CoMensha, the national Coordination Centre against Human Trafficking
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Nature & Extent
One of CoMensha's key tasks is to register reports of victims and possible victims of human trafficking. CoMensha records facts about the nature and extent of the number of victims and possible victims in the Netherlands. It uses this information to identify obstacles, tendencies and success factors in the implementation of human trafficking policy, to set the agenda and to advise on policy.
CoMensha gives victims and possible victims of human trafficking a face by registering them.
We know how old they are, where they come from, which sector the exploitation took place in and which people or authorities eventually found and reported them. Did they need care? If so, where did they receive it?
Identifying, advising & putting matters on the agenda
CoMensha influences policy, provides information, education and training, and offers solicited and unsolicited advice regarding human trafficking.
CoMensha has a unique position in the Netherlands which enables it to identify obstacles, trends and success factors in the implementation of human trafficking policy and ensure that these are put on the agenda, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Regional care coordination & assistance
Victims of human trafficking in the Netherlands are confronted with all kinds of complex procedures. For example, they must apply for a residence permit, benefits and health insurance and register with the municipality. The care coordinator in a particular region is the first point of contact for these victims. The care coordinators ensure that the correct procedures are initiated and that their progress is supervised. The care coordinator also ensures that the coordination of the victim's support and assistance runs smoothly, from the moment of registration until the conclusion of the process.
A countrywide network
CoMensha collaborates with the regional care coordinators in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, not all regions have a care coordinator yet. In regions that do not currently have a care coordinator, CoMensha (help desk) takes care of this care coordination remotely.
For the most recent overview of all the regional coordinators with which CoMensha cooperates, visit this website.
Municipalities must take action
Municipalities play an important role in the fight against human trafficking. They have a responsibility in terms of prevention, identification, enforcement, assistance and also in terms of introducing barriers. The number of municipalities that acknowledge that human trafficking is taking place in their municipality, and that are investing in proper care coordination for victims of human trafficking, is still too low.
Together with the Association of Dutch Municipalities, CoMensha is committed to supporting municipalities in the Netherlands to implement proper human trafficking policies in the coming years.
Information & Awareness
Education and promoting awareness of human trafficking is an essential element in tackling this crime. CoMensha therefore constantly strives to put the topic on the agenda with a variety of target groups. Human trafficking is receiving more and more attention as a result.
CoMensha does this, for example, using media and social media, presentations at regional, national and international meetings, conferences and seminars, not to mention the impressive awareness campaign 'Open je Ogen voor mensenhandel' (Open your Eyes to Human Trafficking) that can be seen in the Netherlands and beyond its borders.
CoMensha also provides a lot of information, workshops, training and education for the employees of all kinds of chain partners, new organisations and students. A current overview can be found at the 'Mensenhandel Academy' (Dutch version).