Varna University of Management hosted and initiated a working discussion dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking.
The event is part of the initiative Equipping You To Prevent Trafficking In Youth (EYTPTIY), a joint project of 5 organizations from 5 different countries – Cross Culture International Foundation (Malta), Open Gate La Strada (Republic of Northern Macedonia), Imago Mundi (Romania), Tools of Empowerment for Success Niagara (Canada) and Varna University of Management (Bulgaria). The project is co-financed by the European Union’s Erasmus + program.
Representatives of the Prevention Directorate of the Municipality of Varna, the Local Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, the OD of the Ministry of Interior, the Children’s Pedagogical Room, the Border Police – Varna Airport, SOS Families at Risk, the Labor Office took part in the meeting. The institutions got acquainted with the activities and research of the project and shared their ideas, experience and good practices in this field. The results of the discussion will be integrated into the training module for youth workers, which will be available to all stakeholders in the form of an online course.
The main goal of the project is to support capacity building of youth workers and organizations working with young people in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings, by promoting cross-sectoral cooperation and exchange of knowledge and good practices between organizations working in this field. . As a result of the research, it is clear that despite the different locations of the participating countries, the profile of the most vulnerable groups who are most often victims of trafficking is similar. This is the main reason why the unification of organizations from different countries is useful and rational, explained Veselina Dimitrova – project coordinator at Varna University of Management. Among the common factors identified as major are low social status, lack of understanding and love in the family and others. It turns out that a high level of education is far from a definite insurance for good information and protection from human trafficking. According to a survey conducted by the Romanian project partner, Imago Mundi, 2% of victims of trafficking are people with higher education. And in Canada and Malta, LGBT communities are largely at risk.
To date, a study of the human trafficking situation in the countries participating in the project has been conducted, including a survey of youth workers employed in the field. The development of training and information materials is forthcoming, as well as testing and dissemination of the results in the form of training sessions and an online training course for youth workers.
After summarizing the research, it became clear that in Malta, the Republic of Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria, preventive training is applied among young people. Another method used in Malta is to pay serious attention to consumers. The aim is to avoid goods and services whose production and supply use victims of trafficking. And in the Republic of Northern Macedonia they use “Forum Theater” – a working technique used in various controversial topics. It includes actors acting out situations in front of an audience that has the opportunity to get involved in the scenes. In Canada, the main practice is to work with victims of trafficking.