IOM Completes Counter Trafficking Training for Timor-Leste's Front Line Law Enforcement Officers
IOM and the Timorese National Police (PNTL) Training Centre
yesterday hosted a final workshop and closing ceremony for front
line law enforcement officers designed to raise awareness of human
trafficking and identify ways to combat it in Timor-Leste.
Police officers from Ermera district attended the event, which
covered a range of topics, including definitions of human
trafficking, national legal frameworks, international cooperation
in investigations and prosecutions, and the response of law
The workshop was also attended by representatives from the
American Embassy in Dili, PNTL Second Commander Alfonso de Jesus,
Director of the PNTL Police Training Centre Carlos Almeida Sousa
Jeronimo, Deputy UNPOL Police Commissioner Faheem Khan, and IOM
Chief of Mission Norberto Celestino.
The event marked the last nationwide training under the project:
"Halt Exploitation, Learn to Prosecute, Phase III (HELP III)",
funded by the United States Department of State Office to Monitor
and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Over the past year, IOM has organized 13 similar trainings for a
total of 377 officers from every district and sub-district in
Timor-Leste. Additional future training may include workshops on
criminal investigative techniques and specialized courses for
members of the Migration Service.
Timor-Leste has been identified as a destination country for
victims of trafficking and may also become a source country. People
trafficked to Timor-Leste have included victims from Myanmar,
Thailand, Indonesia, China and the Philippines.
Some were subjected to forced labour aboard fishing vessels.
Others were coerced into commercial sex work in the capital, Dili.
Many victims thought that they could earn large salaries in
Timor-Leste's US dollar-based economy.
There is also evidence that trafficking takes place inside the
country with women and children trafficked from the countryside to
the towns for forced labour or sexual exploitation. Rescued victims
report overwork, physical and sexual abuse, and non-payment or
under-payment for their work.
Since 2007, the IOM Timor-Leste Counter Trafficking Unit has
organized trainings for law enforcement agencies, the media and
other stakeholders and has provided technical support to the Inter
Agency Counter Trafficking Working Group. It has also implemented
nationwide public information campaigns to raise awareness of human
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