GLO.ACT partners hold meeting with the European Union

Vientiane, Lao PDR - 30 October 2018 - Partner agencies of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) held their quarterly interagency meeting with the European Union (EU), on 12 October 2018. GLO.ACT implementing agencies, including UNODC and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), met with Mr. Francois Pravongviengkham, Political Affairs Officer of the EU Delegation to Lao PDR. While the third GLO.ACT partner, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), was unable to attend the meeting, updates were submitted on their behalf.  These quarterly meetings are an opportunity for GLO.ACT partners to share updates on individual project activities and discuss current challenges, while also providing a forum to emphasize EU priorities associated with project implementation and the commemoration of the coming EU Anti-Trafficking Day on Oct 18 each year. 

IOM National Project Officer, Ms. Sourivonexay Phrommala began the meeting by providing developments on the recent success of IOM's first GLO.ACT activity on the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). This initiative aimed to develop a set of Standard Operating Procedures to improve coordination among government and NGO organizations and provide stronger support for victims of trafficking. Held at the end of September, the Consultation Workshop on the NRM brought together multiple counterparts including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Village Focus International (VFI), United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT), Lao Women's Union (LWU), the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW), and members from Thailand's Social Work Section. The latter counterpart engaged workshop participants in Thailand's referral mechanism by sharing her experience in Thai shelters, generating various questions and discussions which will help in the development of Lao PDR's NRM. Ms. Phrommala indicated the NRM will now undergo several internal reviews with the LWU before it is expected to be completed in the beginning of the New Year.

Ms. Siliphaithoun Xayamoungkhoun, National Project Officer for UNODC, reported on UNODC's recently completed GLO.ACT activities. Focusing on strengthening criminal justice responses to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM), these activities included a consultation meeting on the role of lawyers in human trafficking proceedings, and a corresponding three-day capacity building training on TIP and SOM for those working directly in the field of protection and justice. In addition, Ms. Xayamoungkhoun highlighted three upcoming GLO.ACT activities that are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. These initiatives consist of a consultation meeting with government counterparts to provide assistance in coordinating TIP and SOM data collection, to help establish a concrete channel of data sharing and emphasize the connection of TIP and SOM data for prevention activities. A 3-day workshop will also be held to review, revise, and endorse the draft "Investigating Sexual Exploitation of Children Manual," and develop a training module to be used at the technical level early next year. Finally, UNODC will coordinate a 3-day study tour to Thailand for Lao government and development partners to learn about the situation of Lao victims of trafficking and migrants in the Thai legal system, and to strengthen existing cooperation mechanisms.

While Ms. Souphavone Dalavong, the National Project Officer for UNICEF, was unable to attend the meeting, she was able to share UNICEF updates on GLO.ACT initiatives in writing. These included updates on the counselling training being provided to the Lao Women's Union team in Salavanh Province; the Victim Identification Training for the Provincial Anti-Trafficking Unit of Savanhnaket; and the prevention campaign in hot spot villages of Vientiane, Bolikhamxay and Xiengkhaong Province, together with the Para Social Worker training to the Provincial Social Welfare Office in Xiengkhouang Province. 

The next interagency cooperation and coordination meeting will take place at the beginning of the New Year.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

More information about GLO.ACT is available  here.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Siliphaithoun Xayamoungkhoun

GLO.ACT National Project Officer

Email: siliphaithoun.xayamoungkhoun@un.org

Website: www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter: @glo_act