The Ministry of Interior of Hungary submitted an application „Referral of and assistance for victims of human trafficking in Europe” (hereinafter RAVOT-EUR) for Action Grants under the Programme “Prevention of and Fight against Crime” 2012 ISEC General Call for Proposals of the European Commission.

The European Commission delivered a favourable opinion on the application, so that the project could be officially launched on 1 February 2014, and by 31 January 2016 RAVOT-EUR may have provided comprehensive solutions to the challenges set by the hideous crime of trafficking in human beings. The main aim of the project is to provide the victims of sexual or labour exploitation with assistance in their return and social reintegration as well as to set up an online platform and a training manual that can be further used for professional and academic purposes. Another objective is to enhance the cooperation among experts involved in the fight against human trafficking. The total budget of the project is 346 069 EUR out of which 311 462 EUR is provided by the European Union Specific Programme “Prevention of and Fight against Crime”.

The project aims to develop a transnational referral mechanism among Hungary, Belgium and the Netherlands which would contribute to the assistance and safe return and referral of victims of human trafficking related to sexual and labour exploitation and facilitate transnational networking and trust building among professionals. The two partner countries of the RAVOT-EUR – which is initiated and led by Hungary – are the ones where Hungarian victims of human trafficking can be found most frequently, so the cooperation has been established on a solid basis. It is important to recognize that trafficking in human beings is such a serious and hideous crime which severely violates human rights and the international community can fight against it only by means of wide international cooperation. The RAVOT-EUR facilitates the development of a better understanding and bigger trust among law enforcement authorities, NGOs, and all actors in the field of referring and assisting victims of human trafficking.

The expected outcome of the project is that the needs and problems of the victims as well as the capacity and network of victim assistance services and NGO’s will be clear. In the framework of the project a training manual and a website will be developed which will provide help in victim identification, assistance and cooperation of experts. By means of the RAVOT-EUR a new transnational referral mechanism will be set up in which the work of the involved organizations and parties and the reintegration of the victims will be supported in a sustainable way. At the same time the project will use already existing legal and institutional frameworks at the national level and would like to satisfy the victims’ personal needs. A well-structured and unified transnational referral mechanism will enhance the safe return of the victims and contribute to the effective work of the organizations assisting victims.

During the project three professional workshops will be held in the three partner countries with the involvement of international experts in order to discuss best practices and the different demands, circumstances and capabilities. In parallel with the workshops experts will take part in study visits during which they will have the opportunity to experience the work of the Hungarian, Dutch and Belgian authorities, the quality of the provided services and the practical functioning of the transnational referral mechanisms. The training manual and the website will mostly be based on the outcome of the workshops and study visits and will be aimed at the development of an overall plan in order to further strengthen the social inclusion and reintegration of the victims. The website will enhance the sustainability of the RAVOT-EUR, bolster transparency and provide the experts as well as the victims with an appropriate forum for a more simple way of getting in touch and access to information. At the closing conference of the project in Budapest experts and guests will sum up and evaluate the results and present the training manual.