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Youngsters join the fight against Trafficking in Human Beings

Just like last year, the students of the Stedelijk Lyceum Cadix joined the fight against the trafficking and exploitation of people.

 

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MVO Project again a great success

Since 2010 Payoke has been cooperating with the Faculty of Applied Economics of the University of Antwerp in the framework of the Corporate Social Responsibility (MVO) Project. The implementation of the MVO Project is carried out in groups by students of Master in Commercial Engineering. Students offer their knowledge and expertise for free, as junior consultants. The MVO project has four objectives: to provide a platform where students come into contact with the outside world, including with the non-profit sector; to offer students a broader perspective on society and their active participation; to provide a more varied training from the university; and to help non-profit organizations in Antwerp by offering them free consulting.

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The 59th Chamber of the Brussels criminal court acquitted SA Quick and six Quick franchised restaurants of charges concerning the employment of unregistered foreign workers. Quick and its franchises were suspected of complicity in these facts. Illegal workers were employed by cleaning companies who performed subcontracted maintenance Quick many restaurants in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia.

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Elke Sleurs provides a double subsidy for trafficking shelters this year

In 2016, State Secretary for Equal Opportunities, Elke Sleurs, provides an amount of 495 000 euro for the three specialized centers for the reception and support of victims of trafficking. Payoke in Antwerp, Pag - Asa in Brussels and Surya in Liège get, like last year, each 165,000 euros extra on top of their normal funding. That's more than double their funding compared to 2014. Elke Sleurs announced this today during her working visit to Payoke in Antwerp.

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Largest smuggling gang ever in Belgium arrested

The federal police of East Flanders delievered a major blow to international smuggling. A gang has been rolled up that smuggled up to twenty migrants a day across the Channel. Ten suspects are in custody.

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Selling people on the local market?

TONY!, a Belgian youth movement, decided to sell people on a local market in Antwerp, Belgium. In Belgium, every year more than 800 people are a victim of human trafficking and sexual or economic exploitation. Read on to see what people's reaction was.

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Human Trafficking and Art: Barcoded Woman

Her painting, Barcoded woman, artist Marcelle Hanselaar painted after reading the newspaper on the train in Zurich. It was reported that a woman was found naked and chained to the radiator. She did not speak the language of the country and has long been held as a sex slave in that little room. On her wrist a barcode was tattooed with the price 2000 euro. That was the price that she could buy herself free.

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Payoke invites schools to take part in the fight against trafficking

Human trafficking is not limited to the harrowing stories of boat refugees on Lampedusa. Also here in Belgium there is economic exploitation, people end up in prostitution networks and young girls are victims of loverboys. Human trafficking is modern slavery. Therefore Payoke invites schools and teachers together with their students to join the fight against trafficking in human beings.

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Payoke organizes an action week and campaign "Fight against human trafficking" with the support of the city of Antwerp

The action week and campaign "Fight against human trafficking" is an initiative of vzw Payoke with the support of the city of Antwerp. The aim of the campaign is local awareness raising and fundraising for the fight against human trafficking. Buy and wear the tattoo as a conversation starter in the Action Week from 18 until October 25! More info:https://www.facebook.com/strijdtegenmensenhandel

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Zero tolerance for severe forms of labour exploitation needed, FRA study says

Consumers are often unaware that the food they eat or the clothes they buy may have been produced by people working under conditions of severe labour exploitation. A new report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows that while the EU has legislation prohibiting certain forms of severe labour exploitation, workers moving within or migrating to the EU are at risk of becoming victims. Despite this, the offence of employing a migrant worker under particularly exploitative working conditions is punishable in some EU Member States with a maximum sentence of less than two years, a penalty that does not reflect the gravity of the fundamental rights violations involved.

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Payoke ambassador, Jo Lemaire explores new musical horizons with Rotary

In 1980, Jo Lemaire was the opening act at Torhout-Werchter. In the 80s and 90s she made her international breakthrough with a varied repertoire of songs, funky pop and rock. Later she brought impressive tributes to Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf. In late May, the singer will be on the stage of the Arenbergschouwburg again with a completely new program. For the concert, an initiative of the Rotary Club of Antwerp - Wilrijk Ter Beke, she also brings only one musical instrument.

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RAVOT - EUR Project Call for Applications

For a national expert from Belgium for developing and writing the Training Manual about a Transnational Referral Mechanism for Victims of Human Trafficking among Belgium, the Netherlands and Hungary. 

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Spanish prostitution network offered minors 'a la carte'

In Spain, a prostitution network that offered more than four hundred women, including minors, 'a la carte', has been rolled up. 29 people were arrested, reports the Ministry of Interior. In that action could also twelve minors were identified and released.

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Norwegian government evaluates new approach of prostitution laws positively

Following the example of Sweden, the Norwegian government introduced a law in 2009 that makes buying or paying for sexual services punishable by law. Offering sexual services remains immune from prosecution or punishment under this type of legislation that has become known as "the Swedish model".

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Smuggling: "Unlikely that the illegals entered the container in Zeebrugge"

In the cargo container at the Port of Tilbury 35 stowaways were found. One of them was killed. "We think they come from the Indian subcontinent", explained Trevor Rowe, the police chief of Essex at the press conference. The ship arrived from Zeebrugge in the morning.

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"They even forced pregnant girls"

The eleven members of a Hungarian pimp gang that was active in the Southern Neighbourhood are risking a total of 83 years in prison. The leaders ten years in prison, the pimps four to eight years. "Some pimps even forced pregnant girls to continue working," said prosecutor Lukowiak. The defendants themselves minimize their share.

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Hungarian pimps to court for trafficking in the Red Light District in Ghent

On Monday, in the court of Ghent the trial against a large Hungarian prostitution gang started. The ten Hungarian pimps, among them also two women, have recruited many Hungarian women for prostitution and are suspected of human trafficking.

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Dutch Rapporteur addresses current approach

Investigating authorities should pay more attention to individuals and organizations who are guilty of trafficking. Criminal organizations sometimes seem barely addressed, even if the police have signs that they exist. The Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children writes in a new report.

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Payoke starts a prevention campaign against loverboys thanks to Soroptimist International Belgium

Payoke published on Tuesday, May 6th a magazine and information brochure about loverboys. This way Payoke wants to inform anyone facing victims and perpetrators about loverboy techniques. What are signs of exploitation by loverboys? How can you recognize a victim? Until recently there was no budget available for prevention. But Payoke is thankful that due to the contribution of Soroptimist International Belgium (SIB), an organization that fights against all forms of violence against women and girls, this has changed.

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HLN: Trafficking in Human Beings Reached a Peak in 2013

The number of trafficking cases involving sexual exploitation (196), forced begging (12), labor exploitation (183) and the imposition of committing offenses (39) in 2013 was at its highest level in five years. This is evident from the response of Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom (Open VLD ) to a question of N - VA parliamentarian Theo Francken.

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Don't be a victim of a forced relationship

Joëlle Milquet, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs and Equal Opportunities, together with Annemie Turtelboom, Minister of Justice and Maggie De Block, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, launches a campaign against sham relationships and forced marriages: "Do not be a victim of a sham or forced relationship". Joëlle Milquet and Maggie De Block: "We want as many partners as possible to actively take up this issue for people at risk of becoming a victim. People must be aware of the fact that they or their family member or friends are at risk. And they need to know how they can respond before it is too late. "The image of the campaign is a hand with a" false ring "on the ring finger. No gold, no silver only appearances.

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Book: Bound by fear freed by Grace - Emmanuel Olumobi

Bound by fear freed by Grace (Voodoo and African Prostitutes in Europe) is an eleven chapter expository book on the spiritual effects of prostitution and human trafficking.  It explains how traffickers employ Voodoo to entrap victims; the symptoms are thoroughly enumerated and analyzed. The book also provides the principle of overcoming these problems. There are several testimonies on the tragic life of prostitutes and victims of human trafficking. The testimonies are compelling and capable of making anyone rethink careless sexual adventures. The book provides advice on how to help victims receive total freedom. 

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UPDATE: Exhibition at Payoke - Art from the neighborhood

Exhibition at Payoke: Art from the neighborhood - Photography, sculpture, paintings, drawings in the main hall of Payoke. Look at photos of this event here.

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Trainee Portrait: Lucile Smith

Each year Payoke welcomes foreign trainees who want to help in the fight against human trafficking. They do this within the framework of the Canadian European Union Study Tour in 2013, an activity of the Network for European Studies. At the end of their training period we ask them to speak about their experiences at our association. Today we would like to share the story of Lucile Smith.

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First GRETA report on Belgium

The Belgian authorities have taken a number of important steps to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings, such as putting in place a comprehensive legal and policy framework and setting up specialised anti-trafficking structures, but several challenges remain, according to a report published today by the Council of Europe’s expert group on human trafficking, GRETA

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Trainee Portrait: Navjot Sanghera

Each year Payoke welcomes foreign trainees who want to help in the fight against human trafficking. They do this within the framework of the Canadian European Union Study Tour in 2013, an activity of the Network for European Studies. At the end of their training period we ask them to speak about their experiences at our association. Today we would like to share the story of Navjot Sanghera.

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Photo project: Antwerp as seen by women

Fourteen women from Antwerp, seven with foreign and seven with Antwerp roots, among whom, Patsy Sörensen went armed with their five senses and female intuition into town and show us Antwerp in six pictures.

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Belgian Anti-Trafficking Law stricter in order to fight trafficking more efficiently

Trafficking in human beings - in the form of economic or sexual exploitation, smuggling or a combination of these crimes - is punishable in Belgium since 1995. Since August 2, changes in the law on trafficking entered into force in order to address this issue more effeiciently.

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Payoke aims to raise awareness among doctors about the medical issues trafficked victims face

This month Payoke aims at raising awareness among doctors about the medical issues faced by victims of human trafficking. Our awareness video has been made in collaboration with the documentary filmmaker, Alexander Decommere, and the Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences, and Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp. Payoke collected nine harrowing medical stories from real victims of human trafficking today. 

Check out our awareness video on YouTube here.

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Knack: How is it now going with Patsy Sörensen?

We are in the mid-eighties in Antwerp. In the infamous Schipperskwartier an increasing number of prostitutes are imported by unscrupulous pimps, who want to make a lucrative wholesale of human beings out of the popular red light area.

Patsy Sörensen was at that time an artist and had her studio in that Schipperskwartier. Sörensen hear about abuses within the world of prostitution. This information she hears from the mouth of the - mainly foreign - prostitutes themselves.

It's not just words. In 1987 Payoke, refuge for prostitutes and victims of trafficking, was established. What started with a cup of coffee and a listening ear for prostitutes in Antwerp Schipperskwartier, grows into an internationally recognized organization that fights against global exploitation and trafficking.

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EU states slow to respond to trafficking

23.632 people were identified or presumed victims of trafficking in the EU over the 2008-2010 period. This is the most striking figure emerging from the first report on trafficking in human beings in Europe, published on Monday by the European Commission. Despite this worrying background, to date, only 6 out of the 27 EU Member States have fully transposed the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive into their national legislation, with the deadline having expired on 6 April.

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Payoke thanks the participants of the annual spring reception

Payoke: "We would like to thank all our partners, colleagues, friends and family who joined our annual spring reception and have made it an unforgettable event! Hereby you can find some photos of the event. We look forward to seeing you all next year!"

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Women and gender inequalities in the context of the crisis

In view of the International Women's Day on March 8, the European Parliament publishes the analytical synthesis of the main results related to the Eurobarometer/ European Parliament Survey: "Women and gender Inequalities in the context of the Crisis". The analytical synthesis can be downloaded from here and global results are accessible here.

The questions focused on women and gender inequalities in the context of the crisis. Among the other subjects addressed: recruitment selection criteria and priority measures to be promoted with a view to the 2014 European elections.

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The week of the other F*** word

Feminism is sometimes regarded as a dirty word. The concept is considered to be dated, covered with a thick layer of dust, overtaken by the history of our enlightened western world. The feminists of the past had at least real, tangible goals: voting, the pill, equal pay, the right to their own bank account to open more.

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Five years of commitment to action against human trafficking in Europe

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the entry into force of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. 
 
With an emphasis on the human rights of victims of trafficking, the Convention contains measures to ensure the proper identification of victims, their assistance and protection, as well as the prosecution of traffickers and international co-operation.
 
The Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), which monitors the implementation of obligations under the Convention, has already published 16 country evaluation reports. GRETA’s reports on France and Latvia have just been made public. It is clear that not only human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation persists, but trafficking for the purpose of forced labour or services is on the increase in Europe.

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Publication of GRETA's Report on Malta

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published today its first evaluation report on Malta.

In the report, GRETA notes the progress made by the Maltese authorities to develop the institutional and legal framework for combating trafficking in human beings, including the adoption of the first national action plan on combating trafficking in persons in October 2011 and the setting up of the Human Trafficking Monitoring Committee and a Stakeholder Task Force against human trafficking.

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Antwerp FC has deal with convicted trafficker

Antwerp FC is about to be taken over by Antoine Filip De Graeve. Who is that man? Sports / Football Magazine unveils the dark side of that potential acquisition.

For several months now R Antwerp FC has supposedly had an agreement with Antoine Filip De Graeve about the takeover of the second class club.

According to the Gazet of Antwerp De Graeve represents the Mantra Group investment holding company with headquarters in Singapore, trading in petroleum and sugar. With the acquisition, an amount of 10 million euros would be mobilised.

Antwerp denies nothing, but stressed until last weekend that it has not seen a single penny. In an interview  with the local TV station ATV on FridayDe Graeve reiterated that "everything is arranged."

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Increase in global child trafficking gives cause for concern, says new UNODC report

Increase in global child trafficking gives cause for concern, says new UNODC report. UNODC launches latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

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Women's networks call organise to end prostitution in Europe

On the 4th of December the European Women's Lobby organised a conference on prostitution at the European Parliament to assess ten years of policies on prostitution in Sweden and the Netherlands. Representatives from both countries presented the results of studies made of the policies, legislation and impact of prostitution policy in their respective countries.

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Trafficking: The ordeal of a Moscow 'shop slave'

Two weeks ago anti-people-trafficking activists found 11 people who were apparently being kept as slaves in a mini market in Moscow.

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Latest projects

RAVOT-EUR Project

Referral of and assistance for victims of human trafficking in Europe

The Ministry of Interior of Hungary, the Ministry of Security and Justice of The Netherlands and Payoke vzw of Belgium submitted an application „Referral of and assistance for victims of human trafficking in Europe” (hereinafter RAVOT-EUR) for Action Grants under the Programme “Prevention of and Fight against Crime” 2012 ISEC General Call for Proposals of the European Commission.

www.ravot-eur.eu

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