Providing assistance to the victims of human trafficking
Victims of human trafficking have the right to receive assistance from the assistance system for victims of human trafficking. The assistance can be for example in the form of accommodation, legal advice, health care and social services, or support prompted by the security situation of the individuals concerned.
Both Finnish citizens and nationals of other countries who are in Finland can receive help from the assistance system for victims of human trafficking. For those with a municipality of residence in Finland practical support is the responsibility of the municipalities concerned. Thus, Finnish citizens and individuals with a continuous residence permit should turn to their municipality of residence for assistance.
The support measures are tailored to the victims’ personal requirements. The victim of human trafficking might for example have an ongoing criminal case or the victim might be in the process of applying for a residence permit and the individual concerned may also be in need of health care and social services. These processes are often coordinated by the assistance system for victims of human trafficking or social workers, and in many cases, these actors are also the main source of support for the victims during the processes.
The services provided by the assistance system for victims of human trafficking are based on law and the victims have the right to use the services. The provisions on assisting victims of human trafficking are contained in Chapter 4 of the Reception Act. The right of victims of human trafficking to receive assistance is based on international agreements, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the EU directive 2012/29/EU (Victim’s directive).
There are victims of human trafficking who do not want to seek help from the authorities or are afraid of doing so. They are helped by parishes and non-governmental organisations.
Assistance is provided by such organisations as
• Victim Support Finland
• Finnish Refugee Advice Centre
• MONIKA – Multicultural Women’s Association in Finland
The task of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman as the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings is to monitor human trafficking phenomena and the work against human trafficking in Finland. Ombudsman does not provide customer service as the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings.
If you suspect that you have witnessed human trafficking
If you suspect that you have witnessed human trafficking, do not endanger your own or the victim’s safety. Contact the police or the assistance system for victims of human trafficking. In urgent situations and emergencies, always call the emergency number 112.