First Counter-Trafficking Seminar in Timor-Leste Aims to Mobilize

Posted: 
03/13/08

A two-day seminar on the challenges and responses in countering
human trafficking in Timor-Leste, the first ever to be held in the
country, hopes to mobilize local actors into joining the fight
against the crime.

Organized by IOM in partnership with the local non-governmental
organization (NGO) the Alola Foundation and in close cooperation
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event which concludes
today will complement government efforts on the issue.

Participants including government officials from
migration-related ministries, the police and civil society, will be
given a comprehensive introduction to human trafficking issues in
the country and region, as well as specialized training on
effective interventions. The seminar will also facilitate
networking between concerned stakeholders and create the space for
discussion on priority responses.

Key expected outcomes include an initial mapping of victim
support services in the country and preliminary agreements on the
institutional frameworks required to effectively combat human
trafficking.

Timor-Leste has been identified as a destination country for the
trafficking of women for sexual exploitation from other Asian
countries and as a potential country of origin for trafficking
victims. The country is also affected by internal trafficking in
women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation and
domestic servitude.  A continued population displacement
crisis in Timor-Leste alongside on-going socio-economic development
challenges for one of the world's newest countries has necessitated
the search for effective strategies to address trafficking
issues.

"The forming of a dynamic partnership between IOM, the
government of Timor-Leste and civil society groups to tackle the
low level of awareness of human trafficking among the population
and to strengthen the legal and social mechanisms to combat the
phenomenon is very important if human trafficking is to be
successfully countered," said IOM Chief of Mission in Dili, Luiz
Vieira.

Following the seminar, IOM and the Alola Foundation will carry
out a series of initiatives including launching a new public
information campaign on human trafficking and implementing
specialized trainings for journalists, consular and embassy staff,
service providers as well as law enforcers with the support of the
US State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in
Persons (G/TiP).

For more information please contact:

Angela Sherwood

Public Information Officer

IOM Dili

Tel: +670 723 1576

E-mail: "mailto:asherwood@iom.int">asherwood@iom.int

or

Heather Komenda

Counter-Trafficking Project Manager

IOM Dili 

Tel: +670.723.0810

E-mail: "mailto:hkomenda@iom.int">hkomenda@iom.int