This page provides information about how to stay safe from exploitation and organisations to contact if you need help and support.
After escaping war and seeking safety in Europe, it might be tempting to trust someone you meet, who offers to help you find work or accommodation. Most people want to help refugees, but there may be some people who shouldn’t be trusted. Their promises of help may be false, and you may find yourself trapped in a situation difficult to escape.
How to stay safe
Details of support organisations
Please mention STOP THE TRAFFIK if you make contact with any of the organisations listed below.
The 112 European emergency number
If you or anyone you know are in immediate danger, call the 112 European emergency number. The number is free of charge, 24/7, anywhere in the European Union. Citizens can dial 112 to reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services and the fire brigade.
116111 European Helpline for Children and Adolescents
The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents provides psychological support for free to children and adolescents. The service helps children in need of care and protection and links them to services and resources. The helpline operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. Calls to the helpline are free of charge.
Salvation Army Poland
The Salvation Army in Poland provide help to refugees with food vouchers to supermarkets, clothes, toiletries, and support in form of pastoral care, general advice with help in job seeking including job verification service, information on prevention of Human Trafficking, support filling in governmental forms, and access to IT facility. We run a number of programs in our centres that are free to attend; such as language courses, family group, youth and kids' clubs. We offer services in Polish, English, Ukrainian and Russian. For support with issues related to trafficking, call +48661026194
The Legal Intervention Association (Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej)
The Legal Intervention Association (Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej) works to uphold respect, human rights and equality. They support refugees and migrants in Poland. They provide free legal assistance to people with migration experience. When their rights are at risk, they represent them in courts and national authorities and the European Court of Human Rights, and actively participate in the creation of migration law by intervening and issuing opinions on legal regulations. The phone accepts calls Monday-Friday, between 2 pm and 4 pm +48880145372.
Understanding your rights
Advice for Belarussian citizens
If you are a Belarussian citizen seeking support in Poland, you can access information here.
Advice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Poland
For details about how to access international protection click here
For details of the rights and obligations of Asylum Seekers in Poland, click here.
For details of the rights of recognized refugees in Poland click here.
Advice for Third Country Nationals from Ukraine (non Ukraine citizens)
For information regarding crossing the border from Ukraine into Poland, click here.
For information about documentation, click here.
For options for third-country nationals residing in Poland on a 15-day permit click here.
For information about applying for international protection click here
For information about financial assistance during the asylum procedure, click here.
You can contact The Legal Intervention Association (Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej) for further advice regarding support for Third Country Nationals.
https://ukraina.interwencjaprawna.pl/en/ (Legal portal form the people fleeing Ukraine, including a section for Third Country Nationals)
Telephone number: +48880145372 (Mon-Fri, between 2 pm and 4 pm)
Stay safe finding work
Whether you are looking for work to provide for your family or to obtain accommodation, it is important to know how to find employment safely.
Here are 4 things you should do to keep yourself safe:
1.Tell people where you are working. Note down the address and share it with your friends and family. You can also send them a photo of the address and share your location on your phone.
2.Save emergency numbers on your mobile phone and always keep it with you. Make note of support organisations that can help you.
3.Always keep your ID, travel, and personal documents safe. Do not let your employer hold on to them.
4.Employment contracts can be there to protect you. The lack of a contract poses a risk to your working rights, such as being paid for your work.
Some job ads posted online might not be legitimate.
You should be suspicious of any recruitment process which has any of the following characteristics:
1.The employer demands secrecy.
2.Recruiters pressure you, for example demanding personal information too early in the hiring process.
3.You are not told the salary for the role at any stage in the hiring process.
4.The organisation has minimal online presence.
5.You are asked to pay a fee to secure the job.
6.The trial period is indefinite.
7.You are told that an employment contract is not required.
8.The recruiter does not check your right to work.
You can report suspicious job ads within The STOP APP
You should not have to experience any of the following at work:
- Not been paid for your work
- Being withheld your wages
- Being denied breaks and/or annual leave
- Restricted movement
- Restricted or no access to your earnings
- Being subject to intimidation, coercion, and/or physical or emotional abuse
- No access to your personal documents
- Excessive working hours
If you have experienced any of the above, know this should not be tolerated and there are organisations that can help you.
You can report such incidents within The STOP APP. If possible, document all violations at work in the form of photo/video materials. If anyone is in immediate danger, or a crime is being or has been committed, call the emergency services.
Make sure to make a note of what happened, including details of:
- What the incident was
- When it happened
- Where it happened
- Who was involved and if there were witnesses
Information about human trafficking
Human trafficking is the movement or recruitment of people, either through deception, coercion or force for the purpose of exploitation. Traffickers often profit financially from exploiting people.
Organ traffickers sometimes forcibly remove organs without consent or through coercion. This is illegal and dangerous. It could cost you your life.
There are many ways people might be lured and trapped into exploitation, including:
Refugees and asylum seekers are often offered help with travel and shelter in exchange for payment later. Don’t agree unless you know all the details. This is a method traffickers use to control and exploit people and an example of debt bondage.
It is very important that whatever choice you make, you ensure you put your safety as a top priority.
Traffickers have many faces. They can be any age, gender or nationality.
Survivors often say they were trafficked by partners, spouses, friends, even family members.
Traffickers are usually motivated by financial gain and are masters in the art of deception.
- They know how to gain trust and make you feel special.
- They often target young people with offers of friendship.
- They may buy you gifts, give you money or offer you drugs or alcohol.
Unfortunately, traffickers’ prey upon people in a vulnerable situation. When trust is established, the trafficker’s kind behaviour may change, and they become controlling, even violent. Their aim was to lure you in, only to control and exploit you. They may convince you that the situation, even the abuse, is normal.
The STOP APP
The STOP APP enables anybody who knows, has seen or even heard a situation that they believe to be human trafficking, to talk about it in a safe and secure space. You can report the incident anonymously and securely through the STOP APP. There will be no record of the report submitted on your phone.
- Have you seen a suspicious job advert online?
- Has someone offered you work that seemed suspicious?
- Are you or someone you know being forced to work, or being exploited?
Let us know. You can report your suspicions or observations by downloading our STOP APP. Make sure you are in safe place away from the suspected incident when making the report.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is a human trafficking prevention organisation. This app collects individuals’ stories of global human trafficking to disrupt and prevent this crime. We are not a rescue organisation and this app is not monitored 24/7 but will be checked on the next working day. If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed please contact trusted authorities.