07.11.2018 14:25

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) is launching a new project against Human Trafficking to improve the cooperation in helping victims in the Baltic Sea region

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) has launched its new international project against Human Trafficking – Paving the Way for a Harmonized Operational Framework in the Baltic Sea Region (HOF BSR). The project has been initiated in September 2018. The National Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking is representing Finland in the project.

International reports show that newly arrived migrants are highly vulnerable to become exploited and trafficked. In response to this urgent situation, the CBSS is gathering all its Member States in order to strengthen professionals in the entire region on how to operatively deal with cross border cases of Human Trafficking.

This remains a growing challenge in the Baltic Sea Region, both in terms of the high number of victims exploited but also the low number of convictions. There is a pressing need to establish a more coordinated and unified approach among the countries of the Baltic Sea Region to tackle this cross-border problem and to provide holistic assistance to trafficked persons.

A Transnational Referral Mechanism for professionals working in the Baltic Sea Region and be-yond will be developed to provide them with the right tools in order to successfully assist victims.

Secondly, a more unified approach is also currently needed to support the media with reporting on human trafficking issues.  The project will seek to develop a manual and a glossary for journalists to aid their reporting and to improve visibility of human trafficking for all forms of exploitation.

The project also aims to strengthen and expand counter trafficking cooperation network by estab-lishing direct contacts with the main countries of origin for victims of human trafficking -  Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.

The duration of the project is until December 2019. More information can be found from CBSS’ website.

For additional information, please contact

Jari Kähkönen, Director of Joutseno Reception Centre and the National Assistance System,

Vineta Polatside, Head of TF-THB unit, email:

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