ASF receives a donation from the Belgian Development Cooperation to combat human trafficking in Tunisia


Wachtebeke (Belgium) – This Friday, 22 December 2017, Avocats Sans Frontières received an exceptional donation of 50,000 from the Belgian Development Cooperation. The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo, personally presented a cheque to ASF as part of the solidarity event “Music for Life”.

The Flemish public radio station Studio Brussel has been organising “Music for Life” for the past twelve years. The aim of this event is to raise funds for good causes, through fun activities and events and donations from institutions. In total, the proceeds are shared by nearly 1,500 good causes.

Every year, the Belgian federal government contributes to this very popular show of solidarity. Among those to benefit from Music for Life, two organisations received a donation from the Belgian Development Cooperation today: Kiyo, an NGO active in the area of children’s rights, and ASF.

“This year, by taking part in Music for Life and de Warmste Week, I decided to support ASF’s important work. In Tunisia, ASF is helping to combat the phenomenon of human trafficking, the third-most lucrative form of organised crime worldwide. Illegal migrants are particularly vulnerable,” Minister De Croo said on the occasion (photo). “With this additional 50,000 in funding, ASF will be able to lift more people out of degrading living conditions.”

“Launched a few months ago, our awareness-raising campaign informs Tunisian citizens about the reality of human trafficking in their country today; it has already helped to change people’s mentalities. The donation received today will enable us to intensify our activities,” says Chantal van Cutsem, Executive Director of ASF (on the left on the picture).

Oumayma Mehdi, ASF Project Coordinator in Tunisia, explains: “We put together a team of lawyers, trained specifically to intervene in cases of human trafficking, and developed a manual on the application of legislation. We also organise training sessions for social workers who are active in shelters for victims. We are currently developing an intervention protocol to ensure that the various actors involved are protected and receive the best support. Among other things, this new funding will enable us to map human trafficking in Tunisia, produce a documentary, extend our training sessions to the personnel of the Instance Nationale de Lutte Contre la Traite (national anti-trafficking body), and develop a website to serve as a reference. This will all contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights in the country.

The Belgian Development Cooperation is one of our most important technical and financial partners. Our project to combat human trafficking in Tunisia also receives support from the European Union. It is carried out in partnership with the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights and the organisation NOVACT.

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