Payoke is a non-governmental organization that fights against the trading and exploitation of human beings. We offer specialised care and support to victims of human trafficking; we fight human trafficking in all its forms; and work to ensure justice is served.
Slavery is not a thing of the past. The abolition of slavery may have made it illegal, but it still exists. Not just in far-away places or the past. Right here in our society. Anyone can become a victim of modern slavery, men, women, children; Belgian or foreigner.
Victims are recruited and gradually trapped to be exploited for cheap (or even free) labour; sexual exploitation; forced to commit criminal offences (like drug trafficking or production); forced to beg; or to donate organs. Human trafficking has many different faces, but they all share the goal of exploiting another human being for the profit of the perpetrator(s).
Payoke is one of three government recognised and specialised centers in Belgium for victims of human trafficking. Our recognition means that the government trusts our expertise and lets us offer everyone that we suspect to be a victim of the crimes of human trafficking or smuggling with aggravating circumstances, a 45-day stay in a safe space.
These 45 days are meant to let victims some time to breathe and make a decision whether or not they want to cooperate with police and prosecutors as is required for a long-term support trajectory with us.
We’re here to listen and offer advice about anything related to human trafficking, modern slavery and exploitation. If you think you are being exploited or think you know someone who is, do not hesitate to contact us.
Our services are free and confidential. If you want to talk about your situation anonymously that’s possible, you do not have to say your (real) name until you feel safe enough to do so.
Everyone is different and everyone’s story and experiences are unique. This is why we work with each victim to develop an individual plan to ensure they can access and exercise their rights and rebuild their future.
Depending on the needs and goals of each client, we can offer legal and administrative assistance and psychological counselling, we help them consider options for continuing education, vocational training and job placement.
Payoke develops and actively supports several awareness-raising initiatives and campaigns (i.e. the Blue heart campaign) to inform the general public of human trafficking and the existance of slavery in our society.
We also provide training to help and inspire frontline-care workers, governments, civil society, and individuals to increase their abilities for early detection of signs of slavery and how they can effectively respond or prevent human trafficking.