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Nordic-Baltic knowledge overview

Action plan for removing obstacles to health care access in sexual trafficking

image of Nordic-Baltic knowledge overview

In accordance with the agreement at the Roundtable Meeting of the Ministers of Social Affairs of the Baltic Sea Region in 2006 to co-operate on the social consequences in the fight against sex trafficking, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Social Affairs and Health (MR-S) initiated the project Nordic-Baltic knowledge overview and action plan for removing obstacles to health care access in sexual trafficking. The project consisted of three parts, a Nordic-Baltic expert meeting to review the current knowledge, a Nordic-Baltic case study conducted in all eight countries, and a concluding international conference in Riga 2010. The project focused on the damage of both physical and mental health as the consequences of sexual exploitation in trafficking. As sex trafficking crosses borders joint frameworks are needed for tackling the problem and to improve access to health care for the victims, both during the act of trafficking as well as post-trafficking (”Safe Return”). The report reveals that every country has chosen its own way on how to apply international legal measures into their national legal systems, and that there is a need of policies for long term rehabilitation. Further, a more in-depth knowledge on prevalence and types of mental and physical disorders over the different stages of sexual trafficking is needed for tailoring the health care.

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Stop Trafficking and Stand for Health

A number of experts from all the Nordic-Baltic countries working with victims of trafficking were asked to prepare case studies to map sex trafficking in their own countries from different aspects. The experts included doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, lawyers and officials representing both regional and national authorities as well as NGOs. The health experts were found through a network established in 2006 in connection with a Nordic Baltic pilot project for the support, protection, safe return, and rehabilitation of women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation that ended in 2008.

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