A presumed victim of Trafficking in Human Beings is identified (recognized)
Organisations most likely to be the first ones to identify a presumed victim
- Immigration authorities
- Social services
- Child Welfare services
- Health services
There is no single government agency or designated non-state actor with the primary responsibility for identifying victims of trafficking in Norway. The responsibility to identify presumed victims rests with all professions that may come into contact with victims through their work. In principle all agencies , organizations and individuals who find themselves with grounds for concern that a person may be subject to human trafficking, have the statutory duty to identify the person concerned as a possible victim and refer the person to the relevant authorities and assistance programmes. Every person presumed to be a victim of trafficking is treated as such and will be offered access to assistance and protection. There is no obligation for victims to co-operate in an investigation or act as witnesses during the recovery and reflection period.
National Point of Contact / Initial Referral
Norway has not yet developed a National Referral Mechanism, and there is no single government agency or designated non-state actor with primary responsibility for the identification of victims of trafficking.
The Coordinating Unit for Victims of Human Trafficking (KOM) operating within the National Police Directorate functions as the National Point of contact for coordination against Human Trafficking in Norway.
Phone: (+47) 47 45 15 00 (Monday to Friday 8.00-16.00)
- does not deal with individual cases, but works to build capacity and improve cross-disciplinary co-operation at a structural level
- serve to improve coordination between the authorities and NGOs
- assist state agencies, municipal and regional support providers, and organisations that provides assistance and protection for victims of human trafficking, by providing methods to detect and mobilise adequate support and protection for victims
- provide cross-disciplinary exchange of information and capacity building within the human trafficking field
Rosa, National 24 hour hotline: (+47) 22 33 11 60: Counselling, shelter and direct victims support
Recovery and reflection period
Persons identified as presumed victims of human trafficking may be granted a reflection period and/or a limited residence permit:
The reflection period entails a six-month residence permit which cannot be renewed. The purpose of the permit is to enable the victim to break ties with the trafficking environment. The assessment done by the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is to emphasise whether there are grounds to believe that the person is subject to human trafficking and whether they plan to accept help and participate in the measures that are offered.
A limited residence permit is granted for up to 12 months and can be extended. The purpose of the permit is to facilitate prosecution of the traffickers. The conditions for being granted such a permit is that the person has broken ties with the trafficking environment, that the matter has been reported to the police, that an investigation or prosecution against the traffickers has been initiated and that the police or the prosecuting authority considers the foreign national’s presence in Norway necessary to achieve a conviction.
UDI is responsible for processing applications of reflection periods and limited residence permits.
An application for a reflection period must be submitted to the police. The application must be delivered by personal attendance. Presumed victims of trafficking may apply for asylum to gain a legal right to stay in Norway. It is possible to switch from applying for a reflection period to applying for asylum. Information on how to submit such an application is provided by UDI. If the conditions for asylum are not met, UDI must consider whether the applicant meets the conditions for a residence permit granted on the basis of compelling humanitarian considerations.
Is the victim willing to report a crime and take part in criminal proceedings?
Persons identified by the authorities as presumed victims of trafficking are entitled toassistance and protection. The presumed victims may be entitled to:
- information about rights and support measures
- legal assistance (at least three hours of free legal advice to assess aspects of importance for filing a crime report)
- a reflection period (a limited residence permit of six months) and further leave to stay upon meeting certain criteria
- necessary security measures (following risk assessment)
- necessary medical assistance
- safe and adapted housing
- money to support themselves (and offers of activities and/or employment schemes)
- assistance for a safe return and re-establishment in their home countries
There is no single agency responsible for identifying and providing assistance to and protection of presumed victims. Authorities are tasked with this for their respective sectors. So the police, child welfare services, immigration authorities, health authorities, NGOs etc., are responsible for carrying out up their duties imposed under the Council of Europe Convention. Persons exploited or in need of assistance can turn to different authorities and NGOs to receive assistance or for referral to a relevant assistance provider. Thus, the threshold for receiving assistance in Norway is rather low. Although state and municipality agencies may support victims of THB in various ways, the NGOs in Norway play a significant role in victim assistance.
Some of the services provided by NGOs:
- ROSA is operating a national helpline to combat human trafficking. The 24-hour helpline is for human trafficking victims exploited for prostitution or subjected to other forms of sexual exploitation both men and women, regardless of the form of exploitation. The hotline is providing victims with information on their rights and assistance alternatives available and offers help and information to any stakeholder, including NGOs and lawyers, seeking support in cases of suspected THB. Moreover, Rosa offers housing and follow-up through the municipal shelter system to female victims of THB. More info at www.rosa-help.no
- Oslo Human Trafficking Support, NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service), gives financial, housing and other support to persons identified as presumed victims of trafficking.
- PRO Senteret is Oslo municipality’s service for persons with experience of selling or trading sex. They run a reception center for persons who have been subjected to prostitution. The center offers counselling, STD testing and can refer the victim to the relevant stakeholders.
- The Red Cross Oslo project “Right to be seen” offers follow-up and activities for presumed victims of human trafficking, including men exploited for forced labour and forced services.
- Nadheim (Kirkens Bymisjon Oslo) is a centre for people who sell or have sold sexual services, regardless of gender, nationality or life situation.
- Lauras hus (Kirkens Bymisjon Oslo) are safe houses for victims of trafficking and their children.
- The Salvation Army Oslo; runs a safe house for male victims of trafficking.
- The Marita Foundation (Oslo); runs a safe house for victims of trafficking.
- Krisesentersekretariatet is an independent umbrella organization gathering more than 30 shelters assisting female victims of domestic violence. The shelters have a long experience of assisting female victims of violence, including those subjected to prostitution. Caritas Resource Center offers free information, counselling and courses for immigrants in relation to living and working in Norway. Through the Center, Caritas can counsel migrant workers as well as refer them to the proper NGO or state agency.
- International Organization for Migration offers safe return and reintegration support.
Does the victim wish to return to the country of origin?
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) offers presumed victims of human trafficking assisted return and reintegration through the IOM Norway’s Project for Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration for Vulnerable Migrants. The Voluntary Assisted Return Programme (VARP) is a safe return programme run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Norway and is offered to asylum seekers and migrants without a legal right to stay in Norway, including victims of THB. Victims returning to their country of origin will be assisted by IOM. The program is financed by the UDI.
The return is adapted to the needs of the victim and is prepared in close dialogue with the victim. However, IOM may assist the victim with a safe return only after the approval from the UDI is in place.
The assistance provided through the return program includes travel arrangements and expenses from the person’s current location to the final destination, and possible reintegration assistance such as cash or in-kind assistance. IOM makes travel arrangements and provides assistance at the airport during the return trip.
Victims who are granted a permanent residence permit in Norway will enter an integration programme. They will on an equal footing with other citizens have access to healthcare, professional training, education, help with mapping out professional skills, help with applying for work, and social services. These are public services provided by both state actors as well as municipal actors. There are no long-term integration programs set up specifically for victims of THB.
Type of assistance and contact details
Type of assistance Institution/organization Contact details National point of contact and coordinating body The Coordinating Unit for Victims of Human Trafficking (KOM) operating within the National Police Directorate Website: www.politiet.no/rad/menneskehandel/
Phone: (+47) 47 45 15 00
National 24-hours helpline Counselling, shelter and direct victims support ROSA, Oslo Website: www.rosa-help.no
24 hour hotline: (+47) 22 33 11 60
Shelter, rehabilitation assistance and long-term support to female victims of THB Krisesentersekretariatet Website: www.krisesenter.com
Phone: (+47) 905 79 118
Counselling, STD testing PRO Senter Website: http://www.prosentret.no
Phone: (+47) 23 10 02 00
Voluntary return International Organization for Migration (IOM) Norway Website: www.iom.no
Phone: (+47) 23 10 53 20
Investigation The Norwegian Police Service Website: www.politiet.no
Phone: 02800 or 112 for emergency
Reflection and residence permits The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) Website: www.udi.no
Phone: (+47) 23 35 16 00
Information center for migrant workers Caritas Resource Center Norway Website: www.caritas.no
Phone: (+47) 23 33 43 60
Shelter, outreach work and general assistance The Salvation Army Website: www.frelsesarmeen.no
Phone: (+47) 22 99 85 00
Financial support, housing Oslo Human Trafficking Support, NAV Grünerløkka Website: www.nav.no
Phone: (+47) 55553333