The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ministry of Homeland Security of Malawi conducted the first training for civil society on care and protection for victims of trafficking in persons in Lilongwe, from 11th to 13th March 2020.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Senior Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Homeland Security, Ms Patricia Liabuba said that "care, assistance and protection of trafficked persons is very important as the trafficking cycle cannot be broken without attention to the rights and needs of those who have been trafficked. Insufficient protection and support subjects trafficked persons to further victimization".
She stated that the Government of Malawi does not have shelters in place to assist victims of trafficking in persons but will screen civil society-run shelters and designate those that will qualify to partner with the Government in the service provision before the end of April 2020.
The training was attended by 41 participants from civil society organizations who have applied to the Ministry of Homeland Security to run shelters for victims of trafficking in persons and from faith-based organizations that want to established safe home for the victims.
The training provided operational guidance to Service Providers on the implementation of the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons Act (2015) that is relevant to the protection of victims of trafficking in persons, as well as information on the existing referral procedures and avenues for cooperation and coordination with law enforcement.
Participants learned about the services that shelters should provide to victims of trafficking, as well as how to deliver quality support and care to victims. Topics discussed included basic material support, medical care, psychosocial counselling, legal advice, family or community reintegration services, rehabilitation, education and vocational training, and repatriation assistance.
The training is part of a joint project of UNODC with the Government of Malawi funded by the United Kingdom contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on the strengthening of peace, justice and strong institutions.