zur Hauptseite Frauenhilfe Westfalen

StartseiteVorträgeLecturesBundeslagebild Menschenhandel 2007EmpfangFotogalerieSchlusserklärungDeclaration

Declaration by the participants at the Fourth International Conference of Experts “Together Against Human Trafficking - Human Trafficking and HIV/STD”,
Soest, 10-11 September 2008

We, 50 women and men from Europe - from Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Moldavia, Ukraine and Germany - from advice centres for victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution, from advice centres fighting sexualised violence and from women’s refuges, from other non-governmental organisations, from police forces and public health departments, networks, women’s aid and church welfare and social work organisations - met for our Fourth International Conference in Soest on 10 th and 11 th September 2008.

Our conclusions:

  • Human trafficking for prostitution is sexual violence and a criminal offence according to the German Criminal Code. This is a crime which affects women in particular.
  • Female migrants coming to Germany to escape desperate poverty and lack of prospects in their countries of origin are in danger at every stage of the migration process of being forced into prostitution, as victims of trafficking in women and girls, by people smugglers or other recruiters - of either sex.
  • Specialist advice centres working with victims of human trafficking have seen a perceptible downturn in the health situation of victims of trafficking in recent years, while at the same time it has become more visible. It is clear from everyday practice that sexually transmitted diseases are on the increase. One reason for this is a lack of medical education and sex education in the countries of origin. In many cases, sexuality is still a taboo.
  • Prostitutes’ clients are increasingly demanding risky sexual practices and sometimes using force to get what they want. And victims of trafficking, who have to do what their pimps tell them, do not have the option of saying No to such practices.
  • HIV infection rates have risen very rapidly, particularly in countries where there is a very high level of poverty and a very low level of female sexual self-determination. These are the countries where access to the necessary medicines is difficult or they are too expensive. Generic drugs are rarely licensed for sale.
  • Some good prevention projects are operating in several countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, these projects cannot reach out to everyone and rural areas away from conurbations are only rarely covered.
  • Sexual exploitation of minors is particularly despicable.

Our declarations:

  • We want to develop our international network in order to increase the preventive work with regard to human trafficking and HIV/STD in the countries of origin.
  • We are committed to prevention and fighting poverty in the countries of origin.
  • We stand against stigmatising infected people.
  • Consistently pursuing offenders in Germany and in the countries of origin requires international cooperation between police forces and non-governmental organisations.
  • Together, we are committed to necessary legal improvements for victims of trafficking in terms of the rules of protection and residence in Germany.

Our demands:

  • Financial and personal security for the work of specialist advice centres for victims of trafficking (forced prostitution), including planned campaigns;
  • Appropriate resources for police investigations and networking;
  • Targeting poverty as an important step towards protecting health and, thus, to fighting AIDS and STD;
  • Projects in the countries of origin of victims of trafficking working for sexual self-determination and education need to receive more funding;
  • Promotion of cross-border networking. This is especially important both for advice centres helping victims of trafficking and also for projects and institutions working with HIV and Aids sufferers. Rather than working in isolation, we need knowledge transfer, dialogue and opportunities to learn from one another;
  • Provision of medical care for people in Germany affected by trafficking who are HIV positive or suffering from AIDS/STD;
  • Fighting stigmatisation and exclusion of HIV positive people everywhere;
  • Access to affordable, effective medicines worldwide to enable poorer population groups worldwide to receive medical care;
  • Secure residence status for women affected by trafficking for a period of three months initially and the option of guaranteed residence in Germany;
  • Granting of the right to stay on humanitarian grounds for infected victims of trafficking as long as medical care for infected people in the countries of origin is not up to Western European standards;
  • Consistent use of the possibilities provided by criminal law to protect women affected by trafficking from sexual violence;
  • A national licensing requirement for places of prostitution in Germany;
  • Churches worldwide to discuss this issue more intensively and to set up specialist advice centres for the prevention of human trafficking and for victims of trafficking.

Landesverband der Evangelischen Frauenhilfe in Westfalen e.V. Feldmühlenweg 19 59494 Soest
Tel.: 02921 371-0 Fax: 02921 4026 e-Mail: info@frauenhilfe-westfalen.de