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Protecting victims of human trafficking – The AIRE Centre leads new EU wide campaign

25 January 2016

“Ground breaking training kit developed to remove victims from the clutches of traffickers and organised crime”


A ground-breaking new training kit which will help emergency workers and volunteers in the frontline of the refugee crisis identify and protect victims of human trafficking has been developed by the AIRE Centre as part of a two-year EU project.

‘Upholding Rights: Early Legal Intervention’ is a European Commission funded project involving legal experts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Lithuania, Scotland and the UK.

The coalition of independent law centres and migrant rights groups have been examining how to achieve best practice in ensuring that the entitlements of victims of human trafficking are respected – and that they are not treated like criminals.

Markella Papadouli of the AIRE Centre added:

“While human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation is now the second most lucrative crime in Europe – after the drugs trade – the level of awareness about how to recognise and protect victims remains alarming low. 

Lack of training of frontline workers coupled with cumbersome and bureaucratic procedures have left many slipping below the radar and trapped in years of further labour exploitation and sexual abuse.  

By working with partners from across Europe we have not only identified the issues but set out concrete ways in which they can be resolved. 

Our training kit which will be launched at the European Parliament in Brussels on 26/01/2016 and is being made widely available online aims to increase awareness by using real life case studies and by setting out the need for those in the frontline of the current crisis to be  on high alert. 

One of the greatest barriers facing trafficking victim’s right across the EU is re-traumatisation whereby victims are thrown in cells or detention centres instead of being offered the supports they are entitled to.

Only by improving our identification measures can this further abuse be combatted – by setting out our training kitting we believe we are taken a concrete first step to achieving that.”




For more details contact: Markella Papadouli, Registered European Lawyer and Legal Project Manager Tel: +44 20 7831 4276

The ‘Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention Training Kit can be accessed at

Find out more about our work combatting human trafficking

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