What is Payoke

Payoke is a recognized shelter - and counselling centre for victims of human trafficking and victims of smuggling with aggravating circumstances. This social goal we are aiming to achieve through empowerment, collaboration and awareness raising. Victims of human trafficking are women, men and children recruited for the purpose of exploitation in prostitution, labour, begging, forced criminal activities and organ trafficking.

Patsy Sörensen

Patsy Sorensen

Patsy Sörensen is the founder, director, and driving force of Payoke. Patsy established Payoke in 1987, originally fighting for the rights of prostitutes. Today, Patsy has extended the organization to not just fight for the rights of prostitutes, but for rights of all people who have been trafficked.

After much of the traffickers in Antwerp were convicted and the area was cleaned up, Payoke attained international standing with the support of the Royal Family in 1992 and King Badouin’s visit to Payoke.

Due to Patsy Sörensen’s incessant and tireless efforts to end human trafficking, the term “human trafficking” has since been established as a concept, and human trafficking has garnered much awareness. Patsy Sörensen and Payoke are now the standard in terms of national and international legislation and expertise around anti-human trafficking. 




















Jo Lemaire

Singer and songwriter Jo Lemaire is de ambassador of Payoke.

Vlucht naar de toekomst (©Jo Lemaire)

Hungry for freedom
Hungry for life
Antwerp city, new slaves arrived
Running ahead in the big unknown
Trapped in the eye or a cyclone

Perdus aux mains de criminels
La peur au ventre quotidienne
Comment sortir de l’engrenage?
Se libérer, tourner la page

In Payoke’s shelter
You’ll be safe
Get time to heal
Ease your pain
Hope in your suitcase
Back on trail
Enter your future
Take back your fate

Zonder ballast en handen vrij
Je hart is dronken van geluk
En als een vogel in de lucht
Neem je vlucht naar de toekomst

Sourire, souffrir
Suffit de peu
Fureur de vivre
Le droit d’être heureux
Aller de l’avant sans se retourner
Ne plus craindre
Ne plus trembler

Hommes, femmes enfants
Dans le même bateau
Fuyant galères, fuyant ghettos
Les sans papiers passent les frontières
Fuyant leur sort, et la misère

Déracinés, manipulés
L’esclave nouveau est arrivé
Seul dans la ville s’est retrouvé
N’ayant que ses yeux pour pleurer

Latest projects


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.


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Payoke vzw • Leguit 4 • 2000 • Antwerp • Belgium • T +32 (0)3 201 16 90 • F +32 (0)3 233 23 24 • admin@payoke.be
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