in supporting their recovery and enabling independence beyond the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).

Also promoting access to employment, Animus Association in Bulgaria and LEFÖ IBF in Austria published with other NGOs a Guide for integrated service provision to support access to employment for Third Country National Women Victims of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in the framework of the ‘Tolerant project, an AMIF funded project aiming to enhance the integration of third country national women victims of trafficking in the labour market through employment support. A related Bulgarian national report and animation video were launched by Animus. LSI’s member ASTRA in Serbia recently launched the publication on Safety of trafficked persons see more

Best Practices guide on access to residence   

As part of the project “REST – REsidency STatus: Strengthening the Protection of Trafficked Persons” a guide on promising practices - Long term protection for trafficked persons has been published in 6 languages. See more

KOK shares its demands with all German Political Parties   

LSI’s member KOK, the German Network and Coordination Office Against Trafficking In Human Beings, has drawn up a list of demands for the 2021 federal election, expected to be held on 26 September 2021. Their demands were sent to all German political parties. KOK calls for all future measures against human trafficking and exploitation to be based on a rights-based approach that focuses on those affected and their rights.

LSI publishes blogs on non-punishment  

Recently La Strada International started with posting blogs on its website. The first two blogs focussed on the issue of non-punishment; ‘Why are they prosecuting children who grow cannabis?’ by Dr Julia Muraszkiewicz, Practice Manager at Trilateral Research and ‘How far can we extend the non-punishment principle’ by Ryszard Piotrowicz, Professor of Law at Aberystwyth University. In case you are interested to have your blog posted at our website, please email to info@lastradainternational.org

The next blogs will focus on the issue of access to residence for victims of trafficking.

What is happening?

European Commission launched new EU Trafficking Strategy 

On April 14th, the EC launched a new EU Strategy on combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021 – 2025). The same day also the related new EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime was presented. Both strategies focus on tackling organised crime structures and business models both online and offline and enhancing multi-stakeholder coordination and cooperation, next to crime prevention measures and assisting victims.  On 16th April La Strada International provided a first reaction on the new EU Human Trafficking Strategy during the International Expert Round Table – Regional Implementation Initiative on Preventing & Combating Human Trafficking (livestream still available). See more

European Court of Human Rights will examine a complaint against France  

In a decision released on April 12, the European Court of Human Rights said it would consider the complaints from 261 sex workers.  Following the decision of February 1, 2019 of the (French) Constitutional Council to validate the criminalization of clients of sex workers, provided for in the French Prostitution law of 2016, 261 sex workers practicing in France decided to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. See more

50th Workers’ Memorial Day   

On April 28, it is the 50ste Workers’ Memorial Day and trade unions around the world are focusing their demands on getting the International Labour Organization (ILO) to adopt occupational health and safety as a fundamental right at work. See also ITUC’s campaign website for the day as well as the (video) statement by ITUC’s General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

European Commission adopts Child Rights Strategy    

The EC launched the first EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child defining EU priorities for the coming years. The Commission plans to work for ensuring all children realise their full potential regardless of their social background, ensure all children have access to child-friendly justice, ensure that all children are free from violence, can safely navigate the digital environment and participate in democratic life. With regards to undocumented children and children in migration, the Commission will support MSs to develop “effective and viable alternatives to detention of children in migration procedures.” See feedback from the coalition destination unknown and Missing Children Europe on the new EU Child Rights Strategy.

More than 18.000 children in migration went missing in Europe    

Over the past few years, the phenomenon of migrant children going missing has increasingly been in the focus of public attention in the European Union as one of the most pressing issues in the migrant crisis. In April, Lost in Europe, the cross-border journalism project investigating the disappearance of child migrants in Europe, revealed the latest numbers of missing migrant children in Europe. Data from the investigative journalists shows that in the period 2018-2020, a total of 18,292 children in migration went missing in Europe.

GRETA questionnaire for civil society on technology facilitated trafficking     

GRETA will carry out a study on the problems faced by States Parties to the CoE Anti-Trafficking Convention in relation to the detection, investigation and prosecution of online and technology-facilitated human trafficking, international co-operation in this respect, and existing legislative and operational tools and good practices to help prevent and combat ICT-enabled trafficking in human beings. A questionnaire has been prepared for CSOs, which are asked to contribute and send their responses to the GRETA Secretariat trafficking@coe.int by 19 May 2021

GRETA elections on 4th of June     

Following the resignation of former LS Moldova Director Ana Revenco from GRETA, an election to fill the now vacant seat will be held on 4th June, at the 28th meeting of the Committee of the Parties. 8 nominations from 8 countries have been received, from Iceland, Norway, United Kingdom, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Spain and Denmark. See more

What's new?

GRETA Publishes 10th General Report     

GRETA’s 10th General Report that was released in April, provides a detailed account of its activities from 1 January to 31 December 2020, which include the publication of new guidance to help states meet their obligations under the Council of Europe’s 2005 anti-trafficking convention: a Guidance Note on the entitlement of victims of trafficking, and persons at risk of being trafficked, to international protection and a Guidance Note on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation. See more

Upcoming UNSR reports and submissions   

Earlier, the UNSR on contemporary forms of Slavery, Mr. Tomoya Obokata  requested input for his upcoming report on ‘The Role of Organised Criminal Groups with regard to Contemporary Forms of Slavery’, to be presented to the General Assembly during its 76th session in October 2021. All submissions, including a submission by La Strada International are now available Submissions for the earlier call for his report on ‘The Nexus between Forced Displacement and Contemporary Forms of Slavery’, to be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2021 are also online, including a submission by LSI’s member Anti-Slavery International.

The next report by the UNSR on Trafficking in Persons, Ms Siobhán Mullally, on the non-punishment provision is expected to be delivered at the HRC in June 2021. La Strada International contributed to this report with a submission with annex on behalf of its members.  

Clean Clothes Campaign on Living Wage for European garment workers   

Earning a living wage is a human right but garment workers in Europe struggle to make ends meet on their current wages. In 2020 Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) developed a benchmark for living wages in European countries that reflects the reality of garment production in Europe. See more

ASI reacts to new UK government immigration plan  

Late March, the UK government released a new Plan for Immigration, which aims to “deter illegal entry” and to “remove more easily from the UK those with no right to be here”.  Anti-Slavery’s policy manager Kate Roberts explains ASI’s position on the UK Government’s immigration consultation. See also ASI’s briefing on the consultation. See more

New PICUM report on Labour Migration policies  

Labour migration plays a crucial role in European economies and will continue to do so as countries look to build back better in recovery from the pandemic. Yet the design of labour migration policies has enormous impacts on how successful outcomes are for all involved: governments, employers, migrant workers and communities in countries of origin and destination. The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) – of which LSI is member – published a new report, Designing labour migration policies to promote decent work. See more

Study calls for confidential complaints mechanisms to protect migrant workers  

A new report on labour exploitation of third-country national workers, commissioned by the European Platform tackling undeclared work, finds that workers with no valid work or residence permit are the most at risk of undeclared work and exploitation. They also have extremely limited or no alternative options and experience fear in reporting exploitative conditions to authorities. The report finds that labour inspectorates are often asked to monitor immigration law, and this can conflict with their mandate to ensure fair work and decent working conditions for all workers. Among the solutions, it recommends establishing confidential reporting mechanisms to protect workers, cooperation with social partners and NGOs, and carefully designed regularisation schemes.

How Consumers can hold businesses to account

A new Modern Slavery PEC project, led by a team from Royal Holloway University of London, University of Glasgow and University of Melbourne, is exploring the question of how consumers could play a greater role in holding business to account and identifying effective ways to mobilise consumers against modern slavery.

Ripe to be Heard: Workers' Voice in the Fair Food Programme

The Fair Food Programme (FFP) provides an alternative mechanism through which agricultural workers' collective voice is expressed, heard and responded to within the GVC. The programme's model of Worker‐driven Social Responsibility (WSR) presents an alternative to traditional Corporate Social Responsibility. The authors of this article, Fabiola Mieres and Siobhán McGrath identified the programme's key components and then demonstrate its resilience through tracing how issues faced by a new group of migrant workers – recruited through a ‘guest worker’ scheme ‐ were incorporated and addressed presenting an important potential for addressing labour abuses across trans-nationalised labour markets while considering early replication possibilities.

Think-Tank for policy actions and commitments celebrates 10th anniversary 

10 years ago the THB Regional Implementation Initiative (RII) was established by former OSCE Special Representative Helga Konrad. The idea of holding a regular think-tank about human trafficking was developed to address the fact that many initiatives to tackle human trafficking were never fully implemented, especially not measures to protect trafficked people, nor efforts to prevent human trafficking from occurring in the first place. The RII regarded it as a priority to identify what was missing and what extra initiatives needed to be given priority. See compilation to celebrate 10 years of THB Regional Implementation Initiative. La Strada International congratulates the RII with its anniversary and is looking forward to continue the close cooperation.

Events

Feminists Fridays

The Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW), AWID, FLEX, Solidarity Center, and Women in Migration Network (WIMN) are leading a series of six online conversations titled ‘Feminist Fridays: Conversations about Labour Migration from a Feminist Lens’. The aim is to look at various aspects of labour migration, such as concepts, research, media, advocacy and organising and think together what a feminist future of labour migration should look like. For more information and how to sign up, see here: https://gaatw.org/events-and-news/68-gaatw-news/1098-feminist-fridays. The first conversation was held on 23th of April, the next ones will be held on the following Fridays; 14 May, 4 and 25th of June, 16 July and 6 August, at 3 PM CET. All conversations will be recorded and later also accessible online.  

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