Roundtable – Sustainable Freedom: Unlocking the Inclusive Growth of Human Trafficking Survivors – Friday 10th September

Sustainable Freedom: Unlocking the inclusive growth of human trafficking survivors.

To register for the Roundtable click here

Whereas in virtually every EU Member State there is a support system in place which provides for the immediate and short-term needs of survivors of human trafficking, longer-term assistance towards recovery and integration can be a challenge.

When trafficked persons return to social and economic life, they often have an impaired quality of life due to the mental and physical harm that they have suffered. For years on end, they can remain limited in their potential to fully participate in social, political, and community life and contribute to the economy.

A recent study published by the European Commission estimated the cost of trafficking at more than 300,000 EUR per victim over their lifetime, or around 4 billion in total for the whole Union. It shows higher costs for victims of sexual exploitation, as well as higher costs for female rather than male victims (European Commission, Study on the economic, social and human costs of trafficking in human beings within the EU, 2020)

Undeniably, victim support does come with costs—including specialized services, law enforcement, legal and health services, and social protection. However, the potential gains of hosting and integration are rarely discussed.

At the closing of the EU-funded project “Life Beyond the Shelter,” the five implementing victim support organizations Payoke (BE), CAW (BE), On the Road Cooperativa Sociale (IT), Solwodi (DE), and Surt (ES), in collaboration with the Centre for European and International Policy Action, CEIPA (BE), are pleased to invite you to join experts, policy makers and survivors for a lively online debate on Friday September, 10th, from 11.00am to 13.00pm.

Topics for discussion include:

  • How can trafficked persons be agents of their own economic empowerment?
  • How can we elevate their generally unheard voices and listen to how survivors want to be part of the conversation and the solution?
  • How can we hold ourselves accountable, as a community and individually, and be part of the social justice shift required to remove the barriers to health, education, employment, documentation, discrimination, and xenophobia?
  • What possibilities of genuine economic inclusion, restitution, justice for the victim and survivor flourishing are there when the dominant conversation is one of exclusion to the ‘outsider’ when considering that the conversation about trafficking often revolves around irregular migration and asylum policies?
  • How can the EU invest in economic empowerment and more sustainable models of growth for all?
  • Shifting the narrative from the costs to the economic gains: how can survivors’ economic empowerment contribute to the economic well-being of their communities?
  • How can we open up alternative, better protected, non-traumatising arenas of work for those being exited from exploitation?
  • What are the most effective models of economic empowerment? Have the main models used in the last decades -such as job placement, microbusinesses and social enterprises- successfully fostered job market inclusion?
  • Is the new economy doomed to generating only inequalities and exploitation, or can it offer opportunities for the economic empowerment of marginalized populations?
  • How can we monitor, evaluate and develop improved systems of intervention, entrepreneurship support where appropriate, mentored apprenticeships, skills, vocational and academic learning opportunities, to render sustainable growth outcomes for the individuals concerned from this highly traumatised population?


Jelena Hrnja, Programme Manager Atina NGO, Belgrade

Helga Konrad, Head of the Regional Implementation Initiative on Preventing and Combating all Forms of  Human Trafficking

Timea Nagy, member of the ODIHR ISTAC Survivor Advisory Board and founder of  Timea’s Cause

Carrie Pemberton Ford, Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking

Roger Plant, Independent Expert, former Head of ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour

Henrik Sjölinder, Director, Ministry of Justice of Sweden

Joseph SloweyInternational Organization for Migration

ModeratorPeter von Bethlenfalvy, Executive Director, CEIPA

Welcome address by Hans de Ceuster, President, Payoke


The expert round table will be followed by a “Practitioners Talk”, from 2pm to 4pm, to allow practitioners to discuss best practices and new resources, including the innovative services for trafficked people activated through the Libes project that will be presented in more detail:

  • Independent Living Skill Training
  • Mentoring
  • Transition House

The event is open and free of charge.

To view and download the Libes resources published to date:

For more information, please contact