What is the National Consulting and Intervention Center for the Victims of  Trafficking? (Krajowe Centrum Interwencyjno-Konsultacyjne dla Ofiar Handlu Ludźmi; KCIK) 

 

KCIK is a response to the needs of individuals who have fallen victim, or are susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking (both Polish nationals and foreigners). Although the area of operation and national center of the organization is Poland, foreign nationals also seek the services of KCIK, and are assisted by KCIK caseworkers via telephone.  

The development of assistance and support programs for victims of human trafficking in Poland was a gradual process, beginning in 1995 with the establishment of the Programme for the Prevention of Human Trafficking of Women from Central and Eastern Europe (“La Strada”), which instituted the first postwar telephone helpline for victims of human trafficking. In following years and through subsequent projects, the services offered to victims of human trafficking were gradually expanded. In 2006, the Program IRIS was developed to offer victims (Polish nationals) a full program of support ranging from identification, to crisis intervention, to social and professional reintegration. 

Helpline consultants offering services to victims of human trafficking receive approximately six thousand telephone calls per year.  

Also in 2006, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, a plan referred to as theProgram of Support and Protection for Victims/Witnesses of Human Trafficking was founded. The Program was established for the exclusive help of foreign victims of human trafficking. Its basis is to provide protection and assistance through securing basic living necessities for victims, as well as to build trust in regards to law enforcement and judicial bodies. The trust-building initiative is aimed at increasing victims’ willingness to cooperate with Polish law enforcement bodies and the judiciary.  

In 2008, the Team in charge of carrying out the National Program to Fight and Prevent Human Trafficking (currently referred to as the National Action Plan against Human Trafficking) recommended the establishment of a National Center. In March 2009, an open competition was held for the accomplishment of the public task of “appointing and operating the National Consulting and Intervention Centre for Victims of Trafficking.” The competition was won by a private organization, the “La Strada” Foundation against Human Trafficking and Slavery. 

The work of the National Center includes the following: identification of victims of human trafficking, intervention, preventive counseling, consultation for various institutions and organizations, and maintenance of shelters for victims. 

In practical terms, the work conducted at the National Center includes the keeping of office hours from Monday through Friday, where a team of individuals prepared and experienced in handling matters of human trafficking is available to give advice and consultation, and offer help to victims of human trafficking. Beyond regular office hours, a 24-hour mobile phone helpline is available for those needing emergency assistance. 

Counseling services can be utilized by victims of human trafficking, their families and close friends, organizations and institutions working on behalf of victims, individual suffering from the threat of being trafficked, as well as law enforcement bodies and the judiciary. Services are also offered to individuals who are considering travelling abroad for non-tourist purposes and wish to minimize the risks related to their decision to go abroad.