Flanders extends support for victims of human trafficking

Flemish minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family Hilde Crevits has extended support for the reception and counselling of victims of human trafficking until the end of this year.

Her initiative comes after almost 100 victims were found at the Borealis and BASF sites in Antwerp last year.

"Tackling human trafficking is the task of various governments," Crevits (CD&V) said in a statement on Monday. "The number of victims has risen in the past year, and we have already provided additional reception facilities. Victims are still staying in the shelter, and work is being done for their support; we will extend it until the end of the year."

NGO Payoke and centres for general welfare (CAW) in Flanders provide reception and guidance for victims of human trafficking.

At the end of June, 44 of the 96 people found in Antwerp were still staying at the CAW shelter and 51 had found accommodation themselves or through their employers. A total of 86 people are now able to work, with one victim having returned to their home country.

Reports from victims of human trafficking have been increasing this year. Payoke has already received 213 notifications from 1 January to 4 July, far more than it received in 2022.

Because not all victims have yet been able to leave the shelter, its government subsidy will be extended until the end of the year, with an additional 321,000 euros provided.



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