Online event: Sustainable Freedom: Unlocking the inclusive growth of human trafficking survivors

Sept 2021- At the closing of the EU-funded projectLife Beyond the Shelter

the five implementing victim support organizations Payoke (BE), CAW (BE), On the Road Cooperativa Sociale (IT), Solwodi (DE), and SURT (ES),

in collaboration with

the Centre for European and International Policy Action, CEIPA 

are pleased to invite you to the online event

Sustainable Freedom: Unlocking the inclusive growth of human trafficking survivors

Friday, September 10th

from 11.00 to 13.00 CET -Round Table
from 14.00 to 16.00 CET -Practitioners’ Talk


Join the Round Table with experts, policymakers, and survivors for a lively debate about the long-term integration of trafficked persons.

Zoom link for connection: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84588878368Speakers:


Jelena Hrnja, Programme Manager Atina NGO, Belgrade

Helga Konrad, Head of the Regional Implementation Initiative on Preventing and Combating all Forms of  Human Trafficking

Timea Nagy, member of the ODIHR ISTAC Survivor Advisory Board and founder of  Timea’s Cause

Carrie Pemberton Ford, Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking

Roger Plant, Independent Expert, former Head of ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour

Henrik Sjölinder, Director, Ministry of Justice of Sweden

Joseph Slowey, International Organization for Migration

Moderator:  Peter von Bethlenfalvy, Executive Director, CEIPA

Welcome address by Hans de Ceuster, President, Payoke



The expert round table will be followed by a Practitioners’ Talk, from 14.00 to 16.00 CET, to discuss best practices and new tools toward long-term inclusion, including the innovative services for trafficked persons activated through the Libes project that will be presented in more detail:

Zoom link to connect: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85841638374  


ArmenTeKort (BE)

CAW Antwerp (BE)

European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless

Fundació Surt (ES)

On the Road (IT)

Payoke (BE)

Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability (SF)



The event is open and free of charge.

Register HERE

For more information about the event or the project, please contact libes@payoke.be



Whereas in virtually every EU Member State there is a support system in place which provides for the immediate and short-term needs of survivors of human trafficking, longer-term assistance towards recovery and integration can be a challenge.

When trafficked persons return to social and economic life, they often have an impaired quality of life due to the mental and physical harm that they have suffered. For years on end, they can remain limited in their potential to fully participate in social, political, and community life and contribute to the economy.

A recent study published by the European Commission estimated the cost of trafficking at more than 300,000 EUR per victim over their lifetime, or around 4 billion in total for the whole Union. It shows higher costs for victims of sexual exploitation, as well as higher costs for female rather than male victims (European Commission, Study on the economic, social and human costs of trafficking in human beings within the EU, 2020)

Undeniably, victim support does come with costs—including specialized services, law enforcement, legal and health services, and social protection. However, the potential gains of hosting and integration are rarely discussed.

At the Libes closing event Sustainable Freedom: Unlocking the inclusive growth of human trafficking survivors, panelists will tackle these issues, addressing questions such as:

  • How can trafficked persons be agents of their own economic empowerment? 
  • How can we elevate their generally unheard voices and listen to how survivors want to be part of the conversation and the solution?
  • How can we hold ourselves accountable, as a community and individually, and be part of the social justice shift required to remove the barriers to health, education and employment?
  • What possibilities of genuine economic inclusion, restitution, justice for the victim and survivor flourishing are there when the dominant conversation is one of exclusion to the ‘outsider’ when considering that the conversation about trafficking often revolves around irregular migration and asylum policies?
  • How can the EU invest in economic empowerment and more sustainable models of growth for all?
  • Shifting the narrative from the costs to the economic gains: how can survivors’ economic empowerment contribute to the economic well-being of their communities?
  • How can we open up alternative, better protected, non-traumatizing arenas of work for those being exited from exploitation?
  • What are the most effective models of economic empowerment? Have the main models used in the last decades -such as job placement, microbusinesses and social enterprises- successfully fostered job market inclusion?
  • Is the new economy doomed to generating only inequalities and exploitation, or can it offer opportunities for the economic empowerment of marginalized populations?
  • How can we monitor, evaluate and develop improved systems of intervention, entrepreneurship support where appropriate, mentored apprenticeships, skills, vocational and academic learning opportunities to render sustainable growth outcomes for the individuals concerned from this highly traumatized population?


Jelena Hrnjak, Programme Manager, Atina NGO, Belgrade

Jelena Hrnjak a human rights activist, dedicated to the social inclusion of survivors of human trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence. She is a programme manager of NGO Atina, an organisation specialized in the protection of women’s rights. During the years, she gained extensive experience in policy analysis and advocacy for legislative changes in the field of human rights. She has been providing trainings, lectures, education activities, presentation in Serbia, but also regionally and internationally. Over the years, Jelena has led numerous trainings for police officers, prosecutors, social workers, and judges; in particular, she has helped with the development of local and national networks of institutions to support more structured and efficient identification and protection of child trafficking victims. Jelena has also, for almost a decade, worked as a journalist in Switzerland and Serbia, and graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade. She is a member of the Act Now international expert working group against exploitation and human trafficking based in Vienna. She is an alumnus of the BFPE School of Political Excellence, as well as the Vital Voices program of the Global Partnership from the USA. Jelena is also the editor, author and co-author of numerous researches, analyses, and newspaper articles on the topic of human and women’s rights protection.

Helga Konrad, Head of the Regional Implementation Initiative on Preventing and Combating all Forms of  Human Trafficking

Since May 2006 International Consultant on Combating Trafficking in Persons; 2004-2006: (First) Special Representative on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE – Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; 2000-2004: Regional Coordinator and Chair of the  EU Stability Pact Task Force on Human Trafficking for South Eastern Europe. Former Austrian Federal Government Minister for Women.


Timea E Nagy, CEO and Founder of Timea’s Cause Inc.

Human trafficking survivor, author, speaker and social advocate. Timea Nagy, immigrated to Canada in 1998. Her nightmare unfolded in Toronto in that same year after arriving from Budapest, Hungary in the hopes of finding meaningful employment. The daughter of a Hungarian policewoman, Timea was held hostage (FOR THREE TERRIFYING MONTHS) at the hands of traffickers and was forced to work in the sex industry. Thankfully, she escaped and started life anew.

Ten years later, Ms. Nagy founded ‘Walk with Me’, a non-profit organization to assist victims of human trafficking and law enforcement agencies. Between 2009 and 2015, her organization helped over 300 victims and over 500 human trafficking-related investigations throughout Canada. In fact, Ms. Nagy played a key role in Canada’s largest human trafficking investigation led by the Canadian Federal Police (RCMP Niagara Falls Detachment) known as project OPAPA.

Ms. Nagy has provided training to numerous agencies in Canada, the U.S. and Europe – reaching over 10,000 law enforcement officers within sex crime units and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Ms.Nagy’s journey was chronicled at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in the Turning Point Exhibition in 2014, and her many acknowledgments for outstanding service include Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the International Freedom Award by Free the Slaves. She was the first survivor to teach financial institutions in North America about the importance of joining the fight. As a result, she was invited to join as part of the United Nations, Financial Taskforce to end Human Trafficking otherwise known as the Liechtenstein Initiative, in fighting human trafficking around the world.

In January 2021, Ms. Nagy was appointed to the International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council by the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). Ms. Nagy is a Social Entrepreneur as Founder and CEO of Timea’s Cause. Timea’s Cause Inc. is an international for-profit company that educates, unites and mobilizes communities on a grass root level while employing victims of human trafficking. Ms. Nagy’s work and story have been featured in Forbes Magazine, CNN, NBC, Fox News, The Social, and all other major Canadian media outlets. Her memoir, Out of the Shadows, was released in May 2019 and became a national bestseller within 6 days of release.


Rev. Dr. Carrie Pemberton Ford, Executive Director CCARHT, Senior Fellow of the Margaret Beaufort Institute, University of Cambridge, UK.

A popular speaker, (Ted X University of Cambridge 2018), and a prolific author, with numerous policy evaluation and strategic direction papers submitted to a range of enforcement, International, Governmental and non-governmental organizations Dr Ford is a specialist in counter Trafficking resilience, inter-disciplinary approaches to the interdiction of violence against women, victimology, migration inclusionary practices, SDG based tools for the strengthening of civil protection, justice and equality internationally, and related trauma recognition and recovery for communities and individuals exposed to the abuses of GBV and Human Trafficking. From 2003 – 2008 Dr Ford developed the UK’s initial safe housing response from the voluntary and faith sector in response to the growing response by policing UK to the reality of Human Trafficking in the light of the Palermo Protocol’s announcement of the three Ps of Prevention, Protection and Prosecution in 2000. The work of the CHASTE round table was instrumental to the development of the UK’s contemporary government funded provision of recovery hostels, houses, and flats managed through the Salvation Army since 2009. Carrie also developed the precursor to the UN Vita translated messaging tool for identification and reassurance of potential victims, Ibix Translate – in 2005.

The annual CCARHT Symposium (since 2015) is a recognised global forum which brings expert voices from across the world to virtual and off-line tables to investigate specific aspects of trafficking around themes including the SDGs (2020), Organ and Body part trafficking (2021), Transport, Terror and Trauma (2018), Refugees, Return, Rights and Recognition (2019). This coming year the Centre will be exploring the world of Trafficking in Drugs and the spawning of County Lines in the UK, South American drug barons, Bunkering at sea, the Taliban effect, and associated themes of criminalisation, grooming, and the cycle of market expansion, supply, and perverse outcomes on state interventions. The significance of these symposia is recognised internationally, and the body of work accumulated is now in preparation for publication in a number of special ‘CCARHT Investigates’ volumes, as well as through academic and practitioner journals.

Dr. Ford holds a number of academic external fellowships including a UNITAR fellowship, (2017-2018) where she advised the UN Institute for Training and Research in issues pertaining to Human Trafficking and Gender Equality particularly in relation to the Peace Keeping and Sustainable Development Goals, a visiting Fellow of the American Romanian University in Bucharest and a Research Fellowship of the University of Orange State in RSA (2014 – 2016). She is currently working on a European based project on the fears of Miscegenation and the challenge of the New Nomads – for work in Italy and Libya (2021 – 2023).  CCARHT symposium work can be accessed on www.ccarht.org.

Roger Plant, Independent Expert, former Head of ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour

Roger Plant, from the United Kingdom, is an independent writer, trainer and consultant. Between 2002-2009 he was the first Head of the ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, based in Geneva. He has since consulted on issues including human rights and labour standards, trafficking and forced labour, migrant workers and corporate social responsibility for a range of international organizations, governments, financial institutions and NGOs. With degrees from Oxford University, and visiting academic positions at universities including Colombia and Notre Dame, he has written several books and other publications. His book Sugar and Modern Slavery, published in the mid 1980s, was one of the first to draw attention to new forms of forced labour and human trafficking in today’s global economy. In 2010 he received the William Wilberforce Freedom Award in Los Angeles, in recognition of his global work again modern slavery.

Henrik Sjölinder, Director, Ministry of Justice of Sweden

As a former official of the European Commission until 2023 and later as an official in the Swedish Ministry of Justice, Henrik Sjölinder, has pursued years to fight trafficking in human beings. Since 2016 Henrik Sjölinder is focusing his work on cybercrime.

Joseph Slowey, Project Coordinator, International Organization for Migration

Joseph Slowey is a Project Coordinator for Migrant Protection and Assistance (MPA) at IOM UK. In his current role he oversees projects working on counter-trafficking and survivor support in the UK, Ethiopia and Indonesia. His current portfolio includes the Skills Training and Reintegration project (STAR), which works to support survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery on their journey towards employment and integration in the UK. Previously Joseph has worked on economic empowerment and emergency response in a variety of countries, including Iraq, Somalia and Kenya.

Welcome address: Hans Erik DE CEUSTER, MSc, President of Payoke, Belgian Defense Chief of Humanist Chaplains (OF-7)

Hans De Ceuster is president of Payoke, an NGO dedicated to the care of victims of human trafficking their reintegration and the fight against all forms of modern slavery.

He is the chief of the Belgian Humanist Chaplains and in that function leads a team of Humanist Chaplains in support of the members of the Belgian Defense Community, the former members of the Defense Community, and their families.

His military career started in the Royal Military Academy in Brussels and he obtained a MSc in Engineering, he started his military career in the engineering branch and he served in Lebanon and Afghanistan. Later he was project manager for the finishing works at the construction of the new NATO HQ in Brussels.

In 2016 he ended his active military career and he became chief of humanist chaplains in 2019. In this function he focuses on moral dilemma and injury, inter-life stance dialogue, cultural diversity and identity, family support, spiritual-existential pastoral care, spiritual readiness and fitness, burn-out and suicide prevention, geopolitics of the faith, and radicalization. He is a member of the Belgian Defense advisory board on Ethics and Military Values.

Moderator: Peter Josef von Bethlenfalvy, Executive Director, CEIPA

Peter Josef von Bethlenfalvy has a long professional experience of European and international cooperation in the field of migration, foreign and development policies, security and human rights. He recently retired from his position as Director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Germany. He formerly held leading positions at IOM in Brussels, Rome and Vienna. He was the driving force in strengthening the European Union and International stance towards a number of issues such as economic migration, organised crime and trafficking in human beings, democratisation and parliamentary elections as well as humanitarian and emergency aid. He advised and worked closely with a number of EU Presidencies and European Commissioners as well as European Parliamentarians in carrying forward their priorities. His experience and commitment led to numerous policy improvements in the above fields in Europe, and strengthened cooperation between governments, international organisations, civil societies and regions.