Rome, Italy, 15 February 2023 — The FAST - Foster Action and Support to Trafficked persons - project funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) aimed to strengthen the cooperation between partner organisations to reinforce the capacity to prevent the trafficking phenomenon and to improve the support to the potential victims and survivors. Thanks to European Union funds, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence has been intensified in recent years of trafficking in human beings.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) collaborated with the Italian Red Cross as leading partner, and other partner organisations: the British Red Cross, the Netherlands Red Cross, Greek Council for Refugees and Cnos Fap (Italy). During the project lifetime the consortium trained more than 600 practitioners and volunteers working in the field, in Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The IRC in Italy worked for the early identification of the potential victims of trafficking targeting the unaccompanied children hosted in the reception system. The activities followed two main lines: on the one hand, capacity-building sessions to the reception centre staff, and on the other, info sessions to raise awareness among boys and girls about trafficking and exploitation potential risks, and provide them with key information on and facilitating access to support services.
Other partners focused more on the social and labour inclusion of potential victims. In the context of the identification of victims of trafficking as victims of gender-based violence, social and labour inclusion is an essential tool to help them abandon the vicious circle of violence, thanks also to the enhanced network and collaboration with local institutions and stakeholders. To achieve the set objectives, the project outlined a programme aimed at promoting and developing the personal and professional skills of groups of women and girls, also through stress management methodologies and the sharing of intercultural dynamics in the host country, contextualised in a process of personal empowerment based on highly personalised ad hoc interventions, also supported at a psycho-social level.
The most important results of the project are:
- Development of new methodologies and capacity building of professionals, key stakeholders, practitioners engaged in the migration context to identify people at risk and establish internal referral pathways within their organizations;
- Provide needs-based assistance, information on legal remedies, and psychosocial support to survivors of trafficking, with a focus on unaccompanied boys and girls.
- Deliver empowerment workshops to survivors to strengthen coping mechanisms and build resilience;
- Reinforce transnational cooperation among project countries and share good practice, insights about emerging trends particularly related to impact of COVID-19, new methodologies and training modules.
The project came to an end and its results were shared during the closing conference hosted in headquarters of the Red Cross EU Office on 15 February 2023. The event was attended by representatives of the European Commission and NGOs, as well as experts on trafficking in human beings.
The event represents the conclusion of the FAST project, but the fruitful collaboration will continue with a new project, funded by AMIF and called DIRECT. Among the innovative elements, DIRECT introduces the objective of preventing trafficking through solid cooperation and direct participation of migrant communities through the active involvement of their representatives.