Bhutan: UNODC enhances multi-stakeholder cooperation and public awareness to counter Trafficking in Persons    

Pema Gatshel, Trashiyangtse and Trashigang Dzongkhags, Bhutan/28 October 2022: In October, a series of two-day trainings on countering Trafficking in Persons in Bhutan was organised, in collaboration with the Department of Law and Order, Government of Bhutan.

The trainings focused on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to protect and assist victims and strengthen cooperation and coordination.

Over 100 officials from local government, civil society, healthcare, and judiciary from the Pema Gatshel, Trashiyangtse and Trashigang Dzongkhags participated in the discussions.

Held in both English and Dzongkha languages, wide-ranging discussions were held on legislative provisions, forms of forced labour, victim support, modus operandi, stages of trafficking, cybercrime and the impact of social media among others.

UNODC experts and participants exchanged real stories related to trafficking in Bhutan, included cases of sexual exploitation and bonded labour to gain understanding of patterns and trends. The need for more awareness programs at the grassroots level, with simplified messages for the general public, was emphasised.

Participants suggested setting up a TIP toll-free hotline and the creation of a task force at the district level to strengthen understanding and reporting of cases, as key ideas to protect and assist the victims.

Special awareness programs on countering Trafficking in Persons were also conducted for over 3,871 students and educators from various high schools in these areas, raising awareness of Trafficking in Persons and exploring ways to address the problem.

The discussions focused on raising awareness on the issue with examples and good practices in protecting and assisting victims

This activity contributes to SDG 3, SDG 5 and 16:

(Supported by US Department of State)