Oasis Belgium has been active in fighting human trafficking and poverty in the country for many years.
Since 2007, Oasis has worked hard to help trafficked and exploited Thai women hidden in brothels across the country. With a base in middle of Brussels’s red light district, there is also a focus on helping children who are at risk of being exploited because they live in squats and on the city streets. With an active role in STOP THE TRAFFIK, Oasis Belgium is committed to educating young people through a schools programme and to change policy at government level through proactive lobbying.
Oasis Belgium operates a dynamic range of projects, including:
Thai Welcome Project – Providing legal advice, counselling and language support to Thai women in Belgium who have been trafficked and victim of other organised crimes (such as fake marriage visas). As part of this slow, patient, process, Oasis Belgium operates a coffee bar in Antwerp where the Thai women can gain work experience, training and then be helped into new work. The hub work is centred on this coffee bar. The work of this project has seen women who had spent years in exploitation and drug abuse now happily returned to Thailand and running their own family homes.
Mail Order Bride project – In order to combat the mail order bride agencies, Oasis is lobbying the European institutions to pass laws that give women information about their rights and access to support groups. The project also seeks to provide marriage courses in English, Thai and Russian and online information for all women who are coming through these agencies as well as calling for greater registration and accountability of agencies that send people here so that they can be held to account.
Brussels Children's Project – Oasis had long been working in one of Europe’s largest squats, offering families support. But following a police raid, a change of approach was necessary and the search for new accommodation began in earnest. Now, Oasis Belgium works to support children in school, providing food and helping families stay safe and stable. Partnering with a local school, this project will form the basis of a new community hub where both children and families can be included and feel at home.
In the long run
There is also an active team raising awareness in schools, lobbying the EU parliament on trafficking issues, and working with squatter communities in downtown Brussels.