Hotline 157 aims to save human trafficking victims

Hotline 157 aims to save human trafficking victims

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Hotline 157 aims to save human trafficking victims

Moldovan women consttitute the majority of the victims saved by the hotline at 157, according to International Organization for Migration’s data. Hürriyet photo

A hotline for victims of human trafficking operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the Foreign Ministry has helped save over 800 people, including victims of forced prostitution, the organ trade and forced labor, according to the global body.

The victims saved by the hotline at 157 have most frequently been subjected to sexual abuse, with Moldovan women comprising a significant portion of them, IOM said, adding that Turkish citizens had blown the whistle in 75 percent of the cases since 2005.

The hotline is accessible domestically and internationally seven days a week and 24 hours a day for free and provides services in Russian, Romanian, English and Turkish.

Specially-trained staff members
Citizens can make anonymous calls to the line without having to reveal their identities, meaning the line has been used either by citizens who have personally seen the victims or who have come to realize the victims brought to them had been forced into their present situation.

Staff members have received special training in emergencies, risk assessment and communication with people who are under threat, have been subjected to violence or have been forced into prostitution.
 People who are unaware of where they are being held and do not know whom to turn to, will also be assisted, according to reports.

Hotline personnel have expertise in such fields as trauma, psychological support, emergency management, technical questioning over the phone and the legal dimensions of the crimes in question.

Many of the victims were economically deprived individuals tricked by the traffickers into come to Turkey to work as nannies, dancers, barmaids or caretakers.

Law enforcement officials have saved 814 people since May 2005 with the notices they have received from the hotline, according to reports.