26.10.2023

From Awareness to Action: Explore ‘Seeking Sanctuary in Istanbul’ Report

The Aman Safety Project

The Aman Safety project at STOP THE TRAFFIK Group aims to protect refugees and asylum seekers from exploitation and human trafficking as they seek safety in Türkiye and Greece. Millions of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern and African countries travel to Türkiye and Greece in search of safety. Common refugee routes have been identified as hotspots for trafficking and exploitation.

You can read the report highlighting our work in 2021 in Greece here.

Seeking Sanctuary in Istanbul

You can find the report here.

A Human Trafficking Prevention Campaign

Between October 2022 and January 2023, the Aman Safety Team delivered two Human Trafficking Prevention Campaigns in partnership with ASAM (Association for Social Development and Aid Mobilization). The report titled ‘Seeking Sanctuary in Istanbul’ sheds light on the importance of disseminating life-saving information amongst populations fleeing their home countries across the Mediterranean route.

The geo-targeted campaigns targeted at-risk communities through social media platforms. Specific areas in Istanbul were identified based on research and intelligence gathering. Additionally, the campaigns, consisting of a video and a landing page, were tailored to various languages, including Arabic, Farsi, French, Pashto, and English, to reach individuals from different countries.

Through survivor stories and information-sharing, the campaigns successfully achieved their objectives to: increase communities’ perception of risk, increase knowledge of exploitation, and to promote preventative actions. Our campaign material encouraged individuals to seek support from local partner organizations and built trust.

Campaign Results in Numbers:

Impacting Lives

Through our campaigns, we were contacted by more than one hundred vulnerable people. We helped individuals find support and stay safe from exploitation.

One of the people we supported was a 21-year-old woman from Morocco who was facing houselessness and sleeping in a park. She was considering selling an organ to solve her financial problems. She mentioned the option of getting involved in sex and escort work but was hesitant to do so yet.

We had multiple calls with Amina* to understand her situation, offer her a listening ear, and reassure her that support is available.

We connected her to organisations that were able to offer emergency cash assistance to pay rent, psychological support, food cards, and legal support to register in the country.

Amina*, who was once at a high risk of being targeted for sex and organ trafficking, is now in a better situation. She has safe accommodation and is on the path to legal employment. This is prevention in action.

(*Name changed to protect identity)

A message to STTG from a young Yemeni man who endured abuse and debt bondage in his attempt to find safety:

What I would like to say about STOP THE TRAFFIK is that you were very cooperative with me, and you supported me psychologically to a great extent, and you always followed me and asked about me.

Also, I would like to thank you for some things, including the way you communicate with us is very smooth and comforting, so that the person feels that the world is still fine and that hope is still there.

Also, your diligence in communicating with the rest of the organizations and trying to coordinate between us and them to get the maximum benefit. Really, there are no words to express my gratitude to you.

I hope that you will always continue because there are many who need your support.

You can find the report here.

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