Women helping women









By Sylvia Lopez-Ekra

“Dear woman,

If you are worried about trafficking…now is the time to put an end to it. Or perhaps you are going through it now. We want to be there for you and encourage you to find your way out, to leave it behind you, as each of us did. It is not easy, but it can be done! Although you may feel very weak, if you feel anything, do not let the light inside you go out. Let it drive you, and believe in yourself. Having been through it, we want to tell you to never give up fighting for your freedom. You can get out, and you will be able to rebuild your life. Use your intelligence, your wisdom, your patience and your creativity. We want nothing more than for our advice, based on our own experiences, to help you. We will be the light to guide you down this dark path…”

Words of hope and encouragement, given by women who were once victims of trafficking - and managed to escape and rebuild a life - to women who are currently captive. Such a powerful message and a tangible proof of survivors’ amazing resilience…

This text is an extract of the “Guide on Trafficking of Women” recently published by Border Woman, a network of women who have managed to come out of trafficking. It was written by trafficking survivors for trafficking victims, as well as for policymakers and practitioners. The report includes very concrete recommendations on building a relationship with and assisting victims. Go have a look…   

In 2012 IOM globally assisted 6,499 victims of human trafficking from 85 countries of origin. 58% of the beneficiaries of IOM assistance were women. 23% of all assisted victims have been subjected to sexual exploitation while 18% where tied into domestic servitude. Read more in our latest Migrant Assistance 2012 Annual Review.