Psychological Aid Techniques for Victims of Human Trafficking

Erasmus+ Project 2020-1-RO01-KA202-079778

Victims of human trafficking are often subjected to extreme psychological, physical, sexual and social abuse, which leads to severe mental and physical illness. 

According to the guidelines of EU Directive 2011/36 / EU on „preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims”, our project intends to increase the quality of psychological assistance to victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

The analysis of our needs included several sources of information, including Eurostat, the Ministries of Justice of the participating countries, embassies, departments for equal opportunities and revealed some criticisms in the participating countries that inspired us in proposing this project:

  • „Collection of data on trafficking in human beings in the EU” (2018) showed that in the past years in the period 2015-2016, the victims registered in the EU were 20,532, 68% of them being women and 23% are children. 56% of them are subjected to sexual exploitation, 26% to work and 18% to other forms of exploitation.
  • In 2015-2016, Romania registered 2777 victims, Italy 1660, and Cyprus 856.
  • In Romania, the funds dedicated to the NGOs that support the victims decrease and also the criminal prosecution system shows a lower efficiency compared to the data from 2016 to 2017.
  • The national systems differ in the methods of data collection and detection of the victims, for this reason, the transnational comparison should be done with caution. However, official data sources agree that the number of identified victims is underestimated.
  • The information collected shows the need to improve support strategies and identification methods for victims of human trafficking.

The main objective of our project is: increasing the quality of support for victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

The secondary objectives of the project are:

  • increasing the quality of psychological support for victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation
  • improving the skills of victims of human trafficking in order to reduce their psychological suffering and related conditions
  • increasing the quality of other forms of support for victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation
  • increasing the quality of standardized procedures for providing psychological support
  • supporting law enforcement and personnel involved in crime prevention by understanding the key psychological aspects of crime (ie, mind manipulation, psychological profile of traffickers and victims, anthropological and cultural factors impacting on crime, communication strategies)
  • increasing cooperation between law enforcement institutions and NGOs in the field of support for victims / crime prevention
  • raising awareness of the general population and relevant target groups on the subject of human trafficking

These actions will be carried out by implementing, exploiting and disseminating the following intellectual outputs

  • The practical guide „Psychological methods for victim support” (O1), designed to teach the techniques of psychological help for victims of human trafficking, communication and support strategies dedicated to law enforcement and support staff; includes a dedicated international protocol
  • 18-hour course support ” Psychological Aid Techniques for Victims of Human Trafficking ” (O2) containing detailed instructions for educators who want to reproduce the course, the model of skills for experts
  • The multilingual platform, which includes 12 lectures for victim support staff and 12 video-guided psychological exercises, designed for victims, translated into 4 languages (EN, RO, IT, GR) to facilitate access and exploitation by victims who can fully exploited the content in their national language.

Primary target groups: psychologists, victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation

Secondary target groups: law enforcement personnel, support staff, educators, health professionals, students

This project includes an international partnership between organizations from 3 critical countries regarding human trafficking issues (RO, IT, CY). The complementary experience and funding of participating organizations and specific national law systems will enable us to implement more comprehensive actions to counter this transnational crime, which is considered a priority crime by Europol in the EU 2018-2021 policy cycle on organized international crime and serious (7704/17; Europol, 2017).

Project partners

Our project includes a partnership consisting of 4 organizations: 

  • EXPERT PSY  – Asociatia Psihologilor Specialisti, Bucharest, Romania
  • ZIVAC Group Central SRL, Bucharest, Romania
  • International Institute of Applied Psychology and Human Sciences, Bologna, Italy
  • Organization for Promotion of European Issues, Paphos, Cyprus