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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.

The three reception centers for victims of trafficking work with multidisciplinary teams consisting of educators, social workers and criminologists. They provide shelter, counseling, psychological, medical and legal assistance. Only these centers are authorized to apply for residence permits and renewals thereof directly to the Immigration Department for the victims of trafficking and smuggling. They also have a shelter at a secret location. 

"It is essential that the specialised centers for victims of trafficking receive the necessary funding," said Sleurs. "The importance of their work is impossible to overstate. That is why I maintain in 2016 the increased subsidy. Given the current asylum crisis this is more than ever vital. " 

Currently, at the federal level only the subsidy from the State Secretary for Equal Opportunities is structural. The other subsidies, including the National Lottery, have to be requested on a yearly basis. Last year, State Secretary Elke Sleurs already provided additional funding of 163 000 euro per center. Also in 2016, this amount is thus maintained and even increased to 165 000 euro. Since the election of this government the centers received a total of 984 000 euro extra budget.

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