IOM initiates workshops in the region to include measures against trafficking in persons in emergency responses
The International Organization for Migration organized in Nicaragua, with the authorities of the Coalition against Trafficking in Persons of the municipality of Chinandega, a workshop for the strengthening of capacities to prevent cases of trafficking in persons in emergency contexts.
This awareness-raising and training session is the first of its kind in the region, and will be adapted and replicated in the following months in each of the countries were the Mesoamerica Program ´´Strengthening the capacities to protect and assist migrants in situations of vulnerability´´ is implemented.
As evidenced by the IOM report ´´Addressing trafficking and exploitation in times of crisis´´, it often occurs that the potential victims of human trafficking are not visible in emergency situations, even though human trafficking is often a direct result of emergencies and increases during these situations. In 2016, more than 8,ooo victims of trafficking were identified in Americas and the Caribbean.
In the case of Nicaragua, with IOM assistance, the initiative was introduced into the Action Plan of the Departmental Table of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons and gathered officers from a variety of State institutions such as the National Police, a delegation from the Ministry of Governance, Public Ministry, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Family Children and Adolescence, and the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, who form the departmental table of Chinandega, a department located in the west side of Nicaragua, border area with Honduras.
During the work-shop, the officers analyzed the emergency response actions at its different stages (pre, during and post crisis) and the protection mechanism that can be activated to protect victims of trafficking in times of crisis. The focus was put upon prevention before a crisis strikes, and the securement of an articulated action during the first days of a crisis. Moreover, the work-shop offered the participants the opportunity to study cases and lessons learned around the world, for example the experience after the earthquake in Haiti, and Nicaragua’s experience after the landslide of the Casi Volcano in Chinandega as a consequence of Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
This package of initial courses in the region will contribute to IOM´s Global Strategy against trafficking and exploitation in crisis situations. This strategy enables actors that operate in emergency situations to address these crimes in a systematic way, and to strengthen their capacities to respond to these violations in the future.
The Mesoamerica Program is financed by the Office of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State of the United States.