COMMUNITY ACTION TO PREVENT TRAFFICKING OF VULNERABLE YOUTH IN BULGARIA - YOUTHACT

 
This project considers trafficking as violation of human rights and as a phenomenon resulting to a great degree from the marginalization of big social groups due to poverty, lack of education, social exclusion. The proposed activities target youth from such groups, in central and periphery cities, covering border regions in the North and Southwest of Bulgaria, communities with compact population of Roma and ethnic minorities, with high unemployment levels. Children here suffer from a care-drain syndrome, because their parents seek work abroad.
 
The project will actively involve the communities at risk (young people aged 15-29) in the design and implementation of THB prevention programs. Activities include: assessment of past THB efforts in the cities (Sofia, Silistra, Vidin, Shoumen, Blagoevgrad), looking at strategic documents and programs. A representative sociological survey will be conducted to aid the assessment and streamline future policy efforts. A series of meetings with local stakeholders will take place; young people, public administrators and law enforcement will convene to discuss issues and develop joint programs for THB-prevention.

Meetings will engage employers and businesses and address issues of poverty and unemployment as risk factors for labor and sex trafficking. An interactive information campaign, designed and carried out by young people in the cities will raise awareness about THB threats and the need for counter measures.

The campaign will emphasize issues of human rights in THB, identifying the risks for trafficking, the importance of acquiring education and life skills as ways to prevent becoming a victim to any form of exploitation. The project also includes an international conference on THB prevention, to highlight experiences and design further joint actions in the regions and cities. Campaign and information materials will employ visual and audio aids to ensure easier access to the target groups.
YOUTHACT is financed by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union
Duration: 24 months
 

Target groups: 

- Young people (aged 15-29) on the territory of 5 cities (in North and Southwest BG)
- School principals, teachers, educators, social workers
- Law enforcement officials
- Local businesses
- Community leaders
Objectives:
1. To collect information and analyze the effects of anti-THB efforts in the project cities in BG, comparing results and best practices for identification of vulnerable groups and prevention measures.
2. To encourage better understanding of the threats related to THB, esp. THB for labor exploitation, among target groups.
3. To strengthen the anti-trafficking response at local and regional level by building capacities of local stakeholders and strengthening cross-border cooperation.
4. To empower young people and groups at risk with knowledge and skills to prevent THB.
5. To raise public awareness of the risks of THB and garner support for preventive actions in light of the 2012 EU Strategy against THB.
 

Methodology

Identification and exchange of models of good practice 
Creation of sustainable multidisciplinary networks
Creation of educational & informational materials and awareness-raising initiatives targeted to specific groups
International event for experience exchange and awareness-raising
 

Results and deliverables

New knowledge and information on the of anti-THB efforts in BG cities;
Strengthened cooperation between local stakeholders and young people in the communities Interactive prevention campaign (outreach to 6000 individuals)
Representative sociological survey (600 respondents)
2 analytical reports with policy guidelines
International conference
Dissemination
Exhibitions of pictures, drawings, videos, designed by target groups, published in social media; coverage by national radio and TV
Online resources of co-beneficiaries, monthly newsletters, regional associations of local government, schools, NGOs
Media info kits at events

 

With the financial support from the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union European Commission - Directorate-General Home Affairs