09 April 2013

La Strada International is pleased to announce the launch of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network, a new alliance of anti-trafficking hotlines that will build a broader safety net for survivors of modern-day slavery and develop a more coordinated global response for victims of this transnational crime.

The alliance will also create a data-driven approach that identifies human trafficking trends and informs eradication, prevention, and victim protection strategies.

Being one of the recipients of the total $3 million Global Impact Award from Google, La Strada International joined the Polaris Project and Liberty Asia in the new hotline network. Global Impact Awards support entrepreneurial nonprofits using technology to change the world. Additional members of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network will be added throughout 2013 and beyond.

“Google’s Global Impact Award is making it possible for us to connect with diverse anti-trafficking organisations in other regions of the world, and to share data we collect and improve the knowledge and information on human trafficking collected by civil society, stated Suzanne Hoff, International Coordinator of La Strada International. “Moreover the close cooperation of helplines globally will enable us to reach out to more vulnerable groups and can help to increase identification, referral and assistance of trafficked persons.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are nearly 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide who are forced to provide commercial sex acts or labour or services against their will.

La Strada International is a leading European NGO network that works to ensure a world without trafficking in human beings by promoting respect for human rights. The network comprises eight independent member organisations that operate from a grass-roots level. The members are based in Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Macedonia (FYROM), Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine and implement activities for advocacy, prevention and social support for trafficked persons and at-risk groups in order to empower them to exercise their rights.

All La Strada members run hotlines, often operational 24 hours and in some cases toll-free. Consultants provide information on destination countries, including information about the national situation and legislation of these countries, useful telephone numbers, and safety tips and support possibilities in case of emergencies. Referral can take place to other services via the hotline, including search for missing persons. Several offices provide consultations for migrants, also in foreign languages. In 2011 La Strada hotlines received over 13000 calls.