A new EU-funded project, AMELIE, has been recently launched and aims to increase the rate of detection of victims of human trafficking within the health sector and improve their access to health care, gender- and trauma-sensitive services.
Trafficking in human beings remains a serious threat in the EU despite progress achieved in the past years. According to data from the European Commission, which on April 14, 2021 adopted a new EU strategy on combating trafficking in human beings (2021-2025), between 2017 and 2018, more than 14,000 victims of trafficking were registered in the EU – and the actual number is likely to be substantially higher as many cases remain undetected. The majority of victims are women and girls (72%), while most of them are trafficked for sexual exploitation (60%).
The violence that trafficked persons experience has severe consequences on their 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.
The AMELIE project
AMELIE is a European initiative 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.
Five organisations from Belgium, Greece, Germany and Italy have joined forces to implement this programme, aiming to empower trafficking survivors and improve access to their rights and to healthcare services, enhance the capacity of professionals working with trafficked persons, and improve detection and identification mechanisms by establishing better cooperation among anti-trafficking actors and health care systems.
More specifically, AMELIE plans to enhance the capacity of more than 200 health-care/medical professionals through dedicated learning tools and capacity-building activities, and support the empowerment of 180 trafficking 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. Furthermore, it will improve multi-stakeholder cooperation among key anti-trafficking actors to reinforce national and transnational referral mechanisms.
The AMELIE project is being implemented by KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre (Greece), SOLWODI (Germany), Differenza Donna (Italy), PAYOKE (Belgium) and APG23 (Italy), and is financially supported by the AMIF (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) programme of the European Union.
You can find more information on the project’s official website: https://www.project-amelie.eu/
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