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Balancing protection and prosecution in anti-trafficking policies

A comparative analysis of reflection periods and related temporary residence permits for victims of trafficking in the Nordic countries, Belgium and Italy

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When victims of trafficking are identified in a country of destination, they are often in a situation marked by lack of clarity. In response to this, most European countries have a so-called reflection period for victims of trafficking, typically lasting from 30 days to six months, during which the victim cannot be sent out of the country, and where he or she can reflect upon the above issues and receive assistance. The intention of the reflection period is to help protect victims, but also to prosecute traffickers. How can these two – sometimes conflicting – goals best be met? This report discusses implications of the models in the Nordic countries, Belgium and Italy.

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Summary

This report analyses and discusses the various forms of reflection periods and related temporary residence permits for victims of trafficking in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) as well as Belgium and Italy. The study was initiated and funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, who saw the use of a comparative study of models and experiences in the Nordic countries. In addition, for the purpose of expanding the analysis, Belgium and Italy were also included. These two countries were selected as both have long-standing experience of anti-trafficking work. Both were early actors in implementing temporary residence permits for victims of trafficking, but have adopted different models for reflection periods/temporary residence. As such, their inclusion in this report serves as a backdrop and a foundation for comparison and discussion of the Nordic models of reflection periods and temporary residence permits.

English

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