IOM Aids Prosecutor’s Office to Combat Human Trafficking and Smuggling in Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic - IOM has handed over to the Dominican Republic’s Attorney General specialized equipment that will increase the effectiveness of operations undertaken by officers investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Throughout 2014 IOM has actively contributed to the institutional strengthening of the country’s Special Prosecutor’s Office, which is tasked with combating human trafficking. This included training in investigation and prosecution techniques, and training in Creole, the language spoken in neighbouring Haiti.
As part of IOM’s capacity building activities, a certificate course in Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation was offered to 40 prosecutors and assistants working on the issue.
IOM also provided advice and input in the drafting of a policy relating to the prosecution of human traffickers and migrant smugglers. It also helped the authorities to identify safe locations for shelters for victims, and donated equipment and other supplies, notably for shelters housing minors.
IOM trained forensic psychologists to improve the victim assistance and protection system, and worked with government entities providing direct assistance to Haitian children rescued from traffickers.
“IOM is pleased to be part of this great effort undertaken by the Dominican Republic in the fight against human trafficking. The Special Prosecutor’s Office has achieved a lot since it was created last year – five convictions in trafficking cases, eight in smuggling of migrants, and 13 in other cases so far,” said Cy Winter, IOM Chief of Mission in the Dominican Republic.
“Today we celebrate an important milestone; for the first time a human trafficking conviction can now be complemented by integral protection to the victim, including a safe shelter, integration into the labor market, temporary residence status and monetary compensation from the traffickers,” he added.
The Dominican Republic is a country of origin, transit, and destination for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Large numbers of Dominican women and children are subjected to sex trafficking inside the country, the Caribbean, Europe, South and Central America, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. Local children are also at risk of sexual exploitation by foreign tourists. Haitian children are also forced into domestic service, street selling, begging and other forced labor. IOM’s programme is funded by the United States.
For more information, please contact
Alicia Sangro Blasco
IOM Santo Domingo
Tel.: +1 809 688 81 74