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Issue paper #4

Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme

Re/integration of trafficked
persons: supporting
economic empowerment

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home) or do not have experience in a new field of work. In addition to practical experience, beneficiaries
also receive a salary, which may be a crucial condition. Many trafficked persons must support their families,
making on-the job training the only viable training option. Salaries or stipends may come from employers
running apprenticeship programmes, from service providers that initially pay stipends on the condition
that the beneficiary is hired afterwards or from government-supported apprenticeship programmes, which
typically subsidise a portion of the salary for a set time.

• affirmative action employment policies. These policies prioritise the employment of vulnerable groups
and, in many countries, trafficked persons are considered one such group. However, while such policies
often do exist, they are not monitored and enforced nor are state employees penalised if they do not
fulfill the policy. Trafficked persons also rarely identify themselves as “trafficked” to national employment
centres or employers. Fear of stigma and discrimination is a key factor in this decision. Nor do all trafficked
persons recognise their experience as “trafficking” (viewing it instead as “bad luck”, “prostitution” or “failed
migration”), leaving some unaware that they are entitled to assistance.

• options for work in the state/public sector. Public employment opportunities would, in many ways,
be well suited to trafficked persons. The public sector generally affords greater protection than the private
sector, including medical and social insurance as well as job security. While this avenue has been tested by
some service providers in the Balkans, it is seldom successful. Even the most vulnerable trafficked persons,
including single mothers with small children, have had difficulty finding public sector employment

One NGO in the Balkans that found job placements for some beneficiaries in a municipal gardening
programme for vulnerable persons. Another NGO placed one beneficiary in a government
department as a cleaner. However, this was only possible with the intervention and support
of AT authorities within the state structure. Moreover, in the latter example, the NGO paid the
salary for the first four months, with the government responsible for the subsequent six months.
The NGO is counting on the government office to continue her employment beyond this period.

• delayed job placement to later stages of assistance/reintegration. When possible, many

organisations focus on crisis intervention in the initial stages after trafficking (e.g. attaining mental and
physical well-being) and delay economic empowerment activities until later in recovery. Nonetheless, even
at early stages of assistance, future economic issues are a consideration, with NGOs undertaking activities
aimed at improving economic empowerment skills – e.g. budget management, independent living skills, etc.

• non-identifying assistance. Trafficked persons attend vocational training and on-the-job training
programmes that target a range of different persons, not limited to fellow trafficking victims. This
mainstreaming of training and job placement is important, given the potential for stigma and discrimination
against trafficked persons

• strategic partnerships with organisations focused on vocational training and job placement.
Some organisations have collaborated with other agencies and institutions (NGOs and GOs) that specialise
in the field of training and employment. They refer beneficiaries to these organisations, which then
offer relevant training and counselling as well as job options. This is an important strategy in terms of
professionalism and sustainability, as many reintegration organisations do not have the in-house expertise
or resources to undertake this work themselves.

3. Job placement

s uPP oRT Ing ec onomIc emP oweR menTKing Baudouin FoundationKing Baudouin FoundationKing Baudouin FoundationKing Baudouin Foundation 43

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• database of vacancies for vulnerable persons. A database of vacancies for disadvantaged/vulnerable
persons, including trafficking victims, can be helpful in locating appropriate placements. Such tools can be
developed and updated by state employment services and shared among those groups working with the
target population.

In Romania a national database of vacancies exists and is managed by the National Job Placement
Agency. While it is a general database, there are specific projects that target employment of
vulnerable categories. In 2010, this included ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, youth
who were previously in institutions, former convicts, foreign nationals and trafficking victims.

In Flemish Belgium, there is a database of vacancies for vulnerable persons. The association of
employers established a (subsidised) NGO that purchases vacancies and offers them on a closed
website to privileged partners who work with vulnerable groups ( There is
a commitment that the jobs offered will be at least a few weeks and reserved only for these
privileged organisations and their target group.

Alternatively, or at least in the interim if the state has not assumed this role, NGOs (possibly in partnership
with private sector actors) can initiate such a database, sharing the information amongst similarly focused
NGOs and stakeholders.

3. Job placement

King Baudouin Foundation44 R e/InTegR aT Ion of TR aff Ic k ed PeR s on s

Page 89

The King Baudouin Foundation is an independent and pluralistic foundation

whose aim is to serve society. We aim to make a lasting contribution to

justice, democracy and respect for diversity. The Foundation was created

in 1976, to mark the 25th anniversary of King Baudouin’s reign.

To increase our impact, we combine several different working methods.

Every year the Foundation supports around 1,500 projects and citizens

committed to building a better society. We organise debates on important

social topics, share knowledge and research results via (free) publications

and encourage philanthropy. We form partnerships with NGOs, research

centres, businesses and other foundations. In addition, we carry out

government-requested assignments.

In 2011 the King Baudouin Foundation operated with a starting budget

of € 30 million. In addition to our own capital and a large grant from the

National Lottery, there are also Funds financed by individuals, associations

and companies. The King Baudouin Foundation also welcomes gifts and


The King Baudouin Foundation’s Board of Governors draws up broad lines

of action and oversees the transparency of our management. We have

around 75 members of staff to run our activities. The Foundation is based

in Brussels, but is active at national, European and international level. In

Belgium the Foundation runs local, regional and federal projects.

You can find further information

about our projects, events and

publications on

An electronic e-mail is also available

if you would like to keep up to date

with our activities.

Please address any questions

you may have to us at [email protected]

or call us on +32 (0)70-233 728.

King Baudouin Foundation,

Rue Brederodestraat 21,

B-1000 Brussels

+ 32 (0)2-511 18 40,

fax + 32 (0)2-511 52 21

For donors resident in Belgium,

any gift of € 40 or more

transferred to our bank account

IBAN: BE10 0000 0000 0404 –


will qualify for tax deduction.

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