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SoS - Sound of Silence : "COMP.ACT"

Interview with Marieke Van Doorninck.



Sound of Silence



Marieke Van Doorninck is interviewed today on behalf of the joint venture COMP.ACT . COMP.ACT is a three year European project by La Strada International and Anti-Slavery International and their partners to improve access to justice and guarantee compensation for trafficked people.


Marieke Van Doorninck La Strada International

La Strada International is celebrating its 15 th Anniversary this year. Can you quickly explain what was the original idea behind the creation of La Strada and also describe what has been done since 1995? So, Marieke, in other words: what is La Strada?


Marieke Van Doorninck.


What is the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to human trafficking? What can multi-stake-holder initiatives such as UN.GIFT contribute to the fight in human trafficking?


Marieke Van Doorninck.


What are your hopes in the fight against human trafficking ?


Marieke Van Doorninck.





COMP.ACT in a nutshell


COMP.ACT is a three year European project by La Strada International and Anti-Slavery International and their project partners to improve access to justice and guarantee compensation for trafficked people.



Compensation means:


- Empowering trafficked people to take their future in their own hands and reducing the risk of re-trafficking.

- Hitting the traffickers where it hurts the most: confiscation of their criminal assets and using the monies to compensate victims.

- Justice for trafficked people and recognizing their right to redress.


Research conducted so far shows that although there is an emerging awareness about the right to compensation for trafficked persons and despite the existence of compensation mechanisms in the legal frameworks of European countries, the actual receipt of a compensation payment by a trafficked person is extremely rare.


The project itself is carried forward by a coalition of COMP.ACT partners in 14 European countries. For the next three years, we will be working with our partners to bring about systematic and practical changes to ensure that those trafficked in Europe receive compensation for their suffering and unpaid labour.
All project partners will conduct research on the existing possibilities and the identification of obstacles in systems and procedures that prevent those trafficked from accessing compensation. This European coalition consists of NGOs that offer direct assistance to trafficked people, the legal community, labour unions, migrant rights organisations and academics.


On the international level, the project campaign will attempt to mainstream compensation into the agenda of international bodies and ensure the commitment of international bodies to guarantee the right to compensation for trafficked people.



La Strada International in a nutshell


La Strada International started as a joint project between three countries: one country of destination - The Netherlands - and two countries of origin - Czech Republic an Poland. NGOs from these three countries had to deal with victims sent back home without any precaution. With the support of the Dutch Foundation they create a network to be sure that, once they are back in their origin country they have access to good services, legal support in order to regain control over their lives.


Nowadays, the aim of La Strada International is to influence the authorities, the media and public opinion to address trafficking as a severe human rights violation. On a practical level, La Strada develops and offers protection and prevention activities for trafficked persons, people vulnerable to trafficking and other affected groups.


The objectives of La Strada are:



- To inform persons about the risks of trafficking and how to protect themselves;

- To provide short- and long-term assistance to people who have been trafficked and to defend and advocate their rights;

- To provide safe return and re-integration programmes for trafficked persons;

- To raise awareness of trafficking as a violation of human rights;

- To advocate for national and international level actions to combat trafficking in human beings, based on the human rights approach towards trafficking;

- To address the root causes of trafficking;

- To train professionals such as police, service providers or border officials on trafficking issues;

- To build up strong and independent NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe.




Anti-Slavery International in a nutshell


Anti-Slavery International, founded in 1839, is the world's oldest international human rights organisation and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery. We work at local, national and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world by:


- Supporting research to assess the scale of slavery in order to identify measures to end it;

- Working with local organisations to raise public awareness of slavery;

- Educating the public about the realities of slavery and campaigning for its end.

- Lobbying governments and intergovernmental agencies to make slavery a priority issue and to develop and implement plans to eliminate slavery.