In May 2013, Perla’s journey began with the people who prostitute themselves on the streets of Lausanne, Switzerland. Very quickly, connections with other groups in the same city or in other cities took place, as well as with organizations in other countries with similar goals.
Acknowledging for the suffering, loneliness and lack of dignity of those peoples, a conviction was born: We cannot let this situation continue without denouncing it. The world needs to know what is really happening.
Perla has been an association since 2017 and is a recognized organization of public utility. The association has developed in other regions of Switzerland (in Vaud, Bienne, Geneva, Fribourg and Valais), and the association can count on many collaborators, mostly volunteers who are indispensable for this goal. We also have a group in Burkina Faso.READ MORE
Problem We Are Trying to Solve
Human trafficking is a system of violence, exploitation and inequality that is ravaging all countries of the world and must be combated and abolished. Enslaving a human being into slavery and treating him or her as an object without rights or dignity is one of the worst kinds of suffering that can be inflicted on a human being. The Perla association fights against all forms of human trafficking (forced labour, organ trafficking, etc.) but its current priority is sexual exploitation.
How We Are Going To Do It
Perla organization acts on three levels in its fight against human trafficking:
- Visits : To provide dignity, support and an opportunity for reintegration. Perla Home is essential to help victims reintegrate into society.
- Prevention : Awareness-raising and prevention in companies, schools, universities to inform, train and publish.
- Collaboration : To work in collaboration and network with the authorities and with anybody aiming at the same goals.
Every year Perla visit more than 700 people. A number of them benefit from accompaniment and various courses.
Here are stories of four women we are currently helping :
Alina, from Cameroon, has experienced great injustices but has never given up. Within a year, she quit prostitution, began training, found new accommodation and started a new life without her old contacts. A reconversion strewn with pitfalls, in particular because of debts. Her financial situation is still very precarious, because she has not yet finished her training which should eventually allow her to find a job.
Philia, from South America, has not yet left prostitution even if she wishes. But since the end of last year, she has been learning French with the aim of then being able to retrain professionally. She is very consistent and is progressing well.
Betty, from Nigeria, is pregnant and has recently left prostitution to care for the unborn child, whom she decided to keep. We were able to find accommodation for her, and she is receiving adequate care, knowing that the birth is due in a few weeks. She is clandestine in Switzerland and is in great precariousness, which causes great anxiety.
Rosa, from Colombia, quit prostitution in February three days after our visit. She literally couldn't take anything. We took care of all his needs and we are in the process of taking the necessary steps for social and professional reintegration. She is still very anxious : indeed, she was forced to shoot pornographic films, which traumatized her. She has known rapes, beatings, insults and deception. Custody of her son has been taken away from her, but she wishes she could reconnect with him when she stabilizes. One positive point is that she is not addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Long Term Impact
Perla’s vision is to bring hope, and endeavours to promote respect and dignity to one and all. Perla strives for the abolition of human trafficking.
We plan to diminish the number of situations of human trafficking in Switzerland by working on prevention, raising awareness and providing assistance for those who need help aiming social and professional reintegration.
We have a day shelter in Lausanne, where victims can receive assistance, trainings (French classes and life project courses) and advices.
What We Need To Do
We have seen looks of fear, shame, resigned to hopelessness of a better future. We cannot let this suffering continue without denouncing it. We work at diminishing the number of Human Trafficking victims in Switzerland. For this, we need to develop in other regions of Switzerland, visiting the potential victims, and also raise awareness about the reality of Human Trafficking in Switzerland. We need to increase our means to do campaigns, develop shelters and trainings.
For more information you can visit our website : perlaorganisation.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org