IOM Backs Draft Counter-Trafficking Law in Timor-Leste
An Inter-Agency Trafficking Working Group (ITWG) chaired by
Timor-Leste's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will today be presented
the first draft of a comprehensive counter-trafficking law which it
will review. The ITWG will also discuss a National Plan of Action
to combat human trafficking in the country.
A sub-committee of the ITWG began drafting comprehensive
counter-trafficking legislation at the start of 2010, with
technical support from IOM, in response to Timor-Leste's accession
to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its
two Protocols in November 2009.
Timor-Leste is a destination country for trafficked persons and
at risk of being a source country. Victims trafficked to
Timor-Leste have originated from Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia,
China and the Philippines, and have been exploited for labour
aboard fishing vessels, or sexually exploited in the capital,
Victims are approached with opportunities to pay off debts or to
earn large salaries in Timor-Leste's US dollar economy. Anecdotal
evidence indicates that internal trafficking of women and children
for labour or sexual exploitation also takes place.
The ITWG has been meeting since 2003, and has received
secretariat support from IOM since 2007. It meets quarterly to
discuss and coordinate policy surrounding means to combat human
trafficking in Timor-Leste.
IOM's counter trafficking work in Timor-Leste is supported by
the US State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking
in Persons and the Spanish government-funded UNDP Millennium
Development Goals Achievement Fund.
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