La Strada International Association
|Motto||European Network against Trafficking in Human Beings|
La Strada International (LSI) is an international NGO network addressing the trafficking of persons in Europe. The organisation was established in October 2004 and includes members from Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, and Ukraine and an International Secretariat based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In each of the eight member countries the programme is implemented by independent human rights non-governmental organizations, working within the La Strada philosophy. Cooperation among the members dates back to 1995, when the first La Strada project started.
The mission of LSI is to work for and with trafficked persons and at-risk groups with a focus on women in a European context. LSI aims at empowering trafficked persons to access and exercise their rights and reclaim their lives. To achieve its mission LSI develops activities in three interrelated areas: Information & Lobbying; Prevention & Education; and Social Assistance to trafficked persons.
LSI's work is based on the overall Human Rights principle, defining trafficking in human beings as a severe violation of human rights, with a trafficked persons centred approach. Female migrants, domestic workers and sex workers must have their rights protected, and states that are accountable for the violations of human rights, including forced labour and practices akin to slavery, must face their responsibility and work to secure the rights of trafficked people and migrants in general.
LSI is a value-driven network with a vision of a world without trafficking in human beings where human rights are respected. In order to promote this vision La Strada International, including the member organisations, is currently working with a strategic plan that has six main goals:
- To strengthen the role of NGOs in impact monitoring of existing anti-trafficking and related policies and measures for trafficked persons.
- To strengthen the financial sustainability of LSI Secretariat and members.
- To strengthen LSI’s evidence-based planning and policy development.
- To increase LSI’ visibility.
- To increase the effect of the operation and management of LSI.
- To strengthen LSI’s networking and partnership with external stakeholders.
La Strada International is a member organisation of the NGO networks Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, PICUM - the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants and the Human Rights and Democracy Network.
In July 2010, LSI was granted consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The consultative status gives LSI the ability to actively participate in the work of ECOSOC, as well as other bodies within the UN, such as the UN Secretariat. La Strada International will be allowed to consult with UN member states and discuss concerns and ideas within the field of human trafficking. LSI is also a member of OSCE Alliance Expert Coordination Team, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency Platform and has a participatory status with the Council of Europe.
LSI has become an influential actor in the arena of anti-trafficking work and continues to cooperate with various organisations and EU and UN bodies. From 2009 to 2012 La Strada International, together with Anti-Slavery International implemented a three-year European project called "Comp.act". The aim of the project was to improve access to justice and guarantee compensation for trafficked people. The project received institutional support from the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/ODIHR.
In 2013, LSI began coordinating the La Strada NGO Platform, a network of 21 European (EU and non-EU) NGOs from 20 countries, working to address human trafficking and related issues, such as migration, labour rights, and sex work.