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Referring a potential victim to the Assistance system

If you have met a potential victim of human trafficking who needs help, you can use the following advice to help them seek assistance. An authority, NGO, church or other organisation can refer a potential trafficking victim to the Assistance system. You can find forms for making a referral at the bottom of this page.

tähtisadetikku-auringonnuosuAny private individual can also help victims to be admitted to the Assistance system and, of course, the potential victim can seek help from the Assistance system themselves.

You do not have to know for sure whether a person has been trafficked in order to make a referral.

Before your referral, read the guidelines on encountering victims. There are specific guidelines on encountering child victims.

1. Ensure consent

Make sure that the potential trafficking victim gives their consent to you contacting the Assistance system. Without consent you cannot give the Assistance system any information that may be used to identify the victim, and nobody can be referred to the Assistance system without their consent.

You must tell the potential victim about the services that the Assistance system can offer. The Assistance system can help and guide you in doing this.

The Assistance system has no obligation to inform the police of its customers.  The Assistance system supports its customers in reporting the crime of human trafficking. If the customer does not report the crime, it is possible that it may affect how long the victim may receive services from the Assistance system.

Becoming our customer can mean different things to people in different circumstances. It’s good to find out what it would mean for the potential victim you have encountered.

You can contact the Assistance system and discuss the potential victim’s situation generally, without disclosing the victim’s identity, location or other identifying data. The call will not lead to any consequences to you or the victim.

2. Call the assistance system information hotline +358 2954 63 177

When you have the victim’s consent, describe the situation and why you think the person could be a victim of human trafficking. The Assistance system workers will assess whether the situation is an emergency and advise you on how to get help to the victim. 

If necessary, the Assistance system can find an interpreter who speaks the victim’s language to help with communication. However, with certain languages it is good remember that getting an interpreter can take time.

In urgent situations, the victim can be admitted to the Assistance system after the first phone call, if the victim wants it. A situation could be urgent when, for example:

  • the victim is homeless / has no accommodation, or they must be urgently moved to a safe place, for example from the accommodation arranged by their employer

  • the victim’s or their children’s safety is thought to be at risk

  •  the victim’s medical condition requires urgent treatment

  • the victim has no funds, for example for money for food

If the victim’s life, health or safety is at risk, you must always call the emergency number 112.

Please note! It there are reasonable  grounds to suspect that the life, health or freedom of the victim of trafficking or his or her close person, a victim of another offence of trafficking in human beings or of the personnel attending to the Assistance system is in grave danger, the Assistance system must give the police the necessary information required to assess the severity of the threat and to prevent it.

3. If the situation is not urgent, make the referral in writing

If the victim’s situation is not urgent, you must refer the victim to the Assistance system in writing. The Assistance system’s workers can help you with filling in the referral form. The referral is a proposal/application made to the Assistance system for admitting the potential victim.

You can write the proposal yourself or your can use the form available via these links in Pdf-format and Word-format. The form includes a page for the victim’s consent and information about what you should tell the victim about the Assistance system in order to get the victim's informed consent.

If you are referring a child to the assistance system, use the appropriate form and read the related guidelines.

Your referral should include the following information:

  1. Victim’s personal data (personal ID/UMA number/name, date of birth and nationality)

  2. Victim’s contact details
  3. Description of the events: why do you suspect that the person has fallen victim to human trafficking
  4. Describe the need for help: what kind of help the victim needs? Does the victim have accommodation? Money? Food? Lawyer? Physical or mental illnesses or problems? Is the victim’s safety at risk?