UN Migration Agency Facilitates Shelter Management Workshop on Human Trafficking

Capacity Building, Counter-Trafficking

Harare – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (26-28/02) facilitated a training workshop for 30 shelter management staff from various government and non-state protection shelter institutions in the Zimbabwean capital. This is the first of two workshops to be conducted during the first quarter of 2018, aimed at increasing understanding of the rights of trafficked victims and the ways that staff can provide them with specialized, victim-centred services to support their rehabilitation.

In her opening remarks IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Lily Sanya underscored the importance of the training for the shelter management staff, who are the frontline responders to human trafficking.
“It is important for you as field practitioners to familiarize yourselves with the fundamental concepts underlying the stages of human trafficking and particularly the impact on the trafficked persons,” she said. “Victims often require specialized social services for safety and recovery.”

US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K Thomas, said that human trafficking had become a 150 billion dollar industry that touches millions of lives across the globe, and therefore calls for collaborative efforts to stamp out the scourge. “The fight against trafficking demands concerted effort from stakeholders,” Ambassador Thomas said. “That is why the United States has partnered with Zimbabwe and the International Organization for Migration to provide awareness of the risks of trafficking and protection of victims.”

Zimbabwe has seen significant progress in the implementation of its National Trafficking in Persons Action Plan, and according to the Global Trafficking in Persons Report for 2016, the country has moved from Tier 3 (countries whose governments do not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protect Act’s (TVRA) minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so) to Tier 2 (countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVRA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to meet them).
Tuso Mapala, Director of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, alluded to the prosecution of a trafficking perpetrator in 2017; the establishment of Provincial Trafficking in Persons Task Forces; and setting up state-run protection shelters as examples of the government’s achievements.

During the workshop, participants familiarized themselves with the concepts of human trafficking and smuggling, as well as the instruments that international law provides to combat these heinous crimes. Regarding victim protection, participants were trained on techniques to identify and assist victims of trafficking with particular attention to skills for communicating with traumatized victims. The training also emphasized the guiding principles of shelter care and set-up, as well as taking the participants through the various tools for screening victims and capturing trafficking data.

As a way forward, participants pledged to scale up coordination among state and non-state actors involved in counter trafficking. This would be achieved through information sharing on counter trafficking activities and issues. More importantly participants committed to cascading the concepts of human trafficking to colleagues in their organizations and key stakeholders as a way of increasing awareness of it.

The workshop was part of a Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) project funded by the United States Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).

For more information please contact Gideon Madera, IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email: gmadera@iom.int

  • Participants listening to remarks during the opening session. © IOM