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01 Recognising a victim
Early detection is crucial, not only in order to rapidly help, support and protect victims, but also in order to apprehend and convict the perpetrators.
Several signs can help us to recognise a potential case of human trafficking. The signs can serve as alarm bells : when several are present, it is possible that one is faced with a case of human trafficking.
- No freedom of movement
- No, or little, social contact (with others)
- Identity documents are witheld
- Fear of speaking out
- Fear of others
- Distrust of the authorities
- Extremely poor working conditions
- Accomodation at the workplace
- No (or almost no) pay
- Obligation to repay a large debt
- Signs of physical or psychological abuse
Importantly, this list represents the signs we encounter most often in our work, but is by no means exhaustive. The final decision on a case of human trafficking is made by the competent magistrate.
02 What to do?
To escape exploitation is not easy. Often victims are bound by threats, debts, fear, or by underhanded dependency. Getting out is a process that takes a lot of courage and can only be done by the victim.
It’s normal for a victim to refuse help at first. We are here to support and advise you if you need it.
If you think you have come across a victim of human trafficking, if you have doubts about their situation, or if you wish to simply discuss it, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
If the situation is one of immediate danger,
contact the police : 112
03 Some advice
- Often a victim of human trafficking does not identify as one and/or is afraid of speaking out about what is happening. It may take some time until the person feels comfortable and safe enough to open up.
- It takes a lot of strength and courage to escape exploitation. When you meet a victim, they might not be ready yet to take this step. But you can let them know that escape is possible and that help is at their fingertips, either today or later down the line.
- Victims are often under the surveillance (be it direct or indirect) of their exploiters. It is important to speak to the victim alone, and not voice your concerns in front of the person who may accompany the victim.