Jump to navigation
World Hope South Africa initiated a partnership with the Girl Guides Association of South Africa (GGASA) in public awareness raising with regards to trafficking. (Note: I believe Girl Guides are known as Girl Scouts in some countries)
Through our partnership a TIP badge challenge has been developed called: Don’t take us for a ride.
This challenge includes age-appropriate activities for the different age groups and is expected to be implemented by approximately 20 000 girls nation-wide. These tasks include playing awareness games, drama, art and organizing TIP informational workshops. The challenge was launched in 2008. GGASA’s report on 2008 implementation will be available in 3 months time. The aim is to get an awareness message to each of the 20 000 girls but also to spread the message through them to their peers and communities.
World Hope South Africa’s direct involvement so far was limited to interaction with and training for adult leaders. This year we will be more directly involved by attending GGASA Youth camps and trainings and small groups. World Hope South Africa is currently working on curriculum materials for teaching kids and youth on personal safety and trafficking. These are meant to be age appropriate and culturally relevant to the South African context and still need a lot more fine-tuning at this stage.
GGASA, being an influential organization in South Africa has committed to do the following;
Write to the Office of the Rights of the Child and advocate re Child prostitution alert and re 2010 soccer world cup and bring this to the attention of the media.
We believe in partnerships and have seen powerful results from partnerships in all of our programs.
Does anyone know of other Girl Scout/Girl Guide or Boy Scout groups involved in trafficking awareness? Or models of hearing kids’ voices heard on this, or teaching children to be aware and protect themselves? Any good curriculum ideas that we can discuss?
Elske Reyneke-Barnard | World Hope South Africa
Thank you for posting this. IOM Ukraine pays special attention to trafficking in minors. Many from our Network NGOs work in the area of trafficking prevention among minors. Among the NGO projects I administer, there are two which experience you may find helpful in this regard.
One project operated in really depressive region. The leader of the project created sort of a local Student Council (unusual thing in Ukraine). It consists of the secondary school students who are leaders in their schools. The Council gathers every Friday to discuss the techniques which they may use to raise awareness on trafficking in their schools; to learn about international and national trends and to discuss existing problems. According to the agreement between the school authorities and the NGO, every student from the Council conducts 45 min interactive discussion with other school students. I attended some discussions students had, they showed good understanding of trafficking. During the session we called to the national hotline for consultations. I think, that the best way to check whether young people understand the problem, is to involve them in the process.
Another project deals with minors from low income families. In summer time children and adolescents from the low income families get the opportunity to attend the summer camps at the sea side. It is usually done at the state expense. Many wealthy people spend their holidays at the sea side, and some solicit minors for sex in exchange of sweets or new clothes. The NGO has experts and a lawyer who monitor the situation with minors at the sea side, and deliver trainings for summer camps instructors and well as children. There were cases when children from the low income families and street children (social orphans) were taken every weekend to another city in Ukraine to deliver sexual services. When the criminal investigation started, it was revealed that many children did not realize that they were victims of trafficking, and were ashamed to tell anyone what happened to them.
Ms. Svitlana Batsyukova
IOM Mission in Ukraine
Thank You for the interaction. we are interested in working in schools as well and your approach may be usefull.
Dear Elske and all,
We think it's important to direct awareness campaigns to all vulnerable groups and as has been pointed out prevention and protection of men can be even more difficult that reaching out to "traditional" victims, i.e. women/sex trafficking. In Moldova there have been several campaigns, and we would like to share with you three PSAs made in connection with promoting a hotline in the Transnisrtian region (this is a region with a separate phone system, very poor and with high trafficking numbers). The PSAs (all in Russian as Transnistira is Russian-speaking area) address different forms of trafficking and are made with the view of being something potential migrants can identify with. We have found in Moldova that sometimes the scary tactics dont work because people who are planning to migrate do not believe that something that bad could happen to them, or they do not identify with e.g. sex trafficking victims if they are too far from their reality already from the outset (i.e. the Lilya 4ever syndrome...). The hotline is very approachable and practical for giving advice on safe migration, and we also support a hotline for domestic violence - these are both so closely linked with trafficking that prevention has to address them also. The hotline campaigns have been successful, and we will be posting the numbers e.g. on buses. Calls to the hotline always increase after there have been job adverts in papers for employment abroad so there is a direct link to potential migrants, which can prevent effectively. Naturally the hotline also serves SOS-cases, so it works as a prevention tool but also as a means for rescue operations (e.g. family members might call to alert of a suspicious departure etc).
Child trafficking for forced beggining:
Trafficking for labour exploitation (men):
Trafficking (girls, women) for sexual exploitation:
IOM Chisinau Prevention and Protection Team (Blaec and Elina)
Just saw this story in the news today and I thought you might be interested in this connection between human trafficking prevention campaigns and sports events:
Nuns launch new campaign against human trafficking during World Cup
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- An international network of women's religious orders has launched a worldwide awareness campaign aimed at preventing human trafficking during the June 11-July 11 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa.
The campaign titled, "2010 Should Be About the Game," has been targeting fans, religious leaders, potential victims of trafficking and the general public -- warning them about the risks and urging them to spread the word.
Using the 2010 World Cup to exploit vulnerable women, children and men for slave labor, the sex industry or the drug trade is "an outright perversion of the spirit and ethical dimension of sport as well as of the idea and dignity of the human person," said Salesian Sister Bernadette Sangma.
To read more, visit http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1001925.htm
Link to an advert we created in South Africa about a year and a half ago--it has aired all over Africa and on CNN and BBC--during the periods of airing we see a drastic increase in calls to our helplines.
hope the link works, i wasn't able to attach the file in here directly.
Hello, Mariam. We have heard of this PSA, we had a conference speaker who mentioned it. Unfortunately, I cant view it. Do you maybe have another link?
Also, I posted a question to your posting Prevention and a Multi-pronged Approach, which was not answered. Can you please tell more about the activities you undertake, means which you use to implement this prevention initiative in South Africa? I will very much appreciate your answer.
the psa is on the IOM global website as well at http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/pid/748
scroll down and you'll see it on the righthand side. let me know if you are not able to view it.
Aploogies for not having responded to you on your question--i will send you details on monday.
It would be really great to see your award winning PSA. I also can't access the PSA with either of the links provided. Let us know if there is another way to view it or get access to a copy.
Nancy Pearson, New Tactics in Human Rights Program Manager
New Tactics wanted to provide this link to the IOM award winning human trafficking video that Mariam shared in her post.
International Organization on Migration Human Trafficking Public Service Announcement
I would love to start a discussion on World Sport Events and Human Trafficking. I continually get different messages on the effect of World Sport event on Human Trafficking particularly on the Soccer world cup in Germany – with some sources saying that it had no impact, others saying that the prevention activities were so successful that human trafficking did not increase significantly and others saying that it did increase significantly. South Africa is on the brink of a Soccer World Cup, and organizations are working to build a response and rightly so, I think.
One interesting issue that has been brought to my attention is that of the children’s vulnerability being increased by the fact that there will be no school for the six weeks of the tournament! And how do we address the vulnerability of the whole nation’s children for six weeks. My understanding is that the government is not intending to address this issue. Should we be concerned that children will be more vulnerable to being trafficked in that time? Any thoughts?
Hi, Elske, congratulations for the outstanding work you have doing with the group of World Hope in South Africa. I think that at the recent yeaus these mega event s, as the World Coup, have been using young people as appetizers to the happy moment. To deal with the increase of sexual explotarion at great touristic beaches, or at the whole week of Carnaval, we work strongly with awareness: religious sources, schools, turism agerncies, police, midia, everything. We develop material tha are distributed in airports, bars, beaches, hotels, with simple contents about the law, advices, hot line, organization that may help or receive complaints.
Well here we are, in the beginning of the World Cup 2010 games. A few interns here at New Tactics are researching interesting campaigns that are being targeted to World Cup audiences - and one of those is about the issue that you brought up in this dialogue. The campaign addresses the issue of children being left home along during these 4 weeks of the World Cup in South Africa.
During the 2010 World Cup South Africa will be filled with visitors, most of them well intentioned sports fans. Some, however, will not be so well meaning. From 11 June to 11 July millions of children will be left at home without childcare.
Since the government extended the holiday break, children will be out of school for an entire month. For families that cannot afford the cost of childcare, the only option will be to leave their children unattended at home, or with a watchful neighbor. We are calling on every community to open their doors to children during this time, in order to ensure that the kids don’t fall prey to those who may want to manipulate or take advantage of them.
For more information about this campaign, visit their website - http://www.ourchildren2010.com/home/OurChildren.html
During the years that I have been working on prevention strategies the one that I found more useful and with a long term impact is the one refer with the work with vulnerable communities. I have been work in Colombia for many years and we started the process pf prevention, through mass media campaigns, then we continue using the mass media campaigns but also we started with non traditional media such as theater, workshop with journalists, production of materials according with the specific regions and also a hotline.
These strategies were very useful but at the end the trafficking continue to happen. So we decide to change our approach on prevention, so we decide to work with local communities, in which we know that trafficking ocurrs.
In partnership with the local goverment we began our work training the community leaders on trafficking: how to identify it, how to prevent it, but also we've trained (the community leaders, women between 18 and 25 and children between 12 and 17 ) in some aspects such as empowerment, self esteem. For the adults we trained them on skills on how to make productive projects, accountability, IT, etc and with the children we teach them about arts.
These strategy make us confirm that the messages that are transmited by peers have more impact and also allow us to prove that when you make prevention also you have to find a tool to stop the increasing of trafficking so by giving material conditions to the vulnerable people surely will be a reduction of trafficking.
The project end but because of the excelent results right now has the support of the private sector and also the colombian goverment will reply the prevention project in other regions of Colombia in which the trafficking is high.
Thank you for this BBA great work. India is a country with very strong
social movements, and these campains about child labor were really
strong we heard about from many countries. The problem is that in our
countries the lack of oportunities, the sub or the unemployment forces
the families to accept their children 'helping' the effort to survive.
It becomes cultural, more dificult to change. And we are talking about
millions of cases in each 'poor' country. I would like to remember
that India is the country thar has more people selling organs - kidney
and corneas - for the foreigners that have there their surgery for
transplantation. And, following the reseraches done by Indian
organizations, about 73% of the 'donations' come from women.
One frustratingly notes that often times, information on TIP exists in countries though it may not be recognized as the issue it is, and there is sometimes little know how on how to best respond, not only in proactively rescuing victims but also ensuring that cases are pursued in a manner that would lead to successful arrests and prosecution. One of the major acitivities IOM undertakes in this regard, globally, is working with member governments to increase the capacity of its various agencies to respond. Often times, we conduct inter-departmental trainings to simultaneously address the many 'turf' issues that exist and jointly with civil society to foster necessary linkages and cooperation mechanisms.
At my current duty station we are training a number of government departments that have a role to play such as Health, Labour, Social Development as well as law enforcement and border guards. We have similarly trained different such entities in regional countries and the next plan of action is to train regional countries together so that they may be able to form operational partnerships on the issue. A large part is of course cross border and so must the response be. This also applies for civil society.
Please share your stories, methods and practices that have been successful in intervening in human trafficking, for example:
I am recent college graduate with a degree in international relations and an emphasis in human rights and most of what I have learned has been abstract, which is why I LOVE having the opportunity to talk to practioners who can give more substance to the concepts I have studied.Thank you New Tactics! Here are my questions:
When studying modern slavery as a human rights issue, the question of how to pursue justice has been a troubling one in my classes. It is hard to decide who to blame. Is it the mother who sells her daughter for money? The trafficker who brings him/her to another country? The person who buys the person for labor/sex? Leaders of countries who will not enforce laws? And, even if we could decide who is to blame, how can we administer the kind of justice that will prevent future traffickings? Is punitive jusice a realistic approach when the perpetrators are still in the same economic situation as before? How can restorative justice work in this situation?
I know there are a lot of questions here, but what I am really interested in is how justice can be administered and people held accountable in such a complex issue and if anyone can share stories of how they have seen it work well, or perhaps how it doesnt work.
Great question: Who's to blame for trafficking? Who gets to be held accountable for buying and selling other people? In your short list: all of the above. Each is intentionally part of the supply and demand chain, intentionally buying and/or selling the victim. Leaders of countries can be held accountable up to a certain point. They can be pressured publicly to take a stand on the issue, which generally results in local law enforcement taking the issue more seriously.
When sellers and/or buyers (i.e. traffickers) of persons are punished with fair trials and adequate sentences, this sets an example to other perpetrators (and would-be perps) who, if they see that they might be held accountable, will have to modify their mode of operation. Usually, modification creates expense. The more expensive, the lower the profit margin and the less attractive the market. In Cambodia, after the 2008 anti-trafficking law was passed, many brothels were pressured to close. Even in the local papers, brothel owners interviewed said that they were turning to selling rice or other business, because they weren't earning enough off the women in their brothel and were afraid of the high costs of bribing officials to keep the brothel open.
Punative justice is only part of the answer. It's important, but so is aftercare (without good care, a victim won't give good statements/testimony, the case won't be as strong, and the sentence may be too short), education and awareness raising (can't identify trafficking if you don't know what it is or what you're looking for), and of course it's better to prevent it in the first place. Without putting perps in jail, they'll just start another brothel/sweatshop somewhere else and fill it with more victims. It's a great money-maker for all the people in the line of selling/buying, so the more we can do to make it more expensive and less attractive for them, the less incentive they will have to engage in human trafficking.
Kristin Wiebe, Anti-Trafficking Program Director (Asia), World Hope International
Just a short comment: in Moldova unfortunately it seems that the big fish of the trafficking networks often escape prosecution, while some victims are prosecuted for affiliation with the crime. Small-time recruiters can be former victims, and it is sad that they are often the only ones paying the price.
IOM Chisinau Prevention and Protection Team (Blaec and Elina)
Great question and responses. I just wanted to share on the issue of prosecution of traffickers and "patrons" what we found in our report regarding sex trafficking in Minnesota. Our report on the sex trafficking in Minnesota also showed that aggressive prosecution of sex traffickers and patrons is essential to effectively address sex trafficking. Although sex traffickers have been convicted by both federal and state prosecutors, it is often on charges other than sex trafficking and have little impact on the problem of sex trafficking in Minnesota. In addition, patrons so often go unpunished or they receive lighter sentences than the women in prostitution.
With regard to sex traffickers, under Minnesota law, which differs significantly from Federal law, sex trafficking is defined as a type of promotion of prostitution (while they are linked, they are not synonymous under state law). Interviews revealed that, to the extent traffickers are prosecuted under state laws, state prosecutors try to use provisions of Minnesota law other than the promotion of prostitution to maximize the penalties. Most the state prosecutors interviewed reported that they had not received training on sex trafficking as defined in Minnesota law
In response to these interviews and our report, a new bill on trafficking has been drafted and is scheduled to be introduced this coming Monday! Among other things, the bill hopes to address some of the things we found lacking in the current sex trafficking law in Minnesota, such as including the term “sex trafficking” in the penalty section of the law, increasing penalties to match other felony crimes and for aggravating factors, and calling for more training on the law as well as the issues associated with sex trafficking. We will be having a press conference on Monday prior to the bill being introduced so I will keep you posted!
With regard to patrons, of 284 misdemeanor prostitution cases submitted to one prosecutor interviewed, only thirty involved patrons. This results in few prosecutions of patrons.
A “good practice” we found while conducting our report is the idea of a Consolidated Calendar for Patrons. The Cleveland (England) Police Department’s Middlesbrough Police District scheduled all defendants charged with soliciting a prostitute for court on the same day. Concentrating the cases in this way helped judges to become aware of the problem’s scope, ensured consistent sanctions, and raised media interest and, as a result, public awareness.
Beatriz Menanteau, The Advocates for Human Rights
This tactic of scheduling all the people charged with soliciting a prostitute on the same day is a great example of how police are creatively educating judges, heightening their awareness of the issue, creating more consistent sactions, and raising media and public interest.
It reminds me of how WATCH, an organization created in 1992, used "red clipboards" to raise the awareness of judges to inappropriate and inconsistent judgements regarding sexual assault and domestic violence. WATCH determined that there was a strong
need for a public presence in the courtroom to hold the system
accountable for its actions.
Trained volunteers provide direct observation and accountability in the courtroom. These volunteers are recognized by the red clipboards they carry. They note objectively observable behaviors by
justice system personnel such as timeliness, audibility, inappropriate
humor, and attentiveness to victims present. Their observations are
reviewed by staff who follow up by phone with appropriate personnel
including judges, attorneys, advocates and probation officers.
This approach represents a way that volunteers can be engaged in
ensuring that court proceedings are just. In a typical year, close to 100 volunteers monitor more than 5,000 hearings.
I'm wondering how such an idea could be adapted to trafficking cases to raise both judicial and public awareness.
The system of auditing the judiciary and the police prevalent in the US is a very effective method of ensuring effective justice. Auditing is also useful in providing feedback to the law enforcement authorities who can then initiate course corrections.
In India there is no particular methodology prevalent to monitor or audit anti trafficking measures in force. The protocols in the Indian judicial courts also do not allow audits in the manner prevalent in the US. It is time that an effective system of audit, evaluation and feedback be initiated in countries like India where trafficking seems to be increasing by the day.
One other aspect of the anti trafficking strategy that India and other countries can adapt from the US is a victim centric approach. This should not however deter the law enforcement agencies from prosecuting the traffickers or trafficking syndicates. But, ministering to the needs of the victim, usually a minor, will ensure that the victim does not return to the trade imposed on her by the traffickers and that she does not end being penalized by the police for doing something that has essentially been forced upon her.
In other words attention should shift from the 3 Ps to the 3 Rs.
Pronab Mohanty, Humphrey International Scholar, Univ. of Minnesota.
Pronab - thank you for your reflections about judicial and police auditing here in the US and their applicability in India. I'm curious to hear how you think some of the judicial and police auditing methods that have been used in the US might be adapted to India.
I've been very impressed with Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in India and their Campaign
for the Right to Information in India.
MKSS, along with broad collaborations, have utilized the "right to information" as a springboard for conducing social audits to combat corruption, especially local government corruption associated with development projects. Perhaps adaptions of the public hearings they have used for development social auditing purposes could be used to confront trafficking.
I'm interested to get your reactions and thoughts.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE: A PROSECUTION OR A PERSECUTION PROCESS FOR FILIPINO TRAFFICKED PERSONS? By: Amy A. Avellano
Amy Avellano wanted to share this article for discussion as well. She writes in the opening paragraph of the article, "Women and girl-children victims of crimes enter the criminal justice system in their attempt to attain justice. It is often an attempt to have some sense of closure and vindication for the wrong committed against them.
But even the pursuit for justice is highly gendered. Otherwise put, the search for justice contributes to isolate women and restricts their empowerment."
The intent of the article is to consider the prosecution of human trafficking, in the context of the Philippines, and how it impacts on trafficked persons’ view of justice.
The article is written in four parts addressing the following areas:
The paper may be useful in providing insights into these issues also facing other countries as well.
Because we firmly believe in the power of community action, STOP THE TRAFFIK are currently piloting a new project which will (fingers crossed) hopefully lead to the rescue of women forced into the sex industry.
The ACT project (Active Communities against Trafficking) involves training local community groups to research their local sex industry and plot information they gather against known trafficking indicators. As the project is fairly huge in terms of impact and risk, we have heavily consulted the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the UK Human Trafficking Centre, trafficking experts and legal advisors. On a daily basis we are now getting letters and emails from police forces around the country saying how useful this community led information will be to their anti-trafficking efforts and that they plan to fully support ACT groups.
The project is in the process of being adapted by our wonderful partner organisations for groups in the States and Australia so we are super excited about where this could lead.
I am writing on behalf of Analia Beliza Ribeiro to talk about the Brazilian Programme to Prevent and Combat the Trafficking of Human Beings (hereafter regarded as the "Programme"). As its name suggests, its a great new organization that is trying to address the issue of human trafficking in Brazil.
According to a report prepared for the UN by Ribeiro, the Programme's implementation includes the involvement and cooperation of the Center for International Crime Prevention of the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. It is a pilot project to combat the presence of organized crime overseas.
The main objectives of the "Programme" include:
The report speaks briefly about the problem with human trafficking as it is defined today, and suggests that in reality human trafficking is too simplified a term for a phenomenom which is multi-faceted and varies between regions but also in purpose. Ribeiro expresses the need for the distinguishment between trafficking for sexual exploitation and trafficking for forced labour. She also discusses the different expressions of sexual exploitation, which include prostitution, sexual tourism, and trafficking. This I believe reflects the complex nature of human trafficking and this is something that must be taken into account when trying to address the problem.
Ribeira states that sexual tourism is an growing industry which violates human digity and unfortunately is only legally considered in Brazil when it involves violence, deception, and coercion. She argues that we must develop a more specific definition that identifies forms of involuntary and voluntary trafficking, as well as the "wedding market", and migration.
Ribeiro states in her report that prejudice and sexism play an important role in the political and instititutional relations that affect everyday life in Brazil. She adds that the economic and social stability of countries experiencing human trafficking are reliant on these prejudices and sexism to divide workers into select groups, thus creating a lack of solidarity. Without solidarity, it is difficult for minority groups to question or attempt to change the status quo. The report states that sexual exploitation often occurs with the colloboration of the family and as a result of commercialization nets that effect both children and adolescents.
The report also states that the nature of human trafficking varies between each Brazilian state, and as a way to address that, the "Programme" aims to adopt a preventative and combative system in each state that reflects the social realities of that particular state. The aim of the program includes political, technical, and methodological support to each state but also on
an international level. The "Programme" combines policy power from a variety of societal actors (NGOs, mass media, and universities) but also from the three branches of the Brazilian government. Ribeiro suggests that in order to fully address the situation of human trafficking, a multitude of actors and partnerships must be realized. This includes actors on both
governmental and public levels. Also, in using a systematic appoach the "Programme" aims to further develop and foster relationships between institutions working in human rights and specifically on human trafficking.
The "Programme" bases its existence and work on the following principles: ethics, compromise, partnership, public transparency, interdisciplinary, legality and respect to human rights. After 9 months of operation, the "Programme" has already been involved in 28 cases and worked with 245 victims (as of the date of the report, 12 November 2002). It has additionally interacted with 288 institutions. The people working on the team for the implementation of public policy are volunteers who give their time, knowledge and experience in order to help construct an effective system to combat organized crime abroad.
For more information on human trafficking in Brazil, here are some links to YouTube videos on the subject (note: they're in Portuguese).
video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zurEwbjXdEc
video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO-XfCUz1jM
video 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFyf2mjZMCE
Agree that using traditional leaders is very important. Access to communities and literacy issues are often obstacles to getting to people in need and of course its also very important to engage those that have a standing/respect in communities. We are in the process of doing this in Southern Africa to raise awareness but hopefully also cuase some informal protection mechanisms in the process. Beyond traditional leaders, religious leaders/personnel can also be extremely useful in a similar way. IOM has trained a large number of religious personnel in various parts of the world, and in Southern Africa we hope that the partnership will help us reach those people particularly in rural and border areas that have no information and are extremely vulnerable.
I agree with Mariam regarding the importance of engaging traditional and religious leaders. In some places, for example in countries in West Africa sucha as Ghana, where the practice of Trokosi still exists. This is a system of servitude that meets the community need for justice and the
material and sexual needs of fetish priests. Women and young girls are
brought and kept in servitude in fetish shrines to atone for sins or crimes
allegedly committed by one of their relatives. The work to eradicate this practice has created the need to strick a very delicate balance with these traditional leaders and the communities that see them as vital to their community well-being. Engaging these traditional leaders themselves in eradicting the practice of such bondage is critical to transforming the communities themselves. New Tactics has a tactical notebook, Powerful Persuasion that shares innovative ways in which these traditional leaders have been engaged in freeing women and girls.
Thank you Nancy, and for sharing this useful notebook.
Incidentally, IOM has trained a whole network of religious personnel through a programme run out of IOM in Italy in partnership with various IOM missions. We will be happy to pass along this list for any partnerships that can be had. Also useful for training their own colleagues. Let me dig it up.
Elaborating on the postings made by Nancy, Mariam (SA) and colleagues from IOM Chisinau
Faith based organizations maintain significant influence on Ukrainian society, and should take active part in prevention of trafficking, identification of its victims and providing assistance to them. Below are some of the facts from the IOM Ukraine on how to engage religious leaders and communities in the fight against human trafficking.
417 members of Ukrainian Orthodox Church clergy in 7 regions of Ukraine underwent training on prevention of trafficking in persons and identification and referral of victims based on the previously developed training module.
October 2-6, 2007 - International Inter-confessional Conference for the first time in the history of Orthodox Church, representatives of Armenian, Belarusian, Russian, Moldovan, Polish, Romanian and Ukrainian churches, state authorities, international organizations (25 persons total) gathered under its auspices to discuss issues related to participation of Churches and faith-based organizations in countering trafficking in persons. The aim of the conference was to establish cross-border co-operation between churches against trafficking in human beings. In a long-term perspective it is to result in a church-based network working against trafficking in human beings. The Conference had a three-fold task: 1) raising awareness and taking stock of the extent and areas of trafficking from and within the countries of ex-USSR; 2) reflecting on the Churches´ commitment against trafficking and its theological and biblical foundation and the specific contribution of the church against modern slavery; 3) highlighting and celebrating the existing commitment and activity of the churches across Europe against trafficking, with a specific focus on churches of the Orthodox tradition. The conference participants adopted an Address to the International and All-Ukrainian Councils of Churches, religious organizations, communities, religious leaders and state authorities, and international organizations on support to church initiatives against trafficking in persons.
March against Slavery (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) As part of its efforts to further engage religious communities into counter-trafficking work, Caritas Charitable Foundation of Sambir and Drohobych Eparchies of the UGCC in cooperation with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church organized a march against modern-day slavery. 97 persons, including Ukrainian labour migrants returned from abroad and their families, teachers and students, doctors, government officials, religious workers, including those from foreign eparchies of UGCC and others began the march on 1 August, and their number grown to 145 by the end of the event ten days later. The total distance was equal to 270 km. During the march, its participants disseminated information through lectures, personal consultations, sharing of experience and distribution of thematic handouts on dangers of irregular migration and trafficking among dwellers of local towns and villages that they passed and prayed together for those who suffered of various forms of exploitation abroad.
We cannot ignore the fact that the global church is still the largest social welfare institute in the world. The potential this has is enormous. Even secular groups can make the most of this by engaging with them rather than assuming the worst. Churches can be encouraged to take child protection seriously and look out for the vulnerable widow and alien because of the emphasis to do so in scripture. Love146 are working with a number of faith based networks in Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, not to be exclusive, but recognising the potential they have to bring about change in their communities. In Sri Lanka a group of Christians were appalled by what they saw being done to boys on the beaches. They raised awareness in the community and encouraged people to take the problem seriously through a poster, article writing and letter writing campaign. Out of this the National Child Protection Agency a national cross-sectoral government appointed body was developed.
The Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST), a consortium of five faith-based organizations dedidated to fighting trafficking has also found success in reaching out to the faith community both globally. and here in the US. In 2007, the coalition developed a faith-based curriculum titled "Hands That Heal." This international curriculum is designed to train current and future caregivers of trafficking survivors. Using a "training of trainers" format, FAAST members have trained hundreds of members of the faith-based community, from human rights students in Sierra Leone, to service providers in shelters in Atlanta. Many of those trained have used the curriculum as a roadmap to aid in designing anti-trafficking programs that address the comprehensive needs of survivors.
By training service providers and church groups that are currently or interested in providing holistic care to survivors of trafficking, FAAST has effectively created a network of individuals and organziations (both faith-based and secular) dedicated to addressing these needs from a faith-based perspective.
The curriculum is available in two formats, the community-based curriculum and an academic curriculum, the first designed to provide tools to groups interested in working on the issue directly, the latter as a tool for universities and others seeking an indepth understanding of the issue and the unique physical and emotional needs of trafficking survivors.
For more information on the curriculum, or to see a list of upcoming trainings, visit http://www.worldhope.org/trafficking/train_trainersched.htm
Often times prevention activities in areas and countries of origin have focused on awareness alone--which is of course an important aspect of counter-trafficking, however, in my opinion, not as successful as it could be if carried out in parallel with other activities aimed at addressing root causes or triggers if you will. In Southern Africa we have been engaged in massive awareness raising over the years, however people continue to be trafficked due to the fact that there are a number of compelling reasons that lead to their being deceived or coerced into a trafficking process.
We have now combined awareness raising with targeted economic empowerment activities that are sustainable in themselves and aimed at stabilizing vulnerable persons in their places of origin. For this, we have developed certain criteria to gauge vulnerability and thereby eligibility for assistance under the programme. On the basis of that criteria, the target group is unemployed women aged 16 to 30 particularly from the border areas within Southern African region. These potential beneficiaries are not only in a deprived socio-economic situation, but they are also a group at high risk of being lured into trafficking networks. Additionally, these individuals experience gender inequality in their communities and in the labour market, adding to their economic and social instability. In particular, the programme focuses on beneficiaries selected according to high vulnerability factors including being single parent mothers, victims of domestic violence and low skilled women.
We feel that such an approach has positive impact beyond preventing trafficking, also serving to raise the standing (financial and otherwise) of these vulnerable persons in their homes and communities and empowering them to be examples/positive role models in their particular settings.
Hello, we here at IOM Chisinau fully agree with our S.A. colleague! Working on economic empowerment is crucial both to prevention and assistance, and in Moldova especially increasing opportunties available to young people of vulnerable social/economic profile is central to CT work. Building partnerships between national actors that can provide viable employment/training opportunities is a part of CT efforts, e.g. IOM supported shelter is linked with vocational training school and in projects we usually apply for funding for both so that the assistance packages to beneficiaries are complete and sustainable.On FBOs we would like to share an initiative IOM carried out with several religious org.s in Moldova, raising awareness among clerical staff about trafficking and empowering them to prevent but also to deal with cases: identify and refer for assistance. pastoral care has not traditionally been the strong point of Orthodox church in ex-soviets, but with the right attitude and approach there has been chance for some good cooperation in this. A part of the project was (and is) organisation of a National Prayer Day (first Sunday in December). In Moldova trafficking is linked to mass migration and because of this phenomenon, the National Prayer Day addressed all affected by migration: the emotional cost for those left behind, those trafficked, those returned etc. Getting FBOs and the Orthodox church in particular invloved in the migration/trafficking field will help with Vot reintegraton just by hopefully lessening the stigma. Furthermore, the role of FBO staff can be also in actual assistance: if a VoT is for example active in church, reintegration with the help of parish etc. can be an option. However, also eg the attitude to abortion of Orthdox church can also be a big problem for the same group of people who are vulnerable to trafficking due to difficult social situation or to people who have experienced trafficking and return with unwanted pregnancies etc. IOM Chisinau Prevention and Protection Team (Blaec and Elina) www.iom.md
Susan Atwood, Instructor, University of Minnesota’s Leadership : Leadership for Global Citizenship.
What Marian said in her posting about a multi pronged approach really resonated with me. Awareness is one thing, but unless BOTH traffickers and their victims have economically viable alternatives, this problem will continue. So we need to look at programs such as the Grameen bank, small loans to women program; the Kiva micro credit program; subsidies to enable parents to keep their kids, especially girls, in school. It is all to easy to take a moralistic stance on trafficking and child labor, but we need to go to the root of the issue - poverty - and engage in creative thinking and partnerships that promote economic empowerment. Taking a multi pronged or holistic approach is more complex but ultimately the only strategy that has a chance of suceeding in the long term to eradicate the curse of trafficking.
This is very interesting. In Ukraine we have the economic empowerment program as a part of victim reintegration. I will talk on this in the following days. However I saw examples of successful economic development initiatives to prevent human trafficking in Moldova and Belarus.
May you please tell more on the activities you undertake, means which you use to implement this prevention initiative in South Africa?
The decade long political crisis in Zimbabwe that has been a result of the legitimacy and governance problems in the country associated with the dictatorship of President Robert Mugabe has created a huge humanitarian crisis in the country and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
As a result of the economic collapse thousands of Zimbabweans found themslves leaving the country to neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia as well as Mozambique in search of jobs. Others were also seeking refugee status from political violence organized by Mugabe's regime.
Most of these countries especially the South African government supported the regime of Mugabe and denied that there was a crisis in the country. In that regard, South Africa was reluctant to give refugee status to thousands of Zimbweans who went there in search of political asylum.
As a result people started entering South Africa and some of these countries illegally. The issue of human trafficking against poor people especially young girls and women became rampant. Rich people in Zimbabwe and South Africa would smuggle these people to work in farms, mines, restaurants for poor salaries while others were used as sex workers. The police and immigration officials in both countries became accomplices since they are paid to let the people cross the borders to South Africa.
Realizing that the law was not there to protect these vulnerable people, organisations such as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and other church organisations in South Africa started to lobby the South African government to take measures to stop human trafficking at its borders, to give Zimbabweans refugee status.
These groups did so through petitions to local government leaders in South Africa, petitions to the Immigration Department and prayer meetings by churches such as the Methodist Church to bring the authorities to act.
Online news cites run by Zimbabweans based in South Africa also took up the case by investigating the stories and interviewing victims leading to communication between the South African government and Zimbabwean authorities to work together to stop human trafficking. The newspapers also carried out stories of some accidents involving smuggled people into South Africa bringing into the public further evidence of human trafficking.
Some organizations such as the Zimbabwe Exile's Forum which is led by a leading human rights lawyer, Gabriel Shumba who fled Zimbabwe after being tortured for political dissent started following up cases and taking litigation on behalf of some of the freed people also made a difference in putting these issues to the glare of the public
The organization together with Crisis Coalition also organized public demonstrations against the pratcice challenging the police and the authorities to take action against abuse of asylum seekers.
They also had meetings with some leaders of the ruling ANC party lobbying them to make the government protect Zimbweans by giving them asylum status and to strengthen borders security. In the long run leadership of the powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) which as a partner with ANC started to public voice about the crisis in Zimbabwe making it possible for the South African government to take the matter more serious
During my research for this topic I noticed that one of the most cited problems when combating trafficking is the number of parties that must be involved to combat the whole process. Because the supply and demand are usually in two seperate countries and each country may have multiple organizations to combat the various parts of the problems. (ie. Immigration, local law enforcement, etc.. in the United States).
Have their been any attempts at cross-border initatives to combat such a problem? If so I would enjoy hearing about them.
In southern Sudan, an intertribal practice that is fairly common is the trafficking of children. Many of the children who are taken are not registered as birth, and as a result have no recorded identity. This has implications for finding the children who are taken as part of these intertribal kidnappings. Even if a child were to be found, it is likely by the time that they were found they would speak a different language and would potentially look quite different as well. As such, it would be very diffifcult to determine the identity of that child and return him/her to their parents. As part of a class project, my class and I, on behalf of Child Protection International, are trying to figure out ways to prevent this from happening. Our strategy is to promote birth registration in Southern Sudan in order to be able to identify more easily the children who are being taken. As a result of better records of identification, it would be much easier to return children to their families. As part of our strategy, we are trying to determine tactics that would be effective in trying to implement a birth registration program in southern Sudan, or on a different level, to convince the local governments in southern Sudan that birth registration is something that must be implemented. This is in tune with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Sudan is a party, which states that "1. Every child shall have, without any
discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or
social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of
protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his
family, society and the State. 2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name. 3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality." This is also the case with article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Sudan is also a party to.
We know that the importance of birth registration has been emphasized by many NGO's such as UNICEF and Plan Intl. We also know that in places like Angola, Mozambique, and the Dominican Republic there have been successful campaigns for birth registration. It is important to note that in addition to returning children to their parents, birth registration is important in many other ways. Birth registration serves as the starting point for engagement between and individual and the state, and signifies the state's responsibility to protect those individuals rights. It is also important in regards to education, health care, and political privileges. I am wondering whether anyone has been involved with the issue of birth registration or a similar issue, and what tactics they found instrumental in helping them achieve their goal? Even if you haven't been involved, we are looking for any suggestions about how to approach this issue.
Why is it that birth registration isn't happening in these places? As far as I know, birth registration is a given in the United States. I don't know what the process is, but I am wondering why it is a problem in Sudan. The process is a key element to any situation and maybe that can help in solving this problem.
Birth registration is not only a problem in Sudan but in Sierra Leone as well. The Sierra Leone Government and UNICEF have been working hard during the past three to four years to solve that problem. There have been sensitization campaigns and registration has been linked to immunizations where necessary. I would have to get more details about the whole program. But birth registration would help a lot in Sierra Leone when trying to locate families of trafficked children, investigating the legality of adoptions, determining age for how to charge a case to court, etc.
Why isn't it happening? There are thousands of villages in Sierra Leone where there are no government services - with whom would they register? The nearest Births and Deaths office is many miles away. Many children are born in a village with the assistance of other local women - most of them illiterate - where there isn't a system in place for recording births. Illiteracy - what is the value and meaning of a paper which a person cannot read. Where is a document of that importance going to be kept that will stay with a person the rest of their life? For the Government there are the constraints of where and how to store those records once they are gathered and how to access them when needed later in a tropical climate and most of the country does not have electricity. Sierra Leone, for one, is trying to do birth registration better than before but it is an uphill climb in a postwar country. I am sure Sudan is suffering some of the same difficulties.
Hi Janet, I wonder if you might elaborate on the concept of sensitization campaigns? I haven't read much about those. I also wonder if you might elaborate on the process of linking registration with immunization. I had read the UNICEF and Plan Intl were trying to do that as a way to ensure more children were registered, but I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about that. Thank you so much for illuminating some of the issues that contribue to a lack of registration in some countries. S. Sudan is definitely encountering similar issues, and you are right that in many cases there aren't great places to store these important documents and people don't attach the same importance to the documents because there is a lack of understanding. Illustrating the importance of the documents in a way that doesn't require literacy will be important in any birth registration campaign. I am interested in hearing more about the situation in Sierra Leone if you have any more information, and thanks so much for responding.
I was able to get more detailed information from UNICEF and I am passing it on to you.
Since 2004, UNICEF has been working on improving birth registration in all Districts of Sierra Leone. The statistics on Birth Registration in the MICS 2 report was low especially in the north. Reasons given included: ignorance about Birth registration and its importance, lack of knowledge of where to go, the distance to the Birth Registration centre etc. The campaign was one of the strategies used to raise awareness on the importance of Birth Registration and where to go to register. Other strategies included building the capacity of birth registration personnel as well as the district offices to provide the service, social mobilisation in the communities, strengthening the data collection system and its management. The campaigns targeted all children 0-17years and not just new born babies. This was to give a chance to those who lost their birth certificates during the war and older children whose births were never registered an opportunity to do so. The campaigns were done in a phased manner, with Bombali and Moyamba used as the pilot Districts in 2004. There was a progressive move over the following years to cover all the other Districts. The last District was Port Loko who had its campaign last year (2008). In each District, the campaign was launched in all chiefdoms. Advocacy meetings were held in all chiefdoms with the chiefs and councillors to get their buy in. There were also jingles developed and radio discussions on Birth Registration and the upcoming campaign to raise awareness. Posters were also hung in strategic places. To ease the issue of distance, all the Periphery Health Units (PHUs) were used as registration centres with 2 staff trained as Birth Registrars. Notifiers were also identified and trained to report the births and bring the mothers to the centre. The schools were also used as registration centres. The teachers were trained, the parents went to the schools and gave the relevant information and the birth certificates were issued. The campaigns were successful as there were large queues waiting to register births and the 2 week period was in most cases insufficient. The awareness raised has resulted in more parents coming to register the births of their new born babies (the routine registration). As most mothers take their babies for the first immunization, staff were asked to refer those who had not yet registered their child’s birth to the Birth Registration office. If the BR office was the first port of call, the staff would refer them for immunization afterwards. The priorities this year are a review of the birth Registration Act of 1983/4, development of a policy and national strategic plan, and continue work on the data collection and management.
FAAST Sierra Leone
Thank you so much for all this wonderful information on the birth registration campaign in Sierra Leone. It is be hugely informative, and I look forward to sharing it with others in my class. It sounds like the birth registration campaign in Sierra Leone has been highly effective and is a very good model for others who are trying to get involved in birth registration campaigns. It seems that it has had an important impact on awareness in the region and will foster a continued knowledge of the importance of birth registration. I really appreciate you sharing this information with others, as it will be a huge help!
That is an excellent question. There are a multitude of reasons as to why birth registration is not occurring. Generally the process involves recording the name of the child, the name of his parents, the location of birth, and in the United States I believe the practice is generally to include a footprint (as fingerprints are not fully developed at this point in time). There are many reasons why the practice is not occuring in southern Sudan. The first problem is that there is a lack of infrastructure. Because there are very few roads in Sudan (something like a total of 10 paved miles of road in all of S. Sudan), it is very difficult for parents to get to registry centers. Another issue with the lack of infrastructures is that a lot of the births do not take place in hospitals, and midwives are not taught the process or are unaware of its importance. Another is that there is a lack of political will. Members of Child Protection International met with the president of S. Sudan, Salva Kiir, and while he indicated that this was an issue that he would make efforts to implement, not enough has been done. Also, there is a linkage between birth registration and colonialism, which makes many Sudanese wary of the process. Many Sudanese also believe that if tribal information is recorded, it could put them at risk if the information is used wrongly. Lastly, because birth registration represents the starting point between the individual and the state, many people are very reluctant to let the state know they exist out of fear. So these are some of the factors that contribute to a lack of birth registration in S. Sudan. As I mentioned in my previous post though, birth registration could be instrumental in preventing child trafficking and solving child trafficking cases, as well as promoting other rights for Sudanese children as well. I'm wondering if people have any ideas as to go about tackling these problems. I know a lack of infrastructure is a very broad problem that is not easily fixed, but I know that in Angola some people set up mobilization units where birth registration could be done easily and for free in some of the local towns and villages. Has anyone else experienced problems such as these, and are there any suggestions for tackling these issues? Thank you so much for your comments, all the input I can get is helpful.
The factors why some children do not have birth registration have already been well explained. Sudan's experience is not isolated. This is also happening in the Philippines. On top of structural problems and long distance between location of birth and nearest civil registry office;,money (or lack of it) is a hindrance to get a child registered in the local civil registry. While birth registration is a ministerial job for public hospitals and local civil registry personnel, the parents of a child still need to bear the costs of documentary stamps, among others. If a family could barely make both ends meet, how could the government expect them to shoulder the costs of birth registration?
So there are times when we encounter trafficked children who do not have birth certificates. Minority is an aggravating circumstance under Philippine's Anti-Trafficking Law. But sans birth certificate, proving the age of minority is problematic. The process becomes circuituous because the social worker -- with or without the help of the parents -- begin the procedure of late birth registration. If the parents are known, their help is sought to initiate the process of late birth registration. If the parents are not known, the child has to be declared by a court as foundling or abandoned child before steps for birth registration can even start. If the date of birth of the child is unknown, dental aging is done to determine the age of the child.
It's a complicated process but worth every step to finally accord to a child his/her inherent right to a name.
What about when a minority is despised? For example in Cambodia for those who are Vietnamese birth or alien registartion could provide information of their whereabouts to a potentially hostile administration. This is a genuine question of concern. Is it a good idea in this kind of environment?
Dr. Glenn Miles, Director of Prevention, Love 146
www.Love146.org is involved in aftercare and prevention primarily in Southeast and South Asia
I prepared a brief profile of 2008 human trafficking trends in Ukraine. I feel that it is helpful for experts and practitioners to learn about problem-related trends in other countries before the next TIP Report is issued.
In 2008, 820 victims of trafficking were assisted by the IOM Ukraine, including 32 victims trafficked internally (in the territory of Ukraine). Overall in 2000-2008, 5,485 victims received reintegration assistance from the IOM. 7 % of the assisted victims were third countries national, including 1 EU national. Russian Federation, Turkey and Poland remain to be the main countries of destination, and 60 % of the victim caseload was trafficked to these countries. In different years victims were returned from 59 different countries. Female victims constituted 76% of all victims assisted in 2008, and male victims – 24%. 51% of 2008 victim caseload was trafficked for non-sexual exploitation: labor exploitation, begging, organ trafficking. In 2008 we observed 5% decrease in cases of sexual exploitation compared to 2007.
In 2008, 820 victims of trafficking were assisted by the IOM Ukraine. Overall in 2000-2008, 5,485 victims received reintegration assistance from the IOM. The more detailed profile was introduced in the posting: 2008 HUMAN TRAFFICKING TRENDS/ UKRAINE
The provided holistic reintegration assistance package consists of the following services:
Other assistance on a case-by-case basis: retrieval of lost documents such as passports, ID and other relevant documents; temporary accommodation in shelters; airport reception upon return to Ukraine from the country of destination; overnight accommodation while in transit home, etc.
In the light of the current economic turmoil, many victims choose reintegration plans that focus on the improvement of their labour market compatibility and financial stabilization. The demand for vocational training, educational grants and employment counselling is increasing, as well as the demand for income generating equipment among victims (sewing machines, electric drills, furniture manufacturing equipment, knitting machines and others.). Many VoTs come from rural areas where vocational training options are scarce or unavailable, therefore they require housing assistance while they attend courses outside of their place of residence; those who cannot leave their families for the duration of the course, require assistance with local transportation.
Many victims decided to use their possessed entrepreneurial skills to pursue income generating activities, as a part of their reintegration process, and to participate in the IOM Micro-enterprise Development Program.