Trafficking prevention activities have been developed in cooperation with the Missing Persons’ Families Support Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, which is focused on combating human trafficking and providing assistance to trafficking victims. Together the two organizations have adopted the girl group method in order to prevent young Lithuanian girls from becoming victims of sexual slavery. The first education for girl group leaders was held in November 2003 with a trainer Mia Hanström from the Åland Islands. The group activities were launched the same year. Since then the interest among social workers, teachers, psychologists and NGO activists in receiving a qualification of a group leader has been constantly growing in connection with the success of the method and the positive impact of the girl group activities on the group members. In order to develop a long term sustainability of the project, 13 of Lithuanian trainers were educated in 2006. Since then they have provided training opportunities for new girl group leaders both in Lithuania and abroad. The method manual by Mia Hanströms has been translated to Lithuanian and Russian.
The girl group method has become a successful export product from the Åland Islands. Besides Lithuania, it has been introduced in Belarus, the Kaliningrad region and Latvia. In 2012 the girl group activities should also be launched in Azerbaijan.
Read more about the ÅIPI work with equality and against trafficking here.