GLO.ACT supports media training on human trafficking and migrant smuggling

Vientiane, Lao PDR 4 June 2019 - UNODC, under the Global Action to combat Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) organized a series of technical trainings on media programme production skills and strategic communication campaigning to combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) from 6 to 17 May 2019. Over 25 key government officials from various departments of relevant line ministries working on TIP prevention and protection participated in the workshop. The aim of the training was to enhance the participants' technical capacities while expanding their understanding of human trafficking and its root causes, both in the country and more broadly within the region.

To date, the Government of Lao PDR is focusing efforts on increasing awareness raising and information about TIP through various interventions, such as outreach activities in hotspot provinces and mass media broadcasts. In July 2017, the Ministry of Public Security chose police TV and radio channels to broadcast TIP and SOM prevention programmes. Furthermore, other government TV and radio programmes, focusing on related violence or gender issues, have actively reiterated key messages on the crosscutting issues of TIP and SOM. Despite these efforts, it is still apparent that uncoordinated TIP and SOM prevention activities reduce the impact of these government-supported interventions. Media production teams face challenges with acquiring accurate information on these specialized topics and with providing an engaging context to capture the audience's interest.

It is in this context, that UNODC organized the 10 day workshop which began with an open discussion on human trafficking co-chaired by Director General of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Department, Ms. Livong Laoly, and UNODC Officer in Charge, Mr. Erlend Falch. Overall, the focus of the training was to ensure effective, measurable and impactful programmes will be developed in the future.

During the training, national media production teams worked closely with a team of leading media experts and UNODC consultants to gain practical insights and enhance a variety of skills ranging from interview and lighting techniques, equipment fundamentals, effective sound effects and music, editing software, and understanding best practices when working with victims of trafficking. The training also facilitated improved interagency communication and fleshed out a number of lessons learned which participants are now helping to implement across their production units. Government officials also collaborated to apply their newly honed production skills and expertise by creating a short spot piece that featured a number of interviews and showcased government officials describing the issue of human trafficking in Lao PDR alongside effective prevention measures. Relevant campaign materials from governmental and non-governmental partners working in this field were collected and revised to avoid duplication of efforts and to maximize budget usage. Finally, to support longer-term strategic planning, impact measurements will be incorporated into media awareness campaigns.

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.

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