Victims of human trafficking face major problems being reintegrated into their home communities when they are freed from the situation into which they were trafficked. Social stigma and personal emotional scars must be overcome during the process of reintegration. Victimized women may have been treated by law authorities as criminals, either for prostitution or illegal migration, and, therefore face additional problems of employment or other forms of reintegration. Assisting victims to resettle and start a new life is a daunting challenge for concerned governmental agencies and NGOs. In addition to psychological and social considerations, the victim faces the practical financial consideration of providing for life's essentials. In many source countries, reintegration resources are not available in communities to assist the victim with work-related training or to provide financial support during the transition period. Poor economic conditions that contributed to the vulnerability of the victims to traffickers also prevent the provision of effective assistance for reintegration. However, there are some positive examples of government agencies, international donors, and NGOs working together to establish programs that provide practical assistance and help returning victims reintegrate and become productive members of their communities.
The South Korean Ministry of Justice has established programs for victims during reintegration that include shelters and self-support centers. The Government enacted the NGO Assistance Law that provides financial and other assistance to NGOs that assist trafficking victims. The Government also offers legal aid to trafficking victims. In 2001, the Government spent a total of 4.9 billion won (US$4 million) on direct assistance to victims.
The reintegration programs of the Government of the Philippines focus on facilitating the recovery of women and children from traumatic experiences and on their return to normal life. This assistance includes individual and group therapy sessions focusing on overcoming fear, shame, denial, guilt, and self-blame. These programs also provide information on options available to victims for work, continuing education, and vocational training in order to help address the economic aspects of reintegration. Several NGOs provide grants of financial and technical assistance for those interested in starting their own small businesses.
The U.S. Department of State has created a shelter best practices fact sheet.
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