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Project REST – Residency Status: strengthening the protection of trafficked persons

Starting point

Contrary to the international and European standards on long-term protection of trafficked persons, countries report a low number of permanent residence status and/or international protection offered to trafficked persons, remaining the access to their rights limited and queried at a national level.

The forced removals from the Dublin III Regulation in the framework of the Common European Asylum System and the forced returns are in contradiction with the long-term protection of trafficked persons and could result in a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The 5th General Report on activities of GRETA1 stresses a special challenge attached to the issue of granting a residence status for trafficked persons: “there are significant gaps in the data available on how often asylum is granted where the persecution feared is linked to human trafficking (…) This lack of information limits our understanding of the effectiveness in practice of access to asylum for victims of trafficking”2 and makes it hard for victims’ protection organizations to address the barriers for effective implementation of the existing protection obligations.


REST seeks to strengthen the right to residence and protection of third-country nationals trafficked in Europe, by focusing on the gaps and challenges in their actual access to rights and services. An in-depth analysis of the implementation of the international standards to the national levels, together with national seminars and a guide of promising practices foresees to address the matter of ensuring long-term protection to victims.

Duration & Activities

The project will be carried out from August 2019 until March 2021, covering activities on research, training and dissemination of results among relevant stakeholders.


REST is coordinated by LEFÖ-IBF and implemented in cooperation with partner-organizations located in other five European countries: Comité Contre l’esclavage Moderne (CCEM) in France, Proyecto Esperanza in Spain, CoMensha in the Netherlands, La Strada Moldova in Moldova and Astra in Serbia.

The research is partly funded by the Council of Europe.

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