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Women East Smuggling Trafficking (WEST)
Start date: Dec 31, 2002, End date: Jul 30, 2005 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The WEST project (an acronym for Women East Smuggling Trafficking) dealt with the problem of trafficking and smuggling for the sexual exploitation of women and children coming from Eastern Europe. Trafficking, nowadays the largest part of the clandestine immigration flow from the Balkans towards the EU, is characterised by an ever increasing presence of criminal organisations profiting on the exploitation of manpower, trafficking of human beings and induction of slavery and forced prostitution. This is a phenomenon that not only violates national laws which control entry to a country, it is also a perpetual and serious violation of human rights: people are reduced to a commodity and are often blackmailed for the rest of their life. The project involved the Emilia-Romagna region, the General Health and Social Policies Direction, as project leader. Partners of the project have been the regions of Lombardia, Veneto and Marche, the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Municipality of Perugia, the Caritas of Udine, the association "On the Road" of Martinsicuro (Teramo), the Austrian association "Mountain Unlimited" and the Albanian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Achievements: The general objective of WEST has been to analyse the impact of the phenomenon of clandestine immigration on the local communities of the European countries, by women and young people coming from East Europe and victims of trafficking who were sexually exploited. At the same time the project aimed at activating structural intervention, research intervention, pilot projects, informational campaigns (for the clients, citizens, opinions leaders, etc.) and training measures (social and safety workers) with the goal of implementing social integration policies. The WEST project has organised over 20 campaigns and produced various publications, among them three research papers (Hidden prostitution, Life stories, The trafficking flows and routes of Eastern Europe), two manuals (Manual of the usual procedures, Information guide for workers) and a volume of proceedings (Proceeding of the in-depth conference, Bologna, 26-27 November 2004). It is possible to download this material as well as the documentation of the activities conducted by the partnership from the project website.
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