IOM and Belize Anti-Trafficking Committee Launch Educational Awareness Campaign

Posted: 
07/16/12

IOM and Belize's Anti-Trafficking Committee, made up of government
agencies, international agencies and NGOs and chaired by the
Ministry of Human Development, have launched an educational media
outreach campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking in the
country.

With the message "It Could Happen to You" the campaign will
reach out to the population via radio spots in English, Spanish,
Creole and Hindi, social media, posters and other education
materials that will reach an estimated 70 per cent of the
population.

The campaign is part of an IOM counter trafficking project
financed by the US State Department Office to Combat Trafficking in
Persons (J/TiP), which is the past 18 months has trained more than
5,000 Belizean officials and representatives of civil society to
identify cases of human trafficking, provide protection to victims
and prosecute human traffickers.

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Links Follow the campaign on alt="" border="0" height="12" hspace="0" src=
"/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/graphics/interface/icons_buttons/blue_link_box.gif"> "http://twitter.com/couldhappentou" target=
"_blank">Twitter alt="" border="0" height="12" hspace="0" src=
"/jahia/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/shared/mainsite/graphics/interface/icons_buttons/blue_link_box.gif"> "http://www.facebook.com/pages/It-could-happen-to-you/330128570406851"
target="_blank">Facebook

When the IOM project began in September 2010, baseline data
indicated that 10 cases of human trafficking were under
investigation; the majority were cases of internal trafficking for
sexual exploitation of Belizean girls.

“Sexual tourism in Belize poses one of the major risks for
the expansion of this crime in the country.  Several human
trafficking cases of domestic servitude for labour exploitation in
agriculture and other tourism related trades, have also been
identified,” explains IOM Project Manager Ana Hidalgo.

“This is why we decided that this campaign had to focus on
adolescents and young adults, and it includes educational materials
that are being distributed in schools,” she adds.

Unchosen, an anti-trafficking association based in the United
Kingdom that raises awareness about human trafficking through film,
documentaries, interviews and Q&A sessions, will be launched in
Belize in August and tour the country as part of a national road
show.

The Government of Belize is currently drafting a national plan
of action to prosecute and convict traffickers, as well as
significant amendments to its anti-trafficking in persons
legislation.

Belize is a country of origin, transit and destination for men,
women, and children subjected to human for sexual exploitation and
forced labour.   Foreign women, mainly from Central
America, are trafficked to Belize to work in bars, nightclubs, and
brothels throughout the country.  Foreign men, women and
children, from Central America and Asia, migrate voluntarily to
Belize in search of work; some may fall victim to forced
labour.  Children and adults working in the agricultural and
fishing sectors are also vulnerable to forced labour.

Follow the campaign on Twitter at "paragraph-link-no-underline" href=
"http://twitter.com/couldhappentou" target=
"_blank">http://twitter.com/couldhappentou and on Facebook at
"http://www.facebook.com/pages/It-could-happen-to-you/330128570406851"
target=
"_blank">www.facebook.com/pages/It-could-happen-to-you/330128570406851.

For more information please contact

Ana Hidalgo

Tel:  +50622125304

Email: "mailto:ahidalgo@iom.int">ahidalgo@iom.int