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Counteracting human trafficking

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Contemporary slavery is taking the forms of forced labour, exploitation in the sex industry, forced prostitution, slavery, vagrancy, crime, forced marriage, and organ trade. In order to combat and prevent the crime of human trafficking, which is particularly rampant, and subject to significant fluctuations, it is important to understand its complexity.

Human trafficking is a form of present-day slavery and a serious crime that flagrantly violates fundamental human rights, and whose essence is to exploit people even with their consent, and while using methods and means recognised by the Penal Code. It is a felony that violates the inalienable right of every person to dignity guaranteed under numerous international agreements, including EU directives, and by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. However, this right is being broken, not only in Poland. Every year, millions of people around the world, including men and women, adults and children, fall victim to traffickers.

Read before you decide to go abroad for work:

  1. Carefully check the workplace where you are planning to work, or the company that is to hire you.
  2. Before you decide to go there, make sure to complete all formalities.
  3. Get a personal insurance that covers accidents and costs of treatment abroad.
  4. Make photocopies of the documents you are planning to take with you, and leave those copies with your loved ones. And also give them your current photograph.
  5. Communicate all the information about your workplace and terms and conditions of work to your loved ones. This will allow them to find you abroad.
  6. Tell your loved ones where you will be staying and give them a phone number they can reach you at. Agree how often, and using what means, you will be contacting each other.
  7. Protect your passport and ID Card. Never give those to anyone. Remember that if you lose your documents, you can contact the local Polish diplomatic agency to get help.
  8. Find out whether in your destination country there is a NGO that could help you if needed.
  9. Write down the number to the closest consulate in your destination country.

Remember that you have the right to:

  • get a contract of employment – preferably in your mother tongue
  • request that the agent give you a receipt confirming they have taken money from you
  • consider any matter before you make your final decision Take your time.  Do not agree to leave quickly.

Before you sign any contract, read its terms and conditions carefully, and think whether you can accept them. If you are thinking about going abroad for work, you might want to contact the National Consulting and Intervention Centre for the Victims of Trafficking, which provides assistance to individuals who are planning to leave, and to victims of human trafficking. Call  22 628 01 20, or e-mail kcik@strada.org.pl (more information KCIK).

You can also contact the "La Strada” Foundation Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery to find help and advice. Call 22 628 99 99, visit www.strada.org.pl or e-mail strada@pol.pl.

Visit https://www.gov.pl/web/handel-ludzmi to find information about institutions involved in counteracting human trafficking and in providing assistance to victims.