IOM Mali and Beneficiaries Celebrate the First Anniversary of the COMPASS Initiative and World Day against Trafficking in Persons
Bamako – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Mali celebrated the first anniversary of the COMPASS initiative and World Day against Trafficking in Persons through a series of psychosocial activities, including a creative art workshop and a fashion show. These two activities were conducted on 25 July and 2 August with approximately sixty migrant women in vulnerable situations.
The workshop was facilitated by the female promoters of two eco-friendly craft enterprises. These were IKALOOK, a brand of clothing made from local handicrafts, and SUTURA, a company that produces reusable and biodegradable sanitary towels. The female participants exchanged with the promoters of these two companies who shared their experiences, while encouraging the girls to engage in entrepreneurship. “Beyond the celebration of the first anniversary of the COMPASS initiative and World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the psychosocial activities we organize for our beneficiaries aim above all at their well-being, to boost their self-esteem, self-confidence, but also their entrepreneurial spirit, after all the ordeals they have had to go through,” said Laura D’ELSA, Protection Coordinator at IOM Mali.
The female participants in the art workshop on 25 July showed their creativity by designing clothing models. They also participated in a fashion show on 2 August, with models from one of the IKALOOK brand collections. “This is the first time I have participated in a fashion show. I had a lot of fun with my classmates. I will put the advice I received into practice when I return to Nigeria. I too would like to be an entrepreneur and succeed in my business,” said Lucy*, a migrant in a vulnerable situation and beneficiary of the activities.
With respect to the fight against trafficking in persons, IOM supports the Government of Mali through various initiatives, including protection and assistance to victims, capacity building, assistance to support facilities and the organization of information campaigns on trafficking in persons. The national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking, developed in 2021, provides a single response framework for all relevant actors. From 2017 to date, IOM Mali has provided assistance to a total of 1,285 victims of trafficking, including 145 between January and May 2022 alone.
In 2021, the number of victims assisted by IOM Mali was 191. The “Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS)” initiative was launched in early 2021 by IOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In partnership with 14 countries including Mali, this global initiative helps to protect people on the move, combat human trafficking and smuggling, and support dignified return while promoting sustainable reintegration.
*Lucy is a pseudonym used to protect the identity of the migrant.
For more information, please contact the IOM Mali Media and Communications Unit, Phone: +223 90 50 00 06, email: email@example.com.