Identification of stakeholders that made an identification of the practice: The assistance system for victims of human trafficking is based on and identified from the ‘Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection and on the Identification of and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings’ (‘Reception act’)
Criteria actors or stakeholder are using to assess them as a “good practice”
Offering targeted reception services for a vulnerable group
Name and leading organization (contact details provided)
The Assistance system for victims of human trafficking.
Target VG and type of host community
People who may have become victims of human trafficking, their underage children and the persons assisting with the investigation. Both Finnish citizens and nationals of other countries who are in Finland, including asylum seekers, can become customers.
Implementing the regulation concerning the assistance to victims on human trafficking prescribed in ‘the Reception act’. The system is operating under the Ministry of the Interior and is managed in Joutseno Reception Centre.
The Assistance system’s responsibility is to make sure that the rights of trafficking victims are enforced and fulfilled and in the case of asylum seekers, provide tailored reception services.
Requirements/ accessibility issues
A potential trafficking victim can seek help from the Assistance system by contacting the system. An authority, a third-sector organisation (NGOs, churches) or a private service provider can refer a victim to the Assistance system with the victim’s consent. In the case of asylum seekers referees are most obviously reception centre professionals. The Assistance system independently makes the decisions on admitting a person to the system and on removing a person from the system. These are administrative decisions that can be appealed. The system is trying to keep the threshold for offering help low.
- For asylum seekers the assistance services are provided in a specialized reception centre. Services include statutory reception services as housing, social and health services, reception allowance, interpretation that are tailored to victims of human trafficking. In addition, victims may be given a support person to help them during the criminal process and support for applying for the residence permit. Customers may be allowed a ‘recovery time’ from 30 to 90 days, within which they can consider, if they want to co-operate with police in criminal investigation in relation to human trafficking.
- The Assistance system maintains a 24/7 information hotline for potential trafficking victims, authorities, third-sector organisations, the media and citizens
- The Assistance system is Finland’s national centre of knowledge for helping trafficking victims. It provides authorities and other people combating human trafficking with training on what trafficking means and how to identify and help potential victims.
Difficulties or constrains for its implementation
Identification of the victims of human trafficking is insufficient. Some asylum seekers may also not trust the authorities and the system´s connection to police and criminal procedure may have prevented some victims from seeking help from the system. However, the assistance system is no more informing the police about its customers, and they do not have to report the trafficking crime to the police in order to receive assistance. This has lowered the threshold of some victims to seek help from the system.
The assistance system has a few hundred customers a year, and the number of customers has been increasing in two years form 322 clients in the year 2017 to 676 clients in the year 2019. However, only a part of the customers are asylum seekers.
More information available in http://www.ihmiskauppa.fi/en