The Nordic Baltic network for support and assistance to women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation (The Network), created in framework of the EWL Nordic Baltic Project, met for the third time in Vilnius on 4 October. The meeting, bringing together the national teams of the 8 participating countries, provided for a review of activities undertaken within the project; continued building of the network; sharing of experiences, successes and problem-solving support; and an assessment of the progress made at national and regional level in ensuring the best possible support to women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Each national team reported to the Network on their undertaken activities since the last network meeting (in Copenhagen, December 2006), important aspects of their work and achievements in the six key areas of work: Identification of women victims of trafficking; Residence/legal status and reflection delay; Shelter and specialised services; Referrals and Safe returns; Victim protection and data protection; Compensation and Financial assistance. A synthesis report over the activities undertaken in the 8 countries up until June 2007 was provided to the Network.
The Nordic Baltic network further identified challenges in their work on assistance and support to women victims of trafficking, and the way forward at national as well as regional level. The situation of assistance and safe returns was thoroughly addressed in the meeting, through discussions of the situation in the region and strategies for improvements.
The Nordic Baltic web site, www.nordicbaltic-assistwomen.net, was introduced to the Network, and the following day it was launched to the participants of an international conference. This website aims to serve as a tool for sharing of information within the Nordic Baltic region and beyond, and as a networking and resource tool for sharing of experiences within the Nordic Baltic Network.