Sexual Exploitation & Human Trafficking – Protection

Samaritana offers protection from first contact for however long it takes, ensuring a victim becomes a survivor who is standing strong and free.

Our  Protection focus is on ensuring a victim, knows that there is Samaritana’s Hope House where they will be safe from offenders and family.

That is they come there, they are free to leave, that whilst there, they can learn new skills, get help with skills they already have, can finish school if they haven’t, can become part of the team that reaches out to more victims.

Samaritana Hope House in the Gambia has plenty of room, plenty of good safe fun team members, a large library, a sewing room, bikes, a beach, crafts, good food and good help, including counseling, prayer and simple one on one time.

If a victim has been trafficked from out of her/his country and want to return, Samaritana will do all in its power to help them achieve that through our network of similar agencies etc throughout West Africa.

A victim needs to know that they will not be handed over to the police, and if they wish to be a witness to get justice for themselves and others, then we are equipped to walk with them at every single step of the process, having done this for years already, in and out of court etc.

Let us quote from the Trafficking In Persons report referred to on the Home Page in reference to The Gambia:

“The government demonstrated minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims.

The government did not identify any victims within the country during the reporting period.

The government acknowledged the identification of 20 Gambian women who had been subjected to domestic servitude in Kuwait; but the government did not provide any services for these women.

The government, in collaboration with an international organization, repatriated nine women who were identified as trafficking victims in Lebanon during the previous reporting period; the government provided initial screening and psychological counseling for all nine victims and was in the process of securing victims’ assistance funds to support vocational training at the close of the reporting period.

The Department of Social Welfare (DSW) operates a shelter for trafficking victims, abandoned children, and victims of domestic violence, as well as a drop-in center for street children; however, no trafficking victims were cared for in these facilities during the reporting period.

The shelter offers 24-hour services to children and adults, but no victims in the shelter were allowed to leave the premises without a chaperone.

The government maintained an electronic child protection database, which included information on trafficking cases, although no cases were identified in 2015.

The 2007 Anti-Trafficking Act allows foreign victims to obtain temporary residence visas for the duration of legal proceedings; the government offers no other legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship.

There were no reports of victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking; however, the lack of formal identification procedures likely resulted in victims remaining unidentified in the law enforcement system”.