Special Feature: World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2022

Bhutan: UNODC promotes public awareness to counter Trafficking in Persons

Punakha, Thimphu and Wangdue, Bhutan/30 July 2022: In July, a series of seven awareness programmes on countering Trafficking in Persons were conducted for over 2,600 students and educators from high schools in Punakha and Wangdue dzongkhags, in collaboration with the Department of Law and Order, Government of Bhutan.

Aimed at engaging youth, the discussions focused on demystifying issues pertaining to human trafficking with examples and good practices in protecting and assisting victims.

Student and teachers were made aware of possible fake scholarships and job offers and to understand the reporting processes, as well as steps young people should take to strengthen public awareness on the issue. The discussions also focused on modes and purposes of human trafficking with specific examples, and ways to enhance safety on social media.

During the discussions, some educators shared their experiences of fake job offers being made to students, highlighting the vulnerabilities of young people in rural schools and institutions.

Marking the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UNODC participated in a televised panel discussion on human trafficking, which was aired on the national broadcaster Bhutan Broadcasting Service. Panelists included the UNODC Programme Coordinator in Bhutan and officials from the Government of Bhutan. Knowledge support was also provided to a mock conference on the issue, conducted by students from a school in Thimphu.

The recorded video was aired on national television during prime time on 30 July. The participating students engaged in a role play of heads of key law enforcement and government agencies, and discussed a range of themes pertaining to human trafficking, such as vulnerabilities and risks, forced labour, immigration, sexual exploitation and laws.  

This activity contributes to SDG 5 and SDG 16: https://sdg-tracker.org/

(Supported by the US Department of State)