The aim of the evaluation was to gather evidence on the functioning of the Transnational Referral Mechanism of the Baltic Sea Region in order to plan necessary technical and substantial improvements to the tool.
The evaluation was carried out by the consultation company Civitta Latvija and includes a literature review of studies, policy documents and legislation, an online survey for professionals, two focus group discussions with representatives of non-governmental organisations in the Baltic Sea countries and separately with professionals from public authorities, and 20 semi-structured interviews with professionals.
Data obtained show that the use of the TRM-BSR is currently not widespread in the Baltic Sea States, as professionals were not aware of the existence of this mechanism, and other channels are used to seek the necessary information to support victims of trafficking in human beings in the referral process. The infrequent use of the TRM-BSR is also explained by survey data showing that victims of trafficking are more likely to come from the EU`s eastern borders and the Balkan countries than from the Baltic Sea states. The experts interviewed stress the need for a mechanism for cooperation between institutions and organisations within a country and between different countries, so that the responsibilities and duties of the parties involved are separated and clearly defined. Given the changing nature and trends of trafficking in human beings, it is important that the tools available to professionals are flexible and up-to-date with the current situation and needs.
The authors of the evaluation recommend that improvements to the TRM-BSR should be made first and then its promotion to the relevant target groups should begin. To make the tool more widely accepted, human and financial resources need to be mobilised.
On top of this, the evaluation includes compilation of needs of professional, their views and real examples, which will be useful for everyone who drafts and maintains both national and transnational referral mechanisms.
The report is available here.