What we do
Our main focus is on preventing new victims of human trafficking! Help us with this!
We don`t want new victims in Europe – but help women and girls to get a better life at home!
One key reason why traffickers in Africa still find it easy to recruit new victims is poverty, caused by a lack of education, extremely high unemployment rates and lack of alternatives to have a good life locally.
School in Nigeria costs money, therefore, poor families can not send their children to school. A vicious cycle. We help with our tuition sponsorship program. We pay the school fees for girls from needy families. The neediness is checked on site by our field workers and the money is paid directly to the school. The families are committed to warning others against trafficking. This is more effective than poster campaigns.
We give lectures in schools in schools on trafficking, talk about what’s really going on in Europe with girls and women, and tell about the lies and half-truths with which traffickers seek to recruit new victims.
We also work to organize and finance job training programs for young women to create meaningful job alternatives in Benin City.
Learn more about our PREVENTION Projects in the PROJECT Menu.
In addition we also give support to victims in Europe, work with other organisations, educate the general public and do political work.
We are a member of the platform against exploitation and human trafficking (www.gegenmenschenhandel.at) – where we liase with other organisation to have a bigger impact and coordinate help.
Victims of trafficking often do not see themselves as victims. But they are scared and traumatized. Fear of their traffickers and fear for their families, who are equally affected by threats. They do not trust anyone or the wrong people, because most of the people around them support or promote trafficking and benefit from it in one way or another. They do not speak our language or speak badly – and are constantly warned against having closer contact with Europeans. Our fieldworkers here are all former victims of human trafficking. In personal conversations we try to win the trust of women, to strengthen their self-esteem, to take away their fear, to give information, to encourage them, to point out alternatives, etc … All this, to enable them, to get out of their destiny, for which they usually do not have the strength or the courage.
We work together with other relief organizations and arrange contacts. Accommodations, financial bridging, legal and psychological support, accompany authorities.
Without public awareness and many supporters, our political work will have no effect. Trafficking victims are everywhere – but they are not recognized by us and not perceived. We prepare a social media campaign where victims of trafficking anonymously post photos of themselves – where they show where they are (on the interactive map we are working on) – and the public can see how widespread the problem is.
Our website and our social media appearances serve to educate here in Europe – but also in Nigeria. There are tens of thousands of Facebook profiles of victims escaping into the portrayal of a prettified world, where they pretend to themselves and their families that everything is fine. Only occasionally do images creep in that give a glimpse beneath the surface.
Exactly these beautiful photos on Facebook of young African women are used by traffickers in Nigeria to recruit new victims. “Do not believe what you’re hearing, just look how good she is – look what she can afford, her shoes cost more than your father earns in three months.” For a 16-year-old schoolgirl a great lure.
Together with the “Plattform gegen Ausbeutung und Menschenhandel” (platfrom against Exploitation and Trafficking) we organise on 6. November 2018 at the Juridicum of University of Vienna a Symposium about Identification of Vicitms of Human Trafficking. Austria is a Transit- and Targetcountry for trafficking. More than 350 Victims – mainly from sexual expolitation and work exploitation – are looked after by Austrian NPOs. But that is only a tiny fraction of the real number of victims.
Goal of the Symposiums is to educate and raise awareness in the general public and to exchange knowledge with international experts how to improve the situation of victims in Austria. One of the Speakers is the Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator of the European Union, Dr. Myria Vassiliadou.
In Europe, the problem of trafficking and forced prostitution is barely recognized. There is a European Charter and an action plan. In the implementation – especially regarding protection of victims – however, little happens. Maybe because there is too little real interest to do something. Again and again there are cases where corruption is uncovered in our countries.
We talk to politicians and officials, do classic lobbying work, put pressure, provide information and arguments. Meaningful asylum regulations must be set throughout Europe. Trafficking in human beings is first and foremost a business. And the bill is “paid” by the victims. If we help the victims to get out and give them meaningful protection, they can do so – we dry out the system economically.
The EU spends millions on curbing refugee flows by sponsoring warlords in Lybia (by this causing sometimes disgusting human rights abuses) – but it does little to counter the billions it brings to the perpetrators of human trafficking.
If the victims know that they are under protection here – they will no longer provide money for the trafficking system – which will quickly bring the engine to a standstill.
In Nigeria, too, we are in contact with politicians and provide solutions. And we are working on a campaign that directly addresses the OBA of Benin, who does not have official political power but is a vital authority for all people in the region.