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Sophie Jekeler

Sophie Jekeler holds a degree in law, she has worked for the past 20 years on questions related to human trafficking, prostitution, sexual tourism and sexual exploitation of children.

She has gained extensive understanding and knowledge of field realities thanks to the twelve years spent helping people involved in prostitution, providing judicial advice as well as psycho-medical and social support.

In 2007, witnessing the increase of human trafficking she decided to create Samilia Foundation in order to take action in the fight against this new form of slavery in its two main forms: sexual and economic exploitation.

Because of her front line experience with people in prostitution and her knowledge of European and Belgian judicial frameworks, she is regularly invited to take part in conferences, seminars, setting up of networks, expert groups and interviews in the press.

As promoting awareness raising and information on human trafficking is part of her objectives, Sophie has organized number of conferences, seminars and workshops on this theme, both for the general public and for a public of experts such as magistrates, members of Parliament, journalists, CEOs…


Sylvie Bianchi

Sylvie Bianchi is a Play Therapist, she graduated from the Roehampton Institute in London and worked in the field of systemic therapy related to family violence for 12 years, as a play therapist and as a European project manager. She worked at the Marlborough Family Service in St John’s Wood with Doctor Asen and his team in the Family Day Unit where she developed her knowledge of systemic therapy and multi-family therapy, which she brought to Belgium to the Centre de Protection de l’Enfant in Gosselies. She has written and managed 2 Daphne projects related to violence against children and women in family context. She has an intensive experience of working with fragile populations and at risk groups in terms of family violence. She has also had a private practice where she followed up children experiencing difficult emotional times in their lives and worked in collaboration with the parents in that context. She has organized conferences and workshops in the field of family violence. She is co-author of a European report on multi-family therapy in the context of family violence (UK, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Denmark) and of a training DVD in Multi-Family therapy for professionals in the field (systemic). She has also been RM for Medecins du Monde supporting a project on violence against women and women’s rights to health care in maquilas in Guatemala.

Sylvie has been working in collaboration with Samilia Foundation for the last two years, she is now member of the Executive Board of Samilia and works for Samilia as a consultant in projects around social inclusion, prevention and awareness raising, she is also doing fundraising and writing European proposals. She also holds a degree in English and Russian Translation from the Institut Supérieur de Traducteurs et Interprète and one in Affective Birth Preparation and Emotional Follow-up of Babies.

She is currently working part-time for ECPAT Belgium managing a European Daphne project “Make-IT-Safe” for the Belgian part, which is dealing with Internet Security of 12-18 year olds in various contexts (Unaccompanied minors, schools..) and developing the Peer-to-Peer methodology.


Myria Vassiliadou

Ms Myria Vassiliadou assumed office in March 2011 and is based within the European Commission, DG Home-Affairs.
The position of EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator was initially foreseen in the "Stockholm Programme" and elaborated in the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU.

The EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator is responsible for improving coordination and coherence among EU institutions, EU agencies, Member States and international actors and developing existing and new EU policies to address trafficking in human beings.

The EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator also monitors the implementation of the new and integrated "EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016)" and provides overall strategic policy orientation for the EU's external policy in this field.

Ms Vassiliadou holds degrees in Sociology and Social Research and a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. She has also been a Research Fellow at the Solomon Asch Centre for Study of Ethno-political conflict, at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms Vassiliadou previously served as Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby, the largest network of women’s associations across the EU. She was a founding member of the think tank Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies and served as its Director for seven years and subsequently as the Chair of the Board of Administration. For over a decade, Ms Vassiliadou worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nicosia and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in Sociology.                                                      

Ms Vassiliadou previously worked in the European Commission as a Detached National Expert in DG Research. Furthermore, she has served as a member of various Advisory Boards, Expert Groups and acted as a consultant at the national and international level. She has worked extensively in the area of fundamental rights, as these relate to questions of trafficking in human beings, gender, migration, ethno-political conflict, and the media. She has been published in several books and journals, conducted workshops and seminars, and has been actively involved in various think tanks, EU wide research projects and both national and international non-governmental organisations. She is trained as a counsellor on interpersonal violence against women and also as a facilitator and mediator on conflict transformation and negotiations.


Mark Capaldi

Mark Capaldi is the author of a recent article: “Does the legalization of prostitution increase the sex trafficking of women and children?”  (2012)

The aim of his article is to explore and examine any links between the legalisation of prostitution and sex trafficking, he will give us his analysis on the matter from a research point of view.

Head of Research and Policy

Mark Capaldi has a long history of work in advocating for marginalised and vulnerable children. A specialist in humanitarian, community development and child rights programming, he has worked directly with child-led organizations on issues such as street children and working children, and has also implemented projects on children in conflict with the law, on violence and abuse against children and addressing the vulnerability of children of internally displaced persons and as child migrants. Much of this work has been in South and East Asia, where Mark has lived for 15 years where he worked with Concern Worldwide, PACT Inc. and Save the Children UK.
As Deputy Director of ECPAT International (2001-2011), Mark Capaldi promoted the work and vision of the ECPAT network to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Mark supported a wide range of programming in all regions of the world, including areas such as: combating child sex tourism; legal reform; care and protection; preventing exploitation of children through the internet and information technology; anti-trafficking initiatives; and the promotion of child and youth participation. He also provided technical input for the expansion and strengthening of the ECPAT network, partnerships and advocacy work. Mark is currently a Board member for the Tourism Child Protection Code.
Since June 2011, Mark Capaldi moved into a part time role with ECPAT as Head of Research and Policy as he has started a doctorate programme with the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University, Bangkok. The research topic of his dissertation is children’s agency within independent child migration in Thailand.


Hakan Erdal

Coordinator of the Smuggling and Trafficking  in Human Beings Sub-Directorate

He is currently people smuggling and human trafficking coordinator at INTERPOL General Secretariat since September 2010. Having graduated from Turkish National Police Academy in 2000, he started his professional career in human trafficking and people smuggling area in 2004, as chief of trafficking in human beings unit of Police Immigration Department.  Currently he is developing capacity building projects and coordinating police operations carried out by INTERPOL Trafficking in Human beings Unit in different regions of the world. 
Hakan will tell us about the fight against THB and the new technologies, Internet has created a new street in our life where criminals are also be able to use it as backstreet for their crimes. This back street is quite difficult to be observed in terms of crime prevention due to various reasons such as legislative issues and lack of capacity.

Networking technology poses large advertisement areas for the criminals and abusers. This includes approaching potential child victim of trafficking during the recruitment phases of trafficking.

The complexity of the various national laws ruling the Internet that make INTERPOL’s work more difficult and the new ways of recruiting victims using smart phones, social networks and the Internet in general. Hence the necessity of a new approach on the law enforcement side which is performing in this new backstreet within proactive investigative approach. The need for collecting intelligence, potential evidences from this street and effective international cooperation are some the pillars of this proactive approach.


Evelyne Josse

Evelyne Josse is a psychologist and psychotherapist, she trained in Eriksonian hypnotherapy, EMDR and short term therapy. She is an independent psychotherapist, she supervises psychotherapists, teaches psychotrauma, she is also a member of the scientific committee of the Belgian Institute of Victimology, she is an expert in judicial hypnosis for the Belgian Justice and she is vice-president and responsible for the “communication” committee of the EMDR association of Belgium.

Since the 90s, in her private psychotherapy setting, Evelyne has done therapeutic follow up of people suffering from trauma from experiences of abuse and sexual assaults. Since the year 2000, she has worked for various international humanitarian NGOs, she has been in charge of operational research on sexual violence in particular linked to armed conflicts. She has written many articles on sexual violence as well as guidebooks for the follow up of victims.

Her books :
« The power of therapeutic stories » published in 2007, Desclée De Brouwer,
« The emotional trauma in babies, children and adolescents », De Boeck in 2011
« Interventions in mental health for mass violence », written in collaboration with V. Dubois, published in 2009, De boeck.

She has also written many articles and the following articles on the hypersexualisation of society:

Pre-prostitutional behaviour in adolescents :

Hyper sexualised society, it’s consequences on sexuality