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Forum réfugiés-Cosi (FR-C) and its European partners, British Red Cross (BRC), Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR), Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), Italian Red Cross (ItRC) and Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism (KISA) are pleased to announce that the European Commission co-funded project TRACKS – identification of TRafficked Asylum seeKers’ Special needs, has been officially launched.

The project TRACKS – identification of TRafficked Asylum seeKers’ Special needs is a two-year project aiming to identify and better address specific needs of asylum seekers victim of trafficking in human beings (THB) in relation to asylum procedures and reception conditions, both at European Union (EU) and national levels. It will be implemented in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The project is based on a common observation from the partnership that the asylum-THB nexus is raising growing concerns at EU, national and local levels, in particular in relation to identification of victims of trafficking in the asylum procedure, but much remains to be done to ensure appropriate protection to these persons.

Victims of THB have been included as a category of vulnerable persons in the revised Reception Directive of June 2013 that came into force on 21 July 2015. Ireland and the United Kingdom are not bounded to the latest but still need to have practices in line with EU human rights standards. However, in most countries, once victims of THB are identified in the asylum procedure there is no coordinated approach to their accompaniment and their specific needs are generally poorly addressed. Therefore, the main issue is to allow victims of trafficking to benefit from an appropriate protection taking into account their very specific vulnerability. Considering the scale of the phenomenon, few victims of THB applying for asylum are granted refugee status or subsidiary protection at first instance as they have enormous difficulties expressing their protection needs: they are often under influence and threatened in the country they seek asylum in, lack awareness on their rights both as asylum seekers and victims of THB and have been through traumatic experiences. How shall the asylum procedure be adapted and what kind of accompaniment shall be provided to these persons to better protect them as early as possible? All in all, the project is about formalising tailored and comprehensive accompaniment and support of victims of THB throughout the asylum procedure through a victim-centred approach.

TRACKS is implemented in association with UNHCR Europe office, Office français de protection des réfugiés et des apatrides (OFPRA), Amicale du Nid Rhône, the Swiss Organisation for Refugees (OSAR), the UK Institute for Migration Research and the Human Trafficking Foundation.

For any question related to the project you can contact KISA at:  info@kisa.org.cy or at the number 22878181.

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