IOM pilots government internship program to address human trafficking

9 October, 2018

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is committed in the fight against human trafficking, promoting and supporting interregional and interinstitutional cooperation strategies which respond more comprehensively to the challenges of this crime.

Through the Mesoamerica Program, three internship or exchange programs were offered for personnel specializing in the fight against human trafficking in various countries in Central and South America. The purpose of this model of technical exchange is to allow government teams to familiarize themselves with a project, a program, or any other government initiative previously identified by IOM as a best practice regarding the fight against human trafficking, to experience its functioning first hand, and to analyze the feasibility of adapting and implementing it in the official's country of origin. IOM previously identified and documented these best practices, and compiled them in a Catalog of Best Practices on Human Trafficking in the region. 

The personnel of the Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Human Trafficking of Guatemala traveled to Argentina to learn about that country's Programs for the Protection and Assistance of Human Trafficking Victims. Likewise, personnel from the Interinstitutional Commission against Sexual and Commercial Exploitation and Human Trafficking (CICESCT) of Honduras and the National Commission against Human Trafficking of Panama learned first-hand from the experience of the Rapid Response Team in Costa Rica as a model of interinstitutional cooperation for protection of trafficking victims.

"Human trafficking is a crime which attacks people's liberty, integrity, and security, turning them into victims by subjecting them to inhumane conditions of slavery, exploitation, and violence. Therefore, through these means of exchanging knowledge, we are promoting a coordinated fight, at the regional level, against the violation of human rights," explained Raquel Vargas, General Director of Migration and Foreigners of Costa Rica.

"This model of placements is a pilot initiative which we hope to be able to replicate in the future, as a model of efforts which contribute to building the capacities of governments and which foster cooperation between countries allied in the fight against these types of crimes," emphasized Alexandra Bonnie, Coordinator of the Mesoamerica Program.