Nordic-Baltic knowledge overview

Action plan for removing obstacles to health care access in sexual trafficking

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In accordance with the agreement at the Roundtable Meeting of the Ministers of Social Affairs of the Baltic Sea Region in 2006 to co-operate on the social consequences in the fight against sex trafficking, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Social Affairs and Health (MR-S) initiated the project Nordic-Baltic knowledge overview and action plan for removing obstacles to health care access in sexual trafficking. The project consisted of three parts, a Nordic-Baltic expert meeting to review the current knowledge, a Nordic-Baltic case study conducted in all eight countries, and a concluding international conference in Riga 2010. The project focused on the damage of both physical and mental health as the consequences of sexual exploitation in trafficking. As sex trafficking crosses borders joint frameworks are needed for tackling the problem and to improve access to health care for the victims, both during the act of trafficking as well as post-trafficking (”Safe Return”). The report reveals that every country has chosen its own way on how to apply international legal measures into their national legal systems, and that there is a need of policies for long term rehabilitation. Further, a more in-depth knowledge on prevalence and types of mental and physical disorders over the different stages of sexual trafficking is needed for tailoring the health care.




Human trafficking is increasing worldwide. Victims for sex trafficking are especially exposed to both psychological and physiological health risks. However, the knowledge about health consequences and obstacle to health care access is limited. On 17 February 2011 the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) adopted a comprehensive sector program against human trafficking. The program will have a total volume of 3.9 million Danish kroner and promote a holistic effort. The program has a special focus on social aspects of trafficking and will strengthen a regional platform for cooperation within the Nordic countries together with neighboring countries within the Northern Dimension Partnership in order to promote coordination and knowledge sharing across countries. The project “Nordic-Baltic knowledge overview and action plan for removing obstacles to health care access in sexual trafficking” is an important effort in this context.


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