Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a complex phenomenon. The root causes are manifold and range from poverty to gender inequality and violence against women, from conflict to lack of social integration, lack of job opportunities, lack of education or from lack of social inclusion and protection for vulnerable people.


At the same time, local actors – be they public authorities or NGOs – often are closest to both victims and suspects of trafficking in human beings. While local public authorities might get in touch with victims through labour inspections, health care or social work, NGOs provide shelter or consultancy services for victims. Therby, they are able to gain their trust, which is particularly essential as most victims or survivors of trafficking in human beings might not trust public authorities.


Capacity building for cross-sectoral cooperation

However, capacity building for local public authorities is essential to raise awareness of the problem. Furthermore, it helps to develop procedures that support both survivors of trafficking in human beings and public authorities in detecting and preventing trafficking. Likewise, improving the cooperation between local public authorities, police and law enforcement as well as NGOs is essential to create durable positive impact in fighting human trafficking. Hence, the European Union’s report about the “Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012–2016” strongly recommended that Member States consult regional and local civil society actors when implementing measures and reporting on achievements.


In this spirit, Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation” teamed up with Priority Area 11 “Security” to gather representatives from cities and municipalities, victim protection organisations, research, and law enforcement in order to strengthen capacity building and mutual learning. The initiative Danube Cities Against Human Trafficking (D-CAHT) aims at increasing know-how and encourage cross-sectoral cooperation. We work together with further partners, such as the Regional Implementation Initiative to enhance mutual learning and networking for a coordinated approach within countries and regions as well as across the Danube Region.


Aims of  Danube Cities against Human Trafficking (D-CAHT)

Background Report
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The report provides background information on the existing framework of principles and strategies at European level and points out an example of a local actors' approach from the Baltic Sea Region that might serve as a model for the Danube Region. Eventually, it gives an overview of relevant institutions and networks that play an active role in the fight against human trafficking and can be considered to set up a network.
Guidelines for Municipalities
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We drafted Guidelines for Municipalities in the Danube Region to step up loacl action against trafficking in human beings. The guidelines are based on the findings of the STROM project and provide basic information and valuable tools for cities and municipalities in the fight against human trafficking. The guidelines are considered work-in-progress and shall be complemented with further good-practices from the Danube Region.
D-CAHT Round Tables
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We organised Round Tables in Vienna and Ljubljana with representatives from local and national public authorities, research, international organisations and NGOs. Thereby, we exchanged on latest data on trafficking in human beings and presented tools for capacity building. In doing so, we aimed at exploring needs and options for macro-regional cooperation to fight trafficking in human beings. This way, we explored how to build capacities for cooperation across sectors as well as across borders to tackle human trafficking in the Danube Region.
Cooperation with RII
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For many years, we cooperate with the Regional Implementation Initiative (RII). The RII aims at reinforcing political commitments and legal obligations in the area of trafficking in human beings. Thereby, the RII gathers international experts to exchange on good practices and state of the art knowledge. We aim at capitalising on this expertise to develop viable solutions against human trafficking in the Danube Region.
Go to RII-Website
Cooperation with Priority Area 11
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Cross-sectoral cooperation is key to our approach to tackle trafficking in human beings. Hence, we work together with Priority Area 11 "Security" of the EU Danube Strategy to bring cities and NGOs closer together with representatives from law enforcement. Thereby, we aims at strengthening mutual learning and understanding to build trust and facilitate cooperation between different sectors as well as across the Danube Region.
Go to PA11-Website
Urban Cooperation
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We support urban initiatives that tackle trafficking in human beings. Against this background, we are very proud of our close cooperation with the Human Rights Office in Vienna that hosts a cross-sectoral platform to tackle trafficking in human beings. Furthermore, we cooperated with the City of Ulm and other partners in their initaitive to foster cross-sectoral cooperation to tackle sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Likewise, we are looking forward to see and work with further initiatives and cooperation platforms in cities and municipalities.